WASHfest 2019


WASHfest 2019
The South Hills Hamfest
Now in our TWENTY FOURTH big year!


Sunday, February 24th, 2019
8:00 AM until 3:00 PM Rain or Shine (or Snow!)
Home Economics Building, South Park
3735 Buffalo Drive, South Park Township, PA 15129
Behind the Allegheny County Police Station on Brownsville Road
Talk-In on 146.955(-) and 443.650(+) 131.8 PL

For more information: http://www.n3sh.org/Hamfests/2019/WASHFest%202019%20Flyer%201.pdf

SKYWARN® – Presentation

On April 24th promptly at 8 pm the Steel City ARC will be hosting a presentation about SKYWARN.  This presentation is a talk about what is SKYWARN organization and how ham radio is importance to the National Weather Service.  This will be a good meeting to learn about the service and and if you want to take the next step and become a train weather spotter.


SKYWARN® is a National Weather Service (NWS) program developed in the 1960s that consists of trained weather spotters who provide reports of severe and hazardous weather to help meteorologists make life-saving warning decisions. Spotters are concerned citizens, amateur radio operators, truck drivers, mariners, airplane pilots, emergency management personnel, and public safety officials who volunteer their time and energy to report on hazardous weather impacting their community.

SKYWARN® spotter reports provide vital “ground truth” to the NWS. They act as our eyes and ears in the field. Spotter reports help our meteorologists issue timely, accurate, and detailed warnings by confirming hazardous weather detected by NWS radar. Spotters also provide critical verification information that helps improve future warning services. SKYWARN® Spotters serve their local communities by acting as a vital source of information when dangerous storms approach. Without spotters, NWS would be less able to fulfill its mission of protecting life and property.

Check out there website:

Ham Radio & Raspberry PI

Don, N3BMT sent me an email and I thought it would make a good posting for the site since he ask alot of good questions.  So below is what Don sent me and my reply about Raspberry PI micro computer.  How to program it and some software for Ham Radio.


Hi Christine, 
 I have loved playing with “electrical stuff” since I was a kid and still do. As old as I am I still want to learn. Therefore the reason for this email .  I got a Raspberry pi to play with and maybe learn something. I haven’t got into it very much yet but looking on the net it appears it can be programmed in different languages??? 
My questions to you are: 
Which language do you use? 
Is it an easy language to use?

Are there any good web sites that share their programs? 
I have been using Arduino for my stuff – code reader, antenna
switching, frequency generator and freq readout for old Kenwoods. 
I know your busy so I apologize for bothering you with this but you
are the only person I know that uses the pi. 
Thanks in advance for any help. 

Don Link, N3BMT

Hello Don,
Good for you, your never too old to learn at least that is the way I feel. You ask some very good question.  First the Raspberry PI computer is a real computer you can run anything you want on it.  I did a little quick looking around the web and found sites that will tell you how to install Basic, Fortran, and even Cobol on the PI.   But to answer your question the most popular programing language for the PI is Python by far.  You can find a lot of examples on the web for Python usage for the PI.  Most the the PI projects I have done has been written in Python.  Below I have a couple of example on my quick search.
Then second most popular programing language is “C” which you got a good start with the Arduino projects that you have worked on. You cant go wrong with C and since C compiles to machine code it run fast also. But like I said the Raspberry PI is a real computer that you can down load any programing language with.
I have also included some links to Ham radio related software and since the PI was built for hooking things up to it I have also included a link to Adafruit hardware site which does a very good job at creating software that will work with their hardware.  I hope this helps you get started..
The Raspberry PI Foundation: 

2m Repeater Update

The technical committee has been dealing with this noise issue on the old Kenwood 2m repeater for about two weeks now.  After cleaning up several noise sources up on the hill it has been determine that the receiver on the Kenwood repeater  is dying.  We currently have the Yaesu system fusion hooked up on the 2m side right now.  Since it is using it internal controller we current do not have a connection to the Echolink machine.  So for the near future Echolink will be down.   Currently the Yaesu is running in FM mode and the club will determine at the next business meeting if it will be switched to dual analog/digital mode.

Championship Radio Foxhunting News

2019 championships logoThe Nineteenth USA National ARDF Championships
Near Raleigh, North Carolina, July 28 – August 4, 2019

Plans are well under way for 2019’s USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships.  Members of the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK) have been laying out courses, verifying maps and making other plans for a full week of radio-orienteering fun.  The 2019 USA Championships are being combined with the biennial championships of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (North and South America).  Radio-orienteers from all parts of the country plus visitors from abroad are expected to attending.

For more information check out the website

AMSAT 50th Anniversary

The 2019 AMSAT 50th Anniversary Symposium will be held at The Hilton Arlington in Arlington, VA, in the Washington, DC Metro Area on October 18, 19, and 20, 2019.

The Hilton Arlington is located in the heart of the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, VA. Connected to the Ballston Metro Station, the hotel offers easy and effortless access to Washington, DC’s top tourist destinations like the National Mall, Smithsonian museums and historic monuments. The hotel is six miles from Reagan National Airport and the National Mall.

Keep checking ANS and the AMSAT Website for further updates and information, including hotel reservation details.

Check out the AMSAT website for more information.


    The Tuesday February 19th business meeting of the Steel City Amateur Radio Club will be held at Alexion’s Bar & Grill rain or shine !! Alexion’s is located on 141 Hawthorne Street off of Noblestown road between Carnegie and Greentree. The entrance onto Hawthorne Street off of Noblestown Road is across from Chartiers Cemetry. The meeting will start at 8:00 PM and you can arrive anytime before hand and enjoy a selection from the menu or your favorite beverage. Alexion’s is located by the Rook rail yard of the W&LE railroad. 

Home Page & Menu: http://alexions.com/

Google Map Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/X8sfFkH86S52