Saturday, May 1, 2021

RAGS Hamfest 2021 - new location, new flyer!


5/1 note from the RAGS Team:

Note we have the usual nice prizes, with the top prize being a $500 Gift Certificate to DX Engineering.  Universal Radio closed their storefront last fall, but they were gracious enough to donate a number of smaller prizes, again this year.

You can buy tickets online at and pay with any major credit card or PayPal.   We are still offering the 5 tickets/$20 group discount!!!

Also, Roger,WA2AEW, has tickets.

Jerry, NK2C

Friday, April 23, 2021

Updated Radio Frequency Exposure rules

From ARRL News - 04/12/2021

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile — such as different antenna or placement or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

Read the full ARRL News story at:

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Zoom today: "Summits on the Air" strategy with the June VHF Contest?

 All are invited to attend today's Rochester VHF Group session at 11AM, on Zoom.  It is  geared to VHF FMers and narrowband SSB/CW operators alike!

What do you get when you mix a "Summits on the Air" strategy with the June VHF Contest?  F-U-N, while building orienteering, emergency communication, rovering, competition/sporting, and general operating skill.

Published author and nationally recognized amateur radio enthusiast Bob Witte (K0NR) will join us on Saturday, April 17 at 11:00 AM ET to share his experience and strategies with us.  As always, this will include audience Q&A, too!

All are invited!  You don't have to be a member of the VHF Group to attend.  Register now to get a link.

Ev, W2EV
Rochester VHF Group

Sunday, April 4, 2021

RAGS Hamfest - July 10th


The date published in the recent RAGS Review was incorrect.  The location and correct date is:






Saturday, April 3, 2021

World Amateur Radio Day - Sunday April 18th

World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) is coming up on Sunday April 18th. 2021 marks the 96th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), founded at the 1925 International Radiotelegraph Conference in Paris. 

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short-wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.

From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include over 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia.

Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio. Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with more than 3,000,000 licensed operators!

April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide and the fun we have.

IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for WARD 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19, amateur radio stands out as a welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities.

Learn more about WARD info:


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Scientists Warn RF May Disappear Completely by 2040

A new study published in the science journal "Standing Waves"(April 1st edition) shows that RF signals are disappearing at an alarming rate.  Some scientists are going so far as to say that if action is not taken immediately, the airwaves could be completely silent by 2040.

Read more:


Thursday, March 11, 2021

Skywarn Training - Spring 2021

Spring SKYWARN Spotter Training Classes are coming!

Most upstate NY counties are conducting SkyWarn Training in March, April and May.

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 (some advanced classes available). These classes train volunteers how to accurately observe and report hazardous weather to the National Weather Service. The classes are 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-CNY):
Buffalo (Rochester-WNY):
Albany(ENY) :

Learn more about SKYWARN and Amateur Radio at:

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Bear Bait Radio Club Tech VE class and test - 4/24-25

 Upcoming Bear Bait Radio Club Tech VE class and test

 April 24th & 25th 2021 From 8AM to 5 PM each day. Test on Sunday.

Clay Highway Building
4483 State Rt 31, Clay NY 13041

Monday, February 15, 2021

CNY C4FM Yaesu Fusion Digital Net

 message from Andy; W2AND

C4FM Fusion NET on Thursday nights at 8pm

On Pat's WN8Z 147.39 Repeater in Fulton NY

Hosted by W2AND; Andy

Grab your Yaesu and have some digital fun!


Andy; W2AND

Monday, February 8, 2021

One of our favorite sites for interesting & timely SWL information


If you have even the slightest interest in short wave listening, SDR or amateur radio, you really should check out this blog. The editor and primary contributor on the SWLing Post is Thomas Witherspoon (K4SWL / M0CYI). He has been a passionate supporter of shortwave radio and international broadcasting most of his life. He also has stories from various contributors from around the world.

As they describe themselves: "The SWLing Post is a community of shortwave radio and amateur radio enthusiasts sharing shortwave radio reviews, news, broadcasting, pirate radio, numbers stations, interviews, and much more". 

We have been long time followers and highly recommend the site for interesting, quality information. Check it out today at:

Saturday, February 6, 2021

MARS announces dates for 60-meter interoperability

 from SouthGate:

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) has announced dates in 2021 during which MARS members will operate on 60 meters for interoperability with the amateur radio community. Some dates coincide with quarterly Department of Defense Communications Exercises (COMEX).

The first exercise will be on Feb 23-27, 2021.

Read the article with the full 2021 schedule at:

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Have you tried Simplex on 2M lately?

 Simplex on 2M can be a lot of fun. If you haven't tried it in a while, you should. You might be surprised by some of the distances you can communicate directly without a repeater.

146.52 Mhz the National 2M calling frequency is the place to start. I monitor it on a scanner and have been surprised how often you will hear someone these days. Since the Pandemic started last year, there seems to be many more folks on the air, so  give it a try. If you are using any of the digital voice modes (D-Star, Fusion, P25, NXDN), consider starting on 146.52 and then moving to an alternate frequency (like 146.535,  146.550 , 146.565 and 146.580 Mhz) out of courtesy to others who might only have analog capabilities.

Also, in Central NY there is a Simplex net held twice a month. Check it out:

CNY (Syracuse) 2m Simplex Night – Net Control: Larry Rausch KD2MTG

7pm on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month (with exception to holidays)

146.580 Mhz Primary. 

Conceptual Local Cross Band Repeat system set up on 446.600 Mhz (NO PL) for stations to try if location / propagation presents difficulties.

Monday, January 18, 2021

FCC is concerned about social media talk of using radio services

from RADIO WORLD 1/17/21

FCC Warning: Don’t Use Ham Radio or CBs to Plan Crimes

Enforcement Bureau is concerned about social media talk of using radio services:

The Federal Communications Commission has issued an unusual weekend enforcement warning that boils down to this: Don’t use ham radio, CBs, FRS walkie-talkies or other personal radio services to plan crimes.

This comes as federal and local government and law enforcement officials around the country report concerns over possible terrorist attacks from disgruntled Trump supports enraged by the outcome of the election and stoked by the recent attack on the Capitol.

The Enforcement Bureau “has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities,” the FCC said in a statement issued Sunday morning.

“The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution,” it said. But it continued in bold font: “Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to facilitate crimes.”

The warning applies to ham radio operators and users of services like Citizen’s Band, Family Radio Service walkie-talkies and General Mobile Radio service.

Specifically, amateur licensees are reminded that they are prohibited from transmitting “communications intended to facilitate a criminal act” as well as “messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.” Users in the Personal Radio Services like CBs are prohibited from using them “in connection with any activity that is against federal, state or local law.”

link to FCC Enforcement Advisory:

link to ARRL news notice:

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Saratoga County ARA’s Virtual Hamfest on Saturday, January 23, 2021

 Saratoga County ARA’s Virtual Hamfest :

Our virtual Amateur Radio Hamfest will be packed with speakers, vendors, and a ground breaking virtual Swapfest, it will be a great way for Hams of all ages to come together to learn more about the latest developments in amateur radio.   And best of all, you can attend from anywhere through the convenience of your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  And there is no charge for attendees !!

Here is the link where you can register for Saratoga County ARA’s Virtual Hamfest on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

A link to the On-Line Event page will be sent to all registrants a few days prior to the event.
Please note that registration is limited to 300 Attendees.   
Here is the tentative Agenda for your reference:




9:45 – 10:00

Opening Remarks


10:00 – 10:45

Working the Ham Radio Satellites


10:45 – 11:00

Virtual Swapfest Session 1


11:00 – 11:45

Division Update


11:45 – 1:00

Virtual Ragchew & Lunch


1:00 – 1:45

Hardware store HF antenna


1:45 – 2:00

Virtual Swapfest Session 3


2:00 – 2:45

Exotic Dxpeditions

K1XM and KQ1F

2:45 – 3:00

Virtual Swapfest Session 4


3:00 – 3:45

Parks on the Air


3:45 – 4:00

Closing Remarks


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Dayton Hamvention 2021 - Canceled

from the Hamvention website 1/11/21:

Unfortunately, several setbacks in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic make necessary the difficult decision to cancel Hamvention 2021. Hundreds of volunteers have been working to do everything necessary to bring this Hamvention to the many amateur radio enthusiasts and vendors who support the Dayton Hamvention.

Vaccine distribution both in the United States and around the world is lagging behind what was planned. In addition, the emergence of a more communicable form of the COVID-19 virus increases the potential for further public health problems in the next few months. We make this difficult decision for the safety of our guests and vendors.

Those who had their tickets, inside booths or flea market spaces deferred last year will be deferred again. Those who purchased 2021 tickets, inside booths or flea market spaces will also be deferred. If you desire a refund instead please email and we will contact you.

Stay tuned for information about a QSO party for the 2021 Hamvention weekend. We are looking forward to the 2022 Hamvention!!!

Executive Committee, Dayton Hamvention 2021

link to Hamvention site:

Sunday, January 10, 2021

NEW! ARRL Learning Network Webinars

 The ARRL has a new member benefit you might want to take advantage of. You can participate live or catch the recorded session later. 

Link to ARRL LN webinar site on-line:

Learning Network Webinars

Overview: ARRL's Learning Network is a webinar series to help introduce members to the variety of activities and opportunities enjoyed by radio amateurs. These live presentations will be given by member-volunteers, for all members. Like hamfest forums and radio club presentations, the webinars are intended to help participants get more active, involved, and engaged in amateur radio. Presentations are 30-minutes each to accommodate attendee's busy schedules, followed by a 15-minute period for questions-and-answers. For additional information contact ARRL's Lifelong Learning department.

Upcoming Schedule

Amateur Radio Logging
Presented by Anthony Luscre, K8ZT
Discover the advantages of keeping an electronic Amateur Radio Log. Find out why you may need more than one software program for logging-contesting, digital modes, special events, etc. Learn about using one full-featured logging program to pull everything together, interface with outside databases, handle electronic QSLing, etc. The discussion will include file formats, importing and exporting data between programs, submitting contest logs online and safe backup of data.
Thursday January 14, 2021 @ 3:30 pm EST (2030 UTC)

Emergency Communications: Why Train?
Presented by Greg Evans, K5GTX - Section Emergency Coordinator for North Texas and Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Collin County
Why should we train? Utilizing Amateur Radio Operators in an EMCOMM situation is a key function that can save lives. As AROs, we must be able to respond to the needs of our served agencies quickly and responsibly. Topics covered include, Incident Command System and its relevance, building on consistent training, interoperability with multiple communications providers, interoperability with VOAD and partners, Mission One: Get the information delivered.
Thursday January 21, 2021 @ 3:30 pm EST (2030 UTC)

Easy Helical Copper Tape and PVC 2m Vertical Antenna
Presented by John Portune, W6NBC
Here's how to quickly build from hardware-store copper tape and PVC pipe a tiny 18 in. continuously loaded light weight portable or base station 2m omni-directional vertical antenna with performance and efficiency comparable to a 5 ft. J-pole. Cost: roughly $10. It's an easy afternoon's home brew project, ideal for the new ham but equal to the serious hams' needs. It is great for events like bike-a-thons. It also makes an excellent ham radio club hands-on build-it meeting project. Further, it adapts well to other bands.
Tuesday February 2, 2021 @ 1 pm EST (1800 UTC)

Interesting Stories about Ham Radio & Weather Spotting
Presented by Rob Macedo, KD1CY
One of the most critical ways Amateur Radio supports agencies such as the National weather service, National Hurricane Center and Emergency Management is via weather spotting via the NWS SKYWARN program. This presentation goes through interesting stories about how Amateurs involved in SKYWARN have saved lives and property and how this is an important Amateur Radio activity.
Thursday February 11, 2021 @ 8 pm EST (0100 UTC on Friday, February 12)

Maxim Memorial Station W1AW Tour
Presented by Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, W1AW Station Manager
Maxim Memorial Station W1AW, located in Newington, Connecticut was established to honor the memory of ARRL’s co-founder and first president, Hiram Percy Maxim.  Although the first radio station of the ARRL was actually located in Hartford, Connecticut and active as W1MK, W1AW in Newington is known worldwide and considered the radio station most associated with Hiram Percy Maxim. Formally established in 1938 – nearly two years after the death of Hiram Percy Maxim - W1AW has consistently been on the air, save for the time when the station was ordered off the air by the FCC because of World War II. This guided tour will provide an inside look at W1AW and will be led by Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q.
Thursday February 18, 2021 @ 3:30 pm EST (2030 UTC)

Recorded Webinars

ARRL members may use the recording links to view recorded webinars for personal use only. Members may also use the videos for presentations to ARRL-affiliated radio clubs. ARRL Learning Network recordings are subject to copyright, and all rights are reserved. Downloaded videos should be deleted after promptly viewing, and videos may not be stored, introduced to a retrieval system, or published or shared elsewhere. If you have any questions contact ARRL's Lifelong Learning department.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year! 

Here we go into a new year! It looks like we may be turning a corner with the Covid Pandemic which has affected all our lives in the past year. Hopefully we are reaching a peak and that things will improve as we go through the winter. We hope you and your family are safe and getting through these very challenging times. 

Hats off to the clubs and groups who got creative to hold on-line meetings, training events and VE exams during the pandemic. I attended several meetings that were very well run. I hope some of these types of meetings and trainings might stay as regular options for some of us who are challenged by distance or other circumstances! 

Don't forget that Winter Field day is coming up on January 30-31. Great time to get outside or participate from the warmth of your own shack. (learn more here: ). We are also very optimistic about sunspot cycle 25 which is looking more promising everyday!  Take a minute to check the low bands, as we have been finding finding some really nice openings lately!

We are hopeful that later this year hamfests and in-person meetings will start to be held as the situation improves. Watch our pages for Event updates as they become available. 

Our Events schedule:

From the team here at; Wishing you all Health and Happiness in 2021!