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.

<…>

73,

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/

—K1FVK

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

CAARA logoTECHNICIAN IN A DAY STUDY COURSE

CAPE ANN AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION

GLOUCESTER, MA

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.

TECH IN A DAY CLASSROOM — SESSION – SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2024

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.

PLEASE USE A COMPUTER TO MAKE THIS PAYMENT –  (TABLETS AND CELLPHONES DO NOT WORK!)

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/

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.

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.

 

 

Eastern MA Section VOTA “Contest” Results

ARRL logoJon McCombie, N1ILZ, writes on the Eastern MA ARRL Members list:

I hope everyone in the section had fun in 2023 working the ARRL Volunteers On The Air program. The results are in and we have winners in the EMA Section VOTA competition.

The individual prize goes to Bruce, WA3SWJ, with a total of 60,273 VOTA points.

The club prize goes to the Barnstable Amateur Radio Club (BARC), with a club total of 2,172,544 VOTA points.

Thanks to everyone in the Section that participated!

Take care, stay warm, and 73 de

——————————————————————–
ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section
Section Manager: Jon W McCombie, N1ILZ
n1ilz@arrl.org
——————————————————————–

CORRECTION: The Barnstable Amateur Radio Club (BARC)’s winning VOTA
point total was 201,705. This correction does not change BARC’s having
won the section-wide competition.

Again, thanks to all in the section who participated!

Take care, stay warm, and 73

AC1KY: “Aircraft Tracking with SDR” at Framingham ARA Hybrid Meeting, February 1, 2024

Framingham ARA logoJohn Iwuc, KB1VXY, writes on the Framingham ARA list:
 
Please register for our upcoming FARA meeting on Thursday Feb 1, 2024 at 7 pm at the McAuliffe branch of the Framingham Library on Water Street, and on Zoom.  Please register even if you are going to the library.
 
[Area hams and those not yet licensed but interested in amateur radio are welcome to attend. Non-members may request an invitation by sending an email to John president@w1fy.org.]
 

NEAR-Fest XXXV Changes and News (UPDATED January 27, 2024)

NEAR-Fest logoMike Crestohl, W1RC, writes on January 27, 2024:

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

Please note this is an updated announcement. Please disregard any other notices you may have read.

Our Spring 2024 hamfest, NEAR-Fest XXXV, will be held on Thursday April 25th and Friday April 26th 2024. There will be no hamfest activity on Saturday due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict with the Deerfield Fairgrounds. We had originally announced that the event would take place only on Friday but due to popular demand and the cooperation of the Deerfield Fair Association we are pleased to announce this new full two-day schedule.

Our 2024 Fall NEAR-Fest XXXVI is scheduled for October 11th and 12th and will be the same as always for the past eighteen years, on Friday and Saturday.

The gates will open on Thursday morning at 7:00 AM for PREPAID TICKET HOLDERS ONLY so you might want to buy your tickets online well in advance starting February 1st 2024 on our Web site, www.near-fest.com, or in March at the Ham Radio Outlet store in Salem NH and at Ross Hochstrasser’s Clock Shop in Whitman MA and get your favorite spot. NEAR-Fest XXXV will end at 3:00 PM on Friday.

Prepaid ticket holders will line up and enter via Gate C as we did in the Fall. They MUST have ALL of their needed tickets and inside parking passes or they will be sent to Gate F. This includes all Campers, RVs, tenters, who MUST also have their overnight camping passes as there will be NO tickets or passes sold at Gate C. Anyone needing to buy tickets or parking passes will go to Gate F and will be admitted starting at 8:00AM. Once the line has entered at Gate C it will close and all others entering the grounds will proceed to Gate F.

For this event only admission per person is $10.00 whether you buy your ticket online or in advance or at the gate. Overnight parking and tent passes are $15.00 regardless of whether you plug into an electric outlet or not. Campers, RVs and overnight stayers will go directly into the Fairgrounds as we will not be using the campgrounds this time. The cost of the pass for RVs, Campers, Motorhomes, etc, is $30.00. All vehicles that remain in the Fairgrounds overnight (after 9:00 PM) will require an overnight parking pass in addition to an inside parking pass for Friday.

Everyone over 21 will need an admission ticket except unlicensed spouses, active duty military, full-time students (with ID) and other valid pass holders.

If you buy something big and heavy in the flea market one of our volunteer staff members will be glad to transport it and you to your vehicle at no charge as we have been doing for many years. As always inside parking for disabled persons is free of charge and they may use a single person “mobility device” as well. NEAR-Fest reserves the right to limit the use of golf carts and “other power driven mobility devices” due to safety concerns and potential liability issues.

Please visit our Web site, www.near-fest.com, or our Facebook page, NearFest NH for any further updates. We apologize for any inconvenience that this modified version of NEAR-Fest may have caused but it is only for this time. We appreciate your indulgence and understanding.

See you at Deerfield!

73,

MisterMike, W1RC

KG1U: “Radio Programming” at Genesis ARS Meeting, Plymouth, January 31, 2024

Michael Bennett, KG1U, writes on the GARS Now mailing list:
 
[The Genesis Amateur Radio Society] will hold its next meeting Wednesday, January 31 at 7 PM at the Plymouth Airport in the Admin Bldg. We hope to see you there. Short business meeting then a discussion on radio programming. I will help program radios if I have the cable and software.

73 for now,

Mike
KG1U

Wellesley ARS Winter Field Day, January 27, 2024

Dan Brown, W1DAN, writes:

[The Wellesley Amateur Radio Society] will participate in Winter Field Day on Saturday, January 27. The club will operate from Elm Bank Reservation in Natick, in the first large parking lot on the left at the top of the hill.

Set up will begin at 1:00 P.M. Field Day starts at 2:00 P.M. The park closes at sunset. Teardown will be at 4:00 P.M. so we can be out of the park by 4:30 P.M.

https://www.mass.gov/locations/elm-bank-reservation

The Talk-In frequency, will be 146.58 simplex. This frequency will be monitored from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M, on an HT with a 1-2 mile range from the park.

If we need to make any last minute announcements, we will make them on the 147.03 repeater.

  • One or more HF antennas will be available for use.
  • A 12V 40 Ah battery with power-poles will be available for power.
  • Bill, N1WEN, has offered to bring an easy-up shelter with side panels.

If you would like to participate, just show up!

You may bring your own radio(s), coax, antennas, table and chairs. There is a large field nearby for erecting antennas. You are welcome to bring an additional pop-up shelter.

The club call, W1TKZ, will be used for the event. We will operate in the 2 transmitter Outdoor class. We would like to ask all participants to use the club call, W1TKZ, while operating from Elm Bank from 2 to 4 P.M. on Saturday.

All amateur bands, except the WARC bands, may be used, so bring your 2M radios, too.

This will be an outside event, so dress for the weather. I recommend warm boots, wool socks, long underwear, wool hat, heavy jacket, mittens and gloves. If there is precipitation (rain or snow) a waterproof layer will help keep you dry.

Just a reminder, if you operate during the club event using the club call W1TKZ, you are still eligible to operate during the contest from home or another site, under your own call, for the remainder of Winter Field Day.

If you participate in the W1TKZ Field Day you are not allowed to contact W1TKZ. But this should not be a problem since W1TKZ will only be set up for 2 hours on Saturday.

https://winterfieldday.org/

   -Leandra, AF1R

K9HI: “Project ASCEND” at New England Mentoring, Ham Development and Youth Outreach Group, January 22, 2024

Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB, writes on the New England Mentoring, Ham Development and Youth Outreach Group list:

We will hold the next meeting of the New England Mentoring, Ham Development, and Youth Outreach Group on Monday, January 22nd at 7:00 pm EST.

Agenda:

  • Project ASCEND – Phil Temples, K9HI – ASCEND, is a program that will provide the needed mentoring and connection with the active ham community to reach newly licensed or lapsed Technician class amateurs. It is a collaborative effort with the Northeast HamXposition and interested radio clubs and individuals.
  • Roundtable discussion – What are your plans for Mentoring in 2024

<…> 

Hope to see you there!

73,

Anita, AB1QB
New England Division Assistant Director for Mentoring, Ham Development, and Youth Outreach

[Zoom URL is available by joining ne-ham-dev, or email k9hi@arrl.org.]