Upcoming Changes to POTA Program

Parks On The Air logoBob Beatty, WB4SON, writes on the Newport County (RI) Radio Association POTA list:
The POTA program has been in the process of changing all park prefixes from their original format to a new format that follows the ISO standard for naming entities.  On March 20, 2024, parks in the US will change from being listed as “K-xxxxx” to “US-xxxxx” (the K changes to US).
Changes for other countries have either already taken place or will take place soon. For example, The Bahamas used to begin with C6, and is now BS. 
Keep in mind that there never has been a requirement to transmit your park information, not even if you are doing a park-to-park contact.  All of that is automatically handled when logs are uploaded.  But you will certainly see these changes on the POTA spotting network, and will likely hear them on the air soon.  Just remember to send “US” starting March 20th.
See this URL for information:  https://docs.pota.app/docs/changes.html.

Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC Leprechaun Hunt, March 17, 2024


Greater Bridgeport ARC loogoOn Sunday March 17, 2024 @10AM we will have our monthly Foxhunt and this month we will have a special treat for all with an easier foxhunt. All members and non-members are invited to attend and this should be a family friendly event. The purpose of the foxhunt is to track down a hidden transmitter (Leprechaun) and find some information, then relay that information according to the instructions on a sign where the Leprechaun 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: Chips Family Restaurant- Fairfield

525 Tunxis Hill Cut Off, Fairfield, CT 06825

Starting Time:10:00 AM Local

we will meet at Chip at 8:30 for breakfast prior if interested

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  (recommended)

Look for my RED Toyota Pick up truck


En-Route Communications: Contact K1PCN on the above repeaters 

Greater Bridgeport ARC fox hunt map

Wesport Astronomical Society’s Members to Perform High Altitude Balloon Tests for NASA During Eclipse

Contact: Dan Wright
Phone: (203) 293-8759


Westport, Connecticut – March 13, 2024 – The Westport Astronomical Society (WAS) and its amateur radio station, K1WAS are excited to announce its participation in the observation of the total solar eclipse along the totality line in Texas on April 8, 2024, with a grant from NASA using high-altitude balloons launched by the University of Bridgeport and the University of New Haven.

The K1WAS team will assist the University of Bridgeport, and the University of New Haven with their effort in the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project. The amateur radio club, and many other amateur radio operator members and balloon enthusiasts, will help launch several high-altitude balloons equipped with cameras, sensors, and radio transmitters to capture the eclipse from a unique vantage point high above the Earth’s surface.

“We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the scientific community’s understanding of this celestial event,” said Dan Wright N3DAW, Board Member of the Westport Astronomical Society. “These high altitude balloon missions will offer a perspective of the eclipse that is both breathtaking and informative, helping researchers study the Sun’s corona and the Earth’s atmosphere in new and exciting ways.”

“Since the University of Bridgeport (UB) began its balloon science and payload work in 2013, K1WAS/WAS members have served as mentors and instructors to both myself and dozens of our students,” said Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, who leads the engineering teams for NASA/Montana State’s Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (NEBP) for the central northeast. “Early on K1WAS/WAS members took the time to instruct in all aspects of high altitude balloon flight: from safe helium usage and transportation, stacking and tying payloads together, creating containers to protect the instruments, communications, launch, tracking and balloon and payload recovery. K1WAS/WAS members have been at each of our launches and served as mentors and team members for UB’s 2017 total solar eclipse team as well as our 2023 annular eclipse team and upcoming 2024 total solar eclipse team. We are particularly indebted to K1WAS/WAS members Larry Reed, AB1JC, Gary Moyher, WE1M, Mike Miciukiewicz, K1MJM, and David Schadlich, KB1LTW.”

The University of New Haven’s Texas team will include ozonesonde payloads during this eclipse to monitor the ozone levels in the atmosphere. Both traditional weather balloons and a newly improved altitude-controlled balloon will be used for this mission. These experiments will provide data analysis, and valuable information to scientists across the planet that will be analyzed after the event.

The launch of the high-altitude balloon will take place from a location near the path of totality in Junction Texas at Texas Tech, where the eclipse will be visible for the longest duration. The balloons will ascend and hover at an altitude of 80,000 feet while gathering data, providing a clear view of the earth as the eclipse’s shadow passes.

Amateur radio operators and astronomy enthusiasts are invited to join the Westport Astronomical Society’s observation efforts by following the balloon’s location which will be captured in real-time using an amateur radio system called APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System), and participating in related events and discussions. Details on how to access the data and participate in the event will be shared on the Westport Astronomical Society’s website and social media channels.

The total solar eclipse, a rare astronomical event where the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, will be visible across parts of North America but the sun is only 90% obscured in Westport and much of New England. The Westport Astronomical Society, known for its dedication to promoting astronomy and space exploration, is leveraging its resources and expertise to enhance the viewing experience for enthusiasts and researchers alike. Locally, WAS will have telescopes set up to safely view the partial eclipse with our partner, the Westport Library on April 8th from 2 – 4 PM.  

In Connecticut, the next partial solar eclipses aren’t until 2028 and 2029 and will not obscure the sun anywhere near what we’ll see in April. For that, you’ll have to wait until the total solar eclipse on the morning of May 1, 2079.

More on WAS:

WAS opens up the Westport Observatory to the public every clear Wednesday from 8- 10 pm. For more information about the Westport Astronomical Society and its amateur radio station KIWAS, visit www.was-ct.org. Follow the Society on Facebook, Mastodon, LinkedIn, and Instagram for updates on the total solar eclipse observation mission.

Members of the Westport Astronomical Society’s Amateur Radio Station K1WAS launching a high-altitude balloon from Bridgeport's Discovery Museum
Members of the Westport Astronomical Society’s Amateur Radio Station K1WAS launching a high-altitude balloon from Bridgeport’s Discovery Museum


Total Solar Eclipse, courtesy WAS Member Carl Lancaster, KB1NTN
Total Solar Eclipse, courtesy WAS Member Carl Lancaster, KB1NTN

HamSCI: Solar Eclipse QSO Party and Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge

We are writing to you on a matter of scientific urgency.

HamSCI stands for Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation. We have been actively engaged in scientific data collection for both the October 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse and the upcoming April 8, 2024, total eclipse. 

Two major activities that HamSCI will be involved around the solar events will be The Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) and the Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge (GSSC) which are part of the HamSCI Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science.  Other experiments that will also to be conducted include the Time Delay of Arrival (TDOA) experiment, the Very Low Frequency (VLF) Reception Exercise and the Medium Wave Recordings Event. Members of HamSCI, along with the amateur radio community, will be creating data for researchers by transmitting, receiving, and recording signals across the high frequency (HF) spectrum.  

We would like to encourage you to cooperate on a joint astronomy/radio outreach event for the upcoming eclipse. The event promises to be one of the science highlights of the decade. Many astronomy clubs are planning to host outreach events in their town or near the centerline of totality. However, seeing the eclipse visually might be clouded out by unpredictable April weather. 

But terrestrial weather is not space weather. At radio frequencies. amateur radio operators can still bounce their signals off the ionosphere high above the clouds to communicate with other hams hundreds or thousands of miles away. It is the Sun’s light which ionizes the upper air and produces the ionosphere, so during a solar eclipse the ionization lessens, and the ionosphere gets weaker, and its bottom level gets higher. This change can be observed with amateur radio equipment. At high frequencies a distant bounced signal fades, but at very low frequencies it strengthens as an absorbing layer weakens. With specialized equipment (go to www.hamsci.org/eclipse) you can even observe the changing Doppler shift as the bounce altitude recedes skyward then returns toward the ground as the Moon passes off the face of the Sun using the Grape 1 personal space weather system equipment). 

For ideas on eclipse activities visit the NASA/Arizona State University (https://scope.asu.edu/eclipse-activities/) and also the HamSCI (hamsci.org/eclipse) websites where you will be encouraged to join the solar eclipse QSO party (SEQP). 

Please let us know if you need any help. We hope you have a great eclipse experience and can send us a photo or a short report after the event. 

Best Regards,

Ed Efchak WX2R (wx2r@arrl.net) and/or  Mary Lou West KC2NMC (westm@mail.montclair.edu).

Amateur Radio Operators Needed for Help with Solar Eclipse Project

From ARRL News:

The Case Amateur Radio Club, W8EDU, the club station at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is asking for amateur radio operators to help with a research project centered around the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse.

W8EDU club member Adam Goodman, W7OKE, said the project centers around studying the effects of the eclipse on propagation to better understand the recombination time of the ionosphere.  

“To do this, we are recruiting North American amateur stations interested in recording the Canadian time standard station CHU (Canada’s WWV) for two weeks surrounding the eclipse,” added Goodman. “Anyone with a KiwiSDR or a rig that can interface with analysis/recording software such as Fldigi is encouraged to reach out to us to participate.”  

W8EDU club member and project software manager Maris Usis, KE8TXG, said that while the software is simple to use, there is some detailed work involved. “We can help make it easier and there are good online instructions as well,” said Usis.  

All of the participation details are on the club’s website at https://w8edu.wordpress.com/chu-eclipse-data-collection/.  

W8EDU club faculty advisor David Kazdan, AD8Y, said the research project has received positive attention from the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program community, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) community, and Case Western Reserve University’s engineering deans. “It is already a truly international effort, and we are collaborating with more than 20 stations across the continent, from collegiate and high school stations, to a representative from the Radio Amateurs of Canada, to a station in Mexico,” said Kazdan.  

The 2024 solar eclipse will over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. ARRL is a partner with HamSCI to help promote this opportunity for radio amateurs to participate in an active science experiment, through the Solar Eclipse QSO Party.


Upcoming 2024 New England Flea Markets

Photo of ham radio flea marketThere are a number of flea markets and hamfests occurring in New England in 2024.  Here are just a few. For a complete list of events registered with ARRL, visit <https://www.arrl.org/hamfests/search/page:1/Location.division_id:NE/model:Event>.


02/17/2024 – Algonquin Amateur Radio Club Flea Market

Location: Marlborough, MA
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Algonquin Amateur Radio Club
Website: http://n1em.org
Learn More

Hampton Inn


02/24/2024 – HAM-CON, ARRL Vermont State Convention

Location: Colchester, VT
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont
Website: http://www.ham-con.org
Learn More

Castle of Knights


03/02/2024 – 35th Amateur Radio & Electronics Hamfest

Location: Chicopee, MA
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association
Website: http://www.mtara.org
Learn More

Henniker Community School -Cafetorium


03/17/2024 – Contoocook Valley Radio Club Hamfest/Flea Market

Location: Henniker, NH
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Contoocook Valley Radio Club
Website: http://www.K1BKE.org
Learn More

St. James Masonic Lodge


04/06/2024 – Seacoast Amateur Radio Flea Market

Location: Hampton, NH
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Port City Amateur Radio Club
Website: http://www.w1wqm.org
Learn More

Southington High School


04/07/2024 – Southington ARA Hamfest

Location: Southington, CT
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Southington Amateur Radio Association
Learn More

Moultonborough Function Hall


04/13/2024 – Lakes Region Spring HamFest 2024

Location: Moultonborough, NH
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Lakes Region Repeater Association
Website: http://w1bst.org
Learn More

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall


04/13/2024 – SECARS Auction

Location: Gales Ferry, CT
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Sponsor: Southeastern CT Amateur Radio Society
Website: https://secars.org
Learn More