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.

Nashoba Valley ARC Members Participate in “Massasoit Fall Camporee,” October 4-5, 2019

Members of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club (NVARC) participated in Eastern Massachusetts Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s “Massasoit Fall Camporee” at Camp Collier, near Gardner on October 4-5, 2019. The camp is situated deep in the woods on a 500-acre tract of land owned by a preservation trust and leased to the Boy Scouts. Participating were: Bruce Blain, K1BG; Stan Pozerski, KD1LE; Jim Wilber, AB1WQ; Owen Salter, KC1KZT; Skip Youngberg, K1NKR; Phil Erikson, W1PJE; Dan Pedtke, KW2T; Dennis Marandos, K1LGQ; and George Kavanagh, KB1HFT. 

A 130-foot long wire and a vertical were erected for HF contacts, thanks to the efforts of AB1WQ, K1BG, and K1NKR. Bruce, K1BG, along with Phil, W1PJE, and George, KB1HFT, showed the Scouts several facets of Amateur Radio. Bruce, K1BG, made numerous contacts and allowed the scouts to talk with people thousands of miles away. 

Phil, W1PJE, brought “a very cool demonstration of the capabilities of an RTL-SDR dongle combined with a simple Raspberry-Pi and software setup.” Using his rig, Phil showed an application that decodes telemetry data sent by all aircraft, and displays the data on a map: flight number, heading, airspeed, etc . Another dongle application tuned the RF spectrum. Phil explained that by using such a setup “one can easily become a shortwave listener without being licensed.”

Stan, KD1LE, coordinated a series of fox hunts using NVARC FoxFinder™ rigs.  “Using a small patch of woods on the edge of the field, I put the fox out in three different spots during the day as the Scouts moved through the events. They came by in groups of three or four. I started by giving some examples of applications for radio direction finding. Then I had them draw a sketch of the area using some landmarks such as buildings, the path, the lake, and some others that I provided (plastic buckets). Then we worked our way around the area with the Scouts taking bearings using a FoxFinder and plotting them on the sketch.” Stan led a total of eight groups in direction finding for the fox. 

George, KB1HFT, demonstrated PSK31, PSK63, and WSPR modes of digital radio using a simple wire vertical tuned to 14.070 MHz.

Dennis, K1LGQ, contributed his Xiegu G90 QRP radio, an all band 160-10 XVCR with AM, SSB, and CW. It was powered using a 35amp gel-cell battery. “Conditions were not in my favor and I was competing with kilowatt stations on 40-meter phone. The antenna is a home brew vertical with spare parts from everywhere,” reports Dennis. 

Far fewer Scouts turned out for the Camporee than were expected. However, those that did show up had a full day of Scout activities expertly managed by Rob Kosman of Pepperell Troop 13.  One 17-year-old who had seen the radio demonstrations was overheard saying, “Dad, this is cool stuff; let’s find out more about it.”

The NVARC members plan to follow up with the Scouts to “both assist any that are interested in delving deeper, and to demonstrate to ourselves that our participation is having the desired result.”

–Tnx, Nashoba Valley ARC “Signal,” October, 2019 newsletter 

Barnstable ARC Exhibition at Harwich Cranberry Festival, September 14-15, 2019

The Barnstable Amateur Radio Club (BARC) conducted a highly successful public information effort at the Harwich Cranberry Festival September 14-15 in Harwich. The annual festival drew 150 exhibitors and over 7,000 participants. It featured crafts, music, and food.

BARC set up a special event station K1PBO at the festival entrance to promote Amateur Radio to greet festival attendees.  A large-screen television displayed locations contacted around the world. Magazines and other items were handed out to the public.

Many BARC members helped to make the event a success.  Al Ryan, WW1RF, served as event liaison while Mark Avery, N1ZPO, provided technical coordination. (Mark’s son, Charlie, and puppy Remi roped in many passers-by). Russ Apgar, K1RTA, provided the tower trailer while Mark Petruzzi, WA1EXA, Norm Cantin, WA1NLG, and Rob, Leiden, K1UI, handled the on-the-air communications.  WA1NLG and Mike Lobay, W1MLL, along with the on-the-air crew helped with the setup and tear down of the station.  The crew completed several hundred contacts, including over eighty in the WAE contest.  –Thanks, K1UI

Cape Cod ARES at Falmouth Community Emergency Preparedness & Fire Prevention Fair, September 21, 2019

Cape Cod radio amateurs participated in the seventh annual Falmouth Community Emergency Preparedness and Fire Prevention Fair at the Gus Canty Community Center, Falmouth, on September 21, 2019 from 10 AM to 2 PM. The fair featured “more than 60 organizations and numerous children’s activities, including a Touch-A-Truck in the parking lot.”

Falmouth Hospital ARES (W1HQH) had a table prominently on display, staffed by Tom Wruk, KB1QCQ, Gene Bradeen, KX1C, and Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O. “We set up some display kit gear and answered questions from the public on communications,” writes Cape and Islands District Emergency Coordinator WQ1O. “It was great to hook up with our friend, NWS Boston/Norton warning coordination meteorologist Glenn Field [KB1GHX].”

Left to right: Gene Bradeen, KX1C; Glenn Field, KB1GHX; Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O; Tom Wruk, KB1QCQ

KW1U Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, September 18, 2019

Marcia Forde, KW1U, in the WTBR-FM studio

Massachusetts Section Traffic Manager Marcia Forde, KW1U, was the featured guest on Ham On! (episode 3), simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7. The early morning program was produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV. Marcia discussed the ARRL National Traffic System and her experiences with message handling.

The 60-minute program can be viewed online at <http://www.pittsfieldtv.net/CablecastPublicSite/show/32638?channel=1>.

[Ed. note: the video may not play properly in all browsers.]

Blackstone Valley ARC Amateur Radio Day at Bellingham, MA Public Library A Great Success

Members of the Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club (BVARC) in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, conducted an innovative “Amateur Radio Day” at the Bellingham (MA) Public Library on September 14, 2019. 

BVARC Board of Governor’s member Mickey Callahan, K1WMC, proposed the idea to the club officers and received a commitment of support to hold the outreach event in nearby Bellingham. Along with BVARC President Matt Penttilla, N1AQ; Vice President Marc Caouette, W1MCX; and Rhode Island Section Manager Bob Beaudet, W1YRC, they tackled the logistics and formulated “a simple plan on how to present Amateur Radio and promote the club in a fun, positive way.” 

“Teri Diiorio, W1PUP, was instrumental in the design and layout of a new color brochure,” writes Mickey Callahan.  The club also produced signs for the event along with promotional images and text on their website for the event. In turn, the Bellingham Library advertised Amateur Radio Day on their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages, as well as in the Bellingham Bulletin calendar of events.

K1WMC reports the event was a huge success. “We were fortunate to have reasonably good weather and a large group of club volunteers setting up working radio station demonstrations. The HF station that was set up outside, under cover, involved installing a multi-band fan dipole wire antenna from a very large pine tree adjacent to the parking lot. We used the IC-7300 HF radio and power supply, on loan to the club by Bob Beaudet, on the 20- and 40-meter bands. We also had several members set up working QRP and DMR stations.”

BVARC featured various displays of QSL cards, vintage radio equipment, along with laptops displaying videos highlighting various aspects of Amateur Radio. The ARRL supplied a number of informative leaflets, logo pens, and decals  touting the importance of amateur radio in the community and how one could go about obtaining an amateur radio license.

Eastern MA Section Manager Tom Walsh, K1TW, attended at the invitation of the Blackstone Valley club. He was very impressed with the club’s activity and congratulated “our neighbors to the south.”



Annual Marshfield Fair Amateur Radio Exhibit, August 16-25, 2019

Whitman ARC logoThe Whitman Amateur Radio Club will sponsor a ham radio exhibit and special events station at the 152st Annual Marshfield Fair August 16-25,  2019, from 1600Z-0059Z. The club will operate under the call sign NN1MF on the following frequencies/bands: 18.160, 14.260, 7.260, and 3.860 MHz. The station will also be active on EchoLink via the WA1NPO-R, and IRLP: 8691. Contacts will be acknowledged with a certificate and QSL at: Whitman ARC, PO Box 48, Whitman, MA 02382. 

PART of Westford Field Day 2019: A Successful Public Relations-Public Information Effort

PART of Westford‘s Field Day Chairman George Allison, K1IG,  reports a successful public relations/public information effort on the part of PIO Lela Smith, KC1ACV and others.
“The club entertained a total of 75 participants and visitors this year, including the mayor of Leominster, a representative of the Billerica EMC, a Carlisle selectman, and a contingent of soldiers from the 211th Military Police Battalion who were sent by their commanding officer to get some experience in field communications. One of the officers from this group is now interested in joining PART,” reports George.
PART also netted a lengthy article in “Action Unlimited,” a weekly newsletter sent to most of the region’s residents. K1IG says a copy of the article will be submitted to ARRL as part of its Field Day report.
“Although our on-air time was diminished by thunderstorms and a hail storm, and propagation was affected by a sunspot count of zero, we made almost 1,300 contacts,” he adds.
Photos from the 211th Military Police Battalion’s visit can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/211thMPBN/photos/a.10151631768172189/10157592899137189/?type=3&theater
Action Unlimited publicity:

Framingham ARA Field Day, McAuliffe Public Library, Framingham, June 22

Framingham ARA logoSumner Weisman, W1VIV, writes on the FARA list:

Greetings to all hams,

The Framingham Amateur Radio Association‘s annual Field Day is coming soon!  We hope you will stop by and say hello.

    Date — Saturday, June 22.

    Place — McAuliffe Public Library, Water Street, Framingham

    Operating time — 2 pm to 6 pm.

We can’t promise, but there will be opportunities to operate as well.

We hope to see you there.

73, Sumner Weisman, W1VIV

“Triple Play:” MA Hams Receive Amateur Radio Proclamations, Resolutions from House, Senate, and Governor

MA State HouseMassachusetts ARRL staff received copies of proclamations and resolutions congratulating the Amateur Radio community for its service to the Commonwealth, and for the upcoming annual Field Day exercise June 22-23, 2019. 

The Massachusetts House of Representatives document “offers its sincerest congratulations to the American Radio Relay League in recognition of The ARRL Field Day and the Tireless Work of Amateur Radio Operators.” The document was signed by Robert A. DeLeo, Speaker of the House.

The Massachusetts State Senate weighed in with a resolution, adopted May 9, 2019. “[The Senate] extends its appreciation to Amateur Radio operators as they celebrate Amateur Radio Week and Field Day.” The resolution was signed by Senate President Karen E. Spilka and Michael D. Hurley, Senate Clerk. It was offered by Senator Bruce E. Tarr (N1UIU), who represents the 1st Essex and Middlesex District.

The Governor’s Office issued a proclamation proclaiming June 22, 2019 to be “Amateur Radio Day” in the Commonwealth. The proclamation was signed by His Excellency Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth, Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth, and William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth.

MA State Government Liaison Hank McCarl, W4RIG, was instrumental in securing the three documents.

Copies of the documents will be delivered to Tom Walsh, K1TW, and Ray Lajoie, KB1LRL, ARRL Section Managers for Eastern and Western Massachusetts, respectively; and to ARRL New England Division Director Fred Hopengarten, K1VR.  K1TW plans to bring the copies with him for display as he tours various Field Day sites around the section.


Sci-Tech ARS at Science on the Street, Framingham State College

Rishi Bhagat, KC1BKX, writes:

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (STARS) and its host New England Sci-Tech joined the “Science on State Street” event on the campus of Framingham State University (FSU).

STARS set up a large cube tent with an IC-7610, large display monitor, and a buddy pole for people to learn about ham radio. The radio was staffed by Rusty, K1FVK, and Bruce, N9JBT, while outside the tent Marcel, AC1DO, Janet, KC1IKP, and Bob, K5TEC, provided related activities and information. 

For more information about Science on the Street, visit http://christa.org/science-festival/ .

New England Sci-Tech Participates in 2019 Cambridge Science Festival

Leaders of New England Sci-Tech (NEST) staffed three exhibit tables this past weekend at the Cambridge Science Festival with “ham radio, meteorites, 3D space, and constellation night light kits.”

“We had 35 children make kits at the fair and more were made at [New England Sci-Tech] last evening when about 30 people came for the first night, ” writes NEST founder Bob Phinney, K5TEC.

New England Sci-Tech is a non-profit STEM+ education center and makerspace dedicated to project-based, hands-on learning for youth and families across theNew England community.

According to the Cambridge Science Festival’s organizers, “the annual 10-day (and night) celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts and math makes science accessible, engaging and fun for everyone through multifaceted, multicultural events.”  

KD1CY to Participate in 2019 National Hurricane Conference

Rob Macedo, KD1CY
Rob Macedo, KD1CY

Eastern Massachusetts ARRL field organization staffer Rob Macedo, KD1CY, will participate in the National Hurricane Conference Amateur Radio Workshop  in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 23, 2019.

According to Rob, “All Amateur Radio sessions are free. They will be on Tuesday April 23, 2019 from 11:30 AM-1:15 PM EDT (10:30 AM-12:15 PM CDT) and 2:30-6:00 PM EDT (1:30 PM-5:00 PM CDT). Each presenter will not only give an overview of their respective group but also how their group handled both the historic 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.”

KD1CY is Section Emergency Coordinator and ARES SKYWARN Coordinator. He will present on “VoIP (Voice over IP) Hurricane Net and Best Practices in SKYWARN for Tropical Systems.”

Further details can be found at <http://wx1box.org/2019/04/10/special-announcement-national-hurricane-conference-in-new-orleans-louisiana-amateur-radio-workshop-to-be-livestreamed-tuesday-4-23-19-amateur-radio-workshop-1130-am-600-pm-edt-1030-am-500-pm-cdt/>.

“Locals Keep Ham Radio Alive and Well”

New Hampshire’s “Seacoast Online” carried a well-written story and video featuring ham radio and Rochester, NH amateur Mark Pride, K1RX,  in its April 6, 2019 edition:

“In a time when social media platforms are often criticized more for their divisiveness than their ability to bring people together, a number of Seacoast residents are tapping into a different network to forge connections worldwide.

Local interest in ham radios has been growing at an accelerated rate in recent years thanks to lower entry hurdles, according to clubs and operators. They say it’s put new generations one twist of a dial or tap of a touchscreen away from the rush that comes from a meaningful chat with people on the other side of the globe. [Full story]

Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire, Volunteers Requested, April 27, 2019

The Falmouth Amateur Radio Association will again be participating in the Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire, Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the Mashpee High School, 500 Old Barnstable Road, in Mashpee. According to FARA president Brent Putnam, W1NCH, “We need volunteers to assist with station setup, operating, greeting the public, and helping the kids to make Morse code sounders.”
If you are available to assist, or have any questions, please contact Brent, W1NCH, at W1NCH@arrl.net.
For more information about the Faire, see http://capecod.makerfaire.com/

Special Event Station W1MGY to Commemorate 104th Anniversary of HMS Titanic Sinking

Special Events Station W1MGY, April 14, 2017
Special events operation in April, 2017. Photo courtesy @kathyschrock

Special events station W1MGY will operate at the old Coast Guard Station in Eastham on Cape Cod on April 13-14, 2019 to commemorate the tragic loss of the HMS Titanic.

Two stations will be set up and operated in approximately 4 hour shifts as follows:
  • Saturday April 13, 6:30 am- 10:00 am ; 10:00 am- 2:00 pm ; 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm ; 6:00 pm- 10:00 pm  (No operation over night)
  • Sunday April 14, 6:30 am – 10:00 am ; 10:00 am- 2:00 pm ; 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm ; 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm ; 10:00 pm – 1:27 am on 15th
“I’m going to start set up on Wednesday, April 10 at 12 noon and finish up on Friday morning if necessary,” reports Barry Hutchinson, KB1TLR. “Coffee and munchies will be available. Come and join the fun. The old station is a unique place to operate from. Pick a time slot or slots and email me your choices so that I may set up a roster.” KB1TLR adds, “If you are a CW operator, you will have to supply your own key.”
The station will be open to the public on Saturday from 1-4 pm.

This event is sponsored by the Titanic / Marconi Memorial Radio Association of Cape Cod and hosted by the Cape Cod National Seashore.

(Info via KB1TLR, W1MGY trustee, and Falmouth ARA)