Chapter Six of the QCWA meeting

The next meeting of the QCWA Chapter 6 will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019.
This is the third Saturday in June in order to avoid scheduling conflicts with the Breezeshooters’ Hamfest
and the Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society.
The doors will be open at Noon and we start shortly thereafter.
We will be returning to our previous venue of: Rocky’s Bar and Grill
1562 Island Ave.
McKees Rocks, PA

As usual, solicitations are made for presentations with a bribe of a free lunch.
Volunteers can contact President Jack Buzon, KA3HPM, ahead of time for agenda sequencing.
Please note the Fleming Park Bridge remains closed, and access to Rocky’s can be had via
Route 51 out of Coraopolis or Island Avenue out of McKees Rocks. –

Save the Date – Field Day

June 22 – 23

Make plan now to join us at the club house as the Steel City ARC take on Field Day 2019.  This will be the first year that we will be using Mosley antenna to blast our way onto the 40 meter band. Please let Chris Grimm, N3PQ know your coming and what you would like to try to operate.  We will be operating all the bands from 160 meters up though 70 cm bands.  We are especially looking for people to cover the over night shifts.  The club will be providing food and drinks during the contest.

ANNUAL ARMED FORCES DAY CROSS-BAND TEST

ANNUAL ARMED FORCES DAY CROSS-BAND TEST
 
(11 May 2019)
 
The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System will host this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) Crossband Test on Saturday May 11, 2019. This annual event is open to all licensed amateur radio operators, and will not impact any public or private communications. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is only an exercise scenario, designed to include hobbyist and government radio operators alike.
 
The AFD Cross-band Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly-controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications.

Military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and will announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All times are ZULU (Z), and all frequencies are Upper Side Band (USB) unless otherwise noted. The frequencies used for the test will not impact any public or private communications, and will not stray outside the confines of the exercise.
For more information about MARS: http://www.usarmymars.org/
More details about the cross band test: 20190424-AFDCT-final.pdf

SKYWARN® – Presentation

On April 24th promptly at 7:00 PM updated  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:
https://www.skywarn.org/

Attention Members – Access Changes

Hello Members:

This is to inform you that the 2019 password updates have taken place for the “Members Only” & “Minutes” web pages.   Also both remote’s passwords have also changed.   Please used the new passwords that were given out at the last social meeting.  If you have not received the new passwords please make sure you stop up at the next social meeting to pick them up.  Finally all key cards have been updated for the 2019 membership.

The Technical Committee

 

RUNNING FURY – SPRING  SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST

THE A.R.R.L.
WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION
SPRING  SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST

DATE:  6 APRIL ,2019
RUN TIME:  0930-1200 HRS LOCAL TIME
LOCATION: ALL COUNTIES IN WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION

THE SPRING 2019 SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST WILL BE A FLOOD AND ICE WATCH EXERCISE. ALL COUNTIES WITHIN THE SECTION HAVE WATERWAYS (RIVERS, TRIBUTARIES AND STREAMS) THAT CAN BE PRONE TO FLOODING FROM ICE JAMS, SNOW AND ICE MELT, SEVERE WEATHER, HEAVY STORMS,ETC.

THE AFOREMENTIONED WATERWAYS CAN HAVE SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT WHEN FLOODING OCCURS CAUSING SERIOUS THREATS TO INFRASTRUCTURE, PERSONAL SAFETY AND PROPERTY. HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THESE HIGH WATER PRONE AREAS CAN BE INVALUABLE FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & ACTION PLANS SHOULD THE NEED ARISE.

ALL ARES UNITS WITHIN THE WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION ARE REQUESTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EXERCISE. SHOULD THERE BE ANY SCHEDULE CONFLICTS THAT WOULD INTERFERE WITH FULL GROUP PARTICIPATION, IT IS REQUESTED THAT SOME TYPE OF PARTICIPATION BE MADE BY AVAILABLE OPERATORS.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES WILL BE PART OF THE EXERCISE:
1- WATERWAYS OBSERVATION AND REPORTING BE MADE BY FIELD OPERATOR TEAMS
2- THREE OR FOUR EMERGENCY SHELTER VISITS BE MADE BY FIELD OPERATORS
3- NWS PITTSBURGH WX3PIT WILL BE CONDUCTING SKYWARN OPERATIONS
4- SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY K3MJW WILL BE THE SECTION HF STATION WITH TWO-WAY RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC.

ACTIVITY 1—FIELD TEAMS LOCATE WATERWAYS KNOWN TO BE FLOOD PRONE… OBSERVE AND REPORT WATERWAY CONDITIONS BY SIMULATED RADIO TRAFFIC TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL NET CONTROL STATIONS VIA UHF/VHF SIMPLEX OR REPEATER. FIELD OPERATORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO USE SIMPLEX COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN TEAMS.

ACTIVITY 2—FIELD TEAMS WILL VISIT THREE OR FOUR EMERGENCY SHELTERS THAT WOULD BE OPERABLE DURING A HIGH WATER SCENARIO. FIELD TEAMS REPORT SIMULATED TRAFFIC TO THEIR NET CONTROL STATION WITH ANY SHELTER REQUESTS,ETC. SUCH TRAFFIC WILL BE RELAYED TO K3MJW VIA RADIOGRAM AND A REPLY SERVICED BACK TO FIELD TEAMS AT SHELTERS  BEFORE MOVING ON TO THEIR NEXT LOCATION.

ACTIVITY 3—NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WX3PIT WILL CONDUCT SKYWARN NET OPERATIONS DURING THE EXERCISE. WX3PIT WILL CONTACT ALL COUNTIES SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE EXERCISE FOR WEATHER RELATED REPORTS. IT IS PREFERRED THAT WEATHER REPORTS TO WX3PIT BE REAL TIME AS NOT TO CONFUSE THE EXERCISE.

ACTIVITY 4—SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY K3MJW WILL BE THE SECTION HF STATION ACCEPTING AND RELAYING HF RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC DURING THE EXERCISE. ALL RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC WILL BE TWO-WAY TO HELP PARTICIPATING COUNTIES GET FAMILIAR WITH HANDLING MESSAGE TRAFFIC. REMEMBER- EMERGENCY SUPPORT COMMUNICATIONS RELY UPON OUR BEING PROFICIENT IN ACCURATELY GETTING THE MESSAGE THROUGH IN TIME OF NEED.

FIELD OPERATOR SAFETY
-THE SAFETY OF FIELD OPERATORS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE DURING THE EXERCISE.  BE OBSERVANT OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS WHETHER ALONG ROADWAYS, WATERWAYS,SHELTERS,ETC.
-OBSERVE AND REPORT WATERWAYS FROM A SAFE DISTANCE. THERE IS NO NEED TO BE AT THE WATER’S EDGE.
-USE COMMON SENSE SAFETY WHEN ALONG ANY ROADWAYS.
-ALL FIELD OPERATORS SHOULD WEAR SAFETY VESTS AND COUNTY ID (IF SUPPLIED)

RADIO OPERATIONS NOTES:
-FIELD TEAMS USE VHF/UHF SIMPLEX OR REPEATERS…EXPERIMENT WITH SIMPLEX BETWEEN FIELD TEAMS.
-K3MJW WILL UTILIZE 75M 3.983 KHZ FOR RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC…FOLLOW THE DIRECTION OF K3MJW OPERATOR FOR INBOUND OR OUTBOUND TRAFFIC TO AVOID CONFUSION.
-WX3PIT WILL UTILIZE 2M REPEATERS PLUS 75M 3.975 KHZ +/_ SEVERAL Hz FOR DISTANT COMMUNICATIONS.
-NEW THIS SPRING WILL BE THE USE OF DMR DURING THE EXERCISE…THE WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA TALKGROUP IS 31422. GIVE IT A TRY, DMR IS COMING ON STRONG.

SEE ATTACHED ICS-205 FOR FREQUENCY INFORMATION

THIS SPRING EXERCISE IS DESIGNED TO:
A- EXPAND FIELD OPERATING CAPABILITIES IN SIMPLEX COMMUNICATIONS
B- BECOME BETTER FAMILIARIZED IN RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC HANDLING
C- BETTER DEVELOP PREPAREDNESS PLANS FOR SEVERE WEATHER OCCURRENCES WHEN RIVERS,TRIBUTARIES AND STREAMS OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS DUE TO HEAVY RAINS, WINTER ICE AND THAW,ETC.
D- PREPARE TO WORK WITH SERVED AGENCIES SUCH AS EMERGENCY SHELTER OPERATORS. COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
E- EXPLORE THE USE OF DMR OPERATING ON THE W.PA. 31422 TALKGROUP

AN AFTER ACTION REPORT SUBMITTED BY EMERGENCY COORDINATORS IS REQUESTED BY 20 APRIL…THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN A PUBLIC SERVICE REPORT…LET’S SEE HOW WE DID, WHAT WORKED WELL, WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT,ETC. WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM AND CAN LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE EXERCISE!
73 AND PRESS ON.

STEVE FAZEKAS   K3FAZ
W.PA.  ASEC & ASM

K3FAZ (at) ARRL (dit) NET

THIS DOC: SPRING-S.E.T.-OUTLINE-WPA.pdf

ICS: 2019-SPRING-S.E.T.-ICS-205-2.pdf

New ARES Simplex Frequency Plan Approved!

NOTE!  Every ham should have these simplex frequencies programmed into their mobile and HT radios.  It is good to be prepared before the emergency.

Updated with the correct frequency for Washington and Fayette Counties

New ARES Simplex Frequency Plan Approved!

At the February 9th WPA Cabinet Meeting, the proposed WPA ARES Simplex Frequency Plan was unanimously approved. This new suggested frequency plan improves our use of scarce frequencies, and greatly enhances ARESMAT (mutual aid) operations, by ensuring that every radio has every frequency pre-programmed into it for the entire section!

Four simplex frequencies were chosen to meet the following criteria:

  • specified as Simplex Channels in the WPRC 2-meter Band Plan\
  • at least 30 kHz separation from each other
  • at least 30 kHz separation from any repeater input or output frequency (as specified in the WPRC Band Plan)
  • at least 30 kHz separation from the 146.52 MHz National Calling Frequency

Additionally, they were chosen to align on 30 kHz-spaced channels to facilitate their availability on older radios, including ancient crystal-controlled radios and 1970s-vintage synthesized rigs. The result provides maximum compatibility with 90% or more of all radios that might be pressed into service.

Here are the counties and recommended frequencies:

146.55 “TAC-5”
Allegheny, Clarion, Clearfield, Greene, Huntingdon, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Warren

146.58 “TAC-8”
Beaver, Blair, Clinton, Franklin, Jefferson, McKean, Venango, Westmoreland

147.54 “TAC-4”
Armstrong, Cambria, Cameron, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Lawrence, Mifflin

147.57 “TAC-7”
Bedford, Butler, Centre, Crawford, Elk, Indiana, Washington

More information can be found on the ARRL WPA Section website:
http://www.arrl.org/sections/view/western-pennsylvania

Congratulations to WA3TTS

Congratulations to Mike Sapp, WA3TTS, on his contest winning article on low frequency, reversible, small lot LF and MF, EWE antennas. Mike’s project and presentation was awarded 2nd place in the ARRL/QST 2018 antenna competition. Really good “stuff.”  Mike formally held the office of vice president and president of the Steel City ARC.
de
Nathan
W3SVJ
  • Second Prize: “LF/MF Reversible EWE Antennas for Small Lot, Weak Signal Applications” by Michael Sapp, WA3TTS.   – See the April Edition of QST