Northeast MA Fox Hunting Update

From https://ema.arrl.org:

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on NEMass fox hunters list:

* All the 2-meter FM foxes belonging to PART of Westford members transmit on 146.565 MHz.  

* Currently the KD1D and W1HFN foxes use the Squawkbox module, which typically transmits a short (e.g. 30 second)  voice message and repeats once per minute. The low  power output of about 50 mW allows more than one Squawkbox to be on the air if they are far enough apart.  Often, I have one operating in Westford and W1HFN has one operating in Littleton simultaneously.

* Other two-meter fox boxes operated by our club members (including KB1MGI) use the Byonics module which sends a series of tones for a fixed period (e.g. 30 minutes) when activated by the hunter sending a DTMF ‘2’ for two seconds.   

* Occasionally, Andy Stuart, KB1OIQ, puts out an 80-meter Fox operating around 3.6 MHz.  

[KB1OIQ: It is supposed to be the color burst frequency.  This fox is really a Cricket 80A CW transceiver driven by an Arduino.  Yes, it is a bit overkill but I had fun making it.  It consumes too much power, so when it is out, it is usually only for a day or two.  It has a built-in real time clock so it only transmits during the daylight hours (approximately). I also occasionally put out a 2m fox, which is a Byonics MicroFox, transmitting about 15 mW.  This fox transmits 24×7 for several days until I retrieve it. I have also been accused of hiding a fox inside of a plastic owl, up on a tree branch.  Fox hunters claim to have heard the CW message, “I am most wise.”]

* The operators usually post frequency and activation information, when they announce the hunt.  I’ve gotten a bit lazy on that score and will try to mend my ways!

* Similarly, we usually announce the location (usually conservation, recreation or other public area), although lately I have been providing only clues to add a challenge.

* Some of the foxes use an HT transmitting 1 or 2 watts, in which case, we usually just announce the town it is in to practice long-distance direction finding similar to what we would need to track down a repeater troll.

It’s great to have fox hunters from outside the Westford area participating!  I will try to take that into consideration when doling out clues in the future.

73 and Happy Hunting!

Alan KD1D

Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont Activate Niquette Bay State Park, October 4, 2020

 
YouTube image of W1NVT activation, Niquette Bay State Park, Vermont #3136On October 4, 2020 W1NVT [Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont] activated park # 3136 in Vermont for Parks On The Air. The operators were KB1FRW, W1SJ, and K1BIF. We had two stations, one on 20 and the other on 40 meters. The 20-meter station was a Elecraft K3 with a Heathkit SB-200 amp using a Cobra 80 – 10m antenna up 66 feet. The 40-meter station was a Kenwood TS-480 with an Elecraft KPA-500 amp using a home brew 40m dipole up 65 feet.
 
It was a pleasant Fall day, with temps in the 50s all day. We worked from about 11:45 am to 5:00 pm and put 544 contacts in the log. We thank all those who stuck with us and made it into our log.”

 

A YouTube video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/UiuE5Yoi7A4

Northeast HamXposition Schedule, October 10-November 7, 2020

HamXposition logoFrom https://hamxposition.org:

New England ARES Academy

October 10-31, 2020

View the full schedule and sign up at
<https://hamxposition.org/2020/ne-ares-academy>

The first-ever New England Division ARES Academy, originally scheduled for the Division Convention in November, will instead be held over a period of several weeks in October via Zoom. There are five Basic Track classes for those just getting started, and more advanced classes and workshops for those who already have the basics. One-hour classes will be held on weeknights from 7:30 to 8:30 PM EDT, and two-hour workshop sessions will be held Saturday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 AM EDT.

Just a few of the topics covered include:

* Go Kits
* Hardening Your Station or Repeater
* Expedient Training & Utilization of Volunteers
* Working with Served Agencies (Panel Discussion)

The NE-ARES Academy is an outgrowth of the successful NH-ARES Academy program that ran at the NH State Fire Academy for eight years. The program’s goal is to offer both basic and advanced skills training based in ARRL ARES training standards. Academy Instructors are all recognized experts in their subject area.

Event Details:

Date: October 10th to October 31st
Time: 7:30 to 8:30 PM EDT (weeknight courses), 9:00 to 11:00 AM EDT
(Saturday workshops)
Cost: Free

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HamXposition Virtual Banquet

November 7, 2020, 7PM

Event registration at <https://hamxposition.org/register/register.php>

On Saturday, November 7th, the HamXposition Convention Committee will be hosting our very first Virtual Banquet! Order your favorite take-out or delivery, pull up a chair to your screen, and join your friends for an interesting presentation. The event will be emceed by our very own Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, and featuring Keynote Speaker Gordon West, WB6NOA.

In addition, there will be a grand prize drawing of a Kenwood TM-V71A Transceiver, Astron Power Supply, and dual band mobile antenna, generously contributed by the Minuteman Repeater Association (MMRA) (must be present during prize drawing to win).

The event is free, but we ask that you please register using the link above. Instructions and a link to join the event will be delivered to your inbox a few days before the event.

Event Details:

Date: Saturday, November 7th
Time: 7:00 PM EST (UTC-05:00)
Location: Your computer or mobile device, anywhere!
Cost: Free

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Ham Bootcamp

November 7, 2020, 10 AM

Sign up on the NARS website at <https://www.n1fd.org/ham-bootcamp/>

The Nashua Area Radio Society (NARS) will again be hosting their wildly successful Ham Bootcamp, recently featured on the cover of QST magazine, on Saturday, November 7th via Zoom.

Ham Bootcamp is a series of activities designed to help newly licensed Technician and General class license holders get on the air and use their amateur radio license, or for prospective hams who are interested in seeing what the hobby has to offer, including:

* Radio Programming Tutorials and Help
* Getting Started with EchoLink
* Joining a Repeater Net
* Putting together a Station for Repeaters
* Building an HF Station including simple HF Antennas
* Putting up an HF Antenna, Feedline, and Ground
* Getting started with WSJT-X and FT8 Digital

… and more!

Event Details:

Date: Saturday, November 7th
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST (UTC-05:00)
Cost: Free

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W1A Special Event Callsign

November 6-8, 2020

Operating schedule and sign up at
<https://hamxposition.org/2020/w1a-special-event-callsign>

The W1A special event callsign will operate from individual operator’s home stations during the weekend of the HamXposition Virtual Banquet. Yours could be one of these stations!

Event Details:

Start: Friday, November 6th 7:00 PM EST (UTC-05:00)
End: Sunday, November 8th 7:00 PM EST (UTC-05:00)
Location: Your shack!
Cost: Free

HCRA Fox Box is Back Up

Hampden Co RA logoKen Dion, KD1KU writes on the WMAFoxHunters list:

As of 1300 hrs, Tuesday, September 29th, the [Hampden County Radio Association] Fox has been fully charged and is back in hiding! With a little bit of luck the issue of it randomly cutting out has been resolved. The only way to know for sure is if we get some hunters after the fox so if you know someone interested in fox hunting then why not take them along with you on this or a future hunt. Let’s get more hams interested in this aspect of amateur radio! This is also a good opportunity for base stations to give signal reports and a direction if possible.

That diabolical fox is running the usual one watt into a 18 inch antenna. I was able to activate it running 50 watts on my mobile rig with a 5/8 wave mag mount at the intersection of Roosevelt Ave. & Page Blvd. in Springfield, MA. co-ordinates 42.14396, -72.55199 (see map below). Also I was able to wake the fox with only 5 watts just up from Teddy Bear Pools on East Street in Chicopee!

<…>

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 and then go back to sleep. You can make it transmit as often as necessary to find it.

You do not actually have to touch the box to claim finding it. Eyeball contact is sufficient but a photo showing the fox is helpful as long as it doesn’t give away it’s location. It is located less than 500 feet from a safe parking location. Announce here on this group that you found it and any comments other than its location. We want to know who has found it and who hasn’t.

Please do not post the frequency or PL on any social media, websites or email lists.

Happy Fox Hunting!

Ken, KD1KU

Wellesley ARS “Parks On The Air” Activation, K-2427, September 26, 2020

[Wellesley (MA) Amateur Radio Society members] Steve Ciavarini, NQ1F, along with Rob Jaczko, WA1UMU, and Leandra Mac Lennan, AF1R, operated Parks On The Air as K-2427 on Saturday September 26, 2020 at Cochituate State Park in Natick, MA.After guidance from park rangers, Leandra set up her VHF Moxon beam antenna for 2m and a 20m Hamstick vertical; Rob set up his new Wolf River vertical with twelve 40-foot radials that Steve made, and Steve set up his home brew 6m beam he presented to WARS last week. Started operating around 3:30PM.

All in all, Rob and Leandra made around 60 contacts on 40M, 20M, and 2M, and one contact on 6M, which was absolutely dead.

The gang said it was good fun. Leandra wanted to do a POTA sometime, and when Rob invited she jumped at the chance. Leandra brought her Yaesu FT991 40AH battery, mini masts for the Hamstick and 2-meter Moxon antenna. Rob brought his Icom 7300, 20AH battery, and a Wolf River Coils antenna (https://www.wolfrivercoils.com). However there was a set of 50-foot radials with this antenna, which were all tangled up like a ball of twine. This took a frustrating hour to untangle, but once set up, the antenna was excellent on 40M.

[Full story]

Maine QSO Party, September 26-27, 2020

The 2020 Maine QSO Party will take place on Saturday, September 26 at 1200 UTC until Sunday, September 27 at 1200 UTC.

Exchange: Stations in Maine send signal report and county. Stations outside of Maine, but within either the United States or Canada, send signal report and state/province. DX stations send signal report and “DX.”

For more information, email k1sew@arrl.net for the link.  http://www.ws1sm.com/MEQP.html

New England Wireless & Steam Museum Yankee Steam-up Special Events Operation

Massie Wireless Station “PJ”
Massie Wireless Station “PJ”

A special events operation from the New England Wireless and Steam Museum’s Yankee Steam-up will take place on October 3, 2020 from 1300-2000Z.  Look for N1EPJ on the following frequencies: 3.558, 14.058, 7.25, 14.258. QSL to: Massie Wireless Club, N1EPJ, PO Box 883, East Greenwich, RI 02818.

From the N1EPJ QRZ page:

The station was built in Point Judith, Rhode Island, in 1907 and is the oldest surviving working wireless station in the world. It is now part of the New England Wireless and Steam Museum.

The Massie Wireless Station provided communications to steamboats that traveled between New York City and New England cities. In 1983 the wireless station was moved to the New England Wireless and Steam Museum at 1300 Frenchtown Road in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, to avoid demolition. The wireless station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

The Massie Wireless Station is in the process of being re-activated with its new callsign, N1EPJ. The new callsign itself is significant as the station’s original callsign was “PJ” (Point Judith), which became the station’s nickname.

From www.newsm.org:

Yankee Steam-Up 2020 will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2020. Due to Covid-19 concerns, Steam-Up will be exclusively on our YouTube channel this year. We’d prefer to see you all in person, but we do hope this allows enthusiasts from all over the world access our wonderful collection for the first time.

We’ll be posting new videos leading up to October 3rd. Watch below or visit the museum’s YouTube channel. Please like and share with your friends. Check back often for more information or send us a message letting us know what you’d most like to see. Contact us.

 

New England QRV for International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend

Sankaty Head Light, ILLW 2019
Sankaty Head Light, ILLW 2019

Numerous lighthouses and lightships will be activated for the upcoming International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, August 22-23, 2020. Among the 33 or so registered in the United States, five are situated in New England:

  • K1LX, Permaquid Point Light, US0124 (ME), Direct to Lincoln County ARC
  • KM1R, Faulkners Island Light, US0243 (CT)
  • N1QLL, West Quoddy Head, US0041 (ME), Direct or buro (Send SAE, no stamp needed)
  • W1QK, Avery Point Lighthouse, US0190 (CT), LoTW
  • W1TUK, Sankaty Head Light, US0135 (MA), direct or QRZ.com

The Nantucket ARA, W1TUK, plans to operate in International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend at Sankaty Head Light once again.

According to NARA’s Jerry Horton, W2JH: “We kicked off planning last Sunday during our weekly outreach video conference.  We will operate at least two HF rigs on Saturday [August 22, 2020] from about 10 AM to 4 PM,  with Sunday serving as the rain date.  We are exploring the possibility of streaming our station; at a minimum we want to capture plenty of video and lots of photos for after-the-fact posting.  The whole gang is involved, sharing assorted tasks: readying equipment, obtaining access to the lighthouse, site prep, publicity, handouts, etc.  Should be fun!”

 

From ARRL Web:

Registrations for this year’s popular International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) appear to have been largely unaffected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The event will take place this year over the August 22 – 23 weekend. By mid-July, more than 200 entries had been received, and some 400 are expected to have signed up by the event weekend.

New to this year’s event is Corsica at Phare d’Alistro, which for ILLW purposes carries the French number of FR0030. Two lighthouses in Ghana will be on the air for the first time, as well as Buck Island Lighthouse in the US Virgin Islands (VI0001). Germany is well in the lead with 54 entries, followed by Australia with 29 entries, and the US with 27 entries.

This event is designed as a fun weekend to encourage exposure to amateur radio and lighthouses to the visiting public, and ILLW stresses contacts should be more than just an exchange of signal reports. All participants are urged to observe local COVID-19 safety guidelines. —Thanks to Kevin Mulcahey, VK2CE