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!
 
Nick
KC1DKY
 

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

https://io9.gizmodo.com/an-astronaut-has-an-unwelcome-and-possibly-undead-visit-1846085578.

-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.”
 

Enthusiastic Third-Graders Learn about Amateur Radio at St. Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton

Phil Temples, K9HI, has combined his passion for ham radio and involvement in the Boston College “Read Aloud” program to bring a message about ham radio to Mrs. Cafarelli’s third grade class at the St. Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton.

A BC Read Aloud volunteer for the past sixteen years, Phil shared his unpublished children’s story manuscript entitled “Ashanti’s Ham Radio Saves the Day” with the class last month. It was well-received, despite the fact the manuscript lacked illustrations.  (Several of the kids volunteered to draw pictures for the book.)

This month, K9HI brought along a Baofeng dual-band handheld for show-and-tell. He was able to establish a QSO on the Waltham repeater with John, K1BSO, who was mobile in Woburn. John told the class about himself, and stood by while Phil passed the radio around. All sixteen children had an opportunity to say hello over ham radio. At the end, they shouted out an enthusiastic “Goodbye!” that could be heard throughout the floor. 

Message to US Educators: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity

ARISS logoThe Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal US education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS will open a proposal window February 1, 2020 for ham radio contacts that would be held between January 2021 and June 2021. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations whose proposal features a way to draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. The window for accepting proposals closes March 31, 2020.

Proposal information and documents are at www.ariss.org.

The Opportunity

Crew members aboard the International Space Station will support scheduled Amateur Radio contacts for students and their communities. These radio contacts are voice-only, approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact with the astronauts in a question-and-answer session. ARISS radio contacts and plans in submitted proposals can afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts about space research conducted on the ISS and what it is like to live and work in space, and to learn about ham satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of spaceflight and complexity of scheduling on-board ISS activities, education organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in dates and times of a radio contact. Local ham radio groups volunteer to provide educational radio activities and the equipment and operational support to enable communication between the ISS crew and students using Amateur Radio.

More Information

For proposal information and more details, i.e., expectations, proposal guidelines and proposal form, go to www.ariss.org.  Please direct any questions to ariss.us.education@gmail.com .

About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS).  In the United States, sponsors are the American Radio Relay League (ARRL, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the ISS National Lab, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students in classrooms or large public forums. Before, during and after these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org.

 

 

“Ham Radio: a Hobby Still Alive and Thriving”

An operator at the Plimoth Plantation special station event on November 30, 2019. Photo by Lillian Eden/ BU News Service

The Boston University News Service carried this favorable story about Amateur Radio, Alan Lewis, K1ALL, and Whitman Amateur Radio Club members, written by Lillian Eden, published January 22, 2020, entitled, “Ham radio: a hobby still alive and thriving.”

“Alan Lewis pledged to do two things when he retired: learn to weld and get an amateur radio license. He did both, and then took his amateur radio license one step further.  

“Almost immediately after getting his license, Lewis said he started getting involved in the public service aspects of amateur radio, including emergency communication. 

“Amateur radio, or ham radio, for a very long time was the only federally licensed hobby. The word ham refers to amateur radio operators.

[Full story]

 

ARES/SKYWARN Exhibit at 19th Weatherfest-AMS Annual Meeting

Stu Solomon, W1SHS, writes:

On Sunday, January 12, 2020, ARES/SKYWARN for Eastern Massachusetts and WX1BOX of the National Weather Service Boston/Norton office were represented at the 19th annual Weatherfest component of the 100th annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).  The Boston Weatherfest event was free to the public and very well attended.

The ARES/SKYWARN group were in good company with approximately 50 other exhibitors including NASA, The Blue Hill Observatory, The Mt. Washington Observatory, NOAA, The National Weather Service, New England Sci-Tech, local news stations, multiple universities as well as industry leaders in climate and environmental research and reporting.

Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY; District Emergency Coordinator Jim Palmer, KB1KQW; Matt Goldstein; and Assistant Section Manager Stu Solomon, W1SHS, manned the ARES/SKYWARN booth and spent the day speaking with weather enthusiasts young and old.  Not only were they able to promote the importance of the SKYWARN program and the part it plays in assisting the weather service and emergency services with realtime, on the ground weather and damage reports, but also the important role Amateur Radio and its dedicated volunteer operators also play.  On display in the SKYWARN booth were computers with real time displays of current incident reports (it was a day of high winds in the Boston area) as well as videos of past storms and the damage resulting from them. Good questions were asked by the many people that stopped by with numerous folks signing up to receive SKYWARN emails as well as information on upcoming SKYWARN training.  

Local Amateurs Featured on WBZ Late Night Talk Show

Three Eastern Massachusetts amateurs appeared January 13, 2020, on Bradley Jay’s “Jay Talking” on WBZ-AM (1030 kHz) to discuss Amateur Radio.

Jim Idelson, K1IR, Bruce Tinkler, N9JBT, and Marty Sullaway, NN1C, described the hobby, history, types of equipment, DXing, radiosport, and how to obtain a license. They also described their own experiences getting started in the hobby.  

NN1C emphasized the fact that the hobby allows one to make friends with people all over the world. Through Amateur Radio, Marty had the opportunity to meet with a number of other hams on his first trip to Israel.

Bradley took several callers’ questions during the hour-long show, including one from a Michigan caller who was blind. 

According to Wikipedia, “WBZ (1030 kHz) is a Class A clear channel AM radio station licensed in Boston, Massachusetts. Formerly owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting and CBS Radio, the station is owned and operated by iHeartMedia… Its signal can be heard at night across most of Eastern North America.”

Bradley JayBradley Jay

Left-right: Bradley Jay; Bruce Tinkler & Jim Idelson. Photos courtesy Marty Sullaway.

You can listen to an over-the-air recording of the show on Jim Idelson’s blog, The Driven Element.

New England Sci-Tech, STARS Exhibit at AMS Annual Meeting, Boston, January 12, 2020

New England Sci Tech logoNew England Sci-Tech (NEST) / Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (STARS) will staff an exhibit at the 19th Annual WeatherFest at the American Meteorological Association Annual Meeting in Boston on Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 12 noon to 4 PM, according to NEST’s Bob Phinney, K5TEC.

According to the WeatherFest web site, “We love to have hands-on, interactive experiments and booths by organizations, university, government, television, radio and private industry.  Exhibit space is free.  All you need to do is staff your booth with enthusiastic people who can capture the imagination and inspire children of all ages.”

K1IR Promotes Tower Safety Month on “Ham Nation” Broadcast

Jim  Idelson,  K1IR,  was  featured  in  the first of three episodes  on the Ham  Nation video blog  as a part of “Tower Safety Month.” 

The Sudbury native has created a nationwide initiative called the Zero Falls Alliance to promote safe tower practices and “a vision of an always-safe amateur radio where every ham fully understands the potential risks – and has the knowledge and tools to keep those risks at bay.”

The first in the series aired on December 4, 2019. The second is scheduled to be shown on December 11.

WX1BOX QRV for SKYWARN Recognition Day, December 7, 2019

SKYWARN Recognition Day, Dec. 2017 at WX1BOX

The National Weather Service in Boston/Norton Amateur Radio Station, WX1BOX, will once again be active for SKYWARN Recognition Day 2019. In addition, for the thirteenth straight year, the National Weather Service Gray, Maine Office will also be active under call-sign, WX1GYX. The Boston Amateur Radio Club will also be active as they have been over the past several years at the Blue Hill Observatory under call-sign WX1BHO from 9 AM-3 PM Saturday December 7th, 2019.

This will be the 20th year of SKYWARN Recognition Day and its anticipated that 80-100 NWS Forecast Offices will be participating once again this year. A Web link to information on SKYWARN Recognition Day can be seen at the following link:

http://www.weather.gov/crh/skywarnrecognition

WX1BOX will be monitoring the *NEW-ENG3* conference node 9123/IRLP 9123 system throughout the SRD event from 7 PM-12 AM Friday Evening 12/6/19 and from 7 AM-7 PM Saturday 12/7/19. Our HF station will be active on the various HF bands during the same time period. What bands/modes we operate on will be dependent on propagation and operator availability. We will attempt to announce the different HF frequencies will be on via our Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as on the DX Spotter/cluster system dxsummit.fi for people that wish to contact us on HF.

WX1BOX will also be on DMR. Timeframes and location on DMR will be determined and updated in the next update.

[Full story]

Whitman ARC to Operate at Plimoth Plantation, November 30-December 1, 2019

Whitman ARC Plimoth Plantation Operation 2010 CertificateWhitman Amateur Radio Club members will operate a special events station over the Thanksgiving weekend, November 30-December 1, 2019, at the Plimoth Plantation, the home of the Mayflower II in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The participants will demonstrate Amateur Radio to tourists and visitors.  In the past the group has logged over a hundred HF and VHF contacts with US and foreign amateurs, including a contact with Plymouth, England.

Volunteers are need for setup, breakdown, and station operations. Antenna and setup takes place on Friday, November 29 from 10 AM to 12 noon. On-air operations run in shifts on Saturday from 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM (shift 1); 12:00 PM –  4:30 PM (shift 2); Sunday at 8 AM – 12:30 PM (shift 1); 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM (shift 2). Antenna and station breakdown occurs from 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM on Sunday. ” Multiple volunteers are needed for each shift. Email wa1npo@gmail.com with your name, callsign, cell phone number and the shifts you’re committing to.

The station will be on the air on or near the following frequencies: 18.160 14.260 7.260 and 3.860, as well as the Whitman 147.225+ PL 67.0 repeater (EchoLink: WA1NPO-R and IRLP node 8691).

If you make contact and would like an event certificate mailed to you, please send QSL/contact details and a full size 8.5 x 10 envelope to their call book/QRZ.com address. A “green stamp” would be appreciated as well.