BREEZESHOOTERS CW GROUNDWAVE CONTEST

Open to all Radio Amateurs within Ground Wave distance of Pittsburgh, PA. Any ten-meter ground wave contact in the area is valid. Ground wave for the purposes of this contest shall be defined as: Any contact between the following states PA, NY, WV, OH, MD, DE, NJ only.  Scoring is base on number of points base on a grid map that is in the PDF.

CW Contest – Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021
Voice (AM,SSB,FM) – Saturday, March 6
Digital (FT8, PSK, JS8, RTTY) – Saturday, March 13

Start Time – 8:00PM EST until 11:00PM {Note new end time}

Click Here for Rules and more Information:
Breezeshooters Ground Wave- Rules 2021

HamCation – QSO Party & Webinars

The Orlando HamCation Special Edition online event and QSO Party will take place this weekend, February 13 – 14. The online event will include youth, technology, contesting, and vendor webinar tracks via Zoom.

ARRL will also present two webinars on Saturday, February 13. The ARRL Member Forum at 1 PM EST, will be moderated by ARRL Southeastern Division Director Mickey Baker, N4MB. Presenters include ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, and ARRL Director of Emergency Management Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW. Gilbert will also moderate an Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) presentation at 3 PM EST. The ARES presentation will include ARRL Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Karl Martin, K4HBN, and Southern Florida SEC John Wells, W4CMH.

The HamCation QSO Party — a 12-hour on-air event, will also take place this weekend. Nine HamCation special event stations with 1 × 1 call signs will be on the air with combined suffixes spelling out HamCation (e.g., K4H, W4A, K4M, etc). Each contact will count as one point, and stations may be worked once on each band and mode. Scores will be posted on www.3830Scores.com — no logs are required. Plaques and certificates will be awarded.

WSJT “FT-8” New Release

The WSJT Development Group has announced the general availability release of WSJT-X Version 2.3.0. A summary of new features can be found in the WSJT-X 2.3 User Guide. The Release Notes offer additional information, including a list of important program changes since the WSJT-X 2.2. Upgrading from earlier versions of WSJT-X should be seamless, and it’s not necessary to uninstall a previous version or move any files. Installation packages for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh are available. A release candidate (i.e., beta version) WSJT-X version 2.4.0-rc will be available soon. Its main new feature is a mode called Q65, with unique capabilities for EME and scatter propagation modes.

I Love Pluto – Special Event

The Northern Arizona DX Association will be conducting a 10 year special event countdown to the 100th anniversary of the historic discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. This 9 day annual event , as W7P , will be held every February through the 2030 anniversary with the inaugural event February 13-21, 2021(UTC).  Club members will be operating from Lowell Observatory and their home QTHs and each year of the countdown will feature a new QSL with subjects centered around Clyde, his discovery, the moons of Pluto, some of his homebrewed telescopes he used, etc., with lots of great information about this historic discovery.

A beautiful 8 X 10 color certificate , suitable for framing, with endorsement stickers for each year worked during the event will be available.

Each year, Doug Tombaugh(N3PDT), Clyde Tombaugh’s nephew will be operating during the event at W7P/0 and a contact with him or his team, counts as an additional endorsement on the certificate.

More information can be found on QRZ’s callsign lookup of W7P.

Raspberry Pi Pico

The rise of the micro controller has one new board out today. The Raspberry PI foundation has release and micro controller called the “Pico”.  What is the difference between a micro controller and a micro computer is that is has no operating system.  The code is loaded into the processor and it run just that one program 24 hours an day.  They are mostly used in controlling device such as car engines, thermostats, dishwashers, and other singular device running a single task.

What difference with the device the the foundation created there own silicon processor the RP2040 which has its spec’s below.  The board has a USB jack built on top of it which if you hold down the button while plugging it in turns it into a USB drive where you can simply drag and drop your software into memory.

  • RP2040 microcontroller chip
  • 264KB on-chip SRAM
  • 2MB on-board QSPI Flash
  • 26 multifunction GPIO pins, including 3 analogue inputs
  • 2 × UART, 2 × SPI controllers, 2 × I2C controllers, 16 × PWM channels
  • 1 × USB 1.1 controller and PHY, with host and device support

The other difference is that like the Arduino it can run the “C” programming language it can also run “Micro Python” which is a subset of the Python language.  Micro Python is getting a very popular in the micro controller boards.  It is a higher level language that is easier to learn and to work with.  Below is an example of a Morse code program written in Micro Python which is only 53 lines long.  And some hardware to interface to your radio and it will transmit Morse code all day long.

from machine import Pin, Timer
import time
led=Pin(25, Pin.OUT)
#----------------------------------------
# Morse code dictionary
#----------------------------------------
morse = {
    'A':'.-','B':'-...','C':'-.-.','D':'-..','E':'.','F':'..-.',
    'G':'--.','H':'....','I':'..','J':'.---','K':'-.-','L':'.-..',
    'M':'--','N':'-.','O':'---','P':'.--.','Q':'--.-','R':'.-.',
    'S':'...','T':'-','U':'..-','V':'...-','W':'.--','X':'-..-',
    'Y':'-.--','Z':'--..', 
    '1':'.----','2':'..---','3':'...--','4':'....-','5':'.....',
    '6':'-....','7':'--...','8':'---..','9':'----.','0':'-----',
    '.':'.-.-.-','/':'-..-.',' ':' '
}
#----------------------------------------
def dah(t):
    print("-", end=" ")
    led.value(1)
    time.sleep(t*3.0)   #Dah
    led.value(0)
    time.sleep(t*2.0)   #Char spacing
    
def dit(t):
    print(".", end=" ")
    led.value(1)
    time.sleep(t)       #Dit
    led.value(0)
    time.sleep(t*2.0)   #Char spacing
    
def space(t):
    print("  ", end=" ")
    time.sleep(t*3.0)   #Letter spacing
#----------------------------------------
def Transmit(message):
    timing=0.150        #Timing Value       
    Transmit_Code=""
    print("\n")
    for letter in message:  #Break message into code
        print(letter," ",morse[letter])
        Transmit_Code=Transmit_Code+morse[letter]+" "

    print("To be sent: ",Transmit_Code,"\n")
    for character in Transmit_Code: #Transmit the code
        if character == "-": dah(timing)
        if character == ".": dit(timing)
        if character == " ": space(timing)
#----------------------------------------
while True:
    Transmit("W3KWH FOX HUNT")
    time.sleep(5)
    

 

Winter Field Day – Going to work it?

Hello Members,

Are you planning to work Winter Field Day?  This is a good contest to do as your first contest since it tends to be pretty laid back. Give a listen then try working a couple of people.  This will help you get ready for the big field day this June!


Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) is a dedicated group of Amateur Radio Operators who believe that emergency communications in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that is done each summer but with some additional unique operational concerns.

 We believe as do those entities of ARRL Organizations like ARES & RACES that maintaining your operational skills should not be limited to fair weather scenarios. The addition of Winter Field Day will enhance those already important skills of those that who generously volunteer their time and equipment to these organizations. This is why WFD is open to all licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.

Home Page: https://www.winterfieldday.com/

Official Rules: Click Here

 

NWS Pittsburgh Ambassador Newsletter

Good Morning Ambassadors, Please find the attached winter edition of the NWS Pittsburgh WRN Newsletter.
Newsletter features:  Jan Newsletter <- Click to read

  • A look back at our snowy, record-setting December 2020
  • Introduction to the Polar Vortex
  • SIGN UP: Virtual River Ice Spotter Training: January 26th at 10 AM.
  • This event is hosted by NWS Cleveland, but NWS Pittsburgh will serve as a panelist and be available for questions.
  • Spring 2021 Outlook

As always, we love hearing about the work you are doing to promote weather safety in your community. Please send us an email with your story!
Stay warm,

Myranda Fullerton & Jared Rackley
Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Team
National Weather Service Pittsburgh
192 Shafer Road
Moon Township, PA 15108
www.weather.gov/pittsburgh

Online Training Today

Contest University Presents:
“The 2021 Propagation Summit”
Sponsored by DX Engineering and Icom America.
January 23, 2021 (Saturday) from 11 AM – 3 PM (all times are EST)
via Zoom Webinar.

Presentations:

11 AM – “Update on the Personal Space Weather Station Project & HamSCI activities for 2021” – Dr. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF

Noon – “Solar Cycle 25 Predictions & Progress” – Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA

1 PM – “Maximizing Performance of HF Antennas with Irregular Terrain” – Dr. James Breakall, WA3FET

2 PM – “HF Propagation:  what to expect during the rising years of solar cycle 25” – Frank Donovan, W3LPL

Drawing for an Icom IC-705 donated by Icom America and DX Engineering – both CTU sponsors.  Winner must be present on Zoom to win. To register for this free CTU Propagation Summit Webinar CLICK HERE