HamXposition 2024 Program Update

Bob DeMattia K1IW writes on the HamXposition mail list:

HamXposition 2024 is coming

to the Best Western Royal Plaza in Marlborough

August 22-25

Here’s our February program update – keep reading to find out what we have in store. Online ticketing is available now at hamxposition.org. General Admission is $18 and covers all days. Students under 18 get free admission. Discounted hotel rates are available if you wish to stay overnight – be sure to make your reservations by July 25th.

Our Keynote speaker on Saturday morning is Steve Goodgame, K5ATA. Steve is manager of the Education and Learning Department at ARRL Headquarters and heads up the League’s highly successful Teachers Institute. Join Steve as he talks about lies ahead in recruiting and retaining the next generation of young amateur radio operators into the hobby.

Friday Evening – Swains Island W8S DXpedition
Join Adrian Ciuperca and your fellow hams for a delicious DXCC/Contest dinner on the second night of the 2024 Northeast HamXposition. Adrian, KO8SCA, is back from the Swains Island W8S DXpedition . Adrian is a keen DXer with DXCC 315, 9BDXCC, IOTA and a passionate contester who participated in WRTC 2018 in Wittenberg, Germany. He usually operates in the contests as a guest operator from various superstations such as K1LZ, LZ5R, K1TTT or NR4M. Admission $49 includes seated dinner and chance at the $500 DX Engineering Gift Certificate Door Prize .

We’re very happy to announce that The Providence Radio Association, Inc. (PRA) is proud to sponsor and staff the official station of this year’s Northeast HamXposition / ARRL New England Convention. The station will be open at various times through the convention for all to operate and will utilize the FEMARA club call sign W1XPO (“hamXPOsition”). Mentors from the PRA will be on hand to assist in operating and to encourage new amateurs to Get on the Air.

Thursday Night Comedy
We’ll kick off the weekend on Thursday night with a laugh! We’re pleased to announce that world-renowned comedian Juston McKinney will present his comedy act. Juston has starred in numerous Comedy Central shows including his half-hour Comedy Central Presents and his one-hour special “Juston McKinney-A Middle-Class Hole.” He has multiple appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien as well as a Showtime Special with Rob Gronkowski. He has also appeared twice at Denis Leary’s, Comics Come Home at the TD Garden. $35

Saturday Evening Grand Banquet
We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW, will be the invited guest speaker for the Saturday evening Grand Banquet. Known as “Space Weather Woman” in social media, she forecasts and analyzes space weather processes – in the heliosphere and exosphere. You won’t want to miss this presentation! Admission $49 includes plated dinner and a chance at a Yaesu FT-710 door prize.

Of course, we’ll have an incredible lineup of workshops, talks and presentations on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including workshops on: POTA (“Parks On The Air”), contesting, and digital modes. Remember—tickets for individual events as well as the “Convention PLUS” package can be purchased by visiting https://tickets.hamxposition.org. The PLUS package includes:

  • General Admission
  • NEW Thursday Night Comedy Kickoff
  • Friday Dinner
  • Saturday Banquet

For the latest news and updates on the 2024 Northeast HamXposition / New England Convention, visit https://hamxposition.org.

73, Bob – K1IW
Chairman, HamXposition 2024
Comedy Show Thursday 8/22 at 8PM
Seminars & Forums Fri, Sat, and Sun
Flea Market Hours: Fri 12-5, Sat 9-5, Sun 9-1
Exhibit Hall Hours: Sat 9-5, Sun 9-1

MTARA Hamfest on March 2

The Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association is holding its annual Amateur Radio and Electronics Hamfest on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Drive in Chicopee. All amateurs and those interested are invited!

Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Doors open at 6:30 AM for vendors only and 8:30 AM for general admission.

The hamfest will feature:

  • A snack bar serving coffee, soda, donuts, breakfast sandwiches and the like.
  • An amateur radio license exam session will be run at 10:30 AM.
  • Several raffles (tickets $1 each or 6 for $5)

Those wishing to reserve a table for selling, please contact Brian Mullarney N1FI.

Talk-in for the hamfest will be on the W1TOM repeater (146.940 MHz, PL 127.3).

WMA Section Manager Ray Lajoie AA1SE will be at the hamfest.

New WMA Amateurs from January 2024

Please welcome the recent licensed amateur radio operators in the WMA section!

Joshua S Hiller, KC1UCD
8 McKinley Ave
Easthampton, MA 01027-2014

Nunzio Bruno, KC1TYF
15 Benton Dr Ste 8
East Longmeadow, MA 01028-3232

Brad A Shimel, KC1TYI
114 Lake St
Florence, MA 01062-1321

Charles R Smith, KC1UAF
PO Box 517
Greenfield, MA 01302-0517

Ronald R Coler, KC1UAO
168 Bailey Rd
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370-9475

Hampton Moore, KC1UBO
17 Slocum Meadow Ln
Shrewsbury, MA 01545-1854

John J Rekemeyer, KC1UAA
1 Bay View Dr
Shrewsbury, MA 01545-4504

NEAR-Fest April XXXV April 25th and 26th 2024

Ed.: Originally posted in the NEAR-Fest forums here.

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest!

*** Please note this is an updated announcement. ***
*** Please disregard any other notices you may have read. ***
Our Spring 2024 hamfest, NEAR-Fest XXXV, will be held FOR TWO FULL DAYS, on:
*** Thursday April 25th *** and *** Friday April 26th ***

There will be no hamfest activity on Saturday due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict with the Deerfield Fairgrounds.   We had originally announced that the event would take place only on Friday but due to popular demand and the cooperation of the Deerfield Fair Association we are pleased to announce this new full two-day schedule.

Our 2024 Fall NEAR-Fest XXXVI is scheduled for October 11th and 12th (as well as future spring and fall events) will be the same as always for the past eighteen years, on Friday and Saturday.

The gates will open on Thursday morning, at 7:00 AM for PREPAID TICKET HOLDERS ONLY so you might want to buy your tickets online well in advance starting February 1st 2024 on our Web site, www.near-fest.com, or in March at the Ham Radio Outlet store in Salem NH and at Ross Hochstrasser’s Clock Shop in Whitman MA and get your favorite spot.   NEAR-Fest XXXV will end at 3:00 PM on Friday.

Prepaid ticket holders will line up and enter via Gate C as we did in the Fall. They MUST have ALL of their needed tickets and inside parking passes or they will be sent to Gate F.  This includes all Campers, RVs, tenters, who MUST also have their overnight camping passes as there will be NO tickets or passes sold at Gate C.   Anyone needing to buy tickets or parking passes will go to Gate F and will be admitted starting at 8:00AM.   Once the line has entered at Gate C it will close and all others entering the grounds will proceed to Gate F.

For this event only:

  • Admission per person is $10.00 whether you buy your ticket online or in advance or at the gate.
  • Overnight parking and tent passes are $15.00 regardless of whether you plug into an electric outlet or not.
  • Campers, RVs and overnight stayers will go directly into the Fairgrounds as we will not be using the campground this time.
  • The cost of the pass for  RVs, Campers,  Motorhomes, etc, is $30.00.
  • All vehicles that remain in the Fairgrounds overnight (after 9:00 PM) will require an overnight parking pass in addition to an inside parking pass for Friday.
  • Everyone over 21 will need an admission ticket except unlicensed spouses, active duty military, full-time students (with ID) and other valid pass holders.

If you buy something big and heavy in the flea market one of our volunteer staff members will be glad to transport it and you to your vehicle at no charge as we have been doing for many years.

As always inside parking for disabled persons is free of charge and they may use a single person ‘mobility device’ as well.  NEAR-Fest reserves the right to limit the use of golf carts and ‘other power-driven mobility devices’ due to safety concerns and potential liability issues.

Please visit our Web site, https://www.near-fest.com, or our Facebook page,  NearFest NH for any further updates.  We apologize for any inconvenience that this modified version of NEAR-Fest may have caused but it is only for this time.  We appreciate your indulgence and understanding.

See you at Deerfield!

MisterMike, W1RC

PS:  We have some really good door prizes this time, like two Yaesu FT-891 mobile HF transceivers, one on Thursday and one on Friday.  Stay tuned here for more details.

Section Manager’s Report February 2024

This has certainly been a busy month of January, and I am cautiously optimistic in seeing an increase in activity in this section but elsewhere. Time will tell if it takes hold, there are a lot of things being worked on that will have an influence on it.

First of all, there was the ARRL board meeting. This was surrounded by a very controversial motion which caused headaches for many board members. I applaud Fred, AB1OC for putting together a New England town hall before AND after to inform us of what went on. If you go to the nediv.arrl.org website you can see the recording if you missed it. The outcome seems to have made a lot of people happy.

License classes and VE sessions are also on the rise. As I mentioned last month, I have been making an effort to add mentoring to the license class and VE sessions. I am seeing early results of new hams becoming active, even learning traffic handling! I am hearing new hams on repeaters receiving welcoming QSO’s and invites to their clubs and offers to help if they need it. Make this an epidemic! Clubs, promote this to ALL members.

One thing that is coming is an initiative called Project Ascend started by Phil Temples K9HI. This is very new but is designed to establish a mentor network as well as provide a loaner program of equipment. It will also involve an aggressive mailing campaign that includes discounts on selected license classes and admission to the Northeast HamXposition. Yes, I am part of that group along with others throughout New England. Currently a grant application has just been submitted to the ARDC. The outcome will determine the extent of the project. More details to follow. Anyone who has an interest in mentoring. Hams, please consider volunteering as we will be creating a database of willing mentors.

NTS 2.0 project has been making great progress in coming up with some new ways of promoting and creating more traffic. One way is sending messages through APRS developed by Michael, WC0Z, and another is being finalized for use by the general public developed by Jonathon Taylor K1RFD also known as the creator of Echolink. There are other things as well coming too! If you want to keep up with NTS happenings you can subscribe to the new NTS Newsletter that is now going out the first Tuesday of each month. Go to nts2.arrl.org for more and you can see some of my handiwork as I am working on the education side putting together short training videos and soon adding promotional materials.

As you can see, I have been a busy boy. The need is still out there for people who are willing to help in the field even in one of our projects. I really think 2024 can be an exiting time for radio if we all can work toward it.

One last thought, it has been a while when we looked at the presenter’s list. If you have something you would like to present or update your current list please let me know.

Thank you,
Ray, AA1SE

Algonquin ARC Flea Market, Marlborough, February 17, 2024

The Algonquin Amateur Radio Club will hold its Marlborough Flea Market on February 17, 2024 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the 1Lt Charles W. Whitcomb School, 25 Union St., Marlborough, MA. Talk-in is on the MMRA repeater, 147.27+ (PL 146.2).

A VE session will be held beginning at 9:00 AM. General admission is $5. Vendor tables are $15 before February 9, 2024, or $20 at the door if space is available. Each table includes one admission.

WMA Section Manager Ray Lajoie AA1SE will be attending.

For more information, email fleamarket@n1em.org or visit https://www.qsl.net/n1em/2024flyer.pdf.

Section Manager Report January 2024

Greetings to 2024! I think personally ‘23 was a challenge and some things I would rather forget! Not section wise though. I think things in the section went fairly well. Let’s highlight what has gone on.

I have been working with a group revitalizing the NTS system called NTS 2.0. We have now launched the NTS Newsletter from the League and are now or close to introducing a couple of cool tools to send messages and are looking at other things as well. Does it replace the traditional methods? The answer is not at all! But we need to get something newer to attract the new and younger Ham to traffic handling. More goodies coming.

Chuck, WS1L, our new SEC has been putting together some things and analyzing all kinds of stuff to get the ARES program moving forward, improving the database, and bringing better communications and accountability to the membership as well as having an actual SET and getting some training going. I am really encouraged by his efforts.

I have been heading a group that is doing license classes on Zoom and am having good success with it. The Western MA Train & Test Group have been doing a great job in creating a program and delivering it giving people the ability of passing their test and getting on the air. It is also encouraging to see some other clubs getting classes started as well. One of my goals is to get mentoring back to this hobby more aggressively to the newbies on the air and welcome into the hobby.

The project at the Big E this year was another success thanks to Larry W1AST. This is a tremendous effort and 2024 is in question as Larry is not going to head up the effort so there is a need for someone to take up the reigns and continue this project. This does require a group to manage this. When you think that the HamXposition is 3 days and you see the group that put’s it all together there. I believe it can be done. But it is up to YOU to make it happen and it is not limited to just WMA. Let’s keep a good thing going!

The League is winding down the year-long VOTA event. We had a couple of W1AW/1 events and I have seen a number of you participating. I have been dishing out points as well on FT8 but admit I could have done more.

Also, if you have not heard by now the League has received more grant money from the ARDC to the tune of 2.1 million dollars over 3 years for clubs and ham related projects. Detail’s will follow on that. Stay tuned.

January is also when my new term as Section Manager starts. I sometimes I lay in bed thinking if I am doing THAT good of a job or if no one is aware of such things going on. I really don’t lay there thinking about it but I do wonder what is the case in this section? I do plan on trying to fortify clubs through mentoring and outreach, continue getting ARES working more and better, being available to WMA as best as I can. As usual, I still have positions open and the need for volunteers and participants are still needed to help this section grow. I have been asking for input to see what make you tick and still do so. Let’s see if you and me can make a difference!

Thanks to all and have a Happy New Year

73 de Ray-AA1SE

Ham Radio Support for the Sawmill River 10k Run – January 1, 2024

For several years now, Hams from this area have provided communications for the Sawmill River Run, a 10 kilometer run in Montague Center on New Years Day. I am organizing the effort this year.

Some of you have helped in the past and others may be new to this event, but I welcome as many of you as can make it.  The commitment that morning would be from 8:30 to 11:30. The central site is Montague Common Hall, 34 Main St, Montague, MA 01351.

It is a short course with many turns so we need as many operators as we can get. This also provides a good opportunity to test our communication skills and to meet other members of our ham community face to face.

Please let me know if you can help us out or if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Mark  NX1K