The Algonquin Amateur Radio Club will hold its Marlborough Flea Market on February 19, 2022 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). Any COVID-related updates will be carried on the AARC website at http://n1em.org.
A VE session will be held beginning at 9:00 AM. General admission is $5. Vendor tables are $15 before February 9, 2018, or $20 at the door if space is available. Each table includes one admission.
Gates open at 6:30 AM for vendors and sellers, 7:00 AM for buyers. Admission is $5 for adult, kids under 12 are free. Sellers and vendors cot will be an additional $10. Talk-in will be on the K1FFK Mt. Greylock repeater, 146.91 MHz, PL 162.2. There will be an amateur radio exam session at 9:00 AM at the hamfest, for anyone wishing to get licensed or upgrade.
There will also be a raffle at 11:00 AM. Presence not required to win the raffle. Tickets at $4.00 each or 3 for $10.00. Prizes are:
Lose something at NEAR-Fest or Other Area Flea Market? Maybe we can help you you can get it back!!!!!!
If you had something stolen from your table at a flea market or hamfest in NH or eastern Mass. within the past several years please contact Officer John Delaney of the Deerfield Police Department as soon as possible. His contact information is email@example.com or telephone (603) 463-7258 and leave a message for him. Be prepared to provide Off. Delaney with a detailed description, giving make, model, serial number, photograph, band(s) covered, what was programmed it to it, etc.
This information is needed by the Deerfield Police for an ongoing investigation into thefts of equipment that have occurred at NEAR-Fest and other local area events over the past several years. Five stolen radios have already been recovered and there may be more……
ATTENTION….. Two weeks to go! New England’s premier radio hobby event……Both days ….huge flea market, forums, ARRL officials in attendance. Friday: AMers W1IA Celebration, “HamJam,” Saturday: VE Exams 10:00 AM. ……… Big door prizes both days (Two Yaesu FT-891s, two SDRplay radios, one each day)……Fun for all! NEAR-Fest XXXI Friday April 29th and Saturday April 30th 2022, Deerfield NH Fairgrounds Highway 43, Deerfield NH.
. Last chance NOW to get advance tickets and save $5. Advance admission tickets $10 ($15 at the gate), Inside parking (flea market) $10. Mail by Wednesday April 20th in order to get them in time. PLEASE ENCLOSE SASE! Mail to W1RC, 316 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead MA 01945. More info www.near-fest.com. Camping passes available onsite.
The ARRL Vermont State Convention, known as HAM-CON, will be held Saturday, February 26, at 8AM-1PM live in Colchester, VT and On-Line at HAM-CON.ORG.
If you are in our primary coverage area of Vermont, Northern NH, Northern NY and Southern Quebec, we hope to see you in person. However, anyone, anywhere can take part in HAM-CON. On-Line attendees will get to participate in the forums, will see the flea market room, will get to converse with other attendees in separate video rooms and even watch our special event station W1V.
We have a super line-up planned for this year! ARRL CEO David Minster NA2AA will start things off by telling us about 2021 happenings at ARRL and what to look forward to in 2022. Our newly elected New England Director, Fred Kemmerer AB1OC will detail accomplishments made and planned for in his first 100 days in office. Dave Casler KE0OG, author of the “Ask Dave” column in QST, will be on hand to answer all of your technical questions. Ed Hare W1RFI will focus on current issues in radio frequency interference to ham radio operations. We’ll have other great forums on technical and operating topics, plus a totally fun forum never seen before. You won’t want to miss it!
Advanced admission to HAM-CON is only $6, available right on the web site http://www.ham-con.org. If you are not sure of your plans, buy your ticket now and it can be used live or on-line. The price jumps up to $10 on February 20, so don’t wait! Details on early vendor admission and table reservations can also be found on the site.
HAM-CON is one of the first Conventions of each year and the only New England Convention held in the first quarter. Be sure to join us to keep connected with other ham radio operators from the North Country and learn why we are considered the “best little hamfest in the world.” Hope to see you there, live or on camera!
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 ProjectBigEfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com for details.
Now that NEAR-Fest XXVII and XXVIII have been cancelled there are some important issues with which we must deal…..
First, this is going to be a major hit on our treasury because, notwithstanding the reason we are being canceled, we have contracts that need to be honored. 2019 was, as you may remember, was plagued with wet weather for both May and October. Attendance was down and so are our cash reserves. Consequently, the hard facts are that we need to raise some new capital starting this Fall if NEAR-Fest is to survive.
In order to do this beginning soon we will be selling advance admission tickets for NEAR-Fest XXIX ($10.00) and inside parking passes ($10.00) either at Ham Radio Outlet in Salem NH and Ross Hochstrasser’s Clock Shop, 40 Walnut Street, Whitman MA as well as by mail to Michael Crestohl, W1RC, 316 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead MA 01945 with a check or money order and a SASE.
The exciting thing about the advance tickets are that all purchasers of advance tickets will be entered in a special prize drawing for either a Xiegu G90 HF SDR Transceiver (value $425.00) or a Yaesu FT-891 HF Mobile Transceiver (value $559.00). Winner does NOT have to be present to win.
We are going to offer a special “VIP Pass” to NEAR-Fest for those who really want to see us through this difficult and trying time. It will be good for the person to whom it was issued for life, allow that person and the occupants of their vehicle (up to four people) and the vehicle to enter at 8:00 AM on Friday morning. Cost of this VIP Pass is $250.00 and is available by mail only.
Additionally, the cost of admission at the Fairgrounds will be increased to $15.00. This added $5.00 is to help alleviate the cost of not having NEAR-Fest XXVII but advance ticket buyers will be able to save this $5.00 per ticket surcharge. I cannot tell you at this time if this $5.00 surcharge will be permanent. Once we are financially comfortable again we will decide whether or not to restore the cost to $10.00.
In the event that the May 2021 event cannot be held any tickets or passes purchased will be valid and honored at the next NEAR-Fest so no one will lose.
We are asking our association and clubs if they can help us sell advance tickets to their members. The procedure will be simple and straightforward. Clubs would determine how many tickets and parking passes their members want, collect the money, send the list with this information along with a check payable to NEAR-Fest to us. We would take care of making sure that the prize draw stubs are properly filled in and put in the prize barrel for the drawing in July. After that takes place we would ensure they are kept safe so they can be put in the prize barrel at NEAR-Fest in May. The tickets would be sent to the club for distribution to the members. Members should be informed that they are buying admission tickets for our fall event. They are not buying a raffle ticket. However there is no limit on the number of tickets anyone may purchase. Drawing will take place at NEAR-Fest XXIX in May 2021.
Secondly, clubs who have already applied for the 2020 Association and Club Early Entry passes will not have to reapply again in January 2021.
With your help we will survive this horrific nightmare.
Large indoor gatherings such as our convention are currently prohibited by Massachusetts state law. This is highly unlikely to change by November. Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold a physical convention this year.
However, we do plan some virtual activities, all free. We are currently working on the details for these and will keep you posted as they develop:
We plan to the operate the W1A special event station over the weekend of October 31st – November 1st. To avoid a conflict with the November Sweepstakes, we moved this to one week earlier. W1A will be operated from the operator’s home stations. Dennis, W1UE, is coordinating the schedule. If you would like to be a W1A operator, please contact W1UE by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those who would like to work W1A, we will be posting the operating schedule once it is ready. Note that this will give regular attendees the unique opportunity to work W1A (something which would have been more difficult for many to do operating portable from a hotel room).
We will also be hosting a Saturday evening virtual banquet on November 7th, featuring a guest speaker. There will be no charge for this event. Order your favorite take-out or delivery, pull up a chair to your screen and join your friends for an interesting presentation. After the talk, virtual break-out rooms will be available for you to converse with your “table”.
The Nashua Area Radio Club will be running an online version of the “Ham Boot Camp”. This is a multisession program for hams young and old to learn about the various activities they can do with their license. Details to follow.
Eastern Mass ARES will be running online versions of their training sessions. Details to follow.
From the entire HamXposition committee, we wish you good health, be safe, and we look forward to seeing everyone in person at our 2021 convention on July 23-24-25, 2021.
Many radio amateurs and hobbyists in the Northeast already know that the Deerfield Fair Association voted reluctantly but overwhelmingly to cancel the 2020 Fair at a special meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020.
Ben, KB1NZN, and I are members and were at the meeting. We both voted for cancellation and totally agree with the decision of the Deerfield Fair Association membership who voted 105 to 5 in favor of cancelling the Fair. There was not one good reason put forth during the discussion in favor of holding the Fair this year.
Especially in these unprecedented times our first responsibility must be to the health and well-being of our volunteer staff, exhibitors, attendees, fairgrounds staff and the local area residents who graciously welcome us twice a year to their community. We cannot betray this trust.
Furthermore there is no possible way we can realistically maintain the six foot “social distancing” separation especially in the flea market, commercial buildings, forums and VE examination rooms. This is required whenever possible by the NH Governor’s Special Covid-19 Task Force.
Consequently, as a result, we have no option except to cancel NEAR-Fest XXVIII.
However the good news is that NEAR-Fest XXIX is already scheduled for Friday April 30th and Saturday May 1st 2021 and NEAR-Fest XXX for October 12th and 13th 2021.
We will be selling advance tickets starting in the Fall. For advance ticket buyers the cost of admission will remain at $10.00 per person. However starting next Spring the price of admission at the gate will be $15.00. Inside parking and camping fees will remain the same. I will post additional information about advance ticket sales in the Fall.
We know this isn’t going to be a popular decision but with the Fair cancelling I think we would create some ill-will in the area if we show up ten days later. This may affect us later down the road. I am sure many of the locals are relieved to know we are staying away this time…..
Also attendance would surely be very low and we would probably lose money. Lat’s wait six more months and return in style when it is safe.
73, Michael Crestohl, aka “MisterMike”, W1RC Benevolent Dictator, New England Amateur Radio Festival, Inc.