WASH Two Meter Simplex Contest

18th Annual – WASH Two Meter Simplex Contest

This January will mark the Eighteenth Annual WASH 2 Meter Simplex Contest. We’ve already had a lot of interest in it, and this year promises to be even more exciting!  Everyone who participated in it the last sixteen years had a blast, & we hope to continue the tradition again this year! Rules were been revised before the 2013 event, following feedback from participants, and we have a new chair & a new address for mailing your logs from years past — please make certain that you use this year’s address!

Date & Times: Saturday, January 13th, 2018 from 7 to 11 PM EST.
(That’s January 14th 0000-0400 UTC to the purists!)

• To make as many contacts as possible
• To have fun!

Band, Mode & Frequencies:

The contest will take place solely on 2 meter band.
• FM : FM simplex only, no repeater contacts. The FM frequencies are all standard 2 Meter simplex frequencies, as per the ARRL 2 Meter Band Plan, every 15 kHz, from 146.505 to 146.595 MHz , and 147.450 to 147.580 MHz. Use of simplex frequencies in the “FM Experimental Simplex” band of 145.510 to 145.670 are not recommended. See list of recommended simplex channels at the end of the rules.

• CW: 144.05 to 144.1 MHz Only. (See ARRL 2 Meter band plan)

• SSB & AM: 144.2 to 144.275 MHz Only. (See ARRL 2 Meter band plan).

• Digital (including RTTY): 144.51 to 144.55 MHz. (See ARRL 2 Meter band plan) Multiple digital modes may be used, and participants are free to use any generally accepted Digital mode, but only ONE Digital QSO with a given station regardless of mode
→ Note: Listen for CW QSO’s around 144.1 MHZ 15 minutes after the hour
→ Listen for SSB & AM QSO’s around 144.2 MHz 30 minutes after the hour
→ Listen for Digital QSO’s around 144.51 MHZ 45 minutes after the hour

Power Limit: Maximum 100 watts output.

Exchange : Callsign, contact number, ZIP Code.
For the purposes of the contest, the 5 Digit ZIP Code for your location is sufficient — do not use the “Zip +4“ code. Mobiles and portables should use the ZIP code of their location as determined to the best of their ability. Canadian stations will use their 6 digit postal code

For more information & Rules check out page 17 of the WASH Rag

Straight Key Night – January 1

Every day is a good day to send CW, but January 1 is reserved for Straight Key Night. Enjoy CW as it has been sent and enjoyed since the earliest days of Amateur Radio. This 24-hour event is not a contest; rather it is a day dedicated to celebrating our CW heritage. Participants are encouraged to get on the air and simply make enjoyable, conversational CW QSOs. The use of straight keys or bugs to send CW is preferred. There are no points scored and all who participate are winners.

For more information: http://www.arrl.org/straight-key-night

Times: January 1 from 0000 UTC through 2359 UTC

W3KWH FT-8 Log

                         W3KWH FT-8 Log

Wondering how popular the new digital mode FT-8 mode is getting?  We downloaded the logbook from the WSJTX program on just the Kenwood TS-590 rig.  This one radio had over 952 QSO with other FT-8 users from around the world. I have broken down the log by the different bands and have sorted the list by call sign.  I have also included the complete logbook in Excel format if you want to dig it down farther.

6m                        88
10m                        9
15m                    154
17m                        2
20m                    172
40m                    351
80m                        2
160m                  157
Unknown Band    26

Total QSO           952

PDF of the logbook sorted by call sign

Complete raw logbook in Excel


2m Repeater – HIGH POWER

Steel City 2m FM Repeater is now running HIGH POWER

Update 12/23/17
Today’s work party was very successful we discovered yet another bad jumper which has now been taken out of circulation. So here’s the update the 2 meter radio is now running on the amp with an output of 85 watts, and the noise is gone in fact it is sounding even better.  While tracking down the noise we temporary move the Fusion repeater down to two meter side and it was fun trying out two meter digital.  At this time the Kenwood is hooked back up so the controller and Echolink continue to work.

Since we moved the Fusion machine down temporary we decided hook the New Fusion DR-2X repeater back up to the 440 side.  Since we bought the new SWR meter we quickly found the bad jumper when the SWR hit 5 to 1.  Thinking that temporary antenna was the problem we hooked back up to the tower mount folded dipole antenna it too had the same bad SWR.  So then we swap out some jumper and found the bad one.  It wasn’t one of the ones that we got from that vendor it was an older cable. Once we swap the jumper out we found the folded dipole had a good SWR so we decided to leave it hooked up.  With the new repeater the DR-2X seem to have fixed the signal issues.  It is definitely hearing a lot better now.

So What Next:

  1. We need to buy some new jumpers.
  2. Hook up Wires-X to new Fusion DR-2X.
  3. Hook up the new 440 antenna on the tower.
  4. Fix the Astron power supply the positive power stud is getting loose.
  5. Get a better power distribution block for all the 12 volt accessories in the hut.
  6. Find how why the battery bank wont run the amp
  7. Add the fiber extension on the clubhouse side

Special Thanks:
Big thanks goes out to Karl, WA3VXJ and Joe, WB3AGB for coming out in the cold to lift repeaters and change out jumpers and to bounce suggestions back a forth.  Also Bobby, N3LL and Doug, W3HH for helping me track down a new Echolink issue and helping me set the levels. Finally thanks for all that gave us signal reports.

Your IT Gal,
Christine, N3LRG

UPDATE: 11/17/2017  Some noise started to leak though to the amp will be intermittent while we track the noise issue down…

All Steel City members are request to test out our two meter repeater and give signal report back via the clubs email reflector.  This past Wednesday Karl and myself hooked the 2 meter amplifier back up to the clubs repeater.   We would like to get some signal report on how it is get out in our previous weak areas. Also please give feedback on any noise reports that you might hear on the repeater.  So lets see how far we can get out now!


AO-91 open for amateur use!

From AMSAT.ORG website

At 06:50 UTC on November 23, 2017, AMSAT Engineering officially commissioned AO-91 (RadFxSat/Fox-1B). AMSAT Vice-President Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, turned over operation to AMSAT Operations in a QSO on the AO-91 transponder with Mark Hammond, N8MH, of the AMSAT Operations team during the pass over the Eastern United States.

N8MH responded and declared AO-91 open for amateur use!

AO-91 was built as a partnership with Vanderbilt University ISDE and hosts four payloads for the study of radiation effects on commercial off the shelf components. The satellite was launched on November 18, 2017 as part of the ELaNa XIV mission, secondary payloads aboard the Delta II rocket that carried the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) satellite to orbit. AO-91 also features the Fox-1 style FM U/v repeater with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry are downlinked via the “DUV” subaudible telemetry stream and can be decoded with the FoxTelem software.