HCRA’s 250 Raffle – Win A Kenwood TS-590SG

Win A Kenwood TS-590SG


Tickets Just $10 EA


It’s that time for the Hampden County Radio Associations (HCRA) annual raffle. This year the board of directors wanted to raffle off a 100w base station transceiver. The Kenwood TS-590SG ($1700 Retail) was the perfect choice because it’s a very excellent radio packed with features that rival radios that cost much more. It’s an HF-6M 100W with 32bit DSP that has excellent receiver according to sherwood engineering. Some of the features include

  • Auto Tuner
  • On Screen CW decoding
  • HF and 6M Antenna Jacks
  • Programmable Functions
  • 500hz / 2.7kHz  Roofing Filters
  • USB Port
  • Noise Reduction
  • Down Conversion

HCRA has printed 250 tickets. Due to the price of the item, HCRA has put a limit on the minimum amount of tickets that can be sold before the raffle is allowed to take place. If the minimum amount has been reached, the item will be raffled at the Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association’s Ham Fest in 2016. We’re asking $10 for each ticket.

Tickets will be available at HCRA meetings, VE Sessions at Holyoke Medical Center, Field Day, Selected area Hamfest/Fleamarkets and through the board of directors.

May 7, 2015 Board Meeting Minutes

May 7th 2015, IHOP

Meeting called to order at 7:10 by President Ed KB1NWH,
In attendance: Larry W1AST, Gary WA1MOW, Rick N1KXR, Bob K1YO, Jeff NT1K, Dave WM1B, Guests, Faye Krainson,

VP W1MOR Report : Absent No Report

TREASURER AA1YW Report: Absent No Report

SECRETARY WM1B Any Business: Discussion of Ham Club testing Beta Data Base for membership. Consensus is that we not go in at this time, further discussion of keeping our existing DB as one will be discussed at future meetings.

MEMBERSHIP N1KXR Head count: 96 total: 83 Paid, 5 family, 3 Life, 5 Prospects

TECHNICAL K1YO Issues: Any classes coming up? He has been asked by a couple of individuals if we are having a class soon. Jeff will Plan a Technician class this fall. Bob helped a new ham (KC1DKU) put up an antenna this past week. Also setup a switch for KB1VWQ

PROGRAM : W1AST Great Job This year Concern about attendance at last two meetings, A lot attributed to season. We discussed about a time limit of 45min to an hour. Looks like interesting programs in the works for next year. Discussion on a possible weekend (Sat) training session on DX Labs. Guest speakers enjoy the dinner.

AT-LARGE NT1K. FD Update: Plea for help went out. All stations have captains. Towers: The 4th tower that was borrowed in the past is no longer available. We are currently looking for a 4th AB 577 tower to use or purchase. We are looking to operate as a 5A . If we can’t get an additional AB577 tower we will operate as 4A. One as a WRTC tower and operate as a CW station only. The set up and equipment test will be at Dave’s QTH for Sunday, May 17 at 10AM.
Park: An E-Mail  to the park was sent, we are still waiting for the response regarding specific details. Raffle: TBD

Website: Major updates with some patches. About 50 unique hits a day, Special pages are getting good hits. HCRA BOD to be discussed at next meeting with new board.

ZB WA1MOW Dead line date? Gary requested that no additions be submitted after the draft published. Content is to be submitted to Gary. May 29 – closing date for June issue. Question regarding taking ads for ZB. Decision was that we do not want to enter into this issue.


Holiday Party: Discussion regarding locations. Table for next Board Meeting: June 11, 7:00 PM

Target Cost per member $20 for a total cost of $35 maximum including gratuity.

Slate of 2015-2016 Officers

President Jeff NT1K
Vice President OPEN
Treasurer Juergen NV1Q
Secretary Dave WM1B
Membership John K1VOI
Technical Bob K1YO
Program LarryW1AST
At Large Eric W1MOR
Zero Beat Gary WA1MOW

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM

Respectively Submitted,
David Fant Secretary WM1B

Mar 12th Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting Started 7:15

VP W1MOR Report.  Nothing to report

TREASURER AA1YW Report.  Balance $9095.  KX3 profit $781.22.  Christmas party cost $931, Used 40 meter beam cost $200, Donation HMC $250, Donation Agawam Park and Rec $250

SECRETARY – WM1B : Any Business.  Paper work up to date

MEMBERSHIP N1KXR Head count 102 members

TECHNICAL K1YO Report.  Online tech time- waiting for participants.  Assist WM1B with antenna when weather a little better.  Assist KA1DDv with headset wiring.

PROGRAM W1AST Who is our next speaker? High Altitude Ballooning – Larry Palmer (NW1X).  Speaker for may secured

AT-LARGE NT1K.  Outstanding Job at the Flea!  Working on welcome packets for the new hams from the VE sessions.  Ericand Larry to assist.  Web site up to date, New button for FD 2015.  In process of creating a New member form for the web site.

ZB WA1MOW Dead line date? 3/27.  Want copy of database for e-mail addresses.


Organize slate of officers

Pres – NT1K
VP – Open
Treasurer – Juergen NV1Q
Secretary – WM1B
Membership – Open
Technical – K1YO
Program – Open
At Large – W1MOR

FD 2015

Jeff had sent out a wake up a while ago.  Now we need to start acting.

Need to definitely have a test and tune day.  We have all new antennas to us, and FD is not the time to guess. The trailer is at AA1YW’s and the other 40 meter beam is at W1MOR’s.

I Sent an e-mail to MTARA about selling us a AB577.  If not then we need to borrow one.  Frandy?  Steve (N1SR)?,MTARA?

We need to start getting operators, band captains, and set up crew organized.

The park is secured.  Not sure on the usage of the new band shell or power.  There is a nice pavilion there but not sure about the usage of that either.  I will talk to Chris about these in the next month.

Should there be a FD committee or should it be the board? There should be its own committee


Jeff NT1K mentioned about the club building another antenna.  This time it would be a Stub J Pole AKA, OSJ pole.  For a fee of $35 he would supply the materials for you to build.

Next BOD meetings:

Both at the IHOP in West Springfield
May 7th
June 11th

Meeting ended 8:45


Respectively Submitted

HCRA Trailer Day

This past weekend some of your HCRA BOD members were hard at work getting the trailer in ready for field day!


We’ve took almost everything out the trailer and made note of any damaged or missing items. We also partially assembled one of two WRTC TX-38 antennas that we’ve purchased to get a general idea of how it will be assembled. Even though there are a lot of parts, it’s not really that bad.

Over the winter HCRA has acquired another 40 meter 2 element beam that is the same make and model as the one we already have. Since we’ve moved to school street park, we’ve been using  40m beams on both CW and SSB but we’ve always had to borrow the 2nd beam. Now we have two beams.


The beam has seen better days however but the traps are decent shape and there is no major damage other than crack in one of the support arms that doesn’t effect the antenna. The antenna also has rusted and missing U-bolts. We lightly sanded the antenna, assembled as much as we could and tested the driven element.



We hoisted the driven element up into a tree and hooked it up to an analyzer

Screenshot_2015-05-17-13-19-22Results are not bad considering the testing conditions. Once the replacement parts show up, I think we will have a decent beam to add to our stock. We will no longer have to beg people to use their antennas as we’re now fully stocked

The AB-577 towers

For many years whenever we needed to put up a fourth tower, we’ve always had to ask a club member to use their personal AB-577. Since we’re now located at School Street Park in Agawam, having a 4th tower is important due to the lack of trees with the height for a 40 or 80m wire antenna. This year proved quite difficult to obtain a 4th tower so we thought we should purchase one. Thankfully the Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association (MTARA) had an AB-577 they were willing to sell. We’ve since picked it up and it’s now with the other AB-577s we have in stock. It’s in really good condition with no work needed. This means we no longer have to beg people to use their tower. If there were ever a situation other than Field Day where we would have to set these up, it will much easier to deploy and we would hopefully have enough.

Overall the day went well. Other than a couple broken bolts/clamps, the list is quite small. We now have a better understanding of the TX-38s and having the 4th AB-577 made things much better and easier.

If you’re going to be in the Agawam Area on the weekend of June 27th, please stop by school street park and say hello. We’re also looking for volunteers to help with setup, operating and teardown. Without volunteers, Field Day at School street park will not be possible. So please check out the Field Day page for more information.

Hope to see you there!

– Jeff (NT1K
HCRA At-Large


Links and slides from this past meeting

Big thanks to Steve Dick (K1RF) for making the trip up to Hampden County to talk about speaker design for the amateur radio operator. It was very interesting. Steve referenced a lot of websites and products. He has sent us a PDF of his presentation.

Loudspeaker Design Considerations for Amateur Radio RevD

With this PDF, you should be able to click on the links he referenced.

Thanks for coming out to the meeting!

Volunteers Needed For Scantic Spring Splash!

From Bob (W1SQ)


Good Morning.

The annual Scantic Spring Splash Canoe/Kayak Race is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2015.

The group is in need of licensed Amateurs for coordination/river security.
I request is to pass this email to them so they may volunteer as individuals.
Hours will be from 8:30 AM to approximately 2:00 pm.
Meeting Point is Powder Mill Barn, South Maple St at the Scantic River, Enfield, Ct.

Contact Bob Laflamme, W1SQ
860-982-6471 or w1sq@arrl.net


Jan 2015 Board Meeting Minutes

HCRA. BOD Meeting Minutes for Jan 9, 2015
Location: Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield

Called to Order @ 18:30

BOD Members in attendance

  • Rich  N1XR                   via conference call
  • Jeff   NT1K                   in person
  • Bob      K1YO               in person
  • Gary     W1MOW                      in person
  • Eric      W1MOR                       in person
  • Ed        KB1NWH         in person

VP W1MOR-Holiday party- Sales, Recap.

  • 53 tickets sold by HCRA

Treasurer AA1YW-report.

  • Need a check for the HMC for a donation for the use of the room.
  • Donation check to Agawam Park and Rec.
  • MTARA to mail a check for $1,250.11 to the HCRA P.O.Box for Holiday party reimbursement
  • Name Badges to be increased from $11.00 to $12.00 due to loss of  revenue
  • Money requested and ratified for used beam purchase in the amount of $175.00
  • $11.00 profit of 50/50 Raffle from January club meeting
  • $92.00 check requested for PO Box payment

Secretary WM1B-report,

  • absent

ZB WA1MOW- deadline for ZB.

  • Any more input from members?
  • Should we discontinue?
  • Ask an Elmer section?
  • Classified Section?
  • Should we ask other clubs for content?
  • Add contact info and procedures for ordering custom attire provided by W1AST

At Large/Website NT1K-updates, KX3 sales.

  • KX3 sales on track and all websites being managed/maintained/updated

Membership  N1XR

  • We have 96 total members valid through 2015. The breakdown is as follows:
  • Paid members: 83
  • Family members: 5
  • Prospect (Free): 5
  • Life ((Free): 3

Program W1AST-

  • Need to advertise the meetings.
  • Request contact info and procedures for ordering custom attire

Technical K1YO-

  • tech corner before the meeting.
  • Started with antenna diagnostics.

BOD Mtg locations.

  • Larry (W1AST), Gary (W1MOW), & Rich (N1XR) to form a committee to find and reserve suitable location for March BOD meeting.

Meeting Adjourned @ 19:42

NEAR-Fest: May 1st and 2nd, 2015

From: W1RC, MisterMike
To: All for Immediate Release

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

It is with great regret and sadness that I must inform the radio amateurs and electronic hobbyists of New England that the NEAR-Fest Board of Directors finds it necessary to POSTPONE the FreeFest aspect of NEAR-FEST XVII that was scheduled for May 2015.  It will be held at a later date.  However, first and foremost, I want to assure everyone that NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE AS SCHEDULED on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, at the Deerfield NH Fairgrounds.  NEAR-Fest XVIII will also be held as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015.

The Directors made the difficult decision to POSTPONE the FreeFest due to a legal issue that has arisen since the FreeFest was announced last October.  The matter is being addressed professionally; however the funds that would have financed the FreeFester may now be needed to resolve this issue at hand.  There was no other option open to us.  It is important for everyone to understand that there are no issues or problems with the Deerfield Fair Association; in fact our relationship with them is better than ever.

I want to personally assure you all that the FreeFest will be rescheduled as soon as possible once this issue has been resolved.  The entire NEAR-Fest management team is committed to, and is looking forward to, hosting the FreeFest, in it’s original spirit, to thank all our loyal attendees and the amateur radio community for the support since 2007.  We appreciate your understanding and continued support. We hope to be able to post an update about FreeFest on our website before the end of the year.  Advance tickets and inside parking passes will be on sale in the usual places starting in April.  Check our Web site (www.near-fest.com) for more details.

To summarize:  NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, exactly as scheduled,  Admission will be the same as always, $10 per person and $10 for an inside parking pass.  NEAR-Fest XVIII will also take place as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015.  The FreeFest that was planned to take place as a part of NEAR-Fest XVII is POSTPONED until a later date.

The NEAR-Fest staff and management as well as I thank you for your total support and understanding.

MisterMike, W1RC

Elecraft KX3 Winner Is…

First off, We would like to thank everyone who purchased a ticket and those who help with promoting. The money raised from this raffle goes to help the HCRA and help fund future events such as Field Day, Classes, Formal events and promoting amateur radio around the county and beyond. We would also like to thank the Mt. Tom Amateur Repeater Association (MTARA) for putting on an excellent hamfest. They helped us selling tickets and they allowed us to use the hamfest as the place to draw and announce the winner.

After a 9 months of promoting and even some begging, we sold approximately 180 tickets. I wish everyone could be a winner but there could only be one.

The person holding the winning ticket was Raymond Burk (WB1GLX). He purchased the winning ticket #136 while at the hamfest.


We hope he gets good use out of the radio. Once again, thanks to all those who were involved and those who supported HCRA by purchasing a ticket.

– Jeffrey Bail (NT1K)
HCRA At-Large

More ISS SSTV passes this weekend… Maybe


February 11, 2015

Another Round of SSTV Activity from the ISS is scheduled for Late February
Space enthusiasts have another chance to receive SSTV image transmissions activity from the International Space Station.  Participants can anticipate watching for the transmissions from February 21, 2015 through February 23, 2015.

The pictures to be downlinked will be a repeat of the Series 1 images commemorating Russian space history that were previously sent during the weekend of December 18, 2014 until December 20, 2014.

SSTV transmissions will begin running non-stop on February 21 and ending at 21:30 UTC on February 23. As in previous sessions, the mode used to transmit the Slow Scan TV signals will be PD180 producing a high quality images with a frame scan of 187 seconds. A total of 12 different photos will be sent throughout an operation period. The transmit frequency will be 145.800 MHz with a 3-minute off time between transmissions. Received images can be uploaded to the image gallery found at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php .

Plans are being discussed for transmitting new images from space enthusiasts around the world in upcoming months. Watch for more details that will be released about the upcoming SSTV transmissions to begin February 21.

Just a couple days after… NASA announced Upcoming EVA (Space Walk) was delayed to the same weekend as the planned transmissions.  Amateur radio equipment needs to be shut off during the EVA. Rumors are floating around about delaying the SSTV transmissions until the 22nd-24th. 

Stay tuned to the following website to see if it’s still going to happen

If everything goes as planned, there are many chances to catch the ISS here in Hampden county. Below is an image of the upcoming ISS passes. The passes in the red box were originally going to be transmitting SSTV. Still not sure if it’s going to happen.

ISSPass4If there is indeed a transmission, there are some really good overhead passes. All that is needed for the pass is receiver that can receive VHF, Audio cable, Laptop with SSTV software that can decode PD180 Mode (MMSSTV) and either a handheld directional antenna (Tape measure yagi for example)

Stay Tuned…