HCRA Foxboxes Deployed in Chicopee, MA Vicinity, May 28, 2021

Hampden Co RA logoKen Dion, KD1KU, writes on the Hampden County RA Facebook page on May 28, 2021 at 2:45 PM:
Attention all fox hunters: HCRA Foxbox1 and Foxbox2 have gone into hiding! Both are located somewhere within the City of Chicopee, MA.
I would like to issue a special challenge to all hunters (and future hunters) to locate both Foxboxes this Memorial Day weekend! Are you up to the task?
FB1 and FB2 are transmitting on the 2-meter simplex frequency of 147.55 with one watt into a duck-type antenna. PL tones and additional details can be found at the link below.
For more details go to https://groups.io/g/WMAFoxHunters.
Happy Hunting!?

Researcher and Past Arecibo Observatory Director Gordon Pettengill, W1OUN, SK

photo of Gordon Pettengill, W1OUNFrom the ARRL Letter, May 27, 2021:

Renowned physicist, astronomer, and past Arecibo Observatory Director Gordon Pettengill, W1OUN, of Concord, Massachusetts, died on May 8. An ARRL member, he was 95.

“He was instrumental [as Arecibo Observatory Director] in getting some ‘telescope time’ at that facility for hams to do EME (moonbounce) on 432 MHz, giving a lot of hams with modest stations a shot at making a QSO via moon reflection,” said Chip Taylor, W1AIM. “He was the first person to use that big dish to do radar mapping of the surface of Venus, Mercury, Mars, and various asteroids and comets. And he was a mentor to many of us interested in microwave communication.”

A World War II combat veteran, Pettengill completed his bachelor’s degree at MIT after the war, then received a doctorate in high-energy physics at the University of California-Berkeley. His career in radio astronomy took off when he joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory, using the Millstone Radar in Westford, Massachusetts, for astronomical observations.

In 1963, he moved to the newly opened Arecibo Observatory. He was named its director in 1968. In 1977, he was Principal Investigator of the radar aboard the Pioneer Venus Orbiter that created the first near-global topographic map of any planet, and in the 1990s he was the Principal Investigator of the Magellan mission to Venus.

Pettengill was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1979, and served as Director of MIT’s Center for Space Research from 1984 until 1989. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1980 and spent his sabbatical at the University of Sydney, Australia. He retired in 1995. He was active on the air until recently.

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“20 Towns in 20 Days: Newington is Home to the American Radio Relay League”

NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) – Newington is home to the American Radio Relay League, thee ARRL, and a destination from Ham Radio operators from all over the world.

The organization’s headquarters is in Newington.

“Really, the purposed of Newington in 1938 was to overcome the flooded station at Brainard field. The founder of the organization, Hiram Percy Maxim, found a great piece of property here in Newington and we’ve been here ever since,” said Bob Interbitzen, Product Development Manager at ARRL.

The National Organization for Amateur Radio, or ham operators, has been around for more than 100 years. It was founded on the premise that this budding radio community of amateurs from all over the United States would relay messages wirelessly from location to locations.

“An in the beginning, it was like, ‘let’s get a message from Hartford to Springfield,’ and then all of a sudden, it’s Hartford to Cleveland, and before you know it, we’re all across the country. And then this network of radio amateurs is around the world communicating with each other,” Interbitzen said. [Full story]

Annual WX4NHC On-the-Air Station Test Set for Saturday, May 29, 2021

WX4NHC logoARLX006 Annual WX4NHC On-the-Air Station Test Set for Saturday, May 29

The annual WX4NHC station on-the-air test will be held on Saturday, May 29, 1300 – 2100 UTC. The WX4NHC operators plan to be working remotely again this year as the National Hurricane Center plans to maintain all CDC COVID-19 pandemic protocols until the end of 2021. The yearly exercise takes place just ahead of the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, June 1 – November 30. Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, said the event offers an opportunity for radio amateurs worldwide to exercise the sorts of communication capabilities available during severe weather.

“We will be making brief contacts on many frequencies and modes, exchanging signal reports and basic weather data (sunny, rain, temperature, etc.) with any station in any location,” Ripoll said.

Participating stations may use HF, VHF, UHF, APRS, and Winlink, with WX4NHC HF activity centering on the Hurricane Watch Net frequencies of 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz, depending on propagation, and will operate elsewhere as conditions dictate. WX4NHC will also participate in the VoIP Hurricane Net, 2000 – 2100 UTC.

As for the upcoming hurricane season, Ripoll said, “Even if you are not directly affected by a hurricane situation, please volunteer to monitor and relay reports; just one report can make a difference and help save a life!”

In conjunction with the National Hurricane Conference next month, the traditional Amateur Radio Workshop sessions will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 15, 10:30 AM – 12 PM EDT and 1:30 – 5 PM EDT. The sessions will be moderated by Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Director of Operations, VoIP Hurricane Net, with Ripoll.

To access the Zoom meeting check-in, use the meeting ID 844 9788 6921, and the passcode 565708.

Gordon West, WB6NOA: “Real Hams in Real Emergencies” at Meriden (CT) ARC Meeting, May 27, 2021

Gordon West, WB6NOA photoEd Snyder, W1YSM, writes:
The Meriden Amateur Radio Club W1NRG is pleased to announce GORDON WEST  WB6NOA WILL BE SPEAKING – THIS THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2021
Event: MARC Activities Meeting
TOPIC: Real Hams in Real Emergencies
When: THURSDAY MAY 27, 2021
Time:  1930-2100 ET. 7:30p-9:00p
Attendees: Free – all invited -please sign-in
President W1NRG
[Email W1YSM for Zoom meeting details.]

Second HCRA Foxbox At Large, Holyoke MA Vicinity, May 21, 2021

Hampden Co RA logoKen Dion, KD1KU, writes on WMAFoxHunters on May 21, 2021 at 9:06 PM:

Attention ALL Foxhunters!

As of 1500hrs, May 21st, [Hampden County Radio Association] Foxbox #1 has escaped and gone into hiding along with Foxbox #2.

I would like to issue a challenge to all hunters to locate BOTH Foxbox’s! Are you up to the task?

That sneaky Foxbox-1 is running one watt into an 18-inch antenna. I was able to wake it from its slumber running 50 watts in my mobile parked at the Stop & Shop on Lincoln Street in Holyoke, MA.

You can activate the fox by going on the 2-meter simplex frequency of 147.550 MHz (PL 100.0Hz), key your transmitter, identify yourself then press the DTMF “1”. If the Fox can hear you and you can hear it, you will hear its very distinctive sound. It will transmit for 30 seconds, ID and then repeat 2 more times before going back to sleep. You can make it transmit as often as necessary to locate it.

This is a good opportunity for base stations to get in on the fun. If you can hear the fox please give its signal strength and direction if possible. Please do not reveal its location, just a location where you can hear it from, this then becomes a starting point for the other fox hunters to use. It’s just as important for the hunters to know where it CANNOT be heard as well as where it CAN be heard!

If you do locate the Foxbox you do not have to touch the box to claim finding it. Eyeball contact is sufficient and please post a photo but do not reveal its location as there may be other hunters still out there. It is located less than 500 feet from a safe parking location. Announce it and post a photo here on this group and the HCRA Facebook Group that you found it along with any comments other than its location. We want to know who has found it and who hasn’t.

I can tell you that it is in a publicly accessible location with nearby safe parking. Getting to the FB requires a short walk on mostly flat ground.
Please do not post the frequency or PL on social media, websites, or email lists.

ALL Fox Hunters are welcomed to participate regardless of affiliation!

Happy Hunting!
Ken, KD1KU

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ARRL Foundation Announces 2021 Scholarship Winners; Many Are From New England

The ARRL Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2021 scholarship awards. A number of those recipients are from New England:

The Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) Scholarships, $10,000

  • Catherine Hong, KC1MFU, of Cambridge, Massachusetts 
  • Julie Knappik, KB1YTT, of Raynham, Massachusetts 

The Byron Blanchard, N1EKV, Memorial Scholarship, $500 

  • Allison K. Maurice, KH2AK, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire 

The FEMARA Scholarship, $2,000 each 

  • Michael A. Cullen, K6MAC, of Newport, Rhode Island
  • Samuel E. Gerhard, KC1NWR, of North Providence, Rhode Island
  • Sarah J. Hull, W1SJH, of Hancock, New Hampshire
  • Simon S. Page, KC1FJD, of York, Maine 

The New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) Scholarship, $1,500 

  • Jacob A. Gionfriddo, KC1LYP, of Newington, Connecticut 

The Yankee Clipper Contest Club, Inc. Youth Scholarship, $2,000 

  • Martin S. Sullaway, NN1C, of Waban, Massachusetts 


There were 122 awards this year, totaling $564,250.  The full list of scholarship recipients can be found on the ARRL website.

“Connecting With Strangers Over Ham Radio Cleared My Family’s Static”

SU1CR QSL Card imageBoston Globe reporter Gabriella Gage writes this nice human interest story in the May 22, 2012 issue of The Boston Globe:

“On a rainy October night during the pandemic, my husband, David, searches for a faint voice in the distance. He doesn’t know who’s calling, but he knows he wants to speak to them. David adjusts the tuning knob on the decades-old transceiver ever so slightly, as if cracking a safe. Outside, a homemade antenna bobs in the wind. On his computer, pulsating lines tell him the voice is one of hundreds calling out on this busy night. The voice gets clearer: ‘CQ,’ the magic letters he’s been awaiting — the amateur radio operators’ invitation for a response — followed by a call sign. David jumps on his mic, repeating the stranger’s call sign and adds: “This is KB1TOY, Kilo-Bravo-1-Tango-Oscar-Yankee. You’re light but I can hear you!”  [Full story]



K1PJS Elected, W1YRC Re-elected as Section Managers in New Hampshire, Rhode Island Respectively

Congratulations to incoming New Hampshire Section Manager Pete Stohrer, K1PJS, and long-time serving Rhode Island SM Bob Beaudet, W1YRC! Their terms of office commence on July 1, 2021.

From the ARRL Letter, May 20, 2021:

In the only contested election this spring, Utah ARRL members elected Pat Malan, N7PAT, as their new Section Manager (SM) for a 2-year term commencing July 1. Malan, of South Jordan, received 419 votes, while incumbent Mel Parkes, NM7P, garnered 339 votes. Parkes had served as Utah Section Manager for 22 years. ARRL Headquarters counted and verified the ballots on May 18.

In New Hampshire, Pete Stohrer, K1PJS, of Concord, was the only nominee for Section Manager when nominations closed on March 4. Stohrer, having previously served as SM from 2013 until 2019, will succeed John Gotthardt, K1UAF, who decided not to seek a new term.

Six incumbent Section Managers faced no opposition and were declared re-elected, effective July 1: Marty Pittinger, KB3MXM (Maryland-DC); John Bigley, N7UR (Nevada); Bob Buus, W2OD (Northern New Jersey); Bob Beaudet, W1YRC (Rhode Island); John Litz, NZ6Q (San Joaquin Valley), and Dale Durham, W5WI (West Texas).

KD1D Fox is Deployed in Westford (MA), May 21, 2021

from ema.arrl.org:
Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on NEMassFoxHunters list on May 21, 2021 at 9:10 AM: 

I placed the KD1D Fox out this morning. As usual, it transmits a 30 second message every 60 seconds on 146.565 MHz FM.

It is located in Westford Conservation land named after an aquatic mammal once highly prized for making men’s hats.

The Fox can be heard along Concord Rd somewhere between the 99 Restaurant and the railroad crossing at Forge Village. A good place to take a bearing might be near the Robinson School or the old cemetery at the corner of Concord Rd and Country Rd (Interesting, but useless fact – Country Rd used to be called Cemetery Rd, but that tended to “spook” the real estate folks, so it was changed.)

Happy Hunting and 73 de KD1D