SHOW & TELL 2017 – there’s still time!

Featured

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!

BONUS SNOW STORM!

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!

 

HCRA Board of Directors meeting minutes for 06-April-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 06-Apr-2017

Attendees:

President – NT1K (Jeff)

Vice President – WM1B (Dave)

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

Absent:

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:13pm ———————

President Report:

  • A lot of work was done on the web site. It needed fixing as well as updates due to crashes. It appears we get about 50 visits per day.
  • A test was done on our Facebook page for possible advertising. The test had good results. More to follow as this item will be discussed again at a future BOD meeting.
  • Jeff has decided to step down as President due to work and family constraints. His reign will end June 2017. He will continue to be a member and help out when he can.

Vice President Report:

  • Nothing to report at this time.

Secretary Report:

  • Liability Insurance has been paid for the club. It is in effect from March 2016 to March 2017.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report:

  • May 5th will be Steve Davidson, Mgr HRO, Salem, NH, Go Boxes
  • Jun 2nd, Elections and Field Day 2017.
  • Sep 1st, is TBD
  • Oct 6th, presentation on DXLabs
  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing
  • Dec, 4th, Holiday Party
  • Jan 5th, guest speaker via Skype from DX Engineering. (Jeff will be looking into a prepaid hotspot or alternative to handle the Skype data.)

At Large Report:

  • Although not present, Karl has been looking for a spike driver/removal tool for Field Day. Update: What about a post hole digger, and do we need a compressor and tooling for removal? Will this be too loud? This item has been tabled until the next BOD meeting.

Membership Report:

  • Currently there are 96 paid members.

Technical Director:

  • During the past few months, Bob has helped a few hams with antenna/station setup, testing, and answering questions.

Zero Beat Editor:

  • Zero Beat will now be published every other month starting in September. For the other months, a flier will be published with upcoming announcements and meetings.
    • In Favor-8
    • Apposed-0

Old Business:

  • License Class location: Jeff has found a Church in Enfield, CT where the classes can be held. Gary also suggested 205 Bridge Street in Suffield, CT.
  • Field Day:
    • Chris W1TRK will be tower Captain
    • Rockwell WW1X will be in charge of antenna assembly
    • CW Captains are Larry W1AST and Matt W1MSW
    • 75m and 15m captain is Larry KD1RV
    • 20m SSB captain is John KX1X
    • 40m SSB captain is Jeff NT1K
    • There will be a trailer clean-up in May. It also has a leak that needs repairing
    • Jeff informed us that we DO have the park again this year.
    • We need setup and teardown volunteers.
    • We need to invest in a car port for VE sessions, when it rains, when its hot etc. Dave will look into pricing and models.

– Welcome guide: Dave will look into updating the guide.

New Business:

  • The Holiday party is scheduled for December 4, 2017 (Monday) at the Caste of Knights in Chicopee from 7pm until 11pm the latest. A motion was called upon for Juergen to spend no more than $500 to reserve the Holiday Party.
    • In Favor-8
    • Apposed-0

– Tumblers. A request by Larry was made to order some tumblers for our guest speakers rather than take them out to supper. One vendor was found who will make the tumblers with our logo on them for $15 each but with a minimum order of 72 which comes to about $1080. We will see if we can get a sample. This item will also be brought up to the membership for approval.

– Patches: This item is on hold until there are more requests.

– Next Raffle item: Suggestions for the next raffle were an Elad FM Duo? Flex1500, a basic HF setup with rig, antenna and coax? This will be brought up to the membership for approval.

Open Floor Discussion:

  • Bob mentioned that the Field Day tool kits need to be replenished as well as purchase shorter lengths of coax, clamps for the 40m beam, and new locks for the trailer. A motion was made to determine what was needed and not to exceed $500.
    • In Favor-8
    • Apposed-0

– Larry will contact the recipient of the plague. We fear that the individual will not come to a meeting.

– Define “Lifetime Membership” in the Bylaws? A copy will need to be sent to the State of MA if any changes are made. Dave will be looking into this. This will be discussed again at the next BOD meeting.

THE NEXT BOD MEETING WILL BE HELD ON MAY 3 AT IHOP IN WEST SPRINGFIELD

——————————— Meeting Closed at 9:00pm ———————

Slides and Information from HCRA’s Contest University

Did you miss HCRA’s contest university that was part of our “Share The Knowledge” seris this past fall? No problem! We’ve uploaded the slides from our presentations. Also included are links to sites and software that was mentioned during the class

Click Here For The PDF (.pdf) of “HCRA Introduction To Contesting”
Click Here For The Powerpoint (.pptx) of “HCRA Introduction To Contesting”

Click Here For The PDF (.pdf) of “Small Station – Bang For The Buck”
Click Here For The Powerpoint (.pptx) of “Small Station – Band For The Buck”

Here are some notable links that were mention during the presentation

Software
N1MM Logger Plus – Commonly used software by HCRA members (Free)
Wintest – Another popular software (50eu)
N3FJP – Popular contest software ($10USD-$70USD)

Other Links
WA7BNM Contest Calendar – Find out about upcoming contests
VOAcap Online – Excellent propagation prediction website
N1MM Tips and Tricks – Make use of N1MM easier and could get higher scores
YCCC – Yankee Clipper Contest Club – New England base contesting club
NEQP – New England QSO party

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

43rd EASTERN VHF/UHF/MICROWAVE CONFERENCE:
APRIL 21-23, 2017
BAYMONT INN & SUITES (860)-643-5645
20 TAYLOR ST. (OFF I-84 at exit 63)
MANCHESTER, CT 06042

Conference Web Address: http://www.newsvhf.com/vhfconf.html

 

 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!)

 

4/22/17     SATURDAY REGISTRATION, TALKS, AUCTIONS, TEST LAB,            VENDORS & MORE.
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

 

Updated PRESENTATIONS SCHEDULE:* CLICK HERE for SCHEDULE and  Speakers*

SUNDAY 8:00am-11am

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


 EVERY REGISTRANT RECEIVES THE PROCEEDINGS ON CD AND IS ELIGIBLE FOR PRIZE DRAWINGS. DIRECTIONS & RESERVATIONS FROM HARTFORD, I-84E TO EXIT 63. LEFT AT FORK, RIGHT ON TAYLOR ST. FROM WORCESTER, I-90W EXIT 9 TO I-84W EXIT 63, RIGHT OFF RAMP, RIGHT ON TAYLOR ST.

 

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)arrl.net

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

43rd EASTERN VHF/UHF CONFERENCE REGISTRATION:

Note: SAVE $10 on Conference admission by pre-Registering early ON LINE at Web Address http://www.newsvhf.com/regpayp.html or print form at: http://www.newsvhf.com/regmail.html
$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.

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