QCARC Calendar

June 2017
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July 2017
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QC Weather

Chance of a Thunderstorm
Monday 06/26/2017 60%
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. High 71F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 06/27/2017 20%
Partly Cloudy
Cloudy skies early will become partly cloudy later in the day. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 67F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.
Clear
Wednesday 06/28/2017 10%
Clear
Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 76F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Quad-County Weather Page

Latest News

Clearfield County SkyWarn® Training Re-Scheduled

Clearfield County SkyWarn® Training Re-Scheduled

The SkyWarn presentation has been rescheduled for July 19, 2017. This training is open to amateur radio operators as well as the general public. It is not required but if amateur radio operators could, also email me if  you anticipate attending at: “bryan at wa3ufn dot com”. Since I initiated the planning ...

Read More

North Western PA Tornado

Severe Weather Awareness Week started a bit early for folks in North Western PA. April 20, 2017 brought an EF0 tornado to Mathews Run in Warren County, just north west of Youngsville, PA. Fortunately there were no injuries or serious damage from the short lived tornado. Details of the tornado can ...

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SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK APRIL 24 – 28, 2017

SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK APRIL 24 – 28, 2017

Since the National Weather Service outline for Severe Weather Week encompasses the weather that we encounter in our area, it might just be a great idea to check the State College, NWS website (http://www.weather.gov/ctp/SevereWeatherAwarenessWeek) for some important information. The information on the web pages just happen expand on the April ...

Read More

WIRES-X , The New Kid on the Block

This article was originally posted January 15, 2016 Just above the horizon – WIRES-X! Recently you may have heard some rather odd noises and unlikely QSOs taking place on the N3QC, 147.315 repeater. The latest update to our repeater was added January 12, 2016 when the Yaesu Wires-X Voice Over Internet ...

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Desktop Wallpaper, 4x3, on green

April 2017 Parasitic Emission

In a shocking development, Joe W3BC has finally come to his senses and put out a modest but informative edition of the Parasitic Emission newsletter. You may download it here: Parasitic Emission, Volume 43, Number 1, April 2017

Read More

Pennsylvania Flood Safety Awareness Week

The National Weather Service Flood Safety Awareness Week Begins March 27. Considering we experience flooding in our area rather often, it is likely worth your time to check out the National Weather Service flood safety week web page at http://www.weather.gov/ctp/floodSafetyWeek The week starts out with information on the continuing effort ...

Read More

Advanced Skywarn Training-POSTPONED, ironically, due to weather!!!!!!

Due to winter storm "Stella", NWS PBZ has cancelled the Advanced SKYWARN class. The date and time will be announced later!!!   Jefferson County DES, Clarion County OES and National Weather Service Pittsburgh are co-sponsoring an Advanced Skywarn training. The course will be held at the Strattanville Fire Department 441 Washington Street, Strattanville, ...

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Please Keep Fire Hydrants Clear

I know this is not directly related to amateur radio but it is directly related to neighborhood safety. It may even be directly related to your safety!

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Basic SKYWARN in Punxsutawney

National Weather Service Pittsburgh will be conducting a BASIC SKYWARN course at the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center 201 N Findley St on Thursday April 27, 2017 starting at 6PM. To register, email marlene@weatherdiscovery.org This course is open to ANYONE interested in Weather. Hams are encouraged to attend. If you are a current ...

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I Have My Amateur Radio Operator License – Now What

This question often occurs with newly licensed radio amateurs, and may occur from time to time with those who have been licensed for a few years. One of your first avenues to find out an answer to a question may be your local amateur radio club. Often times there are ...

Read More

Get Weather Ready Before A Tornado

Spring really is not too far away and with the change of seasons some rather interesting but destructive weather can occur. One of the more serious weather phenomenons we have to occasionally deal with is the tornado. While not a frequent issue, it is one that we need to be ...

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NOAA’s  National Weather Service Pages Are Changing

NOAA's National Weather Service Pages Are Changing

If there is anything true about our world it is change! The changes on the NWS pages has been moved to April, as the information states.: "Effective April 4, 2017, NWS will implement the next version of the forecast pages. Highlights will include a standardized look and feel, a mobile-ready landing ...

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Updated QCARC Net Format

Hi folks, by clicking on the Club logo below, you will find the current net format to be used for the VHF and UHF nets. This format was first used for the February 19, 2017 VHF and UHF nets and is available for download so that anyone can run the net. Running ...

Read More

Winter Travel - More Than Just Cold Temeratures

  As we’ve seen this winter, the weather can change rather quickly. Especially when traveling, we need to be prepared for those extremes during our winter travels. One of the biggest issues this winter has been the occurrence of white-outs. Often times these winter squalls materialized so fast there is no ...

Read More

Amateur Radio Parity Act - Reintroduced And Renamed

Information from the ARRL is that the Amateur Radio Parity Act has been reintroduced in the US House as of January 13, 2017, as HR 555. The article states that HR 555 is a continuation of efforts from late last year, "The wording of HR 555 is identical to the language ...

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QCARC Events

  • No events.

Clearfield County SkyWarn® Training Re-Scheduled

The SkyWarn presentation has been rescheduled for July 19, 2017. This training is open to amateur radio operators as well as the general public.
skywarn-wtmIt is not required but if amateur radio operators could, also email me if  you anticipate attending at: “bryan at wa3ufn dot com”.
Since I initiated the planning I would like to know how many are planning to attend, just curious. Thanks!

See the following information from Peter Jung, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, State College :

1 – SkyWarn Training: July 19th at 6:30 pm.
2 – Location: 911 Leonard Street in Clearfield, the Clearfield County 911 Center.
3 – Register by sending an email to: Scott Mignot at “smignot  at  clearfield911  dot  com”

Registration in this method is important so that we can get an accurate count of who will attend, and a way to directly reach out via email should we need to do a last minute cancellation or change.

GENERAL REMINDERS FOR SKYWARN CLASSES

  • Classes are free and open to the public
  • Attendees under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian
  • Classes typically last about 90 minutes
  • Bring a pen/pencil to the class
  • If possible, bring the Latitude and Longitude of your home
    (see this page to determine your coordinates:  http://www.latlong.net/convert-address-to-lat-long.html )
  • Current spotters bring your old ID Card or Spotter Number

 

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SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK APRIL 24 – 28, 2017

Since the National Weather Service outline for Severe Weather Week encompasses the weather that we encounter in our area, it might just be a great idea to NWS SPRINGcheck the State College, NWS website (http://www.weather.gov/ctp/SevereWeatherAwarenessWeek) for some important information. The information on the web pages just happen expand on the April 21st QCARC meeting program.

The topics covered each day will be: Monday – Tornadoes, Tuesday – Severe Thunderstorms, Wednesday – Flash Flooding, Friday – SkyWarn™ Spotters. You can click on the weekdays a few lines below the icons.

 

 

WRN lower panel

Pennsylvania Flood Safety Awareness Week

Spring WX Safety

The National Weather Service Flood Safety Awareness Week Begins March 27. Considering we experience flooding in our area rather often, it is likely worth your time to check out the National Weather Service flood safety week web page at http://www.weather.gov/ctp/floodSafetyWeek

The week starts out with information on the continuing effort to modernize the hydrologic information that enables the general public to be aware of water levels in bodies of water in their areas. An interactive, real time hydrologic map of PA.

Toward the bottom of Monday’s page are a couple downloads in .pdf format that may be of interest.

One of my favorite topics is the “Turn Around Don’t Drown” information that is available, that EVERYONE should follow. If people do not follow the simple phrase they are risking not only their own life and those who may be in the vehicle with them but also the lives of the rescue responders. The “Turn Around Don’t Drown” campaign is highlighted Tuesday.

The balance of the week includes; the causes and severity of floods, flood insurance and flood safety.

Please take some time to refresh yourself of flooding issues and the safety points that everyone should be aware of.

 

WRN lower panel

 

I Have My Amateur Radio Operator License – Now What

This question often occurs with newly licensed radio amateurs, and may occur from time to time with those who have been licensed for a few years. One of your first avenues to find out an answer to a question may be your local amateur radio club. Often times there are members of the local club who can give an authoritative answer to your questions as well as direct you to periodicals whether a print version or online to qualify what they tell you and provide even more information. Of course, if you want, you can just jump online and find out some information to your questions but remember you may still need some clarification to the answers you find and again that is where the knowledge of long time radio amateurs can help clear up your new questions.

Doctor_is_In_Podcast_Icon_2One of the online resources which may be of interest is the “ARRL The Doctor is In”  podcast. You do not need to register or be an ARRL member to listen to these informative programs. Direct your browser to http://www.arrl.org/doctor . This is an audio presentation that you can listen to over your computer or tablet. There is an archive of a number of topics from previous episodes, listed toward the bottom of the page. Listening to these will likely generate even more questions but it shows you are learning and are interesting in learning! Take those questions to your local club or find an amateur radio operator who has some background relative the topic of you question.

You may have noticed that I tend to stress that you should talk to someone who is knowledgeable. Too often folks tend to have their personal perspectives color answers on given issues which may still be 100% accurate but since you are asking you likely will have a bit of a problem weeding out the biased answers, wrong answers and technically correct answers. The person you are getting your information from sometimes will say that a certain answer is their personal feelings toward a topic and then further inform you of where their perspective is coming from. Consider that the perspective may come from a personal experience, sometimes with very interesting and informative explanations!

This is only a couple ideas of what to do as a newly licensed amateur radio operator. The hobby is very diverse in what you can get involved in. For starters please give the podcast a try, it may surprise you it what is available to learn from it. Along with the podcast remember there is likely an amateur radio club reasonably close to you where you can find answers to your questions as well as meet others who are in the same hobby.

 

Updated QCARC Net Format

Hi folks, by clicking on the Club logo below, you will find the current net format to be used for the VHF and UHF nets.

This format was first used for the February 19, 2017 VHF and UHF nets and is available for download so that anyone can run the net.

Running the net may not flow easily if it is your first time but after a couple times, running the net will likely be second nature. Thank You and Good Luck.

Click the NET FORMAT icon to download the file.

Corrected version: 3/26/2017

Winter Travel – More Than Just Cold Temeratures

 

NWS Getting Traction

As we’ve seen this winter, the weather can change rather quickly. Especially when traveling, we need to be prepared for those extremes during our winter travels. One of the biggest issues this winter has been the occurrence of white-outs. Often times these winter squalls materialized so fast there is no time to react and the ensuing results can be catastrophic, as we have seen in our locale.

Preparing for winter travel includes both the folks in the vehicle as well as the vehicle. Click on the Getting Traction graphic for more information about preparing yourself and your vehicle for travel during the winter. You can never be too safe!

WRN lower panel

Time Check Those Smoke Alarms

It’s that time of year when you should change the batteries in you smoke detectors. While you are checking things, check the date on the detector. Typically detector lifetimes are 10 years. Remember your CO and combustible gas detectors too. If you happened to have the 10 year versions,that the batteries are not replaceable, infographic_2016_fpw-800x1035at least press the test button.

Here are some statistics from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
  • More than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

12 VDC Power Control

 

Many amateur radio operators have equipment operating on 12 VDC power supplies. There are times that the equipment needs to quickly switch to a 12 volt battery back-up. There is a very easy way to accomplish this without any intervention needed to switch back and forth from the AC operated power supply and the battery back-up as needed. I’ve found that the PWRgate meets the need to control a supply of 12 volt power to equipment when the AC power supply fails.
pwrgate
You’ll see in the photo that this unit has the Anderson Powerpole® connections that make connections super easy, if you have adopted Powerpoles® as your method of 12 VDC power connectors a standard. Remember that the Powerpoles® are the standard with most ARES and RACES groups across the Country to make interoperability of powering equipment easy but that’s another topic.

The latest model of the PWRgate has three output connections for the equipment that you may need to power, up to 25 amps. There is a connection for your back-up battery to charge your battery and power your equipment when the AC power supply loses its 120 VAC supply, as well as the input from an AC powered 12 VDC supply.

I can say from experience, I have one in use, this unit works as advertised. It is great to maintain 12 VDC to equipment that may otherwise lock up if the power is removed then reapplied when an orderly shutdown/restart should be done. The PWRgate is offered by an amateur radio operator, who provides fast shipping and super service if an issue may arise. You can visit the web site http://ki0bk.no-ip.com/~pwrgate/LLPG/Site/Welcome.html for more information on the PWRgate and other devices that are available.

 

FEMA NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS – INDIVIDUAL PREPAREDNESS

During this week, to be prepared, you should:

>  Understand actions you can take to be prepared for emergency
>   Be aware of specific needs you may have if an emergency strikes like: medication, power needs, eye glasses,
devices that you may count on, pet needs, etc.
>    Understand safety tips and protective actions you can take before or during a disaster.
>    Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips

Build a kit. Include enough food, water and medical supplies for your needs in your emergency kit to last for at least 72 hours. Ready.gov/myplan. Brought to you by the Ad Council and Ready.    

Build a kit. Include enough food, water and medical supplies for your needs in your emergency kit to last for at least 72 hours. Ready.gov/myplan. Brought to you by the Ad Council and Ready.

Information and graphics provided by FEMA
 

 

September is National Preparedness Month

Don't Wait. Communicate. Make a family emergency plan today. September is National Preparedness Month. Learn more at www.ready.gov/September.  

Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make a family emergency plan today. September is National Preparedness Month. Learn more at www.ready.gov/September.

September 11-17    Preparing Through Service

There is plenty that can be done to mitigate the adverse effects of a disaster,
whether it is a local or a large wide area issue.
Please take some time to review the information on the web site.
The information can help you, your family and your neighbors.

https://www.ready.gov/

This information provided in cooperation with America’s PrepareAthon!
America’s PrepareAthon! is a grassroots campaign for action to increase community
preparedness and resilience. Join others around the country to practice your preparedness!

US Lightning Fatalities

A surprising statistic in the U.S.A. for 2016, as of August 21 there have been 27 fatalities due to lightning, which is the total for 2015! It is difficult to definitively determine why so many people have been killed by lightning strikes so far this year. It could be that the word is not getting out. It could be that people are not hearing the information about the seriousness of lightning. It could be that people are just plain ignoring the fact that lightning is a major factor in deaths, especially during outdoor activities. Personally I believe it is the last possibility.

Lightning strikes the Empire State Building and other buildings

Please heed the warnings especially about moving indoors when you first hear lightning. I have first-hand experience when it comes to seeing the “bolt out the blue”. When the “bolt out of the blue” struck, I believe the storm was about 10 miles away. By the way, myself nor the other fellow who I was talking to heard thunder! Fortunately we were in his house but only about eighty feet from the tree that was struck. That was one lesson learned but everyone does not have the luck of a safe experience of a close strike to talk about.

Click on the photo of lightning striking the building for and interesting list of “Lightning Myths and Facts”.

Check out the National weather Service web site about the lightning strike statistics at:
http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/fatalities.shtml

Also check out the web site on ways lightning strikes people at:
http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/struck.shtml

 

The Quad County Amateur Radio Club is a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador“Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ and the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ logo are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.”

“Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ and the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™ logo
are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.”

 

 

 

Amateur Radio Clubs, They’re All Over The Place

 

Amateur radio clubs are all over the place, some make their presence known while others seem to hide from the amateur radio world. There are different reasons amateur radio clubs exist. Some appear to be very focused as to their reason for existence, while others try to be the club for all reasons. Some clubs even appear to exist only on paper for reasons known only to the person in charge. Clubs really should not exist just for an individual’s benefit, I believe that it is counterproductive.

Amateur radio operators who are in the locale of an amateur radio club that really is active should join and take advantage of this valuable resource. Experienced amateurs can also benefit by adding to building the resource. It is rather easy to find out if there is a club in your area and the style of club will quickly become apparent if you attend only a few meetings.

Take advantage of the experience and knowledge of amateurs who have been licensed for a number of years by getting involved in an active amateur radio club. It is rather true that the only question that is “stupid” is the one that is not asked. Join an active club, listen to what is going on and ask questions in order to build your knowledge about amateur radio. Having your questions answered, by knowledgeable people, will enhance your amateur radio hobby. You can even ask for help with an antenna installation. If there are folks in the club who are able to help, they are likely to be more than happy to help you get on the air with a good antenna installation. Face it, just because you passed a test does not equate to “knowing it all”, you will never know it all. This rationale applies to all aspects of life where a test is passed to attain a certification or license.

Life is a continuous learning event, for many people. Amateur radio is a very good hobby for learning. An active club can provide a good environment to learn, given that the right people are involved in the hobby to learn from in your area. Take advantage of the resources at hand – join and participate in an active amateur radio club whether you just passed your exam or getting back into the hobby or someone who is a seasoned well versed amateur.