N1DG Appointed to NOAA/US Fish and Wildlife Service Community Group

Don Greenbaum, N1DG, of Duxbury, Massachusetts, has been appointed to the NOAA/US Fish and Wildlife Service Community Group. He will participate in meetings to discuss the development of the Monument Management Plan that will provide for effective direction over the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM). He will serve as a citizen-at-large representative.  [Full story]

Request For Operators YuKanRun Holiday MerryThon, Gloucester, December 1, 2019

Christopher Winczewski, K1TAT, writes on the CAARA list:

CAARA has a great public service team. Come out and have some fun with us. You are using amateur radio to provide a needed public service to ensure the safety and smooth running of a public event in local communities.

I would, but I do not have a radio. No excuse, we have loaner radio’s available with a mag mount that will work in your car just by just plugging it into the cigarette lighter socket. We have loaner hand held radios as well!

I don’t have transportation. No excuse, we will pick you up and drop you off at your house. I do not have the time to spare for a whole race. Well, you can commit to a time slot, for just two hours. We will bend over backwards to get you to participate.

We are looking for operators to staff the  YuKanRun Holiday MerryThon on Sunday, December 1.  The road race starts at 9:00 AM; the 5K  Half MerryThon begins at 10:00 AM at Good Harbor Beach, Thatcher Road, Gloucester, MA. Please let me know if you can staff a communications check-point for the event by November 30th so I can plan staffing positions for the event.

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

The course will be open and supported by CAARA  for four hours. Runner safety is everyone’s top priority.  Local EMT crews and ambulances will be available for three hours to help.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Happy Holidays Half MerryThon Communications Team 
Gloucester, Mass
Last Updated: 11/15/2019 11:10 AM
Event date: Sunday, December 1, 2019
On Location: 8:45 AM
Starts: 5K 9:00 AM Half Marathon Run 10:00 AM
Freq: W1GLO Repeater 145.130 – PL:107.2, backup 443.200 + PL 107.2

Department of Defense Broadcast on 60 Meters, November 16, 2019

Tom Kinahan, N1CPE, writes on the Wellesley ARS mailing list:

Just a reminder that tonight at 10 PM EST, there will be a DoD broadcast on 60 meters channel 1, 5330.5 khz upper sideband. This broadcast from two Department of Defense stations on the east and west coasts are a test and demonstration of DoD to amateur interoperability. For the past two weeks, MARS stations operating with their DoD callsigns have been talking to Amateur stations getting situation awareness type reports using 60 meters.

At 10 PM, the message will likely be in voice and digital modes. The message will probably request listeners to report how they heard the two broadcast stations.

W1SEX: “Test Equipment and Measurements for Amateur Radio” at PART of Westford, November 19, 2019

PART of Westford logoGreg Troxel, N1DAM, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

At the PART [of Westford] meeting on Tuesday (November 19), Paul Topolski, W1SEX will be speaking on test equipment and measurements for amateur radio, focusing on the utility of an oscilloscope beyond just measuring signals in a circuit.  Paul will be bringing a lot of equipment to demonstrate.

Paul will probably be video recording his presentation (but not the social time before/after or the other meeting parts).  I am guessing this is fine with everyone, but if not let me know.  (I am mentioning it because it’s unusual at PART meetings, at least recently.)

After Paul’s talk, we’ll be hearing a few minutes each from:

  Brian, W1BP: Winter Field Day
  Frank, KC1HSC: 6-80 Meter BASIC-FMJ portable HF antenna show-and-tell
  George, K1IG: boasting about our field day results

As always, if you’d like to be the speaker at a PART meeting (full 1h slot, or 20/30 minutes with someone else), please let me know.  Please also let me know if you want to speak for more than 2 minutes (or present even one slide) as I also coordinate the secondary speaker time after the main speaker, trying to keep the meetings from ending too late.  More information is at: http://www.lexort.com/blog/part.html.

73 de N1DAM

[PART meets at the Cameron Senior Center in Westford the third Tuesday of every month at 7:30PM.  The Senior Center is located at 20 Pleasant Street in Westford, near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Oak Street.]

Ham Volunteers for North Attleborough Santa Parade, December 1, 2019

Ray Cord, K2TGX, writes on the Study Memorial Hospital ARCSturdy Memorial Hospital ARC logo mailing list:

Just a reminder that it has been over a 25 year tradition that the Sturdy Memorial Hospital Amateur Radio Club and other hams have supported the downtown North Attleborough Merchants Association in the staging and running of the annual Santa Parade. For those of you who may not be on the club mailing list or don’t attend the meetings, we are including the info here.

Date: Sunday December 1st
Time: Hams meet at 1:30PM  Parade steps off at 3:00PM
Where: St Mary’s Church Parks St N. Attleborough
What: VHF Walkie Talkie 147.42 Direct no tone
          HiViz Jacket or Vests

Thanks for your help,

Ray, Deputy Director, Norton EMA-CERT70, East Main St, Norton, MA 02766, 508-726-1054 cell 

MA Lawmakers Announce Surprise Agreement on Distracted Driving Legislation

MA State HouseWCVB.com:

Boston — After several years and failed attempts, Massachusetts lawmakers have taken a major step toward enacting a law to restrict the use of handheld electronic devices by drivers.

State Rep. Bill Straus and state Sen. Joe Boncore issued a statement late Friday (November 15, 2019) announcing the six-member conference committee had reached an agreement on the bill, although they did not reveal the text of the final compromise.


In July, the committee appeared to have reached an impasse after Senate negotiators refused to sign off on details that House lawmakers thought had been resolved. Earlier that day, Straus and Boncore had announced an “agreement in principle,” but it vanished within hours as the two sides debated wording of the bill. 

[Full story]


See also:

Massachusetts Hands-free Mobile Device Legislation Update
Proposed MA Legislation Seeks to Require Hands-free Cell Phone Use While Driving


Cape Cod ARES Exercise 65 – “Black Autumn” A Success With Various ARES Groups in Eastern Mass Participating

On Saturday November 9th, the Cape and Islands ARES district held its Exercise #65 Operation “Black Autumn”. This was an emergency communications exercise based on a scenario of a cascading power blackout encompassing all of the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. The exercise would be for EOCs and home stations using VHF/UHF, HF, and digital modes.

The exercise ran from 10am-noon. In the Cape and Islands district, the following EOCs were active. The County Multi Agency Coordination Center (MACC), Falmouth EOC, Harwich EOC, Dukes County EOC (Martha’s Vineyard), Joint Base Cape Cod EOC, Falmouth Hospital EOC. This included several home stations on Cape and Nantucket, including several that were on HF using 75m, 60m, and 40m. The VHF/UHF part of the operation was conducted on simplex with no repeaters being used. Digital NBEMS was successfully conducted on VHF in the Cape area along with the new PAC ARES digital system.

Many EOCs off Cape in MA also participated on HF, VHF or both. These included the Marlboro and Stow EOC and several home stations. South Shore Hospital, as well as, The National Weather Service station were also on the air. Statewide HF net control was conducted by several amateur operators using 75m and an experimental attempt at 60M.

Results were acceptable overall. HF propagation was reasonable on 75m, but a bit sporadic at times, with capabilities that extended well into the morning as we often see at times of solar minimum. The 60m experiment seemed to work effectively and will be attempted again in future operations. VHF simplex worked out well in most areas and emphasized the importance of being able to communicate without the help of repeaters.

Participation was excellent including the off Cape areas. Our thanks to all the stations that participated. They are too numerous to list everyone, but just a few of the participating stations include:

Ted Robinson K1QAR HF operations
Marc Stern WA1R HF operations
Bob Glorioso W1IS Stowe area
John O’Neil K1JRO South Shore Hospital
Charlie Bresnahan K1CB Falmouth Hospital
SEC Rob Macedo and W1SHS-Stu Solomon WX1BOX NWS station
N1EM Marlboro Eric Williams KV1J
Barry Hutchinson KB1TLR and Don Arthur K1DCA Cape area HF
Mike Wodynski, K2LEK Nantucket HF
Chuck Cotnoir KB1IHU Dukes County EMA Martha’s Vineyard
Frank O’Laughlin WQ1O Barnstable County Multi Agency Coordination Center (MACC)

Our thanks to everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to help in the exercise.
The Cape and Islands ARES district will be having its Winter ARES filed exercise in late January or early February.

Respectfully submitted,

Frank O’Laughlin WQ1O
Cape Cod and Islands ARES DEC

New Trusted QSL Application Version Released

Michael Keane, K1MK, writes on ARRL-LoTW@groups.io:

A new version of the Trusted QSL (TQSL) application — version 2.5.1 — has been released.

Signed installers are available for download at <http://www.arrl.org/tqsl-download>

This version of Trusted QSL (TQSL) is a maintenance release which corrects defect found since TQSL v2.4.7 was released. 


Corrects a defect discovered in v2.5 in which the entity name would not display correctly when only one certificate was present


Corrects defects from v2.4.7:

TQSL no longer displays a spurious error message about expired root certificates when installing a .tq6 file. (This was a rare situation that would happen when a root was within 24 hours of expiring.)

When editing an existing station location, TQSL no longer forces default values for information fields. Previously, TQSL would fill in fields like county or state. Setting those when creating a new station location is appropriate, but editing an existing location should not cause default values to be applied.

Correct ADIF output emitted by the embedded ADIF editor so the proper mode/submode formation is generated.

Michael Keane, K1MK
IT Manager
ARRL, The National Association for Amateur Radio™
225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111-1494 USA
Telephone: (860) 594-0285
email: mkeane@arrl.org

Wellesley ARS/New England Sci-Tech Collaboration: High Altitude Balloon Project

Charlie Bures, WA3ITR, writes in the Wellesley ARS “The Sparkgap” November, 2019 newsletter:

As part of the new collaboration between WARS (Wellesley Amateur Radio Society) and NEST (New England Sci-Tech in Natick), Charlie has proposed a NEST High Altitude Balloon (HAB) project.

What are the goals?

NEST mission is to help youth with STEM projects. As you recall, Charlie has previously done balloon launches with Natick HS and now, he is leading this new effort for NEST.

The goals are to get young people involved in a project, which has Amateur radio (an APRS tracker device) with STEM learning. They will learn about project planning, platform testing, launching, tracking, and recovery of the balloon and its payload, and flight data analysis. The platform will carry up to 3 GoPro cameras, a commercial GPS tracker, and the APRS tracker. A 20-foot tether connects the platform to the HAB balloon, which is filled with helium or hydrogen, and is about 8 feet in diameter at launch. The platform will weigh less than 4 pounds.

As the balloon ascends, the APRS tracker will provide location info, pressure, temperature, altitude and a few more items in its telemetry. At around 90,000 feet after a 2-3 hour ascent, the balloon will have expanded to over 30 feet in diameter when it explodes and the package starts its return to earth.

The parachute will deploy and the downward trip will take 30-45 minutes. Hopefully it will not land on a roof, pond, or the Mass Pike!! It needs to be recovered to collect the photos from the cameras. The STEM team will write a report on the whole project.

Proposed Budget

Here is a breakdown of the expected cost of an HAB. The kit is obtained from High Altitude Science (https://www.highaltitudescience.com/) who has perfected the items for a youth team, supervised by adults (if you can call Charlie an adult!)

1. HAB kit – $ 750
2. Extra balloon $ 30
3. Helium or Hydrogen $ 150
4. 3 GoPro like cameras $ 150
5. APRS tracker $ 250
6. Batteries $ 25
TOTAL: $ 1355 (approximate)

Of course, subsequent flights can be done more cheaply if the platform is recovered successfully. Then, you just need a new balloon and more helium!


The project flyer is being designed and advertising to students will begin in late November through the end of the year. To give you a feeling of the project, here is a rough schedule as to the project activities:

1. November – Create flyer and start advertising
2. December – Sign up and order kit
3. January – start meetings, which are 2x/month at NEST
4. Late Feb/March – start assembly of the kit
5. March/April – flight planning and launch prep
6. May – tethered test prior to launch to ensure all systems are go
7. Late may – launch (likely from central or western MA)
8. June – data analysis and write report

The idea is not only to learn and have fun, but also to analyze the results and decide how the next flight should be done. For instance, radiation devices could be used or, perhaps, amateur live streaming of the flight and balloon burst could be added to future flights.

How you can help

I’d like to ask for your support in two ways. First, if there is anyone who would like to be involved in the meetings to learn, build, and assemble this platform, please let me know what you’d like to do. Second, I’d be grateful for any private donations of any amount or any general support of WARS. I know there are lots of worthy causes for your charity contributions, and I hope you can see the value of this STEM project for youth learning about ham radio and be able to offer some support – THANK YOU!

KC1FSZ: “Homebrewing” at Wellesley ARS, November 25, 2019

The Wellesley Amateur Radio Society will hold its November meeting on a different date than usual. The next meeting will be on Monday, November 25, 2019–NOT Tuesday, November 19. Presenter Bruce MacKinnon, KC1FSZ, will discuss homebrewing and the details of his home-made transceiver.
WARS meetings are normally held on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 PM in the Kingsbury room of the Wellesley Police Station, 485 Washington Street (Route 16), in Wellesley. Attendees are requested to park on the street.

Dan’s Tech Night Meets November 14, 2019

Dan Pedtke, KW2T, writes:

TechNight is tomorrow night, Thursday, Nov 14th.  7:00 PM in Ayer as usual.

See www.DansTechNight.com for details and directions.

This month we’ll use SPICE circuit simulator in more detail, analyzing part of the TechNight Radio IF amplifier stages.  Also I’ll talk briefly about my tour of the Museum of Broadcast Technology, and I’ll show the beginnings of a user interface for the TN Radio, and anything else you want to talk about.

Hope to see you there.


K1NKR: “Radio Interference” at Algonquin ARC, November 14, 2019

AARC logoMichael Powell, W1KU, writes on the Algonquin ARC mailing list:

Our November meeting will be on Thursday at 7:30.  I hope to see you there. 

Our featured speaker will be Skip Youngberg, K1NKR, on “Radio Interference. ”

Let’s talk about radio interference.  Not RFI, not EMI, not EMC–but station-to-station interference.  What is interference?  What’s the “interference neighborhood?”  Who’s protected?  What classic cases are there that we can learn from?  And what do we Amateurs do about it? “Radio Interference,” by Skip Youngberg K1NKR, is an evolving talk addressing these issues by looking at who our RF neighbors are and how we coexist with them.

Skip has been a ham since he was a teenager in 1960.  In fact, Amateur Radio led him to his career.  His resume includes suffering from, analyzing, causing, and protecting against interference.  He served as an engineering officer in the Air Force for twenty-five years and in industry for an additional fifteen, building and analyzing systems in the fields of communications, navigation, and intelligence.

Massachusetts General Hospital HAZMAT Exercise Seeks Volunteer “Victims,” November 14, 2019

John O’Neill, K1JRO, President, South Shore Health Amateur Radio Group writes:

On November 14, Massachusetts General Hospital will host a HAZMAT Full-Scale training exercise from 5:30am to 9:30am.  MGH is seeking volunteers from outside the MGH community to act as victims for the exercise.  The MGH contact for the exercise is Stefanie Lane. If you are interested in volunteering please contact her at slane18@mgh.harvard.edu.

If you have never participated in a Full-Scale drill this is valuable experience. 

Attached are two documents. One explaining the exercise and volunteer information, the other a Volunteer Waiver:


Volunteer Services Victim Letter current

Release form Volunteers Hazmat Exercise_FINAL (1)

Whitman ARC to Operate at Plimoth Plantation, November 30-December 1, 2019

Whitman ARC Plimoth Plantation Operation 2010 CertificateWhitman Amateur Radio Club members will operate a special events station over the Thanksgiving weekend, November 30-December 1, 2019, at the Plimoth Plantation, the home of the Mayflower II in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The participants will demonstrate Amateur Radio to tourists and visitors.  In the past the group has logged over a hundred HF and VHF contacts with US and foreign amateurs, including a contact with Plymouth, England.

Volunteers are need for setup, breakdown, and station operations. Antenna and setup takes place on Friday, November 29 from 10 AM to 12 noon. On-air operations run in shifts on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM (shift 1); 12:00 PM –  4:30 PM (shift 2); Sunday at 8 AM – 12:30 PM (shift 1); 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM (shift 2). Antenna and station breakdown occurs from 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM on Sunday. ” Multiple volunteers are needed for each shift. Email wa1npo@gmail.com with your name, callsign, cell phone number and the shifts you’re committing to.

The station will be on the air on or near the following frequencies: 18.160 14.260 7.260 and 3.860, as well as the Whitman 147.225+ PL 67.0 repeater (EchoLink: WA1NPO-R and IRLP node 8691).

If you make contact and would like an event certificate mailed to you, please send QSL/contact details and a full size 8.5 x 10 envelope to their call book/QRZ.com address. A “green stamp” would be appreciated as well.

Mystic Valley Amateur Radio Group Meets Sunday, November 17, 2019

Nick Magliano, KC1MA, writes on the Mystic Valley Amateur Radio group mailing list:

The November meeting of the Mystic Valley Amateur Radio Group will be held on Sunday, November 17, 2019 @ 9 a.m.

The meeting will be held at the Milton Auxiliary Fire Department 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


Nick Magliano, KC1MA



New England Sci-Tech, Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory Collaboration Underway

Bob Phinney, K5TEC, writes in the New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (STARS) newsletter:

The NESciTech (NEST) collaboration with Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory and Science Center (BHO) is now fully underway. A crew of eight volunteers arrived on November 9, 2019 at Blue Hill to install the antennas and repeaters for the new Blue Hill radio club that the BHO science center is starting with the help of Bob and Rusty at NESciTech.

Thank you Ted for doing much of the tower work, Bob D. for doing most of the repeater configurations and antenna setup, Jeremy for high quality cable connector terminations, and everyone for all your help running coax, hauling equipment, and supporting Blue Hill’s educational mission and STEM collaboration.

The Blue Hill repeaters will link back to the STARS repeater at NEST in Natick, so talking on one opens all of them. Burlington is by itself for now. Repeaters are open to use by all hams, and shared by Blue Hill Science Center and STARS. Please send any propagation reports to info@NE1AR.org.

Photo, left to right: Bob DeMattia, K1IW; Ted Reimann, W1OG; Jeremy Breef-Pilz, KB1REQ; Alex Dills, KB1SSN; Bruce Pigott, KC1US (kneeling), science center director Don McCasland, Eoghan Bacon, K2VUD; and Bob Phinney, K5TEC. Photographer, not in photo, Rusty Moore, K1FVK.

Waltham ARA Holiday Dinner, December 18, 2019

Waltham ARA writes on Facebook:

Waltham ARA logoThe Waltham Amateur Radio Association invites all hams and friends for a festive Holiday Dinner! It’s a great time to get that “eyeball” QSO with some of the folks we’ve been talking to all year. Spouses / friends / prospective hams are all welcome! No RSVP necessary.

Cost: $25 per person at the door which includes the buffet and 1 ticket for the door prizes. Membership renewal will also gain you an extra ticket for the door prize.

See you there!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 6 PM-9 PM

Sichuan’s Garden, 411 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham MA

PART of Westford Kit Building with DrDuino

PART of Westford logoAndy Stewart, KB1OIQ, writes in the PART of Westford PARTicles newsletter, November, 2019:

The PART kit building team is Andy, KB1OIQ; Steve, W1KBE; and Allison, KB1GMX. We recently received a very generous donation from an anonymous member of ten (10) DrDuino kits. You may remember reading about this kit in a recent issue of QST.

The PART kit building activity got started in KB1OIQ’s basement classroom on November 7th, 2019. There were five (5) kit builders: George, K1IG; Rakesh, KC1HTB; Niece, KA1ULN; Rich, AB1HD; and Scott, KB1WMH. The first session was spent soldering together the kit. The next two sessions will be Arduino programming lessons taught by Andy (KB1OIQ). The attendees will learn how to program switches, LEDs, potentiometers, a speaker, an ultrasonic distance measuring device, and those very colorful (and BRIGHT) LED strips. If there is time, we may also make a simple CW practice oscillator and a binary counter displayed on the LEDs.

There will be a future kit building activity using the four (4) remaining DrDuino kits (I built one). Additionally, this training will be a great prerequisite for the DDS VFO kit that we’ll unleash during a future session.

All things considered; the first session went really well. I’m really looking forward to the next two sessions!

“Beyond Tech in a Day” Course Update

Gardi WInchester, KA1BTK, writes:

As all attendees to the current BTiaD course are already licensed, we’re going to shift gears a bit and focus more on understanding the concepts instead of passing the exam.  At the request of those attending, we’re going to flop a couple of nights.  This Tuesday, we’re going to get into programming radios both manually and with computer programs.  If you would like to learn more about programming, please attend tomorrow evening.

Times:  18:30 – 20:30 (6:30 – 8:30 PM).  I will be available a half hour before and after.  

Location:  Ipswich Town Hall
Downstairs Training Room / EOC
25 Green Street
Ipswich, MA 01938

Gardner H. Winchester II, KA1BTK, ARRL EC Cape Ann

[See also:  “Beyond Tech-In-A-Day” License Prep & Refresher Course, Ipswich, Starts November 5, 2019]

Latest MARS Exercise Instructions

Tom Kinahan, N1CPE, writes:
At this time, we are being asked to reach out to amateurs and capture the following information. There may be MARS operators gathering this sort of information using their amateur callsigns on amateur frequencies, or on 60 meters using their MARS callsigns looking for Amateurs station reports.
  • Status of 50 kW AM broadcast stations: This is for all of the stations in this category in New England. Are they on the air? Need county and city of reporting station.
  • Ping Time to Bring up a command prompt and ping that IP address. The result is an average ping time. Report that, ISP name, town.
  • Grid Status: Report power voltage, frequency, power company name, city and county
  • Dial tone: Provider name, Local, Long Distance, type (landline, VOIP) city and county
  • NOAA Weather broadcasts on about 162 MHz: Report which frequencies that you can hear reports on, City and county you are located in.
  • Infrastructure reports: Any known failures of infrastructure: Water, power communications, broadcast, hospital, sewage etc, City and County.

The exercise culminates next Saturday night with a 60 meter broadcast.

The exercise takes a hiatus on Monday November 11, 2019, in honor of Veterans Day, and resumes on Tuesday.


-from wma.arrl.org