WA1JXR: “NanoVNA” at Waltham ARA Online Meeting, February

Waltham ARA logoRich Comer, K1RBC, writes on the Waltham ARA mailing list:

The next meeting of the Waltham Amateur Radio Association will be on February 28, 2024 at 7:00 pm via ZOOM. (Zoom opens at 6:30 PM.)

We will start with a short business meeting. In the interest of time, the DRAFT minutes from the Jan 2024 meeting are provided below and will not be read during the meeting. Please take a minute and review.


Following club business, Greg/WA1JXR will give a presentation: Introduction to the NanoVNA Vector Network Analyzer

The presentation is on the NanoVNA Vector Network Analyzer, an inexpensive unit used to measure antennas and other RF devices. The presentation will introduce the NanoVNA and show you how it works and performs RF measurements. Finally we will perform a measurement on an actual Amateur Radio Antenna and demo the free NanoVNA software.



Rich, K1RBC

Club Treasurer

Balloon Kerfluffle Redux

Rusty Moore, K1FVK, writes on the Sci-Tech ARS mailing listL

We just passed the one year anniversary of the great 2023 balloon turkey-shoot, during which the USAF downed a Chinese spy balloon plus three small unidentified balloons, one of which was almost certainly K9YO-15, a radio-equipped pico balloon flown by the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade. Today the press reported that NORAD is currently tracking another small unidentified balloon, but has determined that it poses no threat to national security. As soon as I heard about this I did a quick check of SondeHub and whatddaya know, there’s K9YO-7 on the same track, over the same area, and at the same altitude as the mysterious unidentified balloon everyone is talking about. The media reports characterize it as a small Mylar balloon, about 50 feet tall (which I take to be the estimated overall height from payload to top of balloon), with a 2-foot square box hanging underneath. None of the news stories I saw mentioned anything about the K9YO balloon’s presence, or about the existence of amateur balloons in general. Surely NORAD would be checking the amateur ballooning maps, wouldn’t they? For that matter, so should serious news teams. Journalism ain’t what it used to be.

CBS News report on the balloon: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/military-tracking-balloon-western-us-military/


Eversource to the Rescue – W1MA/R has power again

The [Barnstable ARC] W1MA wide-area repeater lost commercial power last week following the loss of a 4000 volt private line feeder.  After several days of BARC repeater committee members backing up the W1MA BARC repeater’s batteries with a generator,  Eversource has repaired, at its own expense, a failed insulator on a pole feeding 4000 volts to the repeater site in Dennis on Cape Cod.  The insulator failed after a snow  storm but had likely been in service for 70 years. The repeater is a primary Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) facility on the Cape and is used for a variety of other purposes as well, including a 6 AM weather net that many public service officials listen to.

The BARC repeater committee also determined that the affected lines were in contact with some evergreens on the property and those trees had to be trimmed before the line could be re-energized.  It was also determined that the failed component was unable to be serviced with a man-lift and there was only one contractor, not employed by Eversource,  who was qualified to climb the affected pole and perform the repair.  Eversource has those qualified people and no additional Eversource or other inspection is required for Eversource work.

Long-time BARC member and past President Steve Boyson, N1VLG, used his contacts with Eversource to arrange for the repair at no cost to the ham community (saving thousands of dollars) and also arranged for the trees to be quickly trimmed.  With Steve’s quick action and the work of the BARC repeater committee, the repeater has been returned to full service after only a week on battery/generator power.

This is the second time Steve has enlisted Eversource to help the ham community.  Eversource donated the installation of three poles to support the antenna at the Scout Camp Greenough where BARC is installing an amateur radio station using an ARRL club grant.  Eversource showed by its quick response and willingness to help that it supports the ARES mission of amateur radio.

Thanks to the repeater committee work together with the outstanding individual  contribution by Steve, N1VLG, the BARC repeater is again performing its work on Cape Cod.

Cape Ann ARA Tech In A Day Study Course, April 20, 2024




Thank you for your interest in becoming an amateur radio operator.

Our Technician In A Day Session is a study course.  The course allows you to become licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as an Amateur Radio Operator.

You should obtain a copy of the ARRL Technician Class License Manual.  You may purchase this book at Ham Radio Outlet or any other amateur radio related store.

You should read the book.  The information contained therein will allow you to answer questions on a 35 question test for obtaining your Technician License.

There are videos on Youtube.com at W4EEY that explain the theory and cover the questions to enhance your knowledge.   You may also take practice exams at hamstudy.org for comprehension.


CLASS – 8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM

1. You should apply and obtain a FCC Registration Number at: https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do

2. You will be charged a slight fee for this course.  $40.00.   (Normally, $15.00* for the Examination $15.00 for Study Materials and $10.00 for snacks and drinks which will be provided for the session.) *Minors under 18 years Test Fee is $5.00

3. The Tech In A Day Session will be almost a full day session (8 am to 5pm)

a. The first Study Session begins at 9:00am for 45 minutes and you will be given a 15 minute break before the next session begins at 10 am.

b. Three study sessions will be held before a lunch break (approximately 11:45am-1:00pm)

c. There will be three more study sessions in the afternoon to run to 3:45 pm.

d. Testing will begin approximately at 4:00 pm.

You will be administered an examination of 35 questions of which you must score at least 26 out of 35 or better to PASS.

Upon completion of your successful examination you will be handed a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination) (CSCE Form).

Your Exam results will be forwarded to the American Radio Relay League in Newington, CT for processing to the Federal Communications Commission.  When your license has been processed, you will receive an email from the FCC requesting the $35.00 Application Fee.


Upon receipt of your payment, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download a copy of your new license.

If you would like more information, you may email us at caarave@caara.net or Telephone (978) 504-9112 for more information.

Sign-up for course:  techinaday@caara.net


Titanic Event and POTA Activation, April 12-14

W1MGY QSL cardLem Skidmore, W1LEM, writes on the Barnstable ARC mailing list:

This is an annual event to commemorate the April 15, 1912 sinking of the Titanic, run by The Titanic Marconi Memorial Radio Association Of Cape Cod (a.k.a Barry KB1TLR and friends). 

This year we wil also be activating the Cape Cod National Seashore for Parks on the Air (POTA).

We’ll be operating from the Salt Pond Visitor’s Center April 12-14 (the ship struck the iceberg on the 12th). See https://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/hours.htm.

We’ll need operators to make contacts around the world, assist with logging QSOs, meet and greet the public, and enjoy themselves.  There will always be a General or Extra class operator present, so all licensed amateurs will be able to operate on HF.  This is a good opportunity for Technicians to get some experience on HF.

Contact: Barry KB1TLR

W6BI: “Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network” at Wellesley ARS Hybrid Meeting, February 20, 2024

Wellesley ARS President Dan Brown, W1DAN, writes on the Wellesley ARS mailing list:
Hope everyone is enjoying a nice President’s day.  <…>
Tomorrow night (February 20, 2024 at 7:30 PM) we will be at the Kingsbury Room at the Wellesley Police Station, as well as on Zoom. Orv Beach, W6BI, will introduce us to the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network.
[To obtain Zoom link, contact Dan Brown, W1DAN, at danbrownw1dan  _at_  gmail  _dot_  com.]

Fox Hunting Course at Boston ARC Proposed at Artisans Asylum, Allston

Chris LaRosee, KC1TSA, writes on the Boston ARC mailing list:
I’m planning to introduce a 4-weekend RF Foxhunting course and plan to pitch the idea tomorrow at our meeting. The course aims to dive into RF foxhunting, mixing theory with hands-on practice. It’s a chance to sharpen our skills and potentially draw in new faces to the hobby. Here’s the breakdown:
– **Week 1**: I’ll cover the basics—what foxhunting is, the gear we need, and understanding RF propagation with a field demo of polar patterns. 
– **Week 2**: Shirley KE1L will guide us in building our own directional antennas. It’s a DIY project with immediate practical use.
– **Week 3**: Liam Platt, an electrical engineer, will help us build diode-based attenuators. We’ve got custom PCBs and all parts ready.
– **Week 4**: We wrap up with a real foxhunt, using the gear we’ve built.
**Costs & Materials**: We’re looking at around $132 per person to cover materials (antennas, attenuators, radios) if we have 5 people join. This includes everything they need to start, with a bit of margin for the unexpected. 
**Goals**: Beyond the fun and learning, this could be a great way to get more people into RF and ham radio. It’s hands-on, it’s outdoors, and it ends with everyone actually using what they’ve built.
I’ll go into more detail during our meeting tomorrow, but wanted to give you a heads-up. Looking forward to making this happen!

W1MJ Fox On the Air in Burlington, February 9, 2024

Eliot Mayer, W1MJ, writes on the NEMassFoxHunters list on February 9, 2024 at 1:35 PM:
The W1MJ fox is now on the air in Burlington.
Location:  Mary Cummings Park
Good GPS address for parking:  30 Blanchard Rd, Burlington, MA 01803
Frequency:  147.54 MHz
Operating Schedule:  Transmits once per minute from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM at least until this Sunday 2/11/2024 at 4:45 PM.
Transmitter Power:  4 watts – Be prepared with attenuator, 3rd harmonic in memory, or other techniques for when you get close
This fox has no log.  Please email reports to fox@w1mj.com
More info about this fox:  http://www.w1mj.com/fox/

2024 Boston Marathon Still In Need of Amateur Radio Volunteers – Volunteer Registration Extended Until End of Day Sunday 2/11/24

BAA Amateur Radio Communications Committee Writes:

The 2024 Boston Marathon is still in need of Amateur Radio Volunteers. Therefore, Amateur Radio volunteer registration for the 2024 Boston Marathon has been extended until end-of-day Sunday 2/11/2024. Register now at register.hamradioboston.org! If you are unsure if you can volunteer but are interested in volunteering, please register now and just let us know within a reasonable amount of time if you ultimately can’t volunteer! Thanks to all for their support!


BAA Amateur Radio Communications Committee

N1DG: “DXing” at Billerica ARS Hybrid Meeting, Chelmsford, February 7, 2024

Billerica ARS logoPlease join us at the Billerica Amateur Radio Society meeting on February 7, 2024 at 7:00 PM. This month we are holding our meeting both in-person at the [the Chelmsford Bible Church, 128 Gorham St. (Route 3A), East Chelmsford, MA 01824] and on Zoom. We will have a large screen at the church to view the Zoom portion of the meeting. The speaker will be attending via Zoom.
Don Greenbaum, N1DG, of Duxbury, MA grew up in New York City and the NJ Shore. His father, WA2UDV, was his radio mentor and two other siblings also had their licenses by the time Don became WN2DND at age 11 in 1962. After Don advanced to WB2DND and became active in traffic nets and DX earning WAS and DXCC before going to college and becoming inactive for 10 years. Upon his return to the bands after incentive licensing, Don upgraded to Extra class and changed his call to N1DG. He has continued his love of DXing and contesting, Don has worked all entities on mixed modes and only needs P5 on CW. His mixed country total stands at 358 and he has DXCC on 9 bands and 5BWAZ. His Challenge total is 3,056. 

K9HI: “Project ASCEND” at the Barnstable ARC Meeting, February 5, 2024

Barnstable ARC logoPhil Temples, K9HI, will give a presentation on “Project ASCEND” at the Barnstable Amateur Radio Club at 7 PM on February 5, 2024.

Project ASCEND is a comprehensive program designed to advance the Amateur Radio experience for the Technician class amateur and provide the needed mentoring and connection with the active ham community. It is a multi- faceted, high-touch program that leverages the time- honored tradition of mentoring – but with the goal to support and nurture hundreds to thousands of new and inactive hams.

BARC meetings are held monthly on the first Monday of each month, at 7 PM at the Brewster Police Department – Community Room, 631 Harwich Rd (Rt 124), Brewster, MA 02631.

Meetings are conducted in person with a Zoom session for folks who are unable to travel to Brewster. Invitations with the Zoom invite are emailed prior to the Monthly Meeting.  For contact information, visit https://barnstablearc.org/?q=node/237.

Reminder: Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday February 5th, 2024 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater System

Hello to all…

The February Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday February 5th, 2024 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:
https://mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_linking.html (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 a number of announcements including a brief verbal wrap-up on the Eastern Massachusetts ARES Operation Snow Globe exercise for this month’s net and we will continue the NTS practice message that we started doing in these nets in October 2023.

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: rmacedo@rcn.com
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Massachusetts RACES Nets – Monday 2/5/24 for HF, Region 2D VHF, NBEMS & Winlink – Times and Details Below

Don Rolph, AB1PH, Walpole area ARES Emergency Coordinator writes:

The MEMA RACES nets are held on the first Monday of the month, unless the first Monday is a holiday, when it is delayed one week, For Feb 2024, the RACES nets will be held on Mon Feb 5 at:

The HF net will start at 6:45 PM ET: using the following frequency plan:
We will start at 3930 KHz moving up to 3955 KHz until there is a clear frequency,
Marc Stern WA1R will be net control.

Region 2D VHF net:
7:30 PM ET VHF net on 146.865 MHz PL 103.5 (Sharon Repeater)
We will have a general call up of any RACES, ARES, or other interested stations. If there is time, we will have a simplex test.
Don Rolph using WA1PLE will be net control.

HF 80 meters NBEMS net:
7:00 PM ET
Dial Frequency: 3584.5 MHx
Center Frequency: 1500 Hz
Initial mode: THOR22
We will have checkins, followed by an ICS-213 format message using FLMSG.
Don Rolph AB1PH will be net control.

Winlink Net:
Bryan Marcotte KF1D will be net control.
Send a winlink checkin form to KF1D, copy AB1PH, between 0600 Monday Feb 5 and 2400 Monday Feb 5.

We look forward to you checking in!

Don Rolph

KC1TSA Fox Deployed, Allston-Brighton Neighborhood of Boston, February 3, 2024

The KC1TSA fox is now deployed.

Frequency: 446.025 MHz

Location: Lower Allston/Brighton Neighborhood of Boston

Transmission Schedule: Every 30 seconds Sunday (2/4) starting 5AM and lasting until10PM

Disclaimer: The fox is NOT on private/residential, church, or school property. Looking in these places is not endorsed and discouraged.  Further, I am not providing a starting location where the signal can be heard, but I will say that the fox is operating on pretty high power (UV5R Based), and driving around the area or walking to high places should get you to the signal.

Beginners: text me for additional hints, such as the best parking place or if you wish to borrow a directional antenna.

Happy Hunting,
Chris, KC1TSA
617-378-2354 (text preferred)
Image of KC1TSA fox
KC1TSA fox hunt map

AED Training at Southeastern MA ARA Club House

Southeastern MA ARA logoRichard A. Netinho, AC1JG, writes on the SEMARA mailing list:

Just a reminder, we are having a training on the new AED [automated external defibrillator] and hands only CPR. This training will be held on Sunday 2/4/24 after the coffee hour at 11:00AM. There is no cost associated with this training. It should not be longer than 1-2 hours. All are welcome to attend. Try to respond to this email, so we will bring enough handouts and certificates.

K9HI: “Project ASCEND” at Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association Meeting, February 10, 2024

CAARA logoPhil Temples, K9HI, will give a presentation on “Project ASCEND” at the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association at 12 noon on February 10, 2024.

Project ASCEND is a comprehensive program designed to advance the Amateur Radio experience for the Technician class amateur and provide the needed mentoring and connection with the active ham community. It is a multi- faceted, high-touch program that leverages the time- honored tradition of mentoring – but with the goal to support and nurture hundreds to thousands of new and inactive hams.”

The CAARA clubhouse is located at 6 Stanwood Street in Gloucester.