Club News

A Ham’s “’Twas The Night Before Christmas”

posted Dec 21, 2017, 5:21 PM by Gary Gifford, Jr.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the shack, 
not a meter was stirring, not even on the rack; 
The finals were hung by the chimney with care, 
in hopes that St. Nick would tune them right there. 
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, 
while visions of moon-bounce danced in their heads; 
and Mama with her handheld, and I with a trap, 
had just settled our brains with a high voltage zap. 
When out on the tower there rose such a clatter, 
I sprang from the bench to see what was the matter. 
away to the window I flew like a high tension flash, 
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.. 
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, 
gave the glow of tubes of days long ago. 
When what, to my wondering eyes should appear, 
but a miniature sleigh, with mobile amateur gear; 
with a little old ham, so lively and quick, 
I knew in a moment, it must be Saint Nick. 
More rapid than McElroy his keying it came, 
and he listened and he tuned and called them by name: 
“Now Dasher! Now Damper! Now Phasor and DX’en” 
“On Common! On Coupled! On Doner and Blitzen!” 
“To the top of the shack to the top of the wall” 
“Now Dash away, Dash away, dashaway all!” 
As dry days before Field Day do fly, 
when they meet with the forecast and never comply, 
so up on the shack top the signals they flew, 
with the sleigh full of gear, and St. Nickolas too. 
and then in a band opening, I heard on the roof, 
antenna work by a ham on the hoof. 
As I drew in my head and was tuning around, 
down the feedline came St. Nicholas with a bound. 
He was all tangled in coax, from his head to his foot, 
and his check sheets were all tarnished with ashes and soot. 
A bundle of gear he had flung on his back, 
and he looked like a contester opening a six-pack; 
His handheld – how it crackled! The signals did vary, 
his equipment made noises, his QSO was quite merry. 
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a Mho, 
and the beard of his chin was white as slow scan snow. 
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, 
and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. 
He had a broad face and a round little belly, 
that shook when he laughed like the roll of a tele. 
He was chubby and plump, a right old elf, 
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. 
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head 
soon gave me to know I had not QR-zed. 
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, 
and tuned all the finals, then turned with a jerk, 
and keying his finger aside of his a nose, 
and giving a nod, up the feed line he rose. 
He sprang to his sleigh, his handheld gave a whistle, 
and away they all flew, like the down on a thistle’ 
But I heard him exclaim ‘Ere he faded out of sight’ 
“Happy Christmas to all and to all A good night!” 

There are a few of these around the web, this one from WC4DC.

Christmas Party 2017

posted Nov 2, 2017, 3:21 PM by K8CY ACARC   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 5:22 PM ]

The annual Ashtabula County Amateur Radio Club Christmas party will be held December 2, 2017 at 6:00 PM at Best Friends Restaurant in Geneva, Oh. 
Reservations are required. Please call or email Jack Scafuro, or Dick Madison (see roster) by November 25, so we can give the restaurant an accurate count. Each guest will be ordering off the restaurant's regular menu and taking care of their own tab.
We will have the HT drawing and other door prizes after the banquet.

Best Friends Family Restaurant

Jamboree on the Air 2017

posted Oct 19, 2017, 10:08 AM by K8CY ACARC   [ updated Oct 19, 2017, 10:11 AM ]

The Ashtabula County Amateur Radio Club will be providing our emergency communications trailer, radios, antennas, and licensed Amateur Radio operators to assist area Boy Scouts for the annual Boy Scouts Jamboree on the Air. The club will set up at Camp Beaumont and assist Scouts in learning about Amateur Radio and connecting with other Scouts around the country participating in the Jamboree. Club operations will be Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 10am until 4pm.
Camp Beaumont is located on State Route 45 in Rock Creek, Ohio.

Beaumont Scout Reservation

What is JOTA?
When Scouts want to meet young people from another country, they usually think of attending a World Jamboree. But few people realize that each year more than a million Scouts and Guides "get together" over the airwaves for the annual Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA). During the 2014 event, worldwide Scouting participation included 1.1 million Boy Scouts and 200,000 Girl Guides/Gils Scouts, for a total participation of over 1.3 million--the largest Scouting event in the world.
Modern technology offers Scouts the exciting opportunity to make friends in other countries without leaving home. JOTA is an annual event in which Boy and Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world speak to each other by means of Amateur (ham) Radio. Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared via radio waves. Since 1958 when the first Jamboree-on-the-Air was held, millions of Scouts have met each other through this event. Many contacts made during JOTA have resulted in pen pals and links between Scout troops that have lasted many years. With no restrictions on age or on the number of participants, and at little or no expense, JOTA allows Scouts to contact each other by ham radio. The radio stations are operated by licensed amateur radio operators. Many Scouts and leaders hold licenses and have their own stations, but the majority participate in JOTA through stations operated by local radio clubs and individual radio amateurs. Some operators use television or computer-linked communications.


Ohio QSO Party 2017

posted Aug 16, 2017, 9:53 AM by K8CY ACARC

The Ashtabula County Amateur Radio Club is planning operations for the 2017 edition of the Ohio QSO Party. Operations will be on August 26, 2017 from noon until midnight.
For details on the Ohio QSO Party, take a look at their site

Plans are still being considered and have not been finalized. Stay tuned to the Thursday night nets, the club Facebook page, and this site for details.

Last year, the club earned a plaque for the Emergency Operations Center category for its operations at the Ashtabula County EMA.

Help Needed for Bridges & Vines Tour

posted Jul 27, 2017, 5:36 AM by K8CY ACARC

K8CY will again be providing communications for the 2017 Bridges and Vines Bicycle Tour. We need 8-10 mobile operators to be placed along the various courses to monitor the riders and call for the SAG vehicles in the event of an emergency.  
The date is August 12, 2017, and will go from 7 am until mid afternoon depending location.  The United Way puts on a luncheon for the riders and volunteers after the tour.  
Joan, N8YFF, will be serving as NCS for our operations.  Interested volunteers contact either Dick Madison or Paul Andrews to get on the list.

South River Vineyard

Summer Picnic 2017

posted Jul 6, 2017, 5:26 PM by Gary Gifford, Jr.

Just a reminder that the July monthly meeting is traditionally the club's summer picnic.
This year's edition will be July 18, 2017 at Austinburg Township Park picnic pavilion at 6:30 PM.

Please bring a dish (and maybe a dessert) to share and your own beverage.

Club business will be discussed, but will be brief. We'll save the time for some good fellowship.

Austinburg Township Park

License Exam Testing for June 2017

posted Jun 15, 2017, 7:41 AM by K8CY ACARC

K8CY will be holding two scheduled testing sessions in June.

Monthly Meeting
June 20, 2017 at 6:30PM at A-Tech Harbor Room before the club's monthly meeting. 
For details on the monthly meeting, take a look at our Events page.

Field Day
June 24, 2017 at 11:45AM at the Geneva Township Garage.
Get your ticket and get on the air for Field Day.
For details on Field Day 2017, see our Field Day 2017 post.

We look forward to seeing anyone interested in getting or upgrading their amateur radio license at either of these events.

Field Day 2017

posted Jun 4, 2017, 12:31 PM by K8CY ACARC   [ updated Jun 22, 2017, 8:22 AM ]

K8CY will again be hosting our ARRL Field Day at the Geneva Township Garage on June 24-25, 2017. 
Anyone interested in Amateur Radio is welcome to join us at anytime during the event.

Bring some snacks and drinks for yourself and to share if you can. It's supposed to be sunny, so dress appropriately and wear a hat and sunscreen.
Traditionally, several members have cooked breakfast on Sunday morning. Join us and bring a few dollars to donate.
The club is raffling away a new HT. This will be your last opportunity to buy tickets. Tickets are $5.

Schedule of activities. (All times Eastern)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

  • Breakfast will be moved to Mary's Diner at 9:00 AM
  • Setup will begin after breakfast, probably around 10:30 AM
  • Testing will be given Saturday morning at 11:45 AM
  • Field Day Operations start at 2:00 PM 

Sunday, June 25, 2017
  • HT Raffle drawing at 12:00 PM
  • Field Day Operations end at 2:00 PM
  • Cleanup will begin around 2:00 PM

ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.
Field Day is a picnic, a camp out, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!
It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

BreezeShooter's Hamfest 2017

posted May 27, 2017, 1:07 PM by K8CY ACARC

Many members of K8CY have expressed their intent to attend this year's Breezeshooter's Hamfest on June 4, 2017.

Monitor simplex 146.715 to contact other K8CY club members while at the hamfest.

See BreezeShooter's site for more details.

Or, look at the K8CY calendar event for details 

Club Members Report on Hamvention 2017

posted May 23, 2017, 9:24 AM by Gary Gifford, Jr.

Here are the experiences and observations of Hamvention 2017 by Paul Andrews, N8NYI...

     Members Attend 2017 Hamvention

With most of our members back from the Hamvention at its new location at the Greene County Fairgrounds, some coherent observations and comments are in order.  Let’s start with the location itself.  The first reaction is that they have more room in which to set up than the previous location.  To be totally fair, the new location had some serious problems on Friday with opening day traffic and parking.  I give kudos to the DARA team and the local law enforcement folks as those were smoothed out on Saturday.  More of the onsite parking was open on Saturday than was open on Friday.  I think that was done to protect the grass area.

From our experience (Joan, N8YFF, and Paul, N8NYI), we found the park and ride in to be enjoyable from several aspects.  First, we did not have to contend with the close in traffic and parking problems.  Second was the opportunity to talk with other hams during the ride in and out.  We did not have to wait very long to pick up a bus either going to or coming from the fairgrounds.  Admittedly, we parked north of Yellow Spring at Young’s Jersey Dairy (more on them later).  This was the first lot that we came to coming South from Springfield on U.S. Rte 68.  Friday, the talk in station was nuts so we took the first opportunity and did not regret it either day.

Vendor wise, all of the usual suspects were present except for the defunct AES.  There were vendors present from at least 6 countries outside the United States.  Given the international nature of the hobby, five national radio groups beside the ARRL were present, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Qatar. In addition to the national clubs, 10-10 International, the Young Ladies Radio League, and the Quarter Century Wireless Association had booths and were taking memberships.  In the way of new equipment, a big emphasis was on software defined radios with Flexware and a couple of other companies present.  With the exception of the building where the big retractable tower was put right in a main walkway, the aisle ways made in very easy to move around.  Between each of the main building, the fair board positioned sections of portable grandstands for rest and recuperation.

One of the biggest complaints in the last years at Hara was the food choices.  DARA said that they improve that and did so.  There were some 17 different food vendors on site with all types of food.  Joan and I did not sample much on site, but we hit Young’s Jersey Dairy both days at the main location across from the parking that we used. Young’s is working dairy farm with their own creamery and cheese plant. They do great ice cream and sandwiches at their main location and were serving a reduced menu at the fairgrounds.

As for the flea market, the majority was inside of the horse track in front of the grandstand.  Depending on which gate you used to enter the flea market, you had a short steep slope to contend with.  This is the area where you get a break from walking on hard surfaces as this area is grass.  Before the rain late Friday afternoon, you could walk with ease.  There was plenty of radio gear available from all brands with related accessories.  I noticed a lot of our “local” products for sale (Astatic D-104’s).  I did not see any LDG tuners for sale in the flea market.  By Saturday morning, between the rain and all of the motorized traffic, the middle of the flea market aisles were becoming quite muddy and rutted. I think that will be watched in the future

The members who attended were Jack, Jake, and Troy Scufaro, Matt Mitchem, Tim Price, Joan and Paul Andrews.  Joan and Paul took in both Friday and Saturday.  All in all, the Hamvention remains a must do and see event.

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