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 Dec 22, 2017, 10:28 AM ]

FARA will be offering a Technician Class amateur radio license course in the 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: $35.00

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

2017 ARRL Field Day Results

posted Nov 24, 2017, 8:23 AM by L Gray

FARA scored 7,724 points with 2,096 QSO's during the 2017 ARRL Field Day.  We placed 17th of 381 national entries in Class 2A.  In the New England Division, we placed 3rd of 24 entries.  In our Eastern Massachusetts Section, we placed 1st of 5 entries.  FARA's 2017 results were very good, particularly considering that we did not have a full-time CW station in operation.

The 2018 Field Day is just around the corner.  Put the last full weekend in June, 2018 on your calendar now.

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.

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