From the Shack – March 2013

Next Meeting March 1st  – Our annual Show & Tell night!

It is March Madness again at HCRA with our annual Show & Tell event. I’ve heard a lot of members are putting the finishing touches on their projects and expect we will see a grand assortment of ham radio, or not so ham radio, contraptions that will strike fear in your hearts when they reach for the on/off switch!

All kidding aside Show & Tell brings out the best of our member’s creative juices. The spectrum of projects is wide and has touched most areas of amateur radio and beyond over the years. Matt/W1MSW and Frandy/N1FJ have conjured up neat prizes for tonight along with refreshments and maybe a few other things too? Only way to find out is to be there!

There’s still time for YOU to wrap up your project and get it to this Friday’s meeting. But finish reading this month’s Zero Beat first, OK?

KX3 Raffle drawing – Time is running short! 

The drawing will be held March 2nd at the MTARA Hamfest. Tickets are almost gone, if you haven’t purchased yours yet there’s only two opportunities left; tonight’s HCRA meeting or at the hamfest the following day. Be sure to visit the HCRA table, say hello, join or renew your membership AND get a ticket – how cool is that? The drawing will be held at the hamfest around noon. Who knows, you could go home with a brand spanking new KX3 worth $1000 and get on the air that afternoon!

Foxhunting Coming Soon? – Are you ready for some warm weather fun?

February’s Foxhunting/Build-a-Beam meeting was very successful. Fifteen folks went home with a three element beam and we have a dozen people on a potential fox hunting list. There was a lot of interest in the presentation, including building an Arduino controlled Doppler system. (I wonder if one will show up at Show & Tell) The question remains, “where do we go from here?”

First: We will have the sign-up sheet at tonight’s meeting. If you either missed February’s meeting or were too busy to sign up here’s another opportunity to put your name on the list.

Second: I’m hoping a few people will ‘raise their hands’ to spearhead the first few foxhunts. A perfect combination would be an experienced hunter and a novice. They could get their heads together, plan an opening hunt or hunts and really get the ball rolling. Once started, and with the enthusiasm shown at the last meeting I’ll bet it will roll merrily along gaining momentum every month. Please, see if YOU can find an hour or two in a month to help get this started.

Third: HCRA resources such as our Facebook page, Zero Beat, the website and the HCRA mailing list are open and available for use in promoting and coordinating foxhunting. There may be other ways we can help as well, but first we need some folks to step forward, put a little ‘sweat equity’ into the project and create fun for our entire community.

Let’s talk after tonight’s meeting and see what we can come up with, OK?

HCRA Zero Beat Archives – W200NY – what was that? 

Don’t know, check out the March 1988 issue of Zero Beat in the archives. You never know what you’ll come across in our long and varied history. We’re still looking to ‘fill the gaps’ in our Zero Beat collection so I’ll repeat last month’s request.

Special request. Please take a look at the archive list. If you have, or know of someone who has other issues please get in contact Jeff so they can be added to the archive. We can accept them as a .pdf or can scan and return to you. We know there are folks out there with additional issues, here’s a chance to get them preserved and easily accessible for everyone’s enjoyment.

Spots from the cluster: 

PaypalJeff is working toward a PayPal interface on our website. Our expectations are soon members wishing to join, renew or donate from the convenience of their couch will be able to click ‘send’. The question rose at the February meeting (thanks Norm), “will we still be able to send a check” and the answer is “yes”. Nothing is changing except we are adding an additional method of payment; we’re not taking anything away with the change. 

Meeting Refreshments – It is apparent our members enjoy having coffee and sweets at the meetings. The rub is nobody seems to feel it should be ‘their job’ to procure them! What’s up with that? Counting family members our club membership is over one hundred people! As I’ve mentioned in the past do you really think all club duties should fall on the nine board members? I don’t believe it should, that’s why I’m tossing out this request once again.

We are looking for one or two folks to pick up coffee & donuts for the meeting. Do you feel you, maybe with a friend, could spend fifteen to thirty minutes and benefits all the folks attending the meeting? If so please see me at the end of the meeting. I’ll fill you in on how easy it is to put smiles on the faces of forty or so people.

New England QSO Party – May 4th and 5th, 2013

Mark your calendars now for a fun weekend of ham radio, New England style. During this weekend YOU become the DX with stations from all over the US looking to work you for fun, glory and the chance to win a lobster dinner.

HCRA sponsors a beautiful plaque for this contest. How do you win it? Easy, it’s given to the highest single operator score submitted from HampdenCounty. Sometimes it doesn’t take many QSO’s to win, it all depends on who is QRV in HampdenCounty for the contest. The contest starts at 4:00 PM Saturday afternoon and after taking a break between 1AM and 9AM Sunday morning goes on to end at 8PM Sunday evening. Usually both our club calls (W1NY and WB1Z) are active in the contest. If you would like to operate under either one get your request in now!

‘73 and don’t forget to pick up your winning KX3 ticket at the meeting,

Jim/KK1W

 

From the Shack – February 2013

Next Meeting February 1st
Foxhunting presentation and ‘Build a Beam’ Workshop

Meeting number two of the year is another ‘double header’ thanks to the efforts of Jeff/NT1K and Rich/N1KXR. Read on and see what we have in store for you this February. We will be running two concurrent activities Friday night. At the front of the auditorium will be a presentation of foxhunting and at the rear a “Build-a-Beam” workshop.


Local foxhunters Lou/N1LZD and Rob/KA1RBH – with state of the art for 1993 hunters!

“Everyone foxhunting in the area in the early 1990’s can remember the dreading Rob & Lou’s
dedicated foxhunt vehicle. Sporting GPS, Flux gate compass, Doppler DF gear, on board computer and custom programming it was a formidable opponent (but not infallible)
!

Foxhunting, what’s it all about? Whether you’ve thought about foxhunting, been on a foxhunt in the past or are interested in participating in future hunts this meeting is for you. We’re gathering up historical data, will present a brief ‘how-to’ that should entice you to try foxhunting this spring and we’ll talk about what foxhunting might look like in the future. If you have anything you’d like us to share from the past or suggestions for future hunts we’re all ears for that too. This should be a fun presentation that will remind us the diversity our hobby provides and take our mind off the freezing cold weather for a few hours or so. Remember, spring is just around the corner.

3EL Beam

Build your own 2m Yagi antenna! In the back of the room Jeff and Rich will be holding a ‘Build a Beam’ workshop. Their students will assemble a pre-cut, three element “tape measure” yagi for 2 meters, solder on the coax and give it a try. The little Yagi is good for portable operations, SOTA and of course – foxhunting. More details about the workshop can be found here. There’s still room for a few more students. If you are interested contact Jeff right away so you don’t miss out. After the beams are built everyone can watch as the happy builders give them a test run.

Show & Tell next month
How’s your project coming along?

HCRA’s March meeting wouldn’t be the same without Show & Tell. This is when YOU, the HCRA builder, get an opportunity to show off what you’ve been working on over the last twelve months. It’s fun for the builders and the audience alike. You never know what type of project will show up. Over the years we’ve seen everything from stop light controllers to Van DeGraaff generators, novice transmitters to remote antenna switches, QRP rigs to kilowatt amps. Wonder what you will see this year? The only way I know of is to show up March 1st for the fun!

Jon KA1TDQ's homebrew 30 meter transmitter. WB1DBY photograph

This year Matt/W1MSW and Frandy/N1FJ will be running the show. I’ll bet we see some different twists, don’t you? Curious, look for Matt’s Show & Tell article in February’s Zero Beat (and don’t forget to keep working on your project!)


HCRA Zero Beat Archives

15 additional years added!


Click the image and go back in time to February 1978!

Thanks to John/AC1T and Jeff/NT1K we now have an additional fifteen years of Zero Beats added to the archives. John spent many hours scanning his collection and forwarding them to Jeff for inclusion in the archives. Issues have been added from 1976 to 1990. It’s interesting to see a snapshot of what both HCRA and ham radio was like 25 to 30 years ago. Some things have changed a lot, others… You’ll have to see for yourself – just click here and take a ride in the HCRA TARDIS!
Special request. Please take a look at the archive list. If you have, or know of someone who has other issues please get in contact Jeff so they can be added to the archive. We can accept them as a .pdf or can scan and return to you. We know there are folks out there with additional issues, here’s a chance to get them preserved and easily accessible for everyone’s enjoyment.

Amateur Radio License Classes
Four new hams & two upgrades – fantastic!

Over the last three weeks the HCRA Instructor Team held classes for all three levels of amateur licenses at the HMC Auditorium. We had seven Technician, three General and three Extra class students. The final class and test session was held on January 26th

Let’s extend a hearty ‘welcome aboard’ to the following newly minted Amateur Radio Operators:

Technician Class
Cindy Forbes
Tom Isham
Doug McLean

General Class
Eric LaCombe

Upgrade to General
Ralph Gedney/KB1LEW/AG

Upgrade to Extra
Diane Shippee/KB1KST/AE

Thanks to all the instructors that participated; Frandy/N1FJ, Ed/KB1NWH, Jim/KK1W, Steve/N1SR, Rich/N1KXR and of course John/Kx1x for taking the helm and getting it done. Thanks also to our hosts at HMC for allowing us the use of their fine facility. Of course the real fun is seeing the happy faces of the newly licensed or upgraded hams!

Spots from the cluster:

Silent Auction Results: January’s silent auction was a success. Thanks to the many donations folks went home with bargains and HCRA added approximately $400 to our treasury. We’re still thinking of how we can bring back the ‘old style’ auction and welcome any suggestions.

KX3 Raffle drawing is March 2nd. There are still two HCRA meetings and one MTARA meeting offering opportunities to purchase a ticket. Your absolute last chance will be at the MTARA Hamfest on March 2nd. Visit the HCRA table, say hello, join or renew your membership AND get a ticket – how cool is that? The drawing will be held at the hamfest at noon. Who knows, you could go home with a brand spanking new KX3 worth $1000 and be on the air that afternoon!

Notes from the ARRL Cabinet Meeting of January 5th Dave/AA1YW and I attend the NE Division meeting, here’s a few highlights:
There’ could be a new LF band coming soon on 135.7 to 137.8 kHz according to the FCC. Also the ARRL has filed a petition for a low frequency band on 472 to 479 kHz. Follow the links for more details.
The 1900 to 2000 kHz segment of 160 meters could be made ‘Primary’ for ham operators. We’ve been secondary on this segment because it was formally used by the LORAN radio location system. The last LORAN broadcast from the system was from Caribou, ME, September 21st, 2010.
The ARRL National Convention will be held in Hartford on July 20, 21 and 22 in 2014. Hartford was picked for the 2014 location to offer an opportunity to the participants in WRTC2014 a chance to unwind and meet other US hams.

‘73 and see you at the meeting,
Jim/KK1W

From the Shack – January 2013

Next Meeting January 4th
Silent Auction and Coax Presentation

Our first meeting of the New Year kicks off as a double header. We’ve two very interesting and exciting things for you. An expanded silent auction and an informative presentation about coax. There’s more about the silent auction elsewhere in the newsletter and on the website, here’s the lowdown about the presentation.

We all use coax around the shack, connecting our rigs to antennas, antenna switches and tuners. Some of us also use coax for interconnecting transceivers to amplifiers or other station accessories. There’s lots of types and sizes of coax available, have you wondered if you chose the correct/best one for the job? That’s exactly what Ed/KB1NWH is going to help us out with tonight.

Ed/KB1NWH will be sharing with us everything you need to know about coax; types available, costs and the best places to use each type in your radio shack. Ed served HCRA for many years as our technical director answering questions like this on an almost daily basis. He’s taken that knowledge, boiled it down and will give us the scoop on everything coax – from tiny RG-174 to hardline and everything in between. After the presentation Ed will take any questions you may have particular to your installation. This will be a good primer for upcoming spring antenna installations or repairs.

KX3 Raffle

There’s still time to purchase YOUR winning ticket for the KX3 transceiver, but time is running short. The last ticket sales will be at the upcoming MTARA Hamfest on March 2nd, with the drawing being held around noon at the hamfest. Tickets will be available at all club meetings and of course at the hamfest. Not sure you want the transceiver? Think about that a minute. You could own one of the most progressive HF transceivers, considered by many to be the equal of almost any transceiver made to date, for a $10 donation. Rated #2 on Sherwood’s receiver testing, all HF bands, built in PSK and more. Read more about the rig and the raffle by clicking here. Thanks as always for your support of HCRA and good luck!

The return of the silent Auction!

Here’s the latest list of donations for the auction, they may be more by time Friday rolls around. Need more details? Click here.

Radio Shack portable scanner
Radio Shack desk top scanner
Sony AM/FM/SW portable radio
Panasonic portable radio
CDE Ham II rotor
Mini Digital TV Stick
Circuit board set for an ARRL wattmeter
HP Netbook computer
Icom 207 Dual band mobile transceiver

This should be really fun – see you Friday night!

Amateur Radio License Classes scheduled for January!

HCRA’s chief instructor John/Kx1x has announced the latest round of classes. Starting January 15 with two evening sessions and ending with a full day class and test session Saturday January 26. Technician, General and Extra classes will be offered. The focus will be on Technician class to get new folks on board. The General and Extra sessions will be more of a ‘study group’ than a formal class. We had fantastic success with this format last year and are hoping for a repeat.

The classes will be based around the ARRL License Manuals, available from ARRL, Amazon and of course regular bookstores. Another helpful resource are the ‘No Nonsense Study Guides‘ written by Dan/KB6NU. These are well written guides designed to help you pass the test. Tech and General guides are free, the Extra guide is a mere $7.99. All are available for download on their website (linked above). I highly recommend using these guides along with the ARRL manuals. Couple that with some study time there’s no reason why we won’t have a 100% pass rate, right?

If you know of anyone looking to become an Amateur Radio Operator please point them to our classes. The classes are free, and if someone is willing to put in two evenings and a Saturday they too can join our fun hobby.

Spot from the cluster:

Gather up your ‘stuff’ and get it ready for the Silent Auction this month. Think of it like a flea market without prices. What a great way to raise some cash or get some bargains! Open to everyone, members and non-members alike. Read more about it here.

KX3 Raffle drawing changed to March 2nd. Drawing held around noon at the MTARA Hamfest. Good luck! Already have a ticket, double your chances and purchase a second!

10 Meter Contest results are posted on the website. I know there were other HCRA operators QRV, please email us your scores so we can add them to the list. Don’t forget the soapbox comments – they’re even more fun than the scores! Have you sent in your log yet? Cut off date for your entry is 0000Z January 9th. (7:00 PM local time)

ARRL Cabinet meeting is January 5th. HCRA will be represented at the meeting. Are there any issues/comments you would like us to put forward at the meeting? If so please email them to me, thanks!

Happy New Year – 73…
Jim/KK1W

 

From the Shack – December 2012

Holiday Party – December 10th

If you’re planning on going – and you haven’t bought your ticket yet – you’re almost out of time. Don’t miss out on a chance to spend a fun evening with your ham friends from both MTARA and HCRA this holiday season. It isn’t possible for us to sell tickets at the door because we need to provide the restaurant with a head count a week prior to the party. If you still want to go here’s what you need to do.

Contact either me or Marty/W1MJB and let of us know  you will be attending. We will add your name to the list and make sure there’s food for you when you get there! You can contact us via the links on the website or call me directly at 413.237.4666. At this point in time there isn’t any other way. We don’t want anyone to miss out so get it done now!

DON’T SEND CHECKS TO THE PO BOX! It is too late for that and it may not be checked in time for the party. Call us instead and we will make it happen for you. More info on the party by clicking here!

ONE MORE REMINDER…

There is no regular club meeting in December. This was mentioned in last month’s ‘from the shack’ but it bears repeating. Instead of the meeting we’re having our gala Holiday Party event – that’s a good trade off I think? If you show up the first Friday of December and we’re not there don’t say you weren’t warned!

Are you ready for an ARRL 10 Meter Contest Challenge?

Earlier this month we posted the 2012 challenge goal of 100K pointsMake or exceed the goal and you will receive a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card for your efforts. Why are we doing this? Because we want YOU to be on the air (QRV) and having fun while we can still enjoy the Cycle 24 peak. Ten meters has been open a lot over the last few weeks and we all have our fingers crossed it will be hopping on December 10th. You can find more information about how to operate, the 2012 rules, the 2012 challenge and past scores simply by clicking the hot links.

The 10 meter contest is a great way to introduce new or inexperienced operators into HF operating and/or contesting. It offers both voice or CW so new ops can try a different modes if they so desire. Adding to the fun is all our individual scores count as a club score – how cool is that? In order to get new folks on the air we’re looking for folks willing to open their home station to visiting (guest) operators. Please comment below if you have time and station resources to help someone get excited about HF! It need not be for the entire contest. Even if you only host for a few hours Saturday or Sunday afternoon think what that means to someone that hasn’t had the opportunity to play radio on HF, or may not even have an HF station. Those few hours of your time could make a huge difference in someone’s amateur radio excitement for years to come.

Putting my station where my mouth is I will be opening my station for guest ops throughout the contest. If you would like to spend some time on the air using our club call WB1Z from my shack drop me a note so I can get you on the schedule. The station is competitive with an Icom Pro-2, amp and beam antenna. Come on over, I guarantee you’ll have some fun and kick some contest butt at the same time! And if the band isn’t open we can do what all good hams do – shoot the bull, find something else to play with or break and still have fun.

Notes from the cluster:

Cycle 24 is still working! I just finished up a weekend of contesting in the CQWW-CW event this past weekend. The bands were hopping. 10 meters was open quite a bit, and early in the morning. 15 meters was just amazing! I ran QRP (5 watts) and worked 99 countries over the weekend. Lots of DX including Japan, Micronesia, Guam, Asiatic Russia and more, all with only 5 watts! Like everything else, Cycle 24 will soon start a downturn. Don’t miss your chance to have fun on the HF bands. Get on the air and operate. Whether in a contest, a rag chew, casual DX’ing it makes no difference. It’s all good and if you miss it another eleven years will have to pass to get back to where we are today. Don’t be an ‘armchair amateur’, get in front of the rig and have fun!

Field Day Planning has begun.  It is in your hands!  If you have some thoughts about what we should (or shouldn’t) do for FD now is your chance to speak up. For years now our FD has been one of HCRA’s ‘Big Events’ and attracts more members than anything except perhaps the Holiday Party. If you’ve been attending you know why. If you haven’t been attending we want to know why. What would excite YOU enough to participate? Have ideas, that’s great – just be prepared to back them up with some ‘sweat equity’ to make it happen 🙂

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season – 73…
Jim/KK1W

From the Shack – November 2012

At my ‘summer shack’!

Our last meeting of 2012 – November 2nd!

Yep, November is our last meeting this year. December brings the joint HCRA/MTARA Holiday Party, which replaces the regular meeting. We have an interesting presentation for you this month, a presentation focusing on portable operations, including SOTA, battery technology, field deployable antenna ideas for HF, and an opportunity to see a KX3 setup and operating. A little something for everyone that will leave you with some ideas you can employ in the future.

HF Bands on FIRE lately!

Cycle 24 has been exciting the last few weeks. Ten meters has been open worldwide, sometimes just after daybreak. Combined with the start of the new contest season and you’ve got a recipe for fun! Not interested in contesting? That’s OK, the bands still work for ragchewing, DX, digital and more. Don’t be one of those folks that is ‘negative on everything’ except what they like. Every facet of amateur radio encompasses all aspects of the hobby. You can’t do well in contest, work DX or chat with your buddies on 75m if you don’t have a good antenna, can’t set up an emergency operation without portable power – you get the idea. As soon as you close your mind to a mode of operation, types of antennas, contesting, etc. you lose the opportunity to learn more about our hobby. Stay open minded and embrace the activities of others instead of coloring them with your own preferences.

Cycle 24 peak revised!

Although our current solar cycle is not one for the record books NASA has revised the predicted peak to May 2013. Earlier predictions had the peak occurring in either 2011 or 2012. This is certainly good news for amateur operators everywhere. Read more about NASA’s forecasts here.

Notes from the cluster:

Tickets for the HCRA/MTARA joint Holiday Party are selling fast. Pick up yours at November’s MTARA or HCRA meetings or by mail to either club. December 10th is your date for fun at the Steaming Tender in Palmer, MA.

Our annual November auction has been cancelled this year. If you hear someone mentioning attending please inform them of the change.

ARRL 10 Meter contest this December. This year should be an exciting one, especially based on recent 10 meter band openings. Look for more information from W1MSW about this fun event elsewhere in this edition of Zero Beat.

KX3 Raffle prize is in our hands! When we hold this year’s drawing we will have the radio ready and waiting for you. Ed will have this excellent prize on display and we plan on having a KX3 on display and operating at tonight’s meeting!

’73…
Jim/KK1W

From the Shack – October 2012

At my ‘summer shack’!

What’s that ‘funny noise’ on 14.085 MHz?

If you’re tuning around the bands and come across some signals that sound like “beedley, beedley, beedley” you may have stumbled across a radio teletype transmission. Not exactly sure what that “beedley” sound is? Here’s what it sounds like – rtty (hint, click rtty)

Usually abbreviated RTTY, it is one of many digital modes that include PSK31, WSPR and others. RTTY has been around for many years and has seen an uptick in activity lately. No longer do you have to drag home a 100 pound teletype machine, listen to the clatter of the type or smell the warm machine oil (although you still can if you want to). Modern amateur operators use a computer to do all the heavy lifting nowadays.

Sound interesting? Want to learn more? Then come to our October meeting and guess what, you will! Our guest speaker is Tom/W1TO and he will be talking to us about RTTY and RTTY contesting. You will learn what is necessary to setup and operate RTTY (hint – not much!) and how to play in your first RTTY contest (another hint, it is fun and additcive!) Best of all you’re guaranteed to leave the meeting more informed than when you arrived!

Want to see RTTY in action, here’s a short sample video to whet your appetite to try something new:

Have you subscribed to our new website yet?

HCRA’s new website is getting better everyday. New content, new links, new events – it’s the place to go to feel amateur radio’s pulse in the Pioneer Valley. Wouldn’t it be nice to know about new content or events on the website without having to constantly check the website (although that’s OK if you want to). Well you can do that, just by subscribing.

The next time you’re on the site, scroll to the bottom of the main (home) page. In the center of the page is a, you guessed it, a ‘Subscribe’ button. Simply enter your email address, press the button and you’re done. You’ll receive a confirmation email and you’re all set. Now the website will let YOU know when a new article or event is added. Stay up to date without having to work at it – how cool is that?

HCRAs website is secure, your email is never revealed or used for any other purpose. It is not necessary to subscribe to view the site or leave comments – the only purpose is to keep YOU informed of all our activities. We have over 100 subscribers on our facebook page, wouldn’t it be nice to exceed that on our webpage?

KX3 Raffle – Have you purchased your Ticket Yet?

Tickets are selling fast, don’t miss your chance to win a fantastic HF transceiver for a tiny donation of $10. Only 250 tickets will be sold, so chances are high, even if you only purchase one ticket! The faster they sell, the sooner we can hold the drawing. We’ve pre-ordered the rig from Elecraft. The wait period is pretty short with Elecraft and I’m sure we will have the rig in time for the drawing.

Why would you want to win this beautiful radio? After all, it’s only QRP, right? All I can say is, after owning one for a few months now, is it really does everything a large radio will, but at less than two pounds! All band/mode, DSP, great filtering, dual VFO’s, auto-notch, CW decode, built in PSK and RTTY and more – who wouldn’t want one?

Tickets will be on sale at the October meeting, purchase one or two and good luck. If you don’t win remember your donation has gone to a good cause! Read more about the raffle here.

Renewal Time is here!

Rich/N1KXR is asking for your help. He’s in charge of increasing HCRA’s membership, and the only way that can happen is if everyone that was a member last year renews their membership AND we add new members. New members are coming is so it is up to you, our former members, to fill out your application and bring it to the October meeting. Can’t make the meeting? Use our handy application form and mail it in to the PO box. We have worked hard over the past ten years to control our costs, provide quality events for our members and NOT raise dues. By becoming a member you will help keep dues low and fun high! Bring your completed application to the October meeting and see Rich/N1KXR or Dave/N1MFL so we can get you ‘back in the fold’.

Still not convinced? OK, here’s some incentive. If you join or renew your HCRA membership by the close of the October 5th meeting you could be the winner of a TYT TH-F5 dual band HT with rechargeable batteries, desk and mobile charger. Getting the bulk of our memberships early in the season allows us plan the year ahead. Help us out by renewing early and we might help you out with a new HT. Fair enough?

HCRA/MTARA Holiday Party – December 10th, 2012

Last year’s party was an unbridled success and we wondered, “what can we do to make it even better in 2012?). It is hard to improve on the location or the food, hmmmm. What if BOTH of the amateur radio clubs in the valley joined forces and held the party together? Wouldn’t that be fun? That’s exactly what we’re doing! Both clubs sat down and worked together to create a super get together for 2012.

Same great location!
Same scrumptious buffet!
Bigger and better raffle/door prizes!
Same $15 price tag!
MORE friends to eat, drink and be merry with!

Tickets go on sale at both clubs starting in October. See Rich/N1KXR at any HCRA meeting or Diane/KB1KST at any MTARA meeting and by mail to either club’s PO box.

Another example of both clubs, working together, to the benefit of all area amateurs.

Notes from the cluster:

The HCRA October meeting featuring Tom Homewood/W1TO will also be a Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC) regional meeting. If you’re interested in contesting you can join YCCC at the HCRA meeting. It’s fun, painless and not too expensive. Learn more about it by clicking YCCC!

The Silent Auction returns at our October meeting. We will have a beautiful set of chrome Bencher paddles available and a few other items. Items for the auction will be displayed on a table along with a ‘bid sheet’. Enter your bid and if you’re the highest bidder at the end of the night pay Dave/AA1YW and go home with your new toy!

Don’t forget we’re meeting at our new location! Starting September 2012  meetings will be at the Auxiliary Conference Center at the Holyoke Medical Center. Many of you have been here before, it’s where the Western Mass VE Team has given examinations for close to a decade. We have all the details of the hall and how to get there on our website. Simply click this link!

’73…
Jim/KK1W

From The Shack – Aug 2012

At my ‘summer shack’!

Hello everyone and welcome to HCRA’s ‘new and improved’ web site. Bear with us just a little while longer while we transfer over the remainder of relevant content from the old site. Jeff/NT1K is the major architect behind the change and is working quickly to get it wrapped up ASAP. He’s done a fantastic job so far don’t you think?

It is our hope the new website with its loads of interactive content will become a landing place for everyone interested not only in HCRA but amateur radio in general. We were at the front of the pack when we introduced our web site over a decade ago but we’ve been dragging our heels the last few years about moving to a better format. Thanks not only to Jeff for getting it done but also to Matt/W1MSW and John/Kx1x for their help and suggestions over the last six months. Like most things HCRA it is a team event.

As we move further away from website creation and closer to website utilization we’re working hard to understand the new format and how best to use the new features to enhance everyone’s experiences with HCRA. The new website is totally interactive and  allows everyone to participate, add comments and suggestions, calendar items, etc. Do you have something you’ve seen on other websites that could benefit HCRA? Pass it along, we’re looking for new ideas and different approaches – approaches that hopefully will interest new, younger folks into our interesting hobby.

I hope your summer has been going well and you’ve had a chance to experience some new things, ham radio or otherwise, before the kids head back to school and the leaves start to fall. Our next meeting is September 7th at the new HCRA meeting place at the Holyoke Medical Center. Keep an eye on this website, your email box and our Facebook page for complete directions to our fantastic new location.

Until then 73 and good DX,

Jim/KK1W