QCARC Calendar

October 2017
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Local APRS

QC Weather

Clear
Wednesday 10/18/2017 0%
Clear
Plentiful sunshine. High 69F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Clear
Thursday 10/19/2017 10%
Clear
Sunny skies. High 68F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
Clear
Friday 10/20/2017 10%
Clear
A mainly sunny sky. High 69F. Winds WNW 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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Repeaters and Nets

The Quad County Amateur Radio Club’s main repeater is the 147.315 N3QC repeater.

Repeaters

    52.07/53.07 CTCSS: 173.8 N3HAO “Rockton Repeater”

    Currently off the air
    A 6-meter repeater was a rarity when this one was first installed circa 1984 by K3PS and WA3UFN. After transfer of ownership of the co-sited .39 repeater was accomplished, the 6-meter machine ran on autopilot for many years. In the late 2000s, it began to fade from the air. There have been rumors that it was recently transmitting a good signal once again in late 2010. This author has been unable to confirm such operation. [Would someone in the know, please edit this with correct information?]

    146.265/.865 CTCSS: 173.8 N3QC “Quad-County Repeater”

    Permanently off the air. Re-coordinated to 147.915/.315
    The K3MD repeater was coordinated for Sykesville and was later moved to a tower atop the Rockton Mountain, becoming the Quad-County ARC repeater. Due to the short spacing (47.5 miles) to the State College 146.25/.85 repeater a new frequency was needed. In 2008 the repeater was replaced with a Kenwood TKR-750, Arcom RC-210 controller, 7/8 inch hardline, two 150 watt amplifiers, and a Super Stationmaster at 160′ AGL, purchased with monies from a Homeland Security grant to PEMA, administered through the Northwest Central PA Emergency Response Group. It was re-coordinated by the Club on 147.915/.315, thus resolving adjacent-channel interference issues with the State College amateur community. The 146.865 repeater is now defunct. Its hardline and two-element folded dipole array were relocated and reinstalled on a tower a half-mile away that was subleased to the Club by Clearfield County in 2001 that also hosts the K3EDD UHF repeater.

    147.915/.315 CTCSS: 173.8 N3QC “Quad-County Repeater”

    The new N3QC repeater was on the air May 10, 2008. The N3QC repeater has 7/8 inch hardline, and the antenna is a Cellwave Super Stationmater side mounted on the tower at 220 feet.

    147.99/.39 CTCSS: 173.8 K3PS “DuBois Repeater”

    The Quad-County region’s very first repeater, built by hams for hams.
    The original Quad-County FM Association repeater. Originally coordinated on 146.13/73 it operated beginning March 1976 from a hilltop in the Clear Run section of DuBois. From June to October of 1977, nearly 30 members of the QCARC and QCFMA acquired a lease to the old State Police tower site on Dubec Road off the Rockton Pike, and raised the funds to purchase and acquire the materials to build a repeater, the cement-block building to house the repeater, coaxial hardline, 105 foot tower, and custom-designed Antenna Specialists 4-bay folded-dipole antenna array. Throughout the summer many work sessions were held to build the building, raise the tower, run the hardline and install the antenna on the top of the tower. At 11 am on November 11, 1977, Paul Silinsky, K3PS flipped the switch and put the repeater on the air.

    The K3PS Repeater was a major triumph for our very rural area, and its outstanding location and state-of-the-art, high-performance engineering allowed it to provide solid coverage for mobiles from Barkeyville to Lock Haven on Interstate 80 (a distance of over 140 highway miles), a similar distance from Lantz Corners to Windber on US-219, and hand-held coverage throughout the communities of DuBois, Falls Creek, Reynoldsville, Brockway, Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg, St Marys, Mahaffey and much of Punxsutawney, making it a valuable asset for emergency communications service, especially along the heavily traveled I-80 and US-219 corridors.

    Regular maintenance kept the repeater in tip-top shape, and preserved reliable service throughout its exceptional coverage area for many years. At that time, the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club was justifiably proud of their repeater!

    In the mid 1990s, K3PS moved to central Ohio and donated the repeater, duplexer, tower, antennas, frequency coordination, lease and building to KE3DR of Barnesboro.

    147.99/.39 CTCSS: 173.8 N5NWC “Wide-Area Network Repeater”

    Now Under New Management
    In the summer of 2011, Jim Knox N5NWC acquired the 147.39 repeater equipment, building, tower and coordination. On Sunday, January 8th, 2012, the repeater was connected to the ever-expanding WAN Repeater System, a massively-linked network of over a dozen repeaters, reaching from Western New York to Washington, DC, Eastern Maryland and into Virginia.

    The repeater owner has graciously invited QCARC and other area clubs to use and control the N5NWC repeaters for scheduled nets and other activities.

    443.475/448.475 CTCSS: 173.8 N5NWC “Rockton Mountain UHF Repeater”

    N5NWC moved this repeater from Punxsutawney, and put its antenna at the top of the 147.39 tower at 110 feet AGL. Future plans include a hardware upgrade when the weather is warmer. He has graciously invited QCARC and other area clubs to use and control the N5NWC repeaters for scheduled nets and other activities.

Digital Repeaters

    144.39 N3QC-1 High-Level APRS Digipeater

    This coordinated APRS digipeater is located in Pine Township at 2500′ MSL and provides reliable, wide-area coverage for mobiles along I-80 and the US-119, US-219 and US-322 corridors, and links other digipeaters across the state and into Ohio. It also provides the on-air source for a number of local objects, including voice repeaters, allowing one-button QSY to local repeaters by properly equipped mobile operators.

    144.39 WA3UFN-1 DuBois fill-in digipeater and Igate

    The WA3UFN-1 digipeater is coordinated at a 1600′ MSL location south of DuBois and provides solid coverage to the heavily traveled roads surrounding the Greater DuBois area, and gates thousands of packets daily from an extensive area to the Internet based APRS-IS network. Full support of bi-directional services like email-2, who-is and all other APRS messaging services is also provided.

    145.01 WA3UFN-1 “DUJ” Packet Digipeater

    Permanently off the air.
    From 1984 to 1991 the WA3UFN packet digipeater was located on the same tower as the 147.39 repeater, and provided a vital route for digital packet traffic between eastern and western Pennsylvania, as well as providing a link between souther counties and Maryland and northern counties and western New York. The system also provided a digital “store-and-forward” packet BBS.

    145.01 K3MD-1 Packet Digipeater

    Permanently off the air.
    From 2001 to 2004 the K3MD packet digipeater was relocated from Sykesville to the Centre Communications tower on Pike Road, Pine Township, and provided a vital route for digital packet traffic between eastern and western Pennsylvania, as well as providing a link between souther counties and Maryland and northern counties and western New York. The system also provided a digital “store-and-forward” packet BBS.

Nets

    Quad-County FM Net

    Sunday 1900 Local 147.315 N3QC Repeater (Backup: 147.39)
    The Sunday Evening Quad-County FM Net has been on the air since before the Club was established. Before repeaters were available, the net was conducted on 146.94, which at the time was the standard simplex frequency. When the Johnstown Repeater began operation, simplex operations were moved to 146.52 simplex. Net Control was usually Dick Flanders, WA3BUX, due to his superior 2-meter station and antenna array. At other times, the net was conducted from the Clear Run VHF site. Check-ins were from all over the Quad-County area, and included stations from Clearfield, Curwensville, Mahaffey, Punxsutawney, Reynoldsville, Brookville, Sigel, Ridgway, St Marys, Kersey, Penfield and DuBois. The net played a key role in the formation of the club and helped lay the groundwork for the formation of the club, as it allowed hams from a large area to get acquainted with each other.

    In 1976, it moved to the K3ZDR/WR3AGV DuBois repeater on 146.13/73 when that repeater was placed on the air. In 1977, it moved to the new K3PS 147.99/39 repeater atop the Rockton Mountain. The wide coverage of that repeater allowed coverage of the entire Quad-County area, and the number of check-ins soon surpassed 50 per session. Hams like Gil Hamilton, K3BFO added character with such “announcements” as a “Brass Monkey Alert” when sub-zero temperatures were forecast.

    In the 1990s, the Quad-County ARC put a repeater on 146.265/.865 on an adjacent tower and the net moved to the new repeater. In 2008, that repeater moved to a frequency of 147.915/.315, and the net moved with it.

    In spite of all the changed locations and frequencies, the Quad-County FM Net can still be found every Sunday evening at 7:00 pm local time. With only a handful of times the net was canceled, it has run more or less every Sunday evening for over 38 years. Please join us this Sunday!

    Quad-County 70cm Net

    Sunday following the 1900 Quad-County FM Net on the 443.475 N5NWC Repeater
    The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club 70 cm net debuted Sunday April 1, 2012, following the 1900 Quad-County FM Net on the 444.625 K3EDD Repeater. 12 stations checked in. After several successful sessions, we were ordered by the repeater owner to cease operating the net, in response to frivolous allegations that our net could somehow “interfere” with another net on another band on another repeater on another frequency at another time.

    Pursuant to 47 CFR 97.205 (e), we complied with the request of the repeater trustee and discontinued our use of that repeater.

    Beginning June 3, 2012, we have resumed operation of this net on the 443.475 N5NWC repeater located on an adjacent tower. Our thanks go out to Jim Knox N5NWC for his strong support of our club, our activities and the good of the Amateur Radio Service in our region.

    The net meets every Sunday, immediately following the 2-meter net. Please consider joining us. The purpose of the net is to familiarize area amateurs with the characteristics and capabilities of the 70cm (440 MHz) UHF band. So circle your calendar and prepare to join in!

    You might be surprised to see how well UHF works with today’s equipment!

    Hamshack Net

    Wednesday 1900 Local 147.315 N3QC Repeater
    The Hamshack Net began in November 2011 as a roundtable ragchew net. Each week, net control announces a topic, such as “How’s DX” or “Favorite Antennas.” Stations check in and are recognized, and the conversation goes around the list several times. Most sessions last the better part of an hour. All hams are invited to participate; club membership is not a requirement. Please join us this Wednesday!
       

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