BIG E Space Chat Deemed “A Huge Success”

screenshot from ARISS contact

West Springfield, MA—The BIG E Space Chat was an unqualified success. Many hours of planning and effort went into making the ISS contact a reality.

Thirteen young STEM students who are taking space science workshops at New England Sci-Tech in Natick, Mass., were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 to ask questions of International Space Station pilot Bob Hines, KI5RQT, orbiting 260 miles above the earth via a ground station in Belgium. Held in The BIG E Arena, a large entertainment venue, the event garnered much news and television coverage at the fair which attracts 1.5 million people during its 17-day run. It was an out of this world experience for the students from across New England.

Following several informative videos, hundreds of people who gathered in the arena, along with a national audience watching via YouTube live stream, heard from: Gene Cassidy, Eastern States Exposition CEO; David Minster, ARRL CEO; Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC; and Bob Phinney, K5TEC. The pre-contact show was choreographed down to the minute in order to assure a smooth transition leading to the contact itself.

At approximately 2:30 PM ET, the audience heard astronaut Bob Hines, KI5RQT, reply to the ARISS ground station, ON4ISS:

“Oscar November Four India Sierra Sierra, this is Oscar Romeo Four India Sierra Sierra. Over.” 

Over a dozen questions were asked by the youths and answered.

“The space station has to be flying over one of our ground stations… this one happened to be in Belgium,” said Bob Phinney, President of New England Sci-Tech. He told Springfield Channel 22 News, “The time had to be perfect. So the students got exactly ten minutes to get up and talk.”
“All the new opportunities that there are about new discoveries, new planets, and even new life,” said 11-year-old Harish Sathishkaumar.

Jack Warren told 22 News, “What fascinates me the most is the unknown…. There is just so much to learn!”

“The best thing about this work is that we probably changed one or two lives today,” said Fred Kemmerer. “The biggest takeaway from this momentous day; always to reach for the stars.”

The following day, Bob Hines tweeted this message from the ISS:

Bob Hines tweet re Space Chat: "This was such a fun event... great questions from all the students at New England Sci-Tech. We talked all things space: @space_station, @nasa_astronauts, @nasaartemis and more! Thanks for the chat! -73


The BIG E Space Chat team consisted, in part, of:

  • ARRL New England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
  • New England Sci-Tech member Barbara Irby, KC1KGS
  • Assistant Director Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB
  • Western MA Section Manager Ray Lajoie, AA1SE
  • New England Sci-Tech President Bob Phinney, K5TEC
  • Vice Director Phil Temples, K9HI

Third-parties involved in making the effort a success included: the production company Black Helicopter, Limited; the BIG E Marketing team, and Eastern States Exposition CEO Gene Cassidy; NASA; and Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.

Several ARRL Headquarters staff from Newington, Connecticut attended the event including: ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA; Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1W, Director of Public Relations and Innovation; and Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, ARRL Education and Learning Manager.

At the conclusion of the contact, the youths were presented with certificates confirming their contact with Bob Hines aboard the ISS, signed by David Minster, NA2AA; Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC; and Bob Phinney, K5TEC.

Along with “Space Chat,” NESci-Tech is conducting a 12-month educational space science program that includes:

  • Amateur Radio License Course
  • Model Rocketry workshops
  • Air-Powered Rocketry
  • Introduction to Basic Electronics
  • Introduction to Arduinos Electronics
  • Public Telescope Nights
  • Morse Code Introduction
  • Elementary Mathematics for Modeling Rocket Flight

You can learn more about New England Sci-Tech’s educational space science program by visiting their website.

A recording of the pre-contact show and ARISS space station contact can be viewed on the NESci-Tech YouTube channel at:

Eastern Massachusetts Hospital Net – Saturday 10/1/22 at 10 AM EDT

Good evening,

On Saturday October 1, 2022, the South Shore Health Amateur Radio Group will hold an Eastern MA Hospital Net commencing at 10AM.

We realize that the usual locations for some individuals and groups are still unavailable due to ongoing COVID restrictions.

We encourage everyone who is affected by these restrictions to utilize their home or mobile stations to check into the net.

We will use the following repeaters and NEDECN DMR system in the order listed.

1. Plymouth Repeater 146.685 tone 131.8
2. Falmouth Repeater 147.375 tone 110.9
3. Sharon Repeater 146.865 tone 103.5
4. DMR – EMHN Talkgroup 8851 Time Slot 1 on select NEDECN repeaters:
Boston 449.175 CC1, Hingham 146.430 -1.5M CC1, Bourne 145.200 CC10, Dennis 146.470 -1.5M CC11, and Martha’s Vineyard145.180 CC10, Walpole 145.380 -0.600 CC12 repeaters
5. DMR Simplex 446.500 TG 99 both slots
6. DMR Simplex 145.790 TG 99 both slots
7. Return to Plymouth Repeater for Net closing.

NET Protocol: Please wait for Net Control to ask for Check-ins. When asked to check in please use the standard net check-in procedure which is: Here is.., un-key, wait 3 seconds to check for doubling, then give your or your facilities call sign, your first name, and your facility’s name.

We extend an invitation to any health care facility, EOC of any city or town as well as RACES or ARES members to check in during the NET.

We are always looking for groups or organizations to try their hand at Net Control duties. If you are interested in trying your hand at Net Control please let us know. We can be reached by sending an email to or replying to this message. The goal is to rotate Net Control practice and the experience among as many individuals and groups as possible.

We thank the repeater trustees for their generosity in allowing us to conduct these monthly nets and the use of their systems in an actual event.

We hope to hear you Saturday.

Jeff N1SOM, Secretary, and the SSH group

KB1OIQ: “Linux in your Ham Shack” at Barnstable ARC Hybrid Meeting, October 3, 2022

Barnstable ARC logoThe Barnstable Amateur Radio Club will meet  in-person on October 3, 2022 at 7:00 PM at the Brewster Police Department Community Room, 631 Harwich Road (Rt 124), Brewster, MA 02631. In addition we will provide a Zoom link to the meeting. This month, Andy, KB1OIQ, will present “Linux in your Ham Shack.”

[Contact Norm Cantin, WA1NLG, at for Zoom details.]

Special Announcement: Amateur Radio Hurricane Nets Activating for Major Hurricane Ian & Florida Impacts

SKYWARN logoRob Macedo, KD1CY, writes on the SKYWARN_Announce list:

The Amateur Radio VoIP Hurricane Net and Hurricane Watch Net will be active for Major Hurricane Ian and impacts on Florida. Details on their net activation plans can be seen at the following links:

VoIP Hurricane Net:

Hurricane Watch Net:

For any SKYWARN Spotters and Amateur Radio Operators in our region who may have friends and family in the affected area and have the ability to provide surface weather or damage reports, pictures and videos, reports can be provided over these nets with pictures and videos provided to WX1BOX Facebook and Twitter feeds or to the email address

We hope everyone in the affected area of Florida stays safe as major Hurricane Ian approaches.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503
Email Address:

W1EUJ: “Introduction to SDR for Experimentation” at Northeastern University Wireless Club, September 29, 2022

Northeastern Univ Wireless logoNortheastern University Wireless Club President Marty Sulloway, NN1C, writes on the NUWC mailing list:

Hi Folks!

The semester is really rolling.

This week we kick off our third workshop, and for the first time this semester, we’re having a technical speaker for our Thursday night meeting.

I’d like to share a bit about our club meeting this coming Thursday. The topic of the presentation will be an Introduction to SDR for Experimentation. David Goncalves, a former president of NU Wireless, will be the speaker. 

David Goncalves (NU BSEE ’04, W1EUJ) has been a ham and a wireless communications experimenter for 20 years – including work on satellites, radar, and software-defined and all-digital radio. During the day he is a Research Electrical Engineer working on a wide range of problems, from antenna development to autonomous vehicles, and wearable systems.

Software-defined radio (SDR) is the way forward in RF experimentation. Instead of physical circuits, expensive test equipment, and bench space, you can build and iterate with a single piece of equipment and open-source software. In this presentation, he’ll go through how SDRs work, the GNURadio SDR development environment, and run through an example of ‘hacking’ a remote control.

Last week over twenty-five students joined us for an introduction to schematic design using KiCAD. Our workshops are designed so you can participate in any of them without participating in a previous one. If you are interested in attending our PCB Design Workshop this Monday (9/26) at 7 pm in Dodge 470, please fill out the form here to sign up.

I hope to see you.


Go Kit Show & Tell, Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC, Norton, September 25, 2022

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

Hello all,

Just a reminder that the Go Kit Show & Tell is on for tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 25 at 11:00AM. We will meet in the parking lot of Norton Town Hall, 70 East Main St (Route 123), Norton. The parking lot on the right side of Town Hall where all the Emergency Management trailers are. There is additional parking in the rear lot. We will have several tables for you to display your kits as well as power cords to plug into.

Hope to see you all there.

tnx 73,

Ray K2TGX <>

Blue Hill Observatory Wireless Society Organizing JOTA Event

Blue Hill Observatory Wireless SocietyTom Ulrich, KC1OCY, writes on the Boston Amateur Radio Club mailing list:

I’m working with the Blue Hill Observatory Wireless Society and the local Scout council to organize a JOTA event on October 15 at their base camp in Milton; more info to come soon. I’m hearing word that local troops may be planning their own JOTA events that day as well.

Thomas Ulrich
+1 (617) 571-8650

First Air Force MARS Comm Wing Information Request: Weather Observation Stations

MARS logoJoe Rogers, AJ1Y, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

First AFMARS Comm Wing Information is trying to identify which airport weather broadcasts that amateur radio operators can receive over the air in New England.  These broadcasts are transmitted on VHF AM.  If you visit and put in your state, you will see the frequencies for the VHF airport weather broadcasts in your state.  Check out for which ones if any you can receive the weather information from and send a message to me herein or identifying the station(s) that you can receive.  Please include your email address so that we reach out to you, if necessary. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.  Also, feel free to pass along this request to other hams in New England.

Thanks for your help,

Joe Rogers
1st AFMARS Comm Wing Information Liaison Officer

BIG E Space Chat is a “Go” on September 27, 2022

ARRL logoFred Kemmerer, AB1OC, writes on the ARRL New England Division members list:

Hundreds of The Big E attendees and spectators will be able to watch students make a live contact with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from The Big E Arena on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Hams who bring an official copy of their FCC license on the day of The Big E Space Chat will receive free admission for themselves and up to 3 members of their family and friends (see Instructions for Free Admission below).

NASA Astronaut Bob Hines, KI5RQT, will contact the students via a radio link provided by amateur radio ground station ON4ISS in Belgium. The contact is organized through Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). Around a dozen New England young people have been selected to participate in The BIG E Space Chat.

Please plan to arrive in time for the pre-contact program, which begins at 1:20 pm ET on Tuesday and will feature a series of videos about space, NASA, ARISS, going to Mars, and more. Pre-contact program speakers will include:

•       Gene Cassidy, CEO of the Eastern States Exposition
•       David Minster, NA2AA, ARRL CEO
•       Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, ARRL Director – New England Division
•       Bob Phinney, K5TEC, NEST President

Instructions for Free Admission

Parking and walking to The BIG E arena will take a little time, so be sure to get there early. The arena will hold well over 1,000 people. The BIG E is helping publicize the event and is arranging for TV coverage for the program and the contact. Help us get the word out!

The Big E free admission for amateur radio operators and up to three guests (maximum 4 people) is good on Space Chat Day (Tuesday, Sept. 27) only.

•       You must present an official copy of your FCC license to the Gate Captain at The Big E pedestrian gates 1A, 1B, 4, 5, 7, or 9A to receive free admission on Space Chat Day.
•       Visit for instructions on downloading a copy of your FCC license to print and bring with you.
•       Parking is not included.
•       The Big E is at 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, Massachusetts.

If you’re attending The Big E, visit the amateur radio booth (#103) inside Door 6 of the Better Living Center for more information. Be sure to spread the word to your friends and fellow radio club members!

You can download and print The Big E Brochure and a Fairgrounds Map. Both are available at

Can’t come to The BIG E on Space Chat Day? 

A live video stream of the contact will be carried on the New England Sci-Tech YouTube channel at

For up to date information about Space Chat @ The BIG E, please visit

ARRL New England Division
Director: Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

New England Sci-Tech Members Staff The BIG E Booth

Sci-Tech members staff The BIG E ham radio booth
L-R: Barbara, KC1KGS; Bruce, N9JBT; Jim, WB4EJR; Bill, KA1MOM; Lorena, KC1MWH; Zachary, KC1NXK; Rusty, K1FVK; Bob, K5TEC

New England Sci-Tech enjoyed their time at the BIG E [on September 18, 2022]!  We had quite a number of club members staffing (thanks to those who stayed for the whole day). 

The group attracted attention by strategic Morse Code practice (thanks, Bruce, N9JBT)-getting youth to stop by and try their names in CW, the ISS banner, equipment (including waterfall displays), scrolling videos and our friendly faces!

The cards and flyers gave those who walked by something to refer to later. 

Thanks to all who are staffing the booth over the days of the BIG E—it’s rewarding!

Two BIG E Volunteers Needed for September 20, 2022


Larry Krainson, W1AST, writes on the Project Big E mailing list:

Through a scheduling error, the Big E booth is in need of at least 2 more people for the first session tomorrow/Tuesday, Sept 20th for 9:30 am through 4:00 pm.

IF you are available for all or even part of that time slot, please email Larry, W1AST immediately at

Thank you!

New England Division Receives ARDC RFI Equipment Grant


ARDC has approved a request for RFI hunting equipment for each of the seven sections in the New England Division.  The funds should be received in the next few weeks and orders placed for the equipment soon after.  Included is both an antenna set and an HF/VHF/UHF transceiver with a spectrum scope.  Distribution to each section will accompany training on the equipment.  In addition, some high-end equipment will remain in the custody of the Division for sharing when needed in addition to any the ARRL Lab will provide on loan.  Any questions can be directed to Rob, k1UI, Assistant New England Director, Spectrum Protection and Use.

W1SEX: “The Not So Secret, ARRL Benefit Program Nobody Knows About” at PART of Westford Hybrid Meeting, September 20, 2022

PART of Westford logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:
The September PART meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, beginning at 7:30 PM at the Cameron Senior Center, 20 Pleasant Street, Westford, MA, and via Webex video conference.  For those attending via video conference, a meeting link is below; just click on the green button to join in.  You can join the conference any time after 7:00 PM to check out your gear or just rag chew until the meeting starts. Bear in mind that internet connectivity from the senior center may be unreliable. 
At this meeting Paul, W1SEX, will present: “The Not So Secret, ARRL Benefit Program Nobody Knows About.” For decades the ARRL has a program that very few hams know about, The ARRL Technical Coordinator Program.  Paul will re-introduce this valuable resource that is available to all ham radio operators and clubs.
We’ll also have an update on the December holiday dinner and discuss the poll results and options.

George K1IG

[To request conference login information, contact George Allison, K1IG, at k1ig -at- arrl -dot- net]

KD1D Fox On the Air, Westford, September 16-19

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the NEMassFoxHunters list:

The KD1D Fox transmitter operates on 146.565 MHz, transmitting a 25-second message every 60 seconds. 
It is currently located in the “Stepinski Parcel” adjacent to the Stony Brook Conservation land in Westford, MA.  Check out the following:

for more information on location and access. 

The KD1D Fox will be transmitting in this area from 3:30 pm from Friday, September 16 through Noon on Monday, September 19 , 

If you find it, please sign the logbook.  

Happy hunting and 73 de KD1D, Alan

Olin Collegiate ARC Makes ISS Contact

Int'l Space StationZachary, KC1NXK, writes on the Sci-Tech ARS mailing list:

It finally happened! After a failed attempt on Field Day to talk to an astronaut on the ISS, tonight I succeeded.
I often send out an email when the ISS is going to pass over, and we usually get a couple students to watch, but for whatever reason about 25 students came tonight! I gave my usual disclaimer, that it was unlikely we’d even hear an astronaut, but not only did we hear one, we talked to him. My guess is that it was Kjell Lindgren, since he’s been pretty active on the radio up there. Definitely a memorable moment, and a fairly proud one for me. I attached audio from the pass to this email.
73 and happy Friday,
Zachary, KC1NXK (operating KC1LHR, Olin’s club callsign)

Amateur Radio Communications Support for Buzzards Bay Triathlon, Westport, September 18, 2022

Valerie Moore, KC1COQ, writes:
[The Worcester Emergency Communications Team] was recently asked to organize amateur radio communications support for a Triathlon this Sunday September 18th in Horseneck Beach State Park and the Town of Westport. 
Would any of your members be interested in volunteering?
We support three other triathlons for these same organizers, and have a good system going.  However, this one is outside of our normal operating area. It also happens to land directly on top of another event we are supporting in Wayland. So we thought it doubly worthwhile to check and see if those a little more local would also be interested in volunteering.
The amateur radio volunteer meeting is at 8 am, and depending on assignments we expect stations to secure between noon and 1:30 pm.  More information can be found here: 
Valerie Moore KC1COQ
WECT President

Volunteers Needed for the Head of the Charles Regatta – Friday 10/21/22-Sunday 10/23/22 – 0600-1800 Daily

KC1AEI-Matt Knowles writes:

Volunteers are needed for the Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) from Friday 10/21/22-Sunday 10/23/22 from 0600-1800 daily.  The Head of the Charles Regatta is a rowing event taking place on the Charles River in Boston. We staff safety boats on the water and first aid stations on land to provide emergency communications to event organizers. The HOCR is sponsored by BNY Mellon, Vineyard Vines, etc. and is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization. For more information, see the event web site and volunteer registration web site links below:

Event Web Site:

Volunteer Registration site (Select Emergency Services (HAM Radio – Land Station) or Emergency Services (Ham Radio – Safety Launch):

Any skill level is accepted, please reach out with any questions. Thanks!


KC1AEI-Matt Knowles



Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday September 12th, 2022 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater System

Hello to all…

The September Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday September 12th, 2022 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system as the first Monday, 9/5/22, was the Labor Day holiday so the net is on the second Monday of the month.

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: (Click the ARES box to see the repeaters and other systems linked)

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. We will have several announcements on the net regarding Eastern Massachusetts ARES and fall public service events in the region.

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
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503
Email Address:
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