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: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-73A1.pdf

link to ARRL news notice: http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-issues-enforcement-advisory-radio-users-reminded-not-to-use-radios-in-crimes

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 tickets@hamvention.org 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: https://hamvention.org/

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: http://www.arrl.org/arrl-learning-network

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: https://www.upstateham.com/2020/12/winter-field-day-2021.html ). 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: https://www.upstateham.com/p/2014-upstate-hamfests-that-i-have-heard.html

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