NEAR-Fest Announcement & FreeFest Postponement

2015-03-11The New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) will hold it’s seventeenth event Friday and Saturday, May 1st and 2nd, 2015 at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, 34 Stage Road, Deerfield, New Hampshire.  The event is held twice per year in May and October featuring a huge outdoor electronic flea market, three buildings full of commercial vendors, forums, technical seminars, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, licensing examinations, special events radio stations, a “jam session”, good food, fellowship and fun.  Discounted hotel rooms are available fifteen minutes from the event at the Super 8 Motel, 2301 Brown Avenue, Manchester, New Hampshire.  To reserve your room before it sells out, call them at (603) 623-0883.

Mister Mike, W1RC, General Chairman (affectionately known as the benevolent dictator) had previously announced at the October 2014 event that “because you guys have been such a wonderful group of attendees for the last eight years, we have decided that NEAR-Fest XVII in May of 2015 is going to be free.  There will be no admission charged”.  Later given the name FreeFest, it was announced by Mister Mike in the following March 1, 2015 press release that while NEAR-Fest will happen in May, the FreeFest aspect will be postponed to a future event:

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

It is with great regret and sadness that I must inform the radio amateurs and electronic hobbyists of New England that the NEAR-Fest Board of Directors finds it necessary to POSTPONE the FreeFest aspect of NEAR-FEST XVII that was scheduled for May 2015. It will be held at a later date. However, first and foremost, I want to assure everyone that NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE AS SCHEDULED on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, at the Deerfield NH Fairgrounds. NEAR- Fest XVIII will also be held as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015.

The Directors made the difficult decision to POSTPONE the FreeFest due to a legal issue that has arisen since the FreeFest was announced last October. The matter is being addressed professionally; however the funds that would have financed the FreeFester may now be needed to resolve this issue at hand. There was no other option open to us. It is important for everyone to understand that there are no issues or problems with the Deerfield Fair Association; in fact our relationship with them is better than ever.

I want to personally assure you all that the FreeFest will be rescheduled as soon as possible once this issue has been resolved. The entire NEAR-Fest management team is committed to, and is looking forward to, hosting the FreeFest, in it’s original spirit, to thank all our loyal attendees and the amateur radio community for the support since 2007. We appreciate your understanding and continued support. We hope to be able to post an update about FreeFest on our website before the end of the year. Advance tickets and inside parking passes will be on sale in the usual places starting in April. Check our Web site ( for more details.

To summarize: NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, exactly as scheduled, Admission will be the same as always, $10 per person and $10 for an inside parking pass. NEAR-Fest XVIII will also take place as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015. The FreeFest that was planned to take place as a part of NEAR-Fest XVII is POSTPONED until a later date.

The NEAR-Fest staff and management as well as I thank you for your total support and understanding.


MisterMike, W1RC

2015 Boston Marathon Communications Team Sign Up

2015-02-03Registration Closes Soon

The race is still months away, but volunteer registration for the Boston Marathon is almost over. The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, February 10. We hope you’re as excited to help out as we are, so don’t delay—register now!

Registration is a simple two-step process:

1. Register with the BAA
If you’ve volunteered at a BAA event before, you’ll sign in with your BAA Volunteer Loyalty Number, which you can look up on the site. Otherwise, you can sign up as a new volunteer. When the system asks you for your assignment preferences, make sure to choose one of the Ham Radio options. You’ll know you’re done with this step when the system shows you a confirmation number.

2. Sign up with MMRA
We use this to collect additional information specific to our volunteers, like what equipment you have.

For more details, refer to the BAA’s information page for amateur radio operator volunteers.

If you have any questions about the sign-up process, feel free to send those to baa-contact [at] kd1sm [dot] net. And as always, thanks for volunteering.

Brett Smith, AB1RL
for the Boston Marathon Communications Committee

Boxboro! 2015 Convention August 21, 22, 23

2015-02-01Tickets for the 2015 Boxboro! convention are now on sale.

As you may have noticed, we are breaking are usual “every other year”
schedule having a convention this year, so help us spread the word to your friends and acquaintances that there IS a convention this year.

The committee is lining up speakers, forums and exhibitors, so many details are still to be announced. However, Gordon West WB6NOA is confirmed as the keynote speaker at our Saturday banquet.

And finally.. be the first on your block to get tickets.

Bob DeMattia
Vice Chairman, Boxboro Convention Committee

New Year Around The World QSO Party – 927.8375

Get ready to ring in the new year with the festive annual IRLP New Year Around The World QSO Party on the 927.8375 Dartmouth repeater!

The event gets started early enough for the New Zealand nodes to participate at 11:00 UTC, December 31st (6:00 AM local time) and continues until at least 10:00 UTC, January 1st (5:00 AM local time) when Hawaii rolls into the new year.  This is an open QSO party with no net control.  It is carried worldwide with the IRLP Crossroads Reflector 9200 being the central hub.

Locally, the 145.490 repeater is normally the South Coast Massachusetts affiliate for the New Year Around The World QSO Party.  Since the ’49 repeater is currently off the air, it will be carried in its entirety for the second year in a row on SEMARA’s 927.8375 Dartmouth repeater.  Enjoy and Happy New Year 2015!

2015 Slate of Officers

SEMARA Election Day was Thursday, December 4, 2014.  Incoming Officers for 2015 are:

Marcel L. Dumont, W1MLD

Joseph E. Krisnosky, Jr., N1IXC

Michael J. McDonald, KB1NB

Marc M. Dumont, KB1ODE

Board of Directors:
Christopher W. Washburn, W1EAV
Martin F. Jordan, KA1YFV
Jean Pierre Chiron, AG1Y

Trustee (5 Year Term; Chairman in 2019):
Christopher W. Washburn, W1EAV

Tech Talk: MARS – October 2nd

Update 10/2/2014: This tech talk did not take place due to the absense of AA1VU.  We hope to reschedule this tech talk for a future date.

SEMARA Tech Talk Coordinator Rich, K1XRN reports:

For the October 2nd meeting, Marian Juskuv AA1VU has asked to do a Tech Talk on Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS). He reached out to the club some time ago eager to do a presentation. He is now finally available to do one. He has done such talks for other clubs and has been received well.

Unless there are events scheduled for after general business of the club, I let him know to prepare to speak after general business is conducted. He will be bringing his own projector, so I assume there will be a visual component to the talk.

I will be out of the country at the time of the meeting, in Italy for vacation. Marian is aware of the club location and meeting time. Hope everyone enjoys the talk.

Rich Orluk K1XRN

Dartmouth 350 Parade – September 7th

The Dartmouth 350 Parade will be held tomorrow, Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM.  The parade starts at Dartmouth Middle School and finishes at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  Our 147.000 repeater may be used between noon and 5:00 PM to provide communications for this special event.

SEMARA Vice-President Joe, N1IXC reports:

On Sunday Sept 7th from around 12noon to 5pm, you might hear our repeater being used for the Dartmouth 350th Parade. Hams can still use the repeater for regular use. I just wanted to let hams know if they hear this activity on our repeater. Public safety radios will be used for this event, but we might not have enough to go around. I will be net control for this event at the EOC and if anyone has any questions please let me know. 73 Joe K N1IXC

Tech Talk: Circuit Theory – September 4th

Update 9/4/2014: This tech talk did not take place due to the absense of KC1BGF.  We hope to reschedule this tech talk for a future date.

SEMARA Vice-President Joe, N1IXC reports:

We will be having a tech talk AFTER our meeting this Thursday and it will be on circuit theory given by KC1BGF Joe. We did not have this talk at our August meeting so we will try it again. 73 Joe K N1IXC