WX4NHC Annual Station Test, May 26, 2018

WX4NHC logoRob Macedo, KD1CY writes on the SKYWARN mailing list:

Please see the following information from WD4R-Julio Ripoll, Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator on the 2018 WX4NHC On-Air Communications Test which will be held this Saturday May 26th, 2018 from 9 AM-5 PM EDT (1300-2100 UTC) across various bands and modes on Amateur Radio. We encourage Amateur Radio Operators in our region to participate.

Announcement from WX4NHC – Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, Miami Florida

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air for the Annual Station Test

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 from 9AM-5 PM EDT (1300z- 2100z)

This will be our 38th year of public service at NHC.

The purpose of this event is to test Amateur Radio Station equipment, antennas and computers prior to this year’s Hurricane Season, which starts June 1stand runs through November 30th.

This event is good practice for Ham Radio Operators world-wide as well as NWS Staff to become familiar with Amateur Radio communications available during times of seer.

We will be making brief contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data exchange (“Sunny”, or “Rain”, etc.) with any station in any location.

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air on HF, VHF, UHF , 2 & 30 meter APRS and WinLink wx4nhc@winlink.org subject must contain “//WL2K”.

We will try to stay on the Hurricane Watch Net frequency 14.325 MHz most of the time.

Due to space and equipment limitations, we will have 2 operators per shift, we cannot be on all frequencies or on every mode at the same time.

You may be able to find us on HF by using one of the DX Spotting Networks,

Such as the DX Summit Web Site: http://www.dxsummit.fi/Search.aspx 

We will also be on VoIP Hurricane Net 4pm-5pm EDT (2000-2100z)

(IRLP node 9219 / EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). http://www.voipwx.net/

Florida Statewide SARNET and local VHF & UHF Repeaters will be contacted.

QSL Cards are available via WD4R.

Please send your card with a S.A.S.E.

Please do NOT send QSLs directly to the Hurricane Center address, as it will get delayed.

Due to security measures: 

NO VISITORS will be allowed entry to NHC without prior clearance from NHC PIO and Security.

Only WX4NHC Operators on the pre-approved operating schedule will be allowed entry. 

For more information about WX4NHC, please visit our website


Thank you for your participation in the WX4NHC Annual Station Test event.


Julio Ripoll Architect WD4R
WX4NHC Amateur Radio Asst. Coordinator
Celebrating 38 years at the National Hurricane Center

New Fox Hunting Listserv Now On-line

A new fox hunting listserv is now on-line, according to PART of Westford‘s Dave Welsh, WI1R.

“This list is explicitly not just for PART members.  Anybody who is interesting in fox hunting, especially in the general area of Westford and the surrounding towns, is more than welcome to participate,” reports PART of Westford president Andy Stewart, KB1OIQ. “Please forward this email to any friends who may also be interested in fox hunting.”

The goal of fox hunting–otherwise known as Amateur Radio Direction Finding–is to find a hidden radio transmitter.  Typically, a transmitter would be hidden in conservation land well out of sight of passersby, and not in overly damp or other sensitive areas. 

“Make sure there is safe access to the fox.  Always be aware of your surroundings and your abilities.  Be safe and have fun!”

KB1OIQ invites fox box owners who deploy/hide their foxes to announce it via the list.   “Let us know when you’ve retrieved the fox so we’ll stop looking for it.  If there is a logbook, let us know who successfully found your fox.”

To sign up for the fox hunting list, go to http://lists.wb1gof.org/listinfo.cgi/foxhuntingwb1gof.org and complete the form.  As a subscriber to the mailing list, you may post messages to foxhunting@wb1gof.org.  If you have questions or require assistance in joining the list, contact Dave Welsh, WI1R at wi1r@wb1gof.org

Volunteers Requested for C.A.T.S. Dogtown Trail Run, May 20, 2018

The Cape Ann ARA is requesting hams to assist with staffing for the Cape Ann Trail Stewards Dogtown Trail Run on Sunday, May 20, 2018. 

“Please let us know if you can staff a communications checkpoint for the event by Thursday, May 17 so we can plan staffing positions.  I will supply you with an information packet by email on Friday morning.  Accessing checkpoint locations may require up to a mile of walking over varying terrain and are not accessible by vehicles,” writes Chris Winczewski, K1TAT.

“I have made up .KMZ files (Google Earth) of pertinent positions and access trails.  These can be accessed on most modern GPS plotters and Smart-phones to guide you to the check-points.  I will also provide paper maps and directions in the information for each check-point in the information packets which you can print out.

“Radio operations will be on the Gloucester 443.700 MHz repeater (+ Shift, PL 107.2).  Note the new PL tone on this repeater.  Please let us know if you need help programming the repeater information into your radios.

“This event starts at the Dogtown Road parking lot off of Cherry Street at 09:00 and runs through trails in the heart of historical Cape Ann.  There will be a support meet-up at the Dogtown Road parking lot at 07:00.  There you will be teamed up with medical first responders and other event staff to man your checkpoint.  Checkpoint operators will proceed to their stations after the meeting.  The run will start at 09:00 and support cut-off time will be about  four hours.

“Radio propagation to the [Cape Ann ARA 440 MHz] repeater tested good along the entire route of the run.  Accessing the checkpoint locations will require some physical effort, mainly the ability to hike over varying terrain for upwards of a mile and back. Make sure to bring hydration, wear loose clothing and good hiking shoes.”

“Please let us know what type of equipment you plan to use (i.e.; HT; OEM rubber duck; 440 MHz capability, etc.) so we have a better idea of where to locate you along the event course per the potential of your equipment.  Also please provide me with your cell-phone number for reference.  This may present a good opportunity to test your go-kit plan.”

NWS: “Damage at NEAR-Fest the Result of a Tornado”

picture of tornado on radar screenLarry Caruso writes on the Pentucket RA mailing list:

“As reported on WMUR Channel 9 this morning: the National Weather Service confirmed the wind event that damaged our tent at NEAR-fest was an EF1 tornado. It traveled at 50 mph for 36 miles.

“That helps explain the loud sound we heard as it approach and why other nearby sites weren’t damaged.”

See also: https://www.facebook.com/easternmaarrl/posts/588283388194369


Commemorative Marconi Radio Contact with Newfoundland Planned, May 31, 2018



Barbara Dugan, N1NS writes on May 29, 2018:


Contact is scheduled for 1145 local BOSTON time which is 1545 UTC time.

Sorry for my mistake. My iphone was giving me London time- wrong setting, needed UTC time. London is UTC plus 1.

Signal Hill, St. Johns, Newfoundland Canada, Marconi receiving site
Signal Hill, St. John’s, Newfoundland, the site where Marconi received the very first Transatlantic Wireless Message on December 12, 1901.

KM1CC signA two-way amateur radio contact with the Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs (SONRA) VO1AA in St. Johns, Canada is planned during the  upcoming visit of Princess Elettra Marconi to station KM1CC and the Cape Cod National Seashore on May 31, 2018. 

[See: Invitation to Meet and Greet Marconi’s daughter, Princess Elettra Marconi, May 31, 2018].

“Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland is where Guglielmo Marconi received the letter ‘S’ from his Poldhu Station in 1901 in the U.K. by flying a kite antenna,” according to Barbara Dugan, N1NS. Dugan is trustee of the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club (KM1CC) and a National Park Service employee.

VO1AA and KM1CC  will try to make contact on 14.224 MHz USB +/- between 1645-1700 1545-1600 UTC.  “The Princess could be behind schedule, so we must be flexible,” adds N1NS.

Amateurs and SWLers are invited to listen on the frequency at those times for the commemorative QSO featuring the Princess. Chris Hillier, VO1IDX will serve as the net control so SONRA members can call in to the Princess.  Someone from KM1CC will stay on the air with VO1AA  should the Princess need to depart; afterwards, KM1CC will take calls from anyone who wishes to contact them in grid square FN51.

Their Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs Facebook page is at:  https://www.facebook.com/sonranfld/.

“Run of the Charles a Success Despite Rapid Currents”

Brett Smith, AB1RL writes in the Boston Amateur Radio Club’s, The Sparc, May 2018:

April is always a jam-packed month for public service events, and we always close it with the Run of the Charles. This is a really unique and fun event, a series of canoe and kayak races to support the Charles River Watershed Association. The organization works to protect the natural ecology of the Charles River, and keep it safe and clean for people to enjoy as well.

At this event, we handle on-site registrations, reports of rules violations, and of course we’re always keeping an eye on participants’ safety. All the rain over the week prior made for strong currents, which unfortunately led to a lot of boats capsizing, including one that got stuck on a bridge and required emergency assistance. That didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits, though; we handled 24 registrations throughout the day, which is in line with most years, and everyone had a safe race.

Thanks to all twenty volunteers who came out to support this event and the Charles River: Jeff PinterParsons, W5UVO; Alan Lewis, K1ALL; Mark Richards, K1MGY; David Cantrell, WH6DSN; Henry Brown, K1WCC; Rick Savage, KB1LYJ; Kathy Savage, KB1LPW; Gary Schwartz, N1ZCE; Bill Bridgham, N1RYT; Keilin Bickar, KE1LIN; Cheyenne Greatorex, N1QZS; Dave Allen, KC1GEQ; Jim Clogher, N1ICN; Ed Curley, KC1CLA; Lyman Smith, W1LKS; Lela Smith, KC1ACV; John Marcus III, W1JWM; Dave Gilman, KC1DDH; Brian Mallory, KB1WZU; and Thomas Achtemichuk, KC1TA.

National Brain Tumor Ride Volunteers Requested, Waltham, May 21, 2018

Brett Smith, AB1RL writes:

The National Brain Tumor Society is planning their 2017 Boston fundraising bike ride and they’re looking for amateur radio volunteers. The ride takes place on Sunday, May 21, starting at 7:00 AM from 200 West Street in Waltham. Volunteers will work from until the early afternoon, with lunch provided.

Jim Bradley, KB1JKJ, is organizing the hams for this event. To volunteer, please write him with the following information:

  • Your preferred assignment: SAG in your own vehicle; SAG in another person’s vehicle; or rest stop
  • Your call sign, full name, and name you prefer on the air
  • Your cell phone number, and any other number(s) you like to be reached at
  • Your shirt size
  • The transmit band(s) of your radio(s), and other equipment you could bring
  • Do you have any needs or requests we should consider when making your assignment?

Jim can also answer any questions you have about the event.

Flea at MIT, Cambridge, May 20, 2018

Flea at MIT signThe MIT Radio Society, in conjunction with the MIT UHF Repeater Association, the MIT Electronics Research Society, and the Harvard Wireless Club, sponsors a Swapfest on the third Sunday of each month, April through October. This is a place to buy, sell, and swap amateur radio, electronic, and computer equipment. Hams and non-hams alike are welcome.

For more information, see the online copy of our swapfest flyer (pdf, or text only). Print out a copy of the flyer and bring it with you for a discount on the buyer’s admission. Want to sell? Here’s an online copy of the seller’s registration form. Remember to send it in by the 5th of the month for the advanced seller discount. Still need more info? Call 617-253-3776 during business hours.

The Swapfest is held at MIT’s Albany Street Garage on Albany St between Main Streets and Mass Ave in Cambridge. The gate opens for buyers at 9am. There is a small admission fee.

Amateur Radio at Scituate Science Fair, April 5, 2018


Amateur radio display at Scituate Science Fair
Scituate Science Fair ham display, 2017.

Richard Hoffman, K1DJ and Greg Bennett, KC1CIC demonstrated Amateur Radio to youths at the Sixth Annual Scituate Science Fair on April 5, 2018. This was the second year K1DJ and KC1CIC participated in the two-hour event that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) topics. 

Richard conducted a CW demonstration in which the kids learned to send their own names on a telegraph key.  “The kids had a lot of fun with it, and he was great with them,” according to Greg, KC1CIC.  “I brought one of my Go Boxes to demonstrate digital communications. To my surprise the kids were very interested in the construction of the Go Box itself.”

Greg demonstrated Anderson Powerpole connectors, allowing the children to connect and disconnect them.

“Richard and I had a great time with the kids and their parents. We look forward to doing it again.”


New Technician Class Pool to Take Effect July 1, 2018

ARRL VEC logo/bannerOn July 1, 2018 a new Element 2 Technician class question pool will take effect for examinations. VECs and VEs will have new test designs available for use at exam sessions effective that date. 

The newly revised pool released in January 2018 (updated and re-released February 12, 2018) by the Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) must be in use starting July 1. There are three graphics required for this pool and 423 questions in this pool, down slightly from 426 in the previous pool.

ARRL VEC will be supplying all its (near 1,000) Field Stocked VE teams with new test booklets about the 3rd week in June.  Do not destroy the 2014 versions of the Technician exams until June 30!

With the Technician class exam questions changing July 1, new test designs must be used effective that day. Previous ARRL VEC supplied Technician class exam booklet versions (2014 series) and computer-generated Technician class exams created from the 2014 question pool are only valid until midnight June 30, 2018. At that time VE Team leaders should destroy or throw away the old versions of the Technician exams (do not return them to VEC). To avoid a mix-up at the session, do not save old exam versions!

Field Stocked teams that no longer meet the field stock requirements or who have not conducted a session in the past year and non-field stocked teams that have been keeping supplies without qualifying through the VEC will not receive an updated package. Non-stocked VE Teams should be returning their exam packages and supplies to ARRL VEC after each session is completed. The officially stocked VE Teams receive their exam supplies in a large box which is a 6-month-to-1-year supply depending on the team’s activity levels. To see if your team qualifies to be field stocked with a bulk quantity of our test materials visit http://www.arrl.org/field-stocked-ve-teams

The question pools review is part of a regular process and each question pool is reviewed and updated on a four year rotation. The General pool is scheduled for an update in 2019. All current question pools and useful information pertaining to the pools can be viewed on the ARRL Web atwww.arrl.org/question-pools. To view all three questions pools, visit the NCVEC web site at www.ncvec.org/

–ARRL VE Newsletter, May 2018

Technician License in a Weekend Course, Natick, June 1-2, 2018

For high school students and adults, this fast-paced, two-day course will get you ready to take the Technician license exam. Topics range from the science of radio electronics to the FCC rules governing the radio spectrum. Some preliminary reading and study is necessary to get the best results from this course. Material will be sent approximately a week before the course.

The Technician level course runs Friday, June 1, 6:00-9:00 PM and Saturday, June 2, 8 AM to 3 PM, followed by the FCC Technician exam at 3:00 PM, at New England Sci-Tech, 16 Tech Circle, Natick. The $85 course fee covers exam fee, cold cuts and salad lunch, coffee and snacks, and printed materials. Advance registration and payment required. 

NOTE: Another Technician course will be offered June 29-30, if you can’t make this one.

For questions, see http://www.ne1ar.org/event/amateur-radio-license-in-a-weekend-course-technician-level/ or e-mail bphinney at nescitech.org or call 508-720-4179.

Marlborough High School Patrol, May-June, 2018, Volunteers Requested

Algonquin ARC logoAnn Weldon, KA1PON writes on the Algonquin ARC mailing list:

The radio club as always is committed to watching the Marlborough High School the following dates. Please consider assisting on: May 25, 26, 27, 28; June 1 ,2, 3, 8, 9.  Starting time is between 7-8 PM and finishing between 11-12 PM. Ed Fitzgerald is organizing the first weekend. His email is edfitz1@earthlink.net. I am doing the other dates. Please let us know when you are available.

Thank you on behalf of the City and the Club.


Volunteers Needed, Motif #1 Day 5K, Rockport, May 19, 2018

Chris Winczewski, K1TAT writes on the Cape Ann ARA mailing list:

We are looking for operators to staff the Motif #1 Day 5K, on Saturday, May 19 at 9:00 AM in Rockport. Please be on location by 8:30 AM. 

Please let me know if you can staff a communications check-point for the event by Thursday, May17th so I can plan staffing positions for the event. 

Please let us know what type of equipment you plan to use. (i.e.: mobile; HT; ¼-wave mag mount; OEM rubber duck; etc.) so we have a better idea of where to locate you along the event course per the potential of your equipment.

This is the seventh annual 5k and 1-mile fun run for the Rockport Public Schools Health and Wellness Programs. The race was born from the desire to get the students and community more involved in health and wellness activities. The money raised from this event goes directly to the health and wellness programs at the Rockport Public Schools. Last year the money they raised went to planting trees to shade some of the classrooms, a new water fountain with the capability to fill a bottle, hydroponics planting system for their science room and lots more. They were thrilled to be able to purchase 35 pairs of snowshoes for their physical education classes to use this winter.

Location: Harvey Park in Downtown Rockport

Address: 4 High Street, Rockport, MA 01966

Boston ARC Public Service Events, June 24 & July 3, 2018

Brett Smith, AB1RL, Public Service Coordinator, Boston Amateur Radio Club writes:

Now that our busy kick-off month of April is in the books, it’s time to start planning for the summer public service events. At both of these events we support the medical team to make sure everyone gets treated promptly—a critical job when temperatures start climbing.

First is the BAA 10K on Sunday, June 24. This is a fast race through the heart of the Back Bay, from the Boston Common to Boston University and back. Assignments will run from the early morning until around noonVolunteer registration is open now on the BAA web site, and will close on May 23.

Second is the Finish at the Fifty on Tuesday, July 3. This is a combination 5K/10K at Gillette Stadium, ending right on the 50-yard line. Assignments run from about 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. If you’d like to join the team, just write back to let me know.

Getting together teams for both of these events is always a challenge, due to the overlap with Field Day and July 4. Please join us if you’re able. It means a lot to me, the medical team, and the runners that you’re willing to offer your time supporting these events.

If you have questions about either event, feel free to ask in email or call me at (859) 466 5915.

Eastern MA 2018 Field Day Directory

ARRL Field Day 2018 logoThe 19th Annual Eastern Massachusetts Field Day Directory contains some of the most comprehensive Field Day resource pages of its kind.

According to Bill Ricker, N1VUX, the Directory offers both detailed historical and current information on individual field day club operations along with the complete event operating rules and helpful safety tips. The Directory’s software will automatically compute your field day site’s Maidenhead Grid locator for VHF recommended ‘Grid Chase’ extra exchange. “We report third level, six-character grid; for example, LL99ii–which is useful for some microwave aiming tools–but you only need four (LL99) in the on-air exchange.”

“Clubs which are reactivating a previous Class A or F site can confirm to the EMA Directory by simply putting their pin in at the ARRL Field Day Locator – also conveniently linked from our directory. I’ll pick that up and mark them confirmed. I would appreciate an email from new clubs in Class A or F, clubs with new sites, clubs whose details on their EMA directory need updating, or who are definitely not using the site they had last year.”

The Directory also links to updated information on how to handle NTS radiogram traffic, and score bonus points during the event.

“A major goal always has been helping (and encouraging) EMA ARRL staff and leadership to plan visits to nearby field day sites, as is our custom — and helping us hit as many different ones as possible. From the staffs’ comments last year about how many sites they didn’t find, I’d like to suggest that if your big banner isn’t visible from the road, place some Realtors(tm)-style foamcore and wire signs at the entrance and leading visitors through the maze.” Bill adds, “‘Public Welcome’ and an arrow are recommended. If you’re not conducting a 24-hour operation, a statement of hours would be good on both the sign and on the EMA FD Directory and Headquarters Locator.”

N1VUX also invites you to post your comments and memories from field day on the ARRL Soapbox. “We’ll link them in the Directory for history. If your club has memories on a website or Facebook page that we don’t have linked, send me the link and I’ll make sure it’s included.”

The Eastern MA Field Day Directory can be viewed at http://fd.ema.arrl.org.  N1VUX can be reached at his arrl.net address.