I would like to throw out an idea for a possible meeting topic next year and would like to hear other members’ opinions on it.
The meeting would be a ham radio film festival and we would screen ham radio related film shorts produced by our members as well as a few from other sources. Now the first thing that might come to mind is a video tour of your QTH where technical details about the shack and antennas are documented. While making that type of movie is a GREAT idea, it would probably be better for screening at our annual show and tell meeting. What I’m thinking are short films that capture, discuss, and/or document your, another ham’s, or a group of ham’s experience in amateur radio. Maybe a SOTA activation, a portable operation, a special event, your experience at field day or some other emcomm training event. How about creating a documentary about your favorite ham friend who buys lots of kits, but rarely builds them. Or maybe you have an elmer who you would like to make a short film about. Better yet a film about your own experience in ham radio or a film that captures what you feel are the most important aspects of the hobby. And of course, there would be popcorn, hot dogs and soda available in the lobby before the show and during the intermission.
For this to be successful, we need a few brave hams to step forward and decide that making a ham radio short is something they would like to do. If there are enough 1) members interested in making a ham radio film short and 2) members interested in screening ham radio film shorts, then we’ll come up with some more specific guidelines like length restrictions and format. Whether you think it’s a good or bad idea, please share your thoughts on this idea for a meeting. And if you have any interest in making a film, please let me know as well. It won’t work if we’re just sitting there staring at a blank screen. You can post comments here or contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have other ham radio related topics or ideas for a meeting, please share those as well. We want to put together a program that our members will find interesting and engaging and we can’t do that if you don’t tell us topics that interest you!
The New England QSO Party is coming next weekend – May 4-5 – and we’ are always looking for more activity from Massachusetts.
The NEQP is a great way to test your antennas on 80-10 meters and to be the focus of a lot of activity as stations from around the world look for New England stations.
Plus, it’s fun!!
Here is a summary of the New England QSO Party rules:
- Object: To contact as many New England stations (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) in as many New England counties as possible on 80-40-20-15-10m. (New England stations work anyone)
- Date: First full weekend of May. (May 4-5 in 2013)
- Contest Period: 2000Z Saturday until 0500Z Sunday (4pm EDT Saturday until 1am EDT Sunday) and 1300Z Sunday until 2400Z Sunday (9am EDT Sunday until 8pm EDT Sunday).
- Categories: Single-operator high power, low power(150w or less) and QRP(5w or less) categories, plus multi-operator, single transmitter. Same four categories for mobiles. Single-operator stations using assistance during the contest (packet or Internet spotting nets, etc.) will compete in the multi-single category.
- Contest Exchange: Send signal report and state/province (DX stations send signal report and “DX”). New England stations send signal report, county and state.
- QSO Points: Count one point per phone QSO, two points per CW (includes digital modes)QSO.
- Multiplier: Stations outside of New England use counties as multipliers for a total of 67 (CT/8 MA/14 ME/16 NH/10 RI/5 VT/14). New England stations use states(50)(Count DC as MD), Canadian provinces(14) and DXCC countries as multipliers.
Total score is QSO points times the multiplier. Mobiles count QSO points per county and multipliers from all counties (counted once).
- Suggested frequencies: CW – 3540 7035 14040 21040 28040, SSB – 3850 7280 14280 21380 28380. ** Now that the broadcast stations are mostly out of 7125-7200, try 7180 on 40m SSB.**
- Reporting: Logs should indicate times in UTC, bands, modes, calls and required contest exchange. All stations include your club’s name in the log header or summary. Entries must be submitted within 30 days and sent to NEQP, P.O.Box J, West Suffield CT 06093 or via e-mail to email@example.com (Cabrillo format preferred).
- Awards: Certificates will be awarded to the top scorers (25 QSO minimum) in each New England county, U.S. state, Canadian province and DXCC country. A number of special plaques will also be awarded to top scorers.
Additional details can be found on the NEQP web site at http://www.neqp.org
See if you can have a competition within your club for the top scorer. Several clubs are challenging each other for the best club score.
We’re especially looking for mobile stations to put the rarest counties on the air.
If you think you might be on for at least a short time in the NEQP, let us know with a brief message to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Tom/K1KI for the NEQP Committee
New England QSO Party – http://www.neqp.org – May 4-5, 2013
Arriving in the mail today was this beautiful plaque for our efforts during last year’s NEQP.
WB1Z County Hunter Award – 2012
We’re going to be back there again this year and hope to bring HCRA home yet another award. Thanks to Frandy/N1FJ, Matt/W1MSW and of course Dave/AA1YW for providing a comfy shack in Windham County, VT
Where will you be operating from this year?
More info on NEQP can be found here.
Click here (saves time going to the Zero Beat archive page!
Another good issue this month, please take the time to check out Frandy’s hard work. Thanks also to the authors submitting articles too!
Friday’s meeting should be a good one. The weather is predicted to be perfect for takeing a tour of the MCU (Mobile Communications Unit), then retire inside for a Powerpoint presentation by Bill/W1GTT about the trailer and how their club works with the state of CT to provide emergency communications.
NEAR-fest should be outstanding this year too with good weather predicted for both days! A great place for ham radio bargain hunting.
See you Friday night,
Today’s Technician class was what you would call an “unbridled success”. HCRA’s instructor group consisting of John/Kx1x, Nick/K1MAZ, Frandy/N1FJ, and myself along with VE help from Al/N1AW and Rich/N1KXR managed a 100% pass rate. At the end of the day seven new Technicians have joined our ranks. Adding to the success was Rob/N1NTE upgrading to Extra while waiting for his family to successfully take their Technician exams.
Without doubt much of the class success can be attributed to great preparation. All the students had read and reviewed the texts, taken practice exams and came prepared with questions about the more difficult parts. It was truly a pleasure working with them and we hope they enjoy their new hobby.
My thanks goes out to all our HCRA members that helped put smiles on faces today – that’s truly what this club is all about!
As previously reported John and I will be hosting a ‘One Day’ Technician Class this coming Saturday. More details about the class are here.
Special thanks to all the folks that have volunteered to help with instruction – we’re really looking forward to your involvement. One thing missing was the time/location of the class as that was being decided at the time the first message went out. So, here it is!
One Day Technician Class (and VE session)
West Brookfield Senior Center
73 Central Street
West Brookfield, MA 01585
Time: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
There will be a lunch break around noon, VE exams will begin around 3:00 PM.
The class is free to anyone that wants to attend. There is a $15 ARRL VEC exam fee if you want to take an exam.
If you’ve been studying and want to join the class for review come on over. We have plenty or room and would love to have you. Want to help clarify some of the material for the students? We can use your help too. Don’t stay home this Saturday, come over and join the fun!
See you Saturday…
John/Kx1x & Jim/KK1W
Tom/K1KI sent the message copied below. Please take a moment to read it and hopefully you will be QRV in NEQP this year. Don’t forget, HCRA sponsors a beautiful plaque for high score, single op, Hampden County. I’ll bet it would look nice on the wall in YOUR shack!
Here’s Tom’s message:
I hope everyone is thinking ahead to the New England QSO Party on May 4th and 5th.
The NEQP is a great time to check out antenna systems and radios outside of the major contests. Plus – the focus will be working you. Activity is usually very good – there’s also the Italian DX contest the same weekend, the on Saturday you’ll be able to catch all of the W7 multipliers in the 7QP.
We’re working to make sure that all of the New England counties are active again this year and would appreciate your help. Get on for at least an hour or two and join in on the fun. Please let me know if you can put in any time at all so we can work on activity from the rarest counties.
Oh yes, the NEQP is also lots of fun when mobile. Every time you cross a county line the pileup starts over again. It’s amazing what a 100w radio and mobile whip can do.
The contest is 20 hours long overall, in two sections with a civilized break for sleep Saturday night. It goes from 4pm Saturday until 1am Sunday, then 9am Sunday until 8pm Sunday.
Last year we had logs from more than 50 YCCCers – and 400+ other stations. You’ll find that many of the participants will turn into future big gun contesters aftere\ they figure it all out!
Full rules are here -> http://www.neqp.org/rules.html
The last eleven year’s worth of results are here -> http://www.neqp.org/results.html
See if you can set a record or two!
Will you be QRV?
John/Kx1x and I are looking for help with a one-day Technician class to be held on April 27th, 2013. This was a small class planned as a ‘one-day’ intense session for a handful of students, but it has morphed into a twelve student extravaganza!
Yep, the class consists of a dozen ‘highly motivated’ and prepared students and our goal is a 100% pass rate – hopefully we can accomplish our goal. Or need is for a few more instructors to help with reviewing the material, answer questions from the students that need clarification and guide some interactive, on line exams. We’re also looking for anyone desiring to help with the test session immediately following the class.
You need not commit a whole day, if you can give the students an hour of your time it will be a great benefit. Think about it, would YOU want to listen to either John or me for six hours? See, we don’t need your help, the students do!
Class starts at 9:00 AM and the VE session is planned for 3:00 PM. Class location is at the Senior Center in West Brookfield, MA
If you have a few hours to help a dozen folks get their ham ticket please contact either John or I at our email addresses or on the HCRA facebook page. Let’s show how HCRA can make a difference in our fine hobby!
John/Kx1x & Jim/KK1W
Putting in a major effort last year Dave ‘brings home the gold‘ (or at least the plaque) for High Score, Single Operator in Hampden County. Battling it out with eleven other entries Dave’s 31,850 points almost doubled the next closest score of the W1NY club call operated by Ed/KB1NWH. Here’s Dave’s soapbox comment:
WN1E – Had a great time doing the contest this year. Decided to put more effort into making cw contacts. This really helped with the final score, and I was glad I put in the effort. Thanks to all who were patient with me on the cw side.
Well said Dave and we hope you have a nice spot on the wall for your plaque!
Other HCRA highlights from last year’s NEQP:
1. HCRA came in fourth in the club competition. If you look at club logs submitted we came in third. Nice work folks.
2. HCRA’s WB1Z team achieved fourth place in the multi-single category. Operating from AA1YW’s vacation home in Vermont Dave/AA1YW, Matt/W1MSW, Frandy/N1FJ and Jim/KK1W racked up 120,428 points also landing them the highest score in Vermont.
3. The WB1Z team won the New England County Expedition Award.
Click here to see all the results from NEQP 2012. How did your score stack up?
What are your plans for NEQP 2013? It’s easy, it’s fun and since the contest takes a night time break from 1:00 AM to 9:00 AM Sunday morning you can actually get some sleep too! Take a few moments out of your busy schedule, get on the air and hand out some New England QSO’s. Like Matt/W1MSW said at Friday’s meeting, “we’re the DX for a change and other stations will be looking for us”. Click here to read the rules for this year’s contest.
Good luck and imagine how nice that HCRA plaque will look in your shack!
Were trying out a new thing. We’re trying to broadcast out meetings live. Give it a shot, We should be live right now (4/5/2013 @ 7:00pm)
Presenter this month is Doug Grant (K1DG) talking about WRTC 2014
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