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Section News, October 11

Western Pennsylvania Section News

October 11, 2017

2017 WPA SET “Very Successful”

Saturday, October 7th was the date for the 2017 SET. In the weeks leading up to the event, our WPA DECs and ECs finished all the preparation it takes to have a great exercise. At 9:00 am on Saturday, October 7th the WPA ARES Voice Net was called up, and the next four hours filled the airwaves with ARES activities. Both WX3PIT and WX3CTP National Weather Service stations were manned and on the air to accept SKYWARN reports. K3MJW was on the air as the Section Incident Command station, and established ongoing communication with the District Command Stations.

Each ARES team set up communications with their local coordinating station, and a substantial amount of Radiogram traffic was handled by all stations. The Weather Service staff was impressed by the SKYWARN reports they received through us.

Upcoming Events

October 14th and 15th: Pennsylvania QSO Party.

October 21, 22 and 23: 60th Annual Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air. Local clubs and other groups have made arrangements to participate with their local Scouting Councils and Camps to set up stations that will enable Scouts to talk to their counterparts in other countries around the world. It’s also a perfect opportunity to get in some Public Service work. Please be sure to send in an ARES Form 1 with full info on your participation!

October 28th: North-2 District Meeting 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, in the Hiller Auditorium on the Penn State DuBois Campus. Please send an email to me using w3bc@arrl.org, and tell me how many people are coming with you. The admission is free — we need to know how many sets of handouts to print, so everybody can have one!

November 5th: South-1 District meeting 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, at the WACOM Hamfest on the Washington County Fairgrounds. Please send an email to me using w3bc@arrl.org, and tell me how many people are coming with you. The admission is free — we need to know how many sets of handouts to print, so everybody can have one!

Near Space Balloon Launch – September 20

The balloon was launched on schedule, and ascended to a maximum altitude of 104,000 feet! Two and a half hours after launch, the vehicle touched down in the median of PA Route 28. All in all, it was a very successful flight.

The team is planning another launch for the spring of 2018. Reports are that the use of Amateur Radio to track the balloon’s flight and coordinate the launch and recovery efforts impressed the students enough that several have expressed interest in getting licensed.


2017 District Meeting Schedule

Our WPA Section Staff has put 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. Here are the scheduled for the two remaining meetings.

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

The North-2 District Meeting is scheduled for  Saturday, October 28 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm  at the Penn State DuBois Campus in the Hiller Building Auditorium. Please note: Previously the wrong time was copied and pasted. I apologize for the confusion. The correct time is 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm.

  • 12:00 — Sign-in and Seating
  • 12:15 — Greeting, ARRL Briefing and WPA News – Joe Shupienis W3BC
  • 12:30 — Public Service and ARES Topics – Bud Plants N3TIR, WPA Section Emergency Coordinator and Kevin Snyder, North-2 District Emergency Coordinator
  • 1:30 — Jamboree on the Air Summary, 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

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 — ARRL Q&A
  • 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 20-22 this year. Clubs are coordinating with local 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.

Final Final

October has been a very busy month, and there’s something going on every weekend. If you’re wondering what’s in store for November, relax. We have plenty more fun-filled activities on the ole’ drawing board. There are still a lot more things we can do to build excitement and have fun with our favorite hobby!

Introducing… November ‘Noob’ Night!

If you’re looking for a program for your November club meeting, why not put together a program of activities for new hams and those who are interested in Amateur Radio? Demo the latest entry level radios like the Icom 7300 and the Yaesu 991A (for example), have some Elmers available to answer questions, have a show and tell about DXing, digital modes, SDR, signal location… the list is endless. (And it doesn’t have to be in November. There are 11 other months that are just as good!)

Advertise it as much as you can, especially in schools, colleges, on bulletin boards at work, on your nets, and in person to the hams in your communities who recently got licensed. It doesn’t have to be perfect — it just has to be done. Who knows, you might make the difference needed to gain some active new members!

Above all else, go out of your way to make the new hams feel welcome and respected! We want to make good amateur radio friendships in the best 100+ year tradition of Amateur Radio!

73 and Press On!

Joe Shupienis W3BC
Western Pennsylvania Section Manager



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