Friday, April 3, 2020

ARRL update on Field Day 2020

Field Day 2020 — A Time to Adapt

Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty.
“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”
Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will impact just how — and even whether — you are able to participate in Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city park won’t work this year, then it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency communication demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to allow individuals and groups to adjust their participation and strategies in a way that still addresses their needs while being fun. Some possibilities:
  • Encourage club members to operate from their home stations on emergency power (Class E).
  • Use the club’s repeater as a means for individual participants to keep in touch during the event.
  • Family members interested in operating Field Day and unable to participate as part of a larger group may want to consider setting up a portable station in the backyard with a temporary antenna.
One big impact this year will be a decline in public visibility and any interaction with the visitors. Prudence may dictate dispensing with the ham radio PR table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more public location. It’s okay not to score all the bonus points you may have attempted in the past. Local and served agency officials may be unwilling to visit, which is understandable under the circumstances. Do be sure to reach out to them as part of your preparations and remind them that you look forward to continuing your working relationship with them in the future.
The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL recommends that all amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day stay in regular contact with local or state public health officials for their advice and guidance on hosting Field Day activities.
Demonstrating an understanding of the health crisis we all face and your willingness to adapt will show that you and your club or group are good working partners with local or served agencies.
“With any emergency preparedness exercise, it’s not about adapting the situation to your operation, it’s about adapting your operation to the situation that presents itself,” Bourque said. “Try something different. Learn something new about how you prepare. It may be a challenge, and you may have to ask yourself if you’re up to the challenge. We hope to hear you on the air over the June 27 – 28 weekend.” — Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan Henderson, N1ND
 From the ARRL website 3/27/20 - link:

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Spectrum Monitor (TSM) Magazine - a very good read!

With the COVID-19 Virus situation keeping many of us at home these days, maybe you have more time for some reading. We have mentioned it here before, but we'll do it again; if you are looking for a very good monthly publication covering Amateur Radio, Shortwave, AM/FM Radio, TV, Vintage Radio, etc. - THIS IS THE ONE!

TSM is usually around 100 pages and is packed with the latest on Amateur Radio, Shortwave, Scanning, Satellites, Radio/TV, Vintage radio, etc. The news and articles are always up to date and relevant. TSM is available only in PDF format and can be read on any device capable of opening a PDF file. I read TSM both on my tablet and PC. I also occasionally print out interesting articles that I might need for future reference in the shack.

Check out TSM on their web site at:

The TSM publisher, Ken Reitz KS4ZR, is the former managing editor, features editor, columnist and feature writer for Monitoring Times. As well as a former feature writer and columnist for several other publications. TSM has some very experienced and talented writers that do a great job of covering many interesting topics each month! (learn more about the TSM staff here: )

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

Most of us have become very aware of the rising noise floor on our radio spectrum. Many of us are experiencing various noise issues that are significantly cutting in to the ability to enjoy our hobby. It's not unusual in urban areas these days to have a noise level that rises to a range of S7-S9. The proliferation of mobile devices, consumer and industrial electronics with high speed microprocessors and switch mode power supplies, along with new lighting technologies is adding to the pollution of our radio waves. Issues with solar arrays and local power distribution also add to this rising level of noise.

So what can you do about it and where do you start? We thought we would try to gather some links to some helpful RFI web sites as well as articles with techniques to chase down different types of RFI.

We have started with some info that we have recently found, but if you have any to other information or experiences to share, please leave a comment below or email us at


NK7Z web site with many RFI mitigation articles:

START with this one, house-cleaning.....its very good!!

ARRL RFI information web page (some very good info here):

Article from Interference Technology magazine:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Cancellations and postponements

Folks - As we work through the developing COVID-19 issue, we should all expect that most meetings and events will be canceled or postponed. We will try to list a few for CNY here.

As we all practice social distancing, take a few minutes to enjoy a QSO on HF or one of your local repeaters!

Message from the Bear Bait Club:


 Please add our April Technician class and VE session to the latest list of postponements.

I will reschedule for a later date.

Thx and 73

de Scott WA2DTN
Education Chairman,  Bear Bait RC.

Message from LARC:

To all LARC Members
March 16,2020
Hello to all,
Due to the current health crisis gripping the country, all LARC meetings, test sessions,
Boot Camp and Board meetings have been canceled until at least the middle of May. As
that time grows closer we will access the situation and determine if it would be safe to
resume club activities. While I'm sure we will all miss our monthly meetings, our current
membership includes a greater than average number of at risk folks.
Please stay safe and keep washing those hands.
73, John
Message from RAGS:

Note: Thursday April 9th RAGS meeting will be online using Zoom. Members should receive an email with instructions.

Greetings to all RAGS members,
I am writing this email to inform you, our membership, that it is the decision of the RAGS Board of Officers to cancel the RAGS meeting for April.  The annual RAGS Auction that was to be our program for that meeting will be postponed to a future date to be decided.  
With Dayton Hamvention being canceled, Drumlins Hamfest “postponed”, and with the continuing guidance out of the County, State, and Federal authorities we believe canceling is the prudent thing to do.
Your board of officers  will be monitoring the situation and will resume meetings when it is deemed safe to do so by competent medical authority.
The steps being taken to control the transmission of the COVID-19 virus are unprecedented in our time.  “Social Distancing” is a new term in our local vernacular.  But HAM radio operators have practiced “social distancing” from the start of our hobby!  We may not be able to gather together for eyeball qso's for awhile, but the airwaves are still there.  I encourage you to take advantage of all of the local nets we are blessed with here in Central New York.  Go to for all of the information on the times and frequencies for a net near you.
All of the local repeaters are operated and maintained for your use and enjoyment.  Take advantage of it and get out there and have some fun!  You are sure to find someone out there ready to talk to you if you send out a CQ or two.
Barry Burge KD4MCB
President, Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse

Monday, March 16, 2020

Drumlins Hamfest - POSTPONED 4/18/20

We just got this update from Drumlins.

Also please note that 2020 Dayton Hamfest has been canceled because of the COVID-19 virus. It is very likely that most events scheduled over the next several weeks will be also delayed or canceled.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Bullthistle Hamfest - POSTPONED

Read the full story at:

Rochester Hamfest 2020 - June 6th

The 93rd Rochester Hamfest will be held on June 6th 2020 at the Hilton Exempt Club, 137 South Ave. Hilton, NY 14468 from 7:00AM to 2:00PM. Vendors and flea market sellers may enter starting at 7:00AM, non-selling attendees may enter starting at 8:00AM. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Southern Tier NY Fusion Network

Thanks to Kris Lanko; K2RIS for this update from the Southern Tier!
The Southern Tier Fusion Network
When using these repeaters, do not use or concern yourself with Wires-X.

Access the repeater in Digital Voice Narrow (DN) mode.
The repeaters are already linked.
Location ---------------------- Call -------------- Frequency ---- Offset
Conklin/Vestal Ny ----------- KB2CKK-ND2 --- 145.290 -0.600
Campbell NY ----------------- N9RIM-RPT ----- 147.270 0.600
Owego NY --------------------- W3JU ------------ 442.100 5.000
Harris Hill NY ---------------- N2EUS-RPT ----- 442.300 5.000
Horseheads NY --------------- N2OJM ---------- 442.750 5.000
Endicott/Binghamton NY --- AC2YS-RP ------- 442.800 5.000
Elmira NY --------------------- KC2EQ-RPT ----- 443.000 5.000
Round Top Park Athens PA - KA3EQU-RPT --- 443.800 5.000
Kopernik Observ Vestal NY - WA2QEL --------- 444.100 5.000
West Walworth NY----------- KA1CNF ----------- 444.775 5.000

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Bear Bait Tech Class - April 18-19,2020

The Bear Bait Radio Club is having a Amateur Radio Technician Class and VE test session on 4/18 and 4/19 at the Clay Highway Bldg. on RT. 31, Clay NY. It's from 8-5 each day. Register by calling Scott at 315-247-8524.

Thanks to the club for all its efforts here in CNY and in the Adirondacks!

More information on the club website:

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

FLDIGI - RARA Academy - Rochester 3/14/20

RaRa Academy
FLDIGI Digital Software
FLDigi Software
Saturday March 14th, 2020 (11:30am-2:00pm — Note the Time Change!)
Learn how Fldigi decodes digital modes and how it is used with NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System) to pass traffic on the HF and VHF bands.
Presenters: Paul Conaway, KD2DO, Brian O'Connor, KA2CGB, Mark Pedersen, KC2UES and Jon Dickason, N2JAC
Bring your laptop with Fldigi installed and follow along with the presentation. See W1HKJ website for information and download links.
Special Note: Since the US is currently experiencing a proliferation of the COVID-19 virus, please exercise judgment and care. If you are ill, have been exposed or at risk, please check the CDC website and New York State DOH for more information. As a precaution, we will be wiping down everything prior to the meeting.
Please take advantage of the RaRa sponsored training and operating opportunities.

Timothy Brown,
FCC Callsign: WB2PAY
RaRa Education Coordinator
cell: 585 750 2087

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Hamfest - Phelps N.Y. - June 13-14, 2020

New Hamfest - just off the NYS Thruway Exit 42 between Rochester and Syracuse.

Fundraiser to support Ham Radio at these Boy Scout Camps in Upstate NY.