SMCARA 2015 2-Meter Antenna Build and Test Contest


SMCARA 2015 2-Meter Antenna Build and Test Contest


  1. Build a homebrew 2-meter antenna.
  2. Compete for highest measured forward gain against other homebrewed antennas built by members of the SMCARA .

Antenna Design

  1. Antenna categories for awards are:
  2. Vertically Polarized
  3. Horizontally Polarized
  4. Antennas may be based on existing design or may be an experimental design.
  5. Antennas are to be homebuilt using off the shelf materials and hardware and/or material and hardware fabricated by the builder.
  6. Antennas shall be of single-boom design.
  7. Commercial antenna kits assembled by the builder are not eligible for awards.
  8. Antenna gain will be evaluated and measured at a nominal frequency of 146.52 MHz
  9. Total cost of the antenna parts shall not exceed $150

Antenna Gain Testing

  1. Antenna gain testing for homebrew antennas submitted under this contest will take place during the 2015 SMCARA ARRL Field Day Activities.
  2. Commercial antennas, which are not part of this contest, may be submitted for testing as time permits once testing of the homebuilt antennas is completed.
  3. Gain measurements as recorded by the gain measurement team are final.


  1. All participants will receive a certificate of participation noting antenna design type, measured forward gain, and standing.

Lower Potomac Marathon Support Needed


The club has been supporting the Lower Potomac River Marathon for many years
now and it’s time to start putting together a support team.

The date is Sunday, March 8th, 2015.  Race start time is 07:15 AM (Show up
at 6:30AM).  Keep in mind this is the start of Daylight Savings Time, so
you’ll lose an hours sleep the night before.  The course stays open until
13:00 (but we’re usually done around noon-ish).

The start/finish is the Paul Hall center in Piney Point

We are looking for 12+ volunteers (and you can work a partial day if you want).
At the end of the marathon you’ll get a nice T-shirt and a buffet-style
lunch is served

Please email Tom Shelton (ND3N) at ( ) with your call, name, availability, and t-shirt size.

“Pig Out With The Hams” Breakfast : (February 14th 2015)


Our monthly breakfast is coming up on Saturday February 14th 2015 at 8am at the Cracker Barrel in California, MD. Normally we hold these on the first Saturday of the month but due to the expected Club participation at Frost Fest we are going to reschedule it for the 14th of February at 8am.

Please send Dan (KB3UUN) an email at to RSVP.

Southern Maryland QRP Challenge


The St. Mary’s County Amateur Radio Association is proud to sponsor the Southern Maryland QRP Challenge. The challenge will start 0000 UTC on 1 Feb. 2015 and will end 2359 UTC on 28 Feb 2015. This is a two part challenge:

Challenge 1: Miles Per Watt (MPW) Challenge

This category will be judged completely on miles archived per watt. With a Maximim of 10 Watts being used! Power output should be determined be you rigs power setting if it has a read out, or by adjust your power output on AM before switching to SSB or CW. To calculate Miles Per Watt (MPW), look up the callsign you have contacted on, click on the Details tab, and scroll a little over half way down the details page looking for Distance. Use that distance shown, and divide that number by the amount of watts used for that contact, giving you your MPW. The calculations will be verified just to check our math.

Challenge 2: Points Challenge

This challenge will be based on point values per contact. See below for points breakdown. Track you contacts and points and submit your totals each Saturday in February starting with the 7th. By submitting contacts each week, this will give others a goal to shoot for and some weekly bragging rights!

Challenge details and log sheet can be found below.
Southern Maryland QRP Challange Log Sheet
Southern Maryland QRP Challenge Details and Rules

Amateur Radio Licensing Classes Forming


It is that time of year again where the St. Mary’s County Amateur Radio Association is sponsoring classes for those interested in getting their first Amateur Radio License or to upgrade a current license.

Classes will be held at the J.F. Taylor Conference Center Next to PAX NAS Gate #1 on route 235 (22188 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, MD 20653). We will be offering classes for the entry level Technician license as well as upgrade classes for the Gereral Class and Extra Class licenses. There is NO FEE for the classes except for the cost of the books which the students are responsible for obtaining (details below) and a $14.00 exam fee due on the day of the exam.

Class schedules are as follows:
Technician (Entry Level):

February 14th – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #1
February 21st – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #2
February 28th – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #3
March 7th – 9am to 12pm – – Class Session #4
March 14th – 9am – Exam Day

General and Extra Classes (Upgrades):

February 14th – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #1
February 21st – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #2
February 28th – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #3
March 7th – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #4
March 14th – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #5
March 21st – 9am to 12pm – Class Session #6
March 28th – 9am – Exam Day

All of the material required to take and pass your exam will be covered during the classroom sessions. We will be using the Gordon West Teaching Materials once again and we encourage those interested in taking the classes to purchase the books that match up with the teaching materials. Those materials can be found at the following locations:


We also encourage those interested to get their books early and begin reading. If you are interested in attending one of these classes please send an email to Dan Metcalf at to reserve your seat. Seating will be limited as we are limiting the class sizes to 10 students per class. Good Luck!

Sign-up for the SMCARA email reflector


To sign up for the St. Mary’s County Amateur Radio Association’s email reflector got to

Under the area “Subscribing to SMCARA” enter the following:
Email Address, Name (optional),  Password (so you can come back and change you options),  Confirm your password and Lastly answer the question “Would you like to receive list mail batched in a daily digest? Yes / No

Once you have filled out the form click “Subscribe” and your request will be sent to our administrator for approval.

Once approved you will be able to send messages to and it will be reflected to the other subscribers. Just remember pictures and attachments will not be forwarded.

Local Frequencies (St. Mary’s County)


Saint Mary’s county area repeaters:
Two meters:
146.640 MHz Negative Offset PL 146.2 (Located in Lexington Park, MD)
145.350 MHz Negative Offset PL 156.7 (Located in Prince Frederick, MD.  Wide area coverage)
147.420 MHz SIMPLEX Echolink. PL 156.7 (Located in Leonardtown)
146.600 MHz SIMPLEX D-Star Hotspot. (Located in Lexington Park)
147.195 MHz Positive Offset D-Star (Located in Hollywood, behind the VFD.)

70 Centimeters:
443.050 MHz Positive Offset (Located in Lexington Park)

The list I have is from 2009 so if there are any others please send me an email at with the updated information.

Antenna Build Off Proposal

Joe Moraski (KY3F) spent a portion of him career at the base range testing antennas. He was the individual who proposed this build off and pointed me in the direction of how we should go about testing those antennas that we build. Tom Shelton (ND3N) took the idea and ran with it putting together a proposed set of categories and rules. We will be meeting at the Base Museum Saturday January 17th @ 10am to discuss and finalize the details for the contest. Attached to this article are the proposed rules and proposed test procedures.

Antenna Handbook Section 27 (Focus on section 27.8)
SMCARA Antenna Challenge (Proposed Rules)

See you Saturday.