Officer Elections & Field Day Planning

Officer Elections:  We will be holding elections on Wednesday May 25th, during our monthly Waltham ARA Chime (online) meeting to fill two vacancies:  President  and Secretary.    For the club to continue to function,  we need members to volunteer and assume a little bit of extra responsibility.  These are 1-year positions.  Anyone interested in either of these positions should contact Rich Comer, K1RBC, at rich.comer@live.com to have their name placed into nomination.  

Field Day Planning:  This year’s ARRL Field Day is June 25-26th.  Last year’s outing on Crow’s Island in Stow, MA was a resounding success and current thinking is to return this year.  To make this happen though, the club is looking for 2 or 3 people to form an ad-hoc Field Day committee to plan equipment, food, etc. and take the lead.  If you are interested,  please e-mail Rich Comer, K1RBC, at rich.comer@live.com.  We will kick off planning at the 25th meeting after the election of officers.

Learn How to Fox Hunt at April 27, 2022 WARA Meeting

Hidden transmitter hunting, also called fox hunting, has enjoyed a resurgence in the Boston area over the past few years. It is an activity that combines amateur radio, exercise, fresh air, and puzzle solving. It can even be turned into a family activity.

The online Waltham ARA meeting on Wednesday evening, April 27, 2022, will feature a fox hunting program, with a goal of bringing new people into this activity. Eliot W1MJ, Jeff AC1JR, and Pat K1PJW will share their experiences – what works, and what doesn’t work – and answer your questions.

While some fox hunters use fancy equipment, we will show you how a transmitter can also be located using only a handheld 2M radio with the “body fade” method.

K1MJC’s Tape Measure Yagi

WARA members will receive a link to the meeting by email. If you are not a WARA member and would like to receive the link, you can SIGN UP HERE.

Fox Hunt on March 20, 2022

On Sunday, March 20 Eliot, W1MJ will deploy his 5-watt fox in the Rock Meadow Conservation Area in Belmont from 9:30 AM until 5:30 PM. The fox will transmit frequently on 147.54 MHz. Information about this fox is available at http://w1mj.com/fox.

The Rock Meadow parking lot is at 248 Mill St, Belmont, MA. If the lot is full, parallel parking on Mill Street is allowed. Due to the rain expected on Saturday, please come prepared for mud in some parts of the meadow.

If you have never tried a hidden transmitter hunt, we encourage you to give it a try. While some fox hunters use fancy equipment, the fox can also be located using only a handheld 2M radio with the “body fade” method. Turn around slowly with the radio close to your belly – the signal is weakest when your body is blocking the signal. When you get close and the fox is full quieting, replace the antenna with a very short piece of wire (about 1/2 inch), or use no antenna at all. Much more info about hidden transmitter hunting is available online. In the worst case, you will still get some fresh air and exercise.

Mobile Fox Hunt – February 26, 2022

Interest in hidden transmitter hunting – fox hunting – has been growing. Most of the recent local hunts have utilized automated transmitters hidden in conservation lands. But on Saturday, February 26, we will be running a more traditional mobile fox hunt. No hiking required.

Starting point: Prospect Hill Park, 314 Totten Pond Rd, Waltham, MA

Date & Time: Saturday, February 26, 2022, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Fox Description: Blue Honda Fit with license plate W1/MJ, parked somewhere on a public road or parking lot within the Waltham city limits. Frequent transmissions will be made on 147.54 MHz.

We’ll be on the WARA 2m repeater beforehand (146.64 pl 136.5). If you haven’t tried fox hunting yet, you will find many how-to resources online. As for local resources, look for K1MJC, K1PJW, and W1MJ on the WARA repeaters. Some hunters use fancy gear, while other just use a handheld radio and the “body fade” method.

Note: This is a rescheduling of the February 19 fox hunt announced in the Winter 2022 edition of Prospect Hill Intermod.

Waltham ARA Renewal Emails

Hi Waltham ARA members. I recently sent out WARA membership renewal emails, and my mail provider, Yahoo, bounced most of those messages. Apparently, Yahoo now has severe restrictions on “bulk mail” – I was only sending 39 emails. Fortunately, I had better luck by emailing via the club’s web hosting company, DreamHost, who by the way is kindly giving us free service! Unfortunately, I know of at least one club member who didn’t see the email until he looked in his Gmail Spam folder. So …

If you are a WARA member, please look in your Spam folder for email coming from membership@walthamara.org. These emails were sent on Monday, August 17, just after 8:00 PM. And please add this address to your Email Contacts, or otherwise tell your email provider that you trust me.

Thanks,

Eliot
W1MJ

Northeast HamXposition 2020 Cancelled

Bob DeMattia, K1IW, Northeast HamXposition 2020 Chairman writes:

Large indoor gatherings such as our convention are currently prohibited by Massachusetts state law. This is highly unlikely to change by November. Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold a physical convention this year.

However, we do plan some virtual activities, all free. We are currently working on the details for these and will keep you posted as they develop:

We plan to the operate the W1A special event station over the weekend of October 31st – November 1st. To avoid a conflict with the November Sweepstakes, we moved this to one week earlier. W1A will be operated from the operator’s home stations. Dennis, W1UE, is coordinating the schedule. If you would like to be a W1A operator, please contact W1UE by email at w1ue@hamxposition.org. For those who would like to work W1A, we will be posting the operating schedule once it is ready. Note that this will give regular attendees the unique opportunity to work W1A (something which would have been more difficult for many to do operating portable from a hotel room).

We will also be hosting a Saturday evening virtual banquet on November 7th, featuring a guest speaker. There will be no charge for this event. Order your favorite take-out or delivery, pull up a chair to your screen and join your friends for an interesting presentation. After the talk, virtual break-out rooms will be available for you to converse with your “table”.

The Nashua Area Radio Club will be running an online version of the “Ham Boot Camp”. This is a multisession program for hams young and old to learn about the various activities they can do with their license. Details to follow.

From the entire HamXposition committee, we wish you good health, be safe, and we look forward to seeing everyone in person at our 2021 convention on July 23-24-25, 2021.

73,
Bob – K1IW
Chairman, HamXposition 2020

Field Day Sked & Tips

Field Day has arrived! At our recent meeting, we discussed a sked for FD contacts on 2M FM simplex (and ARRL suggests it here). Let’s do the following, weather permitting:

  • Saturday, June 27, 2:00 PM EDT: 146.55 MHz
  • Sunday, June 28, 10: AM EDT: 146.55 MHz

Tips:

  • There are some fairly easy bonuses, each worth many contacts.
    • Copy the W1AW Field Day Bulletin (schedule)
    • Swap Messages to Section Manager on our repeaters.
    • All bonuses are detailed in the Field Day Rules.
  • Let’s touch base with each other throughout the weekend on our 146.640 MHz repeater (or 449.075 if ’64 is having a Bad Hear day).
  • For a Field Day FAQ and other info, see the ARRL FD Page.

Field Day Training Sessions, June 17 & 24

In preparation for “WARA Field Day 2020 – Alone Together”, the club will hold two online training sessions.

  • Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 7:30 – 830 PM: N1MM Logger
  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 7:30 – 8:30 PM: FD 2020 Q&A

The links to these online sessions will be available by the same methods used for our May 27 online meeting.

It would be helpful if you install the latest version of N1MM Logger Plus before the June 17 session, or at least try, so that you will know what you don’t know. If you are new to N1MM, be sure do the “Full Install” and then the “Latest Update”.

Prior to the June 24 meeting, K8GT’s excellent presentation about FD 2020 is highly recommended: tiny.cc/fdsd

WARA Field Day 2020 – Alone Together

The Waltham ARA, along with many radio clubs around the country, will help slow the spread of COVID-19 by operating “alone together”. The ARRL has made two FD 2020 rule changes to aid in such efforts:

  1. Individual entries can include the name of their favorite club. The ARRL will sum the individual scores for each club and publish these Aggregate Club Scores.
  2. Contacts between home stations using regular commercial power (FD Class 1D) will be counted in the score.

Field Day 2020 will be on June 27 & 28. For more information, see the ARRL FD Page, and a great presentation by K8ZT at tiny.cc/fdsd. And stay tuned to the WARA web site for updates.