Sunday, October 20, 2019

Winter SkyWarn Training

 Folks its that time again!

Winter SKYWARN Spotter Training Classes are coming!

Most upstate NY counties are conducting Winter SkyWarn Training in October and November.

The training will be held at various area locations and on-line. This class is for beginners or anybody that has a general interest in weather. These classes train volunteers how to accurately measure and report snowfall totals to the National Weather Service. The class is free and open to everyone; no age requirements, previous training, or equipment is required.

The SKYWARN program is a nationwide program that provides real-time severe weather reports to the National Weather Service. "Trained weather spotters provide valuable lifesaving information to the National Weather Service and we encourage those who have an interest in weather to participate in this critical program," said David Nicosia, Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Binghamton NY. "Despite all the technological advances, SKYWARN Spotter reports are still crucial to the National Weather Service in providing more accurate severe weather warnings," Nicosia continues.

See the full training schedules at:

Binghamton (Syracuse):
Buffalo (Rochester):
Albany :

Learn more about SKYWARN and Amateur Radio at:

full Binghamton NWS training schedule and deatils at:

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Tech Class - Syracuse November 16th & 17th

The Bear Bait Radio Club will be holding a Technician Licensing Class November 16th and 17th 2019 at the Clay Highway Department, Clay NY.

No charge of the class, VE exam will be held after the Sunday Class, and will have a $14 exam fee.

Complete details may be found at: or at

de Scott WA2DTN

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Balloon Launch - Sat. October 19th, 2019

UPDATE: Congratulations to Mike and the entire Balloon team! They had a beautiful day for this flight.  The balloon traveled almost 70 miles in just over 2 hours reaching altitudes over 100,000 feet! Go see the video of the launch and trip at the You-tube link referenced below!

The Amateur Radio Club at Cornell, W2CXM,  in cooperation with the Five Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America will be hosting a High Altitude Balloon launch during their 62nd annual JOTA Jamboree on the Air event on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 10:00am.  

The balloon will be launched from the JOTA event in Howard, NY.  The payload is expected to reach 100,000 feet and land approximately 70 miles downrange in the vicinity of Richford, NY.  If all of our technology works, we will be live streaming live video from the payload for the duration of the flight.  

The stream will be available on youtube beginning at 9:45am here:   
Additional tracking links will be in the “Description” of the youtube page.

From: Mike Hojnowski / KD2EAT,
Advisor to the Amateur Radio Club at Cornell

Monday, October 14, 2019

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

NY QSO Party - Saturday 10/19/19

We're getting close........the NYQSO Party is a week from this Saturday.   

Check out the activation page at

 Please upload your NYQP plans...please activate your county or one close to you.  Please ask your friends to get on the air.  The spotlight will be on NY on Saturday 10/19 from 10am-10pm eastern time. 
NYQP rules are here. 
Exchange is:  Signal Report and County Abbreviation for in-state and Signal Report and state, province, DX for out-of-state.

Also check out the current plaque page:
NYQP has the best Sponsorship Team in the game.  When you see one of the sponsors, please tell them thank you.  Without them, a healthy NYQP could not exist.

Friday, October 4, 2019

RARA Academy - Workshops: HF Operations in the Park

Saturday — HF Operations in the Park

October 5th, 2019 (10am-5pm)
Topics: HF Field Activities — This is a GREAT opportunity to learn from experienced operators and use a variety of antennas and equipment. Acitivities:
Antenna Demonstrations: Dipoles, EFHWs, Random Wires, Ground mounted Verticals and any others that we can come up with.
Antenna Installation Techniques: Air Canon, Fishing Pole, Sling Shot, Weight Toss, Tripods and mounts for Verticals.
Minimum HF Provided Equipment: (12vdc) Yaesu FT-450, FT-857D, Kenwood TS-440. IC-7300, and FT-991A. Bring your own rigs like K2, QRP rigs etc.
Battery Power Types: Sealed Lead Acid, AGM, Li-ion, Solar Panels
HF Operating (Getting on the Air): Making QSOs on SSB and CW.
Since this is an all day project, RaRa will provide charcoal so we can BBQ our lunch. BYOB (Bring your own Burgers or Hots). Food is not provided.
This is a GREAT opportunity to learn from experienced operators and use a variety of antennas and equipment. There is plenty of room and tall trees for antenna installations and testing.
Location: Operations will be at the Durand Eastman Park in the Acorn Shelter.
Sign-up is not required. Come any time.
Please take advantage of the RaRa sponsored training and operating opportunities.

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

Northern NY Bird Tracker help

Any readers in the North Country that can help?

"I saw this on Facebook and is in our area.
Only a few days left according to the post."
from Jim,N2NXZ

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Upgrade to WA2NAN North Country repeater

The WA2NAN 147.135 repeater in Northern NY (Oswegathchie NY) has been upgraded. This repeater is a wide area coverage repeater covering the northern Adirondacks with excellent coverage across the Route 3 corridor. This repeater also carries the famous Sully's International Rooster Roster net each day. 

Note from WA2NAN; Kerry on the Rooster Roster Facebook page:

The Oswegatchie Valley Amateur Radio Club (OVARC) who has sponsored the Morning Rooster Roster and other nets for several years,147.135+ with a 151.4 pl.) has recently upgraded to a new repeater. After years of using an old GE 1960's vintage repeater (that turned into fix or repair daily ) lately, we now have a new Bridgecom BCR-50v. This purchase leaves us on the hook for $1500.00. We are asking all who would like to contribute to this project with a donation to please visit our website ( and you will find down the left side of the page our secretary/treasure KB2HPR along with his email and address. Our wide area repeater is a mainstay in Emergencies as it covers four counties in NNY and well into Canada. Thank you in advance...…..73's......Kerry, WA2NAN

OVARC website:

Monday, August 19, 2019

Balloon launch on Thursday 8/22/19

Upcoming Balloon Launch!

Thursday (8/22) The Kopernik Observatory and Science Center in Vestal NY is launching a high altitude balloon as part of their STEM Summer science camp! They have agreed to let me fly my SSTV payload, which has been updated with an SA868 transmitter chip and new code that should fix the saturation problem we had in the first flight!

Launch time is estimated for 9am. And again, if you could listen to 145.600 Mhz and decode photos and upload to that would be awesome! Hoping for some sweet high altitude photos this time!


Thursday, July 25, 2019

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend - August 17-18, 2019

FROM THE AUGUST 2019 RARA RAG newsletter:

2019 International Lighthouse
Lightship Weekend
by David Timmons, W2DST

Have you ever operated outdoors at a historic site? Have you ever seen the Port
of Rochester from the top of a 197 year old lighthouse? You can do both and
more by joining us for the 2019 International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend
(ILLW) at the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse on Lake Ave. in Rochester's historic Charlotte neighborhood. This year the event is on August 17 & 18 and we will be operating (at least) 2 stations using special event call sign K2R from 11 am to 5 pm both days. Come help us operate and talk to lighthouse visitors about amateur radio. Yes, we do hang our antennas from the lighthouse tower!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Possible new threat to Amateur Radio spectrum

Over the last few weeks there have been quite a few news items and on-line discussions brewing over a possible threat to Amateur Radio 2M spectrum allocation. More specifically, a new proposal that will be advanced to the ITU World Radio Communication Conference 2023. It originates with French spectrum regulators and is reported to be at the behest of the Paris-based multinational defense contractor Thales. The concern is the proposed relegation of amateur radio to secondary status of the widely used two-meter band (144 MHz) to permit its usage by aircraft.

All Amateur Radio enthusiasts should have concern over these proposals as the connected world pushes to gain more spectrum for 100's of new types of mobile communications devices.

...and to quote from
"Why should this bother you? If you are a radio amateur it should be a grave concern that a band which has provided the “glue” for so many vital services over many decades might come under threat, and if you are not a radio amateur it should concern you that a commercial defense contractor in one country can so easily set in motion the degradation of a globally open resource governed by international treaties penned in your grandparents’ time. Amateur radio is a different regulatory being from the licence-free spectrum that we now depend upon for so many things, but the principle of it being a free resource to all its users remains the same. If you have an interest in retaining the spectrum you use wherever on the dial it may lie, we suggest you support your national amateur radio organisation in opposing this measure".

Read more here:

Monday, July 1, 2019

It's been a great run!

 Back on May 13th 2012, CNY Hams had the opportunity to become part of a 6 meter repeater experiment. That was the day the KD2SL 53.67 mhz repeater came on the air with a unique antenna! The former Television Channel 3 Turnstile antenna (a casualty of the analog TV shutoff in 2009) had come back to life supporting amateur radio in Upstate NY. It was an interesting time on 6 meters as many of us played "can you hear me now" from various locations around CNY.

 Things changed this past week, (June 27th, 2019), the 53.67 repeater was switched from the “Batwing” Turnstile TV antenna to a lower communications antenna mounted at approximately 700’. The change was necessitated by the FCC mandated television frequency repack (read more about the repack here:  ) which is driving major changes to TV transmitters and antennas all over the country.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Balloon Launch: SSTV & APRS from "near-space"

A hobby group in Binghamton, New York, Triple Cities Makerspace is planning to launch a balloon with amateur radio payloads on Saturday June 29th, 2019.

The group is launching a high altitude balloon to near space (100,000 feet) and transmitting photos of the atmosphere during the flight.

The Triple Cities Makerspace launch will take place on June 29th around 10:30 AM, tentatively depending on weather. The balloon will be tracked by amateur radio and also live photos during the flight will be transmitted back to the ground via amateur radio.

The group hopes that many radio operators will participate by listening in and uploading photos they receive to the project’s website:

The flight is expected to last around 2.5 hours and the coverage area of reception within 500 miles.
Gary Dewey, an amateur radio operator (callsign KD2PYB) and member of the Triple Cities Makerspace, is leading the project. “I’ve always dreamt of going to space, but this could be the next best thing – building something that goes to (near) space. I hope this project inspires others to experiment and reach for their dreams.”

They are using the MicroTrak-2001 from Byonics for APRS and will be transmitting on 144.390 MHz with the call sign KD2PYB-11. For SSTV, they are using a raspberry pi zero with the pi camera, a pHAT dac for a sound card interface and inexpensive Baofeng brand radio for the transmitter. They will be transmitting on 145.600 MHz.

Read more at:

Monday, June 17, 2019

Fulton Field Day 2019 at Fort Ontario

Members of the Fulton Amateur Radio Club, with the support of Oswego County Emergency Communicators R.A.C.E.S. ( Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) & Oswego County Office of Emergency Management will be participating in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise, June 22 – 23, at Fort Ontario, Oswego New York.

Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. For more than 100 years, Amateur Radio — also called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster or emergency, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet.

Lots of Upstate NY Field Day events/sites here:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Parks on the air!

KD2KUB; Andriy, will be camping at Sampson State Park from Friday May 31st until June 2nd. He will be activating the park, K-2133, in support of Parks on the Air. Please support POTA and his Activation. 

Monitor RAGS Facebook page and POTA spotter page for period of activation.  Will be on 20m and 40m Phone and CW.  



Friday, May 24, 2019

Field Day 2019

Field Day is coming soon........June 22nd and 23rd, 2019 

If you want to meet some friendly hams or experience some different operating modes, why don't you stop by one of the many Field Day events taking place in our area. You will see various antenna and radio setups along with operators trying to share their knowledge and score some points making contacts through out the weekend.

 Its a lot of fun - so we hope to see you out there on field day!

What is Field Day?

Field Day is part educational event, part operating event, part public relations event – and ALL about FUN!  link:

ARRL Field Day locator:

Check out one of the following LOCAL Upstate NY groups below:
(*please also send us your groups listing)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cortland Hamfest - June 8th, 2019

The Cortland Hamfest, sponsored by the Skyline Amateur Radio Club of Cortland, will be held Saturday June 8 from 7 AM 'till noon!

Free outdoor flea market, 25 indoor flea market spaces available at $5.00 per 10' space, first come first served.

VE testing will begin at 9 AM sharp.

Breakfast provided by the 4-H Teen Council.

Talk-in on 147.180 + PL 71.9.

For details e-mail

The Skyline Amateur Radio Club of Cortland welcomes Gene & crew from KJI Electronics to the Cortland Hamfest on Saturday June 8 from 7 AM 'till noon! KJI is a full service distributor of Kenwood, Yaesu and many other great lines.

We also welcome Glenn and Sue Alvino from Al-Tech Electronics, specializing in end-lots, close-outs and just great bargains.

Travel directions {signs will be posted}: I-81 to exit 12; turn left on to Route 281 South. Turn left again on to Fisher Ave, (8/10 mile) then right on to Fairgrounds Drive.
From Ithaca: Route 13 North to Route 281 North. Turn right onto Fisher Ave, then right on to Fairgrounds Drive.
For your GPS: 4849 Fairgrounds Dr. Cortland, NY 13045

~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - 
Andrew C. Slaugh KB2LUV
Secretary, Skyline Amateur Radio Club of Cortland, NY

145.490 Repeater PL 71.9 Cortland, NY

Thursday, May 9, 2019


The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are co-sponsoring the annual Military/Amateur Radio Crossband Communications Test. Although Armed Forces Day had traditionally been celebrated on the third Saturday in May -- this year it will be on May 11th 2019 as to not conflict with the Dayton Hamvention.

The annual celebration features traditional military-to-amateur crossband communications SSB voice and Morse code tests. These tests give Amateur Radio operators and short wave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise. QSL cards will be provided to stations making contact with the military stations.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Toroids and Baluns - RaRa Academy Workshops Sat. 5/11/19

RaRa Academy Workshops
Toroids and Baluns — Theory and Construction
May 2019 — Toroids and Baluns, Theory and Construction — May 11 (10AM to Noon)
•   Baluns — What do they do?
•   1:1, 4:1, 49:1 What ratio do I need?
•   What Toroid Core should I use?
•   Applications for various Baluns, UNUNs and Transformers
•   End Fed Half Wave, Random wires, Dipoles
•   Presentation and Discussions are Free to all Hams
•   Fabricate your own Balun or Transformer on a FT240-43 core
•   Fabrication Cost $10 (for a core and 14ga wire)
•   An Additional core available for $5
This Session will be hosted by Pete Schuch, WB2UAQ and Larry Brightenfield, W2LB.
Location: Session will be held at the Monroe County EOC, 1190 Scottsville Rd. Suite #201, Rochester, NY 14624. Use the rear parking lot. Enter at the rear entrance; proceed down the hall to the front lobby. Go up stairs to the EOC Media Room.
You can sign up for Academy Workshops by emailing
Please take advantage of the RaRa sponsored training and operating opportunities.
Timothy Brown,
FCC Callsign: WB2PAY
RaRa Education Coordinator

Saturday, April 27, 2019

2019 Ripley Hamfest




FRED KRAUSE N2LXD @716-708-9830 or BOB FULLER N3LBI @ 814-898-1115

From the ARRL email notice

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Finger lakes Balloon launch on Sunday 4/28/19

The Amateur Radio Club at Cornell, W2CXM, is planning a high altitude balloon flight on Sunday, April 28, 2019 between 10am – 1pm.   Our Rain Date is the following Sunday, May 5 at the same time.   The picture above is representative of imagery we capture on these flights.  It was captured from a launch we did from the Rochester Hamfest in 2017.  Lake Ontario and Rochester are visible.
This year’s payload will include a typical set of cameras as well as a cross-band repeater, which you are welcomed to try.  The transmit side of the repeater is a very simple VOX activated affair, so you will want to make a moment of noise to wake it up before speaking.

In addition to the cameras and repeater, we will also have a special DTMF activated payload with its own tracker which we will drop on command.  This is just to add some additional fun and technology to the experiment.

We generally launch the balloon somewhere West of Ithaca so that it descends into farm country just Northeast of Ithaca.  It’s a little early to know the exact launch location, but typically it’s in the Dansville area.  Here’s a typical flight pattern, though we won’t know for sure until the day before launch. In this example, the balloon bursts over Seneca lake, at about 100,000 feet, and the payload descends by parachute to land Northeast of Ithaca.

The payload will include three APRS trackers.  We’ll also have chase vehicles.
                W2CXM-11:        Main Payload
                W2CXM-12:        Main Payload backup (on 144.990)
                W2CXM-13:        Drop payload
                KD2EAT-9:           Main Payload Chase
                KD2JEE-9:            Drop payload Chase
                WB2EMS-7:        Airborne reconnaissance (weather permitting)
Our cross-band repeater will be configured as follows:
Repeater receives on:                   144.580 PL 103.5               (takes about ½ second to wake up Vox)
Repeater transmits on:                 447.025 at 100mw

More details for the flight are on our web site,  We will continue to update the content there as the flight nears.

Mike Hojnowski / KD2EAT
Advisor, Amateur Radio Club at Cornell

......These guys always do some pretty cool stuff! Good luck and Thanks for the update Mike!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Receive only antennas

On the morning commute/coffee clutch this morning a few of us had an interesting conversation about receive only antennas. We talked about long random wires strung around the yard and maybe using a chain link fence to support a wire antenna. The topic of the tried and true Beverage antenna also came into the discussion. As we shared ideas I thought we ought to highlight some of  the places to find good information on various receive only antenna options here on

Many of the HF rigs today have a separate receive only antenna port for this purpose. Seasoned DXers will tell you about some nice low noise performance with receive only antenna designs. Many of us also like to experiment with DC to daylight SDR receivers and any/ALL options for the best receive antennas to use with them. I did a brief search for some background and ideas for the best receiving antennas out there. In my search I found some very interesting articles and web pages. Here are a few on-line spots I found that you can start with:

WØBTU Beverage Receiving Antennas
How to build your own one- or two-wire Beverage antennas that work great.

W8JI Receive Antenna site link:

W8JI Beverage antenna info link:

VE6EY Bevearge antenna article:

DX Zone receiving antenna ideas/links:

W7VO Beverage Antenna link:

Let us know about your favorite receive antenna at or leave a comment here.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Results from the 2019 State of our hobby survey

We ran across a link to a survey done by N8RMA on the state of the Amateur Radio hobby. This is a
pretty interesting survey and the results we hope will interest you. The analysis of the results will hopefully give us all something to think about as the wave of technology change continues to influence the world and our hobby.

Check it out and tell us what you think in the comments section below this post! (and share it with others!) ...maybe a topic for a future club meeting or Net.

Find the survey results here:

Saturday, April 6, 2019

NIST WWV Time and Frequency station - 100 year celebration in 2019

(from ARRL News 2/14/19)

According to the ARRL news; The fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget — once signed — will include full funding for the WWV stations, which also mark their 100th year this fall. The WWV Centennial Committee has a tentative agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to mount a special event station this fall adjacent to the WWV site in Colorado to mark the 100th anniversary of the time and frequency standard station, the world’s oldest continuously operating radio station. A memorandum of understanding is in the works.

Dave Swartz, W0DAS, of the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club (NCARC) heads the committee, which is developing plans for an NCARC special event from September 28 through October 2, with a NIST centennial observance tentatively set for October 1.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

DMR training collaboration in Upstate NY

.......very nice story from Pete; NY2V:

Last Fall, a group from the Liverpool Amateur Repeater Club (LARC) collaborated in developing a comprehensive program designed to showcase the emerging technology behind Digital Mobile Radio (DMR).  We conducted our first full day program, DMR College to the Upstate New York Amateur Radio community in Syracuse this past October.  By all accounts, it was well received and was considered to be quite successful.

Word spread across the region and we were approached by the Greene County ARES group to conduct a similar program in the Catskill Region.  Len Signoretti, N2LEN, worked hard to procure space in the Greene County Public Safety Center, send out the invitations, and coordinate all the details.

On Saturday, March 30th, Rich Kilmartin (WB2WAU), Pete Sochocki (NY2V), Ron Panetta (WB2WGH), and Joe Apuzzo (N1JTA) presented a full day of information and skill development in utilizing DMR.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Drumlins Hamfest, Sat. April 27th, 2019

(editors note: This is one of our favorite Hamfests in Upstate NY! This club does a great job and always has a very good turn out! If you have never been, we think you should give it a try!)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

International Museum Ship Weekend - June 1st and 2nd

In anticipation of the International Museum Ship Weekend Event on June 1st and 2nd, W2LGA will be setting up a special event station at the H Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, NY.

The station will be set up at the LT-5 WWII tugboat. This tug was used during the Normandy invasion of June 6, 1944. D-Day! It is the last remaining, fully restored tugboats that were used during Operation Overlord.

All amateurs are welcome to stop by and ragchew or try to make a contact or two!! Questions or inquiries can be made via Fred Legawiec, W2LGA or by viewing the H Lee White Maritime Museum website. link:

Hours of operation are planned to be from 8am until 5pm daily. All plans should be finalized by mid-May.

from Fred Legawiec, W2LGA

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Spring 2019 SkyWarn Training

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton has started spring SkyWarn training. They have both on-line and local training classes available. I can personally speak of the great job the NWS Binghamton office does with this training. (Buffalo and Albany offices are also doing spring training - see their websites for details)

What is SKYWARN?
The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

More on SkyWarn and Amateur Radio      here:

See the BGM NOAA-SkyWarn Training schedule here:

Friday, March 22, 2019

Geomagnetic storm warning - Saturday 3/23/19

From,  link:

GEOMAGNETIC STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters say there is a 75% chance of geomagnetic storms on March 23rd when a coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field. Storm levels could reach category G2, which is moderately strong. During G2-class storms, auroras may be seen in northern-tier US states as far south as New York and Idaho. Aurora alerts: SMS textemail.
BIG CRACKLING SUNSPOT: A few days ago, sunspot AR2736 didn't exist. Now, the rapidly-growing active region (movie) stretches across more than 100,000 km of the solar surface and contains multiple dark cores larger than Earth. Moreover, it has a complicated magnetic field that is crackling with C-classsolar flares. The sunspot is inset in this magnetic map of the sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

Ham Radio for Kids - Newark NY - March 23rd

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

‘Light up 2 Meters Night’ – an FM simplex event - March 24th

by W5KV

It’s time for ‘Light up 2 Meters Night’ – an FM simplex event that encourages ham radio operators to get out portable or operate from home and light up the 2 meter airwaves with some FM Simplex! Taking place on March, 24, 2019, from 6-8pm local time. This event encourages new & seasoned ham radio operators to enjoy a band that is all too often left quiet and to encourage communication within your community.

Learn more at:

(forwarded from Barry; KD4MCB - Thanks Barry! )

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Mentors Needed for New ARRL Emergency Communications Course

More Mentors Needed for New ARRL Emergency Communications Course Sessions

(From the ARRL 03/11/2019)

High interest in the recently announced updated ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001) course is prompting a call for additional class mentors to help meet the demand, which ARRL Lifelong Learning Manager Kris Bickell, K1BIC, says “exceeded our projections.” As Bickell explains, the course is designed to be interactive, with volunteer mentors guiding each session.

“We appreciate the work of the mentors to make EC-001 an interactive experience for the participants. The real-world emergency communications experience they bring to the course is very important to the learning process,” Bickell said. “We look forward to bringing in more mentors to help ARRL expand the reach of this valuable emergency communications training.” Bickell has developed a waiting list for prospective EC-001 students, who will be notified as additional sessions are scheduled.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Why Radio Amateurs are called Hams

(Original story from Florida Skip Magazine - 1959) 

Have you ever wondered why radio amateurs are called "HAMS?"

Well, it goes like this: The word "HAM" was the station CALL of the first amateur wireless station that was operated by some amateurs at the Harvard Radio Club. They were ALBERT S. HYMAN, BOB ALMY and POOGIE MURRAY. In the early pioneer days of unregulated radio amateur operators picked their own frequency and their own call-letters. At first they called their station "HYMAN-ALMY-MURRAY". Tapping out such a long name in code soon became tiresome and called for a revision. They changed it to "HY-AL-MU," using the first two letters of each of their names. Early in 1901 some confusion resulted between signals from amateur wireless station "HYALMU" and a Mexican ship named "HYALMO." They then decided to use only the first letter of each name, and their station CALL became "HAM" Then, as now, some amateurs had better signals than commercial stations. The resulting interference came to the attention of congressional committees in Washington and Congress gave much time to proposed legislation designed to critically limit amateur radio activity.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Balloon tracker - falling near Utica NY (3/8/19 - 11:30am)

(a message from our Balloon enthusiast friend Jim....if you are near Utica please keep an eye (or ear) out for it)

Launched a experimental balloon this morning and appears to have failed and is dropping near Utica,NY. Seen here as U3S29 -!mt=roadmap&mz=8&qm=1_day&f=U3S29&q=!RS_*;

Balloon is large and shiny,maybe someone will find it?

Tracker uses 20m band WSPR / QRSS @ 14095.60 mhz USB.

Maybe someone will see it in a tree somewhere.. :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

RARA Workshop - Electronic Components — March 9th

RaRa Academy Workshops

Electronic Components

March 2019 — Electronic Components — March 9th (10AM to Noon)
For the March Academy we will have a jam-packed discussion of the basic properties of common electronic components.
The goal is to give participants a basic understanding of common parts for kit building and basic repair.
We will cover the basic components, their characteristics, schematics symbols, uses, how to read them and how to test some of them. Types will include:
•   Passive Components such as: resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, relays, lamps and indicators, wire gauges & ratings, connectors etc.
•   Active Components such as: transistors, ICs, tubes, opto-couplers etc.
•   Assemblies and Modules, such as: displays, controllers, RF modules, etc.
•   Basic Testing of Components - Using DVM, LCR Meter and Transistor Testing Techniques
This Session will be hosted by Scott Theis, W2LW, with Karl Heinz Kremer, K5KHK assisting.

You can sign up for Academy Workshops by emailing You can also sign-up at the General Meeting on March 6th.
Please take advantage of the RaRa sponsored training and operating opportunities.
Timothy Brown,
FCC Callsign: WB2PAY
RaRa Education Coordinator