New England QSO Party

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.

New Amateur Licensees March 2021

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Vivian Felten, KC1OZA
116 Pleasant St
Apt 413
Easthampton, MA 01027-2743

John H Trinder, KC1OXI
24 Potter Mountain Rd
Pittsfield, MA 01201-1079

Peter R Jengo, KC1OZC
105 Secret Lake Rd
Phillipston, MA 01331-9597

Bethany R Shoucair, KC1OYH
162 Randall Rd
Berlin, MA 01503-1107

John A Shoucair, KC1OYG
162 Randall Rd
Berlin, MA 01503-1107

Lawrence Murphy, KC1OXB
500 Pine St
Leicester, MA 01524-2211

Jonathan Eckler, KC1OYE
10 Briarcliff Ln
Spencer, MA 01562-3111

Thomas Cavanaugh, KC1OXA
16 Park St
Mendon, MA 01756-1226

MARS / Amateur Interoperability Nets Starting This Week

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.

Net TimeWednesday April 7Thursday April 8Friday April 9Saturday April 10
Noon localNo NetMARS /Amateur Interop NetMARS /Amateur Interop NetMARS /Amateur Interop Net
8pm LocalMARS /Amateur Interop NetNCS Region 2MARS /Amateur Interop NetNCS Region 2

These Nets will repeat in the first week of each month.

If you have questions, please let me know.

Tom Kinahan

U.S. Army Military Auxiliary Radio System

Region One Director

tom.kinahan@verizon.net

New CW Slow Speed CW Traffic Net

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.

73,
Marcia KW1U STM EMA / WMA

New Amateur Licensees February 2021

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Kevin M Odlum, KC1OPV
153 Brookfield Rd
Brimfield, MA 01010-9766

James Epps, KC1OPM
123 Trouble St
Cummington, MA 01026-9722

Steven M Mendrek, KC1OPU
62 Russellville Rd
Southampton, MA 01073-9338

Philip M Pin, KC1OPP
15 Briar Cliff Dr
Wilbraham, MA 01095-1578

Matthew T Lichenstein, KC1OOO
22 Argentine St
Leominster, MA 01453-5902

Michael F Caruso, KC1OPF
39 Gray Rd
Templeton, MA 01468-1112

Justin P Schur, KC1OPR
727 Moore Rd
New Braintree, MA 01531-1841

New Amateur Licensees December and January

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Timothy L Johnson, KC1OJL
PO Box 31
Southampton, MA 01073-0031

Michael S Maruk, KC1OHK
25 Potter Mountain Rd
Pittsfield, MA 01201-1079

Flavia R Mastellone, KC1OHX
PO Box 207
Williamstown, MA 01267-0207

Rachel L Schmoyer, KC1OHY
278 Stow Rd
Harvard, MA 01451-1907

Josue Valentin, KC1OLK
113 Prospect St
Chicopee, MA 01013-4027

Todd Alexander, KC1OKD
202 Reservoir Rd
Westhampton, MA 01027-9613

Brian D Strout, KC1ONA
15 Stirling Dr
Wilbraham, MA 01095-1941

Daniel Conroy, KC1OLR
54 Primrose Dr
Longmeadow, MA 01106-2532

Thomas Jahl, KC1OKK
PO Box 126
Petersham, MA 01366-0126

Peng Bai, KC1OMW
54 Howard Hepburn Dr
Sunderland, MA 01375-9496

Stephen Levin, KC1ONF
31 Royalston Rd
Warwick, MA 01378-7805

James Williams, KC1OLT
1 Oak Hill Rd
Fitchburg, MA 01420-1000

Fabrizio Laporta, KC1OKM
8 Flagg Rd
Hubbardston, MA 01452-1308

Michael J Aschettino, KC1OKT
22 Nathan Dr
Clinton, MA 01510-1339

Bradley J Pontbriand, KC1OKV
PO Box 301
East Brookfield, MA 01515-0301

Roger P Proctor, KC1OLD
58 Keith Hill Rd
Grafton, MA 01519-1315

Michael E Paul, KC1ONZ
176 Maple Ave
Apt 3-33
Rutland, MA 01543-1332

Matthew T Pandina, KC1OKH
12 Fairview Rd
Westborough, MA 01581-1105

Ian J Winiarski, KC1ONS
115 Drumlin Hill Rd
Bolton, MA 01740-2021

Fall Boston Marathon Date Announced

This just in from the BAA to all its volunteers. More details on the BAA announcement on their website.

We hope you are safe and healthy. We wanted to provide you a short update on 2021 Boston Marathon plans in light of today’s public statement from the Boston Athletic Association (BAA).

The BAA statement can be seen here:
https://www.baa.org/fall-2021-boston-marathon-date-selected

Per the BAA, a Boston Marathon race date for 2021 has been set for Monday October 11th, 2021, which is the Columbus Day holiday, and a virtual option will also be offered. This race date assumes that the Massachusetts statewide reopening plan will allow road races at a large scale such as the Boston Marathon to take place. Additional details, including field size for the in-person race, registration dates for runners and volunteers, safety measures and protocols, and participant requirements that will be in place, are still being determined and will be communicated when available.

Our team continues to be engaged with the BAA at both the Organizing Committee and Medical Committee levels regarding the 2021 Boston Marathon. We have continued to meet regularly as an Amateur Radio Communications Committee in an attempt to review some of the issues of past events to more proactively address them for this year’s 125th running of the Boston Marathon..

Over the next few weeks, in addition to our proactive review of some of the issues seen in past marathons, we will be working with the BAA to send out a survey to our volunteers to gauge how comfortable you would be, given your specific personal situations, to participate in this year’s marathon on the October 11th, 2021 date. The availability and comfort of all volunteers, including Amateur Radio Operators as part of the thousands of volunteers of our race, is very important. These surveys will help inform the Communications Committee and the BAA of what r services our team can offer them this year.

There are still many details to be finalized and will be forthcoming as stated in the BAA press announcement. We will keep you posted as updates become available and questions are answered. We will continue to release updates as appropriate in coordination with the BAA. Thank you for your continued support of the BAA and the Boston Marathon.

As always, we welcome your correspondence and questions on volunteering to our general mailbox: contact@hamradioboston.org.

Thank you, and 73,

Boston Marathon Communications Committee
contact@HamRadioBoston.org

Amateur Radio Booth Proposed for “The Big E” in 2022

Hampden County Radio Association president Larry Krainson, W1AST, is coordinating an effort to organize an amateur radio booth at “The Big E” in West Springfield, Massachusetts for 2022. The exhibition runs for 17 days from September 17 through October 3, 2022. 

According to Wikipedia, “The Big E,” formally known as The Eastern States Exposition, is billed as ‘New England’s Great State fair.’ It is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the sixth-largest fair in the nation.”

W1AST says the 2016 event had 1.4 million visitors, and over 1.6 million visitors in 2019. “If just one-tenth of one percent of attendees sign up for ham classes, that would be 1,600 names to distribute to all New England clubs. We would all benefit and grow ham radio.” 

There hasn’t been a ham radio exhibit/booth at The Big E in over ten years.

Larry envisions a ham radio booth that would demonstrate the many aspects of ham radio, as well as an avenue for people to sign up for information and courses in their local area.

Some of his ideas include:

  • an EMCOMM display
  • DMR and/or other digital mobile mode demo
  • Digital HF modes on a big screen
  • A special event station (W1E or N1E or similar) with unique QSL cards
  • SSB, CW and digital modes
  • Demonstrate portable stations for field operation (i.e., Parks On The Air, Summits On The Air)
  • Highlight youth in ham radio

W1AST says he’d like to see clubs from different states staff the booth during “State” days and theme days. 

“If there is enough interest, we have lots of time to plan.”

Such an undertaking can succeed only if there is a sufficient number of volunteers and radio clubs who agree to participate in the event.  A special Groups.io mailing list group has been established to promote exchange of dialogue and ideas for the event. To join, send an email to ProjectBigE+subscribe@groups.io.

NEAR-Fest XXIX May 2021 Deerfield NH Cancelled!

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest…..

I am sure that just about everyone knew this was coming but this makes it is official.

Given the current Coronavirus situation with new cases reported every day at astronomical levels (on January 8th there were 7,110 in Mass. alone) and the fact that the vaccination process is running behind schedule we have decided that April 30th/May 1st 2021 is far too soon to hold NEAR-Fest XXIX and guarantee that it will safe for all.  Consequently I have this day notified the Deerfield Fair Association that we have decided to cancel it.

This decision was not taken lightly but it is also a no brainer.  There are no options.  As you know this is the third NEAR – Fest that had to be cancelled because of Covid-19.  The good news is that NEAR-Fest XXX is scheduled for October 15th and 16th, 2021 and, for the first time since this started, I am fully confident this will be our grand “NEAR-Fest Homecoming!”

Advance tickets and parking passes that were sold for NEAR- Fest XXIX will be valid for NEAR-Fest-XXX.  However anyone wanting a full refund may have it.  Email w1rc@near-fest.com for details. 

For more information visit http://forum.near-fest.com/index.php?topic=1522.0

73 and see you all on October 15th

Mister Mike, W1RC
Benevolent Dictator
New England Amateur Radio Festival, Inc.

Section Manager Report January 2021

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I guess we can all agree we won’t regret 2020 going bye-bye. But a new chapter opens up and we can all hope our dreams, plans, hopes can be realized without much resistance. Myself, I cannot complain, I made some pretty good achievements last year. I learned CW finally and now I need to hone it more so I can get on the air with it. Also, a new career and some home improvements. I’ve been a busy boy!

I do want to apologize as I forgot to announce a new staff member to our ranks. Mike DeChristopher N1TA has become our new Assistant Section Manager. Mike has a background in contesting and once had the position as ARRL contest manager in Newington. He is also a member of HCRA. He will be overseeing the western end of the state and he will be a great addition to our staff. Welcome aboard, Mike!

And as usual we still have some holes to fill in our staffing. Maybe it is a New Year’s resolution to become part of it. Shoot me an email to see what is available. Both Myself and ARES are seeking people to join.

As you are aware the latest scuttlebutt for discussion is the new license fees coming up. The FCC dropped the price down to $35 instead of $50. There were over 190,000 comments sent to the FCC and it did have some impact but not ideally what we want. You can see the R&O at this link. Thanks to all who sent in the comments.

As mentioned last month, our website has a new look and feel having been moved to a new system. We are now looking at incorporating our ARES membership database into our new website, so it is all managed from a single system, making it easier for everyone. Stay tuned on more announcements and instructions about that!

With the new year is also a big time for contesting as there are a number of big ones for the next two months, starting with Straight Key Night tonight. Also the RTTY Roundup this weekend. This is a great way to fatten up your log and maybe get that elusive award you are looking for. It is also a good way to hone skills that you are new to or to dust off your equipment and get back into it. I am just a casual contester which is fine with me, but there are others that really get into it to test their skills and beat scores, etc. Whatever works for you, get into it and enjoy yourselves. Share your experience with your fellow club members.

I hope you all have a productive and prosperous new year and make the best of it! Let’s be hopeful that at least some of the hamfests come back!

Best 73,
Ray KB1LRL