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ARRL Sections - Western Pennsylvania

Western Pennsylvania

Western Pennsylvania

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Western Pennsylvania
Joe Shupienis W3BC
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 Western Pennsylvania Section News
 15 June 2019

It’s time to start planning for this fall’s Simulated Emergency Test. This year the SET is on Saturday, October 5. Initial plans are for a scalable exercise, adding additional served agencies as the SET progresses. There will be a need for each participating county to establish HF communication with other participants in different locations, and an ARESMAT team from each district to report to assist operations in another location. The focus is on interoperability with other ARES teams, and serving several agencies simultaneously as would be done in an actual disaster.

The next hamfests will be at Wattsburg on July 13 where we will hold the annual Northwest District Meeting, and Somerset on July 21 where we will hold the Southeast District Meeting. Hope to see you there!

Following the WPA ARES Voice Net, every Saturday at 9:00 am, we will meet on 60 meters on 5403.5 kHz upper sideband. If that channel is in use, we will use 5371.5 USB. Even if your equipment cannot transmit on the 60 meter band, please tune in and listen, then send me a report of the stations you heard, and your signal report for each.

Our WPA Digital Voice Net meets Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm on talk group 31422. What better way for us in “Friendly Western PA” to enjoy our friendships while sharpening our technical skills! See you there!

Our WPA Section is encouraging all DMR Repeater owners in our Section to consider “nailing it up” as a Static Group on your DMR Repeaters, thus making it very easy to carry on relevant QSOs with our neighbors in our Section!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is WPA-Simplex-Plan.png 

New ARES Simplex Frequency Plan Approved! 

At the February 9th WPA Cabinet Meeting, the proposed WPA ARES Simplex Frequency Plan was unanimously approved. This new suggested frequency plan improves our use of scarce frequencies, and greatly enhances ARESMAT (mutual aid) operations, by ensuring that every radio has every frequency pre-programmed into it for the entire section!

Four simplex frequencies were chosen to meet the following criteria:

  • specified as Simplex Channels in the WPRC 2-meter Band Plan\
  • at least 30 kHz separation from each other
  • at least 30 kHz separation from any repeater input or output frequency (as specified in the WPRC Band Plan)
  • at least 30 kHz separation from the 146.52 MHz National Calling Frequency

Additionally, they were chosen to align on 30 kHz-spaced channels to facilitate their availability on older radios, including ancient crystal-controlled radios and 1970s-vintage synthesized rigs. The result provides maximum compatibility with 90% or more of all radios that might be pressed into service.

Here are the counties and recommended frequencies:

146.55 “TAC-5”
Allegheny, Clarion, Clearfield, Greene, Huntingdon, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Warren

146.58 “TAC-8”
Beaver, Blair, Clinton, Franklin, Jefferson, McKean, Venango, Westmoreland

147.54 “TAC-4”
Armstrong, Cambria, Cameron, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Lawrence, Mifflin

147.57 “TAC-7”
Bedford, Butler, Centre, Crawford, Elk, Indiana, Washington

ARESMAT (mutual aid) operations will be greatly simplified by programming all four of these frequencies into every radio used by ARES members. This plan enables every radio to be used in every county in the WPA Section without the need for any re-programming in the field.

This Plan was shared with all DECs and ECs for comments in late October 2018. It was also shared with the Western Pennsylvania Repeater Council for comments and suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge their suggestions, which bring it into conformance with the ARRL and WPRC bandplans, and the current operating practice on 2 meters throughout our entire Section.

Additionally, three extra frequencies were selected for use as extra or alternate frequencies in each district as follows:

145.51 “ALT-1” Northeast District (N2)

145.53 “ALT-3” Southwest District (S1)

145.59 “ALT-9” Northwest District (N1) and Southeast District (S2)

Including both 2-meter and 70 cm calling frequencies gives us 9 channels, with the channel number being the last digit of the frequency:

Channel #     Channel Name     Frequency
1                     ALT-1                    145.51 MHz
2                     CALL-2                 146.52 MHz
3                     ALT-3                    145.53 MHz
4                     TAC-4                   147.54 MHz
5                     TAC-5                   146.55 MHz
6                     CALL-446             446 MHz
7                     TAC-7                   147.57 MHz
8                     TAC-8                   146.58 MHz
9                     ALT-9                    145.59 MHz  

(Hint: This would make a good "Zone" to include in your codeplugs. I call the zone "WPA ARES FM" in my codeplugs.)

73 and Press ON!
Joe Shupienis W3BC
Western Pennsylvania Section Manager


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