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: 

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

Building the Dummy Load

By Ken, K4EAA

This is a take-off on a Dummy load that I’ve built in many different forms over the years.   It uses a number of non-inductive resistors in parallel to achieve 50 Ohms over a wide frequency range.  It is submerged in oil to allow somewhat extended operation during tuning or repair procedures.   The advantages are:  (1) It’s cheap,  (2) It provides a very pure 50 Ohm resistive load through 30MHz and beyond,  (3) You can easily add power measurement and rig testing capability.

This one is conservatively designed for rigs that have power output levels up to 130W, such as the Kenwood hybrid lineup.  I built it into a one-quart paint can, readily available at Ace Hardware for about 89 cents.  I’ve used it for about a year now.  A few hundred of your service rigs that you have sent to me have been loaded up into this dummy, and it is still like the day it was built.   I know, because I had to take it apart to take these photos!   It still measures 49.9 Ohms, even after all those rigs, all that power!

Read about the full project on his website:

Log Periodic Antennas – Podcast

“Log Periodic Antennas” is the topic of the current (January 3) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen…and learn!

A log-periodic antenna , also known as a log-periodic array or log-periodic aerial, isa multi-element, directional antenna designed to operate over a wide band of frequencies. It was invented by Dwight Isbell and Raymond DuHamel at the University of Illinois in 1958.

The most common form of log-periodic antenna is the log-periodic dipole array or LPDA, The LPDA consists of a number of half-wave dipole driven elements of gradually increasing length, each consisting of a pair of metal rods. The dipoles are mounted close together in a line, connected in parallel to the feedline with alternating phase. Electrically, it simulates a series of two or three-element Yagi antennas connected together, each set tuned to a different frequency.

Major Changes to ARES

Major Changes to ARES and OO Programs

The ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group has completed its two-year project to re-tool the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to meet the requirements of partner agencies, nationwide. The new program will consist of ARES Members who are “organized, trained, qualified and credentialed” to better serve our partner agencies.

The new program features three levels of ARES membership, which are matched by three levels of required training and certification. The training requirements will be met by members completing free, online courses including NIMS IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800 and the newly revised ARRL EC-001, which will be provided free of charge to ARES members. Additional training is required for all ARES leadership appointees (“*ECs”).

The ARRL Board has opened a public comment period which runs until October 31. ARRL requests your comments to be sent through your Section Emergency Coordinator <> and Section Manager <> only. The Board will review all comments and vote on the final program at the January 2019 ARRL Board Meeting.

The current OO program will end, and be replaced by a new Volunteer Monitoring program, administered by ARRL HQ, working closely with FCC. All current OOs will be invited to apply for the new program, which will concentrate on major enforcement issues the FCC requests. The goal is to provide more rapid enforcement response to significant, developing on-the-air violations rather than more minor operating and technical issues.

Much more information about these developments is available online at and in upcoming issues of QST.

Hamshack Hotline – Now on Line

Steel City ARC  is now online with Hamshack Hotline
Feel Free to give the club a call:

Call 4547 for the Club House
Call 4591 for the Repeater Hut

Join Us On the Conference Bridge:

Western PA Area conference bridge at 337 with no pin needed
Steel City Private Bridge: 339 See membership page for pins

Check out the WESTERN PA Conference Bridge on
Tuesday Nights around 7:30 PM

Karl and myself have each purchase an Cisco Voice Over IP phone from Ebay/Amazon.  We then got them sign up for telephone numbers from the Hamshack Hotline group.  Hamshack Hotline {“HH”} is a private telephone network for Hams by Ham Radio Operators.  You must be an ham radio operator to get assign for an HH telephone number.  There is a strictly non-commercial use clause in the operating rules, so you will never get any telemarketers or political call on this phone service.  The best part of all this is that it is total free.  Yes, you have to buy an telephone but there no monthly cost involved in this phone service.  You can call another ham directly leave a voicemail or even join a conference call with others hams.   HH was created with the thinking of ECOMM use.  It make a great back up device for emergency communications.  It works where ever you have Internet all you need is a cable, fiber, or even over an Internet mesh network.  People that have gotten and Cisco wifi adapters for the phone and have them work over their car Internet hot spots. Other people have been hooking up their repeaters to HH to let them talk on the air.

If you are interested in the Hamshack Hotline reach out to Karl, WA3VXJ or Christine, N3LRG to find where to purchase the refurbished Cisco IP Phone.   We have purchase them from Amazon and Ebay and both have worked and they have cost from $20 to $30. Please make sure you reach out to the sellers to make sure the phones are unlocked.   Since most home internet routers are not “Power over Ethernet” you will need to pick up an AC adapter or an “Power over Ethernet” injector.  The current acceptable phone models are Cisco SPA-303, SPA-504, SPA-525.  You can also get the Cisco IP Adapter SPA-112 which is an adapter that lets you use any current touch tone phone on the HH network.

Give us a call at the Steel City club house on the Hamshack Hotline phone number # 4547

For more information:

Ham Shack Hotline Homepage:

Here is an video where they are talking about the Hamshack Hotline.

Spaceflight’s SSO-A…An Amateur Radio Satellite Bonanza

SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base has no fewer than seventeen Amateur Radio satellite payloads.  A list of the known Amateur Radio missions, websites and their downlink frequencies is as  follows. Which is currently scheduled for Dec 2, 2018.

From the SSO-A Website

We’re launching our first fully dedicated rideshare mission, dubbed SSO-A SmallSat Express, later this year aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Not only does it represent the company’s first purchase of an entire Falcon 9 to accommodate the growing number of customers seeking affordable rideshare options to launch their spacecraft into orbit, it’s also an historic launch:

It’s the largest single rideshare mission from a US-based launch vehicle to date.

Spaceflight has contracted with 64 spacecraft from 34 different organizations for the mission to a Sun-Synchronous Low Earth Orbit. It includes 15 microsats and 49 cubesats from both commercial and government entities, of which more than 25 are from international organizations from 17 countries, including United States, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Germany, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Poland, Canada, Brazil, and India.

Downlink 437.250 MHz


Downlink on 437.00MHz and a transponder Uplink on 1263.500MHz
have been coordinated. A revised downlink frequency of 145.895 MHz has been coordinated for FM voice and 1k2/4k8 BPSK telemetry. The ESA has released a video of the satellite’s development:


Downlink 145.900 MHz for FM repeater 67 Hz and digipeater downlink and for telemetry and 435.340 MHz for repeater and digipeater uplink

Fox 1C (Fox 1Cliff)

Downlink 145.920 MHz for FM voice and  DUV data and Uplinks on 435.300 and 1267.300 MHz


Downlink 145.840 MHz and transponder downlink passband on 145.855-145.875 MHz with an inverting uplink on 435.100 – 435.120 MHz


Downlink TLM beacon 435.835 MHz, FM Repeater 436.225 MHz Data 2404.000 MHz. FM Repeater Uplink 145.980 MHz


Downlink 435.635 MHz


Downlink 437.450 MHz


Downlink 145.860 MHz and 2400.150 MHz


Downlink 437.250 MHz


To avoid a frequency clash with another mission, a revised downlink
frequency of 145.950 MHz has been coordinated for 9k6 BPSK


Downlink 435.275 MHz


Downlink 437.150 MHz (A) and 437.475 MHz (B)


Downlink 437.275 MHz has been coordinated


Downlink 437.625 MHz and 2402 MHz


Downlink 437.775 MHz and 2410 MHz


Downlink 437.425 MHz

[ANS thanks AMSAT-UK for the above information.]

ATV – Fast-Scan Amateur Television

ATV base station block diagram

From the ARRL website….


Amateur Television is a great way to combine ham radio with other hobbies, such as RC model airplanes and model rocketry.  Amateur Radio can be used to send video from a remote camera back to the operator over long distances, provided the path is line of sight. For information on other ways to work with images over radio, check the Image Modes page.


 Amateur Television from Model Planes and Rockets 
Joe Bottiglieri, AA1GW, QST Sept. 2000, pp. 41-44

 An Introduction to Amateur Television – Part 1
QST April 1993, pp. 19-23

 An Introduction to Amateur Television – Part 2 
QST May 1993, pp. 43-47
The basic ATV Station

An Introduction to Amateur Television – Part 3
QST June 1993, pp. 35-41

DVB-T A Solution for ARES Television Operations
QST June 2015 pp. 42-44