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The University of Scranton Amateur Radio Club, W3USR, Got a Facelift


With a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) for almost $200,000 and private donations of more than $20,000, the University of Scranton Amateur Radio Club in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has installed new amateur radio equipment and antennas for its station, W3USR.

The station is now located on the fifth floor of the university's Loyola Science Center and features state-of-the-art operating positions with heavy-duty controllers, all-mode transceivers, speakers, desktop microphones, and other components that allow students to operate on amateur radio frequencies. A 40-foot tower with a high-frequency antenna for 14, 21, and 28 MHz has been installed, as well as VHF/UHF satellite and microwave antennas -- some with rotating mounts.  

The ARDC grant was awarded to the university's Physics and Engineering Department Assistant Professor Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, and the private donations were made by Dr. Mary Lou West, KC2NMC; Ed Hayes, N6XEM, and Jeff DePolo, WN3A.   Dr. Frissell said the impact of the new station means everything to the club. "When you can bring a group of students into a new facility like this one, the impact makes a lasting impression that will allow them to fully experience amateur radio," he said.  

Dr. Frissell added that the first radio contacts have been made, and the station is working on 10, 15, and 20 meters with additional installation work remaining. An additional room on the same floor holds equipment and antenna connections and, will be used as a lab for controlled HamSCI space research projects. The new capabilities of W3USR will also allow for ongoing and future HamSCI research projects to be undertaken by Dr. Frissell and university students.  

W3USR was founded in the spring of 2020 with a mission to educate students on the ionosphere and the importance of radio communication. The club regularly participates in the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program.



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