“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]

Nantucket ARA Members Show Their Appreciation to Sconset Trust for Use of Sankaty Head Lighthouse

The Nantucket Amateur Radio Association membership recently voted to make a donation to the Sconset Trust in a show of appreciation for allowing the use of the Sankaty Head Lighthouse for last year’s International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. [See: International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend on Track for 2020.]
In a March 29, 2021 letter, ‘Sconset Trust’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Grubbs, wrote to NARA Treasurer Greg Cokorinos, K1UH, on behalf of the ‘Sconset Board of Trustees, “Thank you for your 2021 membership contribution … we were pleased to collaborate with NARA for the 2020 International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend last August. Apart from our enjoyment of this collaboration, this may have been the most activity Sankaty Head Lighthouse saw last year!”
The ‘Sconset Trust has worked since 1984 to preserve historic buildings and lands in the Village of Siasconset.

N1DM Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, March 25, 2021

From nediv.arrl.org:

Natick amateur Dom Mallozzi, N1DM, was the featured guest on Ham On!, simulcast on Pittsfield (MA) Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7 on March 25, 2021. Dom spoke about amateur satellites. The early morning program is produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV.  A recording of the show can be heard at <https://anchor.fm/peter0190/episodes/working-amatuer-sats-etgl31>.

N1DM is active on HF CW , FT8, FT4, satellites, DMR, emergency communications  and contesting. He serves as secretary for the Providence (RI) Radio Association, W1OP.

K9HI to be Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, March 10, 2021

Eastern MA Assistant Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI, will be the featured guest on Ham On!, simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7 on March 10, 2021 at 9 AM. The early morning program is produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV. Phil will speak on ARRL matters and other wide-ranging topics.

W1DAN to be Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, March 3, 2021

WTBR-FM studio

Eastern Massachusetts Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, will be the featured guest on Ham On!, simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7 on March 3, 2021. The early morning program is produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV.

Dan will speak about how ham radio has influenced his career in the broadcast industry.

“Students Talk to Astronauts in Space”, WCVB-TV

Nashua, N.H.–Four years ago, an organization of ham radio operators in New Hampshire teamed up with a local high school so the students could learn more about the power of connecting people through the airwaves. Now that connection led the students all the way to outer space. It was an out-of-this-world experience for students at Bishop Gurtin High School in Nashua. On Friday, they make contact with the International Space Station. For members of the school’s STEM Club, it was a chance for them to chat directly with Astronaut Shannon Walker onboard the International Space Station. “It was really quite something to be able to speak to an astronaut that far away in space,” one of the club members said. [Full story]

screenshot of Nashua ARS ARISS school contact, WCVB.com

W1HAI to be Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, February 17, 2021

WTBR-FM studio

Eastern Massachusetts Heavy Hitters Traffic Net Manager Joe Weisse, W1HAI, will be the featured guest on Ham On!, simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7. The early morning program is produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV. Joe will speak about his upcoming presentation at the Bacon Free Library along with Dan Brown, W1DAN.

“Young students discover a different form of communication”

photo showing students of Bruce Blain's Morse code class in Foxboro schoolEastern MA Affiliated Club Coordinator Bruce Blain, K1BG, is featured in a story in The Foxboro Reporter, “Young students discover a different form of communication” that describes his efforts in teaching a Morse code class for a group of sixth-graders in Foxboro:

“In a year that has often been isolating, eight students from Foxboro are exploring a different way to communicate.

They are taking a virtual course in Morse code through the CW Academy.

Liam Polis, 11, a sixth-grader who is home-schooled this year, said his mother signed him up for the class, and at first, he wasn’t sure about it, but then found it to be fun.

‘It’s different than other classes because we learn on our own and then check in with the teacher, but it’s fun. I learned a lot about the history and use of Morse code and also the letters: a, e, i, o, s, t, n, m, y, l and number 1 for week one,’ Liam said.

His mother Rebecca Murphy said everything people do in life involves understanding a code or a pattern, so whether it’s learning a foreign language, math or history, recognizing and interpreting patterns is an important skill.”

[Full story]

Northeastern Wireless Club To Staff Table at COE Fair, February 4, 2021

Northeastern Wireless Club members will staff a table at the NEU College of Engineering Clubs/Organizations Fair on February 4, 2021. 

According to the NWC mailing list: “The COE club fair is a great way to hear and find out more about various clubs and activities on campus related to STEM. Many clubs table there so it is a great place to find out more about getting involved. All are welcome and we would love to talk to anyone about Wireless Club so feel free to stop by any time 6 PM to 8 PM.”

KW1U to be Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, February 10, 2021

KW1U at WTBR-FM studio

Massachusetts Section Traffic Manager Marcia Forde, KW1U, will again be the featured guest on Ham On!, simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7. The early morning program is produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV. Marcia will speak about the ARRL National Traffic System and message handling.

KC1DKY Foxhunting Activities Highlighted on Wilmington Cable TV

KC1DKY foxhunting featured on Wilmington cable TVNick Mollo, KC1DKY, writes:
I recently interjected on a Facebook post on one of the Wilmington groups where they were talking about letterboxing and geocaching and I mentioned fox hunting using radios.  This got picked up by one of the content producers at Wilmington Cable TV.  He contacted me to ask about fox hunting and how it related, and told me he was going to put together a piece on what he called “modern day treasure hunting”.  We set up a Zoom interview, and even my daughter got involved, and he interviewed us.
If you are interested, you can watch the video – the whole program is just over 13 minutes, and our segment is the first six minutes or so.  I hope I did the sub-hobby the justice that it deserves.
Enjoy!  My daughter and I look forward to getting back out there when the weather starts getting warmer again.  I hope you are all staying safe and healthy!
73 for now!

ARISS SuitSat-1 Experiment is the Star in this Haunting New Sci-Fi Video, “Decommissioned”

screenshot from the short sci-fi movie "Decommissioned"Most of you will remember SuitSat. In 2006, the ARISS team managed to acquire a Russian spacesuit with an expired expiration date that would have just been thrown overboard to burn up. ARISS designed and built an antenna and radio gear that was approved for installation into the suit and the whole shebang got deployed by a cosmonaut and Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR at the start of a spacewalk.
It transmitted a lot during its short life. After the ARISS engineers figured SuitSat-1’s orbit and spin characteristics, they knew the legs and arms would have to be filled with something, so they asked the crew to stuff dirty laundry inside. That’s just what they did.
Here’s a small part of what Rick Lindquist’s ARRL story said about SuitSat-1  (http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter?issue=2006-02-03):  

“The Amateur Radio community, students, scanner enthusiasts, space fans and others have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the most novel satellite ever to orbit Earth. SuitSat-1 will transmit its voice message “This is SuitSat-1 RS0RS!” in several languages plus telemetry and an SSTV image on an eight-minute cycle as it orbits Earth. The three batteries powering the satellite are expected to last about a week, and SuitSat-1 should re-enter Earth’s atmosphere after several weeks of circling the globe. and  SuitSat-1 has piqued the imagination of the news media over the past couple of weeks. In addition to articles in The New York Times, the Houston Chronicle and Associated Press, National Public Radio, Fox News, CNN, Readers Digest, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, MSNBC and others also produced broadcast or cable news reports. A magazine article is set to appear in Aviation Week and Space Technology.”

Well, SuitSat is back! It’s featured in an eerie, six-minute sci-fi short, “Decommissioned.” The  video can be viewed at


-Thanks, Rosalie White, K1STO, ARRL ARISS US Delegate

“Amateur Radio: From First Voice Transmission to the Space Station” Online, February 20, 2021

Natick residents Dan Brown, W1DAN, and Joe Weisse, W1HAI, will present an enlightening discussion sponsored by the Bacon Free Library in Natick on February 20, 2021 from 10 AM-12 noon on the many facets of amateur radio: what it is, how it works, and how to get started” followed by a question-and-answer session. 

Register at: <http://baconfreelibrary.org/event/ham-radio/>.

Natick Library ham radio presentation press release

Amateur Radio Booth Proposed for “The Big E” in 2022

Big E logo/scrFrom nediv.arrl.org:

Hampden County Radio Association president Larry Krainson, W1AST, is coordinating an effort to organize an amateur radio booth at “The Big E” in West Springfield, Massachusetts for 2022. The exhibition runs for 17 days from September 17 through October 3, 2022. 

According to Wikipedia, “The Big E,” formally known as The Eastern States Exposition, is billed as ‘New England’s Great State fair.’ It is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the sixth-largest fair in the nation.”

W1AST says the 2016 event had 1.4 million visitors, and over 1.6 million visitors in 2019. “If just one-tenth of one percent of attendees sign up for ham classes, that would be 1,600 names to distribute to all New England clubs. We would all benefit and grow ham radio.” 

There hasn’t been a ham radio exhibit/booth at The Big E in over ten years.

Larry envisions a ham radio booth that would demonstrate the many aspects of ham radio, as well as an avenue for people to sign up for information and courses in their local area.

Some of his ideas include:

  • an EMCOMM display
  • DMR and/or other digital mobile mode demo
  • Digital HF modes on a big screen
  • A special event station (W1E or N1E or similar) with unique QSL cards
  • SSB, CW and digital modes
  • Demonstrate portable stations for field operation (i.e., Parks On The Air, Summits On The Air)
  • Highlight youth in ham radio

W1AST says he’d like to see clubs from different states staff the booth during “State” days and theme days. 

“If there is enough interest, we have lots of time to plan.”

Such an undertaking can succeed only if there is a sufficient number of volunteers and radio clubs who agree to participate in the event.  A special Groups.io mailing list group has been established to promote exchange of dialogue and ideas for the event. To join, send an email to ProjectBigE+subscribe@groups.io.

“The Uncertain Future of Ham Radio”

photo of aj7m operating a radioFrom IEEE Spectrum, July 10, 2020:

Will the amateur airwaves fall silent? Since the dawn of radio, amateur operators—hams—have transmitted on tenaciously guarded slices of spectrum. Electronic engineering has benefited tremendously from their activity, from the level of the individual engineer to the entire field. But the rise of the Internet in the 1990s, with its ability to easily connect billions of people, captured the attention of many potential hams. Now, with time taking its toll on the ranks of operators, new technologies offer opportunities to revitalize amateur radio, even if in a form that previous generations might not recognize. [Full story]



“Taunton Amateur Radio Enthusiast Still Hamming It Up After Nearly 60 years”

photo of Ted Figlock, KA1ATTTaunton amateur Ted Figlock, KA1AAT, was the subject of a nice feature story in the June 24, 2020 edition of the Taunton Gazette:

TAUNTON – Dr. Thadeus “Ted” Figlock has been a world traveler for the better part of six decades.

And he’s done most of it from a sitting position.

The 85-year-old, former obstetrician and gynecologist, who unpretentiously describes his medical career as having consisted mainly of “delivering babies and cutting out tumors,” has had a difficult year.

Figlock says he suffered a stroke last February, on Ash Wednesday to be exact, that hit him “like a ton of bricks.” He says he also suffers from the lung disease known as pulmonary fibrosis.

Despite those maladies the Hudson, Pennsylvania, native continues to keep active as an amateur radio operator.

“You do it for the fun of it,” Figlock said during an interview in the backyard of his Winthrop Street home.

“It’s like fishing,” he said. “We go out fishing for people who want to talk to us. It’s a sport.”

Figlock didn’t stop working as a doctor after he closed his practice. He says he worked a while at both the Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center and at a medical marijuana facility in Fall River.

His enthusiasm as an amateur radio operator, or ham, has not wavered, despite adjustments to his routine stemming from his medical challenges.

Figlock used to spend solitary time on his ham radio in a small room of his basement. He no longer ventures down the stairs and instead uses a second setup located on the main floor of his house, which is equipped with two antennas.

He’s also gone mobile. It’s not often that you’ll catch Figlock without his trusty portable, handheld transceiver, otherwise known as his ham-radio walkie talkie. [Full story]

“Chatham’s Rob Leiden Helps Keep Amateur Radio Alive”

Eastern MA Assistant Section Manager Rob Leiden, K1UI, is featured in, “A Spotlight on Lower Cape Personalities and Visionaries” in the June 11, 2020 issue of the Cape Cod Chronicle. The article entitled, “Chatham’s Rob Leiden Helps Keep Amateur Radio Alive” describes Rob’s entry into the hobby in junior high school, his DXing activities, and work with the American Red Cross. The article also mentions the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School club station in Harwich and the Marconi-RCA Wireless Museum at the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center

“Social Distancing? COVID-19 Made it Real. Ham Radio Made it a Hobby”

A close-knit culture, with separation at its core” is a story and accompanying video produced by Christian Science Monitor staff photographer Anne Hermes. It explores how Amateur Radio operators are taking COVID-19 and social distancing in stride and features interviews with Eastern MA hams. It portrays the hobby in a very positive light.

Eastern MA Public Information Coordinator Kayla Creamer, W2IRY, was instrumental in working with Ms. Hermes to identify individuals and clubs for interviews and subject material.  

“The Christian Science Monitor, commonly known as The Monitor, is an internationally known nonprofit news organization that publishes daily articles in electronic format as well as a weekly print edition. It was founded in 1908 as a daily newspaper by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist.” -Wikipedia.


Maine Bicentennial Special Event Operation Pays Homage to the Original Nine Counties–and Boston, Massachusetts

The Maine Bicentennial Special Event,  March 16-22, 2020, recognizes Maine’s original nine counties from when the state was chartered in 1820.  There will also be three other special event stations operating from Jameson Tavern in Freeport, Portland, and Boston in recognition of their contributions to Maine’s Statehood.
Boston is the “longest continuously serving capital” in the United States, and served as capital for the District of Maine until 1820.

The Maine Bicentennial Special Event committee was formed from members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine, along with members from the PenBay ARC.

According to the Committee, “We suspect most participants will be operating from their QTH.  We are asking those interested in participating in this event to discern where their QTH would have been in 1820 relative to that town, and county in 1820, and to participate in this event in that original county. The webpage will have a map as an aid for that amateur operator;  e.g., if you are now in Knox County, in 1820 you were likely in Lincoln or Hancock counties and would participate as a station in that county.” The Committee has created an online spreadsheet listing as many towns as possible related to the nine original counties.  

Operations will take place on HF, 6, and 2 meters
(no repeaters).  Modes are CW, phone, and digital. This allows all Maine Amateur Radio operators to participate in some form.  

“There will be Certificates available once we receive logs from the various stations that contacted the special event operators.  We’ll also need logs from participating operators to corroborate what is sent in. It is recommended that your log is sent in ADIF format. We’ll need the logs ASAP after the event.  More details on that will be available on the special event website.”
Please send an email to:  ws1sm@yahoo.com  if you are interested in operating, or if you have any questions. Be sure to title your message as: Maine 200 Special Event.

The Maine Bicentennial Special Event Stations are:

Cumberland: W1C
Hancock: W1H
Kennebec: W1K
Lincoln: W1L
Oxford: W1O
Penobscot: W1P
Somerset: W1S
Washington: W1W
York: W1Y

Jameson Tavern (Freeport): K1J
Town of Portland: K1P
City of Boston: K1B
According to the Executive Board member Tim Watson, KB1HNZ, there is still a need for individuals to operate the Boston special events station, K1B. “We have at least one ham who may be able to make it down [to Boston] for a portable operation, but it would be great to have a few more operators. The more, the better! Please help spread the word.”