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:



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

NWS Gray, Maine, Winter Weather Spotter Training Sessions in October, November 2023

Grey SKYWARN logoKen Gehalo, N1RP, writes on the Port City ARC mailing list:

I wanted to make you aware of two winter weather spotter training sessions coming up along with a coastal flooding specific training session. I have attached 3 fliers for these courses if you want to share with your friends. You can also access the online registration here:

Here are the registration links for the courses:

Oct 26th 6 PM –
Nov 13th 6 PM –
Nov 15th 6 PM (coastal flooding) –
If you have taken the winter focused course recently, you don’t have to retake the course. We recommend you take a refresher course every 3 years for each track we offer (winter, summer, ice jam and coastal flooding).

Donald M. Dumont
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
Incident Meteorologist (IMET)
National Weather Service, Gray, ME
Office: 207-688-3216 x223

New England Sci-Tech Starts Wireless Engineering Club


New England Sci-Tech Wireless Engineering Club logoSeth Kendall, KC1PZY, writes on the stars-radio mailing list:

We are looking for mentors/volunteers to help out with the new Wireless Engineering Club on Saturday mornings 10:00-11:30am.  Please let us know if you have any interest in participating!

The “Wireless Engineering Club” is a new club at New England Sci-Tech meant to attract youth and prospective hams into the hobby of Ham Radio.  The club will meet every other Saturday morning, a time that tends to work well for families, and will be focused around build workshops and practical, hands-on radio activities.  We’d like to use this club to bring in new hams, especially youth, and further grow the amateur radio community here at NEST.  

We are interested in three kinds of volunteers:

  • Helpers
  • Workshop Leaders
  • Outreach

For Helpers: Pick one or more workshops to come in and help out for.  If we get lots of members, we’ll need lots of Elmers to help people troubleshoot, experiment, and have fun.  

For Workshop Leaders: Pick one of the topics from our brainstorm list and volunteer to lead a 90 minute workshop on that topic.  The more hands on, the better.  We’re looking for activities over lectures.  Even better, volunteer your own workshop.  We need content, so anyone who’d like to put together one or more activities/workshops, please let us know.   They’re meant to be beginner level.  This is an ideal chance to help grow the ham radio community and bring in youth, but it’ll only work with participation from us in the community. 

Outreach: Know any recently licensed youth or youth with a general interest in electronics and science?  Spread the word about the club to communities you know!  Adults are welcome and encouraged to join in the workshops and builds as well.  Many of them could be of broad interest.  I’m attaching a flyer.  It looks like this, but if you download the attachment, it will be print resolution.

If you’d like to volunteer, you an either post here or send me an email at  Thanks all.


2023 ARRL Online Auction, October 13-19, 2023

2023 ARRL Online Auction splashscreenThe 2023 ARRL Online Auction is now open for bidding and continues through Thursday, October 19. The auction includes ham radio equipment tested by the ARRL Lab for the monthly Product Review feature in QST magazine including:

  • FlexRadio Systems Tune Genius XL
  • Eagle One Vertical HF Antenna
  • Rigol DG1062Z Function/Arbitrary Waveform Generator

If you are interested in great bargains, a good cause, and some fun – check out over 150 items up for bid this year. Plus, keep an eye on the ARRL Facebook and Instagram pages for featured products and highlights throughout the event.

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ARRL Urges Comments to FCC on 60-Meter Band

ARRL Bulletin 26  ARLB026
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  October 11, 2023
To all radio amateurs

ARLB026 ARRL Urges Comments to FCC on 60-Meter Band

The ARRL is asking that all radio amateurs urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to continue the existing use of the 60-meter band. A public comment period is open until October 30, 2023. ARRL encourages expressions of support to the FCC for the current 100 W ERP power limit (instead of reducing the power limit to 15 W EIRP) and continuing secondary access to the current channels.

To submit a filing of your comments for the FCC’s consideration in the rulemaking process, go to the FCC web page for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking’s (NPRM) Docket Number 23-120 at,

If you wish to directly enter your comments, select the button labeled SUBMIT AN EXPRESS FILING at, .

If you are uploading a document that contains your comments, select SUBMIT A STANDARD FILING at, .

When submitting your comments, be sure the correct proceeding’s docket number, 23-120, is included on the form. Your name and comments will be entered into the official public record of the proceedings and will be viewable by anyone who visits the docket web page.

While radio amateurs are encouraged to include any comments they would like in their submissions, they’re especially encouraged to draw upon their personal experiences using the 60-meter band for public service purposes and for its location between the amateur 80- and 40-meter bands, which is critical to ensuring signal propagation to certain geographic areas during variations in time and the solar cycle.

Some of the main points to comment on for this NPRM are:

* Urging the FCC to keep the four existing channels allocated to amateur radio on a secondary basis.

* Urging the FCC to keep the 100 W power limit for the four existing channels and the new 15 kHz subband.

ARRL Public Relations and Outreach Manager Sierra Harrop, W5DX, underscored the importance of commenting, urging members to speak up. “ARRL members make up the strongest voice in matters of amateur radio spectrum defense,” said Harrop. “Your membership and participation in the rulemaking process both ensure ARRL continues to make the difference when our band privileges are threatened. Please join us in effort to protect our 60-meter band privileges.”

New York QSO Party, October 21-22, 2023

Map of NY state countiesKen Boasi, N2ZN, writes:

New York QSO Party 2023 – Our 15th Year!
On Saturday, October 21st (at 1400z), the 15th annual NY QSO Party will take place.  Come celebrate our 15th anniversary on the air with us.
Since the NYQP restart in 2009, we have experienced tremendous growth, not only in the number of entries, but also the total activity (QSO’s made) on a year-over-year basis.  The 2023 event will be no different, with a great set of awards for all entry categories, plus special rookie and youth awards as well.
Our mobiles and portable stations will take to the roads and fields to activate all of the 62 NY counties once again, with pileups sure to follow.  Will 2023 be the year that someone finally works a County Sweep?  Some have been close, but no operator has yet to achieve a sweep.  With high activity and great propagation due to enhanced sunspots, this may be the year!
Plan to join us, starting at 1400z Saturday until 0200z Sunday, on all bands, including VHF.  The full rules (updated for 2023), results from previous years, county data, planned activations and more can be found at
See you all in a week and a half!
73, Ken N2ZN (NYQP Co-Coordinator)

Western Massachusetts Amateur Radio Emergency Service to Hold Annual Emergency Test

WMA ARES logoFrom

The Western Massachusetts section of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service will hold their 2023 Simulated Emergency Test from 10:00 AM local time on Saturday, 21 October to 10:00 AM local time on Sunday, 22 October 2023.  This test will involve ARES members attempting to receive and report airport weather information to the Department of Defense via the US Army Military Affiliate Radio System.  [Full story]

WWLP 22 News: “HCRA Celebrates 75 Years with Picnic on Saturday”

Screenshot of HCRA Picnic as reported by WWLP Ch. 22 SpringfieldAGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) — “Radio Lovers came together for the 75th anniversary of the Hampden County Radio Association with a picnic at the School Street Park in Agawam Saturday afternoon.

“People were encouraged to bring their radios, antennas, and power sources to ‘Tune the World’. This gave amateur radio operators a chance to receive their license to transmit on HAM radios. There was a demonstration provided on how to use their portable radios as well. By the end of the classes, people were able to make unofficial contact with emergency services.” [Full story]