N1DM: “OSCAR Program” at Wellesley ARS Hybrid Meeting, May 21, 2024

General Meeting, May 21, 7:30 PM

Topic: The OSCAR Satellite Program, presented by Dom N1DM

Warren Recreation Center, 90 Washington St., Wellesley, near the intersection of Route 16 and Walnut St.
https://wellesleyma.gov/720/Warren-Recreation-Center

Parking is in the rear of the building and folks can enter at the basement level double doors, through the light tan wood doors, then take a left and up an ADA ramp. We will be in Room 008 on the right near the end of the hallway. If entering through the main front doors, one simply takes the elevator or stairs down to the basement.

This meeting will also be available on Zoom. [Contact danbrownw1dan (at) gmail -dot- com for details]

KD1CY: “SKYWARN” at PART of Westford Hybrid Meeting, May 21, 2024

PART of Westford logoThe May [PART of Westford] meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, beginning at 7:30 PM at the Cameron Senior Center, 20 Pleasant Street, Westford, MA, and via Webex video conference.  For those attending via 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. Bear in mind that internet connectivity from the senior center may be unreliable.
 
The meeting agenda includes 
  • A presentation on SKYWARN by Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator. Rob has also served as the ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Boston/Norton (formerly Taunton) since 1996 and has been an avid SKYWARN Spotter since he got his Ham license in 1988.
  • Field Day plans.
 
All attendees are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food for the Westford Food Pantry.
 
See you Tuesday!
 
73,
George, K1IG

President, PART of Westford 

[Contact George Allison, K1IG, at geogeall@me.com for WebEx meeting invite]

NA1T: “Emergency Management and American Red Cross,” Nashoba Valley ARC Meeting, May 16, 2024

Nashoba Valley ARC logoThe Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club’s May meeting is Thursday, May 16th at 7:30 PM at the Pepperell Community Center (in Pepperell). We start gathering at 7 PM to socialize before the meeting starts.

May’s guest speaker will be Steve Davidson, NA1T. Steve is heavily involved with emergency management and the Red Cross in the New Hampshire amateur radio community. Steve will be describing and demonstrating some of the equipment he uses in emergency deployments, as well as what he and his ARC cronies were up to during the recent Solar Eclipse.

I’m looking forward to Steve’s presentation!

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

WO1VES: “Fusion, C4FM, and Wires X Yaesu Digital Mode Echosystem” at Cape Ann ARA Meeting, May 11, 2024

CAARA logoCape Ann ARA Presidenet Brandon Hockle, NQ1W, writes on the CAARA mailing list:

Hello Members and Friends of Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association,

Just a quick reminder that Brian Gudzevich, WO1VES, will be giving a talk on Yaesu System Fusion / C4FM / Wires X and the Yaesu digital mode radio ecosystem up at the CAARA Stanwood Clubhouse this weekend Saturday 5/11 @ noon.
 
Lunch will be available for a small donation to our repeater maintenance fund, which will help CAARA in its mission to replace the damaged 2m antenna system at Blackburn Circle with a new commercial grade antenna setup.
 
This should be another fun time for the club, as our tech talk series during the members meeting have all been really well attended. I think you’ll agree that this year’s speakers have been excellent, each bringing  some fresh new insights on well traveled paths of our hobby as well completely new topics for us to learn. All levels of operator should find value in these great presentations on radio!
 
I hope to see you all there!
 
Regards,
Brandon Hockle NQ1W

WB2BEZ: “Grounding and Safety In The Ham Shack” at Billerica ARS Hybrid Meeting, May 1, 2024

Billerica ARS logoDoug Bruce, N1WRN, writes on the Billerica ARS web site:

I am pleased to announce that we will be having Donald Kane, WB2BEZ, as our Guest Speaker for the in person/Zoom Meeting at the Church on May 1, 2024 at 7:00 PM. Don will be presenting on Grounding and Safety In The Ham Shack, so you won’t want to miss this talk! Here is Don’s bio for inclusion in the May Newsletter.

Don has been a licensed ham for over 45 years (ARRL Life Member) and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of New York with over 40 years of engineering experience including: Product Safety Evaluation; Electric Utility Substation and Plant engineering; Design and Manufacture of Diesel powered generators, including controls and switchgear; rail transit rolling stock and infrastructure engineering and electrical construction and HVAC. This talk will present an overview of grounding and bonding, as applied to the typical amateur radio installation, with regard to power, lightning protection and RF (antenna) grounding.

We will announce the link to join the Zoom meeting before the meeting, but it will be posted to the BARS email list and should not be shared outside our Club. Are you on the email list? If not, please send an email to bars-subscribe@w1hh.org and then simply reply to the robot response from the server and you will be subscribed.

Observing our Zoom meeting requires only a web browser and headphones/speakers. You do not need a webcam or microphone unless you want to speak or be seen.

Before our meeting date, please go to https://zoom.us/test and see if it will function for you. If you have problems, we can try to assist – feel free to ask questions on the BARS email list.

I am looking forward to “seeing” many of you on Wednesday 5/1 here at 1900.

Doug, N1WRN

The Zola Gang Builds a Kit

Dan Brown, W1DAN, writes:

On a rainy Saturday April 20, members of the Zola-Middlesex amateur radio club gathered at the Brigham House in Newton Massachusetts to build a kit! In attendance were club members Frank, N1FMV,;Nina, N1NGK; Matt, N1IBB; Jerry, W3BBP; Nora, N1GLE and Margaret, KA1BZE. The helpers were Bob, WA1UIY; Tony, K1CEI; Don, KB1OTQ and YL Odette; Dave, W8JVY; Bruce, KC1FSZ and Dan, W1DAN.

Of note the Zola gang consist of hams who have sight and emotional impairments. The club was formed by Eric Falkov, K1NUN (SK), in 2012. After his passing in 2013, Bob ran the club and merged the Middlesex club into the Middlesex -Zola Amateur Radio Club. Frank N1FMV is now president.

The Zola radio members digging into the kits.

Figure 1 . The Zola radio members digging into the kits

To get the project started, Bob researched and ordered enough of the $20 TM-Tech DP-TM-0259 FM receiver kits from Amazon for all who wanted to build one. Before our session Bob built one of the kits to gauge the build process and difficulty. Dan and Bruce went to Bob’s QTH to check the kits out as well.  These kits contain an RDA Microelectronics RDA5807M single chip broadcast FM radio tuner and an MD8002A thee-watt audio power amplifier IC on a small printed circuit board. The FM receiver IC uses I and Q decoding and a DSP core to process stereo audio. It is essentially a Software-Defined Radio. Two AA batteries supply 3v to the system and a 2.5” speaker that provides surprisingly good sound. This kit requires no soldering and the only tool needed was a small Philips head screwdriver, which was supplied.

Bruce KC1FSZ assisting Matt N1IBB with his radio kit build

Figure 2 . Bruce, KC1FSZ, assisting Matt, N1IBB, with his radio kit build.

After Bruce explained the theory of operation of the receiver IC, club members were introduced to the feel of all parts as the helpers explained the part and how it should be assembled. The case was formed of light wood similar to Balsawood that wrapped around the sides and attached using tongue and groove as well as very small screws. Some of the instructions were not clear and the screw sizes needed at certain locations turned out to be wrong, but once we figured all that out, the process went smoothly.

Nora N1GLE was the first to finish a kit!

Figure 3 . Nora, N1GLE, was the first to finish a kit!

After success, folks enjoyed pizza for lunch. This was a fun project that provided the club members with efficient FM receivers for future enjoyment. Who knows, maybe they will hear some distant stations via summertime tropospheric ducting. Many thanks to Bob, Bruce, Don, Odette, Dave and Tony for good assistance!

73,

Dan Brown

W1DAN

April 21, 2024

HamXposition Club Newsletter Award

Open to all New England Amateur Radio Clubs

  • Each club submits:
    • Club newsletter from the 2nd quarter of 2024 (April, May, or June)
    • Email newsetter to: cq-newsletter@hamxposition.org
    • Deadline to submit: Friday, July 5
  • Judging by someone impartial who resides outside of New England on the following:
    • Layout design
    • Content
  • The top three get a digitial sticker they can use on their newsletter for the next 12 months showing that they are #1, #2, or #3 best club newsletter in New England for the period September 1, 2024, through August 31, 2025.
  • The top three winners for the 2024 HamXposition will be ineligible to participate in the 2025 HamXposition competition to allow other clubs to win.

 

N1SV: “VP9I: Operating from Bermuda” at Nashoba Valley ARC Meeting, April 18, 2024

Nashoba Valley ARC logoThe Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club’s April meeting is Thursday, April 18th (the day after tomorrow) at 7:30 PM at the Pepperell Community Center (in Pepperell). We start gathering at 7 PM to socialize before the meeting starts.

April’s presentation will be “VP9I – Operating from Bermuda.”

As you may or may not know, Les Peters, N1SV, regularly operates SSB DX Contests from the island of Bermuda (VP9). Many of us have worked Les from this DX location, and I’m always excited to get him in my log (and get credit for the new country multiplier in the contest!). Les will talk about his Amateur Radio operating adventures from Bermuda – VP9.

I’m looking forward to this presentation!

Other items on the agenda –

NVARC Elections!
NEARFest April 25th and 26th
New England QSO Party May 4 – 5
The Groton Road Race May 5th
Dayton Hamvention May 17-19
Northeast HamXposition August 22-25 

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

 

 

 

 

K6JEY: “Test Equipment for Hams, including Vector Network Analyzers Explained” at the Billerica ARS Meeting, April 3, 2024

Billerica ARS logoThe April 3, 7:00 PM Billerica Amateur Radio Society meeting will be in person, at the Chelmsford Bible Church, 128 Gorham Street, Chelmsford, and  on Zoom.  […]
 
We are pleased to announce that our guest speaker for this meeting will be Douglas Bruce Millar, K6JEY. He is a retired electrical engineer with over 50 years of experience in the field. He will give a presentation entitled “Test Equipment for Hams, including Vector Network Analyzers (VNAs) Explained.” In his presentation, Doug will discuss the different types of test equipment available to hams, emphasizing vector network analyzers. He will explain what VNAs are, how they work, and how they can be used to characterize components and troubleshoot circuits. 
 
Doug got his novice ticket in 1957. He has always liked VHF and up, and he has EME stations on 2m, 70cm, and 23cm. But Doug doesn’t stop there. He also has microwave stations on 10, 24, 47, and 79 GHz, and he’s well on his way to completing a station for 140 GHz. Doug enjoys HF DXing especially boat anchors and HF AM. He usually checks in to the AMI West Coast net on Wednesdays at 8 PM, on 3870 kHz. 
 
Due to the inclement weather forecast for tonight, the Board of Directors has decided that tonight’s club meeting at 7:00 PM ET WILL BE ZOOM ONLY! We are doing this because we hold the safety of our members as the highest priority. 

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

 

Boston ARC QDX Build Class Begins April 18, 2024

Boston ARC logoBoston ARC President Brendan Baldonado, NW1S, writes on the BARC mailing list:
 
I am excited to announce that the Boston Amateur Radio Club is teaching a QDX building class. 
 
What is a QDX, you ask? Well it’s a digital ham radio transceiver, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, that operates at 5 watts on the 10 meter amateur radio band. 
 
This class is going to be geared towards Technician class licensees, newer hams with limited experience in soldering, antenna concepts and digital modes. So, if that sounds like you, we encourage you to take the class.
 
This offering of the QDX build class has been sponsored by an Amateur Radio Digital Communications grant, and the materials cost, a $110 value, has been completely covered by that grant. The class still has a nominal fee of $75 which is being donated to Artisans Asylum for their continued support and help of the Boston Amateur Radio Club.
 
The class will be on Thursday evenings, beginning on April 18th, for 5 sessions. 
 
A quick class description:
 
This class is a brief introduction to basic electronic circuits, building toroids, soldering, building antennas, and operating on amateur radio digital modes. We will be building a QRP Labs 10m QDX-M single band radio and a QRP Guys No-Tune end-fed half wave antenna.
 
The class will consist of five sessions, every Thursday at 6pm, beginning on April 18th, held at the Artisans Asylum Holton St. building.
 
During the class we will:
Build a small portable antenna
Learn about some basic electronic components
Learn how to solder
Learn to make toroids
Build a small 5 watt radio for the ten meter band
 
Learn to operate on digital modes
While this class does not have any prerequisites, we are building a radio for use on amateur radio frequencies, so a Technician class amateur radio license is preferred (but not required) to take the class and keep the radio. Be advised that in order to transmit using your radio outside of class meeting times, you will need an amateur radio license issued by the FCC.
 
For more information on licensing and a schedule of test sessions contact the Boston Amateur Radio Club at w1bos@arrl.net.
 
The class listing is here if you wish to sign up: 
 
If you have experience with soldering and building kits but wish to take the class, we would ask that you wait and give those newer to the hobby and kit building a chance to sign up for the class. In a week or so if there are spots left I will resend a email for all others that may be interested.
 
Any questions please email me, Brendan at nw1s.brendan@gmail.com
 
Thanks everyone!
 
 
Brendan
 

K9HI: “Project ASCEND” at Nashoba Valley ARC Hybrid Meeting, March 21, 2024

Nashoba Valley ARC logoBruce Blain, K1BG, writes on the Nashoba Valley ARC mailing list:

The Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club’s March meeting is TONIGHT, March 21st at 7:30 PM at the Pepperell Community Center (in Pepperell). We start gathering at 7 PM to socialize before the meeting starts.

For our March meeting, Phil Temples, K9HI, will give a presentation on “Project ASCEND.” Project ASCEND (“Amateurs Supporting a Collaborative Environment for New ham Development”) is a comprehensive program designed to advance the Amateur Radio experience for the Technician class amateur and provide the needed mentoring and connection with the active ham community. It is a multi- faceted, high-touch program that leverages the time- honored tradition of mentoring – but with the goal to support and nurture hundreds to thousands of new and inactive hams.

We will also have a report on the Bromfield School Science Fair judging, and talk about the upcoming Groton Road Race.

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

 

 

 

VE6HQ: “VHF-UHF Test Bench Equipment—A Practical and Cost-Effective Approach” at Sci-Tech ARS Hybrid Meeting, March 19, 2024

New England Sci Tech logoThe Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society will meet on-line and in-person on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 7 PM and feature: “”VHF-UHF Test Bench Equipment—A Practical and Cost-Effective Approach” by Don Westacott VE6HQ, 

Description:

Amateur radio operators are sometimes faced with the challenge of making effective test measurements while limiting investment in a large range of expensive test equipment. This presentation is aimed at practical and cost-effective methods that provide useful results for testing radio equipment operating at VHF and UHF frequencies.

Bio:

Don has pursued a lifelong interest in science and engineering beginning as a youth in western Canada, receiving his first amateur radio license at the age of 15. Don has a degree in Electrical Engineering and has worked in the Energy Exploration industry in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Far East. He is the holder of numerous U.S. patents, has been a guest lecturer at the Colorado School of Mines, and received the prestigious Hart Energy Innovators Award. After more than 50 years, he rejoined the amateur radio ranks and is currently active on 20 meters and VHF / UHF bands.

K9HI: “Project ASCEND” at the North Shore Radio Association Hybrid Meeting, Peabody, March 18, 2024

North Shore Radio Association logoThe North Shore Radio Association meets on Monday, March 18, 2024 at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7 pm at Peabody Municipal Light Plant. This evening’s meeting will be both in-person and via Zoom.
 
NOTE: To get to the meeting location of the Peabody Municipal Light Plant, Warren St Ext. for the next few months, you MUST turn right on to Endicott St from Rte 114; Endicott Street at Lowell Street has been closed.
 

Phil Temples, K9HI, will present on Project ASCEND (“Amateurs Supporting a Collaborative Environment for New ham Development”), a comprehensive program designed to advance the Amateur Radio experience for the Technician class amateur and provide the needed mentoring and connection with the active ham community. It is a multi- faceted, high-touch program that leverages the time- honored tradition of mentoring – but with the goal to support and nurture hundreds to thousands of new and inactive hams.

Barnstable ARC To Begin Girl Scout Outreach Initiative

Girl scouts practicing Morse code

Lem Skidmore, W1LEM, writes on the Barnstable ARC mailing list:

As I mentioned at the BARC Membership meeting last Monday, we are beginning to work with Girls Scouts on the Cape.

Our focus will be the ARRL Radio and Wireless Technology Patch Program and World Thinking Day on the Air 

Both programs are naturals for introducing STEM topics, which are a focus for Girl Scouts.

With 10 troops on the Cape, we need a lot of support for this program.  Anyone interested in this initiative would be a great asset. In particular, we would like to invite women and anyone with Girl Scout experience, including those with daughters or granddaughters in Girl Scouts

BARC’s Girl Scout Programs Liaison is Mary Jo, KC1TNF (mayjocrna@comcast.net).

Please contact Mary Jo or me if you are interested or would like more information.

73, Lem W1LEM

Barnstable ARC Hosts Eversource Honorees

[At the March 4 Barnstable ARC meeting,]  Eversource was thanked by Representative Christopher Flanagan for doing good work for the community getting the private power system restored to the Barnstable Amateur Radio Club’s repeater.
 
Rep. Flanagan is a true leader and gets it done.
 
—Barnstable Amateur Radio Club Facebook page
 
 
 
 
Shown here: Ty Mike Pierce, General Manager of Eversource Cape and Islands and Mike Maguire, Sr., Lineman Supervisor of Eversource.
Shown here: Ty Mike Pierce, General Manager of Eversource Cape and Islands and Mike Maguire, Sr., Lineman Supervisor of Eversource.

K1BG: “Affiliated Club Coordinator Role and Suggestions For Our Club” at Billerica ARS Hybrid Meeting, March 6, 2024

Billerica ARS logoBruce Anderson, W1LUS, writes on the Billerica ARS mailing list:

The March 6 meeting of the Billerica Amateur Radio Society will be in person, at the Church 182 Gorham Street Chelmsford, and on Zoom.

<…>

Topic: ARRL Club Coordinator Role and Suggestions For Our Club
Time: Mar 6, 2024 07:00 PM

Presenter: Bruce Blain K1BG

Bruce is the ARRL Eastern Mass Affiliated Club Coordinator, past president of the Norwood Amateur Radio Club, founding member, and past Vice President of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club where he currently serves as a board member. He is also a member of the First Operators Club, CW Ops, the Yankee Clipper Contest Club, and the Radio Club of America. Bruce has been a member of the ARRL for over 50 years. He has been “advising” CW Academy classes for the past 4 years, where he is currently a “youth academy” advisor. Attracting and mentoring young people and supporting local radio clubs are areas that Bruce is passionate about.

N1JDH: “Magnetic Loop Antennas” at Cape Ann ARA Meeting, March 9, 2024

CAARA logoCape Ann ARA President Brandon Hockle, NQ1W, writes on the CAARA list:
 

Just a quick reminder that CAARA’s members meeting will be held this weekend Saturday 3/9 at noon inside the Stanwood St. clubhouse.

 
This month we’ll be treated to another presentation in Paul Kreuger’s Antenna Talks Series. This talk will focus on magnetic loop antennas, their design, performance, and radiation patterns. These have been a lot of fun and I always learn something new from Paul. Hopefully you will too,
 
Lunch will be provided by Bill Morris W1WMM for a small donation to the CAARA repeater fund. This fund is being established to help CAARA cover the many thousand dollar upgrade and repair work on our 2m antenna at Blackburn Park.
 
I look forward to seeing you all up there, it should be a great time!
 

WA1JXR: “NanoVNA” at Waltham ARA Online Meeting, February

Waltham ARA logoRich Comer, K1RBC, writes on the Waltham ARA mailing list:

The next meeting of the Waltham Amateur Radio Association will be on February 28, 2024 at 7:00 pm via ZOOM. (Zoom opens at 6:30 PM.)

We will start with a short business meeting. In the interest of time, the DRAFT minutes from the Jan 2024 meeting are provided below and will not be read during the meeting. Please take a minute and review.

+++++++

Following club business, Greg/WA1JXR will give a presentation: Introduction to the NanoVNA Vector Network Analyzer

The presentation is on the NanoVNA Vector Network Analyzer, an inexpensive unit used to measure antennas and other RF devices. The presentation will introduce the NanoVNA and show you how it works and performs RF measurements. Finally we will perform a measurement on an actual Amateur Radio Antenna and demo the free NanoVNA software.

<…>

73,

Rich, K1RBC

Club Treasurer

Eversource to the Rescue – W1MA/R has power again

The [Barnstable ARC] W1MA wide-area repeater lost commercial power last week following the loss of a 4000 volt private line feeder.  After several days of BARC repeater committee members backing up the W1MA BARC repeater’s batteries with a generator,  Eversource has repaired, at its own expense, a failed insulator on a pole feeding 4000 volts to the repeater site in Dennis on Cape Cod.  The insulator failed after a snow  storm but had likely been in service for 70 years. The repeater is a primary Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) facility on the Cape and is used for a variety of other purposes as well, including a 6 AM weather net that many public service officials listen to.

The BARC repeater committee also determined that the affected lines were in contact with some evergreens on the property and those trees had to be trimmed before the line could be re-energized.  It was also determined that the failed component was unable to be serviced with a man-lift and there was only one contractor, not employed by Eversource,  who was qualified to climb the affected pole and perform the repair.  Eversource has those qualified people and no additional Eversource or other inspection is required for Eversource work.

Long-time BARC member and past President Steve Boyson, N1VLG, used his contacts with Eversource to arrange for the repair at no cost to the ham community (saving thousands of dollars) and also arranged for the trees to be quickly trimmed.  With Steve’s quick action and the work of the BARC repeater committee, the repeater has been returned to full service after only a week on battery/generator power.

This is the second time Steve has enlisted Eversource to help the ham community.  Eversource donated the installation of three poles to support the antenna at the Scout Camp Greenough where BARC is installing an amateur radio station using an ARRL club grant.  Eversource showed by its quick response and willingness to help that it supports the ARES mission of amateur radio.

Thanks to the repeater committee work together with the outstanding individual  contribution by Steve, N1VLG, the BARC repeater is again performing its work on Cape Cod.