W3HZU Keystone VHF Club
Having Fun and Fellowship since 1955
The Keystone VHF Club is a Fraternal and Technical organization dedicated to
the support of new Amateur Radio Operators in the Central Pennsylvania area. We
specialize in operation on the VHF and UHF range of frequencies, and have a very
large number of new Technician class licensees in our club.
Over the course of many years, several club members have documented the history of the Keystone VHF Club.
Shown below are some of the highlights of these early years. We would especially like to thank Ray Shaub,
W3AXC and Bob Riese, K3DJC for keeping our history alive. Ray is one of the original Charter Members and
Bob has been active in the club since 1958. If not for them, this information would have been lost.
It was the summer of 1955. This was the era of the Gonset Communicator and the government surplus VHF rigs.
All were either CW or AM modulation. The VHF bands, especially the 6 & 2 meter bands were becoming active
because there was surplus WW2 era equipment available that was relatively inexpensive. There were a few
hams that belonged to the York Amateur radio Club (YARC) who were interested in the VHF bands rather than HF.
YARC was basically an HF club. Sometime during the fall of that year, the word was passed around that there
was a new club being formed dedicated to operations in the VHF & UHF bands. So on an evening in
November 1955 (the exact date is lost to history), we met at the home of Art Hafer, W3OCI to see how many were
interested in forming a new VHF club. In the early part of 1956 we began meeting at the WSBA TV and FM studios
and the club was given the name "The Keystone VHF Club". The Club applied for and received a club license in
August or September that year with the call W3HZU.
In 1958 the approximately 26 members began to actively look for a location that would make a good club site.
One of our members knew the Condors family who ran a lumber mill and owned all of the ridge from our current
club site to the river. A price was agreed on and the land purchased from the Condors for $500. We needed a
tower and found a wind charger tower at Perkins Battery Company in West York. This was a traditional farmers
windmill tower and was completely disassembled at Perkins and then reassembled at the new club site. The next
thing we needed was an operating shack. A Civil Defense WW2 Aircraft Spotters Shack located on the property
of Edgar Faus Smith High School was obtained and moved to the club. Later that year, we found the Cinder
Blocks we built our current club house from. They came from an oil storage tank support foundation along
Richland Ave. We had to tear them down but the blocks were free. It took a little less than 2 years to clean
the blocks & start construction of the clubhouse. The club house was finished in 1960.
Currently we have a handful of projects on the bench. The biggest project that is most noteworthy
is our EME dish project. Steve Cruse, K3WHC has purchased and donated a 14 foot communications
dish to the club for use in a Moon bounce station. We have the foundation dug and poured, and the
dish assembled and mounted. We are currently configuring drive assembly that steers and controls
and working out the dish positioning next. Feedlines will need to be run and the dish feed horn
needs to be mounted. This station will operate on a frequency of 1296 MHz.
Second on the bench is the 6m yagi. We have purhchased and assembled and tuned a new M2 6M yagi.
The antenna is waiting to be installed on the twoer
We also have purchased, assembeld and tuned a new 6m repeater antenna that will need to be installed
above the 2M and 432 contest antennas
We support (via Yars) many different community events from trail races to street fairs.
Please visit our events page for a listing of our supported events and contact our YARS
manager Sandy Goodman.