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MONDAY EDITION: The weather was a hoot here last night. We experienced torrential rain, wind, and thunder and lightning plus a little hail thrown in for chuckles....Harry and Meghan leave the royal family, flee to Canada, and now surface in a mansion in LA. Amazing how much they hated and trash talked Trump and the USA but this is where they decide to plunk their spoiled little asses. NO, we should not provide any security for them....I am trying to limit food shopping to once a week during the special "senior only" shopping slot at Markt Basket. Scary times, thank goodness for ham radio to pass some time...Greatest country in the world and can't keep up with toilet paper and paper towel production, go figure. How hard is it to tool up and manufacture N95 masks and distribute them to healthworkers? A damn simple paper product, be afraid people.....I was reading that online remote testing by W5YI for a ham license is being explored due to the lack of testing available during the Covid 19 pandemic, not sure where that is headed. I am going to predict that the current tech license will be offered in the future with no testing sponsored  by the ARRL, basically going online and paying a fee for a call sign...

Murray McMurray Hatchery, of Webster City, Iowa, ships day-old poultry through the Postal Service, and is almost completely sold out of chicks for the next four weeks. “People are panic-buying chickens like they did toilet paper,” said Tom Watkins, the vice president of the company.

Down at your Tractor Supply Company, a national chain of farm stores, long lines snake out the door into the parking lot before the store opens on the morning of a chick delivery. Many feed stores report they are selling out of chicks almost as fast as they can get new orders in.

Some of these buyers are simply replenishing their flocks, having put in orders weeks or months ago. But many people who have bought chicks in the last week are first-timers.   STORY

ILLW 2020 and COVID-19

Hopefully by the time we get to August and the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend 2020, things will have returned to some kind of normality. Please rest assured that whatever the situation the ILLW will still be operational.

The decision to participate will rest with each and every entrant depending on the circumstances in his or her country at that time.

In view of the fact that the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific, or VP day, takes place on 15th August, the normal weekend for the iLLW, it was decided, out of respect for those wishing to commemorate that event, to move the ILLW to 22nd-23rd August.

The move hasn’t so far affected entries as 134 have registered so far. Numbers are expected to be down on previous years due to the closure of national parks and country borders but rest assured there is no intention to close it down.

One of the more interesting entries for this year involves an Englishman and his 14 year old daughter. They intend to ride their bicycles (pedal) from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’Groats and then across to Cape Wrath Lighthouse at the top end of Scotland.

Coronavirus: Ham radio operators practice their social distancing on air

The Gardner News describes how radio amateurs responded to a request to provide 50 N95 masks for ICU physicians

The newspaper says:

While amateur radio operators may not be able to help you rescue that romance you’ve been trying to revive, they are good at long-distance relationships, especially when “social distancing” is the proverbial law of the land, and many of them can use their acquired skills to literally send an SOS, three “dahs,” then three “dits,” then three more “dahs,” if need be, across the airways, in communicating important information through Morse code during an emergency such as the present one.

In Johnson County alone, within the past week the members of no fewer than three amateur radio clubs or social groups associated with the hobby have “gathered on the air” to vocally exchange pleasantries and inquire about the well-being of each other because they had already decided not to assemble at their usual meeting places to avoid possible exposure to the coronavirus that now has millions of Americans sheltering in place or staying close to home at the very least. But even as they were holding their virtual meetings, they were ever-ready at the drop of a hat to swing into action on behalf of the community at large in moving messages from Point A to Point B.

Read the full story at

Ham College 63

Extra Class Exam Questions – Part 2
Station restrictions and special operations: restrictions on station location; general operating restrictions; spurious emissions; antenna structure restrictions; RACES operations


WEEKEND EDITION: Another day in paradise, it sure is a ghost town around here, another lonely day at the beach....Dayton, Nearfest, and most New England Hamfests cancelling one at a time. It should be interesting how Field Day plays out..That new ARRL OO program sure is working well, listen up on 7200 days and 3860 nights....

HamSCI 2020 Workshop Successfully Reworked as a Virtual Event

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the March 20 – 21 HamSCI Workshop went on as scheduled, moving to a free, all-digital webinar workshop. The theme of the 2020 workshop was “The Auroral Connection — How does the aurora affect amateur radio, and what can we learn about the aurora from radio techniques?” Organizer and University of Scranton professor Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, told ARRL that he was quite happy with the outcome, after the in-person workshop had to be called off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In some ways, it was good for us,” Frissell said. “We actually got many more participants than had we just held it in person.” Expectations for the live event were for about 100 participants. Online, Zoom — the webinar platform used for the workshop — reported 290 unique logins from 24 countries. After cancellation of the in-person workshop, Frissell had to scramble to make the virtual event a reality.

“Some of the challenges included making sure we had an appropriate Zoom license,” he said. “We also needed to train presenters and panelists how to use Zoom. I had the webinar running in practice mode for about 2 or 3 days before the workshop, and I let presenters log in whenever they wanted to test things out. It was actually quite fun. Sort of like talking on the radio. I would be around the computer and wait for calls. When people called in, I would answer their questions regarding Zoom and make sure their audio worked fine.”

Another hurdle to overcome was figuring out how to convert poster presentations to electronic format. “The Aurorasaurus group really helped out with that,” Frissell said, noting that Aurorasaurus Project manager Laura Brandt came up with a method for presenting the posters electronically and made sure the poster session ran smoothly.

In a blog post, Brandt called the workshop “the first of its kind in heliophysics.” The Aurorasaurus Project theme is “Reporting Auroras from the Ground Up.”

“The annual HamSCI Workshop provided the perfect opportunity to introduce citizen scientists and scientists from the aurora and ham radio communities and build connections for future collaboration,” Brandt said. “Both aurora and ham radio citizen scientists work closely with the Earth’s atmosphere and ionosphere, but aurora folks tend to think about how what we see reveals aspects of the ionosphere, ham radio operators tend to think about what radio waves can tell us about the ionosphere.”

Oral presentations were delivered as originally scheduled and in the same format, as if they were being delivered at the in-person workshop.

The workshop served as a team meeting for the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station project that’s funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to Frissell as its principal investigator. The project seeks to harness the power of a network of radio amateurs to better understand and measure the effects of weather in the upper levels of Earth’s atmosphere.

Workshop speakers included Elizabeth MacDonald, the NASA researcher who founded and leads the Aurorasaurus citizen science project. James LaBelle, a professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth University and auroral radio physicist, discussed radio signatures of the aurora. Phil Erickson, W1PJE, of Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts spoke on “Amateur digital mode based remote sensing: FT8 use as a radar signal of opportunity for ionospheric characterization.” David Hallidy, K2DH, a retired microwave engineer and well-known for his work in auroral mode propagation, discussed his practical experiences of using the aurora for radio communication.

Contester and DX Engineering CEO Tim Duffy, K3LR, who was to be the banquet speaker,spoke on the topic, “Let’s Push the Exploration of the Ionosphere to the Next Level.”

Workshop presentations are being archived

Field Day 2020 — A Time to Adapt

Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty.

“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”

Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will impact just how — and even whether — you are able to participate in Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city park won’t work this year, then it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency communication demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to allow individuals and groups to adjust their participation and strategies in a way that still addresses their needs while being fun. Some possibilities:

  • Encourage club members to operate from their home stations on emergency power (Class E).
  • Use the club’s repeater as a means for individual participants to keep in touch during the event.
  • Family members interested in operating Field Day and unable to participate as part of a larger group may want to consider setting up a portable station in the backyard with a temporary antenna.

One big impact this year will be a decline in public visibility and any interaction with the visitors. Prudence may dictate dispensing with the ham radio PR table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more public location. It’s okay not to score all the bonus points you may have attempted in the past. Local and served agency officials may be unwilling to visit, which is understandable under the circumstances. Do be sure to reach out to them as part of your preparations and remind them that you look forward to continuing your working relationship with them in the future.

The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL recommends that all amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day stay in regular contact with local or state public health officials for their advice and guidance on hosting Field Day activities.

Demonstrating an understanding of the health crisis we all face and your willingness to adapt will show that you and your club or group are good working partners with local or served agencies.

“With any emergency preparedness exercise, it’s not about adapting the situation to your operation, it’s about adapting your operation to the situation that presents itself,” Bourque said. “Try something different. Learn something new about how you prepare. It may be a challenge, and you may have to ask yourself if you’re up to the challenge. We hope to hear you on the air over the June 27 – 28 weekend.” — Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan Henderson, N1ND

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Listening from the ground up

When I started learning about antennas I was told height is might. The higher the better. For many years I've followed that advice and like a good little parrot I've dispensed that advice. Turns out that as is usual in our hobby, that's not the whole story.

I first came across a ground based antenna with a BOG, that's a Beverage On Ground antenna. It's essentially a long length of coax that's pointed at what you want to hear. You can either terminate the end, or not, different effects result with plenty of discussion about directivity, angles, lobes and the like.

One of the things you'll notice with you use a Beverage antenna is that it's quiet. All signals are reduced in strength, but that also means that noise is reduced. Turns out that this pays off and you hear stuff that you've not heard before. Excellent for a field day or if you want to hear some serious DX stations.

There's plenty of stuff that's not nice about a Beverage antenna. For one, it's highly directional, it takes up lots of space and if you want to listen in another direction, you'll either build a second or third and switch between them. That, or you'll be rolling up and laying out the coax to point at a new DX entity.

You also cannot transmit with a Beverage antenna. While we're on the subject, often a beverage can be combined with a vertical, one for receive, the other for transmit. It's one of the projects that lying in my to-do pile. I've even got a remote controlled coax switch, but I'm still figuring out how to make my FT-857d do the switching.

I could stop there, but I came across another idea a couple of weeks ago. At the time I was being introduced to the local emergency communications team. They showed me their HF stand-by gear. Long piece of wire that you could chuck out on the ground and make contact. As a good little amateur I remember thinking to myself, these poor people they have a lot to learn. I'm glad I'm an eager apprentice in learning the art of keeping my big mouth shut.

During F-troop, a weekly net for new and returning amateurs, you'll find details on vk6flab.com, another amateur was talking about putting a wire near the ground, like about a foot off the turf with great results.

I tried it on the weekend with a friend. We were out camping for a local amateur contest, miles from anywhere and anyone and I recalled the emergency communications people and the story during F-troop. We had some time to play, so we started with a long-wire, actually, pretty-much a wire dipole on the ground. Plugged it in, turned on the radio, magic. Same kind of sound effect as a Beverage antenna. Nice and quiet, good signals to be heard. We turned the whole contraption 90 degrees, no difference. Since then I've learned that it's pretty much omni directional and unlike a Beverage antenna, you can use it to transmit.

Of course it's not going to act in quite the same way as a dipole high in the air, and that's pretty obvious, since it's not in the air. It'll give you communications that are called NVIS, or Near Vertical Incident Skywave, essentially stuff that goes straight up and comes down, stations up to about 400 km or so away. For scale, that's enough to cover all of Holland. In Australia it's enough to cover the state of Victoria, or the width of the UK, and most of the width of the State of New York.

Before you get all huffy and point out that this is not a great DX antenna I'll beat you to it and tell you that this is not a great DX antenna. It's not meant to be. Nor is it intended to be an instruction on what antenna to build next. This is purely intended to illustrate that antennas come in all manner of shapes and sizes and there is lots to be learnt from trial and error.

I know that this is a "compromise" antenna. Guess what, so is every other antenna. Today the compromise is that we don't need any poles, trees or unsuspecting human support structures to keep an antenna in the air. You can essentially try this one for free at any time, on your own, on the beach, in a park or on the side of a mountain.

Another great use is to talk to your friends who live in the same city on HF. I have no doubt you could even manage some FT8 contacts using this antenna.

Next time someone tells you to put your antenna in the air, ask them who they want to talk to. If it's locals, then there is absolutely no need at all. As for mastering the art of keeping my big mouth shut, we'll see.

I'll leave you with this. It's not the answer that's important, it's the question, for everything else there's experimentation.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Stuck in the shack? Make use of your downtime

The Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club Monthly Speaker series videos are available on YouTue

For over five years, the Fair Lawn (NJ) Amateur Radio Club has presented a live monthly speaker series for its members and guests highlighting the leading talent from the local amateur radio community.

The Club reminds hams everywhere that these monthly club videos are available for you to view to stay active in the hobby while isolated because of the coronavirus epidemic.

Topics include the development of FT8/FT4, propagation and the 2018 solar eclipse, using oscilloscopes, Echolink and related technologies, MESH networking, using SDR radios, understanding propagation, building a ground radial system, DX’ing, and making the most of QRP among others.

The link to all videos can be found here http://youtube.FairLawnARC.org on the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club’s YouTube channel.

Stay safe. Remember amateur radio is contagious and it won’t make you sick!

The club has also started a nightly health and welfare net for hams to stay in touch with each other at 1845 EDT on the W2NPT repeater located at 145.470 (-) with a PL tone of 167.9 or NJ2BS located at 146.835 (-) with a PL tone of 151.4. The net is also available via Echolink nodes 300501 or 171198.

The net is open to all hams regardless of location or affiliation.

If you have any questions, please contact Ed Efchak at 802-282-6700 or at wx2r@arrl.net.

For more information, please visit the club's website at www.fairlawnarc.org or call 201-791-3841.

Remember the good old days....

FRIDAY  EDITION: Good morning to all. Congratulations! We are the epicenter in the world with Covid 19....Neafest in NH is officially cancelled but will return as scheduled in the fall....Nuts! The bizarre CIA 'fake scrotum' designed to enable downed pilots to conceal an escape radio - even if they were strip-searched ....Going stir crazy, play a little radio and set some goals. Try making a contact with one new country or one new  state per day....try cw or maybe a digital mode (if you are really bored)...Assault pack video...

K1TP posing for picture, I had over 400 pots and a commercial lobster license in the 80's...my part time job after work. 26 foot wooden boat with an old Chevy solid lifter truck engine..the exhaust pipe wrapped with asbestos tape...I fished out of Pigeon Cove Harbor in Rockport. We built all of our pots from precut  red oak kits and knitted the nylon kitchen and parlor heads in the winter months. A great memory except for getting bait over in Gloucester at the fish cutting plants, today lobstermen usually buy a lot of their bait frozen. Back in the day, fish were unloaded off the boats in tubs with the fish iced down, then went directly  to a conveyer belt where the cutters would fillet the fish, and the racks came out on a conveyer belt and we caught them in our bait barrels. $25 cash only a barrel. That money was a bonus for the owner who had hundreds of barrels a day of bait available. Today a lot of fish are unloaded in Gloucester and shipped out west to be cut and flash frozen for Gorton Seafood Corporation. The frozen fish blocks are shipped back to Gorton's in Gloucester and cut into fish products...breaded fish sticks, etc.

Coronavirus: Bengal Ham radio operators help police in tracking

Outlook India reports "Ham radio operators in West Bengal are helping police in tracking down mass gatherings and sending vagabonds to the shelters during the nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Thursday"

The magazine says:

Police in various districts have received inputs from licenced amateur radio operators in identifying spots and places where social gatherings have been taking place, a senior officer said.

"This helps us taking swift action against those who are defying the 21-day lockdown," the police officer said.

The Ham operators have licences to conduct such communications under specific radio frequencies by the Union Ministry of Communications.

West Bengal Amateur Radio Club secretary Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA said around 280 Ham operators are working round the clock in tracking down spots of social gatherings and also helping people, who are in distress, during the lockdown.

"After discussion with police, we have opened a helpline number and are using our network to track areas of social gatherings and rescuing people in distress. There is a chain through which the network is working," Biswas told PTI.

Elaborating about their activities through the network, Biswas said there are around 10-12 Ham radio operators in each district, barring Darjeeling.

The story originated from the Press Trust of India (PTI) and can be read in full on Outlook India at

Coronavirus: Radio listening booms while music streaming stalls

BBC News report that people staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic appear to be listening to more radio rather than music apps, figures suggest.

Global, which owns Capital FM and talk station LBC, said online radio listening had risen by 15%.

The BBC said streaming of its radio stations had risen 18% since last week.

Meanwhile, data from two US analytics companies suggested use of music-streaming apps such as Spotify had dipped by about 8%.

"These figures indicate that the public are turning to radio in times of crisis," a Global spokeswoman said.

BBC Radio and Education director James Purnell said: "People turn to us during significant events for our news and analysis but also for music, entertainment and companionship.

The K7RA Solar Update

We saw another week with no sunspots, which were last observed just briefly over two weeks ago on two days, March 8-9. Spaceweather.com reports that so far in 2020, the percentage of days that have no sunspots is the same as all of 2019, when it was 77%.

Last week we saw the spring equinox, always a good seasonal indicator for better HF propagation.

Last week’s bulletin ARLP012 reported the average daily solar flux at 70.1. This reporting week is just one point higher on average, at 71.1.

Geomagnetic indicators remain quiet, with average planetary A index at 7.7, a little higher than the previous week’s average, which was 5.9. Average mid-latitude A index was also 5.9, up from 4.1 last week.

This point in the solar cycle is a great time for 160-meter propagation because of quiet geomagnetic conditions, although as the seasons change, we no longer enjoy those long winter nights, and will eventually see the return of summer conditions with increased atmospheric noise.

Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 71 on March 27 through April 3, 70 on April 4, 72 on April 5-18, 70 on April 19 through May 1, and 72 on May 2-10.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on March 27-29, 12 on March 30-31, 8 on April 1-3, 5 on April 4-5, then 10 and 8 on April 6-7, 5 on April 8-13, then 8, 12 and 8 on April 14-16, 5 on April 17-22, then 12 and 8 on April 23-24, 5 on April 25 through May 2, 10 and 8 on May 3-4, and 5 on May 5-10.

Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period March 27 until April 22, 2020 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH of the Czech Propagation Interest Group, who has been compiling this report for the past 42 years.

Geomagnetic field will be
quiet on: April 10
quiet to unsettled on: March 30, April 2-3, 7, 11-13, 20
quiet to active on: (March 27-29,) 31, April 1, (4-6, 8-9, 16-19)
unsettled to active on: (April 14-15, 21-22)
active to disturbed: None

Solar wind will intensify on: March (28-31), April (1-6,) 9, 12-13, (15,) 16-19, (20)

- Parenthesis means lower probability of activity enhancement.
- The predictability of changes remains lower as there are no indicators.

This is probably unrelated, but I happened across this video of OK1HH, with CW on the soundtrack:

Chip, K7JA, reports from his shack in Garden Grove, California. "Between 0238 and 0338 UTC on March 23 (the evening of March 22 Pacific Time, 1938-2038 local), I worked 3D2AG, VK4WDM, JR6EZE, and KH6U on 28 MHz FT8. Several other Australian and Japanese stations were heard at the same time. 3D2AG was loud enough to have been a solid almost-local-sounding contact on FM!

“In the same time frame but extending later in the evening (until 0410 UTC or 9:10 PM local), 15 meters was alive with Asian and Pacific stations including Hong Kong, China, Japan, Indonesia, and even JD1BHA on Ogasawara Island.

“Twenty meters was open to the Pacific and South America until almost midnight local time.

“It's fun to catch these little "tidbit" openings; they give hope for better propagation ahead! Hope all is well--stay away from the corona bugs!"

Corona Bugs? Weren't they a brand of semi-automatic keys? https://binged.it/2Jix2Zl

Here is the latest from WX6SWW, who sees evidence that our Sun continues to wake up:

Upcoming, this weekend is the CQ World Wide WPX Contest, SSB: https://cqwpx.com/

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers, email the author at k7ra@arrl.net.

For more information concerning radio propagation, see http://www.arrl.org/propagation and the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere.

An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://arrl.org/propagation.

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins.

Sunspot numbers for March 19 through 25, 2020 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was 72.1, 71.7, 70.8, 70.2, 70.4, 71.2, and 71.2, with a mean of 71.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 7, 8, 7, 12, 4, and 4, with a mean of 7.7. Middle latitude A index was 7, 5, 5, 7, 10, 4, and 3, with a mean of 5.9.

Kosovo scouting trip

Operators Erik ON4ANN and Erik ON4CCV will be active as Z68AN and Z68EC (callsigns pending), respectively, from Kosovo between April 27-30th.

They are there scouting out and making arrangements for a later trip between September 21-29th, with a much larger team of operators.

During this trip, activity will be limited to 40/20 meters. The September trip will focus on the low bands.

Annual Intrepid Spirit Award Goes to the VP8PJ DXpedition Team


The annual Intrepid-DX Group Intrepid Spirit Award will go to the Perseverance DX Group’s VP8PJ South Orkney Island DXpedition team for its “superb activation” from Signy Island.

“This DXpedition was extremely well planned and executed from this very remote, cold, and harsh Island,” the Intrepid-DX Group said in announcing the award. “This award is to recognize the entire team’s collective effort to activate these challenging and much-needed entities on behalf of a grateful global DX community. We acknowledge the team’s pursuit of operating excellence in making these difficult activations.”

The award normally is presented at the April International DX Convention in Visalia, California, which has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The award recognizes and honors individuals or teams that “boldly activate rare entities where their own personal safety is secondary to their pursuit of providing contacts to the DX community,” the Intrepid-DX Group said.

THURSDAY EDITION: It looks  like it will be a  nice day here, cold but sunny..When you have too much time on your hands....Think you are smart, you won't after reading this....I was listening to 3927 last night while watching TV, as per usual, channel master Bruce orchestrated the frequency and pissed people off once again. It is amazing how he grates people with his know it all attitude, telling people to shut up, demanding people answer his yes-no slanted questions, but amusing to listen to how others respond to him. It usually turns into a free for all cage match...Thursday (3/26) at 9 pm EDT at hamtalklive.com, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station international chairman, will be here to tell us all about the new radio on the ISS and answer your questions LIVE....I never trusted these sneaky bastards...

......has NEAR-Fest XXVII been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

We have not formally canceled NEAR-Fest XXVII despite the fact that a large number of all kinds of events, including the Dayton Hamvention, Anime Boston and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games have already made this decision on their own or have had it made for them by government executive order.


With this in mind please hold off on making any hotel reservations or plans.  As it stands right now (Tuesday, March 24th) it doesn't seem very likely the Spring 2020 ‘Fest is going to happen.  On March 16th NH Governor Chris Sununu issued an executive order setting a limit of 50 people on any group gathering that will end on April 6th.   However, given the current situation this executive order most likely will be extended which will effectively cancels NEAR-Fest XXVII and we, of course, will comply.

The above notwithstanding, we are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving global, national and local situation.  We will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the NH State Department of Health.  The NH Department of Health COVID-19 website is here:


Deerfield is in Rockingham county with the highest number of cases in NH.

On March 16th the CDC recommended mass events with over 50 people such as ours not be held for 8 weeks.  They are leaving it to the individual states to issue orders.

NEAR-Fest will continue to monitor these government agencies sites and are responding as appropriate.  Be assured that we will err on the side of caution as we do not want anyone contracting this illness at our event especially since most of us are in the age range who will be at the greatest risk.  

We have up to Friday April 24th, 2020 to cancel some of the services we use such as table and chair rentals, chemical toilets, garbage removal, etc, which add to the cost of running the hamfest.  

Postponement is not an option for us.  The Deerfield Fairgrounds are fully booked until the end of the year which includes NEAR-Fest XXVIII on October 16th.  

We will, or course, honor the terms of our contract with the Fair Association but it will likely still cost us our deposit which was over $3,000.00.  Our contract does not contain a Force Majeur provision.   I am not so worried about this because our friends who run the Deerfield Fair have much bigger problems.  All their events for the foreseeable future will not be happening either and they are always booked solid through October.  In addition, the 2020 Fair is scheduled for October 1st through the 4th and hopefully this nightmare we are living will be over by then.  But there are no guarantees.  

Our main objective is to make sure we keep ourselves, our families/loved ones, our staff and our attendees safe without worrying about monetary costs.  This is paramount.  

I promise you that NEAR-Fest will survive because we know that you are loyal attendees and do not want to lose our hamfest.  We are making plans to sell “futures” and are asking you all to support us like many of you did in 2007 when we started it.  We will soon be offering tickets and passes for NEAR-Fest XXVIII which is scheduled for October 16th and 17th 2020 and we are urging you to buy them early.  There will be incentives. Details will be posted here soon.  If for any reason NEAR-Fest XXVIII cannot held due to the emergency measures in effect at that time all tickets and passes will be valid at the next one when this is over. So you can’t lose.

When will NEAR-Fest and other such events resume?   No idea at this time, of course, but realistically it probably won’t be very soon.  The best barometer will likely be pro sports events. When the Boston Garden or Foxborough Stadium start filling up again we will know that it will be safe to resume hamfesting.......


MisterMike, W1RC, and the NEAR-Fest Management Team.....

May QST Going Out to Members on Time, W1AW Adjusts Its Schedule

ARRL wants to assure members that the COVID-19 shutdown of ARRL Headquarters will have little or no impact on publication schedules. The print edition of May QST is now off the presses and will enter the mail stream next week, and the US Postal Service anticipates no delivery disruptions.

Digital QST and the pending digital debuts of QEX and NCJ are expected to be posted on schedule. May QST will include more details on the QEX and NCJ digital editions — a new member benefit — as well as an intriguing cover article on “The Lightbulb QSO Party.”

ARRL also anticipates that The ARRL Letter, ARRL Audio News, the ARES E-Letter, The ARRL Contest Update, and the Eclectic Technology podcast will be available as usual.

Although ARRL Headquarters is closed, W1AW continues operating, but on a slightly altered transmission schedule. Morning code practice and qualifying run transmissions have been suspended; evening transmissions, including qualifying runs, will go on as usual. W1AW remains closed to the public, however.

Members should direct questions via email. ARRL Interim CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY, thanked members for their patience during this adjustment period.

ESA invitation to Space Talk, today March 26, 2020

In Europe and around the world, we've been getting used to a different way of living in recent weeks. On Thursday, 26 March, ESA and long-time partner Asteroid Day will host #SpaceConnectsUs - a chance to connect across borders and hear from space explorers, artists, and scientists about how to manage ourselves and our environment as our communities battle a global pandemic.

#SpaceConnectsUs is an online event running on March 26th from 16:00-21:00 CET (15:00-20:00 GMT) on ESA WebTV and ESA YouTube to help everyone practising social distancing or in isolation enjoy science, our home planet, and our dreams of the sky above us.

The programme will feature remote connections with astronauts and guests from all over the world. The presenters and guests will speak to children, young adults and their families and friends about their experience and techniques in confined places, lessons in life from space exploration, their trust in science and their sources of inspiration. The programme runs in five language segments starting at 16:00 in Dutch, followed by German (17:00 CET), Italian (18:00 CET), French (19:00 CET) and English (20:00 CET, 19:00 GMT).


Oliver Amend DG6BCE
ARISS-Europe chairman

Electromagnetic Field 2020 is cancelled

The organisers have announced the popular Electromagnetic Field, EMF 2020, event planned for July 23-26 has been cancelled

An amateur radio contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station had been planned to take place during the three-day event.

An announcement on their website says:

With great regret, we have to announce that Electromagnetic Field 2020 is cancelled.

EMF will return in summer 2022, as scheduled.

If you have a ticket for EMF 2020, you are eligible for a full refund and a guaranteed ticket to EMF 2022. We will contact all ticketholders with further details next week.

The continuing spread of COVID-19 makes it very unlikely the UK will be back to “business as usual” by July. Continuing to organise EMF 2020 would put our attendees’ money, our volunteers, and our organisation at risk.

We know this is terrible news, but after much consideration we feel that cancelling now is the right choice.

Read the full announcement at

WEDNESDAY CORONA FREE EDITION: We are still good here, I have instructed all my staff to work from home with full pay and benefits, cause that's the way I roll....Still unable to buy flour because some simple minded selfish Americans decided to buy all they could off the shelf and they probably don't even know how to use it...$1200 bucks stimulus check a person coming from the government according to the news this morning...Report from Space Weather Woman.....HRO in Salem, NH in lockdown, call your order in and I guess you pick it up at the door. The showroom is shut down......The branch bank here in Rockport closed and directed us to the next and only town on the island branch bank. Drive-in window only, What could go wrong? Only about a 20 plus car backup of Generation X pulling cash out, panic stricken assholes...

CQ Magazine offers free issues

On March 19th, CQ Magazine announced the following:
In view of the "stay at home and flatten the curve" recommendations from the health experts during this worldwide pandemic, CQ would like to give everyone the opportunity to escape the news alerts for a brief period and enjoy the hobby they love through the pages of CQView the March and April issues of CQ magazine at no charge! It's easy, simply send an E-mail to (FreeIssues@cq-amateur-radio.com) and we'll send you the March issue now and the April issue on April 1st!

Take advantage of this opportunity to read CQ - free of charge - and keep connected with the latest trends and activities in amateur radio!

Club Log Allocates 100% of its Computing Resources to COVID-19 Protein Research

Michael Wells, G7VJR, has announced that Club Log is contributing 120 CPU cores (most running at 3.4 GHz) to the Folding@Home Project that’s simulating the dynamics of COVID-19 proteins to hunt for new therapeutic opportunities. Wells said he’s assigned a higher priority to the Folding@Home work, so radio amateurs may experience slightly longer upload times.

“You can help, too, by contributing your own computer to the project,” Wells said. “If you have a recent home computer with a good graphics card, and if a lot of people make a contribution, it will make a significant difference to the research, potentially reducing decades of work to a far shorter time frame that will make a practical difference this year.” He cautions that computers involved in the project will be operating at 100% CPU, when not otherwise in use.

International Amateur Radio Union Adjusting to COVID-19

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has reported on how it is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, given the various restrictions in place to slow the spread of the virus. IARU said the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Headquarters in Geneva remains off limits to visitors until April 17 at the earliest. ITU has cancelled some meetings, postponed others, and converted others into online gatherings. IARU representatives are adjusting plans accordingly and following a similar pattern.

While Dayton Hamvention has canceled its 2020 show, Europe’s largest amateur radio gathering, HAM RADIO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is still scheduled for June 26 – 28. IARU plans to have a two-part booth, with one dedicated for youth. Whether the event will take place is unknown at this time.

IARU Region 2 Emergency Communications and Satellite Communications workshops set for May 30 – 31 in Trinidad and Tobago will now be held online. IARU reports that interest and registrations have surged since the announcement. These workshops will be held in English, but preparations are under way for workshops in Spanish to be held later.

IARU Region 3 has cancelled its first Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Camp that had been planned for Rayong, Thailand, in early October.

World Amateur Radio Day is April 18, this year celebrating the 95th anniversary of the IARU’s founding. IARU has allowed that amateur radio “is the best way to practice social distancing.”

IARU Region 1 (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) has asked member-societies to “reconsider their position” on Field Day events over the next few months.

“Field Days bring radio amateurs together and, therefore, represent an environment where social distancing is difficult to achieve,” IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, said. “We must recognize that many radio amateurs are in the older, higher-risk age groups.” IARU will not sponsor the Region 1 HF CW Field Day in June but said national societies have to make their own decisions as to whether their Field Day events will go forward.

Beattie said single-operator contests “remain a great way for those forced to stay at home to enjoy the magic of amateur radio.” 


Don- KA1BXB, this might be the problem!

TUESDAY EDITION: I just got back from Market Basket, it wasn't to bad with the exception of no TP, limit of 2 rolls of paper towels, and only two bags of flour per customer. No chicken noodle soup but i could make my own better.....plenty of dairy products and produce but a shortage of meats. This PC generation is still hoarding, I, me and myself...screw everyone else.

Not exactly gloating, stockpiling ‘preppers’ enjoy moment

In this Friday, March 13, 2020 photo, Paul Buescher adjusts his ham radio, in Northfield Center Township, Ohio. Buescher is one of 32 members of a group in northeastern Ohio that shares a farm packed with enough canned and dehydrated food and water to last for years. For those in the often-mocked “prepper” community, this is quickly becoming their “I told you so” moment, as panic buying has cleared store shelves across the U.S. amid growing fears that the new coronavirus will force many Americans to self-quarantine for weeks in their homes. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

TOLEDO, Ohio — Curt La Haise has put up with plenty of razzing from friends over the years who have called him paranoid for stockpiling an eight-month supply of food in his basement and having enough fuel to power his generator for almost an entire winter.

They’re not laughing anymore amid panic buying that has cleared store shelves across the U.S. and growing fears that the new coronavirus will force many Americans to self-quarantine for weeks in their homes.

“Now my friends are like, `What should I do, what should I get?”‘ said La Haise, who operates a firearms and safety training business near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. “Prepping doesn’t look so bad now.”

For those in the often-mocked “prepper” community, this is quickly becoming their “I told you so” moment. But many are resisting saying that, even if it’s in the back of their minds. What they hope is that they’ll finally be taken seriously and that more people will follow their lead.

“We’re not laughing. We’re not saying, `I told you so,’ when people are out there fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitizers,” said Paul Buescher, of Northfield Center Township, Ohio.

Buescher is one of 32 members of a group in northeastern Ohio that shares a farm packed with enough canned and dehydrated food and water to last for years. He said he is now getting calls all day long asking for advice.

Survival supply stores can’t keep up with the demand for food kits and medical supplies.

“Every single business that has to do with emergency preparedness is overloaded,” said John Ramey, founder of a Colorado-based prepper website called The Prepared.

Most preppers say they are about self-reliance and common sense and are quick to distance themselves from the “doomsday preppers” who are depicted on television shows awaiting the day most of the world’s population is wiped off the map.

“The vast majority of this is `beans and Band-Aids,’ not `bullets and bunkers,”‘ Ramey said.

Jim Cobb, a disaster readiness consultant and editor-in-chief of Prepper Survival Guide magazine, said he has seen a few fellow preppers gloating on social media about people who are crowding stores in search of disinfectants.

“I hate the thought of alienating any of them because they think were a bunch of elitist goofballs.” he said. “We’re trying to take advantage of the opportunity that for once they’re not laughing and pointing fingers at us.”

While most people who have tested positive for the virus experience only mild or moderate symptoms, there’s a greater danger and longer recovery period for older adults and people with existing health problems.

Experts say it’s most important to practice safe hygiene: Wash hands frequently, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay home if fever or other symptoms arise.

As for the preppers, they have their own recommendations for anyone who is unsure of what to do next:

* Be ready to stay at home for at least two weeks. Have plenty of food and water. Don’t forget about your pets and medicines. That includes over-the-counter products for fevers and coughs.

* Yes, toilet paper is important, but so are hand sanitizers, disinfectants, sanitation wipes, eye protection and gloves.

* Get your finances in order. Make sure you can pay your bills and have cash on hand.

* Maybe most important, relax and don’t panic. And pay attention to the news and what’s happening around you.

TRIVIA: Captured Taliban radio repeater system in Afghan

Radio amateurs participate in Russian international contest

The Gulf Times reports the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) participated in the 27th edition of the Russian International Amateur Radio Competition (RDXC-2020)  

The newspaper says:

[The event was] organised by the Russian Amateur Radio Union to allow all radio amateurs in the world to participate in the competition.

Mass participation at the association’s headquarters was replaced in this year’s competition with the sole participation of Qatari radio amateurs stations, each from their home, provided that participation from the association’s headquarters is limited to only one participant who co-ordinates with the rest from their homes to work as one team representing QARS in this international competition.

In preparation for this competition, the QARC prepared a special station at the association’s headquarters, allowing participation in several sub-competition categories that range from one operator category with low transmission capacity (100 watts) to one operator category for all bands with a transmission power (5 watts) to several operators with a low transmission capacity as well as a group of several operators for all bands, the association participated in the international call sign of the Qatar Wireless Amateur Association (A73A).

Chairman Board of Directors of QARS, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah emphasised that the association’s participation in this competition for this year is of special importance, especially in light of the conditions the world is going through following the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), adding that the association’s participation is to confirm its continuation with its international activities even in the case of the inability to assemble.

He indicated that the association has prepared a model station with a number of modern devices and high-quality antennas for the participation in this international competition.

The goals of the Qatar Amateur Radio Society are to develop the hobby among citizens and organising its practice in accordance with the laws applied locally and internationally, along with co-operating with the relevant authorities in developing regulations related to granting licences to practise the hobby and operate devices that are used for this purpose within the framework of international agreements that regulate the use of radio frequencies.

Source Gulf Times

Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost Ventilator

Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have volunteered to assist University of Florida Professor Sam Lampotang and his engineering team in their quest to rapidly develop an open-source, low-cost patient ventilator that can be built anywhere from such commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves. The amateur radio volunteers are developing Arduino-based control software that will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in treating critically ill coronavirus victims.

Multiple volunteers responding to a call for help from Gordon Gibby, MD, KX4Z, included noted software developer Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and  uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE. University of Florida physicians are working to address the critical legal aspects as the design moves closer to fruition.

The ventilator’s valves would precisely time compressed oxygen flow into patient breathing circuits under Arduino control, allowing exhausted patients with “stiff” lungs impacted by viral pneumonia to survive until their body can clear the infection. The software design team is also adding simple features such as an LCD display, encoders to choose parameters, and watchdog safety features. -- Thanks to Gordon Gibby, KX4Z

ARRL Headquarters is Closing

ARRL Headquarters will comply with an executive order from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont that all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities reduce in-person workforces by 100% no later than March 23, 2020, at 8 PM. ARRL will equip as many Headquarters staffers as possible to work remotely.

W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions will continue. Customer service representatives will be available to take calls, although response times could be longer than usual. Operations at the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) will also continue, and the best way to receive a timely response is via email, as call volume has been heavy. The ARRL publication schedule will remain unchanged.

The ARRL warehouse will be working with a reduced staff, so orders will be delayed, and ARRL will not be able to respond to expedited shipping orders. ARRL Headquarters will remain open until 5 PM on March 23, as managers and staff prepare for the shutdown.

ARRL will keep members posted on this situation.

MONDAY EDITION: We now have three confirmed cases on the island, that threw me for a loop. Naive I guess on my part as a lot of residents work out of town and commute to Boston, etc. for a living. Life goes on but the future will never be the same for the good old USA. We learned a lot about this 30-50 year old generation, when the shit hits the fan, this group runs for their life, fuck everyone in their way......3927 has turned into a nightly shit show....7200 and 3860 need the FCC/ARRL super OO team to respond asap...3843 grows in numbers nightly....  RIP Kenny Rogers.....Hams are dreaming about their free government stimulas check and plan to piss it right away on a new ham radio. No problem, my grandkids will pay for it.....Our local repeater is sponsoring a nightly Health and /welfare Net at 6pm for hams to check in and talk about the current situation and blow off some team. It is working ell and growing nightly...

QSO Today Amateur Radio Podcast - Bob Nagy - AB5N

Bob Nagy, AB5N, is having the time of his life in retirement.
He teaches technology and the Russian language in his adopted community of Hot Springs, Arkansas, creates You-Tube instructional videos, builds solar powered devices for hiis house and ham shack, and operates the digital modes.

His expertise and improvements of the audio characteristics of the microphones on amateur transceivers is unmatched.
AB5N is my QSO Today.

Listen to the podcast

Fishing Where the Fish Are

By Don Keith N4KC

If you see no reason to attempt to attract other potential amateur radio licensees to our hobby, read no farther. If you don’t agree that the best way to keep our hobby vibrant and exciting is to grow its numbers, go on back to however you were wasting time before you clicked on this article. If you are convinced we will never recruit that many more new folks to come enjoy ham radio as you and I have, that we are wasting our time and energy trying, then resume your previous activities and don’t bother yourself by reading on.

Now, if you fall into one of those categories in the opening paragraph above yet are still reading, what is wrong with you and why are you so dense and deluded?

Of course, there is value in growing our ranks! The more people we have, the more diversified and interesting our hobby becomes. The bands are not overly crowded. Not every innovation or idea has been shared and developed and applied. Simply out of the goodness of our hearts we should be motivated to help others experience the same benefits, learning, public service satisfaction, excitement, competition, and just plain fun we have. Oh, and there is that little thing about allotted spectrum. As RF becomes even more crucial in how we live our daily lives (5G and all the other Gs to follow, anybody?), we need more and more justification for retaining the vast slices of territory we are allowed to roam…often exclusively.

“But Don,” you say. “It’s useless. Kids have cell phones and video games. Adults are too busy. Females will never adopt a technical hobby. We’re just an old man’s pastime and society has long since left ham radio in the dust. We’re wasting time and effort we could better apply to our 75-meter ragchew every night. Plus, the ARRL is only interested in making money and does nothing to grow the hobby, so why should I?”

My reaction? I get white around the mouth, squint my eyes, wag my finger in your face as I attempt to not totally lose my cool at the sheer ignorance of such a goofy response. Whew! Now, a bit calmer, I push back. Hopefully with convincing logic and not a literal shove.

At last estimate, there are 372 million people in the U.S.A. 38 million in Canada. Almost 8 BILLION humans populate planet earth. And since people do what people do, those numbers are increasing algebraically. Which is polite language for real dang fast.

And you are arguing that there are not a few million or so who might be interested in the most dynamic, versatile and exciting hobby there is?

Yes, kids are exposed to more technology than we old geezers could have ever imagined when we were their age. I was fascinated by a remote control for the TV so my dad no longer had to yell, “Don, change to channel 6!” And by Radio Moscow coming in on the radio at night in our living room. But is it not possible that such an early introduction to sophisticated and ubiquitous technology might just entice several million young folks to want to dig deeper? To maybe consider modern ham radio to be a hands-on entry into a lifelong career? Is it not feasible that young people who are exposed to RF, digital communications, and more might be easier by far to reach than kids of my generation who had no idea what might be possible one day? Also, to say females have no interest in a “technical” hobby is not only sexist, it is blatantly wrong. Women are more and more likely to become engineers and scientists and to pursue technical careers, thanks to the emphasis on STEM education and their own immersion in technology over the last half century.

I will bite my tongue and resist preaching about the value of what the ARRL does every day to try to grow the hobby. But I am more enthusiastic than ever about recent initiatives by the League to not only reach potential new hams but to give them good, well-researched reasons why they may want to put down Pinterest or Tiktok long enough to consider something new and exciting. Plus, I am thrilled that the League is also working to not just get newcomers interested and licensed but also to get them ON THE AIR. That is what will truly grow the hobby!

Those who know me and who may have read my amateur radio books know that I advocate getting new hams beyond the HT-with-a-rubber-duck-antenna and on to other aspects—and those are limitless—of our hobby. They will naturally gravitate to the areas that fit their likes and technical interest. And they will either be more infected and become contagious or they will decide this radio stuff ain’t for them and move on. But at least they found out what the hobby is really about. And that the possibilities are virtually endless. And pretty dadgum exciting, too.

Now, all this being said, I believe we all—and the ARRL included—are missing a mighty big pond teeming with hungry fish in which to cast our lines. And it is not because I am one of those fish in that big pond.

I am talking about senior citizens. Or those approaching that much-maligned demographic.

Yes, let’s do all we can to reach and convert teens (or younger kids). Middle-age people should not be ignored, even if they are so pre-occupied with career, paying bills, raising kids and funding the 401K that they hardly have time to come up for air. And it is a positive that if we truly bring younger people to the path of amateur radio righteousness, they will be supporters of—and missionaries for—the hobby for the next seventy or eighty years.

But here are just a few reasons I think a coordinated campaign to evangelize to gray-hairs makes sense.

  1. As they approach and enjoy retirement, most are enthusiastically searching for ways to remain active, to continue learning, and to commune with others with similar interests. They soon discover golf five days a week or watching The Price is Right is not nearly as thrilling as they anticipated. They have a strong appetite for exactly what ham radio offers them. We just need to make sure they know what is on the menu.
  2. The media has finally gotten through to them that being active, being social, and learning new things can improve cognitive function and extend their lives. Become a ham and live longer, Grandpop!
  3. From empty nest to SK, they will have more time to do things they enjoy doing. There is no reason to be bored. Not with a hobby like ours to help get the most from that new commodity, spare time.
  4. Many of the other interests they have developed over the years and that they will pursue after retirement dovetail with ham radio so beautifully it is an easy sell. Camping, traveling, hiking…make your own list. And regardless their other interests, ours is a great way to find and share with others with the same proclivities.
  5. As the kids graduate college and start accumulating their own children and crushing debt, many seniors finally find themselves with enough disposable income that they can buy their own toys. Oh, and the occasional trinket for the grandkids.
  6. Baby Boomers and Millennials have grown up with rapid technological change. That means many of them will be intrigued with—not fearful of—how things work and what they can do and learn. Those of us who vividly remember the first moon landing are still amazed we can use amateur radio satellites and speak with astronauts in space.
  7. Among all those retirees out there is an amazingly broad cross-section of life experiences. How many of those potential converts are skilled at public speaking, marketing, managing people, advertising, teaching, technical development, writing…all talents that could help reach those kids with their silly phones and annoying social media.
  8. For some reason, when many of us turn 60, we develop a strong interest in weather. I don’t know why but it’s true. I’d love to see the demographics on purchasers of home weather stations. Just imagine how many of those sky-gazers would love the opportunity to become storm spotters.
  9. On a similar note, people who no longer have to punch a clock often desire to become more active in public service, mentoring, and the like. Ham radio is a natural conduit for those who want to volunteer, to help, to give back, adopt and serve a cause, or just make their towns better places in which to live.
  10. While many older people tend to become hermits or go into a shell, the fact is that most of them become more communal. They want to share time and a beverage of choice with those with whom they have common ground.

Those are just a few reasons why I believe it would serve us well to fish where the fish are, and especially since many of them are looking for precisely the bait we would be dangling.

FT8 DXCC experiment completed !

Finally we got it!
On Saturday, 21st of March, we finished the 100 DXCC with 2020 QSOs.

This took 7 days, 7,5 hours (18 hous break) with a small station with 50 wtts and longwire-antenna.

We will publish more detailed statistics in the next few days. First of all, we are happy to have reached the goal. Many thanks to all the HAMS who have worked with us over the last days. You have helped us to reach this goal.

But what can already be said now: You can have different opinions about FT8, but the DXCC is always a milestone that has to be worked out. Every HAM can be proud if he has reached this goal, no matter in which mode of operation!

No matter which mode you use, enjoy your hobby and make the best out of it, it is a great hobby!

The special event QSLs will be sent out via office in the next few weeks, the ADIF-Files will be uploaded to Clublog, LotW and eQSL in the next days.



Coronavirus: IARU Contests

Radio amateurs will share the concerns of everyone about the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak. Governments all over the world are advising “social distancing” to slow the spread of the virus and to give health services the chance to cope

Field days bring radio amateurs together and therefore represent an environment where social distancing is difficult to achieve. We must recognise that many radio amateurs are in the older, higher risk age groups.  IARU Region 1 therefore asks national societies which promote field days and multi-operator contests to reconsider their position on these events for the next few months of 2020.

Field days are essentially team contests, and so IARU will not sponsor the Region 1 HF-CW Field Day in June.   It is a matter for national societies to decide whether and how they continue with their national field day events.

IARU Region 1 believes more generally that multi-operator contests are not consistent with the principle of ”social distancing” and should not be promoted at this time.

The position on other IARU events in 2020 which involve multi-operator categories is under review.

Single operator contests, however, remain a great way for those forced to stay at home to enjoy the magic of amateur radio!
Don Beattie, G3BJ
President IARU Region 1

Amateur radio satellite spreads Fight Coronavirus message

Indonesia's national amateur radio society ORARI reports the ham radio satellite LAPAN-A2 (IO-86) is being used to send a Fight Coronavirus message using APRS

A translation of the ORARI post says:

The satellite spreads the text message
"Stay Healthy, Stay at Home #LawanCorona".

This was conveyed by Researcher of the Center for Satellite Technology, Sonny Dwi Harsono when contacted, Friday, March 20, 2020.

Sonny explained, this action was a form of support for government policies on social distancing. The policy encourages all of us to reduce activities outside the home and interactions with others. "So this message was sent by the LAPAN A2 satellite via the APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) beacon which was transmitted throughout Indonesia. APRS is a text based communication system for short messages such as SMS on mobile phones. But this APRS message can only be received through HT (Handie Talkie) which has the recipient of the APRS message," he said.

Sonny explained, messages that have been disseminated can be received by anyone by setting the HT radio frequency to 145.825 MHz. To date corona's message has been received by dozens of members of the Indonesian Radio Amateur Organization (ORARI) spread throughout Indonesia.

The dissemination of the message "Stay Healthy, Stay at Home #LawanCorona" , continued Sonny, was carried out starting March 20, 2020. For the time being the message dissemination was carried out on the APRS mission only. But it will try to spread the message one time at a LAPAN-A2 / LAPAN-ORARI track every 100 minutes. "Later if possible, we try to distribute 24 hours nonstop every 100 minutes under certain conditions. Currently we are discussing the technicalities. The messages from the government can also be disseminated via the LAPAN-A2 satellite, "he concluded.

Source ORARI https://tinyurl.com/IndonesiaORARI

WEEKEND EDITION: Still Corona free here on the island but the word is out that the summer home owners are starting to invade us EARLY TO AVOID THE VIRUS....AND BRING IT HERE . The population goes up 20K here in the summer time...Take 3927 of your evening listening, it has turned into a free for all that is not enjoyable to listen too. Between Bruce's constant babbling, Wilkie thinking he owns the frequency, and Tom-N1FM's babble, it is a true shit show....WB1ABC bought an amplifier and is sounding sweet on 3927 afternoon New England group

Coronavirus: W&S Open and Serving Your Hobby

A statement from Waters and Stanton about their Service to the Hobby during the Coronavirus crisis period by Peter Waters G3OJV

Watch CORONAVIRUS - We Are Open and Serving Your Hobby

ARRL Headquarters Remains in Operation, Many Staffers Working Remotely

Interim ARRL Chief Executive Officer Barry Shelley, N1VXY, informed members on March 20 that ARRL will remain operational to meet their needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Shelley noted that ARRL is taking steps to help protect the health and safety of ARRL Headquarters employees, in line with the recommendations provided by US and Connecticut health officials and government leaders.

“We have arranged for many of our staff, depending on their job responsibilities and requirements, to work remotely during this unprecedented time,” Shelley said. “This helps the organization reduce the number of people in the building and improve our ‘social distancing’ capabilities.”

At present, all departments at ARRL Headquarters are functioning, and customer service representatives remain available to answer members’ questions or direct them to the appropriate department for assistance. Shelley advised that ARRL is encouraging members to use email as the preferred method of communication with ARRL, in order to get a timely response.

The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) has been dealing with a higher-than-normal volume of emails and phone calls and is asking for members’ patience as they attempt to answer everyone’s questions as promptly as possible. “There has been some significant disruption to VE exam session schedules, given the restrictions imposed on gatherings in many locales,” Shelley pointed out. “As with our employees, the health and safety of our Volunteer Examiners is a top priority, and we have informed our VEs that they need to follow their local community’s guidelines and then use their best judgement when deciding whether to conduct, postpone, or cancel an exam session.”

As previously announced, ARRL has suspended all tours and guest visits to ARRL Headquarters and to W1AW until further notice. ARRL has also posted a statement relating to Field Day and the coronavirus situation.

“We will continue to monitor conditions from this outbreak and follow any additional guidelines provided by federal and state health professionals and government officials. We thank you for your understanding and patience during this difficult time,” Shelley said.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly Nominated for Another Term after doing such a great job cleaning up ham radio jamming..

President Donald Trump has nominated FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly for another 5-year term on the Commission. The nomination was sent to the US Senate on March 18. O’Rielly was initially appointed to the FCC in 2013 by President Barack Obama.

“During my tenure at the Commission, I have advocated for preserving and advancing American free market principles to develop common sense regulation and eliminate unnecessary rules that hurt consumers,” O’Rielly said in a statement, expressing appreciation to President Trump.

“I hope to continue this work should the Senate decide to approve my nomination.” If the Senate confirms O’Rielly’s nomination, the new term would date retroactively to last July and end in 2024.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised O’Rielly’s work in such areas as 3.5 GHz spectrum policy. 

Foundations of Amateur Radio

What level of preparedness are you at?

An often repeated statement about the purpose of our hobby is related to emergency preparedness. The various peak bodies around the world devote plenty of resources to the concept, with helpful examples, umbrella organisations, training, coordinators, grants and funding, photo-opportunities and all the other trimmings that come from the idea that you and I are going to be of assistance in the case of some or other emergency.

Looking up the various emergency coordination groups is a disappointing experience. From broken web-sites with non-existent pages to latest news that's over two years old, through to the latest sausage sizzle and fun-run. Entreaties to make sure that you have your current Membership ID card, otherwise you won't be covered for insurance purposes. As I said, all the trimmings with lots of evidence of paper pushing and little or no evidence of actual preparedness, let alone public information that might help any new or old radio amateur become prepared.

Back to the topic at hand and leaving aside the nature of the emergency for a moment, given that the response for a bush-fire, a cyclone, flood or pestilence is likely to be different.

Let's look at the things we have direct control over.

If you have at any time taken your radio out of the shack and carried it into a paddock, connected it to an antenna, fired it up and made a contact, you're well ahead of the curve.

There are plenty of amateurs who have never ever considered what going field-portable might look like, let alone tried it. That's fine if you live in a bunker, have independent power and are able to withstand all manner of disaster scenarios, but realistically it likely means that your emergency assistance will be of the kind that's outside the emergency zone. Helpful to be sure, but there's plenty of those stations to be found - unless the issue is global, in which case we have a completely different set of problems, pandemic, anyone, anyone?

Let's focus on the other side of the fence.

You're in an emergency zone. Doesn't matter what kind of emergency. Communications are limited or overwhelmed, information is restricted, messaging is hampered and you're a radio amateur with a working radio. If all goes well you should be able to help.

So what does a working radio look like and what does helping mean?

First thing to think of is power. Have you got a battery? Is it charged? When was the last time you tested it? How long has it been sitting on the shelf? Did it discharge in the meantime? What about a charger? Have you got a generator? What about fuel and oil? What about spare parts? Have you got something else, like a solar panel, a wind generator or a water turbine? What about a push-bike with a dynamo attached? How long does your radio run on a battery and at which transmitter power level is that?

After thoroughly investigating power, what does your actual emergency station look like? Will it be used for voice communication, or will it be used as a digital gateway? Can you use it to send rudimentary messages, or can it be used as an internet gateway for a local community?

What bands are you planning to operate on? Do you have an antenna? What happens if your current antenna is taken out by a fire, lighting strike or something else? When was it last tested? Do you have a back-up antenna? Have you actually used this antenna? Does it have all the right connectors and are they with the antenna?

So, pretend that you got all that right. What about you? Have you got spare clothes? Food? Shelter? Medication? What about Personal Protective Equipment, masks, gloves, what-ever? What about ancillary items like pen and paper? Do you have power for the laptop that's being used to create the digital mode messages?

Note that I've not said a word about the usefulness of any of this. This is the base level of preparedness just so you can actually look yourself in the mirror and say that you have at least got a level of ability to be of assistance in the case of an emergency.

You can of course argue that you should hook up with the local emergency services and offer your skills as a radio amateur. That's helpful, but what if you cannot actually go to the muster point? How does that help?

Now lets pretend that you actually have done all this. When was the last time you tested it?

What does the actual helping look like?

Have you ever attempted to pass emergency messages? What about messages that must be transferred absolutely 100% correctly, think medication dosages? Who did you pass them to? When was the last time you did a regional emergency simulation between your amateur friends? How often do you do this? Once a decade, or more often than that? What if the local repeater isn't working? What about in your club or your local neighbourhood? Do your neighbours even know you exist?

The point of all of this is to reveal that the level of emergency preparedness for radio amateurs is in my opinion spotty at best. If you disagree with me because you are prepared I'd like to ask if you helped prepare your local amateur community and the wider community around it? I don't doubt that there are individuals, even groups who are prepared, but I suspect that they are far and few between.

When was the last time you actually went into the field for a week and played radio, for real, battery only, limited resources, no outside help?

I'd love to believe that this is universal, but you and I both know that there is plenty more to be done. How realistic is your emergency preparedness and what are you going to do about it?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Coronavirus: Spain's URE makes magazine PDF freely available

Spain's national amateur radio society is making the PDF of the April edition of their magazine Radioaficionados available to all

Following Royal Decree 463/2020 on March 14 the Postal Service in Spain has been suspended making it impossible for the URE to distribute the paper edition of the magazine. In response the URE has decided to make the magazine PDF freely available.

URE in Google English

New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...
Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent Key
VA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....


  d tuesday