Director’s Update for 2Q-2022

I’ve been quite busy the last few months with a combination of ARRL Board work, New England Division projects, Mentoring, and some time on the air. I am pleased to report good progress on many fronts. Here’s more about what I’ve been up to.

Club Grants

Mike Walters, W8ZY, and I, as part of an ARRL Foundation Committee, put together the application and decision process for the ARRL Foundation Club Grant program and rolled it out. Thanks to a generous donation by ARDC, the ARRL Foundation is making $500,000 available to Amateur Radio Clubs.

ARRL Club Grant Program at a glance:

  • Clubs do not need to be ARRL-affiliated clubs to submit proposals
  • Looking to fund projects that create significant impact beyond the applying club: transformative impact on Amateur Radio; create public awareness and support for Amateur Radio; educational and training impact.
  • Examples of projects include, but are not limited to: get-on-the-air projects; ham training and skills development through mentoring; STEM and STEAM learning through Amateur Radio; station resources for use by the ham community; emergency communications and public service projects that emphasize training; club revitalization projects.

The response to the first round of this program has been tremendous. We received 127 applications for Club Grants! The first round of grants will be awarded by the end of the summer, and the second tranche of applications and awards will commence in the late summer/early fall.

Board Projects and Meetings

I am working along with other ARRL Board Members and leaders as part of several ARRL Board Committees. First, I am a member of the Administration and Finance Committee, where I am chairing a subcommittee that is looking at ways to grow ARRL membership and increase active participation in Amateur Radio.

I’m also leading a subcommittee within the Emergency Communications and Field Service Committee that is working on a plan to create the next generation of the National Traffic System (NTS). I am working closely with Marcia Forde, KW1U, and other traffic handlers to create a plan for NTS 2.0. We are planning a series of briefings for Traffic Handlers here in New England as well as across other ARRL divisions on the NTS 2.0 project.

Finally, I have been appointed to be one of the ARRL Board members on the newly formed Investment Management Committee. The Investment Management Committee provides oversight of ARRL’s external investment manager and advises ARRL’s Administration and Finance Committee and the Board of Directors on investment policies and portfolio management.

Field Day

Our 2022 Field Day Visit Tour

Anita, AB1QB, and I had a great time during Field Day, visiting clubs all over New England. We covered about 1,000 miles during a three-day tour on Field Day weekend. I especially enjoyed meeting folks in person during Field Day and seeing what everyone was doing. It was great to see all of the different ways that clubs across New England approached Field Day. Anita took many great photos during our tour, and you can view those and read more about our Field Day travels here. We operated as AB1OC/M from the mobile HF station in our truck during the trip and had a ton of fun on the air as well.

Assistant Director Teams

Phil Temples, K9HI, and I continued working with our division Assistant Directors as they continued to set up their teams and began sharing information and projects across our division.

  • Cory Golob, KU1U – Assistant Director, Emergency Communications and Public Service Activities
  • Rob Leiden, K1UI – Assistant Director, Spectrum Protection and Use
  • Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB – Assistant Director, Mentoring and Ham Development
  • Dan Norman, N0HF – Assistant Director, Youth Outreach and STEM Learning

A great deal of good work is getting accomplished by our Assistant Directors, and each team has projects underway that will benefit hams across New England. Our second quarter 2022 newsletter features articles about what our ADs are doing.

BIG E Space Chat

International Space Station

New England school students will be making live radio contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station from The BIG E during the week of September 26th – September 29th. The “BIG E Space Chat” is part of a program to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational activities and Amateur Radio learning activities for young people.

We brokered the creation of this project through a partnership between The BIG ENew England Sci-Tech (a STEM education group in New England),  Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), and Black Helicopter Creative LLC.

You can learn more about The BIG E Space Chat and how students can sign up to be part of the planned education program here.

Folks are also planning an Amateur Radio booth at The BIG E, and you can learn more about that project and how your club can be part of it here.

Communications, Club Meetings, and Hamfests

We continued with our work to improve communications this quarter. There are three parts to our activities in this area:

  • Quarterly Division Cabinet Meetings with Club Presidents, Section Managers and Field Staff Members, and other leaders
  • Triannual (every 4 months) Division Town Hall Meetings with all ARRL Members in New England
  • Frequent attendance at Club Meetings (at least 6 times a quarter for each DVA team member) 

We held our second Cabinet Meeting on April 16th (see what was discussed here). Our next Cabinet Meeting is scheduled for August 13th. We are inviting members of the HQ Staff to these meetings so that they can share information on what they are doing and receive feedback directly from division leaders.

We held our second Town Hall Meeting on June 15th. Attendance was excellent again, with over 140 in attendance. We provided an update on ARRL and New England Division activities and answered questions from the folks who attended. You can see what was discussed, including a recording of the event, here. We are planning to hold our next Town Hall Meeting in November.

We held an ARRL Forum at Spring NEAR-Fest in Deerfield, NH, where we provided an update on ARRL and New England Division projects and answered questions. We joined Peter Stohrer K1PJS at NEAR-Fest to talk with folks and answer questions.

 

Western MA Section Manager Ray, AA1SE and Assistant Director Anita, AB1QB discuss Licensing and Mentoring with Gordon West, WB6NOA at Hamvention
Western MA Section Manager Ray, AA1SE and Assistant Director Anita, AB1QB discuss Licensing and Mentoring with Gordon West, WB6NOA at Hamvention

We also attended the Dayton Hamvention, where we helped to staff the ARRL Clubs booth and answer questions about the ARRL Foundation Club Grant program.

I am also planning to host an ARRL Forum at HamXposition in Marlborough, MA. HamXposition will take place on August 26th – 28th. You can see the schedule for the ARRL forum and session hosted by our division ADs here.

Licensing, Mentoring, and Youth

Stu, W1SHS Intro to EmComm at Ham Bootcamp
Stu, W1SHS, hosts an “Introduction to EmComm” at Ham Bootcamp

I have continued work on Licensing and Mentoring programs. We taught weekend Technician, General, and Extra License classes this spring and helped 19 hams earn their license or an upgrade.

We also held a spring Ham Bootcamp program, which helps hams across the country to learn how to use their Amateur Radio License to operate, put stations together, and get on the air. We added additional Ham Bootcamp training on getting started in Emergency Communications activities thanks to help from Stu Solomon, W1SHS, and Cory Golob, KU1U’s Emergency Communications and Public Service Activities Team.

AB1OC Amateur Radio Activities

I’ve enjoyed some operating time in the ARRL June VHF Contest and the new ARRL International Digital DX Contest. We also operated as K2K New Hampshire during the 2022 13 Colonies Special Event. We have received hundreds of QSL requests from our K2K operations, and we are working through those now. Finally, the 6m Band has been pretty good this year, and I am enjoying some operating time on 6m on most days as well. 

I hope to see you soon at a Hamfest, Club Meeting, Town Hall Meeting, Cabinet Meeting, or some other event in the near future. All the Best and 73,

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
ARRL New England Division Director
eMail: ab1oc@arrl.org

Newport County Radio Club Parks On The Air Event, July 30, 2022

Newport Co. RC logoNewport County Radio Club (RI) Parks on the Air (POTA) Activity

When: Saturday July 30, 2022 at 0930 EDST

Where:  Ft. Adams State Park:   POTA K-2874

Who: All club members and license classes welcome

All members are welcome however those with a General license are especially encouraged to attend.

Optional: bring your own HF radio, microphone and the radio’s manual. We’ll try to use it to get on the air. POTA experienced members will provide help you might need to further your understanding of your own radio. In addition, batteries, antennas, turners, other HF radios, etc. will be provided.

Club members can participate in this POTA activity in two ways:

1. Operate on the air as an “activator” at the park using call sign W1SYE.

2. Operate from home and contact W1SYE as a “hunter” on the day of the event. Activators are listed on the following POTA web site:  https://pota.app/#/

Call the W1SYE activators!

Club members are encouraged to come out to our activation to share knowledge or learn about portable setups and operations, different modes of operation (CW, phone, digital), how to manage/work pileups, and even operate HF bands with a control operator in a relaxed environment.

Ft. Adams is in Newport. We will setup on the bluff behind the Eisenhower House. Turn left as soon as you enter the park.

YuKanRun Triple Threat Half Marathon & 5K – Aug 7 – Rockport, MA

We are looking for operators to staff the YuKanRun Triple Threat Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday, August 7, 2022, Please be on Location at your Check Point by 8:00. Starts At Rockport High School. 24 Jerdens Lane. Rockport, MA 01966

Please let us know if you can staff a communications check-point for the event by August 3rd so I can plan staffing positions for the event.

While CAARA’s repeater performance has greatly improved the northern regions of this course may still experience some difficulty with communications especially with low-powered HTs, so we’ll be looking for higher powered equipment to staff those areas

Please let us know what type of equipment you plan to use (ie: Mobile; HT; ¼-Wave Mag-Mount; OEM Rubber-Duck; etc.) so we have a better idea of where to locate you along the event course per the potential of your equipment.

The course will be open and supported By CAARA. for Four hours .Runner safety is everyone’s top priority.
Local EMT crews and ambulances will be available for three hours to help.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Fred WA1ESU

5K Race
An aid station with water will be available near mile 2. Water and refreshments will be served at the finish as well.
Half Marathon
There will be six aid stations with water approximately every two miles. RiteFuel sports drink and energy gel will be available on course as well. A portable restroom will be available along the course near miles 4.5 & 8.

YuKanRun Triple Threat Communications Team.  
Rockport, Mass  
Last Updated: July 20,3:10 pm  
Event date: Sunday, August 7, 2022  
On Location: 8:00 am – 9:00 am  
Starts: 5K Run = 8:00 am Half Marathon Run = 9:00 am  
Frq: W1GLO Repeaters 145.130 – PL:107.2 Back up: 443.700 + PL:107.2  
         

 

If you are interested in helping, please contact Fred WA1ESU by email  wa1esu@comcast.net    or calling 978-423-9710

Northeast HamXposition Update, July 20, 2022

Two items of note, per HamXposition General Chairman Bob DeMattia, K1IW:

The hotel discount deadline has been extended to August 5, 2022.  
 
Also, the preliminary forum schedule is now on the website. You can download a PDF copy at <https://hamxposition.org/HamXposition-Schedule.22.07.20.pdf>.
 
Finally, don’t forget to enroll in the KØNEB kit-building workshop on Friday afternoon.
 
 

What’s Your Club Up To? Submit It to ARRL Club News

ARRL Club News logoARRL Club News is for radio clubs to show how they are working in the community and the hobby to advance amateur radio. If your club completes a project, supports an event, does an EmComm activation, or activates a park, we want to hear about it. You can submit your newsletter article to us at clubs@arrl.org. We like to get them as text or Word files instead of PDFs. If you have pictures, please submit them with caption information, as well as the name and call sign of the photographer. We want to highlight the good work being done by clubs and show others in the community. Think of this as a chance to show off your club and your programs.

BIG E Space Chat Leadership Team

International Space Station

New England school students will be making live radio contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station from The BIG E during the week of September 26th – October 1st. The “BIG E Space Chat” is part of a program to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational activities and Amateur Radio learning activities for young people.

NEST Science Space Club for Youth flyer

New England Sci-Tech is sponsoring a 12-month STEM education program free of charge to all students grades 4 through 12 and Scouts in New England as part of the contact program. The program will provide hands-on learning about Space Science, Radio Communications, Electronics, Satellites, Rocketry, Astronomy, Amateur Radio, and more. Ten students participating in the Sci-Tech educational program will be chosen to make contact and chat live with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) from the BIG E.

The contact and the associated educational program are a result of a partnership between The BIG E, New England Sci-Tech (a STEM education group in New England), Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), Black Helicopter Creative LLC, the New England Division of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), and local Amateur Radio organizations.

Execution planning has been underway for some time, and we are pleased to announce the addition of Ray Lajoie AA1SE, ARRL Western Massachusetts Section Manager, to the contact leadership team. Ray will be responsible for working with the BIG E team and our content production partner Black Helicopter to set up, test, and facilitate the development and delivery of a pre-contact program.

Ray joins and rounds out the existing BIG E space chat planning team consisting of:

  • Bob Phinney K5TEC – Education Planning and Execution
  • Phil Temples K9HI – Publicity and Promotion
  • Ray Lajoie AA1SE – Venue and Program Planning and Execution
  • Fred Kemmerer AB1OC – ARISS Mentor

The BIG E planning team is being assisted by Dylann Keaney, President of Black Helicopter Creative LLC, Barbara Irby, KC1KGS, Dan Norman, N0HF, and Larry Krainson, W1AST, in planning what expect will be a major Amateur Radio event in New England. You can learn more about the BIG E space chat here.

Fred Kemmerer AB1OC
ARRL New England Division Director

Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC Fox Hunt, July 17, 2022

On Sunday, July 17, 2021 at 11 am we will have our monthly fox hunt and this month we will have a special treat for all with an easier fox hunt. All members and non-members are invited to attend and this should be a family friendly event. The purpose of the fox hunt is to track down a hidden transmitter and find some information, then relay that information according to the instructions on a sign where the fox is located. For more tips, see below the map.  The hunt will be mainly in a square area Fairfield from Southport north to just north of the Merritt Parkway east to Sacred Heart University and south to Captains Cove.

Recommended Starting Location: Park & Ride Exit 44 off Merritt Parkway

Starting Time:10:00 AM Local

Fox Frequency:147.485 MHz Simplex

Fox Power:5W into a 1/4 wave antenna dropping to 1W at 11:00

Sponsor:Peter K1PCN

Check in on: 441.700 or 146.445 Repeaters or Echolink (recommended)

En-Route Communications: Contact K1PCN on the above repeaters 

 

Foxhunt, Wallingford, CT, July 10, 2022

Rob Cichon, K1RCT, writes on the ctfoxhunter list at 12:32 AM on July 9, 2022:

Starting at 09:40 in Wallingford.

1FIAB, a 1W beacon on 145.7

3FIAB, a 12mW beacon on 145.3

4FIAB, a 1W DTMF-1 controlled txcvr as backup on 145.2

You may hear 2FIAB, 700mW DTMF-1 controlled txcvr on 145.605

All will cease at 11:00 unless someone calls me on the W1NRG repeater or 144.97 simplex to request more time.

 

— 73!

de Rob, K1RCT

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) Web-Based Help to Roll Out in 4th Quarter

Every new power-dependent technology has also produced an ever-increasing number of RFI generating devices.  Solar generators, LED’s, power line faults, charging devices and many other sources pollute the amateur radio spectrum and impact its effective use.  The New England Division, with the cooperation of Ed Hare, W1RFI and Steve Anderson, W1EMI at the ARRL Lab, has created a program to assist hams to identify and eliminate or reduce RFI in the ham shack.

The final phase of a project to provide a web-based RFI troubleshooting process is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.  The web pages are in place and the teams to assist New England hams to use them have been established in each section.  The pages feature:

and many other references that help hams identify RFI sources,

To use the process, a ham first performs the checks outlined in the decision tree.  If that doesn’t identify the noise source, the ham then fills out a form explaining what was done and sends it to the section RFI team together with a spectrum file if available.  The RFI team then works with the ham to help identify and eliminate the RFI.  If necessary, the case is forwarded to the ARRL and then, if still unresolved, to the FCC.  

Two RFI-related forums are planned for the Marlboro HamXposition in late August.  Annette, KA1RFI and Rob, K1UI will discuss the partnership between radio amateurs and Eversource of New Hampshire to identify and correct power line – related RFI.  Rob will then lead an RFI team forum where RFI team tools will be available for demonstration.  Some of these were evaluated by the RFI teams at their June meeting. 

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