Special 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.
Get to know you, CIS preliminary overview, and registration:
Attend either Friday November 19, 6:30 pm, or Saturday November 20, 3:30 pm.
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.
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.]
Andy Stewart, KB1OIQ, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:
I have just released version 24e of the “Andy’s Ham Radio Linux” software collection. This is the 20th release since I started this work in 2011. There are quite a few new pieces of software, as well as all of the other programs to which you’ve become accustomed.
To learn more: https://sourceforge.net/projec
Have fun and 73!
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.”
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.
Thanks to all who voted for our article on the 40M beam in June QST.
We just received notice that we won the Cover Plaque Award!
Thanks & 73,
[See also: <http://www.arrl.org/news/view/bob-glorioso-w1is-and-bob-rose-kc1dsq-win-the-june-2021-qst-cover-plaque-award>]
PART of Westford President George Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART mailing list:
The dynamic duo of PART member Bob, W1IS, and Bob, KC1DSQ, have another article published in CQ Magazine. In the May 2021 issue is their article titled “A New Design of a 40-6 Meter Off-Center-Fed Dipole,” that describes a dipole antenna covering the 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6-meter bands.
Reminder: The two Bobs wrote an antenna article that was published in the June issue of QST, and voting is still open for the cover plaque award. ARRL members can vote for their favorite article.
Ray Cord, K2TGX, writes on the Sturdy Memorial Hospital ARC mailing list:
Just to let you know that the K1SMH 147.195 Sturdy Memorial Hospital repeater has returned to the air as of about 1330 today [March 28, 2021] thanks to the efforts of: Pierre Guimond, N1EZT; John Bellissimo, KA1EWN; Steve, N1LEO and Bill, WB1DJM. Bill rebuilt the Super StationMaster that the repeater is now using while the damaged JAG 4 element folded dipole array was rebuilt from the damage it received in the tower fold-over. We lost about five feet in elevation and we are on a different antenna so you may notice some difference in coverage on the fringes.
It is good to get it back on the air and hope to hear activity soon. If I missed anyone who helped in this endeavor, please accept our thanks.
The latest edition of ARRL’s Eclectic Tech (Episode 34) features a discussion with Philip Gladstone, N1DQ, Carlisle, Massachusetts, the creator of the popular PSKReporter website.
The Eclectic Tech podcast is sponsored by Icom and is available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well as on Blubrry.
Warren Rothberg, W4WR/1 (ex-WB1HBB) writes:
The Pocahontas Radio Club (an informal group of old and new friends) and the owners and trustees (N1HSY and N1HOW) are pleased to announce that the Topsfield MA repeater (147.285 PL 100.0) has been completely rebuilt with a new tower, new antenna, new hardline, new weatherproof repeater enclosure and refurbished or replaced electronics. The “Pokeys” hold a ragchew net 7 days a week at 0830 EDT and all are welcome to join in at any time to make new friends and renew old acquaintances. Special thanks to Doug, N1LHP, and his many friends for their tireless work.
[Warren is a former Section Manager of New Hampshire, and a former New England Division Vice Director.]
Many amateurs have requested a recording of the RF Exposure Rules presentation featuring Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN on May 4, 2021. ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI also participated in the call, fielding questions from the audience.
The presentation can be viewed at: <https://youtu.be/7dSieKF3rm0>.
Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, will hold another presentation addressing the new FCC RF exposure rules on May 4 at 7:30 PM using the ARRL GoToWebinar platform.
His April 27 talk was a hugely successful–a maximum number of 100 connections for the call was reached just as the discussion started. The GoToWebinar has a much higher limit and should accommodate all who are interested. ARRL Laboratory Manger Ed Hare, W1RFI, will serve as Technical Moderator on the call.
To sign up for the presentation, visit:
The April 27, 2021 RF Exposure Rules Zoom Discussion by Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, has been posted to the Eastern MA ARRL website at: <https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1_qIGZhHyMrha-axJt87Dcu0UZuJO0t8F>.
The discussion was a huge hit. The maximum number of 100 connections for the call was reached just as the discussion started; many late arrivals were disappointed to be turned away, but W1DAN plans to hold at least one additional online discussion before the May 3 deadline using a larger “Zoom room.”
Watch this space for details.
AK1WI 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.
Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, writes:
The new FCC RF exposure rules become effective May 3, but do not fret! I will explain what we should do. Please forward this invite to anyone you may think is interested.
EMA-ARRL Technical Coordinator
Dan Brown is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: RF Exposure
Time: Apr 27, 2021 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 989 4160 0273
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The Bristol County Repeater Association / Fall River ARC will conduct a tape measure antenna build party on May 1, 2021 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the South Swansea Baptist Church in Swansea. The club asks for $20.00 to cover materials. They will supply the tape measures, 1/2″ PVC pipe and fittings, clamps, and a connection for your radio.
For more information visit the club web site at <https://bcra.club/bcrawprel/2021/04/06/fox-hunting-antenna-build/>.
From the MIT Radio Society website:
Our perseverance is beginning to pay off! After much discussion and collaboration with MIT Facilities and various contractor groups involved in the Green Building renovations project, we have completed an initial design and project cost for the renewal of our Large Radome.
MIT has informed us that, if we raise $1.9 million before May 1st, 2021, the restoration of the radome can be included in the Green Building renovation project. While this is an enormous challenge, we believe it is not insurmountable.
We have already raised a part of this in the process of our overall station renovation fundraising drive, and there is additional interest in this project across MIT — from Physics’ J-Lab, to AeroAstro’s Small Sat Center and STAR Lab.
If we can raise this, we can ensure that this historic radome can continue to serve the MIT Radio Society and the MIT community overall. With your support, we can safeguard this treasure. [Full story] [See also: MIT Radio Society Update: Station Renewal and COVID Response]
Bob Glorioso, W1IS, writes on NE Mass Fox Hunters list on Mar 11, 2021 at 6:06 AM:
W. Middlesex ARES uses 147.435 MHz with 110.9 Hz tone simplex for our net and emergency calling frequency. When the local Fire Dept. moved to a new building and left the tower in the center of town for Fire and Police repeaters, we were stuck with a 2M antenna at 90 ft but no place for a rig. We worked with Fire Chief Landry and shared the expense of putting a new antenna and remote base in the equipment shack at the base of the tower that has automatic power back-up. Its input is on 70 cm..
Interference from a strong intermittent broadband signal started on 147.439 MHz late last year. It is dead full quieting into our remote base on 147.435 and wipes out direct calls on 147.435 around town. The base only comes on when someone with the right tone triggers it but, if the noise comes on, many of the handheld stations around town are wiped out. I found it was strong near the Intel plant in Hudson by driving around when it was on. Early in January it went off and, unfortunately, came back on yesterday right after our monthly net. I heard it today coming back from getting our Covid shots at Gillett when we got to Hopkinton on 495.
Any assistance locating and silencing this noise will be appreciated.
Thanks & 73,
Ten-year-old amateur radio operator Max Kendall is having a blast with his latest weather balloon project. The Medway youth has been constructing a balloon payload around a Raspberry Pi computer and camera. The microcomputer he’s programming will collect atmospheric data, and convert the temperature values to the Fahrenheit scale “because I have a better feel for Fahrenheit than Celsius.”
Max is focusing on his next weather balloon. He thinks it will be ready for launch later this month, or in April.
For details about Max’s first weather balloon project, visit https://maxkendall.wixsite.com