Polls

Should QCARC continue giving VE Exams before club meetings in even months?

  • Yes, but occasionally on other days and times (67%, 2 Votes)
  • Yes (33%, 1 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Yes, with more months (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Yes, but fewer months (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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QCARC WX

Upcoming Events

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SKYWARN Recognition Day 2018 begins Saturday, December 1

SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) 2018 takes place on Saturday, December 1, from 0000 until 2400 UTC (11/30 1900 – 12/1 1900 Eastern). Developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service (NWS) and ARRL, SRD celebrates the contributions that SKYWARN volunteers make to the NWS mission, the protection of life and property. During SKYWARN Recognition Day, special event stations will be on the air from NWS offices, contacting radio amateurs around the world.

The object of SRD is for amateur stations to exchange contact information with as many National Weather Service stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters, plus 70 centimeters. Contacts via repeaters are permitted. Stations should exchange call sign, signal report, and location plus a quick description of the weather at your location (e.g., sunny, partly cloudy, windy, rainy, etc.). EchoLink and IRLP nodes, including the Voice over Internet Protocol Weather Net (VoIP-WX), are expected to be active as well.

SSB, FM, AM, RTTY, CW, and PSK31 are modes that can be utilized during the event. While working digital modes, special event stations will append “NWS” to their call signs (e.g., N0A/NWS). It’s suggested that during SRD operations a non-NWS volunteer serve as a station control operator.

Event certificates are printable from the main website at the conclusion of SRD. See the SkyWarn recognition page at – https://www.weather.gov/crh/skywarnrecognition.

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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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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. hurricane-symbol-red

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 for the latest updates and additional information at www.arrl.org and look for the links on that page relating to the hurricane response.

 

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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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Millcreek Adventure Race

triathlon-sign-image-300x244The Millcreek Adventure Race, sponsored by the Brookville YMCA, is set for June 4, 2016.

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 participate as arrive to assist. Chuck will find a place for you. It would be great if 4-5 hams would make it out to assist with the race.

This will be the second year Amateur Radio has been requested to assist with this race. However, if you have helped with the northern leg of the Baker Ultra Challenge, you will recognize much of the terrain. There are safety checkpoints, and orienteering points that he would like covered.

The race starts at 7 a.m. with an 8-mile run in a loop around the Millcreek Boat Launch area just outside of Strattanville. From there, the opening runner tags off to a swimmer who goes on a 2-mile round trip before tagging to the next teammate who bikes 23 miles from Millcreek to Cook Forest State Park at the Clarion River bridge.

The biker then tags a kayaker who boats back to Millcreek some 12 miles away. An orienteer duo or individual awaits the Kayaker there for a 10-12 mile trip to find three checkpoints in the forest between Millcreek and Frozen Toe, which is just north of Corsica.

The final stage starts at Frozen Toe where the successful orienteer team tags off to the anchor leg, who finishes the day on a 9.74-mile run into Brookville and the finish line at the YMCA.

ANY radio amateurs wishing to help with this Public Service Event, Please contact me at KA3YCB@ ARRL.net.

Kevin Snyder, KA3YCB

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Severe Weather Watch-Warning, Know The Difference

Sometimes we peer out the window and the sky looks ominous then the wind picks up and possibly it begins to rain or hail. What may happen next can be a matter of protecting our life and property, a good reason to understand the difference between Watches and Warnings.  Being prepared is a relatively simple matter, there are several good methods to personally become involved that will help yourself, your family and friends. The National Weather Service SkyWarn Spotter program is a great way to become actively involved and you do not have to be a weather background! A more passive manner may be purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio that  will sound an alert when various forms of weather effect your locale. Cell phone are also a good method as many have an alert function built in as well as the availability of weather apps that can be configured to match your needs.

If you are having a problem setting up your system whether it is a NOAA Weather Radio radio or cell phone app, you can obtain help through the Quad County Amateur Radio Club, A Weather Ready Nation Ambassador. Check the announcement panel at the top of the home page for meeting  dates and times.
Tornado Watch Warn WRNWatch Warning Difference WRN

 

 

 

 

 

“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.”

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is a WRN 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.”

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Spring Can Bring Some of Our Wildest Weather

Already this Spring has proven that we should be prepared for some of our wildest weather! One of the best aids in keeping abreast of developing weather issues is the NOAA Weather Radio system. Having a radio at home provides an advantage to be aware of upcoming severe weather. Some of the later models of amateur radio transceivers have the NOAA frequencies programed from the factory. For the latest NOAA weather radio operational information that may effect your area and what frequencies cover your area, check out the web site at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/ .

Flood-Safety-Graphic-1Remember that saying, “Turn Around Don’t Drown”. There is more to that than just the rhyming of the saying, it really is life saving information! Ignoring that life saving information not only effects the people who decide to cross a flooded area but also the emergency responders whose lives are needlessly placed in jeopardy when they get involved in a rescue of someone that fails to heed the warning.

“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.”

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is a WRN 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.”

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Hurricane Awareness, Yes – Even For Our Area

Even though hurricanes typically do not significantly impact our area, there are times when they do and it may be worthwhile to keep aware of hurricane developments.

Amateur radio is one way to keep aware with the Hurricane Watch Net on 14.325 MHz. There is also a Hurricane Watch Net web site that has quite a bit of information available. Along with keeping informed, be ready with fully charged hand-helds, a full tank of fuel for your vehicle, if you’re lucky to be high enough where flooding risk is minimal consider the possibility that you may be out of electric service for a while.

There is also more information to avail yourself at the National Weather Service/NOAA websites to be able to keep updated with the latest conditions and forecasts for hurricanes.

The following sites will help you stay informed:TADD barrier
http://www.weather.gov/
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
http://water.weather.gov/ahps/

Just remember “Turn round Don’t Drown“!

“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.”

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is a WRN 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.”

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Fall Has Weather Hazards Too

Even with the bright colors and cool temperatures, Fall can also hold some rather hazardous weather too. Be prepared for the hazards that can occur during this time of year as many of us are winding down from a hectic summer.

Click for detailed information on what various Fall weather hazards can occur and how you can prepare for a safe Fall.

Click for detailed information on what various Fall weather hazards can occur and how you can prepare for a safe Fall.

 

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is a WRN Ambassador

The Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is a WRN 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.”

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Get Ready For Field Day!

2015 Field Day Logo Red Design 1Every year, hams around the country start gathering their radios and warming up their grilles to get ready for the annual ARRL Field Day. This year, the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club has joined forces with the Punxsutawney Area Amateur  Radio Club to participate in a very special 40th Anniversary Field Day operation at the Punxsutawney Municipal Airport in Jefferson County.

In honor of the Club’s 40th Anniversary, the Quad-County Club will use the special-event callsign N3Q. The GOTA station will be operating with the Punxs’y Club callsign K3HWJ as in the past.

Of course there will be hotdogs with legendary “BUX” sauce, made from the secret recipe created by Dick Flanders WA3BUX (SK), served at every Field Day since the Club’s origins! Other food will be available, and everyone is encouraged to bring something to share with the group.

Plans are to operate around the clock, and to have a GOTA station set up for new hams, inactive hams and the public to operate. Additionally a VHF station will be set up to operate on 6-meter and 2-meter SSB/CW/Digital modes.

Most  importantly, a good time will be had by all, as we once again demonstrate to public officials and all of our guests how hams are always ready to work together to set up top-notch radio stations away from the comforts of home and communicate with each other across the miles, to serve our communities.

 

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Weather-Ready Nation

WRN_Ambassador_logoIt is official, the Quad-County Amateur Radio Club is a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness, responsiveness, and overall resilience against extreme weather, water, and climate events.

You may ask, what does this mean for the Club. Basically the Club provides outreach services relative to creating a Weather-Ready Nation to communities and organizations. Also within our own organization such as, disseminating severe weather information on APRS and the Club repeaters, where we are already active. As well as the continuation of training for our members.

The Club has been involved in the SkyWarn® program for a number of years, this is just part of the next step in taking what we know and have experienced in weather preparedness to the next level of sharing that knowledge and experience.

There will be more information and a Q&A session at the March 20 meeting.

For additional information you can access the Weather-Ready Nation web site at:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/

“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.”

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Using the Digital Repeater

(From the handout at the March 21, 2014 Club program)

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 transmits into the repeater. If you want to use the repeater, just talk as you have in the past. The repeater has the capability to 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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