QCARC Calendar

October 2017
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November 2017
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Local APRS

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.
Clear
Wednesday 10/18/2017 10%
Clear
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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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 too. The HF station is scheduled to go on the air October 21 at 9:00AM and will operate into the evening. We anticipate some 100 scouts will have the opportunity to actually talk to other scouts from across the U.S.A. and across the globe. The station will be operating in accordance with published JOTA Guidelines.

Detailed information can be found at:
http://www.scouting.org/jota.aspx   and   http://www.arrl.org/jamboree-on-the-air-jota

 

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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.CLICK FOR LARGER

 

 

The Balloon has landed in the Brackenridge. PA area.

Congratulations to those affiliated with the successful flight!

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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 station to provide needed communications from areas that were really out in the sticks. Setting up in the driveway is easy, it is pretty much a known quantity with few if any surprises that will need to be contended with. When amateurs are out in real conditions all bets are off that it will be easy, there are typically issues that will have to be addressed that are difficult to anticipate and simulate in the driveway.

BakerTrail AS4_20170826BThe only real way to prepare for providing public service communications is to get out and do it. Yes, it is good talk about how to do things and what can be done but those plans can so easily fall apart under actual conditions. Taking advantage of a public service event is a real event where a need is real and adverse conditions, that often need to be overcome, are real.

This year we were a few stations short, even though the event was promoted soon enough to plan to help and learn. The learning process does not stop once a person obtains a call sign, it actually ramps up. With the license folks can actually press the microphone button and learn to communicate. That learning can also be obtained by participating in contest which are to some folks find scary and something they shy away from. Contests also provide a great environment for on the air training due to the variety of signal strengths you encounter and sometimes the varying accents from across the country as well as around the world.

The bottom line is that practice makes perfect, in most activities, in our lives. Actually you can believe that practice makes perfect in our hobbly. Think about practicing at an event or a contest so when the real deal occurs you will more likely be prepared.

 

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Amateur Radio Parity Act Moves Into The Senate

HR555_S1534

 

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 as well as contact our representatives and encourage their support by clicking on the link directly below.

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

 

For the latest information on this legislation and information on the best way to request your representative’s support, check out  http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act 

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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!

Clear Hydrant

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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 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.

 

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Amateur Radio Parity Act – Reintroduced And Renamed

HR555

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 of HR 1301, which passed the US House of Representatives by a unanimous consent vote in September 2016 during the 114th Congress, which adjourned in December.”

For more information see the website:    http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act

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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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Hurricane – Frequency Advisory

With hurricane Matthew’s track that effected Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba, it is probable there will also be issues in the Bahamas, Florida and points northhurricane-symbol-red along the coast as well as inland from the coast. The following frequencies have been posted, by Sean Kutzo of the ARRL, as frequencies that may be used by relief agencies and would be advisable to avoid for general contacts. Check http://www.arrl.org/home for information and links to current amateur radio activities. For information on the hurricane the National Weather Service http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/  is a good place to view maps and forecasts.

Remember that 7.268 MHz & 14.325 MHz are used for the Hurricane Watch Net  http://www.hwn.org/  and given the nature of the communications please refrain from operating nearby to prevent any interference with the relief efforts. Please do not check into the emergency or weather nets unless you have something relevant to contribute.

14.325	7.080
14.265     7.045
7.268       3.740
7.120       3.720
7.110

 

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New Tri-Band Baofeng on the Market

 

UV5X3The Baofeng Tri-Band hand-held hits the market! For those interested in using the 220 MHz band it is now a bit easier with the new UV-5X3, 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio: 130-179.99mhz (VHF), 222-225.99mhz (1.25M), 400-520.99mhz (UHF), it also is reported to have the FM broadcast band receiver.The new hand-held looks a lot like a UV-5 but “you can’t judge a book by its cover”.

 

The best place to go for a good review of the radio is: http://www.miklor.com/COM/Review_5X3.php

 

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Burn Bans Lifted in Clearfield and Jefferson Counties

flames-clipartThe countywide burn ban that was enacted at the the July 19 Clearfield County PA, Commissioners meeting, was lifted as of 8/16/2016.

For the entire article relating to the burn ban see the GantDaily.com website http://gantdaily.com/2016/08/16/breaking-clearfield-county-lifts-burn-ban/

Jefferson County PA has also lifted their burn ban.

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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.

 

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