630 Meter Challenge

630 Meter Challenge – Halftime Update:

A map of WSPR stations received at KK1W on a typical evening. (http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map)

The HCRA/SOTA Jerks 630 meter challenge crosses the halfway point January 1, 2018. So far close to a half dozen members have made QSO’s or SWL reports on our new, medium frequency (MF) band.  Here’s a quick overview of their achievements so far along with station descriptions and photos. Not sure about the 630 Challenge? Details can be found here. The purpose of the event is to encourage members of both clubs to expand their amateur radio horizons, “Go Low” and enjoy ham radio fun. There’s a list of links at the end to get you started on your exploration below WHYN AM if you’re so inclined.

Stations completing at least one QSO on 630 meters:

Bob/WA1OJN – First member QRV!

WA1OJN’s Shack. The MF Systems 630m converter is at the far right on the top shelf.

Bob was our first member QRV on 472 MHz. Bob hadn’t done any home-brew for many years and was excited by the Challenge announcement at the October meeting.  Here, in his own words, is his description of progress to date on 630m:

I have had QSOs with 13 stations in 8 states on JT9 with a max distance of just under 900 miles.  On WSPR I have been received in north western Canada at 2047 miles.  Unfortunately that guy does not currently have transmit capability.
My antenna is a converted 80M dipole at 25 feet with a length of 137 feet and I am using a WA3ETD converter attached to my TS-440S driving it from WSJT-X software on a Windows XP machine.

WA1OJN’s Variometer for 630m. Remote tuned using a gear motor and controlled by a battery powered switchbox in the shack.

I have been licensed since 1972 and this has really been an exciting project forcing me to get back into building stuff.  I have learned a lot about RFI with my smoke detectors, the importance of proper grounding, impedance matching and a bunch more.  Really gets you back to basics.  It’s really fun to find the limits and try to push it a bit more.  The other night a guy over 1000 miles away had me at -29 on JT9 with my grid square and signal report and just couldn’t get my RRR and 73.  I tried cranking up the power supply voltage but nothing would do it.  Now that I have remote antenna tuning I might have been able to do a quick tune and put him in the log.  It is amazing that even a 300Hz frequency change will require re-tuning.
I have found all the guys to be super helpful and some great chat rooms.  One thing I find interesting, is although most of the HF contacts I have made are using LotW, I would say the majority of the guys on 630M do not use LotW and are into paper QSLs.
Bob/WA1OJN

K1NZ and KK1W share the next spot

Nick/K1NZ and Jim/KK1W made their first QSO on 630 by working each other! Separated by a vast 7 miles here’s their story:

Nick/K1NZ

K1NZ’s Shack

Nick’s station consists of an Icom 735 and a 160m Inverted-L antenna. The Icom is fully capable of transceive on 472 MHz and Nick had been monitoring WSPR and JT9 activity for a few weeks. When KK1W got his station QRV on the new band they decided to try a CW QSO. Guess what, it worked! Signals were weak but readable with a 339R/599S report at Nick’s end. Power was very low at Nick’s station because of high SWR concerns.

K1NZ at work modifying the main board of his IC-735.

Since that QSO Nick has made modifications to the IC735 to improve RX and TX and hopes to get a resonant antenna up soon. One thing is certain, it’s not expensive to get on this band but it takes some ‘experimentation’ and good old ham tinkering to make it happen.

 

Jim/KK1W

KK1W’s 472KHz shack.

Jim’s stations features an Elecraft K3s, MF Solutions converter, an Inverted L antenna for TX and a 650′ Beverage for RX. The K3s is a great receiver on 472 MHz (with the general coverage filter) but sports only a half milliwatt (0.0005 watts) output! Getting that tiny signal boosted is the job of the MF Systems converter. The converter was modified to use only the amplifier portion and puts out about 20 watts.

KK1W’s loading/tuning coil for 630m Inverted L antenna

The Inverted L antenna has 75′ of vertical, about 175′ horizontal and a half dozen 100′ ground radials. It’s tuned with a loading coil wound on a 2 gallon plastic pail.

Results have been good so far with over 20 QSO’s, two on CW, one on FT8 and the balance on JT9 with 9 states and three countries. Jim’s longest QSO to date was with ZF1EJ in the Cayman Islands approximately 1600 miles.

Plans for station improvement include a variometer to replace the fixed tuned coil and more power. With only 20 watts his station is a “rabbit with big ears” hearing much better than it can be heard.

Stations listening on 630 meters:

James/WD1S

WD1S Shack

James is an avid 160m operator with a nice location in Chesterfield, MA. His station consists of a Kenwood TS-590 and various wire antennas. He has been receiving signals on 472 and 137 MHz since the beginning of the challenge.

Like the K3 his TS-590 has very low output on 472HKz. James has tried to work a few local stations but his 1mw signal is just not heard, at least so far.

Frandy/N1FJ

Frandy added a general coverage filter to his K3 and is using a G5RV for receiving. To date he has copied KK1W’s CW CQ and NDB’s lower in the band. He has obtained an MF Solutions converter and hopes to get on the air soon feeding an Inverted L antenna.

Mid-Challenge Wrap Up:

This wraps up our mid-Challenge activities. There are others expressing interest in the band including George/KC1V and Bob/W1QA but we’re not aware of their progress to date.

There’s remains plenty of time to get into the fun of MF over the next few months. Winter months are great for these frequencies with little atmospheric interference. It is amazing the distances achievable on these so called ‘low bands’ and you will be too – if you give it a try. Many ham transceivers and most general coverage receivers can receive below 500 KHz. Besides amateur activity on 472 KHz and 137 KHz there’s many interesting signals at VLF frequencies. Between the two amateur bands are many non-directional aircraft beacons (NDB’s). How many or how far can they be heard? Give it a listen and use one of the links below to see where they are located. Interested in digital modes? WSPR, JT9 and FT8 abound on both bands.

Why not make a 2018 resolution to spin the tuning knob and “Go Low for big fun”

Happy New Year!

’73…
Jim/KK1W

Interesting and useful links:

The links below have proven very useful for our members. They concentrate on the basics and will get you QRV on 630m quickly.

http://www.472khz.org/
http://ae5x.blogspot.com/
http://ve7sl.blogspot.ca/
https://wg2xka.wordpress.com/
http://www.giangrandi.ch/electronics/shortanttuner/shortanttuner.shtml
http://wsprnet.org/drupal/
https://pskreporter.info/pskmap.html
http://www.dxinfocentre.com/ndb.htm

HCRA BOD Meeting 21-Dec-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 21-Dec-2017

Attendees:

President – WM1B (Dave)

Vise President – OPEN

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

Zero Beat Ed. – W1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:04pm ———————

President Report:

  • Dave reiterated that we need volunteers for an “Elmer’s List” where new ham’s as well as current, can talk to, ask advise on, make visits to stations during contests, help with Rookie Roundup, use of Elmer’s equipment? Antenna raising/tear down/maintenance group.
  • Also mentioned was that he will not be here for the Jan, Feb, March meetings and that the Program Director and Secretary will be the hosts for those months.
  • Dave also asked if anyone was interested in going to the ARRL cabinet meeting in Jan. Karl and Jeff (NT1K) volunteered to go.

Vice President Report:

  • OPEN

Secretary Report:

  • 60 members from both clubs attended the Holiday party. A good time was had by all.
  • Raffle tickets sales is slow with only 62 tickets sold so far.
  • Has been in contact with the people at DX Eng. for the upcoming meeting. Catalogs have arrived and we are still working out some issues with internet connectivity.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report

  • Jan, guest speaker via Skype, K3LR contesing station.
  • Feb, Vintage Radio Museum, CT
  • Apr, Show & Tell
  • May, Lightning protection
  • Jun, Field day and Elections

At Large Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Membership Report:

  • 43 members so far for 2018 (56 members in total, 8 prospects, 1 family, and 4 lifetime members). John will put a reminder in Zero Beat for membership renewals.

Technical Director:

  • Bob is looking into Webinar’s, Skype, Google Hangouts and other possibilities for discussing Technical issues, slide show presentations, videos… more to follow. Bob will also talk to Doug from the IT department to find out if more bandwidth is available in the Conference Room.

Zero Beat Editor:

  • Nothing to report.

Old Business:

  • Old business items were discussed during the round table discussions by each director.
  • A reminder that each director needs to write down what they think their job descriptions are.

New Business:

  • The Vice President position is still open.
  • Harold will host the January meeting.
  • Larry will host both the February and March meetings.
  • Definitions of Membership. John has completed the definitions and is in the final stage of approval.
  • Directors Positions. Dave is looking at creating some addition Director positions such as Dir of Contesting, Dir of Elmer’s, and possibly Dir of Field Day. More to follow.

Open Floor Discussion: (GOO – Good of the Order)

  • Who will be responsible for sending out QSL’s to operators that contacted W1NY and/or WB1Z? John will work on designing and purchasing QSL cards.
  • Juergen asked who will handle the Club log certificates. He will make some inquiries.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:45pm ———————

HCRA BOD Meeting 26-Oct-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 26-October-2017

Attendees:

President – WM1B (Dave)

Vise President – OPEN

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

Absent: Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

——————————— Meeting Open at 6:56pm ———————

President Report:

  • A Tech Class is being formulated. A location has been firmed up and a support/trainer is being worked on. More to follow.
  • Volunteers are needed for an “Elmer’s List” where new ham’s as well as current, can talk to, ask advise on, make visits to stations during contests, help with Rookie Roundup, use of Elmer’s equipment? Antenna raising/tear down/maintenance group.

Vice President Report:

  • OPEN

Secretary Report:

  • Holiday ticket sales is slow but should catch up quickly at the next meeting.
  • Raffle tickets sales is also slow. It usually picks up just before and after the Holidays.
  • For sale are HCRA Polo shirts, patches, badges, and tumblers.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report

  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing (N1FTP)
  • Dec, 4th, Holiday Party
  • Jan 5th, guest speaker via Skype from DX Engineering.
  • Apr, “Show & Tell”

At Large Report:

  • Still working on easy ways to drive in and remove Field Day antenna guy support stakes.

Membership Report:

  • 45 members so far for 2018

Technical Director:

  • Working on getting small groups of members to participate in building small projects perhaps in a lab environment. More to follow.

Zero Beat Editor:

  • The first Mini-Zero Beat was published.
  • Zero Beat will now be published every other (odd) month starting in September. For the other (even) months, a flier will be published with upcoming announcements and meetings.

Old Business:

  • The tumblers look great and are given to presenters and can be purchased by the membership.
  • A discussion of whether or not a $25 gas card should be offered to those presenters that travel quite a distance and are not presenting for the purpose of selling for profit. A motion was made and approved. In Favor-8, Apposed-0.
  • Support for Scouting/HCRA – on hold
  • Facebook host, web site – on hold, bring up at next meeting.
  • Raffle tickets, if an individual purchases 10 tickets for themselves, they get the 11th one free.
  • Holiday tickets have arrived and are being sold at VE sessions and at both club meetings.

New Business:

  • The Vice President position is still open. While Dave is in Florida, each BOD member will be given a month to open the meeting and present the presenter.
  • Each BOD member has been assigned the task of writing down their job descriptions/responsibilities.
  • Definitions of memberships has been created and is in the process of being reviewed by the BOD.
  • The Secretary will count and plot attendance of all membership meetings for trend analysis.
  • How do we increase membership? Survey Monkey? Welcoming committee? More to follow.
  • Juergen will be cleaning up and archiving items on our Web site.

Open Floor Discussion: (GOO – Good of the Order)

  • BOD frequency of meetings will be on the 3rd Thursday of every even month. (Aug, Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr, Jun). The BOD will determine if additional meetings are required on a needed basis. Meeting will be held at the Ihop in West Springfield. Dinner at 6pm, meeting at 7pm.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:39pm ———————

HCRA BOD Meeting 17-Aug-2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 17-August-2017

Attendees:

President – WM1B (Dave)

Vise President – OPEN

Secretary – N1FTP (Harold)

Treasurer – NV1Q (Juergen)

Program Dir. – W1AST (Larry)

Tech. Dir – K1YO (Bob)

Zero Beat Ed. – WA1MOW (Gary)

Membership – K1VOI (John)

At Large – KB1RXO (Karl)

Guest: Chet N1XPT

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:03pm ———————

President Report:

  • Discussed the importance of delegating responsibilities.

Vice President Report:

  • OPEN

Secretary Report:

  • 2016 “Annual Report” and “990-N” form has been files.

Treasurers Report:

  • The Treasurers report is available on request.

Program Director Report:

  • Sep 8st, is WWFF presentation (KC1AEO)
  • Oct 6th, presentation on DXLabs
  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing (N1FTP)
  • Dec, 4th, Holiday Party
  • Jan 5th, guest speaker via Skype from DX Engineering.

At Large Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Membership Report:

  • FY 2017 ended with 96 paid members. Because this is renewal time, 4 members have renewed so far.

Technical Director:

  • Nothing to report

Zero Beat Editor:

  • Zero Beat will now be published every other (odd) month starting in September. For the other (even) months, a flier will be published with upcoming announcements and meetings.

Old Business:

  • Larry has found a source for the tumblers that are to be given out to guest speakers rather than take them out to dinner. The BOD approved the purchase of (25) 30oz. tumblers with the HCRA logo. Larry also mentioned that if the members like them, for another $1 each, and a minimum order of 25, so $20 each (prepaid) we can place an order with a persons call sign or name. The purchasing of the the (25) 30oz. tumblers for guest speakers was approved by the BOD.
    • In Favor-8
    • Opposed-0
  • Harold, the Holiday Party with MTARA is still on schedule. Cost to membership is $22 but the club will put in the extra $2 per ticket bringing the price back to $20. Harold will be in contact with Rich (KC1AEO) for tickets to sell. Each club will donate $125 for prizes. MTARA will purchase the prizes. Paying for the extra $2 per ticket was approved by the BOD.
    • In Favor-7
    • Opposed-1

– Dave, raffle tickets for the Yaesu FT-891 and ATAS-120A have been printed and handed out to the BOD for selling. Harold is in charge of ticket tally’s and selling at the meetings.

– Field Day 2017. Jeff has sent the BOD a list of items that needs to be looked at as-soon-as- possible. Those items include the camper, the utility trailer and screw-in anchors vs the sledge type. A more detailed list is available from the BOD.

New Business:

  • The Vice President position is open. While Dave goes to Floriday in the months of February, March, and maybe April, the BOD will conduct the monthly meetings.
  • Post Office keys. Gary now has a key and will periodically pick-up mail. Gary suggested that at least 4 others on the BOD have keys in case of emergency and backup.
  • Facebook host – Dave will have his name removed from the “Group Page”.
  • Web site operations is open and will need someone to step up should we have problems.

Open Floor Discussion: (GOO – Good of the Order)

  • At the next membership meeting, Bob will be discussing upcoming projects were a very limited amount of members would go to his lab and build.
  • Gary discussed his view on why free memberships rules and regulations should be mentioned in our bylaws. Examples would be details on the free first year membershp of a newly licensed hamradio operator and how does one obtain Life Membership. The BOD will discuss at greater length at our next BOD meeting.
  • BOD frequency of meetings will be on the 3rd Thursday of every even month. (Aug, Oct, Dec, Feb, Apr, Jun). The BOD will determine if additional meetings are required on a needed basis. Meeting will be held at the Ihop in West Springfield. Dinner at 6pm, meeting at 7pm.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:33pm ———————

HCRA Raffle Poll – What would you liked to see raffled?

Every year, HCRA sponsors a fund raiser through a raffle. We usually choose an item (or items) that retails for around $1000 and raffle it off to one lucky winner. Last year we raffled the Elecraft KX2. It’s a 5-10 watt HF rig that included a microphone and antenna tuner. It sold around 180 tickets and our winner was Alex Rock (AB1FC). This year we are torn as to what the item(s) would be. Below are some possible choices. Please pick what you would like to be raffled following the options below


Option 1 –  Yaesu FT-891 With ATAS-120A Antenna  (WINNER!!!)

Ever wanted to operate mobile? Here you chance! Last year Yaesu rolled out with the FT-891. A Full HF+6M all mode rig with up to 100w output. It has a larger screen and a larger dial compared to the FT-857D which offers ease of use. Included with the FT-891 is the ATAS-120a automatic antenna. This setup could also be used at the home or portable.

For features of the FT-891 – Please Click Here

For features of the ATAS-102A – Please Click Here (PDF)

*- Mounts/Coax not included

Price: FT-891 ($700) + ATAS 120A  ($325) = $1025


Option 2ELAD FDM-Duo Multi use SDR transceiver
Interested in SDR but also don’t want to be tied down with only having to use a computer? This is a perfect rig for those who don’t have much room on their table and would like to have an HF rig. This 5-8 watt rig can be used in many configurations with or without a computer

For features and more information about the ELAD FDM-Duno – Click Here

Price: Approx $1000


Option 3Elecraft KX2 with Speaker Mic and Automatic Antenna Tuner

With the success of the last raffle and the popularity of the KX2, we figured to offer it up again. This is an all mode 80-10m HF rig that has an excellent feature and is packed full of options that will fit in your hand. It’s an excellent portable QRP rig. If selected, HCRA will also include the Microphone (as pictured) and an excellent auto tuner option.

For features and more information about the Elecraft KX2 – Click Here

*- CW paddle not included

Price: Approx $1000


Please vote below for what you would think would sell the most tickets. 

VOTING IS CLOSED. WINNER IS THE FT-891/ATAS-120A COMBO. THANK YOU

What Option Would You Like To See Raffled?

  • Option 1 - Yaesu FT-891 W/ ATAS-120A Antenna (52%, 26 Votes)
  • Option 3 - Elecraft KX2 w/ Microphone and ATU (40%, 20 Votes)
  • Option 2 - ELAD FDM-Duo SDR transceiver (8%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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HCRA Board of Directors meeting May 3, 2017

HCRA Board of Directors meeting 03-May-2017

Attendees:

President – NT1K (Jeff)

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)

Vice President – WM1B (Dave)

——————————— Meeting Open at 7:03pm ———————

President Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Vice President Report:

  • Nothing to report.

Secretary Report:

  • Nothing to report.

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 WWFF presentation (KC1AEO)
  • Oct 6th, presentation on DXLabs
  • Nov 3rd, SWLing and Dxing (N1FTP)
  • 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:

  • Nothing to report.

Membership Report:

  • Currently there are 96 paid members.

Technical Director:

  • Nothing to report

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.

(This item will be brought to the membership for information only.)

Old Business:

  • Holiday Party: a vote by all the members attending the May meeting will be asked if they would like to have the Holiday Party on Sunday afternoon or Monday evening. That question is also on our Facebook page.
  • HCRA Tumbler: We are currently trying to get the same price per unit but for a smaller minimum order. This does not have to be resolved until September.
  • Field Day trailer: will have a cleanup, inventory, reorganization, and repair on May 13 at 10am.
  • Field Day Status: everything has been confirmed, a grill was donated by KC1B, captains have been assigned, food is all set, and there will be a VE session lead by Jeff. A 10X20 car port was researched by Dave. The Board made a motion to spend the $300 for the car port.
    • In Favor-7
    • Apposed-0

New Business:

  • The position of President and Vice President was brought up and the membership will be asked for approvals and candidates at the May meeting.
  • Remove Jeff from the bank account and add the new President. Ease of transition will be investigated by Juergen

Open Floor Discussion:

  • Nothing to report.

——————————— Meeting Closed at 8:35pm ———————

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

SHOW & TELL 2017 – there’s still time!

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!