Home

PCARS — The Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society is a private club and Florida non-profit corporation for and by radio amateurs. For over 55 years PCARS has been the premier amateur radio club in central and southern Brevard County. There is a lot more information in the About section of this website. There is also valuable information for anyone interested in amateur radio, no matter what their experience level.

Longtime PCARS member

John Weatherly AB4ET Silent Key

Longtime PCARS Life Member John Weatherly AB4ET(formerly G3KQL) passed away on April 19th, 2024. He had been in ill health in recent years & was in assisted living.

John held a number of positions within PCARS over the years , including Club President & one of his last positions, PCARS Emergency Coordinator, right around the time of Hurricane Katrina. His contributions to PCARS are many & he surely will be missed. May he Rest in Peace.

John at his station in Buena Vida Estates

FIELD DAY 2024 coming up in a few weeks!!

SAVE THE DATE – June 22-23, 2024

PCARS Field Day 2024 is 2 weeks away. PCARS had a great time last year! Field Day Chairman K4JC & his staff are planning another great Field Day this year. The June General Membership meeting will be dedicated to Field Day. Details to follow, so stay tuned! More info under Activities/ARRL Field Day

Education Opportunities

For any General or Advanced licensees wanting to upgrade, there is an Extra License class starting on Saturday July 27, 2024, 9::30AM, in-person and online via Zoom. The class is 8 weeks and based on the July 1, 2024 question pool and ends a week before the September Exam session at the Suntree/Viera Public Library. This class finally got listed on the ARRL website. Delayed due to the “Service Disruption”.

Anyone who’s interested or knows someone that is, please contact Bob Luken W3RDL – or 321-432-0550

FRIDAY LUNCH VENUE AT CRYSTAL’S

Crystal’s Buffett on the corner of 192 & Wickham Rd., is the place for lunch on Fridays. We meet there every Friday @ 11AM. We can have 5-6 people or as many as 18. Please come join us!!

58TH MELBOURNE HAMFEST IS HISTORY!!

The Melbourne Hamfest, a Florida tradition for 58 years, is now history!! The weather held out throughout the weekend, making it a great time for all that attended. Many thanks to PCARS Hamfest Chairman N0OJ, for leading our Hamfest Committee to a successful Hamfest!

2023 Grand Prize Winners

1st Prize – Yaesu HF/6 Meter Transceiver FT710 AESS – W4OX

2nd Prize – Bird Wattmeter with with gift certificate for 1 slug – Shelle Pendergrast

3rd Prize – Yaesu VHF/UHF/Fusion capable Mobile Transceiver FTM-300DR – KN4ZUJ

SAVE THE DATE – 59TH ANNUAL MELBOURNE HAMFEST OCTOBER 11TH & 12TH 2024

The 59th Annual Melbourne Hamfest, a Florida tradition, will be held on October 11th & 12th, 2024, at the Melbourne Auditorium. Tickets will be available soon. Stay tuned for more details!!

“PCARS in the Park” a success!!

PCARS in the Park was held on January 20th, at 3 Forks Conservation Area & was a total success! Over 20 operators attended the event. A BIG THANKS to Paul W1IP for chairing the event.

Mark Burke W9MGB accepts Sunshine Chair position

Mark Burke W9MGB, has officially accepted the position of Sunshine Chairman. PCARS BOD thanks Mark for stepping up to take this role!

If anyone is aware of a member/member’s family, etc. who is ill, etc. & would like to receive a card, please drop Mark a line at .

PCARS Mobile Car Show a success!

The 1st ever PCARS Mobile Car show took place on Saturday, April 13th. It was held in the Sarno Plaza parking lot. The event was organized & ran by Paul W1IP. There were quite a few “mobiles” in attendance & prizes were awarded. Pictured above are the winners, l-r W1BQ, 2nd place, W1IP, W4GWC, 3rd Place, AD4ES, 1st place & K4AOQ. A big thanks to W1IP for putting on the event & also KC1YL for supplying the trophies !

PCARS Quarterly Tailgate held April 20th at the Fire Training Center

The Quarterly PCARS Tailgate was held on April 20th. As always, we had a good crowd turn out. The time moved to 0700, as the warmer months are upon us. A big thanks to K4CXX for chairing another successful Tailgate!

PCARS Lab Training Session held on April 20th

A PCARS Lab Training session for new hams was also held on April 20th in the afternoon. K4CXX originated & ran the session, with assistance from W7TSO, KO4AQF & K5LD. A big thanks to K4CXX for chairing the session.

PCARS POTA Support Your Parks Weekend

The weekend of April 20th-21st was Parks on the Air (POTA) Support Your Parks Weekend. This is an event that takes place 4 times a year, for the different seasons.

On Sunday afternoon, April 21st, PCARS POTA operators met at 3 Forks Marsh Landing in Palm Bay, to operate in SYPW. A group of 8 operators participated, including some new operators that have not activated a park in POTA before.

Everyone got a chance to get on the air & got their 10 contacts, the amount needed to activate a park. After getting their 10, some operators went back on for more.

Operators were W1IP, K4AOQ, W1PPL, KK4ZWC, N0JAM, KD2GAZ, KK7HRZ & K5LD,

Stories

About PCARS

The Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society

PCARS is an amateur radio club located in Melbourne, Florida, that serves primarily central & southern Brevard County. The club is a Florida non-profit corporation with approximately 160 members, and it has existed for over fifty-seven years. PCARS is affiliated with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which is a national membership organization for licensed amateur radio operators. In 2020, PCARS was designated as a Special Service Club by the ARRL.

PCARS amateur radio operators, often called “HAMS” participate in a wide variety of amateur radio activities. These include providing disaster communications, experimenting with things like amateur TV and satellite communications, competing in amateur radio competitions, and contacting amateurs around the world. Our members use not only voice, but many different modes of communications, such as Morse code, amateur television, radio teletype and other digital modes using computer interfaces.

W4MLB QSL card

The club has an FCC issued amateur radio call sign, W4MLB, and a well-equipped amateur radio station. This station has been used by club members to compete with other clubs and groups around the world in various radio sport competitions. The “Florida Boys” was a name given to our PCARS contest group. However, this group has retired & the group is no longer around. However, a whole new generation of contesters have sprung up & begin winning contests as well. Wednesday evenings from 6-8PM is Elmers’ Night at the club station, where we encourage would be & new hams, to come out & ask questions, get assistance with radios, antennas, etc. There is also usually a topic of the week, depending on requests from members.

PCARS conducts a general membership meeting on the second Monday of every month except for December. All amateur radio operators and interested parties are invited to attend. See the meeting page and the calendar for more information. PCARS also publishes a monthly newsletter. Anyone can read the most current newsletter to see what the club is about. Members can access an archive of past newsletters.

PCARS maintains three FM repeaters in the area. Two VHF-FM repeaters and one UHF-FM repeater are owned and operated by the club. The UHF repeater is Fusion enabled. These enable consistent and effective communication over a large part of Brevard County using small hand-held transceivers. These repeaters have been very valuable in helping club members support Red Cross Shelters during hurricanes, and in supporting public service events. Many PCARS members are also members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), and the club works with the Brevard County ARES Team (BCAT). PCARS sponsors a weekly emergency training net, the Melbourne Region Emergency Net (MREN), where members and guest radio operators check into a controlled group via one of the local repeaters.

There are also a number of PCARS members who are interested in severe weather. storm spotting, and reporting. They participate in a weather reporting net immediately following the MREN each week. Most of these members are registered SKYWARN® spotters, and receive training from the local National Weather Service (NWS) forecasting office. The PCARS Weather Net, as the group is known, has its own website.

Another new mainstream for PCARS members is Parks on the Air (POTA). Several members patriciate in POTA each week, traveling about to the various parks located in our area & beyond. POTA is essentially Field Day every day, without the fanfare. Some members have even operated POTA from a DX country!

The Melbourne Hamfest has been sponsored by PCARS since 1965. This annual event is held the second weekend in October at the Melbourne Auditorium. It draws over 2000 enthusiasts from all over the state of Florida and beyond. It’s a time of fellowship, attending forums, browsing through tables piled high with radio equipment, and “eye-balling” all of the latest gear available through retail outlets.

In addition to providing reliable communications for worthy public service events (races, parades, mock disasters, etc.), PCARS sponsors regular classes to teach interested individuals the technical theory required to obtain an FCC issued Amateur Radio License. PCARS also conducts the exams for those licenses throughout the year.

Amateur Radio License Examiners – November, 2020

SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA’s National Weather Service.