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…

QSL Card Sources

Did last night’s meeting want you to start making QSL cards? Here are some sources in how to obtain some QSL cards! There are many printers that are local, regional and even international. These are just some of the many places

  • UX5UO Print – See a lot of QSL cards come from this printer. Prices range from $59 per 1000 to $160 per 1000 high quality
  • Cheap QSLs – $9.99 per 100, this would be great for a portable operation or if you don’t do much activity
  • Universal Radio’s Blank Globe Cards – for $5 you can get a 100 cards. But you would have to manually fill in all the information.
  • KB3IFH – Another known QSL card maker
  • Franklin Printing – $135 per 1000 for new cards, $85 per 1000 for reprints

There are also options in how to print cards from home

Not sure how to design your card?

Some QSL card makers will help you out with your design at no cost or a small fee.
Radio QTH offers to help you out. All you need to do is fill out the information, upload a picture and you now have a design!

Avoid having to print, label and sort cards! Global QSL will do it for you! Check out their website for prices. It’s not bad considering the only work you need to do filter and send your electronic log file to them

Card designed and printed? You can send direct or you can using either the ARRL Bureau or others to save on postage.

Don’t forget that QSL cards will be coming back to you from the DX!

You’ll need to have an account setup with the W1 QSL Bureau.
Please checkout their website for more information

A big thanks goes out to Eric (KV1J) who made the trek out to western mass and gave a great presentation. You now have an idea in what it takes to get you your QSL card.

– Jeff (NT1K)
HCRA At-Large

Next Meeting, February 6th 2015.

From Larry Krainson (W1AST):


Everyone still LOVES getting QSL cards in the mail. Sure LOTW works great, but the thrill of getting cards is still exciting. But, how does the QSL Bureau work? How does that batch of cards arrive at your mailbox?

Come to the Friday night HCRA meeting to find out. Eric Williams, KV1J from the buro is coming out to talk to us and show some hands on what is involved.

Come and join us at 7:30 pm at the Holyoke Hospital meeting room. Not only will you hear about an interesting subject, but you’ll get to chat in person with local hams that you haven’t seen since the last meeting or hams you’ve spoken to on the 10m net or local repeaters.

I hope to see you there,

Larry, W1AST

Check out W1 QSL Bureau at:


Click here for directions to the meeting location

Russian SSTV Transmissions planned for this weekend (Jan 31, Feb1)

From ARISS (1/29/15)

Russian SSTV transmissions are planned from the International Space Station on January 31 and February 1. The transmit frequency will be 145.800. The expected mode is PD180 producing a high quality image with a frame scan of 187 seconds.

Image transmissions for Saturday, Jan. 31 should begin at 10:00 UTC and on Sunday,  Feb. 1, look for signals to start at 09:00 UTC. For both days, operation is expected to terminate around 21:30 UTC.

Locally (Hampden County) the predictions don’t look promising according to AMSAT pass predictions.

(Also check out http://www.n2yo.com/passes/)

If you happen to catch it, you may receive an image similar to
Hist5Or others that are shown on the ARISS Website

The equipment needed can be simple as a Laptop, Radio/Scanner and a VHF directional antenna.

NT1K has received the above image using his laptop running MMSSTV, A radio shack scanner and a log periodic antenna. You can substitute the antenna for a tape measure yagi


Boston Marathon Needs Ham Volunteers



From AB1RL (VIA Reddit.Com/r/amateurradio)

For years, the Boston Marathon has relied on a big group of ham volunteers to provide communications support for the race. For 2015, they’ve even put together a Communications Committee to review event plans and make sure we’re as useful as possible to the race. I’m one of seven hams on that committee.

We need almost 300 volunteers to keep all the communications running smoothly. If you can make it, I hope you’ll sign up to join us. I’ve worked at the Marathon for a few years now. You really get put to work, and the energy of the race and the community around it makes it really rewarding.

Race day is April 20, and there are assignments available all along the course. The Boston Athletic Association has more information about volunteering on their site . That’s also where you sign up to volunteer . The registration deadline is February 10, so don’t put it off. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.

Thanks, and I hope I’ll hear you there!

HCRA Is Now On Club Log

HCRA is now listed as a club on ClubLog.org. This allows HCRA members who use clublog to see how they rank against other HCRA members in DXCC standings. HCRA could also compete with other clubs. This could create friendly competition  within the club as well as with other clubs. It can also benefit knowing that if your fellow club member made contact with a certain DX entity, that it could be possible for you as well.

If you are a HCRA who uses electronic QSL services such as LoTW, QRZ.com and eQSL.cc then it would be stongly suggest that you create an account at clublog.org, upload your logs and join the HCRA club on ClubLog to see where you stand.

If you are a ClubLog member and would like to Join the HCRA League, please do the following

1: Go to Clublog.Org and Sign In.

ClubLog1If you do not have an account, you can sign up for free and upload a log. Please follow the instructions on ClubLog.org

2: Once you’re signed in, Click Settings



Located on top of the page, Click on the Setting Link

3: Click on the “Clubs” Link/Button located near the top of the page


4: Look for “HCRA – Hampden County Amateur Radio Association”: in the list, Highlight it and click the “Join Club(s)” button under the list



Please note that members have to be manually added to the club to prevent random people from joining in. Once approved you should be able to view your standings.

ClubLog6On the left side of the page, please click “DXCC Leagues” then choose HCRA from the dropdown list and then click “Generate DXCC League” button. You should now be able to see standings from all HCRA members that are participating on ClubLog. Please note that if you don’t see your callsign right away, don’t worry. Sometimes it takes a day for the lists to repopulate on the server which we have no control over.

Thanks for Participating!