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

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 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 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 . 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.

Vermont Team Offers Online Ham Exams

A VE team in Vermont is offering online exam appointments each week:

“Remote exams are NOT for everyone! Make absolutely sure you meet all requirements regarding computers, equipment and Internet connection. Please go to for full details.

Only sign up with ONE Exam Team! We offer specific appointments. Other teams may offer a large session where you wait in line for a long time to be tested. Choose the team you want, but please only choose one. Making and then cancelling appointments results in more work for us (we are all volunteers) and it denies others hard-to-get exam slots. Please be considerate of others.

Make sure you are ready to NAIL THE EXAM. You need to score over 90% on at least 8 different exams to be sure. Testing often results in anxiety where students do not do as well as in practice, so you need to aim higher. We can only test ONE applicant at a time. Failing an exam results in wasted time of the examiners, and a wasted exam slot when someone else could be earning a license.

Sign up for an exam session when you are ready to take the exam. We do not maintain a waiting list for future dates.

To reserve an exam slot, go to and fill out the application.”

ARES Connect Announcement, January 11, 2021

Please see the notice below concerning ARES Connect.
In Service,
Paul Gilbert, KE5ZW
ARRL Director of Emergency Management
Concerned by the low adoption rate of ARES Connect reporting software two years after its introduction by the League, ARRL’s Director of Emergency Management Paul Gilbert (KE5ZW) instituted a review of the application that included, among other analyses, a survey of Section Managers and Section Emergency Coordinators around the country.  At the same time, recent discussions between ARRL and the ARES Connect software vendor have made it clear that the League’s evolving needs for an EmComm / Public Service reporting package are not aligned with the vendor’s future plans for the product from which ARES Connect is derived.  Following a review of all available information, members of the Emergency Management Committee, CEO Minster (NA2AA), and President Roderick (K5UR) concurred with DEM Gilbert’s decision to discontinue the use of ARES Connect and seek development of a software reporting package more tailored to the needs of ARES.

All ARRL Sections that have been using ARES Connect should plan to transition to the ARES Form 4 reporting form until a replacement system is identified.  ARRL HQ will continue to support ARES Connect through June 30, 2021.
Questions related to the decommissioning and transition can be directed to the Director of Emergency Management Paul Gilbert at 860-594-0333 or

Hamvention 2021 Canceled


Unfortunately, several setbacks in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic make necessary the difficult decision to cancel Hamvention 2021. Hundreds of volunteers have been working to do everything necessary to bring this Hamvention to the many amateur radio enthusiasts and vendors who support the Dayton Hamvention®.

Vaccine distribution both in the United States and around the world is lagging behind what was planned. In addition, the emergence of a more communicable form of the COVID-19 virus increases the potential for further public health problems in the next few months. We make this difficult decision for the safety of our guests and vendors.

Those who had their tickets, inside booths or flea market spaces deferred last year will be deferred again. Those who purchased 2021 tickets, inside booths or flea market spaces will also be deferred. If you desire a refund instead please email and we will contact you.

Stay tuned for information about a QSO party for the 2021 Hamvention weekend. We are looking forward to the 2022 Hamvention!!!

Executive Committee, Dayton Hamvention 2021

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Woronoco Heights Outdoor Adventure/ Scouts On The Air Event, January 16, 2021

On January 16, 2021, the Woronoco Heights Outdoor Adventure/Scouts On The Air Event will occur from  1300-1900 UTC using the call sign W1M, Russell, MA. Sponsored by the Western Mass. Council BSA.

W1M will be QRV on 14.290, 14.060 10.115, and 7.190. QSL to Tom Barker, 329 Faraway Road, Whitefield, NH 03598.

All logging is done on paper and then uploaded to LoTW and eQSL. A QSL card can be had for a 4×6 SASE.

Amateur Radio Booth Proposed for “The Big E” in 2022

Big E logo/scrHampden County Radio Association president Larry Krainson, W1AST, is coordinating an effort to organize an amateur radio booth at “The Big E” in West Springfield, Massachusetts for 2022. The exhibition runs for 17 days from September 17 through October 3, 2022. 

According to Wikipedia, “The Big E,” formally known as The Eastern States Exposition, is billed as ‘New England’s Great State fair.’ It is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the sixth-largest fair in the nation.”

W1AST says the 2016 event had 1.4 million visitors, and over 1.6 million visitors in 2019. “If just one-tenth of one percent of attendees sign up for ham classes, that would be 1,600 names to distribute to all New England clubs. We would all benefit and grow ham radio.” 

There hasn’t been a ham radio exhibit/booth at The Big E in over ten years.

Larry envisions a ham radio booth that would demonstrate the many aspects of ham radio, as well as an avenue for people to sign up for information and courses in their local area.

Some of his ideas include:

  • an EMCOMM display
  • DMR and/or other digital mobile mode demo
  • Digital HF modes on a big screen
  • A special event station (W1E or N1E or similar) with unique QSL cards
  • SSB, CW and digital modes
  • Demonstrate portable stations for field operation (i.e., Parks On The Air, Summits On The Air)
  • Highlight youth in ham radio

W1AST says he’d like to see clubs from different states staff the booth during “State” days and theme days. 

“If there is enough interest, we have lots of time to plan.”

Such an undertaking can succeed only if there is a sufficient number of volunteers and radio clubs who agree to participate in the event.  A special mailing list group has been established to promote exchange of dialogue and ideas for the event. To join, send an email to