“The History, Renovation, and Future of MIT’s Green Building’s Radomes” at New England Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, January 18, 2022

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (NEST) will meet on-line and in-person on January 18, 2022 at 7 PM and feature “The History, Renovation, and Future of MIT’s Green Building’s Radomes” by MIT Professor Kerri Cahoy, Daniel Sheen, KC1EPN, and members of the MIT Radio Society.
 
A description of this project can be found at: https://news.mit.edu/2021/saving-the-mit-radome-0507        
 
Daniel Sheen, KC1EPN, is the Trustee and a former president of the MIT UHF Repeater Association, W1XM, and a former station manager for the MIT Radio Society, W1MX. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Science and Engineering from MIT in 2019. While pursuing graduate studies in Electrical Engineering and Computer science, he worked at Haystack Observatory designing a new UHF feed for the Westford Radio Telescope, earning his Master of Engineering degree in 2021. Currently he works at Diversified Technologies Inc designing RF amplifiers and high voltage power supplies for radar transmitters, while continuing to advise the MIT Radio Society.
 
Come meet at NEST! We usually have pizza! (Face masks still required, please.)
 
5:00-7:00: radio room open; informal radio activities.
 
For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.

ARRL Foundation to Create Club Grants Program

From ARRL web:

1/13/22–A new ARRL Foundation Club Grants program, funded by a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), will make $500,000 available to radio clubs. The program will provide up to $25,000 for worthy club projects. Requests for more than that will be referred back to ARDC.

ARRL has long recognized that it is in the best interests of amateur radio to encourage and support amateur radio clubs. Clubs historically have recruited, licensed, and trained new radio amateurs and have provided the community setting for radio amateurs to continue their education and training. The new Club Grants program will help clubs more easily provide and expand their important services.

Beginning in April 2022, amateur radio clubs will be able to apply for these grants by filling out a simple form on the ARRL website. The ARRL Foundation will evaluate the grant proposals. The Foundation was established in 1973 to advance the art, science, and societal benefits of the amateur radio service by awarding financial grants and scholarships to individuals and organizations in support of their charitable, educational, and scientific efforts.

A key criterion for determining awards will be how the project will advance amateur radio in the grantee’s community. In most cases, this process should take no longer than 90 days.

ARRL Foundation President David Woolweaver, K5RAV, shared his enthusiasm about this new program. “This program will substantially contribute to the growth of amateur radio clubs and their efforts to expand and support the amateur radio community,” he said.

ARDC is a California-based foundation and makes grants to projects and organizations that follow amateur radio’s practice and tradition of technical experimentation in both amateur radio and digital communication science. ARDC Executive Director Rosy Schechter, KJ7RYV, noted that this program will streamline the process for getting club projects funded, so that clubs can get started on these projects more quickly.

“We’re very excited about working with the ARRL Foundation on this program,” said Schechter. “We can’t wait to see what kinds of creative things clubs will do with these grants.”

AB1QB: “Informal DXpedition to French Polynesia,” North Shore Radio Association Meeting Online, January 17, 2022

North Shore Radio Association logoThe [North Shore Radio Association] board of directors has decided due to the rise in COVID-19 cases we are returning to ZOOM ONLY Meetings for at least the next two months, maybe more.

Please join us again on Zoom!

Speaker for January: 

Informal DXpedition to French Polynesia – Fred, AB1OC and Anita, AB1QB went on a holiday style DXpedition to Bora Bora less than a year after we were licensed.  In this presentation, Anita will talk about planning for the DXpedition, the destination, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, our station and operations, the results, and what we learned from the experience.

[Zoom conference information will be sent via the NSRA groups.io mailing list.  Contact Eric, KA1NCF, at ka1ncf -at- nsradio -dot- org to be added to the groups.io list.]
 

KC1QAY: “A Hands-On Approach to Ham Radio” at at New England Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, January 4, 2022

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (NEST) will meet on-line and in-person on January 4, 2022 at 7 PM and feature Steve Kondo, KC1QAY,  who will present on “A Hands-On Approach To Ham Radio.”
 
Naturally a significant portion of ham radio sub-hobbies involve electronic circuits. Ham radio also gives us the opportunity to develop hands-on skills when it comes to making test equipment, building antennas, troubleshooting, and learning new software. Steve Kondo, KC1QAY, would like to share three basic, hands-on projects that a beginner to this hobby can complete in a weekend.  
 
Bio: Steve earned his second Technician license in November of 2021. He is a hands-on mechanical engineer with 20 years of product development and manufacturing experience ranging from aerospace to IoT hardware. Steve currently designs, builds, and maintains 4000 pound robots consisting of control, propulsion, dynamic, sensing, and electronic sub-systems for automated railroad track inspection. Steve machines, welds, and 3D prints in his home shop, and on occasion will attempt to write useful code.
 
Come meet at NEST! We usually have pizza! (Face masks still required, please.)
 
5:00-7:00: radio room open; informal radio activities.
 
For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.

K1TWF: ARRL Happenings at Billerica ARS Meeting, January 5, 2022

Billerica ARS logoTom Walsh, K1TW, writes in December, 2021 Eastern MA Section News:

[ARRL 1st Vice President] Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, will be presenting at the Billerica ARS monthly meeting  on January 5 at 7 PM via Zoom.  Mike always provides interesting updates on ARRL activities.  These presentations are a good way to stay in touch with your National association for Amateur Radio.

[For Zoom conference details, email Bruce Anderson, W1LUS, at w1lus -at- hotmail -dot- com.]
 

WA1JXR: “Introduction to NanoVNAs” at Barnstable ARC General Meeting Online, January 3, 2022

Barnstable ARC logoNorm Cantin, WA1NLG, writes on the Barnstable ARC mailing list:

[…] Unfortunately, the Dennis Police Department is still closed to the public.  [The Barnstable ARC] will meet via Zoom [on January 3, 2022 at 7 PM.]

This month’s guest speaker is Greg Algieri, WA1JXR, who will present a very interesting topic:  Introduction to Nano VNA.  Due to Greg’s schedule, he will present at 8 PM.  We will conduct the business meeting prior to Greg’s presentation.

[Contact Norm Cantin, WA1NLG, at norman.cantin@gmail.com for Zoom meeting details.]

 

KD2EAT: “Tracking and Repurposing NWS Radiosondes for High Altitude Balloon Tracking” at New England Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, December 21, 2021

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (NEST) will meet on-line and in-person on December 21, 2021 at 7 PM and feature Mike Hojnowski, KD2EAT,  who will present on “Tracking and Repurposing NWS Radiosondes for High Altitude Balloon Tracking.”
 
Mike is an Amateur Extra operator, licensed since 2013. He’s the club advisor for the Amateur Radio Club at Cornell University (W2CXM) and is very interested in High Altitude Balloons and tracking. He has launched dozens of HABs and Pico flights, one of which is circumnavigating the planet. He’s designed, built and coded APRS and WSPR trackers using Surface Mount technology. Mike has a receiving station for National Weather Service Radiosondes and enjoys tracking and recovering them. NWS Buffalo just switched to “RS-41” sondes, which can be reprogrammed to beacon APRS, 4FSK and several other protocols. Mike is collecting some that land in his area to repurpose for HAB tracking so that he can give them to other balloon enthusiasts. His presentation will be about the software he’s using to track and recover the NWS radiosondes, and how to go about reprogramming them. In his spare time, Mike reluctantly does his day job, and sleeps.
 
Come meet at NEST! We usually have pizza! (Face masks still required, please.)
 
5:00-7:00: radio room open; informal radio activities.
 
For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.

KB1OIQ: “Regenerative Receivers” at PART of Westford Meeting, December 21, 2021

PART of Westford logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:
 
The December PART meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, beginning at 7:30 PM via Webex video conference.  A meeting link is below; just click on the green button to join in.  You can join the conference any time after 7:00 PM to check out your gear or just rag chew until the meeting starts. We will NOT be meeting in person at the Senior Center until further notice.
 
PART member Andy (KB1OIQ) will give a talk about a 1920s radio receiver architecture called a “regenerative receiver”.  Andy built one of these from scratch based on a simple schematic.  He used old parts obtained from NearFEST and other flea markets.  The radio receives the AM Broadcast Band and shortwave frequencies up to 10 MHz.  It additionally receives sideband and CW.  Like all regenerative receivers of the day, it requires 3 hands to tune.
 
The Nano-VNA presentation originally scheduled has been re-scheduled for the January 18 meeting.
 
See you Tuesday!
 
73,
George K1IG
President, PART of Westford
 
[To request conference login information, contact George Allison, K1IG, at k1ig -at- arrl -dot- net]

Algonquin ARC “Lantern Battery Competition,” January 1-March 31, 2022

Algonquin ARC logoAlgonquin ARC writes:

The intent of the AARC LBC is to foster camaraderie among members and find out—in a light-hearted fashion—just how many QSOs can be extracted from a stack of batteries before they are depleted beyond the point of usefulness.  We’re continuing to call this the “Lantern” Battery Challenge even though there is no need to actually use expensive lantern batteries.

Activity period

AARC’s LBC will commence at 0000Z on 1 January 2022 and conclude at 2400Z on 31 March 2022.  Participants can join at any time during the challenge period but must finish by the end of the challenge.

Bands, Modes

Consistent with the terms of the participant’s license, operation on any band, using any mode, is permitted.

Energy Source (Batteries)

Batteries must be assembled from the equivalent of “D” cells or smaller.  Any combination of cells stacked in series not exceeding 15 volts is acceptable, provided that no more than two cells are connected in parallel anywhere in the stack.

     (Note that each of the lantern batteries used last year was the equivalent of four 1‑1/2 volt “D” or “F” cells in series, so two lantern batteries stacked in series yielded 12 volts.  Most rigs like 12V or higher and mis-perform at voltages under 10V.  Current drain depletes the cells quickly and reduces their voltage.  This year’s “connected in parallel” rule allows for starting with twice as much energy, increases the available current, and slows voltage depletion.)

Energy Management

At the participant’s option (or maybe to the extent of his or her technical acumen), only the actual transmitter need be powered by the lantern battery stack.  Receivers, logging software, keyers, decoders, etc. need not be on battery.

Antennas

Any antenna is OK.  Wire works.  So do those “solid state amplifiers” made of aluminum tubing.  There is no scoring penalty for using antennas with gain.

Scoring

  1. A QSO consists of no less than a two-way exchange of callsigns and signal reports.  Beware that long QSOs use battery energy!
  2.  Score:

  —  One point per standard battery QSO with a non‑AARC member.

  —  Two points per standard battery QSO with an AARC member.  Duplicate QSOs with the same member do not count.

  —  Zero points for repeater QSOs.

  1.  Period.  That’s it.  No other bonuses, penalties, multipliers, or dividers.

Reporting

Reporting is on the honor system.  Submission of paper or electronic logs is discouraged as not being within the intended spirit of camaraderie and fun.  On the other hand, expect to have a good time regaling the other members with your LBC exploits at the April meeting.  Plus, any participant who posts an LBC-related item on the AARCList during the challenge gets brownie points.

Awards

Recognition (maybe even certificates) and certainly bragging rights will be awarded for:

  –  Most QSO points

  –  Most QSOs

  –  Best DX

  –  Most unique rig

  –  Shortest battery life

  –  Longest battery life

  –  … more?  Suggestions accepted.

“Homebrew Night” at Nashoba Valley ARC In-Person Meeting, December 16, 2021

Nashoba Valley ARC logoNVARC President Bruce Blain, K1BG, writes:

The Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club’s December meeting will be TONIGHT, Thursday, December 16th, at 7:30 PM at the Pepperell Community Center (in Pepperell). Doors will open at 7:10 PM for socializing, etc.

This month’s program will feature “Homebrew Night”. Come in and show off what you’ve been working on over the past TWO years. No project is too small—or too large. If your project is physically too big, don’t fret. Bring along some pictures, JPEG files, or anything else. We’ll find a way to project or display graphics. Homebrew, kits, software, restoration, innovative solutions. Come. Brag. Converse. Have coffee. This is one of the best “social” meetings of the year…

Because last year’s home brew night was conducted over Zoom, feel free to bring (and show!) that item you showed last year. Besides “show and tell”, home brew night tends to be “touchy/feely”. It’s hard to do that over Zoom!

Remember, HB Night and the upcoming Short Subjects Night (the January meeting) both rely on member participation. It’s your hobby; brag about it.

Because of the nature of the meeting, this meeting will not be available on Zoom.

Need directions? Click here and put your own address in box “A”.

Thanks and 73. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Bruce, K1BG

978-772-2773 or bruce.blain@charter.net

Algonquin ARC Flea Market, Marlborough, February 19, 2022

AARC logoThe Algonquin Amateur Radio Club will hold its Marlborough Flea Market on February 19, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the 1Lt Charles W. Whitcomb School, 25 Union St., Marlborough, MA. Talk-in is on the MMRA repeater, 147.27+ (PL 146.2). Any COVID-related updates will be carried on the AARC website at http://n1em.org.

A VE session will be held beginning at 9:00 AM. General admission is $5. Vendor tables are $15 before February 9, 2018, or $20 at the door if space is available. Each table includes one admission.

For more information, contact Tim Ikeda, KA1OS at 508-251-9317 (before 9:00 PM), email fleamarket@n1em.org or visit https://www.qsl.net/n1em/2022_flier.pdf.

Quannapowitt Radio Association Comes to an End

QRADon Melanson, W1DM, writes on the QRA website:

It is sad news that I report that the Quannapowitt Radio Association ( QRA ) has ended.

At the October Board of Directors meeting the Board of directors recommended dissolution of the Association due to the number of factors as explained to the remaining QRA membership in a recent letter. The membership subsequently unanimously voted to dissolve the Association at the November Membership Meeting.

The membership also voted to distribute the remaining QRA treasury toFEMARA to support its scholarship programs.

It was also noted the the QRA dissolved on exactly their 73rd Birthday.

I would like to thank all Members, Board of Directors ( both present and Past ) and all others who supported the QRA in its 73 years of service to the Amateur Radio Field. We made a lot of friends both Nationally and Locally. Friends we will never forget. Hopefully we will catch each other on the bands.

73s de

Don Melanson W1DM

QRA President

K1BG: “Amateur Radio CW Software Demonstration” at the Billerica ARS Online Meeting, December 1, 2021

Billerica ARS logoTom Walsh, K1TW, writes on the Billerica ARS mailing list:

Bruce Blain, K1BG,  will give an amateur radio software demonstration at the Billerica Amateur Radio Society meeting on December 1,  2021 at 7 PM. 

Bruce, W1LUS, will distribute the zoom link separately.

Bruce, K1BG, will join us with another one of his great presentations. This time Bruce will focus on a couple of software programs (i.e., RufzXP and Morse Runner), along with a demonstration of their use.  “Rufz” is the abbreviation of the German word “Rufzeichen-Hören”, which means “Listening to Callsigns”. RufzXP is an excellent training software for improving code speed and CW practice. Morse Runner is a Windows-based contest simulator developed by Alex Shovkoplyas, VE3NEA. Tools are also available to run Morse Runner on Mac computers.

Both programs are one of the many instruction tools used by CW Ops and CW Academy.

Following the presentation, we will invite the members to offer other suggestions of software they use on a regular basis to enhance their amateur radio pleasure. And, if there is interest, we can look into providing demonstrations at future meetings.

The business meeting and open discussion on any other topics will conclude the evening. So please join us for another friendly and informative BARS meeting.

About our evening speaker:

Bruce K1BG is an instructor for CW Academy, Bruce has recently been elected as President of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club which meets in Pepperell, MA. He is also the Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC) in the Eastern Massachusetts ARRL section.

[For Zoom conference details, email Bruce Anderson, W1LUS, at w1lus -at- hotmail -dot- com.]

W1JAR: “Digital Voice Modes” at Framingham ARA Meeting Online, December 2, 2021

Framingham ARA logoArt Lipatov, W1JAR, will present on “Digital Voice Modes” at the December 2, 2021 meeting of the Framingham Amateur Radio Association.

– DMR, Yaesu System Fusion, D-Star, advantages, shortcomings of each. There are many more modes, but these are the “main” ones
– Internet linked digital voice, talkgroups / rooms / reflectors. NEDECN DMR network (New England Digital Emergency Comm Network)
– Hotspots, connecting to digital voice internet rooms from your shack without a repeater.

Also, Ron, WO1E, will do a shack and equipment visit

Members will receive a zoom invitation.  Non-members may request an invitation by sending an email to John at president@w1fy.org.

Nashoba Valley ARC Recognized by W1 QSL Bureau for 25 Years of Service

The Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club was recognized for its long service to the W1 QSL Bureau at a NVARC QSL sorting party on November 18.  Eric Williams, KV1J, W1 QSL Bureau Co-manager, awarded the club a beautiful plaque, which read:

“Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club – In appreciation of 25 years of service to the W1 QSL Bureau – 2021”

Accepting the award on behalf of NVARC was club president Bruce Blain, K1BG.

K1BG plans to bring the plaque to the club’s December club meeting to show those members who were unable to attend the sorting party.

“NVARC should be proud of the support we have given the bureau over the years,” writes Bruce. “Thank you to all the club members and guests who have supported the sorting effort during this time, and I look forward to sorting cards with you for many years to come.”

Left: NVARC commemorative plaque awarded by W1 QSL Bureau;  (l-r): W1 QSL Bureau Co-manager Eric Williams, KV1J; NVARC President Bruce Blain, K1BG.

NVARC commemorative plaque from W1QSL Bureau

K1KI: “2022 New England QSO Party” at North Shore RA Meeting, November 15, 2021

North Shore Radio Association logoEric Horwitz, KA1NCF, writes:
 
Sorry for the late notice.
 
The November 15, 2021 North Shore Radio Association meeting will feature Tom Frenaye, K1KI, presenting on the 2022 New England QSO Party.
 
[Zoom conference information will be sent via the NSRA groups.io mailing list.  Contact Eric, KA1NCF, at ka1ncf -at- nsradio -dot- org to be added to the groups.io list.]

AB1OC: “Helping Hams and Building Your Club” at Algonquin ARC Meeting Online / In-Person, November 11, 2021

Mike Powell, W1KU, writes on the Algonquin ARC mailing list:

AARC logoThe [Algonquin Amateur Radio Club] November 11th meeting will take place at the Marlborough Fire Station EOC (not the Middle School) and on Zoom.  Our guest speaker will be Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, speaking on “Helping Hams and Building Your Club” […].  Fred is planning to attend at the EOC.

Also, the club will be voting on a proposal to collect dues and update membership forms for the current year.  Details of the proposal discussed at the October meeting are included in the newsletter Ken sent out last week.  To vote, you must be present at the November meeting either in person or on Zoom.

73 de w1ku (Mike)

[For Zoom information, email mdpowell -at- dmpowell -dot- net.]
 

AB1OC: “DXpedition to Bora Bora” at Boston ARC Meeting Online, November 18, 2021

Boston ARC logoJoe Chapman, NV1W, writes on the Boston ARC mailing list:

The next general meeting of the Boston Amateur Radio Club will take place on Thursday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m. on the Zoom teleconferencing program. Our speaker will be Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, talking about his DXpedition to Bora Bora. […]

Further details will appear in this month’s issue of The SPARC.

73,

Joseph Chapman NV1W / Secretary, Boston Amateur Radio Club

[For Zoom conference information, email Joe Chapman, NV1W, at nv1w -at- arrl -dot- net]

AK1WI: “Vacuum Tubes: A Little Bit of Nothing in a Glass Bottle” at New England Sci-Tech ARS Meeting, November 9, 2021

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society will meet on-line and in-person on November 9, 2021 at 7 PM and feature Derek Rowell, AK1WI,  who will present on “Vacuum Tubes: A Little Bit of Nothing in a Glass Bottle.”
 
This talk is an introduction to the STARS project to restore a 1960s vintage Drake 2B ham-band receiver to full operation. The 2B is a vacuum tube radio, and to help understand the restoration I will introduce vacuum tubes, which were the only “active” devices available for radio design and construction until the development of semiconductor devices in the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Now, of course, they have all but disappeared from electronics.   They were power-hungry, large, hot, operated at dangerously high voltages, and needed multiple power supplies, but they were all we had at the time.
 
I will describe thermionic emission, the construction and operation of diodes, triodes, tetrodes, and pentodes (I bet most of you haven’t heard of most of these).  We will look at the common shapes and sizes and pinouts of vacuum tubes. Then we will look at simple power supply and amplifier circuits from the “good old days.”
 
I will conclude the talk with a brief look at the Drake 2B.  The one that STARS owns looks to be in very good condition, but we do not know when it was last powered up.  We will attempt an unrehearsed restoration to full operation on the morning of Saturday November 13 at NEST, taking all the recommended precautions for restoring antique radios, including capacitor replacement.  All STARS members are invited to attend.  We plan to also broadcast the restoration project on Zoom. 
 
For Zoom conference information, email Bob Phinney, K5TEC, at bobphinney -at- nescitech -dot- org or call 508-720-4179.