“Salutations from Roatan Island – HR9”

map of Roatan I., HondurasNote: several Eastern Massachusetts amateurs are currently participating in a DXpedition to Roatan I. [NA-057] in Honduras.

Dennis Egan, W1UE/HR9 writes on the Yankee Clipper Contest Club list:

Salutations from Roatan Isalnd, Honduras!

Our HR9 operation is well underway.  Sunday, we built the elements for the DXE Skyhawk.  That endeavor took most of the day.  The temperature here isn’t bad- 84F- but it is the relentless humidity that takes it out of you.  There is also little relief at night, as the temp drops to maybe 78F.  I guess that’s life in the Caribbean!

Monday, the 50ft aluminum tower went up.  We were able to rig the rotor, mast, and feedlines to the tower before it was pushed up.  It took the 4 of us, with 2 Honduran helpers, to lift it into place.  I took a few pix until the tower got to the 30deg up, when all hands were needed to get it up the rest of the way.  Still, once everything was rigged, the actual lift- while pretty exhausting- didn’t take an hour.  We also brought the Skyhawk to the back lawn and began the process of finishing the antenna.

Tuesday, Paul K1XM and Charlotte KQ1F spent his morning finishing the antenna assembly, when Rudy N2WQ took the manual and a tape measure and rechecked every dimension of the antenna to make sure there were no errors.  Once that was completed, Paul climbed the tower and we spent about 2 hours rigging up the ropes to tram the antenna to the top.  We rigged up two pulleys to get a 2:1 mechanical advantage on the tram, and 1.5 hours later the antenna was on the mast at the top of the tower!  Again, we have very few pix of this happening, as all 4 of us were actively involved in the tramming.  Charlotte and I lifted, Paul was on the tower, and Rudy played the tie line.  Seeing as the tramming area was little bigger than the beam, I thought it was a great job by all, especially Paul, who spent 3+ hours at the top of an unguyed 50ft aluminum tower!  While they were checking over the antenna, I put together the antenna switching/BPF/Triplexer board.

It was most gratifying to put the antenna analyzer on the end of the coax, and see the SWR dips in the ham bands pretty much where we wanted them! The linears will be happy with this antenna!

I know some of you worked us Tuesday night.  FYI, we were  barefoot with 100 watts.  We were surprised when 15m was still open to the states- the stations that called us were loud, but there just weren’t many of them. 20m was also fun, as stations in zones 14-15-16-17-18-19-25 were all easily worked.

Today we’ll be working on getting the low band antennas up.  Expect to see us on 40/80/160 tonight, hopefully with a KW.  There is more work to be done in the shack with running coax to the antenna switching board, and running control cables/coax to the operating positions.

If any YCCCer needs us for DXCC band/countries, let us know and we’ll try to accommodate.  We won’t have much of an antenna for 12 or 17M, but any other band we should be good on.

PS:  Remember, its HQ9X,  NOT SQ9X.  Even though we religiously sent the call correctly, and sent Zone 7 with each exchange, there were still over 200 ops that miscopied us in CQWW CW.

Falmouth ARA Field Day 2018

Falmouth Amateur Radio AssociationThe Falmouth Amateur Radio Association is preparing big-time for Field Day June 22-24. 

According to FARA Field Day Coordinator Larry Gray, W1IZZ, “We’re filling positions for: Field Boss; Station Captains for the SSB, CW, VHF, and GOTA stations; Food Captain, Media Publicity Coordinator, Public Information Table Coordinator, Set Up and Tear Down Coordinators” to name just a few.  “There is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of experience or physical condition.”

FARA will set up in their usual location at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds, 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway, in East Falmouth.

For more information about Falmouth ARA’s Field Day site, see http://www.falara.org/announcements/farafieldday2018opportunities.

See also: http://fd.ema.arrl.org/ClubDetail.php?club=Fal.

WX4NHC Annual Station Test, May 26, 2018

WX4NHC logoRob Macedo, KD1CY writes on the SKYWARN mailing list:

Please see the following information from WD4R-Julio Ripoll, Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator on the 2018 WX4NHC On-Air Communications Test which will be held this Saturday May 26th, 2018 from 9 AM-5 PM EDT (1300-2100 UTC) across various bands and modes on Amateur Radio. We encourage Amateur Radio Operators in our region to participate.

Announcement from WX4NHC – Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, Miami Florida

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air for the Annual Station Test

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 from 9AM-5 PM EDT (1300z- 2100z)

This will be our 38th year of public service at NHC.

The purpose of this event is to test Amateur Radio Station equipment, antennas and computers prior to this year’s Hurricane Season, which starts June 1stand runs through November 30th.

This event is good practice for Ham Radio Operators world-wide as well as NWS Staff to become familiar with Amateur Radio communications available during times of seer.

We will be making brief contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data exchange (“Sunny”, or “Rain”, etc.) with any station in any location.

WX4NHC will be On-The-Air on HF, VHF, UHF , 2 & 30 meter APRS and WinLink wx4nhc@winlink.org subject must contain “//WL2K”.

We will try to stay on the Hurricane Watch Net frequency 14.325 MHz most of the time.

Due to space and equipment limitations, we will have 2 operators per shift, we cannot be on all frequencies or on every mode at the same time.

You may be able to find us on HF by using one of the DX Spotting Networks,

Such as the DX Summit Web Site: http://www.dxsummit.fi/Search.aspx 

We will also be on VoIP Hurricane Net 4pm-5pm EDT (2000-2100z)

(IRLP node 9219 / EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). http://www.voipwx.net/

Florida Statewide SARNET and local VHF & UHF Repeaters will be contacted.

QSL Cards are available via WD4R.

Please send your card with a S.A.S.E.

Please do NOT send QSLs directly to the Hurricane Center address, as it will get delayed.

Due to security measures: 

NO VISITORS will be allowed entry to NHC without prior clearance from NHC PIO and Security.

Only WX4NHC Operators on the pre-approved operating schedule will be allowed entry. 

For more information about WX4NHC, please visit our website

www.wx4nhc.org

Thank you for your participation in the WX4NHC Annual Station Test event.

 -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Julio Ripoll Architect WD4R
WX4NHC Amateur Radio Asst. Coordinator
www.wx4nhc.org
Celebrating 38 years at the National Hurricane Center
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

New Fox Hunting Listserv Now On-line

A new fox hunting listserv is now on-line, according to PART of Westford‘s Dave Welsh, WI1R.

“This list is explicitly not just for PART members.  Anybody who is interesting in fox hunting, especially in the general area of Westford and the surrounding towns, is more than welcome to participate,” reports PART of Westford president Andy Stewart, KB1OIQ. “Please forward this email to any friends who may also be interested in fox hunting.”

The goal of fox hunting–otherwise known as Amateur Radio Direction Finding–is to find a hidden radio transmitter.  Typically, a transmitter would be hidden in conservation land well out of sight of passersby, and not in overly damp or other sensitive areas. 

“Make sure there is safe access to the fox.  Always be aware of your surroundings and your abilities.  Be safe and have fun!”

KB1OIQ invites fox box owners who deploy/hide their foxes to announce it via the list.   “Let us know when you’ve retrieved the fox so we’ll stop looking for it.  If there is a logbook, let us know who successfully found your fox.”

To sign up for the fox hunting list, go to http://lists.wb1gof.org/listinfo.cgi/foxhuntingwb1gof.org and complete the form.  As a subscriber to the mailing list, you may post messages to foxhunting@wb1gof.org.  If you have questions or require assistance in joining the list, contact Dave Welsh, WI1R at wi1r@wb1gof.org

Commemorative Marconi Radio Contact with Newfoundland Planned, May 31, 2018

CORRECTION:

 

Barbara Dugan, N1NS writes on May 29, 2018:

 

Contact is scheduled for 1145 local BOSTON time which is 1545 UTC time.

Sorry for my mistake. My iphone was giving me London time- wrong setting, needed UTC time. London is UTC plus 1.

Signal Hill, St. Johns, Newfoundland Canada, Marconi receiving site
Signal Hill, St. John’s, Newfoundland, the site where Marconi received the very first Transatlantic Wireless Message on December 12, 1901.

KM1CC signA two-way amateur radio contact with the Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs (SONRA) VO1AA in St. Johns, Canada is planned during the  upcoming visit of Princess Elettra Marconi to station KM1CC and the Cape Cod National Seashore on May 31, 2018. 

[See: Invitation to Meet and Greet Marconi’s daughter, Princess Elettra Marconi, May 31, 2018].

“Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland is where Guglielmo Marconi received the letter ‘S’ from his Poldhu Station in 1901 in the U.K. by flying a kite antenna,” according to Barbara Dugan, N1NS. Dugan is trustee of the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club (KM1CC) and a National Park Service employee.

VO1AA and KM1CC  will try to make contact on 14.224 MHz USB +/- between 1645-1700 1545-1600 UTC.  “The Princess could be behind schedule, so we must be flexible,” adds N1NS.

Amateurs and SWLers are invited to listen on the frequency at those times for the commemorative QSO featuring the Princess. Chris Hillier, VO1IDX will serve as the net control so SONRA members can call in to the Princess.  Someone from KM1CC will stay on the air with VO1AA  should the Princess need to depart; afterwards, KM1CC will take calls from anyone who wishes to contact them in grid square FN51.

Their Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs Facebook page is at:  https://www.facebook.com/sonranfld/.

Eastern MA 2018 Field Day Directory

ARRL Field Day 2018 logoThe 19th Annual Eastern Massachusetts Field Day Directory contains some of the most comprehensive Field Day resource pages of its kind.

According to Bill Ricker, N1VUX, the Directory offers both detailed historical and current information on individual field day club operations along with the complete event operating rules and helpful safety tips. The Directory’s software will automatically compute your field day site’s Maidenhead Grid locator for VHF recommended ‘Grid Chase’ extra exchange. “We report third level, six-character grid; for example, LL99ii–which is useful for some microwave aiming tools–but you only need four (LL99) in the on-air exchange.”

“Clubs which are reactivating a previous Class A or F site can confirm to the EMA Directory by simply putting their pin in at the ARRL Field Day Locator – also conveniently linked from our directory. I’ll pick that up and mark them confirmed. I would appreciate an email from new clubs in Class A or F, clubs with new sites, clubs whose details on their EMA directory need updating, or who are definitely not using the site they had last year.”

The Directory also links to updated information on how to handle NTS radiogram traffic, and score bonus points during the event.

“A major goal always has been helping (and encouraging) EMA ARRL staff and leadership to plan visits to nearby field day sites, as is our custom — and helping us hit as many different ones as possible. From the staffs’ comments last year about how many sites they didn’t find, I’d like to suggest that if your big banner isn’t visible from the road, place some Realtors(tm)-style foamcore and wire signs at the entrance and leading visitors through the maze.” Bill adds, “‘Public Welcome’ and an arrow are recommended. If you’re not conducting a 24-hour operation, a statement of hours would be good on both the sign and on the EMA FD Directory and Headquarters Locator.”

N1VUX also invites you to post your comments and memories from field day on the ARRL Soapbox. “We’ll link them in the Directory for history. If your club has memories on a website or Facebook page that we don’t have linked, send me the link and I’ll make sure it’s included.”

The Eastern MA Field Day Directory can be viewed at http://fd.ema.arrl.org.  N1VUX can be reached at his arrl.net address.

W1HFN Fox Box QRV in Chelmsford, May 9, 2018

Barry Fox, W1HFN writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

The W1HFN fox box will be deployed at the Lime Quarry on Rte 110 [in Chelmsford] today [Wednesday, May 9, 2018].  Frequency is 146.565.  There is a 20 second voice message / ID every 3 minutes and a log to sign.  The unit is quite small–about the size of a deck of cards.

I will leave it out for a week, at that duty cycle batteries should last.

Good luck to all.

Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Communication Test Set for Saturday, May 12

Armed Forces Day logoThe Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will sponsor the traditional military/Amateur Radio communication tests to mark the 67th annual Armed Forces Day (AFD) on Saturday, May 12. Armed Forces Day is May 19, but the AFD Crossband Military-Amateur Radio event traditionally takes place one week earlier in order to avoid conflicting with Hamvention. Complete information, including military stations, modes, and frequencies, is available.

The annual celebration is a unique opportunity to test two-way communication between radio amateurs and military stations (authorized under §97.111 of the Amateur Service rules). It features traditional military-to-amateur crossband SSB voice, CW, practice using legacy interoperability waveforms, and the opportunity for participating hams to utilize more modern military modes, such as MIL-STD Serial PSK and Automatic Link Establishment (ALE). Military stations and Amateur Radio stations are authorized to communicate directly on certain 60-meter interoperability channels.

These tests give Amateur Radio operators and shortwave listeners (SWLs) a chance and a challenge to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly controlled exercise scenario and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station. QSL cards will be available for stations successfully contacting participating military stations. [ARRL Letter]

Harvard Wireless Club QRV for New England QSO Party, May 5-6, 2018

Harvard Wireless ClubBill Collins, W1PL writes on the Harvard Wireless Club mailing list:

Hi all,

W1AF will be activated this weekend [May 5-6] for the New England QSO Party.  Our President Benjamin Lee, K7JS and Treasurer Allen Liu, KC1HBB are tentatively scheduled to operate on Saturday. The fun on Saturday will be working four QSO parties: New England, Area 7, Indiana, and Delaware. I will also be doing some operating on Sunday.

If anyone else is interested, please come over and make at least a few contacts and we can enter you in the log. Sunday will be a little easier because it will only be New England. You can be on the air with me with only your Technician license. I know a lot of students will be busy with finals, but if you can make it that would be great!

Send me an email if you would like to stop by, and I will send you my cell phone number to open the door at 6 Linden Street [in Cambridge].

Also, the NEQP “School Club” category allows ANYONE to operate:  Harvard alumni, former employees, and even non-affiliates.

Hope to see you there! 

Web Resources: Radio Amateur Call Books on Archive.org

Bruce Blain, K1BG writes in the April, 2018 Nashoba Valley ARC Signal:

I’m constantly asked “how do I research an old callsign” or “my uncle who lived in Joplin MO in the 1950’s was a ham, but I can’t remember his callsign. How can I find it?” Well, there is an interesting site that is informally known as “The Wayback Machine”, and they have scanned a large number of documents. Among those are many (many) call books.

The site is archive.org, and by clicking on https://archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A %22callbook%22. You can search their documents based on the keyword “callbook”. The search gives 103 results. That’s 103 call books that have been individually scanned. The call books are fully searchable, and provide you with all of the “matches” it finds. One word of caution – because thse books were “scanned,” optical character recognition technology is used to match your search. It’s not 100% accurate. So if you are looking for all the hams in “Pepperell” in a particular call book, try a subsequent search for “01463”. Between the two searches you should be able to find what you are looking for.

Once you pick on a call book, there are submenus to help you narrow how much information you are looking through. For instance, you would only want to search through the “1” area for a W1 call or for an address in New England. The sub-menus allow you to select which call area to look at.

Want to know where K9AQP was licensed in the 1950s? Want to know who the hams were who lived in East Providence, RI in the 1960s? This is a great place to research that stuff. If you run into any problems or need some help, just let me know. Have any interesting internet sites you would like to share? Let me know and I’ll include them in future articles. Thanks and 73. de Bruce, K1BG

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 www.wo1ves.com.

New England QSO Party, May 5-6, 2018

New England statesTom Frenaye, K1KI writes:

I’d appreciate your help in publicizing the upcoming New England QSO Party on May 5th and 6th.    Please mention it at your next club meeting and in your newsletter.

The NEQP is a great time to check out antenna systems and offers a moderately paced opportunity to work new states and countries.   You’ll find a wide variety of participants, from newcomers to experienced contesters, all interested in making contacts with New England stations.

We’re working to make sure that all of the New England counties are active again this year and would appreciate your help.  Get on for at least an hour or two and join in on the fun.  Please let me know if you can put in any time at all so we can work on activity from the rarest counties.   Will you be QRV?   Let us know which county you’ll be on from with a message to info@neqp.org.

Oh yes, the NEQP is also lots of fun when mobile.  Every time you cross a county line the action starts over again.   It’s amazing what a 100w radio and mobile whip can do.

The QSO Party is 20 hours long overall, in two sections with a civilized break for sleep Saturday night.  It goes from 4 PM Saturday until 1 AM Sunday, then 9 AM Sunday until 8 PM Sunday.  Operate on CW, SSB and digital modes on 80-40-20-15-10 meters.   For each QSO you’ll give your callsign, a signal report and your county/state.   Top scorers can earn a plaque and everyone who makes 25 QSOs and sends in a log will get a certificate.

Last year we had logs from 177 New England stations and 460 more from around the country and world.

The full NEQP rules can be found at  http://www.neqp.org/rules.html.

The 2017 results are posted and the results since 2002 are also available  at http://www.neqp.org/results.html.

It’s just about a month until the 2018 NEQP.   Please make some QSOs even if you don’t want to send in a log.