Local Pittsburgh Club Attempts to Smear South Hills ARC
*** Setting the Record Straight ***
Notice: Any other individual, organization or agency referring to and/or using the name
"South Hills Amateur Radio Club" or "South Hills ARC" in whole or in part, without the express written consent
of South Hills Amateur Radio Club, is strictly prohibited in accordance with the trademark laws established in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
All parties knowingly assume all risk and legal liability by it's unauthorized use.
We take great pride in publicly providing "specific" documented information about the origins of our organization.
Unfortunately, there has been a lot of incorrect and mis-information propagated by a few individuals once associated with the organization.
Using propaganda, rather than fact, they posted several editorials on their club's website and in their club's newletter.
In each issue of their club's newsletter, "The WASHRAG", it states they "operated" as "South Hills Amateur Radio Club"
until "1998", but what they "purposely" withold from mentioning, is the fact they never owned the rights to the name or logo, nor
do they provide any specific information about the club's origins. Why? It's simple. Because they weren't founding members and they don't have a
clue as to the club's history!
Their club's former editor/president also claims his group was "founded in 1993". We would ask him, "Founded by who?". Either
he will ditch the question or have to tell the "truth"... and the "truth" is it was "us" (hi-hi). He also claims that
our group had its first meeting at "Eat-N-Park" in Bridgeville. Factually, our first meeting was held at "King's Restaurant"
in Heidelberg. Folks, if this fellow can't even get the facts straight about the location of the club's first meeting, can you really put any value
to anything else he might say? Especially to facts that occurred 2 years before he even joined the club! We have his original application on file.
He has no first-hand knowledge about the history of South Hills Amateur Radio Club.
It's amazing how this individual is so well versed in our club's history, when in fact he didn't join our group until (2) years later! Nevertheless,
he and his cronies ultimately failed to show any documented evidence to substantiate their warped allegations regarding the club's history, which actually occurred
a year or more before they had even joined the organization. Again, how do we know this? - Quite simple. We have their original applications on file! (hi-hi) :)
Some of these ridiculous allegations included, but were not limited to, "stealing (their) club name and logo". That's quite a severe
accusation made by individuals who were not even members of the organization at the time when the name and logo were created and notarized by "us"
Subsequently, they decided to put together a "character-smearing" campaign against the original founders of SHARC, publicized toward the
general public, other ham clubs, the ARRL and FCC. We on the other hand, quietly sat patient, biting our tongues and watched, holding our 1993 legal
documents at our side. If these fellows were so right, then why didn't they take legal action against us? It's because they didn't have a legal
leg to stand on. We knew it and they knew it too. As a result, they formed a "new" club, created a "new" name and unfortunately
continue to whine many years later.
Notarius says: ""but Jim had a habit of routinely changing the PL and the access codes, which made it difficult for some people to access the machine, needless to say."
First off, the repeater access codes were accessible only to the control operators and auto-patch subscribers. Eveyone knew that. Secondly, those codes could not be changed remotely. They were written into a look-up table of a Commodore 64
BASIC program that Jim wrote. The codes could only be changed if Jim changed the program, which was then programmed into an auto-boot cartridge that had to be taken to the repeater site and swapped out.
In one instance, we do remember having to change the auto-patch code because of a drunken ham who decided to ramble and give out the code over the air. That incident caused us a lot of grief by unidentified people thinking it was cute by repeatedly bringing up the auto-patch at 3AM in the morning and letting it hang until it timed out.
As for PL codes. The PL frequencies were created by mechanical reeds (RCA 500 Series Quiet Channel). To change PL frequencies, the reeds had to be changed at the site. Two reeds needed to be changed. One in the receiver and one in the transmitter. They could not be remotely changed. We only had (3) pairs of reeds. Also, we adopted the standard PL frequency of 103.50 Hz as recommended by the Western PA Repeater Council, to avoid inteference with the Meadville repeater on the same frequency. So, Ron Notarius, W3WN / WN3VAW is once
again, making false and uneducated statements that clearly shows that he doesn't know what he is talking about. Is anyone surprised? Just read his posts online and decide for yourself.
Being a repeater owner is not always a fun job. It requires a lot of responsibility, patience and unfortunately, on-the-air babysitting of immature Hams. Driving to the repeater site and "routinely" changing access codes and PL frequencies were NOT a routine habit of Jim's.
There was a clear agenda to try to discredit the founders and sway the club members to another repeater group where they lived.
Read his second post on the page. He conveniently left out a lot of information regarding his participation of questionale acts and getting caught. Read below what they did:
They contacted all of our members from our club roster and asked them to join their new club. A couple of these individuals went as far as to try to "hack" into our "members only" area and sent out anonymous emails that
contained obscenities and threats directed torward us. They also submitted vulgar and ethnic slur entries in our club's guestbook. Nice fellows huh? What they didn't
know, but soon found out, was that their "hits" to our site and anonymous emails were being tracked by several major cooperating Internet
Service Providers (ISP's), and subsequently they were caught and corrective action was taken by their ISP provider and/or employer. These facts are
"well" documented but you won't find these "facts" in their club newsletter under their column called "The Legal Stuff",
given their former newsletter editor/club president was one of the fellows who got busted using his own company's network to do this! (oops!). Another
individual who was busted, was an EMT and also associated with Pittsburgh's chapter of SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network). At the time he was also
the webmaster of an Amateur Radio VHF club (society) in Greater Pitsburgh. He said we gave Amateur Radio a "black eye". We think it is fair to
say he's the one doing all the punching.
Despite all of their antics, they stooped to an all time low when one of our co-founders passed away. Their former newsletter editor took it upon
himself to write an obituary about our co-founder and posted it on numerous ham radio websites and in their club newsletter, putting a "spin"
on the facts. He now proclaimed our co-founder as a co-founder of his new club. After spending several years harassing this co-founder, by trying to
publically humilate him and writing numerous offensive articles about him in their club's newsletter, he attempted to keep the "spin" going
even after our co-founder's passing. Click on the link to see the original obituary.
Ronald Notarius (W3WN / WN3VAW) wrote: "Ron Lentz N3WX, a former member of the Western Pennsylvania Hilltoppers W3PAH, a founder and former member of
the original South Hills ARC N3SH (now known as the Wireless Association of South Hills, Inc. N3SH/WA3SH), and a founder and officer of the South Hills
ARC Inc. KS3R passed away in the hospital on Thursday, June 13th. He had been hospitalized with a sudden illness for less than a week. Few other
details have been released at this time." Contributed by: Ron Notarius (WN3VAW)
We posted a correction on behalf of the Lentz family: "Correction: Ron Lentz - N3WX was a member and co-founder of South Hills Amateur Radio Club
which was legally founded in 1993 and not the Wireless Association of South Hills (WASH). Ron was the original holder of SHARC's first club call sign
- KB3BRF. Further information, including a tribute page to Ron, can be found at the following address: http://www.sharc.net 73, KS3R, South Hills ARC
- cc: Lentz Family." Contributed by: South Hills Amateur Radio Club, Inc. (KS3R)
As you see, South Hills Amateur Radio Club immediately issued a proper correction. Ron's family donated his callsign "N3WX" to Ron's club, the
South Hills Amateur Radio Club -- not WASH. N3WX is the callsign on the club's 6-meter repeater, the one that Ron financed.
You know, you can't always believe what you hear or read in a club newsletter. However on a positive note, we do support a statement in their club's
newsletter, that they are in no way associated with "South Hills Amateur Radio Club, Inc.". Considering their trend of behavior and conduct,
we see that statement as a very positive reflection on our organization.
We were also initially very dissapointed with the ARRL (Atlantic Division/Western PA officials) and FCC for not taking the initiative to inquire about
our side of the issue thereby giving the public the impression that they supported and condoned the inapproriate conduct of these fellows. Since then,
we have submitted copies of our documents to both the ARRL and FCC along with a detailed letter explaining our side of the matter with documented
evidence of this group's misconduct. Through subsequent correspondence, we believe both agencies now have a clear understanding as to the "
legal" and "ethical" merits of the matter and the disgraceful antics these people used against us.
We prefer to stand by our "well documented" record and not by the unfounded allegations made by a few individuals/cowards who resort to
desperate acts of threats and deception. For these reasons and more, we decided it was time to "isolate" ourselves from this group and
their "behind-the-scenes" behavior and continue to concentrate on our "original" theme .... "Amateur Radio".
So, if you hear comments from these individuals, simply say "Show Me the Money" (documents), and we are 100% confident,
that they won't and more importantly, can't, because the truth of the matter is that we have "all" of the "original" documents,
because we were the ones who were there from the very beginning and we were the ones who worked hard and put forth the efforts to create the club
and all "original" related documents! :)
As an organization, we would have rather preferred not to have had to comment on this issue and originally chose not to, but given the fact that so much mis-information had been propagated by these individuals, not only at the local level, but to the FCC and ARRL as well, we decided to set the record straight once and for all.