Halloween and PART Pumpkin Patrol, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010

PART of Westford logoTerry Stader, KA8SCP writes on PART-L:

As we have done for many years, [the Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford] will once again be providing the Pumpkin Patrol service to the Town of Westford. Many of you are veterans and others may be volunteering for the first time… which ever you are… thank you in advance for your help!

Pumpkin Patrol involves the use of Amateur Radio volunteers providing additional eyes and ears to the Town of Westford during the annual Trick or Treat event. Our purpose is to observe and report any potential safety concerns back to the PART Pumpkin Patrol Net Control Station which will be located at the Westford Police station. A report from one of our patrols will get handed off to the Westford PD dispatcher and addressed by the Town’s public safety services. Our role is ONLY to report what we see and provide input to our Town’s public safety departments.

We normally require 5 – 8 radio operators per “shift” that will patrol various geographical sections of town. Maps and a checklist of locations to watch will be provided when you check-in for your assignment. Check-in occurs at the Westford Police station where we record your call sign and your vehicle information. You do NOT need to be a resident of the Town of Westford to volunteer, but a basic familiarity to the town’s geography is a plus! We have quite a few new hams and club members this year. If warranted, a meeting prior to the event may be scheduled. This will give our new folks and veterans a chance to interact and become comfortable with the operation.

The normal time for Trick or Treaters is 6 PM until 8 PM. Our activities have varied over the years, but we normally will run the operation from 5:30 PM until 10:00 – 11:00 PM. If the weather is lousy, the net closure time will be adjusted accordingly. We try and accommodate every individual’s schedule, we have run with 2 shifts in the past… an early and a late shift. We will accept your offer to assist at any time throughout the course of the evening.

The plans are to use the WB1GOF 2 meter repeater, 146.955 (PL 74.4), for the entire event. So all a volunteer will need is a radio capable of operating on that frequency. A vehicle will help too… but if you don’t drive and want to ride shotgun with another ham, that can be accommodated as well. If you’d like to do a bike or foot patrol, please contact me and we could talk thru that kind of an operation.

As you may have noticed, Pumpkin Patrol occurs at the same time as our regularly scheduled PART Net. The PART Net will run as normal. Pumpkin Patrol operations will inject with their traffic as necessary, so please standby for that traffic if you hear it.

Feel free to drop me a note with any questions and/or if you would like to volunteer. Pass this along to others who may be interested.

Terry Stader – KA8SCP
PART of Westford, Senior Club Advisor
(H) 978-692-2069
(C) 978-490-8150

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

MMRA, QRA To Host Joint Fox Hunt, July 18, 2009

Minuteman RA logoQRAKevin Paetzold, K1KWP writes:

The Minuteman Repeater Association and the Quannapowitt Radio Association have scheduled a joint hidden transmitter fox hunt on Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

– The fox will be a stationary ham radio operator in a  vehicle transmitting on 146.19 MHz PL 146.2.  This is the input frequency of the MMRA Weston repeater (146.79 PL  146.2).

– The fox will be located within 10 miles of the Weston  repeater which is at North 42deg 22.8′ West 071deg 19.2.

– The signal from the fox must be strong enough so the fox  can be understood on the repeater output.

– The fox will transmit for at least 30 seconds of every  five minutes during the fox hunt.  The fox hunt begins at
10:00AM and ends when either there are no more hunters who  have not found the fox or noon.

– The fox must continue to transmit on the hunt frequency  throughout the hunt.  However, hunters are prohibited from
transmitting once they have located the fox.

– The fox must not be on private property.  In order to be  found the fox must not require driving on private roads.

– Cooperation among the hunters is encouraged.  Sharing  initial direction bearings and signal strength
observations is necessary to allow some localization (for  example the town where the fox in located) so that finding
the fox within the time limits is more likely.

– Home stations are also encouraged to participate and share  their readings.  As the hunt progresses, information
sharing is less valuable.

– Information is generally shared via the 2M repeater used  for the hunt (in this case 146.79 MHz PL 146.2).  Many
hunters use 70-cm to talk and to hear what others are  saying as their 2-Meter radio may be dedicated to RDF on
the repeater input frequency.

The MMRA 70cm HUB1 repeater in Marlboro will be linked to  during the hunt.  Hunters therefore may transmit on either
2-meters or on 70-cm to join in the conversation.  HUB1  repeater output is 449.925 PL 88.5 and the input is
444.925 PL 88.5.

As the hunters approach the fox conversations often shifts  to 446.0 MHz FM simplex.

– We plan to have lunch at a restaurant near the fox  location after the hunt.  Lunch location will be a
consensus decision of those hunters who have found the  fox.

– Ham radio operators who do not have equipment or who would  like to gain experience from riding with an experienced
fox hunter are invited to ride along.

It is expected that each hunter will start from separate  locations (as determined by the hunter).

Contact k1kwp@mmra.org (Kevin) and n1be@mmra.org (Bob) to  coordinate ride alongs if needed.  Those hunters who have  room and are willing to accommodate riders are also asked  contact K1KWP and N1BE.

This information is also posted at: http://www.mmra.org/foxhunts.

Genesis Scores Big With Field Day PR!

The Genesis Amateur Radio Society made some impressive inroads in the publicity department from last weekend’s annual Field Day exercise. The club operated from their usual location at the Plymouth Airport in the 3A category. In addition, they operated a GOTA (“Get On The Air”) station for beginners.

“We had media publicity before and during [Field Day] and we are waiting for [one more] after the event,” reports GARS President John Williams, KB1EVY.

“A couple of weeks before Field Day, we were invited to meet with a reporter from the Plymouth Colonial. The story was published in print and also on their web site.”

Williams reports that radio station WATD (95.9 FM, Marshfield, MA) ran numerous promotional spots during the week of Field Day. Ten of those spots alone were aired on Friday. WATD also conducted a live interview with Williams on Saturday!

Shown, below: WATD’s Sam Kooper interviewing GARS President John Williams, KB1EVY at Field Day; Genesis ARS Field Day group photo

 

WATD's Sam Kooper interviewing GARS President John Williams, KB1EVY at Field DayGenesis ARS Field Day 2008 group photo

QRA Fox Hunt 3/27/08

fox photoTom Charbonneau, NZ1X writes on the QRA mailing list:

The next [Quannapowitt Radio Assocation] fox hunt will be held Thursday night, March 27, starting at 7:00 PM from the Senior Center in Reading. Alex Svirsky, N1PRW, will be in place as the fox at that time using his new foxbox transmitting on 146.565 MHz. We will talk with the fox as necessary on the 145.290 repeater in North Andover. This should be more enjoyable than previous hunts because the foxbox will automatically transmit periodically (and fairly frequently), and we won’t have to keep making requests for the fox to start yapping so we can get a fix on him.

Hope to see you there,
Tom, NZ1X

Cape Ann ARA To Hold Winter Field Day Exercise

Cape Ann ARA logoThe Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association will hold a 24-hour “winter” Field Day exercise beginning at noon, January 26, 2008, according to CAARA’s Briggs Longbothum, AB2NJ.

“CAARA will exercise and demonstrate our capability to deploy and communicate under emergency conditions using portable/battery power. This event is similar to the ARRL’s well-known Field Day event held every June but will be conducted in January inside our club house but using non-permanent equipment and off-grid power,” says Briggs. “All are invited and welcomed to stop by and visit, operate, or enjoy a snack and some camaraderie at the clubhouse.”

AB2NJ says that this is the second annual winter Field Day, and the first time they’ve operated it in conjunction with the Society for the Preservation of Amateur Radio’s [archive.org link] Winter Field Day.

CAARA News, January 2008

Whitman ARC 2007 Plimoth Plantation Special Issue Newsletter

Whitman ARC Plimoth Plantation Operation 2007The Whitman Amateur Radio Club has produced a special edition of its newsletter, The Spectrum, highlighting the club’s special event operation from the Plimoth Plantation November 24-25, 2007.

According to WARC President Paul Burbine N1VTI, “There were twenty-six Whitman ARC members and five area hams who helped set up and operate three HF base stations, one Echolink station and two 2-meter base stations, along with portable antennas at the recreation of the 17th century Pilgrim Settlement and Wampanoag Indian Homesite.”

“The weather was great but – with the temperature in the low 30s – the gloves were on.”

The Whitman Times carried an excellent article on the event: Thanksgiving transmitted all around the world.

[See also: Plimoth Plantation Special Event, 11/24-11/25/07]

Clay Center Weather Festival 10/27/07

Clay Center ARC logoThe Clay Center in Brookline will hold weather festival events in collaboration with the Blue Hill Weather Observatory and the National Weather Service on Saturday, October 27, 2007. Many activities have been planned for families and children. Admission is free, although some activities require purchase of tickets or kits.

Activities planned include: demonstrations, planetarium shows, lightning shows, kite-building, rocket launches, hands-on educational activities, educational displays and handouts for all ages. Ride a Segway! Make Instant Snow! Talk on Amateur Radio!

For additional information, see Weather Festival Public Event.

[See also: Southern New England Weather Conference]

QRA Fox Hunt, Oct. 10, 2007

fox photoTom Charbonneau, NZ1X writes on the QRA mailing list:

[The Quannapowitt Radio Assocation] will have a 2 meter fox hunt on next Wednesday, October 10, starting from the Senior Center in Reading at 7:00 PM. It usually takes about 15 minutes to line people up in cars, so that we should get rolling by 7:15. That means that if you arrive later than that time the parking lot may be empty, so please try to get there by 7:00.

(If you don’t have a radio and/or directional antenna, you’ll want to go in a car with someone who does.)

We will use the frequency of 146.500 as usual (simplex of course). A compass and a map of the area will help. My cell phone number is 781-258-0625 if you need to call me. Also, I’ll be monitoring the 145.290 repeater prior to the fox hunt.

PART To Conduct Annual “Pumpkin Patrol”

The Police Amateur Radio Team of Westford will conduct its annual “Pumpkin Patrol” on Wednesday, October 31, 2007. Participants will patrol various neighborhoods of Westford during and after “treat or treat” time, and radio any unusual activity to the police. PART conducts this activity with the cooperation of the Westford Police Department.

“This is an activity that PART has been doing since its inception back in the late 1970’s,” writes PART President Art “Bo” Budinger, WA1QYM.

“It is mainly a mobile operation but indeed we can use people with handi-talkies and people to help out at the police station,” Bo adds. “We don’t have a coordinator for this event yet, but when we do I will let you all know and you can volunteer directly to that person.”

–Thanks, PART Particles, Vol. 12 Number 7

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 mike@rioux.org.

–Thanks, QRA News, September 2007

QRA Fox Hunt, June 21, 2007

Quannapowitt Radio Association logoThe Quannapowitt Radio Assocation will hold a 2-meter fox hunt on June 21, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. Participants are invited to meet in the parking lot of the Reading Senior Center, 49 Pleasant Street, Reading, MA.

“Even if you do not have a directional antenna, you can still participate and have a good time,” writes QRA’s Tom Charbonneau, NZ1X. “Some of us have built a popular 3-element tape measure beam that stows easily in the trunk or back seat and can take a beating. It costs less than $10 to build and works well. I urge you all to build one.”

According to Charbonneau, QRA plans to hold fox hunts on a regular basis.

[See also: QRA Members Go On A Fox Hunt–And A Fabulous Feast!]

QRA Members Go On A Fox Hunt–And A Fabulous Feast!

Quannapowitt Radio Association logoMembers and guests of the Quannapowitt Radio Assocation participated in a radio direction-finding “fox hunt” and also, were treated to an exceptional meal at the home of Tom Charbonneau, NZ1X on May 29, 2007.

According to QRA’s Bob Reiser, AA1M, he and Ron Draper, WA1QZK hid on a hill near the Stoneham-Reading town line near Route 28. “There was a small problem with the leads on the power supply in the repeater Ron set up, but this was bypassed and the hunt began.”

According to Reiser, the “foxes” were first found by WA1RHN, then a bit later by N1PRW and KB1OZS. All participants finally surrounded the target by 9:45 p.m.

“This was the first fox hunt held by the members of QRA in quite a while,” reports AA1M. “Everyone had a great time and Tom, NZ1X mentioned that maybe next time we will do it on a weekend day so all the participants can get home at a reasonable time.”

–Thanks, QRA News, June 2007

KC1YR Recognized For Volunteer Efforts at FARA

Cake for webmaster KC1YR at FARACertificate for webmaster KC1YR at FARAThe Framingham Amateur Radio Association presented a special certificate and cake to Sharon Machlis Gartenberg, KC1YR for her 10 years of service to the club as its webmaster and publicity director on June 7, 2007.

“It was an honor to be recognized for my years of service to the club, considering how many other people have also done so much for FARA over the years,” writes Gartenberg.

[Photos, courtesy WA1HAM: “Thank you” cake; FARA President Gordy Bello, K1GB (left) presents certificate to Sharon Machlis Gartenberg, KC1YR (center), while Sharon’s “OM”, Lee Gartenberg, K1GL (right) applaudes.]