Kids Day is January 1, 2022

From ARRL Website:

Saturday, January 1, 2022, is Kids Day. The event gets under way at 1800 UTC and concludes at 2359 UTC. Sponsored by the Boring (Oregon) Amateur Radio Club, Kids Day has a simple exchange suitable for younger operators: first name, age, location, and favorite color. After that, the contact can be as long or as short as each participant prefers.

Kids Day happens twice a year — in January and June — and can be your opportunity to get youngsters on the air and mentor future amateur radio operators to show them the fun and excitement that ham radio has to offer. You might just be introducing the next generation of hams to the airwaves. Share the excitement with your kids or grandkids, a Scout troop, a church or the general public.

Look for activity on these frequencies: 10 meters: 28.350 – 28.400 MHz; 12 meters: 24.960 – 24.980 MHz; 15 meters: 21.360 – 21.400 MHz; 17 meters: 18.140 – 18.145 MHz; 20 meters: 14.270 – 14.300 MHz; 40 meters: 7.270 – 7.290 MHz, and 80 meters: 3.740 – 3.940 MHz. Repeater contacts are okay with permission of the repeater owner.

As with any on-the-air activity that includes unlicensed individuals, control operators must observe third-party traffic restrictions when making DX contacts. Additional details are on the ARRL website.

As many communities are taking precautions due to COVID-19, participants are reminded to adhere to social distancing and face mask guidelines where applicable. If it’s not feasible to invite youngsters into your shack, consider other options to mentor, such as using social media platforms or via Zoom or other non-contact means.

New England Sci-Tech “Cubes In Space™” Program Begins in December, 2021

New England Sci Tech logoSpecial Note: The students in the 2019 cubes program had their projects accepted for flight. One project flew on a NASA rocket in June and one flew on a high altitude balloon in September. The 2020 program was cancelled due to COVID. The 2021 project did not fly because of a shipping problem with the carrier, so that project will fly in June 2022. 

CUBES IN SPACE™ – Now accepting 2021-2022 applications

A specialized activity of NE SciTech’s Space Science Club, specifically for students ages 11-17, Cubes in Space (CIS), a program by idoodledu inc., teaches students about the atmosphere, rocketry, high-altitude balloons, general laws of physics, and space science. Students work in teams to design and propose experiments to launch into space or a near space environment on a NASA sounding rocket and zero-pressure scientific balloon. Students then submit their proposals and could have a chance to fabricate and fly their projects. Space is limited.

Students attend regular educational CIS curriculum workshops and team meetings in the fall, winter, and spring. GROUP 1 meets on specific Friday evenings 6:30-7:30 pm. GROUP 2 meets on specific Saturday afternoons 3:30-4:30 pm. Regular meetings are usually every other week from December through March. For teams with projects that have been selected to fly, there will be additional prep and build meetings in April and May. The rocket flies in June. The hi-alt balloon flies over the summer, usually in August. We will schedule additional CIS meetings in the fall for students to examine their flown projects when recovered from NASA.

This CIS program is free for student members* of New England Sci-Tech, with a small lab fee** of $45 to cover printed materials and general supplies. Having experience in physics, electronics, or amateur radio is helpful, but not required. Space is limited.

Cubes in Space™ (CIS), a program by idoodledu inc., is a global competition. Out of thousands of entries worldwide, under a hundred get picked to fly. However, our mentors, running this program for the past five years, have had a 100% success rate for CIS projects accepted each year.

Students who successfully complete the program and successfully fly a project will receive an official CIS certificate and may list their CIS success in personal resumes, school transcripts, and college applications.

ORIENTATION MEETING

Get to know you, CIS preliminary overview, and registration:
Attend either Friday November 19, 6:30 pm, or Saturday November 20, 3:30 pm.

FRIDAY WORKSHOPS

Eight Fridays, 6:30-7:30 pm:
Lesson 1 – Dec 3, Lesson 2 – Dec 17, Lesson 3 – Jan 7, Lesson 4 – Jan 21, Lesson 5 – Feb 4, Lesson 6 – Feb 11, Lesson 7 – Mar 4, Lesson 8 – Mar 18.

For those projects chosen to fly, there will be 6 additional prep and build days, some optional:
Apr 1, 8, 29, May 13, 20, Jun 3.

For anyone who will need to miss a Friday lesson, you may attend the same lesson on Saturday. Please plan ahead.

SATURDAY WORKSHOPS

Eight Saturdays, 3:30-4:30 pm:
Lesson 1 – Dec 4, Lesson 2 – Dec 18, Lesson 3 – Jan 8, Lesson 4 – Jan 22, Lesson 5 – Feb 5, Lesson 6 – Feb 12, Lesson 7 – Mar 5, Lesson 8 – Mar 19.

For those projects chosen to fly, there will be 6 additional prep and build days, some optional:
Apr 2, 9, 30, May 14, 21, Jun 4.

For anyone who will need to miss a Saturday lesson, you may attend the same lesson on the previous Friday. Please plan ahead.

[Visit https://nescitech.org/product/cubes-in-spacetm/ for more information.]

New England Sci-Tech Technician Course Online, December 6-9, 2021

New England Sci Tech logoThis ONLINE ham radio class will get you ready to take the Ham Radio Technician license exam, the FIRST of three certification levels. Geared toward adults, as well as junior high, high school, and home-school students. Yes, we give online and in-person ham radio exams, too! (See below)

Get your ham radio license in 4 days or a 2-day weekend!

This is a FULL course taught live via Zoom by a 40-yr veteran teacher, not a video or discussion group. You will learn much more than with other methods.

Topics range from the science of radio electronics to the FCC rules governing the radio spectrum. Optional text: ARRL Technician Class License Manual, 4th edition, for exams through June 30, 2022, (purchase on ARRL website). Regular practice and study is necessary to get the best results from this course.

Amateur radio (or “ham radio”) is used by people all over the world to communicate over radio waves. Some people use ham radio for emergency preparedness, to provide communications support for community events, to report on severe weather and natural disasters, as a social activity, and even occasionally to contact crew members on the International Space Station!

4 day course: M-T-W-T NOV 8-11, 8:30-11:30pm, EASTERN
4 day course: M-T-W-T DEC 6-9, 8:30-11:30pm, EASTERN
2 day weekend cram: SAT-SUN DEC 11-12, 11:00am-5:00pm, EASTERN

Included with course: You will get downloadable lecture study guides and charts, FREE access to our weekly Online Radio Shop Talk sessions, FREE enrollment in any of our Morse Code classes, and a guest pass to the Sci-Tech Radio Rooms and online radio club meetings for 3 months.

Family Free: Additional members of the same family may join this course at no extra charge, if sharing one computer and zoom screen.

System Requirements: For ONLINE course, computer or Chromebook capable of running ZOOM Meeting, either by Zoom app or through a web browser, a web camera/mic, and a printer.

Zoom Link: Approximately 2 days before the session begins you will receive an email with instructions to access the course details, documents, Zoom link for ON-LINE viewing, and directions for IN-PERSON participation. If you don’t see the email, check your spam filter. If you still don’t see it, call or email us.

Please be aware of our Cancellation and Refund Policies. For questions, e-mail info@nescitech.org or call 508-720-4179.

School and Scout Groups: Ask about scheduling a session just for your youth group at youth-friendly times, perhaps in smaller sessions spread over two weeks. We may be able to give you a reduced rate as well.

 

Northeastern University Wireless Club Active in 2021 ARRL CW Sweepstakes

The Northeastern University Wireless Club (W1KBN) in Boston was QRV in this past weekend’s ARRL CW Sweepstakes Contest.  YCCC member Marty Sullaway, NN1C, spent “a few hours playing around between homework assignments and such.”  He adds, “[It was] fun to try out our new JK Antennas MidTri-40. Considering we are located in downtown Boston, we seem to hear okay, and I felt loud.”

Marty worked a total of 265 stations and 84 sections for a score of 44,520. 

ARRL School Club Roundup, Runs Through October 22, 2021

Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, writes on the Yankee Clipper Contest Club mailing list:

We can encourage new hams and budding contesters right now by working them in the School Club Roundup presently underway.   I coached a 5th grader through more than 50 QSOs Monday night at the New England Sci-Tech station, W1STR.

The roundup started Monday and runs through through 2359 UTC Friday.     W1STR will be active again Friday at 6 PM local, and CW counts for double points.    If you hear them on phone, consider asking for a CW QSO also – the kids there are interested in CW.

Please consider tuning around the bands and spotting all the school clubs you can find.

de KM1P Joe

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!

https://www.jotajoti.info/
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!

73,
Tate, K1MKD

Possible JOTA Effort at Southeastern MA ARA, October 15-17, 2021

Southeastern MA ARA logoDoug Belcher, KC1NFL, writes on the Southeastern MA ARA mailing list:

This coming weekend 10/15-17 is the Scouting World Wide Jamboree On The Air and Internet. There will be scouts from all over the world tying to connect with each other. Are there any members who would be able to help me get the Scouts on the Air this Friday from 5-8 at the club?  I will also be having a Zoom session with Rob Macedo to go over SKYWARN, ARES, and RACES. I’m hoping to get some new hams out of this by offering HT Baofengs to any scout who gets their Tech license.

73!
Doug Belcher
KC1NFL

W0MXX Balloon Launch, Cummington, MA, October 2, 2021

Seth Kendall writes on the STARS mailing list:

Max [W0MXX] and family are tentatively targeting a launch of our latest high altitude balloon on:

Saturday, Sept. 25th  October 2, 2021

TENTATIVE launch location: Around Stafford, CT Cummington, MA

Note: This will change on the morning of launch, so keep an eye out for posts!
Launch prep begins at 9:30 am with a launch time at around Noon.

(If Saturday is scrubbed, we will shoot for Sunday, and if that’s scrubbed, then next weekend. We will try to keep this thread updated.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Pick and choose from…

  1. Come to the Launch!  

    1. We start our prep at 9:30 am and aim to launch by noon.

    2. Keep an eye on our posts on the morning of launch for an updated location.

    3. Stream the prep and launch action for those that can’t make it using your phone.  We’ve never done this before, but always been interested, since most people aren’t able to come in person.  Our discord server has a Voice Hangout section that could be used for this, though we’re fine with any platform. (this is not expected if you show up haha, just a fun idea)

  1. Track the balloon online!

    1. https://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FW0MXX-11&timerange=3600&tail=3600 

      1. This gives live updates directly from the transmitter.

    2. https://tracker.habhub.org/

      1. This is very useful for us, because it will give a predicted landing location.  As it gets close to landing, we can really benefit from people tracking it here, and letting us know where to look.  You can post locations here on groups.io, or if you are tracking it live and able to talk, give us your phone number to keep in touch while we’re on the road.

    3. Join our discord server for the most frequent updates.  We’d love to have you there in general as we work on weather balloons and try to troubleshoot problems!  It’s especially useful on launch day though.

      1. Step 1 – Make a Discord account:  http://discord.com/app 

      2. Step 2 – Join our server.  This invite will expire in 7 days:

https://discord.gg/fQRpHG8n 

  1. Watch this thread on groups.io, or better yet, track the balloon and contribute to it!

  2. Come track the landing beacon!

    1. Bring your 2m mag mount antenna, SDR, and laptop (with wifi access – we use our phone as a mobile hotspot), and try to pick up those final beacons just before (or after) it hits the ground (read: tree).  This can really help us to pinpoint where it actually landed.

    2. Max will post tomorrow with more details about using HDSDR and Direwolf to receive, decode, and publish the GPS data online.

    3. Keep up to date on the predicted landing location using tracker.habhub.org (above) or just tuning into others’ posts on our Discord or groups.io.  I’m not sure where people will post, but we find Discord easier for these kinds of things. 

  1. Come help us physically search for and recover it.

    1. Keep up to date on landing location via groups.io

    2. We’ll agree on a meeting point from which to conduct the search.

    3. Bring some basic survival stuff

      1. Boots, bug spray, water, etc.

    4. Bring your handheld to maintain contact during the search!

    5. We have a slingshot, and are trying to grab a fishing reel in time in order to try and fish it out of a tree should the cutdown system not work.  If you have any other tools you think could help with that, bring em!

    6. If you are a tree climber, bring your gear!  We’ll put you to use!

 

 
We’ve seemed to zero into a final launch location:
 
William Cullen Bryant Homestead
207 Bryant Rd
Cummington, MA 01026 

JOTA Volunteers Requested in Chelmsford, October 15-17, 2021

JOTA-JOTI logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford email list:

The JOTA is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world connect with each other by means of amateur radio, and this year will be held October 15-17. The Scout troop in Chelmsford is interested in participating, and is looking for hams who could host a few scouts at their home station, set up a portable station at the Scouting site in Chelmsford, or organize a fox hunt. The number of Scouts is estimated at 10-15, but could be more. If you want to host just a small number of Scouts at your home station, that can be arranged. Activities conducted indoors will require masks.

If you’re interested in participating, reply directly to me (k1ig (at) arrl dot net) by September 26.

George  K1IG
PART President
WB1GOF.org

Jamboree On The Air, October 15-17, 2021

JOTA-JOTI logoFrom the JOTA-JOTI website:

JOTA-JOTI (Jamboree-on-the-Air-Jamboree-on-the-Internet) is the world’s largest digital Scout event taking place on October 15-17, 2021, on the Internet and over the airwaves. Held every year in October, the event connects millions of young people around the world for a full weekend of online activities that promote friendship and global citizenship. JOTA-JOTI enables young people and volunteers to participate in fun and engaging group activities over the Internet and amateur radio focused on developing 21st century skills through Scouting. 

JOTA-JOTI 2020 took place from 15 to 17 October. The dynamic program comprised a variety of non-formal education activities, including webinars, global campfires, talent shows, live shows, fun challenges and more through an interactive 3D campsite. JOTA-JOTI aims to support young people of all ages to learn about communications technology, the values of global citizenship, and their role in creating a better world.

AB1OC: “Programs Helping Hams and Young People to Develop New Skills and Get on The Air” at New England Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, August 31, 2021

 New England Sci Tech logoOn Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 7:00 PM, Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, will present “Programs Helping Hams and Young People to Develop New Skills and Get on The Air” at the New England Sci-Tech ARS (STARS) meeting.

For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.

KC1US: “Amateur Radio Public Service” at Sci-Tech ARS, August 24, 2021

New England Sci Tech logoComing Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at the Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society: “Amateur Radio Public Service” by Bruce Pigott, KC1US.

This presentation will cover procedures, resources and clubs involved with public service events. Items discussed will include typical tasks, recommended equipment to use and communications protocols. Information about training as well as the groups and agencies that need radio support are also presented. Bruce has been doing events since 1989. He has been an operator, leader at large activities and a ham planner and organizer for various Public Service events. Bruce has maintained repeater systems, done many Field Days, participated in VHF contests, and built APRS tracker boxes. He has held a number of engineering positions, such as component engineer and test engineer for assembled boards and IC wafer trim and test.

[For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.]

New England Sci-Tech QRV on WSPR

New England Sci Tech logoDerek Rowell, AK1WI, writes in the Sci-Tech ARS newsletter:

As promised last week, I have installed one of the New England Sci-Tech (NEST) WSPR (“Weak Signal Propagation Reporter”) beacons in the Radio Room and have had it running since on 80m, 40m, 20m, and 15m using the OCF dipole during periods when the room has been idle. My plan is to build filters for the other bands that are covered by the OCF (17m, 12m, 10m), one per day, and have them available later this week.

The results so far have been excellent. On separate days both 20m and 40m have had over 300 unique spots over a 24 hour period. (For those unfamiliar with WSPR jargon a “spot” is a report of a beacon being heard, and a “unique spot” is the first report from an individual reporting station) We were heard from Central Europe, South America, Antarctica, across the US, and down through the South Pacific.
 
The map shows the 306 unique spots on 40m over 24 hours on July 30. The results from 20m look very similar. We are still collecting initial data on 80m and 15m.
 
Last year we distributed 21 kits for the WSPR beacon and had two kit building sessions at NEST before Covid shut us down. Right now I am out of parts and cannot supply additional kits. However, if there is interest, I am willing to gear up and hold additional in-person building sessions at NEST. The parts cost is approximately $50 for the complete kit. This is a kit that can be assembled by first-time kit builders with no soldering experience, and takes about one morning to build the PCB and another shorter session to build a filter for a particular band and do some on-air testing.
 
After the this week’s meeting I’ll be available in the Sci-Tech ARS Radio Room to demonstrate the unit and discuss what’s involved in building it. For those attending by Zoom, I’ll set up a groups.io discussion (with hashtag #WSPR) where interested folks can chat about the project.
 

Derek, AK1WI 

World Map showing New England Sci-Tech WSPR spots

N8ZRY: “Repair and Restoration of Antique Radio Equipment” at Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, July 20, 2021

New England Sci Tech logoComing Tuesday, July 20 at the Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society: “Repair and Restoration of Antique Radio Equipment” by Greg Charvat, N8ZRY. Greg operates SSB equipment that he has designed/built from scratch and vintage gear that has been restored. His work has been featured in QST magazine, on Hackaday, and many others. Licensed amateur since 1993, member of ARRL, Senior Member of the IEEE, and avid reader of Electric Radio magazine. For more information about his amateur radio activities, please see Greg’s webpage and his youtube channel.

[For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.]

Youth On The Air 2021 Camp Makes Successful ARISS Contact

YOTA logoFred Kemmerer, AB1OC, writes:

“I had the pleasure of serving as the ARISS contact moderator for the Youth On The Air (YOTA) 2021 Camp’s contact with the International Space Station (ISS) using Amateur Radio today. Young Hams spent the week at the Voice of America Bethany Relay Station in West Chester, OH engaging in a variety of Amateur Radio Activities. Ruth Willet, KM4LAO, was the host for YOTA 2021 and provided an excellent pre-contact program. The West Chester Amateur Radio Association partnered with YOTA 2021 Camp group to help them with YOTA 2021 activities and their ISS contact. You can view a video of the YOTA 2021 Camp’s contact with astronaut Aki Hoshide, KE5DNI, on the International Space Station (ISS) by clicking on the video above.

Working with a school or group to help young people make contact with an astronaut on the ISS using Amateur Radio is a great way to build a lasting relationship around Amateur Radio with young people and their teachers and mentors. In my role as an ARISS Mentor and Ground Station, I have had the pleasure to help with nine of these contacts around the world over the last several years. In every case, local Ham Radio clubs partnered with the school or group to provide STEM learning experiences based on Amateur Radio. Helping a school or group make contact with the astronaut on the ISS provides a memorable experience for everyone involved.

You can learn more about the ARISS contact program here or contact me at ab1oc@arrl.net.

Fred, AB1OC

 

W0MXX: “High Altitude Ballooning: Going to the Edge of Space” at Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, July 13, 2021

New England Sci Tech logo
Coming Tuesday, July 13 at the New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society: “High Altitude Ballooning: Going to the Edge of Space” by Max Kendall, W0MXX.  
 
This talk will introduce high altitude balloons and then describe Max’s experiences in building, launching, and recovering them.  Amateur radio transmitters play a critical role in recovery of payloads.
 
Max is one of our youth members who has achieved Tech and General licenses and is now working on his Amateur Extra license.
 
[For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.]

Youth on the Air Camp 2021 to Activate W8Y and Stream Selected Events Online

YOTA logoFrom ARRL News:

The first Youth on the Air (YOTA) camp for young radio amateurs in North, Central, and South America begins on July 11 in West Chester, Ohio. Among other activities, campers will be operating special event station W8Y from the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township, and also from the camp hotel. The camp will run until July 16.

“We are at 23 campers,” said Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG. “We are very excited to finally bring this program to the Americas. Our young people are bringing an incredible lineup of hands-on sessions for their peers. We hope this pilot gives us the information we need to replicate this camp over multiple locations for years to come. We also hope this brings a more robust community of young hams into amateur radio.”

The long-awaited summer camp for up to 30 hams aged 15 through 25 had been set to take place in June 2020, but it had to be rescheduled until summer 2021 because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns. The camp for young hams in the Americas took its cue from the summer Youngsters on the Air camps held for the past few years in various IARU Region 1 countries. [Full story]

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.

 

AK1WI: “Adventures in Home Brew SDR Design” at New England Sci-Tech ARS, April 27, 2021

AK1WI homebrew SDR radioAK1WI will present “Adventures in Home Brew SDR Design” at the New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society on April 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM. 

In this talk, Derek will describe his multi-year project to develop the hardware and software for a stand-alone SDR system using the “Teensy” family of microcontrollers from PJRC.  In particular, it uses the Teensy Audio Library structure, hence its name “AudioSDR.”   The software is now freely available from GitHub.

Derek will describe the origins of the project from a graduate course he was teaching in 2010, and how it was not initially intended for ham radio, but rather as an exercise in applied DSP (digital signal processing).   He will describe in very broad terms the structure and operation of the system.    Math will be kept at a minimum. 

The talk will also cover the associated hardware for the RF front-end and the LCD display, as well as how the system is controlled, and the software structure for the Teensy Audio Library coding.   We will look at (extremely) over-simplified seudo-code to demonstrate concepts of real-time software.  We will write such code for an SDR version of the humble crystal-set – the simplest of all radios.

Derek will also discuss current developments and future enhancements for AudioSDR, including the addition of a transmit function to make it a true transceiver. 

If feasible we will have a demonstration of the operation, or at a minimum, pre-recorded sound clips of the output.