License Exams, Shelburne Fire Station, May 16
We will complete our Technician License class by conducting an exam session on May 16. Non-participants in the class who wish to take an amateur radio license exam at any level are invited to participate. Space is limited, please contact
Al Woodhull at 413-773-3522 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register in advance.
Please plan to arrive at the Shelburne Fire Station, 16 Little Mohawk Rd, Shelburne MA (just off Rte 2) by 7:15. We will be conducting a review session
for class members and exam administration will begin at 7:30 or later.
For directions to the Shelburne Fire Station see the
FCARC 2013 Technician Class
For general information about license exams conducted by the FCARC Volunteer
Examiner (VE) team see the
Amateur Radio License Exams
page on this website. Note that our next regular exam session will be held
in Northfield MA on May 27.
May 2013 FCARC Communicator
The May 2013 FCARC Communicator is out. It's
on the website
and in your [e- or snail-] mail.
Note, you may have received two copies by e-mail, notice of the May 20th club meeting was missing in the first copy sent.
Back issues of the Communicator: old issues December 2005 - December 2010 are
issues from January 2011 to the current issue are
May 2013 Club Events.
We have had to postpone the annual club picnic, which usually takes place in May. We hope to be able to continue this club tradition in June or July.
The Technician License class continues, with classes May 2 and May 9, and
review followed by VE License Exams on May 16. See separate item below.
One more local SkyWarn training opportunity is coming in Heath, on May 9. See
Club breakfast Saturday May 11, 8:00 a.m. All are welcome, club members or not. As usual, the location is
Denny's Pantry, 469 Bernardston Rd in Greenfield.
(Click here for a map.)
An E-Board meeting will be held Monday, May 20, at 6:00 p.m. at the Greenfield
High School Cafeteria. Any club member is welcome to attend an e-board meeting.
FCARC club officer
for more information.
The May business meeting that would normally be held at the picnic will take place on Monday May 20 at 7:15 p.m. (following the e-board meeting). Coffee and goodies will be available in the GHS Cafeteria at 7:00. Because the expense of
repeater repairs exceeded what can be authorized by the board alone, we need
a membership vote to pay these bills. We will continue to discuss Field Day planning and other coming events.
Greenfield High School building construction has begun, the parking situation has changed. It may be necessary to park on a nearby street.
Field Day is coming in June. Information about past Field Days is collected here in a
FCARC Field Day History page.
KB1BSS 146.985 MHz Repeater Maintenance
FM radio station WPVQ owns the tower on Frizzell Hill in Leyden where
our 2 meter repeater is mounted. The engineer for the station notified us
in early April that he was going to have a tower climber on site to prepare for
improvements to the broadcast antenna, and we were invited to use this
professional's skills to work on our repeater installation. We made a
quick decision to use this opportunity to replace the repeater feedline.
This was done on Tuesday, April 9.
The old feedline that was removed showed definite signs of corrosion
due to water getting inside the cable, and preliminary reports seem to
indicate that the repeater is performing better than previously. However,
we are still considering replacing the antenna itself, which has been in
service for many years. Reports of any problems with the repeater from
users are welcome - contact Chris, KB1NEK, or Al, N1AW.
Update: the weather data recorder was reset on April 29, and the temperature at the repeater site is now reported as part of the ID at half past the hour. You can get a temperature report at any time by keying up the repeater and pressing 476 on a touch tone pad.
Amateur Radio Technician License Class Begins April 4
An Amateur Radio Technician license class will be presented by the
Franklin County Amateur Radio Club at the Shelburne Fire
Department, 18 Little Mohawk Rd, Shelburne, MA. The first of six sessions
starts at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 4th. Additional classes will be
at 7:00 p.m. on April 11 and 25, and May 2, 9, and 16. Note that
there will be no class on April 18 during the school vacation week.
The Shelburne Fire Station is across the street from the First
Congregational Church, which is quite visible from Rte 2. It is about 4 miles
east of the turnoff to Shelburne Falls, and 5.4 miles west of the
Greenfield Rotary (I-91 exit 26).
(Click here for a Google map).
Anyone interested should contact Chris Myers KB1NEK,
phone 413-625-0344, or Al Woodhull N1AW,
Additional information will be posted on the
FCARC 2013 Technician Class
Two opportunities for SkyWarn training are coming up in Franklin County:
Greenfield Transportation Center, 12 Olive Street, Greenfield,
Wednesday May 1, 2013, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
PRE-REGISTER with Nina Martin-Anzuoni at 413-624-0131 x101 or email email@example.com
Heath Community Center, Thursday May 9, 2013, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (organized by
Ellen Jenkins, KB1RCF).
Additional SkyWarn training sessions in southern New England are listed on
the National Weather Service, Taunton MA website.
N1AW's Arduino Keyer
At the March 1 HCRA DIY Show-and-Tell meeting N1AW demonstrated a CW keyer that features accurate reporting of the current speed setting using Morse output. Related files, including Arduino microcontroller source code, are on this website at
Online Membership List
The online club membership list has been updated. It can be seen
It is updated annually after the grace period for payment of club dues has expired. Please look to be sure your entry is correct.
WA1QKT's "How to Use Your FT-60" Info Available Online
The PowerPoint file Bob Dickerman used for his presentation at the 2/11/2013 meeting is available on this website as
./Files/How to configure your HT_ppt.ppt.
Curt Dean, W1UXI, SK
News was just received that Curt Dean, W1UXI, passed away on February 11th. He had been fighting a chronic illness for some time.
Curt was a member of our club for many years. Among other things, he maintained this website until a few years ago. More information will be posted when available.
FCARC Facebook Group???
Other amateur radio clubs in Western Massachusetts have created Facebook groups. Club members who are Facebook users can post to and view postings on the groups. It's an easy way to share news, pictures, and information. Are any FCARC members interested in trying this? Please contact Al, N1AW, if you have thoughts about this.
MA-RI CW Traffic Net
The following was posted recently on the
Western MA ARRL Section website
by Marcia Forde, KW1U, Section Traffic Manager for EMA and WMA:
There has been no section CW net for either East Mass or West Mass for some time. Some have approached me concerning their interest in CW, so I plan to run a slow speed CW traffic net for both Massachusetts sections and Rhode Island which will offer training in message handling and net operation and at the same time hopefully give folks a chance to increase their CW capabilities. We will meet on 3565 Khz plus or minus at 7PM Monday through Friday. If enough interest and personnel are available I will add weekends as well. Training messages will be provided and questions and comments are always welcome. I plan on a Q&A session on the Boston 145.23 repeater following the EM2MN which meets at 8 PM. Obviously most in West Mass section will not be able to make that, but I can be available by email or either following CM2MN on the Paxton repeater or on HF or Echolink by arrangement.
Anyone interested in CW will be most welcome. Come meet new friends, learn new skills and hopefully have some fun.
WebSDR - Hear (and See) Your Signal on a Distant Receiver
A WebSDR is a Software-Defined Radio receiver connected to the internet, allowing many listeners to listen and tune it simultaneously. SDR technology makes it possible that all listeners tune independently, and thus listen to different signals; this is in contrast to the many classical receivers that are already available via the internet.
The quote above is from
http://www.websdr.org where you can find links to more than 40 WebSDR sites around the world. Links to other sources of information also can be found there.
N1AW found that
a WebSDR site in New Jersey operated by K2SDR
was able to display and repeat his 80 meter c.w. signal from Western Massachusetts during both daylight and nighttime conditions when he was using as little as 5 watts output. He listened to himself checking into the new MA-RI c.w. net described above. It's really fun to see the spectrum of your own signal and everyone else in a net, as well as many other signals from the entire low end of the 80 meter band.
Walton Congdon, W1ZPB, SK
Walt Congdon, W1ZPB, passed away early in the morning of December 3rd.
Walt will be much missed by many members of the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club. He was a past-president of the club. He was the master teacher who helped many current members learn what they needed to pass their license exams. He was the Field Day c.w. operator who would keep our c.w. station on the air for 24 hours. He was free with advice and help for anyone interested in learning how to power their lives and their radios with solar or wind energy.
Walt's page on
updated in 2011, provides a brief autobiography:
First licensed 1953. US Army Signal Corps High Speed CW Radio
Operator posted to Eniwetok Marshall Islands at KX6BP. Returned
to mainland 1956 to teach physics & chemistry at Northfield
Mount Hermon School. Joined NTS & have continued active on
NTS CW traffic nets. Shack entirely solar powered as is home.
Retired 14 years; XYL sez "rewired"! Do lot of teaching about
conservation & efficiency; and about Renewable Energy: solar PV,
wind power, bio-mass, micro-hydro. Some rag-chewing, lots of
traffic nets, some DX-ing. Use Ten-Tec Argonaut V. Lots of wire
A memorial service is planned for 1:00 p.m. on Dec. 29th at St. James Church, 8 Church St., Greenfield, MA.
An obituary appears in the Greenfield Recorder for December 11. It can be seen online
at The Recorder's website.
A page for remembrances of Walt has been created on the FCARC website at
Additional comments are welcome - please send by email to
Check here again for possible updates to this article.
Results of VE Session Monday, November 26
The FCARC VE team held an Amateur Radio License exam session Monday 11/26. Four candidates appeared and all were successful:
David Calef from Spofford NH, KB1YQP, upgraded to General Class.
Confirmed in FCC database 12/1/2012
Frank Smith from Jaffrey NH passed two tests to earn a new General Class license.
New call is KB1YYY.
James Karan of Athol earned a new Technician licenses.
New call is KB1YYZ.
Alexander Rogers of Northfield earned a new Technician license.
New call is KB1YZA.
Greet them when you hear them on the air!
The next FCARC VE session will take place on Monday February 25, 2013. For more information see the
Amateur Radio License Exams page
on this website.
Contests: Why and How? (10 Meter Contest Coming Soon)
This is contest season: ARRL Sweepstakes, 160 meter, 10 meter, Rookie Roundup, and many others. N1AW has updated an article he
wrote several years ago,
Contesting: Why and How for the Beginner.
Our neighbors in the Hampden County Radio Association make a club entry in the ARRL 10 meter contest, coming up December 7 - 9. Matt, W1SMW, has posted on the HCRA website
an updated ARRL 10 Meter Contest Tutorial,
recommended reading if you would like to try your hand at contesting in this relatively easy-going event. If a few FCARC members tell N1AW they are interested, we could submit a club entry also. If he doesn't hear from anyone else N1AW will add his scores to the HCRA effort - he is also an HCRA member.
December QST has 2012 Field Day Results
The digital version of QST for December 2012 is
Your paper version should be in the mail soon.
Our 2012 Field Day score is on p. 73:
We did significantly better than last year.
We were 100th of all 408 Class 2A entries received by the ARRL, and 10th of 25 Class 2A entries received from New England.
More detailed info will be posted soon.
Our News Archive page has an article presenting
preliminary 2012 results before the ARRL log-checking.
and another article summarizing
results for 2006 through 2011.
440 Repeater is Up!
The KB1BSS 448.875 MHz repeater on Rocky Mountain (Poet's Seat) in Greenfield is up again. Temporarily it is using a separate low gain transmitting antenna at reduced height because the duplexer seems to have been the cause of the problems that began almost a year ago. Range is probably reduced but it should be usable in our core Greenfield/Montague area. For the time being the 10 meter link is disabled.
WA1QKT and N1AW continue to work on the repeater. Please let one of them know of your experiences using this machine.
Want to Help After Sandy?
The ARRL recommends two websites
to radio amateurs who want to volunteer.
ARRL November Sweepstakes
ARRL November Sweepstakes
CW, weekend of November 3-5
Phone, weekend of November 17-19
More info in October QST or here:
N1AW got another certificate for 1st Place in Western MA, QRP CW, last year. Who will challenge him?
Hospital Drill Postponed
For various technical reasons the hospital communications drill that had been planned for Saturday September 29 has had to be postponed. It will be rescheduled for later this Fall.
Although the postponement is disappointing to those who have been
working on this project, in preparing for it notable progress has been made. A group of club members surveyed the amateur radio installation that was made last summer at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. As a result of this improvements are expected to more closely integrate amateur radio with the hospital communications center. Also, at least two additional towns in Franklin County will have functional amateur radio equipment in their Emergency Operations Center as a result of preparations made so far.
Sally Otto Sedgwick, KB1KEY, SK
An obituary for Sally Sedgwick was published in The Recorder on Tuesday,September 4. It can be seen
Sally Otto Sedgwick, KB1KEY, passed away in Florida on August 29.
Sally is survived by her husband Charles, KJ4ZWX (ex-KA1OVV). They formerly lived in Greenfield and were active members of the FCARC at that time. Although they moved to Florida many years ago they continued to visit our area during summers for some time
after that, and maintained regular schedules with local hams on 20 meters when propagation permitted.
A brief obituary can be found
VE Session Result
The FCARC VE team held an Amateur Radio License exam session on Monday August 27.
We had one candidate, Kevin Tracy, KC5KKS. Kevin successfully upgraded from Advanced to Extra Class. Congratulations!
VEs who participated were Cindy W1CAD, Dick AA1XU, Les KJ1W, Ron K8HSF, and Al, N1AW.
The next session by the FCARC VE team will be Monday November 26, 2012. For a schedule of future FCARC VE sessions and more information, please see the
Amateur Radio License Exams page
on this website.
Wayne Comstock, WB3CDL, SK
Wayne Comstock, WB3CDL, died on Saturday, June 23. He was a member of the FCARC.
Wayne lived and worked in the Greenfield and Deerfield area as a young man. He later moved out of this area, but after retiring from a job based in New York he returned to South Deerfield many years ago. Most recently he lived in Hadley.
His obituary appears in today's (Tuesday 6/26) Recorder.
Annual Club Officer Election Results
At the official annual elections meeting on June 11, club President Chris Myers, Secretary Bob Dickerman, and Director
Belle Dyer were all elected to new two year terms which begin on September 1st.
Bert Phillips, N1IUM, SK
Bert Phillips, N1IUM, died in Greenfield on Wednesday May 30, one day before his 73rd birthday. He was a long time member of the FCARC, and served terms as club treasurer and president.
Bert was born in Greenfield. Bert was a long-time friend to many in the local amateur radio community.
Dick Burnham, AC1L, knew Bert's parents and encouraged young Bert's early interest in things technical, and their friendship endured to Bert's last days. Another long-time friend is Fred Smead, with whom Bert worked for 32 years doing technical support for Amherst Schools. Bert is remembered by the webmaster of this site as someone who was welcoming to a newcomer to this community, always fun to chat with, whether face to face or on the air.
An obituary appeared June 2nd in The Recorder and can be read on
A graveside service was held at High StreetCemetary in Greenfield at 1 p.m. Wednesday June 13. A number of FCARC members attended.
VE Session: Belle is an Extra, Fabio is KB1YFY
At the VE session May 28 in Northfield:
Belle Dyer of Colrain, KB1NOG, upgraded from General to Extra.
Fabio Dallorto of Conway passed Technician and General tests. His call is KB1YFY (June 1 FCC update on QRZ.com).
The next regular FCARC VE session will be August 27. See the
VE License Exams
page for more information.
High Performance HF Transceiver Design
Doug Grant, K1DG, has written some interesting articles about ham radio
for Electronics Design News, a publication aimed at engineering
professionals. His latest is on "High Performance HF Transceiver Design" and
has interesting things to say about the design process, as well as the
state of the art. You can see the article
online at the EDN website
N1YPS in June QST
Phill, N1YPS, describes his "rigpod" invention in the Hints & Kinks
column of QST for June 2012. Look on page 63.
M.A.R.C. Frequency List Posted
Now online here is the
M.A.R.C. Frequency List.
This is a VHF/UHF channel guide to be used for emergency
communications in Franklin County. It lists all local amateur radio
repeater and simplex frequencies.
Two New Callsigns: KB1WUZ and KB1WVA
The word has come from the FCC that licenses have been issued for two people
who passed their exams at the VE session conducted by our club in Northfield
on February 27.
Bill Horsch of Hinsdale, NH, passed both the Technician and General level exams.
His new call is KB1WUZ.
Nina Martin-Anzuoni of Colrain, MA, is a new Technician: KB1WVA.
FCARC policy is to waive membership dues for the first year for anyone newly
licensed through one of our exam sessions. Please welcome Bill and Nina if you
hear them on the air or see them at a club event.
Tech Class Success: KB1WTP, KB1WTQ, KB1WTR, and KB1WTS, More Coming!
The FCC report released on Saturday February 25 lists the callsigns of the
four local people who passed their Technician tests at the last session of the
class conducted by FCARC members recently:
Julie Page KB1WTP
Caroline Shores Ness KB1WTQ
Gary Bunker KB1WTR
Tom Fydenkevez KB1WTS
The upgrade of Bruce Fuller, KB1TLX, to a General license is also now official.
Update Monday February 27th:
At our regular VE session class participant Nina Martin-Anzuoni earned a new
Technician license. And Bill Horsch of Hinsdale, NH, passed both the Technician
and General tests for a new General License. Call signs will be posted when
Congratulations to all!
Congratulations to New Generals Belle and Miner, New Extra Dan
Belle, KB1NOG, and Miner, KB1NQK, both took and passed the exams for the
General Class license last Saturday at the session sponsored by the MTARA
and HCRA groups in Chicopee.
We also recently learned that Dan, KB1WEK, who upgraded to General in our
November VE session, took the final step and upgraded to Extra at a VE
session in Amherst last month.
Software Defined Radio References
Links to Internet information sources about software defined radio (SDR), the
subject of Bob Solosko's presentation at the January meeting, are now online
here. The link is
Magazine Article on Ham Radio
There is an interesting article on Ham Radio in the 21st Century in EDN
(Electronic Design News):
(Thanks to Yankee Clipper Contest Club mailing list for this info).
Contest Operator Haiku
I'm hearing voices
They're all so soft and distant
but logged as five nine.
-- Scott Andersen, NE1RD
(We don't normally steal items from the newsletter for the web page, but
this one was irrestible.)