SHOW & TELL 2017 – there’s still time!


People, Projects and Prizes!

As of this writing (March 16th) it’s three weeks until HCRA’s Annual Show & Tell on April 7th. That also means it’s only three weeks to finish your project, put together documentation and perhaps win a nice prize for your efforts. No time you say? Well, twenty two days is over three weeks the last time I checked. I’m sure you can rustle up something to show off to the crowd, get their creative juices flowing for 2017 and maybe win a nice prize! But… you really need to get started pretty soon!


I don’t know if you noticed but the “super storm” of March 14th has effectively pushed back any yard work for at least a few weeks. Now you’ve time for a project and a prize!

K1VOI and the antenna gun. WB1DBY photograph

What exactly is Show & Tell you ask? Well, it’s a chance to show the members something cool you’ve done in your shack, antenna farm, secret laboratory, etc. over the last year. Maybe it’s a new antenna that works like a signal magnet, or a neat way to mount a radio in today’s ‘too small’ vehicles, or a tesla coil (yes, we’ve had one), or a KW amplifier (had those too), or a trick piece of software, or….  You get the picture. Speaking of pictures here’s a few photos from past events to whet your appetite.

KA1TDQ’s 75M AM Exciter

An RF sampler by KB1NWH. WB1DBY photograph

Rock-Mite and keyer by Matt, W1MSW. WB1DBY photograph


And of course there’s the prizes. This year the three winners get to choose from a hundred dollars worth of prizes that include an ARRL Operating Manual, a Raspberry Pi 3 and a TC-1 Multi-function tester.

Show & Tell 2017 Prizes

The audience votes for the best project, the votes are tallied and three winners are picked at the end of the evening. It’s easy to do and it’s fun. Of course everyone is a winner here because we all benefit by seeing what our fellow HCRA members created. Everyone in the audience and the presenters takes home a big dose of enthusiasm for 2017!

So there you go. Time to stop surfing, head to the shop and warm up the soldering iron. You too can be a winner at HCRA’s 2017 Show & Tell!


Swap And Sell Is Now Back!

HCRA’s Swap And Sell Is Now Back

With thanks to George (KC1V), Paul (NF1G) and Jim (KK1W), the HCRA swap and sell is now back. At our monthly meetings, we will have few tables setup for the members to sell amateur or electronic related items. You may never know what deals may show up at the meeting. If you are an HCRA member and items to sell, just bring them along to the next meeting.

During the MTARA hamfest on March 11th, We’ve received a donation of equipment to be sold from (Steven) N1IBS. It will be available at the next meeting and all sales from the lot will go to HCRA for future events. Thanks Steven!

Eastern VHF/UHF/Microwave Conference – April 21-23

APRIL 21-23, 2017
BAYMONT INN & SUITES (860)-643-5645
20 TAYLOR ST. (OFF I-84 at exit 63)

Conference Web Address:


 4/21/17     FRIDAY LODGING 2:30-5PM Afternoon Workshop TBD
6:00pm ’til – SUPER HOSPITALITY ROOM (Food & Refreshments)!!   & Indoor SWAP/SELL & VENDORS.     (You may want to re-think going out to eat on Fri. Nite!)


7:30am       REGISTRATION BEGINS8:15 am      OPENING ANNOUNCEMENTS 8:30am       TALKS BEGIN (see SCHEDULE below):
10:00am     AUCTION/BREAK
10:25am       TALKS RESUME
12:00pm     LUNCH (Pizza & Grinders included with Registration)
1:15pm       TALKS RESUME
1:00 – 5pm  Test Lab to 50 GHz: Greg Bonaguide, WA1VUG of Rohde & Schwarz
3:05pm       BREAK
3:15pm       TALKS RESUME
4:15pm       AUCTION
4:20pm       TALKS RESUME
5:20pm       NEWS MEETING – WA2AAU
5:30pm       Pre-Banquet Hospitality Room
7:00pm       BANQUET BUFFET (7 PM – 8:30 PM)
8:20pm       Tom Kirby Award Presentation8:30pm       VHF – MICROWAVE TRIVIA QUIZ, Dale Clement AF1T
9:00pm       DOOR PRIZE EXTRAVAGANZA, Michele Clement W1MKY and Don Twombly W1FKF



SUNDAY 8:00am-11am

VHF+MW SWAP/SELL & VENDORS,            (Included with Registration- Please contact Mark             Casey K1MAP for details) 



HOTEL Overnight Rates $79 DBL or $99 Suite, MENTION “VHF CONFERENCE” by March 20, 2017 FREE Continental BREAKFAST for those staying at the Baymont Hotel  CALL (860)-643-5645 for BAYMONT INN RESERVATIONS*YOU MUST CALL HOTEL TO GET CONFERENCE RATE* Updated 13 February 2017.

MORE DETAILS WILL BE ADDED SOON – check back often to website at the top…

Questions? Contact one of the 2 Conference Co-Chairmen:

Paul Wade, W1GHZ, (presentations, proceedings): w1ghz(AT)

Mark Casey, K1MAP, (hospitality, hotel, swaps/vendors): map92map(AT)


Note: SAVE $10 on Conference admission by pre-Registering early ON LINE at Web Address or print form at:
$20 for early registration by or before April 10. Registration at the door will be $30.
Dinner Buffet tickets are $30 and available through April 10 only.

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.


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


President – NT1K (Jeff)

Vice President – WM1B (Dave)

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

Membership – K1VOI (John)


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

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.
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,

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 – Live contest scores

HCRA Contest University – Sept 17th 2016


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.


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

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