New Rotor – Green Heron

click image for full size picture
Several weeks ago it was notice that the rotor on our south tower TriBander had frozen up again. After being refurbish several times already it was decided to just replace the rotor with a new one.  It was a good decision due to the fact of when Matt climb the tower to remove it the rotor felled apart in his hands.  Due to the research of done for the Mosley antenna it was decided to get a Green Heron rotor package.  This controller has several smart features including starting the rotation slowly and ramping up the speed as it turns. Plus a nice safety feature of the controller not seeing any movement it will cut the power and show an error message.  It has one more fancy feature in it ive better feedback to the computer.  The little N1MM program will now show you what direction it is pointing and you can watch it move with a small pointer inside the program. Green Heron program is even fancier in it show a map with an overlay of the signal pattern on the map and you can click and drag the overlay to what ever country you want to work.  So come on up for the social meeting and try it out. Special Thanks goes out to Matt, KB3PJW and Karl, WA3VXJ for doing all the tower work in the summer heat. 

click on image for full size picture

What Is A ‘Go kit’?

Special Thank To: 
Huntsville Amateur Radio Club

Go here for the the original
interesting document:

A Go-Kit is made up of a portable “Amateur radio” station and assorted personal gear that can quickly be assembled to respond to a “Call To Service”. What the kit will consist of depends on the type of incidents being responded to and potential extent of the events.

  1. The best kit for you may not fit a “canned” list, but should be based upon your operating mode, experience and local conditions.
  2.  A typical “go” kit should sustain a day of continuous operation and be easily supplemented for overnight or weekend trips. The bare essentials are a 2-meter or dual-band radio, some sort of “gain” antenna, auxiliary power source, writing materials, comfort and safety items. You can do a lot with a minimum kit, if you plan its contents carefully. There is risk of not having something you may
    need if you go “too” light, but obvious “bells and whistles” should stay home
  3.  A Go-Kit radio is usually capable of more transmitter power than a HT. It is good practice to use no more transmitter power than required, but it is also necessary to have enough power available to complete the communications. The additional transmit power does not have to be utilized, but if needed, it is there.
  4. The ARRL ARES Field Resources Manual provides excellent guidance on “Go” kits.

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.

Chief, Army MARS

New Jersey – QSO Party

As suggested by Lloyd, KA3MSE
For full rules and aditional information see:



  • Contact as many NJ amateurs in as many NJ counties as possible.
  • NJ stations contact as many amateurs in the US, Canada and the world as possible.


  • September 15 & 16, 2018
  • Sat. 1200 (noon) EDST (1600 UTC) to 2359 EDST (0359 UTC) and
    Sun. 1000 EDST (1400 UTC) to Sun. 1600 EDST (2000 UTC)


  • 80 , 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters ONLY.
  • Suggested frequencies:
 Band CW Phone
80M 3.550 3.825
40M 7.050 7.190
20M 14.050 14.250
15M 21.050 21.400
10M 28.050 28.400

Entry Categories

  • Single Operator
    • High power (150 W or more)
    • Low power (<150 W)
    • QRP (5 W or less)
  • Multi-operator
    • High power (150W or more)
    • Low power (<150 W)
    • QRP (5 W or less))
  • Mobile/Rover/Portable
    • Low power (<150 W)
    • QRP (5 W or less)
    • NJ stations, operating in more than one NJ county, must append a slash and the county abbreviation to their call.
    • Non-NJ stations, operating in more than one state or province should append a slash and their state or province abbreviation to their call.
    • Mobile or portable stations that change geographic area (county for NJ stations or S/P/DX for others) are considered to be a new station and may be contacted again for QSO points and multiplier credit. No station may claim simultaneous operation in more than one county, state, or province.
  • Rookie
    • Licensed within 1 year of date of the NJQP.
    • Rookie operators should select “Rookie” in the overlay category.


  • CW and Phone.
  • No repeater or internet modes.




WACOM Hamfest – New Location

Washington Amateur Communications Inc.

New location for the WACOM hamfest this upcoming November 4th. Click on the link below to get directions to there new site.  This is one of the most popular hamfest of Western Pennsylvania and well attendant by Steel City Members.

The Printscape Arena at Southpointe
114 Southpointe Blvd
Canonsburg, PA 15317
Exit 48 off Interstate 79
8:00 A.M –3:00 P.M—Admission $5.00

Hamfest Flyer:

Google Map Directions:

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

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.”


SOTA – Summits On The Air

Summits on the Air

SOTA has been carefully designed to make participation possible for all Radio Amateurs and Shortwave Listeners – this is not just for mountaineers! There are awards for activators (those who ascend to the summits) and chasers (who either operate from home, a local hilltop or are even Activators on other summits).

SOTA is fully operational in nearly a hundred countries across the world. Each country has its own Association which defines the recognized SOTA summits within that Association. Each summit earns the activators and chasers a score which is related to the height of the summit. Certificates are available for various scores, leading to the prestigious “Mountain Goat” and “Shack Sloth” trophies. An Honor Roll for Activators and Chasers is maintained at the SOTA online database

How do I start?

Summits on the Air is an amateur radio awards scheme. To participate in this scheme you do not become a “member”, there are no dues to be paid or membership cards to be issued. You can join in straight away! You will find it helpful to register accounts our online services, namely SOTAwatch, the SOTA Database and the SOTA Reflector. There is no charge for these accounts, but once registered you can use SOTAwatch to see what is happening right now in SOTA and, join in discussions on the Reflector and log your activity in the Database.

You can then Chase or Activate when you feel like it – SOTA is global, activations can take place throughout the 24 hours of the day. Once you transfer your log to the database there is a permanent record and you can check your entries against those of the stations that you contacted, and keep track of your progress towards awards. Later you might wish to purchase awards, trophies or goods from our on-line shop. These purchases and the occasional donation are the means of financing the SOTA facilities.

For more information:

SOTA Watch:

SOTA Handout: