Register for Field Day, June 25, 2016

2016 Field Day LogoThe Columbia Amateur Radio Club will operate from the S.C. State Guard Armory for ARRL Field Day this year. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Plan to arrive at the Armory (551 Granby Lane, Columbia, S.C.) by noon on Saturday, June 25 to assist with setup. Radios will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own station. Operators should coordinate with our safety officer before setting up a station or transmitting. We’ll start taking calls at 2 p.m., when the event officially begins.

The objective of the national, annual event is to work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands (excluding the 60, 30, 17, and 12-meter bands) and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2. Field Day is ham radio’s “main event” in the U.S.

A meal will provided later in the evening around 6 p.m. The club will provide pizza, and we ask that you bring a side dish, snacks, desserts, or drinks (soft drinks only please) to share.

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S.C. QSO Party 2016 results have been posted.

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2016 Results

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CARC supports C.A. Johnson high-altitude balloon project (photos and video)

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The weather balloon launches from Chapin High School, on it’s way to 96,000 feet.

C.A. Johnson High School’s Air Force JROTC program instructor, Maj. Reginald Slade, uses words like “very determined” and “tenacious” to describe his teaching style. That attitude led him this semester to devise a plan for his students to launch a weather balloon to the edge of space.

“I wanted to do some kind of project to inspire them,” Slade said. “The legacy of our school warrants the project.”

Aerospace is a recurring theme at C.A. Johnson, which is located near downtown Columbia. Current NASA administrator Charles Bolden is a 1964 graduate of C.A. Johnson High School.

Slade’s predecessor is Col. Walter L. Watson, also a C.A. Johnson graduate, and the first and only African-American to fly the nation’s highest and fastest aircraft, the SR-71 “Blackbird,” a long-range “strategic reconnaissance aircraft,” capable of flying an estimated maximum altitude of around 85,000 feet.

On May 24, Slade’s weather balloon project would ascend higher than the SR-71. But to get there, he first needed an amateur radio operator. Working from a donated budget of around $1,000, Slade’s team pieced together all the parts they needed to send a weather balloon and a small payload to an estimated 80,000 feet.

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Busy Weekend: CARC supports Mini Maker Faire and Tour de Cure

13238992_1302284876466280_7706223176795686403_nMore than 30 members of the Columbia Amateur Radio Club supported two major events in downtown Columbia on Saturday, May 21: The Tour de Cure and the Mini Maker Faire at EdVenture.

The larger of the events, the Tour de Cure, saw 25 amateur radio operators stretched out across the midlands supporting riders on bike loops up to 100 miles long. Operators were stationed at rest/water stops, the command post in downtown Columbia, and drove sweep/support and gear vehicles to help riders in distress.

CARC Event Committee Chair Tammy Livingston, N4TAL, said the ride was “very successful” and only a few riders suffered injuries or dehydration.

“We did have one medical SAG but that young lady is doing well. We will likely review event protocol for this as there are some learning opportunities here,” Livingston said. “We also handled re-assignments well and I really appreciate everyone being so flexible. Flexibility is critical for these large multi-crew events.”

mmf-ah-16Over at EdVenture, a small-but-devoted group of CARC operators shared the hobby of amateur radio with children and adults at the Mini Maker Faire. This is the fourth consecutive year CARC has supported the faire, and we stuck to the familiar formula of teaching youth the “secret code” of Morse Code and showing off kits and homebrew gear. We also added some “live radios” this year to show off software-defined radio, DMR, and we monitored the repeater for the Tour de Cure.

“The Faire always provides an opportunity to share amateur radio with people who haven’t heard of the hobby, or perhaps they think it’s an outdated past-time with no relevance in today’s smartphone era,” said CARC President Andy Haworth, KK4DSD. “It’s always fun to point out that the cell phone in everyone’s pocket is basically a radio. Showing off software-defined radio and some of the more experimental technology gets children and adults excited.”

CARC’s next major event will be ARRL Field Day on June 25.

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