QCARC Calendar

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QC Weather

Clear
Monday 10/16/2017 10%
Clear
Clear. Lows overnight in the low 30s.
Clear
Tuesday 10/17/2017 10%
Clear
Sunny skies. High around 60F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
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Wednesday 10/18/2017 10%
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A mainly sunny sky. High 68F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Quad-County Weather Page

Latest News

Amateur Radio License Exam Session

Amateur Radio License Exam Session

EXAM SESSION 09/29/2017 ALL CLASSES OF LICENSE EXAMS WILL BE OFFERED. Sponsor: Quad County ARC Date: Sep 29 2017 Time: 6:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed) Contact: Joe Shupienis (814) 371-3235 Email: w3bc@arrl.net VEC: ARRL/VEC Location: Penn State Dubois Smeal Building Du Bois, PA  15801

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2017 Jamboree On The Air

2017 Jamboree On The Air

This year the QCARC will activating a station from the Hallstrom Building located at the Camp Mountain Run Scout Camp. The station, N3QC, will be operating on HF bands, considering propagation characteristics to a given part of the World that we intend to communicate with. VHF & UHF frequencies may be activated ...

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W3CDG-11 Balloon Launch In The Air From Pittsburgh

The W3CDG-11 balloon launch is in the air. To watch the progress go to: aprs.fi for the current info. Launch was from the Pgh. Zoo.     The Balloon has landed in the Brackenridge. PA area. Congratulations to those affiliated with the successful flight!

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High Altitude Balloons Pass Nearby

High Altitude Balloons Pass Nearby

          Two high altitude balloons with APRS telemetry reporting transmitters passed just west of DuBois on September 13. These balloons were reporting altitudes of just over 45,000' and temperatures around 12 degrees F. I happened to capture a screen shot one of the balloons as it was posted online, via the WA3UFN-1, ...

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Hurricane Irma The Latest Severe Weather Threat

Hurricane Irma The Latest Severe Weather Threat

  Even though the hurricanes are well south of Pennsylvania, amateurs in our area may still be able to help pass health and welfare traffic. The hurricane watch net should be active as you read this. The net will be active on 14.325 MHz, then switch to 7.268 as conditions change. Check ...

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Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon — Good Test Of Preparedness

Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon -- Good Test Of Preparedness

  Area amateurs recently had an opportunity to actually test preparedness at the Baker Trail Ultra-Marathon where amateurs provided communications along a 50 mile trail where cellular communication was mostly unavailable. This was the real deal in testing the functionality of equipment and abilities of the operators to set up effective ...

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Amateur Radio Parity Act Moves Into The Senate

Amateur Radio Parity Act Moves Into The Senate

  This important piece of legislation that may very well have an effect on more amateur radio operators than what you may first  expect, has moved into the Senate. The legislation has a history of bi-partisan support but we still need to keep aware of what is occurring with the bill ...

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SKYWARN TRAINING – WORTH YOUR TIME

SKYWARN TRAINING - WORTH YOUR TIME

Sometimes things do not all ways as they appear. SkyWarn training may conjure up ideas of intense detailed training for the likes of those who are meteorologists.  No so! This training is for the everyday person on the street, so to say. The training gives the everyday person the background to ...

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Clearfield County SkyWarn® Training Scheduled

Clearfield County SkyWarn® Training 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 ...

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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 ...

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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

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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 ...

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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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QCARC Events

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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

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Contact Your US Senators AGAIN! Important!!!

Amateur Radio Parity Act Logo_1111/15/2016

ARRL once again is calling on its members to urge their US Senators to support the Amateur Radio Parity Act (H.R. 1301) when it comes up in the Senate during the “lame duck” session of Congress that adjourns in mid-December. The House of Representatives approved the bill in September, but if the Senate does not follow suit, the bill will die, and the entire process will have to be repeated. ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board’s Legislative Advocacy Committee and has been heavily involved in efforts to move H.R. 1301 forward, said today, “The clock is ticking!”

“We begin the e-mail campaign once again, as the US Senate returns to work this week after a month-long hiatus,” Lisenco said. “We were just beginning to build momentum in the Senate following the unanimous passage of the Parity Act in the House when Congress shut down for the 4 weeks prior to Election Day.”

The task is simple: Go to our Rally Congress page, enter your ZIP code, fill in your name and address, press enter, and e-mails will go directly to your Senators. Members may do this, even if they have already contacted their US Senators for support.

“We have to remind our legislators that we are still here and that we need the Amateur Radio Parity Act to become law,” Lisenco stressed. “We must to do this now as we have, at most, only 4 weeks left in the session to get the bill passed this year. Otherwise, we will have to begin the entire process in 2017 with a new 115th Congress.”

There are no guarantees, Lisenco said, and we are subject to the political bickering that goes on daily between the parties, despite the fact that the bill is truly a bipartisan effort. “In order to have a chance at overcoming political obstacles that have little or nothing to do with the legislation, we need our voices to be heard,” he said. “And we need that input today!”

September’s victory in the US House was the culmination of many years of effort on ARRL’s part to gain legislation that would enable radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities to erect efficient outdoor antennas that support Amateur Radio communication. The measure calls on the FCC to amend its Part 97 rules “to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private land-use restrictions, and for other purposes.” While similar bills in past years gained some traction on Capitol Hill, it was not until the overwhelming grassroots support from the Amateur Radio community for H.R. 1301, and ARRL’s relentless and strident efforts on Capitol Hill that this bill made it this far.

As the amended bill provides, “Community associations should fairly administer private land-use regulations in the interest of their communities, while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance of effective outdoor Amateur Radio antennas. There exist antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and structures in community associations while accommodating communications in the Amateur Radio services.”

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ARRL CEO Presentation at PSU Shenango

ceo

ARRL Logo, 600dpiAmerican Radio Relay League, Chief Executive Officer, Tom Gallagher, NY2RF  spoke  at the Penn State Shenango Campus, Sharon, PA. The presentation was attended by approximately 80 amateur radio operators from clubs across the WPA section, Ohio and others. QCARC had two representatives at the event.
After Mr. Gallagher’s presentation, he opened the floor for questions and comments.  An interesting challenge was presented to the attendees. The challenge was, while enjoying the coffee and donuts, folks were encouraged to introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know. This would serve both parties in expanding their amateur radio acquaintances.

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ARRL CEO Scheduled To Speak In WPA

ARRL Logo, 600dpiAmerican Radio Relay League, Chief Executive Officer, Tom Gallagher, NY2RF is scheduled to speak at the Penn State Shenango Campus, 147 Shenango Ave., Sharon, PA  16146. The presentation, to be held in the auditorium, is scheduled for November 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM. All amateur radio operators are welcome.

For more information on directions to Sharon and a map of the campus with parking lot locations,
visit this web page: http://shenango.psu.edu/visit .

 

 

 

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YOU Can Help: Amateur Radio Parity Act

To The Members of the Atlantic Division,

We have an opportunity to positively affect Amateur Radio for years to
come. H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, has unanimously passed
the House of Representatives and moved on to the Senate for
consideration. All you need to do is spend two minutes of your time to
send an email to your two Senators supporting the Bill. By doing so,
you will have helped the future of Amateur Radio by guaranteeing our
ability to have an effective outdoor antenna in a deed-restricted
community.

The number of people living in such communities grows exponentially
each year. Often, a ham homeowner has no choice but to live in a
community restricted by covenants. There are nearly 3/4 of a million
licensed hams in the United States, more than ever before. But that
may change if we are forced to live in a community that refuses to
allow an antenna.

Help yourself and help your fellow hams. Go to this link:

https://arrl.rallycongress.net/ctas/urge-senate-to-support-amateur-radio-parity-act

Enter your zip code and follow the prompts. The letters are there.

All you need to do is fill in the blanks, hit save, then send.

That’s it. Less than 2 minutes and you’re finished.

If you haven’t yet done so, please do so today.

Your voice counts!

Thank you.

73, Tom, W3TOM

ARRL Director – Atlantic Division
(301) 257-6225
Serving all of ARRL members in the Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania,
Maryland/DC, Northern New York, Southern New Jersey, Western New York
and Western Pennsylvania ARRL Sections.
ARRL – The National Association for Amateur Radio™

——————————————————————–
ARRL Atlantic Division
Director: Thomas J Abernethy, W3TOM
w3tom@arrl.org
——————————————————————–

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House Passes Amateur Radio Parity Act

Amateur Radio Parity Act Passes in the US House of Representatives!
Washington, DC, 09/14/2016 (from ARRL)
“The bill is passed without objection.” With those words, Amateur Radio history was made on September 12, when the US House of Representatives approved the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301 on a voice vote under a suspension of the rules. The focus of the campaign to enact the legislation into law now shifts to the US Senate. Amateur Radio Parity Act Logo_11The House victory culminated many years of effort on ARRL’s part to gain legislation that would enable radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities to erect antennas that support Amateur Radio communication. The measure calls on the FCC to amend its Part 97 rules “to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private land-use restrictions, and for other purposes.” While similar bills in past years gained some traction on Capitol Hill, it was not until the overwhelming grassroots support from the Amateur Radio community for H.R. 1301 shepherded by ARRL that a bill made it this far. The legislation faces significant obstacles to passage in the US Senate, however.

“This is huge step in our effort to enact legislation that will allow radio amateurs who live in deed-restricted communities the ability to construct an effective outdoor antenna,” ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said. “Thanks to everyone for their help in this effort thus far. Now we must turn our full attention to getting the bill passed in the Senate.”

ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board’s Legislative Advocacy Committee, has been heavily involved in efforts to move H.R. 1301 forward. “This has been a multiyear effort that is finally seeing some light,” he said. “The passage of the bill in the House is a major accomplishment, due to the hard work of so many — from the rank-and-file member to the officers and directors.”

Lisenco said it’s not a time to rest on our laurels. “We are only halfway there. The focus now shifts to our effort in the Senate,” he said. “We are beginning a massive e-mail campaign in which we need every member to write their two Senators using our simplified process. You will be hearing from President Roderick and from your Directors, asking you to go to our ‘Rally Congress’ page. Using your ZIP code, e-mails will be generated much like our recent letter campaign. You’ll fill in your name and address and press Enter. The e-mails will be sent directly to your Senators without you having to search through their websites.”

Lisenco said getting these e-mails to members’ Senators is a critical part of the process. “Those numbers matter! Please help us help you by participating in this effort,” he said.

As the amended bill provides, “Community associations should fairly administer private land-use regulations in the interest of their communities, while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance of effective outdoor Amateur Radio antennas. There exist antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and structures in community associations while accommodating communications in the Amateur Radio services.”

During this week’s limited debate, the House bill’s sponsor, Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), thanked ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) for reaching an agreement to move the bill forward “in a bipartisan and very positive manner.” He pointed out to his colleagues that Amateur Radio antennas are prohibited outright in some areas.

“For some this is merely a nuisance,” Kinzinger said, “but for others — those that use their Amateur Radio license for life-saving emergency communications — a dangerous situation can be created by limiting their ability to establish effective communication for those in need.”

Kinzinger said that in emergencies, hams can provide “a vital and life-saving function” when conventional communication systems are down. He also praised the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), a US Department of Defense-sponsored program, comprised largely of Amateur Radio volunteers, that also supports communication during emergencies and disasters.

Cosponsor US Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT) also urged the bill’s passage. “This is not just a feel-good bill,” Courtney said, recounting how Hurricane Sandy brought down the power grid, and “we saw all the advanced communications we take for granted…completely fall by the wayside.” Ham radio volunteers provided real-time communication in the storm’s wake, he said, saying the legislation was a way “to rebalance things” for radio amateurs who choose to live in deed-restricted neighborhoods by enabling them to install “non-intrusive antennas.”

Courtney noted that he spoke recently with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and said that Wheeler “strongly supports this legislation.”

Leading up to the vote, Rep Paul Tonko (D-NY) also spoke in support of the legislation, calling it a commonsense approach that would build “fairness into the equation for Amateur Radio operators” in dealing with homeowners associations.

The earlier U.S. Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, S. 1685, no longer is in play, and the Senate is expected to vote by unanimous consent on the version of H.R. 1301 that was adopted by the House on September 12.

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QCARC Field Day

The Quad County Amateur Radio Club will operate Field Day June 25-26, 2016, at the Clearfield County Fairground Community Building, yes we’ve been there before. Operating hours are scheduled to be from 2:00 PM Saturday to 2:00 PM Sunday, antennas have to be installed after the VE exam session. All amateur radio operators are welcome as well as the general public. Since the public as well as a number of Clearfield County officials and TV stations have been invited, as Club secretary, I ask that members please wear their Club shirts if possible. Thank you – in advance.

Volunteer examiners are reminded that the exam session is scheduled for June 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM. VEC Round

Operations are scheduled to start 2:00 PM, Saturday June 25, continuing through the night, with the hopes of taking advantage of any changing propagation characteristics. There is to be a Get On The Air (GOTA) station activated. The GOTA station will give new hams and those not even licensed, the opportunity to experience operating the HF bands under the supervision of a licensed amateur radio operator.

Clf FD Map

Location Coordinate information:        41°01.840 N     78°26.540 W.

Follow the route depicted by orange arrows, on the map, after you turn off Rte. 322.
You can also try the inserted interactive map to zoom and obtain directions. You can use the satellite view on the small map to compare the orange arrow map to the right.

If you operate APRS, there will be an object beacon to help you locate the Field Day site.

Please consider what will make Field Day comfortable for you, like in the real deal you will be responsible for your own comfort and personal operating conveniences such as chairs, clipboards, pens, pencils, paper. flashlights, etc. – remember to mark your property -. The main equipment will be provided, such as transceivers and antennas. I do not recall that the building is handicapped accessible. If you have a spare HF radio or antenna to bring, all the better as a just in case but only 2 will be on the air plus the GOTA station. Additionally if possible, please bring along some type of food to share.

Plans are in motion to have breakfast Sunday morning and some picnic style food for later times.

To help with the items and food for Field Day, please down load the 2 page checklist and email the Club secretary (secretary@qcarc.org) as to the items that you will supply.  I’ll try to keep all the updates current on the download list. If you have anything to add, please email your input to the Club secretary.

Amateurs who are attending the QCARC Field Day, please advise the FD Coordinator by email at secretary@qcarc.org . This info is for overall planning purposes.

Click Here to Download List

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Current Club Announcements

Attention

Club Members

             

Monthly Breakfast Dutch Pantry Clearfield – Saturday, December  8:30 AM
Dutch Pantry Du Bois – Saturday, November 11  8:30 AM
Please note our alternating location schedule
Monthly Meeting

Smeal Building, Penn State Du Bois – Friday, October 20, 7:00 PM

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License Exam – June 25

VEC_patchLicense exams for all license classes will be given at the Field Day site on Saturday, June 25th at 11:00 am. The location is the Community House on the Clearfield County Fairgrounds. The address is North Weaver Street and Stadium Drive, Clearfield, PA 16830.

There is a $15.00 fee, payable to ARRL for as many exams as you can pass. Retests at the same session incur an additional fee. Those taking tests must present a photo-ID, a copy of their existing license (if licensed) and any CSCE forms.

 

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Powerpole® Crimp Tool Review

For many hams the go-to 12 VDC connector is the Anderson Powerpole®. I feel the same, this connector is the only one that makes sense forPP crimper convenience and durability of connection among my own radios and if the need arises other power supplies. This form of 12 VDC power connection really makes the issue of interoperability for a power source a non-issue. The connector is recognized across the Country as THE power connector to use for ARES and other public service applications.

Anyway, where this is leading is the issue with installing the connectors on the wire. It really is not difficult but there is a standard, in order to interface with the rest of the world! Amateur radio has adopted the standard that when viewed from the contact side, the mnemonic for remembering the arrangement for the positive connector is: “Red Right — Tongue Top“.
Of red powerpolecourse red is positive while black is negative. Even though there is a standard, I feel it is still a good idea to confirm the connection that your rig may be connected to is verified visually and also electrically using a volt meter or one of the LED connectors that indicate if the connectors are configured to the standard.

 

The installation of the connector contacts can be problematic if the proper crimp procedure is not used. I’ve used the crimping pliers type PP crimper diescrimp tool, until now. I finally invested in a crimp tool made for the Powerpole® connector contacts. I have to say that I should have done it sooner, no exaggeration! There are are several styles of crimpers available with the special dies for the crimp, study their operation and style then decide for yourself which one suites your needs. The version that I settled on has a feature in the tool that helps maintain the alignment of the contact while the crimp in done (see photo). My opinion is that the crimp done with the pictured tool is far superior than the crimping pliers style. Along with the quality of the crimp, there is no distortion to the contact. With no distortion there is no reforming the contact which results in a much easier insertion into the Powerpole® shell and much better contact surface for maximum conductivity.

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SkyWarn™ Recognition Day 2015

This year the SkyWarn™ Recognition Day will be Sunday December 5. This special event started in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay LeSKYWARN w Regague to recognize the contributions of amateur radio operators during SkyWarn™ events.

Operations are December 5 from 0000Z – 2400Z. This is not a contest but an operating event that encourages operators to contact as many amateur stations as possible, whether they are on the air at a Weather Service Office or otherwise. Stations exchange call signs, signal reports, locations, and a one or two-word description of the weather at their respective locations. Bands that are activated for this event are typically 80 meters through 70 centimeters using all modes, including digital.

Updated details are available on the National Weather Service SkyWarn™ Recognition Day web site  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/hamradio/  

 

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Renewing Your Amateur Radio License – IT’S FREE

Renewing your amateur radio license is something that happens every ten years and it is rather easy to do it yourself – FOR FREE. I received a mailing from a group that offered to renew my license, that had already been renewed over 30 days earlier, for a fee! I did not find any mention that the renewal could be completed online. A disclaimer would be in order but I guess that would be counterproductive for their “service”. I found this pretty lowly when it really is a free function when you do it yourself. If you are reading this, you can do it yourself

It is rather straight forward to renew your license on the FCC ULS, https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/licManager/login.jsp,  just follow the directions. Have your license handy for your 10-digit  FCC Registration Number (FRN). It may appear a little over whelming a first but really, just take your time, enter the data and you’ll be on your way.  If you are not registered to log into the ULS, again it is a straight forward operation to get set up and get your password.

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