Antenna Coming For Belmont HAMsters

HAMsters, photo #1HAMsters, photo #3The first-grade “HAMsters” at the Winn Brook school in Belmont will soon have a working antenna for a shack in their classroom, according to their teacher, Donna LaRoche.

LaRoche has received invaluable assistance with the project from Chuck Counselman, W1HIS. (See “The Next Generation of CW Operators”.) “[W1HIS] has met with our principal, the custodian, head of buildings and grounds, and even the school electrician.”

According to LaRoche, “We now have a coax cable installed from the classroom to the roof. We are waiting for the school department authorities to bless an antenna up there. [Chuck] is planning a doublet, 70 feet long, fed with 450 ohm line. There will be a balun between the line and the coax. This will be our antenna for 7 MHz and up.” LaRoche isn’t concerned with the lack of 80 meter coverage. “The rig will only be used during the day and 80 meters is not very interesting in the middle of the day.”

“The HAMsters and I are learning CW together!” adds LaRoche. “We practice every day after lunch for twenty minutes. They are becoming very proficient.”

LaRoche, who is a member of the Framingham Amateur Radio Association, earned her ham ticket, KB1LWY, at a Boston ARC VE session in January, 2005. She made her first QSO on February 25, operating from W1AW. Appropriately, it was with Chuck, W1HIS. “Boy, was I excited!” Donna exclaims.

For more information about the HAMsters, visit their web site at

[Left: The HAMsters holding an adorable stuffed toy kangaroo, koala bear, Australian Animal Book and wearing Australian icon pins kindly sent by one of their 3YOX ham friends, David Gemmell, VK4GL. Right: HAMsters “operating” and practicing CW. Photos courtesy KB1LWY]

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