NEAR-Fest XXXV Changes and News (UPDATED January 27, 2024)

NEAR-Fest logoMike Crestohl, W1RC, writes on January 27, 2024:

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

Please note this is an updated announcement. Please disregard any other notices you may have read.

Our Spring 2024 hamfest, NEAR-Fest XXXV, will be held on Thursday April 25th and Friday April 26th 2024. There will be no hamfest activity on Saturday due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict with the Deerfield Fairgrounds. We had originally announced that the event would take place only on Friday but due to popular demand and the cooperation of the Deerfield Fair Association we are pleased to announce this new full two-day schedule.

Our 2024 Fall NEAR-Fest XXXVI is scheduled for October 11th and 12th and will be the same as always for the past eighteen years, on Friday and Saturday.

The gates will open on Thursday morning at 7:00 AM for PREPAID TICKET HOLDERS ONLY so you might want to buy your tickets online well in advance starting February 1st 2024 on our Web site,, or in March at the Ham Radio Outlet store in Salem NH and at Ross Hochstrasser’s Clock Shop in Whitman MA and get your favorite spot. NEAR-Fest XXXV will end at 3:00 PM on Friday.

Prepaid ticket holders will line up and enter via Gate C as we did in the Fall. They MUST have ALL of their needed tickets and inside parking passes or they will be sent to Gate F. This includes all Campers, RVs, tenters, who MUST also have their overnight camping passes as there will be NO tickets or passes sold at Gate C. Anyone needing to buy tickets or parking passes will go to Gate F and will be admitted starting at 8:00AM. Once the line has entered at Gate C it will close and all others entering the grounds will proceed to Gate F.

For this event only admission per person is $10.00 whether you buy your ticket online or in advance or at the gate. Overnight parking and tent passes are $15.00 regardless of whether you plug into an electric outlet or not. Campers, RVs and overnight stayers will go directly into the Fairgrounds as we will not be using the campgrounds this time. The cost of the pass for RVs, Campers, Motorhomes, etc, is $30.00. All vehicles that remain in the Fairgrounds overnight (after 9:00 PM) will require an overnight parking pass in addition to an inside parking pass for Friday.

Everyone over 21 will need an admission ticket except unlicensed spouses, active duty military, full-time students (with ID) and other valid pass holders.

If you buy something big and heavy in the flea market one of our volunteer staff members will be glad to transport it and you to your vehicle at no charge as we have been doing for many years. As always inside parking for disabled persons is free of charge and they may use a single person “mobility device” as well. NEAR-Fest reserves the right to limit the use of golf carts and “other power driven mobility devices” due to safety concerns and potential liability issues.

Please visit our Web site,, or our Facebook page, NearFest NH for any further updates. We apologize for any inconvenience that this modified version of NEAR-Fest may have caused but it is only for this time. We appreciate your indulgence and understanding.

See you at Deerfield!


MisterMike, W1RC

Town Hall Recap, January 25, 2024

ARRL logoApproximately seventy people attended last night’s New England Division Town Hall Zoom meeting to hear and ask questions about the results of the recent ARRL board meeting on January 19-20, 2024 in Windsor, Connecticut. The Town Hall panel consisted of Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC; Vice Director Phil Temples, K9HI; and invited guest ARRL First Vice President Kristen McIntyre, K6WX.

Among the topics discussed from the ARRL member bulletin

  • the establishment of a committee to review By-Laws 42 (Ethics and Elections Committee)
  • a vote to make the ARRL Director’s Workbook publicly available on the ARRL website
  • the reintroduction of ARRL Life Membership and 70+ Life Membership
  • free associate membership for full-time students age 21 and younger
  • an ARRL student coding competition
  • efforts to combat the threat from the “Shortwave Modernization Coalition”

and more. The complete minutes of the 2024 Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will be available soon on the ARRL website.


You can view the discussion and the Q&A via the video presentation below.


2024-01-25 New England Division Town Hall v3

ARRL’s Teachers Institute 2024 Now Accepting Applications

ARRL Teachers Institute logoThe ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology is a donor-funded professional development program designed to help classroom teachers elevate their STEM programs through the use of wireless technology. As a part of the ARRL Education & Technology Program, several sessions are conducted each year, and the program continues to grow.Teachers Institute is filled with lectures, hands-on activities, and demonstrations to inspire teachers so they can inspire their students through the use of tools and strategies to introduce basic electronics, radio science, satellite communications, Amateur Radio, radio direction finding (fox hunting), weather science, microcontrollers, and electronic sensors to their students. Teachers are provided with the equipment needed to take wireless technology to their classrooms. If you, or someone you know, would like to support ARRL’s mission to elevate STEM programs in schools, click here: DONATE TODAY or contact the ARRL Development Office at (860)594-0291

ARRL Board Approves Free Membership for Students. New Vice Presidents Elected.

ARRL logoFrom ARRL Member Bulletin:

The ARRL Board of Directors met in Windsor, Connecticut, for its Annual Meeting, January 19 – 20, 2024. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, presided over the meeting, and the Board welcomed Great Lakes Division Vice Director Roy Hook, W8REH, as a newly elected member to the Board.

Here are highlights of some of the actions taken at the meeting:

  • Board members discussed proposed changes to By-Law 46, the Board’s Conflict of Interest Policy, and decided to consider revisions at a later date. The Board unanimously voted to approve the establishment of a committee appointed by the ARRL President to affirm the set of ethics guidelines and standards for the Board. In addition to the guidelines, the committee will review By-Laws 42 (Ethics and Elections Committee) and 46 for possible revision. The committee will also engage with a competent legally qualified independent third party to handle all Ethics & Elections inquiries in the future.

  • The Board voted to make the ARRL Director’s Workbook publicly available on the ARRL website.

  • The Board approved the reintroduction of ARRL Life Membership and 70+ Life Membership (for members of age 70 and over) on a revenue-neutral basis. At its July 2023 Second Meeting, the Board had suspended the Life Membership Program, pending the approval of an adjusted revenue-neutral program.

  • The Board approved two motions aimed at engaging young hams with a strong start to their lifelong journey with amateur radio and ARRL:

    • FREE ARRL Membership for Students. For decades, ARRL has offered a reduced dues rate for young hams, currently priced at $30 per year. At this meeting, the Board established a new option for a no-cost Associate membership for full-time students of age 21 and younger.

    • ARRL Student Coding Competition. The Board approved the creation of a coding competition that will challenge students 21 and younger to design a software application that meets the specifications established by ARRL. Awards of up to a total of $25,000 will be granted by an awards committee to the winning student(s). The terms and schedule for the competition will be determined by the committee.

  • With a goal of recruiting and developing greater participation in the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), the Board has approved, at the recommendation of the Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee, a commitment to expand messaging and marketing for the program.

  • Government Relations.

    • The Board issued its strongest rebuke of efforts by the ad-hoc group “Shortwave Modernization Coalition” (SMC) to introduce high-power signals to the shortwave spectrum, including frequencies immediately adjacent to the Amateur Radio HF bands. The Board made a clear statement that the interests of the SMC are in conflict with those of ARRL and its membership, and has requested that the ARRL Volunteer Monitors explore ways to gather data on SMC station emissions.

    • The Board voted to expand ARRL’s ongoing efforts to help hams who are faced with involuntary limitations that limit their amateur radio operations beyond the regulatory efforts being pursued in Washington.

  • ARRL Foundation. The Board heard a report ARRL Foundation President David Norris, K5UZ. The Foundation, which marked its 50th anniversary last September, provides philanthropic support for amateur radio by way of the ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program, Club Grant Program, and through other grands and funds. In 2023, the Foundation awarded 113 scholarships totaling over $600,000, through the generosity of individuals and clubs. Norris also recognized the generous commitment made by Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) which will fund over $2.1 million, over three years, to support scholarships, radio technology for classroom teachers, and amateur radio club grants.

  • Elections.

    • Officers. The Board re-elected ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, to a fifth 2-year term. The Board also elected Pacific Division Director Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, to be First Vice President, succeeding Michael Raisbeck, K1TWF. Northwestern Division Director Mike Ritz, W7VO, was elected Second Vice President, succeeding Bob Vallio, W6RGG. International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, was re-elected.

      The elections of McIntyre and Ritz to the Vice President positions mean that incumbent Vice Directors Anthony Marcin, W7XM (Pacific), and Mark Tharp, KB7HDX (Northwestern) will succeed as Division Directors, creating vacancies for Vice Director in those Divisions, which will be filled by appointment.

    • Executive Committee. As First Vice President, Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, will remain on the Executive Committee (EC), succeeding former Vice President Raisbeck. Directors re-elected to the EC include Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ (Roanoke); Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC (New England), and Art Zygielbaum, K0AIZ (Midwest). Newly elected members include Jeff Ryan, K0RM (Rocky Mountain), and Bill Lippert, AC0W (Dakota).

The complete minutes of the 2024 Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will be available soon on the ARRL website.

The next meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors is scheduled for July 19 – 20, 2024.

Nashua Area Radio Society Spring 2024 License Classes

The Nashua Area Radio Society will be giving license classes for all levels this winter and spring.  The classes will be online via Zoom web conferencing and will include an online exam session at the end of the class.  Here is the schedule:

  • Technician Class:  Saturday and Sunday, February 17th and 18th
  • General Class: Saturday and Sunday, March 16th and 17th
  • Extra Class: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 19th, 20th, and 21st.

You can find more information at


PART CW Training and Kit Purchase

PART of Westford logoPART of Westford (MA) President George Allison, K1IG, writes:

The Police Amateur Radio Team (PART) of Westford, MA, is getting ready for Field Day (only five months away!), and one of the things we’re doing is CW training. We’ll be running a course for CW newbies (probably using the CWOps curriculum), and our members show a lot of interest in learning.

We’ve also made a bulk purchase of Morserino kits for our members. If you haven’t seen a Morserino, it’s quite a gadget, incorporating a keyer, display, code reader, touch paddles, speaker, CW trainer, and LoRa transceiver. It’s about the easiest kit you’ll ever build; one hour is all it took me, and it worked the first time!

If bought individually through the Morserino website, these keyers are about $100 with free shipping (very slow, through the post office with no tracking), or about $130 with DHL shipping (about 5 days from Austria, with tracking). Since we ordered 20 kits, Morserino gave us a bulk discount, so the kits, with DHL shipping, cost $94 each. Shipping in bulk accounted for much of the savings: shipping one kit via DHL is $30, shipping 20 kits was $72. PART has a kit-building fund that subsidized some of the cost, so we offered the kits to members for $50 each, and they quickly sold. 

Other clubs may want to make a bulk purchase. It takes at least 14 to get a discount, and I found that corresponding directly with the head of Morserino ( about a bulk purchase is more effective than ordering through the website. If one club can’t get enough orders, perhaps several clubs can get together.

I was surprised by the interest in CW, especially among the newer hams and the “no-code Extras,” and I’m looking forward to fights in the Field Day CW tent for operating time!

HamXposition 2024 Banquet Speaker: Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW

image of Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW
Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW

We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW, will be the invited guest speaker for the Northeast HamXposition / ARRL New England Division Grand Banquet on Saturday, August 24, 2024.

Tamitha is a new kind of weather forecaster for our modern world. As we become more reliant on technology like our cell phones, GPS (GNSS), and other satellite services (and our use of the Amateur Radio bands) we find we are more susceptible to the effects of Space Weather. Just like terrestrial weather on Weather can Earth, Space be as mild as a rainstorm or as wild as a hurricane.

WX6SWW will show you in non-science jargon how this new kind of weather impacts your daily life. You will never look at the Sun or the Earth in the same way again. After all, Space Weather is just like the weather in your own backyard, it’s just a little further up.

ARRL is New Publisher of Gordon West, WB6NOA

Gordon West, WB6NOAARRL  The National Association for Amateur Radio® has become the new publisher of the Amateur Radio License Preparation books and related resources authored by Gordon West, WB6NOA. Gordon West’s popular books, classes, and audio courses have been a mainstay of amateur radio licensing for over 40 years. Generations of hams have learned from ‘Gordo’, and now the impact of his knowledge and experience will continue with the reach and resources of ARRL. [full story]

Barnstable Club Technician License Course in a Weekend Held January 13-14

All 14 of the attendees at the Tech in a Weekend course held by the Barnstable Amateur Radio Club (BARC) and performed at the Cape Cod Fish and Game Club in Harwich the weekend of January 13 and 14 successfully passed their tests at the end of the course.  The BARC team consisted of five teachers, each teaching two sub-elements and two VE teams.  Instruction was supplemented by downloaded U-tube videos. Opportunities to ask questions both during and after the instruction were provided.  An orientation session was held two weeks prior to the course to help the students prepare.  All students obtained the ARRL Technician License Manual in advance of the course and used it frequently both before and during class.  

In recognition of its status as a Special Service Club, BARC recently created an Education Committee to develop teaching experience, seek out opportunities to hold classes at all levels and generally coordinate club educational activities.  This weekend was the first course taught by BARC in several years, following the death of Paul Laconto, W1NP, and is dedicated to his memory.

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