Info Archive

The Great Miami County Fair
Let me begin this document by offering my apologies to the newer members of the MCARC concerning the fair.  Sometimes we club veterans get to a subject, start a-ramblin’ and forget that there are those present that do not have the historical background that we have.   Just keep the nudges and questions coming………..we’ll get you caught up.
The MCARC took care of all the Public Address and Paging systems at the annual fair for decades.  Approximately 8 years ago I took it over for the club after interest and time had waned steadily to almost nothing.  My thought was that this move would allow the MCARC function as a radio club first and all else would fall into place.  Both myself and my sound partner David Watson incorporated the work into our small sound production business and rented the club’s equipment; providing the sound and paging for the fair while giving the club some income.  At the fair there is  1- Overall paging system, 2- Grandstand and infield PA, 3- Site PA systems for the horse arena, swine barn, goat/dairy barns, sheep barn, poultry barn, bunny barn, dog show area, and selected events in the entertainment tent……….utilizing 14-15 amplifiers, 76 speakers, 11 microphones, and miles of wire.   This year approximately 80% of the gear will belong to the MCARC and 20% my own. 
The hard part is that the Ag Board needs somebody on site to support these systems from 9:00 am to end of grandstand entertainment daily……12-14 hours.  There is occasional equipment failure accompanied by trouble-shooting, special event set-ups, and built in problems that need attention due to fact that we’re dealing with human beings who tinker with the gear.  Grrrr.  In our joint adventure, the MCARC has provided personnel and technical support on the Saturday & Sunday of the fair which are the 2 busiest days and technical support during the year maintaining/repairing the equipment.  In 2015 we had a very noticeable MCARC presence at the fair which probably was one of our best efforts ever.  Financially, everything has been handled above-board and by contract between myself and the club.  It has been a good relationship all around.
In 2014 I told the MCARC that 2016 would be my last year doing the 40+ hours of set-up, the 90-100 hours on site during the fair, and the 8-12 hours of tear-down and winterization in the fall.  I.E. no more Lone Ranger.  In one of my State-of-the-Club addresses in 2013 I dreamed of the club taking over the entire project again.  Folks there is potential for $3500-4500 income just a quarter mile north of the club house.  But is also not a snap decision that can be made lightly; especially in the light of the above-listed tasks involved.  This is a conversation that Dave/WB8PMG wants to lead this fall.  The short-term goal is to get help during the 2016 fair and continue educating/training folks on the systems & events at the Fair Grounds.
There will be a sign-up sheet at the July meeting.  I hope this helps a bit.  Please direct all questions and thoughts to me.
Scott Swink/KB8JOY
Hara Arena to close


David Osborne W8DEO emailed this to me (KD8GEB).
Hara Arena has announced it will hold its last event on Aug. 27.

Hamvention to be held at Greene Co. Fairgrounds in 2017 (Paraphrased from different emails.)
By Megan Kennedy
Published: August 1, 2016, 1:26 pm  Updated: August 1, 2016, 2:26 pm

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Days after Hara Arena announced it will close its doors, an announcement from Greene County officials revealed that Hamvention will be held at the Greene County Fairgrounds next year, according to our partners at the Xenia Gazette.

The event for ham-radio enthusiasts generated about $21 million last year and drew a crowd of more than 27,000 for Montgomery County. The proceeds for this year’s event will now go to Greene County.

“The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) regrets to inform our many vendors, visitors and stakeholders that, unfortunately, Hara has announced the closing of their facility,” a news release from Hamvention General Chair Ron Cramer last week.

According to Cramer, DARA and Hamvention have been working on a contingency plan in the event that the deteriorating Hara Arena ever should become unavailable. “We have spent many hours over the last few years evaluating possible locations and have found one in the area we believe will be a great new home!”

 “We all believe this new venue will be a spectacular place to hold our beloved event,” Cramer said. “Please rest assured we will have the event on the same weekend and, since it will be in the region, the current accommodations and outside events already planned for Hamvention 2017 should not be affected.”

“We look forward to your continued support as we move to a new future with The Dayton Hamvention.”

A hockey team’s cancellation of its upcoming season earlier this month had raised questions about the future availability of Hara Arena for Hamvention®. Hara Arena has been facing long-standing financial problems — including unpaid property taxes. Renovations promised for the 2016 Hamvention never materialized.

Hamvention attracted more than 25,000 visitors this spring and is worth millions of dollars to the Dayton area economy.

The Wampler family has owned and operated Hara Arena since its humble origins in the 1950s, when Wampler Ballarena — then a dance hall and now an exhibit hall familiar to Hamvention visitors — was built in what had been a family-owned orchard.

DARA and Hamvention have enjoyed many successful years working together with HARA Arena and we wish the Wampler family the best.”

Scott Yonally, N8SY – Section Manager – Ohio — ARRL – The National Association For Amateur Radio™


Mesh Net: WB8LDW

WB8LDW has been working with William Curtice WA8APB and the Mesh Net guys and has some tentative plans in place. He provided an aerial topography map of the 911 center, Mcarc clubhouse and Hobart Arena (see attachment –ed). The average elevation from 911 to Hobart Arena and from the Clubhouse to 911 is favorable. The path from the Clubhouse to Hobart Arena is not. WB8LDW and Bill Curtice agreed that there is nothing that can’t be overcome. Bill Curtice also selected a location with the best path to DARA and 911. It is the QTH of AE8I.

Mesh Net Path Plots PDF

Troy Path Plots


Dear MCARC Member,

On Sept. 14, 2015 the MCARC officers attended the Piqua City Commission meeting.

At the meeting, KB8JOY made the following presentation:


The MCARC is an activity-based volunteer organization, based in Troy and exists strictly for the purpose of promoting amateur radio activity.  We currently have 45 members of whom 10 are from Piqua or the general vicinity of Piqua.  Our club is involved with a wide variety of (1) radio communication skills, (2) community service and education, and finally (3) emergency communications.  The MCARC currently owns and operates a high-profile communication repeater located on the Time-Warner tower in Troy with space and utilities provided by the 911 communications center.

On September 1st the PARC ceased operation and dissolved their club.  In accepting the assets of the PARC the MCARC complied with all guidelines for contributions pertaining to  501©3 organizations.  We have also made all necessary arrangements with Piqua utilities and for the lease agreement before you now.  Part of the transfer of assets included the W8SWS repeater located at the water tower at 1234 ½ East Ash Street.  It is important to our club that this repeater stay on the air for casual amateur radio communication and for emergency communication preparation.  This repeater allows us to communicate using hand-held or vehicle mobile radios and have the communication be transmitted over a much larger area that the small transmitter could do by itself.  (example..Fletcher)  Should the Piqua area be exposed to a catastrophic event- i.e. a tornado as we have seen in Oklahoma & Missouri the past few years…..cell phone and internet communications systems will be the first to be disabled.  Amateur radio operators in Miami County, using their own personal communications gear are quite capable of providing emergency radio communication support where-and-when as needed and as directed by the Miami County EMA office…….which is covered in your city disaster preparedness plan.

We actively practice our skills in 2 ways- (1) designed drills and exercises using pre-determined scenarios.  In recent years sites for our drills have included Piqua FD, Piqua PD, the power distribution center, the Piqua Airport, and UVMC hospital.  (2) We do community service…….absolutely free of charge (FCC/$)….such as the West Milton Triathlon, TriTroy Triathlon, and just this past weekend’s Winan’s Troy/Piqua half-marathon where a dozen volunteers on the course passed health-and-welfare messages for 4 ½ hours ensuring that all participants were accounted for.  Given adequate lead time we can provide special event communication as part of our community service…….any place in Miami County.

Educationally, we are currently teaching entry-level amateur radio licensing classes here in Piqua at Hartzell, who is allowing us to offer the classes free of any charge for the use of their facility.  We also set up educational displays combined with interactive activities at the National Night Out Against Crime and the WACO fly-in.

Although we are not in existence to be noticed the MCARC appreciates the opportunity to be part of the Piqua area in our activities.   Contact with our club can be made by visiting our web site


Following the presentation and a few positive comments from spectators in the audience, the Piqua City Commission acknowledged that PARC has been “folded into” MCARC, and therefore voted unanimously to not only authorize a lease  of $1 per year for the building adjacent to the W8SWS repeater, but to also absolve MCARC of the monthly utility payments.

That’s the short and sweet of it.  No doubt there will be much more said at our monthly meeting.