Read the HF Voyager Post First: Click Here

Steel City members Who will make the first contact with the HF-Voyager remote drone ship using FT-8 digital mode.  So start looking for call sign KH6JF/mm on your 20 meter HF 14,074 Mhz feed.  This first Steel City member that makes a QSO with the drone will be honored here on the website. So warm up those transmitters and try reach out a robot ship out in the middle of the Pacific.  Once you make a contact just email Christine N3LRG the information and I will confirm it via the portal below.  You can use your own station or the club station.


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For More Information:

HF-Voyager Portal – Current location and most resent contacts

HF-Voyager Blog – Don’t believe the “Turn off” message

AE5X Blog with interest information – Some background infortmation

Hackaday.com – Original Hackaday article

The HF Voyager Project

UPDATE!  – W3PIE make contact with drone ship!
Who going to make the first contact from Steel City?

Click here for full size image

From the original HACKADAY.COM article:

Amateur radio is an extremely broad church when it comes to the numerous different activities that it covers. Most of the stories featuring radio amateurs that we cover here have involved home-made radios, but that represents a surprisingly small subset of licence holders.

One activity that captivates many operators is grid square collecting. The map is divided into grid squares, can you make contact with all of them? Land-based squares in Europe and North America are easy, those in some more sparsely populated regions a little less so, and some squares out in the ocean are nigh-on impossible. As an attempt to solve this problem, the Jupiter Research Foundation Amateur Radio Club have put an HF transceiver and associated electronics in a WaveGlider autonomous seagoing vehicle. The idea is that it will traverse the ocean, and you can work it, thus getting the contact you require to add those rarest of grid squares to your list.

The transceiver in question is a commercial portable one, an Elecraft KX3, and the brain of the payload is a Raspberry PI. It’s operating the FT8 mode, and will respond to a call on 14074 kHz in an automated fashion (Or it would, were its status page not telling us that it is offline due to power issues). It’s currently somewhere in the Pacific ocean, having been at sea now for a couple of months.

We spotted this through a spirited online discussion as to whether working an automated station is really a proper contact at all, with one amateur commenting that it might be a way for him to keep on going post mortem. But the ethics of the contact aside, it’s an extremely interesting project and one we hope eventually will come back online.

Thanks Sotabeams, via [AE5X].

Clink here for drone Current Location

FYI: Da Bums


DST is in place and “DA BUM” will meet on this coming Monday (2nd Monday of the of the month) at KINGS on Neville Island. So 11:00 seems to work.

Don’t forget to check your “life safety” monitors; smoke, fire and CO alarms.

73 de w3svj

Bicycle Mobile Hams of America

Thanks for expressing interest in combining bicycling with amateur radio, popularly called “ham radio”. I’m assuming that you are not a ham radio operator and that you’d like to know how to get started in this most useful mode of communication. (If you’re already a ham radio operator, read on. I’m quite sure you’ll agree with what I have to say.)

Check out their website:

FYI: The new VLF bands

Image result for 630 meter ham band

There was a lot of talk at our last meeting about the two new VLF ham band and what it will take to get on the air.  I found this while surfing and it answers a lot of questions.   You will need Microsoft Powerpoint or at least a viewer {link below} to see the presentation.

From the N6LF blog: SeaPac 2014 630m talk
On Saturday June 7th I gave a talk at SeaPac 2014.  You can download the PowerPoint presentation here: Download Sea-Pac 2014 Presentation .  I should add that the Flex Radio 1500 and 6000 series SDR’s can transmit on 630m.  I spoke with the K3 folks and while the K3 will not operate directly that low in frequency they have modified the software to be compatible with transverters.

For true LF operation read this: http://www.arrl.org/news/radio-amateur-s-sub-9-khz-vlf-signal-detected-across-the-atlantic

To view the powerpoint presentation you will need this viewer from Microsoft

Update: Allegheny County Emergency Coordinator

This is from the
Allegheny County Emergency Coordinator:
Update: February 26, 2018

March 10, 2018: Message Handling Class (WACOM)
1696 E Maiden St
Washington, PA, United States
10:00 am start

April 14, 2018: Red Cross Drill

May 6, 2018: Pittsburgh Marathon

May 13, 2018: Race For The Cure
Schenley Park

July 14 and 15, 2018: Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

July 28 and 29, 2018: Westmoreland Air Show
Latrobe, PA – Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

September 15, 2018: ADA Tour De Cure

September 30, 2018: Pittsburgh Great Race

Details for these events are announced as they become available on the Allegheny County ARES/RACES Public Service Net on Wednesdays at 9:00 pm on the 147.09 repeater (pl 88.5).

Served Agencies and event sponsors seeking communications support from Allegheny County ARES/RACES can contact the ARRL Allegheny County Emergency Coordinator, Bob Timmins AB3ED via email: allegheny@wpa-arrl.org.  Event requests from outside Allegheny County will be referred to the appropriate emergency coordinator.

Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 comparison

No Nonsense Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 Comparison
Rich, K0PIR

It’s time I did the Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 comparison. I’m not going to list my personal likes and dislikes. I think many of the early reviews of the Icom 7610 were premature in their criticism. I’ve had my IC-7610 for over a month (December 2017) and have used it daily, including in the last ARRL RTTY Roundup. I’m very pleased with the ergonomics. The Icom 7300 is an entry level radio, while the Icom 7610 is designed for DX’ing and contesting. Let’s look at the basic physical differences and a no-nonsense comparison. So, if you are considering the Icom 7610, hopefully this will help.

Read the full article here

Yaesu announced a new FT-818

Today Yaesu announced a new FT-817ND replacement is on the way — the FT-818!

The new Yaesu FT-818 incorporates all of the basic and attractive features of the ever-popular FT-817ND while providing upgrades desired by many existing owners.

A few notable improvements include:

  • Increased power output to 6W
  • Improved frequency stability
  • Larger battery capacity

More information and full specs available at: