The “New” CCARC Repeater

The Clearfield County Amateur Radio Club (CCARC), in cooperation with the Clearfield County ARES-RACES Team, is pleased to announce that the Clearfield County owned 2-meter band repeater equipment will be returned to operational status in January 2015.

The repeater equipment is the property of the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). This equipment was previously used by the Quad County Amateur Radio Club. That organization deactivated the county-owned equipment in April 2014, replacing the repeater hardware with their own equipment. This action cleared the way for CCARC to step in as the new operational sponsor of the Clearfield County EMA owned equipment.

In October 2014 Quad County club officials were advised of a January 1, 2015 deadline to remove all equipment they own from the Centre Communications Rockton Mountain tower site. At that time Centre Communications, the communications contractor for Clearfield County EMA, will re-install the county-owned equipment.

The repeater will carry the CCARC club call sign W3CPA and operate on a yet to be announced 2-meter band frequency. It will be open for all interested amateurs to use providing they follow good amateur operating practices. The repeater Trustee is Mike WB3EQW.

CCARC and Clearfield County ARES-RACES is pleased to bring this county-owned repeater equipment back to life. The W3CPA repeater will be the designated emergency communications amateur radio repeater in Clearfield County. Clearfield County amateur radio operators interested in helping with emergency communications are encouraged to contact the Clearfield County ARES Emergency Coordinator Mike WB3EQW.

For those curious about what circumstances lead up the change in operational sponsorship, please see the article on this web site titled Putting things into context: What lead up to the changes on Rockton Mountain?

Putting things into context: What lead up to the changes on Rockton Mountain?

To avoid any potential mis-information or confusion, the Clearfield County Amateur Radio Club (CCARC) is issuing the following statement regarding the amateur radio 2-meter band repeater located at the Centre Communications tower site on Rockton Mountain.

The amateur radio 2-meter band repeater equipment, coax and antenna located at the Centre Communications tower site on Rockton Mountain is now, and always has been, the property of the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency. Purchased through a FEMA grant on April 16, 2008, it was provided by Clearfield County EMA for use by the county’s RACES team, as well as any other amateur radio operators in the area. The equipment was not “a gift” to any radio club. It continued to be the property of the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency and was being operated by the amateur group designated by the Clearfield County EMA.

In 2008 the Clearfield County RACES team and the Quad County Amateur Radio Club were effectively the same organization. In May of 2008, the weekly “Quad County FM Net” was re-branded as the “Quad County ARES RACES Net” further solidifying this union. The combined net functioned not only as a club net, but also as the Clearfield County ARES-RACES net. As time progressed new leadership in the Qaud County ARC moved their organization in different directions. This new direction effectively severed the relationship with the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency and the county’s ARES-RACES program.

The combined “Quad County ARES RACES Net” was discontinued in September 2009 when Net Control Station Doug Rowles W3DWR informed the Clearfield County ARES Emergency Coordinator (at the time the ARES Emergency Coordinator was Paul Lowes W3PRL) that he and his emergency communications traffic was no longer welcome “on his net”. The weekly net reverted back to the “Quad County FM Net” and no longer included ARES RACES activities.

In 2011 a certified letter from Quad County Amateur Radio Club President (Joe Shupienis W3BC) was received by the Clearfield County RACES Radio Officer with carbon copies being sent to the Clearfield County EMA Director and several ARRL officials. In the letter the Quad County club President proceed to threaten legal action for some perceived slights, as well as state that the Quad County Amateur Radio Clubs was not interested in supporting emergency communications in Clearfield County. Not long after receipt of the certified letter, the Quad County club was told they could no longer hold meetings in the Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency building.

As the Quad County club vacated the EMA Building meeting room, the Clearfield County ARES-RACES Team, under the leadership of Mike WB3EQW, began holding quarterly meetings in the very same EMA building meeting room formerly used by the Quad County club. The ARES-RACES team’s stated purpose was to support emergency communications in Clearfield County and the EMA Director welcomed this cooperative attitude.

In 2013 the members of the Clearfield County ARES-RACES Team decided to form a new amateur radio club – the Clearfield County Amateur Radio Club. The formation of this new amateur radio club was a direct reaction to the position taken by the Quad County club leadership regarding the Clearfield County ARES-RACES Team and Emergency Communications in general.

In April 2014 the Quad County club deactivated the county owned repeater hardware and installed their own equipment at the Centre Communications tower site on Rockton Mountain. No, the equipment did not malfunction or become non-operational. It is now, and always has been, in perfect working order.

Following the deactivation of the county owned repeater equipment, Clearfield County EMA office decided to transfer operational control to the Clearfield County RACES program, under the direction of Clearfield County RACES Radio Officer Mike WB3EQW. In October 2014 the Clearfield County EMA Office advised the Quad County ARC that they were to remove all club owned equipment from the Centre Communications tower site and relocate it elsewhere.