Welcome to PCARS !

The Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society (PCARS) is located on the central east coast of Florida in the city of Melbourne. PCARS has been in existence for over 55 years and includes more than 125 members.


FLASH! The next PCARS Tailgate will be Saturday, November 28th

(Scroll down for details)


The 55th Annual Melbourne Hamfest is history!

Thanks to Greg Bowman (N4EN) - Hamfest 2020 Chair and
all who participated putting the Hamfest together and making it a success!

and congratulations to the Big prize winners:
Arthur Gibson (AE4AG - Thonotosassa, FL) - Signalink USB
Gary Liljegren (W4GAL - Melbourne, FL) - Icom IC2730A
Greg Pickard (Eustis, FL) - ICOM 7300


Many thanks to all of the PCARS members that helped in one way or another during the 2020 Hamfest, as well as those providing support from the ARRL, vendors, forum presenters, and simply those attending.

A big thanks to our tables lead Beth Wilson (KE0NRY) and treasurer Phil Tso (W7TSO). A lot of the up-front work regarding reservations and funds preceding the Hamfest was handled by them over a period of several months, and Beth also developed our 2020 table layout with input from others.

Our ARRL representatives helped put us on the map as the 2020 Southern Florida Section Convention, and helped with the card checking and getting PCARS listed as a special event station just before the event.

  • Mickey Baker (N4MB), Southeastern Division Director
  • Jeff Beals (WA4AW), Southern Florida Assistant Section Manager and Southeastern Division Assistant Director
  • Steve Elliott (KS4WA), from Tampa: QSL card checker
  • Dan Fisher (AI4GK), Public information Officer
  • Maty Weinberg (KB1EIB), Special Events
  • Judy Gardner (AA9GW), ARRL-VEC liaison


Prize acquisition lead: Don Winn (AF4Z)
Tailgate area: Tim Madden (KI4TG) lead and Ed Hutchinson (KK4ZWC)
Forums Lead: Walter Aucoin (WB5ZGA)
Special Event Station logistics: setup/teardown/scheduling:

  • Walter Aucoin (WB5ZGA)
  • Clyde Spencer (KD8AN)
  • Don Winn (AF4Z)

Many others assisted during portions of setup/teardown and operation of the station, too many to list including visitors. A special thanks for all those who got soaked during the teardown!

Ticket window:

  • Phil Tso (W7TSO)
  • Dee Kaminski (N4DEE)
  • Jim Alford (WB6RUF)
  • Mark Cheser (K2MRK)
  • Alan Baker (W1BQ)
  • Ed Hutchinson (KK4ZWC)

Jan Heise K4QD Consignment Table lead with help from:

  • Rodger Boogren (AK4MI)
  • Steve Whitsett (K4AOQ)
  • Danny Burdick (KE4OZD)
  • Bill Pinkerton (N4LXL)
  • Walter Aucoin (WB5ZGA)
  • Gary Lilegren (W4GAL)
  • Alan Baker (W1BQ)
  • Mark Cheser (K2MRK)
  • Scott Cronin (W4SO)

Bob Creswick - lead for the membership table and was instrumental in getting new banners we used this year (and they can be re-used!). Also helping Bob were:

  • Gary Liljegren (W4GAL)
  • Donald Purnhagen (K4ILG)

PCARS Forums presenters:

  • Gary Bishop (KD8AN) - VNA Antenna Analyzer
  • Charlie Sufana (AJ9N) - ARISS Update
  • Ed Johnson (W2PH) - WiresX/Fusion

Test session lead Judy Gardner (AA9GW) - In previous years we utilized nearby rooms which were not available this year due to COVID-19 issues so an off-site session was held with much success. Thanks to Judy and all the VE’s that participated and thanks to the VFW for use of their meeting room and Phil Tso W7TSO for facilitating that. And congrats to the new licensees and upgrades!

Talk-in lead: Dennis O’Quinn (K4CXX) --- Unfortunately we had a repeater failure and I had not listed a backup frequency on the website, so a lesson learned there! Thanks for working through that Dennis!

Load/Unload assistance for vendors: We utilized members and alumni of Wade Christian Academy. Thanks for being there again this year.

Website updates: Webmaster Dave Splitt (KE3VV) for getting the info on our website!

Social Media Presence: Dee Kaminski (N4DEE) – Thanks for getting us out there!

Banner production: Chuck Green (AD4ES) for getting those banners out on time!

Vendors, companies and organizations providing support and/or door prizes for the event:

American Radio Supply
DX Engineering
Ham Radio Outlet
MFJ Electronics
MRAM Engineering Surplus
Paradan Radio
Satellite Sam
Tedco Electronics

As you can tell, it takes a lot of people and effort to put together a successful event. Many thanks to all involved and I hope the 2021 PCARS Hamfest can be a much greater success!

73 Greg (N4EN)
2020 PCARS Hamfest Chairman


PCARS Monthly Meetings

PCARS club meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month. Coffee and Cake socializing starts at 6:45pm followed by the business meeting and program at 7:00pm. All licensed Amateur Radio Operators and prospective amateurs are invited to attend.

PCARS meetings are held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) facility located at 3201 Dairy Road in Melbourne. The VFW building is painted bright blue and there is a tall large diameter flag pole at the rear of the facility.  Parking on the grass is ample (but be careful not to park on the large mound that covers a former septic tank).

You can get to the VFW from US192 by driving south on Dairy Road for 1.2 miles (the VFW is on your left) or from Palm Bay Road by driving north on Dairy Road for 1.8 miles (the VFW will be on your right). Coffee and Cake socializing starts at 6:45 pm followed by the business meeting and program at 7:00 pm.




Test Site Location and Additional Testing Information

The PCARS class is free...



PCARS Quarterly Tailgates

All amateur radio operators and radio enthusiasts are invited to swap, sell, or purchase ham and electronics gear.  All amateur radio and related technical items and gear are welcome.

Unless the owner brings a table, usually most of the items are displayed on the trunk or tailgate (or in the trunk) of the owner's vehicle

Admission is free!

Location: Melbourne Fire Department Training Center, 1980 Hughes Road, Melbourne, FL.

Expected Duration:  Approximately two hours.

2020 Tailgate Date: November 28th

This event is informal (without the overhead and staffing needed for a hamfest).  Mark the dates on your calendar and join us for a few hours of wandering among the stuff, junk, and treasures (and take home those magic beans you have been seeking all your life or just enjoy a fun gathering with fellow hams without buying or swapping anything).

Important Legal Notice (because even hams have lawyers) - PCARS is hosting the event and provides a space for a vehicle (or table) and an event time. All transactions are between the seller and buyer or swappees (swappers?). PCARS is not a party to any transaction and has no responsibility for any aspect of a sale, condition of items, or any representations made by the seller. PCARS disclaims all liability with respect to the tailgate activities.

Organizer:  Peter Ricci, KN4ZGQ
                   PCARS Tailgate Swapfest Chairman

Want more info? Send an email to: KN4ZGQ

Are you interested in working Amateur Satellites?

You can get started with just a little equipment and any Amateur Radio license.




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PCARS Weather Net



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