Fessenden Commemorative Transmission Set for Christmas Eve

From the ARRL Letter, December 20, 2018:

A replica 1921 CW and Heising modulated AM transmitter constructed by Brian Justin, WA1ZMS. [Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, photo]

As he’s done in years past, Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, of Forest, Virginia, will commemorate what may have been the first radio broadcast [from Brant Rock, Massachusetts] to include speech and music by experimenter Reginald Fessenden on Christmas Eve 1906. Justin will fire up his vintage-style transmitter operating on 486 kHz under Experimental license WI2XLQ to mark the 112th anniversary of Fessenden’s accomplishment. Justin will begin his transmission on December 24 at 1700 UTC and continue until December 26 at 1659 UTC. [Full story]

See also: Fessenden’s Christmas Eve Broadcast

Countdown to Third Annual AM Rally Has Begun

Townsend amateur Steve Cloutier, WA1QIX, and others are spearheading the third annual AM Rally in February. The event is sponsored by Radio Engineering Associates (REA), in cooperation with ARRL.

From the ARRL Hq. web site:

The third annual AM Rally is on the near horizon — just about 6 weeks away — getting under way at 0000 UTC on February 2 and continuing until 0700 UTC on February 4. The event aims to encourage the use of AM on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6 meters while highlighting the various types of AM equipment in use today. The event is open to any and all radio amateurs running AM using any type of radio equipment — modern, vintage, tube, solid-state, software-defined, military, boat anchor, broadcast, homebrew, or commercial. 

[Full story]

KC1DKY Fox Deployed, Billerica, December 14, 2018

Nick Mello, KC1DKY writes on the fox-hunting list on December 14, 2018 at 1:37 PM:

The KC1DKY fox is hiding in Billerica on conservation land.  Fox is on 146.565 MHz.  Send a DTMF of 1 to activate the fox.  If the fox does not seem to be responding, send a couple DTMF # and then a 1 to possibly whack it back into shape.  The fox will signal for 30 seconds and be silent for 15 sec, and repeat for 15 minutes.  The fox is located around a third of a mile from the trail head and about 20 ft or so in from the trail.  Don’t forget to sign the log book in the plastic bag next to the fox.  I recommend some boots, as there are a few mucky spots.  And please, as it will be the topic of my daughter’s Girl Scout project, try to avoid stepping on the princess pines, which are very short plants, 2 to 3 inches tall, which look more like fern frons than pine trees. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopodium_obscurum

While not endangered like lady slipper flowers, they are protected…and they are found all along this particular trail.

*******SPOILER ALERT*******


N1SV QRV on 630 Meters for the Weekend

Les Peters, N1SV, in Townsend, MA writes:

Finally got my 160m inverted-L loaded up on 474.2 kHz using the variometer and impedance transformer I built.  I can only get about 1 mw out of my K3S so real QRPP!  So far only W1XP hears my flea signal (-20 SNR) but I’m hoping for more reports after dusk.  I’ll keep the signal on both Friday and Saturday nights and would appreciate any reports.

Experimental Station Heard on 30 Meters

From the ARRL Letter:

IARUMS has received reports of short “beeps” exactly 1 second apart, as  well as frequency hopping between 10,108 and 10,115 kHz and 18,834 and  18,899 kHz. The signals are believed to emanate from a site near Chicago  associated with an FCC-licensed experimental operation involved with  low-latency exchange trading on HF (see “Experiments Look to Leverage  Low-Latency HF to Shave Microseconds off Trade Times  <http://www.arrl.org/news/experiments-look-to-leverage-low-latency-hf-to-shave-microseconds-off-trade-times>”).  Although Amateur Radio is secondary on 30 and 17 meters, Experimental  licenses may not interfere with Amateur Radio operations.”

YCCC member Fred Coelho, WX1S writes on the YCCC reflector:

“More on our 30 meter intruder.  I’m not sure if this is what we were  hearing last month but a signal (beep) at 1 second apart sounds about  right.  I copied this from the latest ARRL letter.”

WSJT-X with FT8 Support Now Available

Randy Thompson, K5ZD, writes on the YCCC reflector:

There is a big event happening in ham radio today.  The new release of WSJT-X is out and it will require a major migration for FT8 users.  The new WSJT-X support for FT8 is incompatible with the old one.  I don’t think we have seen this kind of dramatic change in a mode before.  I installed the new version and got on 30 meters.  Lots of signals, but not many decoding. But, this is day 1.  I am sure people will upgrade quickly.


The current General Availability (GA) release is WSJT-X 2.0.0The FT8 and MSK144 protocols have been enhanced in a way that is not backward compatible with older program versions. 

The new protocols become the world-wide standards starting on December 10, 2018, and all users should upgrade to WSJT-X 2.0 by January 1, 2019.  After that date, only the new FT8 and MSK144 should be used on the air.

Release Notes for Version 2.0.0:  

Upgrading from a previous WSJT-X version will be seamless.  There is no need to uninstall a previous version or move any files.

KC1DKY Fox Deployed, Billerica, December 6, 2018

Nick Mollo, KC1DKY, writes on December 6, 2018 at 1:13 PM:

The KC1DKY fox is hiding in south west Billerica on conservation land.  Fox is on 146.565MHz.  Send a DTMF of 1 to activate the fox.  If the fox does not seem to be responding, send a couple DTMF # and then a 1 to possibly whack it back into shape.  The fox will signal for 30seconds and be silent for 15 sec, and repeat for 15minutes.  The fox is located around a quarter to third of a mile from the parking area and about 30ft or so in from the trail.  Don’t forget to sign the log book in the plastic bag next to the fox.  I recommend some boots, as there are a few mucky spots on the trail.  Dress warm too – cause baby it’s cold outside 😉

                GOOD LUCK and 73!



*******SPOILER ALERT*******


KC1DKY Fox Deployed, Chelmsford, November 30, 2018

Nick Mollo, KC1DKY, writes on the fox-hunting list:

The KC1DKY fox is once again out and about in Chelmsford on town land.  Fox is on 146.565 MHz.  Send a DTMF of 1 to activate the fox.  If the fox does not seem to be responding, send a couple DTMF # and then a 1 to possibly whack it back into shape.  The fox will signal for 30 seconds and be silent for 15 seconds, and repeat for 15 minutes.  The fox is located about a quarter of a mile from the parking area and only about 30 ft. in from the trail.  Don’t forget to sign the log book in the plastic bag next to the fox.

******SPOILER ALERT*****

Read it backwards to get a clue:


YCCC Net, Wednesdays at 8 PM

Bill Barber, NE1B, writes on the YCCC reflector:

For those of you who have a DMR radio, we have setup a net on Wednesday nights, available on the 91 New England Network repeaters.  It is basically an intercom covering ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, and areas of NY (Albany, Mt. Beacon, Long Island).  Access by NETAC1 (New England TAC1 – “Talk Group” 8801).  Just key PTT to activate and call-in.

Additional info available on http://nedecn.org

Whitman ARC Plimoth Plantation Special Event Operation, November 24-25, 2018

Whitman ARC logoWhitman Amateur Radio Club members, assisted by other area amateurs, will set up tables and a portable station over the Thanksgiving weekend and operate a special events station at the Plimoth Plantation, the home of the Mayflower II in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The participants will demonstrate Amateur Radio to tourists and visitors.  In the past the group has logged over a hundred HF and VHF contacts with US and foreign amateurs, including a contact with Plymouth, England.

This year’s event will be held on November 24-25, 2018. Setup takes place on Friday, November 23 at 10 AM at the Plantation’s lower parking lot. On-air operations run from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM on Saturday, November 24, and Sunday November 25. The “take down” begins at the conclusion of the Sunday operations.

The station will be operating on or near the following frequencies: 18.160 14.260 7.260 and 3.860, as well as the Whitman 147.225+ PL 67.0 repeater (EchoLink: WA1NPO-R and IRLP node 8691).

“Anyone wishing to operate at a specific time is encouraged to email wa1npo@gmail.com with dates/times and station preference and they will be added to the schedule; or,  just show up at the Plantation and find your way to either station.”

Additional information about the special event can be found at http://www.wa1npo.org/Plimoth/Plimoth2018.html.

Boston ARC QRV for SKYWARN Recognition Day, December 1, 2018

W1BOS/MQE operation, Blue Hills, December 6, 2003On December 1, 2018, and for the 16th consecutive year, [the Boston Amateur Radio Club] will once again participate in SKYWARN Recognition Day. SRD is a joint event support by the ARRL and the National Weather Service where weather stations and weather buffs from across the country contact each other for fun and to promote the SKYWARN Program.  Our station, WX1BHO, will be located at the summit of Great Blue Hill in Milton.

For several decades, hams have assisted the National Weather Service by providing real-time reports of severe weather and storm conditions. Although the NWS operates a network of 120 Doppler radars to track severe storms, at greater ranges weather radar has a difficult time sampling conditions close to the ground. The information radio operators located near a storm provide plays a key role in aiding forecasters.

SRD stations will exchange signal reports, location and a brief description of the current weather at their respective locations (“sunny,” “partly cloudy,” “windy,” etc.). BARC will be on the air from approximately 0900 to 1500 local time. The event itself is a great way in a low-key environment to make HF contacts and get your feet wet in the HF Spectrum.

In past years we have endured all kinds of weather including warm and cold days, clear and cloudy days, and yes, even a blizzard. Access to the summit is gained by a 20 minute hike from the base of Great Blue Hill located on Route 138 next to the DCR Trailside Museum or (if you arrive early in the day) by car.

Further information is available by contacting Mark Duff, KB1EKN, at emgmgt@comcast.net. If you’re interested in hiking up the hill, contact Joe Chapman, NV1W, at nv1w@arrl.net

[Boston ARC’s “The SPARC”, November, 2018, by Mark Duff, KB1EKN]

Western MA ARISS School Contact Draws ARRL Staffers, State, Local Officials

ARISS logoARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology alumnus Mariusz Zielinski, KB1MDS, invited ARRL Lifelong Learning Manager Kris Bickell, K1BIC, Lifelong Learning Administrator Ally Riedel, KM3ALF, and ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, to witness an exciting November 2 Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with students at Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School in Palmer, Massachusetts, where Zielinski teaches. [Full story]

November 3, 2018 Eastern MA Hospital Net Announcement

John O’Neill-K1JRO writes:

Good Morning Everyone,

Net Control for the November 3,2018 Eastern MA Hospital Net will be W1SSH The South Shore Hospital Amateur Radio Club . The net will commence at the usual time of 10:AM using the following repeaters in the order listed.

1. Attleboro 147.195 tone 127.3 (Sturdy Memorial Hospital)
2. Boston 145.230 tone encode 88.5 tone decode 100.0
3. Danvers 145.47 tone 136.5
4. Simplex 147.42

The Net will then return to the Attleboro Repeater for final comments and Net closing.

NET Protocol: Please wait for Net Control to ask for Check-ins. When asked to check in please use the standard net check in procedure which is: Here is.., un-key, wait 3 seconds to check for doubling, then give your or your facilities call sign, your first name, and your facility’s name.

We extend an invitation to any health care facility or EOC of any city or town that is served by one of the participating hospitals to join the Net. We also extend an invitation to any RACES or ARES member to check in during the NET.

Any hospital wishing to join the net that needs assistance with equipment or personnel should contact us at ssharc@gmail.com. We can assist you with getting your location on the air.

We are always looking for groups or organizations to try their hand at Net Control duties. If you are interested please let us know. Our goal is to rotate Net Control practice and the experience among as many groups as possible.

We thank the repeater trustees for their generosity in allowing us to conduct the monthly nets and the use of their systems in an actual event. The following list of repeaters are available for our use. Only a few systems are used each month with the selection of those used made by Net Control for that month. More systems are being added to the list on a regular basis.

REMINDER: The BARC Repeater is now using split tone. Boston 145.230 tone encode 88.5 tone decode 100.0

Attleboro 147.195 tone 127.3 (Sturdy Memorial Hospital)
Belmont 145.430 tone 146.2
Boston 145.230 tone encode 88.5 tone decode 100.0
Bridgewater 147.180 tone 67.0
Danvers 145.47 tone 136.5
Dartmouth 147.000 tone 67.0
Fall River 146.805. tone 67.0
Falmouth 147.375 tone 110.9
Mansfield EMA 446.925 tone 100.0
Mansfield 147.015 tone 67.0
Marshfield 145.390 tone 67.0
Norwood 147.210 tone 100.00
Plymouth 146.685 tone 131.8
Salem 146.88 tone 118.8
Sharon 146.865 tone 103.5
Weymouth 147.345 tone 110.9 (South Shore Hospital)
W. Bridgewater 146.775 dcs 244
Wrentham 147.09 tone 146.2

We look forward to hearing you all on the Net.


John O’
– – –
South Shore Hospital Amateur Radio Club – W1SSH
55 Fogg Road, Box 42
South Weymouth, MA 02190

W1HFN Fox Deployed in Littleton, October 20, 2018

Barry Fox, W1HFN, writes on the fox hunting list:

The W1HFN fox was deployed at the Hartwell Family Memorial Preserve (in Littleton) at 10:30 AM Sat 20 Oct, see link:


The fox broadcasts continually on 146.565 with a 20 second voice ID every minute.  The battery pack is freshly charged and should last 4 1/2 days.

Happy hunting!

KC1DKY Fox Deployed in Billerica, October 19, 2018

Nicholas J. Mollo, KC1DKY, writes on the fox hunter list on October 19, 2018 at 1:07 PM:

With the crisp autumn air and changing leaves, what a great time to get out on a trail and find a fox!  The KC1DKY fox is out in Billerica on conservation and recreation land.  It’s a nice quarter of a mile walk from the parking location, if you go to the right trail head.  The fox is less than 50 feet from the trail.  Fox frequency is 146.565 MHz.  Transmit a DTMF tone of 1 to activate the fox.  It will jingle for 30 seconds and be quiet for 15 seconds.  This will repeat for 20 minutes.  It should be available until middle next week.  If you happen to be in the right location and it does not active, try transmitting a few # tones, but only if you are in the correct general area and still cannot seem to turn it on.

Good luck!

******SPOILER ALERT*****

daeh liart daor evoc elbert

tserof etats acirellib


N1Y / USS Cassin Young 75th Anniversary Special Events Operation, October 20-21, 2018

USS Cassin Young/ WW2DDPi Pugh, K1RV, Mike Rioux, W1USN, along with other members of the USS Cassin Young Radio Club will activate the USS Cassin Young as N1Y from 0900-1600 ET at the Boston National Historical Park on October 20-21, 2018.

K1RV will be on CW using his KX3/KPA100 rig and one of the existing shipboard verticals.  CW operation will be primarily on 14.050 and 7.050 MHz. SSB operation will occur on 14.250 and 7.225 MHz.

This event is held in conjunction with the National Park Service and US Navy to recognize the 75th Anniversary of the Commissioning of the USS Cassin Young DD 793, a World War II Fletcher-class destroyer, and the birthday of the United States Navy. The USS Cassin Young is located at the Boston National Historical Park (HP-04) in Charlestown, MA.

YCCC members Plan DXpedition to HQ for ARRL DX SSB

Three YCCC members will operate on Roatan Island (NA-057) for the ARRL DX SSB contest in February, 2019.

“This will be a [Multi-operator, Multi-transmitter] operation, probably as HQ9X,” writes Paul Young, K1XM. He, along with Charlotte Richardson, KQ1F, and Marty Sullaway, KC1CWF, will make the trek to the Caribbean island, situated 40 miles off the northern coast of Honduras.  They’re looking for one more operator.

Paul plans to combine his DX/contesting with a few days of scuba diving. “The villa is a nice place and suitable for non-hams,” he writes.

Harvard Wireless Club QRV in School Club Roundup

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

The School Club Roundup will run [October 15] from Monday at 9 AM until [October 19] at 8 PM. We will announce through this website when we are operating. I plan on operating Monday 9 or 10 AM to 2 PM. If anybody wants to stop by during our operation the main operator will leave their contact information on this list. Stop by, make at least one contact, and you will be in the log as representing Harvard in this contest, and also receive a certificate of participation. Not sure about Tuesday, but Wednesday and Thursday, President Benjamin Lee should be on.

Station power will be left on throughout the contest, except for the antenna switch turned off and the linear amplifier power turned off (you may have to reboot the computer in the morning).

Most action is usually on 20 meters during the day, at night, 40 meters. Power should be kept down to 500 watts or less. Antenna: Europe might be good in the AM (70 degrees east), will fade in the afternoon. Check 15 and 10 meters periodically, as there *might* be some action there. In the afternoon, I suggest to point 270 degrees west. From Noon to 4 PM there may be 15, 10 meter openings to the west coast. After the sun sets (6 PM), 10 and 15 will be dead, and 20 will follow shortly. Any ops after this, use the 40/80 antenna, keeping the power down 300/350 watts or so.

Hope to see you there!