Congratulations 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!
The 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.
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:
By 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.”
SEMARA Election Day was Thursday, December 3, 2015. Incoming Officers for 2016 are:
Marcel L. Dumont, W1MLD
Jean Pierre Chiron, AG1Y
Michael J. McDonald, KB1NB
Marc M. Dumont, W1MMD
Trustee (5 Year Term; Chairman in 2020):
William E. Gifford, WA1HKJ
The Question Pool Committee of the NCVEC is currently working on revisions to the Amateur Extra exam question pool for FCC Amateur Extra license exams to be issued starting July 1, 2016.
From 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
I 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
wa1eso [at] juno [dot] com
Brett Smith, AB1RL, Public Service Coordinator for the Boston Amateur Radio Club (BARC) is looking for volunteers for two upcoming public service events. If interested in helping out for either event, email ab1rl [at] brettcsmith [dot] org or call (859) 466-5915.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer. Fall will be here faster than you know it, and with it come more public service opportunities for hams. There are a couple I wanted to let you know about.
The Jimmy Fund Walk on Sunday, September 27. This is an all-day walk along the Boston Marathon route to raise funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Hams provide communications for each medical tent along the route and the sweep vehicles that serve them.
To help out, please write me back with your call sign, phone number(s), available equipment, and t-shirt size. Please also let me know if you have any constraints on your schedule that day—if you can’t start before, or must finish by, a particular time.
The BAA Half-Marathon on Sunday, October 11. This is the BAA’s annual half-marathon along the Emerald Necklace in Boston. Volunteers will need to park at the Roxbury Community College before 6:00 AM to report to their assignments, and will finish in the early afternoon.
To help out, please register as a volunteer on the BAA site. When asked for an assignment preference, make sure you select Ham Radios. You don’t need to join any group.
If you have questions about either event, please feel free to contact me at ab1rl [at] brettcsmith [dot] org, or phone (859) 466 5915. I look forward to hearing you on the air soon!
Brett Smith, AB1RL
Public Service Coordinator, Boston Amateur Radio Club
On June 11, 2015, the amateur radio community lost a well-known media voice, when Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF passed away following a period of illness. Bill was co-founder (with Jim Hendershot, WA6VQP) of Amateur Radio Newsline™ (formerly The Westlink Report) way back in 1976. He was also the originator of the Young Ham of the Year Award. Bill primarily remained behind the scenes, however he was sometimes heard as a reporter on Newsline itself, which airs Sundays at 8:00 PM on the 147.000 repeater. As SEMARA extends its sympathy to Bill’s family, please take a moment to view this video tribute to Bill on the Amateur Radio Newsline™ site.