Some Of HCRA’s received QSL cards – Part 1

Here is just a fraction of QSL cards that we get from people around the world. Most of these cards are in result of our club calls (W1NY & WB1Z) being used in such events such as Field Day, New England QSO Party (NEQP), ARRL 10M Contest, WRTC (IARU) and other events throughout the year. We will be scanning and posting more cards as time goes on.

(Click To Enlarge)




Board Meeting Minutes – June 12th, 2014

HCRA Board of Directors Meeting
June 12, 2014

Officers in Attendance,

W1MOR – Eric
AA1YW  – Dave
WM1B – Dave F
W1AST – Larry
NT1K  – Jeff
WA1MOW – Gary
N1KXR  – Rich

Meeting opened at 7:30 PM at the Hampden Bank, West Springfield

 Officers Reports

VP Report – W1MOR:    Projects include tower projects.  Planned FD in Gardner, MA.  Outlined proposed New Membership plan,  including but not limited to, New Member Packet, Recruiting Elmers, Adding Technical training sessions (coordinate with Bob K1YO)  Developing a membership committee to work with N1KXR.

Treasurer AA1YW:   Current Balance $9508.72 plus misc $1,32   WRTC 2 bases, 2 chairs, Fan, Light , Rotor & Cable are all that is left.  FD Supplies, $350.

Recommended that an additional signature authority be added to checking account;  MSP that the President be added as an authorized signature

Technical K1YO:  Will do demo of Hi Pass Filter at FD  plus any other Demo;s of his choice

Zero Beat WA1MOW: Worked with Frandy on last issue of ZB  Using Publisher as basis of preparing.  Considering adding Ads and Classified to ZB.  Will be featuring “Ham of Month”

Membership N1KXR:  Review Membership DB,  List number of members in Minutes;  Need to obtain an update on EM addresses as a number of the mailings are being rejected.  With the number of members of the Board who need access to the most current DB Information,  decision was made to keep the data in an electronic Drop Box,  Requested NT1K to set up standards and procedures.

IT  NT1K:  Gave a primer on the use of the HCRA Website and how officers can access and add information to the Website,

Program W1AST:  Sept: Summary of WRTC & FD

Oct & Nov  Open
Dec  Holiday Party at Steaming Tender


WRTC wrapped up


FD is a go at Agawam,  Park construction will be a non issue,  Drive in is OK for campers & trailers,  Band Shell may be completed but not usable.   Friday: set up with 8AM breakfast at Partners Restaurant in Agawam

FD Raffle:  MSP that an FT60R HT @ $109 be raffled off with a maximum of 50 tickets

CLUB Raffle:   KX3 went well both times,  MSP to have another KX3 with 250 tickets maximum @ $10 each.

 GOO  -

QSL Cards  NT1K  Will be QSL Manager

W1AST to coordinate HCRA Shirts and Badge Order

Next meeting Aug 15, at W1AST QTH Picnic 6PM

Adjourned: ( PM 

Board Meeting Minutes – May 6th 2014

HCRA Board of Directors Meeting
May 6, 2014

Officers Reports

President – KK1W

Jim submitted a plan for the transfer of officers responsibilities to the new incoming officers.

Retiring officers were asked to mentor the new officers for a couple of months to be sure that the new

officers were up and running in their new positions. All agreed to do so and to begin the process

immediately. Jim indicated that he had been already working with the new Secretary in getting him up

to speed. (Much appreciated!)

Treasurer – AA1YW

Dave indicated that the balance was $13,040.53 +$4,oo. We owe $4000 to WRTC by May 31.

There is still an outstanding balance of $971 owed by members for purchased WRTC equipment. Profit

from the WRTC resale was $1053.

Liability Insurance was paid for the May1 – May 1, 2015 period

Secretary – WM1B (interim)

No report – getting up to speed (slowly!)

Directors Reports

Technical – K1YO: Nothing to report

Zero Beat – N1FJ: June issue in preparation and will be joint effort with Gary –WA1MOW

Membership – N1KXR: No report

At-Large – KX1X

John reported that currently Crew 510 which was formed in 2001 currently has only 2 members.

Program – W1MSW

Speakers are lined up through the end of the year. Also a spreadsheet is available listing

speakers and dates of speakers in the past. This will be passed on to the new Program Chairman.

Old Business

Field Day is moving forward. No interest expressed for cook, Decision not to have a food kitchen. Matt

will present an N1MM review/training session at June meeting.

New Business

Holiday Party set to go with Mt Tom Club at Steaming Tender Not interested in Raffle.

New Board will need to come up with a Raffle Prize for 2014-2015.

New Board Members based upon the proposed slate for election: Larry – W1AST, Jeff – NT1K,

Gary – WA1MOW , Eric – W1MOR, Dave – WM1B

Next Meeting will be June 12, 2014, 7:00PM at Hampden Bank, 220 Westfield St. West Springfield.

Eric W1MOR will obtain and test key.

Members in Attendance

KK1W – Jim
W1MSW – Matt
AA1YN – Dave
KX1X – John
K1YO – Bob
N1FJ – Frandy
Guests: W1MOR – Eric
WM1B – Dave

Dave Fant WM1B

WRTC 2014 Results and HCRA/WRTC Trivia

The scores are out! They can be found on the WRTC2104 web page. But here’s the really cool stuff.

We hosted four teams at Medfield State Hospital. Medfield was site 8 and the stations were 8A through 8D. Here’s the results from ‘our’ teams:

8A: K1M – IK1JHS & I4UFH – Won the SSB mode, placed 58th!

8B: N1A – DL1QQ & DL8DYL – The first YL WRTC team – placed 26th

8C: W1R – OH2BH & OH2MM – Sponsored by Azores Travel, placed 50th

8D: W1M – 4O3A & HA1AG – Placed 15th, our highest scoring team

Some of our team members held 1×1 calls for the event:

K1S: held by Don/KB5VP for the 12th placed W2SC team
N1P: held by Jim/KK1W for the 51st placed CX6VM team
N1Q: held by Dave/AA1YW was unassigned
N1R: held by Steve/N1SR for the 22nd placed UA3DPX team
W1H: held by Brian/K1LI was unassigned

About a 1/2 hour before the contest started I4UFH’s power supply cable broke for his iMac. One couldn’t be found quickly and they were scrambling for a computer. John/Kx1x came up with a Window’s laptop and within ten minutes the software was loaded and configured and Fabio was QRV when the opening bell rang! How cool is that?

Al/KB1XG was an official WRTC2014 videographer, we can’t wait to see some of his shots in the videos.

Rich/N1KXR was night security and roaming driver/helper from Wednesday through Saturday.

Nick/K1MAZ made many trips to town for team and competitor supplies.

Mary/KB1ME was the unofficial photographer for the DL1QQ team.

HCRA fielded 28 volunteers over the five day period. The weather was beautiful but the hot summer sun made the afternoons grueling, even with the low humidity. We drank plenty of water and used almost as much sun screen.

We serviced two cars with dead batteries (N1SR and W3SM) and changed one flat tire (KB1XG)

As far as I know, even though we spent four nights there, no ghosts were noticed haunting the Medfield complex.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered for this seventh running of WRTC. Everyone worked hard and created an outstanding experience for the teams we hosted. All competitors said they felt welcomed and appreciated by all we did for them.

What a great showing for the HCRA/WRTC volunteers!

Win an Elecraft KX3! – HCRA Raffle

HCRA’s raffle this year is going to be for a Elecraft KX3!


(Raffle for radio only! Antenna, angle adapter, microphone and keyer not included)

For a mere $10 donation to the HCRA, you get a chance to win an assembled KX3 by Elecraft valued at around $1000.

This is an very popular and excellent HF portable radio that has an excellent receiver, low power consumption, can run on external power or 8AA batteries internally, it can transmit up to 12W and has plenty of options like an 100W amplifier, 2M module, pan adapter, ATU, Roofing filters, internal battery charger, custom CW paddle and others that can be added later.

HCRA has printed only 250 tickets and we will start selling them during field day 2014. Tickets will also be sold at meetings and other events throughout 2014 and part of 2015. The drawing will happen when all 250 tickets have been sold or during MTARA’s Hamfest in March of 2015. Plenty of time to obtain your chance.

Raffle is just for the Elecraft KX3 Transceiver only.
Drawing Date Subject To Change

Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW Named as ARRL Contest Manager.

HCRA’s own Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW will be the Contest Manager for the ARRL starting on July 3rd. Good luck to you Matt and hopefully all goes well

From the ARRL:

Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW, of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, will be the new ARRL Contest Branch Manager. He will start work at ARRL Headquarters on July 3. An active contester and a member of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club and the Hampden County Amateur Radio Association, Wilhelm has been licensed since 2009 and holds an Amateur Extra ticket. He became hooked on contesting after the first ARRL Rookie Roundup in April 2010. His expertise — and contest scores — have been rising ever since.

“I cannot tell you how happy I am to be the next ARRL Contest Branch Manager,” Wilhelm said. “I’ll be working hard to provide the high-quality support that contest participants have come to expect from the Contest Branch.”

A native of Dallas, Texas, Wilhelm has an IT background in help desk operations and network security systems management. When not making contest contacts, Wilhelm enjoys mountain biking, home projects, and spending time with his family — his wife, Elizabeth, and his 2-year-old daughter Ruby.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin 24 ARLP024 From Tad Cook, K7RA Seattle, WA June 13, 2014

To all radio amateurs

ARLP024 Propagation de K7RA

Last week’s bulletin opened with your author (me) moaning about a decline in solar activity, but this was short lived. The current week saw average daily sunspot numbers more than double, rising from
60.1 to 144.3, and average daily solar flux rise from 104.1 to 146.4. In addition, on June 12 the daily sunspot number was 196, and solar flux was 174.5. It actually was not long ago when sunspot numbers were last at that level. April 16-19, 2014 had numbers ranging from 245-296.

Predicted values are also up. The latest has solar flux at 170, 165 and 155 on June 13-15, 145 on June 16-18, 140 on June 19, 130 on June 20-21, then reaching down for a low of 110 on June 24-25, then peaking at 165 on July 8. The outlook for Field Day Weekend has brightened, with solar flux at 115 on June 27-28 and 120 on Sunday, June 29.

Predicted planetary A index is 18, 20, 10 and 8 on June 13-16, 5 on June 17, 8 on June 18, 5 on June 19-24, 8 on June 25-26, 5 on June
27 through July 5, 15 on July 6, 5 on July 7-9, 8 on July 10, 5 on July 11-14, and 8 on July 15-16.

OK1HH predicts mostly quiet geomagnetic conditions on June 13, quiet to active June 14, quiet to unsettled June 15, quiet June 16-18, quiet to active June 19, quiet to unsettled June 20, mostly quiet June 21, quiet June 22-24, mostly quiet June 25, quiet to active June 26, active to disturbed June 27, quiet to unsettled June 28, quiet on June 29, quiet to active June 30, mostly quiet July 1-2, quiet to unsettled July 3-4, quiet July 5, quiet to unsettled July 6, active to disturbed July 7, quiet to active July 8, and mostly quiet July 9.

Again this week there was an interruption in data from the middle latitude geomagnetic observatory in Fredericksburg, Virginia, so the middle latitude A index numbers at the end of this bulletin for June
8-9 are my own guesses.

We saw a lot of geomagnetic activity over last weekend, June 8-9, when the planetary K index reached 6 in two 3-hour periods, and the planetary A index was 13 on Saturday, then 39 on Sunday. This geomagnetic storm was from a CME which hit Earth at 1630 UTC on June 7, but left the Sun on June 4.

A significant solar flare on June 10 could cause polar geomagnetic storms today, Friday June 13. It will probably deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field. See for an article about the June 10 flare, and for a UPI story on possible effects today, see

Ted Leaf, K8HI sent a fascinating video and article about renewed activity at the peak of the current solar cycle. See .

Max White, M0VNG sent two relevant articles. See


David Moore sent a review of “Nearest Star; the surprising science of our Sun” which you can read at .

An excellent book I’ve been reading is “Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age” by W. Bernard Carlson. This may be the best biography yet on Tesla, as other articles and books I’ve seen accepted uncritically some of his later work, which included transmitting electrical power via wireless. I think copper wire works better for this.

NASA has a new and slightly revised prediction for Cycle 24.  View it at . The changes from a month ago are:

May 2, 2014 forecast: “The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 70 in the Fall of 2013. The smoothed sunspot number reached 75.0 in October 2013.”


June 12, 2014 forecast: “The current prediction for Sunspot Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 70 in late 2013.
The smoothed sunspot number reached 75.4 in November 2013.”

These are smoothed numbers, averaged with real and predicted values over a year, so when we have higher and extended activity this year, that changed the maximum from fall of 2013 to late 2013, and 75.0 in October 2013 to 75.4 in November 2013.

Astrophysicists at Trinity College in Dublin are using crowdsourcing for classifying sunspots. They want people to visit to rank pairs of sunspot images based on complexity. As you are presented with each pair, use your gut feelings and vote for the image that seems the most complex. Or if you want examples, go to .

We learned of this from the Irish internet news site, and you can read their article “Trinity College astrophysicists want you to play ‘Hot or Not’ with sunspots” at .

Another interesting project to use crowdsourcing is “Seafloor Explorer,” where they want help classifying real images of the ocean floor. Check it out at . People who believe they see a face on Mars or pyramids on the moon should find a lot to like here.

Find other projects and educational info at Click on “Study explosions on the Sun” to enter their Solar Stormwatch project.

This weekend is the ARRL June VHF Contest. The multiplier is number of grid squares worked. The contest begins at 1800 UTC Saturday. See for details.

If you would like to make a comment or have a tip for our readers, email the author at,

For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service web page at For an explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin, see An archive of past propagation bulletins is at More good information and tutorials on propagation are at

Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at

Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at

Sunspot numbers for June 5 through 11 were 102, 132, 155, 144, 152, 149, and 176, with a mean of 144.3. 10.7 cm flux was 110.5, 133, 136.7, 148.6, 161.2, 166.2, and 168.4, with a mean of 146.4.
Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 6, 13, 39, 5, 7, and 7, with a mean of 12. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 5, 14, 40, 6, 7, and 8, with a mean of 12.4.

FCC Decides Not to Adopt New Rules Affecting 902-928 MHz Band

ARRL Bulletin 13  ARLB013
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  June 12, 2014
To all radio amateurs

ARLB013 FCC Decides Not to Adopt New Rules Affecting 902-928 MHz Band

The FCC has terminated a longstanding proceeding involving the
902-928 MHz (33 centimeter) band. In 2006, the FCC, in WT Docket 06-49, proposed rule changes to encourage development of the Multilateration Location Monitoring Service (M-LMS) – a terrestrial service for location of objects and tracking. Amateur Radio is secondary in the band to federal radiolocation systems, industrial, scientific and medical devices, federal fixed and mobile systems, and the M-LMS. This week, the FCC, with little fanfare, concluded that proceeding. The notice can be found on the web in PDF format at,

“Based on the record before us, and on recent developments pertaining to M-LMS operations in the 902-928 MHz band, we conclude that the various proposals for wholesale revisions of the applicable rules do not merit further consideration at this time,” the FCC said.

Commenting on the 2006 proposal, the ARRL expressed concern about increasing noise levels in the band. “This ‘kitchen sink’ of allocations is acceptable from ARRL’s perspective, provided that the noise floor is regulated, in terms of aggregate noise levels from unlicensed devices,” the League said. “The high power levels permitted in this band in particular bear careful watching, lest the allocated radio services, including federal systems, suffer decreased utility of the band.”

After the FCC last June gave consent to Progeny LMS to begin commercial operation of its M-LMS in the upper portion of the
902-928 MHz band, the ARRL worried that a portion of the band could become less useful to radio amateurs in urban areas. “Progeny is deploying a wide-area positioning system to provide more precise location services in areas where Global Positioning System (GPS) and other existing services may not work effectively, particularly indoors and in urban canyons,” the FCC explained at the time.
Progeny’s location service is designed to operate on approximately 4 megahertz – about one-half of the M-LMS portions of the band between 919.750 and 927.750 MHz – where Progeny holds licenses.

While M-LMS operations, at least on paper, have a higher priority than unlicensed Part 15 devices on the band, Progeny had to demonstrate through field testing that its network would not cause “unacceptable levels of interference” to such Part 15 devices as cordless telephones and baby monitors. This was a result of an FCC policy to promote “co-existence” in the band, while not elevating Part 15 devices to co-equal status with M-LMS systems.

In his June 2012 “It Seems to Us…” editorial in QST, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, pointed out that effectively setting unlicensed services such as Part 15 at a higher priority than licensed services “is the reverse of the usual situation in which Part 15 devices are at the bottom of the pecking order.” Federal (military) radiolocation and ISM Part 18 devices are at the top of the 902-928 MHz food chain. Sumner predicted that operations such as Progeny’s “will pose some new challenges for amateurs in a band that is already impacted by other users.”

The latest FCC action will not affect Progeny’s M-LMS deployment. In terminating the 2006 proceeding, the Commission said it had concluded that Progeny could commence commercial M-LMS operations “within the framework that the Commission initially had established to promote the co-existence of M-LMS operations and unlicensed operations in the band.”

Baofeng is Now Pofung

Just a heads up to all that the most popular Chinese HT company has changed its name from Baofeng to Pofung to please Western Markets.

From  Baofeng Pofung:

We are pleased to announce today that we’re rebranding our products as ‘Pofung’? for international markets. 
  Thanks to our valued customers from all over the world, we’ve been embracing an exciting growth in the last few years. We feel it’s time to adapt our brand to the global stage. The current name ‘BAOFENG’, a literal Pinyin translation of our Chinese character name, may be difficult for a hobbyist across the ocean to pronounce. We’ve heard different kinds of pronunciations, like ‘BAY-O-FENG’. The new name ‘Pofung’ is easier to pronounce and more friendly to our customers, while maintaining the phonetic symbolism of our brand.
Our new brand ‘Pofung’ will gradually replace the existing brand ‘BAOFENG’ in the global markets outside China. Products for the domestic market in China will retain their current brand name and identity. Our official web domain will remain unchanged. 
  The new brand builds on our heritage as a reliable and professional provider of high-performance ham transceivers.We will continue to provide our customers with high-quality, cost-effective radio communication solutions, through our authorized distributors like AMAZON.COM, SAIN STORE, RADIODDITY.COM, and BAOFENGTECH.COM. We advise you to purchase only from authorized distributors to ensure quality of the products and service you get. 
  The rebrand is also in line with our global vision and our commitment to strive toward excellence. We look forward to bringing you more exciting products under the new brand. For updates on our rebranding process and information on our new products, please visit and the following websites of our business partners: and