Amateur Radio Traffic Net

Last Week, I became a regular check-in to The Western Pennsylvania Phone Traffic Net. I started to look for a net after the landfall of Hurricane Harvey. The net meets every evening at 6 PM on 80-meters, and is part of The National Traffic System (NTS).

So far, I’ve initiated 4 radiograms. I hope to continue handling NTS messages on a regular basis.


New HF Antenna

The vertical wire antenna I set up a few weeks ago was not working out. I decided to replace it with a G5RV antenna, installed as an inverted V. Since there are no suitable trees on our property, I needed a mast to support it.

I ordered and received a fiberglass mast, which was easy to assemble. However, it was necessary to attach two rope guys to keep it from bending. The two antenna wires also serve as guy lines.

Soon after completing the installation, I made a contact with a station in Indiana. Today, stations that were barely readable before were coming in with good signals. They were barely readable with the other antenna. Even though propagation has not been good this summer, the G5RV has been a great improvement.

Amateur HF Radio Station

This week, I completed setting up my HF amateur radio station. The final component was a 30 foot vertical antenna. The antenna mast, made of fiberglass, is collapsible and can be quickly disconnected. This is necessary in the event of a thunderstorm.

The day after I completed the installation, I made my first HF contact, from Stormstown on 40 meters, with a station in Maine. The operator gave me an excellent signal report to confirm my radio system is working. I sent a QSL card to the operator.