WPA Section Vacant Staff Positions Announced

01/06/17 — Section Manager W3BC is requesting volunteer applications for two key staff positions. I am looking for enthusiastic, qualified people to give their best efforts in these vital jobs. If you have the qualifications and the time to carry out this important work, please contact me by email: w3bc@arrl.org and request an application packet for the job you are interested in.

WPA Section Youth Coordinator

  • Maintain a current assessment of active youth amateur radio operators in the section, including those involved within clubs, Scouting and other youth organizations, and schools
  • Promote youth-related on-air activities including ARRL Kid’s Day, Jamboree on the Air (JOTA), Field Day, and School Club Roundup
  • Provide youth related ideas and resources to amateur radio clubs and individuals within the section

WPA Affiliated Club Coordinator

  • Get to know the Amateur Radio clubs’ members and officers person to person in his section.
  • Help clubs establish workable programs
  • Encourage new clubs to become ARRL affiliated
  • Ensure that annual reports (updates officers, liaison mailing addresses etc.) are forthcoming from all affiliated clubs

Recruitment of new hams and ARRL members is an integral part of the job of every ARRL  appointee. Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster growth of Field Organization programs, and our abilities to serve the public.

Pennsylvania Act 15 of 2015 requires anyone having “direct contact with children” to obtain clearances from the Pennsylvania State Police and the Department of Human Services. An FBI fingerprint records check is also required for those who have not resided in Pennsylvania continuously for ten (10) years preceding the application date. The Pennsylvania clearances may be obtained online, free of charge for people providing volunteer services. The FBI fingerprinting and records check is available to volunteers at a reduced price. If the FBI check is not required, the applicant must swear or affirm in writing that he or she is not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense under §6344. Copies of clearances and statements must be submitted with all applications.

New Year, New SM

Happy New Year Western Pennsylvania

Here’s hoping this holiday season has been a time of joy for you, your friends and families too. The start of a new year is a traditional time to look back at the past and look forward to the future. To start off with a look back, I want to thank our outgoing Section Manager Tim Duffy K3LR for his excellent leadership of the Western Pennsylvania section.

During the time he was WPA Section Manager, Tim established a clear sense of direction and built solid momentum for moving forward. It was a privilege to work with him as Affiliated Club Coordinator, and I learned a lot about our many fine clubs, their members and their leaders. For me, it was a terrific opportunity to serve our favorite hobby, and help other amateurs to increase their enjoyment and better serve the public.

These past few weeks, Tim and I have been working together to enable a smooth transition of leadership, and I appreciate being given this opportunity to serve at a higher level. I look forward to helping our section increase and continue its many worthwhile activities and successes.

I speak for all the Western Pennsylvania Section Staff, when I say we are here to help you. We’re your first point of contact for assistance with ARRL programs and activities, and can answer your questions—from emergency communications to contesting, awards, VE exams, licensing classes, technology, and much more! Our WPA Staff is at your service!

Over the next few weeks, announcements will be made, requesting applications for vacant staff positions. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be interviewed to find the best qualified, enthusiastic volunteers who are ready, willing and able to serve you.

My door is always open. I invite every radio amateur in the Western Pennsylvania Section to contact me directly any time with your questions, problems and concerns. The members of the WPA leadership team have plenty of expertise, and we will do our best to help you.

I’m Joe Shupienis W3BC, and I am your Section Manager… How may I help YOU?

Section News – July 14, 2017

 

 

Western Pennsylvania Section News

July 14, 2017

 

 

Hamfest Season Is Here

It is now the middle of the Hamfest Season. Take some time to get out and show your support of at least one local hamfest this year. Our section staff has been to several very good ones this year, and the turnout is very encouraging. We have made the commitment to be at EVERY WPA Hamfest this year, and we are more thn half-way to reaching that goal. Please stop by our WPA ARRL tables to say hello, meet our staff, and ask any questions you may have.

Vendors have been very generous in supplying hourly and main prizes to the WPA hamfests, and your help in keeping the attendance up will go a long way to making the future of WPA hamfests a good one!

We try to announce all the hamfests on the Section Website Events Page, which can be found at http://wpa-arrl.org/wpa-events-calendar/ and includes maps and information.

Free ARRL Gifts

If you join or renew your ARRL Membership with us at a hamfest, you qualify for a special, hamfest-only gift. You may choose one of the following ARRL Publications to be shipped for free to your QST mailing address. Even if your membership doesn’t expire this year, your renewal will be added onto your current membership, and you get a valuable ARRL book for FREE!

ARARRL's Portable Antenna ClassicsRL’s Portable Antenna Classics

Antennas for Operating On the Go!Portable operating is gaining popularity in the Amateur Radio community. For amateurs who are unable to install permanent outdoor antennas at home, portable installations are often the only way they can get on the air. There are also amateurs who simply enjoy operating outdoors, in nature. For them, portable antennas are necessities.

ARRL’s Portable Antenna Classics is a collection of helpful articles gathered from more than three decades of QST, ARRL’s membership journal. Featuring easily constructed antenna systems that offer adequate performance, this book offers practical ideas and projects to get you on the air from anywhere!

 


SSmall Antennas for Small Spaces 2nd Editionmall Antennas for Small Spaces 2nd Edition

Antenna Designs to Fit your Space!Amateur Radio operators love antennas – the bigger the better — but if you don’t have acres of property to erect the antenna of your dreams, does it mean you’re effectively off the air? Not at all! This fascinating hobby is still yours to enjoy. With the right antenna design you’ll be on the air today!

Fully updated, the second edition of ARRL’s Small Antennas for Small Spaces is a valuable resource for radio amateurs who live in apartments, condominiums, or houses on small lots. Filled with practical advice, this book guides you to finding the right antenna design to fit whatever space you have available. In Small Antennas for Small Spaces you’ll find ideas and projects that will get you on the air regardless of where you live!

 


Even More Wire Antenna Classics Volume 3

Even More Wire Antenna Classics Volume 3

Even More Antennas to Build – Even More Ideas to Experiment WithThe third volume of the popular Wire Antenna Classics collection gathers the best antenna projects and innovative designs from QST, spanning over 10 years from 2002 through 2013. It features more than 40 practical designs for a wide range of wire antennas, from simple projects to more complex. As you read, you’ll discover new ways to experiment with wire antennas and why they are so rewarding to use.

Here’s some of what you’ll find: Portable Antennas, Directional Antennas, Multiband Antennas, Single Band Antennas, and Stealth Antennas

 


Get on the Air with HF DigitalGet on the Air with HF Digital

Explore Digital Radio Below 30 MHz!The popularity of HF digital communications among Amateur Radio operators is growing rapidly. A few watts of RF power are all it takes to work the world – digitally!

Get on the Air with HF Digital is a step-by-step guide that’ll get you started in the fascinating world of HF digital technology. Written in an easy to understand, conversational style, this book will show you how to set up and operate your own HF digital station. The text includes instructions for configuring software programs for popular modes such as RTTY, PSK31 and JT65. You’ll also learn about other digital communication modes such as MFSK, Olivia and PACTOR. It’s a fun and easy way for beginners to get on the air!

 

Announcing: 2017 District Meeting Schedule

Our WPA Section Staff are putting together a series of District Meetings for ARES leaders, Club officers and other interested amateurs in each of our four Districts. These meetings will last 4-5 hours and will cover updates on ARRL activities, VE test procedure updates, Club activity workshops and upcoming Section Events such as JOTA and the SET. All ECs and other Field Organization appointees, Club Officers and all interested Radio Amateurs are encouraged to attend the meeting in their District to get the latest information and assistance in filling out monthly report forms, procedure changes, and new initiatives.

These meetings will contain the best programs from the former ARES Conference that used to be held in Johnstown, and the Leadership Workshop that used to be held in Indiana. The reason we are doing four events instead of one is to cut down on the travel for interested people. Each of these meetings will be at an easily accessible location, within 1.5 hours of travel from any QTH in the District.

North-1, Saturday July 29, Hoss’s Restaurant Franklin/Oil City

The North-1 District Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 29 from 10 am to 2 pm at Hoss’s Restaurant, 2432 PA-257, just north of the Cranberry Mall Intersection with US 322  in Seneca Township, near Franklin. (Note that this is NOT the “Cranberry” on US-19 north of Pittsburgh!!!)

RSVP is REQUIRED by July 20th. Please send an email to w3bc@arrl.org if you plan to attend, and state how many people will be in your party.

  • 10:00 — Sign-in and Seating
  • 10:15 — Greeting, ARRL Briefing and WPA News – Joe Shupienis W3BC, WPA Section Manager and Dave Wellman WX3E, Assistant Section Manager
  • 10:30 — Public Service and ARES Topics – Bud Plants N3TIR, WPA Section Emergency Coordinator and Jamie Tolbert WW3S, North 1 District Emergency Coordinator
  • 11:30 — Lunch (from menu)
  • 12:30 — Jamboree on the Air — Russ Bush N3YD, WPA Section Youth Coordinator
  • 1:00 — Working with Volunteers — Overview of ICS-244.b Course Content
  • 2:00 — Final comments and conclusion

South-2, Saturday August 12, Holiday Inn Express, Breezewood

The South-2 District Meeting is scheduled for  Saturday, August 12 from noon to 4 pm at the Breezewood Holiday Inn Express. To minimize your exposure to traffic, please plan on eating lunch before arrival at the meeting location. We will also have complimentary refreshments available in the meeting room.

  • 12:00– Sign-in and Seating
  • 12:15 — Greeting, ARRL Briefing and WPA News – Joe Shupienis W3BC, WPA Section Manager
  • 12:30 — Public Service and ARES Topics – Bud Plants N3TIR, WPA Section Emergency Coordinator
  • 1:30 — Break
  • 1:45 — Jamboree on the Air, and Supporting School Clubs
  • 2:00 — Working with Volunteers — Overview of ICS-244.b Course Content
  • 3:00 — Rekindling Local Interest in Amateur Radio — Joe Shupienis W3BC, WPA Section Manager
  • 4:00 — Final comments and conclusion

North-2, Saturday October 28, Penn State DuBois Campus, Hiller Auditorium

The North-2 District Meeting is scheduled for  Saturday, October 28 from 10 am to 2 pm  at the Penn State DuBois Campus in the Hiller Building Auditorium.

  • 10:00 — Sign-in and Seating
  • 10:15 — Greeting, ARRL Briefing and WPA News – Joe Shupienis W3BC
  • 10:30 — Public Service and ARES Topics – Bud Plants N3TIR, WPA Section Emergency Coordinator and Kevin Snyder, North-2 District Emergency Coordinator
  • 11:30 — Lunch (at nearby restaurants)
  • 12:30 — Jamboree on the Air Summary, and Supporting School Clubs
  • 1:00 — Working with Volunteers — Overview of ICS-244.b Course Content
  • 2:00 — Final comments and conclusion

South-1, Sunday November 5, WACOM Hamfest at Washington Co Fairgrounds

The South-1 District Meeting is scheduled for  Sunday November 5 from noon to 4 pm at the WACOM Hamfest at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

  • 12:00– Sign-in and Seating
  • 12:15 — Greeting, ARRL Briefing and WPA News – Joe Shupienis W3BC, WPA Section Manager and Juan Manfredi NA0B, Assistant Section Manager
  • 12:30 — Public Service and ARES Topics – Bud Plants N3TIR, WPA Section Emergency Coordinator, Terry Nemitz WA3UTD, South-1 District Emergency Coordinator
  • 1:30 — Break
  • 1:45 — Jamboree on the Air
  • 2:00 — Working with Volunteers — Overview of ICS-244.b Course Content
  • 3:00 — Supporting School Radio Clubs — Juan Manfredi NA0B, Assistant Section Manager
  • 4:00 — Final comments and conclusion

Jamboree On The Air Plans

Jamboree On The Air plans are being made for October 22-23 this year. It looks like there are clubs near each of the Scout Council offices and camps, and our WPA Section Youth Coordinator Russ Bush N3YD is working to coordinate with the Councils and Clubs to provide the well-organized, amateur radio club activity the Scouts prefer. If you are interested in helping out as part of this organized effort, please contact Russ at n3yd@arrl.net for more information.

Rather than opening the doors of our home hamshacks to whatever Scouts may want to show up to watch us make a QSO, it is preferable to work with local clubs that have fully-equipped QRO, DX-capable club stations, and those that can set up a full-featured QRO, DX-capable station at a Scout Camp and place these stations on the air to allow individual scouts take turns making multiple JOTA contacts. Watching you struggle to make a QSO with a battery-powered QRP radio and a short wire antenna 10 feet in the air — while a lot of fun to experienced hams — will hold very little interest for today’s youth.

The same goes for your prize boat anchor collection. I love the smell of hot tube radios and the music of CW as much as anybody, but when giving a demo to kids, I bring the Pro-III and a microphone!

Let’s get in touch with Russ and see where we can best serve the Scouts, and make our WPA JOTA efforts march in step with the rest of the Scouting World!

Final Final

There’s so much going on in our WPA Section, I don’t know when to stop writing! If your group has an upcoming event, PLEASE let us know and we will do our best to help publicize it.

73 and Press On!

Joe Shupienis W3BC
Western Pennsylvania Section Manager

 

Section News – July 1, 2017


Western Pennsylvania Section News

July 1, 2017

Happy Independence  Day!

Field Day has come and gone, and now it’s time for us to celebrate America’s 241st Birthday! Let’s all resolve to make it a safe and happy holiday for all our friends and families.

Once again this year, the 13 Original Colonies event will take place on the air, and you can have a lot of fun working all the special event stations. they give out a very nice certificate, that is a welcome addition to any hamshack, including yours!

For more information, point your computer to: http://www.13colonies.net/

Hamfest Season Is Here

It is now the middle of the Hamfest Season. Take some time to get out and show your support of at least one local hamfest this year. Our section staff has been to several very good ones this year, and the turnout is very encouraging. Vendors have been very generous in supplying hourly and main prizes to the WPA hamfests, and your help in keeping the attendance up will go a long way to making the future of WPA hamfests a good one!

We try to announce all the hamfests on the Section Website Events Page, which can be found at http://wpa-arrl.org/wpa-events-calendar/ and includes maps and information.

fhis weekend, don’t miss the Somerset Hamfest on Sunday, July 2 beginning 8:00 am at the Somerset County Technology Center,  281 Technology Drive,  Somerset, PA 15501

For more information see the club website: http://www.k3smt.org

WPA Repeater Council Meeting

Immediately following the Somerset Hamfest, the Western Pennsylvania Repeater Council Meeting will be held at the hamfest facility.

Short Items

Field Day Wrap-up

Thanks for all the hospitality you showed our WPA Section Staff on Field Day. Assistant Section Manager Dave Wellman WX3E, Section Emergency Coordinator Bud Plants N3TIR and Section Manager Joe Shupienis W3BC traveled a combined 1,200+ miles and visited over 20 Field Day sites all over our WPA Section! We estimate over meeting over 300 of you who were out in force in the good weather to carry on this 70-year tradition!

JOTA Plans

Jamboree On The Air plans are being made for October 22-23 this year. It looks like there are clubs near each of the Scout Council offices and camps, and our WPA Section Youth Coordinator Russ Bush N3YD is working to coordinate with the Councils and Clubs to provide the well-organized, amateur radio club activity the Scouts prefer. If you are interested in helping out as part ofg this organized effort, please contact Russ at n3yd@arrl.net for more information.

District Meetings (ARES and Leadership)

Our WPA Section Emergency Coordinator and I are putting together a series of District Meetings for ARES leaders, Club officers and other interested amateurs in each of our four Districtz. These meetings will last 4-5 hours and would cover updates on ARRL activities, VE test procedure updates, Club activity workshops and upcoming Section Events such as JOTA and the SET.

The reason we are doing four events instead of one is to cut down on the travel for interested people. Each of these meetings will be at an easily accessible location, no more than an hour’s travel from any club in the District. So far, North-1 is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 29 from 10 am to 3 pm in Oil City (subject to change at this time). The other venues are tentatively South-1 near Cannonsburg, North-2 in Clearfield, and South-2 in Breezewood, all dates to be determined. Your input is requested!

Final Final

There’s so much going on in our WPA Section, I don’t know when to stop writing! If your group has an upcoming event, PLEASE let us know and we will do our best to help publicize it.

Happy 4th, and BE SAFE!

73 and Press On!

Joe Shupienis W3BC
Western Pennsylvania Section Manager

 

WPA Celebrates 90 Years

Happy Birthday, WPA! I’ve been researching the history of the Western Pennsylvania Section as reported in QST issues from the mid 1920s. I found that the ARRL Board of Directors voted at their February 25/26, 1926 Board Meeting to completely reorganize the Communications Department. At that time, Amateur Radio was growing with a huge influx of newcomers, and was rapidly evolving into a primarily technical and operating hobby that also supported the public service of sending Radiograms free of charge for the public.

Even in those days, telephone technology was replacing and surpassing the services radio amateurs provided as the deep-pockets of the telephone and broadcasting industries continued to build-out the communications infrastructure of the interbellum 20th Century. In the 1920s, Amateur Radio reinvented itself, deprecating ancient technologies such as spark and longwave. Even the grumpy, dyed-in-the-wool die-hards (you know the type) had to grudgingly admit that they were finding the replacement technology of vacuum tubes, crystal-control, CW, short-waves, superheterodyne receivers and AM voice communications to be better, more affordable and more reliable.

Against this backdrop, the ARRL Board moved to modernize and streamline the message relaying, which was also becoming unnecessary as modern radio equipment and frequencies permitted even the average station to communicate over hundreds of miles, compared to the mere dozens that were possible with spark. This made traffic handling much easier, as major routes such as new York to Chicago could be covered reliably in one hop, compared to the three or four relays necessary just a few years earlier.

February 27, 1926 marked the creation of the new ARRL Communications Department, headed up by F. E. Handy 1BDI (later of Handbook fame.) Each Division was subdivided into “sections” which would become official on July 1, 1926. Elections for “Section Communications Managers” were announced in April and June issues of QST, with Nominating Petitions requested immediately and voting to take place in May and June for many of the new Sections. The winners of the first round of elections took office on July 1, 1927, including the WPA Section.

The first Section Communications Manager (SCM) of the new Western Pennsylvania Section was Gilbert L. Crossley 8XE, an Erie native who lived in State College, Pa, where he was an Penn State instructor. I had the honor of meeting Gil when I toured the Engineering Department during my junior year in high school. At that time his call was W3YA, which was also in use by the Penn State Amateur Radio Club.

The WPA Section quietly turned 90 years old on July 1, 2016. Those who know me well, know that I’m not a fan of hiding in the shadows. In keeping with that, and honoring the many accomplishments of the WPA Section and its many active radio amateurs, I am proclaiming the year of 2017 the 90th Jubilee Year for the Western Pennsylvania Section.

Happy 90th Jubilee, WPA!

 

New WPA Section Manager Elected

This afternoon, I was informed by ARRL HQ in Newington, CT that I have been elected to serve the 2017-18 term as Western Pennsylvania Section Manager.

img_2949-2I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with this opportunity to serve the 10,000+ radio amateurs in the 33 western counties of Pennsylvania. I look forward to meeting and working with them as we serve our communities and participate in the greatest hobby on Earth.

Many thanks to those who offered me their support and encouragement, and the many friends I have made all over the section in my work as Affiliated Club Coordinator.

A most hearty 73 to all!

— de W3BC