Hello everyone. Another month has quietly gone by without much fanfare. I hope it’s because you are planning your club’s activities.
Speaking of club’s activities, Field Day is just around the corner. Who’s doing what? I know the NOBARC club is having a live one this year. Let me know what you are doing. I may do “the tour” this year.
On May 8 which is a Saturday our ARES group led by Bob K1YO is having a SET drill to demonstrate and test our communications capabilities. This is a combination of HF, VHF, Digital, simplex and repeater exercises run during segments of a 10am-2pm window. This will help us define where our strengths and weaknesses are and to build on making a stronger operation out of it. Bob has spent months putting this together along with the ARES group. This is something that has been silent for a long time and I am so appreciative of their efforts to get this back on track. Check out more on this website.
Club Presidents, are you up to date with the league? In order to maintain your affiliation with the League you need to update once a year. More information is found on the http://www.arrl.org/clubs website or contact our club coordinator, Gil, WK1H at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In July Larry, W1AST is heading the annual 13 Colonies event for Mass. It is run from July 1st to the 7th. This event has been going for a number of years and has had rising numbers with last year being the biggest yet. Larry is looking for operators to participate and have some fun. Contact Larry at email@example.com for further information.
Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, will hold another presentation addressing the new FCC RF exposure rules on May 4 at 7:30 PM using the ARRL GoToWebinar platform.
His April 27 talk was a hugely successful–a maximum number of 100 connections for the call was reached just as the discussion started. The GoToWebinar has a much higher limit and should accommodate all who are interested. ARRL Laboratory Manger Ed Hare, W1RFI, will serve as Technical Moderator on the call.
It is with deep sadness and regret that I report the passing of Steve Finberg, W1GSL, of Cambridge Massachusetts, the founder and Benevolent Dictator of the “Swapfest, the Flea at M.I.T.” who became a Silent Key on Friday, April 23rd 2021 just before 7:00 PM.
Steve started the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology electronics flea market in 1985 and ran it up continuously until October 2019. That was 35 years, 8 shows a year, always the third Sunday of the month, April through October. I don’t recall it ever being canceled. An outstanding accomplishment! “The Flea” produced many amazing treasures over the years, things you would find nowhere else. You never know what you will find at “M.I.T.”, an event that was highly popular with amateur radio operators and electronics enthusiasts in the Northeast. “Chip” Cohen, W1YW, inventor of the fractal antenna said that he bought all the test equipment and parts he needed at the M.I.T. Swapfest to invent his revolutionary antennas when he was first starting out.
Steve was a long-time analog electronics engineer at Charles Stark “Doc” Draper’s lab at MIT and the holder of several patents. He was still working at Draper Labs at the time of his passing. Steve was an intensely private man and not much is known about his life outside of his work at Draper and M.I.T. I know he would probably not approve of all this attention but the fact that he was so high profile and popular at most amateur radio hamfests and flea markets in the eastern United States makes it necessary.
In addition to his work with The Swapfest, he also compiled and produced the bi-weekly New England Flea Market list for over 30 years. He was a very familiar figure in his signature red sports shirt and straw cowboy hat at hamfests anf flea markets for many years all over the east coast and as far south as Orlando FL distributing his famous list along with the Flea at M.I.T. promotional flyers.
Steve was a personal friend for many years and was a knowledgeable source of information on New England hamfests and electronic flea markets. His deep wisdom, advice and wise counsel were invaluable to me when we started the New England Amateur Radio Festival, aka NEAR-Fest at Deerfield NH, in 2007.
In 2009, Steve was awarded the NEAR-Fest Lifetime Pass Award for his contribution to the advancement of the hobby in New England.
Unfortunately, there were no M.I.T. flea markets in 2020 and it doesn’t seem there will be very many or possibky none this year as well. However, the radio clubs at M.I.T. and Harvard University, (the MIT Radio Society, the MIT UHF Repeater Association, the MIT Electronics Research Society and the Harvard Wireless Club) beneficiaries of the “Flea” since the beginning will be resuming the event as soon as conditions allow it. First one is tentatively scheduled for August 15th 2021. The Web site is
World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.
On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public.
IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, Sunday, April 18, 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, amateur radio stands out as welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities – even helping overcome online fatigue and social isolation. The amateur radio community has organized “wellness nets” to keep amateurs in touch and check on those who may be higher risk or elderly, “stay safe” special event stations across the globe, and has encouraged generally higher levels of on air activity.
The New England QSO Party will be held on May 1st and 2nd. Now’s your chance to be the sought after stations instead of the other way around!
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 by email which county you’ll be on from.
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 4pm Saturday until 1am Sunday, then 9am Sunday until 8pm 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.
The full NEQP rules are here. The 2017 results are posted and the results since 2002 are also available here. Last year we had logs from 177 New England stations and 460 more from around the country and world.
Starting this week, on April 7 and for the first week of every month going forward, US Army Auxiliary Radio System members will conduct nets on 60 meters channel 1 (5.3305 MHz) with the goal of exercising the mission of MARS to Amateur interoperation.
These Nets will start at 8pm local time on April 7, for one hour and will repeat on Friday April 9 and be run by MARS Stations in Region One. On April 8 and 10 at 8pm ET the nets will be run by MARS stations in Region 2 and 4, but also encourage Amateur Radio check ins.
In addition, on Thursday April 8, Friday April 9 and Saturday April 10, nets will be conducted at noon ET, with NCS in New England.
All amateur stations with 60 meter capability and the time are asked to check in and participate in these nets. The goal of these nets is to train MARS stations with Amateur Radio stations on 60 meter channels. Initially, these nets will just involve check ins, but over time, we will practice ICS-213 messages on these nets in both voice and digital methods. The nets will last 1 hour.
Wednesday April 7
Thursday April 8
Friday April 9
Saturday April 10
MARS /Amateur Interop Net
MARS /Amateur Interop Net
MARS /Amateur Interop Net
MARS /Amateur Interop Net
NCS Region 2
MARS /Amateur Interop Net
NCS Region 2
These Nets will repeat in the first week of each month.
Hello everybody. This month’s report actually started a couple of weeks ago in my head and changed countless times. I usually put a positive spin on them, I could not this month, sorry. I do want to address something if I can. We as radio operators are trained and licensed to communicate. We do that well on the air, but in other media I feel it is seriously lacking. When I became your section manager in 2017 the one thing I promised to do is be visible. I made it a priority to put out the monthly report to communicate to you what’s been going on. I use the section email reflector often and as needed. We have made improvements to our website and is still ongoing. Some good things indeed!
The thing that is lacking is feedback, response. The term I lovingly use is “crickets”. Now I don’t expect my email box to blow up with responses each and every time I put something out. But if it is relevant to you in the subject at hand, let others know and let me know. Silence usually tells me that I may not be heard as effectively as I would like. There may be other reasons, but I am not focusing on that. The thing I have also been promoting is participation in our section. Communication within our section is participation.
There are those out there and you know who you are that let me know there is a pulse out there, my sincerest THANK YOU!
I want to ask those out there who are reading this, 1) Ask your club to make sure the section web address in on your website and newsletters. Also, for those that have newsletters and need content, use my section report. 2) Make sure you and others have the section emails checked off in the league’s website to make sure you are getting important emails I send out. Thank you in advance in trying to better our communication with each other.
Now a couple of tidbits…..
Bob, K1YO has been working hard in getting a SET established to exercise our communications capabilities in an emergency. He has been inviting neighboring states and other served agencies to participate as well. He is looking to get as much help and participation as well. It There is a link elsewhere on this site or you can contact him as well.
The other thing is the HamExposition planned for Marlboro in September will be a live event. Obviously current situation may dictate differently down the road, But I am being optimistic. I am looking forward to being there.
That about wraps it up for this month. Hope you enjoy the spring and the warmth it brings. 73 all.
Want an opportunity to practice your newly acquired CW skills or brush up on old skills once learned but not used for many years?
Learn and practice the art and skill of handling written messages, and have some fun along the way. You’ve asked for it and now we are reviving a slow speed CW traffic net. It is called MARISN or Massachusetts Rhode Island Slow Net and it will be meeting four evenings a week on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 PM local time on 3598 KHz. Rob K2MZ has offered to organize and manage this net. He has been a successful teacher of CW and has been active on our various traffic nets. He is welcoming all comers.
Come join us beginning Monday March 22, 2021. Looking forward to seeing you there.