Thursday, December 31, 2020

Skyline Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, scheduled for 1/9/2021 is cancelled

 From Andy; KB2LUV

Just letting you know that the Hamfest scheduled for January 9th, 2021 in Marathon NY has been cancelled. Although we notified the ARRL, it is in the December QST as happening; which is not the case.  

We hope conditions will be favorable for our summer hamfest on June 12th at the Cortland County Fairgrounds, and that we will see you there!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Andrew Slaugh KB2LUV

Secretary, Skyline Amateur Radio Club

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Winter Field Day - 2021


As winter weather starts to arrive in Upstate NY, its time to start thinking about Winter Field Day! This can be a fun opportunity to make some contacts from inside or out. Winter Field Day, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA), will take place over the January 28-29 weekend. The event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter, but it’s also an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. 

“Don’t let those winter doldrums keep you locked up in the house,” the WFDA says. “Get out and play some radio!” The WFDA said it believes that maintaining operating skills should not be limited to fair-weather scenarios.The event is not restricted to North America. All Amateur Radio operators around the world are invited to participate, and there are three entry categories — indoor, outdoor, and home.

More info at:

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Sunspot Cycle 25 - best ever?

 Story from the Science Daily:

"Official" NASA prediction
According to a new article published in Solar Physics, a team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is predicting that the Sunspot Cycle that started this fall could be one of the strongest since record-keeping began. This contradicts the "official" NASA prediction which forecasts a fairly weak cycle, much like Cycle 24.

The article points out the evolving science and new studies that look to better understand the sunspot cycle. "Scientists have struggled to predict both the length and the strength of sunspot cycles because we lack a fundamental understanding of the mechanism that drives the cycle," said NCAR Deputy Director Scott McIntosh, a solar physicist who led the study. "If our forecast proves correct, we will have evidence that our framework for understanding the Sun's internal magnetic machine is on the right path.

Things could be looking up for those of us who enjoy the fruits of a more active sunspot cycles for enhancing our amateur communications. Read more about these new predictions below.

Link to the Science Daily article:

NASA's Cycle 25 official prediction:

Saturday, December 12, 2020

MARS civilian volunteers stand ready for emergencies in Syracuse

Very interesting article on the DVIDs web site explaining the MARS program at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse NY.

The article shares stories of several area Hams and also that the Syracuse MARS team is one of the most active in New York state.

The Military Auxiliary Radio System is run by the Air Force and Army, and manned by civilian amateur radio operators who donate their time and talents to maintaining an emergency short-wave radio communications system to back up traditional communications network

According to Master Sgt. Linda Walker, 174th Radio and Spectrum Non-Commissioned Officer, hosting the MARS station is beneficial to the 174th Attack Wing because they will be able to provide communication in any type of emergencies including nuclear attacks and natural disasters.

“We’d be happy to train up anybody on how to use the equipment,” said Bridges. “If there was enough interest, we’d even teach classes for people to get their amateur radio license.

If interested in joining a USAF MARS team, contact their hotline at (888)778-6277(MARS) or send an email to

Read the full article:

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Santa Net - Thanksgiving thru 12/24/20

For the 15th consecutive year, The 3916 Nets will be presenting The Santa Net on 3.916 MHz. Good
girls and boys can talk to Santa Claus, via amateur radio, nightly at 7:15 PM (Central) starting Friday, November 27, 2020. The Santa Net will run nightly at 7:15 PM Central through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020.

Pete Thomson (KE5GGY), of The 3916 Nets, commented on The 3916 Santa Net. He said, "Christmastime and Santa Net are the best time of the year on 3916. We enjoy helping young people and their families have a shared Christmas experience that they'll always remember.   And we get to introduce young people to the magic of amateur radio."

Youngsters can talk to "Santa at The North Pole" via strategically placed operators who relay the voice of Santa. Thomson said that The Santa Net is a team effort that involves the efforts of a number of 3916 Net members. He said, "In our first year, we connected 10 kids to Santa on Ham Radio and it's grown steadily since. This year we should connect over 800 children with Santa Claus."

Prior to each night's Santa Net, pre-net check-ins can be made at Third party rules and regulations apply.

The Santa Nets are presented annually by The 3916 Nets. The Rag Chew Crew, The Tailgaters and The Freewheelers are all amateur radio nets that meet on 3.916 MHz nightly. For more information on The 3916 Nets, go to   For more information on The Santa Net, email KE5GGY at Gmail dot com.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Propagation Research Project - Help Needed!!!


Volunteers Needed for Propagation Research Project
From our friends at HamSCI...

HamSCI ( is looking for amateur radio operators around the world to help collect propagation data during the December 14 eclipse across South America. Data collection requires an HF radio connected to a computer.
There will be 24-hour practice runs on November 21 and December 5. The main data recording will run from December 9-16, to ensure an abundance of control data.
Details of the experiment may be found here:
Instructions are also available in Spanish and Portuguese. 
Interested operators should sign up at this link ( or directly contact Kristina Collins at

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

SkyWarn Recognition Day 2020 - 12/5/20

 from the SkyWarn Jacksonville Fla. Team:

00 -24 UTC December 5th, 2020

On behalf of the SRD Planning Team, I want to take a little of your time to formally announce that Skywarn Recognition Day 2020 (SRD 2020) is a go.

However, like all things 2020, expect significant changes and a ‘new normal’.

NWS Offices will be out of play this year. Due to the staffing constraints related to COVID, running base stations from NWS offices have been removed from the picture.

So, what are we doing?

This will be open to all Skywarn Spotters including amateur radio and non-amateur radio operators.

  • Skywarn Recognition Day Webpage is operational
  • Amateur Radio Skywarn Operators are encouraged to reach out to all who have registered (the registration is up and running.)
  • NWS Operations may need to work on developing liaison methods (NWSChat/Other Comms) to collaborate with off-site amateur radio net control operators
    • Coordinate this locally
  • Skywarn Recognition Facebook page has been setup –
    • Social Media will be active – and we are working on setting up a series of live streams throughout the 24 hour period.
    • Including a ‘Faces of Skywarn” interactive event!
    • Local Offices are encouraged to engage your local Skywarn Spotters during the day!

Certificating and Logging procedures are still being worked out – so check the SRD webpage frequently!

I have received a few questions and the most common are included here:

“Can we operate the NWS Amateur Station from a remote location?”

  • The simple answer is yes you can.
    • Since we cannot operate from within the NWS offices, remote operations are encouraged.
  • You must work with the station trustee to assure they are aware of and will permit this operation.
  • It is also recommended that this be ONE club/operator at any given time to avoid confusion (the registration allows you to identify operational time periods.)
  • ALL station operators should adhere to CDC. state and local guidelines (social distancing, face coverings, etc.)

“Is there a cost for participation?”

  • No, other than personal time and equipment.

“I don’t have an amateur radio license, can I still participate?”

  • Absolutely, this is open to ALL Skywarn Spotters (and actually for non-Skywarn Spotters)
  • This is an opportunity to promote and recognize Skywarn Spotters.

Skywarn Recognition Day Webpage –

Skywarn Recognition Day Facebook Page –

Skywarn Recognition Day Notification List – (put “Subscribe” in the subject line

What is Skywarn and learn about using it in Upstate NY:

Monday, October 26, 2020

SkyWarn Training - Fall/Winter 2020

 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:

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Sunday, August 2, 2020

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo - August 8-9 - check it out!

Full details at:

Wander the virtual exhibit hall but be sure to check out the lectures by some notable speakers...........

QSO Today called on its former guests and other expert amateur radio operators to create an amazing series of lectures in webinar format from one of our five virtual lecture halls.

All lectures are:
-fully live interactive with speaker during the session hour
-completely downloadable
-collateral materials are downloadable in PDF format
-everything available up to 30 days beyond the presentation

Some of the lectures/speakers:

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Batavia Hamfest - CANCELLED - 7/18/20

UPDATE from the Lancaster Amateur Radio Club, W2SO Facebook page on 7/16/20.......

The Lancaster Amateur Radio Club, W2SO is at Alexander Firemens Recreation Hall.
4h  · Alexander, NY
URGENT: It is with great disappointment that we are being forced to CANCEL the Batavia/Alexander Hamfest scheduled for 7/18/2020 at the last minute. Late yesterday we became aware of an issue between the Genesee County Health Department and NYS with regard to our event.  Our friends at the Alexander Fire Department and Genesee County Emergency Management Services and the Genesee Health Department worked hard over the last 24 hours to resolve the issue but could not. Being faced with the potential for large fines for both the Fire Department and our club, we are being forced to cancel the event. questions can be directed to Luke N2GDU at

Friday, July 10, 2020

Saratoga County Hamfest - Sunday 9/27/20 - CANCELLED 7/18/20

Saratoga County Hamfest is planned for Sunday 9/27/20 - CANCELLED - Updated 7/18/20

More info at:

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Net logger - check it out.......

Many, if not most Amateur radio nets today are using Netlogger to track check-ins and allow information passing through a chat window. If you particiapate in many Nets I am sure you have heard your net control op speak to the benefits of this app.

Take a minute to check it out!  (Read the Overview below)

More info and a link to download the program:

Also, check out the Netlogger viewer by K3CLR:

Saturday, May 16, 2020

RAGS Hamfest - Cancelled

RAGS Hamfest Cancellation


Due to the recent pandemic of Covid Virus the Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse is reluctant to say we are cancelling the RAGS Hamfest on July 11, 2020. We are sure you will understand as we are not even sure if the venue will be open and available.

The ARRL web site will also reflect this cancellation.

We will be looking forward to seeing you all at Hamfest 2021 thinking positive that conditions will be better by then.

On a brighter side we will however still be having several drawings as usual using the pre-sale tickets purchased by many for our prizes.

Thank you,

Roger WA2AEW
RAGS Hamfest Chairman

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Possible online VE Testing for Amateur Radio licensing exams

As we navigate the present demands of COVID-19 social distancing and stay at home guidance, many Hams are still interested in taking licensing exams. Most radio groups have  postponed or canceled their meetings and Hamfests where VE testing would have normally taken place. Several groups around the country are presently running remote testing trials to come up with long-term on-line testing options. The ARRL and other VE groups are presently evaluating these trial programs and hope to have new testing options available in the near future.

Learn more about the possibilities through the following links:

ARRL press release:

Info from HamStudy blog:

New England SCiTech online courses and exams:

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

RARA - Online DMR class - Saturday 5/2/20

RaRa Academy
Digital Mobile Radio as an Online Class
DMR Image Thanks to KE2YK
Saturday May 2nd, 2020 (10:00am-noon — Note the Time Change!)
Saturday’s RaRa Academy will cover Digital Mobile Radio or DMR. A DMR radio is made up of three layers: Network, Link and Radio. Course topics will include:
•  Brandmeister dashboard and learn about talk groups
•  Repeaters and hot spots
•  Radio with zones, channels and scan lists
•  CPS programming tool, code plugs, and how to program the radio
•  Operations and digital nets
With COVID-19 upon us, this academy will be an online video conference using the Zoom platform. To participate in the conference, first download Zoom to your PC or Smartphone at
The pre-registration link:
Latest information and link also available at:
Please register before the 10:00am session. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the actual Academy Zoom Session. Please remember to mute your audio after you enter the zoom session (mute icon located in the lower left portion of the zoom screen).
Presenter: Rich Hoffarth, K2AXP
Fusion will be covered in separate online class on May 16th.
Take advantage of the RaRa sponsored training and operating opportunities, have fun!

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

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Covid-19 Heroes - Special Event station - May 1st-31st

April 17, 2020

As New York amateur radio operators, we have a unique opportunity to do something positive during a pandemic that has also turned New York State into a deadly hotspot.

We can express our gratitude to all those men and women on the front lines who are taking personal risks every day to tend to the needs of the healthy among us as well as the sick and even those whose lives were taken in this crisis.

Special Event Station K2H will help us do that. With the coordination of the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club in Lindenhurst, N.Y., Suffolk County, we will be on the air starting May 1st and will continue our operation through the end of the month in each county throughout the state.

That’s where you come into the picture; By joining us in activating K2H (with the suffix of your NY county appended, for example, K2H/SUF for Suffolk), you will be able to help everyone say thanks to those who are helping guide us through an unprecedented crisis – whether by keeping watch on quarantine enforcement, keeping food store shelves well-stocked or tending to the sick.

Friday, April 3, 2020

ARRL update on Field Day 6/27-28, 2020

Field Day (6/27-28) 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

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 are 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


Dave Casler KE0OG - "Noise" YouTube Videos (1&2):

NK7Z web site with many RFI mitigation articles:

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

Another very good RFI site:

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.