John Williams, KB1EVY, SK

2016-02-11

Photo Credit: David H. Pascoe, KM3T; WRTC Station Test 2013

It is with great regret that we announce the tragic passing of John E. Williams, II, KB1EVY of East Wareham at age 70.  John passed away prior to noontime on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.  According to NBC 10 (WJAR, Providence), police officers had executed a well-being check at his 118 Glen Charlie Road home and discovered his body.  He suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and it is unknown at this time who the suspect(s) is/are.

Although not a SEMARA member, John was very active on the air.  According to his QRZ page, he owned a Kenwood TS-530S and TS-440S for HF where he was active primarily on 75 and 15 meters.  He was also periodically on 2-meters across various local repeaters.

Share your thoughts and memories of John using the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  We send our sympathy to his family for their loss.  May he rest in peace.

KB1EVY, SK

Don Mara, WA1PLT, SK

2016-01-31It is with great regret that we announce the passing of SEMARA member Donald A. Mara, WA1PLT of Dartmouth.  Don passed away on Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 11:30 AM.  He was 87 years old.  Don was still active in recent months and also attended several SEMARA business meetings in 2015.  President Marcel, W1MLD adds:

So sorry to hear about Don WA1PLT SK. He was always so interested in amateur radio and SEMARA. He will be missed.

Share your thoughts and memories of Don using the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  We send our sympathy to Rachel and his family for their loss.  May he rest in peace.

WA1PLT, SK

SEMARA’s Clubhouse Addition Gains Steam!

2016-01-18Construction of a new addition, which will house the new SEMARA radio room, began this past summer when a former cellular communications shelter was placed on a newly built foundation behind the existing clubhouse.  Last month, construction kicked into high gear with the ground being graded, a floor and wall being added to attach the new building to the existing clubhouse and a roof being framed and shingled.

As construction continues, follow along with pictures from start to finish, with newer photos being added periodically at SEMARA’s Clubhouse Addition photo album.  The SEMARA Web Committee would like to thank Mike-W1BZJ and Michael Raposa for providing a majority of the pictures for this growing album.

SEMARA Exam Session Results – December 2015

2015-12-16Congratulations to these hams who passed their exams at the last VE Session, December 5, 2015:

Andrew T. Perron, Extra — AB1YN
Brian M. Awalt, General — N1OPN
Benjamin D. DeSousa, Technician — KC1EUV
Steven J. Pack, Technician — KC1EUW
David A. Bernard, Technician — KC1EUX

Enjoy your new privileges!

Annual “Santa Net” on 3916 kHz

2015-12-11The annual “Santa Net” is conducted every night at 8:30 PM ET (01:30 UTC) on 3916 kHz LSB until Christmas. Get your kids, grand-kids or neighbor’s kids on the air third-party and talk with Santa at the North Pole via amateur radio! The Santa Net is held every year before Christmas on the 75-meter ham band.

New 98.1 WCTK Tower Being Erected

The following article appeared on SouthCoastToday.com and in the “The Standard-Times,” a newspaper published in New Bedford, Massachusetts on Thursday, December 10, 2015:

2015-12-11By Kathleen McKiernan

NEW BEDFORD — Over the past week, a 597-foot radio tower that will play the popular country music channel WCTK-FM, has been rising from the Marine Commerce Terminal tower in the South End.
The FM radio tower near the South Terminal site, owned by Hall Communications, is being relocated from the center of the 4-acre parcel of land to the southwest corner so the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Mass CEC) which is overseeing construction of the terminal, will have more space to use the whole parcel.

The new tower will be free standing, said Catherine Williams, spokesman for the CEC.

In November 2014, a tower that broadcast both AM and FM signals was deconstructed and a new tower just for the AM signal was built on land near St. Mary’s Cemetery off Route 140. AM radio waves could create a “shock hazard” that would interfere with massive cranes lifting and lowering large objects like turbine parts at the new, larger terminal. State officials said the AM signal had to be relocated.

The FM part of the tower, however, does not negatively affect the cranes, state officials said, and a new FM tower is now being built near the terminal.

South End residents, meanwhile seem undeterred by the new FM radio tower rising into the sky across from their homes.

“It doesn’t bother me,” shrugged Hope Reis, who has lived off South Second Street for 25 years.

Allen Britto, who lives directly across from the tower, said he’d like more information on the project.

“They should have put out more information on the potential impact and health concerns,” said Britto.

“We were wondering what it was,” said Nina Rodrigues, co-owner of Amaral’s Linguica.

“Honestly, I haven’t even thought about it,” said Donna Perry, a resident of South First Street. “If it’s been there the whole time, I have no issues with it.”

2016 Slate of Officers

SEMARA Election Day was Thursday, December 3, 2015.  Incoming Officers for 2016 are:

President (2016):
Marcel L. Dumont, W1MLD

Vice-President (2016):
Jean Pierre Chiron, AG1Y

Treasurer (2016):
Michael J. McDonald, KB1NB

Secretary (2016):
Marc M. Dumont, W1MMD

Board of Directors (2016):
Bradford E. Paiva, W1BEP
Joseph E. Krisnosky, Jr., N1IXC
Martin F. Jordan, KA1YFV

Trustee (5 Year Term; Chairman in 2020):
William E. Gifford, WA1HKJ

AO-85 Commissioned and Turned Over to AMSAT

2015-11-20From the ARRL: AO-85 Commissioned and Turned Over to AMSAT-NA Operations

Fox-1A (AO-85) has been formally commissioned and turned over to
AMSAT Operations, which now is responsible for the scheduling and
modes. Fox-1A is AMSAT-NA’s first CubeSat.

“Many new techniques are incorporated, and lessons will be learned,
as with any new ‘product,”‘ said AMSAT Vice President-Engineering
Jerry Buxton, N0JY. “We will incorporate changes from what we learn
in each launch, to the extent possible, in subsequent Fox-1
CubeSats. To our members, we want to say that the Fox Team is very
proud and pleased that our first CubeSat is very successful and
hopefully will be for some time.”

The Fox-1 Project is a series of CubeSats. A total of five will be
built and flown. Launches already have been scheduled for three
more, and a new NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative proposal will be
submitted for the fifth launch.

Of the four NASA-sponsored CubeSats on the October 8 Educational
Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) on October 8 that put AO-85 and 12
other spacecraft into orbit, one (ARC1) never functioned, and a
second, BisonSat, was lost after a few weeks of operation.

The Fox Team notes that an apparent lack of receiver sensitivity and
difficulty in turning or holding on the repeater with the 67 Hz
CTCSS tone are probably the most notable observations about AO-85.

“We have determined a probable cause for the sensitivity issue, and
while that can’t be fixed on AO-85 we are taking steps to prevent
similar issues on the rest of the Fox-1 CubeSats,” Buxton assured.
“The tone-detection threshold, along with the receive sensitivity
issue, makes it hard to bring up the repeater. This is being
addressed by adjusting the values for a valid tone detection in the
other Fox-1 CubeSats, now that we have on-orbit information about
temperatures and power budget.” The November/December edition of
AMSAT Journal will include full details on these technical issues.

AMSAT has provided guidelines for using AO-85.

* Uplink power should be on the order of a minimum 200 W EIRP for full
quieting at lower antenna elevations. Your mileage may vary.
Successful contacts have been made using an Arrow-style antenna.

* Polarity is important. The satellite antennas are linear. If you
are using linearly polarized antennas, you will need to adjust
throughout the pass. Full-duplex operation facilitates these
adjustments while transmitting and is highly recommended.

* The downlink is very strong and should be heard well with almost
any antenna and is 5 kHz deviation. AMSAT said that users may
perceive that the audio is low. “This is an effect of the filtering
below 300 Hz, which provides for the data-under-voice (DUV)
telemetry, coupled with any noise on the uplink signal resulting
from lack of full quieting or being off frequency,” Buxton
explained. “That makes for less fidelity than a typical receiver in
terms of audio frequencies passed.”

* The satellite’s downlink frequency varies with temperature. Due to
the wide range of temperatures the satellite is exposed to during
eclipse, the transmitter can be anywhere from around 500 Hz low at
10 degrees C to near 2 kHz low at 40 degrees C. The uplink frequency
has been generally agreed to be about 435.170 MHz, although the
automatic frequency control (AFC) makes that hard to pin down while
also helping with off-frequency uplink signals.

“It is important to remember that science is the reason behind the
Fox-1 satellites,” AMSAT said. “Not only does science help with the
launch cost, it provides a great amount of educational value both
from the science payload and in amateur radio itself. The DUV
telemetry is an excellent way to provide the science without
sacrificing the use of the satellite for communication, which would
be the case if higher speed downlinks were needed. DUV provides
constant science as long as the repeater is in use, which in turn
provides more downlink data for the science – a mutually beneficial
combination.”

Volunteers Needed For CF Bicycle Tour – Sept 19th

2015-08-26I received the below message from John-WA1ESO that he needs help with the CF bicycle tour on September 19th.  I have helped out with this detail for three years in a row.  It is a fun event and a good way to help the club out as well.  If you can help, send John a email.

Joe K  N1IXC

SEMARA’s own public service event, the CF bicycle tour for September 19th, could use a couple more hams with 2-meter capability. The event is based at Westport Vineyards and will have hams stationed between Westport, Tiverton and Little Compton.

TNX & 73

John WA1ESO
wa1eso [at] juno [dot] com