FARA Logging Workshop

posted Apr 8, 2018, 12:55 PM by L Gray   [ updated Apr 8, 2018, 12:56 PM ]

FARA held a logging workshop on Saturday, 7 April at the Falmouth EOC.  About 20 FARA members were in attendance.  Information on setting up and using the N1MM+ and N3FJP logging software was presented.  The images below were supplied by Norm, KB1TSE.

The information presented in the workshop is available on the FARA website, at Logging Workshop.


FARA Field Day 2018 Opportunities

posted Mar 20, 2018, 9:36 AM by L Gray   [ updated Mar 28, 2018, 5:39 AM ]

We have less than 100 days until Field Day 2018.  Setup begins on Friday, June 22.  Field Day operation takes place on Saturday-Sunday, June 23-24.  Teardown takes place after 1400 on Sunday, 24 June.  MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW!

There are numerous opportunities to participate in FARA's Field Day activities.  There is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of experience or physical condition.

The following positions need to be filled:
  • Field Boss - Directs setup and teardown of antennas and related equipment (FILLED)
  • Station Captain SSB Station - Sets up the SSB station and schedules operators (FILLED)
  • Station Captain CW Station - Sets up the CW station and schedules operators
  • Station Captain VHF Station - Sets up the VHF station and schedules operators
  • Station Captain GOTA station - Sets up the GOTA station and schedules operators (FILLED)
  • Food Captain - Procures and delivers food and related items for cookout on Saturday, solicits pot luck items
  • Media Publicity Coordinator - Develops and sends press releases to local media
  • Public Information Table Coordinator - Sets up a public information table with club handouts/information and visitor sign-in log
  • Satellite Station Captain - Sets up a satellite station and completes at least one satellite QSO
  • Alternate Power Coordinator - Sets up solar power/battery power and makes at least 5 QSO's using alternate power (FILLED)
  • Educational Activity Coordinator - Develops and presents a ham radio related  educational activity during Field Day
  • Youth Participation Coordinator - Recruits youth participants to make QSO's from the GOTA station
  • Safety Officer - Completes ARRL safety checklist and monitors safety during Field Day.
  • Operators - Operators are needed for the SSB, CW, and VHF stations to cover the 24 hour period from 1400 on Saturday, 23 June through 1400 Sunday, 24 June
  • Setup Crew - Several people are required to assist with retrieving equipment from the club storage container and setup of the towers, antennas and related items.  Most of this work is done on Friday, June 22.  
  • Teardown Crew - Several people are required to assist with taking down the towers and antennas, coiling coax, storing the equipment in the club storage container.  Teardown is done after 1400 on Sunday, June 24.  
There are opportunities for club members of any skill level or physical condition to assist with Field Day.

If you are available on the Field Day dates and would like to assist, please let me know via email.  Please include the opportunities of interest to you.  If you filled a position last year, hopefully, you will be available again this year.

Larry, W1IZZ
Field Day Coordinator

FARA Technician License Course Update

posted Mar 17, 2018, 11:00 AM by L Gray   [ updated Mar 17, 2018, 11:04 AM ]

Today, Saturday, 17 March, was the first day of the three day Technician license course.  Brent (W1NCH), Ralph (N1YHS), Earl (W1EEB), and Norm (KB1TSE) are the instructors, with assistance from other FARA members.  There are 12 potential new hams taking the course.  Given our track record, they are all likely to pass the license exam.


103rd Titanic Memorial Special Event

posted Feb 27, 2018, 8:04 AM by L Gray   [ updated Feb 27, 2018, 8:05 AM ]

The Marconi Memorial Radio Association, W1MGY, will be running a multi-day special event on April 12-15, 2018, to remember the loss of the Titanic and approximately 1,500 lives. This year the event is again being hosted by the Cape Cod National seashore.  W1MGY will operate from the old Coast Guard station at Coast Guard Beach, instead of from the visitors center used last year. 

Barry, KB1TLR, is coordinating/organizing the event.  If you are interested in helping setup or operating during the event, contact Barry at W1MGYCC (at)

FARA Members Participate in the AM Rally

posted Feb 15, 2018, 10:37 AM by L Gray   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 2:01 PM ]

A few FARA members participated in the 2018 AM Rally.  Steve, KB1VWC, operated using his classic Heathkit Mohawk and Apache tube rigs.  In contrast, Larry, W1IZZ operated with a Flex-6500 and solid state amp.  Participants used all manner of rigs, including a number of IC-7300's  Basically, any rig that can generate an AM signal can be used.   

Comments from FARA members follow:

From Steve Harris, KB1VWC:
Since participating in the inaugural event in 2017, I decided I need to participate again in 2018.   I recorded 167 contacts over 4 bands  in 30 states and 5 Canadian provinces.  These contacts were made running a 100W carrier AM signal out of a 1958 Heathkit Apache. Remember that a 100W AM carrier fully modulated gives you a pair of 25 watt sidebands, so equate these numbers to a 25W SSB signal.   On 160, 75 and 40 I have to say there were a lot of the AM community on the air.  By this I mean stations that I have more than likely spoken with in the past.  On 20 meters, this was definitely not the case.  Most of the contacts on 20 were either first time AM'ers or 1st contacts. Notables were Gary WQ5K out of OK. He was running a Ten-Tec Orion and stated this was his first AM contact in 40 years. N0BD out of IA running a home built pair of 813 modulated by a pair of 813’s. He wound up a new output coil for 20 meters just for the Rally.  WA8AHJ running a IC7300 (one of many on am) with his first AM contact since 1963.

The best contact, however, was Daniel, KC3FKR . On 40 meters, I spoke with Daniel for over 30 minutes--so much for contesting. He was running a DX-100 (1955) and listening on a Hammarlund HQ129 (1947).  Turns out Daniel is 17 years old; he fixed the DX100 and Hammarlund by himself and, with the help of W3GMS, Joe, an avid AM operator, got on the air.   He will be attending an EE program  in the fall.  I couldn’t convince him to apply to my alma-mater, WPI, but that is another story.

More of a social event, and for the promotion of AM as an alternative way for Hams to experiment with than a contest; the AM rally proved very enjoyable once again to operate.  Now if the Patriots had done better it would have made a perfect weekend.

From Matt Winters: 
Having used AM maybe twice in 20 years, I am going to have to check this out this evening. Thanks!

From Paul Silva:
First time listening to AM, great sound quality!

From Larry, W1IZZ:
I participated in 2017, but only found out about the 2018 AM Rally after it had already started. I worked the event a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, making 51 contacts across 80, 40, and 20 meters, in 23 states and 2 Canadian provinces.  A great combination of "heavy iron" old tube rigs, modern class D and E dedicated AM rigs, current transceivers, and SDR's.  Many people were making their first AM contacts.  A contact with Dave, K4CAE was his first AM contact in 50 years. 

Rob, KM4POP called me originally on SSB and switched to AM when I told him it was an AM event.  It was his first AM contact in 30 years.  Another fun set of contacts was with a husband/wife team, KX4EZ and KM4WRG, making contacts with a current transceiver and a G5RV.

As Steve noted, the AM Rally is more of a social event than a contest.  Each contact tended toward a rag-chew instead of the usual "QSL, 599" sort of contest contact.  The AM Rally is a great event and I encourage everyone to give AM a try during the 2019 AM Rally.

FARA Members Participate in Winter Field Day

posted Jan 30, 2018, 5:44 AM by L Gray   [ updated Jan 30, 2018, 6:26 AM ]

Several FARA members participated in Winter Field Day, both operating from their home station and operating portable.  

Chris Kelly, KC1BZK, went out to western Massachusetts, to Beartown State Forest for WFD. Chris used a Packtenna 9:1 random end fed antenna and an Elecraft  KX3 / PX3.  Chris posted the images below to Facebook:


Henry, K1WCCwas a participant operating from his home station.  He started at 1400 local on 20 meters, using "search and pounce". Some good contacts were made on 20, but the band was noisy so he moved down to 40 meters and started running contacts. Henry his rate at 50/hour for two hours. Contacts began to thin out at dinnertime so he joined the dinner crowd for awhile, then got back in the action, making some more contacts using "search and pounce" on both 40 and 75 meters. Sunday morning, Henry was up at 0430 hunting for QSO's on 40 meters, and was able work as far west as Utah. He had to quit for the day at about 0630. Total q's were about 150.  Equipment used: Kenwood TS-590, 100 watts, various wire and vertical antennas.

Paul Silva, K1COD, was a participant from his winter QTH in Florida.  Have just made a contact w/W1QI in CCT for WCF.  Also, he made contacts in Ohio, Mississippi, and Alabama!  From the Paul's photo below, it appears that he was using an IC-7300.  


Gerry Campbell, KB1NNH, operated from his winter QTH in Florida.  Gerry made 50+ contacts using his IC-7300.  It was apparently 80 degrees, so more like a summer field day!  Gerry was also using an IC-7300.  Gerry sent the image below.


Larry, W1IZZ, operated from his vehicle using a KX2 and roof mag-mounted 40m ham-stick to make Q's on 20 and 40.  He setup the KX2 to work digital modes (PSK-31) and support CAT control from the laptop. Larry made about 60 Q's with 5 watts noisy conditions. About half the Q's were PSK-31, which are good for 2 points. Both phone and PSK Q's were made to the West Coast. 


Henry noted that WFD was a real good time.  He proposed that FARA participates as a club next year, at the club shack.   An canopy/heater outdoors could be setup and the clubhouse could serve as as a warming hut/bunkhouse.

Show and Tell at September Meeting

posted Jan 30, 2018, 4:26 AM by L Gray

The September FARA meeting was held at the club station located on Joint Base Cape Cod.  The meeting space was overflowing with FARA members.  The featured activity of the meeting were "show and tell" presentations made by several members, as detailed below.

Inexpensive DMR Transceiver:

Alan, K1AMJ, showed his Radioddity GD-77 dual band, DMR/analog transceiver.  The transceiver is $99.99 with a programming cable and spare battery from

Small VHF Mobile Rig:

Don, N1JCT, talked about his recently acquired VHF rig, a Baojie BJ-218 2mtr/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.  The radio sits on a shelf below my 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 installation.


BitX-40 QRP SSB Transceiver Kit:

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

RaspberryPi Display and Power Supply:

Brent, W1NCH, showed a display and power supply with an integrated RaspberryPi mount, which would make a great portable low power computer.  The power supply is a DROK LM2596 Digital Control Voltage Regulator (5-32V to 0-30V 24V to 12V 5V), $8.99, available from  The display is a Raspberry Pi Display Screen Monitor - SunFounder 10.1 Inch HDMI 1280x800 LCD for Raspberry Pi 3, $115,


Straight Key Kit:

Brent also showed an American Morse straight key built from a kit, $49, from


Microwave Coax Switch:

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

Headphone Amplifier:

Larry, W1IZZ, showed a headphone amplifier built from the August, 2015 QST article attached below.  The parts list is also attached.  The amp is powered by 12 volts and provides bass and treble "boost" to improve the ability to hear signals.  


RS-HFIQ Single Board HF SDR Transceiver:

Larry also showed an RS-HFIQ single board, 5 watt SDR HF transceiver "kit" available from  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 transceiver has been used to make numerous contacts, including many DX contacts.  The images below show the transceiver in its enclosure with the external USB sound card from and the HDSDR display while using the transceiver.


FARA Meeting Presentation Schedule

posted Jan 29, 2018, 6:25 PM by L Gray   [ updated Jan 29, 2018, 6:26 PM ]

Some interesting presentations are scheduled for the next 4 FARA meetings:

Feb 24 - Phil KB1DOS, Fire Safety
Mar 29 - Ric KC1RL, CW
April 26 - Mike W1MLL, DMR radio
May 26 - Frank WQ1Q, Digital Modes

Winter Field Day 2018 - Jan 27-28

posted Jan 13, 2018, 10:48 AM by L Gray   [ updated Jan 13, 2018, 10:48 AM ]

Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) is a dedicated group of Amateur Radio Operators who believe that emergency communications in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that is done each summer but with some additional unique operational concerns.

 We believe as do those entities of ARRL Organizations like ARES & RACES that maintaining your operational skills should not be limited to fair weather scenarios. The addition of Winter Field Day will enhance those already important skills of those that who generously volunteer their time and equipment to these organizations. This is why WFD is open to all licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.

 Disasters are unpredictable by nature and can strike when you least expect them. WFDA's goal is to help enhance your skills and ready you for all environmental conditions found in the US and Canada during the spring, summer, fall and winter Preparedness is the key to a professional and timely response during any event and this is what local and state authorities are expecting when they reach  out to the emergency service groups that offer their services.

 If you are serious about emergency communications as we are; we welcome you to join us for our yearly event. We are sure you will find this event a pleasant change and challenge to that of a normal summer time field day.  See for complete details.  You can even operate from the comfort of your home radio shack.

Technician Class License Course

posted Dec 20, 2017, 1:42 PM by L Gray   [ updated Feb 18, 2018, 10:04 AM ]

FARA will be offering a Technician Class amateur radio license course in this Spring.  

Dates: March 17, 24, 31 (2018)
Schedule: 9AM to noon
Exams: March 31 in the afternoon
Location: Falmouth Fire Station, Main Street, 2nd Floor, EOC Room
Text: Provided
Course Fee: $50.00, including:

1) Nine hours of classroom instruction
2) Course Manual
3) Online test practice and tutoring
4) Refreshments
5) Access to instructors for questions & tutoring
6) License exam
7) 1-year membership with FARA
8) Admission to the 2018 FARAfest
9) Radio (if the student passes)

This is a great value for anyone seeking to get their license, as the total cost of the individual items is well over $100.

Contact Charlie Bresnahan, K1CB via email at: for further information.

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