New Wide Area DMR Repeater in Rhode Island

RI iconRhode Island Section Manager Bob Beaudet, W1YRC, writes:

The Providence Radio Association (PRA) has a new DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) repeater in service at its club headquarters. The repeater is operating on 447.725 MHz (-5 MHz split) from their site atop 253-foot tall  Neutaconkanut Hill. They should be heard in much of the state. For more information, visit the club’s website at http://w1op.com/

Amateur Radio’s Role at the Boston Marathon Bombing

BAA Bombing, 2013Steve, Schwarm, W3EVE, Wrentham, Massachusetts, will present “Amateur Radio’s Role at the Boston Marathon Bombing,” one of series of presentations sponsored by the ARRL Learning Network on December 8, 2020 at 10 AM PT/ 1 PM ET. 

“Amateur radio has played a significant role in public service communications for the Boston Marathon for several decades. That role was put to the test in 2013 when two bombs were exploded near the finish line. This presentation will describe the role that ham radio played at the Marathon and how that role changed due to the bombing.”

[Register]

RATPAC Tentative Presentation Schedule

RATPAC logoRadio Amateur Training Planning and Activities Committee (RATPAC) provides weekly national presentations on general amateur radio topics and specialized Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) topics.  

To receive notifications and Zoom conference details, contact Dan Marler, K7REX at ratpac.plan -at- gmail -dot- com.

Here is the tentative 2020 RATPAC presentation schedule:

 

Date General Ham Radio Wednesday Presentations
18-Nov NanoVNA (Vector Network Analyzer)
25-Nov Thanksgiving Eve – No presentation
2-Dec Band Plan
9-Dec SDR 101 – Intro into software define radios
16-Dec WA3FET Antenna
23-Dec Noise Mitigation
30-Dec ARRL Public Relations

 

Date ARES Zoom Thursday Presentations
19-Nov Red Cross Disaster drill follow up
26-Nov Thanksgiving – no Zoom presentation
3-Dec Introduction – Digital Voice IP Voice over Internet, etc.
Digital Voice Overview (RF & IP) Hotspots, DVMEGA Product presentation
10-Dec TBA (To be announced)
17-Dec D-STAR HF – (Digital Voice on HF)
24-Dec Christmas Eve – no Zoom presentation
31-Dec New Year’s Eve – no Zoom presentation


Notes:
• November 17 we will finalize 2020 schedule and begin 2021
• Still in discussion is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)
• Covid-19 has delayed our plans for our Youth Hams in Space program, now planned for 2021
• We have reached out to AMSAT for presentations and youth involvement

Best of 73s everyone and please stay safe,

Dan

Norfolk County (MA) RA Donates to ARRL Education & Technology Fund

Norfolk County Radio Association logoFrom ema.arrl.org:

At its November 11, 2020 meeting, Norfolk County Radio Association members generously voted to award a $100 donation to the ARRL Education and Technology Fund.

“The NCRA has been making it a tradition to donate to a selected ARRL Fund nearly every year since 2008 for a total of $1,300 to-date,” said Norfolk County RA Secretary Dave Doe, K1HRV. 

The ARRL-affiliated club was established in 1921 and plans to hold a centennial celebration in 2021. 

ARRL Podcast Schedule

From ARRL Letter, November 12, 2020:
 

ARRL On The Air iconThe latest episode of the On the Air podcast (Episode 11) discusses how to choose the right antenna for your station, considering several aspects that go beyond cost and complexity.

The latest edition of Eclectic Tech (Episode 20) features an interview with ARRL Emergency Preparedness Director Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW,

ARRL Eclectic Tech iconabout the future of amateur radio technology in public service. Also: A new power source that uses diamonds and nuclear waste.

The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well as on Blubrry — On the Air | Eclectic Tech.

Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC To Hold “Turkey Hunt,” November 14, 2020

Greater Bridgeport ARC loogoFrom gbarc.groups.io:

The [Greater Bridgeport Amateur Radio Club] will hold a “Turkey” Fox Hunt on the 14th at 9 am.  All members and non-members are invited to attend.  The purpose of the fox hunt is to track down a hidden transmitter and find some information, then relay that information according to the instructions on a sign where the fox is located.  

This month there will be two hidden transmitters – one to get you in the neighborhood which will be 5W on a 5/8th wave antenna.  The other will be 1 watt on a stubby.

DO NOT CONGREGATE.  Please wear a mask and socially distance yourself by staying at least 6 feet away from others.   

The first person to locate the fox will be awarded 5 points for overall effort.  All other participants will receive 3 points for locating the fox and 1 point for participating.  Points will be tallied for the year, and at the end of the year prizes will be awarded to the top 3 hunters.

Recommended Starting Location:  Please meet at the Trumbull Library Parking Lot at 33 Quality Street in Trumbull.  The alternative start site is the parking lot of  Tambascios Restaurant at 1 Dodgingtown Road, Newtown.  See the map below (click for larger version).

Starting Time: 9:00 AM local 

High Power Fox Frequency:  147.485 MHz simplex

Low Power Fox Frequency:  147.585 MHz simplex

Host:   Shawn AC1KC

Check in on:  441.700 or 146.445 repeaters or by Echolink

GBARC turkey-fox hunt satellite map

Ham Bootcamp Deemed “A Great Success”

October 2020 QST Cover Ham Radio Bootcamp

Ham Bootcamp Fall 2020 was a great success, according to Nashua Area Radio Society President Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC. Ham Bootcamp is held twice a year by the Nashua Area Radio Society in conjunction with their  Ham Radio Licensing Program.

Kemmerer reports that 269 people registered for the daylong event with over 200 logged into the Zoom session for most of the day. Some highlights included live contacts on the HF bands, lots of videos, and “some great questions and answers during the session.” 

“We conducted an online survey of all of the folks who participated, and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive,” he adds.

Ham Bootcamp was truly a national event. A breakdown by geographic region shows the percentage of attendees per region:

  • MA/NH:  29%
  • Northeast: 18%
  • Southeast: 15%
  • West: 15%
  • Midwest: 13%
  • Southwest: 8%
  • Hawaii/Alaska/Canada: 2%

AB1OC reports that over half of the “Bootcampers” had General Class or higher licenses. “It was also great to see the approximately ten percent of registrants who did not yet have a license.”

Most of those who attended Ham Bootcamp learned about it from the recent article in QST, reports Kemmerer. “The article plus the great work that the ARRL did in follow-up through their website accounted for some 60 percent of our participants. Ham Nation was next (10 percent) followed by various web properties and social media sites. Word of mouth referrals were also strong in total, accounting for 19% of registrants.”

The Nashua Area Radio Society is experiencing a flood of license class registrations and memberships in their organization in the aftermath of the Bootcamp event.

“A big THANK YOU to the HamXposition team for helping us to promote Ham Bootcamp,” says Kemmerer. “We are planning another online Bootcamp in the spring after our license classes are completed.”

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Does Virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD Via Zoom, November 3, 2020

EMA ARES logoFrom ema.arrl.org:

On Tuesday Morning, 11/3/20, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, KD1CY-Rob Macedo, did a virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD to explain ARES role and how ARES can support Non-Governmental Organizations. The 30 minute meeting was well received by the VOAD leadership that participated. ARES has been a member within the VOAD organization since 2012.

VOAD stands for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. The ARRL has a national level Memorandum of Understanding with VOAD and encourages section ARES programs to work with state VOADs. Examples of organizations that are part of VOAD include ARES traditional partners such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army as well as Team Rubicon, various church groups that support disaster relief for individuals and families and many other organizations.

“We got to explain ARES role and what we can provide to Non-Government Organizations in both auxiliary communications, additional resources supporting communications and situational awareness information when normal communications means are up as well as what we can provide to them when other forms of communication fails. We also encouraged VOAD to look at ways we can help their organization based on their communications and technical needs after giving them some understanding of what we traditionally provide and explained to them all the MOUs ARES through the ARRL has with various organizations within VOAD and National VOAD” Macedo said.

Macedo reported that the members on the call understood how Amateur Radio plays a role and is often in the background performing important tasks that help their teams and other agencies. They were impressed with the presentation and look forward to future engagement both with Eastern Massachusetts ARES and Western Massachusetts ARES. “They asked for the Western Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator contact info which we provided to them along with a short presentation that we reviewed on the call and we look forward to a continued and stronger relationship with Massachusetts VOAD and the member agencies within VOAD going forward,” Macedo said.

Newport County (RI) Radio Club Kicks off “Get On The Air Challenge” Beginning January 1, 2021

Newport Co. RC logoThe Newport County Radio Club has created a innovative “Get On The Air Challenge” operating event beginning January 1, 2021.

From the NCRC website:

“Your club is offering a challenge to all members to get on the air on the high frequency bands. The Challenge will start Jan 1, 2021 and is open to all members. Its primary goal is to encourage newer members and members who have not been on the air regularly to get on the air on the HF bands in SSB/phone mode. A General or Extra license is required.

A certificate will be awarded to anyone making 25 contacts during the challenge. We will also post the QSO counts on the club website. We ask for an email message from participants at the end of each month with a count of the number of HF SSB QSO’s made during that month. One does not need to submit a log.

Help is available for anyone needing assistance with an antenna, an HF radio, with understanding how to make HF contacts, logging software or any other radio issue. The Challenge is intended to be a learning exercise and club veterans are very willing to help participants.

GOTA-C communications will be via email to gota@w1sye.org.  Please send a message indicating your interest in the Challenge. We do not want to bug members who are not interested with unnecessary email messages.

Summary:

1. Send us a message that you are all in for the challenge.

2. Send us a message if you have a question or if would like assistance getting ready.

3. Starting Jan 1, 2021, record your SSB/Phone QSO’s on any HF band. Digital modes, FT4 or 8, and CW do not count. Maximum power is 100 watts.

4. At the end of January, February, and March send an email message with the count of your QSO’s.

At the end of March we will evaluate the challenge, continue it, or modify it depending feedback and experience.

In the coming weeks we will be posting tips on how to easily find a QSO opportunity on the HF bands. For example, how to use the following: Parks-on-the-Air spots, DX Summit web site, Winter Field Day, SSB contests, and more.

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