HCRA March Meeting (Mar 3rd, 2017) – VHF/UHF Weak Signal Communications

HCRA March Meeting 2017

Friday March 3rd 2017 at 7:30pm. Holyoke Medical Center Auxiliary Conference Center

This month HCRA is proud to have Dick Frey (WA2AAU), president of the North East Weak Signal group. He will be discussing working long distance on VHF and UHF. With the solar cycle heading into a null, this would be an excllent meeting for those wishing to try out other aspects of amateur radio.

This will also be the last chance to purchase KX2 Raffle tickets at the general meeting. If you are interested in becoming an HCRA member, there will be applications available at the meeting. You can also download an application from our website. If you are a member and haven’t renewed yet, we’ve made it easy. You can securely renew online using either your credit card or paypal.

All members and the general public are invited

Click Here for directions to the HMC Aux conf center

HCRA Clublog Challenge 2016 Winners Are In

HCRA like to encourage on air activity from our members. We compete in a few contests and challenges every year. This year HCRA participated in the “Clublog Challenge”. The goal was to make as many contacts with as many countries or entities throughout the year. At the end of the year, we would tally up the results and hand out certificates to everyone involved. We used a service called Clublog. Approved HCRA members would periodically upload their log files to clublog where DXCC contacts are sorted and by each band, overall unique DXCC contacts and the sum of unique DXCC contacts on each band. It proved to be very successful in 2015 so we did it again in 2016. We now have 25 HCRA members participating in the year long event.

This

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
DXCC NU1O (248) NF1G (229) NV1Q (199)
SLOTS NU1O (882) NF1G (737) KK1W (720)

Congrats to Christopher Scibelli (NU1O), Paul Kelliher (NF1G), Juegren Malner (NV1Q) and James Mullen (KK1W)

Band Winners Are

Category 1st 2nd 3rd
160 KK1W (80) K1NZ (26) WD1S (15)
80 KK1W (87) NV1Q (71) K1NZ (67)
60 K1NZ (21) NU1O (4) KK1W (2)
40 NU1O (190) KK1W (120) W1MSW (109)
30 NF1G (102) NU1O (84) KK1W (37)
20 NU1O (211) NV1Q (134) N1FTP (127)
17 NF1G (186) NU1O (93) AB1WT (71)
15 NU1O (127) KK1W (121) NF1G (119)
12 NF1G (88) W1MJB (26) NU1O (24)
10 KK1W (92) NU1O (75) NV1Q (73)
6 NU1O (2) W1AST (2)

Thank you to those who participated. Certificates are available to all those who participated in 2016 at the next meeting. Hopefully we can do this again in 2017 and put some incentives to get members on the air.

If you’re an HCRA member and you are interested in participating in the Clublog challenge, We’ve setup a step-by-step guide in how to become a clublog member.

Overall Results

Rank Callsign 160 80 60 40 30 20 17 15 12 10 6 DXCC Slots Range
1 NU1O 5 67 4 190 84 211 93 127 24 75 2 248 882 29 yrs
2 NF1G 0 18 0 75 102 110 186 119 88 39 0 229 737 2 yrs
3 NV1Q 9 71 0 86 24 134 54 118 19 73 0 199 588 38 yrs
4 KK1W 80 87 2 120 37 126 38 121 16 92 1 185 720 41 yrs
5 N1FTP 0 4 0 40 0 127 12 79 0 30 1 150 293 8 yrs
6 W1MSW 0 51 0 109 5 114 18 108 1 47 0 149 453 6 yrs
8 W1AST 0 16 0 43 1 93 51 51 3 37 2 131 297 8 yrs
7 K1VOI 0 11 0 42 14 96 34 84 8 32 0 131 321 16 yrs
9 AB1WT 0 18 0 33 0 76 71 49 13 22 1 125 283 3 yrs
10 N1HM 1 4 0 25 0 92 26 45 4 10 0 124 207 2 yrs
11 KX1X 1 30 0 59 4 66 10 86 0 57 0 115 313 19 yrs
12 K1NZ 26 67 21 86 6 52 11 48 1 11 0 113 329 6 yrs
13 N1AW 0 12 0 25 5 70 9 22 1 6 1 101 151 3 yrs
14 W1MJB 0 11 0 10 13 39 50 34 26 8 1 97 192 14 yrs
15 WD1S 15 34 0 57 4 74 2 36 0 23 1 95 246 5 yrs
16 AB1XW 0 5 0 44 0 84 0 68 0 9 0 95 210 4 yrs
17 WN1E1 0 4 0 44 24 59 7 68 2 16 0 92 224 26 yrs
18 KB1VWQ 1 2 0 14 1 37 3 5 1 2 1 46 67 6 yrs
19 KC1BDF 0 0 0 5 0 37 0 0 0 1 0 37 43 2 yrs
20 WA1MOW 0 0 0 2 0 11 7 0 3 4 0 24 27 1 yrs
21 KB1VSX 0 1 0 2 0 19 2 0 0 2 0 20 26 0 yrs
22 KC1PUG 0 2 0 11 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 18 25 0 yrs
23 KC1BTA 0 0 0 1 0 7 0 3 0 3 0 11 14 2 yrs
24 NT1K 0 1 0 2 0 5 0 2 0 1 0 9 11 7 yrs
25 N1MFL 0 1 0 2 0 7 1 0 0 0 0 7 11 4 yrs

Thanks for reading! Stay On The Air
– Jeff

HCRA BOD Meeting Minutes for 05-Jan-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 05-Jan-2017

Attendees:

President – NT1K (Jeff)

Vice President – WM1B (Dave)

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

Absent:

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:11pm ———————

President Report:

  • The Web page is up and running.
  • The Forums may be removed due to lack of use.
  • On Jan 7, Jeff will be attending the ARRL NE Cabinet meeting. Jeff will report back the results of that meeting.
  • Jeff mentioned how well the Holiday party went. Food was good, location was great and he heard no negative feedback.
  • Jeff will get a more definitive agreement on swapping the Holiday party between MTARA and HCRA.

Vice President Report:

  • Nothing to report at this time.

Secretary Report:

  • As of the BOD meeting, 85 raffle tickets have been sold.
  • Harold and Dave have submitted the 990-N and the Annual Report for 2016.
  • Jeff and Harold will get together on how the Liability Insurance for Special Service Clubs is to be submitted and when.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report:

  • January 6th guest speaker will be Rockwell Schrock WW1X, Remote Ham Radio
  • February 3rd guest speaker is John from Hamsource
  • March 3rd is Dick Fey WA2AAU, Northeast Weak Signal Group
  • April 7th is our annual Show N’ Tell
  • May 5th will be Steve Davidson, Mgr HRO, Salem, NH, Go Boxes
  • June 2nd, Elections and Field Day 2017 and a TBA short presentation

At Large Report:

  • Karl has been looking for a spike driver for Field Day to no avail. He did suggest that we purchase or build some 6-foot Y poles to hold the antenna ends up while it is being fastened to the towers. A great suggestion.

Membership Report:

  • Currently there are 85 paid members.

Technical Director:

  • During the past few months, Bob has helped a new amateur in Agawam get his antenna/station setup and tested.

Zero Beat Editor:

  • Up for future discussion is a suggested that Gary had in regards to sending out Zero Beat every other month. (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, & Nov) Another item for discussion is whether we should have a “Lending Library”.

Old Business:

  • License Class location. A location with separate rooms is very difficult to find. As a last report, mention of using one room but the classes split up over weeks was made. Larry is also looking at another alternative site.
  • Field Day will again be mentioned at the next membership meeting emphasizing the need for Tower and Antenna Captains as well as a Field Day Committee. These positions are not meant for BOD members unless they volunteer to do so.

New Business:

  • The “ARRL Contest Eligibility List” has been worked on by Jim (KK1W) and forwarded to Jeff. In short, a list of members that will be participating in a Club event (ex. 10m contest) must be submitted to the ARRL prior to the contest. More details will be available at future BOD meetings
  • Share the Knowledge – Portable operations? (This topic will be tabled until the next meeting)
  • HCRA Banner. A motion was made to purchase a HCRA Banner. Larry approved the motion, Dave second the motion.
    • In Favor – 7
    • Apposed – 0
  • Show and Tell prizes. A motion was made to purchase a Raspberry Pi for 1st place, a multi-function tester for second place and a book for 3rd Dave approved the motion and Karl second the motion.
    • In Favor – 7
    • Apposed – 0

Open Floor Discussion:

  • The Board has decided to award another plaque for a member that has gone above and beyond in supporting the Club. Juergen and Larry will supply the Secretary with the wording for the plaque.
  • Dave mentioned that we have a Welcome Guide and perhaps it is time to add more to articles. This has been tabled for a future BOD meeting.
  • Juergen started a Club award discussion. Not a contest but a way for all ham radio operators to receive a HCRA award for the accumulation of New England Counties as an example. This has been tabled for a future BOD meeting.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:45pm ———————

Last Swap & Sell of 2016

SwapSign
Last Swap & Sell of 2016 is this Friday, November 4th. There isn’t a December meeting because of the Holiday Party
 
Let’s end 2016 with a bang! Take a look around your shack and bring in an item or two that will become someone else’s holiday gift :).
 
From the KK1W shack is an assortment of books and a nice LED desk lamp (with USB charger) to read them under. Some old, some new all good reading that will expand your amateur radio horizons.
img_20161101_220033775
 
What are you bringing? Please comment to this post, with photos if possible.
 
Oh, the desk lamp is brand new AND is rumored to be grey with #87 on it, whatever that means...
Have you purchased your Holiday Party ticket yet? They’ll be on sale at the meeting. See Harold/N1FTP so you don’t go hungry this holiday season.
 
See you Friday evening,
 
Jim/KK1W

HCRA Contest University – Slides And Links

Thanks to all who attended HCRA Contest University. Hopefully it was beneficial. Here are the slides (in PDF format) and notable links.

HCRA – Introduction To Contesting Presentation

HCRA – Small station Bang For The Buck Presentation

VOAcap Online – Propagation Prediction Website/Software
Contest Calendar – Upcoming Contest Schedule
3830 Scores – Study your colleagues
CQcontest.net – Live contest scores

HCRA Contest University – Sept 17th 2016

contestu2

On Saturday (September 17th 2016) HCRA will be continuing its “Share The Knowledge” series with Contest University. This class is perfect for those who are interested in contesting and for experienced contesters to use a refresher. The goal is to make the transition into contesting as easy as possible. We will be covering everything from choosing a contest, setting up your station, and optimizing both your station and score. We will also cover the installation and overview of the popular contesting software N1MM Logger +

Class will start at 9am and continue on into the early afternoon. Please come prepared.

When: Saturday, September 17th 2016
Where: Holyoke Medical Center Aux Conf. Center
Address: 575 Beech St. Holyoke MA, 01040
Time: 9am – ???

HCRA will provide coffee, donuts and lunch to HCRA members.

 

“Make a cheap ham HAPPY” night at HCRA!

Returning Friday, September 9, is HCRA’s Swap & Sell Table. A sight guaranteed to brings smiles of joy to any frugal hams’s face.

IMG_20160906_083112361

Take a look at the photos, it gives you an idea of just some of this month’s offerings. That’s correct, you see a 1.3G frequency counter, project boxes, transformers, and more. There’s even a LARGE box of assorted wire and cable, dig through, pick what you want and make your donation. No reasonable offer refused.

Make the table even better by bringing along your own items for sale. The more we have, the more exciting for everyone!

NEWS FLASH! Rumor has it N1FJ may have a Mosley Tri-Bander to contribute to the cause. Watch for more info and and bring your roof rack for an HF antenna bargain

IMG_20160906_083201130 IMG_20160906_083313937 IMG_20160906_092721237

HCRA BOD meeting notes for 29Aug2016

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 29-Aug-2016

Attendees:

President – NT1K

Vice President – WM1B

Secretary – N1FTP

Treasurer – NV1Q

Program Dir. – W1AST

At Large – KB1RXO

Membership – K1VOI

 

Absent:

Tech. Dir – K1YO

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW

 

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:09pm ———————

President Report:

  • Jeff will be delegating more responsibilities. He was overwhelmed, especially at FD. Emphasis this year will be on committed volunteers.
  • PayPal account administrator name needs to be changed.
  • The Web site and domain name has been renewed. The web site is good for 2 years while the domain name is good for 3 years.
  • Ownership of the domain name should also be changed to a BOD member.

Vice President Report:

  • Nothing to report at this time.

Secretary Report:

  • Harold will be liaison for the MTARA/HCRA Holiday. To date, the hall is secured, the date is set, and we are just waiting for the tickets.
  • 43 tickets have been sold in our KX2 raffle.
  • Harold and Dave will get together to discuss submission of the Annual Report as well as the 990 form that needs to be filed.

Treasurers Report:

  • Financial Statement:
    • Beginning Balance: $8985.65
    • Dep/Wdr: $1744.35
    • Ending Balance: $7241.30

Program Director Report:

  • September’s guest speaker will be with K1KP, Tony Brock-Fischer on Solar energy.
  • October’s guest speaker will be W1JSB, Hanz from Radio Set Go.
  • November’s guest speaker will be Dennis N1IMW on the history of Chatham Marconi Maritime Center.

At Large Report:

  • Nothing to report at this time.

Membership Report:

  • Currently there are 22 members including family members. 16 paid members. A big push will be made for renewals in the coming months.

Old Business:

Field Day 2016

  • Field Day overall was a success but things need to change:
    • People/Volunteers need to be dedicated to the entire event. This includes
      • Tower captains
      • Beam captains
      • There needs to be a co-chair who knows the station layouts, radio hookups, etc.
      • Volunteers must be committed to setup and teardown.
    • New stakes will be looked into due to difficulty in removing the old screw type stakes.

Contest University

  • Contest University with Matt and Jeff is nearing completion. There are three parts to the presentation and will tentatively be held on Sept 17th.
  • A motion to have Coffee, Donuts and Pizza at the Contest University presentation.
    • In Favor – 7
    • Apposed – 0

Arduino Class

  • Jurgen has purchased a few more Arduino kits and the ready for a third week in October presentation date. More to follow.

Holiday Party

  • From KC1AEO, Rich, 50% of the work is complete. The Castle of Knights had a deposit for the December 4, 2016 date. The menu is set.
    The tasks that need to be completed at this juncture are to have tickets printed, and to promote the party as we approach the event date.  We will also need to finalize menu plans, floor plan and final head count.
    The first task we need to complete is to have the tickets printed.
    Al Grimaldi KB1XG has already procured some nice prizes for the party including a Accurite weather station with color monitor.

License Classes

  • Jeff has been getting the run around from the WSP library and is now looking into alternative locations. The difficulty is that the classes are held on Wednesday night, Thursday night, and all day Saturday.

New Business:

  • Volunteers, volunteers, volunteers …
  • The ClubLog competition is still going on and the certificates were a good idea.
  • Show and Tell prizes were discussed with a motion to purchase an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and 2 tickets for the KX2 drawing.
    • In Favor – 7
    • Apposed – 0
  • An Auction discussion was held and will be brought up to the membership in the understanding that there will need to be a lead person as well as volunteers to head this up.

 

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:13pm ———————

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!