2016 Multiple Sclerosis Society Keystone Country Ride Report

The 2016 MS Keystone Country Bike Ride was held Saturday and Sunday July 23 and 24.  As usual, amateur radio provided essential communications for ride administration and safety.  The ride starts in Hollidaysburg, PA on Saturday morning and ends in State College that afternoon.  On Sunday, the riders repeat the process back to Hollidaysburg for a total of 150 miles.  2016 is the 21st anniversary of the ride and amateur radio has been part of the event from it’s inception.  Forty two people volunteered to help with amateur radio.  Thirty seven of those were amateur radio operators.Amateur radio volunteers came from the following Pennsylvania counties; Bedford, 8: Blair, 14; Butler, 1; Centre, 13; Huntingdon, 3; Snyder, 2; Venango, 1. Continue reading

PEMA Activation of Auxiliary Communications Systems

Due to the impending weather PEMA ACS will be activating this weekend.

The PEMA SEOC will be activated to an “enhanced” level on Friday evening.  PEMA ACS personnel will be monitoring HF Voice Operations on 3.9935N LSB HF  and the Eastern Area Office will monitor 3.9875N LSB HF.   We will also be monitoring PaNBEMS on 3.5830N Olivia 1500 Hz 8/500.  They will be taking reports of snowfall amounts from counties and others…  Our hope is to keep the SEOC and our command staff informed with the most up to date information on snowfalls by location.  This should provide a much more accurate picture of how bad it is in different parts of the state than the news would.  It should also help us to keep PennDOT informed as to snow amounts and may directly affect their decision making about plowing roads.  We don’t expect the snow to hit until later in the evening but it may come in earlier.  We hope that you will be able to reach us to share information on snowfall amounts.   If you do not have HF capability, please let me know what UHF or VHF frequencies you will be operating on and I will add your frequencies to my operational ICS-205 so that our guys can listen communicate with you.   If this does not work, our landline in the radio room is 717-346-3101.

On Saturday morning both the PEMA SEOC and EAO will be operating in a Level 2 activation mode.  Both radio rooms will continue to monitor.  Using the daytime frequencies on the attached ICS-205.   Western Area will have staff monitoring our Western Area channels as well.  We expect to remain in an activated state until sometime on Sunday.

PEMA ACS would not be able to provide information like what is needed this weekend without the support that you, the  ACS units, RACES, ARES and Skywatch teams that serve your county and local governments provide.  It is truly a team effort.   Those of you who know me know that I am sincerely grateful for your support.  Much appreciated.  I can be reached at the number below if you have any questions.


Susan D. Singer | ComL, Emergency Management Specialist,
Commonwealth EMAC & ACS Coordinator

Amateur Radio Operators provide communications for Penn State 4-H Competitive Trail Ride

On Saturday, September 19th, 2015 members of the Nittany Amateur Radio Club (NARC) provided communications support to the Annual Penn State 4-H Competitive Trail Ride in the Rothrock State Forest.  Centre Communications of Bellefonte PA again loaned their Display Vehicle to the Emergency Coordinator who set the unit up at the race midpoint.


The Display Vehicle not only provided a VHF radio but also a comfortable location with a table and a white board.  Here the operator, K3CWP, used the white board to note when riders entered and left the midpoint.  This allowed race organizers to see the status of the riders at a glance.  After the midpoint closed the SUV transported two operators to the last checkpoint before the riders entered a very rough ‘horse only’ trail.

Special thanks to Centre Communications sales representative Kevin Ermol and owners Karl Hosterman, K3ARL and Eric Brooks, N3EB for the use of this valuable asset.

Amateur Radio Operators Provide Communications for the Penn State Cycling Club Stage Race on August 1, 2015

By Carmine Prestia, K3CWP

The Penn State Cycling Club put on its first ever Nittany Stage Race on Saturday, August 1st and Sunday the 2nd.  The Road Race on August 1st was held in the Black Moshannon State Park and Forest.  Race organizers asked local amateur radio operators to provide communications during the Saturday event.  Eight (8) Amateurs volunteered and staffed the Incident Command Post and several positions along the 21 mile route.  Two operators provided roving coverage or ‘tail end’ coverage as needed.  This year saw the addition of an amateur radio equipped vehicle at the Command Post that was loaned to the event by Centre Communications, Inc.


K3CWP operates the Incident Command Post/Net Control Station out of the Centre Communications display vehicle.

Continue reading

Amateur Radio Operators Provide Communications for 20th Anniversary MS Ride – UPDATED 7/26/2015

By: Drew McGhee, KA3EJV, EC Blair County and Carmine Prestia, K3CWP, EC Centre County

ARES and Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) assets from Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, and Huntingdon counties provided safety, health, and welfare communications support for the 2015 Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society Bike MS “Keystone Country Ride.” Further assistance came from the Bedford County Amateur Radio Society (BCARS), Horseshoe Amateur Radio Club (HARC), Huntingdon County Amateur Radio Club (HCARC), and Nittany Amateur Radio Club (NARC) Amateur Radio operators. The ride was held over the July 18 – 19, 2015 weekend. Continue reading

Communications for Nittany Cycling Classic at Black Moshannon

By John Szwarc, N3SPW, Event Coordinator for Amateur Radio

At times it may seem that volunteering for public service events is a waste of time. Cell phones are the norm these days and amateur radio is often regarded as “old school”. It’s often difficult to find enough volunteers to staff all the needed amateur radio positions. And when recruiting volunteers someone inevitably says something like “nothing ever happens anyway.” Continue reading

Nittany Amateur Radio Club Members Provide Communications for PSU 4-H Competitive Trail Ride

On September 20, 2014 the Penn State University Extension hosted the annual 4-H Keystone Ride,  a competitive trail ride in the Rothrock State Forest.  Thirty one entrants rode their horses over a twenty eight mile course starting and ending at the Penn Roosevelt State Park.  Amateur Radio Operators (ARO) from the Nittany Amateur Radio Club (NARC) provided communications throughout the course of the ride. Continue reading

Moshannon Valley YMCA Bike Race a Successful Event

The August 9, 2014 mountain bike race to support the Moshannon Valley branch of the Centre County YMCA was a great success.  Eleven (11) amateur radio operators from the Nittany Amateur Radio Club and the Philipsburg Amateur Radio Association provided communications for the event.  The operators were stationed at different points along the 18 mile race course.  Click on more to see the participating operators and more information about the event: Continue reading

Moshannon Valley Bike Race Maps

These maps are created with MapMyRide and give a good rendition of the race course based on the information available as of 8/6/2014.  GPX and KML Versions of the Loop 1 & 2 maps are available by clicking on ‘FILES’ in the above menu.

1st Loop

Click here to link to the first loop of the race.  Though it ends at Beaver Road and Starmill Trail the riders continue on a second loop to complete the total mileage.

2nd Loop

Click here to link to the second loop of the race.  It generally follows the lower half of the first loop so that the riders can complete the total mileage.

 YMCA Supplied Map

Click here for a map prepared by the YMCA Race Organizers.  Note this is a very large file, 23 mb.  It has their rendition of the map that is provided to the racers.


Files for operators participating in the Moshannon Valley YMCA Bike Race

The Communications Plan (ICS-205) for the race:

2014 Communications Plan Mo Valley ICS 205
2014 Communications Plan Mo Valley ICS 205
2014 Comm Plan Mo Valley ICS 205.pdf
Version: 8/6/2014
26.8 KiB

The Assignment sheet (ICS-205A) for the race (Incomplete):