Penn State Amateur Radio Club








History
The Penn State Amateur Radio Club was founded at the University park campus in 1909. Along with other University sponsored clubs around the country, it helped in advancing the art of radio communication. Following the Radio Act of 1912, it was assigned the experimental callsign W8XE. Here's a chart with the callsigns the club has used.
Years Callsign Purpose
Amateur
1909-1912 8XE Experimental (first callsign, self-assigned)
1912-1930 W8XE Experimental
1930-1946 W8YA Technical and Training
1946-1950 W3YA Amateur club station
????-???? WA3HCG Amateur club station
????-???? KE3ITU amateur club station
1972- K3CR Amateur club station
Army
1924-1932 W8XE/W8YA Local station, Army amateur Radio System
1932-1934 WLQJ/W8YA District net control, 3rd Corps area
1934-1935 WLMO/W8YA Special Army assignment. Official Army contact with Second Admiral Byrd Expidition to South Pole (Little America).
1934-1947 WLMA/W8YA Army net control No. 2, alternate to WLM, chief signal office, US army AARS.
1947-1949 ALMA/W8YA Special Army Assignment. Official army and Norweigan embassy station, as principal contact with LI2B, expedition KON-TIKI, Peru to Polynesia.
1951-???? A3YA/W8YA Army MARS, Second Army, Pennsylvania.

Most of the history of the PSARC has been forgotten. Thankfully, the QSL cards tell the story of the club well enough to piece together some of the history. Click the thumbnail to see a larger version.
Time period Thumbnail Description
1950's The oldest QSL card on record. This card shows an image of the original Old Main administrative building, with the amateur and MARS callsigns in use at the time displayed in red.
1970's A simple QSL card with only the signal report and other things on the front. Of note is that this card has a typo on the front, stating that the station is in "Centre Country".
1990's This card was in use during the 90th annaversary of the founding of the club, and shows the Nittany Lion shrine on the front.
2000's The latest QSL card in use. Returning to a simple design, this card is simply a smaller version of the version used during the 1970's, but with the newer callsign and smaller boxes.

Some more historical documents have been recently uncovered while cleaning the shack. Here's some links to scans of those. More may be added as they are found:

History of the Club: 1909-1972 [pdf]
Letter to the FCC from PSU [pdf]
Original liscense for the club's K3CR callsign [pdf]