Vermont QSO Party, February 6-7, 2021

VT iconThe 63rd Vermont QSO Party will take place during the first full weekend of February 2021.

It will run over a 48-hour period beginning at 0000 UTC Saturday February 6 and ending 2400 UTC Sunday February 7. In local time, this corresponds to a start time of 7:00 PM EST Friday night February 5th and an end time of 7 PM Sunday night February 7th.

The Vermont QSO Party provides the opportunity for Amateur Radio Operators to contact and exchange QSO information with Vermont Amateur Radio operators. All licensed amateur radio operators are invited to participate. Stations outside Vermont work Vermont stations. Stations within Vermont work everyone.

Please download The Official 2021 Vermont QSO Party Rules for specific rules.

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

From ema.arrl.org:
 
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 dxsummit.fi for spots/frequencies as well as our KM1CC – Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club Facebook page.
 
(All times are UTC)
 
CW
0000-0100 Slow Speed CW 80M & 160M
0100-0400 CW 40M, 80M & 160M
1100-2359 CW 20M, 30M, 40M, 80M & 160M
 
SSB
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 dxsummit.fi for spots. (Just doing the best we can to be on the air during Covid-19.)

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.

ARRL Staffers to be On the Air from W1AW for Straight Key Night, January 1, 2021

J-38 straight keyMembers of the ARRL Headquarters staff will put W1AW on the air for Straight Key Night (SKN). Set some time aside on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to take part in this annual ARRL tradition.

Information on Straight Key Night can be found at http://www.arrl.org/straight-key-night .

SKN begins at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2021 (New Year’s Eve in US time zones) and wraps up at 2359 UTC. Not a contest, SKN is dedicated to celebrating amateur radio’s Morse code heritage. Bring out the brass, get on the air, and enjoy casual CW contacts, preferably using a straight key (hand key) or a semi-automatic key (bug). Activity traditionally centers on CW segments in the HF bands (W1AW will focus on 80, 40, and 20 meters).

Submit via email your SKN list of stations contacted and your votes for “Best Fist” and “Most Interesting QSO” by January 31 to,
straightkey@arrl.org .

Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC Fox Hunters of the Year

Jack and Michael Singwald N1PLH
Jack (left) and Michael Singwald, N1PLH

From https://groups.io/g/GBARC/wiki:

This year [the Greater Bridgeport Amateur Radio Club] found, in the middle of a pandemic, we could still be an active club and explore one of the many aspects of radiosport–foxhunting.  Starting with our first foxhunt in April to the Reindeer Run in December, the season was dominated by one team, that team being Jack and Michael Singwald, N1PLH.  

Over the eight foxhunts this year, they dominated the field with an impressive five wins, and never failed to find the fox.  For their efforts they were awarded the Foxhunter of the Year Trophy and bragging rights for the coming year.  

Our next Fox Hunt will be on Saturday January 5th hosted by N1DID.  This foxhunt will be particularly challenging and cover an extremely wide coverage area.  So be sure to plan your time to be there.  Tune in, have some fun, and drive around looking for that elusive fox.

“N1R Special Event Station”

N1IBQ operating N1R Special Event Station, Nov. 7-8, 2020From Candlewood ARA (CT) “CARA Capers” newsletter, December 2020:

On the weekend of November 7-8, 2020, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary ran eight special event stations across the country to commemorate its 81st Anniversary. Created by the U.S. Congress on June 23, 1939, the “US Coast Guard Reserve Act of 1939” established a civilian volunteer component of the Coast Guard to promote boating safety and to facilitate the operations of the Coast Guard. Members had to be US citizens who were boat owners or had partial ownership of a boat.

As America’s unofficial involvement in World War II escalated, Congress recognized the need for a military Reserve similar to the Army and Navy, so in February 1941 the original act was repealed and a new act passed that established a military Reserve and Temporary Reserve and renamed the civilian organization as the “Auxiliary”.

Back in August a call went out to Amateur Radio operators in the Auxiliary asking them if they would participate in commemorating the anniversary by setting up and operating a Special Event Station. Since N1A was already assigned by the FCC, I chose N1R (“R” for Reserve, our 1939 name) and set up a “patio portable” station. I still don’t have a permanent antenna at my home.

N1R setupSo, with great anticipation of having a pile-up with dozens of stations answering my “CQ” call to get the special event QSL card, I got on the 20- meter frequency I had published on ARRL’s Special Event page and started calling “CQ”. And then… nothing. Antenna tuned to 1:1.03, 80 watts SSB, Saturday morning, dead silence. Moved to the 40 meter frequency that I had published… nothing again. Frustrated, I listened up and down the two bands and heard a few stations, not the usual chatter. Even the POTA stations seemed to be staying home. Time to change strategy. I started calling stations that were finishing their QSO’s and that helped get a few contacts in the log.

Was it a post-election distraction? Were the bands just shut down? Not sure. After the event I called Chuck, K1DFS, in Plainville, CT who was operating N1A for the event from his home station, and he had the similar experience over the two days.

But was it fun? Absolutely Yes! Since I run the same setup almost every weekend with really good results (considering the station and antenna) I’m pretty sure that there wasn’t much more I could have done. This was my first activation of a special event station, so the learning experience was worth it all… how to get a special event call sign from the FCC, set it up in QRZ.com, list it on the ARRL Special Event webpage, and even more importantly, anticipate next year’s event!

N1R antennaMy station consisted of a Yaesu FT-891 running 80 watts with LMR400 UF cable to a 23 foot Diamond BB7V vertical antenna. An older MFJ 949D tuner and a RigExpert AA230 antenna connected to the tuner with a 2-way antenna switch. The most important component was a patient and understanding XYL.

For more information about the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and its history, visit the N1R page I posted on QRZ.com.

73, Ron Willson, N1IBQ

(UPDATED) First Annual Hams All-Holiday On Air Celebration (W1E Special Event Station), December 12, 2020

Parks On The Air logoDec. 12: Unfortunately I had to cancel this event – a very unusual occurrence for me. Looks like the weather is a bit uncooperative too.  -KM1NDY

Mindy Hull, KM1NDY, writes in the Wellesley (MA) ARS Spark Gap newsletter:

Hello Friends! You are all cordially invited to:

WHAT: 1st Annual Hams All-Holiday On Air Celebration (W1E Special Event Station)  

WHEN: Saturday December 12, 2020. Two times: W1E on air from 11am to dusk. Everyone get together from noon to 2pm.  

WHERE:  Meet at Hopkinton State Park. Use the Main Entrance at 164 Cedar St., Hopkinton, MA 01748. Follow the map below.  Same place as November’s POTA!

PARKING: Park in large lot at boat launch. We will meet in a grove of trees with picnic tables near the beach at the end of the parking lot that is the farthest from where you entered it. See maps.  Park as close to the meeting spot as possible in case it’s real cold and we need to use our cars to warm up. 

MONITORING: 147.555 FM

GPS COORDINATES OF EXACT MEETING SPOT: 

42°15’30.7″N 71°31’01.8″W     ( 42.258539, -71.517168 )

WHY: To take back some of what this year stole from us.

DETAILS: We will operate the special event station W1E from about 11am to dusk at Hopkinton State Park on December 12, 2020 for the 1st Annual “Hams All-Holiday On Air Celebration”. We will be celebrating every holiday that anyone missed because of this crazy year! Our goal is to have as many QSOs as possible and then send a greeting card to every contact. We will set up one portable radio station in a heated shelter and operate SSB on 20M early and 40M later. The shelter will only hold one to two people at a time given the pandemic, so expect it to be cold. Bring your own equipment for other bands if you want to operate simultaneously; we have 100-Watt RF band-pass filters available so we can operate on multiple HF bands at once (10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 40, 80M).

If some of you would like to help operate the main station, send me an email with the time you are requesting to be on air.  Or just show up and we’ll see if we can get you on. Or bring your own station. 

If you want to just come hang out with radio people, enjoy some non-Zoom companionship, make a few contacts, and celebrate the holidays in person, show up between noon and 2pm. We will be social distancing, wearing masks, and splitting into smaller groups if there are more than 25 of us. Be prepared for cold!

Also, Hopkinton State Park is a Parks-On-The-Air (POTA) site, so you can activate a park as well! Activation code = K-2440. 

Bring as much festivity with you as possible! We all really really need it this year…

(I’ll send one more update next week!)

Yours, 

KM1NDY

Fox Hunting is Alive and Well in Connecticut

Meriden fox hunt location, ariel viewDave Tipping, NZ1J, writes on the Meriden ARC Facebook Group:

Fox Hunt #35 at Downtown Parking Lot #7 [in Wallingford]. Lots of hunters circled the block before locating this obscure spot.
 
A year ago, there wasn’t much fox hunting going on in Connecticut. This year, in addition to our hunts and Fox In a Box (FIABs), the BEARS of Manchester have placed a FIAB about forty times and [the Radio Amateur Society of Norwich]  has placed FIABs and had live hunts. Today, we had a live hunt in Wallingford and RASON had one in Norwich. One of the challenges for 2021 will be trying to find new places to hide.

Twin State Radio Club (NH) VHF/UHF Activity Nights

Twin State RC logoDave Colter, WA1ZCN, writes on the Twin State RC mailing list:

VHF/UHF ACTIVITY NIGHTS

6:30 PM and on. Most operators start on the standard calling frequencies, and then move another to rag chew. Six and 2-meters are the most popular.

Sunday: 6 meters: 50.525 FM, 50.120 SSB; 50.110 CW

Monday: 2 meters 146.520 FM, 144.200 SSB, 144.100 CW

Tuesday: 1.25 meters 223.500 FM, 222.100 SSB/CW

Wednesday: 70cm 446.000 FM, 432.100 SSB/CW

Thursday: 902 MHz 902.100 or 903.100 SSB/CW

                1296.100 MHz SSB/CW

                5760.100 MHz SSB/CW

                10,368.1 MHz SSB/CW

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