Volunteers Needed: Tour de Cure – June 7th

2015-05-08_2Jim Creamer, ARES Emergency Coordinator for Rhode Island, has put out the call for area hams to help support this charity fund raising bicycle ride on June 7th.  I have volunteered for the past 3 years and found that the ham support to this event very valuable.  Meeting other area hams and cyclists always made it a fun day.  All hams and cyclists are treated to a fine buffet lunch.

If you have June 7th free and would like to join in this year please read Jim’s call out below and make contact.  If someone from our area volunteers but prefers not to drive down to the event alone, please give me a call and we can consider riding down together.

TNX & 73

John WA1ESO
401-624-4576

Hello Hams,

As you know the Tour de Cure is one month away.  I am working on putting the finishing touches on the assignments for the Tour de Cure on June 7th.  I am still in need of a few more hams for SAG duty, Navigators and Rest Stops so I can spread out the work.  I am also in need of more information from those that volunteered for SAG duty so I can fine tune those assignment.  I have attached some general guidelines from the ADA for the SAGs.

This is a great opportunity to showcase the skills of the ham community, hone your emergency communication skills and provide much needed support for a worthy cause, research and education for diabetes.  Around 30 million Americans have diabetes and that number increases about 2 million a year.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

If you have not registered as a volunteer on the Tour de Cure web site, please do so.  Not only does this help the ADA and myself for planning purposes, it also makes sure you get your Tour de Cure T-Shirt.  Use the link below.  Please select “Ham” for volunteer opportunities.

Click Here

From the SAG volunteers, I need to know:
• Do you have a bike rack or other way to carry bicycles? (may have access to some loaner racks)
• Do you have a trailer hitch for a bike rack?
• Do you have a navigator or will you need one?
• Do you have APRS capabilities? (we may have the ability to pull from APRS-FI; this is available for most Android smartphones via APRS Droid and may be available for other platforms)

Jim Creamer
Westerly Amateur Ratio Team
ARES Emergency Coordinator
2 David Ave.
Westerly, RI 02891
P: 401-596-2720
C: 401-864-4510

Rochester (NY) Hamfest – June 6th

2015-05-08Come one, come all!  The Rochester Hamfest sponsored by the Rochester Amateur Radio Association (RaRa) is Saturday, June 6, 2015, 7:00 AM rain or shine at Barnard Fireman’s Field, 360 Maiden Lane, Rochester, New York.  Admission is only $8.00 per person and $10.00 per vehicle to tailgate.  Youths under 16 are admitted free with a paying adult.

The Rochester Hamfest is one of the biggest in upstate New York.  Everything you want in a Hamfest is here.  Good food, lots of fun and a 16 acre flea market!  A free VE session will be offered along with hourly door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.

More information can be found at http://www.rochesterhamfest.com.

NEAR-Fest, Deerfield, NH – May 1st & 2nd

2015-04-30A reminder that the biggest hamfest/flea market in our region, the New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) XVII, is this weekend, Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd, 2015.  General admission tickets valid for both days are $10.00.  The event kicks off Friday at 9am at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, 34 Stage Road, Deerfield, New Hampshire.  Check out the official NEAR-Fest site for more information.  See you there!

Whitman ARC Flea Market – May 30th & 31st

2015-04-23The Whitman Amateur Radio Club (WARC) is currently planning their Flea Market to be held at the Knights of Columbus, 1195 Bedford Street, Whitman, Massachusetts.  The hall is located near the Whitman/Abington line on MA Route 18 and the event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 30th and Sunday May 31st, 8am to 3pm.  Further information may be obtained by calling WARC at 781-523-5010.  An official announcement should also be soon posted at their website.

 

Mystery QSL Card

Dragan Mihajlovic, VE3FF poses at his ham shack in 2014.

Dragan Mihajlovic, VE3FF poses at his ham shack in 2014. Photo Credit: QCWA.org

Getting QSL cards as much as 5 years after a QSO is not uncommon for cards coming through the QSL Bureau.   However, one that arrived at the club last week was especially interesting.  If anyone knows where these “Rip Van Winkle” cards sleep for as much as 13 years, please let me know.  HI HI.  I have emailed the OM in Canada and thought folks here might like to have a look:

To: Dragan, VE3FF
From: John, WA1ESO

I am the QSL manager for SEMARA, W1AEC in Dartmouth, MA, USA.

I just received your QSL card dated April 4, 2015 through the QSL Bureau.

I will be sending you a QSL card on Monday direct to your QTH in Mississauga.

Many requests interest me, but yours really has me tickled.

The date of your 7 MHz QSO as listed on your card is June 23, 2002 (Field Day).

DID THIS CARD REALLY TAKE ALMOST 13 YEARS TO TRAVEL FROM CANADA TO US AT THE CLUB??? HI HI

TNX FER UR QSL Card & 73

John WA1ESO

Clubhouse Cable Modem Update

2015-03-20_2For over a month now, the cable modem at the SEMARA clubhouse has been unstable, providing intermittent service.  Comcast technical support had previously informed us that the current SMC brand modem was outdated and needed to be replaced.  Marty-KA1YFV offered to disconnect the modem and bring it to the service center in New Bedford a couple weeks ago.  Unfortunately because we have a business account, they told him that they could not exchange it and a technician visit to the club was necessary.

On Thursday afternoon, Jeff-N1ZZN and Rick-W1RJC of the Technical Committee waited at the clubhouse for the scheduled appointment.  Our modem swap was completed around 5:30pm for a new Cisco DPC3939B, including the removal of a 15db attenuator which had been added without our knowledge at the utility pole tap.  A loose connection to the club’s TV adapter box may have been causing ingress, where stray RF might have been feeding back to the Comcast node.

After the technician left, Jeff and Rick realized that the node on both the 2m and 900 MHz repeater was not always sending and/or receiving internet packets on certain ports.  The club pays for 5 IP addresses and the modem is supposed to pass all traffic without any sort of port blocking or filtering, however that is not the case.  After consulting Tony-N1XRS who is an Advanced Technical Support representative at Comcast and spending another 4 hours at the clubhouse, a solution could not be found at this time.

While the internet connection at the club is now stable, there will be some intermittent issues with certain data not passing at times until this is figured out.  This may cause connections via IRLP and EchoLink on the 147.000 repeater and the connection via IRLP to NEAR-900 on the 927.8375 repeater to sometimes fail.

For wireless (Wi-Fi) users at the clubhouse, the legacy 2.4 GHz network is now called “SEMARA-2.4″ .  If your device is 5 GHz capable, you will now see “SEMARA-5″ as an available network.  Connecting to this one will provide you with better performance and security, since the 5 GHz band is a lot less crowded.  The Wi-Fi password itself remains the same as it is posted on the wall at the SEMARA clubhouse.  Finally, if you are a Comcast Xfinity customer, you will also notice an “xfinitywifi” network now available at SEMARA.  You may also use this network instead if you have your Xfinity account password.

Please note that the Wi-Fi information above might be subject to change in the event that we must switch out the modem once again to fix the current problem we are experiencing.  Due to time constrants, it may take a few weeks to figure out.  As always, we will keep you posted on SEMARA.org with links via the Facebook and Twitter feed.