NOAA Weather Radio - Capitol Peak - Outage Update

WXM62 162.475 @ Capitol Peak which covers a majority of Grays Harbor was on this outage list since the December 23rd 2022 ice storm. Looks like it is back in service. Check your weather radios and make sure they have not scanned to another frequency.

National Weather Service - NWR Outages - You can report NWR Transmitter Problems online

GHARC has been working on a new Program that will be member supported and manually and automatically check the Noaa Weather Radios that cover our area. We are also working to have NWR audio be available on the W7ZA System

WXM62 Coverage Map

Doppler Radar Upgrade!

Both KATX and KLGX will be offline for approximately 1 week as the 5th phase of the service life extension program (SLEP) is completed. The generator, fuel tanks, and accompanying equipment will be replaced during this period. #WAwx 

KLGX is in our backyard, looks like some service life extension being completed and this site will be off air January 26th through February 2nd 


Nick KC1OTX recommends taking your amateur radio with you and to invest in snow tires

Rescued by Amateur Radio

December 4th, 2022

This story from WMUR-TV about how amateur radio rescued two people stranded in icy conditions in the Pittsburg New Hampshire area.

 Nick KC1OTX  was off the roadway and his friend Ben was injured and there was no cellular phone service. Using the Mount Washington Repeater System W1NH  he contacted Derrek and Roger K1DFA and they worked out a system to communicate and emergency services were sent to the location and rescued the two. Nick recommends taking your amateur radio with you and investing in snow tires.

The Capitol Peak Repeater Group is having their Annual Repeater Meeting on Saturday, February 25th, 2023 at 1:00pm.

Who: Capitol Peak Repeater Group

When: Saturday February 25th at 1:00pm

Where: South Bay Fire Department 3506 Shincke Rd NE, Olympia WA 98506

The 145.470- repeater covers a signifcant portion of Grays Harbor County and many local amateurs are members of this group. Consider attending the meeting and joining the group. We often use this repeater system which is on Capitol Peak for events and emergency communications due to the wide coverage. A coverage map shows how this repeater covers well of the Coast and much of Grays Harbor.

Be sure to visit our WWA ARRL Section website, you will recognize a few amateurs that represent our area and you likely have heard a few of these leaders on the air. For many, WWA is just what we use when logging our Field Day contacts, these are the people behind that.

Great video from Bryan Fields, W9CR about the history of the VHF/2m Band. This is a great information as we begin to re-channelize and narrowband in the Pacific Northwest

The HF Renaissance in the US Army

Great information from a US Military perspective on the rebirth of HF communications. There is a focus on NVIS and  Prof. Col. Stephen Hamilton, KJ5HY debunks several myths such as NVIS skip zones. Stephen also talks about a direction finding system used by the military to determine the source of the received signal was was verified to be the ionosphere and at almost 90 degrees.

Amateur proves that NVIS does not have a skip zone

Photo by Daniel Frank:

This can be related to communication needs in Grays Harbor. Consider your neighborhood and what are options you have available. As local amateurs we have access to all of these and live and work in the community.

GHARC is expanding and linking our W7ZA Net and also beginning to deploy other systems such as GMRS.

Random Wire - KJ7T - Contemplating community comms options

This is a 3 1/2" floppy drive for those that have never seen one in real life. These held a whopping 1.44MB and Windows 3.11 had five of them in the box

What's a node ?

Back to the 1980's - GHARC has been doing some W7ZA System testing and what is better to test RF than some VARA FM Narrow and Wide signals. VARA by Jose EA5HVK uses OFDM and slides in under the FCC symbol limit with plenty of room to spare. Impressive speeds are available on FM using 20Khz channels. It also allows for field testing and SNR measurements. If you listen to 146.900 you will hear some digital tones and transmissions as we prepare to move testing to the South Montesano site.

To allow for unattended testing and to also prepare for other systems, we are using Jon Wiseman's G8BPQ Node software from the late 1980's and into the 1990's. This software was orignally DOS based and then was used in multitasking environments such as DesqView. G8BPQ code survives today and has evolved with time. It is now available in Windows 32 bit version and a Linux version. The original idea was to be able to connect between Nodes and then directly to users using AX.25 and callsigns. Jon has continued to add new features such as an interface to a BBS as well as a BBS system itself.

The standard is to use an SSID on the Node callsign to access each application.

-1 - Chat application

-9 - The Node itself - connecting provides a list of commands and apps

-10 - A link to the WinLink CMS via the local RMS gateway

So this is yet another Node being setup for the W7ZA System. The term "Node" is one of the most over used name in amateur radio. In this case the G8BPQ node allows many digital applicaitions to connect and send data across.

Watch for an update to this article and a future post that explains what will be permanent available. If you want to test Vara FM download the software and connect to your VHF radio and contact for more information or call us at 360-777-6655