Western Pennsylvania Section News
August 4, 2018
The ARRL Board, at their July meeting, established a three-month general comment period for the new ARES Strategic Plan with comments due no later than October 31, 2018, after which the Public Service Enhancement Working Group will present the final plan to the ARRL Annual Board of Directors meeting in January 2019 for consideration for adoption.
Until announced otherwise, please file your comments through our WPA Section Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be forwarded to the ARRL directly.
Our WPA Hamfest and convention schedule still has lots to offer.
Skyview Hamfest at the Club Grounds in New Kensington, August 26
PA State Convention, September 1st at the W3PIE Club House,
433 Old Pittsburgh Road, Uniontown
Butler County ARC Hamfest, September 9th at the Unionville Fire
Department, Mahood Road and PA Route 8
South-1, November 4th following the WACOM Hamfest in Cannonsburg
Many thanks to the Hamfest sponsors for supporting our WPA Section activities, which are open to all radio amateurs.
NVIS And 60 Meter Tests
Our experiments with 60 meters and antennas continue this week. Even if your equipment cannot transmit on the 60 meter band, please tune in to listen, and send me a report of the stations you heard, and your signal report for each.
We encourage everyone with NVIS antennas to try using them for this net this week and next week. We will once again try comparisons on 60 meters after this net on 5371.5 kilo-Hertz upper sideband (also called Channel 4.) Please be careful not to exceed the maximum power of 100 watts ERP as referenced to a 1/2 wave horizontal dipole antenna installed in the same position as your transmitting antenna.
Use of NVIS antennas is encouraged for these tests. An NVIS antenna for 80 meters is 120 feet long, center fed and no more than 25 feet above ground. For 60 meters, an antenna of 86 feet length at no more than 15 feet above ground will work well. The inverted vee configuration can be made by supporting the antenna in the middle at the recommended height, and lowering the ends to around 2 to 3 feet above the ground. The inverted vee may provide superior performance in some situations.
We will continue these tests weekly for the next few weeks to learn which strategies provide the most reliable communications for the majority of stations in our unique Western Pennsylvania topography..
Now that summer activities are in full swing, please remember to put safety first, especially when traveling our wonderful Pennsylvania highways. Allow yourself extra time, and keep a safe distance from other traffic. Set a good example by being alert and patient in the many construction zones, and comply with radio silence in blasting areas, especially with APRS radios. When working outside, please use all recommended safety equipment, vests, hard-hats and eye, ear and foot protection. Remember, Safety is No Accident!
Please keep a radio tuned to your local repeater and simplex frequencies, and be ready to offer assistance to traveling motorists who may need it at any time of the day or night. As ARES members, we are ready to serve anyone who needs our help, including our fellow amateurs.
If you’re looking for a program for your club meetings, why not put together some 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.
Advertise your events 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 new hams feel welcome and respected! We want to make good amateur radio friendships in the best 100+ year tradition of Amateur Radio!
Still looking for more ideas for meeting programs? Drop me an invite or a request for a visit by any of our section staff. We are available to travel to your group, and can discuss a variety of very interesting Amateur Radio topics.
73 and Press On!
Joe Shupienis W3BC