Field Day 2024 @ Club House

Join the Steel City Amateur Radio Club On June 22-23

For out biggest event of the year. Field Day 2024 will take place this Saturday June 22 from 2:00 PM though 2:00 PM on Sunday the 23rd.  The club house will be in full operations during this time.  We will have CW, Phone, and Digital operators on the air.  The public is welcome to attend to check out our operations and join in on the fun.  See our operators work every state in the country in 24 hours.  Food will be served for Saturday Dinner, Midnight Rations, Sunday Breakfast, and Sunday Lunch. Not only will we be on the air at our station we will be showing off our portable setup also while we try out some of our new POTA antenna’s at the club house.

 

Breeze Shooter Hamfest

HAMFEST IS BACK!
Sunday – June 9th @ 8AM
Back at the original Butler Farm Grounds

LISTEN FOR US OPERATING FROM THE FAIR GROUNDS
FOR THE LEWIS & CLARK ON THE AIR
CHECK IN ON TWO METERSM

This is starting to look like the event of the summer.  Many clubs are going to the hamfest to show off their clubs.  Steel City is also planning to do this too… The difference we are going to be showing our fellow operators that Steel City is an active club.  Members should plan to stop by our tables and rest your feet and grab a mic to make some contacts for the Lewis & Clark Special Event.  We will be on the HF band and also on the VHF bands.  Attendees will be able to contact our table on 2m to get a official Lewis and Clark contact.  Also Steel City is planning to have a big  informational setup at the show.  We are getting three tables at the hamfest with plans to use them this way

  • Table 1 – Information for the club
  • Table 2 – Special Event station for the Lewis & Clark remote operation

Directions to the Butler Farm Show Grounds

Click Map For Full Size Image


 

Our New Transmitter Site

Here is the view from our new transmitter site on Mt Washington.  Our UHF C4FM & FM repeater is now located 400 feet about the top of Mt Washington. Please send signal reports to the club.  Click on the images to see a full size picture.

SCARC POTA PICNIC

Save The Date
July 13, 2024

Steel City Picnic At Raccoon State Park
And POTA Event

Steel City will be hosting a club picnic out at Raccoon State Park the Saturday July 13th with a rain date of July 14st.   SCARC will be doing a POTA activation at the park during the picnic get your radio able to go mobile and bring them out to the park.  Hamburger & Hot Dogs and all the picnic fixing will be served.  This will be a great chance for beginners to see how to do a POTA activation.  Old timers will be get a good day outside having some portable fun.  This will be open to all ham radio operators.

EVENT LOCATION: Raccoon State Park

2024 Corn Roast

SCARC Corn Roast
And Open  House

Sunday August 18th @ 1:00 PM

Open to all SCARC members
Families
And
Pending member’s.

This year Corn Roast is an open house year.  We will be inviting our nearby amateur radio club’s leadership to this event.  This will let us show off the club to other hams and will let us enjoy the company of our larger ham radio community.

Don’t miss the fun or

“NO CORN FOR YOU!”

Don’t miss the fun or

“NO CORN FOR YOU!”

Public Demo W3C @ Carnegie Library

ENDS TODAY – MONDAY APRIL 22 

ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL
A Library & So Much More…

Fun for Everyone!
Saturday, April 20, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

Learn more here: Carnegiecarnegie.org

Steel City ARC will be doing a public demo out in the parking lot of the library.  Come out for the fun and to support the club as we show Ham Radio can be fun! We will also be having a special event station W3C from April 15-22nd.

Eclipse Balloons

April 8, 2024 – Balloon Tracks — Click on image for full size

Monday was not only a solar eclipse day it was a big balloon days.  As my Weather Balloon tracking system pick up 29 balloon were launched that day.  A lot of them were flown thru the eclipse path that day.  The above picture reflects what my station here in Oakdale was able to be picked up.  Most of the tracks near the lake were received once the balloon at above 80,000 feet.  Researching  it seem most were launched from Lima, OH and other were launch from along the Lake Erie shoreline.

This is just one of the many services Ham Radio is good at.  What good is all this data well at a resent Skywarn training session Fred McMullen from the Nation Weather Service confirms that they do view the https://sondehub.org/ daily since it a good place to be able to download the balloon data.  The image below show the location of the 12 ham radio tracking stations around the metro Pittsburgh area.  They automatically receive the data and relay it via the Internet to the above website. What equipment is needed to do this tracking? Just an Raspberry PI, RTLSDR dongle, and a antenna is all you need.

2024 World Amateur Radio Day

What: 2024 World Amateur Radio Day

Who: All amateur radio operators worldwide

When: Tuesday, April 18, 2024 at 0000 UTC until Wednesday, April 19, 2024 at 0000 UTC

Where: A global event covering all regions of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)

Why: World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.

The theme for 2024 is “A Century of Connections: Celebrating 100 years of Amateur Radio Innovation, Community, and Advocacy”

Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short-wave spectrum could support long-distance radio signal propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to promote the interests of amateur radio worldwide and to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges. Today, the IARU is a federation consisting of more than 160 national amateur radio organizations in as many countries and separate territories. The International Secretariat of the IARU is ARRL  The National Association for Amateur Radio® in the United States.

How: World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but rather an opportunity to “talk” about the value of amateur radio to the public and our fellow amateur colleagues. It is also a great opportunity to talk about your radio club and amateur radio in local media as a lead-up to ARRL Field Day (held each year during the fourth full weekend in June) and another ham radio related activity in your community – such as volunteers who serve in local emergency communication readiness including the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service®.

Steel City @ WASHfest

Steel City @ WASHfest

On Sunday Feb 25th the Steel City ARC will be having two tables at the WASHfest Hamfest.  One table will be promoting the club and the other table will be for SCARC members to sell items.  As always members are encourage to stop by and say Hi or even man the booth and talk about the club to the hamfest goers. We will have extra chairs for SCARC members to rest there feet while enjoy the hamfest.

Weather Balloon Tracking

For the past month I have been running this weather balloon tracking program. Its called “auto_rx” and it is a great piece of software.  This software lets you receive weather balloon data and uploads it to the Sonde-Hub Tracker website so other can see the balloon tracks.  For running the software locally you can get real time data it has an internal webserve so any computer in your house can see the data from the balloon and follow its plot on a map, and one of neater things it can do is to plot earlier received balloon paths.

Now my setup is a Raspberry PI 5 {A 4 would work} an RTL-SDR receiver and one of Arts WA3BKD J-Poles.   As you can see I can track a balloon all the way beyond State College. These balloons often reach a height of 107,000+ feet.  So I can hear it from a pretty far way usually its the curvature of the Earth causing me to loose the signal.  While my station is receiving the signal it will also forward the data to the Sonde-Hub Tracker website. It is neat to see your callsign as the station providing the data.

Now my setup has only one RTL-SDR dongle so I can only track one balloon at a time. The software can handle more than one RTL-SDR at a time. So right now once I loose the first track it will start scanning again and often picks up the balloon coming from Cincinnati, OH. Also a couple of times when the wind is blowing from N to S it will pick up Canadians balloon at their peak altitude.

Below are the links to the Sonde-Hub Tracker website and Auto_rx software, the balloon are launched at 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM and are airborne for an hour to an 1 1/2 hours.   People do use this software to track and recover the balloon payloads.  It just another neat part of this wonderful hobby.

Website: Sonde-Hub Tracker
Software: Auto_rx