Arthur Valois, Formerly W1UID, SK

John Carreiro, W1ZYV writes on the SEMARA mailing list that Arthur Valois, formerly W1UID has passed away:

A very long time member of our club has passed away. Though Art was on the quiet side, he was a very active and heroic WWII Army Air Core soldier. He flew many missions over Europe. He was mostly a nose gunner on B17’s and B24’s.

His obituary was posted in the Standard Times today.

Update 03/22/2010: Picture of Art from the 1990s has been added by W1RJC (obtained from a 2005 SEMARA web site archive).

Volunteers Needed for Patriot Triathalon

The Patriot Triathlon is almost here! The event on June 20, 2009 consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 58 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run. As always, Ham Radio operators are needed to assist with the communications of the event. The event starts early so a few operators are needed to be in position by 7AM, so early arrival on site is a must. Operators are needed mostly on the bike ride and running courses. Check out the Patriot Triathlon web page for a video of last years event.

Most assignments should only require a 5 watt HT, but a high-gain antenna and spare battery are preferred for reliability. If you plan to volunteer please contact Tony Duarte, N1XRS, at tdduarte-at-comcast-dot-net.

33cm Repeater Now On Site at SEMARA

Dave, W1DJG, writes on the SEMARA discussion list with some great news:

I would like to report that we have taken possession of Motorola MSF5000 900Mhz repeater.

I would like to that Louis W1CH and Chris W1EAV for all their help yesterday getting it and brining it to the repeater shack at SEMARA.

I would also like to thank Tony NN1D for the excellent work he did getting it put together for us and doing all the programming.

This is the next big step in establishing another 900MHz repeater on the South Coast. A big thank you to Dave, Louie, Chris, and Tony for all their hard work!

SEMARA Live Scanner Audio Feed

SEMARA’s live Scanner audio feed made it’s debut yesterday thanks to support by the membership and Scan America. A beta system was installed at the site yesterday by N1TI which is making temporary use of the 440 MHz repeater antenna at 180′. The scanner is presently programmed with public safety (police & fire) frequencies for Bristol County departments including New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fall River, Westport, Fairhaven, Acushnet and a few marine frequencies. There are also a few other Plymouth County frequencies including Marion, Rochester and Mattapoisett. I had to avoid a few frequencies due to the scanner not having the best of rejection capabilities. When it comes time to install the 900 MHz repeater, we’ll move the scanner to a dedicated antenna. We don’t need much elevation since most department repeaters in the area are full quieting at ground level. The state police trunk was locked out since the 440 MHz antenna looked like a dead short at 860 MHz. There are several benefits to having Scan America stream our feed. It only requires a single 20 kHz stream from SEMARA to Scan America. Scan America can support thousands of clients so there will never be a bottleneck for the foreseeable future. Another nice feature is the scanner archive, which stores audio in 15 minute increments with a date and time stamp for easy recall. Ever see a parade of police and fire engines and not have a scanner with you? No problem…just look at your watch and make note of the time, then when you get home visit the scanner archive and go back in time to find out what happened. There are many other benefits that we’ll update you on the new web page we’re constructing. Meanwhile…click here for the Bristol County Landing Page and then click on South Coast Public Safety. You will be given a choice for your preferred player.

Update: Trans-Atlantic Balloon Delayed

PBH-10 is delayed:

The launch has been postponed. It appears that the best weather for launching is 0000-0300 UTC, 4 May 2009, though this may change with relatively short notice based on ground wind conditions at the launch site and the position of the jetstream relative to the launch area. To clarify: we do anticipate the best time to launch is 0000-0300 UTC; however, the exact launch day may move to the right or left from 4 May 2009.

As always, the latest updates are available via PBH3 Twitter account

New 6m Repeater On The Air!

Rick Zach, K1RJZ, writes on the GEMOTO listserv:

This evening we placed into service the southern link to the Gunstock Mountain 6M repeater which natively covers north to Franconia Notch, NH and south to the Mass Pike. Tonight we just placed into service the “Hopkinton Node” with the antenna height at 734ft AMSL and is one mile south of the start of the Boston Marathon.

Bottom line: We now have continuous mobile-mobile coverage from Franconia Notch, NH to the Cape Cod Canal (max) with only two full-time linked repeaters. This system was actually designed from day-1 to allow NOAA Grey Maine to talk to NOAA in Taunton, MA and that was a key premiss for us to obtain site access.

Sponsor: Central NH ARC

Gunstock Mtn, NH User RX 53.77 PL 100.0
Gusstock Mtn, NH user TX 53.07 PL 71.9

Hopkinton, MA User RX 51.74 PL 100.0
Hopkinton, MA user TX 51.24 PL 71.9

Rick also requests that folks join CNHARC’s regular 6M net this Thursday at 8PM on this repeater for reception reports.

Trans-Atlantic APRS Balloon Launch Wednesday Night!

The transatlantic APRS balloon attempt (PBH10) will use the callsign of KC2TUA-10 with an anticipated launch window 8-11 PM EDT Wednesday April 29th. The anticipated flight path from Oswego, NY is northeast through New England, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland on to Europe.

The balloon will have both a an APRS beacon operating at 144.800 (To maximize the potential for reception in Europe the balloon will operate on the European frequency) and a 40 meter CW beacon on HF at 7.102.55MHz (+/-100Hz). To track the early part of the track, APRS operators throughout the flight path are asked to tune their receivers to the 144.800 frequency and to activate their stations as WIDE1-1 digipeaters or as IGates so that the packets are digipeated over onto the USA frequency while the balloon is over the USA and Canada in order to provide tracking.

Please see the PBH3 Twitter account for the latest information and email them with any questions at pbhdata-at-gmail-dot-com.