Date Change: July Breakfast Moved to July 20; WRTC Station Test on July 13
The 2013 Station Test for the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC 2014) is scheduled for the weekend of July 12-13-14. Those present at the June
15 breakfast agreed with a proposal to change the July FCARC breakfast date from July 13 to July 20.
Did you miss Jim Mullen's presentation about WRTC at the June 10 FCARC meeting?
To learn more about the WRTC,
click here for the WRTC 2014 website.
To learn about the July 2013 preparations,
click here for the WRTC 2013 Station Test website.
To see more about the Hampden County Radio Association's role in coordinating
Western Massachusetts support, look at
this article on the HCRA website.
Annual Meeting Election Results
At the Annual Meeting of the FCARC on Monday June 10, no additional nominations were made. Howard Fuller, N1LUP, and Al Woodhull, N1AW were re-elected as Treasurer and Vice President, and Ron Niswander, N8HSF was elected as Director.
Bob Solosko continues as Communicator editor. New terms begin September 1st.
June 2013 Events
See articles further down this page for info about the club meeting June 10,
featuring the annual election of club officers and a presentation about preparations for the World Radiosport Team Competition in 2014. Other FCARC events in June:
Club breakfast Saturday June 15, 8:00 a.m., Denny's Pantry, 469 Bernardston Rd, Greenfield.
(Click here for a map.)
All are welcome.
Field Day is always the 4th full weekend in June, this year it's the 22nd and 23rd. Setup at Poets Seat Tower begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, on-the-air operation starts at 2 p.m. Saturday and continues to 2 p.m. Sunday. If you haven't signed up to help or operate
yet there will be sign-up sheets at the 6/10 meeting and the 6/15 breakfast.
If you can't sign up ahead of time, just show up, we'll find something for you to do, or we'll get you on the air. Bring family members or friends who would like to know more about amateur radio.
Information about past Field Days is collected here in a
FCARC Field Day History page.
Plans for this year's Field Day are on-line
in a power point file here,
and details of our 2012 results are in
the PDF file
we submitted to the ARRL.
You can browse
here for more info about past Field Days.
Do you know how to find the FCARC Field Day site at Poets Seat Tower?
Click here for a map.
FCARC Officer Elections Notes
Notes regarding the election of officers to take place at the June 10 meeting:
Dick Burnham, AC1L, pointed out that even if there are no contests for open offices due to nominations made in advance of the election meeting, our by-laws state that
"additional nominations may be made and accepted at the Annual Meeting provided
the nominee is present and consents to the nomination."
This is also a good place to acknowledge that Dick, AC1L, has again served as
the Nominating Committee, as he has done for many years now. This involves a
substantial amount of work, and Dick deserves thanks for this continuing contribution to the club.
... and if you would like to know more about the FCARC Club By-laws, they can be seen on the website at
www.fcarc.org/Files/FCARC Bylaws Ver. 2.pdf
June 2013 FCARC Communicator
The June 2013 FCARC Communicator is out. It's
on the website
and in your [e- or snail-] mail.
Back issues of the Communicator: old issues December 2005 - December 2010 are
issues from January 2011 to the current issue are
Note regarding PDF files:
Portable Document Format (PDF) files can be created and read by a number of different programs. If a Communicator PDF file on this website does not render correctly (for instance, if large blank areas appear on a page) try saving the file and opening it with stand-alone Adobe Reader instead of the browser's default pdf plug-in. With Firefox, for instance, the Tools:Options:Applications menu can be used to do this. Your webmaster found that with 64-bit Firefox the default "Preview in Firefox" did not work correctly
with some PDF files. Changing to the option "Always ask"
gives a choice of saving the file to use with stand-alone Adobe Reader.
June 10 Meeting: Club Election; World Radiosport Team Championship
The FCARC June meeting will take place on Monday, June 10, at Greenfield High School, starting at 7:15 p.m. (coffee and goodies at 7:00, E-board meeting at
As noted on the
FCARC Calendar Page,
the June meeting is when we have our annual election of officers. This
year the offices of Director, Treasurer,and Vice-President are up. Incumbent
Director Bob Solosko, W1SRB, was nominated for re-election, but declined the
nomination. He will continue as Communicator editor. Cathy Mitchell KB1SNA and
Ron Niswander, K8HSF, were also nominated for Director, but Cathy declined.
Howard Field, N1LUP, and Al Woodhull, N1AW, were nominated for re-election as
Treasurer and Vice-President, respectively.
But wait, there's more reason to attend the meeting: a really big amateur radio event is about to happen here in New England. Jim Mullen, KK1W, will be here to tell us about the 2014 WRTC (World Radiosport Team Championship) preparations that are in progress.
The WRTC is held every four years and consists of approximately 50 two-person teams of amateur radio operators competing in a test of operating skill. Unlike most on-the-air competitions, all stations are required to use identical antennas from the same geographic region, eliminating all variables except operating ability. Previous WRTCs have been held in Seattle (1990), San Francisco (1996), Slovenia (2000), Finland (2002), Brazil (2006), and Russia (2010). The 2014 WRTC contest will take place in a number of sites in New England.
The WRTC2014 Organizing Committee will be conducting a capability and
training test for the WRTC2014 stations and volunteers during the July
2013 running of the IARU HF Championship. The goals of the 2013 Station
Expand the pool of experienced teams for station set up
Evaluate proposed site locations for radio quietness and equality
Confirm logistics and procedures to set up and tear down a large
number of stations
- Gather log data under competition conditions to share with WRTC
This will be the final test before the full running of the WRTC 2014
competition in July 2014. The plan is to set up and operate as many as
30 stations during the test.
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, the ARRL division manager for New England is one of
the organizers of the effort to determine what sites will be the best
for the event. Jim Mullen, president of the Hampden County Amateur Radio
Association is leading the effort in western Massachusetts. The WRTC website
New Tech Licenses and Upgrades
At the final meeting of our Technician license class on May 16, four participants took the test, and all passed with scores better than 90%!
Less than a week later callsign info was on the FCC database. The new amateurs
KB1ZYW Harold Kelly (Greenfield)
KB1ZYX Walter Stephaniv (Amherst)
KB1ZYY Frances St.Sanot-Stephaniv (Amherst)
KB1ZYZ Hussain Hamad (Hawley)
We have never experienced such quick response by the ARRL VEC and the FCC.
If you hear someone using a new callsign on one of our repeaters please say hello!
Harold KB1ZYW and Hussain KB1ZYZ came to our regular quarterly VE session
May 27th in Northfield and upgraded to General licenses, even before their Technician licenses had arrived in the mail! Also on May 27, Jake, KB1VPN,
upgraded to General, and Frank, KB1YYY, upgraded to Extra Class - Frank had earned a new General license at our November 2012 session.
Click here for info about future FCARC VE sessions.
Public Service Events Summer 2013
It's not too soon to think about whether you can help with public service communications during the summer. FCARC has supported two events in past years and another may be added this year:
The Greenfield Triathlon will take place on Sunday August 4. The Eunice Williams
covered bridge is not going to be ready yet, so the double route used last year
will be used again. They have asked for our help. Event info is at
The Bridge of Flowers 10K road race in Shelburne Falls will be on Saturday August 10. Info:
NEW in 2013: The Franklin Land Trust has asked if we can help with communications for the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee (D2R2), a bicyle tour that starts in Deerfield and loops through Vermont. This event may have up to 1000 riders on Saturday August 24. The website is
http://www.franklinlandtrust.org/randonnee.html. We are in the process of
determining what kind of support we can offer.
A map showing the various bike tour routes can be seen
Several other events need amateur radio volunteers. Contact Rob Mather,
N1XSS, Robmather@mather1.com for these events in Vermont:
Back in Massachusetts, in past years hams have helped with the Savoy Mountain
Trail Races in the Savoy Mountain State Forest
This years's event is scheduled for Sunday August 18. We will post information about amateur radio participation here when available.
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.
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.)