2017 FARA Christmas Party

posted Nov 1, 2017, 9:35 AM by L Gray   [ updated Nov 1, 2017, 2:58 PM ]

The 2017 FARA Christmas Party will be held on December 14, at the Falmouth Yacht Club.  The cost is $30 per person-with a cash bar. Bring a gift for the gift swap, which is always a highlight. The fun begins at 6:30 PM. 

Checks can be sent to the FARA PO Box, or brought in person to the upcoming Saturday meeting at the club station.  Payment of $30 per person can also be made via PayPal by clicking the button below.

Jamboree On the Air

posted Oct 24, 2017, 4:38 AM by L Gray   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 4:39 AM ]

FARA members setup antennas and three amateur radio stations--SSB, Digital, and 2 meter FM.  It was very busy, with scouts operating from the stations throughout the event.  The event ran from 9AM until 2PM and we were busy enough that I did not get out of my chair for the entire time.  Approximately 40 Boy Scouts from Troop 40 and Girl Scouts from Troop 62010 were able to get on the air at one or more of the operating stations.  FARA members Glen Dowden (KC1GKT) and Henry Brown (K1WCC) did most of the organizing, with assistance from FARA members: Gerry Campbell (KB1NNH), Gene Bradeen (KX1C), Jay Sherlock (WB4KYW), Brent Putnam (W1NCH), Charlie Bresnahan (K1CB), George Jones (N1GJ), and Larry Gray (W1IZZ).  

In addition to the operating stations, Brent did his ever popular clothes pin key building activity.  Gerry introduced visitors to amateur radio via a slide show and a series of posters.  The Safety Fair Jamboree on the Air event was a great opportunity to showcase  amateur radio for the scouts and gain publicity for FARA.  Several scouts expressed interest in becoming licensed.

The images below are courtesy of Gerry Campbell and Glen Dowden.


Show and Tell - FARA Sep Meeting

posted Oct 12, 2017, 10:29 AM by L Gray   [ updated Oct 12, 2017, 1:18 PM ]

The September FARA meeting was held at the club station located on Joint Base Cape Cod.  The meeting space was overflowing with members, as shown in the photo.  The meeting featured "show and tell" short presentations from several members, which are summarized below.

Compact Mobile VHF Rig:

Don, N1JCT, showed his new VHF mobile, a Baojie BJ-218 2m/440 mobile radio purchased on Amazon for $70. Made in China. Radio dimensions ...4.5" x 4" x 1". Output….5-10-25 watts drawing max of 5 amps. Head is not detachable. Comes with programming cable. Programs with 
Chirp with appropriate software available on line. Was a bit difficult to match the software with the cable chip. (NOTE : This radio is same as Luiton 725-UV...Chirp recognizes and will program the Luiton name/model, but not the Baojie name/model! ) Can change display lights to different colors for monitoring, transmitting, receiving. 

As shown in the images below, the radio sits on a shelf below his car's dash. A factory hole in the shelf provides cable routing. The three cables: power, speaker and antenna are all routed with the help of split tubing, adhesive tie wrap mounts and tie wraps for a neat 


Inexpensive DMR HT:

Alan, K1AMJ, showed his newly acquired Radioddity GD-77 dual band, DMR/analog transceiver.  The radio is $99.99 with a programming cable and an extra battery.  See for more information.

BitX-40 Transceiver Kit:

Jason, W5IPA, showed his version of the popular BitX-40, 40 meter QRP transceiver kit.  See for details.

American Morse Straight Key Kit:

Brent, W1NCH, showed his version of the American Morse straight key kit.

Raspberry Pi Display:

Brent also showed a display monitor for the Raspberry Pi, making a nice portable package for a Pi-based project.  The display uses a DROK LM2596 Digital Control Voltage Regulator (5-32V to 0-30V 24V to 12V 5V), $8.99, from Amazon to provide power.  The Raspberry Pi Display Screen Monitor - SunFounder 10.1 Inch HDMI 1280x800 LCD for Raspberry Pi 3 is $115 from Amazon.

Microwave Coax Switch:

Brent showed a microwave coax switch made from a Transco SP6T coax switch typically $20-40 used from and a W6PQL 12 to 28vdc converter available from

Headphone Amplifier:

Larry, W1IZZ, showed a headphone amplifier built from an article in August, 2015 QST.  A copy of the article and a parts list is attached below.

RS-HFIQ Single Board 5 watt HF Transceiver:

Larry also showed a single board SDR "kit" from HobbyPCB.  The RS-HFIQ is an open-source HF transceiver project designed to translate I and Q baseband signals to RF in the 80/60/40/30/20/17/15/12/10M Amateur Radio bands. The I and Q signals must be provided/processed by external signal processing which is usually a PC running HDSDR (open source SDR software).  The images below show the transceiver in its enclosure with a small external USB sound card from and show the HDSDR display.  Numerous contacts have been made using the transceiver with good audio reports.  Further information is available at

FARA Fest 2017

posted Sep 30, 2017, 8:55 AM by L Gray

FARA-Fest 2017 will be held on November 04, 2017, 9am-noon, at  Upper Cape Regional Technical School.  See the attached FARA-Fest flyer for additional  information.  FARA-Fest contacts are Ralph Swenson or Don Zaffini .

Pay for your table space using PayPal:

Jamboree on the Air at Falmouth Safety Fair

posted Sep 22, 2017, 2:32 PM by L Gray   [ updated Sep 23, 2017, 5:44 AM ]

FARA will be participating in the annual Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) with a booth at the Falmouth Safety Fair on October 21, 2017.

Henry Brown, K1WCC, has obtained a special event call sign - W1BSA! The goal is to show all attendees (specifically any Scouts, Boy or Girl) what ham radio has to offer and get them on the air!

Volunteers are needed to operate several stations as demo's and to help get folks on the air:
  • CW station
  • HF voice (SSB)
  • Digital (likely PSK31) with a big screen
  • 2m HT and/or mobile

Tables and chairs are provided - we need to supply the equipment and antennas! Henry has verified that it is a radio quiet zone, so we can use all bands from 80 to 2 meters!

We are coordinating with another JOTA event in Yarmouth for local 2m communications. If you can't assist with the event itself, but are available on the 21st, we could also use you and your station to make contacts!

Please contact Glen, KC1GKT, at

For more information about JOTA, see:

FARA Hams at Boxboro

posted Sep 22, 2017, 2:25 PM by L Gray   [ updated Sep 22, 2017, 2:32 PM ]

A number of familiar FARA faces were seen at the Boxboro New England ARRL Convention and HamFest:

Images courtesy of Charlie, K1CB.

Community Emergency Response Team Training

posted Aug 3, 2017, 4:28 PM by L Gray   [ updated Aug 3, 2017, 4:28 PM ]

Want to join an amazing team of community volunteers?
Attend our upcoming CERT training...

The CERT class will be held on Wednesday nights, 6 to 8 PM beginning on September 14th and ending on October 19th. The class will be held at Falmouth Fire Rescue Headquarters, 399 Main Street, Falmouth, in the Emergency Operations Center on the second floor.

Anyone interested in attending can register for the class and fill out the 'Application for Volunteer Service' and the 'CORI' form here: 

Joseph Gordon at 6000 Sheriff's Place, Bourne MA, 02532 or fax it to 508-563-4581.

Field Day Educational Activity

posted Jul 3, 2017, 7:25 AM by L Gray   [ updated Jul 3, 2017, 7:25 AM ]

If you missed Field Day and Brent's antenna building activity, you can access the instructions for building an inexpensive 2 Meter co-linear vertical by clicking the link:  2 Meter Co-linear vertical instructions or just click on the image to enlarge it.

Field Day 2017

posted Jun 27, 2017, 7:33 AM by L Gray   [ updated Jun 30, 2017, 9:01 AM ]

FARA Field Day 2017 was a great time.  Setup and tear-down went very smoothly with a relatively large crew of veteran and new FARA volunteers.  There was torrential rain early Saturday morning, but the rain stopped well before operation began at 1400.  We were well fed with a cookout Saturday evening, breakfast Sunday morning, and a lunch cookout Sunday afternoon.  

Various station operators, a nice mix of veterans and new members, managed approximately 2,096 contacts in three modes; CW, SSB, and PSK-31 (a digital mode).  The VHF station was relatively active with openings into the South and the Mid-West.  Brent, W1NCH, managed to make a satellite contact, which gave us a 100 point bonus.  The preliminary total score, including various bonus points, appears to be approximately 7,700 points--a good showing, particularly without full-time CW operation.

If you missed Field Day, you missed a good time.  Thanks to everyone who assisted in making Field Day 2017 a success.







posted Jun 21, 2017, 2:28 PM by L Gray   [ updated Jun 21, 2017, 2:31 PM ]

WHEREAS Amateur radio operators are celebrating over a century of radio,
and the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association (FARA) is celebrating more
than 85 years; and

WHEREAS Amateur radio has provided, and continues to provide, a bridge
between peoples, societies and countries by creating friendships and
sharing ideas worldwide; and

WHEREAS Amateur radio operators have provided countless hours of
community services in emergencies and local organizations throughout
these decades; and

WHEREAS These amateur radio services are provided without compensation;

WHEREAS The Town recognizes the services FARA provides to our many
emergency response organizations, including the Falmouth Fire & Rescue
Department; and

WHEREAS FARA has further demonstrated their value in public assistance
by providing communications for local events such as the Falmouth Road
Race and the Cape Cod Marathon; and

WHEREAS The Town of Falmouth recognizes and appreciates the diligence of
these hams who also serve as weather spotters in the Skywarn program of
the United States’ Weather Bureau; and

WHEREAS The American Radio Relay League is the national organization for
Amateur Radio in the United States; and

WHEREAS The League’s Field Day exercise will take place on June 24-25,
2017, and is a 24hour emergency preparedness exercise and demonstration
of the radio amateurs’ skills and readiness to provide self supporting
communications without further infrastructure being required.
NOW, THEREFORE, WE Susan L. Moran, Megan English Braga, Doug Jones,
Samuel H. Patterson and Douglas C. Brown, as Selectmen of the Town of
Falmouth, by the authority vested in us, do hereby PROCLAIM,

IN WITNESS THEREOF, we have hereunto set our hand and caused the great
seal of the Town of Falmouth to be affixed.

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