Venerable AO-7 Satellite

The nearly 46-year-old AO-7 amateur satellite made a remarkable contact possible on May 4 between Diego Feil, LW2DAF, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (GF05rk), and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA, in Cape Town, South Africa (JF95fx). The contact spanned 4,329 miles across the South Atlantic, with both stations aiming at only 2 or 3 degrees above the horizon.

Both stations had been watching orbital predictions for several weeks, and times when both stations could “see” AO-7 at the same time occurred only occasionally. Electrical noise, particularly in Cape Town, had hampered earlier efforts, but on the morning of May 4, noise levels were low, and a perfect contact was possible with full call signs and reports exchanged.

In 2016, Dave Swanson, KG5CCI, in Arkansas, and Eduardo Erlemann, PY2RN, in Brazil, achieved a distance milestone on AO-7, completing a scheduled contact that covered a calculated distance of approximately 4,979.2 miles, which Swanson said was “way beyond the theoretical range of AO-7” and a feat that “the math said shouldn’t be possible.” — Thanks to AMSAT News Service

Zoom Meeting – Greenbank Telescope Tour

Steel City, Skyview, North Hills, Unv. of Pittsburgh, WACOM
Will all receive their invites via there club email reflectors

We will be hosting another joint club zoom meeting on May 27th at 8:00 PM.  The tour will be provided by Richard Bradley,W4DZC who works at the telescope and develop some of the receivers at the telescope.  To see how sensitive those receivers are there is a sign in the visitor center that ask you to turn off your cell phone since they could still detect it on the planet Saturn even it was in airplane mode.  Members of Steel City, Skyview, and the North Hill amature radio club will receive the invite on Wednesday morning via their club reflectors.  If other clubs in the tristate area which to participate please let N3LRG {at} W3KWH {dit} COM know.

More Information to follow…..



Richard F. Bradley, Ph.D. — W4DZC
—Scientist / Senior Research Engineer (NRAO)
—Research Professor of Astronomy (U. Virginia)
—Visiting Assistant Professor of EE (U. Virginia)
—Radio Science:  Associate Editor

Hot Spot on Keystone West Room

Click on Image For Full Size

We are currently working on adding a link to the Keystone-West Room.  This will let users using a MMDVM Hot Spot or any other model to get access to the Keystone-West network. Stay tune to this website when it goes active.  Temporary we will be linked to “FCS00315” Pittsburgh-Pa-Digital-Group but hopefully will be moved to its own reflector. So if you are not close to any of the Pittsburgh you could pick up an Hot Spot {Example here} and create your own like to the Western Pennsylvania C4FM System Fusion network.

Online – Contest University 2020

Contest University 2020
Will be held online free via Zoom


8:45  Welcome to CTU 2020 from W8CI, K3LR and N9JA
9:00  W3LPL –  “Effective Low Band Receiving Antennas”
10:00 W2NAF – “2020 Solar Cycle Update and the HF Response to Ionospheric Storms and Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances”
11:00 N6TV – “Everything You Need to Know About USB and Serial Interfaces”
12:00 Lunch on your own
12:25 K1AR – Memorial reading of the Silent Keys for 2020
12:30 NN1C – “Exuberance and Youth Contesting – Update on What is Going On”
1:00 W0YK – “Digital Contesting Hints & Kinks”.
2:00 K1DG – “Optimizing your Station for Contest Operations”.
3:00 N0AX – “Grounding & Bonding for Contest Stations”
4:00 NC0B – “Contest & DX Performance A Complex Subject Today Great RX Performance – TX Limitations”
5:00 W3LPL – “60 Years of Competitive Contesting — the W3LPL Story”
6:00 K3ZJ – Presentation of CQ Contest Hall Of Fame 2020

See their website for more information:

Western PA Nets

Some of the local western PA nets that can keep you busy during these trying times:

First we have the WPA Health & Wellness Net every weekday morning at 9:00 am on 3983 kHz.

At 5:00 pm every evening, check in to the Western Pennsylvania Phone Traffic Net on 3983 kHz every day.

The Pennsylvania Fone Net is back on 75 meters on Monday, Wednesday and
Friday evenings at 8:00 pm on 3910 kHz.

The Keystone West Fusion net is on Sunday nights at 8:00 PM via room number 60328  or any of the following repeaters, Skyview, Uniontown, Steel City, or many local nodes.

The QCWA net on Sunday morning at 8:30 AM on the Steel City 2m repeater 147.030 Mhz.

The Pennsylvania Statewide DMR net is held every Tuesday evening at 8:00
pm on DMR talkgroup 3142.

Our WPA Digital Voice Net takes place every Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm
on DMR talkgroup 31422.

The Western Pennsylvania ARES Voice Net meets every Saturday morning on
3983 kHz at 9:00 am. Everyone is welcome.

The PA HF NBEMS Net meets Sundays at 0730 for Early, Out-of-State
Check-ins, and then starts at 0800 for Pennsylvania Check-ins. frequency
is 3583.0 kHz USB / 1500 Hz Waterfall, the mode for initial call-up and
check in is THOR 22  for check-ins and then using MFSK32 or THOR 50×1
for traffic.

Also on Sunday mornings, the PEMA ACS Central Area Net takes place at
8:30 am on 3993.5 kHz for stations in Bedford, Blair, Centre, Clinton,
Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Mifflin and Potter counties. Everyone is

Every Sunday morning at 9:00 am, the PEMA ACS Western Area Net meets on
3990.5 kHz for stations in the westernmost 24 counties of our WPA
section. Everyone is welcome.

JS8Call now supports APRS over HF

JS8Call is an experiment to test the feasibility of a digital mode with the robustness of FT8, combined with a messaging and network protocol layer for weak signal communication on HF, using keyboard-to-keyboard style interface. JS8Call is heavily inspired by WSJT-X, Fldigi, and FSQCall and would not exist without the hard work and dedication of the many developers in the amateur radio community.

JS8Call is a derivative of the WSJT-X application, restructured and redesigned for keyboard-to-keyboard message passing. It is not supported by nor endorsed by the WSJT-X development group. While the WSJT-X group maintains copyright over the original work and code, JS8Call is a derivative work licensed under and in accordance with the terms of the GPLv3 license. Source code can be found in this public repository:

Read The Full Article Here:

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


On-line Instruction to learn Morse code.

With many youngsters at loose ends as a result of school closings due to COVAD-19 concerns, the Long Island CW Club is offering students free on-line instruction to learn Morse code.

Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE, a founding member of the Long Island CW Club explained that learning Morse is a fun and educational activity for children of all ages that can fill part of the gap left by the current unfortunate situation that has closed so many schools across the country.

Therefore the Long Island CW Club will be offering on-line Morse code classes each Monday through Friday starting on Monday, March 23rd specifically for school-agers anywhere across the country or overseas.

Instruction will be conducted via Zoom on-line video conferencing, requiring a computer equipped with a microphone and camera.

Classes for elementary school-aged children will run 30-minutes starting at 12:00 noon EDT (16:00Z) , followed by 45-minute classes for middle and high-school-aged youngsters starting at 12:45 p.m. EDT (16:45Z)

There is no charge for participation, but parental permission is required through advance registration by contacting the class instructor, Robb Zarges, K2MZ, by e-mail at or telephone at 508-8318248.

The Long Island CW Club ( is dedicated to the history and preservation of Morse code communications. Its team of 15 instructors offers 25 on-line video conference classes each week at different skill levels, currently serving more than 300 students in 44 states and ten countries.

Extra Question Pool Update July 1st

Special Bulletin 4 ARLX004
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT March 19, 2020
To all radio amateurs

ARLX004 Errata to 2020-2024 Amateur Extra-Class Question Pool
Released The NCVEC Question Pool Committee has issued errata to the new
(2020-2024) Amateur Extra-class question pool that goes into effect
on July 1.

Most changes are minor, involving typographical or style errors.