Club Station - KB3BRTThe Cowanesque Valley School Amateur Radio Club

Advisor - Bruce D. Weaver, K3LTM
Faculty Assistant - Mrs. Harer

     The  CVSARC meets the second Monday of each month during the school year.  The club meetings are open to all students (fifth grade and up) interested in Amateur Radio.  Membership in the club is attained by attending two meetings in a school year.  Officers include : Advisor/Trustee- Bruce D. Weaver, K3LTM and Faculty Assistant- Mrs. Harer, 1st grade teacher.
     At the regular monthly meetings, the business of the club is conducted which includes planning activities, paying bills, recognizing new members, announcements of upcoming events, forming special committees, etc.  After the business is taken care of, the rest of the time is spent learning about the hobby of amateur radio and making contacts via the school club station, KB3BRT.
    To learn more about our club select one of the following...
     Club History          Notes of Last Meeting     Pearl Harbor Project    Back to Index

The School Club Roundup Oct 2009-10 Results  Contacts With the International Space Station!
See how we did in the Elem. Division   Listen to the October 23, 2008 ISS Contact with Richard Garriet
 

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      History of the Cowanesque Valley School Amateur Radio Club

     The CVSARC was formed in November of 1994 at the Westfield Area Elementary School in Westfield, PA.  The purpose of the club is to help members learn about the hobby af Amateur Radio, learn the fundamentals of good operating procedures, and to take part in radio activities that will advance the general interest and welfare of Amateur Radio in the community.  A fifth grade teacher, Mr. Bruce Weaver, is the club advisor.  He holds an extra class Amateur Radio license.  In March of 1995, the club became an American Radio Relay League Affiliated Club.  There are now over 40 members from grades five through twelve.  Ten of the members have become licensed since the club was formed.

     In February of 1997 the CVSARC received their own FCC issued club station call, KB3BRT.  Their station is located in Mr. Weaver's fifth grade classroom.  They now have access to all the popular HF ham bands 160 through 10 meters, 6 Meters, 2 meters FM and Packet, as well as 70 CM.  They also have satellite capabilities.  The club has made several contacts through the RS-12/13 amateur radio satellite.  In May of 1998, they also achieved a successful exchange of messages with astronaut Andy Thomas aboard the Russian Space Station MIR via their packet radio station.

     A favorite annual activity of the club is participation in the "School Club Roundup" sponsored by the ARRL and a New York City school organization.  The purpose of the week long activity is for schools, clubs, and other interested individuals to see how many schools they can contact.  After exchanging some basic information such as call signs, signal reports, and locations, they get to know a little about each other's school and area.  Although it is not intended to be a contest, points are awarded for the number of contacts made, as well as the number of schools. states, DX (foreign countries), and types of contacts (cw, voice, packet, etc.).  In 1996 and 1998 our club finished FIRST in the elementary division. In 1995 and 1997 we came in second.  In 1999 we managed a third place finish.  In 2000 we missed two days of the SCR week due to bad weather.  We finished  in fourth.  In 2001 our club had 149 contacts and over 33,300 points.  It was our highest total to that point.  We came in second.
     In 2002 our club had 150 contacts.  Our total score was 40,950, our all time high.  We contacted 44 other schools.  Over 60 Westfield students from kindergarten through seventh grade participated. We again placed second in the Elementary Division.  We were beaten out by our Western PA rivals, North Clarion Elementary School (W3NCS), by under 4,000 points.  Our totals were down in 2003, but we held on to second place with 23,160 points.  That was about one fourth of the first place finisher
     In 2004 conditions in our part of the country didn't seem too good.  We finished 3rd, but had 52 students grades K-6 participate.  North Clarion Elementary managed a great score of 53,332 and took over first place again.
     We are very proud of our record over the last few years, but more importantly we had a great time and met a lot of great hams all over the world.

     In October 1996, the CVSARC conducted a "Special Event Station" in conjunction with the school's "Endangered Species Stamp Celebration" to honor Mrs. Sylvia Wood and her third grade classes for their successful manatee stamp campaign.  The club contacted 59 stations in 18 states and 2 foreign countries during the day, from the club station in Mr. Weaver's classroom.  Each station was sent a special QSL (contact confirmation) card that included an Endangered Species Stamp with a unique cancel from a temporary Post Office at the school.  Also participating in the school's special event was a radio club in Crystal River, Florida - the home of the manatees.

    On Wednesday, May 9, 2001, Mr. Weaver's fifth grade class had a "close encounter of the exciting kind" with the International Space Station.  When they came in from the playground after noon recess, Susan Helms, one of the ISS crew members, was calling CQ with the Space Station's NA1SS call sign.  Mr. Weaver gave the CVSARC call sign, KB3BRT,  a couple of times and on the third attempt, Susan came back to KB3BRT.  It was a brief, but exciting contact! Susan Helms Contact

    On May 1, 2002, KB3BRT made a successful random contact with ISS.  Mr. Weaver's Fifth Grade Class spoke with the South African computer software entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.  The fifth grade students gave Mark a big hello.  Thanks to Miles, WF1F, we were able to piece together both sides of our QSO with NA1SS.
 Mark Shuttleworth Contact

Mr. Weaver retired from teaching in 2005, but he is still the advisor of the school radio club.  Mrs. Harer is the faculty advisor of the club.

There are now two School Club Roundups in the school year.  An October Roundup has been added.  In October 2008, the radio club made a successful contact with Richard Garriott on the International Space Station.  Richard Garriott Contact
 

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The last regular meetings

February 2, 2009- Fourteen members of the CVSARC met after school to make final place for the February School Club Roundup.  They practiced calling CQs on the air and reviewed operating procedures.

March 16, 2009- Seven fourth graders attended a meeting for prospective CVSARC members.  They learned to spell their names phonetically and discussed proper operating procedures.  They each took a turn calling CQ on the air.

The next regular meeting of the CVSARC will be for Fifth and Sixth Graders in October 2009.

The first meeting of the 2009-2010 school year was held on September 21, 2009.  Eighteen fifth and sixth grade students attend.  They reviewed and practiced proper operating procedures.  And started plans for the October School Club Roundup.

October 5, 2009 Fifteen fifth and sixth graders attended the meeting.  They took turns making contacts, logging, using QRZ.com to find addresses, and filled out QSLs.

December 14, 2009  Members operated the station.

January 11, 2010  Members operated the station

February 2, 2010  Members made contacts, logged their contacts, used QRZ.com to find address, and filled out QSLs in preparation for the February SCR.

The next meeting will be in March for fourth grade students interested in participating next year.
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     For the 2010-2011 School Year The CVSARC plans to  participate in the  Annual Fall School Club Roundup in October and the February School Club Roundup.  Be a part of it all.  Watch for notice of the next meeting of the year.

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  KB3BRT (CVSARC)
2009 October School Club Roundup Score
(We were only able to operate during one of the five days.)
Contacts: Phone      -  41
                PSK        -    0
Total Contacts        -   41

QSO Points   -     41 X 1 = 41
                                       =
Total QSO Points           =  41

States             16  X 1 =  16
Provinces         1  X 1 =    1
Countries         6  X 1 =    6
Clubs               0  X 2 =    0
Schools            5  X 5  = 25

Total Multiplier          =  48

2009 October SCR Score 41 X 48 = 1,968

We operated for a total of 5.98 hours Monday
Conditions were not very good throughout the week and scores were low

Our Club Came in First in the Elementary Division for the October 2009 Roundup!!

KB3BRT (CVSARC)
2010 February School Club Roundup Score
Contacts: Phone      -  158
                CW         -      0
                PSK        -      1
Total Contacts        -  159

QSO Points   -   158 X 1 =  158
                      -    2 X   1 =      2
Total QSO Points           =   160

States             40  X 1 =  40
Provinces         1  X 3 =    3
Countries       19  X 1 =   19
Clubs               4  X 2 =     8
Schools          21  X 5  =105

Total Multiplier         =  175

February 2010 SCR Score 160 X 175 = 28,000

We operated for a total of 20.73 hours Monday - Friday
Results will be available later this year.
 
 

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Our School Club Roundup History

   A favorite annual activity of the club is participation in the "School Club Roundup" sponsored by the ARRL and a New York City school organization.  The purpose of the week long activity is for schools, clubs, and other interested individuals to see how many schools they can contact.  After exchanging some basic information such as call signs, signal reports, and locations, they get to know a little about each other's school and area.  Although it is not intended to be a contest, points are awarded for the number of contacts made, as well as the number of schools. states, DX (foreign countries), and types of contacts (cw, voice, packet, etc.).  In 1996 and 1998 our club finished FIRST in the elementary division. In 1995 and 1997 we came in second.  In 1999 we managed a third place finish.  In 2000 we missed two days of the SCR week due to bad weather.  We finished  in fourth.  In 2001 our club had 149 contacts and over 33,300 points.  It was our highest total to that point.  We came in second.
     In 2002 our club had 150 contacts.  Our total score was 40,950, our all time high.  We contacted 44 other schools.  Over 60 Westfield students from kindergarten through seventh grade participated. We again placed second in the Elementary Division.  We were beaten out by our Western PA rivals, North Clarion Elementary School (W3NCS), by under 4,000 points.  Our totals were down in 2003, but we held on to second place with 23,160 points.  That was about one fourth of the first place finisher
     In 2004 conditions in our part of the country didn't seem too good.  We finished 3rd, but had 52 students grades K-6 participate.  Our score was 15,908.  North Clarion Elementary managed a great score of 53,332 and took over first place again.
     In February, 2005, the club was unable to participate because Mr. Weaver was ill the entire School Club Roundup week.
     Mr. Weaver retired in June of 2005, but continues as advisor of the school radio club.  Mrs. Harer helps as the faculty advisor.  The club placed fourth in the February 2006 School Club Roundup.  They had 118 contacts and a point total of 25, 347.
     Beginning with the 2006-07 school year, an October Roundup was added.  In October 2006 the CVSARC The club made 76 QSOs for a point total of 8239 and fourth place.  In February the total was 14,763 and another fourth place.
     In October 2007, the club made 160 QSOs and 19,040 points and Second Place.  The February 2008 SCR was plagued with snow days and teacher in-service days.  The club's 45 QSOs and 3960 points were good enough for second place.
     The club bounced back in the October 2008 SCR.  We had 149 QSOs and 23,068 points.  We placed First in the Elementary Division.  In the February 2009 SCR we struggled with a high noise level, but managed 84 contacts and a 10,608 point total.  We are waiting to hear how that compared with other schools.
     We are very proud of our record over the last few years, but more importantly we had a great time and met a lot of great hams all over the world.

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Successful brief voice contacts with ISS!

On October 23, 2008 the school station using Mr. Weaver's K3LTM call sign made contact with the the space station for the fourth time.  This time it was Richard Garriott, W5KWQ.  Mrs. Heyler's sixth grade class was able to give Richard a big Hello form Westfield.
Click Here to Listen ISS Contact 2008-10-23
 

On October 20, 2008 the CVSARC station, KB3BRT, with Mr. Weaver at the mic was able to have a brief QSO with Richard Garriet, W5KQW, via the NA1SS station on the International Space Station.  Unfortunately there were no students in the room at the time.
Click Here to Listen ISS Contact 2008-10-20


 


     On May 1, 2002, KB3BRT made a successful random contact with ISS.  Mr. Weaver's Fifth Grade Class spoke with the South African computer software entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.  The fifth grade students gave Mark a big hello.  Thanks to Miles, WF1F, we were able to piece together both sides of our QSO with NA1SS.
 



Mark Shuttleworth
Photo courtesy of  www.firstafricaninspace.com
 Click Here to Listen to May 1, 2002 QSO with Mark Shuttleworth


 






(May Take up to 4 minutes to load.  Beginning is from a cassette tape recording of contact, the rest from wav file mixed with our side of QSO)
 


Text of Contact with International Space Station on May 1, 2002
Cowanesque Valley School Amateur Radio Club
Westfield Area Elementary School
Westfield, PA
ISS Call Sign – NA1SS
Operator – Mark Shuttleworth (South African Computer Software Entrepreneur)
CVSARC Call Sign – KB3BRT
Control Operator – Mr. Weaver (K3LTM)

NA1SS – QRZ?  (Amateur Radio talk for “Who is calling me?”)

KB3BRT – Kelo Bravo Three Bravo Romeo Tango school station in Pennsylvania

NA1SS –  Romeo Tango this is November Alpha One Sierra Sierra the school station
                 How do you copy?

KB3BRT – NA1SS this is Kelo Bravo Three Bravo Romeo Tango in Westfield
                    Pennsylvania.  I’ve got some fifth graders here that would like to give you a big
                    hello, so listen carefully…"HELLOOO!" …  So there’s a hello from Westfield. I
                    hope you copied, QSL? (Amateur Radio talk for “Do you confirm?)

NA1SS -  I copied that 59 (fifty-nine – Amateur Radio signal report meaning loud and
                clear.)  Thank you very much for the contact and the report and here's a big cheer for
                 you guys, too. Stay well. QRZ…

KB3BRT -  Thanks very much for the contact, Mark.  You have a good trip the rest of the
                    way…This is Kelo Bravo Three Bravo Romeo Tango…

NA1SS – KB3BRT, Thank you for the contact and stay well.  This is November One Sierra
                Sierra, QRZ……..KC2 Indigo Oscar Alpha This is November Alpha One Sierra
                Sierra over…{Mark Shuttleworth has received another call and is starting another
                QSO.  (Amateur Radio talk for a two-way contact.)}


 


   On Wednesday, May 9, 2001, Mr. Weaver's fifth grade class had a "close encounter of the exciting kind" with the International Space Station.  When they came in from the playground after noon recess, Susan Helms, one of the ISS crew members, was calling CQ with the Space Station's NA1SS call sign.  Mr. Weaver gave the CVSARC call sign, KB3BRT,  a couple of times and on the third attempt, Susan came back to KB3BRT.  It was a brief, but exciting contact!  Too bad we didn't have a tape player running.
   But wait!  Someone in Indiana was not only listening in, but taping what NA1SS was saying.  Stan, W4SV, from Hanna, IN, sent a copy of Susan's part of the QSO to Mr. Weaver.  So through the magic of electronic wizardry we have audio of the contact.
    Click Here to Listen to ISS Helms Contact    (Takes some time to load.  Click  "Back" on your browser to return to here.)
 



Susan Helms on ISS


 






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