ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR: “What’s New at ARRL” at Billerica (MA) ARS Meeting Online, November 1, 2023

Billerica ARS logoFrom

Doug Bruce, N1WRN, writes in the Billerica ARS November newsletter:

I am pleased to announce that our guest speaker for the November 1, 2023, club meeting via Zoom will be none other than Rick Roderick, K5UR, the current President of the ARRL!

Rick will give a talk on what’s new at the ARRL and will share valuable insights on our great hobby. You will definitely want to make sure and attend this Zoom Presentation to be given by a true pioneer in ham radio!

[For Zoom conference details, email Bruce Anderson, W1LUS, at w1lus -at- hotmail -dot- com.]


Nashua Area Radio Society Ham Bootcamp Online, November 11, 2023

Nashua Area Radio Society QSL/logoThe Nashua Area Radio Society (NARS) will host their Ham Bootcamp program on November 11, 2023, from 10 AM to 6 PM ET. This program includes a series of online demonstrations and tutorials designed to help newly licensed Technician, General, and Amateur Extra class license holders get on the air. It’s available to all licensed and prospective amateur radio operators.

Visit NARS’s Ham Bootcamp program web page to register and for additional information.

Maine Simulated Emergency Test Status

Maine iconKeith Anoe, KE4UCW, writes on the Maine-Section ARES RACES mailing list:

Good morning all from Lisbon. We currently intend to hold the SET as planned.

With that said, be safe and follow all local guidance regarding to your safety. We plan for emergencies and hope to support our local agencies.

At this time, the Androscoggin ARES/RACES will operate from home. Please check with your team’s leadership on how to contribute to your team’s safely and SET.

If you feel that you cant participate that is totally exemptible, I ask that you let you leadership know.

The last thing—if you need something let someone know to include me. There is nothing wrong with asking; simply help each other.

Stay safe all!!


Maine Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC)
Androscoggin County Emergency Coordinator (EC)

60m Band Proposed Changes—File Your Comments with FCC!

Recently, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which effects Amateur Radio use of the 60m band.  The FCC proposes to allocate 15 kHz of contiguous bandwidth between 5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz on a secondary basis with a maximum power of 15 W EIRP (equivalent to 9.15 W ERP). This allocation was adopted at the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15).

The NPRM leaves open the question of whether the existing five 60m channels can still be used for Amateur Radio operation as well as if the 100w power level may still be used.

The FCC has requested comments relative to existing channel and power issue.

In 2017, the ARRL petitioned the FCC to keep the four 60-meter channels that fall outside the new band, as well as the current operating rules, including the 100 W ERP limit.

We need as many amateurs as possible to comment on this NPRM and urge the FCC to keep 1) the four existing channels and 2) the 100 w power limit.

Comments are due by October 30th, 2023 – ET Docket No. 23-120.

60 spectrum chart, present and proposed

Western Massachusetts ARES To Hold Annual Simulated Emergency Test, October 21-22, 2023

WMA ARES logoThe Western Massachusetts Amateur Radio Emergency Service will hold its 2023 Simulated Emergency Test from 10:00 AM on Saturday, 21 October to 10:00 AM on Sunday, 22 October 2023.  ARES members will attempt to receive and report airport weather information to the Department of Defense via the US Army Military Affiliate Radio System.   [Details]

RadioCraft Mod a Big Hit at HamXposition

Minecraft imageGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes:
Minecraft is the largest selling video game of all time with over 240 million copies sold, and it’s estimated that there are over 140 million active players world-wide, most of whom are under the age of 21. Thanks to a grant from the ARRL Foundation, Lucas, W1BTR, and the Police Amateur Radio Team (PART) of Westford, MA, have undertaken a project to incorporate ham radio functionality into the game; essentially to build a “ham radio simulator” that players can install as a game modification (the Radiocraft mod) and then use to build radios and antennas and make voice and CW contacts in the game with other players. 
The project started in January, 2023, with the hiring of a professional coding team, and over the ensuing months, radios, antennas, solar panels, batteries, and even a solar weather station were developed and tested. Lucas debuted the project at the Northeast HamXposition in Marlborough, MA, in August 2023, with a capabilities presentation, an installation workshop, and a day-long demonstration in the lobby of the HamXposition site where attendees could actually play Minecraft with the ham radio mod on three computers. 
Those three events, the presentation, workshop, and online demonstration, were notable because of the ages of the attendees; the average ages were about 18, and several were as young as eight, and included both boys and girls. Instead of parents bringing their kids to a ham radio show, the kids were excitedly escorting their parents to the Radiocraft events and learning how they could use ham radio to enhance their favorite game.
The lobby demonstration was continually active with youngsters playing the game, and notably, without any instruction. They were able to use the gaming skills they already had to build working radios and antennas, while most of the parents just watched in awe. Attendees of all ages were enthusiastic about the project. Lucas and his team look forward to appearing at the 2024 HamXposition with a larger display and presentation.
At this time, development of the project continues, and a small group of players is presently testing the mod before it goes into general release later this year. Final checks include searching for program bugs and polishing the user interfaces. When the mod is released it will be a free download and documentation will include links to ARRL and licensing information.

Rhode Island ARES & MARS SET Underway


The October ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is a longstanding ARRL opportunity for Sections to come together and evaluate how hams can contribute value to statewide preparedness efforts. Are we organized, reliable, disciplined? A supportive and inclusive team able to problem solve in real time, and collaborate with a sincere interest to provide a public service? Is this a team served agencies can trust to turn to?

Each July QST issue has, for decades, highlighted each Section ARES and other teams that have come together to participate in the annual October SET challenge. It is one measure of a Section’s preparedness maturity to be able to follow up in this way and self-report their own progress year over year.  RI ARES has not been in a place to report results for at least a decade. But the good news is that is changing in October 2023.

The RI ARES official SET started this Saturday October 21 and will run until Sunday at 10pm. We held two nets so far this weekend, with this summary of Saturday reports to date:

  • 15 check-ins
  • 8 airport weather traffic reports for 4 RI airports
  • accurately passed to at least 2 MARS members
  • via 80m and 2m voice, and so open to all license classes,
  • including a new Technician ham licensed less than 2 months. (wow!)

The Sunday SET nets will begin October 22nd at Noon, with the last one at 10pm.

Want to join the momentum? Please see and the Incident Action Plan put together by A-SEC, Jeremy Taylor, K1JST.

For more on the Practice Exercise held  two weeks ago , please see:



New Hampshire Mesh Network Expansion Continues

The Merrimack Valley Amateur Radio Association has received a grant award of $46,125 from Amateur Radio Digital Communication, a California-based foundation, to expand its current 7-node microwave network in southern New Hampshire. The project includes extending the New Hampshire network into northeastern Massachusetts and southwestern Maine as a bridge between states towards to the larger goal of a New England-wide network.

The project is a collaboration with the New England Digital Emergency Communications Network to provide microwave radio backup to DMR repeaters in New Hampshire that rely on the internet for primary connectivity between sites. Collaborating on DMR sites also increases MVARA’s capability to support local emergency management organizations with amateur radio operators and equipment.

The grant proposal was co-authored by Jay Taft K1EHZ, Bill Barber NE1B and Jennifer Herting KD2BEC. The microwave network is IP-based, so amateur radio operators can use applications that normally run on the internet such as email, file transfer, weather station data, voice over IP telephone, and video streaming.

Recently, two New Hampshire towns have expressed interest in having amateur radio microwave capability installed on municipal towers so amateur radio operators can backup town communications that normally rely on the internet.

The project benefits DMR communications such as SkyWarn nets when the internet is disrupted, and allows siting DMR repeaters where no internet exists such as the current node on Crotched Mountain in Francestown. The project also benefits amateur radio operators when backing up communications for various public and private organizations.

Jay, K1EHZ is available to answer any questions about the expansion plan and is a valuable resource for anyone looking to support further expansion of mesh networking in New England.

Categories All

CT Support Your Parks Weekend, October 21-22, 2023

Peter Cimino, K1PCN, writes on the Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC mailing list:

This is the POTA Fall Support Your Parks weekend and CT activators will be out in numbers and activation. There will a POTA meetup at Wharton Brook State Park in North Haven (see flyer) and more info on the CT POTA ( page.

If you are activating, then register. There will be a point-to-point CT net at 11 am.

Hope to hear you on the air.

CT Support Your Parks Weekend flyer Oct. 21-22, 2023