WB3BKN: “Antennas” at Billerica ARS Meeting Online, June 2, 2021

Billerica ARS logoDoug Bruce, N1WRN, writes on the Billerica ARS website:

[The next Billerica Amateur Radio Society Zoom Meeting will be Wednesday,  June 2, 2021 at 7:00 PM.]

The feature speaker this month is Terry Snyder, WB3BKN, an expert on a lot of different wire antennas for any application in ham radio that you can think of. Terry will do a presentation centered on a number of different antenna designs, from the vertical, to the loop, to the quad, to the j pole, to the dipole, and beyond. He will discuss the pros and cons of each design, along with the basic design theories of these antennas. Please join us for a very informative and interesting presentation! Hope to see everyone there!


Sturdy Repeater Returns to the Air

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

Just to let you know that the K1SMH 147.195 Sturdy Memorial Hospital repeater has returned to the air as of about 1330 today [March 28, 2021] thanks to the efforts of: Pierre Guimond, N1EZT; John Bellissimo, KA1EWN; Steve, N1LEO and Bill, WB1DJM. Bill rebuilt the Super StationMaster that the repeater is now using while the damaged JAG 4 element folded dipole array was rebuilt from the damage it received in the tower fold-over. We lost about five feet in elevation and we are on a different antenna so you may notice some difference in coverage on the fringes.

It is good to get it back on the air and hope to hear activity soon. If I missed anyone who helped in this endeavor, please accept our thanks.


K1USN Radio Club Receives “Advancing the Art of CW Award”

CWops logoFrom the ARRL Letter, May 27, 2021:

CWops has designated the K1USN Radio Club as the 2021 recipient of its Award for Advancing the Art of CW. As CWops noted in making the announcement, the K1USN Radio Club has created and managed the K1USN Weekly Slow Speed Test (SST) that provides a place for new and unpracticed CW operators to gather and operate at relaxed speeds in a friendly and encouraging manner that helps them continue to improve their CW skills.

Researcher and Past Arecibo Observatory Director Gordon Pettengill, W1OUN, SK

photo of Gordon Pettengill, W1OUNFrom the ARRL Letter, May 27, 2021:

Renowned physicist, astronomer, and past Arecibo Observatory Director Gordon Pettengill, W1OUN, of Concord, Massachusetts, died on May 8. An ARRL member, he was 95.

“He was instrumental [as Arecibo Observatory Director] in getting some ‘telescope time’ at that facility for hams to do EME (moonbounce) on 432 MHz, giving a lot of hams with modest stations a shot at making a QSO via moon reflection,” said Chip Taylor, W1AIM. “He was the first person to use that big dish to do radar mapping of the surface of Venus, Mercury, Mars, and various asteroids and comets. And he was a mentor to many of us interested in microwave communication.”

A World War II combat veteran, Pettengill completed his bachelor’s degree at MIT after the war, then received a doctorate in high-energy physics at the University of California-Berkeley. His career in radio astronomy took off when he joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory, using the Millstone Radar in Westford, Massachusetts, for astronomical observations.

In 1963, he moved to the newly opened Arecibo Observatory. He was named its director in 1968. In 1977, he was Principal Investigator of the radar aboard the Pioneer Venus Orbiter that created the first near-global topographic map of any planet, and in the 1990s he was the Principal Investigator of the Magellan mission to Venus.

Pettengill was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1979, and served as Director of MIT’s Center for Space Research from 1984 until 1989. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980 and spent his sabbatical at the University of Sydney, Australia. He retired in 1995. He was active on the air until recently.

KU2Y: “CubeSat Simulator” at New England Sci-Tech ARS Meeting Online, May 25, 2021

New England Sci Tech logoNew England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society Online Meeting: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm: “CubeSatSim: The AMSAT CubeSat Simulator” by Dr. Alan Johnston, KU2Y.

Dr. Johnston, AMSAT VP Educational Relations, will introduce the AMSAT CubeSat Simulator, a low cost functional model of a CubeSat satellite suitable for the classroom or demos. The CubeSatSim is based around a Raspberry Pi Zero W processor, a 3D printed frame, and has rechargeable batteries, solar panels, and transmits housekeeping telemetry on the 70cm ham band. It can emulate satellites that send APRS telemetry, or a Fox-1 CubeSat sending Data Under Voice or BPSK telemetry. In addition, it can send SSTV images. The talk will be interactive, with a live web SDR which can be accessed over the Internet using a phone or computer to listen and decode the signals. For more information on the CubeSatSim, including how to borrow it for your event or classroom visit, see https://cubesatsim.org.
[For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.]

ARRL Foundation Announces 2021 Scholarship Winners; Many Are From New England

[Congratulations to Eastern MA scholarship recipients: Catherine Hong, KC1MFU, Cambridge; Julie Knappik, KB1YTT, Raynham; and Martin (“Marty”) S. Sullaway, NN1C, of Waban.]

From nediv.arrl.org:
The ARRL Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2021 scholarship awards. A number of those recipients are from New England:

The Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) Scholarships, $10,000

  • Catherine Hong, KC1MFU, of Cambridge, Massachusetts 
  • Julie Knappik, KB1YTT, of Raynham, Massachusetts 

The Byron Blanchard, N1EKV, Memorial Scholarship, $500 

  • Allison K. Maurice, KH2AK, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire 

The FEMARA Scholarship, $2,000 each 

  • Michael A. Cullen, K6MAC, of Newport, Rhode Island
  • Samuel E. Gerhard, KC1NWR, of North Providence, Rhode Island
  • Sarah J. Hull, W1SJH, of Hancock, New Hampshire
  • Simon S. Page, KC1FJD, of York, Maine 

The New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) Scholarship, $1,500 

  • Jacob A. Gionfriddo, KC1LYP, of Newington, Connecticut 

The Yankee Clipper Contest Club, Inc. Youth Scholarship, $2,000 

  • Martin S. Sullaway, NN1C, of Waban, Massachusetts 


There were 122 awards this year, totaling $564,250.  The full list of scholarship recipients can be found the ARRL website.

“Connecting With Strangers Over Ham Radio Cleared My Family’s Static”

SU1CR QSL Card imageBoston Globe reporter Gabriella Gage writes this nice human interest story in the May 22, 2012 issue of The Boston Globe:

“On a rainy October night during the pandemic, my husband, David, searches for a faint voice in the distance. He doesn’t know who’s calling, but he knows he wants to speak to them. David adjusts the tuning knob on the decades-old transceiver ever so slightly, as if cracking a safe. Outside, a homemade antenna bobs in the wind. On his computer, pulsating lines tell him the voice is one of hundreds calling out on this busy night. The voice gets clearer: ‘CQ,’ the magic letters he’s been awaiting — the amateur radio operators’ invitation for a response — followed by a call sign. David jumps on his mic, repeating the stranger’s call sign and adds: “This is KB1TOY, Kilo-Bravo-1-Tango-Oscar-Yankee. You’re light but I can hear you!”  [Full story]



125th Boston Marathon Volunteer Registration Opens – Wednesday June 16th 2021 at 1000 AM EDT

The Boston Marathon Amateur Radio Communication Committee writes:

Volunteer registration for the 125th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday October 11th, 2021 will open on Wednesday June 16th 2021 at 1000 AM EDT.  Additional information can be seen on the hamradioboston.org web site at the following link:

Boston Marathon Volunteer Registration Date Announcement

Additional details will be posted as we draw closer to the volunteer registration date.

KD1D Fox is Deployed in Westford, May 21, 2021

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on NEMassFoxHunters list on May 21, 2021 at 9:10 AM: 

I placed the KD1D Fox out this morning. As usual, it transmits a 30 second message every 60 seconds on 146.565 MHz FM.

It is located in Westford Conservation land named after an aquatic mammal once highly prized for making men’s hats.

The Fox can be heard along Concord Rd somewhere between the 99 Restaurant and the railroad crossing at Forge Village. A good place to take a bearing might be near the Robinson School or the old cemetery at the corner of Concord Rd and Country Rd (Interesting, but useless fact – Country Rd used to be called Cemetery Rd, but that tended to “spook” the real estate folks, so it was changed.)

Happy Hunting and 73 de KD1D

Bristol County Repeater Association Fox Hunt, Fall River Vicinity, May 22, 2021

Bristol Co. RA club bannerFrom https://bcra.club/bcrawprel/fox-hunting/:

The next BCRA Fox Hunt has been scheduled on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Communications with “Fox Control” can all be done over the BCRA repeater, including checking in when you have found the fox. You may also speak with us in the control vehicle using physical distancing, if you wish.

Check-ins will begin at 9:45 am on the BCRA repeater, 145.150 MHz PL 123. Chat and help on the repeater also.

The Fox will activate at 10:00 am on 146.565 MHz FM with a 5 watt signal and will transmit 1 minute of tone followed by Morse Code ID and 4 minutes of silence. The hunt will last until 2:00 pm or until all checked in participants have found the transmitter, whichever comes first.

The Fox will be located within a 10 mile radius of the intersection of President Avenue (Rt. 6) and North Main Street in Fall River. ( Latitude 41.7159 Longitude -71.1510 )

The Fox (in my vehicle, a blue/grey Jeep Commander marked BCRA) will be in a public place and will be manned at all times. When you have found the fox your time and order of arrival will be recorded and a personalized certificate will be emailed to each participant.

Participants are encouraged to work in teams, and are asked to drive carefully and observe all applicable guidelines, both from the FCC and the state & local governments. Since participants are receiving only (except for radio check-ins) an amateur radio license is not required.

Email questions to Skip at kb1cnb@bcra.club or text to 774-644-3469. After the hunt, your comments, impressions, and suggestions will be welcome!

Join us and have some good amateur radio fun!

Call for Speakers, Northeast HamXposition @ Marlborough MA, September 10-12, 2021


Don’t just attend the 2021 Northeast HamXposition @ Marlborough MA—BE A PART OF IT! The HamXposition Committee seeks fresh and exciting presentations for this year’s ARRL New England Division Convention, September 10-12, 2021 . We’re looking for talks of both a technical and non-technical nature. As a HamXposition speaker, you will have the opportunity to share your subject and knowledge with Amateur Radio operators from around New England, surrounding states, and Canada.

In addition to forums and workshops throughout the day Saturday and Sunday, we will feature Friday/Saturday evening entertainment.

If you represent a regional club or organization (e.g. YCCC, NEQRP, WRONE, MARS, etc.) we can help facilitate open forums or closed meetings by providing you a meeting space.

Groups who wish to set up information tables should get your requests in early. While the tables are offered without charge, we ask for some volunteer time in return to assist us with ticket sales and other logistics during the convention.

To register as a speaker or presenter, please go to https://hamxposition.org/2021-early-speaker-signup or, email or call us if you have additional questions. 

We look forward to meeting all of you at the convention.


Phil Temples, K9HI
Program Chair
HamXposition @ Marlborough

KB1MGI Fox Active in Chelmsford, May 16, 2021

John Salmi, KB1MGI, writes on NEMassFoxHunters list on May 16, 2021 at 1:37 PM:
I placed my UHF 432.300 MHz Fox transmitter at the George B B Wright Reservation at 120 Parker Road, Chelmsford. See attached Map pdf.
To activate the 432.300 MHz transmitter press DTMF tone 2 for two seconds. The fox will transmit a steady tone and CW ID for 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 15 minutes. then you need to press the DTMF tone 2 again to reactivate.
It should last a few days, but that depends on the amount of activations.
John, KB1MGI

KD1LE Fox is Operating in Westford, May 14, 2021

Stan Pozerski, KD1LE, writes on NEMassFoxHunters list on May 14, 2021, 10:27 AM: 


The fox is out as of 9:30 this morning. It is on the regular 146.565 MHz frequency transmitting every five minutes. Sending an * within five seconds of the end of transmission will halve the cycle time if you’re in range.

It was a beautiful morning for a walk, the trees and lilacs are in bloom and the turtles are sun bathing. But if you were thinking about a picnic lunch you are a few years too late. Since everyone found the intersection of Gould Road and Westford Road [in Westford, MA] last time it’s not a bad place to start.

Stan KD1LE

WB6NOA Featured Speaker at the Algonquin ARC Meeting Online, May 13, 2021

Gordon West, WB6NOAGordon West, WB6NOA, will will be the guest speaker at the May 13, 2021 Algonquin Amateur Radio Club meeting at 7:30 PM online via Zoom.  Other club business topics include election results, updates on May’s Hazmat Day and 2021 school watch, and discussion of hardware upgrades on the club K3.  

Gordon West has been teaching radio and electronics for more than 40 years. His fun approach to the material helps make learning a pleasure and easy to recall for testing. He is a convention speaker, DXer, teacher and author. WB6NOA has received the Hamvention,“Man of the year for 2006″ and also, “Instructor of the Year” by the ARRL. He is a Fellow of the Radio Club of America.

[For Zoom conference information, email Mike Powell, W1KU, at <president@n1em.org>.]



“Saving the MIT Radome”

Green Bldg rooftop MIT campusPerched atop the MIT Cecil and Ida Green Building (Building 54), MIT’s tallest academic building, a large, golf ball-like structure protrudes from the roof, holding its own in the iconic MIT campus skyline. This radar dome — or “radome” for short — is a fiberglass shell that encases a large parabolic dish, shielding it from the elements while allowing radio waves to penetrate. First installed in 1966, it was used initially to pioneer weather radar research. As the years passed and technology evolved, the radome eventually fell out of use for this purpose and was subsequently slated for removal as MIT began a major renovation and capital improvement project for the building. That’s when the student-led MIT Radio Society, who had found creative new uses for the radome, sprang into action to save it — and succeeded. [Full story]

KC1JUO: “Software Defined Radio” at Minuteman Repeater Association Meeting, May 19, 2021

MMRA logoHam Radio and Software Defined Radio – An Overview, Some History, and a Demonstration
Charles Miller KC1JUO

May 19, 2021 at 7:30 PM

Location: ZOOM — Members: login to the Minuteman Repeater Association webpage for the link; Non-members: send an email to contact@mmra.org


Charles will share a bit about how he sees Ham Radio and Software Defined Radio as not only being connected but also fundamentally similar and complementary.  He will present an overview which is essentially his journey and perspectives of the topic.  The hope is to share why he finally got licensed, why he thinks the hobby is so fantastic, talk about a few radio frequency bands and describe how they are being used.  Charles will wrap up the talk with a demonstration of using software and hardware to compose and view frequency bands discussed.

Charles has been licensed since 2017 with the call sign KC1JUO.  During his many decades of tinkering, he has built and broken much.  He is a Gordon Engineering Fellow with a Computer Science degree from Boston University and a Master of Information Systems from Northeastern University.   His current career focus is on Cyber Systems Engineering, receiving his CISSP certification in 2019.  Having spent most of his career as a Technical Consultant prior to 2005, he joined Raytheon in 2005.  Raytheon has a long history of Ham Radio relevant technology:  Percy L. Spencer (W1GBE) was a critical part of Raytheon’s history and has been an inspiration for Charles for both Ham Radio and the exploration of Software Defined Radio.