Announcements


FARA Field Day 2018 Setup

posted Jun 22, 2018, 12:17 PM by L Gray   [ updated ]

Field Day setup proceeded very smoothly, thanks to the efforts of the 28 FARA members and guests present for setup.  Many hands make light work.  The Sheriff's Community Service Program tent crew did a great job setting up the 40x40 tent.  The Barnstable Fairgrounds crew did a nice job mowing the field and the weather could not have been much better.

The setup crew: Alden-K1IZB, Mike-KC1HKW, Mel-KC1ELB, Al-KC1JLV, Henry-K1WCC, Doug-N1OEI, Jeremy-KB1SFS, Gene-KX1C, Mike-K1VTR, George-N1GJ, Paul-K1COD, Bob-WA1DRQ, Jay-WB4KYW, Steve-KG4SHD, Bill-W1WH, Earl-W1EEB, Norm-KB1TSE, Jim-KX1M, Lee-NQ1L, Tom-N1TB, Greg-W1KM, Geoff-W1OH, Jim-WA1GPO, Bill-N2OSZ, Dick-KB1KMP, Ralph-N1YHS, Don-N1JCT, and Larry-W1IZZ.

The setup crew moved all of the equipment up from the storage container, setup 4 antenna towers, assembled 5 beams, rolled out coaxial cables and put up three 40M dipoles.  The stations will be connected Saturday AM, when power will be available from the "Killer Mouse Electric Company" via propane powered generators.

We hope to see many FARA members and visitors on Saturday and Sunday.  There are still plenty of opportunities for FARA members or visitors to make contacts from one of the four radio stations,  and the Saturday afternoon cookout is a great time.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Images by Geoff Allsup and Larry Gray)

FARA at Maker Faire 2018

posted Jun 6, 2018, 4:51 AM by L Gray   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 4:52 AM ]

Several FARA members staffed FARA's Maker Faire exhibit, providing ham radio information, live demonstrations and a clothes pin key building activity.  Among the FARA members working were: Gene Bradeen (KX1C), Lee Thomas (NQ1L), Will Plikaitis (KB1WLY), Alan Duester (KC1JLV), Brian Pierce (W1HXN), Alan Costa (KA1QMA), Geoff Allsup (W1OH) and Mike (KC1HCW).  Mike spent virtually the entire time doing the clothes pin key building activity.

Geoff worked outside, making satellite contacts.  He managed nine contacts during one pass of Saudi-Oscar 50 ( SO-50 ).  The satellite pass photo was taken by Geoff's granddaughter Ella, KC1HJF.   The other photos were taken by Lee Thomas.

 Satellite Pass
 FARA Exhibit
 Clothes Pin Key Building

18 Days to FARA Field Day 2018

posted Jun 5, 2018, 7:26 AM by L Gray   [ updated Jun 5, 2018, 7:46 AM ]





We have less than 18 days until Field Day 2018
.  Setup begins on Friday, June 22 at 10am.  Field Day operation takes place from 1400 Saturday- until 1400 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:
  • Station Captain CW Station - Sets up the CW station and schedules operators.  This can also be a Digital Station
  • Public Information Table Coordinator - Sets up a public information table with club handouts/information and visitor sign-in log
  • 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
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.

Thanks,
Larry, W1IZZ
Field Day Coordinator

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.

Thanks,
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) gmail.com.

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 Radioddity.com




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 www.hfsigs.com 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 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Q48BRFO/.  The display is a Raspberry Pi Display Screen Monitor - SunFounder 10.1 Inch HDMI 1280x800 LCD for Raspberry Pi 3, $115, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J52TWD4/.

 
 
 

Straight Key Kit:

Brent also showed an American Morse straight key built from a kit, $49, from http://www.americanmorse.com/kk1.htm.

 
 

Microwave Coax Switch:



Brent showed a microwave coax switch assembled from a Transco SP6T coax switch typically $20-40 used from https://www.ebay.com/ and a W6PQL 12 to 28vdc converter from http://www.w6pql.com/12_to_28v.htm.





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 HobbyPCB.com.  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 StarTech.com and the HDSDR display while using the transceiver.

 
 

1-10 of 88