GARS Technician License Course – April

Genesis Amateur Radio Society Technician License Course

The Saturday classes are held 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM on:

  • April 7
  • April 21
  • May 5

The VE exam follows the last class on May 5.

Classes and test are at:

Plymouth Municipal Airport
246 South Meadow Road
Plymouth, MA 02360

The ground floor classroom is handicap accessible.

Course uses the MFJ-3211 Quick Study Guide. Technician (gives only correct answers), needed for homework assignments. Cost of guide is $12.95; call MFJ 800-647-1800 x4. VE exam cost is $15.00

Contact Sonny Mello, WB1HJG, 941-539-8554 for particulars.
Genesis Amateur Radio Society’s Plymouth Repeater
146.685 MHz — PL tone of 82.5 with Tone Squelch and a minus offset.


Saint Patrick’s Day Award

The Saint Patrick’ Day Award activity will get under way at 1200 UTC on March 16 and continues until 1200 UTC on March 18. (St Patrick’s Day is March 17.)
Click above for all details.

Awards will be in four categories:

  • SPD (Saint Patrick’s Day) Station Award (for registered stations)
  • Fixed Station Award
  • Mobile Station Award
  • Short Wave Listener Award

Register to be an official participating station.

Visit the event’s Facebook page.

— Thanks to Bobby Wadey, MI0RYL

New Linux Software Available

New Linux software available from KB1OIQ.  Andy’s Ham Radio Linux, version 21, is a remastered version of Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS.  This software collection consists of the Linux operating system and a wide selection of ham radio programs.  32-bit and 64-bit versions are available.  The previous version was downloaded just over 12,000 times.  More information can be found at Andy’s Ham Radio Linux site.

Credit: ARRL Eastern MA Section News – November 2017

Hints and Sounds

From The ARES E-Letter for November 15, 2017

  • Hint: With appropriate guying, an extension ladder can be used to hold up a Yagi under Field Day or DXpedition conditions.  In this picture a SteppIR 2-Element Yagi for the current VK9MA DXpedition has been mounted and is being tested. It can be turned manually.
  • Sounds: Here are some sounds you don’t want to hear: RFI.  The ARRL “sound library” contains known RFI sources and some that have not yet been identified.  If you have a potential RFI problem, compare your noise to these to help eliminate it.

Meteor Showers for Remainder of 2017

A few opportunities to try out meteor scatter communications.  JT6M is optimized for the 6-meter band; FSK441 is generally used on the 2-meter and 70-centimeter amateur bands.

The dates are only for the peak activity; meteors will be also be produced on either side of the peak dates and appear in other parts of the sky as well.

November 4, 5 – Taurids Meteor Shower
Produces about 5-10 meteors per hour.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus.

November 17, 18 – Leonids Meteor Shower
Produces up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo.

December 13, 14 – Geminids Meteor Shower
Produces up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini.

December 21, 22 – Ursids Meteor Shower
Produces about 5-10 meteors per hour.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor.

900 MHz Radio Assistance

I sold out the MCS2000 900 MHz radios I had purchased.  I went through each one, programming and resetting the master oscillators, checking power out and receive sensitivity.

I’ve attach my note which was posted on the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association (FARA) website, which has more information on 900 MHz.  Also, find an up-to-date listing of local 900 MHz repeaters and a figure that shows the MCS2000 head.

Contact me if anyone at SEMARA needs help with re-programming and such, of 900 MHz rigs.

73, Jim WA1GPO
valdes.james.r [at] gmail [dot] com

The Amateur’s Code

by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA (1928)

The Radio Amateur is…

never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

offering loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

with knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.

with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

with station and skill always ready for service to country and community

Credit: QCWA site page

New 98.1 WCTK Tower Being Erected

The following article appeared on 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.”

RadioShack Closings in MA and RI

2015-02-08RadioShack, the Fort Worth-based electronics retailer, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after years of declining revenue.  Sprint is hoping to set up shop in some 1,750 soon to be former RadioShack locations.  Locally, it appears that the closest RadioShack store to remain open (for now) will be Wareham.  The following RadioShack stores will be closing in Massachusetts and Rhode Island:

Auburn Mall Auburn MA
414 Boylston St Boston MA
730 Commonwealth Ave #2 Boston MA
Summer Street Boston MA
South Shore Plaza Braintree MA
200 Westgate Dr Ste 46 Brockton MA
Cambridgeside Galleria Cambridge MA
15 White St Cambridge MA
28 John F Kennedy St Cambridge MA
Drum Hill Plaza Chelmsford MA
Dedham Mall Dedham MA
Berdon Plaza Fairhaven MA
Flint Village Plaza Fall River MA
Fall Rivers Shop Ctr Fall River MA
Timpany Plaza Gardner MA
Hampshire Mall Hadley MA
Haverhill Shop Ctr Haverhill MA
50 Holyoke St Holyoke MA
Capetown Plaza Hyannis MA
Cape Cod Mall Box 59 Hyannis MA
Independence Mall Kingston MA
The Mall At Whitney Field Leominster MA
Twin City Mall Leominster MA
287 School St Spc A‐150 Mansfield MA
Solomon Pond Mall Marlborough MA
Meadow Glen Mall Medford MA
Emerald Square Mall N Attleboro MA
1090 Kings Hwy Unit 1 New Bedford MA
Dartmouth Mall St Rd 6 North Dartmouth MA
240 Andover St Peabody MA
67 Long Pond Rd Plymouth MA
435 W Broadway S Boston MA
Square One Mall Saugus MA
342 Cooley Street Springfield MA
3 Sudbury Crossing Sudbury MA
Swansea Place Swansea MA
1077 Lexington St Waltham MA
Webster Plaza Webster MA
Speedway Plaza Westborough MA
Whitinsville Plaza Whitinsville MA
Worcester South Plaza Worcester MA
Greendale Mall Box C‐9 Worcester MA
Lincoln Plaza Worcester MA
2380 New London Tpke Coventry RI
Gansett Shopping Center E Providence RI
10 Commerce Way Johnston RI
Lincoln Center Mall Lincoln RI
N Providence Marketplace N Providence RI
Eagle Square Providence RI
Ocean State Plaza Warren RI
Cross Roads Plaza Warwick RI
Warwick Mall Warwick RI
Airport Plaza Warwick RI

222 MHz Information & Buyers Guide

The 222 MHz (1.25 meter) amateur band is underutilized in our region, yet it has some great qualities.  It has the long range of 2 meters, some of the signal bounce characteristics of 440 MHz and a lower noise floor since it is further away from public safety and other land mobile services.  Best of all, the band has a primary allocation to amateur radio, unlike 440 MHz and 900 MHz.  New 222 MHz repeaters in Harwich and Fall River have been placed on the air in the past year, with one on the Bourne water tank and Dartmouth at SEMARA soon to follow.

If the above argument hasn’t intrigued you enough to invest in a 222 MHz transceiver, how about the fact that you can get a handheld for under $125.00?  Or, how about the fact that you may already own a Kenwood or Yaesu handheld that can transmit on 222 MHz!  I’ve compiled a list of radios that are currently in production and can easily be purchased online or at your favorite amateur radio supplier.  Shown above is the JT220M, DJ-V27, TH-F6A, VX-8 and KG-UVD1P (click on the image for a larger view).  Below is a break down of these radios (and a few others) along with links to search for them easily using Google:



For more information on other transceivers for the 1.25 meter band, including discontinued and rare models, check out this web site.  The Wikipedia article on 222 MHz is also very comprehensive on providing additional general information on the band.

QSO with you soon on 1.25 Meters! 🙂

Richard J. Cabral, W1RJC