February 2024 Section News

I can’t believe how quickly the weeks have slipped by – it’s past mid-February. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

* Project ASCEND is “Full-Speed Ahead”

Project ASCEND 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. More info about the project is at 


 * NEAR-Fest Dates Changed for Spring 2024 Only

Just in case you haven’t heard, dates for the ever-popular NEAR-Fest are changed for Spring, 2024 ONLY. Details at

https://ema.arrl.org/2024/01/27/near-fest-xxxv-changes-and-news-updated-january-27-2024/ or at https://near-fest.com/.

* Police Amateur Radio Team (PART) of Westford Goes Crazy for Morserino!

Members of PART of Westford combined enthusiasm for learning Morse Code and a desire to sharpen their kit-building skills with a bulk purchase of the popular Morserino CW Keyer/Trainer. Details about this very cool club project are at https://ema.arrl.org/2024/01/20/part-cw-training-and-kit-purchase/

* Massachusetts/Rhode Island (NTS) Phone Net Expands to 7 Days/Week

The Massachusetts/Rhode Island (NTS) Phone Net has expanded its operations to seven days/week, supporting the increased traffic volume.

See also <https://ema.arrl.org/2024/01/06/mass-rhode-island-phone-net-expands-to-include-sunday-sessions/>

* New ARRL Special Service Club (SSC) Designations

Congratulations to the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association and Falmouth Amateur Radio Association for recent designations as ARRL Special Service Clubs! SSCs go above and beyond for their communities and for Amateur Radio.  They are the leaders in their Amateur Radio communities who provide active training classes, publicity programs, and actively pursue technical projects and operating activities. To the Cape Ann ARA and FARA: well done!

* Ten Meters is Hot!  Don’t miss the upcoming ARRL DX Phone Contest (March 2-3)

It happens about every 10-12 years during the current high levels of the solar cycle.  Ten meters comes alive with some of the most astonishing propagation we will experience.  During the recently concluded February CW DX Contest, the ten-meter CW band was filled all day long with wall-to-wall signals from all around the world.  With luck, the March 2-3 weekend will again be hopping but this time on the 10-meter SSB frequencies.    Should 10-meters start to quiet down (e.g., late at night), 15 and 20 usually continue along with the lower bands.   I like 10-meters at this time because even modest stations perform extremely well.  So, enjoy this wonderful time on 10 that visits us every decade or so!  Full details at http://www.arrl.org/arrl-dx 

* New England Sci-Tech Needs Volunteers for Soldering Project 

A [New England Sci-Tech] collaboration with Harvard University on Saturday, March 2 needs volunteers to solder as many as 200 LightSound project boards to be used for sight-impaired people at the upcoming April solar eclipse.

Can you volunteer a couple hours to solder circuit boards with us?  Beginners welcome – they will train you. Nothing difficult. Each one should take less than 10 minutes. NE-SciTech needs about 10 to 20 people per 2-hour shift from 9:00 am to 7 pm on Saturday, March 2. For more information, please visit https://nescitech.org/content.aspx?page_id=4002&club_id=508616&item_id=2188971

* Cape Cod Clubs Team up for Demo at Local Maker’s Faire

The two largest Amateur Radio clubs on Cape Cod, the Barnstable Amateur Radio Club (BARC) and the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association (FARA) have a long history of teaming up on community event projects. The clubs are currently planning for a ham radio demonstration, including a GOTA (Get On The Air) station, at an upcoming Maker’s Faire on the Cape. This will be an excellent opportunity for outreach to STEM-minded folks of all ages. I especially commend how well the two clubs work together. And I’d love to hear about how EMA clubs are working together for the betterment of Amateur Radio – let me know at n1ilz@arrl.org !

* N1ILZ for a Final

We’re mid-way through February, and winter still has us firmly in its grip. That Nor’easter a week or so ago left us here on the Cape with plenty of heavy, wet snow that turned into solid ice when the temperature dropped, and we’re still dealing with it. Oh well, we’re New Englanders, we’re used to it, right?

But spring is coming, sooner than we might expect, and it will be time for planting gardens, antenna raising, tower climbing, and generally getting ready for summer fun.  What’s on your to-do list? Got any interesting plans? Will you write a paragraph or two about what you’re up to, so I can publish it in the Section Update? Let me know via email at n1ilz@arrl.org!

* For always up-to-date news, please visit the EMA Section website at http://ema.arrl.org

This Section News Update is brought to you by Division Vice Director Phil K9HI, Assistant Section Manager Tom K1TW, and Section Manager Jon N1ILZ.


ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section

Section Manager: Jon W McCombie, N1ILZ