Join Us This Weekend

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All are welcome to attend our annual Field Day celebration this weekend.  Both Amateur Radio Operators and the General Public are welcome to climb up our hill to check out this very interesting hobby of ham radio.   Steel City ARC will be be operating on all the bands from 160 meters though 70 cm bands.   Come on up and try out not only FM but SSB, Digital, and even CW operations.

The activities start at 2:00 PM on Saturday 6-22-19 and last for 24 hours.  Talk in to the club site will be on the Steel City Repeater 147.030 Mhz with an PL of 123.  Food and Refreshments will be provided for all that will be operating.   Training will be provided for those wishing to try out HF bands and or Digital Modes.  Learn how to operate our five  beam antennas, vertical antenna’s, and even our special 60 meters and 80 meters NVIS antennas. See how we can operate this whole weekend off of any commercial power.

MEMBERS: All Steel City members should try help out the club this weekend.  Lets try to see all the members come up and operate and have some fun at the same time. We will especial need help during our late evening and over night shifts.

Directions to the Steel City Club house: Here
Field Day 2019 Photo Page: TBA
Live Status Map: TBA


Stay tune for our live updates here!

Keystone WPA Room – Wires X now active

Update! The Steel City has join Uniontown ARC and Skyview ARC on the WPA Keystone room. When you talk on the UHF repeater {Using the digital mode} your voice will also be repeated on those machines. You can switch to other room but when done it will default back to the WPA room

 


 

KEYSTONE-WEST is live!  Just initiate a WIRES-X connection to “KEYSTONE-WEST” from your displayed room list – or – enter the ID of 60328, to connect.  We look forward to making this a very active digital watering hole for hams in Western Pennsylvania, as well as others who want to join in.  Looking forward to talking with you there!


Exciting Times!  The experimental connection to DWARN has been terminated, as we will soon launch the “KEYSTONE-WEST” WIRES-X room in WPA.  We should have it operational next week.  A new announcement will follow.
Cory Sickles – WA3UVV

World Scout Jamboree — NA1WJ Station

World Scout Jamboree — NA1WJ Station

You can work the World Scout Jamboree station July 22 to August 1.

We will be posting our operating frequencies in real time on Facebook and Twitter. You can also join our email group at https://groups.io/g/na1wj.

See Amateur Radio Live from the Jamboree for detailed information on frequencies.


Steel City Members:  Please keep an eye on this the scout will be looking for some contact and they will need our help

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

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

PGH Marathon – Amature History

Here are pictures from the very first Pittsburgh City Maraton dating back to 1985.  It is a reminder that the maraton take almost 100 ham radio operators every year to volunteer their time to have a safe maraton.  Below are the ham that help out on that very first maraton.  This years marathon take place Sunday May 5th, 2019.  again they will be asking us for volunteers to find out more information or to pick your spot on the race course check out the 2019 Maraton website for volunteers:  http://marathon.central.org/

1985

 click on images for full size picture

QST QST QST – ATTENTION ALL WPA RADIO AMATEURS

QST QST QST – ATTENTION ALL WPA RADIO AMATEURS AND ARES MEMBERS
FROM: WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION, ARRL
DATE: 17 JAN 19


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED SEVERAL SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGSFOR ALL 33 COUNTIES OF THE  WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SECTION.

BETWEEN NOW AND MONDAY, 21 JAN,  SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL OF ONE TO AS MUCH AS TWO FEET OF SNOW WILL FALL ON ALL COUNTIES IN THE WPA NORTH-1 AND NORTH-2 DISTRICTS.

ALTHOUGH LESS SNOW IS FORECAST FOR SOUTH-1 AND SOUTH-2 DISTRICTS, THEY COULD RECEIVE OVER 1/4 INCH OF ICE.

BEGINNING SATURDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUING INTO MONDAY, TEMPERATURES WILL DROP AND COMBINE WITH HIGH WINDS TO PRODUCE DANGEROUS WIND CHILL CONDITIONS.

—————————————————————————————————

PEMA HAS ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEWIDE ACS ACTIVATION NOTICE:

“Due to the predicted winter storm, ACS will be Activating from Saturday
1/19 08:00 Thru Monday 1/21 TBD an HF Net will be established on the HQ
Primary Daytime and Nighttime Frequencies starting on Saturday at 0800.
PEMA ACS will also monitor the PaNBEMS HF Frequencies and PEMA ACS DMR
Talkgroup on the Brandmister network starting at that time.

[PEMA EmComm RACES talkgroup is 31420 – de W3XOX]

Stations are asked to report their current weather conditions.  This
information will be used to provide PEMA with corroborating information
on where the snow, ice, and rain is occurring throughout PA for
situational awareness and operations planning.   See attached 205 for
operation details please be sure to read the notes in Box 5 special
instructions.  If anyone has any questions please feel free to email
Travis Best W3TMB at acso@pa.gov.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Click link for frequencies: 

[ http://wpa-arrl.org/Files/Winter_Event_ics_forms_205_LCK.pdf ]
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

WPA ARES ALERT 17 JAN 19 1823 EST…

ALL WPA ARES MEMBERS ARE ASKED TO MONITOR THE PEMA FREQUENCIES OF 3993.5 AND 7250.5 KHZ LSB VOICE AND/OR 3583.0 AND 7072.5 (USB DATA) FOR DATA TRANSMISSIONS, PER THE ICS-205 FORM. AFTER CHECKING IN, CONTINUE TO MONITOR AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF THE NET CONTROL STATION. ONLY TRANSMIT IF YOU HAVE TRAFFIC OR ARE CALLED BY NCS.

WPA ARES HAS NOT BEEN CALLED AS OF THIS WRITING. PLEASE MONITOR YOUR LOCAL AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY FREQUENCIES, THE PEMA FREQUENCIES AND IF REQUESTED, THE ARES FREQUENCIES OF 3983 AND 7272 KHZ LSB VOICE, YOUR COUNTY SIMPLEX FREQUENCY AND REPEATERS.

ATTENTION DMR OPERATORS:
PEMA WILL BE USING THE “PEMA EMCOMM” TALKGROUP #31420, AND THE ALTERNATE #31421.

WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA ARES OPERATIONS WILL BE CONDUCTED ON THE “WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA” TALKGROUP #31422 IF NEEDED.

THESE TALKGROUPS ARE ALL REGISTERED WITH THE BRANDMEISTER NETWORK. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CONNECTING TO THESE GROUPS, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPEATER’S TRUSTEE OR OTHER RESPONSIBLE PARTY.

THE TIME TO PREPARE FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW. PLEASE ENSURE YOUR EQUIPMENT IS READY AND PROPERLY CONFIGURED.

73 AND PRESS ON!
JOE SHUPIENIS W3BC
WPA SECTION MANAGER

Major Changes to ARES

Major Changes to ARES and OO Programs

The ARRL Public Service Enhancement Working Group has completed its two-year project to re-tool the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to meet the requirements of partner agencies, nationwide. The new program will consist of ARES Members who are “organized, trained, qualified and credentialed” to better serve our partner agencies.

The new program features three levels of ARES membership, which are matched by three levels of required training and certification. The training requirements will be met by members completing free, online courses including NIMS IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800 and the newly revised ARRL EC-001, which will be provided free of charge to ARES members. Additional training is required for all ARES leadership appointees (“*ECs”).

The ARRL Board has opened a public comment period which runs until October 31. ARRL requests your comments to be sent through your Section Emergency Coordinator <sec@wpa-arrl.org> and Section Manager <sm@wpa-arrl.org> only. The Board will review all comments and vote on the final program at the January 2019 ARRL Board Meeting.

The current OO program will end, and be replaced by a new Volunteer Monitoring program, administered by ARRL HQ, working closely with FCC. All current OOs will be invited to apply for the new program, which will concentrate on major enforcement issues the FCC requests. The goal is to provide more rapid enforcement response to significant, developing on-the-air violations rather than more minor operating and technical issues.

Much more information about these developments is available online at  www.arrl.org and in upcoming issues of QST.