Welcome to the 2014 – 2015 Year

OK, here we go. It the first meeting of the year tomorrow night at the Holyoke Medical Center at 7:30.

There will be the usual camaraderie, 3 that’s right 3 guest speakers. KK1W, W1MSW, and W1MOR. All have short presentations on these summers’ activities that the club participated in in one way or another, They will be talking about Field Days and WRTC.

There will be chances for you to buy your HCRA 250 Raffle tickets for a nice KX3.

Renew you membership and get entered for a MFJ 266B antenna analyzer.

WRTC 2014 Results and HCRA/WRTC Trivia

The scores are out! They can be found on the WRTC2104 web page. But here’s the really cool stuff.

We hosted four teams at Medfield State Hospital. Medfield was site 8 and the stations were 8A through 8D. Here’s the results from ‘our’ teams:

8A: K1M – IK1JHS & I4UFH – Won the SSB mode, placed 58th!

8B: N1A – DL1QQ & DL8DYL – The first YL WRTC team – placed 26th

8C: W1R – OH2BH & OH2MM – Sponsored by Azores Travel, placed 50th

8D: W1M – 4O3A & HA1AG – Placed 15th, our highest scoring team

Some of our team members held 1×1 calls for the event:

K1S: held by Don/KB5VP for the 12th placed W2SC team
N1P: held by Jim/KK1W for the 51st placed CX6VM team
N1Q: held by Dave/AA1YW was unassigned
N1R: held by Steve/N1SR for the 22nd placed UA3DPX team
W1H: held by Brian/K1LI was unassigned

About a 1/2 hour before the contest started I4UFH’s power supply cable broke for his iMac. One couldn’t be found quickly and they were scrambling for a computer. John/Kx1x came up with a Window’s laptop and within ten minutes the software was loaded and configured and Fabio was QRV when the opening bell rang! How cool is that?

Al/KB1XG was an official WRTC2014 videographer, we can’t wait to see some of his shots in the videos.

Rich/N1KXR was night security and roaming driver/helper from Wednesday through Saturday.

Nick/K1MAZ made many trips to town for team and competitor supplies.

Mary/KB1ME was the unofficial photographer for the DL1QQ team.

HCRA fielded 28 volunteers over the five day period. The weather was beautiful but the hot summer sun made the afternoons grueling, even with the low humidity. We drank plenty of water and used almost as much sun screen.

We serviced two cars with dead batteries (N1SR and W3SM) and changed one flat tire (KB1XG)

As far as I know, even though we spent four nights there, no ghosts were noticed haunting the Medfield complex.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered for this seventh running of WRTC. Everyone worked hard and created an outstanding experience for the teams we hosted. All competitors said they felt welcomed and appreciated by all we did for them.

What a great showing for the HCRA/WRTC volunteers!

WRTC Equipment Sale – UPDATED!


NEWS FLASH – The Honda Generators are *** SOLD OUT ***

We are only one month into the sale and already half the Honda generators and almost half of the coax have been purchased! How cool is that? Unfortunately this also means if you’re contemplating purchasing a generator or coax time is of the essence. I don’t need to remind you there won’t be any more coming once these are gone, do I?

An updated inventory list is presented below and an official WRTC purchase agreement can be found elsewhere in this month’s Zero Beat. Don’t delay, put you your deposit down now to ensure you can take advantage of our club purchases, get a good discount and support HCRA/WRTC at the same time!


Qty Item Model Retail HCRA Notes
12 25G, 10′ section Rohn, 25G  $   135  $     60
4 25G, 8′ rocket top w/4′ mast and rotor bracket Rohn, 25G  $   309  $    150
4 Rotator w/125′ cable Yaesu, G-450A  $   404  $    225
0 2000W Generator w/Berg Extended run tank Honda, EU-2000i  $1,119  $    750 SOLD OUT!
1 Tent Eureka Cop Canyon 8  $   379  $    100  ONLY ONE LEFT!
5 150′ Coax w/PL259 Times, LMR-240  $   120  $     50 ONLY FIVE LEFT !
2 Tri-band Beam Antenna Cycle 24, TX-38  $1,000  $    500
2 80M dipole Radio Oasis  $     55  $     20
2 40M dipole Radio Oasis  $     40  $     20
5 36″ x 36″ Folding Table ?  $     70  $     25
6 Folding Chairs ?  $     15  $     10
4 Lamp ?  $     10  $       5
4 Fan ?  $     15  $       5
4 Camp Toilet ?  $     40  $     10

Here are some facts worth considering when making your purchase:

  1. The equipment has between 24 and 72 hours use (in other words it isn’t NEW)
  2. A 20% non-refundable deposit is required for purchase
  3. Your purchase must be paid in full by June 1, 2014
  4. Delivery will be immediately after July 13, 2014
  5. You must be a member of HCRA, this offer is not available to the general public
  6. Quantities are very limited and are on a first come/first served basis

The sale started at our September 6th meeting and is being administered by Dave/AA1YW and Jim/KK1W. All questions about the equipment, deposits, etc. should go directly to Dave or Jim.

’73… and see you at the meeting!

Dave/AA1YW & Jim/KK1W

K1DG to speak tonight at HCRA meeting!

On hand, all the way from New Hampshire, is Doug Grant/K1DG. Besides being as close to ‘professional’ as an amateur radio operator can get Doug is also the president of WRTC2014. That’s the group that is responsible for bringing the “Olympics of Amateur Radio to New England in 2014. Doug will give us a brief history of WRTC (World Radiosport Team Championships), enlighten us on the many details his team is working on to make it an exceptional event AND let us know how we can be part of this exciting event.

Besides his WRTC responsibilities K1DG is an avid contest operator, author and an extremely ‘radioactive’ ham. Here’s a brief bio to get you familiar with the experience tonight’s speaker brings to our group tonight.

Doug Grant received his first ham-radio license from the FCC in 1967 and his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Lowell Technological Institute (now the University of Massachusetts—Lowell). He has more than 30 years’ experience in the semiconductor industry, mostly at Analog Devices, where he worked in engineering; marketing; and product-line management for analog, mixed-signal, RF, and wireless products. He has logged close to 500,000 contacts with other radio hams in every country in the world. Grant is now an independent consultant specializing in semiconductor and wireless technologies.

Don’t miss it, see you tonight at 7:30 sharp!


Next meeting is this Friday, April 5th!

Only two days until the April HCRA meeting.

It’s no April fool either. Our special guest speaker is Doug/K1DG. Doug is traveling all the way from NH to chat with us about the World Radiosport Team Championship coming to New England in 2014. There are a lot of moving parts to hosting an international competition here on New England soil and Doug is just the guy to show us how it’s done. You’ll learn about WRTC, its history and most importantly how you can be part of a perhaps ‘once in a lifetime’ operation.

See you Friday night!



WRTC is coming in 2014 – are you ready to pitch in?

WRTC is just around the corner. We’re looking to field (literally) a second station this year. Who’s game to give it a go? So what exactly is WRTC and more importantly WRTC-2014? Read on.

In short you could consider it the ‘Olympics of Amateur Radio’.  Read all about the competition and its history here. The big news is WRTC is coming to New England in 2014. The WRTC-2014 committee is looking for hams throughout NE to help them setup, test and manage 59 operating sites (and 6 spares) for the competition in July 2014.

Our location last year was the magnificent (?) Medfield State Hospital in Medfield, MA. It’s been said this retired mental facility was the ideal place to put the HCRA team and it they were right! We setup and operated the whole weekend and had a great time! We’re doubling our efforts this year and fielding two complete stations. We need YOUR support to make it happen! Follow this link to see a great WRTC presentation given at last year’s MTARA meeting by Dave/KM3T. Dave’s presentation is a good overview of WRTC, how much fun it is and why your help is needed.

We’re working right now building our teams for 2013. Would you like to join the fun? Contact Jim/KK1W or telephone  at 413.237-4666 and he will get you started on the road to fun!