Ham Radio Featured on the “Today Show”

Sierra Harrop, W5DX:

“We expect that a segment featuring the Harbor Creek High School [Erie, PA] ARISS contact will air on 1/5/24. I was in touch with the producer yesterday to provide some additional footage. A teaser for the segment led the 8 AM rejoin of this morning’s broadcast.”

 

Bill Morine, N2COP, Vice Director, Roanoke Division:

“An outstanding story.  [NBC Today Show host ]Harry Smith captured the palpable thrill in the room. A brilliant piece of PR for Amateur Radio. Congratulations and appreciation for all who contributed to make this story happen.”

 

Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R:

“The ARISS team does a whole lot to ready these schools and support their contacts. What was particularly exciting about this school was that their teacher was a graduate of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology.

As you may know, Steve Goodgame (K5ATA) attended the contact last month, and even dressed the students in ARRL sweatshirts for their NBC Today show interviews.

Sierra Harrop (W5DX) reported that likely 2.576 million people saw it air live on TV this morning (that’s the typical Today show audience size). She also shared these additional notes:

  • The students were all licensed radio amateurs and ran their own equipment.
  • They used ARRL materials to study for their tests.
  • They took their tests through an ARRL VE session.
  • They were wearing ARRL-branded shirts.
  • They had moral support on site from Steve Goodgame, K5ATA.
  • ARRL social media and public relations supported the ARISS contact.
  • The whole reason the school even got involved in ham radio is because their faculty advisor came through the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology.

Here’s the link to the clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2s_C4o7dfk

 

ARISS contact featured on the Today Show

RadioCraft Mod a Big Hit at HamXposition

Minecraft imageGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes:
 
Minecraft is the largest selling video game of all time with over 240 million copies sold, and it’s estimated that there are over 140 million active players world-wide, most of whom are under the age of 21. Thanks to a grant from the ARRL Foundation, Lucas, W1BTR, and the Police Amateur Radio Team (PART) of Westford, MA, have undertaken a project to incorporate ham radio functionality into the game; essentially to build a “ham radio simulator” that players can install as a game modification (the Radiocraft mod) and then use to build radios and antennas and make voice and CW contacts in the game with other players. 
 
The project started in January, 2023, with the hiring of a professional coding team, and over the ensuing months, radios, antennas, solar panels, batteries, and even a solar weather station were developed and tested. Lucas debuted the project at the Northeast HamXposition in Marlborough, MA, in August 2023, with a capabilities presentation, an installation workshop, and a day-long demonstration in the lobby of the HamXposition site where attendees could actually play Minecraft with the ham radio mod on three computers. 
 
Those three events, the presentation, workshop, and online demonstration, were notable because of the ages of the attendees; the average ages were about 18, and several were as young as eight, and included both boys and girls. Instead of parents bringing their kids to a ham radio show, the kids were excitedly escorting their parents to the Radiocraft events and learning how they could use ham radio to enhance their favorite game.
 
The lobby demonstration was continually active with youngsters playing the game, and notably, without any instruction. They were able to use the gaming skills they already had to build working radios and antennas, while most of the parents just watched in awe. Attendees of all ages were enthusiastic about the project. Lucas and his team look forward to appearing at the 2024 HamXposition with a larger display and presentation.
 
At this time, development of the project continues, and a small group of players is presently testing the mod before it goes into general release later this year. Final checks include searching for program bugs and polishing the user interfaces. When the mod is released it will be a free download and documentation will include links to ARRL and licensing information.
 

New England Sci-Tech Starts Wireless Engineering Club

From ema.arrl.org:

New England Sci-Tech Wireless Engineering Club logoSeth Kendall, KC1PZY, writes on the stars-radio mailing list:

We are looking for mentors/volunteers to help out with the new Wireless Engineering Club on Saturday mornings 10:00-11:30am.  Please let us know if you have any interest in participating!

The “Wireless Engineering Club” is a new club at New England Sci-Tech meant to attract youth and prospective hams into the hobby of Ham Radio.  The club will meet every other Saturday morning, a time that tends to work well for families, and will be focused around build workshops and practical, hands-on radio activities.  We’d like to use this club to bring in new hams, especially youth, and further grow the amateur radio community here at NEST.  

We are interested in three kinds of volunteers:

  • Helpers
  • Workshop Leaders
  • Outreach

For Helpers: Pick one or more workshops to come in and help out for.  If we get lots of members, we’ll need lots of Elmers to help people troubleshoot, experiment, and have fun.  

For Workshop Leaders: Pick one of the topics from our brainstorm list and volunteer to lead a 90 minute workshop on that topic.  The more hands on, the better.  We’re looking for activities over lectures.  Even better, volunteer your own workshop.  We need content, so anyone who’d like to put together one or more activities/workshops, please let us know.   They’re meant to be beginner level.  This is an ideal chance to help grow the ham radio community and bring in youth, but it’ll only work with participation from us in the community. 

Outreach: Know any recently licensed youth or youth with a general interest in electronics and science?  Spread the word about the club to communities you know!  Adults are welcome and encouraged to join in the workshops and builds as well.  Many of them could be of broad interest.  I’m attaching a flyer.  It looks like this, but if you download the attachment, it will be print resolution.

If you’d like to volunteer, you an either post here or send me an email at sethlkendall@gmail.com.  Thanks all.

 

ARISS Contact With Covenant Christian Academy, West Peabody, October 13, 2023

ARISS logoFrom ARISS.org:

October 9, 2023—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) in West Peabody, MA. ARISS conducts 60-80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.

CCA is a private school that serves over 430 students, Pre-K through12th grade. To prepare for this ARISS contact CCA integrated space-themed aspects into its STEM program and STEM-related activities. The physics and chemistry students hosted “Space Week” where they put together interactive displays on everything from the physics of black holes, Doppler shift, life on the ISS, to the chemistry of astronaut cuisine. STEM-related activities engaged students in their newly instituted Rocketry Club, Women in STEM Club, and a robotics lab. Amateur radio activities, such as learning about ham radio and radio communications, are being provided during after-school programs by members of area amateur radio clubs.

This ARISS contact will allow students to ask their questions of Astronaut Loral O’Hara, amateur radio call sign KI5TOM. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and may be heard by listeners within the ISS footprint that encompasses the amateur radio ground station in West Peabody, MA.

Amateur radio operators using call sign N1DQF will operate this radio station to establish and maintain the ISS connection.
The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for October 13, 2023 at 9:47 am EDT (MA) (13:47 UTC, 9:47 am EDT, 8:47 am CDT, 6:47 am PDT). The public is invited to watch the live stream at: https://vimeo.com/event/3761617.
_______________________________
As time allows, students will ask these questions:

1. What happens with all the trash on the ISS?
2. What is the best part and worst part about living in space?
3. Is the wifi and internet connection better in space?
4. How do you get your supplies delivered to the space station?
5. Do you play games in space? If so, how are they different from the games you play on earth?
6. What is your favorite workout to do for two hours each day to keep your muscles in shape?
7. What has been one of your hardest or scariest moments on the ISS?
8. How do you train your bodies to fall asleep on the ISS since your circadian rhythm can’t be regulated to the earth’s rotation on its axis?
9. Does time feel different on the ISS?
10. Is there any research that you are currently involved in? If so, how does it benefit the earth?
11. What is your favorite meal or snack to eat in outer space?
12. What types of jobs do you do while on the International Space Station?
13. How do you fix the solar panels on the space station?
14. Do you have any animals on the ISS right now? What are they?
15. What happens when someone gets sick on board the ISS?
16. When you come back to earth from space, do you feel the pressure of gravity, and if so, how much does this affect you?
17. What was the most challenging part of your training that prepared you to work on the International
Space Station?
18. What’s the most amazing thing you have seen from space?
19. Has living on the ISS changed any of your perspectives on life?
20. Is all the training, preparation, and hardship you endure to be an astronaut on the ISS worth it?

About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN) and the ISS National Lab—Space Station Explorers.

The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics. ARISS does this by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities take part in hands-on learning activities tied to space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see http://www.ariss.org.

Media Contact:

Dave Jordan, AA4KN
ARISS PR

Find us on social media at:

X: ARISS_Intl
Facebook: facebook.com/ARISSIntl
Instagram: ariss_intl
Mastodon: ariss_intl@mastodon.hams.social

Housatonic Amateur Radio Club Balloon Test “Highly Successful”

Members of the Housatonic Amateur Radio Club, Stratford CT, Dr. J. Pallis, KC1MHU, Gary Moyher, WE1M, and Larry Reed, AB1JC, along with University of Bridgeport and University of New Haven faculty and graduate students met at the University of Bridgeport’s Marina Park on September 22, 2023. There they put together the components of a balloon they will launch in Texas next month during the annular solar eclipse as part of NASA and Connecticut Space Grant Consortium’s 2023/2024 Solar Eclipse STEM projects. Here they tested the equipment with a tethered balloon full of helium.

It is estimated the balloon reached several hundred feet, which was sufficient to test the balloon, ground station, and the connections to University of Montana. The students practiced on the actual hardware they will use next month. All worked well, all was recovered and data was captured. This was a highly successful test. Students, university faculty and club members will fly to Texas next month to launch this payload during the annular solar eclipse and again fly to Texas in April, 2024, to launch another payload for the full Solar Eclipse.

ARISS Proposal Window Opens, October 1—November 10, 2023

ARISS logoARISS News Release No. 23-47

Dave Jordan, AA4KN

ARISS PR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Message to US Educators
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity
Call for Proposals

New Proposal Window: October 1 – November 10, 2023

September 25, 2023 — The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the contact would be held between July 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is November 10, 2023. Proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and the proposal form can be found at www.ariss.org. An ARISS Proposal Webinar session will be held October 5 2023 at 7 PM ET and the Eventbrite link to sign up is: https://ariss-proposal-webinar-fall-2023.eventbrite.com

The Opportunity:

Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and their communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the chance to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in dates and times of the radio contact.

Please direct any questions to education@ariss-usa.org.

About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN) and the ISS National Lab—Space Station Explorers. The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics. ARISS does this by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities take part in hands-on learning activities tied to space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see http://www.ariss.org.

Find us on social media at:

X – Twitter: ARISS_Intl
Facebook: facebook.com/ARISSIntl
Instagram: ariss_intl
Mastodon: ariss_intl@mastodon.hams.social
Check out ARISS on Youtube.com.

“Generations”

Simon Golob, N1URAAn excited Simon Golob, N1URA, poses with New England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, and ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, at the recent New England Division Convention in Marlboro, Massachusetts. 

Nine-year-old Simon is the “harmonic” of Maine Assistant Section Manager Cory Golob, KU1U.

-KU1U photo

Minecraft Ham Radio Mod Unveiled at HamXposition

Minecraft imageThe Minecraft ham radio mod “RadioCraft” will be introduced at the 2023 Northeast HamXposition / ARRL New England Division Convention in Marlboro, MA, on August 25-27, 2023.

RadioCraft will enable simulation of ham radio in the Minecraft game. Game players will be able to build and operate a variety of radios on HF and VHF, with customizable antennas, and realistic simulations of propagation, QRM and QRN, diurnal solar effects, and band conditions. Eventually the project hopes to simulate the full range of ham radio activities including phone, CW, APRS, VHF repeaters, and even fox hunting.

“There will be a continuous demonstration in the convention center lobby,” writes PART of Westford President George Allison, K1IG. “At 11:00 AM on Saturday we’ll have a one-hour presentation by Lucas (W1BTR) and me in the Sterling [“W2″] Room. The presentation will include a live demo of the program, and we’ll talk about how the mod could affect the growth of ham radio.”

If successful, the RadioCraft project could potentially introduce Amateur Radio to millions of young gamers. Every convention-goer is strongly encouraged to attend the presentation and see what the RadioCraft project has accomplished.

“Our goal is to use this simulation to introduce ham radio to the world-wide Minecraft gaming community and then get them licensed so they can participate in the real-world hobby.”

For more information, visit http://wb1gof.org/RadioCraft/.

HABGab and StratoScience Balloon Launch, Natick MA, July 2023

Seth Kendall, KC1PZY, writes on July 22, 2023 at 6:27 AM:

HABGab 2023 is officially on for today.  We will be launching from:

Tantasqua Vocational Regional High School

319 Brookfield Rd, Fiskdale, MA 01518

Frequencies, tracking information, updated countdown, etc:
https://nescitech.org/habgab

We will be starting on site set up at 9am.  Launch scheduled for 1pm.  We’d love to see you there or hear you on the air!

 
 
HABGab banner
 
 
From ema.arrl.org:
 
Seth Kendall, KC1PZY, writes:
 
Enjoy making rare contacts and participating in experimental projects?  The New England Weather Balloon Society, in partnership with the Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society, is launching a special event high altitude balloon (HAB) repeater this July in Eastern Massachusetts. 
 
We would like to welcome all amateur radio operators in New England to participate in this experimental flight by calling into the repeater as it flies over 30 km high.  We will be issuing QSL cards to all confirmed contacts.
 
This flight will also be transmitting live video from the payload on 1.2 GHz, and live streaming to YouTube from our ground station at New England Sci-Tech.
 

Also traveling onboard will be a number of student projects by members of the StratoScience Lab class at New England Sci-Tech and BFCCPS school in Franklin, MA.

Please be aware that the date of the event is highly dependent on weather and readiness, so make sure to regularly check the HABGab Launch Page for up to date information about the date and instructions for making contact: https://nescitech.org/habgab.

 

Director’s Update for 1Q-2023

The first quarter of 2023 has kept me busy on a variety of fronts. The following are a few things that I hope you’ll be interested in hearing and learning more about.

January 2023 Board Meeting

The January ARRL Board Meeting was one of the most productive in recent memory. In addition to approving the 2023 ARRL budget, the board passed over 15 motions many of which initiated programs and activities to benefit ARRL members. The following two slides summarize the actions taken by the board in January –

January 2023 ARRL Board Meeting Highlights
January 2023 ARRL Board Meeting Highlights
January 2023 ARRL Board Meeting Highlights Continued
January 2023 ARRL Board Meeting Highlights Continued

You can view the notes from the meeting here. I am particularly happy and excited to see the new ham development initiative moving forward.

Year of the Volunteer

The ARRL is fortunate to be supported by over 7,000 volunteers! The ARRL has designated 2023 as The Year of the Volunteers. In addition to QST articles and other publications that highlight the many contributions that volunteers make to the ARRL, the league is sponsoring a year-long operating event to recognize ARRL volunteers (and to have some fun). Here’s some information about the event –

Year of the Volunteer On-Air Event
Year of the Volunteer On-Air Event

You can find more about the event and see the leaderboard here.

Hamfests, Club Meetings, and Field Day

Jerry Burns K1GUP Recognized by the ARRL at the Maine State Convention for over 50 years of service as Net Manager for the Maine Seagull Net
Jerry Burns K1GUP Recognized by the ARRL at the Maine State Convention for his 50 years+ of service as Net Manager for the Maine Seagull Net

I am continuing to attend Hamfests and Club Meetings around our Division. This is one of the areas of my work as an ARRL Director that I enjoy the most! Here are our plans for attending additional conventions and hamfests in 2023 –

Plans for NE Division Hamfests
Plans for NE Division Hamfests

We are headed off to Dayton and I am looking forward to seeing and talking with folks from New England there. We are working on our plans for visiting folks during Field Day 2023. If you like us to try to include you in our 2023 Field Day visits, please email Anita at ab1qb@arrl.net and we’ll try to get you onto our schedule.

ISS Contacts

I have continued to remain active in the ARISS program which helps schools to make contact with astronauts on the International Space Station via Amateur Radio.

Council Rock South High School ISS Contact
Council Rock South High School ISS Contact

My work with ARISS includes acting as a Ground Station to provide radio links for school contacts as well as working with schools to help them to prepare for their contacts. Most recently, I had the pleasure to work with Council Rock South H.S. in Pennsylvania to help them with their contact. It was amazing! You can watch a video of the contact here.

License Training and Mentoring

Anita and I continue to support license training and the Ham Bootcamp program which helps Hams to learn to utilize their licenses and get active in Amateur Radio. We’ve taught Technician, General, and Extra licenses classes this spring where we helped over 20 people to get licensed or upgrade to General and Extra class licenses. We are hoping to transfer these programs and more to the ARRL so that they can benefit more Hams.

6m Antennas and Operations

6m Antennas at AB1OC-AB1QB
6m Antennas at AB1OC-AB1QB

I have been able to find a little time to upgrade our station in here New Hampshire. I’ve been working on our 6m weak signal antenna systems. We’ve installed 14 new 6m antennas including three stacks and two 7-element LFA antennas. You can read more about our 6m antenna project here. We are really looking forward to the 6m Es season this year. I only need 3 more countries for DXCC on the 6m band and I am hoping to work these during the Es season. I hope to work many folks in our division on the HF bands and 6m this summer!

I hope that folks have a chance to enjoy Amateur Radio this spring and summer. Stay safe and have fun!

Best and 73,

Fred, AB1OC