World Amateur Radio Day 2014

 Quoted from the ARRL Website.
““Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication” is the theme for World Amateur Radio Day 2014, Friday, April 18. Radio amateurs celebrate World Amateur Radio Day each year on April 18 to recognize the anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in Paris in 1925. ARRL Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, was its first president. The primary purpose of World Amateur Radio Day is to highlight Amateur Radio and its benefits to countries and communities. This year the IARU and its more than 150 member-societies are marking the organization’s 89th anniversary.”

Election Slate for 2014/2015 Announced!

All HCRA board members would like to extend a big “Thank You” to everyone that turned out for last night’s meeting and volunteered your skills and time to keep HCRA rolling along both now and in the future.

It was refreshing to see long time and new members willing to add their skills to the mix and fill the open slots to produce a strong board of directors for the upcoming 2014/2015 season.

Here’s our Election Slate:


President: Ed/KB1NWH - Ed’s been VP for years, it’s a natural, right?
Vice President: Eric/W1MOR – thanks for stepping forward Eric!
Secretary: Dave/WM1B – Dave also volunteered to fill in this year too!
Treasurer: Dave/AA1YW – Dave’s staying with us ‘one more year, thanks!


Zero Beat: Gary/WA1MOW – Thanks Gary, I’m sure you’ll do well!
Program: Larry/W1AST – Back from the past an in his old position!
Technical: Bob/K1YO – Bob’s the guy for tech and everything else too.
Membership: Rich/N1KXR – Master of social media, raffles and more
At Large: Jeff/NT1K – Our Webmaster joins the ranks adding a fresh view.

There you have it, a great assemblage of energetic,engaged and forward thinking hams in place to keep HCRA strong. If you’ve ever wondered how HCRA has been around for over 50 years, this is a fine example why.


HCRA Inventory Reduction Sale!

It’s spring cleaning time in the HCRA Field Day trailer. We need to make room for the new equipment coming our way from the WRTC stations later this year. So…..

Offered to HCRA members only at an unbelievable price are two (yes two!) 15 meter mono-band HF Yagi antennas. Both antennas are used but in good condition, nothing badly bent or broken and are 99% complete. We purchased these a few years back prior to using tri-plexers, they are now surplus to our needs. We paid $75 each for them but can be yours for $35 each. I’ll have them with me at this Friday’s meeting. Seems like a good item to sell considering the meeting is all about Yagi antennas, eh?

One antenna is similar to a Cushcraft 15-3CD and may well indeed be an older version of that antenna. It features three elements on a 12′, 2″ boom. Feed point is a gamma match. All hardware, boom to mast bracket, U-bolts and clamps are included. Some of the hardware is SS. Take a look at this beauty!

Three elements on a 12', 2" boom. Matching section is a gamma match.

Three elements on a 12′, 2″ boom. Matching section is a gamma match.








Next up is another three element 15 meter yagi on a longer 16′ x 2″ boom. Once again in fine condition but it’s heritage is unknown. All hardware, some SS, no bends or breaks and includes a pigtail attached to the beta or hairpin match. Feast your eyes on this one!

3 Element, 15m beam, 16' x 2" boom - Unknown Mfg.







Price for either beam, if you’re an HCRA member, is $35. What can you do with these antennas?

1. Put them up. 15 meters is HOT!
2. Turn them into a different antenna. At this price you could build almost anything.
3. Use the parts to repair/modify a current antenna.
4. Build some 1/4 wave verticals, or perhaps a vertical array.
5. Keep the hardware and sell the aluminum as scrap. At almost .50 cents/pound you’ll get most of your money back and you’ll still have lots of hardware!

I’ll have them in the back of my truck Friday evening, all packed and wrapped and ready to go. The Cushcraft? is a package about 12′ long, the ‘unknown’ one is about 14′ long. Easily carried on a cars luggage rack. I also have a reprint of the Cushcraft 15-3CD manual.

Please don’t call or email, the only way you can get these antennas, at this price, is to attend Friday’s meeting! While you’re there stay for the Yagi seminar by Bob/K1YO, see your friends and grab a coffee or snack from Bruce’s donut bar.


Board Meeting Minutes – March 11, 2014

HCRA Board of Directors Meeting
March 11th, 2014

 Location: West Springfield, MA. The meeting was called to order at 7:13PM
Present: KK1W, KB1NWH, AA1YW, N1FJ, N1KXR, W1MSW


Vice President – KB1NWH
More antenna installation with Eric/W1MOR

Treasurer – AA1YW
Current financial report: $9666.49
Status of WRTC Sales: $5713.00 sold to date
Status of FT857 raffle:  Net profit for this raffle: $910.
It is noted we have a payable due WRTC by June 1st for $4000 for the WRTC stations.
We have a balance of $28.52 in our PayPal account.

Secretary – Open – KK1W will take notes
Ed is handling USPS PO Box pickup. All mail is up to date


Technical – K1YO (not present)
April’s Tech corner will expand to fill the whole meeting with the subject of Yagi antennas.

Zero Beat, N1FJ
Frandy is close to securing a service that can print and mail the USPS Zero Beats. He will be testing it  and have results for us at the May meeting.

Membership – N1KXR
Current Membership: 74 Regular, 9 Family, 3 Life and 7 Prospects
Members joining after March 1 will have an expiration date of 8/31/2015
Rich is working on a method of following up with non-renewed members from 2012 and 2013.

At Large – Not present
Venture Crew 510 Charter should be on track for renewal.

Program – W1MSW – Not present
April: – Bob/K1YO on Yagi Antennas
May:  Chuck/ARRL on the ARRL’s “Intruder Watch” program
June: Field Day planning, N1MM workshop, elections

The ‘cloud database’ has not been completed. The board decided to stay with our present Access database. Ed is maintaining it and Bob/K1YO has offered to help with queries.

Jim/KK1W is working on reaching out to members and encouraging them to join the board.

Ed/KB1NWH reported the Town of Agawam is happy to have us back for Field Day 2014. There is construction at the park but it shouldn’t pose any problems.

Dave, Jeff and Jim will develop a ‘PayPal’ workflow so next year’s Treasurer will be in a position to handle the high renewal influx.
Our table at the MTARA hamfest was a great success. We had lot’s of staff for the table and many visitors. Raffle ticket sales were brisk. HCRA donated two tickets to MTARA for raffle prizes during the hamfest. The drawing was held at noon and the winner was Frandy/N1FJ. HCRA thanks MTARA for their generous hospitality. (KK1W)

W1MSW and KB1NWH tell us Field Day 2014 planning in underway and on schedule. There was some discussion about providing food. General consensus was not to do so again this year. The main reasons are close proximity to many restaurants and a lack of a ‘food person’ to run the job. They would entertain providing coffee/donuts on Saturday and Sunday morning if a volunteer is found to do it.

Our new contact person at HMC is now Doug/KB1JC.

2013/2014 Board Meeting Dates
May 6th
June 10th

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM

Respectfully submitted by Jim Mullen/KK1W

Ham radio ops / Volunteers needed for Simulated Emergency.

From Bruce Fuller (KB1TLX):
(As mentioned at HCRA’s past meeting (3/7/14))

The simulated emergency is based on the aftermath of a “tornado”. They are looking for patients/victims and well as radio operators. For anyone interested, the volunteers can operate on the “Tag Team” basis, meaning they can volunteer for what ever time they feel comfortable with. The exercise will start on Thursday, 10 April at around 1400 hours and end on Friday, 11 April at around 1200 hours. The website to sign up for this exercise is


Shelter victims will portray the part of those affected by the tornado disaster. They will arrive at 3pm and live the life of a shelter resident. Participants are encouraged to consider the option of joining a sleepover as part of the event. How many people can say they’ve had a slumber party in the Mullins Center?!

Shelter volunteers will assist the team leaders with shelter operations. Volunteers are needed in various positions from 2-9pm. There are 8 positions to choose from:

  • Registration Volunteers: Assist with welcoming victims into the shelter.
  • Donations Management: Assist the team leader with collecting donations brought to the shelter.
  • Dormitory Management: Assist the team leader with management of sleeping quarters.
  • Medical Component: Assist the team leader with medical needs of clients (both simulated and real).
  • Food Service: Assist the team leader with serving pre-made meals to all participants.
  • Mental Health: Assist the team leader with assessing simulated mental health needs of clients.
  • Childcare: Assist the team leader with providing a safe and entertaining area for children.
  • Animal Sheltering: Assist the team leader with managing shelter pets.

All exercise participants will be provided meals during the event, including snacks, dinner and breakfast.
Registration for the shelter roles is on a first come basis. All participants are encouraged to bring their pets to the drill. You do not need to bring anything for cats and dogs, but be sure to bring the necessary habitat for unique pets (i.e. cage/heat lamp for snakes). Children are also invited to the drill as there will be a childcare area. Please be advised though there will be some simulated injuries with blood, so younger children are not recommended to attend.

We hope you are able to join us at this great event!

Thanks to everyone that stopped by our table at the MTARA hamfest today!

A fun day at the hamfest. Thanks to everyone that stopped by to say hello, purchase some raffle tickets, join the club, pick up a few bargains and more. It was nice seeing many faces we had not seen since last year too!

Congratulations to Frandy/N1FJ – winner of the Yeasu FT-857. I checked, it does have CW on it so he ‘may’ actually turn it on! Also congrats to Laurie who went home with a new VHF radio thanks to the MTARA raffle. Our table was the place to be!

A special thank you to everyone that volunteered to help cover the table throughout the morning. Laurie/KB1WQK, Jeff/NT1K, George/KC1V, Dave/AA1YW, Steve/N1SR and Rich/N1KXR. What a crew and they did a fantastic job!

’73 until next year,


Donations wanted for the HCRA table at the MTARA Hamfest!

HCRA will have a club table at this Saturday’s MTARA Hamfest in Chicopee, MA

If you have an item or two you would like to donate please contact Jim/KK1W to make arrangements. Just like our old auction there are a few simple rules.

1. These are ‘donations’ – if you want to sell stuff you should get your own table :)
2. Please put your callsign on the items (tape, label) so we can return them to you if they don’t sell (no, we are not a disposal company)

At the close of the hamfest we will return any unsold items to you. Thanks as always for your support of HCRA and we hope to see you at the MTARA Hamfest

Don’t forget to stop by and say “hello” while you’re browsing the aisles!

See you Saturday,


Still looking for help at the MTARA hamfest this Saturday, March 1st

This request went out in the February issue of Zero Beat. To date I’ve only had one person ask, and he hasn’t been able to confirm his schedule. Time is getting short and the offer still holds. First person to commit to helping out this coming Saturday gets in free. It would really be nice if a few of our members stepped up and offered to help out. It’s a good time, you’ll get time to walk the aisle and maybe even sell the winning FT-857 raffle ticket!

Yes, that’s correct, this Saturday will also be your last chance to buy a ticket. There’s still some left, hope to see you there!



Visit the HCRA table at the MTARA Hamfest on March 1st
The FT-857 drawing will be held at noon!

Once again we will have a table at this fun event. While you’re browsing the aisles for that ‘have to have’ item please stop by the HCRA table and say hello. While you’re there you can pick up a raffle ticket for a Yaesu FT-857 transceiver. There are only 250 tickets being sold AND the drawing will be held at noon the day of the hamfest. You could leave a real WINNER – how cool is that?

Volunteer(s) are needed to staff our table at the hamfest. If you would like to help out contact me directly and I’ll get you scheduled. I have one free entry to the hamfest going to the first person to volunteer!

Show and Tell Meeting March 7th, 2014

HCRA’s Show & Tell Meeting is less than TWO weeks away!  What are you bringing to Show and Tell?

At HCRA’s annual show and tell meeting, members bring in projects they have either completed or have made progress on over the last year and give a short presentation to the membership. This is a great opportunity to show others what you’ve been up to and for fellow club members to get ideas on projects they might want to try. Past projects have ranged from the simple to the complex and from very small to very large and everywhere in between. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to share and we look forward to seeing what you’re up to! If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

73,Matt W1MSW