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Welcome to PAARC

ARRLThe Pottstown Area Amateur Radio Club (PAARC)

PAARC is an ARRL affiliated, amateur radio club that sponsors many types of activities. PAARC operates 4 FM repeaters including C4FM analog and digital, APRS Digi, and a IRLP Node.  Anyone is welcome, and encouraged to attend our meetings as you do not need to be a radio amateur to participate.

Dec. 2 – Member Night Awards

PAARC 2016 Member Night Awards 
Six club members were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Pottstown Area Amateur Radio Club (PAARC) at their Dec. 2nd meeting in Limerick, PA.
– Jim Steiner, W3BWD, was honored for his service as a founding member of the Pottstown Area Repeater Team, the precursor to PAARC. Jim housed the 2M repeater at his home for eighteen years, and has been a contributing member for over four decades.

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Club Meeting and VE Test – Jan. 6

VE Test Session – at 5:00 pm: Go for your Amateur Radio license or try for an upgrade. Pre-register by sending a request to VETesting@PAARC.NET. Test sessions are administered by examiners accredited by the ARRL. See what to bring to exam session here:

Club Meeting – 7:00 pm: Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 at St. James Lutheran Church, Kugler Rd. and Swamp Pike in Limerick.
Presentation: the history of QSL-ing, with Tom Mills – AF4NC. Besides being an avid ham, accomplished photographer, and a pilotTom is also our ARRL EPA Section Traffic Manager. Members, friends, and prospective hams are invited to join us.

Club Meeting – Dec. 2

It’s the last meeting of the year and our first-ever “Member Night”, where members will present on interesting things they’d like to share with us.  It’s also member recognition night, so join us to celebrate the invaluable service of some of our PAARC members. Jim Steiner – W3BWD will be honored for his contributions as an original member of the Pottstown Area Repeater Team; the precursor to PAARC.  See a brief history here. Refreshments: bring your favorite holiday cookies. Feel like sharing your recipe? Send it to

Here are the presentation topics for meeting:
Jerry, K3BZ – A New Vertical from SteppIR Antennas…the CrankIR 
Here’s a new lightweight portable antenna that packs in a 2-foot duffel, sets up in just a few minutes, and covers 80M through 6M… 8 HF bands plus 6M.  Like all SteppIRs, the CrankIR can be adjusted quickly to the specific band and frequency desired.  It even has a tunable radial to maximize performance.  Tonight’s 10-minute taste is only the prelude to a complete demonstration of the CrankIR at the February meeting.

Pete, K0BAK – My Pedestrian Mobile Setup
I activated several NPOTA parks in Philly and Manhattan for the first time using a 100w ham station in a backpack and hamstick antennas, that I walked through blocks of Manhattan streets to set up in tiny areas.


6 Meter Magic Band Nets

We just had another new check-in on the Magician’s Net this week.  His name is John, and his call is W3KFT (Kentucky Fried Turkey).  For all you VHF fans John also runs a 6 meter net on 50.550 MHz (usb) at 9pm on Sunday evenings under the club call of W3AWA.  It’s called the Mobile Sixers Club.  As Magician’s we are always striving for new and better ways to explore the band.  To the beginning 6 meter op it appears at first that the band is dead, but we’re here to show you that you just have to know where the action is.  We’ve shared our discoveries with other clubs notably the Keystone VHF Club, the Packrats club, and now the Mobile Sixers Club.  Everyone’s invited to the nets!!  Being inclusive is one of our strengths!

Propagation Alerts:  As we wind things down heading towards the Winter months that doesn’t mean we have to hibernate, at least not radio wise.  There’s still a little life left in the 6 meter band, but again, you have to turn it on to find out.  At this time of the year up until the month of January we can sometimes experience some great Es openings.  Keep checking for updates.  For a closer look at what Old Sol (the sun) is up to please check out for the latest happenings in the current Solar Cycle.  I know I hound you guys to death with this stuff, but if you’ve never worked Aurora you’re in for a treat!  Look for elevated levels in the A & K indexes.  The more uses you find for those radios, the more fun you’ll have.  Speaking of fun I just started preparing my station to work some meteor scatter using a relatively new digital mode called MSK-144.  It’s included with the newest WSJT-X software that’s been released.  It’s an Alpha version which means it could be buggy, but so far I haven’t had any problems that I can point to, or at least none that were caused by this program.  Time will tell.  Turn on those rigs during the week, and please use those two links I gave in the last paragraph.  I’ve found them to be indispensible when it comes to 6 meter propagation. Continue Reading →

VE Test & Meeting – Nov. 4

First Friday PAARC events are held at St. James Lutheran Church, at the intersection of Swamp Pike and Kugler Rd. in Limerick, PA:

VE Test Session – at 5:00 pm: Go for your license or try for an upgrade. Pre-register by sending a request to VETesting@PAARC.NET. Test sessions are administered by examiners accredited by the ARRL. See what to bring to exam session here:

Club Meeting – 7:00 pm:  Adventures of Ed – WA3WSJ and Walt – KB3SBC, prolific National Parks on the Air activators. To learn more about upcoming activations, visit Ed’s NPOTA Rabbit Hole webpage: At this meeting we’ll also nominate members for 2017 club officer and board positions.
Future meeting: Dec. 2: Member Night, and officer election

Fox Hunt – Oct. 29

The last transmitter hunt aka fox hunt of the 2016 season was held on October 29, 2016. Weather was sunny, but a cool 36 degrees F at 10

mini transmitter

   A Well Hidden Fox

am. Bill (W3FRB) and Jane (KC3FSR) were the foxes. The hunters included Al(AG3T) and Dori (K3TES), Bob (K3DBD), and Jim (K3CHJ) and Sal (NC3U). This was Sal’s first time as a fox hunter. Sal thoroughly enjoyed the event. He plans to extoll the virtues of fox hunting to the other clubs that he is a member of.

All PAARC foxhunts begin at the Pottsgrove Middle School. Why? Because it is the highest accessible point around.  We have 3 fox transmitters: large (5 W), medium (100MW) and micro (10 MW). Hunters can use all fox transmitters to find the foxes, but the large and medium are more frequently used for homing in.  Continue Reading →

ARRL EPA Interim Appointment

Bob Wiseman, WB3W, of Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, has been
appointed as the Interim Section Manager for the ARRL Eastern
Pennsylvania Section. He is fulfilling the current term of office
that was declared vacant by the ARRL Executive Committee of the ARRL
Board of Directors this past June. Wiseman’s interim appointment
continues through March 31, 2018. Visit the updated website:

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PAARC, PO Box 1485,    

Pottstown, PA 19464