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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

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

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

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!)


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)arrl.net

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


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.


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 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

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.


Meeting Topic Changed For Feb 5th’s Meeting


Due to a sudden work schedule change, John Kalotai will not be able to be our guest speaker this Friday. However the meeting is still taking place.

Frandy Johnson (N1FJ) and Jim Mullen (KK1W) will be doing a presentation on their recent National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) adventures. We will also be discussing some possible future club events. This will be an excellent way to discuss our club.

We apologize about the short notice but we wanted to make sure we had a speaker lined up. A Big thanks to Frandy and Jim for helping us out. It should be exciting.

Jeffrey Bail (NT1K)

HCRA BOD meeting notes for January 20th, 2016

HCRA BOD meeting notes for 20-Jan-2016

President: NT1K
Vice President: N1FTP
Treasurer: NV1Q
Membership: K1VOI
Program Dir: W1AST
ZB Editor: WA1MOW
Tech Dir: K1YO

At-Large: W1MOR
Secretary: WM1B

President Report:

– Jim Mullen has volunteered to help out with updating our Website.
– A Web Forum has been created at “members.hcra.org”. The site will be
directed and administered by the BOD. It will be a members only site and
integrated with our web site.

VP Report:

– 90 tickets for the TS590SG have been sold to date. The minimum goal is 150
tickets sold. Many tickets will be sold at the MTARA flea market. We should reach
our goal plus some.

Treasurer Report:

– There was quite a bit of discussion on how to divvy up the funds from the Xmas
party. From members to non-members to MTARA members and non-member
spouses as well as member spouses. There may be some double-dipping. This
needs to be revisited.

Financial Statement:

Beginning balance: $6771.95
Dep/Wdr: $1038.68
Ending Balance: $7810.63

Membership Report:

– There are 89 members with 80 paid and 9 family members. Question was
raised, why does it take so long for some individuals to renew? Could there be
some sort of incentive added to renewing? One suggestion was to put all the paid
members in Zero Beat. If your name is not there, you didn’t pay. This also answers
the question “Did I already pay my dues?”. Also discussed was greeting new
members and asking them what their interests are at the monthly meetings.

Program Dir Report:

Here is a tentative list from W1AST

– February 6, 2016: Jon Koltai, Hamsource – Power poles & really cool shack gadgets
– March 2016:  First Robotics Competition: Gary, WA1MOW
– April 2016: Mini Presentation: Jeff, AB1WT: Portable IRLP & Echolink Node PLUS
Show and Tell
– May 2016: Jon Perelstein, WB2RYV –  How to Report Weather & How to Properly
Read Your Weather App
– June: Field Day planning, Jeff, NT1K


– September 9, 2016: Tony Brock-Fisher, K1KP – Solar Power and RFI, what you
need to know
– October 7, 2016: Dennis Markel, N1IMW : The history of WCC and Chatham
Marconi Radio.
– Nov 2016: tbd
– Dec 2016: annual HCRA Holiday Party

Zero Beat Editor:

– Submit your articles by 29th of January. Submit anything, please. Someday there
will be blank pages in Zero Beat…

Technical Director Report:

– 2 requests on interference. Services rendered, none.


Old Business

Welcome Package:

A draft of the Welcome Package was handed out. The BOD must read and submit
changes to Jeff or Larry within the next 2 weeks. These Packages will be handed
out to all who pass their exams.A motion was made for HCRA to pay for the printing of the Welcome Package. The front page should be printed in color with printing on both sides. Staples is the preferred vendor for printing.

In Favor – 7
Apposed – 0

A motion was made for HCRA to pay for the printing of the HCRA tri-fold as well.
In Favor -7
Apposed – 0

Stub J-Pole Project:

The material has been purchased and cut. 80% of the project is complete.

License class exams:

Classes will be held on April 27,28, and 30. With Saturday being a full day.
Bob, K1YO has volunteered to help with the Extra Class.

DXLabs Class:

Setup will be on Feb 6th starting at 9am. Looks like 6-7 people will be in the class.
The Club will supply Coffee and donuts.


New Business

Field Day:

We need Band captains ! Band captains bring their own radios and computers.
Antennas and antenna accessories are supplied by the Club.

Larry W1AST has volunteered to step up for 40m CW.
Jeff NT1K will be contacting the Parks & Rec dept.

Field Day will be discussed at the next membership meeting.

Open Floor

More special classes and presentations.

– Introduction to digital modes
– Tips and Tricks on Towers
– Contesting in general/Awards chasing
– Member Benefits

EZ-UP with Walls

Gary made a query as to purchasing a good EZ-UP for the Club. In the $300 range.

One with walls. A motion to purchase a EZ-UP with walls and not to exceed $300
was made.

In Favor – 7
Apposed – 0

The Big E’s 100th

The discussion was around HCRA participating for only a weekend. Gary will look
into getting permission and location. Participants will be required to purchase their own entry tickets for each day. To be successful, we need to make this a very
big deal. SDR’s, HF live, Multiple Monitors, tower, large antenna. More will be
discussed at the next BOD meeting .

Next meeting with be in Mid March and be a VOIP meeting.
Jeff will be handling the details with “Google Hangouts”

HCRA’s Amateur Radio License Class – April 2016


Hampden County Radio Assocation Amateur Radio License Class
April 2016

Are you or do you know someone who’s interested in amateur radio? Do you want to upgrade your license? The Hampden Country Radio Association (HCRA) is holding classes and study groups for those interested. With a combination of these classes and at-home studying, it’s possible to make it happen. Learn from experienced instructors who are active within the amateur radio community who are willing to help you along the way.

We now have 13 new techs, 1 new Tech+General, 5 New Generals and 1 New Extra. Class had a 97% pass rate. Next course will be planned for the Fall (Sept/Oct) 

Thank you to those who signed up 


Wednesday April 27th, 2016 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Thursday April 28th, 2016 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Saturday April 30th, 2016 – 9:00am to 3:00pm
VE Session: Saturday April 30th, 2016 – 3:15pm (Walk-Ins Welcomed)

Holyoke Medical Center Auxiliary Conference Center
575 Beech Street, Holyoke MA, 01040

Cost: FREE/$15 Exam Fee

Classes open to anyone and everyone interested in obtaining or upgrading their amateur radio license.

Our classes consist of two weekday night classes and one full Saturday class with an examination following the course. Due to the short amount of time, it’s up to the candidate to do most of the studying at home before attending the classes. The classes will cover the exam questions, provide some details about the questions and help you to better understand the material needed to pass the exam.

Even though it’s not required, it’s suggested that you purchase and use the latest edition of ARRL’s Ham Radio License Manual (Level 1/Technician) to study. Other alternatives can be found online like KB6NU’s No-Nonsense study guides (FREE For Tech/General). It’s best that you study and learn as much as possible before attending the classes.

We’re also having study groups for those who are interested in upgrading their current license to general or extra class

If you’re interested in these classes or study groups, please contact the following or fill out the form below.

Jeffrey Bail (NT1K)
P.O. Box 562
Agawam MA, 01001