Skyview Train Trip to W1AW

Well WC3O and the  Skyview Radio Society team made into big times when this past Wednesday Gordon West interview Cookie about their train trip to W1AW headquarters on HAMNATION podcast. Click on the link below to see the interview,.

1190 AM WOWO Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Fred Zieg had been searching for a way to promote the sale of Dayfan radios, one of the product lines sold at his store, Main Auto Supply. When Ross convinced him that for a mere $150 he could build a radio station above his store, WOWO was born.”


WOWO’s licensed power is increased to 50,000 watts (as powerful at any station in U.S.) on February 1, 1954. Transmitter site on U.S. 24 near Roanoke, Indiana with new Westinghouse HG50 transmitter. It beamed its signal north, south and east at night to avoid interfering with stations in the western United States .

You Too Can Be A Radio Star

Hey Steel City members….

We are looking for members to make recordings for our repeater announcements. The script is listed below and your voice will be put into our announcement rotation. Just use your computer to record your voice either as an WAV or MP3 file.  Email the file to me at N3LRG {at} W3KWH {dit} COM and I will do all the editing here.   You can do either one or both it up to you.  I will let you know when your announcement is going to play.



If you need help let me know and I will try to help you out.



Let’s celebrate the many years we have all had at the Great Gathering we call Hamvention. We also want to remember Ron Moorefield W8ILC who never missed a Hamvention and contributed to our club until his recent death.Let’s light up the airwaves with our remembrances of Hamventions of the past! See you on the air! K3LR, Tim Duffy and W8CI, Michael Kalter.

Here is the deal: 12 hour event, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDST on Saturday of Hamvention May 16, 2020. Operate CW or SSB on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters. The exchange is a signal report and first year you attended Hamvention. If you have never attended Hamvention you send 2020.

Send your score (number of QSOs) to within 5 days of the event. You can print a certificate on line via More details will appear on the Hamvention QSO Party web site being set up now.

Special bonus: W8BI, the club call of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA is the host of Hamvention) will be activated by designated DARA members from their home stations. You can add 10 points for each band/mode QSO with W8BI (12 available). So you can earn 120 bonus points (like having 120 additional QSOs).

Field Day 2020 — A Time to Adapt

Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty.

“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”

Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will impact just how — and even whether — you are able to participate in Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city park won’t work this year, then it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency communication demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to allow individuals and groups to adjust their participation and strategies in a way that still addresses their needs while being fun. Some possibilities:

  • Encourage club members to operate from their home stations on emergency power (Class E).
  • Use the club’s repeater as a means for individual participants to keep in touch during the event.
  • Family members interested in operating Field Day and unable to participate as part of a larger group may want to consider setting up a portable station in the backyard with a temporary antenna.


SADRC – San Antonio Digital Radio Club

With the growth of our very own digital network here in western Pennsylvanian I thought it would be good to check what other area of the country are doing for there own digital network.  You can check out the San Antonio Digital Radio Club Sunday nights right here on our very own Keystone-West room #60328 at Sunday nights at 8 pm. They link their network to ours for the net.

Check out their website:

The San Antonio Digital Radio Club is a Yaesu fusion based club with members at the ready to take their experiences and help teach others about the wonderful world of digital voice in ham radio. Digital voice has a lot to offer, but can be daunting and convoluted at first glance for new comers. Worry not, for they have been there too. The good thing is, you have fellow digital Elmers here to help where and when they can. Are you just looking to have a QSO? They are here for that too. 73!

SADRC Repeaters:

The repeaters in the group are owned and operated individually. They coordinate and work together to keep the systems linked and operating under the ideals of the SADRC.

  • N8IQT – Primary SADRC Repeater
    • Frequency: 442.750+
    • Mode: Fusion Digital Only
    • Location: Stone Oak
    • Notes:
  • N8IQT – 2M Repeater
    • Frequency: 147.16+
    • Mode: Fusion
    • Location: Stone Oak
    • Notes:
  • AE5JO – MMDVM Dashboard
    • Frequency: 442.5750+
    • Mode: MMDVM, Fusion, DMR, D-Sar
    • Location: Near 35/410
    • Notes:
  • W5NZK
    • Frequency: 441.8125+
    • Mode: Fusion
    • Location: I-35 near Live Oak
    • Notes:

SADRC Digital Networks:

  • Fusion
    • FCS Network: Server 003 Room 46
    • YSF Network: US – SADRC
    • Wires-X: 40324


Rail Riding Radio


Most of us have multiple hobby interests and it’s always fun when we can combine them into a single event. Besides being an Amateur Radio operator, I’m lucky enough to be a locomotive engineer on the North Shore Scenic Railroad out of Duluth, Minnesota. We use VHF radios for railroad work, which would seem to limit opportunities to combine ham radio with railroads. Not true! Our railroad is part of the Midwest’s premier Lake Superior Railroad Museum.While volunteering at the railroad, I’ve been involved in several radio projects. Recently, several local amateurs helped to design and install a repeater system for the 30 mile rail route. The system is used by train crews to communicate with each other as well as train dispatchers.

In 2011, I became curious as to how an HF station might operate from a moving passenger train. Many ham operators design and test their equipment to operate in harsh emergency conditions. Those operating conditions are never the same and never predictable. Operating “railroad mobile” would be another opportunity to adapt HF gear to an environment that was certainly not designed with long range communications in mind. A modest test involved a simple 20 meter wire attached to some existing insulators on a rail car’s roof. A small group of operators made some good contacts and seeded the idea for a railroad mobile club.

Presidential Portable

In 2012, a small group got together and created the North Shore Scenic Railroad Radio Club with call sign NSØSR. Our goal is to sponsor at least one mobile event each fall for an entire day, operating as a special event station. This gives us an opportunity to design and test new antennas while operating in a very temporary and restricting environment. Using backup power for multiple stations in close proximity was also required as only 34 V dc train line power is available.

These 100 year old 34 V wires didn’t run through the entire train and power was only available when the engine was operating. The portable generator allowed us to position our stations wherever it was convenient and to keep them operating when the train was idle.

On October 6, 2012, we operated from the old Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway Presidential Support Car W24. This early 20th century Pullman car has a large baggage area perfect for group gatherings. Large doors offer great views and fresh air. There is also a small seating area where operators can relax and soak in the “clickety-clack” of the ride as they enjoy a bygone era. Private state rooms were used for operating both 20 and 40 meter stations. These rooms allowed up to four operators to assist in radio traffic and logging while sitting in 1920s comfort. High back Pullman chairs and large windows transported them back to the era of elegant railroad travel.

The rail car’s roof has three heavy-duty steel conduits welded along the length of the 85 foot car. These were installed when the 105 ton passenger car underwent renovations in the beginning of the 20th century to include such amenities as electric lighting. Our group used this conduit to attach an “X” bracing of 2 × 3 inch pine boards. Nine of the X braces were installed along the coach, allowing for both the 20 and 40 meter dipoles. Air choke baluns were placed on both ends of the coax runs, which were dropped down the side of the coach into the radio rooms. Due to height restrictions, our dipoles were limited to being no more than 3 feet off the roof. The total antenna height above the rail head was around 18 feet.