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.
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2022 Melbourne Hamfest Friday October 7 No forums on Friday at this time. Saturday October 8 Time Forum Title Main Presenter 09:00 AM RFI Team Successes & Techniques Dan Fisher AI4GK 10:00 AM Contest 101 – Florida Contest Group Chris Plumblee W4WF 11:00 AM ARRL State Convention Forum Barry Porter KB1PA et al. 12:00 PM …
For the last several years, PCARS has operated ARRL Field Day as an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In doing so, we utilize the facilities, radios, antennas, & other equipment in our shack, which serves as an emergency communications center in support of the city of Melbourne Fire Department. This year, PCARS is in the process …
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.
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. As members of the club started winning more and more of these competitions, other teams started referring to us as those “Florida Boys” a name that has stuck with our PCARS contest group. Most Wednesday evenings, a few members will get together at the club station to work DX (distant stations). Operators may use their own call sign, and log contacts using the club’s radios, amplifiers, and directional antennas.
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. 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.
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.
SKYWARN® is a registered trademark of NOAA’s National Weather Service.