Nashoba Valley ARC Members Participate in HamSCI Experiment During Field Day

Photo of WX1P at the Nashoba Valley ARC Field Day 2018
Bob Reif, W1XP, sends a test transmission to the CASSIOPE satellite. 

The Nashoba Valley ARC participated in a Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSci) experiment with the Canadian CAScade, Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) spacecraft over Field Day weekend.

Courtesy the HamSci web site:

 “’We’re really happy with our results this year’ remarked Dr. Gareth Perry, a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary, CASSIOPE’s home institution. ‘The Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) recorded plenty of chatter between Field Day participants, especially during our passes over the eastern and central United States on the evening of the 23rd’.

“Members of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) group coordinated with the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club (NVARC, N1NC) and the Hoosier DX And Contest Club (N9NS) and the Indianapolis Radio Club to ‘direct traffic’ – asking their members to stick to pre-selected frequencies during the passes, and to record their transmitting logs.” 

The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation project is a platform for the publicity and promotion of projects that:

  • Advance scientific research and understanding through amateur radio activities
  • Encourage the development of new technologies to support this research
  • Provide educational opportunities for the amateur community and the general public


ARRL Represented at IEEE Symposium in Boston

VE2JBP/W1 operating N1P at IEEE AP-S Symposium in Boston
Robert Paknys, VE2JBP/W1 checks out 20m SSB from special event station N1P at the 2018 IEEE AP-S Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts


ARRL was on hand in Boston July 8 – 13 for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antenna and Propagation Society (AP-S) Symposium, held jointly held with the US National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI). The ARRL exhibit included an Amateur Radio special event demonstration station, N1P, and more than a dozen volunteers staffed the ARRL exhibit.

“We had a very attractive booth in a great location,” said ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Assistant Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI. “Engineers and scientists in the fields of antennas and propagation who attended from all over the world stopped by the ARRL table to see and learn about Amateur Radio.”

Temples said ARRL Headquarters provided supplies for the booth as well as display copies of publications, “which doubled as door prizes for drawings,” he added. Complementing volunteers from the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section were radio amateurs attending the conference who donated their time between talks and seminars to assist with the booth and greet fellow attendees.

“It was clear to me that our presence at the symposium meant a great deal to the IEEE AP-S/URSI leadership,” Temples said. “It’s difficult to have a ‘live’ Amateur Radio station in an exhibit area of a major hotel, so we were indeed fortunate to have access to one of the premiere contesting stations in New England through a remote internet HF setup, courtesy of Yankee Clipper Contest Club member Greg Cronin, W1KM.” Temples said YCCC president Dennis Egan, W1UE, supplied an Elecraft K3 to use on site.

In addition, ARRL Volunteer Examiners conducted separate Amateur Radio licensing exam sessions over two days at the conference thanks to the efforts of the Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Group and Lou Harris, N1UEC. More than a dozen attendees took advantage.

“The IEEE AP-S/URSI hams who will organize next year’s event hope to secure the call sign N4P and recruit local volunteers when the symposium moves to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2019,” Temples said. He expressed gratitude to Dave Michelson, VA7DM, an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia and who chaired the IEEE’s AP-S/URSI Joint Meetings Committee, for his help in coordinating the Amateur Radio display. “Thanks also go to San Diego Section Manager Dave Kaltenborn, N8KBC, and Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, who advised us following the 2017 ham radio effort.”


[Additional photos can be viewed on the Eastern MA ARRL Facebook page, at:]


New England Wolf Pack Fusion Net, June 29, 2018

Brian, WO1VES writes:
This is a reminder that tonight at 8:00 PM I will once again be hosting the New England Wolf Pack Fusion Net.  This is a Yaesu System Fusion net open to all ham radio operators.  There are multiple ways to connect:
Direct to the Stoneham repeater: 147.075 with your Fusion radio
Through a Wires-X connected repeater or node: Connect to Wolf-Den, room 28941
Through your hotspot: Connect to the YSF reflector US Wolf Den
Through Echolink: No Fusion Radio?  Connect to WO1VES/R on Echolink
Through your DMR radio into your hotspot. SharkRF Openspot and MMDVM based devices can link DMR radios to YSF reflectors.  Just connect to US Wolf Den.
Work is still underway to full time link the Gloucester 443.700 Fusion repeater, but it is still not ready yet. I will also be adding an FCS reflector to the link.  I also encourage any other New England area Fusion repeaters to link in for the net.
Thanks everyone!
Brian – WO1VES

How to Clean After Corroded Batteries

pix of corroded batteriesJerry Woodworth, N1DD writes on the YCCC mailing list:

I forgot to remove batteries from a measuring instrument. AA Panasonic batteries cracked and some kind of fluid came out. On visual the damage does not appear to be fatal. However there is considerable white residue left. Any hints on what will remove the residue?

Greg Zenger, N2GZ replies:

Flush with de-ionized water and then dry with alcohol.

I avoid vinegar (acetic acid) as it can do more damage than good. Sure it neutralizes the alkali, but diluting it with water is just as effective at reducing the alkalinity and doesn’t leave an acid residue.   If there is a lot of leaked battery electrolyte  you can wipe it up with a cotton swab and then neutralize with vinegar before putting it in the trash, but don’t put the vinegar on your electronics.

De-ionized water readily dissolves the contamination and washes it away, the process can be sped up by scrubbing with a cotton swab. You can get de-ionized water at the grocery store in gallon jugs.

I prefer methanol for use on electronics, but isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) is commonly available and will work just fine. Look for a high percentage for best results. Medical isopropyl is often only 70-90%. 99% or greater is what you want. A gallon can of it from the hardware store is generally the cheapest way to get it. Water content in the alcohol slows down the evaporation time and can get left behind in little crevices like under chips or in through vias.

Flushing with pure alcohol washes away residual water and then quickly evaporates leaving nothing behind.

You may need to use a dental pick or some emery cloth to remove any corrosion that has increased the contact resistance of the battery terminals. 

New England Wolf Pack Fusion Net

Brian Gudzevich, WO1VES writes on the NSRA mailing list:
This is for all the Fusion radio owners out there, as well as some DMR and Echolink users.  I am starting a new monthly Fusion net on the last Friday of every month at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.  The first net will be this Friday, April 27th.  It will be based on the main repeater of the Wolf Pack Repeater System, the 147.075 WA1RHN repeater in Stoneham, Mass.
The net will be called the New England Wolf Pack Fusion Net.  This will be a New England centric net, and will cover topics of interest to operators living in the region.  I’m also going to offer a question and answer portion to help operators get the most out of their Fusion radios.
The following radios made by Yaesu are Fusion capable: FTM-100, FTM-400, FT-1D, FT-1XD, FT-2D, FT-70, FTM-3200, FTM-3207, FTM-7250, FT-991, and FT-991A.  If you have one of these models, you can get into the net through any of the links.  You can also access with a DMR radio and a SharkRF OpenSpot.
The net will take place on the Wolf Pack Network, which in addition to the main repeater in Stoneham, offers links through Wires-X, YSF Reflectors, and Echolink.  Here are the current linking options:
1) If you have a Fusion radio and you are within range of the 147.075 repeater, you can come in direct to the net.  There is nothing special needed to access the repeater.
2) With a Fusion radio, and access to another linked Fusion repeater, or a Fusion node working with the Yaesu HRI-200.  You can connect with Wires-X to room 28941, called Wolf-Den.
3) A Fusion radio and a hotspot, such as a SharkRF OpenSpot, DV4Mini, ZUMSpot, etc.  These can connect to YSF Reflectors..  In there, you will find a reflector called “US WolfDen”.  This is full time connected to the Stoneham Repeater, and will be connected for the net.
4) DMR Radio operators with a SharkRF OpenSpot can connect to the YSF Reflector “US WolfDen”.  If you need help setting that up, let me know.
5) If you don’t have a Fusion radio yet, but wish to check out the net, Echolink is available.  Just look for “WO1VES/R” node 813502.  There is currently a limit of 4 connections.
If you know anyone in New England with a Fusion repeater or Node, please encourage them to link in for the net.  The more users from New England, the better.  Any repeaters that I can confirm will be connected for the net, I will list on the Wolf Pack website at

National Grid Talk at Dan’s Tech Night, April 12, 2018

high voltage transmission linesDan Pedtke, KW2T writes:

Looks like we’re on this month with the two engineers from National Grid.  They have verified they will be coming this week.  So we’ll learn some interesting things about the local power grid, and be able to ask questions about it.  I mentioned five topics to them as examples:

  • The local large transmission lines – what are they used for, power to/from where, voltage, etc.
  • The Sandy Pond inverter station – not a National Grid asset, but maybe some basic facts
  • Working on live transmission lines – what’s it like to have 13KV in your hands
  • What is the effect of all the solar installations in the area?
  • How to deal with RF Interference issues.

If you’ve ever wondered how the power gets to your house, here’s your chance to find out this Thursday, April 12, at the Grady Research Building in Ayer at  7:00 PM.

See for details and directions.

Hope to see you there.

“Bootleg” CubeSats Earns FCC’s Ire

Cubesat pixFrom “In January a Silicon Valley–based commercial space startup named Swarm Technologies launched four experimental satellites into orbit aboard an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket… There’s just one problem: It appears Swarm launched the SpaceBEEs without an experimental authorization from the Federal Communications Commission, something that should have been acquired before launching.”

[Full story]

80-Meter Amateur Radio Direction Finding Activity in Westford

PART of Westford logoAndy Stewart, KB1OIQ writes on the PART of Westford list:

I have built an 80m fox transmitter and plan to deploy it once spring arrives.  I also have two ARDF receivers for 80m. Very preliminary testing shows that the fox can be heard on 3.5805 MHz at least 3/4 mile away on slightly hilly terrain. This fox transmitter consists of an Arduino, which I programmed for this project, and a Cricket 80a (an 80m QRP CW transceiver).  It runs off of a 9.6V NiMH rechargeable battery.

More detailed information and the Arduino source code, can be found at

You have time to get your 80m fox receivers before spring arrives. Consider the R3500D from China, or the RigExpert FoxRex 3500, or build your own!

Have a lot of fun, and 73.

W1YW to Receive 2018 Hamvention Technical Achievement Award

photo of Chip Cohen, W1YW
Chip Cohen, W1YW

Chip Cohen, W1YW, of Belmont, Massachusetts, has been named to receive the Hamvention 2018 Technical Achievement Award. Licensed for 52 years and bitten by the antenna bug, Cohen became a radio astronomer and astrophysicist, working at Arecibo, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the Very Large Array (VLA), and others. While a professor at Boston University, Cohen connected fractal geometry with antennas, pioneering a paradigm shift in the design of fractal antennas and what they make possible. An inventor with 41 US patents, Cohen is known for inventing the invisibility cloak using fractal antenna techniques.

Starting 30 years ago with simple flea market treasures, W1YW bootstrapped fractal antennas with modest gear and employed ham radio to report on the success of his new technology. He started Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc. with WA1ZWT (SK) in 1995, and is presently its CEO.

Cohen is a DXCC Top of the Honor Roll DXer and a strong advocate for technical “innovation culture” through Amateur Radio. He is a Life Member of ARRL and a Fellow of the Radio Club of America, where he served as Vice President and presently as a Director.

–ARRL News

PART of Westford Kit Building Session, March 10, 2018

PART of Westford logoPART of Westford is holding a kit building session on Saturday, March 10, 2018, according to PART club president Andy Stewart, KB1OIQ.

“The club has chosen the Cricket80A QRP CW transceiver for the 80 meter band,” Stewart says. “I’m looking for a building chairman, two to three Elmers to help and encourage kit builders, a technical person to spend a few minutes explaining the circuit theory, and people who want to build the kit!”

Interested parties should contact KB1OIQ at

More information about the Cricket80A kit can be found at

K1YOW Wins QST Cover Plaque Award

(L-R): QST Cover Plaque Award recipient Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW; ARRL New England Division Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF.
(L-R): QST Cover Plaque Award recipient Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW; ARRL New England Division Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF. –photo courtesy K1TW

Nashoba Valley ARC member Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW was presented with ARRL’s Cover Plaque Award for his December, 2017 QST article entitled “Upper Level Lows and 6-Meter Sporadic E.” ARRL New England Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, presented the award to K1YOW at the February 15, 2018 NVARC meeting in Pepperell.

The QST Cover Plaque Award is given to the author or authors of the most popular article in each issue and is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll web page.


Zola Center Kit Building Workshop, Feb. 17

Members of the Zola Center ARC are participating in a kit-building workshop on February 17, 2018 at the Irving K. Zola Center for Persons with Disabilities in Newton Highlands.

According to Zola Center ARC’s Bob Druk, WA1UIY, “the group will build continuity testers as a club project. At the December meeting we held a soldering workshop where we they learned the basic fundamentals of soldering. At the end of the session each participant was able to successfully solder the ends of wires together.” Many of the current Zola members are either legally or totally blind.

WA1UIY adds: “The continuity tester project is the next step in their progression. Their goal is to build an AM/FM radio from an Elenco kit which they hope to start by April.”

Additional volunteers are sought to assist in this project.

Dan Brown, W1DAN, Eastern Massachusetts Technical Coordinator and president of the Wellesley Amateur Radio Society will conduct this week’s session.

NASA Chooses Six Local Student Projects

Clay Center ARC logoBob Phinney, K5TEC writes in the Clay Center ARC mailing list:

Six student projects were chosen by NASA to fly in a rocket or high-altitude balloon this summer. As part of the activities offered by the Clay Center Amateur Radio Club (CC-ARC) at Dexter Southfield School, students designed projects for the NASA “Cubes in SpaceTM” program, the only program in the world to provide students (ages 11-18) with a free opportunity to design experiments to be launched into space on a NASA rocket or balloon.

Lead members include Julie KC1GMW, Morgan KC1GRZ, Nathan KB1RD, Hardy KC1ESU, Raif KC1GRX, Jason KC1GBV, Conrad KC1GBW, Rishi KC1BKX, and Sean K3FAY. Thanks to adult supervisors Christy KC1GAF, Bruce N9JBT, John AB1ZV, Ted KB1NTJ, Marlene Schwarz, and Dan Sage.




PAVE PAWS Talk, March 28 at Clay Center ARC

Pave Paws installationDavid Wolfe, KG1H writes:

Lieutenants Theodore Kruczek and Meredith Prinz will be visiting from Cape Cod Air Force Station on Tuesday, March 28, 6:30-8:00 pm. They are crew commanders on the Early Warning Radar located there. The site’s primary mission is detecting and reporting intercontinental ballistic missiles and sea launched ballistic missiles. The secondary mission is tracking satellites in low earth orbit, including amateur radio satellites utilized by amateur radio operators. They will be discussing radar operations, how that data helps amateur radio operators, and the importance of proper amateur radio use.

6:00 – Refreshments and Pizza
6:30 – Guest Speakers

Clay Center Amateur Radio Club
Dexter Southfield School
20 Newton Street
Brookline MA


Nashoba Valley ARC’s “Lantern Battery Challenge” Begins in October

W1XP lantern battery setupThe Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club is continuing a neat tradition that encourages on-air activity by its members: the second annual NVARC Lantern Battery Challenge. This operating event begins at the end of the October meeting and runs until March 1, 2011. The goal is to contact as many stations as possible using a pack of lantern batteries as the sole power source. An entry fee is charged to cover the cost of the batteries. Complete rules and an entry blank will be available at the September NVARC meeting.

According to NVARC’s Bob Reif, W1XP, the Lantern Battery Challenge “is primarily a QRP event but the actual power is not specified.” There are several classes of entry, including: CW, SSB, digital, and mixed modes. Additionally, participants are restricted to using wire antennas or verticals no more than 50 feet in height. But, says Reif, “there is an unlimited category that you can compete in with your big antenna farm if you desire. The main purpose of this event is to have fun. And everyone that entered last year said they did.”

Participants operate for the event duration from October to March, or until his or her lantern battery is exhausted. They can run as much or little power as they wish, but all sending and receiving must be powered by the battery, comprised of ten lantern battery cells.

Logs will be due at the March meeting. Awards will be given out at the April NVARC meeting. Spreadsheets, computer logs or even paper logs on ARRL log book format are acceptable. A summery sheet is required and the exact form will be provided. QSLs are not required but verification by the judging committee is possible.

The idea is to have the period of operation cover the usually good HF conditions of fall and winter. All contacts must be made on the normal “contest” bands of 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Work any station only once per band, per mode.

Good luck in the “contest!”

Thanks, Nashoba Valley ARC Signal, August 2010, Volume 19, Number 8

Massachusetts QRP Convention Tickets are now available

Tickets are now on sale for the Massachusetts QRP Convention to be held at the Westford Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Westford, Massachusetts March 12-13, 2010. Conference admission is $25 per person which includes access to the Friday night meet-and-greet and the Saturday conference event. Ten speakers are scheduled to appear including three members of the QRP ARCI Hall of Fame and Joeseph H. Taylor, Jr., Professor in the Department of Physics at Princeton University and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1993).

A post conference banquet will be held Saturday evening featuring Steve Galchutt, WG0AT, the “goat hiker” and his adventures climbing Colorado’s various 14,000 foot peaks with his faithful pack-goat companions Rooster and Peanut. Admission to the banquet is $40 per person.

Tickets can be purchased on-line at [ PayPal or any major credit card.

Open System Ubuntu OS And Ham Radio: A Great Combo

Ubuntu logoUbuntu Linux enthusiasts are holding the first-ever Installfest on October 13, 2007 from 9:00 am-5:00 p.m. at MIT’s Media Library in Cambridge.

According to the group’s press release, “Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions, present demonstrations and help users install the free, open source Linux operating system.”

“This is of particular interest to hams wanting to try open systems that run well on old hardware,” writes Bill Ricker, N1VUX. Ricker adds that these workshops may rotate around the state. “Drop in on your way home from NEARfest!”

[See for information on Amateur Radio-specific software for linux.]

-Thanks, N1VUX

QRA Proposes Homebrew Construction Class

Quannapowitt Radio Association logoThe Quannapowitt Radio Assocation is proposing a class for members interested in constructing electronic equipment.

If enough interest is warranted, Mike Rioux, W1USN will put together a home brew class to identify electronic components and simple electronic circuits. The class might also construct a small electronic project suitable for use in the ham shack. Rioux says the type of project and its cost will be determined by the class participants.

W1USN envisions the class meeting once a week or more, depending on the type of project selected. If you are interested in participating, contact W1USN at

–Thanks, QRA News, September 2007

Revolutionary Antenna Design by KD1FT

Rob Vincent, KD1FT, a University of Rhode Island Physics Department employee is reported to have developed a revolutionary antenna design that dramatically reduces the size of an antenna while improving its efficiency and maintaining a broad bandwidth.

“The Holy Grail of antenna technology is to create a small antenna with high efficiency and wide bandwidth,” explains Vincent. “According to current theory, you have to give up one of the three—size, efficiency, or bandwidth—to achieve the other two.”

One of Vincent’s test sites was situated in salt marshes in Westport, MA. [Full story]