National Weather Service Tour

Save the Date!
Sunday November 24th ~ 5:30 PM

Sue KA3JKS has set up a tour of the National Weather Service center here in Moon Twp for members of the Steel City ARC club. including a weather balloon launch demo (weather permitting).  The address is: 192 Shafer Rd, Coraopolis PA, 15108


Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/MySjJxDrb2MNs9zG8

Directions to National Weather Service
Take I-376 west to exit 57 (Business/Moon/Cargo)
Go towards the Cargo Terminal
Turn right onto University Blvd (Former Beer School Rd)
Turn left onto Broadhead Rd (Opposite Beaver Gade Rd)
There is a BP and a Walgreens on the corner
Turn right at the second traffic light onto Shafer Rd
PASS:  Wessex Hills Dr and Allard Elementary School – both on the right
Turn into the drive way of the NWS on the right just past the elementary school (sign not visible from the road)
If you go as far as Madison Dr on the left you’ve gone too far
Come inside the front door and ring the bell

This is a follow up of the April Skywarn presentation: http://w3kwh.com/2019/04/18/skywarn-presentation/

Oh there will be a balloon launch too!
Image result for nws balloon launch sites

 

Get into digital radio – SALE!

Yaesu FT-70DR FM/C4FM

$30 Mail-In Rebate

You can get into digital radio pretty cheap right now with the Yaesu FM/C4FM handheld radio. It currently has a $30 mail in rebate bring the cost of a digital radio to as low as $144 until Dec 31st. Several of us at the club have this little radio and enjoy it very much.  It will let you connect to the clubs 440 Mhz machine and   by hitting a few keys you can connect to our repeater and start a connection to many System Fusion machines around the world. Once you get one of these little radios join us on the 8 PM Sunday night digital net on any WPA Fusion repeaters.

FROM THE MANUFACTURE: The new FT-70DR is a compact and very attractively priced Yaesu System Fusion transceiver providing both conventional analog FM operation and the advanced C4FM Digital mode. The FT-70DR provides up to 5W of reliable RF power, and its large Front Speaker delivers 700mW of Loud Audio Output. Because C4FM has better BER (Bit Error Rate) characteristics than other digital modulations, the user can expect exceptional audio quality. The new digital FT-70DR includes our unique Automatic Mode Select (AMS) function. AMS detects the operating mode of the received signal as C4FM digital or analog FM, and then automatically and instantly switches the receiver to the appropriate mode. Users do not need to manually change between modes. The multi-colored LED Mode-Indicator displayed on the front allows the operator to easily see what mode the FT-70DR is in at any given moment. LED Mode-Indicator clearly and visibly shows the transmit/ receive mode by changing its color so that the operating mode of the transceiver is easily recognized at a glance.

Additional Info:  Also the FTM-3207DR UHF signal band mobile {Needed for Steel City/ Skyview/ Uniontown repeaters} and the FTM-3200DR VHF Signal band mobile have $50 mail-in rebates bring their pricing down to $114.95.  Thanks Corry..

Check Them Out Here:
https://www.dxengineering.com 
https://www.hamradio.com 
https://www.gigaparts.com

American Legion Special Event

The American Legion’s
National Salute to America’s Veterans
Special Event: N9V

Monday, November 11, 2019
1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST

The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC) headquarters station, K9TAL, will anchor Veterans Day operations for special event N9V on Monday, November 11.

K9TAL will be joined by several TALARC stations around the US for its annual national salute to veterans. The American Legion is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Operation will be from 1800 to 0000 UTC on or about 7.285, 14.285, and 21.285 MHz.

Certificates will be available to all sending a QSL card. More information is on the N9V profile page on QRZ.com. — Thanks to Jim Harris, W0EM, and The National Legion Amateur Radio Club

Special Events Webpage:
https://www.qrz.com/lookup/n9v

About TALARC:
https://www.legion.org/hamradio/about

100th anniversary of KDKA radio

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of KDKA radio. There are plans in the works for operating special event stations in honor of this occasion. As I am the PA state coordinator for the 13 Colonies special event, Joe –  W3BC asked if I might be interested in heading up this event and I agreed.

Here is where we are at this point:

  • The event will be all month long in November of 2020.
  • The plan is to make this operation available to southwestern PA amateur radio operators.
  • There are plans to have multiple callsigns for the event. Three 1X1 callsigns have already been reserved. Also, the call W8XK will be used as it was the original callsign of KDKA.
  • We had a meeting at the last Breeze Shooters hamfest. The meeting was announced and open to any interested persons.
  • There has been interest from a couple of clubs in utilizing their tower trailers and, as such, there are plans to operate from the old KDKA radio transmitter site in Saxonburg (and perhaps other sites).
  • There are also plans to have KDKA officials involved.

Best 73 all
Bob, WC3O

View The Working Document

If your interested in helping out sign up for the email list here:
https://groups.io/g/kdka100

 

Enjoy FT8 From Almost Anywhere

J. Robert Witmer, W3RW
From Sept 2019 QST

Imagine hunting 6-meter DX at a restaurant while eating breakfast, or making an all-time new DX contact while waiting for a flight. I’ve found myself operating remotely in these types of situations, and many others, using nothing more than my smartphone. If you think this type of operating is complicated and expensive, prepare to be surprised! My approach to remote FT8 operating combines WSJT-X software and a remote computer-control program called TeamViewer. Both WSJT-X and TeamViewer are free for personal, nonbusiness use. WSJT-X is available at Dr. Joe Taylor’s, K1JT, website,  and TeamViewer at
https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html,
https://www.teamviewer.com/en-us/.
The combination works Enjoy From Almost Anywhere Figure 1 — TeamViewer starting up when installed on the station computer The author relaxes outside while making contacts on 6-meter FT8 via remote control from his Fire HD tablet. FT8 well because, for FT8, audio streaming is not required. We’ll start with a description of a single-band remote operating setup, and then add suggestions for a  multiband approach.


Other Considerations
Be sure your computer is not set, via some type of internal time setting, to shut down or go to sleep to the extent it cannot be awakened via TeamViewer. You may have to experiment to find what settings need adjustment.

A related issue is automatic operating system upgrades. Try to schedule auto updates to occur when you are not operating  remotely. If the computer with WSJT-X restarts, you will lose access via TeamViewer. (When the computer and TeamViewer restart, TeamViewer assigns a new password, which unfortunately you probably won’t have knowledge of when operating remotely!)

Consider adding a Wi-Fi controlled power outlet for your transceiver’s power supply, but be sure it is tolerant of RFI. It is always a good idea to have an alternative means to shut down your radio if necessary.

Keep in mind that the TeamViewer software on your remote laptop or mobile device will log you out after approximately 3 minutes or less if your device goes to sleep, or if you switch to another app. If it does disconnect you, simply re-enter your station computer’s ID and password (if required) to resume access. It’s important that you select KEEP CURRENT for the random password function in the TeamViewer ADVANCED menu tab.

Read the Full Article Here:
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/QST/This%20Month%20in%20QST/September2019/Witmer.pdf


Editor Note:
There are many VNC program that you can use to do this remote connection.  Team Viewer and RealVNC are just a few that have a cloud connection that lets you get though your computer firewall and not to have to set up port forwarding.   But note if you are going to share the computer connection with several other people most of the cloud companies will want your to pay for the non-free version of their software.  This is the problem we are having at the club house.

Jamboree-on-the-Air

Steel City Members – Trevor will be up at the club house this Saturday to be showing off our clubhouse with the scouts.  Please come on up to the club house to help out with the DEMO!


62nd JOTA: October 18-20, 2019

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.

Tell Me More

When Scouts want to meet young people from another country, they usually think of attending a World Jamboree. But few people realize that each year more than a million Scouts and Guides “get together” over the airwaves for the annual Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA). During the 2014 event, worldwide Scouting participation included 1.1 million Boy Scouts and 200,000 Girl Guides/Gils Scouts, for a total participation of over 1.3 million–the largest Scouting event in the world.

JOTA Rules

Stations should call “CQ Jamboree,” or answer stations doing so. Any authorized frequency may be used. It is recommended that stations use the agreed World Scout Frequencies, listed in the guidelines. To avoid congestion, use close-by frequencies.

JOTA is not a contest. The idea is not to contact as many stations as possible during the weekend.

Scout website: https://www.scouting.org/jota/

ARRL website: http://www.arrl.org/jamboree-on-the-air-jota

2 Meter Antenna Disguised as a TV Satellite Dish

John Portune, W6NBC https://w6nbc.com
I’ve long wondered if it would be practical to hide an efficient 2 meter base-station antenna in a TV satellite dish. My homeowners covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) committee couldn’t force me take it down.1 But would all the metal in the TV dish compromise a 2 meter antenna? Finally, it struck me: don’t fight the metal, take advantage of it, by cutting a half-wavelength-long slot antenna into the TV dish reflector. A slot antenna is a narrow rectangular opening in a large conductive surface, such
as a TV satellite dish. Slot antennas are familiar in the commercial radio world. They’re common in TV broadcasting, the
skin of aircraft, and in radar, microwave, and cell phone applications. This TV dish (see Figure 1) slot is the complement to a dipole. It is also a great way to learn about slot antennas.

Read the full QST article here:
https://w6nbc.com/articles/2016-03QSTdishslot.pdf

BUM O’ MONTH

October 14th Monday at noon stop by to break bread at Rockies Bar and Grill on 1562 Island Ave, McKees Rocks, PA 15136.  Plenty of good conversation from aircraft, military and maybe even amateur radio. HI HI  Also join us on our weekly Net on 147.03 Sundays at 8:30 am.  Part of the QCWA Chapter6 group everyone welcome!!

 

Raspberry PI Ham Radio Remote

One problem with ham radio these days is that most hams live where you can’t put a big old antenna up due to city laws and homeowner covenants. If you’re just working local stations on VHF or UHF, that might not be a big problem. But for HF usage, using a low profile antenna is a big deal. However, most modern radios can operate remotely. Well-known ham radio company MFJ now has the RigPi Station Server.

As the name implies, the box contains a Raspberry Pi. There’s also an audio interface. The idea is to consolidate rig control along with other station control (such as rotators) along with feeding audio back and forth to the radio. It also sends Morse code keying to the radio. The idea is that this box will put your radio on the network so that you operate it using a web browser on a PC or a mobile device.

According to MFJ, you can operate voice, Morse code, or digital modes easily and remotely. The box uses open source software that can control over 200 different radios and 30 rotors. Of course, you could build all this yourself and use the same open source software, but it is nicely packaged. [Ham Radio DX] says you don’t need to know much about the Pi or Linux to use the box, although clearly you can get into Linux and use the normal applications if you’re so inclined.

Read The Full Article Here