Basic SKYWARN Training

On Wednesday March 9th there will be a in-person training session on how to become a Basic SKYWARN Spotter. It will be held at the Allegheny County Emergency Services located at 150 Hookstown Grade Rd., Moon Twp, PA, 15108 at 7:00 PM. Those that are interested can contact Robert Gerlach

Welcome to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania National Weather Service SKYWARN™ program. SKYWARN™ is a group of trained severe weather spotters that report directly to the National Weather Service.

Year after year, reports from SKYWARN™ observers have assisted the NWS in issuing timely warnings based on REAL-TIME reports throughout our 36 County Warning Area covering parts of PA, WV, OH, and MD. The NWS’s primary mission is to issue warnings to protect life and property.

Breezeshooter Contest This Weekend

Breezeshooter Fun Event

This Saturday March 5th

Steel City Club House

This Saturday at 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM Steel City ARC will be hosting a FUN PARTY along with the Breezeshooters Ground Wave contest.  We will have Pizza and Snack so make your way up to the club house and have some fun while making some 10 meter contacts.  This should be a good contest this year since the 10 meter band is opening up again. The mode of operation will be phone for the March 5th event.


Going to work the contest from home make sure you enter “W3KWH” under “Club Affiliation”

Yaesu Introduce New C4FM Radio

Yaesu has introduce a new dual band 50 watt C4FM mobile radio. This looks like a replacement for the old popular FTM-100DR transceiver. This back a lower cost radio that has portable node function.

– 50W Stable High-Power *Selectable 50W / 25W / 5W
– 2-inch High-Resolution  Display and Demountable Front Panel Controller
– 3W of Powerful, Clear and Crisp Audio Speaker
– Advanced C4FM Digital Mode
– 1104 Memory Channels including 5 “Home” channels, .
– Built-in 66ch High precision GPS receiver
– Wireless Operation Capability with the Bluetooth *Requires Unit BU-4
– WiRES-X Portable Digital Node / Fixed Node with HRI-200
– micro SD Card Slot (up to 32GB)

Ordering: https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/ysu-ftm-200dr

Winter Storm 2022

The winter of 2022 was quite an adventure.  On Feb 3, 2022 an ice storm took out our Verizon line loosing Internet for 4 days.  Here are the images of the storm and the recovery process.

Inside story ARRL Hurricane Maria

This is a very interesting story of one of the people that the ARRL deploy to Puerto Rico during the Hurricane Maria.  The story covers how to got there and what they had to go just to get on the island.  Then once on the island what they had to do to become the communication back bone for the whole island.  Include in his talk is what worked well and a tough review of things that could be improved.

SWL – Weather Fax Images

Every wonder what other beeping and buzzing sound off the ham bands are.  Or do you wonder how ships at sea get weather reports.  Well the Nation Weather Service still transmit fax weather maps out on the HF bands.  They have stations in Boston, New Orleans, Pt Reyes California, and Kodiak Alaska they transmit 24/7 on assign frequencies that you can find in this document. So how do you decode and view an fax image on your computer you use the good old FLdigi program the same one you use for decoding RTTY and PSK31 data.  From the OpMode menu item you select WEFAX and the the particular mode is called WEFAX576.  It does take about 10 minutes to receive an full fax image but once set up FLdigi will do all the work. Then just tune to the frequencies listed in the document for example 8.5039 Mhz for New Orleans  and center the tone so that they are around 1500 Hz in the FLdigi waterfall this will then let you set up your filtering to cut out adjacent noise on the the frequency.

If your image starts to look like it slide to the right or left you can adjust the “SLANT” to get the image vertical. You can also use “ALIGN” to center the image on your display. It does take about 10 minutes to receive the whole fax image but FLdigi will store the image automatically at the end of the broadcast. Now different station transmit different images. I have notice that Pt Reyes show the Pacific ocean images and New Orleans show the southern Atlantic image.

WORLDWIDE MARINE RADIOFACSIMILE BROADCAST SCHEDULES:
https://www.weather.gov/media/marine/rfax.pdf

Additional Weather Fax Information:
http://www.hffax.de/html/hauptteil_hffax_schedules.htm

Satellite Images via Fax: {Poor image due to loosing sync was stitched together}
wefax_20220202_090338_8502580_sat_image.png

Click on Image for full size view