Dan Norman, N0HF Appointed Assistant Director for Youth Outreach

ARRL logoNew England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, has announced the appointment of Dan Norman, N0HF, Preston, Connecticut, as Assistant Director for Youth Outreach.

“I am pleased to have Dan Norman, N0HF join the ARRL New England Division team,” said Fred. “Dan’s experience and accomplishments in engaging young people in Amateur Radio activities and learning makes him a great choice for this role.”

Dan has served as an Elmer at BARC Jr. (Boulder Amateur Radio club for kids), NØQCX, by providing guidance with balloon launches, license preparation, contesting, Field Day, fox hunts, Dayton Youth Forum prep, and CW proficiency.  He managed many equipment donations and hamfest activities to fund the BARC youth club. Dan served as the club trustee for BARC (ham radio club WØDK) and maintained repeater systems for the group. Dan also served as president of his college Amateur Radio club, W1PTC, in Boston. He enjoys HF and VHF contesting in all modes.

Dan joins three other talented New England amateurs who serve as Assistant Directors in the division.

[See also: “New Assistant Director Appointments“]

AB1OC Helps Prepare Students for ARISS Contact at Sussex County Charter School for Technology, Sparta, NJ, February 23, 2022

ARISS logoNew England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, writes:

“It’s been my pleasure to work with the Sussex County Charter School for Technology (SCCST), as their ARISS Mentor, to prepare for their contact. The school has partnered with the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club to build a ground station which they will use to make their contact. Club members have also worked closely with the school to provide many Amateur Radio activities for SCCST students. The school has formed an Amateur Radio club at the school and conducted Amateur Radio activities as part of an outstanding STEM learning program. Working with a school such as SCCST is a great way for a local amateur radio club to build a strong, ongoing relationship with a group of young people interested in Amateur Radio.”

The downlink from the astronaut may be heard in New England on 145.800 MHz. The livestream will start at 9:50 AM and the ISS pass will start at 10:31 AM.

ARISS News Release No. 22-11
Dave Jordan, AA4KN


ARISS Contact is Scheduled for Students at Sussex County Charter School for Technology, Sparta, NJ, USA

February 21, 2022—Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. ARISS is the group that puts together special amateur radio contacts between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses on the International Space Station (ISS).

This will be a direct contact via amateur radio between students at the Sussex County Charter School for Technology, Sparta, New Jersey and Astronaut Mark Vande Hei, amateur radio call sign KG5GNP. Students will take turns asking their questions. Local Covid-19 protocols are adhered to as applicable for each ARISS contact. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and may be heard by listeners that are within the ISS-footprint that also encompasses the radio relay ground station.

Amateur radio operators, using the call sign KD2YAQ, will operate the ham radio ground station for this contact.

The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for February 23, 2022 at 10:31 am EST (New Jersey), (15:31 UTC, 9:31 am CST, 8:31 am MST and 7:31 am PST).

Sussex Charter School for Technology (SCCST) is a STEM-focused, rural middle school in Sparta, NJ, serving 225 students. In preparation for this ARISS contact, through hands-on activities and class instruction, students worked with the local HAM radio club, high school, and university Physics departments to learn more about radio communications and solar influence on such communications. Members of the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club are supplying the direct contact equipment and will be conducting the ISS radio contact. New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has partnered with the school to introduce modules on space weather, solar cycles and ionospheric phenomena into their curriculum. Faculty members of NJIT’s amateur radio club, K2MFF, are founding members of HamSCI, and will lead the NJIT-SCCST collaboration and assist in the ARISS event and follow-up activities. Sussex County Technical School is their neighboring vocational/technical high school, and will provide filming and streaming capabilities.

The public is invited to watch the live stream at: https://youtu.be/dQpyK-uyzPU

As time allows, students will ask these questions:

  1. Do you have any telescopes on the ISS and, if so, how far can they see?
  2. In the event of space debris, asteroids, or solar flares collisions, what are the safety protocols or systems to ensure the astronaut’s/cosmonaut’s safety in situations like that?
  3. How do you exercise on the space station if there’s no gravity?
  4. What science experiments are you working on that will have an impact on the future?
  5. How do you feel about private space companies trying to make space travel open to civilians?
  6. What is the best space food you’ve eaten, and do you notice any improvement in the quality of the food since the Deep Space food challenge started?
  7. How often do you need to communicate with the Earth (Mission control)?
  8. What would you do if the communication with Mission Control broke down and you couldn’t communicate with Earth?
  9. Being that you see 16 sunrises and sunsets in each day, how do you regulate your sleep schedule?
  10. What steps are taken on the ISS to shield you from the pathway of the Sun’s radiation?
  11. How do astronauts control the robotic arm on the outside of the space station? Do you use a computer program or use a joystick like on a game controller?
  12. Who put the first pieces of the International Space Station together and will any of it be reused after the mission ends?
  13. How do astronauts maintain good hygiene on the ISS if there are no showers?
  14. What happens if an astronaut gets a serious virus or other illness while they are on the ISS?
  15. What is your least favorite chore or dangerous task that you do in space?
  16. What are the legal parameters followed in regards to the fly zones? If something should go wrong, while over a country other than the U.S., what fly zone rules are followed for legal purposes?
  17. How did your parents react when you arrived at the space station or when you left them?
  18. Considering the limited amount of your own items you can bring along with you from Earth, can you share with us one of the items you brought?
  19. What are the negative physical impacts on your body of being in space and does it go back to normal when you’re back on Earth?
  20. Would you let your own young kids, nieces, or nephews go to space if young people were given an opportunity to do so?
  21. If you could change one thing about space travel what would that be?

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 Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab-Space Station Explorers, Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) and NASA’s Space communications and Navigation program. 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 www.ariss.org.

Youth Preparedness Council Applicants Sought

Youth Preparedness Council videoThe Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) was created in 2012 to bring together youth leaders interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally.

The council supports FEMA’s commitment to involve America’s youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides young people an opportunity to present their perspectives, feedback, and opinions to FEMA staff.  Members regularly meet with staff and attend the annual Youth Preparedness Council virtual summit. [Full story]

Volunteers Needed, CONNJAM 2022, May 14, 2022

CT Section Youth Coordinator Doug Sharafanowich, WA1SFH, writes:

DATE: Saturday – May 14, 2022
WHERE: Orange, CT


Share The Magic of Amateur Radio with 2,500 Scouts

and, make no mistake…

ON-SITE Volunteers
The Plan is to have enough On-Site volunteers for 2 Shifts on Saturday – May 14th.
(0700 – 1200 & 1130 – 1630)
-That means a lot of Ham Volunteers… THAT is where YOU come in.

We need you to bring your expertise / equipment and volunteer to instruct and involve Scouts in ONE of the following FIVE activities.


1) Morse Code
– Teach Scouts how to send their name in CW.

2) Winlink Stations
– Have Scouts engage in Peer to Peer Communications over Winlink

3) Amateur Radio Direction Finding /Foxhunting
– Teach Scouts the fundamentals of Foxhunting and send them off to “Find The Lost Patrol”

4) “GOTA” (Get On The Air) Radio stations (HF/VHF/UHF)
– Help Scouts have an On The Air conversation with another Amateur Radio Operator

5) Satellite Station Communications
Demonstrate how it works and help Scouts make contacts.

OFF-SITE Support Volunteers
We will need help in the following areas:

– Organizing Hand-Outs and Materials for each Activity Site
– Helping with developing, sourcing, and procuring re-usable signage/banners for each Activity site.

During the Event
OFF-SITE Volunteers are needed to SIGN-UP to Monitor HF Scout Frequencies and selected Repeaters, and have conversations with Scouts at the microphone

The Event Count-Down Clock now says: 03 Months 01 Weeks 00 Days

TO VOLUNTEER TODAY, or just ask questions…
Please contact me, Douglas Sharafanowich, WA1SFH, at
Cell: 203-494-3885

Thank you,

73, Douglas Sharafanowich, WA1SFH
ARRL Section Youth Coordinator – Connecticut Section
and Amateur Radio Activities Coordinator – CONNJAM 2022

Maine Scouts on 40 Meters

From ARRL Club News, January 25, 2022:

Thanks to Al Sirois, N1MHC, some scouts in Lincoln County, Maine, were introduced to amateur radio while they worked on their Radio merit badges on December 18. N1MHC and friends set up a schedule on 40-meter phone. and four scouts and Scoutmaster Mike Lomas were able to chat with Phil Duggan, N1EP, in Maine, Ralph Churchill, W3FME, in Pennsylvania, and Skip Newell, K1WMN, In Massachusetts on 7.262 MHz.

Scout Elijah Smith shared with N1EP that he was 11 years old and was working on his Radio merit badge. Elijah also volunteered that he liked anything related to nature.

Scouts Dylan Lomas, Phil Smith, and Eddie Seiders chatted with W3FME and K1WMN about radio and scouting. Skip, K1WMN is an eagle scout. Ralph, W3FME, earned his Radio merit badge and ham radio license in the 1950s.

AB1OC Assists Scouts in Australia with ISS Contact via Amateur Radio

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, writes on Station Project Blog:

January 10, 2022–I once again had the pleasure to help a group of young people make contact with an Astronaut on the International Space Station this past week. The Scouts were participating in a Jamboree in Victoria, Australia. You can learn more about the event, called VicJam, here.

The Scouts made contact with Astronaut Mark VandeHei, KG5GNP this past Tuesday, January 4th, 2022. You can watch and listen to the contact on YouTube by clicking below. The actual contact begins at about 8:25 into the video.


The Scout’s contact lasted for approximately 10 minutes. The Scouts asked and Mark answered all of their questions and there was time at the end on the contact for “Thank You’s” and “Good Wishes”. Here are the questions that the Scouts asked:

  1. What 3 things do you miss from Earth? My Mum worked on a ship and missed; sleeping with the window open, the smell of cut grass, and the sound of rain on the roof.
  2. What do you have to do to become an astronaut?
  3. What would happen if someone were seriously ill on the ISS, and what would you do?
  4. How do you prepare and eat your meals while up in the space station?
  5. What is it like to float around in no gravity without friction?
  6. How does it feel going from zero gravity in space back to earth’s gravity? Does it hurt??
  7. What is the scariest thing to happen to you whilst you have been in space?
  8. How do you shower and go to the toilet in space?
  9. After being in the space station for so many months, how does it feel to experience planet Earth and nature again with all your senses, especially smell?
  10. How do the seasons affect the veggie production system on the ISS? How often do you get to eat fresh food?
  11. Did you always want to be an astronaut and how did you make it happen?
  12. Why do people go into space and how long is an average mission?
  13. How did you feel when you first learned of your selection to go to space and has this been a life-long ambition for you?
  14. Can you share some of the science that was worked on in space that we can now see on earth?
  15. Is there sound or much noise in space?
  16. Multiple nations have had space stations each bestowed with a specific name – Russia had Mir, NASA had Skylab, and China Tiangong-1. As a truly international effort and the largest man-made object in space, does the ISS have a Nickname, or is there a name that the astronauts use for the individual components?
  17. What energy supply do you use to power the station. If nuclear, what type of reactor do you use? If solar, how many solar panels do you use, and what is their power density?
AB1OC ARISS groundstationThis contact was made in a Telebridge format using my Ground Station here in New Hampshire, USA. The linkup with the Scouts in Australia was via a telephone connection using a phone patch in my shack. You can learn more about our ground station here.
Helping young people make contact with astronauts on the ISS using Amateur Radio is great fun. My work with ARISS is near the top of my list in terms of the most rewarding work that I do with Amateur Radio.

Best and 73,

Fred, AB1OC


Kids Day is January 1, 2022

From ARRL Website:

Saturday, January 1, 2022, is Kids Day. The event gets under way at 1800 UTC and concludes at 2359 UTC. Sponsored by the Boring (Oregon) Amateur Radio Club, Kids Day has a simple exchange suitable for younger operators: first name, age, location, and favorite color. After that, the contact can be as long or as short as each participant prefers.

Kids Day happens twice a year — in January and June — and can be your opportunity to get youngsters on the air and mentor future amateur radio operators to show them the fun and excitement that ham radio has to offer. You might just be introducing the next generation of hams to the airwaves. Share the excitement with your kids or grandkids, a Scout troop, a church or the general public.

Look for activity on these frequencies: 10 meters: 28.350 – 28.400 MHz; 12 meters: 24.960 – 24.980 MHz; 15 meters: 21.360 – 21.400 MHz; 17 meters: 18.140 – 18.145 MHz; 20 meters: 14.270 – 14.300 MHz; 40 meters: 7.270 – 7.290 MHz, and 80 meters: 3.740 – 3.940 MHz. Repeater contacts are okay with permission of the repeater owner.

As with any on-the-air activity that includes unlicensed individuals, control operators must observe third-party traffic restrictions when making DX contacts. Additional details are on the ARRL website.

As many communities are taking precautions due to COVID-19, participants are reminded to adhere to social distancing and face mask guidelines where applicable. If it’s not feasible to invite youngsters into your shack, consider other options to mentor, such as using social media platforms or via Zoom or other non-contact means.

Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC Combined SET, JOTA & POTA for Fun-Filled Weekend

Greater Bridgeport ARC loogo

Members of the Greater Bridgeport Amateur Radio Club combined the best of a Simulated Emergency Test (SET), Jamboree On The Air (JOTA), and Parks On The Air (POTA), while operating from three state parks on October 16, 2021: 

  • Sherwood Island SP (Park K-1715)
  • Silver Sands SP (Park K-1716)
  • West Rock SP (Park K-1727) (2 stations)

“Our goal [was] to provide community outreach for ham radio, and to help train our new operators,” explained GBARC president Emily Clarke, N1DID.   

During the POTA Event the groups also participated in the CT ARES SET using simplex VHF/UHF as well as DMR.

“I wanted to do the SET from a distance away from our ARES region (Region 1)  so we could simulate simplex communications outside our region.   I was in Region 2, and all our other stations were in CT State Parks in Region 1 or were mobile enroute.  After the SET we turned our attention to our main reason for being in the park, our POTA event,” says Clarke.
According to N1DID, the JOTA contact wasn’t actually planned. 
“We were doing HF communications for POTA when a huge troop of Scouts walked by.  We asked, ‘Does anyone want to learn about ham radio?’ and they all ran and formed a very disciplined semi-circle around us.  I gave them an explanation about HF communications, then gave a short talk explaining how we and other radio amateurs were active on the air promoting our beautiful state parks.”
“We gave additional information about emergency communications. how parents and even scouts can get their technician licenses, and about how they can reach out to local clubs for help with their radio merit badge.  
Clarke and her group took  questions from the kids and parents and got a big thank you.  Clarke encouraged them to reach out to the club in the future. “Afterwards the Scout leader came up and took my email address and said ‘I always wanted to do this.’”
Although N1DID and the other GBARC members got to interact with the public at the other parks “The 40+ Scouts and parents we met  was the icing on the cake of a wonderful day in the park.”
Scouts at GBARC POTA event
Scouts visiting Greater Bridgeport ARC Parks On The Air event

New England Sci-Tech ARS Crew to Participate in JOTA, Lexington (MA), October 16, 2021

JOTA-JOTI logoTate Aldridge, K1MKD, writes:

With Bruce [N9JBT], Mindy [KM1NDY], and Marc’s help (and flyers from Rusty and Bob), we are hosting a Jamboree On The Air for scouts in Lexington. We will have several radios out and will be making contacts and educating scouts about amateur radio. We would be very happy to see you there!

Lexington Visitor Center lawn, Lexington, MA
Saturday Oct 16
Scouts are coming from 1-4 and we start set up around 11 – STARS friends are welcome any time!

Tate, K1MKD