QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Returns, March 12-13, 2022

QSO Today Ham Expo logoThe QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo returns on March 12-13, 2022 and has become a twice yearly event.  

Amateur radio is like a big circus.  It has its main tent with three rings in the center.  In those rings could be Contesting, DXing, and Rag Chewing.  However, amateur radio now has a “midway of a thousand smaller tents” according to Eric Guth, 4Z1UG, founder of the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo, and host of the QSO Today Podcast, an interview program featuring the most interesting amateur radio operators.  It is exactly this midway that the “Expo” was founded to explore.  

The Covid-19 Pandemic closed ham radio conventions, hamfests, and monthly meetings all across the World in 2020.  It was because of these closures that Eric, 4Z1UG, got the idea to create an on-line, and virtual convention that has all of the elements of a real ham radio convention, similar to the most notable live conventions.  

The First QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo was in August 2020 where over 15,000 amateurs attended on the Expo weekend, attending on their computers over the Internet instead of in-person.  Over 80 presentations were made, with live Q&A on Zoom webinar, and attendees could come back over a 30 day on-demand period to view the recorded presentations that they missed.  

We discovered something unique in August from surveys that we made following the expo.  Sixty percent of the attendees, almost 9000 hams do not go to live expos, preferring to stay at home.  The Covid-19 Pandemic has made this all the more important.  

The Expo has also become the place to discover more niches in amateur radio through the presentations given at each one.  In March 2021, while there was some difficulty with the platforms, over 6000 hams came and viewed almost 100,000 presentations from the over 80 that were offered in March.  Our Expo in August 2021 had over 90 presentations in 8 tracks of amazing amateur radio content. 

ARRL Foundation to Create Club Grants Program

From ARRL web:

1/13/22–A new ARRL Foundation Club Grants program, funded by a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), will make $500,000 available to radio clubs. The program will provide up to $25,000 for worthy club projects. Requests for more than that will be referred back to ARDC.

ARRL has long recognized that it is in the best interests of amateur radio to encourage and support amateur radio clubs. Clubs historically have recruited, licensed, and trained new radio amateurs and have provided the community setting for radio amateurs to continue their education and training. The new Club Grants program will help clubs more easily provide and expand their important services.

Beginning in April 2022, amateur radio clubs will be able to apply for these grants by filling out a simple form on the ARRL website. The ARRL Foundation will evaluate the grant proposals. The Foundation was established in 1973 to advance the art, science, and societal benefits of the amateur radio service by awarding financial grants and scholarships to individuals and organizations in support of their charitable, educational, and scientific efforts.

A key criterion for determining awards will be how the project will advance amateur radio in the grantee’s community. In most cases, this process should take no longer than 90 days.

ARRL Foundation President David Woolweaver, K5RAV, shared his enthusiasm about this new program. “This program will substantially contribute to the growth of amateur radio clubs and their efforts to expand and support the amateur radio community,” he said.

ARDC is a California-based foundation and makes grants to projects and organizations that follow amateur radio’s practice and tradition of technical experimentation in both amateur radio and digital communication science. ARDC Executive Director Rosy Schechter, KJ7RYV, noted that this program will streamline the process for getting club projects funded, so that clubs can get started on these projects more quickly.

“We’re very excited about working with the ARRL Foundation on this program,” said Schechter. “We can’t wait to see what kinds of creative things clubs will do with these grants.”

Maine Mentor List Now Available

Maine iconMaine Section Manager Phil Duggan, N1EP, has compiled a list of amateurs who are willing to provide advice or assistance to new hams or even experienced hams in need of help. The mentor list is broken down by regions.  Contact Phil Duggan, N1EP, and he will provide you with the contact info for the mentor in your region. 

If you would like to be listed as a mentor, please send N1EP your information.

Categories All

Vermont QSO Party, February 5-6, 2022

VT iconThe 64th Vermont QSO Party will take place during the first full weekend of February 2022. It will begin at 0000 UTC Saturday February 5 and will end at 2400 UTC Sunday February 6, which is a 48-hour period.  In local time, this corresponds to a start time of 7:00 PM EST Friday night February 4th and an end time of 7PM Sunday night February 6th.

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 2022 Vermont QSO Party Rules for specific rules.

HamXposition Volunteer Webmaster Sought

Northeast HamXposition General Chair Bob DeMattia, K1IW, writes:
FEMARA, Inc, the organization behind HamXposition/The ARRL New England Division Convention (and formerly known as Boxboro!) is looking for a volunteer to build and maintain its web presence at hamxposition.org.  We are currently running on a non-standard content management system platform, but are seeking to convert to a standard platform such as WordPress.  Your first task will be to convert the website to this platform,  maintaining the current content and building an operational commerce engine to handle online ticket sales.  Once this is in place, you  will make content updates and maintain the system.   Experience with web sites and basic e-commerce will be needed.
This is a volunteer opportunity.  Almost all work can be done at home.  We will have 4-6 meetings throughout the year which you will be asked to attend.  All meetings can be attended on Zoom.
Please contact Bob DeMattia k1iw@hamxposition.org if you are interested in helping us out.
FEMARA Inc. is a Massachusetts non-profit corporation that sponsors and runs the ARRL New England Division Convention.  Our goals are twofold; to offer the richest and most diverse ARRL Convention in the country, and to support the ARRL Foundation’s scholarship program.

FEMARA is qualified under IRS 501(c)(3). Donations to FEMARA are deductible as allowed by IRS regulations.

You can read more about us at https://hamxposition.org/about-femara

Attention, All Interested Foxhunters: Video Conference, February 8, 2022

From ema.arrl.org:

George Allison, K1IG, writes on the NEMassFoxHunters list:

The days are starting to lengthen and that can only mean that fox-hunting season is getting closer! To help get us ready, I’ve scheduled a Webex video conference for all interested fox hunters on Tuesday, February 8, at 7:30 PM. If you haven’t used Webex, it’s very similar to Zoom; I’ll send out an invitation to the groups.io list with instructions and a link you can click on to join the conference. Feel free to forward the invitation to anyone you think would be interested in attending.

The February 8 date is flexible; if there aren’t enough attendees to support that date, I can re-schedule.

I haven’t finalized the agenda, but it could include these topics:

  1. Introductions
  2. Show and tell of foxes and antennas
  3. Discussions of fox-finding techniques
  4. Plans for the upcoming season. Suggestions for variations and improvements.
  5. Suggestions for recruitment and training.

If anyone has a discussion topic or wants to make a presentation, let the group or me (k1ig@arrl.net) know. We should be able to finalize the agenda by February 1. 



[Contact George, K1IG, at k1ig@arrl.net for Webex video conference details]

NE-ECAPS Kickoff Meeting, February 19, 2022

Assistant Director Cory Golob, KU1U, writes on the ne-ecaps list:

Thank you all for joining [the New England EmComm And Public Service list]. Looking forward to having a meeting to get to know those in our division who are passionate about EMCOMM. I am looking at having our first meeting on Saturday, February 19th via Zoom. Would a 10 AM start time seem sufficient? I would like to keep these meetings between 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, beyond that, interest can be lost.

I will send out a Zoom link as the time approaches. Would like to give folks a chance to see if it works for their schedule and allow time for more people to start joining this groups.io.

73 DE KU1U

[Note: an earlier version of this post stated a meeting date of February 25, 2022. The meeting has been moved forward by one week to avoid a conflict with another event.  -KU1U]

“BarbeQRPcon” is Happening, Manchester NH, January 15, 2022

From the NEQRP mailing list:

“BarbeQRPcon” (pronounced: Bar-Be-QRP-Con) is coming up this SATURDAY, JANUARY 15th, 2022. It’s ALWAYS ON THE 3rd SATURDAY IN JANUARY, ANNUALLY!

This annual event has been on-going for many, Many, MANY years and is a TRADITION in the NEQRP yearly activities/events. It’s THEE BEST WINTER BBQ in New England, … possibly the World!!! 🙂

Are you suffering from the Winter doldrums/blues?
Need to get out-of-the-house and take a break from the COLD WINTER days??
Want to get together with like-minded friends for a fantastic day of: BBQ LUNCH, Stops at, ‘HAM Radio Outlet’ to check out the latest new gear and supplies, ‘Harbor Freight’ for needed tools for that next home-built project/kit???

That’s what BarbeQRPcon is all about. A day of, camaraderie, eating together, and, hitting a few local hangouts for a great break from WINTER with like-minded friends in the Amateur Radio Community. What could be better than a BBQ in the middle of WINTER?

It starts-off this year (2022) at a *** NEW LOCATION ***:

#1.) “KC’s Rib Shack”, 837 2nd St, Manchester, NH at 12-NOON.
There’ll be: Meet-‘N-Greet, Show-‘N-Tell, Lunch, and, more socializing from 12-noon to approximately 2PM.

#2.) Then it’s a caravan over to: “HAM Radio Outlet” in Salem (NH) for checking out: rigs, books, antennas, parts, and other gear, from 2:30 to 3:30PM.

#3.) From there it’s down the street to “Harbor Freight” for tools and other well-needed items for that next home-brew project/kit, from 3:30 to 4:30PM.

#4.) AND if that’s not enough for YOU, there’s our Traditional Farewell Dinner/Supper at the Famous Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant also in Salem, approximately 4:30 through ~6PM+.

Need directions? – Here you go! Just re-enter your starting point in the “A” Window in the link below:

Hopefully the WEATHER (check it out in the link below) will cooperate with us on this fantastic day of tradition known as “BarbeQRPcon”.

Questions? Just ask.

Yes, the locations and various stops/times, over the years, have changed through the decades, but, this is an ALL NEW SCHEDULE for *** BarbeQRPcon 2022 ***.


Come join us and see what this Winter TRADITION is all about.


See YOU this coming SATURDAY the 15th at 12-NOON.

Stay healthy and safe, es 7 3 . .

** NOTE: All Communications will be on “THEE NATIONAL SIMPLEX FREQUENCY” (146.52 direct). Bring your H/T or join us on “52 direct” via your mobile rig. – CUL

*** P.S. – Join-in on whatever fits into YOUR schedule. Only one of the stops, a few, or, all of them, it’s up to YOU. ENJOY!

ARRL Vermont State Convention, “HAM-CON” February 26, 2022

Ham-Con logoThe ARRL Vermont State Convention, known at HAM-CON is Saturday, February 26, 2022 at the Hampton Inn Convention Center in Colchester, Vermont. The Convention will use a hybrid format and many activities will also be available at ham-con.org. HAM-CON is the only New England ARRL Convention held in the first quarter of 2022.

HAM-CON will feature 8 forums running throughout the morning hours. There will also be a vendor flea market. For the first time, we will include an outdoor segment of the flea market, weather permitting. The on-line site will feature several video chat rooms where attendees can meet up with friends in a more private setting.

Admission to HAM-CON is only $6 if you purchase an advance sale ticket before February 20. This admission is good for either live or on-line access. Please go to our Web Site, http://www.ham-con.org for other prices, travel details and program information.

For specific questions or program ideas, contact Mitch at w1sj@arrl.net or 802-879-6589.

73, Mitch