BCARS History

BCARS History

The Bedford County Amateur Radio Society was formed in 1959 in order to support Bedford County. BCARS was formed by Bedford County residents such as Tom Scott K3ETC, and Arden Moser(K3MIU). Several of these “founding fathers” are still in the area today. One of their first tasks was to take charge of the Bedford County Civil Defense, communications system, which as that time was housed in the county court house basement.

Throughout the years, BCARS has maintained a close relationship with Bedford County Emergency Operations, providing communications as needed in disaster situations, as well as assisting with communications at county events. As such, the club has maintained its presence with first the Court House, then the county 911 center, and ultimately moving with the 911 back into the renovated and expanded county court house in 2006(?).


By Arden E. Moser

It was at a time during my high school years at Bedford High School, in Bedford Penna. and at the time, Science and Space exploration had taken me into another world of Space Communications, when the Russians beat the United States in its space satellite race, called “Sputnik” into space, in 1957 or 1958 era, upon knowing that you could view this Russian satellite in the sky, at sunset and/or dawn, it was nice to see it passing by in the  sky, and then, it became of something else, about this “space satellite” that you can also track and hear its radio “beep” signals on a certain radio frequency, by needing a receiver and some special equipment to track it etc. It was at that time, that I made a 12 foot long boom antenna, with its spiraling wire to this antenna, and for it to track the satellites etc. But then it came to be of a time, that I had some problem of keeping track of the signal. Then in 1959, as a Bedford Gazette newspaper delivery boy, (was a newspaper carrier, when I was in 4th or 5th grade at a local grade school, into my high school years till around 1961; some 1 year after my graduation from Bedford High School in 1960).

Anyways in 1959, I had a newspaper route customer, who lived not far from my parents home, happen to be an Amateur “Ham” Radio operator and his name was Tom Scott, (K3ETC) was his station license, whom was an electronic engineer working on IBM equipment.  It was at the time of testing and checking out this “homemade antenna” system to track that Russian satellite, only to say it was working partially, but the satellite tracking equipment was oscillating, my radio receiver, and could not stay on that satellite radio frequency, so it was much of being scrubbed, although still had use the antenna, just to listening the Amateur Radio stations around the world etc.  So much for that Russian satellite stuff, from talking to my newspaper customer Tom Scott, had invited me to see his Amateur Radio station in his home, while his wife, tending their first newborn child. I was then fascinated by this “Ham” radio stuff, and he had encourage me, to think about this Amateur Radio as a hobby, which took me to another new adventure, of learning and taking a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) exam, and get my first Amateur Radio license, as a Novice Class operator, in 1960, license was only good for one year, then you had to move up to the next level. So the FCC had issued me the call station letters as KN3MIU, (this license was only strictly to International Morse Code “dots and dashes”).

Also at the same time, Tom Scott had introduce me to several of the local Amateur Radio operators in Bedford County, and then it was decided to think about starting an local Amateur “Ham” Radio Club, now known as the Bedford County Amateur Radio Society (BCARS), and they wanted an emblem or design of our new charter club.  I then came up with my own creation of this emblem or seal of the club, and my drawings chosen and accepted. (The emblem is still in use today since the charter in August 1959).  Also that now holding an FCC Amateur Radio License, another Amateur Radio operator, was in charge of the Bedford County Civil Defense, communications system, and as being a member of the (BCARS), they also had issue a license for me to Bedford County Civil Defense system at the county court house, in the basement.

Then from there with the help of the other local Amateur Radio operators, my special thanks to Tom Scott, for the help me on learning to the next level of the Amateur Radio License, with a new written test and passing the exam and morse code test; the FCC then re-issued me a new license called “Conditional” in 1961, and the call station letters as K3MIU, [this license was for all kinds of communications, such as, international morse code; AM (amplitude modulation) voice communications; SSB (single side band) voice communications; VHF (very high frequency) 6 meters voice communications; and RTTY (Radio teletype) communications.]  The VHF 6 meters communications was used by the Bedford County local amateur radio operations along with the Bedford County Civil Defense, was also set up with that type of communications mode. Speaking of the (AM) voice communications was my first favorite, until later the technology had moved up to (SSB) voice communications, which was a troublesome for me to understand voice communications etc., I then bypassed that (SSB) mode, and went for the (RTTY) mode, and really enjoyed that operations, it was a lot of fun playing with 3 different teletype machines, this 3 different teletype machines, had it tricks in sending and receiving communications back and forth.  I did enjoyed a lot of these radio clubs and I also became a member of the B&O/C&O Railroad Amateur Radio club, also a lot of other Amateur Radio clubs, such as the Graveyard Net ARC, Breakfast Club ARC, Windjammers Amateur Radio Club, and many others and also doing DX chasing for world countries, as well as the all 50 States in United States. A lot of achievement certificates and Radio QSL (post card size) confirmation cards in my collection.

Then during at this time of still living in Bedford County at my parents home, after graduating from Bedford High School, and “Ham” Radio, it took me in more educational training learning skills:

Bedford High School, Bedford, Penna. Graduated in 1960; course of studies: Commercial - Senior Math, Biology, General Science, and General Math.

Williamsport Technical Institute, Williamsport, Penna., in 1961 (one month) evaluation studies. Course of studies: Business Course, Drafting Course, and Electronics Course.

After High School graduation, in 1960, I was still the Bedford Gazette delivery carrier,  and also was a part time worker/clerk at a local pharmacy, called Fisher’s Drug Store, till 1962, then off to more educational studies.

Pennsylvania State Rehabilitation Center, Johnstown, Penna., Graduated in 1963 (21 month course); completed it in 15 months, course of studies: Basic Accounting, English, Business Law, Office Practice, Bookkeeping, Typing, and Business Math.

Back to Bedford County, at my parents home, and some “Ham” radio etc., worked part-time at Fisher’s Drug Store again, and full time employment, with a local Department Store chain, known as Maurices Department Stores, as a warehouse worker (putting price tags on clothing and furniture merchandise), to be distributed to other store chains, and also some bookkeeping data entry work, till 1966, also was rehired to be the Bedford Gazette newspaper delivery carrier, since the death of one of the delivery carrier, and was filling in his shoes temporary, till replacement can be found.

Also at that time in October 4, 1994, my FCC Amateur Radio license renewal time, and it was under some changes to the licensing, and my old “Conditional” class license was upgraded to a “General” class license.

Computer Systems Institute, Pittsburgh, Penna., Graduated in 1966 (14 week course), course of studies: IBM 1401-1410, and RCA 301 programming course.

Then my big break came in a few months later after that computer systems training in Pittsburgh, that I was to venture to a new area on a job, got a call from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission headquarters in Harrisburg, Penna. In 1966, that they had an opening position for me, as a tabulating machine operator and computer operator (IBM 1401 & IBM 360 computers).

During those years, it was occasionally traveled on weekends to Bedford at my parents home and some “Ham” radio, and as years were going by, it was less interest in “Ham” radio, in Bedford, till, I met a friend, who owned a home, along with his 81 year old Mother, that was living there, and I became a tenant to this home, and that they had fixed, the second and third floor (the attic, my new “Ham” radio room) in 1975 thru 1978. And finally with the landlord friend, gave me permission to install the first time ever in my “Ham” radio, an 50 foot radio tower along the side of his home, with the big antenna system on top, of the tower, The antenna was a Mosely TA-33 model antenna, which the antenna boom was 14 feet in length, and the 3 antenna elements each was 28 feet in length. And that my radio station operators license was still listed as my parents mailing address, which was the main station license, the Harrisburg address was my temporary radio station license, and the call letters was used as K3MIU/P (portable). Also to note that when living in Harrisburg at the time of my new job adventure, living in different apartments (not ownership), but rental, in those times you were not allow to put up a “Ham” radio antenna on apartment building roof tops, it’s the way the apartment management operates these days. Unless you had your own property or house, then you can do whatever you wanted to put up any kind of antenna.

During my 11 years with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in Harrisburg, Penna., made me wanted to venture into another area Washington, DC., and its computer field.  During those, turnpike commission years, the last 2 years, was that I took some time off as vacation leaves to put applications in various Federal Government Agencies for a Computer job.  Then it was on Easter Good Friday, in April 1978, my luck was answered, That I was interview at one location, and was requested to cancelled another job interview at another location, that this outfit wanted to hire me, since they needed a computer operator, for 3rd shift night work.  Paperwork for my new venture in Washington, DC., with the U.S. House of Representatives, in the House Information Systems (HIS) branch, [today, now known as House Information Resources (HIR) branch.]    This enable for me to give my 2 weeks notice on my old job with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, (put in partial retirement with the Penna. State Civil Service Commission, and receiving retirement pension). Also that I had to start packing to move to Washington, DC., and then once I landed in Washington, I ended up renting in a 16 story apartment.  Here again, no “Ham” radio antennas on apartment buildings. So it made my “Ham” radio adventure gone into retirement.  Sold the antenna and tower to some Harrisburg Ham radio operator, and then sold all of my Ham Radio station equipment, here in Washington, DC area to a Ham radio operator in Silver Springs, Maryland. So it was sad to see it go, but I still have my Amateur Radio Station operators license, registered to my parents home in Bedford, Penna., but no station setup there.  Sure had a lot of fond memories of the radio operators that I had chatted with over the years.

Then in February 2003, when my Mother, passed away, and the home was sold later, I had to renew my Amateur Radio Station license registration location to my Sister, Frances (Moser) Defibaugh, residence in Bedford Valley Road, in Bedford, Penna., and that my station license is still K3MIU.  As days go by, I don’t miss this great “Ham” radio hobby, just retired with that Ham radio, my Amateur Radio license is still good, till the year 2014, then its up for renewal again and will do so.

Over the years with the U.S. House of Representatives, I have attended some of the computer courses at Virginia Northern Community College, in Alexandria, Va., (just a few blocks from where I live in my apartment complex) as additional studies to my work, and also additional “in-house” Learning Center training courses, at work, and still additional educational training skills in Web design.

And still here in Washington, DC., with the U.S. House of Representatives, for 28 years and counting, recently this last 5 years, my computer mainframe operations came to an end (the mainframe was going out, as today it is nothing but computer servers.), and it also ended with my “Graveyard Shift” work (Midnight to 7:30 am), and was transferred to “Daytime Shift” work (7:00 am – 4:00 pm), in another department, as a Web Assistance staff worker, to update the Congressmen/Congresswomen web sites, of Biographies, Press Releases, Speeches, and other web site items needing changes or updates. Also I don’t expect to retire anytime soon. (I could have retired with only the 20 years of service or at age of 55), but wanted to stay on, something to keep me busy, rather than retirement.

Update:  Retired from U.S. House of Representatives on May 31, 2008, having 31 years of service with the federal government.  Living in Alexandria, Va.

The End…..