Message from Chief Army MARS

As suggested by Billy Joe,  N3VEF/AAR3OY 

 Below is a message put out to MARS Stations (Military Affiliate Radio System)  from Chief Army MARS regarding a Comex exercise we just did.  This is only one example of many such exercises we do in MARS on a regular basis.  I’m passing this along in an attempt to spark an interest in anyone who might want to join MARS.  With the World affairs  the way they are right now, I think having a MARS Licenses is a valuable thing to have.  On are NETS we regularly have the Pentagon (AAR3PNT) CK in, the PA National Guard, TSA Agencies, etc., just to name a few CK in.  Right now I’m the only Licensed MARS Station at the Club.  In the past we’ve had several other members who were in MARS (Doug W3HH, Bobby N3LL, Mac W3MAC, & Sue KA3JKS).  It would be nice to have someone else in the Club with an interest in MARS.  If your Radio isn’t modified to go out of the Amateur Bands, on problem.  We have a system similar to Echolink that allows Stations to CK in using the Internet & the TeamSpeak Program.  Anyone with an interest just get in touch with me.
I’ll be more than glad to Elmer you along.  73 & Happy Labor Day Weekend.
Billy Joe,  N3VEF/AAR3OY

Please distro to all Army MARS members:

*****
Last week, 600 members of both Army and Air Force MARS put their
communication skills to the test during the quarterly DOD comex 18-3.
Responding to a simulated set of circumstances, MARS members were charged
with providing various information reports from the local and county areas
through the MARS HF network to the supported DOD headquarters using a
military standard communications protocol.

Members were further challenged during a portion of the exercise by only
operating during evening/night time hours when propagation is more
challenging. Throughout the exercise, MARS members used both traditional
single channel voice communications as well as establishing communications
links using 2G automatic link establishment.

Thanks to all the MARS stations who trained during this comex. Regardless if
you served as major/minor relay station, a net control station, a duty
officer, or provided your information messages for relay to the supported
headquarters, you are an important link in the communications chain. Well
done! Don’t forget to submit your after action reports so we can continue to
improve how we execute our mission.

English
Chief, Army MARS
*****

WWV-WWVH Shut Down Proposal

Concern Rising within Amateur Radio Community over WWV-WWVH Shut Down Proposal

08/21/2018 – From the ARRL news website http://www.arrl.org/news

ARRL members and Amateur Radio clubs are expressing increased concern over the inclusion of WWV and WWVH on a list of proposed cuts in the White House’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Fiscal Year 2019 budget request. The proposed cuts also would include the Atomic Clock signal from WWVB used to synchronize specially equipped clocks and watches. Online petitions soliciting signatures include one established by Tom Kelly II, W7NSS, of Portland, Oregon, who would like to see funding for the stations maintained. At this point, the budget item is only a proposal, not a final decision. That would be up to the Congress to decide.

ARRL is among those worried over the possible loss of WWV, WWVH, and WWVB and is suggesting that members of the Amateur Radio community who value the stations for their precise time and frequency signals and other information sign Kelly’s petition and/or contact their members of Congress promptly, explaining how the stations are important to them, beyond government and military use.

Kelly’s petition, which may be signed by US residents, notes that WWV is among the oldest radio stations in the US, having been established in 1920. “The station has transmitted the official US time for nearly 100 years, and is an instrumental part in the telecommunications field, ranging from broadcasting to scientific research and education,” his petition says. “Additionally, these stations transmit marine storm warnings from the National Weather Service, GPS satellite health reports, and specific information concerning current solar activity and radio propagation conditions. These broadcasts are an essential resource to the worldwide communications industry.”

NIST’s full Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget request to Congress calls for the agency to “discontinue the dissemination of the US time and frequency via the NIST radio stations in Hawaii and Fort Collins, Colorado.” The agency noted, “These radio stations transmit signals that are used to synchronize consumer electronic products like wall clocks, clock radios, and wristwatches, and may be used in other applications like appliances, cameras, and irrigation controllers.” The specific cut, which would come from the NIST Fundamental Measurement, Quantum Science, and Measurement Dissemination budget, would amount to $6.3 million.

In its budget request, NIST said that it plans to consolidate and focus work on its efforts in quantum science while maintaining essential core capabilities in measurement science research and measurement dissemination, as well as eliminate “efforts that have been replaced by newer technologies, measurement science research that lies outside NIST’s core mission space, and programs that can no longer be supported due to facility deterioration.”

WWV and WWVH broadcast time and frequency information 24/7, including time announcements, standard time intervals, standard frequencies, UT1 time corrections, a BCD time code, geophysical alerts, and marine storm warnings. Transmissions are broadcast from separate transmitters on 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz. An experimental 25 MHz signal is also currently on the air. WWVB transmits standard Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) signals on 60 kHz to appropriately equipped timekeeping devices.

NIST Public Relations Director Gail Porter told Tom Witherspoon, K4SWL — editor of The SWLing Post, which has been tracking developments — that NIST “is proud of the time and frequency services we provide through our radio stations, and understands that these services are important to many people.”

NIST Director Walter Copan has supported the overall budget request. “This budget request ensures that NIST can continue to work at the frontiers of measurement science by preserving investment in core metrology research,” Copan said. “Through its constitutionally mandated role, NIST performs work that only the government can do, and produces enormous return on US taxpayers’ investment. Translating measurements into technically sound standards across all industries enables effective international trade and US competitiveness.”

 

2018 Infrastructure Improvements

The major infrastructure improvements schedule for this summer 2018 project has been approved at this month business meeting. A special technical committee was set up to review our antenna infrastructure. Knowing that we were going to need a bucket truck to put up the 440 antenna that was purchase last year the membership wanted to know what other work was going to be need while we had the truck on site. The far tower down by the cell tower has been empty for quite a while. Plus there has alway been a need for additional HF antennas with WARC capabilities. Also the 70 foot tower to the right of the club house is getting close to its end of life. Before it fails it was decided to replace it with the Rohn tower sections that we already had with only a new base and top section needed to be purchase. Also already purchased is two new VHF and UHF yagi antennas. With the recent Red Cross and ARRL ECOMM sessions at the club house a need for a VHF and UHF vertical beam antenna to work surrounding repeater was needed This was needed due to our current VHF & UHF beam antennas were all being horizontal polarized. The final antenna is a discone antenna  that will be run to the work bench area.  This will not only let us receive VHF & UHF on this wide band antenna but transmit to.  Below is the complete list of improvements scheduled to be done this year, and the work starts this next week!

  1.  Mount the new 440 antenna on the repeater tower
  2. Take down the old 70 foot tower and replace it with the Rohn tower
  3. Move the 6 meter yagi to the VHF tower
  4. Mount the new Mosley_PRO-67-C antenna on the Rohn tower
  5. Mount a new DX Engineering HEXX Beam on the far tower by the cell tower.
  6. Mount new VHF & UHF vertical beam antennas to the club house building
  7. Mount a Discone antenna to he new Rohn tower

So by the end of the summer we should have six new antennas at the Steel City club house grounds.  The work starts this next week on Wednesday June 27th with weather permitting the 70 foot tower is going to be lowered.  This needs to be done first so that a new base can be fabricated for the new Rohn tower.

 

W8AOK – SK

W8AOK

W8AOK Alan Bruce Cressler

Some of you knew Bruce Cressler – W8AOK. He helped me built the 2nd edition of the SCARC website 20 years ago. He was made am honorary remote member for his efforts. Over the past year he battled health issues and recently ended up on the wrong side of the fight. He went SK a few months back. I was asked to speak at his memorial service this past weekend and felt very privileged to do so. Some of you met him when he’d come to town for a visit otherwise he spent time in Detroit and eventually from a 2500 foot hilltop in Helvetia, WV. Been there? I didn’t think so. The town’s population at last census was 59…FIFTY NINE..059. After his diagnosis he decided to get his Extra class. Who does this with an unknown amount of time left on this blue planet? He did. Education was his goal in life. He spent many a night on that mountain top collecting QSL cards from far off places and loved every minute of it. At his memorial I ended my tribute with DI DI DI DAH DI DAH.

From:
W3WTW de Tim

W8AOK QRZ Page

Amateur Radio Parity Act Language Inserted in National Defense Authorization Act

05/11/2018 – From the ARRL bulletin  email

ARRL is praising the work of US Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), and Mike Rogers (R-AL) for their successful efforts in securing language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 that aids in the survival and growth of Amateur Radio by giving radio amateurs the right to install an outdoor antenna at their residences with the approval of their homeowners associations. This language — text from the proposed Amateur Radio Parity Act (HR 555) — formed the basis for the Courtney-Hartzler-Rogers Amendment to the NDAA.

The amendment, offered by the bipartisan trio and accepted by the House Armed Services Committee by voice vote, will ensure that Amateur Radio operators will continue to play a vital role in disaster communication, when called upon. Amateur Radio has long-standing relationships with the Department of Defense through both the Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) as well as spectrum sharing.

The Armed Services Committee passed the NDAA by a 60-to-1 voice vote after a 14-hour markup that ran well into the night. The bill now awaits House floor action. The Senate will begin its markup of the NDAA during the week of May 21.

Read the full article here:

ARRL Asks FCC to Protect Amateur Radio Millimeter-Wave Bands

5/08/2018ARRL has asked the FCC to avoid authorizing developmental technologies in two Amateur Radio bands above 95 GHz that some radio amateurs may not be unaware of. The ARRL commented on May 2 in response to a Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order (NPRM&O) in ET Docket 18-21, released in February. The so-called “Spectrum Horizons” proceeding seeks to make the bands above 95 GHz “more readily accessible for new innovative services and technologies.” ARRL said that, while it agrees that “regulatory flexibility is justified” in the millimeter-wave bands above 95 GHz, due to the extensive frequency re-use possibilities, the FCC ought to make two primary Amateur/Amateur Radio Satellite bands in that part of the spectrum unavailable for deployment of unlicensed Part 15 or Part 5 Experimental Spectrum Horizons devices. Amateur Radio has primary allocation status in the bands 134 – 136 GHz and 248 – 250 GHz, both shared with the Radio Astronomy Service, which is secondary.

“The amateur allocations require protection against increases in the noise floor due to aggregate radio frequency devices,” ARRL said. “The bands are used ubiquitously and unpredictably, typically, but not always, at high elevations for research and development purposes and propagation studies, for terrestrial point-to-point, satellite, and Earth-Moon-Earth communications experimentation.”

Read the full bulletin here…

ARRL asked to expand HF privileges for Techs

ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

“This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service,” ARRL said in its Petition. “It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills.”

Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide Technician licensees, present and future, with phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz, plus RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The ARRL petition points out the explosion in popularity of various digital modes over the past 2 decades. Under the ARRL plan, the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at 200 W PEP. The few remaining Novice licensees would gain no new privileges under the League’s proposal.

ARRL’s petition points to the need for compelling incentives not only to become a radio amateur in the first place, but then to upgrade and further develop skills. Demographic and technological changes call for a “periodic rebalancing” between those two objectives, the League maintains.

“There has not been such a rebalancing in many years,” ARRL said in its petition. “It is time to do that now.” The FCC has not assessed entry-level operating privileges since 2005.

Read the full story

Volunteers Are Needed

Image result for dicks pittsburgh marathon

Amateur Radio Volunteers Are Needed

It’s that time of year again! Since its return in 2009, the Pittsburgh marathon has grown to include over 35,000 runners. Amateur Radio has been an important part of the marathon since the beginning, and your help is needed again for this year’s event, which will run on May 6, 2018.

As in the past, we will be providing support to marathon medical staff. In keeping with the purpose of the Amateur Radio service, our main task is to provide emergency communications between the medical director and the various aid stations and other locations along the course, in the event regular communications channels fail. We also provide increased reliability for the most critical information and provide communications support to various medical officials. In order to accomplish this, we will staff many positions, including aid stations, mile markers, shadows for medical officials, and others. To fully cover all of these positions, we will need around 100 volunteer amateur radio operators, including you!

For more information or to volunteer click here

General Marathon Website