John Chitwood, K3RGB, SK

K3RGB John S. Chitwood
St Petersburg, FL 

QCWA # 32728
Chapter |32|20|222|

First Call: KN3RGB issued in 1961

Got interested in shortwave radio when my grandfather brought a 17 tube Zenith radio (broadcast band to 18 MHz) to my parents. home in the mid-1950s. While I really I enjoyed listening to shortwave broadcasts, I enjoyed listening to ham stations on 40 and 75 meters AM even more. In the summer of 1960, I saw an ARRL novice license manual for sale at Ship.N.Shore radio in Ocean City, MD, so I bought it. Joined the radio club in high school (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Radio Club/W3CDI), and learned Morse code. Studied the license manual, took the test, and received my Novice license, KN3RGB, in 1961.

I got right on the Novice bands (80 and 40) using a Hallicrafters S-38E and a one tube (117L7) crystal controlled transmitter that I built in a steel index card box. I also immediately began preparing for the General Class exam. It took me 4 visits to the FCC field office in Baltimore until I passed my 13 wpm receiving test. On that same 4th visit, I passed the written test and received my General Class license, K3RGB. This was followed by my Advanced Class license, and, some years later, after studying for the written test, and listening to W1AW code practice broadcasts, I earned my Extra Class license.

I was a frequent operator at W3CDI, taught code classes and license classes and served as Secretary and then President of the club. Joined the Baltimore Amateur Radio Club in which I served as Secretary for a couple of years. I was named as Club.s trustee for the Foundation for Amateur Radio. I was then elected to serve as the Secretary of the Foundation for Amateur Radio for a term or two.

Became the EC of the Baltimore Area AREC (now ARES), and was a member of the Baltimore City Civil Defense radio team in the 1960s.

Although not ham radio related, between April and September 1964, I was employed at Radio Baltimore WCAO where I served as a control room engineer, production studio engineer, and a maintenance engineer. While attending college, I was hired by NASA.s Goddard Space Flight Center as a student trainee and then after graduation, as an electronics engineer at NASA, from which I retired in 2001.

Joined QCWA in 2004 as a member of chapter 20. Later, also became a member of chapter 222 and 32.

Served as a member of the Foundation for Amateur Radio.s Scholarship Committee from 1972 to 2018. Assumed the responsibility of managing the Committee.s funds in the early 2000s, and was then elected Treasurer of the Foundation for Amateur Radio, a position in which I served until November 2018.

After moving to Saint Petersburg, FL in late 2015, I am still in the process of getting my station set up, but I have been continuously active on 80 . 10 meters mobile, VHF and UHF, and APRS. Now, residing in the Tampa Bay area, I am a member of chapter 32 where I am doing my small part in revitalizing the chapter as interim secretary.


November 25, 2019

July, 2020 meeting

Club President Hale N3NYC and Treasurer Dave AB3TE opened the July, 2020 meeting. A turnout of 16 people. Dave AB3TE gave the treasurer’s report. State financial filings continue. Dave AB3TE advised that printing of a batch of 2020 hamfest flyers is an unrecoverable expense. He reported that we are good with the Arcadia Fairgrounds people for the 2021 BARC Father’s Day Hamfest. VP Bill N3WD spoke of this year’s 13 Colonies on-air event which represents the 13 US colonies plus bonus stations. New member Marty (ex-WA2ZVV) had questions which spurred discussions of CW keys and keyers. Jon KC3PAN advised that James W3HBD is now a silent key; a relative is seeking to find a buyer for the ham station. — Neil W3ZQI Secretary

June, 2020 meeting

Club Vice President Bill N3WD opened the June, 2020 meeting. A turnout of 11 people. The treasurers report was given by Dave AB3TE. State financial filings continue. This year’s hamfest, having been cancelled, was discussed. In particular, the fairgrounds people were noted to be gracious. Most other area hamfests have been cancelled. Dave AB3TE gave an update on his MFJ Rig Pi Station Server (for remote stations control). The 2 meter repeater continues in operation — Neil W3ZQI Secretary

May, 2020 meeting

Club President Hale N3NYC opened the May, 2020 meeting. A turnout of 16 people. The treasurers report was given by Dave AB3TE. Some state financial filings continue. The hamfest was discussed and remains planned for Father’s Day. Dave AB3TE demonstrated making an effective face mask using just a new sock. Zoom and other such products were discussed for meetings. Zoom was subsequently selected as the on-line meeting vehicle for the coming year. Informal discussions included the MFJ Rig Pi Station Server (for remote stations control), the impact of coiling up excess coaxial cable, and the impact of two wire antennas in close proximity. — Neil W3ZQI Secretary

April, 2020 meeting

Club Vice President Bill N3WD opened the meeting to a turnout of eight. As our first virtual meeting, this was a success. Bill demonstrated various features of the Zoom product. Subsequent meetings could benefit greatly from PowerPoint presentations. Additionally, such computer connection should enable attendance by members who find it difficult to otherwise attend in-person meetings. We will continue with Zoom for a few months and consider upgrading to a version with additional necessary features.

Treasurer Dave AB3TE provided an update on financial matters. Dave continues to handle documents pertaining to the club tax status.  

An update was given on the hamfest; to include opportunities at the Arcadia grounds for following years. The hamfest e-mail database by Neil W3ZQI has been completed. A short discussion took place on ideal advertising timing. We continue monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will make final decisions closer to the date of the event.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, no further plans were made regarding participation in the 2020 ARRL Field Day. — Neil W3ZQI Secretary

March, 2020 meeting

Club President Hale N3NYC opened the meeting to a healthy turnout of nineteen.  He then turned over the floor to Club Vice-President Bill Dobson N3WD for the rest of the meeting.

Treasurer Dave AB3TE provided an update on financial matters. This month Dave will sign the rental agreement with the Hamfest site owners.  He will also handle the documents pertaining to the club tax status.  

Old Business started with a continued discussion in pursuit of a new meeting site. Members should contact Dave AB3TE for updates and discussion.

An update was given on the hamfest. Advertising plans continue with efforts to distribute flyers at various area hamfests. The hamfest e-mail database is nearing completion by Neil W3ZQI.

Bud W3LL of the Potomac Valley Radio Club visited our meeting. PVRC is a contesting club, and Bud brought contesting ideas for members of our club.  He mentioned State QSO Parties, such as OK, ID, VA, etc., and using N1MM logging software.  See for sending in results, and for more information. March 7-8 is the big ARRL DX Phone contest.

Club participation in the 2020 ARRL Field Day was inquired about. For this year’s Field Day, BARC will be at the same site as the Father’s Day Hamfest, Arcadia Fairgrounds.  Most operations will be on Saturday, and if there is interest, operations will continue into Sunday.

The light business meeting allowed plenty of time for informal conversations afterward. — Joe W3TTT

February, 2020 meeting

Club President Hale N3NYC opened the meeting to a healthy turnout of nineteen. Old Business started with a continued discussion in pursuit of a new meeting site. An update was given on selection of a food vendor for the hamfest. Advertising plans continue with efforts to distribute flyers at various area hamfests. The hamfest e-mail database is nearing completion. Treasurer Dave AB3TE provided an update on financial matters. Club participation in the 2020 ARRL Field Day was inquired about. While there are no specific BARC-sponsored plans, intentions of several area clubs were mentioned. The light business meeting allowed plenty of time for informal conversations afterward.— Neil W3ZQI Secretary

January, 2020 meeting

Our first meeting of 2020 had attendance of fifteen. VP Bill N3WD opened the meeting and later passed to president Hale N3NYC. Prior month meeting minutes, as posted on the Internet were accepted. Dave AB3TE gave the treasurers report. Joe W3TTT presented his report on investigation into a new meeting site, specifically the Pikesville Volunteer Company hall. After discussion on the pros and cons of moving there, a near unanimous vote accepted holding all future meetings there: 40 E. Sudbrook Lane Pikesville, MD 21208. EDIT: AFTER THE MEETING, THE MEETING SITE CHANGE WAS CANCELLED; WE WILL CONTINUE TO MEET AT WEGMAN’S IN HUNT VALLEY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. A big thank you to Joe for his efforts. Joe W3TTT will serve as net control of the weekly BARC net (Wednesdays on non-meeting nights) which will commence next week on the club 2 meter repeater (7:00 pm.) to reach the widest audience. An 80 meter net may follow or replace the 2 meter frequency as check-in volume ramps up. All are invited to join into the net(s). The Hamfest flyer worked up by Dave AB3TE looks great; copies done by the printing company were distributed. Hale N3NYC investigated various food vendors for the hamfest and is nearing final recommendations. Dave AB3TE will meet shortly with the Arcadia Fire Company people to finalize arrangements for use of the site for 2020. We continue to build a list of local groups/clubs that will be contacted to expand our hamfest event offerings to related electronics hobbies such as R/C, robots, etc. Volunteers are being sought to pass out our hamfest flyers to vendors at area hamfests. Several ham radio clubs in the area will be asked to distribute our hamfest “mailing” by their e-mail reflectors. Bill N3WD excitedly announced that last week was the first sighting of a new solar cycle sunspot. — Neil W3ZQI Secretary

December, 2019 meeting

Vice President Bill N3WD opened the meeting. A big thank you to Dave AB3TE for publishing the club officer history, which is now posted to the webpage on our ABOUT US page. Storage costs continue to rise so a short mention was made to also seek storage space when considering a new meeting site. We are pleased with the robust monthly turnout. Hamfest Chairman Dave AB3TE presented the full color Hamfest flyer which will be printed in mass in time for the beginning of the 2020 hamfest season–each area hamfest will be visited to generate publicity for our event. Hale N3NYC formed a list of food vendors for the event. An ad hoc committee will review the list and select a vendor. Neil W3ZQI discussed on-going publicity efforts wherein an additional plan was approved. Joe W3TTT suggests 80 meters, 7:00 pm. (non-BARC meeting nights) as time/place for the a proposed BARC on-air HF net. Netlogger for net control and WEBSDR for those for stand-alone receive were suggested. Post-meeting: TABCO Towers has been sold–this may be of impact to some ham radio clubs. The church meeting site considered for BARC is no longer available. — Neil W3ZQI Secretary

November, 2019 meeting

A number of people paid their annual dues in-person with us now in the 2020 fiscal year. President Hale N3NYC opened the meeting. Some discussion of the hamfest took place; with setting the tailgating fee at $10 per space. Gordon KC3LWO acknowledged pursuing related technology interests for targeting of our hamfest advertising (e.g. R/C and drones). Neil W3ZQI is building a database of e-mail addresses for vendors and attendees for publicity. As the result of such a good turnout for the meeting, Jim WB3DJU advised that the church location is still discussable as a meeting location. Joe W3TTT will also explore several meeting site leads. Bill N3WD proposed that the January meeting be held as a holiday dining meeting at a restaurant; details to be decided up at the December meeting. Joe W3TTT mentioned the planned weekly HF net (either 80 or 40 meters) with him accepting net leadership. Netlogger software will be employed. After the meeting adjourned, small group conversations included old war movies, continued discussion on condo-friendly HF antennas, FT8 versus rag-chew modes, and ham radio license examinations. — Neil W3ZQI Secretary

October, 2019 meeting

In this meeting we welcomed new members Justin KC3NYS and Andy. Justin is already getting on 2 meters and Andy is avidly studying. Vice President Bill N3WD opened the meeting and conducted officer elections for the new fiscal year. Since the slate was proposed at the September meeting and the positions were unopposed, Acting Secretary Neil W3ZQI cast the single vote for the entire slate…President Hale N3NYC, Vice President Bill N3WD, Secretary Neil W3ZQI, Treasurer Dave AB3TE, and Members-at-large Mike KB3VVH, Gordon KC3LWO, and Jim WB3DJU. Dave AB3TE gave the Treasurers report. Old business item: forming equipment donation guidelines was deferred until next month. Hamfest discussions included discussion of selecting a food vendor and a proposal to raise tailgating fees. Jim WB3DJU was named to form a Hamfest committee, including Dave AB3TE (Hamfest Chairman) and Neil W3ZQI (publicity). A short discussion took place on locating a meeting site that will accommodate more attendees. Jim WB3DJU advised that the previously considered church site may again be possible. Bud W3LL gave an informative presentation on the activities of the Potomac Valley Radio Association (PVRC). This included contesting, chapter organization, and how to join. Joe W3TTT spoke of starting up an 80 meter club net and Bill N3UKI spoke of interest in a 2 meter club net. After adjourning, small groups formed for subsequent common interest discussions.

September, 2019 meeting

One of our best recent turnouts.

Elections will be held in the October meeting. The officers slate has been created: President-Hale N3NYC; Vice-President: Bill N3WD; Secretary: Neil W3ZQI; Treasurer: Dave AB3TE; Three Members-at-large slots: Gordon KC3LWO; Mike KB3VHH; Jim WB3DJU. Nominations from the floor will be accepted.

Len K3MLG asked about donations of old/usable equipment. Bill N3UKI offered/accepted to formulate a plan for club acceptance and lending. He also kindly offered to arrange for storage (not at club expense).

The Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club accepts donation of older, e.g. tube equipment.

Jim WB3DJU is your contact for disposition of the extensive Collins collection of Walt Barczak KB3CGZ.

Jim advised that FlexRadio announced a $35 million contract with Raytheon to develop an HF radio platform for the U.S. Air Force.

Fiscal Year 2020 is upon us; please forward your annual $20 dues or pay at the next club meeting.

August, 2019 meeting

Welcome to new faces Bill N3QVA and Gene KC3NHO at our August meeting. Dave AB3TE and Neil W3ZQI gave updates on hamfest plans for 2020. Owen KC3IJN demonstrated his Go-Kit for operating VHF on-the-go. Jim WB3DJU spoke of his recent Collins additions. Russ N3YI was the recipient of a folded-dipole antenna that was up for grabs. Bill N3QVA gave a brief on his efforts to operate HF with a hidden antenna.

July, 2019 meeting

Another fine turnout for our July meeting. Bill N3QVA and Frank W3FJM were welcomed to the meeting. Dave AB3TE gave an update on the hamfest held just weeks prior; again a successful event. Neil W3ZQI provided additional details on advertising and proposed some new approaches for the 2020 event. Dave was thanked for his outstanding effort as Hamfest Chairman. The evening presentation was by Dave AB3TE and Owen KC3IJN on using the MFJ Antenna Analyzer on a N9TAX 2m/70cm antenna which has been giving Owen trouble on 2 meters. The group then split into a number of smaller groups covering topics including license exams, ARRL Field Day, commercial digital broadcasting, logging software, the ICOM 7300, and remote operating.

June, 2019 meeting

We had a great turnout at the June, “pre-hamfest”meeting. Dave AB3TE gave an informative update on the BARC Father’s Day Hamfest. Volunteers are welcome–give two hours to help out the club and receive free admittance for the rest of the event. Bill N3WD gave an update on the Sharon Dobson Memorial club now with callsign W3DUH. and spoke of ARRL Field Day. Remember the upcoming W3LPL Open House. Joe W3TTT is teaching an amateur radio course as part of the Community College of Baltimore County (Hunt Valley) Life Enrichment series, coming up in a few months. Dave AB3TE demonstrated his 2-meter radio “go kit”, a padded suitcase with complete 2-meter FM radio station, including antenna and power supply.