Good stuff cheap – Swap & Sell September 9th

SwapSign

Swap and Sell will be returning to HCRA meetings for the remainder of 2016. Since the program started this past January lots of good stuff has changed hands, people have gone home with either cash in their pocket or a new trinket to play around with in the shack and HCRA added a few dollars to the club treasury.

IMG_20160823_223218185

The photo on the left shows a sample of items that could make their way to the swap table, but we need more! We need YOUR good stuff to keep up the excitement, attract customers and most of all – have fun! It’s like a mini-hamfest at every meeting.

We all benefit if you have items you’re willing to donate to the cause. Think of all the things you’ve purchased, used for years but they’re now sitting unused in the shack or workshop. You can sell them and make a few bucks or….. Why not donate them? You’ve had your fun, maybe it’s time to pass it along to someone else. Donations benefit HCRA but most of all the new owner gets to take something home and not break the bank. Everyone wins!!! If you do want to sell your items please remember the suggested donation is10%, thanks! All donations are tax deductible under 501 c3 guidelines.

One last thing. We’re looking for a new caretaker for Swap & Sell starting January 2017. All it takes is 15 to 30 minutes a month, a small donation of time to bring fun to dozens throughout the year. If you’re interested let us know. You’ll be supplied with everything you need to make it happen and at least five minutes of OJT! It’s an easy job that puts lots of smiles on our members faces. Please let me or Jeff/NT1K know if your interested in the job.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the September 9th meeting.

’73…
Jim/KK1W

HCRA is READY for Field Day – are YOU!

About seven days from now HCRA will be blasting the airwaves with “CQ Field” day from School St. Park in nearby Agawam, MA. Our plans have solidified to a 5A operation, perhaps even 6A, the usual superb four towers with beams on 40, 20, 15 and 10 and dipoles for 80/75. a Saturday VE session, lots of operators, KX2 raffle tickets and….

FOOD! Alan/AB1XW will be serving up dogs and burgers, “on the house” Saturday evening. A perfect way to stoke the fires for an all-night operation.

Read all the details and see the participants by clicking here.  After looking through the list you’ll see a few spots where we could use YOUR help. What would you like to do?

1. We can make 100 points by simply originating an NTS message to our Section Manager and up to an additional 100 points by sending 10 radiograms. Are you ready for the challenge? It’s easy and shouldn’t take more than an hour at most. Want to give it a try? Contact Jim/KK1W for more info.

2. Are you a good teacher? There’s another 100 points on the table for organizing an educational activity. It could be as simple as showing how to get active on digital modes or constructing a wire dipole. Interested, contact Jeff/NT1K or Jim/KK1W and we can get you going.

3. Finally, we can make up to another 100 points for “Youth Participation”. Any operator under 18, that makes at least one FD QSO earns HCRA 20 points. If we get five youth operators we make another 100 points! How cool is that? Remember they (or you) don’t have to be licensed to operate at Field Day. It’s a perfect opportunity to expose youngsters to a hobby that could shape their future. Time your visit just before Saturday evening and have a burger or hot dog for your (and their) efforts.

Don’t forget to pick up a KX2 raffle ticket while visiting Field Day. A mere $10 donation could bring you a spanking new Elecraft KX2!

The weather forecast looks promising and plans are in place. What are you waiting for, all we need is YOU!

Yes, Swap & Sell will be at Show & Tell!

SwapSign

 

Here’s a chance to make money on your project. After you win one of the prizes put your hand crafted watchamcallit’ on the swap table and go home with to cash along with your prize 🙂 Or maybe find something on the table for your next creation?

Once again the Swap & Sell table will be there, how exciting it is falls entirely on the shoulders of you, our members. We know everyone has at least ONE thing they probably should ‘recycle’ and the HCRA swap table is the perfect place. No shipping, no eBay fees, supports the club, makes meetings more interesting and is fun. Need I say more?

Before coming to our April 1st meeting why not take a look around the shack and find an item or fifteen worthy of creating excitement in someone else’s shack and bring it to the meeting.

No foolin, see you April 1st!

Jim/KK1W

Meeting Topic Changed For Feb 5th’s Meeting

NP77

Due to a sudden work schedule change, John Kalotai will not be able to be our guest speaker this Friday. However the meeting is still taking place.

Frandy Johnson (N1FJ) and Jim Mullen (KK1W) will be doing a presentation on their recent National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) adventures. We will also be discussing some possible future club events. This will be an excellent way to discuss our club.

We apologize about the short notice but we wanted to make sure we had a speaker lined up. A Big thanks to Frandy and Jim for helping us out. It should be exciting.

Thanks,
Jeffrey Bail (NT1K)

HCRA BOD meeting notes for January 20th, 2016

HCRA BOD meeting notes for 20-Jan-2016

Attendees:
President: NT1K
Vice President: N1FTP
Treasurer: NV1Q
Membership: K1VOI
Program Dir: W1AST
ZB Editor: WA1MOW
Tech Dir: K1YO

Absent:
At-Large: W1MOR
Secretary: WM1B

President Report:

– Jim Mullen has volunteered to help out with updating our Website.
– A Web Forum has been created at “members.hcra.org”. The site will be
directed and administered by the BOD. It will be a members only site and
integrated with our web site.

VP Report:

– 90 tickets for the TS590SG have been sold to date. The minimum goal is 150
tickets sold. Many tickets will be sold at the MTARA flea market. We should reach
our goal plus some.

Treasurer Report:

– There was quite a bit of discussion on how to divvy up the funds from the Xmas
party. From members to non-members to MTARA members and non-member
spouses as well as member spouses. There may be some double-dipping. This
needs to be revisited.

Financial Statement:

Beginning balance: $6771.95
Dep/Wdr: $1038.68
Ending Balance: $7810.63

Membership Report:

– There are 89 members with 80 paid and 9 family members. Question was
raised, why does it take so long for some individuals to renew? Could there be
some sort of incentive added to renewing? One suggestion was to put all the paid
members in Zero Beat. If your name is not there, you didn’t pay. This also answers
the question “Did I already pay my dues?”. Also discussed was greeting new
members and asking them what their interests are at the monthly meetings.

Program Dir Report:

Here is a tentative list from W1AST

– February 6, 2016: Jon Koltai, Hamsource – Power poles & really cool shack gadgets
– March 2016:  First Robotics Competition: Gary, WA1MOW
– April 2016: Mini Presentation: Jeff, AB1WT: Portable IRLP & Echolink Node PLUS
Show and Tell
– May 2016: Jon Perelstein, WB2RYV –  How to Report Weather & How to Properly
Read Your Weather App
– June: Field Day planning, Jeff, NT1K

======================================================

– September 9, 2016: Tony Brock-Fisher, K1KP – Solar Power and RFI, what you
need to know
– October 7, 2016: Dennis Markel, N1IMW : The history of WCC and Chatham
Marconi Radio.
– Nov 2016: tbd
– Dec 2016: annual HCRA Holiday Party

Zero Beat Editor:

– Submit your articles by 29th of January. Submit anything, please. Someday there
will be blank pages in Zero Beat…

Technical Director Report:

– 2 requests on interference. Services rendered, none.

————————————————————————————————————-

Old Business

Welcome Package:

A draft of the Welcome Package was handed out. The BOD must read and submit
changes to Jeff or Larry within the next 2 weeks. These Packages will be handed
out to all who pass their exams.A motion was made for HCRA to pay for the printing of the Welcome Package. The front page should be printed in color with printing on both sides. Staples is the preferred vendor for printing.

In Favor – 7
Apposed – 0

A motion was made for HCRA to pay for the printing of the HCRA tri-fold as well.
In Favor -7
Apposed – 0

Stub J-Pole Project:

The material has been purchased and cut. 80% of the project is complete.

License class exams:

Classes will be held on April 27,28, and 30. With Saturday being a full day.
Bob, K1YO has volunteered to help with the Extra Class.

DXLabs Class:

Setup will be on Feb 6th starting at 9am. Looks like 6-7 people will be in the class.
The Club will supply Coffee and donuts.

————————————————————————————————————-

New Business

Field Day:

We need Band captains ! Band captains bring their own radios and computers.
Antennas and antenna accessories are supplied by the Club.

Larry W1AST has volunteered to step up for 40m CW.
Jeff NT1K will be contacting the Parks & Rec dept.

Field Day will be discussed at the next membership meeting.

Open Floor

More special classes and presentations.

– Introduction to digital modes
– Tips and Tricks on Towers
– Contesting in general/Awards chasing
– Member Benefits

EZ-UP with Walls

Gary made a query as to purchasing a good EZ-UP for the Club. In the $300 range.

One with walls. A motion to purchase a EZ-UP with walls and not to exceed $300
was made.

In Favor – 7
Apposed – 0

The Big E’s 100th

The discussion was around HCRA participating for only a weekend. Gary will look
into getting permission and location. Participants will be required to purchase their own entry tickets for each day. To be successful, we need to make this a very
big deal. SDR’s, HF live, Multiple Monitors, tower, large antenna. More will be
discussed at the next BOD meeting .

Next meeting with be in Mid March and be a VOIP meeting.
Jeff will be handling the details with “Google Hangouts”

HCRA’s Amateur Radio License Class – April 2016

HamRadioClass

Hampden County Radio Assocation Amateur Radio License Class
April 2016

Are you or do you know someone who’s interested in amateur radio? Do you want to upgrade your license? The Hampden Country Radio Association (HCRA) is holding classes and study groups for those interested. With a combination of these classes and at-home studying, it’s possible to make it happen. Learn from experienced instructors who are active within the amateur radio community who are willing to help you along the way.

CLASS HAS ALREADY PASSED. 
We now have 13 new techs, 1 new Tech+General, 5 New Generals and 1 New Extra. Class had a 97% pass rate. Next course will be planned for the Fall (Sept/Oct) 

Thank you to those who signed up 

Dates:

Wednesday April 27th, 2016 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Thursday April 28th, 2016 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturday April 30th, 2016 – 9:00am to 3:00pm
VE Session: Saturday April 30th, 2016 – 3:15pm (Walk-Ins Welcomed)

Where:
Holyoke Medical Center Auxiliary Conference Center
575 Beech Street, Holyoke MA, 01040

Cost: FREE/$15 Exam Fee

Classes open to anyone and everyone interested in obtaining or upgrading their amateur radio license.

Our classes consist of two weekday night classes and one full Saturday class with an examination following the course. Due to the short amount of time, it’s up to the candidate to do most of the studying at home before attending the classes. The classes will cover the exam questions, provide some details about the questions and help you to better understand the material needed to pass the exam.

Even though it’s not required, it’s suggested that you purchase and use the latest edition of ARRL’s Ham Radio License Manual (Level 1/Technician) to study. Other alternatives can be found online like KB6NU’s No-Nonsense study guides (FREE For Tech/General). It’s best that you study and learn as much as possible before attending the classes.

We’re also having study groups for those who are interested in upgrading their current license to general or extra class

If you’re interested in these classes or study groups, please contact the following or fill out the form below.

Jeffrey Bail (NT1K)
NT1K@arrl.net
P.O. Box 562
Agawam MA, 01001

 

HCRA Meeting, January 8th 2016. Guest Speaker will be Jeff Jolie (NM1Y)

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, Jeff (NM1Y) will not be able to make it to the meeting to give his presentation. However Jeff will be providing us with a DVD about the DXpedtion and the Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC) will still be there to hold an area meeting. 

Happy new year! HCRA is starting it off with a bang!

We’ve invited Jeff Jolie (NM1Y) to be our guest speaker of the first meeting in 2016. It should be exciting as Jeff was part of the DXpedition team that activated Navassa Island. Navassa was considered to be one of the rarest DX entities because of its location and restricted access. The Crew manage to get permission and gain access to the island. During their time there, they’ve managed to make just over 140,000 contacts. Jeff will be doing a presentation about the K1N DXpedtion.

HCRA has also invited the Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC) to hold an area meeting in conjunction with HCRA’s meeting. This will allow those who are intersting in contest a chance to see what it’s all about. Anyone and everyone is welcome to meeting.

Hope to see you there.

Show and Tell – April 2016

ShowAndTell2016

HCRA’S SHOW AND TELL 2016
– Friday April 1st, 2016 –

THIS IS NOT A JOKE!

The Hampden county radio association will be holding its annual show and tell on Friday, April 1st, 2016. This is where HCRA members can show off their amateur radio related projects. If you’ve been working on something over the months, bring it to April’s meeting and share it with other members and the general public. If you project was fascinating enough, you might walk away with prize!

If you haven’t started on a project by now, don’t worry. You still have 4 months to work on project which is plenty of time to create something wonderful.

HOLIDAY PARTY TICKETS AVAILABLE!!

HolidayPart15voidtix

Tis the season for Holiday Parties. This year HCRA and MTARA are putting together quite the feast for those who would wish to join us. We will be back at the wonderful steaming tender in Palmer MA on Monday, December 7th, 2015. Doors open at 6, Dinner starts at 7. Tickets will be just $20ea. You can purchase tickets through HCRA or MTARA.

There will be good times had by all and we will even have door prizes!

For HCRA, you can contact Harold Woering (N1FTP) ( E-mail N1FTP at arrl dot net)
You can also mail a check or money order to our P.O. Box

HCRA
P.O. Box 562
Agawam MA, 01001

Please include note that you are purchasing Holiday tickets and to include Name, Callsign and phone number for each ticket.

Hope to see you there!

What: Joint HCRA/MTARA Holiday Party
When: Monday, December 7th, 2015
Where: Steaming Tender Resturant
28 Depot St, Palmer, MA 01069
Time: Doors open at 6pm, Dinner at 7pm

Notes From Last Nights Meeting (DMR W/ Steve WA1ZEV)

Digital Mobile Radio Presentation

(Presenter:  Steve Shore WA1-ZEV, October 2, 2015 Hamden County Radio Association)

**  Reference Material **

 

DMR Orientation:

Network Providers:

  • DMR-MARC (Motorola Amateur Radio Club)
  • CT-ARES DMR Network (State of Connecticut State Police Amateur Radio Club)
  • DCI (Digital Communications Interconnect)

Popular Web Sites:

DMR Repeater Status Web Sites:

Radio Brands:

Network Categories:

*Local          *Audio Test           *Statewide         *Regional          *North America          *Worldwide

Basic Programming Data:

  1. Frequency pair
  2. Time Slot (1 or 2)
  3. Color Code
  4. Talk Group

 

Digital Mobile Radio Presentation

(Presenter:  Steve Shore WA1-ZEV, October 2, 2015 Hamden County Radio Association)

**  Reference Material **

Page  2.

Getting Started

Getting started with DMR is easy! Just follow the four steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time!

1. Check for DMR Coverage

Verify that you are within the coverage area of a DMR repeater using the DMR repeater map, or if you are in the Greater Toronto Area, check out the interactive repeater coverage map.

2. Get a Subscriber ID

All radios on ham radio DMR networks require a unique Subscriber ID, so you will need to have one assigned before you can program your radio to operate on a DMR repeater. If you intend to have more than one DMR radio active at any given time, then you should request a Subscriber ID for each radio.

Apply for a Subscriber ID

Within about 24 hours, you should receive your Subscriber ID via email. Please do not transmit with your DMR radio until you have received a Subscriber ID and have this programmed into your radio. Using ad-hoc Subscriber ID numbers will cause conflicts with other users on the network.

3. Obtain a DMR Radio

Obtain a DMR radio, the programming software and cable (if required for your desired radio model) from one of the sources listed on the FAQ page.

4. Program your DMR radio

Program your DMR radio using the DMR repeater specifications found on the DMR repeater map by clicking on DMR repeaters in your local area, plus the Subscriber ID you received via e-mail. If you are in Canada, we have preconfigured radio programming files for the most popular DMR radio models that contain all Canadian DMR repeaters. Otherwise, please refer to the following programming tutorial for step-by-step programming instructions.

5. When all else fails or you need assistance, e-mail  Steve (WA1-ZEV)