RUNNING FURY – SPRING  SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST

THE A.R.R.L.
WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION
SPRING  SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST

DATE:  6 APRIL ,2019
RUN TIME:  0930-1200 HRS LOCAL TIME
LOCATION: ALL COUNTIES IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION

THE SPRING 2019 SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST WILL BE A FLOOD AND ICE WATCH EXERCISE. ALL COUNTIES WITHIN THE SECTION HAVE WATERWAYS (RIVERS, TRIBUTARIES AND STREAMS) THAT CAN BE PRONE TO FLOODING FROM ICE JAMS, SNOW AND ICE MELT, SEVERE WEATHER, HEAVY STORMS,ETC.

THE AFOREMENTIONED WATERWAYS CAN HAVE SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT WHEN FLOODING OCCURS CAUSING SERIOUS THREATS TO INFRASTRUCTURE, PERSONAL SAFETY AND PROPERTY. HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THESE HIGH WATER PRONE AREAS CAN BE INVALUABLE FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & ACTION PLANS SHOULD THE NEED ARISE.

ALL ARES UNITS WITHIN THE WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION ARE REQUESTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EXERCISE. SHOULD THERE BE ANY SCHEDULE CONFLICTS THAT WOULD INTERFERE WITH FULL GROUP PARTICIPATION, IT IS REQUESTED THAT SOME TYPE OF PARTICIPATION BE MADE BY AVAILABLE OPERATORS.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES WILL BE PART OF THE EXERCISE:
1- WATERWAYS OBSERVATION AND REPORTING BE MADE BY FIELD OPERATOR TEAMS
2- THREE OR FOUR EMERGENCY SHELTER VISITS BE MADE BY FIELD OPERATORS
3- NWS PITTSBURGH WX3PIT WILL BE CONDUCTING SKYWARN OPERATIONS
4- SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY K3MJW WILL BE THE SECTION HF STATION WITH TWO-WAY RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC.

ACTIVITY 1—FIELD TEAMS LOCATE WATERWAYS KNOWN TO BE FLOOD PRONE… OBSERVE AND REPORT WATERWAY CONDITIONS BY SIMULATED RADIO TRAFFIC TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL NET CONTROL STATIONS VIA UHF/VHF SIMPLEX OR REPEATER. FIELD OPERATORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO USE SIMPLEX COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN TEAMS.

ACTIVITY 2—FIELD TEAMS WILL VISIT THREE OR FOUR EMERGENCY SHELTERS THAT WOULD BE OPERABLE DURING A HIGH WATER SCENARIO. FIELD TEAMS REPORT SIMULATED TRAFFIC TO THEIR NET CONTROL STATION WITH ANY SHELTER REQUESTS,ETC. SUCH TRAFFIC WILL BE RELAYED TO K3MJW VIA RADIOGRAM AND A REPLY SERVICED BACK TO FIELD TEAMS AT SHELTERS  BEFORE MOVING ON TO THEIR NEXT LOCATION.

ACTIVITY 3—NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WX3PIT WILL CONDUCT SKYWARN NET OPERATIONS DURING THE EXERCISE. WX3PIT WILL CONTACT ALL COUNTIES SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE EXERCISE FOR WEATHER RELATED REPORTS. IT IS PREFERRED THAT WEATHER REPORTS TO WX3PIT BE REAL TIME AS NOT TO CONFUSE THE EXERCISE.

ACTIVITY 4—SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY K3MJW WILL BE THE SECTION HF STATION ACCEPTING AND RELAYING HF RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC DURING THE EXERCISE. ALL RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC WILL BE TWO-WAY TO HELP PARTICIPATING COUNTIES GET FAMILIAR WITH HANDLING MESSAGE TRAFFIC. REMEMBER- EMERGENCY SUPPORT COMMUNICATIONS RELY UPON OUR BEING PROFICIENT IN ACCURATELY GETTING THE MESSAGE THROUGH IN TIME OF NEED.

FIELD OPERATOR SAFETY
-THE SAFETY OF FIELD OPERATORS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE DURING THE EXERCISE.  BE OBSERVANT OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS WHETHER ALONG ROADWAYS, WATERWAYS,SHELTERS,ETC.
-OBSERVE AND REPORT WATERWAYS FROM A SAFE DISTANCE. THERE IS NO NEED TO BE AT THE WATER’S EDGE.
-USE COMMON SENSE SAFETY WHEN ALONG ANY ROADWAYS.
-ALL FIELD OPERATORS SHOULD WEAR SAFETY VESTS AND COUNTY ID (IF SUPPLIED)

RADIO OPERATIONS NOTES:
-FIELD TEAMS USE VHF/UHF SIMPLEX OR REPEATERS…EXPERIMENT WITH SIMPLEX BETWEEN FIELD TEAMS.
-K3MJW WILL UTILIZE 75M 3.983 KHZ FOR RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC…FOLLOW THE DIRECTION OF K3MJW OPERATOR FOR INBOUND OR OUTBOUND TRAFFIC TO AVOID CONFUSION.
-WX3PIT WILL UTILIZE 2M REPEATERS PLUS 75M 3.975 KHZ +/_ SEVERAL Hz FOR DISTANT COMMUNICATIONS.
-NEW THIS SPRING WILL BE THE USE OF DMR DURING THE EXERCISE…THE WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA TALKGROUP IS 31422. GIVE IT A TRY, DMR IS COMING ON STRONG.

SEE ATTACHED ICS-205 FOR FREQUENCY INFORMATION

THIS SPRING EXERCISE IS DESIGNED TO:
A- EXPAND FIELD OPERATING CAPABILITIES IN SIMPLEX COMMUNICATIONS
B- BECOME BETTER FAMILIARIZED IN RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC HANDLING
C- BETTER DEVELOP PREPAREDNESS PLANS FOR SEVERE WEATHER OCCURRENCES WHEN RIVERS,TRIBUTARIES AND STREAMS OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS DUE TO HEAVY RAINS, WINTER ICE AND THAW,ETC.
D- PREPARE TO WORK WITH SERVED AGENCIES SUCH AS EMERGENCY SHELTER OPERATORS. COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
E- EXPLORE THE USE OF DMR OPERATING ON THE W.PA. 31422 TALKGROUP

AN AFTER ACTION REPORT SUBMITTED BY EMERGENCY COORDINATORS IS REQUESTED BY 20 APRIL…THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN A PUBLIC SERVICE REPORT…LET’S SEE HOW WE DID, WHAT WORKED WELL, WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT,ETC. WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM AND CAN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE EXERCISE!
73 AND PRESS ON.

STEVE FAZEKAS   K3FAZ
W.PA.  ASEC & ASM

K3FAZ (at) ARRL (dit) NET

THIS DOC: SPRING-S.E.T.-OUTLINE-WPA.pdf

ICS: 2019-SPRING-S.E.T.-ICS-205-2.pdf

New ARES Simplex Frequency Plan Approved!

NOTE!  Every ham should have these simplex frequencies programmed into their mobile and HT radios.  It is good to be prepared before the emergency.

Updated with the correct frequency for Washington and Fayette Counties

New ARES Simplex Frequency Plan Approved!

At the February 9th WPA Cabinet Meeting, the proposed WPA ARES Simplex Frequency Plan was unanimously approved. This new suggested frequency plan improves our use of scarce frequencies, and greatly enhances ARESMAT (mutual aid) operations, by ensuring that every radio has every frequency pre-programmed into it for the entire section!

Four simplex frequencies were chosen to meet the following criteria:

  • specified as Simplex Channels in the WPRC 2-meter Band Plan\
  • at least 30 kHz separation from each other
  • at least 30 kHz separation from any repeater input or output frequency (as specified in the WPRC Band Plan)
  • at least 30 kHz separation from the 146.52 MHz National Calling Frequency

Additionally, they were chosen to align on 30 kHz-spaced channels to facilitate their availability on older radios, including ancient crystal-controlled radios and 1970s-vintage synthesized rigs. The result provides maximum compatibility with 90% or more of all radios that might be pressed into service.

Here are the counties and recommended frequencies:

146.55 “TAC-5”
Allegheny, Clarion, Clearfield, Greene, Huntingdon, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Warren

146.58 “TAC-8”
Beaver, Blair, Clinton, Franklin, Jefferson, McKean, Venango, Westmoreland

147.54 “TAC-4”
Armstrong, Cambria, Cameron, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Lawrence, Mifflin

147.57 “TAC-7”
Bedford, Butler, Centre, Crawford, Elk, Indiana, Washington

More information can be found on the ARRL WPA Section website:
http://www.arrl.org/sections/view/western-pennsylvania

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:
https://www.skywarn.org/

THE $50 HAM: GETTING YOUR TICKET PUNCHED

From: https://hackaday.com WEBSITE

Today we start a new series dedicated to amateur radio for cheapskates. Ham radio has a reputation as a “rich old guy” hobby, a reputation that it probably deserves to some degree. Pick up a glossy catalog from DX Engineering or cruise their website, and you’ll see that getting into the latest and greatest gear is not an exercise for the financially challenged. And thus the image persists of the recent retiree, long past the expense and time required to raise a family and suddenly with time on his hands, gleefully adding just one more piece of expensive gear to an already well-appointed ham shack to “chew the rag” with his “OMs”.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:
https://hackaday.com/2019/03/08/the-50-ham-getting-your-ticket-punched/

Congratulations to WA3TTS

Congratulations to Mike Sapp, WA3TTS, on his contest winning article on low frequency, reversible, small lot LF and MF, EWE antennas. Mike’s project and presentation was awarded 2nd place in the ARRL/QST 2018 antenna competition. Really good “stuff.”  Mike formally held the office of vice president and president of the Steel City ARC.
de
Nathan
W3SVJ
  • Second Prize: “LF/MF Reversible EWE Antennas for Small Lot, Weak Signal Applications” by Michael Sapp, WA3TTS.   – See the April Edition of QST

PGH Marathon – Amature History

Here are pictures from the very first Pittsburgh City Maraton dating back to 1985.  It is a reminder that the maraton take almost 100 ham radio operators every year to volunteer their time to have a safe maraton.  Below are the ham that help out on that very first maraton.  This years marathon take place Sunday May 5th, 2019.  again they will be asking us for volunteers to find out more information or to pick your spot on the race course check out the 2019 Maraton website for volunteers:  http://marathon.central.org/

1985

 click on images for full size picture

Tree Down – Power On Backup

Road is open again and power is back on!

With the wind storm on Sunday night there is a tree down on the driveway.  Its currently hanging on the telephone pole wires.  Unfortunately the tree took out our power lines so we are running on the generator and backup batteries.   For the time being the remotes will be down and Echolink will be intermittent. Duquesne Light had been notified but there are a lot of outages right now.  Do to power lines laying on the driveway please stay away for now.

 

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. 
73,

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..
Christine
N3LRG
The Raspberry PI Foundation: