SWL – Weather Fax Images

Every wonder what other beeping and buzzing sound off the ham bands are.  Or do you wonder how ships at sea get weather reports.  Well the Nation Weather Service still transmit fax weather maps out on the HF bands.  They have stations in Boston, New Orleans, Pt Reyes California, and Kodiak Alaska they transmit 24/7 on assign frequencies that you can find in this document. So how do you decode and view an fax image on your computer you use the good old FLdigi program the same one you use for decoding RTTY and PSK31 data.  From the OpMode menu item you select WEFAX and the the particular mode is called WEFAX576.  It does take about 10 minutes to receive an full fax image but once set up FLdigi will do all the work. Then just tune to the frequencies listed in the document for example 8.5039 Mhz for New Orleans  and center the tone so that they are around 1500 Hz in the FLdigi waterfall this will then let you set up your filtering to cut out adjacent noise on the the frequency.

If your image starts to look like it slide to the right or left you can adjust the “SLANT” to get the image vertical. You can also use “ALIGN” to center the image on your display. It does take about 10 minutes to receive the whole fax image but FLdigi will store the image automatically at the end of the broadcast. Now different station transmit different images. I have notice that Pt Reyes show the Pacific ocean images and New Orleans show the southern Atlantic image.


Additional Weather Fax Information:

Satellite Images via Fax: {Poor image due to loosing sync was stitched together}

Click on Image for full size view

Learn More About AREDN – Ham Mesh Network

We have talked about this is the past.  Here is how you can learn more about setting up an WIFI Mesh network for the Western PA area using AREDN Equipment. Which is WIFI equipment that can be bought from Amazon. 

The Red Cross of the Greater PA Region, EMCOMM Team invites you to a “virtual” presentation on the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (I.E. AREDN) Mesh network.  Doug Hayward (K8DRH), an EMCOMM Team member in SWPA Chapter, has arranged for Orv Beach (W6BI) to present on this technology.

https://www.arednmesh.org/about-us   (Background Information on AREDN)

Orv is an early joiner and contributor to AREDN and has been very involved in furthering this technology in the California area.  He gives presentations on this topic including theory, equipment, and application of this to amateur radio.  He is also active in coordinating the network expansion in Southern California.

Please join us for Orv’s overview of AREDN on this ZOOM call. (link below).  Please feel free to share this link with other who are interested.

Topic: Red Cross-AREDN software to create a MESH network
Speaker: Orv Beach, W6BI
Time: Jan 27, 2022 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM 
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 864 8653 9015
Passcode: 777007

David Herzog
Southwestern PA Chapter – Disaster Program Manager – Volunteer Partner
Greater PA Region – Emergency Communications Lead

QR Codes or Hams

Want to get more organized or have quick links to manuals.  I have found this neat video that will help you have quick links to manufactures manual pages or spec sheets. Or have a quick link to a equipment check list for that next POTA or SOTA activation.

For Example:
Want to learn about joining SCARC?


Virtual Class – Tech License

The Red Cross, Greater PA Region, Emergency Communications (I.E. EMCOMM) Chapter Leads and team members will be offering a virtual class to study for their FCC Amateur Radio “Technician” license. This is the first and entry level license for amateur radio.
Amateur radio is used at Red Cross Chapters within the Red Cross to communicate during a disaster response, when cell phones, internet and other commercial communication infrastructure is impaired or unavailable. Amateur radio is also used to support communications during community service events, marathon races, community emergencies, etc.
The seven-week virtual class will begin on January 5, 2022, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm and be held on Wednesday evenings. We will be using the Gordon West student book available on Amazon for approximately $22. Details on ordering the book and other details of the class will be sent to the students after they register. The book is not required, but we highly recommend it as a study guide. The class is limited to 30, so do not delay in signing up for the class.
To register, please contact: Dave.Herzog@RedCross.org

SKYWARN Recognition Day


SKYWARN Recognition Day – acknowledges the contributions of public service volunteers who provide essential weather information as it’s happening. Each year on the first Saturday in December, the day honors those volunteers who pay attention when the wind picks up, or the sky turns dark. Their efforts keep their communities safer by communication warnings to the National Weather Service.

The observance recognizes the vital public service contributions that Amateur Radio operators make during National Weather Service severe weather warning operations. It also strengthens the bond between Amateur Radio operators and the local National Weather Service.

Around the country, nearly 290,000 Skywarn® weather spotters volunteer their time. They identify severe weather that could potentially affect life and property. Spotters warn the National Weather Service of the threat of thunderstorms, tornados, and floods.

12-2 PM    December 4th

W3KWH Operations At The Club

12:00 to 2:00 PM on Saturday is our assigned time slot to operate HF from the clubhouse.  We will be needing operators during that time slot to operate!  Members and pending members are invited to attend. Techs will be allowed to operate on HF due to control ops being present.

NU3Q plans to be at the club for the event on Friday night 12/3 for about two hours and Saturday morning 12/4. We need operators to cover the afternoon and evening shifts on Saturday and to assist NU3Q while he is at the club. We will use the following: “This is W3KWH for WX3PIT Skywarn Recognition Day”. Please keep a log of your W3KWH QSO’s – NU3Q will submit the W3KWH QSO’s to the NWS.

More Information:

SKYWARN Recognition Day Operating Instructions

1. Object SKYWARNTM Recognition Day serves to celebrate the contributions to public safety made by amateur radio operators Skywarn Spotters during threatening weather.

  • Amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service Stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meter bands plus the 70 centimeter band. Contacts via repeaters are permitted.
  • Non-Amateur Radio Spotters to exchange weather information as often as possible via Social Media with NWS Offices.

2. Date NWS stations may operate at any time during December 5, 2020 from 0000 – 2400 UTC.

3. Exchange: Call sign, signal report, QTH, and a one or two word description of the weather occurring at your site (“sunny”, “partly cloudy”, “windy”, etc.).

4. Modes: NWS stations will work various modes including SSB, FM, AM, RTTY, CW, and PSK31. While working digital modes, special event stations will append “NWS” to their call sign (e.g., N0A/NWS). NWS offices may also participate via Social Media platforms throughout the 24 hour period.

5.Station Control Operator: It is suggested that during SRD operations a non-NWS volunteer should serve as a control operator for your station.

6. Event and QSL Information: The National Weather Service will provide event information via the internet. Event certificates will once again be electronic and printable from the main website after the conclusion of SRD.

Slides from ATV Workshop

Thanks for all that attended the workshop.  The input was much appreciated and I think we have a plan to go forward.  A request for funding will be made at our next business meeting.   Below are the slides from the presentation there are a lot of links in the presentation that you can click on to learn more.  You will have to download the PDF to click on the links.  The video will take some time to clean up.

Click here to download PDF with Links

ATV Workshop

Video of the Workshop


Talk – WA3TFS Designs for Amateur Radio

WA3TFS Designs for Amateur Radio
Talk & Demo Oct 6th @ 7:00 PM

Jim Forkin, WA3TFS will be giving a talk about kit building and his kit that he has for sale at our Oct 6th, Wednesday night social meeting.  The talk will begin at 7:00 PM.

Jim will be talking about some of his kits like, Simple FM SFR transceiver for 10 or 6 meters {See picture}, An simple SDR receiver for 1 kHz to 1.7 GHz, Using Arduino’s microprocessors for ham radio applications. He will also talk about the advantages of software control radios.

Check out his website: http://wa3tfs.com

SHACOG Technical Rescue Demo & Talk

On Sept 25th the steel City ARC hosted the SHACOG Technical Rescue Team as they practice there yearly recertification on tower rescue.  Dean from the team gave an excellent talk on how to prep for a tower climb, gear that is needed, what to do if an accident does happen, and finally what the ground personnel needs to know.

Tower Rescue

Power Point Down Load Here: Tower Rescue

How to put on a harness: Donning Harness Poster 092019.pdf
Harness inspection form: Inspection Form Harness_Fillable.pdf
Understanding ANSI Z359 Fall Protection: Understanding ANSI Z359.pdf

Here is the the photos taken during the demo: