Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC Technician Course Begins January 15, 2020

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARCThe Sturdy Memorial Memorial Hospital ARC will sponsor a Technician licensing course beginning at 7 PM on Wednesday, January 15,  2020, lasting for eight weeks. Sessions will be conducted in the Michael Poissant Room / Clinical Education Center at the front entrance of the Hospital. For more information, contact Gary Powers, KB1KA, at

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC Meets December 17, 2019

Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARCRay Cord, K2TGX, writes:

Just a reminder that the December meeting of [the Sturdy Memorial Hospital Amateur Radio Club] will be held this coming Tuesday, December 17th in Conference Room D&E at the hospital. The ARES EmCom Team will meet at 7:00 PM; the business meeting will start at 8:00 PM.

Nominations and elections of officers will be held that night. A reminder that dues are due. The new dues structure is $25.00. Retirees may pay $20.00.

Secretary/Treasurer SMHARC

“Neighbors are fighting a Framingham man’s OK to erect an 80-foot ham radio tower”

From Wicked Local Framingham, December 10, 2019:

Tower Controversy in Framingham
“Residents opposed to the construction of an 80-foot ham radio tower in a neighbor’s yard say the tower is an ‘eyesore’ that will hurt property values. The neighbor’s attorney says the Zoning Board of Appeals has no right to prevent its construction.”
FRAMINGHAM – Attorney Fred Hopengarten [K1VR] literally wrote the book on how to get a personal radio tower approved by your local government.

It’s called: “Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur: Everything you and your attorney need to know to obtain a permit for your antenna-support system.”

Prospect Street resident and licensed ham radio operator Mikhail Filippov [KD1MF] hired Hopengarten to help him convince the Zoning Board of Appeals to reject a challenge by a large group of neighbors who say the 80-foot radio tower Filippov wants to build in his yard is unsafe and will destroy the woodsy area’s charm.

The radio tower would allow Filippov, as an amateur “ham” radio operator, to communicate with other operators around the world without the internet. [Full story]

Update – Dec. 11, 2019: KD1MF was granted a continuance at tonight’s hearing because his attorney, K1VR, was in Washington, DC on ARRL business.

NOAA/NASA Panel Concurs that Solar Cycle 25 will Peak in July 2025

From ARRL Web:

The NOAA/NASA-co-chaired international Solar Cycle Prediction Panel has released its latest forecast for to forecast Solar Cycle 25. The panel’s consensus calls for a peak in July 2025 (±8 months), with a smoothed sunspot number of 115. The panel agreed that Cycle 25 will be of average intensity and similar to Cycle 24. The panel additionally concurred that the solar minimum between Cycles 24 and 25 will occur in April 2020 (±6 months). If the solar minimum prediction is correct, this would make Solar Cycle 24 the seventh longest on record at 11.4 years. In its preliminary forecast released last April, the scientists on the panel forecast that Solar Cycle 25 would likely be weak, much like the current Cycle 24. [Full story]

K1IR Promotes Tower Safety Month on “Ham Nation” Broadcast

Jim  Idelson,  K1IR,  was  featured  in  the first of three episodes  on the Ham  Nation video blog  as a part of “Tower Safety Month.” 

The Sudbury native has created a nationwide initiative called the Zero Falls Alliance to promote safe tower practices and “a vision of an always-safe amateur radio where every ham fully understands the potential risks – and has the knowledge and tools to keep those risks at bay.”

The first in the series aired on December 4, 2019. The second is scheduled to be shown on December 11.

Whitman ARC General License Class Begins December 10, 2019

Whitman ARC logoThe Whitman Amateur Radio Club will hold a weekly General license class for eight sessions beginning Tuesday, December 10, 2019 from 7-9 PM at the Whitman Police Station. The class will conclude on January 28, 2020. A volunteer exam session will follow, date to be determined.  Material will be based on the ARRL General Class License Manual.

The course is offered free of charge; however students are responsible for acquiring their own textbooks. Interested parties are asked to contact the course instructor, Ross Hochstrasser, W1EKG via email at or by phone at 781-447-9104 or visit for additional information.

ARRL Rookie Roundup, December 22, 2019

ARRL Rookie Roundup <>  events are for everyone, and they especially encourage those that are newly licensed or newly active to get on the air in a contest format. It’s aimed at Amateurs licensed for three years or less. This six-hour event is held three times per year (April, August and December). Rookies can contact anybody, while “Old Timers” make contact with only Rookies. Mentoring is a big part of this event!

The CW event is December 22. This is a change from its normal weekend, moved so there’s not a conflict with the ARRL 10 Meter contest <> .

Next Kids Day is Saturday, January 4, 2020

John Murphy, KB1PHN with nephew DannieFrom ARRL Web:

The first Saturday in January is Kids Day — the time to get youngsters on the air to share in the joy and fun that Amateur Radio can provide. Kids Day gets under way on Saturday, January 4, at 1800 UTC and concludes at 2359 UTC.

Sponsored by the Boring (Oregon) Amateur Radio Club, this event has a simple exchange, suitable for younger operators: First name, age, location, and favorite color. After that, the contact can be as long or as short as each participant prefers. Kids Day is the perfect opportunity to open your shack door and invite kids over to see what Amateur Radio has to offer.

Details are on the ARRL website. 

Mystic Valley ARG Meets December 15, 2019

MVARG logoNick Magliano, KC1MA writes:

The December meeting of the Mystic Valley Amateur Radio Group will be held on Sunday, December 15, 2019 @ 9 AM.

The meeting location will be the Milton Auxiliary Fire Dept. Station, 2nd floor, 509 Canton Avenue, Milton. 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

Dan’s Tech Night: Transistors, December 12, 2019

Dan Pedtke, KW2T, writes:

TechNight is this Thursday, Dec 12, 2019, at the usual time and place: 7 PM, Grady Research building [in Ayer].  See the website for info and directions.

This month I had a request to talk about the various types of transistor amplifiers:  Common Emitter, Common  Base, Emitter Follower, Cascode, Darlington, etc.  This came up due to the TNRadio using a variety of these, mainly for educational purposes, and from last months SPICE circuit simulation touching on some of these.

I’ll go over about 10 different transistor amplifier arrangements and talk about how they work and their characteristics, and where they are used.  We might use SPICE to measure some of the characteristics.

We’ll also have a short presentation by Jim Wilber about the Pepperell CERT program he is involved with, getting ham radio to be involved with local FEMA authorities.  He has gone through the certification program along with a couple other NVARC members.

Should be a good meeting.  Hope to see you there, and that the weather cooperates.

New England Sci-Tech Technician License Course, January 11-12, 2020

New England Sci Tech logoFor junior high and high school students, homeschool students, and adults interested in wireless communications and electronics, this fast-paced, two-day course will get you ready to take the Amateur Radio 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 a few days before the course.

The Technician level course runs on Saturday, 9 AM-4 PM and Sunday, 9 AM-1 PM, followed by the FCC Technician exam at 1:00, at New England Sci-Tech, 16 Tech Circle, Natick. [Full description]

New England Sci-Tech Technician Course, Five Weekdays, January 8-February 5, 2020

New England Sci Tech logoWe are pleased to offer a beginner level ham radio license course for adults, children, and child-parent pairs to facilitate their successful completion of the FCC radio license test. This course is appropriate for children ages 12 and up. Adults without children and children without adults are also welcome. Please call for logistics and permissions if any parents are unable to accompany their children for classes.

Topics range from the science of radio electronics to the FCC rules governing the radio spectrum. The FCC Technician test will be given in the final class. This course is similar to the weekend course, but it is a slower and easier pace, geared toward children and beginners, and allows people to review content in the evenings.

The class meets for 2-1/2 hours on 5 weekdays, 6:30-9:00 pm, at New England Sci-Tech, 16 Tech Circle, Natick. Doors open 30 minutes before. Included with course fee: printed handouts, lecture study guide, license fee if tested at our location, a guest pass to the  radio rooms and radio club meetings for 2 months, and free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate during the course.

If parent will not be taking the course with the child, please fill out the Child Drop-off Permissions Form after registering your child for this workshop.

For questions, reservations, and pricing options, e-mail bobphinney at or call 508-720-4179.

Radio Amateur’s “Tribute to a Century of Broadcasting” Video Debuts on YouTube

From The ARRL Letter,  November 21, 2019:

Art Donahue, W1AWX, of Franklin, Massachusetts, has posted his “Tribute to a Century of Broadcasting” video in recognition of the centennial of formal radio broadcasts. The video features a complete scan of the AM broadcast band (530 – 1700 kHz), with station IDs for all 118 AM radio channels.

Donahue told ARRL he recorded these off the air using two long-wire antennas in the trees. Each slide highlights one station on each frequency with call sign, location, power, day/night/gray-line reception, distance, and year of first broadcast, accompanied by audio of an actual station identification.

“If you ever spent evenings when you were a kid trying to hear long-distance radio stations on your AM radio, this video has what they all sound like today,” Donahue said. “I wanted to do something in honor of the KDKA broadcasting centennial next year and thought I’d try to get every single channel recorded. It took a lot of time, patience, and good luck. You’ll hear a lot of surprises on the video.”

Donhaue added, “It was a fun project to work on.”

Eastern Massachusetts Hospital Net – Saturday 12/7/19 at 1000 AM ET

Good Morning Everyone,

We hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving, are ready for the winter weather and holiday shopping.

Net Control for the December 7th Net will be the South Shore Health Amateur Radio Group. The Net will commence at 10am utilizing the following repeaters in the order listed followed by the simplex frequency test on 147.42. After the simplex test we will return to the Plymouth Repeater for comments, announcements, and Net closing.

Plymouth 146.685 tone 131.8
Marshfield 145.390 tone 67.0
Boston 145.230 tone encode 88.5 tone decode 100.0
W. Bridgewater 146.775 dcs 244
Simplex 147.42 no tone


John O’

South Shore Health Amateur Radio Group – W1SSH
55 Fogg Road, Box 42
South Weymouth, MA 02190

Billerica ARS Outreach to New Hams

Andy Wallace, KA1GTT, writes in the Billerica Amateur Radio Society December, 2019 newsletter:

I would like you to think back to the time you first had interest in ham radio. Who got you involved? What did you see (equipment) or heard (QSOs) that fascinated you? How easy – or difficult – was it for you to get into this wonderful hobby? And then, what kept your interest and motivation to stick with it?

Your Board has met several times to brainstorm how we can capture some of the people who are newly licensed. Anyone who gets a ham license and already has a cadre of friendly people in a club leading him or her down the path of enjoyment is blessed. What is tragic is someone who attends a VE session, passes, and then buys some kind of radio and is frustrated with the results of trying to do things alone. The term Elmer is passé and we like to use the word “mentor” instead. BARS is full of mentors! It really is.

So the Board’s idea was to enlist a volunteer to reach out to newly licensed hams and send out a mailing. We have to do this via U.S. Mail, because licensing lists do not show email addresses. It turns out that this database is available through the ARRL to club presidents. Tom, K1TW, told us that other Eastern MA clubs have independently decided to do this sort of outreach. Tom and I have looked at these lists over the past several months and the complete list for Eastern MA is well under 50 licensees/month. This is disappointing when you want to see growth in the hobby, but it also makes our outreach a smaller task.

We have come up with the design of a postcard for mailing. It will look like a QSL but has a greeting on the reverse explaining why it was sent. A postcard appealed to us because it looks less like “junk mail” and postage is less. And having it look like a QSL will capture a new ham’s attention. See the pictures below for what your team has come up with.

The back text reads “Welcome to ham radio! Your name appeared on the latest FCC roster as a newly licensed amateur radio operator. When starting any new hobby, it helps to connect with people who can mentor you and help build your enjoyment. You will have more fun and know more of what you can do by being in a club! Please check out our club at You can also explore other ham clubs in the area by visiting: Greetings from everyone at the Billerica Amateur Radio Society!”

We are having a trial run of cards printed, and will sort out the decision process about which locations will be in our area of coverage. Our first volunteer for sending out cards will be John Fisher, KC1FTJ. I hope you’ll agree with us that our message sends a positive “Join a Club” statement, allowing the person to find the club that appeals to them. That may not necessarily be BARS but hopefully our goodwill can bear fruit in new membership too.


WQ1O: “Emergency Go-Kits” at New England Sci-Tech ARS, December 17, 2019

Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, will be the guest speaker at the Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society’s weekly meeting, Tuesday, December 17 at 7 PM.

According to the ARRL EMA section website, “Frank is the [District Emergency Coordinator] for the Cape Cod and the Islands area. This large and challenging area consists of Cape Cod, the island of Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island. Frank heads the CCARES organization and is the Hyannis Red Cross Communications Officer. Frank is an experienced veteran of field operations and NTS procedures. He frequently presents material about field operations at the ARES Workshops, including the ‘go-kit’ presentation.”