Thursday, October 06, 2005

Skyview Radio Society to offer classes for the General Class Amateur Radio License 

The following message is from the K3MJW mailing list of the Skyview Radio Society in New Kensington.

We be thinkin, it will be best if everyone interested in taking the General class buys the ARRL General class license manual and optionally, the ARRL General license Q&A manual. Do a self-study, highlight and note things that need explained. On the Thursday after the October elmer night (October 27th) we will get together at the club and go over everyone's questions and keep doing that every Thursday until the class is ready to be tested. Between the question pool and classes, you shall be called General in short order!

The two books are available from ARRL , AES and other sources.

You're into maybe $30.00 or so for both books. Don't be cheap!

After we get the theory kicked, we will hit the code (if there still is code) and BOOM! Now is the time.

If you are planning on coming along on this journey to General city, please let me know so we know how to work things. If you feel you need extra help, we can do that too. Make plans to get on HF now bub. Ask Mac and John, it's way cool. Order you books ASAP.

Looking forward to hearing from YOU. (hopefully yens)

DE WC3O (Bob Bastone)

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Penn Hill Police Dispatch moves to county center 

I got a call from one of our TRAMA members the other evening asking me if I noticed that Penn Hill Police had changed their unit numbering. I said that I had not since I listen to Penn Hill enough that I know when I hear them who it is so I mostly pay attention to street addresses and nature of calls. If they had indeed changed unit numbering my first guess would be that they have made a change at the dispatching center. This indeed turned out to be the case.

I noticed several weeks ago that when the routine Saturday tests were run for the Penn Hills Fire departments that the normal tests were run from the Penn Hill Police station as normal and then the Allegheny County Dispatch Center ran the same set of test. This lead me to believe that the fire department was getting ready to jump ship and take their dispatching needs to the county. Last week this was confirmed when they had a major structure fire during a week day and I noticed that all communications came from the county for the incident. Since that time Saturday tests have also come only from the county.

Well it now looks like the transition is complete. Penn Hills Police are now getting their calls from Allegheny County Center. I do not know at this time if they maintained their dispatch console at the main station on Frankstown Road or not. If they did keep it I don't know if it is still maned on a twenty four seven basis. It does appear though that if you dial 911 in Penn Hills now that your call ends in the City of Pittsburgh at the Allegheny County Main Dispatch Center. If I get additional details I will post them here.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pennsylvania Utility Cites Unfavorable Economics in Ending BPL Trial 

From the ARRL web site:

PPL Broadband announced this week that it's terminating its broadband over power line (BPL) experiment in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. According to media reports, the company is citing the high cost of a full-scale BPL rollout and competition from cable and DSL service in the region as the reason for the shutdown. Approximately 300 households participating in the trial were said to be paying $40 a month for the high-speed Internet service. Although interference was reported by Amateur Radio stations in some of PPL Broadband's BPL service area, that apparently was not a factor in the company's decision to drop out of the BPL race.

Follow this link for the complete story

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