K1SIG, Unlimited Rover, in ARRL VHF Contest, September 14-16, 2019

Sean Waite, WA1TE writes on the YCCC mailing list:

Alright…no minute like last minute. Chris KG6CIH and I have finally decided what our route for the contest is going to be.

FN34wa – Bradford Information Center
FN33xi – Sunapee High Point
FN43fb – Quincy Mountain

FN42fg – Westborough Water Tower (we may pick another FN42 site, depends on
where we end up Saturday night)
FN41cu – Apple orchard/cell site
FN31tx – Soapstone Mountain
FN32ou – Hogback Mountain

Times for this will be fuzzy. Maybe 2 hours at each site, maybe longer on
Sunday sites as we have more time.

Our setup:
6m – IC-7000, 100W to moxon
2m – IC-910H, 100W to 7el
1.25m – FT818 w/ Ukranian Xvrtr w/ amp, 130ishW to 9el
70cm – IC-910H, 75(ish)W to 11el
33cm – FT818 w/ SG Lab xvrtr, 3W to 11el
23cm – FT818 w/ SG Lab xvrtr, 2W to 14el
13cm, FT818 w/ SG Lab xvrr, 2W to 21el
9cm, FT818 w/SG Lab xvrtr, 3W to 45el

Nothing on 6cm, I didn’t get that gear working yet. Maybe I’ll get it together. Depends on whether or not I decide sleep is important before roving.

3cm I have 10mW to a small horn if I can pull some stuff together tonight. 1.2cm I have 0.1mW to an even smaller horn that is totally untested and might actually work.

As per usual, some of this gear is used but new-to-us and we’re pretty sure it’ll work but also who knows. We’ll be running as Unlimited Rover.

Good luck in the contest and 73,
Sean Waite, WA1TE

Volunteers Needed: Buzzards Bay Du/Triathlon – Sunday, September 15th

Matt Brennan-NM1B writes:

Hi Folks,

I’m looking for about fifteen hams to provide communications assistance for the Buzzard’s Bay Triathlon in Westport on Sunday, September 15th. It occurs from 9AM (hams will meet at 8AM) until about 1PM (some assignments should secure by noon). It will be held in Horseneck Beach State Park and includes a swim, bike and run that travels through the town of Westport. There is also a duathlon option. More info online: www.maxperformanceonline.com. It is a very scenic area.

Please send a note to events@wect.org if you’re able to help. This is well outside WECT’s normal operating area, so if you know anyone not included on our distribution lists that may be willing to help please feel free to forward this to them. Let me know if you have any questions.


Norfolk County RA Presents ARRL Elmer Award to K1HRV

left: Dave Doe, K1HRV; right: Dick Bean, K1HC, President, NCRA

Norfolk County Radio Association President Dick Bean, K1HC, writes:

The Norfolk County Radio Association presented Dave Doe, K1HRV, with the ARRL Elmer Award at its September 11 meeting to thank him for his mentoring of so many fellow hams over 51 years of club membership (since January 10, 1968).  Dave has held many leadership positions in the club, and he is currently club secretary and historian.

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC Meets September 17, 2019

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARCRay Cord, K2TGX, writes on the SMH ARC mailing list:

This is to announce that the September Meeting of the SMH ARC will be held this coming Tuesday evening, September 17 [in Attleboro] at the Hospital in Conference Room D & E.

Please note that there will be an abbreviated ARES meeting starting at 7:00PM and the business meeting will start at 7:30PM to allow time for a presentation by Pierre Guimond, N1EZT.

Hope to see you all there.

Build-Your-Own “HABCAR” Course Coming Soon to MIT Lincoln Lab

ham radio balloon/beaconMIT Lincoln Lab employee Brian Smigielski, AB1ZO, has been awarded funding to design a course in which participants will learn how to build a prototype High Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio (HABCAR).

“The [MIT Lincoln Lab] Technology Office wanted to create another kit building course where each kit would have a price  point of about $400/kit,” writes Brian.  “I had suggested a Build-Your-Own High Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio course focused on a long-endurance flight using WSPR and transmitting back telemetry (as well as other sensor related data) using the “invalid” WSPR messages which begin with a 0 or Q (that are now searchable on WSPRnet.org). Luckily Jon and I had our idea make it all the way through and were awarded funding for prototype development as well as course development.”

Assisting Brian with the project are: Jon Schoenberg, AA1FH, Paul Therrien, and Ben Martin, W1BPM.  “Ben was a student in the amateur radio course who expressed interest in helping out.”

“We have been working pretty diligently since early winter 2019 purchasing COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) parts, interacting with other hams who have helped accelerate our learning (Jared Smith N7SMI), and iterating our hardware/software designs. We expect our first launch will be on or about September 14.”

If all goes well, Brian thinks this will turn into a course for employees, then potentially for local area high school kids, boy and girl scout troops, or other STEM groups in the area.

Nashoba Valley ARC, Possible Plans for 2019 Jamboree On The Air

Stan Pozerski, KD1LE writes in the September, 2019 issue of Signal:

We are exploring doing an Amateur Radio activity for the Boy Scout Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) with Owen Salter, KC1KZT, who is a boy scout from Ayer. Owen is working on whether arrangements can be made with the Boy Scout Council leadership. Possible locations at this point are the Lancaster Boy Scout office (where we set up two years ago) or Pearl Hill State Park in Townsend during a camporee. Stay tuned as we will need some help for this. 

Wellesley ARS Meeting @ New England Sci-Tech, September 17, 2019

Dan Brown, W1DAN, writes in the Wellesley ARS’ The Spark Gap:

Our September meeting will be very different. We will visit New England Sci-Tech at 16 Tech Circle in Natick on Tuesday September 17 (https://www.nescitech.org/). Here we will have a short business meeting, then join Bob [Phinney, K5TEC] and his crew to enjoy what they are doing.

New England Sci-Tech conducts classes and workshops in electronics, space science, ham radio, astronomy, robotics, photography, coding, computers, Arduinos, game theory, 3D design, spooky music, wearable technology, telescope making, edible 3D, Cubes-in-SpaceTM,  kite making, quadcopters, battle-bots, and more. It also provides a Maker lab space and license classes in Amateur Radio.

WECT Public Service Events

Courtesy wma.arrl.org:

The Worcester Emergency Communications Team is looking for ham radio operators to assist with two more upcoming public service events.  Both of these events are out of WECT’s normal operational area.

The Buzzard’s Bay Triathlon in Westport on Sunday, September 15th. It occurs from 9 AM (hams will meet at 8 AM) until about 1 PM (some assignments should secure by noon). It will be held in Horseneck Beach State Park and includes a swim, bike and run that travels through the town of Westport. There is also a duathlon option. It is a very scenic area.

The Ride to Defeat ALS on Sunday September 22 from 6 AM to around 3 PM (depending on assignment).This is a low key event with the primary focus being on charity rather than racing. The 70-mile bicycle course begins at the Longfellow club in Wayland and continues through several towns with rest stops in Hudson, Bolton, Acton, Concord, and Sudbury. While the race runs from 6AM to 3PM, some stations open as late as 9 AM and some close as early as 11 AM. Operators working at a course station can report directly to their station. Lunch is provided for operators in Wayland. There will be two roving race vehicles that will require a mobile radio.

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to events@wect.org and let them know if you have UHF equipment with DCS / DPL.

Mystic Valley ARG Meeting, September 15, 2019

MVARG logoNick Magliano, KC1MA, writes:
The September meeting of the Mystic Valley Amateur Radio Group will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2019 @ 9 a.m.   
 The meeting will be held at the Milton Auxiliary Fire Dept Station, 2nd floor, 509 Canton Ave. Milton, Mass.    
The building is a little beyond the gazebo to the right of the Milton Fire Headquarters where we’ve held our Field Day Operations in past years.  Local map is attached below as a post script. 
We will be monitoring the 145.43 Belmont repeater for talk-in.  Please feel free to email me with any questions.    kc1ma at arrl dot net 

Harvard Wireless Club’s 110th Year, and Fall 2019 Kickoff Meeting

Harvard Wireless Club official shieldWelcome to the Harvard Wireless Club’s 110th year!

We’ve got a variety of exciting events planned, so we’re kicking off with a meeting at 6 Linden St. on Tuesday 9/10 at 7 PM. Dinner (pizza) will be provided so feel free to send me an email if you have dietary restrictions for us to accommodate.

We’ll be going over the basics of ham radio (what it is and why it’s important), our plans for the year, and giving a quick overview of how the club runs. If you’re interested in amateur radio but unable to attend, don’t worry! Let us know and we’ll fill you in whenever is convenient for you.

For prospective members of the club, if you’re unsure about whether to attend, consider the following benefits:

1. No time commitment. We understand you’re busy (we are too!) so we’re not going to put you through a semester long comp. Pass an easy 35-question test with all the questions known in advance and you’re in.

2. Fantastic experiences. HWC members get to watch the Head of the Charles Regatta from rescue boats, do road trips to bounce radio waves off the moon, and have even been invited to present in foreign countries. I’ll always cherish my HWC memories as some of the most fun in college.

3. Freedom to explore. No matter what you’re interested in, from mountaineering to astronomy, radio technology can find a role. As a member, you’ll have access to the equipment and expertise you need to use radio technology in your life.

On a personal note, the Wireless Club has been one of my best choices in college. Come and try it out—you won’t regret it.

73 (radio speak for “best regards”),

Benjamin Lee
President, HWC

Northeastern Wireless Club Fall 2019 Kickoff



NU Wireless Club mailing list, September 9, 2019:

Welcome back to all of our returning members and welcome to all of our new members. After a way-too-short summer, Wireless Club is starting back up. This semester we will have our bi-weekly general meetings, ham nets, workshops, and more! 

Our first meeting is this Thursday, September 12th [in 503 Hayden at 6:00 PM]. We will be introducing new members to the club and talking about the upcoming semester. Come join us for pizza and refreshments. Hope to see you all there!

Amateur Radio Volunteers Requested, Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life, October 5, 2019

Dave Gilman, KC1DDH, writes:
Mark Richards, K1MGY and I head up the Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life event based out of Holliston and we are coming up woefully short of volunteers from our usual pool. We are in need of Amateur Radio operators to operate at rest stops and as SAG vehicles roaming the course to keep an eye on and assist the cyclists.
The event is on Saturday, October 5th based at Fatima Shrine in Holliston.  There are three routes:  12 mile, 30 mile and 65 mile courses traversing Holliston, Sherborn, Medfield, Medway and Hopkinton.  We can also take non-licensed folks who would be willing to help out as we have some commercial radios available as a secondary system.
Anyone wishing to help out should contact Mark Richards <kmalittl1@gmail.com> or David Gilman <KC1DDH@gmail.com>.

Boxboro Fox

John Salmi, KB1MGI, writes on the foxhunting list on September 6, 2019 at 2:01 PM:

To all fox hunters and others:

I hope to see you all at the Northeast HamXposition @ Boxboro Saturday morning at 9am for my Fox Hunting Talk. And my RF Fingerprinting talk at 10 am.

Great fox hunting tips and stories about fox hunting adventures.

I thinking of holding off on placing out the Fox Box due to weather.


MIT Lincoln Laboratory Hams Offer Amateur Radio Course

Course participants at outdoor, portable station.

Radio amateurs at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington conducted an Amateur Radio course this past fall, according to MIT Lincoln Lab employee Brian Smigielski, AB1ZO.

“It was offered through the Technical Education Committee here at the Lab, which fosters employees taking courses to encourage classroom learning beyond their typical daily tasks. I ran the course jointly with Jon Schoenberg, AA1FH, and it was really the first of its kind here at the Lab.”

Other amateur volunteer instructors included: Ameya Agaskar, KB1SPV; Dave Brigada, AB1QV; Chip Coldwell, W1CMC; Chris Galbraith, W1XG; Tommy Hotaling, K1MFD (silent key); Phil Erickson, W1PJE; John Kaufmann, W1FV; Dave Cipolle, W1SZ; Ed Parish, K1EP; Matt Lape, N1XB; Daniel Joy, N1QHC; Mark Besch, NS1V; Steve Russell, WA1HUD; Burns Fisher, WB1FJ.

Brian and Jon initially started with 60 students, but after attrition they ended up having 45 students consistently coming each week. “This actually turned out to be pretty huge on our part since most courses drop down to about 10 or so after 2-4 weeks.” The two were told by the Committee “it was the most attended and popular course ever offered at the Lab.”

Rather than teaching to the exam, AB1ZO and AA1FH divided the content into two halves: the first half discussed theory, while the second half delved into the applications. “Although we encouraged people to get their license, we knew it would be a turn-off if we continually mentioned this or taught a course which really was about taking the exam.” Instead, Brian and Jon taught a “survey course” to whet peoples’ appetites for Amateur Radio and get them excited.

Students were allowed to get on their air both during and after class with quick-setup outdoor stations, as well as visit Matt Strelow’s (KC1XX) superstation. “We encouraged the participants to buy inexpensive SDR dongles and observe the RF spectrum. So much fun can already be had by just receiving. We also had some hams from the class team up with NEST (New England Sci-Tech) to operate Field Day. It was a truly rewarding experience. We all worked really well together and will continue to partner with NEST in the future.”

“Since a bunch of RF geeks already work here, this was not difficult to pull this off. The really neat thing is, we had people in all sorts of job functions take our class. There were those staff members who regularly built RF hardware, software folks, group leaders, IT specialists, operators, machinists, and sys admins.”

The hams intend to offer the course every two years. The next one is anticipated to occur in the fall 2020 timeframe.

International Museum of World War II in Natick Abruptly Closes

The September 3, 2019 Boston Globe published a story reporting the International Museum of World War II in Natick “closed down abruptly over the weekend amid a legal battle with billionaire Ronald S. Lauder, with whose help the museum had planned to relocate eventually to Washington, D.C.

“’This was sudden and very unexpected,’ director Kenneth W. Rendell, who founded the museum 20 years ago, said Monday. ‘I’m extremely disappointed and bewildered.’

“In May, Rendell had revealed that he was working with donors to move the museum to Washington. At the time, however, he did not disclose that he had sold Lauder the core of the museum’s holdings for $25 million in March 2018. The contract called on both parties to keep the deal secret.

“The thousands of purchased artifacts, owned by Rendell and his wife, Shirley McNerney Rendell, range from a Sherman tank and a Higgins landing boat to Hitler’s uniform and mustache trimmer. They made up more than 65 percent of the museum’s collection, Rendell estimated.”

The Museum was popular among radio amateurs and featured exhibits on specialty radio gear as well as displays describing women of WWII, the resistance, Enigma machines, etc. It was the topic of an ema.arrl.org story (“International Museum of World War II, Natick“) in November, 2018. 

ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program is Now Accepting Applications

From ARRL Web:

Applications for the 2020 ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program will be accepted between September 1 and December 31, 2019.

All applicants must be FCC-licensed radio amateurs, and many scholarships have other specific requirements, such as intended area of study, residence within a particular ARRL Division, Section or state, and license class. Applicants should review the scholarships and check off the ones for which they are eligible. [Full story]

SMS Callbook Service

Gerry Hull, VE1RM/W1VE, writes on the YCCC reflector:

I’m doing SMS work for clients, so for fun, I built an SMS callbook service. It started out with just the US callbook, but I found a better data source — HamQTH.com, which offers most of the world.

There are three numbers you can access it from:

+1 (475) 275-7373  (475-CQL-7373)   * a Connecticut number*
+1 (782) 828-0001 
+1 (530) 482-0101

You can enter callsigns with phonetics — so you can use Siri, Cortana or Google hands-free to do the SMS for you.  Great when mobile and wanting to find out who is in front of you on the highway!

Totally free, unless your carrier is charging for SMS 🙂

Licensing Classes, Fall 2019, Martha’s Vineyard

A group of Martha’s Vineyard amateurs plan to offer license class courses in the fall to local residents on the island, according to Christopher Knowles, N1CAK.

“Initially, we will be offering only the Technician class course.  We are searching for students from everywhere from the Boy and Girl Scouts through the elementary and high schools to social and fraternal organizations and the Island’s four senior centers.  Should interest persist, we have a teacher who has taught through Amateur Extra courses and we are all Amateur Extras with VE certificates so we can administer exams through the Amateur Extra.”

Knowles adds the actual starting dates and times will be determined upon  availability of the students and teacher.

There will be the customary charge of $15 to take the exam.  Persons who are interested may email cknowles@tiac.net.