The Delta County Amateur Radio Society, abbreviated DCARS, was founded in 1964. Based out of Escanaba, Michigan the club has members spanning across the Little Bay de Noc region of the Upper Peninsula and over the years has seen change from simply bringing hams together for trade to providing event and emergency radio communications services in times of need.
Formerly known as the “Bay de Noc Radio Club,” the original purpose of the club’s founding was to coordinate an annual ham-fest for hams across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to participate in. The first of these events became reality in 1965 and have continued annually ever since. The ham-fest is used as a means to bring hams from across the region together to meet, trade equipment and spark the collaboration of hams among the greater community.
Five years later, the founders would begin to register the event as an officially sanctioned Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) hamfest, and as well as the club. It was around this time the current name was conceived.
Over the years the club has seen waves of growth and decline in membership, but the steady addition of events continued on. The club has monthly meetings to discuss local and club business, as well as a club breakfast at the Family Inn of Wells. There is a weekly project night for club members to get together and experiment, and some members have worked independently of the group to create new infrastructure for the public, such as the Danforth 2 meters and 440 repeater systems. Our club also takes part in the annual ARRL field day in the summer where members of the club are able to operate under the club callsign K8PL across any frequencies provisioned to amateur radio operators and make as many contacts with other hams around the world in one day as possible in abnormal, sub-optimal operating conditions.
In recent years the club in collaboration with the U.P. Steam and Gas Association obtained a plot in the U.P. State Fairgrounds and built a new club house and tower for all club members to use free of charge. Several club members have contributed equipment for use and display purposes. A few years after the building of the club house, members in collaboration with Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES, part of the ARRL) and the Escanaba Public Safety Department created the [DCARS mobile Emergency Communications station]. While it is intended for use as emergency communications when primary communications channels are not available, it has also been used to provide communications for community events since its creation.
If you are interested in joining DCARS, visit the Membership page for more information about applying for membership. If you have questions or comments about the club that our site has not provided, you may email us (dpalmgren[at]yahoo.com) or try to catch us on any of the [local area repeaters]. We operate club repeaters on 2 meters and 70cm, but you are likely to find DCARS hams on any that cover the local area.