Needed: Organizer for 2024 Project BIG E

Project Big E logoLarry Krainson, W1AST, writes on the Project BIG E mailing list:

Dear Everyone,

I thank you for your ideas, commitment, and volunteering for the past two Project Big Es. We learned a lot over the past two years and this year went much better than last year.

I am stepping down as an organizer. I just cannot do it again; my wife would kill me if I tried.

I will turn over all my notes, spreadsheets, contacts, and materials to someone interested in continuing the booth.

By the way, we had 170 people sign up for ham classes. That list is being distributed to clubs that hold classes throughout New England. The ones much further away will be sent to the nearest Section Manager for distribution.

Along with all of the volunteers, the following people were indispensable in every aspect of making this year a success.

Barbara KC1KGS
Phil K9HI
Bob K1YO

A big thank you to everyone who participated at some level in this year’s BIG E.

Wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy and fun New Years and many DX QSOs in 2024!

Larry Krainson – W1AST

  • Project Big E Organizer
  • HCRA President – 
  • 13 Colonies MA State Manager (K2H) – Ask to be an op!
  • Proud Member of: ARRL, FCARC, BARS & YCCC

Project BIG E—Urgent Request for Additional Volunteers, September 23, 2023

Project Big E GrantLarry Krainson, W1AST, writes:

We need at least one extra person for the first session from 9:30 to 4:00 pm and the second session from 3:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

Can you please help? Saturdays are very busy days and at least three people are needed in the booth.

You will be reimbursed for admission and parking after the Big E has ended.

Contact Larry Krainson, W1AST, at <>.

[See for details]

Views from The BIG E, September 19, 2023

Crowds continue to stop by and be introduced to Amateur Radio at The BIG E ham radio display in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Today, KB1ASM, Hollis, ME; Tony, AA3HD, Wells, ME; W2BOS, Poughkeepsee, NY; Rhode Island Section Manager Nancy Austin, KC1NEK, Middletown, RI, and others staffed the booth in the Better Living Center.

According to Nancy, the code kits have been a huge thrill for the younger crowd. 

Shown in last photo: Aubrey White and her 6th grade son, Lincoln, from Prospect, Connecticut. Photos courtesy Nancy Austin KC1NEK

2023 Project BIG E Booth Setup

Larry Krainson, W1AST, writes on the Project BIG E list:

They came from far away to the Big E to set up for Friday. They came from Natick and New Hampshire, from Wallingford and Lunenberg, from Portland and Bridgeport (NY via NH). No one was local.

We ran into a few issues and adapted and adjusted and the booth looks great. We have a new layout, a new floor, some new banners, new lights. The booth looks fabulous.


You will see more when your turn comes up in the booth!

Many thanks to the following for their dedication in assembling the booth this year: K5TEC, KC1OYN, K1SEI, K1YO, KC2FEV, AA1SE, W1AST. Without your dedication, this never would have been possible!

Larry Krainson – W1AST
Project Big E Organizer
HCRA President –
13 Colonies MA State Manager (K2H) – Ask to be an op!
Proud Member of: ARRL, FCARC, BARS & YCCC 

Project BIG E Needs More Volunteers

[For more information about Project BIG E, visit the Project BIG E page at]


Larry Krainson, W1AST, writes:

We still need 43 people to fill time slots for the Big E booth.

If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so ASAP. We need your help to make this a success this year.

Here are the dates, # of people needed and a “Y” for the session time frame.

image showing Big E assignments

Here is the sign up link:

Or contact me direct at

We need more people to sign up to make this a success!

Larry Krainson – W1AST

  • Project Big E Organizer
  • HCRA President – 
  • 13 Colonies MA State Manager (K2H) – Ask to be an op!
  • Proud Member of: ARRL, FCARC, BARS & YCCC

“Live Free and Ham” Podcast to Feature W1AST: “Project BIG E,” August 20, 2023

Live Free and Ham podcast logoEric Pfeifer, N1JUR, writes:

With the fall season just around the corner, New England is gearing up for exciting fairs and events. If you’re looking for an authentic and enjoyable experience, look no further than the Big E, the largest fair in the Northeast.

We at Live Free and Ham ( are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting a live stream with special guest Larry Krainson (W1AST), to discuss Project Big E and the various volunteering opportunities available at the event this fall. It’s a great chance to introduce the world of Amateur Radio to the “Ham Curious!”

Our live show will be broadcast on Sunday, August 20th at 7 pm. To stay updated and be notified when we go live, head over to and subscribe. Trust us; you don’t want to miss this show!

The Live Free and Ham Podcast is a bi-weekly show hosted by Eric Pfeifer (N1JUR), Todd Neumann (W1STJ), and Ryan Retelle (W1SNH), with a focus on Ham Radio in the New England area. To learn more about us and subscribe to our podcast, visit

For more information on Project Big E, head over to

Project Big E 2023 is Looking for your Support

Project Big E logoThe Big E is a 17-day New England fair that takes place from September 15th to October 1st this year. The start is just 4 weeks away!

It attracts attendees from all over New England, northern NJ and eastern NY. The fair takes place in West Springfield, MA.

Last year the Big E had over 1.6 million attendees from all over the northeast!

In 2022, we ran a ham radio booth at the Big E and we are doing one again this year. Twelve clubs and over 100 individuals volunteered last year. We need your help again this year!

We have been provided with a free booth that normally costs $6,000. It’s located in the Better Living Center. It attracts the most visitors and it’s the largest building on the fairgrounds.

The Ham Radio Booth aims to introduce ham radio to the public and demonstrate that the hobby is still relevant in today’s world. By getting a taste of amateur radio, we hope that some members of the general public will sign up for classes and earn their license. Afterward, we hope they will join a local club where they live. This will benefit all ham radio clubs in New England!

We learned a lot from last year, and are changing the way we do things for 2023. For example, we will staff just 3 people in the booth for each six-hour session versus 4 to 6 people last year.

We encourage clubs to reserve a 6-hour session or a full 12-hour day. The booth must be staffed from 10 am through 10 pm. We ask that volunteers for the first session of each day staff the booth from 9:30 am through 4 pm; for the second session, 3:30 pm through 10 pm to provide some overlap.

Clubs may bring banner, handouts, class information and demonstrations to show and use during their time in the booth.

We are also looking for individuals to volunteer. You do not have to be part of a club.

There is an admission fee ($15) and a parking fee ($10 per car) to the fair. We have been awarded an ARDC grant and will be reimbursing those fees to everyone who participated after the fair has ended. The reimbursements will be mailed to your address.

We need your support to make this a success!

Please go to this link to sign up:

If you would like further information, please visit:

For more information, feel free to contact Larry Krainson, W1AST at:

Project Big E Receives Grant

Project Big E logoLarry Krainson, W1AST, writes:

The Big E Project for 2023 has received a grant!

You can now volunteer to help staff the booth and be reimbursed for both admission and parking!

There are two 6-hour shifts per day.
10 am to 4 pm
4 pm to 10 pm

We ask all volunteers to be on their shift for 30 minutes prior to what you’re volunteered for.

Please sign up here:

We are trying this again and hoping to inform the public about ham radio and get more people interested enough to sign up for classes.

New hams can benefit ALL our clubs and ham radio in New England! Will you be a part of making this happen?

Please sign up at the above link!

Thank you for your support!

73 and enjoy the holiday weekend.

Larry, W1AST
ARRL WMA Affiliated Club Coordinator
HCRA President
Visit my Ham Radio club website at:
Team K2H – 13 Colonies Massachusetts State Manager
Project Big E 2022 & 2023 Organizer
Proud Member of ARRL, FCARC & YCCC

“Big E 2023: Here We Come!”

Project Big E logoLarry Krainson, W1AST, writes on the Project BIG E mailing list:

Greetings All. We’re hard at work getting things into place for this year’s Big E. For 2023 it runs Sept 15 to Oct 1. The booth has been reserved, insured, the paperwork signed, and bills paid.

 A few of us have been talking about making some changes to make the booth more approachable to the public, more visible and more welcoming. 

We’re reducing the number of people in the booth per session to 3 instead of 4 to 6. We’re removing the special event station which removes the need for internet and an op. The space will be used differently. We hope to make the displays; other than the Morse code keys; more hands-on and accessible.

We’re in the midst of applying for another ARDC grant. The application will be completed by April 1 with the hopes of getting another grant and being able to reimburse everyone for admission and parking costs. Those are the two largest costs of the booth.

Also, we will put in place a much better sign up and data collection method. We had a few issues with the data collected last year and must fix that this year.

In April, we will start the planning meetings. The zoom link will be posted here.

For now, we are looking for clubs and individuals to sign up and volunteer. Without you all who volunteer, the booth will fail, so please volunteer. Here is the sign up for link:

If you can not click the link, please copy and paste it into your browser.

Thank you for your volunteering and help to make The Big E Booth a BIG SUCCESS this year!


Larry Krainson, W1AST