by Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, ARRL Product Development Manager
The annual Northeast HamXposition was held on September 10 &12 and hosted the 2021 ARRL New England Division Convention. This was the first time the annual event was held at the Best Western Hotel in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
The ARRL ‘team’ included Vice President Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, New England Division Director Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, Vice Director Phil Temples, K9HI, Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, Senior Member Services Representative Kim McNeill, KM1IPA, Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV, and Product Development Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. In addition, there were several Section Managers and other Field Organization volunteers.
Mike Raisbeck and Phil Temples did double-duty, serving as the convention’s Vice Chair and Program chair, respectively.
Although there were some last-minute cancellations from a handful of exhibitors and presenters, attendance was very good, though smaller than the 2019 show. W1 QSL Bureau Co-Manager Eric Williams, KV1J, shared that “considering the COVID concerns, I feel that this was remarkably good attendance.”
Among the radio club and organization booths, the Nashua Area Radio Society (New Hampshire) demonstrated a variety of activities to encourage new licensees to become radioactive. An interactive exhibit was also hosted by Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society of Natick, MA, which operates from the STEM educational center and Makerspace hosted by New England Sci-Tech. An ARRL Volunteer Examiner team tested 13 new and upgraded license candidates, including unlicensed individuals who passed exams for their General and Extra Class tickets.
Eric Williams and his team of volunteers offered great support to anyone seeking W1 Bureau needs. Their exhibit also hosted Bob Naumann who checked DXCC and other ARRL Award applications throughout the convention.
On Friday night, Adrian Ciuperca, KO8SCA, presented at the DXCC/Contest Dinner, recapping the DXPedition and IARU Contest activities and activations from Market Reef and Aland Islands.
Bob Inderbitzen gave the keynote address on Saturday morning which included a 9/11 tribute he had prepared, and Color Guard supported by local Scouts. He also attended a Youth Panel and met with many young hams, parents, and their advisors throughout the event, including an undergraduate student in mechanical engineering from Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA, Zachary Sherman, KC1NXK – exhibiting for Olin Collegiate Amateur Radio Club.
The banquet speaker was Dr. Philip J. Erickson, W1PJE, of Haystack Observatory, a multidisciplinary radio observatory operated by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He discussed HamSCI’s latest ionospheric science investigations with his group at Haystack covering international, national, and even local aspects of amateur ionospheric science supported in partnership with radio amateurs and scientists. During the banquet, Bob was recognized by Emcee Mike Raisbeck as the convention’s first scholarship winner (1990).
An ARRL Membership Forum was held on Saturday, supported by Fred Hopengarten, Phil Temples, Mike Walters, and ARRL Communications Counsel Dave Siddall, K3ZJ – who was in the area and attended the convention. Mike Walters also led a Section Manager & Affiliated Club Coordinator Forum. The ARRL staff team returned from Marlborough with 72 membership applications (127 in 2019); 22% of these from new or previous members. They also returned with 36 award applications and endorsements – including 24 for DXCC and 10 for VUCC.