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 .

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

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 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, and then it would be stongly suggest that you create an account at, 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

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!



HCRA’s 2014 10M Contest Results

ARRL 10M Claimed Results For HCRA.

This year propagation was really good. According to some people, you may never see 10 meter band conditions this good for a long time. The band was alive with decent windows to EU and SA. I hope you all had a great time on the air!

Call Used Operators CW SSB Mults Total
KK1W Jim 542 382 275 806300
W1AST Larry (AST) Jim (KC2FEV) Bob (NO4MM) 53 760 136 235552
NV1Q Juergen 182 156 156 162240
W1MSW Matt 232 109 120 137520
NT1K Jeff 132 224 113 110288
WD1S James 140 63 106 72716
N1FTP Harold 0 293 83 48638
NQ1C Bob (1C) Andrew (KB1WPJ) 24 179 66 29964
N1AW/QRP Al 114 0 48 21888
AB1WT Jeff (fmr KB1VKY) 0 100 45 9000
W1NY Ed (KB1NWH) 0 53 26 2756
NZ1MT/QRP Mike 0 50 27 2700
N1FJ Frandy 3 4 6 120
K1MAZ Nick 0 2 2 8

Total Claimed Score For HCRA in 2014: 1,639,690

Past Final Scores
2013 Final Score: 1,144,606 (14 entries)
2012 Final Score: 466,188 (11 entries)
2011 Final Score: 1,546,158 (18 entries)
2010 Final Score: 197,830 (9 entries)
2009 Final Score: 72,258 (8 entries)
2008 Final Score: 38,378 (11 entries)
2007 Final Score: 19,544 (8 entries)
2006 Final Score: 64,878 (6 entries)
2005 Final Score: 72,910 (4 entries)
2004 Final Score: 35,956 (5 entries)
2003 Final Score: 212,070 (6 entries)
2002 Final Score: 925,124 (12 entries)
Source: ARRL Contest Results Page

Soapbox Comments

Mike (NZ1MT): I operated QRP SSB with only an end fed dipole attic antenna and only
operated when I had time during the day between household jobs. The
propagation on the 10M band was excellent and seemed better than
previous years. A lot of fun using my new ICOM IC-703.

James(WD1S):  Made good use of N1MM to spot multipliers this year.   I was using a 160m inverted L and a G5RV and surprisingly worked almost everyone I could hear.

Al (N1AW): Approximately 6 hours operating time. 24 states, 3 provinces, 21 DX, 114 Qs 48 multipliers. At my age I may never see another 10 meter contest like this one.

Jeff (AB1WT, Formally KB1VKY): i can’t wait until next years so i can do it again.

Larry (W1AST): It was great fun and I had Jim, KC2FEV and Bob, NO4MM helping me. We’re already planning on doing it again next year

Jeff (NT1K): This is my first 10M contest. I did SOLP mixed without using spotting assistance which made a bigger challenge for me on CW. My new 3el beam is working fantastic.

Bob (NQ1C): Andrew and I operated the 10M contest as a multi-op from Montgomery, MA. Andrew built a 10M dipole antenna for a science project for school and since our G5RV came down, we decided to use the 10M dipole to run the contest. Conditions were great and the dipole, only up about 15 feet, worked quite well. We interspersed working the contest with visiting family so it wasn’t a full-out effort, but we had fun.

Andrew (KB1WPJ) operating during the 2014 10m Contest (NQ1C Photo)

Andrew (KB1WPJ) operating during the 2014 10m Contest (NQ1C Photo)

Ed (KB1NWH as W1NY): Lots of great opening, not enough time for the chair

Please Check Back For Updates! Don’t Forget To Submit your scores to the ARRL!

Conditions Look Good for ARRL 10 Meter Contest December 13-14

Always a favorite among serious and casual contesters alike, the 2014 ARRL 10 Meter Contest may enjoy excellent worldwide openings, plus a record number of participants! Activity in the CQ World Wide CW contest in late November was through the roof, with some operators reporting better 10 meter conditions than they could ever remember.

“Don’t miss out on this opportunity to work the world, before the Sun works its way back into a slumber,” ARRL Contest Branch Manager Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW, urged.

There are a few new twists this year. Single Operator stations using assistance will no longer be categorized as Multioperator entries. Also, nine new Unlimited categories have been added: Single Operator QRP, Low Power, and High Power CW Only, Phone Only, or Mixed Mode.

Single or Multioperator stations may operate for up to 36 hours. Technicians have phone privileges from 28.300 to 28.500 MHz, so operators new to contesting, or even to HF operating, can take part.

All stations will send a signal report as part of the contest exchange. Stations in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, and Mexico will send their state or province abbreviations as part of the exchange; stations in the District of Columbia stations will send “DC.” DX stations (including KH2, KP4, etc) will also send a sequential serial number starting with 001.

The 2014 ARRL 10 Meter Contest gets underway at 0000 UTC on Saturday, December 13 (Friday, December 12, in US time zones). It concludes at 2359 UTC on Sunday, December 14. Logs should be e-mailed or postmarked by 0000 UTC Wednesday, January 14, 2014. Mail paper logs to ARRL 10 Meter Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

(Copied from ARRL newsletter)

New catagories for teh ARRL 10 meter and 160 meter contest.

This December’s ARRL 160 Meter and 10 Meter Contests complete the addition of new Single-Op Unlimited categories. All three power sub-categories: High Power, Low Power, and QRP are available. This means stations using spotting information will no longer be assigned to the Multioperator category. It also means there are quite a number of new records that will be set in December! Will your score be one of them?

(Snipped from the ARRL news letter)

Homeland Security’s 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan Incorporates Amateur Radio

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (DHS-OEC) has released the first updated National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) since the original publication in 2008. According to the Department, the DHS-OEC developed the NECP in cooperation with more than 150 public and private sector emergency communications officials.

Of interest to Amateur Radio Operators, is that in this 2014 updated NECP, the DHS has incorporated Amateur Radio in its mix of media that could support and sustain communications in a disaster or emergency. The publication is titled the “2014 National Emergency Communications Plan“, and a PDF of this plan may be obtained by clicking here.