QCARC Calendar

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QC Weather

Thunderstorm
Sunday 06/24/2018 80%
Thunderstorm
Scattered thunderstorms this morning, then mainly cloudy during the afternoon with thunderstorms likely. High 78F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Partly Cloudy
Monday 06/25/2018 20%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy skies. High 77F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 06/26/2018 0%
Partly Cloudy
Partly cloudy skies. High 78F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.
Quad-County Weather Page

Latest News

Summer Has Officially Arrived!

With the official arrival of Summer on June 20, I expect most of us feel that considering the high temperatures and severe weather we've experienced, it seems like Summer has been around for awhile already. A couple weather issues that we need to keep in mind are lightning and the effects ...

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On-line Radio Wave Propagation Course

An interesting and informative course is available from Comet/MetEd titled Radio Wave Propagation. The course web-site: https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_module.php?id=1394#.Wylt6Rwnb4Y If you are relatively new to amateur radio do not be concerned with the technical aspect of understanding all of the details and terminology. You may be surprised that many of the graphics and ...

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Public Service Event: Baker Trail UltraChallenge 2018

Public Service Event: Baker Trail UltraChallenge 2018

he 2018 Baker Trail Ultra-marathon will be held starting at 6:30 AM Saturday August 25, 2018. This year will be on the "central section" of the trail (Summerville to Smicksburg).  Here is a link for information and to sign up:   https://www.rachelcarsontrails.org/events/ultrachallenge/uc18                  Scroll to the bottom of the page.   Map of ...

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Paul Silinsky K3PS - Silent Key

It is with deep sadness we report the passing of Paul Silinsky K3PS. Dr. Paul Stephen Silinsky K3PS of Ashland, Ohio, formerly of DuBois Pennsylvania, died following a brief illness on Saturday, May 5, 2018. He was Lecturer at The Ohio State University -- Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, and ...

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Public Service Event 2018 Brookville YMCA Adventure Race June 2, 2018

Public Service Event 2018 Brookville YMCA Adventure Race June 2, 2018

he Brookville YMCA Adventure race is set for June 2, 2018. Chuck Shaffer, KC3EAJ has requested amateurs to provide public service communications for this race. His main focus is the orienteering course between Millcreek & Frozen Toe. The actual race covers eighty four miles and there are opportunities for as many ham operators to ...

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ICOM 706 MkII for sale

Selling my ICOM 706 MkII It comes with separation cable, face mounting bracket, and original mike. Everything works as supposed, very good radio, but, time for something new.... Comes from smoke free enviroment. I will not ship! Price $ 475.00   Email: kvantlars@gmail.com  

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Meteorological Spring Has Arrived

The National Weather Service, Spring Safety Campaign is in effect. There are many aspects of Spring weather that can ruin a good day and we have to be aware of such adverse weather. Being aware and recognizing is only part of the equation, we have to follow the advise to ...

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Another Recent NWS Addition

I briefly looked at this site before but today I decided to spend a little more time looking. It was worth the time! I found the GOES-East GEOColor screens, they are really interesting and the resolution is quite good. Be sure to click on the GeoColor Loop, located in the ...

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Expanded National Weather Service Information Web-Page

Expanded National Weather Service Information Web-Page

  The National weather Service has expanded some experimental winter weather informational pages. I believe that you will find these pages interesting and informative. They may assist you in planning for upcoming winter weather events in you locale. Be sure to scroll down the page and also check out the four ...

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NOTA Special Event

Here is another On The Air Special Event that you can get your HF as well as 2 meter and 70 cm rigs warmed up for. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is beginning their year long NASA On The Air Special Event beginning December 11, 2017 and will ...

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SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY OPERATING EVENT

SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY OPERATING EVENT

This year the official date for the SkyWarn™ Recognition Day event is December 2. The event will be in operation from 0000 UTC – 2400 UTC, December 2, 2017. This is a rather simple event, the purpose is to contact as many National Weather Service stations as possible on 80 ...

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2018 Dues Are Due!

2018 Dues Are Due!

The 2018 membership dues for the Quad County Amateur Radio Club are due. Please note the updated dues structure.   A  .pdf can be downloaded using the following link: 2018 QCARC Membership Application Please make checks payable to: Quad County Amateur Radio Club. You can print the completed application, mail it to Quad County ...

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National Weather Service Hazard Simplification Initiative

The National Weather Service is simplifying their hazardous weather products list. Please click on the below link for what they are doing for winter effective October 1, 2017. Looks like they are narrowing down to three categories. http://www.weather.gov/media/iln/HazSimp.pdf

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Autumn SkyWarn Newsletter Available

Autumn SkyWarn Newsletter Available

The 2017 Autumn SkyWarn newsletter is available on-line at: https://www.weather.gov/media/ctp/Spotter%20Newsletters/Autumn2017.pdf    

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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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QCARC Events

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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 Protocol (VOIP) was added. More information will follow as we decipher some of the information and operational aspects of this new mode.NodeQSLScreen2

In case you didn’t hear, one of the first QSOs was a 3,565 mile digital contact with a station in England. The English ham was traveling to his home QTH while we were heading down the road in Du Bois, after the brainstorming session of getting the WIRES-X operational. Seeing the information showing a station that was just over 3500 miles away displayed on the radio’s display was quite a surprise!

The contacts are not totally automatic, you actually have to initiate a connection with one of the many WIRES-X nodes around the world. The connection can be made with either a Yaesu FTM-400 in digital mode or, as it it setup on the 147.315 repeater, any analog FM two-meter transceiver with a DTMF keypad (otherwise know as a touch-tone pad) connected to the transceiver. The digital connection to WIRES-X on the repeater is not available as it is set for analog only so that all can use it. You need to know the node number of the location that you want to connect, enter that on the DTMF keypad and the connection should be established. The digital mode displays much more information and has much more utility as well but as mentioned the digital radio is not needed, even a hand-held 2 meter rig can activate and use the system.

This is just a brief overview of the WIRES-X system, there will be much more to come on this website and at the QCARC regular meetings. Stay tuned for some very interesting experiences with WIRES-X!

 

January 16 article addition

I expect there are more questions about WIRES-X, since the announcement at the January Club meeting. Even though I was half of the team that set it up, I still have questions. The best place to begin to learn about the operation is to go directly to the Yaesu WIRES-X web site. Toward the left top of the page you will notice several tabs to connect to information that will better describe what WIRES-X is all about. The member log-in is for registered node users, you don’t need to worry about that part.

The three main information tabs:
The “What is WIRES-X?” tab gives an overview of the system.
The “User page” tab has a very good description, with good pictorials, of the way the system operates. Keep in mind this shows a digital radio operation but it is informative for both digital and analog modes.
The “WIRES-X ID list” tab will take you to the page that lists all of the WIRES-X nodes around the world and you’ll be able to see if there are any located near a city that you may want to talk to. You can sort the lists by clicking on the header for each column: call sign, city, state, country. Keep in mind the node list changes everyday as new nodes are registered.

The 147.315, N3QC repeater WIRES-X system is operating in the analog mode so that everyone can use it.

Stay tuned for more information as it relates to the N3QC/R WIRES-X system.

 

January 21, 2016 article addition

The WIRES-X room node will be connected for the time being. This should enable any one who connects to be able to more easily to use the system. To connect to a node room at a distant location, you will need a DTMF, touch-tone pad, on your microphone or hand-held, then you will need to know the node room number, available on the Yaesu WIRES-X web site . Remember to select the WIRES-X ID list tab to view the node number list.

 

February 3, 2016 article addition

So far the WIRES-X connection has served us well. I think that one of the biggest advantages that I’ve heard is that folks who may have moved from the area may now have the opportunity to get into the local repeater and talk to others they know. This has been proven out with K3AHS, Ed who is able to get into the 147.315 repeater, from his home in Texas, to check into the Sunday net and at other times to talk to hams who are in the area that he grew up.

The local room node is still connected, no issues appear to have resulted in the full time connection. In order to connect to another node you first need to disconnect from the local room by pressing the ” * ” touch-tone pad button. Then listen for the disconnect acknowledgement of an “H” in CW (4 dots, they’re sent fast). Once you hear the “H” enter the node room number of the distant location with a leading ” # “, via the touch-tone pad, to connect then talk to hams from that area.  Remember to read up on the information contained in the above links. This is a system where skimming or guessing just will not work, you have to play by the WIRES-X rules! Remember to play by the FCC rules too and identify when connecting to the nodes.

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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 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

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Happy Thanksgiving – We Remember

Thanksgiving-Turkey-Dinner-Table2

 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! This is a traditional time to spend with family and friends, and to remember all those who are no longer with us.

I remember in the early days of the club, that there was a day-long QSO on the DuBois Repeater with hams far and wide in the Quad-County area checking in and out and back in again as their family activities permitted.

My Elmer, K3TFL was the unofficial Master of Ceremonies for those sessions, and the discussions ranged from what was for dinner, to the snowy weather to how to modify an ARC-5.

For our Quad-County hams, our repeater was the “Social Media” of the day. We all knew each other and stayed in touch on the air, making friends and sharing our thoughts all over the coverage area. This regular repeater contact with each other made for stronger friendships, and brought our disparate communities together in a spirit of cooperation and good will. Sadly, repeaters have fallen into disuse, and the social connections have withered away to a great extent.

I wonder; what would happen if we all made the effort to pick up the microphone, and reach out to each other today, and into the future? Would we find a renewed interest in local ham radio, and perhaps make a new ham radio friend or two? The only way to find out is to give it a try.

Why not fire up the radio today, and see who’s on the repeater? I’ll see you… on the air!

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The QCARC 443.85 Repeater Is Now Dual Mode, Analog/Digital

system-fusionAs of approximately 2:00 PM, 4/8/2015 the analog only UHF repeater was replaced with a Yaesu System Fusion Analog/Digital repeater. This is the same type repeater as used for the 147.315 repeater.

You can still communicate as you have in the past, you will not have to buy a new radio, your radio will not be obsolete. The main difference is that at various times you may hear a noise similar to buzzing or a static like noise, this is likely a digital conversation. The digital conversation noise can be eliminated by setting up your radio’s receiver with a tone squelch of 173.8 Hz. The digital side of the repeater does not transmit the 173.8 Hz tone, therefore your radio will stay quiet until another analog FM radio transmission is received by the repeater. If you want to use the repeater, just talk as you have in the past. The repeater has the capability to automatically detect what type of signal it is receiving and switch to the proper mode to enable you to talk to anyone whether they have a digital radio or the traditional analog FM. Also if you happen to hear or know there is a digital conversation on the repeater you can join the conversation just as you have in the past. When the repeater “hears” your analog FM signal it will switch to your mode and the folks who are using the digital mode will be switched to your analog FM mode. Everyone on the repeater will be able to talk, all automatically!
If you need help setting up your radio with tone squelch, check with one of the officers in the Club, they will be able to direct you to the right ham to help you.

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