W6BSD: “Digital Voice Modes for Amateur Radio” at Waltham ARA Meeting Online, February 22, 2023

Waltham ARA logoNext meeting is Wed Feb 22nd at 7:00 pm
(zoom opens at 6:30)

The next meeting of the Waltham Amateur Radio Association will be this Wednesday [February 22, 2023] at 7:00. The meeting will be held on-line with no in-person gathering this month. (zoom links below). After a short business meeting, Fred, W6BSD, will be giving a presentation providing an overview of the various Digital Voice Modes:

Digital Voice Modes for Amateur Radio

You don’t need a General or Extra class license to enjoy QSOs with people worldwide. All amateur license classes can use Digital Voice (DV) modes such as Fusion, D-Star, DMR, and many others to connect with people throughout the US and other countries using digital repeaters or amateur hotspots. During his presentation, Fred will discuss the differences between the DV modes and how the backend infrastructure works.

[For meeting information, see https://walthamara.org/.]

New General Class Element 3 Question Pool Goes Into Effect On July 1, 2023

ARRL VEC logo/bannerFrom ARRL VEC Newsletter, February 2023:

General Class Element 3 Question Pool Errata Released 

The NCVEC Question Pool Committee (QPC) has released the latest errata for the 2023 – 2027 General Element 3 question pool, which goes into effect on July 1, 2023. Nine questions were modified (G1B01, G1C01, G1C02, G5C02, G7C10, G9B05, G9C09, G9D09, and G9D10) and two questions (G9C06 and G9D13) were withdrawn from use. 

The pool is available as a Microsoft Word document and PDF. These changes are reflected in the new General Pool download file dated February 1, 2023. 

New General Examinations will take effect for exam sessions on July 1, 2023

The newly revised general pool must be used starting July 1, 2023. VECs and VEs will have new test designs available starting on that date. Previously supplied versions of ARRL VEC General-class exam booklets (2019 series) and computer-generated General-class exams from the 2019 question pool are valid until midnight on June 30, 2023. The ARRL VEC will supply its officially appointed, field-stocked VE teams with new General exam booklet designs around mid-June. 

NUWC Soldering Workshops

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

Tonight was the Super Bowl. Unfortunately the Patriots did not make an appearance, but nonetheless, I am sure people tuned in to watch. While our Super Bowl for Wireless does not involve parties, TV ads, and millions of people, our soldering workshops are our next best thing.

The staple of our workshop series are our soldering workshops. This week we are offering the same workshop twice. Join us at 7 PM in Dodge 050 on Monday 2/13, or in our club space (503 Hayden) at 7 PM on Thursday 2/16. We will be building a revised version of our popular traffic light project. Both sessions are expected to fill up, so be sure to arrive on time to make sure you get a seat. If for some reason we are filled up, have no fear, we will work you in.

For those who might already know how to solder, take the time during the workshops this week to pay our club space a visit, pay your door code dues and solder up a small project; study for a ham radio exam. We just restocked the club space, and plan to do so again soon.

Here’s to soldering week!

K9EID: “An Evening With Bob Heil” at North Shore Radio Association Hybrid Meeting, February 21, 2023

North Shore Radio Association logoEric Horwitz, KA1NCF, writes on the North Shore Radio Association mailing list:

We have a great speaker over Zoom: “An evening with Bob Heil, K9EID” [on February 21, 2023 at 7 PM].

1n 1966, Bob founded Heil Sound, experimenting with live sound systems and becoming the technician to several venues around St Louis.  He has played organ at age 15 at the Fox Theater in St. Louis and in his tuning of organs “Learned to Listen.” He has been a vendor of sound systems for various musicians and music groups, He made the “Talk Box” for Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh and Richie Sambora. Bob entered the amateur radio market in 1970. He developed his HC series microphones intended for amateur use.

[Zoom conference information will be sent via the NSRA groups.io mailing list.  Contact Eric, KA1NCF, at ka1ncf -at- nsradio -dot- org to be added to the groups.io list.]

New England Division Town Hall Meeting, February 23, 2023

ARRL logoFrom nediv.arrl.org:

Phil Temples K9HI, our Assistant Directors, and I will hold our next New England Division Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 23rd, at 7 pm ET. The purpose of the meeting will be to provide you with an ARRL update, get your thoughts on what we should be focusing on, and answer any questions you might have about the ARRL and what we are doing on behalf of ARRL members here in New England.

We plan to spend a good deal of our time together answering your questions. If you’d like to send us a question in advance, you can do so via an email to ab1oc@arrl.org, or you can just plan to ask your questions during the Town Hall Meeting.

We will hold our Town Hall Meeting via a Zoom Webinar. You can get your personal link to join the Town Hall Meeting via the following link (paste the link in your browser to register) –


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

We hope to see you on February 23rd!

ARRL New England Division
Director: Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

Barnstable ARC holds Winter Field Day at Scout Camp

From nediv.arrl.org:

Barnstable ARC logoRob Leiden, K1UI, writes:

The Barnstable ARC (BARC) held its first Winter Field Day (WFD) at Boy Scout Camp Greenough in Yarmouth, MA this weekend.  The Club and the Boy Scouts are working together to put a permanent amateur radio station at the camp.  As part of the close relationship being forged with scouting, BARC (W1MA) set up a 2O station in the camp and manned it around the clock with a dozen volunteers.  Since the Administration building was winterized with no heat or water, it was an ideal location for an outdoor experience including temporary heaters and bringing in water.  Although the effort was smaller than BARC’s summer Field Day, setting up the antennas and operating in cold weather gave both old timers and newer operators valuable experience.  Don, KT1OK (foreground) and Lem, W1LEM were finishing the operation on Sunday afternoon, logging a few last-minute contacts on 15 and 40 meters.

665 contacts were made on 5 bands using emergency power with stations as far away as Hawaii.  BARC is taking every opportunity to showcase amateur radio at Camp Greenough that hosts camp outs to scouts from all over Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Winter Field Day continues this effort that began with Jamboree on the Air last Fall and continues with WFD and the removal of trees in preparation for Eversource to install three donated poles for the permanent radio station antenna supports.


WA3SWJ: “All About Home Automation” at Barnstable ARC Hybrid Meeting, February 6, 2023

Barnstable ARC logoThe Barnstable Amateur Radio Club will meet  in-person on February 6 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, Bruce, WA3SWJ, will present “All about Home Automation.”

[Contact Norm Cantin, WA1NLG, at norman.cantin@gmail.com for Zoom details.]

N1QY: “Measuring SWR” at Framingham ARA Hybrid Meeting, February 2, 2023

Framingham ARA logoYou are invited to the next Framingham Amateur Radio Association meeting to be held on February 2, 2023 beginning at 7 p.m. via Zoom and at the McAuliffe branch of the Framingham Library at 746 Water Street in Framingham.  The program will feature Ron Evett, N1QY, on Measuring SWR. 

Members will receive a zoom invitation.  Non-members may request an invitation by sending an email to John president@w1fy.org.

New England Sci-Tech Winter Field Day Festivities, January 28, 2023

New England Sci Tech logoNew England Sci-Tech will participate in Winter Field Day and also host a number of fun and educational activities on Saturday, January 28, 2023 from 2:00 to 9:00 PM at 16 Tech Circle in Natick, Massachusetts. “We will stay warm and take a points loss but still have fun! Non-licensed adults and children can get on the air with one of our control operators.”
In addition, NEST will feature maker activities from 4 to 6 PM for children of members and visitors, and hands-on activities led by volunteers. “Make a meteorite necklace, make 3-D paper art, make an electronics gadget, make a laser-cut art project, make a woodworking project, and more.” Also planned are thirty-minute planetarium shows at 5 and 7 PM, a pot luck dinner from 6 to 8 PM, and a ham radio “movie marathon” from 7 to 9 PM. 

K1BG: “CW Basics” at Billerica ARS Meeting Online, February 1, 2023

Billerica ARS logoBruce Blain, K1BG, will present on “CW Basics” at the Billerica Amateur  Radio Society on February 1, 2023 at 7:00 PM.

Bruce was first introduced to amateur radio by his neighbor Jim Payne, W1GPN, when he was 4 years old. He was first licensed as WN1KBG in 1968 (Canton, MA) and upgraded to WA1KBG. He earned a BSEE from Northeastern University in 1976, and became K1BG in 1977.

Bruce is past president of the Norwood Amateur Radio Club, and is a founding member and past Vice President of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club where he currently serves as a member of the board. He is also a member of the First Operators Club, CW Ops, the Yankee Clipper Contest Club, and the Radio Club of America. Bruce has been a member of the ARRL for over 50 years.

He has been “advising” CW Academy classes for the past 4 years, where he is currently a “youth academy” advisor. Attracting and mentoring young people and supporting local radio clubs are areas that Bruce is passionate about.

[For Zoom conference details, email Bruce Anderson, W1LUS, at w1lus -at- hotmail -dot- com.]

Cape Ann (MA) Amateur Radio Association Technician In A Day Session, February 25, 2023

CAARA logo

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

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 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.


  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. Normally, $15.00 for the Examination and $10.00 for materials, snacks and drinks which will be provided for the session.
  3. The Tech In A Day Session will be almost a full day session (8 am to 5pm)
  4. 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.
  5. Three study sessions will be held before a lunch break (approximately 11:45am-1:00pm)
  6. There will be three more study sessions in the afternoon to run to 4:45 pm.
  7. Testing will begin approximately at 5:00 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 and passing of your examination you will be handed a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination) (CSCE Form).

Your call sign should be process in 10-12  business days.

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

Whitman ARC Winterfest, January 21, 2023 (NEW VENUE)

Whitman ARC logoThe Whitman Amateur Radio Club will hold its annual Winterfest on January 21, 2023 from 9 AM until 1 PM at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Route 18, in Whitman. A VE testing session for Tech, General, and Amateur Extra will be conducted at the event. Raffle Prizes include four high power HTs and gift certificates.

Admission is $5; tables cost $15. Checks for tables can be mailed to:

Whitman Amateur Radio Club
PO Box 48
Whitman MA 02382

For vendor information, call: 781-523-5010 or visit http://www.wa1npo.org/WF/2023Winterfest_hasPayPal.html.

Allen, WA1BEE, writes on January 18, 2023:

Change of location of the Whitman WinterFest 2023


Was in contact with Ross, W1EKG, today. Due to an unexpected situation, a move had to be made.
The location is the Tri-Town Masonic lodge, 38 Franklin Street ( RT27 ), East Bridgewater, MA, 02333

Fox Hunting of a Different Kind

Mike Cormier, K1MJC, writes on the NEMassFoxHunters list:

This morning, as I often do, when, listening to various things with my RTL-SDR, I sometimes go to the “SondeHub Tracker” website to see if there are any weather balloons I might be able to hear using my RTL-SDR.

This morning, I was surprised to see a balloon tracking north eastward over Millis, MA, and heading directly overhead where I live in Waltham MA.

I decided to zoom in on it, and follow it, and to my surprise, it had it landing somewhere in Lexington MA.

As it descended and got closer to the ground, I zoomed in on that area and realized it was just a short drive from where I lived. So I decided to get my 70 cm meter Yagi, jump in the car and head in that direction more precisely Pretty close to the location. It predicted it would be on the ground.

To my surprise, when I got in the area, I could hear the Radio-Sonde loud and clear, and I proceeded to an address that I had put in my GPS, got out of the car with the Yagi in one corner of the parking lot, (it was the horseshoe type, which will go behind the building and come out to the street on the other side of the property) and discovered that it was more towards the street.

Looking in the trees and over the roof of the building, I couldn’t see it, but the signal was strong. Having gotten that far and figuring it could be on the flat roof of the building and it being cold and drizzly outside I decided to head home.

To my surprise, on the way out of the driveway, what do I see? An orange parachute laying across the lane, I immediately jumped out of the car, went around to the front of the building, and there hanging on a string was the Radio-Sonde. Seeing nobody was around, I tugged the Radio-Sonde down out of the bush, wrapped it up and jumped in my car. (I hope nobody will be upset with me for grabbing the Radio-Sonde).


After I got in the car, I noticed it was an on off switch, turned it off, read the label, and this particular Radio-Sonde requests that you do not send it back to the national weather service.

Well, I have a parachute and Radio-Sonde what to do with it? I don’t know, perhaps, just keep it as a souvenir, and toss the plastic parachute, which I cannot seem to find any kind of use for.

All in all, a fun and interesting new kind of hunt for me!

73 Mike K1MJC

KB1OIQ: “Andy’s Ham Radio Linux” at North Shore Radio Association Meeting, January 17, 2023

North Shore Radio Association logoEric Horwitz, KA1NCF, writes on the North Shore Radio Association mailing list:

This month’s meeting is on Tuesday! Speaker will be in house this month.

Andy (KB1OIQ) Stewart will talk about a software collection which he created called “Andy’s Ham Radio Linux.” It is based on Ubuntu 22.04 with additional software specific to ham radio. There have been over 100,000 downloads of this software since 2011. Andy’s talk will be an overview of the available software, where to get it, installation hints, etc. No previous knowledge of Linux is required to enjoy this talk.

Andy is an Amateur Extra licensee who has enjoyed this fine hobby since 2007. Related interests include repair of antique radios circa 1930s/1940s, hacking uBITX, Arduino code, the M17 project, and kit building. Andy is a former president of PART of Westford. By day, Andy is a digital logic verification engineer living in simulated reality.

Hope to see you all at the meeting.

W1BTR: “Minecraft Ham Radio Mods” at PART of Westford Hybrid Meeting, January 17, 2023

PART of Westford logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

The January PART of Westford meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 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.

Topic: PART has been awarded a grant of $22K by the ARRL Foundation for a project headed by PART member Lucas, W1BTR, to incorporate ham radio into the popular online game Minecraft. At the January meeting we’ll be showing the presentation on this project given to the ARRL HQ staff last week, and we’ll explain what the project is, how it will be run, what it means for the growth of ham radio, and how it affects PART. If time permits, we also have a presentation on the 2023 Volunteers on the Air event.

Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items (canned soups, stews, etc.) for donation to the Westford Food Pantry.

See you on Tuesday!

George, K1IG
President, PART of Westford

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