K1BG: “CW Academy” at Quannapowitt RA Meeting Online, September 17, 2020

QRAQRA September online meeting:  “CW Academy” by Bruce Blain, K1BG, September 17, 2020 at 7 PM.

Bruce will talk about this very successful program and how it is introducing large numbers of hams to the joys of CW.  If you have wondered about getting into CW, thought “I can never do that!”, or know someone who might be interested in learning Morse code,  this presentation is for you!

Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month, September through June. All are invited and holding an Amateur Radio license is not required.  [For Zoom meeting details, email Bob Reiser, AA1M at aa1m -at- yahoo -dot- com.]

Northern Florida ARES Requests Clear Frequencies for HF Nets

QST de W1AW 
ARRL Bulletin 23  ARLB023
From ARRL Headquarters 
Newington CT  September 16, 2020
To all radio amateurs

ARLB023 Northern Florida ARES Requests Clear Frequencies for HF Nets

Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Karl Martin, K4HBN, is requesting that stations not directly involved in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) response to Hurricane Sally please avoid 3.950 MHz (primary) and 7.242 MHz (backup).

ARES has activated in four Northern Florida counties. Shelters are open, and power and telecommunications outages are widespread, Martin reports.


5-MHz Interoperability Channels Designated for Wildfires and Hurricane Sally Response

From ARRL Web:

09/15/2020 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that two 60-meter channels have been made available, as necessary, for interoperability between US Government stations and US amateur radio stations involved in emergency communications related to the wildland firefighting response in California, Oregon, and Washington, and to Hurricane Sally. These interoperability channels will remain active until the need for these channels no longer exists:

  • Channel 1 — primary voice traffic 5332 kHz channel center, 5330.5 kHz USB voice
  • Channel 2 — digital traffic 5348 kHz channel center, 5346.5 kHz USB with 1.5-kHz offset to center of digital waveform.

Frequencies may be modified or added to by FEMA Region 10 for their area or operations due to existing 5-MHz/60-meter interoperability plans for their region.

Amateur radio is secondary on the 5-MHz band and should yield to operational traffic related to wildland firefighting and hurricane response. Although the intended use for these channels is interoperability between federal government stations and licensed US amateur radio stations, federal government stations are primary users and amateurs are secondary users.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is following FEMA’s lead on the interoperability channel designations for the wildfire and hurricane response. Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, says he has alerted all MARS members of the FEMA channel designations and MARS members are prepared to support response efforts as needed.   

Boston ARC Business Meeting Online, September 17, 2020

Boston ARC logoDoc Kinne, KE1ML, writes on the Boston Amateur Radio Club mailing list:
Here is the Zoom Meeting ID and Password for Thursday’s 7:30 PM Meeting. As mentioned, this will largely be a business meeting, and we hope to discuss future ideas and thoughts as to what we want to do as a club and how.
Topic: Sept BARC Zoom Meeting
Time: Sep 17, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
[For Zoom meeting information, email Doc Kinne, KE1ML at ke1ml@arrl.net.]

Northeastern Wireless Club Meets Online, September 24, 2020

From the NUWC mailing list, September 16, 2020

Welcome Back! Fall 2020 Kickoff

Thursday September 24th, 6-7 PM on Teams

Welcome back to all of our returning members, and also to all of our new members! Despite a really unusual time for us all, especially coming into this fall, Wireless Club is starting back up. This semester we will still be having general meetings, workshops, discussions, and more! 

Our first meeting is this Thursday, September 24th. We will be introducing new members to the club and sharing a few details about the upcoming semester and what events and opportunities we are preparing for you. We’ll send another email out next week with a link to join the meeting. Hope to see you all there!

WBØIXV: “Morse Code 101 and 201” at Billerica ARS, October 7, 2020

Andy Wallace, KA1GTT, writes on the Billerica Amateur Radio Society‘s website:

Folks, I am very happy to announce we will have a distant guest speaker for our Zoom meeting [on October 7, 2020 at 7 PM].

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about trying to promote CW in our club and introduce it to members who have never tried it. Google gave me a path to David O’Farrell’s presentations Morse Code 101 and 201. Dave was first licensed as KN7YXO in 1963 (at 15). He was a telegraph operator for the Northern Pacific Railway, holds Amateur Extra and Commercial General Radio Operator licenses, and loves CW! He is also the Treasurer of the Estes Valley Amateur Radio Club in Estes Park, Colorado.

Part of the reason I think BARS should talk more about CW is some of our newer Technician members may not know how much fun they could have with it. Did you know Techs have 650 kHz of CW band space on HF in the 80, 40, 15, and 10 meter bands? (They only get 200 kHz of SSB on 10!) Did you know there are apps and online resources to learn Morse code? And that receiving and sending apps and computer programs exist to help you out? Transceiving CW can be done with much simpler equipment than SSB or even a 2m FM HT. It also cuts through interference and local electrical hash better – you’ll make more contacts. Knowing how to understand CW opens up a whole world of fun operating. The FCC dropped the CW requirement for licensing but you will have a BALL knowing it – just ask any Novice licensee!

Dave sent me a sneak preview of his presentation and it is super. He goes through some very interesting history of Morse code, and digs deep into how to learn it properly. If you already know CW, you will still learn something here. We’ll have time for Q&A and I am sure Dave will elaborate on concepts so anyone new to this world will understand what they will be in for.

Please help me show appreciation for David making time – several time zones away – to present to our club. Let’s have a great turnout for CW 101 and 201.

We will announce the link to join the Zoom meeting before the meeting, but it will be posted to the BARS email list and should not be shared outside our Club. Are you on the email list? If not, please send an email to bars-subscribe@w1hh.org and then simply reply to the robot response from the server and you will be subscribed.

Observing our Zoom meeting requires only a web browser and headphones/speakers. You do not need a webcam or microphone unless you want to speak or be seen.

Before our meeting date, please go to https://zoom.us/test and see if it will function for you. If you have problems, we can try to assist – feel free to ask questions on the BARS email list.

I am looking forward to “seeing” many of you Wednesday 10/7/20.



President, Billerica Amateur Radio Society

NEAR-Fest and the Road Ahead

NEAR-Fest logoMike Crestohl, W1RC, writes:

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

Now that NEAR-Fest XXVII and XXVIII have been cancelled there are some important issues with which we must deal.

First,  this is going to be a major hit on our treasury because, notwithstanding the reason we are being canceled, we have contracts that need to be honored.  2019, as you may remember, was plagued with wet weather for both May and October.  Attendance was down and so are our cash reserves.  Consequently, the hard facts are that we need to raise some new capital starting this Fall if NEAR-Fest is to survive.  

In order to do this beginning soon we will be selling advance admission tickets for NEAR-Fest XXIX ($10.00) and inside parking passes ($10.00) either at Ham Radio Outlet in Salem NH and Ross Hochstrasser’s Clock Shop, 40 Walnut Street, Whitman MA as well as by mail to Michael Crestohl, W1RC, 316 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead MA 01945 with a check or money order and a SASE. 

The exciting thing about the advance tickets are that all purchasers of advance tickets will be entered in a special prize drawing for either a Xiegu G90 HF SDR Transceiver (value $425.00) or a Yaesu FT-891 HF Mobile Transceiver (value $559.00).  Winner does NOT have to be present to win.  

We are going to offer a special “VIP Pass” to NEAR-Fest for those who really want to see us through this difficult and trying time.  It will be good for the person to whom it was issued for life, allow that person and the occupants of their vehicle (up to four people) and the vehicle to enter at 8:00 AM on Friday morning.  Cost of this VIP Pass is $250.00 and is available by mail only.

Additionally, the cost of admission at the Fairgrounds will be increased to $15.00.  This added $5.00 is to help alleviate the cost of not having NEAR-Fest XXVII but advance ticket buyers will be able to save this $5.00 per ticket surcharge.   I cannot tell you at this time if this $5.00 surcharge will be permanent.  Once we are financially comfortable again we will decide whether or not to restore the cost to $10.00. 

In the event that the May 2021 event cannot be held any tickets or passes purchased will be valid and honored at the next NEAR-Fest so no one will lose.

We are asking our association and clubs if they can help us sell advance tickets to their members.  The procedure will be simple and straightforward.  Clubs would determine how many tickets and parking passes their members want, collect the money, send the list with this information along with a check payable to NEAR-Fest to us.  We would take care of making sure that the prize draw stubs are properly filled in and put in the prize barrel for the drawing in July.  After that takes place we would ensure they are kept safe so they can be put in the prize barrel at NEAR-Fest in May.   The tickets would be sent to the club for distribution to the members.  Members should be informed that they are buying admission tickets for our fall event.  They are not buying a raffle ticket.  However there is no limit on the number of tickets anyone may purchase.  Drawing will take place at NEAR-Fest XXIX in May 2021. 

Secondly, clubs who have already applied for the 2020 Association and Club Early Entry passes will not have to reapply again in January 2021.  

With your help we will survive this horrific nightmare.


Mister Mike

International Space Station Passes; New 2-Meter/440 MHz Repeater

John Salmi, KB1MGI, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:
See the following Space Station passes chart:
Tuesday evening at 2100 hrs or 9 PM should be very active.
Initial operation of the new radio system is in FM cross band repeater mode using an uplink frequency of 145.990 MHz with an access tone [CTCSS] of 67 Hz and a downlink frequency of 437.800 MHz. System activation was first observed at 01:02 UTC on September 2. Special operations will continue to be announced.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday 9/14/2020 at 830 PM EDT

Hello to all…

The September Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday September 14th, 2020 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:


We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For tonight’s ARES Net, the focus will be on several announcements on upcoming events and documentation forthcoming along with the posting of exercise reports via email and the Eastern Mass ARRL/ARES section web site which were delayed due to numerous ARES-SKYWARN activations during August. We will also give a brief COVID-19 update.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
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W1OH: “Satellite Communications” at K1USN RC Online Meeting, September 15, 2020

“Pi” Pugh, K1RV, writes in the K1USN Happenings Newsletter, September 11, 2020:
The next K1USN Zoom session is scheduled for this upcoming Tuesday [September 15, 2020] @ 7:30 PM. There will be a presentation by  Goeff Allsup, W1OH, on Satellite Communications.
Those who have already received previous Zoom invitations are already on our K1USN Zoom mailing list and will receive one this Sunday with details directing you to log into this session.
Anyone else who would be interested in receiving an invitation will need to send me an e-mail (k1rv@arrl.net) to be added to our separate K1USN Zoom list.
Judging from some of our previous discussions we should expect a good turnout for this presentation on Satellite Communications by Goeff.

Whitman ARC Technician Class Online, Starting September 15, 2020

photo of multiple choice examRoss Hochstrasser, W1EKG, writes on the WARC Members mailing list:

Hello all fellow ham radio  beginners:

I will be starting the Whitman Amateur Radio club’s fall season starting with  the Technician class next Tuesday, September 15th at 7 PM. The class will be on Zoom.

Please email me at bavarianradio@comcast.net or call 781-447-9104 to be put on the email list for the Zoom class. If you could cc: warc.training@gmail.com as well we would appreciate it. 

You should have the ARRL technician class license manual for home studying and we will be using www.hamstudy.org as well in class. 

Please contact me with any questions.

Thanks and 73,
Ross, W1EKG

Two New England Sci-Tech General Courses Online In September, 2020

New England Sci Tech logoFor anyone interested in wireless communications and electronics, this ON-LINE course will get you ready to take the second level Amateur Radio license exam, GENERAL. Geared toward adults, as well as junior high, high school, and home school students.

Topics range from the science of radio electronics to the FCC rules governing the radio spectrum. Some preliminary preparation is necessary to get the best results from this course.

This is a FULL course taught by a 40-yr veteran teacher, not a discussion group or video service. You will learn so much more than just watching a video.

Current offerings:

  • 2 day course: SAT-SUN Sept 12-13, 10:00 am-4:00 pm each day Eastern Time
  • 4 day course: Mon-Tu-W-Th Sept 14-17, 3:00-6:00 pm each day Eastern Time

The FCC General test will be scheduled for an upcoming weekday evening or weekend, as an online test, run by our VE team which has authorization to run online tests.

System Requirements: Computer or Chromebook capable of running ZOOM Meeting, either by Zoom app or through a browser, a built-in camera/mic, and a color printer.

Included with course fee: downloadable lecture study guide and charts, free access to our weekly Online Radio Shop Talk sessions, and a guest pass to the NEAR/STARS Radio Rooms and radio club meetings for 3 months once the facility reopens.

Note that the standard $15 license exam fee is NOT included and must be registered separately; our VE team is authorized to give ONLINE exams, so you can schedule an exam within a week of the course. (Price is $15 across the country.)

One additional member of the same family may take this course for the price of one, if sharing one computer, video screen, and materials.

A few hours before the session you will receive an email with a Zoom link and ID. If you don’t see the email, check your spam filter. If you still don’t see it, call 508-720-4179 for help.

For questions, e-mail bobphinney at nescitech.org or call 508-720-4179.

K1USN Radio Club Members Operate in CW Open

CW Open logoFrom K1USN Happenings, 9/8/2020:
Members of the Team K1USN participated in last weekend’s CW Open sponsored by the CWOP’s Club. Despite mediocre propagation conditions the CW bands were filled with activity and our K1USN Team had a very respectable showing! Members participating were: K1RV, N1DC, N1VH, K1VUT, K1TH, K1DJ, WS1L and new member Frank, K1EBY.
A good time was had by all and most of us were able to watch each other’s score progress in real time using the Online Contest Scoreboard with a dedicated K1USN Team sub-group leaderboard.
Thanks to Rick, N1DC for organizing the team and compiling our K1USN Team scores. 

K1MKD Breaks WSPR Records

photo of Tate Aldridge, K1MKD, soldering a circuit board
Tate Aldridge, K1MKD

by Derek, AK1WI

In the last two days, Tate Aldridge, K1MKD, of Lexington, has come in #4 and #2 in the world on KB9AMG’s WSPR statistics site, with the total number of WSPR spots – after John (his dad) trimmed 5 ” off his dipole antenna.  Yesterday he had 23669 spots – which is huge!
This is supported by his score of 334 “unique spots” on the VK7JJ mapping software over the past 24 hours- which is an all time record for anybody in our group, and which has dethroned the reigning champ, young Charlie Bures.  (Charlie had about 230 unique spots at the same time).   The “unique” score is independent of the frequency of transmission, so something obviously going terribly right over at the Aldridge household.  [Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society News]

K1USN Radio Club To Resume In-Person Volunteer Exams

“Pi” Pugh, K1RV, writes in K1USN Happenings:
In-person K1USN VE exams have begun after a six month hiatus!
Steve, W1OD, has secured a location where safe, socially distanced exams will be given, thanks to generous assistance from the Braintree Emergency Management Agency (BEMA).
The first sessions will take place this upcoming Saturday morning, Sept 12th beginning @ 8:30 AM at the BEMA facility at Sunset Lake in Braintree. Please contact Steve (w1od@arrl.net) for directions and to see if there are still any vacancies available. All exam candidates must be pre-registered. Walk-ins are not allowed.

NQ1F: “6-Meter Yagi Antenna” at Wellesley ARS On-line Meeting, September 15, 2020

Dan Brown, W1DAN, writes in the September, 2020 issue of WARS’ The Spark Gap:

“Our next Zoom meeting [of the Wellesley Amateur Radio Society] will be Tuesday, September 15th at 7:30PM, when club member Steve Ciavarini, NQ1F, will talk about home-brewing a 6M Yagi antenna. I will email an invite link before the meeting. Also, if you are not by your computer, you
can call in to the meeting via telephone.”

Billerica ARS VE Test Session, Chelmsford, September 10, 2020

The [Billerica Amateur Radio Society] VE team has resumed exam sessions on the second Thursday of the month, but on a limited basis with certain changes due to COVID-19. Session space will be limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-registration is required. Please contact Bruce Anderson via one of the methods below for exam dates and exam session information.

Sessions are held at 7:00 PM at the Chelmsford Bible Church, 128 Gorham St. (Route 3A), East Chelmsford, MA 01824

For more information, contact: Bruce, W1LUS at 978-851-2886 or Gary, W1GFF at 978-453-1100.

EMARG Volunteer Exam Session in Mansfield on November 12, 2020

Eastern MA ARG logoThe [Eastern MA Amateur Radio Group] will hold its next VE testing session on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Mansfield Fish and Game Club, 510 East Street, Mansfield, MA 02048.

Directions: I-95 to 140 towards Mansfield. Turn left on 106. Just past the Municipal building, turn left at the Mansfield Fish & Game sign and follow driveway to the clubhouse.

Norfolk County Radio Association Online Meeting, September 8, 2020

The [Norfolk County Radio Association will] conduct its Wednesday, September 8, 2020 meeting at 8 PM using Zoom in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Jim, WJ1R, will be our Zoom host.  Thank you to Jim for agreeing to take on this role!

It will be a good opportunity to see and hear our members!  We have a few business items to cover, but we will let everyone have a chance to speak.

Please note that we do need to end the Zoom session shortly after the meeting ends so please be mindful of our host asking us to end our discussion after the meeting closes.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation and understanding!   


Dick, K1HC