NEAR-Fest and the Road Ahead

Mike Crestohl, W1RC, writes:

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

Now that NEAR-Fest XXVII and XXVIII have been cancelled there are some important issues with which we must deal.

First,  this is going to be a major hit on our treasury because, notwithstanding the reason we are being canceled, we have contracts that need to be honored.  2019, as you may remember, was plagued with wet weather for both May and October.  Attendance was down and so are our cash reserves.  Consequently, the hard facts are that we need to raise some new capital starting this Fall if NEAR-Fest is to survive.

In order to do this beginning soon we will be selling advance admission tickets for NEAR-Fest XXIX ($10.00) and inside parking passes ($10.00) either at Ham Radio Outlet in Salem NH and Ross Hochstrasser’s Clock Shop, 40 Walnut Street, Whitman MA as well as by mail to Michael Crestohl, W1RC, 316 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead MA 01945 with a check or money order and a SASE.

The exciting thing about the advance tickets are that all purchasers of advance tickets will be entered in a special prize drawing for either a Xiegu G90 HF SDR Transceiver (value $425.00) or a Yaesu FT-891 HF Mobile Transceiver (value $559.00).  Winner does NOT have to be present to win.

We are going to offer a special “VIP Pass” to NEAR-Fest for those who really want to see us through this difficult and trying time.  It will be good for the person to whom it was issued for life, allow that person and the occupants of their vehicle (up to four people) and the vehicle to enter at 8:00 AM on Friday morning.  Cost of this VIP Pass is $250.00 and is available by mail only.

Additionally, the cost of admission at the Fairgrounds will be increased to $15.00.  This added $5.00 is to help alleviate the cost of not having NEAR-Fest XXVII but advance ticket buyers will be able to save this $5.00 per ticket surcharge.   I cannot tell you at this time if this $5.00 surcharge will be permanent.  Once we are financially comfortable again we will decide whether or not to restore the cost to $10.00.

In the event that the May 2021 event cannot be held any tickets or passes purchased will be valid and honored at the next NEAR-Fest so no one will lose.

We are asking our association and clubs if they can help us sell advance tickets to their members.  The procedure will be simple and straightforward.  Clubs would determine how many tickets and parking passes their members want, collect the money, send the list with this information along with a check payable to NEAR-Fest to us.  We would take care of making sure that the prize draw stubs are properly filled in and put in the prize barrel for the drawing in July.  After that takes place we would ensure they are kept safe so they can be put in the prize barrel at NEAR-Fest in May.   The tickets would be sent to the club for distribution to the members.  Members should be informed that they are buying admission tickets for our fall event.  They are not buying a raffle ticket.  However there is no limit on the number of tickets anyone may purchase.  Drawing will take place at NEAR-Fest XXIX in May 2021.

Secondly, clubs who have already applied for the 2020 Association and Club Early Entry passes will not have to reapply again in January 2021.

With your help we will survive this horrific nightmare.

73,

Mister Mike

Nashua Area Radio Society “Ham Bootcamp” Featured on the Cover of QST

Ham Radio Bootcamp, October 2020 QST story and coverKudos to the Nashua Area Radio Society and its innovated “Ham Bootcamp” program for being featured in an in-depth article and on the cover of October, 2020 QST Magazine. Ham Bootcamp includes a series of demonstrations and tutorials designed to help newly licensed Technician, General, and Extra class license holders get on the air and use their amateur radio license. Bootcamp is also a great opportunity for prospective Hams who are interested in seeing what the hobby has to offer.

Registration for Fall 2020 Bootcamp is open! You can learn more about Ham Bootcamp and register here.

Board of Directors Elects New ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA

David Minster, NA2AA
David Minster, NA2AA

From ARRL Web:

08/27/2020 – The ARRL Board of Directors has elected David Minster, NA2AA, of Wayne, New Jersey, as ARRL’s new Chief Executive Officer, starting on September 28. Minster is currently Managing Partner at Talentrian Partners, a management consulting firm serving the consumer goods and luxury goods industries.

Minster began his career as a software engineer, moving into management at Unilever, as a Chief Information Officer of this globally recognized portfolio of brands that includes Elizabeth Arden Company, Chesebrough-Ponds Canada, Thomas J. Lipton Co., and others. From there, he moved to fine jewelry manufacturer and retailer David Yurman, where he served as COO and CIO. More recently, Minster served as CEO of jewelry brands Scott Kay and Judith Ripka.

“Building a culture of accomplishment and accountability is what I do best. My initial focus will be working with the Board on establishing strategic goals and concrete plans to navigate ARRL through the digital transformation required for the coming decades of its Second Century. This includes exciting and innovative ways to be engaged in amateur radio, while growing activity and membership.”

Minster got his Novice license, WB2MAE, in 1977, when he was in his teens. He progressed from Advanced to Amateur Extra and, after a stint as NW2D, he settled on the vanity call sign NA2AA in the 1990s as a way to honor a mentor, N2AA, and the contest station that he used to frequent, K2GL, in Tuxedo Park, New York.

Minster’s ham radio pursuits have ranged far and wide over the years. His background includes National Traffic System training and participation in public service events, as well as contesting from home, club stations, and contest stations in the Caribbean — particularly on Bonaire, where he is a member of PJ4G. Primarily a CW operator, Minster collects unique and vintage bugs and keys.

Minster earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from The Ohio State University and has a special interest in satellites, digital communications, remote operation, and ham radio computing and software. He has written keyer software for the commercial market, and contest logging, packet, and satellite telemetry software for personal use.

In addition to being an ARRL member, Minster is a member of AMSAT, the Frankford Radio Club, the Straight Key Century Club, CWops, and the North American QRP CW Club.

“I spend every day of my life, one way or another, engaged in amateur radio. It is more than just a hobby for me; it is my community. It is where I live; where I have built lifelong friendships, and friendships that span the globe. Amateur radio allows me to dream and to experiment. I can’t wait to bring my energy and boundless enthusiasm in service to ARRL.”

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said, “We are excited to welcome David as our new CEO, and look forward to his progressive leadership. His experience in management and operations, plus his activities in amateur radio, will serve our organization and members well.”

Minster will succeed Barry J. Shelley, N1VXY, who was CEO in 2018, and who has been serving as ARRL’s Interim CEO since January 2020. Shelley had been ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer since January 1992.

Annual Cape Cod ARES Summer Communications Exercise: “Operation Windbreaker,” August 8, 2020

Cape Cod ARES logoASEC Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, writes on Facebook:

Cape and Islands conducted its annual summer field communications exercise on Saturday, August 8, 2020. Exercise #68 “Operation Windbreaker” had three primary field sites, several individual field ops and several home stations. The main sites were: outside the Sandwich Human Services Building, outside of Falmouth Hospital, and in Eastham near Larry, K1LRJ, home area.

VHF signals were excellent. The HF voice operation went quite well with our Cape/Islands stations as well as the off-Cape stations that hosted a 75-meter net over 75 miles away in another part of MA. Digital modes on HF had mixed results due to some glitches, but a couple of stations did well.

In Sandwich we had a crew of five including a couple of our new folks, Jermy, KC1NGL, from Sandwich Fire; Dennis, N1RDN, from Sandwich CERT; and Jason, KC1MLQ, from Yarmouth. Our 440 MHz simplex backchannel (was diplexed off our main dual band antenna to two radios) with the Falmouth field site worked even better than expected.

My thanks to all of our people who participated and special thanks to those off Cape stations that conducted the net, as well as stations that contacted us from various locations.

Bob Beaudet, W1YRC, Awarded Knight Distinguished Service Award

Bob Beaudet, W1YRCFrom ARRL web:

The Board named veteran ARRL Rhode Island Section Manager Robert G. “Bob” Beaudet, W1YRC, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, as the recipient of the Knight Distinguished Service Award, given to an ARRL Section Manager. Beaudet has been Rhode Island SM since 2002.

The Board cited Beaudet’s active promotion of ARRL activities in his Section, including visiting hundreds of Field Day operations; participating in many Volunteer Examiner test sessions; attending at countless club meetings; staying active as a contester, DXer, and mentor, and serving as a model to other Section Managers. The Board said “Beaudet’s leadership of the ARRL Rhode Island Section Field Organization has led to a strong working cadre of volunteers within the Section.”

AMSAT Partners with University of Maine WiSe-Net Lab to Develop State’s First CubeSat

From ARRL Web:

07/26/2020–The University of Maine Wireless Sensing Laboratory (WiSe-Net Lab) and AMSAT have signed an agreement to collaborate on building and operating MESAT1, Maine’s first small satellite. Carrying an amateur radio payload in addition to science payloads, MESAT1 is set to launch sometime in the next 3 years under NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI), which provides opportunities for nanosatellite science and technology payloads built by universities, schools, and nonprofits to ride-share on space launches. AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, celebrated the announcement.

“This is a great day for AMSAT and UMaine’s WiSe-Net Lab,” Coleman said. “This partnership is a true win-win for both education and the amateur radio community. The collaborative effort under AMSAT’s engineering and operations teams has once again succeeded to bring another opportunity to AMSAT.”

[Full story]

ARRL Board Meets in Remote Electronic Meeting

From ARRL Web:

07/24/2020 – Due to travel and gathering restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ARRL Board of Directors met on Friday, July 17, 2020 in a remote session, using the Zoom videoconferencing platform.

During this session, the Board took the following actions:

  • Accepted the final recommendations of the Band Planning Committee. Committee chair and ARRL First Vice President Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, introduced the motion to adopt the plan. An earlier draft of the plan was introduced at the Board’s in-person January meeting. After the January Board meeting, the Committee received and considered hundreds of comments from interested amateurs. The final band plan can be viewed on the ARRL website.
  • Voted, in anticipation of hiring the new Emergency Management Director, to modify the charter of the search committee to study and, if appropriate, prepare a report on, the implementation of a new Standing Committee of the Board to emphasize emergency communications and provide advice to the CEO in these matters. The report is expected to be delivered to the Board by November 24, 2020.
[Full story]

ARRL Foundation Announces 2020 Scholarship Awards

ARRL Foundation logoFrom ARRL Web:

The ARRL Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2020 scholarship awards. There were 103 awards this year, totaling $144,450. The non-profit Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has generously awarded a grant to the ARRL Foundation to match each scholarship award on a dollar-for-dollar basis, lifting the grand total of scholarships awarded to $288,900.

Several New England Division youths were the recipients of scholarship awards:

The Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club Scholarship

  • Megan G. Wagner, KC1FGH, of Westford, Massachusetts

The CTRI/Chris Seeber, KA1GEU, Memorial Scholarship

  • Julie Knappik, KB1YTT, of Raynham, Massachusetts

The FEMARA Scholarship

  • Yettive S. Crestohl, K1YTV, of Marblehead, Massachusetts
  • Joseph F. Murray, KC1EGK, of Braintree, Massachusetts
  • Edward G. Ridolfi, KC1CMF, of Kittery, Maine
  • Bahnou Hazel Upton, KB1OIS, of Mount Vernon, New Hampshire

The Alfred E. Friend, Jr., W4CF, Memorial Scholarship

  • Martin S. Sullaway, NN1C, of Waban, Massachusetts

A full list of recipients nationwide can be found at <http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-foundation-announces-2020-scholarship-awards>.

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