Flex Radio Demo

There will be a Flex Radio demo this Wednesday night Oct 24th at the Steel City club house at 7:00 PM promptly. Bob Green, N3RDG will be bringing up his Flex Radio Maestro unit to the club which will be hooked up at his Flex 6400 radio back at his house. The radio which will be live on the air and after the demo members will get a chance to operate it.   Bob will be showing us how it is used and all the unique features of of an SDR radio.  Bob will not only show us the Maestro interface but also the interface that can be brought up on the Laptop or Computer screen.

VE Testing Session – Oct 6th 3PM

Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 3:00 PM
Dead line for preregistration will be:
Sept 24, 2018

*Please note the ARRL website is wrong The testing session is at 3 PM


To make sure we have enough testing materials on hand, and that you don’t have to wait for us to get ready we are requiring that people interested taking the exam preregister. If you have any question about the testing or to preregister please call Art at the phone number below.

Art Mueller  – WA3BKD
Phone: 724-356-7381 

Check out our VE Testing webpage for more information… 



Oct 19-21, 2018
Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is the largest Scouting event in the world. It is held annually the third full weekend in October. JOTA uses amateur radio to link Scouts and hams around the world, around the nation, and in your own community. This jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby amateur radio operator’s ham shack. Many times you can find the hams will come to you by setting up a station at your Scout camporee, at the park down the block, or perhaps at a ham shack already set up at your council’s camp.

When Is It?
Jamboree-on-the-Air is held the third weekend in October. There are no official hours, so you have the whole weekend to make JOTA contacts. The event officially starts Friday evening during the JOTA Jump Start and runs through Sunday evening.

For more information: https://www.scouting.org/jota/
Question for the club… Do we want to participate?


Technician License Review Class

Technician License Review Class
Two Day Sept 29th & Oct 6th

Steel City Amatuer Radio Club will be hosting a two day Technician License review class on Saturdays Sept 29th and Oct 6th from 9 AM – 3 PM.  With a VE testing session immediately after the Oct 6th class at 3pm.  Since this is a review we will be going over the question pool covering the different sections of of the testing materials to help you understand it better and to help you pass the amature radio Technician license.  You are excepted to have already purchase the training material and have reviewed it before the first class.  Then bring any question you might have about the question pool to the class so it can be gone over.

  • NOTE – The question pool was updated recently please make sure your training material is dated after July 1, 2018.  This will make sure you will have the most recent question pool.

To sign up for these two training sessions the dead line is Sept 24, 2018.  Please contact Art Mueller at (724) 356-7381 to sign up for this class or if you have any question about this review class.

Click Here


What Is A ‘Go kit’?

Special Thank To: http://www.harc.net/ 
Huntsville Amateur Radio Club

Go here for the the original
interesting document:


A Go-Kit is made up of a portable “Amateur radio” station and assorted personal gear that can quickly be assembled to respond to a “Call To Service”. What the kit will consist of depends on the type of incidents being responded to and potential extent of the events.

  1. The best kit for you may not fit a “canned” list, but should be based upon your operating mode, experience and local conditions.
  2.  A typical “go” kit should sustain a day of continuous operation and be easily supplemented for overnight or weekend trips. The bare essentials are a 2-meter or dual-band radio, some sort of “gain” antenna, auxiliary power source, writing materials, comfort and safety items. You can do a lot with a minimum kit, if you plan its contents carefully. There is risk of not having something you may
    need if you go “too” light, but obvious “bells and whistles” should stay home
  3.  A Go-Kit radio is usually capable of more transmitter power than a HT. It is good practice to use no more transmitter power than required, but it is also necessary to have enough power available to complete the communications. The additional transmit power does not have to be utilized, but if needed, it is there.
  4. The ARRL ARES Field Resources Manual provides excellent guidance on “Go” kits.

SOTA – Summits On The Air

Summits on the Air

SOTA has been carefully designed to make participation possible for all Radio Amateurs and Shortwave Listeners – this is not just for mountaineers! There are awards for activators (those who ascend to the summits) and chasers (who either operate from home, a local hilltop or are even Activators on other summits).

SOTA is fully operational in nearly a hundred countries across the world. Each country has its own Association which defines the recognized SOTA summits within that Association. Each summit earns the activators and chasers a score which is related to the height of the summit. Certificates are available for various scores, leading to the prestigious “Mountain Goat” and “Shack Sloth” trophies. An Honor Roll for Activators and Chasers is maintained at the SOTA online database

How do I start?

Summits on the Air is an amateur radio awards scheme. To participate in this scheme you do not become a “member”, there are no dues to be paid or membership cards to be issued. You can join in straight away! You will find it helpful to register accounts our online services, namely SOTAwatch, the SOTA Database and the SOTA Reflector. There is no charge for these accounts, but once registered you can use SOTAwatch to see what is happening right now in SOTA and, join in discussions on the Reflector and log your activity in the Database.

You can then Chase or Activate when you feel like it – SOTA is global, activations can take place throughout the 24 hours of the day. Once you transfer your log to the database there is a permanent record and you can check your entries against those of the stations that you contacted, and keep track of your progress towards awards. Later you might wish to purchase awards, trophies or goods from our on-line shop. These purchases and the occasional donation are the means of financing the SOTA facilities.

For more information: https://www.sota.org.uk/Joining-In

SOTA Watch: http://sotawatch.org/

SOTA Handout: https://sotastore.blob.core.windows.net/docs/SOTA-leaflet-2016.pdf

FT8CALL – Rag Chew on FT-8?

FT8 has taken over the airwaves as the digital communication mode for making QSOs over HF/VHF/UHF. The mode has been widely popular as the latest offering in K1JT’s WSJT-X application. FT8 stands on the shoulders of JT65, JT9, and WSPR modes for weak signal communication, but transmits much faster with only slightly reduced sensitivity.

While FT8 is an incredibly robust weak signal mode, it is designed heavily to take advantage of short band openings on HF/VHF/UHF and only offers a minimal QSO framework. However, many operators are using these weak signal qualities to make successful QSOs on the HF bands where other modes fail.

The idea with FT8Call is to take the robustness of FT8 mode and layer on a messaging and network protocol for weak signal communication on HF, similar to FSQ and Fldigi with a keyboard-to-keyboard interface.

READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE – Pre-Released Documentation

2018 Hurricane Season: Some Nets to Know

Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net – Meets daily at 1030Z and 2230Z on 3815 kHz. The Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net was established in 1958 by Colonel Henry Frew, KV4BZ, for the purpose of having a general calling frequency for the Caribbean Islands and their North and South American friends. The net’s original name was the Antilles Emergency Net.
Hurricane Watch Net — 14.325 MHz (day)/7.268 MHz (night). Activated whenever a hurricane is within 300 statute miles of expected land-fall. Disseminates storm information and relays meteorological data to National Hurricane Center via embedded NHC station WX4NHC. Also relays post-storm damage reports and other relevant information.
Intercontinental Net — 7 AM to noon US Eastern Time – 14.300 MHz. Provides a means of emergency communications to any location where the normal means are disrupted by local disaster such as fire, earthquake, storms, floods and terrorist activity.
Maritime Mobile Service Net — 12 PM to 9 PM US EST or 12 PM to 10 PM EDT – 14.300 MHz – The network acts as a weather beacon for ships during periods of severe weather and regularly repeats high seas and tropical weather warnings and bulletins from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.
14.300 MHz Net Information – More information about nets on 14.300 MHz.
Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) – 14.265 MHz – The purpose of the SATERN net is to support the Salvation Army operations in local, regional and international disaster situations, as well as other functions.
VOiP SKYWARN/Hurricane Net — A weekly Prep Net is held on Sundays at 0000 UTC, which is Saturday evenings for most of North America. Join by connecting to the EchoLink WX-TALK conference server, IRLP Reflector 9219 or if necessary to one of the backup systems. Monitor the net during hurricanes and other major severe weather events.
From: Lloyd KA3MSE

System Fusion Podcast – HamRadioLive

This Thursday (7/5) on Ham Talk Live!, Cory Sickles, WA3UVV will take your questions about System Fusion! We’ll talk about how it works, and how it compares to other digital voice modes.

Tune into Ham Talk Live! Thursday night at 9 pm Eastern time (0100Z) by going to hamtalklive.com. When the audio player indicates LIVE, just hit the play button!

If you miss the show live, you can listen on demand anytime also at hamtalklive.com; or a podcast version is on nearly all podcast sites a few minutes after the live show is over. Some sites include Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud, and iHeart Podcasts; and it’s also available on YouTube.

Be sure to CALL in with your questions and comments by calling 812-NET-HAM-1 live during the call-in segment of the show, or by Skype. Our username is hamtalklive. You can also tweet your questions before or during the show to @HamTalkLive.

Listen to the recording here:

Listen to “Ham Talk Live!” on Spreaker.


Meet your new antenna’s

Here is Steel City big plans for summer.   We are going to need several work parties to get all the work done, but to get you excited about the antenna improvements at the club house here are some of the details for the new HF antennas.  The Mosley antenna will be mounted on the replacement tower to the right of the club house.  And the Hex Beam antenna is going to be mounted on the far tower down by the cell tower. The club house will now go from 2 HF beam antenna’s to 4 beam HF antenna’s with two of the beam being able to do 40 meters. Combine with our HyTower vertical we will have some major power on the HF bands.

Mosley PRO-67-C-3 Transmits on the follow bands 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40 Meter antenna with 3 Elements on 12, 15, 17, 20 , 40 meters and 4 Elements on 10 meters, and it has a rotatable dipole on 30 meters.  With a 3 inch OD Heavy Wall Boom
One antenna with actual resonant elements, 4 elements on 10, 3 elements on 12, 3 elements on 15, 3 elements on 17, 3 elements on 20, 1 element on 30 Meters, and
3 elements on 40 Meters.

Model PRO-67-C-3
Frequency, MHz 28, 24, 21, 18, 14, 10, 7
Power Rating, watts CW 2500
Power Rating, watts SSB 5000
Power Rating, AM/FM 600
Power Rating, RTTY/AMTOR 600
VSWR at frequency 1.0/1 to 1.6/1
Forward Gain, dBd / Elements on 10 m 9.3 / 4
Forward Gain, dBd / Elements on 12 m 8.3 / 3
Forward Gain, dBd / Elements on 15 m 8.3 / 3
Forward Gain, dBd / Elements on 17 m 8.3 / 3
Forward Gain, dBd / Elements on 20 m 8.2 / 3
Forward Gain, dBd / Elements on 30 m 0.0 / 1
Forward Gain, dBd / Elements on 40 m 6.8 / 3
Front-to-Back Ratio, dB 10 m 24
Front-to-Back Ratio, dB 12 m 15
Front-to-Back Ratio, dB 15 m 24
Front-to-Back Ratio, dB 17 m 25
Front-to-Back Ratio, dB 20 m 24
Front-to-Back Ratio, dB 30 m 0
Front-to-Back Ratio, dB 40 m 24
Boom Length 24 ft / 7.32 m
Maximum Element Length 43.75 ft / 13.34 m
Turning Radius 23.67 ft / 7.21 m
Mast Mount Hardware (equipped) 2 in / 5.08 cm
Assembled Weight 145 lbs / 65.77 kg
Wind Surface Area 12.1 sq ft / 1.12 sq m
Wind Load, EIA Standard 80 MPH 330 lbs / 149.69 kg
Warranty 2 years
Recommended Coax RG-8 / RG-213

DX Engineering HEXX Beam Antenna

DX Engineering Mark 2 HEXX Beam Antennas offer gain and front-to-back performance that will exceed your expectations! Their unique shape is much smaller, better balanced, and has been reported to receive less noise than typical beams. Even at 22 feet across and 4 feet tall, their turning radius is less than a two element 20 meter Yagi, while offering several enhanced operating characteristics. They handle well over legal limit power on all five bands, so there is no power restriction as on competing antennas. DX Engineering HEXX Beams are very efficient, with full length elements and no lossy coils or traps, requiring no matching network so they are ready for a single 50 ohm coax feed at the top of the center post, as recommended by the engineer. They are light, easy-to-handle antennas that can be rotated with a light duty rotator, and they perform really well–even when mounted in the clear only 20 to 30 ft. above the ground.

DXE Part Number:DXE-HEXX-5TAP-2
HF Beam Antenna Type: Hexagonal
HF Beam Antenna Band Coverage:20, 17, 15, 12, 10 meters
HF Beam Antenna Elements:10
HF Beam Element Material:Insulated wire
Antenna Power Rating:2,500 W
Beam Antenna Turning Radius:11.00 ft.
Wind Surface Area:5.050 sq. ft.
Feedpoint Impedance:50 ohm
Antenna Feedline Connection Type:UHF female, SO-239
Antenna Weight:24.90 lbs.

Beam Antenna Gain:5.3 dBi

Beam Antenna F/B (dB):Over 20.0 dB