New England Sci-Tech Hosts Lexington Boy Scout Troop

Lexington BSA troop at New England Sci-Tech for radio merit badge trainingSeventeen boys and girls from the Lexington BSA scouts participated in a three-hour program at New England Sci-Tech in Natick toward their radio merit badge, electronics merit badge, and amateur radio license.

For two groups over two weekends, Jon Lyna, George Lyna, Rusty Moore, K1FVK, and Bob Phinney, K5TEC, led radio and electronics activities. Scout leader John Aldridge created the curriculum which he and Bob plan to make a regular program for scout activities at New England Sci-Tech.

Battery Talk at Northeastern University Wireless Club, November 9, 2023

Northeastern Univ. logoMarty Sullaway, NN1C, writes on the NUWC mailing list:

This Thursday we will have a fun presentation on everything you’d ever want to know about batteries. Our in-house battery whiz Zach Perry will be giving us a look under the hood, and providing useful into and battery tips. Don’t miss it! We won’t let anything go up in smoke. As a reminder, If you would like to sit for an amateur radio exam session, we just announced two more dates; November 13th and 20th, both at 7:00 PM at 503 Hayden Hall. Please sign up here.That’s all I have for this week!Marty Sullaway, NN1CPresident, NUWC

RadioCraft a Big Hit at “Geek is Glam” Girl Scout Event

Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, shared on the New England Sci-Tech mailing list:

Mike Radz writes:

Dear Colleagues:

I have attached seven pictures from the “Geek is Glam” Girl Scout event held at WPI this past Saturday. My IQP team staffed a booth and offered the girls two STEM/HAM related activities: Morse code and Minecraft.

The former activity utilized Morse code kits from NEST as well as some circuitry built by the students that enabled the Girl Scouts to see the letters associated with the dots and dashes they tapped show up on a computer screen (this shown in the pics).

The later activity utilized a new “mod” that has been created for Minecraft that enables a player to build a HAM radio communication network within the game. It is in beta testing mode right now, but the WPI kids contacted the creator and arranged to get a copy to showcase at the event.

Finally, the kids created a QR code that took each Girl Scout to a survey instrument at which they could specify which activity they preferred. I have not yet seen the survey results, but the WPI kids will develop a “curriculum” based on the most popular activity and test to see whether or not it statistically influences youngsters to re-evaluate their views on STEM in a positive way.

Cheers.

Mike Radz

[The Minecraft radio mod “RadioCraft” made its official debut at the 2023 Northeast HamXposition. -K9HI]

New England Sci-Tech Starts Wireless Engineering Club

New England Sci-Tech Wireless Engineering Club logoSeth Kendall, KC1PZY, writes on the stars-radio mailing list:

We are looking for mentors/volunteers to help out with the new Wireless Engineering Club on Saturday mornings 10:00-11:30am.  Please let us know if you have any interest in participating!

The “Wireless Engineering Club” is a new club at New England Sci-Tech meant to attract youth and prospective hams into the hobby of Ham Radio.  The club will meet every other Saturday morning, a time that tends to work well for families, and will be focused around build workshops and practical, hands-on radio activities.  We’d like to use this club to bring in new hams, especially youth, and further grow the amateur radio community here at NEST.  

We are interested in three kinds of volunteers:

  • Helpers
  • Workshop Leaders
  • Outreach

For Helpers: Pick one or more workshops to come in and help out for.  If we get lots of members, we’ll need lots of Elmers to help people troubleshoot, experiment, and have fun.  

For Workshop Leaders: Pick one of the topics from our brainstorm list and volunteer to lead a 90 minute workshop on that topic.  The more hands on, the better.  We’re looking for activities over lectures.  Even better, volunteer your own workshop.  We need content, so anyone who’d like to put together one or more activities/workshops, please let us know.   They’re meant to be beginner level.  This is an ideal chance to help grow the ham radio community and bring in youth, but it’ll only work with participation from us in the community. 

Outreach: Know any recently licensed youth or youth with a general interest in electronics and science?  Spread the word about the club to communities you know!  Adults are welcome and encouraged to join in the workshops and builds as well.  Many of them could be of broad interest.  I’m attaching a flyer.  It looks like this, but if you download the attachment, it will be print resolution.

If you’d like to volunteer, you an either post here or send me an email at sethlkendall@gmail.com.  Thanks all.

Jamboree On The Air Event, October 21, 2023

  1. JOTA symbolTom Ulrich, KC1OCY, writes on the Sci-Tech ARS mailing list:

During the weekend of October 21, Scouts from around the world will take part in the 2023 Jamboree on the Air, Scouting’s largest radio event promoting friendship and global citizenship. Scouts from eastern Massachusetts will be on the air on Saturday, October 21, from at least four locations in the area; this spreadsheet has information about units’ station callsigns and operating frequencies. Learn more about JOTA, and see which frequencies are popular with JOTA stations. Help our hobby grow by talking to Scouts on the air!

73,
Tom Ulrich
KC1OCY

JOTA information: https://k2bsa.net/jota/

Scouting/JOTA frequencies: https://k2bsa.net/scout-frequencies/

Eastern Mass unit station information for 2024 JOTA: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1o9kHhJd1mnMHh3RXN9npBNoHxYEDGJ46_MS-_zbI9GY/edit?usp=sharing

ARISS Contact With Covenant Christian Academy, West Peabody, October 13, 2023

ARISS logoFrom ARISS.org:

October 9, 2023—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) in West Peabody, MA. ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.

CCA is a private school that serves over 430 students, Pre-K through12th grade. To prepare for this ARISS contact CCA integrated space-themed aspects into its STEM program and STEM-related activities. The physics and chemistry students hosted “Space Week” where they put together interactive displays on everything from the physics of black holes, Doppler shift, life on the ISS, to the chemistry of astronaut cuisine. STEM-related activities engaged students in their newly instituted Rocketry Club, Women in STEM Club, and a robotics lab. Amateur radio activities, such as learning about ham radio and radio communications, are being provided during after-school programs by members of area amateur radio clubs.

This ARISS contact will allow students to ask their questions of Astronaut Loral O’Hara, amateur radio call sign KI5TOM. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and may be heard by listeners within the ISS footprint that encompasses the amateur radio ground station in West Peabody, MA.

Amateur radio operators using call sign N1DQF will operate this radio station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for October 13, 2023 at 9:47 am EDT (MA) (13:47 UTC, 9:47 am EDT, 8:47 am CDT, 6:47 am PDT). The public is invited to watch the live stream at: https://vimeo.com/event/3761617.
_______________________________
As time allows, students will ask these questions:

1. What happens with all the trash on the ISS?
2. What is the best part and worst part about living in space?
3. Is the wifi and internet connection better in space?
4. How do you get your supplies delivered to the space station?
5. Do you play games in space? If so, how are they different from the games you play on earth?
6. What is your favorite workout to do for two hours each day to keep your muscles in shape?
7. What has been one of your hardest or scariest moments on the ISS?
8. How do you train your bodies to fall asleep on the ISS since your circadian rhythm can’t be regulated to the earth’s rotation on its axis?
9. Does time feel different on the ISS?
10. Is there any research that you are currently involved in? If so, how does it benefit the earth?
11. What is your favorite meal or snack to eat in outer space?
12. What types of jobs do you do while on the International Space Station?
13. How do you fix the solar panels on the space station?
14. Do you have any animals on the ISS right now? What are they?
15. What happens when someone gets sick on board the ISS?
16. When you come back to earth from space, do you feel the pressure of gravity, and if so, how much does this affect you?
17. What was the most challenging part of your training that prepared you to work on the International
Space Station?
18. What’s the most amazing thing you have seen from space?
19. Has living on the ISS changed any of your perspectives on life?
20. Is all the training, preparation, and hardship you endure to be an astronaut on the ISS worth it?

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), Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN) and the ISS National Lab—Space Station Explorers.

The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics. ARISS does this by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities take part in hands-on learning activities tied to space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see http://www.ariss.org.

Media Contact:

Dave Jordan, AA4KN
ARISS PR

Find us on social media at:

X: ARISS_Intl
Facebook: facebook.com/ARISSIntl
Instagram: ariss_intl
Mastodon: ariss_intl@mastodon.hams.social

Amateur License Exams Offered at Northeastern Universitiy

Marty Sullaway, NN1C, writes on the Northeastern University Wireless Club mailing list:

I am also excited to announce our upcoming series of amateur radio licensing exams. Each exam session is free for Northeastern Students, and getting your ham radio license looks great on your resume, and is a great proxy for learning electrical engineering skills. Our first exam will be on Oct 2, 2023 followed by another on Oct 16, 2023. Learn more on our website, and please sign up there if you wish to attend. Each will be held at 7:00 PM in 503 Hayden. 

Minecraft Ham Radio Mod Unveiled at HamXposition

Minecraft screenshotThe Minecraft ham radio mod “RadioCraft” will be introduced at the 2023 Northeast HamXposition / ARRL New England Division Convention in Marlboro, MA, on August 25-27, 2023.

RadioCraft will enable simulation of ham radio in the Minecraft game. Game players will be able to build and operate a variety of radios on HF and VHF, with customizable antennas, and realistic simulations of propagation, QRM and QRN, diurnal solar effects, and band conditions. Eventually the project hopes to simulate the full range of ham radio activities including phone, CW, APRS, VHF repeaters, and even fox hunting.

“There will be a continuous demonstration in the convention center lobby,” writes PART of Westford President George Allison, K1IG. “At 11:00 AM on Saturday we’ll have a one-hour presentation by Lucas (W1BTR) and me in the Sterling Room. The presentation will include a live demo of the program, and we’ll talk about how the mod could affect the growth of ham radio.”

If successful, the RadioCraft project could potentially introduce Amateur Radio to millions of young gamers. Every convention-goer is strongly encouraged to attend the presentation and see what the RadioCraft project has accomplished.

“Our goal is to use this simulation to introduce ham radio to the world-wide Minecraft gaming community and then get them licensed so they can participate in the real-world hobby.”

For more information, visit http://wb1gof.org/RadioCraft/.

HABGab and StratoScience Balloon Launch, Natick, July 2023

Seth Kendall, KC1PZY, writes on July 22, 2023 at 6:27 AM:

HABGab 2023 is officially on for today.  We will be launching from:

Tantasqua Vocational Regional High School

319 Brookfield Rd, Fiskdale, MA 01518

Frequencies, tracking information, updated countdown, etc:
https://nescitech.org/habgab

We will be starting on site set up at 9am.  Launch scheduled for 1pm.  We’d love to see you there or hear you on the air!

 

 

HABGab banner
 
Seth Kendall, KC1PZY, writes:
 
Enjoy making rare contacts and participating in experimental projects?  The New England Weather Balloon Society, in partnership with the Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society, is launching a special event high altitude balloon (HAB) repeater this July in Eastern Massachusetts. 
 
We would like to welcome all amateur radio operators in New England to participate in this experimental flight by calling into the repeater as it flies over 30 km high.  We will be issuing QSL cards to all confirmed contacts.
 
This flight will also be transmitting live video from the payload on 1.2 GHz, and live streaming to YouTube from our ground station at New England Sci-Tech.
 

Also traveling onboard will be a number of student projects by members of the StratoScience Lab class at New England Sci-Tech and BFCCPS school in Franklin, MA.

Please be aware that the date of the event is highly dependent on weather and readiness, so make sure to regularly check the HABGab Launch Page for up to date information about the date and instructions for making contact: https://nescitech.org/habgab.

Sixteen New Amateur Satellites in Orbit From Space-X Transporter 7 Launch

Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, writes on the Sci-Tech ARS mailing list:

[New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society] is working with AMSAT to help make a positive ID of these new satellites for inclusion in the AMSAT orbital elements distrubution. If you are so inclined, please listen for any of these new birds and send any observations, i.e. early or late passes based on the Celestrak Two Line element sets described below.

Our friends at Libre Space show 16 spacecraft using amateur frequencies on the recent Space-X transporter 7 launch.

https://community.libre.space/t/spacex-f9-transporter-7-2023-04-15-06-47-utc/10255

Celestrak has published element sets derived from Space-X deployment data. See https://celestrak.org/NORAD/elements/supplemental/sup-gp.php?FILE=transporter-7&FORMAT=tle

Celestrak also made an attempt to match Space-X derived TLEs to USSF tracked objects: https://celestrak.org/NORAD/elements/supplemental/transporter.match.txt but I don’t consider that authoritative. Note that RoseyCubesat-1 and INSPIRE-Sat 7 share the same element set which seems strange as I understand that they are two independent spacecraft.

We are particularly interested in INSPIRE-Sat 7. INSPIRE-Sat 7 carries a 435.200 MHz telemetry channel with BPSK mode – GR3UH 9k6 along with an FM transponder and student experiments to be activated after on-orbit checkout.

The following is from https://www.uvsq.fr/inspire-sat-7

“To receive the telemetry, a software has been developed: KissTool . It is available for Windows & Linux:

Linux: https://site.amsat-f.org/download/118791/?tmstv=1680945385

Windows : https://site.amsat-f.org/download/118784/?tmstv=1680945385

The user manual is available in French ( https://site.amsat-f.org/josast-kisstool/ ) and English ( https://code.electrolab.fr/xtof/josast/-/blob/27-new-application-for-spino/ApplicationKissTool/src/site/markdown/UserManual.md ) ”

de KM1P Joe

Beaver Works / MIT Amateur Radio License Class for High Schoolers Begins March 4, 2023

Beaver Works MIT Ham Radio Class flyerDaniel Sheen, KC1EPN, writes:

The folks over at W1MX have been organizing an amateur radio class for high schoolers with Beaver Works at MIT for the spring. It starts on March 4th and we still have space for more people, I was wondering if any of your members know anyone who might be interested?

The signup link is here: https://mit-bwsi.formstack.com/forms/bwsi_spring_2023_hamradio

Thanks.

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.

 

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. 

W6NBC: “Making Ferrite Toroid Baluns” at New England Sci-Tech Hybrid Meeting, January 3, 2023

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society will meet on-line and in-person on January 3, 2023 at 7 PM and feature: “Making Ferrite Toroid Baluns” by by John Portune, W6NBC.

Few hams have a clue of how to select a toroid and wind it to make a 1:1, 4:1 or 9:1 balun and the well-known radio books can be confusing. This presentation shows the three very easy steps to successful ferrite toroid design with very little math and a free on-line calculator.

Bio: John is a native of Los Angeles, CA and was first licensed in 1965. He has a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Oregon State University and, before he retired, was a broadcast television engineer and instructor. John is a ham magazine author and has published more than 25 articles to date in QST. He is active on HF, VHF, UHF – SSB, FM, digital modes, ham satellites and his other hobbies include steam railroading and pipe organs. John is married to KF6OEB and has three children and 12 grandchildren. John’s website is www.w6nbc.com

Algonquin ARC Members Chat With Hudson High School Students, December 9, 2022

Hudson High School ARC
Hudson High School ARC, May 2019.

Members of the Algonquin Amateur Radio Club in Marlborough took time from their busy lives to chat with students at the Hudson High School over AARC’s 440 MHz repeater. The Hudson High School ARC is under new leadership: Lynda Chilton, KC1RWC, the HUD-TV Cable Access TV Director, and Troy Lefebvre, KC1RUC, of the school’s Business and Technology Department.

Outgoing club leader and W1HUD trustee Reed Prior, W1TF, is still involved supporting the new instructors through the transition.

“We had to store the equipment away as we work through the logistics of reconnecting the antenna to new location in the building. We hope to set it back up in the future but we have to discuss it at a later date,” says Lefebvre.

The students use a handheld Baofeng radio to make the contacts with the Algonquin ARC members.

Ken Horton, KA1GFN, the Algonquin ARC’s treasurer and newsletter editor, spoke to three or four students on Friday, December 9, 2022.

“They wanted to know how long I had been in Amateur Radio and how I become interested.”

Ken says one student also asked if he had any suggestions on the best way to learn Morse code.

“Not being a  Morse code person, I couldn’t offer much as far as suggestions other than to practice.”

The students’ questions were not limited strictly to Amateur Radio,” reports KA1GFN.

“They also asked some questions on sports which I came up with the best answers that I could for not being a sports person. They asked which sport I liked watching the most; I don’t really watch sports but if were to watch any, it would be baseball. They asked what baseball team I like watching the best. Being from New England, it would be the Red Sox. I guess, though, the idea was to get them to talk.”

“We run a program that we call ‘Enrichment,'” says Troy Lefebvre. “Each day there is time allocated for academic support or enrichment which are fun topics for students to learn more about. We currently have ham radio enrichment  on Fridays.”

KC1RUC says the ham enrichment topics have included:

  • Amateur Radio – Define it, types, licensing, AARC, resources, local events
  • Repeaters – Define, local groups, resources, how to set up your transceiver for a repeater (Baofeng), net events
  • Echolink – Define it, its uses, demonstration
  • Connecting /Conversation- Mainly with members of AARC or Reed  Prior (W1TF)

“It is out hope, based on what we know now and our set up, to continue with the information listed above and expand as Lynda and I learn more. This coming summer, we hope get our General class licenses, revisit the equipment and antenna set up and expand the offering in the fall of 2023.”

Troy says the biggest challenge they face is “continuing to get good numbers for enrichment. They have been going down as of late, but of those that do come they are really interested. I would like to have a solid foundation throughout the year and ideally, have it in place for the fall.”

Hudson High School is a public school enrolling about 950 students in grades 8-12.  It is located in the New England town of Hudson, MA, about 27 miles (43 km) west of Boston.  We offer a broad general education curriculum, including about 155 elective courses to meet widely varying student interests. 

KC1HTT: “A Low Power, Single Polarization, 144 MHz, Earth-Moon-Earth Amateur Radio Station: Physics, Engineering, and Operations” at New England Sci-Tech Hybrid Meeting, December 20, 2022

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society will meet on-line and in-person on December 20, 2022 at 7 PM and feature: “A Low Power, Single Polarization, 144 MHz, Earth-Moon-Earth Amateur Radio Station: Physics, Engineering, and Operations” by Dr. William E. Keicher, KC1HTT.

Description: Successful amateur Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) communications is the most challenging project that an amateur radio operator can attempt. The goal of this presentation is to give the amateur radio enthusiast an idea of what is required to successfully model, build, and operate a QRP EME station. The KC1HTT 2 meter, QRP EME amateur radio station is described in detail. Included in this presentation are the physics of EME communications, communication system analysis, design, and hardware implementation. In addition, the JT65B communication mode, waveforms, and signal processing are described. Finally, EME operations are reported, including QSO planning, safety considerations, EME support web sites, six successful QSOs, and a signal-to-noise analysis of the QSOs. Plans are discussed for the next generation KC1HTT EME radio station.

Bio: Dr. William E. Keicher, KC1HTT, is a retired research electrical engineer. He worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1975 to 2012 and CBS Laboratories from 1973 to 1975. He served as an officer in the US Army Signal Corps from 1969 to 1977. His research specialties include laser and millimeter wave communications, laser, microwave and millimeter wave radar systems, and infrared and visible imaging systems. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Electrical Engineering Department BSEE (1969), MSEE (1970), Ph.D. EE (1974). Dr. Keicher’s amateur radio interests include HF DX chasing, VHF/UHF satellite communications, and VHF Earth-Moon-Earth communications.

New England Sci-Tech Now hosting NEWBS to Reach New Heights

StratoScience logoThe New England Weather Balloon Society is dedicated to the collaborative and iterative process of building and launching high altitude balloons to the edge of space to take instrumentation readings, record video footage, and conduct experiments. This club, hosted by New England Sci-Tech, brings together like minded tinkerers, engineers, and hams to work on exciting projects and launches. Open to all ages.

“AeroNU Project Horizon Presentation” at Northeastern University Wireless Club, November 3, 2022

Northeastern Univ Wireless logoThe Northeastern University Wireless Club is hosting a special meeting with the AeroNU Project Horizon project on November 3, 2022 at  7 p.m. in 503 Hayden (club space).

The club will discuss its upcoming collaboration with AeroNU. AeroNU is launching a CubeSat, and NUWC is supporting the construction of a VHF/UHF satellite ground station to be hosted in the NUWC club space. The team from Aero will be presenting on their work, and the communication systems onboard. 

 

New England Sci-Tech ARS (W1STR) QRV for School Club Roundup

New England Sci Tech logoW1STR will be open and operating School Club Roundup on Thursday [October 20, 2022] from 7 pm to 9 pm and Friday [October 21, 2022] 6 pm to 8 pm, all are welcome to come and operate.  New hams, youth, and anyone interested in ham radio will be able to operate this event on HF.

Bands:

All amateur bands except 60, 30, 17 and 12 meters are permitted.

Repeaters are not to be used. Only recognized simplex frequencies may be used. U. S. A. examples include 144.90-145.00; 146.49, .55, 58; and 147.42, .45, .48, .51, .54 and .57 MHz. The national calling frequency, 146.52 MHz, may not be used. Similar restrictions apply in other countries.

Suggested HF Frequencies:

Phone (MHz): 1.855-1.865; 3.850-3.880; 7.225-7.255; 14.250-14.280; 21.300-21.330; 28.440-28.460
CW (MHz): 1.800-1.810; 3.530-3.540; 7.030-7.040; 14.030-14,.040; 21.130-21.140; 28.130-28.140

More details at: https://www.arrl.org/school-club-roundup