ARRL Sections - Western Pennsylvania

Western Pennsylvania

Western Pennsylvania

Contact Information

Section Name:
Western Pennsylvania
Joe Shupienis W3BC
Daytime Phone:
Evening Phone:

Basic Information


WPA Section News


License Upgrade Classes in Indiana - RSVP

02-06-17 - From Doug Fitzsimmons K3LAB:

  • *** Attention Technician Class Hams ***

    The Indiana County Amateur Radio Club will be conducting a General
    Class upgrade course beginning on March 1, 2017 and continuing on successive Wednesdays thru April 5, 2017.  The course will consist of 5 Instructor-led sessions and the sixth week will be an open VE testing session.  The course will be held At the Indiana County Emergency Management Agency, 85 Haven Drive, Indiana, PA. 

    For information and to register for the class, please contact Doug Fitzsimmons, K3LAB, at by February 15, 2017

    [SM Note: Time is running out to sign up. Contact Doug today!]

Monthly Reports Due

WPA SEC Harry Bloomberg W3YJ writes:

  • "We need to get in the habit of regularly reporting our ARES activities... In addition to the ARRL reports, I like to hear news of your activities.  So, if you work a public service event or are activated or are even just on standby, please let me know."

Even if you are not one of the appointed staff members who are required
to submit monthly reports, it's a good idea to send a note upstream so
your good work can be acknowledged by all of the members who get the
Section News. Keep on sending that good information!

We have already had our activities published by ARRL, and there is so
much going on in this section that we could keep the folks in Newington
well supplied with filler material!

G271 Weather Course in Indiana PA Feb 15 & 16

From WPA Assistant Section manager Dave Wellman WX3E:

  • "G271 Weather course scheduled for Indiana, Pa. Feb 15 and 16, 2017

    "This course will provide you with the necessary training to respond to hazardous situations and to help your community avoid some of the destruction. The purpose of this course is to promote partnership and coordination between the National Weather Service and Emergency Managers. The goal is to enhance your ability to recognize potentially
    hazardous weather and flooding situations and to coordinate effective responses.

    Course Objectives

  • Describe the basic elements of weather
  • Explain how those elements combine to make weather hazardous
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the nature, potential intensity, and duration of the hazards that are most likely to affect your area
  • Determine your community’s vulnerability to identified hazards
  • Identify appropriate National Weather Service informational products for the hazards that your community faces and interpret the product to make planning and preparedness decisions
  • Analyze real-time information about emerging threats and adjust for local conditions to project potential impacts
  • Given a threat, determine what actions must be taken, by whom, and the time required for each action
  • Synthesize your knowledge of weather, local hazards and vulnerabilities, weather products, emerging threats, and action planning into emergency plans and procedures
  • Establish time-phased critical thresholds for action based on specific weather data, including: location; severity; magnitude; direction; speed of onset; and area forecast probabilities"

If you are interested, please register with the following address, ASAP!

William J. Clement | Emergency Management Specialist
PA Emergency Management Agency
Western Area Office
276 Stormer Road | Indiana, PA 15701
Phone:  724-357-2990 | Fax:  724-357-2992

Stay Informed!

Don't forget to visit the Section Website OFTEN, for the latest WPA news and information. The material there changes every day, so don't make the mistake of thinking it's "one-and-done!" Check in often so you don't get left behind!

Also, the WPA Section Facebook group is now up to 100 members, and counting! Join the group and stay in touch!

The Final Final

That pretty much wraps it up for this week! Keep me posted about all the activities in your neck of the woods, and I'll do my best to share it in next week's edition!

Press on!


Previous News:

Radio Activity Continues To Cover WPA!

01/29/17 -- I just got back from visiting the Winter Field Day setup at the Armstrong County Emergency Operations Center where Armstrong County Emergency Coordinator Steve Fazekas K3FAZ and members of the Fort Armstrong Wireless Asociation were putting up the antennas and making some finishing touches to the communications trailer. At exactly 2:00 pm, club station K3QY hit the airwaves making the club's first of many WFD contacts. A good number of participants, young and old, were on hand to help out and to have fun while making contact across the frozen miles with other brave teams, who ventured out into the cold to communicate under wintry weather conditions!

Then, I traveled to the Delmont Fire Hall, where I enjoyed the gracious hospitality (and the excellent food) at the Skyview ARC Holiday Dinner. Over 80 club members, family and guests were present, and everyone won a door prize! I gave my address, "It Begins With Service" to the appreciative group, and afterwards took part in many good conversations. I learned that some members were planning to return to the Skyview Clubhouse to keep K3MJW on the air for Winter Field Day overnight!

I received word from the Cumberland Valley Amateur Radio Club that they had a good turnout to put their club station W3ACH on the air from their Field Day site near Chambersburg. Winter or summer, the season for Field Day doesn't matter to their enthusiastic group. They posted a number of great photos, and I can't wait to get full write-ups from every group that participated in this exciting outdoor (and indoor) activity, so I can forward our report to QST.

While we're speaking of sending things in, now's the time to submit your monthly reports if you hold an appointment that requires you to do so. Even if you don't have to, it's a great idea to provide us with a write-up of all the interesting things going on in your part of the section. It is a pretty big area, and with so many active clubs and members, it's hard to keep tabs on everyone and all their exciting radio activities!


Making The Rounds

This past Tuesday, I was happy to attend the meeting of Westmoreland Emergency Amateur Radio Service (WEARS) near Latrobe's Arnold Palmer Airport. Before the meeting their VE exam session yielded 1 new licensee and 1 upgrade! Congratulations to them all. At the meeting, I presented a talk, "It Begins With Service," and finished by presenting a certificate and an ARRL Operating Manual to WPA's first new licensee of 2017, Bradyn Claycomb KC3IJL. Bradyn is an Electrical Engineering student at the McKeesport Campus of Penn State, and took his license exam at the club's December 2016 exam session. Welcome to Amateur Radio, Bradyn... and kudos to the dedicated members of WEARS!


Keep Those Cards and Letters Coming!

The Facebook WPA ARRL Group is up to 99 members as of today. Next new member will be #100 and will get a nice certificate and an ARRL prize to commemborate it! We've taken some giant steps in this first month, and I hope we can keep up the pace. We in the WPA section are truly an active bunch, with LOTS of stuff going on!

---  Previous Weekly News:


Radio Activity All Over WPA!

01/22/17 -- Phew! I have been tapping at the keyboard and clicking the mouse in a frantic effort to keep up with all the activities going on all over this section. It seems that every time we finish one, two more upcoming events magically appear in my inbox! I'm not complaining -- in fact I want to encourage even more of these reports. Bring 'em on!

I just got back from the excellent Go-Kit Workshop conducted by the Washington Amateur Communications (WACOM) group in Washington PA. Many thanks to Brad KC3EDQ, the event host, and to everyone who brought their Go-Kits and other equipment to demonstrate to the group of around 20. We all learned a lot, and picked up many good ideas to help us improve our readiness for service when called up by our served agancies.

The positive comments about the Go-Kit workshop are still coming in, and there is new interest in presenting it in other parts of the Section. Perhaps this would be something interesting to include as part of our Section Convention, ARES Workshop or Leadership Clinic later this year. It's also a great idea for club presentations!


Cory Sickles WA3UVV, New WPA PIC

We welcome Cory Sickles WA3UVV of Uniontown, our new Public Information Coordinator. Cory is a regular columnist for CQ Magazine, and is active on our Section website and Facebook Group. He has an abiding interest in Public Service Communication, and is well-versed in all the popular and emerging Digital Voice technologies. When living in New Jersey, he was the PIC for his section, and has now brought his skills to his home section of WPA. You may contact him with information about your local activities, and to request Public Relations support for your Affiliated Club or group.


Help Wanted

We are still looking for a few good hams to lead several key areas of service the Section provides. Contact me for more details, application packages, or ideas you may have.

  • Section Youth Coordinator
  • Affiliated Club Coordinator
  • South 2 District Emergency Coordinator

These leadership jobs are a great opportunity to help your fellow amateurs all over the section. We are looking for enthusiastic, responsible people who are willing to give back to our favorite hobby by providing these important services. It doesn't hurt to ask -- you will not be "railroaded" into anything you can't handle. Get in touch with me and we'll talk.

The WPA Section Needs YOU!


WPA Section In The News!

The January 18th edition of the ARRL E-Letter (weekly emergency communications news email) featured an article about the Cumberland Valley ARC Winter Field Day activities in Franklin County. I forwarded the information I received from the club to League HQ (as required by my Job Description) and, Voila! WPA got recognition! That warm feeling you sense is the glow of Fame!

I encourage everybody to send in your reports every month, so they can be collected together and reported here, on our Internet sites, and to ARRL HQ. All reports are welcome, from the required Monthly Staff Reports, to interesting things from your club or your own hamshack.

Required reports should be filed with the appropriate official (DEC, SEC, PIC, STM, OOC or SM) during the last week of the month, so they may be processed in time for inclusion in QST and other League publications. Non required reports should be filed with our new PIC, your Assistant Section Manager or with me.


Section Traffic Manager Scores Clean Sweep

Congratulations to Herb Gilliland W3YNX of Sarver, our Section Traffic Manager, for a 2016 clean sweep of all 12 monthly reports being filed in time with ARRL HQ. Great Job Herb! Keep up the good work!


The Final Final

That's about all for this week. Don't forget Winter Field Day this weekend, from 2:00 pm Saturday to 2:00 pm Sunday. You can work other stations from the comfort of your own home, or if you're feeling the need for adventure, go set up outdoors, or visit one of the groups that has a site. In any case, let us all know how you did. I'm awaiting your reports! 

--- Previous Weekly News:


Winter Field Day, Part II

01/15/17 -- Another WPA group is planning to square off with Old Man Winter, and set up shop to participate in Winter Field Day. Like its summer counterpart, the winter version involves setting up temporary stations away from the comforts of home. In this winter weather, that's a LOT of comfort to leave behind!

Armstrong County EC Steve Fazekas K3FAZ of the Fort Armstrong Wireless Association writes:

"We'll be operating at our EOC for the winter field day event with four stations operating from the radio room and emergency communications trailer. there will be several of us there for the duration (plus some members coming and going) working as many bands and modes as propagation permits. We're working hard to have club members who seem a bit gunshy of hf to participate while we use the club call sign...who knows, somebody may find out there is a big world beyond the repeater. We've also invited some non-hams to come by and see what amatuer radio is all about.

"Come and visit, there will be some good eats and you can get a look at our trailer renovations that are coming together rather nicely. 

"We're planning our spring weather exercise for early April and will provide more details as they become available.

"We also have scheduled other public service events for the year including a new 5k/10k/half marathon in Kittanning on June 10th."

Carrying The Message

The above news sounds like some good info for the events calendar on the website. I encourage everyone to share their lists of upcoming events, and the Section website and Facebook group are the perfect places for us to do so! Keep those cards and letters coming... and pictures, too! LOTS of pitures of you and your friends enjoying Amateur Radio activities!

This is YOUR Section, and you can do your part to make it GREAT! Send all your local event information to me at and I'll put it on the website for you. Or better yet, send me an email with your request to become a website editor (it IS just another 'blog' after all!) and I'll set up your user login which will allow you to enter news items, calendar entries and more!


Section Staff Vacancies

01/15/17 -- Applications for several Section Staff openings are requested. If you have the skills for the job, and you want to give something back to our favorite hobby, a Section Appointment can be a very challenging and rewarding experience.The following Staff positions are open at this time:

  • Section Youth Coordinator
  • Affiliated Club Coordinator
  • South 2 District Emergency Coordinator

Station appointments allow you to fill a vital role with your local club or clubs. Here are some that are needed an every county and club:

  • Public Information Officer
  • Official Emergency Station
  • Technical Specialist

There's a hat for everybody! Have a look at and see if one of those hats has your name on it!

That's all for now. I'm always avainlable so don't hesitate to contact me for help with your questions.


Joe Shupienis W3BC
Section Manager WPA


Congratulations to the first WPA New Ham of 2017, Bradyn J Claycomb KC3IJL

01/06/17 -- The first newly-licensed radio amateur of 2017 in the Western Pennsylvania Section is Bradyn J Ciaycomb KC3IJL of Greensburg. Bradyn will be awarded a copy of The ARRL Operating Manual. Welcome to Amateur Radio, Bradyn. Hope to hear you on the air!


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: 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.


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Join our Facebook Group: WPA ARRL

WPA ARRL Website, WPA ARRL Facebook Group

Western Pennsylvania Officials