We Need YOU at the Amateur Radio Booth at The BIG E!

From nediv.arrl.org:

Amateur Radio will be on public display like never before at The BIG E in West Springfield, MA from September 16 – October 2, 2022. Over a million people will visit the Fair over the 17-day period. We need ham radio “Goodwill Ambassadors” to staff the booth and promote our hobby-service to the public and potential licensees.

Who: Amateurs like you who enjoy interacting with the public

What: You’ll be demonstrating ham radio contacts and sharing Amateur Radio information with the public (talking points will be provided)


Two shifts per day, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM (first session) and 3:30 PM -10:00 PM (second session) on some days

Dates/times available:

  • September 16 (Military Appreciation Day), second session, 1-2 more people needed
  • September 17 (Maine Day), second session, 2 more
  • September 19, first session, 2 more
  • September 20 (Rhode Island Day), first and second sessions, 3-4 more
  • September 22 (Massachusetts Day), second session, 2 more
  • September 24 (Vermont Day), first and second sessions
  • September 25, second session
  • September 26, first and second sessions
  • September 28, first and second sessions
  • September 29, first and second sessions
  • September 30, first and second sessions
  • October 1, first and second sessions
  • October 2, first and second sessions

Where: Booth #103 inside Door 6 of the Better Living Center

How:—Sign up via the following link, which will list currently-available sessions:



Annual Marshfield Fair Amateur Radio Exhibit, August 19-28, 2022

Whitman ARC logoThe Whitman Amateur Radio Club will sponsor a ham radio booth and special events station at the Annual Marshfield Fair August 19-28, 2022, from 1200-2000 ET. The booth will located behind the grandstand, just up from the first aid station and next to the blacksmith.

The club will operate under the call sign NN1MF on 20 meters. The station will also be active on the Whitman ARC repeater (147.225 MHz +PL67) and on EchoLink . 

“We will also be conducting a program at 15:00 (3pm) and 18:00 (6pm) on “Introduction to Ham Radio, how to get on the air,”  writes WARC’s Jack Foley, N1QE. “Stop by and find out all that is available to you with your NEW ham radio license! Licensed hams stop by and inquire about our educational licensed advancement classes. Or just to talk Ham stuff.”

BIG E Space Chat Leadership Team

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, writes on nediv.arrl.org:

International Space Station

New England school students will be making live radio contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station from The BIG E during the week of September 26th – October 1st. The “BIG E Space Chat” is part of a program to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational activities and Amateur Radio learning activities for young people.

NEST Science Space Club for Youth flyer

New England Sci-Tech is sponsoring a 12-month STEM education program free of charge to all students grades 4 through 12 and Scouts in New England as part of the contact program. The program will provide hands-on learning about Space Science, Radio Communications, Electronics, Satellites, Rocketry, Astronomy, Amateur Radio, and more. Ten students participating in the Sci-Tech educational program will be chosen to make contact and chat live with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from the BIG E.

The contact and the associated educational program are a result of a partnership between The BIG E, New England Sci-Tech (a STEM education group in New England), Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), Black Helicopter Creative LLC, the New England Division of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and local Amateur Radio organizations.

Execution planning has been underway for some time, and we are pleased to announce the addition of Ray Lajoie AA1SE, ARRL Western Massachusetts Section Manager, to the contact leadership team. Ray will be responsible for working with the BIG E team and our content production partner Black Helicopter to set up, test, and facilitate the development and delivery of a pre-contact program.

Ray joins and rounds out the existing BIG E space chat planning team consisting of:

  • Bob Phinney K5TEC – Education Planning and Execution
  • Phil Temples K9HI – Publicity and Promotion
  • Ray Lajoie AA1SE – Venue and Program Planning and Execution
  • Fred Kemmerer AB1OC – ARISS Mentor

The BIG E planning team is being assisted by Dylann Keaney, President of Black Helicopter Creative LLC, Barbara Irby, KC1KGS, Dan Norman, N0HF, and Larry Krainson, W1AST, in planning what expect will be a major Amateur Radio event in New England. You can learn more about the BIG E space chat here.

Fred Kemmerer AB1OC
ARRL New England Division Director

Amateur Radio Field Day Talk on WCAP 980, June 24, 2022

Station WCAP 980 kHz will host a talk segment featuring two Eastern MA amateur radio club presidents today (June 24) at 4:10 PM. 

Gary Frascarelli, W1GFF, President of the Billerica Amateur Radio Society and Bruce Blain, K1BG, President of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club, will discuss ARRL Field Day on the program. 

The Class B station features a talk/oldies radio format. It covers the Merrimack Valley with 5,000 watts of power. 

Listeners outside of the area can tune in to the program on the web at <http://webcastsusa.com/wcap/player.html>.

This link seems to work:  <https://streampros.net/980wcap>

An audio recording of the program is also available

“Ham Radio Flea Market Coming To Marlborough”

From the Marlborough Patch, June 7, 2022:

MARLBOROUGH, MA — A large ham radio exposition will return to Marlborough in 2022 for the second time. The HamXposition event will take place in August at the Best Western.

On Monday, the Marlborough City Council on Monday approved a special license for a charitable flea market to be held alongside the exposition featuring radio parts.  [Full story]

Project Big E Weekly Planning Meetings Begin June 7, 2022

Larry Krainson, W1AST, writes:

I’m starting a weekly Zoom meeting every Tuesday night at 7:00 pm EDT to discuss all things for the Big E Booth. 

We will start with organization and planning the booth layout as well as the continuation of getting the word out to clubs and volunteers and more. 

Please urge your club presidents to join us too and everyone is invited. I hope to see you on. 

[For Zoom conference information, contact Larry at w1ast@arrl.net or join the groups.io list at groups.io/g/projectbige]

NV1W: “The Computer in the Shack” at Boston Network Users Group, June 7, 2022

Boston Amateur Radio Club Secretary Joe Chapman, NV1W, will present about Amateur Radio and “The Computer in the Shack” to the Boston Network Users group on June 7, 2022. The meeting will start at 7:30 PM.

The  Boston Network Users Group (BNUG)  provides education and technical forum for anyone interested in computer networking and related technologies. BNUG was founded in 1986.

Our Speaker: Joseph Chapman

Description of the talk: In 1976 I submitted decks of punched cards as homework for my first Fortran class, and earned my entry-level amateur radio license. Over the course of my adult life, as both computer and radio technologies have evolved, the computer has become an essential part of the amateur radio “shack.” I’ll talk about how it’s gone from being used for station control and logging, to supporting digital modes; finally, with Software Defined Radio (SDR), it’s become the radio itself! I’ll also describe some Internet sites used for reporting space weather and making propagation predictions, and online logging, including the public-key signature system used by 112,000 users for the American Radio Relay League’s Logbook of the World.

 Presenter Bio:

Joe Chapman, NV1W, has been fiddling with radios and computers since he was a teenager in the 1970s. After graduating from MIT, he has been involved in more hardware and software startups than Zsa Zsa Gabor has had husbands. His most recent startup having been acquired by Red Hat, he now works on storage optimization in the Linux kernel. In amateur radio he generally works with low power, using Morse code or weak-signal digital modes. He has done two solo cross-country bicycle tours, plays the pipe organ, does calligraphy, and cooks.

2022 Boston Marathon Amateur Radio Volunteer Featured in Local Newspaper

Barry Rector-KB1VBE from Nantucket Mass was featured in his local newspaper, the Inquirer and Mirror as an Amateur Radio Volunteer from the 2022 Boston Marathon. He shared his experiences with the newspaper and Amateur Radio was highlighted for providing communications during one of the blizzards that affected the island and was the only path to communication off island for a time when this occurred. The article can be seen here:

Inquirer & Mirror Article – Front Row Seat to the Marathon

Project “Big E” Receives Approval for Hosting an ARISS Contact!

Larry Krainson, W1AST, writes on the Project Big E list:

I just received word that the Big E Booth’s application for an ARISS  [Amateur Radio on the International Space Station] contact has been APPROVED! 

We’re working closely with New England Sci-Tech President Bob Phinney, K5TEC, and our New England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, to make this happen.

We’re very excited as you all should be too!

There is still much to plan and put in place.

But a great way to start your Sunday!

[For more information about the Amateur Radio presence at the Big E, and to get involved, see <https://nediv.arrl.org/2021/01/10/amateur-radio-booth-proposed-for-the-big-e-in-2022/>.]

Whitman ARC to Operate at Plimoth Patuxet, November 27-28, 2021

Whitman ARC logoMembers and friends of the Whitman Amateur Radio Club will operate amateur radio at the Plimoth Patuxet [formerly known as Plimoth Plantation]. Setup time is scheduled for 10 AM on Friday, November 26. The group will operate on Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 3 PM.

“We really need anyone who is going to please email us this weekend the days and times you can be there,” writes WARC president Bob Azanow, WA1Q. “I would like to submit the schedule to Plimoth Patuxet on Monday [November 22].”

New England Sci-Tech ARS Crew to Participate in JOTA, Lexington, October 16, 2021

JOTA-JOTI logoTate Aldridge, K1MKD, writes:

With Bruce [N9JBT], Mindy [KM1NDY], and Marc’s help (and flyers from Rusty and Bob), we are hosting a Jamboree On The Air for scouts in Lexington. We will have several radios out and will be making contacts and educating scouts about amateur radio. We would be very happy to see you there!

Lexington Visitor Center lawn, Lexington, MA
Saturday Oct 16
Scouts are coming from 1-4 and we start set up around 11 – STARS friends are welcome any time!

Tate, K1MKD

KM1NDY Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, October 13, 2021

Mindy Hull,  KM1NDY, South Boston, will be the featured guest on Ham On!, simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7 on October 13, 2021 at 9 AM.  The early morning program is produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV.
Mindy will speak on a wide variety of topics including: Summits On The Air (SOTA); Parks On The Air (POTA); her work with New England Sci-Tech in Natick, MA; and operating in Winter Field Day. 
The show will also be available as a podcast.

Barnstable ARC Exhibit at Harwich Cranberry Festival, September 18-19, 2021

Barnstable ARC logoThe Barnstable Amateur Radio Club (BARC) will conduct a special event this Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19, 2021 at the Harwich Cranberry Festival in Harwich Center on Cape Cod.  BARC will operate W1MA, the club’s new callsign, honoring BARC member Ed Lajoie who became a silent key on February 3, 2021. 

Operation is expected on 10, 15 and 20 meters with a tri-band beam on a tower.  The operators will engage the public at the entrance to the event.  Talk-in for any hams who would like to drop by will be on the W1MA 146.955 repeater (88.5 Hz tone).


Amateur Radio To Be Discussed on WBZ 1030, September 18, 2021

Due to a scheduling snafu, Fred Kemmerer will not be appearing on the Morgan White show on September 18.  A new date is currently being negotiated.


WBZ 100th anniversary logoAmateur Radio will be the topic of discussion on the Morgan White show on Boston’s WBZ radio 1030 kHz, on Saturday, September 18 between the hours of 10 PM and midnight.

“With thanks to Cory Golob, KU1U [Sabattus, Maine], he put me in touch with another ham who has us on the Morgan White show–right in the middle of our WBZ special event operation,” writes Hampden County Radio Association President Larry Krainson, W1AST.

The Morgan White interview was organized in conjunction with a special event commemorating the 100th anniversary of WBZ radio. From September 17-19, New England amateurs will use the 1×1 callsigns W1W, W1B, and W1Z, in addition to the Hampden County Radio Association’s club callsign, WB1Z. 

The 50,000 watt, clear channel station is the oldest commercial radio station in New England. It began operations on September 15, 1921 at the Westinghouse Works building on Page Boulevard in East Springfield, Massachusetts broadcasting with just 100 watts. 

The special event is a joint effort of the Billerica Amateur Radio Society and the Hampden County Radio Association (HCRA). It’s being coordinated by W1AST. [See <https://nediv.arrl.org/wbz100>.]

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, President of the Nashua Area Radio Society, has been invited to speak on the show along with prominent Boston-based radio historian Dr. Donna Halper from Lesley University in Cambridge.

Topics to be discussed will include the history of WBZ, the WBZ ham radio special event, and Amateur Radio in general. At this time, it is not known how many minutes of air time will be alloted to Kemmerer and Halper.

“Fred is an excellent speaker. He’ll be a great representative of the ham community,” adds Krainson.

ARRL Responds to Story of Radio Amateur Told to Remove His Antenna

From ARRL Web:

09/02/2021 – ARRL has responded to an Orlando, Florida, news story on August 23, 2021 by WFTV Channel 9 alleging a radio amateur was told to remove his antenna by the management of his subdivision following a complaint made by a neighbor.

“The news story appears to stem from a 2-year-old complaint from a neighbor who believed her insulin pump had malfunctioned due to the radio amateur’s operations ‘a few doors down,’” said ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI. “The story is lacking any details or timeline, so I contacted the radio amateur involved for information, and volunteered ARRL’s assistance.”

Hare explained that medical devices such as insulin pumps are regulated by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) purposes and are expected to be capable of operating in all the RF environments likely to be encountered by consumers. FDA published guidance for its staff and industry defines EMC with respect to electrically powered medical devices “as the ability of a device to function safely and effectively in its intended electromagnetic environment, including immunity to electromagnetic disturbance (interference).” FDA review of EMC information submitted with a device for approval “is based on the risk associated with EMC malfunction or degradation of the device under review, as well as the use of appropriate FDA-recognized standards or appropriate consensus standards.”

Hare noted there is an FDA recall for the model number of the insulin pump in question, in approximately the same time frame. “But with so few details, there is no way of knowing whether that recall applies to the serial number used or whether the exact unit has the mechanical defect indicated in the recall notice that could cause the malfunction,” explained Hare.

It also became apparent that there is no actual evidence connecting the amateur’s transmissions to operation of the insulin pump. Hare was told that the amateur agreed to run tests to establish whether there was a cause and effect, but the neighbor declined. 

Hare commented, “While there are no requirements for a radio amateur to stop transmitting due to alleged interference to a non-radio device, the preferred path with any complaint is for neighbors to work together.”


Cape Cod ARES District Exercise Receives PR from Barnstable County Government Web Site Article

Frank O’Laughlin-WQ1O writes:

Our Cape Cod ARES district exercise “Operation Big Blow” made the Barnstable County web site news page. Thanks to Chip Reilly who is the Barnstable County Emergency preparedness and sheltering lead for being at our exercise. Article link below:



“Peabody Historical Society Scores a Ham Run”

K1III QSL cardFrom Southgate Amateur Radio Society News:

The Daily Item reports on a collect of QSL cards going back to the late 1950’s that was donated to the Peabody Historical Society in Massachusetts.

The newspaper says:

Ham radio operation might seem like a blast from the past but, according to the Peabody Historical Society, the pastime is actually still quite popular.

In fact, according to the Historical Society’s Associate Curator, Nora Bigelow, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided people with a perfect opportunity to kindle — or rekindle — their fascinations with it.

To get started with this hobby, one simply has to be a non-professional radio operator. Still, these radio enthusiasts still need to pass an FCC test to become licensed. After that, they are assigned a call sign — in other words, a group of identifying letters and numbers that serves as an address for the radio station’s transmission signal.

Operators also need to have a radio, transmitter and receiver in order to get started. If you were to balk at the price tag of such an endeavor, never fear — some beginners even start by building their own equipment.

The Peabody Historical Society recently received a donation from the estate of longtime resident Michael Schulze, which included a collection of call-sign cards from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Of the peculiar properties of the ham radio, Bigelow noted that it’s interesting that people from bygone eras were able to communicate with both locals and those from farther afield depending on the range of their radios.

“So it’s sort of like Facebook,” she said. “I mean it’s a connection between two people.”

Bigelow said that while people usually conjure up images of the American Revolution when they imagine our country’s history, the call-sign cards offer a more intimate look into Peabody’s own past. She added that by studying ham radio use, we can begin to understand more of how people choose to communicate.

Read the full story at:

National Weather Service, SKYWARN Acknowledged at ARRL Re-Opening Ceremony, July 15, 2021

In addition to ARRL board members and political dignitaries attending the ARRL Re-opening Ceremony at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut: Glenn Field, KB1GHX, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NOAA / National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts; and Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern MA Section Emergency Coordinator and ARES SKYWARN Coordinator.

Field and Macedo were both acknowledged in the public ceremony by ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA. 

photo of Rob Macedo, Glenn Field, Dahlia Field
Foreground: Rob Macedo, KD1CY; Glenn Field, KB1GHX; Dahlia Field. -K9HI photo


[See also: ARRL Re-Opening Ceremony Featured Dignitaries, Full Board and Newington Staff, July 15, 2021]

New England Sci-Tech “Natick Nights” with Amateur Radio on Display

From New England Sci-Tech Leadership Team news:

Bob Phinney and Rusty Moore have cleared their schedules for summer Thursdays 5:00-7:30pm to be in Natick Common to meet families and provide educational and entertaining STEM topics. We have activities planned for kid’s nights, family nights, history nights, art walk, and more. Thank you to Steve Palmer, Greg Moore, and David Kahn as well as teens Nolan Palmer, Jonathan Godfrey, and David Camaforte for helping at various times at the last two events. We welcome more helpers, so come and see us.

NEST Natick Nights display
Above: Natick Nights on June 10 was buzzing with activity. Steve Palmer mans the paper rocket launcher. Rusty makes radio contacts all over Europe. Greg and Bob run the NEST table.