“Ham Radio: a Hobby Still Alive and Thriving”

An operator at the Plimoth Plantation special station event on November 30, 2019. Photo by Lillian Eden/ BU News Service

The Boston University News Service carried this favorable story about Amateur Radio, Alan Lewis, K1ALL, and Whitman Amateur Radio Club members, written by Lillian Eden, published January 22, 2020, entitled, “Ham radio: a hobby still alive and thriving.”

“Alan Lewis pledged to do two things when he retired: learn to weld and get an amateur radio license. He did both, and then took his amateur radio license one step further.  

“Almost immediately after getting his license, Lewis said he started getting involved in the public service aspects of amateur radio, including emergency communication. 

“Amateur radio, or ham radio, for a very long time was the only federally licensed hobby. The word ham refers to amateur radio operators.

[Full story]


Norwood ARC Meets January 23, 2020

The Norwood Amateur Radio Club will hold its monthly meeting on January 23, 2020 at 7:30 PM in the Norwood Civic Center’s Willett Room, 165 Nahatan Street, Norwood, MA 02062.  The Civic Center is handicapped accessible, and ample free parking is available.

All regular club meetings are open to the public, and guests are always welcome. Talk-in to the regular club meetings is available on the W1JLI Club Repeater 147.210 (PL 100.0) up to the start of the meeting.

New England Sci-Tech General Class Course, Natick, February 1-2, 2020

New England Sci Tech logoFor junior high and high school students, homeschool students, and adults who already have a Technician level license, this fast-paced, two-day course will get you ready to take the GENERAL 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 GENERAL level course runs Saturday, 8:30 am – 5 pm and Sunday, 8:30 am to noon, followed by the FCC General exam at noon, at New England Sci-Tech, 16 Tech Circle, Natick.

Included with course fee: printed handouts, lecture study guide, license fee if tested at our location, a guest pass to the NEAR/STARS Radio Room and radio club meetings for 2 months, and free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate during the course. Advance registration and payment required.

For more information and to register, visit <https://www.nescitech.org/product/weekend-general-class/>. For questions, e-mail bobphinney at nescitech.org or call 508-720-4179.

Barry Shelley, N1VXY, to Become ARRL Interim CEO

ARRL flagFrom ARRL Web:
01/19/2020 – At its meeting this weekend, the ARRL Board of Directors did not elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX [of Dartmouth, Massachusetts], as the ARRL Chief Executive Officer. Beginning Monday, January 20, Barry Shelley, N1VXY, will become interim CEO. Mr. Shelley was ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer for 28 years and CEO during 2018 before his retirement. The board has created a search committee to select the next CEO. More details on this and other matters which took place at the board meeting will be released shortly.


Algonquin ARC Flea Market, Marlborough, February 15, 2020

Agonquin ARC logoThe Algonquin Amateur Radio Club will hold its Marlborough Flea Market on February 15, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the 1Lt Charles W. Whitcomb School, 25 Union St., Marlborough, MA. Talk-in is on the MMRA repeater, 147.27+ (PL 146.2).

A VE session will be held beginning at 9:00 AM. General admission is $5. Vendor tables are $15 before February 9, 2018, or $20 at the door if space is available. Each table includes one admission.

For more information, contact Tim Ikeda, KA1OS at 508-919-6136 (before 9:00 PM), email fleamarket@n1em.org or visit https://www.qsl.net/n1em/AARC_flea_2020_flier.pdf.


KM1CC to Commemorate Marconi’s First Transatlantic Wireless Transmission

KM1CC signThe Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club will conduct a special events operation on January 18-19, 2020, to commemorate Guglielmo Marconi’s First Wireless Transmission from the United States to the United Kingdom. 
KM1CC will operate voice on the 80, 40, and 20-meter amateur bands from a KM1CC member’s QTH near the original Marconi transmitting site in Wellfleet, grid square FN51av. Additionally, they will operate a second station at the National Park Service grounds in Wellfleet. A VHF/UHF mobile trailer station will operate 6 meters, 2 meters, 70 cm and possibly, 220 MHz with CW, FT8 and some SSB modes. All KM1CC ops should be on the air by 9 AM Saturday. The VHF/UHF operators will also participate in the ARRL January VHF Contest which begins at 2 PM. They will continue operating through Sunday as the contest continues. 
More operating times and QSL info will be on the www.KM1CC QRZ Page: https://www.qrz.com/db/KM1CC


With many thanks to all participants for all your great efforts and support!!

Section Nets   Sessions Traffic CheckIns Time
MARI CW Daily 1900 3565 Khz 364 1185 1436 5387
MARIPN TuThSa 1700 3978 Khz 152 168 503 1340
EMA Local Nets          
CITN TuThFSa 1930 147.375 Mhz 195 83 799 2457
EM2MN Daily 2000 145.230 Mhz 365 1195 2669 7351
HHTN SuMWF 2200 MMRA Network 207 425 1583 3403
WARPSN Su 0830 147.225 Mhz 52 104 826 NA
WMA Nets          
WMN C1 Daily 1000 146.91 Mhz 335 33 3119 2336
WMN C2 Daily 1300 146.91 Mhz 296 54 2307 1832
CM2MN Daily 2100 146.97 Mhz 222 155 1233 1688
WMEN Su 0830 3944 Khz 48 0 1186 NA
TOTALS     2236 3402 15661 25794

ARES/SKYWARN Exhibit at 19th Weatherfest-AMS Annual Meeting

Stu Solomon, W1SHS, writes:

On Sunday, January 12, 2020, ARES/SKYWARN for Eastern Massachusetts and WX1BOX of the National Weather Service Boston/Norton office were represented at the 19th annual Weatherfest component of the 100th annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).  The Boston Weatherfest event was free to the public and very well attended.

The ARES/SKYWARN group were in good company with approximately 50 other exhibitors including NASA, The Blue Hill Observatory, The Mt. Washington Observatory, NOAA, The National Weather Service, New England Sci-Tech, local news stations, multiple universities as well as industry leaders in climate and environmental research and reporting.

Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY; District Emergency Coordinator Jim Palmer, KB1KQW; Matt Goldstein; and Assistant Section Manager Stu Solomon, W1SHS, manned the ARES/SKYWARN booth and spent the day speaking with weather enthusiasts young and old.  Not only were they able to promote the importance of the SKYWARN program and the part it plays in assisting the weather service and emergency services with realtime, on the ground weather and damage reports, but also the important role Amateur Radio and its dedicated volunteer operators also play.  On display in the SKYWARN booth were computers with real time displays of current incident reports (it was a day of high winds in the Boston area) as well as videos of past storms and the damage resulting from them. Good questions were asked by the many people that stopped by with numerous folks signing up to receive SKYWARN emails as well as information on upcoming SKYWARN training.  

Wellesley ARS Web Page Now on ema.arrl.org

New Affiliated Club Service Offered: Your Club on the Web:

“We understand it’s difficult to recruit and retain a webmaster for your club. In fact, some clubs’ web sites have fallen into disrepair.  That’s why we’re excited to offer this new service to ARRL affiliated clubs—a hosted page on the EMA ARRL web site. The address is of the form, https://ema.arrl.org/<Your Club Name>. The pages would be maintained by our webmaster, with input from your club officers.”

We’re pleased to announce the Wellesley Amateur Radio Society has accepted this service for its web presence. To view their new site, visit <https://ema.arrl.org/wars>.

Whitman ARC Winterfest, January 18, 2020

Whitman ARC logoThe Whitman Amateur Radio Club will hold its Winterfest on January 18, 2020 from 9 AM until 1 PM at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Route 18, in Whitman. A VE testing session will be conducted at the event. Admission is $5; tables cost $15. Raffle prizes will be drawn at noon. Talk-in will be provided on the Whitman ARC repeater: 147.225Mhz+ PL67. For vendor information, call: 781-523-5010 or visit http://www.wa1npo.org/WF/WinterfestFlyer2020.pdf.

Local Amateurs Featured on WBZ Late Night Talk Show

Three Eastern Massachusetts amateurs appeared January 13, 2020, on Bradley Jay’s “Jay Talking” on WBZ-AM (1030 kHz) to discuss Amateur Radio.

Jim Idelson, K1IR, Bruce Tinkler, N9JBT, and Marty Sullaway, NN1C, described the hobby, history, types of equipment, DXing, radiosport, and how to obtain a license. They also described their own experiences getting started in the hobby.  

NN1C emphasized the fact that the hobby allows one to make friends with people all over the world. Through Amateur Radio, Marty had the opportunity to meet with a number of other hams on his first trip to Israel.

Bradley took several callers’ questions during the hour-long show, including one from a Michigan caller who was blind. 

According to Wikipedia, “WBZ (1030 kHz) is a Class A clear channel AM radio station licensed in Boston, Massachusetts. Formerly owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting and CBS Radio, the station is owned and operated by iHeartMedia… Its signal can be heard at night across most of Eastern North America.”

Bradley JayBradley Jay

Left-right: Bradley Jay; Bruce Tinkler & Jim Idelson. Photos courtesy Marty Sullaway.

You can listen to an over-the-air recording of the show on Jim Idelson’s blog, The Driven Element.

PART of Westford Winter Field Day, January 25-26, 2020

PART of Westford logoBrian McCaffrey, W1BP, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

Winter Field Day is here! WFD will be held at the Westford Sportsmen’s Club on starting at 2 PM on 25 January and running until 2 PM on Sunday, 26 January. We will begin setup on Friday, 24 January.

We will be operating one station outdoors in a heated tent. We can operate any mode except FT8. It will be operator’s preference the mode and band for the time you operate.

We need volunteers to help with the following:

– Setup on Friday and Saturday
– Operating starting at 2 PM on Saturday
– Westford Sportsmen’s Club members to take shifts as escorts for PART members
– Kitchen crew
– Tear-down starting 2 PM Sunday

Come to the PART meeting on Tuesday, 21 January, to hear all the details and get your questions answered.

Please sign up by email direct to me for anything you’re interested in. If you can only help for a short while, that’s ok too. The more the merrier, we can have shorter shifts in the cold. If you’ve already told me you’re interested in helping, thank you. Please let me know times you could help and what you’re interested in.

I hope to see you there!


[See also: Area Radio Clubs QRV for Winter Field Day, January 25-26, 2020]

Pilgrim Amateur Wireless Association Meets January 17, 2020

The Pilgrim Amateur Wireless Association will hold its next business meeting on January 17, 2020 at 7:00 PM in the Margaret Stone Conference Room, Morton Hospital, 88 Washington Street, Taunton.  Raffle tickets go on sale at 6:30 PM.

We will have discussions on new events, activities, and new ideas you may have along with items for sale by club members and new radio gear you may have.

Stop by to see what we have planned for the new year. New members are always welcome.  Check in for talk-ins along the way. You can find us on our club repeaters: 

  • 147.135 MHz – KA1GG
  • 145.280.00 MHz – WG1U – Nxdn
  • 145.320.00 – KC1JET – Nxdn

Have a safe week everyone, talk to you soon. Be safe in your travels.

73 de


Cape Cod & Islands ARES Operation “Ice Show” Winter Exercise, January 25, 2020

Cape Cod ARES logoFrank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, writes:

The Cape Cod and Islands District Amateur Radio Emergency Service will conduct a winter operations exercise on Saturday, January 25, 2020, to test its capability in establishing communications with stations within its district and outside it under emergency conditions.

The operational exercise, dubbed “Ice Show” will test the ability of several field stations to communicate. This will also be a drill to test some of our hospital stations, primary stations, EOCs, shelters and other ARES member home stations.

Version 1.2 of the exercise scenario and guidelines are available online. 

Setup will begin at 8:30 AM, with a start time of 10:00 AM lasting until 12 Noon.

Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club Assists in Post-earthquake Support for Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico

Phil Erickson, W1PJE, writes:

In January of this year, Puerto Rico was struck by another natural disaster in the form of frequent significant earthquakes and aftershocks.  Although quake epicenters were in the southwest island corner, tremors were felt all across the island in what has been described as a 100 year class series of events.  Earthquake impacted areas included the landmark Arecibo radio telescope and ionospheric radar facility, previously a victim of the August 2017 devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria.

In response to the situation, members of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club rapidly stepped up to assist in support and recovery efforts for the world’s largest radio and radar facility.  In particular, NVARC members Phil Erickson, W1PJE; Rod Hersh; WA1TAC; and Jim Wilber, AB1WQ, participated in daily scheduled QSOs with Angel Vazquez, WP3R, the lead Arecibo telescope operator and spectrum manager.  WP3R’s longtime ham radio credentials include the 2019 Yasme Foundation award for his work in disaster relief on the island during Hurricane Maria.  NVARC members Bill Blackwell, AB1XB, and Les Peters, N1SV, also quickly volunteered time on their home stations as backup possibilities for contacts.

The daily 20 and 40 meter group skeds from eastern Massachusetts to Puerto Rico employed a variety of systems including end-fed wire antennas, Yagis, with transceivers operated both barefoot and with amplifiers.  Combined with the powerful kilowatt class station at WP3R, these efforts provided support and inquired about potential assistance during a period of several days when no commercial power or water was available near Arecibo.   Power and water have now been restored to San Juan and Arecibo, but the observatory itself is awaiting structural engineering inspections that cannot occur until seismic activity subsides.  Although conditions are slowly improving on the northern portion of the island, WP3R reports thousands of people displaced from their homes and camped outside in the south due to extensive structural damage and ongoing aftershocks.

The efforts of NVARC members also provided support messages directly to Arecibo from the large observing facilities at MIT Haystack Observatory in Westford, MA, and also from program officers in Washington DC at the National Science Foundation’s Geospace Facilities division.  NSF funds observing programs and scientific research at the Observatory. Contacts will continue as recovery proceeds in Puerto Rico.


Nashoba Valley ARC Meets January 16, 2020

Bruce Blaine, K1BG, writes:

The Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club’s January meeting is Thursday, January 16th at 7:30 PM at the Pepperell Community Center (in Pepperell). 

This month’s program will feature “Homebrew Night.” Come in and show off what you’ve been working on over the past year. No project is too small—or too large. If your project is physically too big, don’t fret. Bring along some pictures, JPEG files, or anything else. We’ll find a way to project or display graphics. homebrew, kits, restoration, innovative solutions. Come. Brag. Converse. Have coffee. This is one of the best “social” meetings of the year…

Remember, HB Night and the upcoming Short Subjects Night (the February meeting) both rely on member participation. It’s your hobby; brag about it.

Need directions? Click here and put your own address in box “A”.

Thanks and 73. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Bruce, K1BG

978-772-2773 or bruce.blain@charter.net

Winter Field Day Event at Cape Ann ARA

CAARA logoTony Sarracino, AB1XK, writes on the CAARA list:

[The Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association] will host Winter Field day on January 25 and 26, 2020. The event will start at 2 PM ET on Saturday, January 25 and end at 2 PM ET on Sunday, January 26.

We encourage all members and their guests to participate. Current plan is to have three transmitters: SSB, PSK31, and CW.

More to follow so save the date.

[See also: Area Radio Clubs QRV for Winter Field Day, January 25-26, 2020]

NU Wireless Club Meets January 16, 2020

From the NU Wireless Club mailing list, January 13, 2020:

Welcome back to all of our returning members and new members. After a short winter break, NU Wireless Club is starting back up for the Spring semester. We plan on having bi-weekly general meetings, ham nets, workshops, and project groups.

Our first meeting is this Thursday, January 16th. 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 all of you there!

Our first ham net will be held Monday at 8:00 pm by our resident ham guru, Connor Northway. Here is the information needed to participate:

Output Frequency: 145.31 MHz
Offset: -0.6 MHz
CTCSS (PL) Tone: 123.0 Hz