Thursday, February 20, 2020

Panama City ARC is on Amateur Satellites: Demo on Feb 26 at 6 PM

The club satellite base station has recently been completed and tested on the air. Chris Bigelow VA3ECO will demonstrate its capability for a 6:20 PM satellite pass and a 7:40 PM satellite pass on Wednesday, February 26th at the clubhouse. Please be seated at 6 PM while Chris explains how the station works.

VHF and UHF Yagis pointed by azimuth and elevation rotators on our tower.

The amateur radio satellites have low earth orbits that bring them over for short periods once or twice a day. Our station uses the SatPC32 software to point our antennas in the correct direction as the satellite moves across the sky. The program interfaces with the control boxes for both azimuth and elevation rotators. The antennas are on a short tower outside the clubhouse. There are two antennas since the satellites use one band for the uplink and another band for the downlink. Our antenna has a crossed yagi for 2-meters and a 70-centimeter band. The crossed elements are phased to provide right-hand circular polarization.

A screen shot for the pcsat32 satellite software

The uplink and downlink operate at the same time or full-duplex. Our transceiver is the Icom 910h, which supports full-duplex on VHF and UHF. Since the satellites are traveling very fast to maintain their orbits, this causes a doppler shift of the signals. The Sat PC 32 software automatically adjusts the frequency on both the uplink and downlink for the doppler shift by sending commands to the radio.

The Icom 910h full-duplex VHF/UHF transceiver

This station can access the linear satellites as well as FM satellites. The linear satellites translate a band of frequencies on the uplink to the downlink. Both CW and SSB modes are used and multiple conversations can occur while the satellite passes over. The footprint of the satellites can support conversations across the US as well as into Canada and Central America depending on the pass. Contacts with Europe are possible.

Our members contributed various skills and donated equipment to complete the station. In particular, Chis VA3ECO on vacation from the Canadian Winter this year has been our mentor and leader for the assembly and testing. Chris calls this a "Cadilac" satellite station. It is much easier to use than a portable satellite station.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

DSTAR Repeater On The Air

To all:

The DStar repeater is up and running on the IHeart radio tower thanks to Charlie NF4A for the use of this location.

The KK4TAD Repeater is operational for local use but is not hooked to the internet at this time

146.8800  KK4TAD C node

DSTAR Users use your call in "mycall" and "KK4TAD C" in rpt1/rpt2 for 146.880.

Steve N4VSP

PCARC Tailgate Saturday, March 14th


We are having a Tailgate on Saturday, 14 March 2020.  Come on down to the clubhouse and join the fun.  You can bring your gently used gear to sell, trade, barter, swap, give away, get advice on, or whatever else. It should be a good time for all. Come see the improvements to the clubhouse.

Starts at 9:00 AM

Doughnuts will be available.

License Testing in the PM

130 N. Church Ave
Panama City, FL
Club repeater 145.210 100Hz tone

Bob Leasko
President PCARC

Monday, February 10, 2020

Beginners Academy Antenna Talk/Demo Feb 12

Our next talk/demo will be Wednesday February 12th, 6 PM, at the Panama City ARC Clubhouse. The topic will be Dipole Antenna Basics and HOA Installations. The presenter is Frank Roman, KC8VKA.

Panama City ARC has launched Beginners Academy. Our goal is to help new hams get started in the hobby. Our club members have volunteered to give short talks and demos on amateur radio topics for beginners. These talks will be on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 6 PM. However, for January, they will be on the 4th and the 5th Wednesdays. You do not have to be a member of our club or licensed to attend. Also, experienced hams wishing to mentor new and returning  hams are encouraged to attend.

We will tailor our talks to your interest. You don't have to RSVP to attend, but a reply email would be helpful if you are interested in the idea of a Beginners Academy.

Ham Radio has come to the forefront since Hurricane Michael.  Bay County Amateurs formed an Amateur Radio Emergency Organization, see Also, visit for club announcements.


Greg Lane N4KGL

Graphic from