Volunteers Are Need – Great Race

46TH RUNNING OF THE GREAT RACE
SEPTEMBER 24, 2023

Once again, the Pittsburgh Great Race has requested assistance from amateur radio operators. We will need volunteers at fixed points on the course from the East End to Downtown. In addition, We will need volunteers to shadow the race officials Downtown. The good news is there is an away game for the Steelers on 9/24 and we will not encounter any traffic issues as such. For those downtown, we usually get free parking; however, I won’t have final confirmation on that until the week leading up to the race.

A dual band HT with a longer antenna will suffice for purposes of this race.

f you are interested in volunteering, please contact NU3Q Bob Mente, Allegheny County EC, at (412) 279-9016 (landline) or (412) 736-7385 (cell) – or by e-mail at allegheny@wpa-arrl.org or allegheny@nu3q.us.

For race information and course information click here https://www.rungreatrace.com/

Hurricane Watch Net Is Activated

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is activate for current Hurricane. Please keep the follow frequencies clear for the net operation which are on 14.325 MHz, and 7.268 MHz.

The primary mission of the Hurricane Watch Net is to disseminate tropical cyclone advisory information to island communities in the Caribbean, Central America, along the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S., and throughout the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas. We also collect observed or measured weather data from amateur radio operators in the storm-affected area as well as any post-storm damage and convey that information to the Hurricane Forecasters in the National Hurricane Center via the amateur radio station in the center (WX4NHC). In addition, we provide the same service for the Canadian Hurricane Centre whenever a hurricane threatens their country.

For More Information: https://hwn.org/
National Hurricane Center:  https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Sun Spot & Space Weather

HF RADIO COMMUNICATIONS

Space weather impacts radio communication in a number of ways. At frequencies in the 1 to 30 mega Hertz range (known as “High Frequency” or HF radio), the changes in ionospheric density and structure modify the transmission path and even block transmission of HF radio signals completely. These frequencies are used by amateur (ham) radio operators and many industries such as commercial airlines. They are also used by a number of government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Defense.

There are several types of space weather that can impact HF radio communication. In a typical sequence of space weather storms, the first impacts are felt during the solar flare itself. The solar x-rays from the sun penetrate to the bottom of the ionosphere (to around 80 km). There the x-ray photons ionize the atmosphere and create an enhancement of the D layer of the ionosphere. This enhanced D-layer acts both as a reflector of radio waves at some frequencies and an absorber of waves at other frequencies. The Radio Blackout associated with solar flares occurs on the dayside region of Earth and is most intense when the sun is directly overhead.

Another type of space weather, the Radiation Storm caused by energetic solar protons, can also disrupt HF radio communication. The protons are guided by Earth’s magnetic field such that they collide with the upper atmosphere near the north and south poles. The fast-moving protons have an affect similar to the x-ray photons and create an enhanced D-Layer thus blocking HF radio communication at high latitudes. During auroral displays, the precipitating electrons can enhance other layers of the ionosphere and have similar disrupting and blocking effects on radio communication. This occurs mostly on the night side of the polar regions of Earth where the aurora is most intense and most frequent.

More information on solar activity from an amateur radio operator’s perspective is available at https://www.qrparci.org/resource/FDIM81.pdf


CNN Article:
Sun’s activity is peaking sooner than expected

The Road to the 2023 National Scout Jamboree

LINK TO ARTICLE: https://k2bsa.net

We are less than a three weeks away from the start of the 2023 National Scout Jamboree at The Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.  Showcasing amateur radio at the National Jamboree has been a tradition of the K2BSA since 1977, and this year is not any different.  Well, it’s a little different.

This year the Jamboree was slotted to be a bit smaller than previous Jamborees, and as such the funding for extra programs were cut.  We decided early on that K2BSA would continue to participate at the event regardless of funding cuts.  We were given our budget of $0 in mid-2022, so we reached out to secure funding for the program with the ARDC.  The ARDC has been the recent source of funding for many programs and projects that have historical and significant impacts to the amateur radio community, and we thank them immensely for agreeing with our proposal to continue this event.  Their funding will be providing commercial tent rentals, chairs, tables, and technology to make the event safe and effective for our program.

Icom America has once again outfitted the K2BSA crew with their outstanding transceivers. Our HF operations will be conducted using the IC-7300.  We will be active on three HF bands at the same time as conditions permit 40m and up.  Satellite operations will be operated using the IC-9700.  VHF/UHF and D-Star operations will be on the ID-5100A and ID-52A.  Summits on the Air activity will be conducted with the IC-705!  We have several amateurs on the crew interested in activating Garden Ground Mountain – W8V/NR-058 during our two weeks at The Summit. The performance and reliability of the loaner gear is paramount to the success of the event, and the Icom America gear continues to outperform all expectations.

We hope to work you on the air when K2BSA becomes active!  We expect to be on HF (40m-10M band conditions permitting), D-Star (REF033A), and the local repeater(s) will be linked to *JOTA-365* conference node on Echolink.

Two Repeater Is Back UP

Two Repeater Is Back Up

I have turn the repeater back on again.  So far the 2m repeater is behaving and Echolink is confirm to be working again.  If you see or hear any issues please email tech@w3kwh.com to let the tech team know what going on.


On a side note the two meter net that was on our 440 machine was lightly attended.  Do you have the 440 machine programmed into all your radios?  Remember the UHF machine is always our back up machine.  The 440 machine is a DUAL MODE repeater it can handle C4FM and FM modes.  You can use it like any other FM repeater.  So make sure you program 444.450 Mhz + with an PL of 103.5.  {Remember to turn on the T-SQL so you wont be bug by the digital signal}  And if you have an digital radio program it again for 444.450 Mhz + C4FM to let you switch between modes easily. During any nets the link to the Keystone Room will be turn off.

Field Day 2023

Field Day 2023

Open to the general public – come for a visit!

It that time of year the super bowl of ham radio is going to take place on June 24 & 25.  So keep those days open for ham radio.  Grab a family member and bring them up to log for you.  Invite your family and friends to come up for a visit this is the best day to see SCARC in action. This will be an 24 hour operation.  Going from 2pm Saturday to 2pm Sunday.  Your welcome to try to do it for the duration if you want.  But we will need people to help setup at 12 noon Saturday and clean up after 2pm on Sunday.  We will need operators for the over night shift and people to be equipment managers to help maintain the radios, generator, and even the club house.  We need cooks too  if you have a family member wishing to help out let us know.

SIGN UP SHEET
https://docs.google.com

FCC Got Hacked

The Federal Communications Commission has alerted broadcasters to a disruption of its Universal Licensing System (ULS). Various services have been unavailable since Friday, June 9.

Affected systems include the commission’s Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS), E-106 System and Antenna Structure Registration System (ASR). The FCC says this disruption is due to technical issues. During this time, no applications may be filed through the database.

As of June 13, there is no timeline for recovery, although the commission says it anticipates resolving these problems

Here the full story here:
https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/business-and-law/fcc-announces-disruptions-to-universal-licensing-system

Private land use restrictions bill

06/13/2023

Congressmen Bill Johnson (OH-06) and Joe Courtney (CT-02) reintroduced a bill in the US House of Representatives on June 12 — H.R.4006 (see full text of bill in this PDF) — to remove private land use restrictions that prohibit, restrict, or impair the ability of Amateur Radio operators from operating and installing reasonable antennas on property that they own or control. Similar legislation, H.R. 9670, was introduced by Congressman Johnson in 2022.

“I reintroduced the Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act to remove barriers to disaster and emergency communications and training, and to promote education in STEM subjects related to critically needed wireless technology,” Congressman Johnson said in a release. “Passage of this bill will promote developing and sustaining our nation’s wireless future and facilitate and encourage amateur radio operations as a public benefit.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Breeze Shooter Hamfest

HAMFEST IS BACK!
Sunday – June 4th @ 8AM
Back at the original Butler Farm Grounds

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
  • Table 3 – Steel City selling table – Sell off your junk

Steel City VE team members will be doing the VE testing session at the Hamfest.  For more information on the VE testing please contact Chris K3PQ.  VE testing will start at 8:30 AM in the Arts & Craft build next to the big exhibit halls.  See the map below for directions.

Directions to the Butler Farm Show Grounds

Click Map For Full Size Image


  • Educational Forums – 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30
    • POTA (Portable, Parks on the Air, SOTA) https://parksontheair.com
    • Introduction to Digital Modes FT8, FT4, Computer Interfacing Plus Advanced
    • Digital
    • Important Roles for Hams with Severe Weather Forecasting (NWS)
    • EMCOMM Operations including Live Demo of WEARS Mobile Unit
    • QSL Cards via ARRL, DXCC Card Checking on site
    • Construction and Operation of an Earth-Moon-Earth Station in Western PA
    • Introduction to Kit Building in Amateur Radio
  • Vendors & Sponsors include:
    • Alpha Antennas https://alphaantenna.com
    • Bioenno Power https://www.bioennopower.com/
    • DX Engineering https://www.dxengineering.com
    • Hammond Mfg https://www.hammfg.com
    • ICOM America https://icomamerica.com/en/amateur
    • KB3IFH QSL Cards http://kb3ifh.homestead.com/
    • KJI Electronics http://kjielectronics.com
    • Mastrant Antenna https://www.mastrant.com/
    • MPD Digital https://mpddigital.us/
    • MFJ Enterprises https://mfjenterprises.com
    • NatCom Group https://cometantenna.com
    • N3ZN Keys https://www.n3znkeys.com/
    • Pacific Antenna http://www.qrpkits.com/index.html
    • PiShop https://www.pishop.us
    • Power Film Solar https://www.powerfilmsolar.com/
    • Quick Silver Radio https://qsradio.com/index.html
    • Satellite Headquarters
    • Tigertronics http://www.tigertronics.com

 

ARMED FORCES DAY CROSSBAND TEST 2023

The Department of Defense will host this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band Test, scheduled for May 13th 2023. This annual event is open to all licensed amateur radio operators, and will not impact any public or private communications. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is only an exercise scenario, designed to include hobbyist and government radio operators alike.

The AFD Cross-Band Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly-controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications.

Military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and will announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All times are ZULU (Z), and all frequencies are Upper Side Band (USB) unless otherwise noted. The frequencies used for the test will not impact any public or private communications, and will not stray outside the confines of the exercise.

The following stations will be making two way radiotelephone contacts with stations in the ARS between the time periods listed on the frequencies listed in Kilohertz below.

For more information:
https://www.arrl.org/news/annual-armed-forces-day-crossband-test-1