“Winklink Radio Interfaces” at RATPAC Presentation, January 21, 2021

RATPAC logoPlease plan to attend Thursday’s January 21 Zoom presentation. 

10:00 PM AST / 9:00 PM EST / 8:00 PM CST / 7:00 PM MST / 6:00 PM PST / 5:00 PM AKST / 4:00 PM HST

 Topic: Winlink Radio interfaces

 Speaker/Presenter:  Scott Currie NS7C 

This meeting will be OPEN for all to attend. Please feel free to invite others.

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  • This meeting will be recorded. By participating you consent to being recorded. 
  • Please change your display name to Your First Name, Call Sign and Location, e.g. Dan K7REX Idaho. 
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Meeting ID: 212 888 4758
Passcode: Winlink

FCC Warns About Use of Ham Radio to Commit Crimes

BLOOMBERG NEWS–January 17, 2021, 10:11 AM ET

Licensed amateur and personal radio services shouldn’t be used to coordinate criminal acts, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau warned after reports that some people were looking to radios as an alternative to social media platforms, which are being monitored by law enforcement following the deadly Jan. 6 raid on the U.S. Capitol.

“The Bureau reminds amateur licensees that they are prohibited from transmitting ‘communications intended to facilitate a criminal act’ or ‘messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning,” the agency said in a statement Sunday.

The licensees, which would include Citizens Band radios, Family Radio Service walkie-talkies, and General Mobile Radio Service, would face fines, seizure of their equipment and possible criminal prosecution.


See also: FCC Enforcement Advisory

Vermont QSO Party, February 6-7, 2021

VT iconThe 63rd Vermont QSO Party will take place during the first full weekend of February 2021.

It will run over a 48-hour period beginning at 0000 UTC Saturday February 6 and ending 2400 UTC Sunday February 7. In local time, this corresponds to a start time of 7:00 PM EST Friday night February 5th and an end time of 7 PM Sunday night February 7th.

The Vermont QSO Party provides the opportunity for Amateur Radio Operators to contact and exchange QSO information with Vermont Amateur Radio operators. All licensed amateur radio operators are invited to participate. Stations outside Vermont work Vermont stations. Stations within Vermont work everyone.

Please download The Official 2021 Vermont QSO Party Rules for specific rules.

KM1CC On the Air for the 118th Anniversary of the First USA-UK Wireless Transmission, January 18, 2021

From ema.arrl.org:
The Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club, KM1CC, will be on the air on January 18, 2021 to commemorate the 118th anniversary of the very first United States-to-United Kingdom wireless transmission. Check dxsummit.fi for spots/frequencies as well as our KM1CC – Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club Facebook page.
(All times are UTC)
0000-0100 Slow Speed CW 80M & 160M
0100-0400 CW 40M, 80M & 160M
1100-2359 CW 20M, 30M, 40M, 80M & 160M
0000-0400 SSB 80M.
1300 -1500 SSB 17 or 20M
1500- 2359 SSB 40M, 80M
Note: Operators will switch bands if conditions are poor. Check dxsummit.fi for spots. (Just doing the best we can to be on the air during Covid-19.)

HamXposition is a “Go,” September 10-12, 2021, Marlborough, MA

HamXposition logoBob DeMattia, K1IW, writes:
January 12, 2021
A note to all prospective attendees: 
Naturally, we are aware that some other large ham conventions have already cancelled their 2021 plans.  We believe our September date should be sufficiently into 2021 that the COVID vaccine program will have had time to be executed, and things will be back to relative normal.
Thus, at this time, the committee intends to hold the convention in-person at the Best Western Royal Plaza in Marlborough, Mass. on September 10, 11 and 12th.
As we all know, things can change.  The committee will continue to monitor the situation. To make things a bit easier in case we  have to postpone or cancel, online tickets sales will not open until August 1st. 
In the meantime, please check back on our website to find out the latest program developments and news.
Bob – K1IW
2021 Convention Chair

ARISS Contact at Maine Regional School Unit 21 in Kennebunk, ME, January 21, 2021

ARISS logo[Updated January 18, 2021]

Students from four elementary schools in Kennebunk, Maine, including the Sea Road School, will have the opportunity to speak with astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at  18:27 UTC, according to Rosalie White, K1STO, one of the two ARISS-US Delegates, and the delegate who represents ARRL.

Thomas Moyer, KB1VPD of New England Radio Discussion Society (NERDS) is named as the ham radio point of contact along with David Taylor, N1FCC.

According to their submitted proposal:

“NERDS offered to do a free course in electronics and radio fundamentals which includes DC and AC theory, semiconductor basics, applications, and digital electronics.  NERDS, Great Bay Radio Association, and Port City Amateur Radio Club will provide technical expertise and help plan and present radio information and demonstrations and basic radio projects.

“The elementary STEM team for Maine Regional School Unit 21 see every class, K through 5th grade for 45 minutes every week.  One of our main goals is to instill an engineering ‘thought process’ even in the youngest students.  The ARISS contact will intertwine lessons we’ve been fine-tuning for years including coding, 3D printing, and robotics. Some specific lessons include: a NASA lesson on space communications titled ‘Signals and Noise Oh Boy’ and Google Glasses Expeditions on Northern Lights, space, and more. We want our students to be able to see themselves in future STEM careers. A cross-curriculum will have students researching and writing letters to the astronauts and about the ISS, calculating distances and measuring time for math, understanding the impact of gravity and how it varies on other planets for science. The Brick Store Museum has a STEM thrust and has hosted a six-month radio exhibit created by two hams of the NERDS.  Kennebunk students and students bussed-in from other elementary schools visited the exhibit.”

Students will take turns asking their questions of Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG. Claudio Ariotti, IK1SLD, in Italy will serve as the ARISS relay amateur radio ground station. Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, has served as the ARISS Technical Mentor for the contact. The ISS callsign is scheduled to be OR4ISS. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz.

The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for January 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm Eastern Time, (18:27 UTC). The contact will be live streamed and can be viewed at  https://youtu.be/LN70OpJFMgs . The livestream is expected to begin at approximately 30 minutes before the contact time.

[See also:

Kennebunk Maine School Students Prepare to Contact International Space Station

Liftoff: Sea Road School Students to Chat With Space Station Astronaut“] 

NEAR-Fest XXIX Canceled April 30-May 1, 2021

NEAR-Fest logoMichael Crestohl, W1RC/VE2XL writes on January 12th, 2021:

To the Amateur Radio Community:

Bad news again, I am afraid.

After giving the matter much careful research, thought, discussion and consideration my accomplices and I have come to the conclusion that holding our semi-annual hamfest on April 30th and May 1st 2021 as scheduled could very possibly endanger the health and safety of our staff members, our exhibitors, vendors, attendees and local area residents.   It is a risk that we do not in good conscience wish to assume.  Therefore we have decided that our next event will be held on October 15th and 16th, 2021 as scheduled.

Tickets being sold for the Spring event will be honored in October. However, anyone wanting a full refund can have their money back.

We have based our decision on the following observations.

1.  The average current number of new Covid-19 cases reported daily in Massachusetts is at an all-time high. On January 8th alone the number of new cases reported was 7,110. Since a very large number of attendees come from Mass. and beyond these figures are highly significant.

2.  The vaccines that are now being made available are being administered at a slower rate than was initially anticipated.  It was estimated by the CDC that 10,000,000 individuals would have been vaccinated by January 1st 2021 when in fact only 2,000,000 people were actually inoculated by that date.   Phase 2 (which includes people over 65 years of age) is estimated to take commence in February provided everything is on schedule.  Phase 3 (which is everyone else) is scheduled for April-June.  This is, of course, subject to change.


The time delay between the first injection and fully effective immunization is five to six weeks.

3. Even if we WANTED to do it the state limits on attendees allowed at such events would probably prevent it. Additionally we have no actual contract with the Fair Association and, quite frankly, I don’t even want to ask.

Given all of the above it is abundantly clear that a relatively low number of people will have received both their injections with sufficient time elapsed for full protection of the vaccine to be in effect in time for the hamfest opening on April 30th.  It is our desire to resume the hamfest only at such time when it is safe to do so and my main criteria for that is when a large majority if not all attendees have been vaccinated.

Under these circumstances my team and I have come to the unanimous conclusion that April 30th is clearly too early to safely hold the hamfest and it should not be held until October.

On the other hand we feel that by Labor Day 2021 there will have been sufficient supplies of the vaccines produced and administered to everybody who wants it and, barring any unforeseen developments, it will be reasonably safe once again to hold large public gatherings like the Deerfield Fair, the HamXposition at Marlborough MA in September and NEAR-Fest XXX on October 15th and 16th at the Deerfield Fairgrounds.

Please tell all your buddies and plan to attend our grand “NEAR-Fest Homecoming.”  We are planning the biggest blowout bash to celebrate our return after missing three NEAR-Fests.  You can bet this one will be memorable and you won’t won’t want to miss it.

Advance tickets are still on sale.


Michael Crestohl, W1RC/VE2XL
The New England Amateur Radio Festival, Inc.