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:



Today we start a new series dedicated to amateur radio for cheapskates. Ham radio has a reputation as a “rich old guy” hobby, a reputation that it probably deserves to some degree. Pick up a glossy catalog from DX Engineering or cruise their website, and you’ll see that getting into the latest and greatest gear is not an exercise for the financially challenged. And thus the image persists of the recent retiree, long past the expense and time required to raise a family and suddenly with time on his hands, gleefully adding just one more piece of expensive gear to an already well-appointed ham shack to “chew the rag” with his “OMs”.


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.
  • Second Prize: “LF/MF Reversible EWE Antennas for Small Lot, Weak Signal Applications” by Michael Sapp, WA3TTS.   – See the April Edition of QST

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:


 click on images for full size picture