WA3SWJ: “All About Home Automation” at Barnstable ARC Hybrid Meeting, February 6, 2023

Barnstable ARC logoThe Barnstable Amateur Radio Club will meet  in-person on February 6 at 7:00 PM at the Brewster Police Department Community Room, 631 Harwich Road (Rt 124), Brewster, MA 02631. In addition we will provide a Zoom link to the meeting. This month, Bruce, WA3SWJ, will present “All about Home Automation.”

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

N1QY: “Measuring SWR” at Framingham ARA Hybrid Meeting, February 2, 2023

Framingham ARA logoYou are invited to the next Framingham Amateur Radio Association meeting to be held on February 2, 2023 beginning at 7 p.m. via Zoom and at the McAuliffe branch of the Framingham Library at 746 Water Street in Framingham.  The program will feature Ron Evett, N1QY, on Measuring SWR. 

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

K1BG: “CW Basics” at Billerica ARS Meeting Online, February 1, 2023

Billerica ARS logoBruce Blain, K1BG, will present on “CW Basics” at the Billerica Amateur  Radio Society on February 1, 2023 at 7:00 PM.

Bruce was first introduced to amateur radio by his neighbor Jim Payne, W1GPN, when he was 4 years old. He was first licensed as WN1KBG in 1968 (Canton, MA) and upgraded to WA1KBG. He earned a BSEE from Northeastern University in 1976, and became K1BG in 1977.

Bruce is past president of the Norwood Amateur Radio Club, and is a founding member and past Vice President of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club where he currently serves as a member of the board. 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.

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

KB1OIQ: “Andy’s Ham Radio Linux” at North Shore Radio Association Meeting, January 17, 2023

North Shore Radio Association logoEric Horwitz, KA1NCF, writes on the North Shore Radio Association mailing list:

This month’s meeting is on Tuesday! Speaker will be in house this month.

Andy (KB1OIQ) Stewart will talk about a software collection which he created called “Andy’s Ham Radio Linux.” It is based on Ubuntu 22.04 with additional software specific to ham radio. There have been over 100,000 downloads of this software since 2011. Andy’s talk will be an overview of the available software, where to get it, installation hints, etc. No previous knowledge of Linux is required to enjoy this talk.

Andy is an Amateur Extra licensee who has enjoyed this fine hobby since 2007. Related interests include repair of antique radios circa 1930s/1940s, hacking uBITX, Arduino code, the M17 project, and kit building. Andy is a former president of PART of Westford. By day, Andy is a digital logic verification engineer living in simulated reality.

Hope to see you all at the meeting.

W1BTR: “Minecraft Ham Radio Mods” at PART of Westford Hybrid Meeting, January 17, 2023

PART of Westford logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

The January PART of Westford meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 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.

Topic: PART has been awarded a grant of $22K by the ARRL Foundation for a project headed by PART member Lucas, W1BTR, to incorporate ham radio into the popular online game Minecraft. At the January meeting we’ll be showing the presentation on this project given to the ARRL HQ staff last week, and we’ll explain what the project is, how it will be run, what it means for the growth of ham radio, and how it affects PART. If time permits, we also have a presentation on the 2023 Volunteers on the Air event.

Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items (canned soups, stews, etc.) for donation to the Westford Food Pantry.

See you on Tuesday!

George, K1IG
President, PART of Westford

[To request conference login information, contact George Allison, K1IG, at k1ig -at- arrl -dot- net]

Boston ARC Formalizes Its Relationship With Area Makerspace

Boston ARC logoBoston Amateur Radio Club (BARC) is moving forward with its affiliation plans with the Artisan’s Asylum (A2) makerspace. At its October 2022 general meeting, the BARC membership voted to approve the plan. The step marks a turning point for the thirty-three-year-old club which has been without an official home for a long time.

In 2022, Artisan’s Asylum relocated from offices in Somerville to 96 Holton Street in Boston. According to its website, the popular makerspace “is a non-profit […] devoted to the teaching, learning and practice of fabrication.” It offers classes on a wide range of skills and topics to the general public.

“As you know, we have been looking for a space to hold meetings, conduct testing, and eventually hold license classes,” writes Boston ARC President Brendan Baldonado, NW1S. “Getting a regular meeting space that also allows us to hold events, and host antenna and project builds will help grow the club.

“They (A2) are a maker/hackerspace that includes a wood shop, 3D printers and other heavy machinery.”

Prior to BARC’s decision to affiliate with Artisan’s Asylum, the makerspace was working to develop an RF station, mostly for testing and building other maker projects to bridge the gap between ham radio and DIYers. A2 applied for, and was awarded funding this past year from the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) to establish an amateur station to “create, build, test and use amateur radio in various ways.”

Artisan’s Asylum currently counts among its ranks several licensed hams, and more are interested in obtaining their tickets.
“A2 is excited to get a club with our experience under their roof and have worked hard to keep the costs of renting a space very low for our club,” Baldonado says.

One important component of the collaboration involves BARC sponsoring courses. A2’s other members currently offer classes to the general public on such wide-ranging topics as woodworking and bicycle repair. BARC hopes to expand upon A2’s class offerings with courses on Amateur Radio-related topics like digital communications and kit construction. BARC is currently polling its membership to find interested individuals who will step forward and volunteer to instruct.

“There is a world of possibility in these spaces,” says Mindy Hull, KM1NDY. She and Greg Kenley, AC1NY, are passholders who have full access to the building and the club space. Soon, additional members will be added as passholders with unlimited access. In the long term, the club hopes to sort out access issues for its entire membership.

Hull notes that the A2 facility is enjoying tremendous popularity. “There are no more suites available at the A2. All suites are now on a waiting list.” She adds, “We got ours just in time.”

[December 30, 2022 Update: “Joe Chapman, NV1W, and Brendan NW1S, installed an off-center dipole and coax down into the BARC studio. We have a Yaesu FT-847 that will remain at the club station along with a power supply. There is also a Kenwood for UHF/VHF. Mary Sullaway, NN1C, installed the copper grounding. AC1NY will bring another folding table for the studio, along with a Lenovo laptop and Samsung monitor. He also plans to construct a WFVIEW remote transceiver setup for the studio as well as digital protocols station. We are almost operational!” -AC1NY.]

W6NBC: “Making Ferrite Toroid Baluns” at New England Sci-Tech Hybrid Meeting, January 3, 2023

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society will meet on-line and in-person on January 3, 2023 at 7 PM and feature: “Making Ferrite Toroid Baluns” by by John Portune, W6NBC.

Few hams have a clue of how to select a toroid and wind it to make a 1:1, 4:1 or 9:1 balun and the well-known radio books can be confusing. This presentation shows the three very easy steps to successful ferrite toroid design with very little math and a free on-line calculator.

Bio: John is a native of Los Angeles, CA and was first licensed in 1965. He has a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Oregon State University and, before he retired, was a broadcast television engineer and instructor. John is a ham magazine author and has published more than 25 articles to date in QST. He is active on HF, VHF, UHF – SSB, FM, digital modes, ham satellites and his other hobbies include steam railroading and pipe organs. John is married to KF6OEB and has three children and 12 grandchildren. John’s website is www.w6nbc.com

“Homebrew Night” at Nashoba Valley ARC, December 15, 2022

Nashoba Valley ARC logoBruce Blain, K1BG, writes:

The Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club’s December meeting will be TOMORROW, Thursday, December 15th, at 7:30 PM at the Pepperell Community Center (in Pepperell). Doors will open at 7:00 PM for socializing etc.

This month’s program will feature our annual “Homebrew Night”. Come in and show off what you’ve been working on over the past year. 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 will have a computer, projector, and screen if you have pictures or video. Homebrew, kits, software, restoration, innovative solutions, anything that is not commercial off-the-shelf. Come. Brag. Converse. Have coffee. This is one of the best “social” meetings of the year….

We will also be discussing topics for upcoming meetings.

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

KC1HTT: “A Low Power, Single Polarization, 144 MHz, Earth-Moon-Earth Amateur Radio Station: Physics, Engineering, and Operations” at New England Sci-Tech Hybrid Meeting, December 20, 2022

New England Sci Tech logoThe New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society will meet on-line and in-person on December 20, 2022 at 7 PM and feature: “A Low Power, Single Polarization, 144 MHz, Earth-Moon-Earth Amateur Radio Station: Physics, Engineering, and Operations” by Dr. William E. Keicher, KC1HTT.

Description: Successful amateur Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) communications is the most challenging project that an amateur radio operator can attempt. The goal of this presentation is to give the amateur radio enthusiast an idea of what is required to successfully model, build, and operate a QRP EME station. The KC1HTT 2 meter, QRP EME amateur radio station is described in detail. Included in this presentation are the physics of EME communications, communication system analysis, design, and hardware implementation. In addition, the JT65B communication mode, waveforms, and signal processing are described. Finally, EME operations are reported, including QSO planning, safety considerations, EME support web sites, six successful QSOs, and a signal-to-noise analysis of the QSOs. Plans are discussed for the next generation KC1HTT EME radio station.

Bio: Dr. William E. Keicher, KC1HTT, is a retired research electrical engineer. He worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1975 to 2012 and CBS Laboratories from 1973 to 1975. He served as an officer in the US Army Signal Corps from 1969 to 1977. His research specialties include laser and millimeter wave communications, laser, microwave and millimeter wave radar systems, and infrared and visible imaging systems. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Electrical Engineering Department BSEE (1969), MSEE (1970), Ph.D. EE (1974). Dr. Keicher’s amateur radio interests include HF DX chasing, VHF/UHF satellite communications, and VHF Earth-Moon-Earth communications.

Massasoit ARA Technician Class, Middleboro, January 14, 2023

Massasoit ARA logoFrom the Massasoit ARA MARANews, November 2022:

Space has been reserved at Reedy’s Archery (Middleboro) downstairs lanes to conduct a [Massasoit Amateur Radio Association] Technician class beginning Saturday, January 14, 2023 and concluding with an exam on February 18, 2023. The class should run from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM for six Saturdays. John, N1BSO and Phil, N1XTB will be instructors.

KC1AWV: “The M17 Project” at the North Shore Radio Association Hybrid Meeting, November 21, 2022

North Shore Radio Association logoThe North Shore Radio Association will meet at the Peabody Municipal Light Plant auditorium, 201 Warren St Extension, in Peabody and online on November 21, 2022 at 7:00 PM.  
This month: Steve, KC1AWV, speaking via Zoom, will talk about the M17 Project, a group of hams creating “a new digital radio protocol for data and voice, made by and for amateur radio operators.”
[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.]

New England Sci-Tech Now hosting NEWBS to Reach New Heights

StratoScience logoThe New England Weather Balloon Society is dedicated to the collaborative and iterative process of building and launching high altitude balloons to the edge of space to take instrumentation readings, record video footage, and conduct experiments. This club, hosted by New England Sci-Tech, brings together like minded tinkerers, engineers, and hams to work on exciting projects and launches. Open to all ages.

ADØIU: “Space Weather and How It Affects Ham Radio” at Boston ARC Meeting Online, November 17, 2022

Boston ARC logoThe next general meeting of the Boston Amateur Radio Club will be held on Thursday, November 17, at 7:30 PM. Rob Steenburgh, ADØIU, will be the guest presenter. Rob worked for the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center and will discuss Space Weather and how it affects Amateur Radio.

A link will be published in the upcoming issue of The SPARC and will appear on www.barc.org on the day of the meeting.

All Welcome to special session of EM2MN on Boston 145.23 Repeater as part of SET

Greetings All,

Whereas the section Simulated Emergency Test (SET) in Eastern Mass will be taking place this Saturday November 12 from 10 AM to 12 PM;

Whereas the ARRL has taken a renewed interest in emergency communications capabilities including preparedness of the National Traffic System in nationwide emergency communications during infrastructure failures; and

Whereas the FCC has given Amateur Radio a multitude of frequencies available for use based in part for it’s availability for public service;

I am therefore encouraging all traffic handlers and participants in NTS nets to show support for the SET this weekend. The exercise plan can be found at https://ema.arrl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/EasternMA-ARES-SET-11-12-22-V1.8.pdf and special note can be found regarding NTS participation on page 8. In addition to what is noted there, the Eastern Mass 2 Meter Traffic Net will hold a special session on the Boston 145.23 repeater tomorrow, Saturday Nov 12 from 10 AM to 12 Noon with Net Manager Peter KC1HHO as Net Control. Anyone regardless of NTS or ARES affiliation is welcome to check in, pass traffic or listen to see how an NTS net is conducted and traffic is passed. Traffic handlers are encouraged to list a radiogram addressed to Section Traffic Manager Marcia Forde KW1U in Maynard MA, stating your participation in the net and information about the equipment you are using. Others are encouraged to ask questions and participate at whatever level they chose. While we will be using standard radiogram format for messages for this exercise, it is important to note that NTS leadership has begun training in use of ICS formats, generally used by emergency service groups.

For those unable to make the Boston repeater, feel free to check into the net  running on the Minuteman repeater network with Joe W1HAI as NCS as mentioned in the link noted above.

I apologize for short notice. We hope to see as many there as can make it. Thanks for your participation.

73, Marcia KW1U
Section Traffic Manager

K1USN Radio Club QRV for Veterans Day, November 11, 2022

K1USN Watson Museum signThe K1USN Radio Club will once again be on the air November 11, 2022, to celebrate Veterans Day to show their appreciation for those who have served. This year we plan to activate K1USN from our club station on the HF bands using SSB, CW and FT8 beginning at 1300 UTC, Nov 11 and ending at 2100 UTC.  Our Club station is located at the Watson Museum & Research Library, 85 Quincy Avenue in Braintree. 

K1USN QSL cards will be available for all contacts with K1USN. Send # 10 SASE to K1RV or DX stations QSL via bureau.

QSL via K1RV
URL: http://www.k1usn.com
Contact: Pi, K1RV
Email: k1rv@arrl.net

Anyone working K1USN on Veterans day can use this link to request a certificate.


The K1USN Radio Club was formed in May 1997 when we began operation onboard the Heavy Cruiser CA-139 USS Salem Museum Ship located in Quincy, MA. During this time period we began the first Museum Ships Weekend in 1997 with 8 ships participating. The crew from the Battleship New Jersey has done a wonderful job continuing this annual event which has grown into a popular activity with over 100 ships as well as several museums participating. Go to the NJ2BB website for a complete list of participants as well as certificate information – www.nj2bb.org

Later we were able to move our operation to the Thomas Watson Museum located upstream from the USS Salem at the site of the original Fore River Shipyard which was built by Braintree, MA resident, Thomas A. Watson. Watson was Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant developing the invention of the telephone. As US Navy orders continued to demand larger vessels the shipyard was moved to its current location downstream in Quincy, MA. 

Our operating frequencies will be:

  • SSB – 3860, 7260, 14260, 18160, 21360, 24960 and 28360 kHz
  • CW – 3539, 7039, 10109, 14039, 18079, 21039, 24899 and 28039 kHz
  • FT4/8 – All standard FT8 frequencies

K1USN QSL cards will be available for all contacts with K1USN.

Send # 10 SASE to K1RV or DX stations QSL via bureau.

73, Pi – K1RV / K1USN