NEAR-Fest Spring 2019

The Spring 2019 edition of the New England Amateur Radio Festival will be May 3 – 4, 2018.

The NEAR-Fest is an international event run by and for all radio hobbyists and enthusiasts, including hams”, short-wave listeners, scanner buffs, vintage/antique radio fans, etc. NEAR-Fest is held twice annually, spring and fall, rain or shine, at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, Deerfield NH beginning on Friday at 0900 and ending Saturday at 1500 hours.

Admission is $10. Persons under 18 and over 80 are admitted free of charge upon presentation of government-issued ID. Inside parking is available for $10 and includes a “reasonable amount of flea market selling space” for PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS selling their own personal property. Commercial vendors must register and pay applicable fees. If you are wondering if you are a “commercial vendor” you probably are. One complimentary inside commercial space is available for clubs, estates and other “non-profit organizations” on an “as available” basis.

Overnight camping, trailer and RV hookups are available. Three food vendors provide meals and snacks at reasonable prices. The Deerfield Community Church ladies serve up a breakfast that has to be consumed to be believed. Angelino’s offers hamburgers, steak, sausage submarines and other great “fair food” specialities and Patty’s Polish Kitchen menu features wonderful “Mitteleuropa” cuisine. No one goes hungry at NEAR-Fest.

The program of activities and events at NEAR-Fest is extensive; a huge outdoor electronic flea market, three buildings full of commercial vendors, forums, technical seminars and symposia, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, licensing examinations, special events radio stations, a “jam session”, good food, fellowship, fun and general mishigoss. NEAR-Fest is the largest event of its kind in the Northeast and has once been described as the “Woodstock of Amateur Radio”.

We look forward to seeing you at NEAR-Fest.

New England QSO Party

The New England QSO Party will be held on May 4th and 5th.  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. Hope to hear you on the air during the contest!

Ham Radio @ IEEE International Microwave Symposium Seeks Volunteers, June 2-7, 2019

Re-post of news originally from the EMA ARRL website:

Volunteer form:   HamRadio @ IEEE IMS 2019

Boston area amateurs have been requested to provide an Amateur Radio presence at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Boston, June 2-7, 2019 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston’s Seaport District.

Local amateurs will equip and staff an ARRL booth in the trade show area of the conference stocked with ARRL books and literature for display and raffle. It is hoped the booth will also feature a remote radio capable of HF, VHF, and UHF and satellite capability.  Conference attendees can ask questions about how to get involved in ham radio, either as a hobby or as a vehicle for student learning.

Although the conference site is well-served by public transportation, event coordinators are exploring the possibility of complementary (or reduced) parking rates for volunteers. In addition, the conference organizers have scheduled an “Amateur Radio Social” Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30 PM featuring keynote speaker Howard Michel, WB2ITX, ARRL Chief Executive Officer.

If you would like to be involved in this high-profile event, please register at: Ham Radio @ IEEE IMS 2019.

Groton Road Race

Ralph Swick, KD1SM writes the following in the March, 2019 issue of NVARC “Signal”. Although Groton is actually in the EMA ARRL section, many individuals from the eastern part of the WMA ARRL section have historically helped with this event:

Sunday, April 28 will be the 28th running of the Groton Road race. The Groton Police Department and the Race Committee are again formally requesting support from the Amateur Radio community for logistics and safety communications for this high-profile event. The Groton Road Race has been a major event for Amateur Radio in North Central Massachusetts. [The Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club] has been coordinating the ham participation since the second year of the event. Many NVARC members are 26-year (soon to be 27-year) veterans. Those of you who have joined us in past years know that the runners sincerely appreciate our presence. Many say so as they run past. This event is so large that Police Departments from several other communities come to assist the Groton PD. Part of our role is to provide the communications from the Groton Police to these out-of-town officers who come to help with the event. 

Contributing to the public good is one of the reasons Amateur Radio exists. Our public service events are a key opportunity for us to show our colors, volunteer our skills and equipment, and demonstrate why it is in the public’s interest to continue to allocate precious RF spectrum to our the Amateur Radio service. The Groton Road Race is a low-stress event and a great way to gain more experience with the public service aspect of Amateur Radio. Please consider joining us on the 28th. If you are interested in helping at events like this but are unsure of what is expected of you or what equipment you may need, please do not hesitate to ask Ralph KD1SM, Stan KD1LE, or John KK1X. You can also find detailed information about the operations in previous years at <https://www.n1nc.org>.

Section Manager Report April 2019

Hello, welcome to spring…er…I think. It wants to come! I am sure everyone is busy getting the yard cleaned up as am I.

Sorry for being a little tardy, life kind of got in the way a little bit. But there are things coming up which I am looking forward to. The first one is the Framingham Hamfest on April 7 which is well attended. I will be there manning my tables to see if I can lighten the load a bit. Hope to see you there.

The other one is our annual event which is the Boston Marathon. Many of us will be having a long day there. I am likely will be in a medical van picking up the drop outs and getting them to the bus going downtown. Hopefully we will enjoy great weather there. Remember to have adequate equipment there to handle the job effectively and a backup can’t hurt either, along with being dressed appropriately and some snacks can’t hurt just in case.

It’s been fairly quiet Radio and club-wise. The Montachusett Club is having their annual QSL card sort which is always fun. And, thoughts are turning to field day planning. Please let me know where you are going to be. (Same as last year is ok) I am planning on doing the visit tour like last year. I actually had fun with it and would like to get a bunch of pictures at each site if I can. Last year was very eye opening and am looking forward to it again.

Our new Section Emergency Coordinator Bob K1YO has taken on his new role with great enthusiasm. He is working on getting databases ironed out, getting EC’s in place, etc. Thank you Bob for your efforts!

That’s all I really have for now. Just like the birds, we are busy. When we are tired from our labors, it’s nice to have a drink and sit by the radio and say hi in whatever mode.

Warm 73 to you,
Ray KB1LRL

New Amateur Licensees – March 2019

Western MA ARRL

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Leon G Szafran, KC1LCZ
16 Hunters Greene Cir
Agawam, MA 01001-3663

Harold R Lemieux, KC1LCH
25 Paige Hill Rd
Brimfield, MA 01010-9776

Tobias Haenel, AC1HI
PO Box 485
Monson, MA 01057-0485

Matthew J Merchand, KC1LBD
1226 S Main St
Apt 2
Palmer, MA 01069-1891

Kerry L Baird, KC1LCF
213 Eden Trl
Bernardston, MA 01337-9582

Nicholas A Maloney, KC1LCD
68 Oakman St
Turners Falls, MA 01376-2016

Michael Grajales, KC1LDZ
16 West St
Millbury, MA 01527-2622

Michael E Milionis, KC1LBJ
47 Bacon Hill Rd
Spencer, MA 01562-3117

Jonathan M Schoen, KC1LFJ
62 Grove St
Upton, MA 01568-1338

Sarah E Underwood, KC1LFL
22 Windsor Ridge Dr
Whitinsville, MA 01588-2047

Joshua E Mccullough, KC1LCW
100 Lakewood St
Worcester, MA 01603-2056

Abraham S Walters, KC1LBG
161 Cedar St
Apt 2
Milford, MA 01757-5135

Framingham Ham Flea

The Framingham Amateur Radio Association will be holding its spring flea market and exams at the Keefe Technical School at 750 Winter Street in Framingham, MA.  The flea market is very popular among hams in both the Eastern MA and the eastern portions of the Western MA ARRL sections.

The hamfest will be held on Sunday, April 7, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  General admission is $5 (kids under 12 are free) and includes a chance at door prizes including a new 2m/440 HT.

For those how wish to get licensed or upgrade information on license exams, contact Jim W1EQW at 508-904-6188.

Vendors may reserve 6 foot tables for $20 in advance or $25 at the door.  Vendors may arrive at 7:30 AM for setup.  For information on tables, email Andy KC1DMM or call him at 508-310-5913 before 9 pm, or use the online table reservation form.

Talk in will be on the the club’s 2M repeater system: 147.15+ (pl 100.0).

The flea market’s official flyer can be viewed here.

WMA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL is planning on attending the hamfest.

ARRL New England Division Convention Web Site Live!

The 2019 ARRL New England Division Convention (now branded as “North East HamXposition @ Boxboro“) web site is now live. Sign-ups for speakers and volunteers are now available, as are applications for commercial, non-profit, and club vendor tables. Ticket pre-orders will be available in early June. 

The three-day convention is held September 6-8, 2019 at the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center (formerly the Boxboro Holiday Inn), 242 Adams Place, Boxborough, MA 01719.

Be sure to make your reservations early as the hotel fills up quickly. See https://hamxposition.org/travel-and-hotel for details.

Original posted on the Eastern MA ARRL website.

Section Manager Report March 2019

Hello and welcome to Spring! (When it get’s here!) I held off the report until the hamfest was over so I can include that.

We started the month with a visit to the Hampden County Radio Association. Gil, WK1H and myself went there and presented them with a Special Service Club certificate. These are given to clubs that go above and beyond in publicity, training, technical and operating activities. Each time I go there, that meeting is buzzing with activity. This is well deserved and congratulations to them. Any club can contact Gil Hayes WK1H, our section’s Affiliated Club Coordinator, for details on applying, or what it takes to be an SSC.

A week later I was back in the area at the Mt. Tom Hamfest and time does fly there. I had the good fortune of sharing part of my table with Charlie K1II who set up an information table on ARES and RACES to promote that and answer people’s questions about what it is. Charlie had a helper in Frank, K1LMY. Both of them were busy in a mix of reacquainting with old friends and talking to people about the program. I think this was very successful and hope it can be done again next year. Thank you, Charlie and Frank, for being there and your dedication to this important part of our hobby. And yes, I did some section manager stuff and sold some things too.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Dave W1TTT, our new Berkshire Co. DEC and we discussed what we need to get ARES reintroduced to the area and getting new and renewed relationships to the area. Dave has a good idea and plan as to what needs to be done and hope the EC’s will support and assist him. Thank you, Dave, for your efforts there. I appreciate the enthusiasm you bring to it as well.

So, the recent buzz of late is the reopening of the EC-001 courses from the League. This was much anticipated and the floodgates opened. This is a revised course and is now free. I imagine as you read this you may find the course already booked, but the staff at the league is working on scheduling more courses as they need to get additional resources to accommodate the trainings. These are 9-week online courses and are mentored. If you cannot get in now, hang in there as other offerings will be available.

I do want to remind everyone that I still have a number of spots available for section staffing and would love to see some of these spots filled. I do hear there is some interest out there but there have been no inquiries. Take a moment to see if there is anything that may interest you and let me know.

That’s enough chatter for now. I look forward to seeing you at the meetings or the hamfest’s soon.

73,
Ray KB1LRL