MARA W1/GaZette


In This Issue...

Next Meeting 1

Watt’s Happening 2

KT1I new MEN NM 2

New Swap Net 2

Old Timer’s Lunch 3

Ham Radio in Space 4

California Earthquake 5

Comments on BPL 5

New Antenna Course 7


Contributors To This Issue: K1JHC


Next Meeting

Wednesday, January 14


Fitchburg Central Fire Station

2nd Floor Meeting Room

Best wishes for 2004 to all. Our first meeting of the new year is scheduled for January 14. We have the use of the second floor conference room at Fitchburg Central Fire Station for 2004. From the lobby, go up the stairs. At top of stairs turn left and left again just before the Chief’s door.

As the December holiday party was postponed due to snow, the opening of bids for the estate of Waldo W1LUG will be held at the January meeting. Bids will be accepted at the start of the meeting.

Lot 1) YAESU 757 GX with power supplycondition: Good, with manual and microphone. age: approximately 20 years (does not hold memory)

Lot 2) KENWOOD TS 700A condition: Poor. age: approximately 30 years (it is an all mode 2M transceiver) description: Noisy controls, inoperative VFO, no XTAL control, no tone or repeater offset and a defective hand mic cord.

Lot 3) MFJ 749A Antenna tuner condition: Unknown. age: approximately 10 + years (mechanically clean)

Lot 4) Old manual key, J38 style

condition: Clean Brass.

Lot 5) Old tubes, quantity: 15

Lot 6) Old books and magazines (including 1938 Radio Shack catalog,

world atlas, and 1996 repeater directory) age: 1931 to present

Lot 7) Galaxy II frequency display, (counter), Digital Alarm Clock,

Pocket Knife

Lot 8) Residue

Any and or all lots not bid on, (leftovers).


Watt’s Happening

Sundays, 0830 local 3937 Western Mass Emergency Net.

Alternate frequency is 3942 in case of QRN, QRM, or frequency in-use.

Also a good idea to scan up and down 10kHz if you cannot find the net.

Sundays, 0900 local 145.45- Montachusett Emergency Net

Tuesdays, 2030 local 145.37- Templeton Emergency Net

Wednesdays, 2100 local 28.341 Harvard Repeater Club

10 meter sideband net "Activity Night"

Nightly, 2100 local 146.97- Central Mass Traffic Net

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 1800 local 3942 MHz Western Mass Traffic Net (phone)

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 1900 local 3562 MHz Western Mass Traffic Net (cw, slow)

First Monday, 1900 local 3943, 7245 RACES Net

First Wednesday, 2000 local 3915 K1ARC Red Cross Net

Saturday, 17 January, Nashua NH

New England Antique Radio Club, 9am,

St. Stan’s.


Saturday, 14 February, Marlboro MA

Algonquin ARC Hamfest, 9am, Marlboro Middle School.

Sunday, 15 February, Westford MA

GBARC Radio 35 Antique, Regency Hotel lists other New England Area Ham events.


KT1I Net Manager for MEN

Dennis Zonia K1VSG, Western Mass Section Emergency Coordinator, has appointed Charlie Cayen KT1I as Net Manager for the Montachusett Emergency Net. This appointment follows the retirement and relocation to Florida of Bill Wornham NZ1D.

Dennis observes that Charlie has had a long involvement with the MEN, having been one of the Emergency Coordinators who assisted with the revitalization of RACES in the early 1990’s under the "dual hat" ARES/RACES structure.

Thanks to Charlie for accepting this important role.


New Wednesday Swap Net

Bill K1FUB will be hosting a weekly Swap Net, beginning Wednesday, January 7, 2004, at 8:00 PM on the 53.930, 146.730, 146.790, 147.195, 224.500, 441.750, 442.150, 443.500, 448.825, and 449.375 N1IMO Repeater System, PL 88.5. Bill invites all hams with Wants and/or Items for Sale to check into the Net. For Sale Items will be limited to two items, and will be listed for two weeks. After two weeks, the For Sale Items will be deleted, unless they are resubmitted. This is a directed net, so please place your calls through Net Control.

Frank Swiech N1DGQ


Nashua Area Radio Club


OLD Timer’s Lunch

de Tom K1JHC

The "Old Timer’s" had their monthly luncheon meeting at Bickford’s Restaurant in Leominster on December 3rd at 12:45 PM. Members present were Norm W1LXE, Roy W1OOY, Tom K1JHC, Howard W1TQB, and Gerard K1BBV.

With Christmas coming the topic of large screen TV’s came up, although no one present was going for a new TV it was interesting to note the methods used to obtain the large or flat format.

Rumor has it that Yaesu will be coming out with a 200 watt rig in the $1500 range.

Using the internet to find info and travel plans and tickets was another topic.

Tom feels that traffic would be improved at Home Depot if no left turns were enforced.

Please try to join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, January 7 and Wednesday, February 4 to enjoy good fellowship and the fine food.


Ham Radio in Space Reaches Another Milestone

Ham radio in space has reached another milestone with the successful installation and checkout of the first Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Phase 2 equipment. The ISS now sports a new Kenwood TM-D700E dualband transceiver in the Zvezda Service Module—the crew’s living quarters. ISS Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, set up the new transceiver at NA1SS earlier this month. Only official approval is needed to begin operations. Activation of the new gear will mean a power boost for the NA1SS downlink signal, which could prove especially helpful in school group contacts. The additional equipment—which soon will include a slow-scan television (SSTV) system—also opens up new operational possibilities.

"Clearly, we’ve got multiop, multi-station capability," ARISS

International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, told ARRL. The ARISS Japan Team donated the Kenwood radio and made certain hardware and firmware modifications—including limiting its power output to a maximum of 25 W—to prepare it for flight, he said. Bauer and the ARISS US Team recently returned from Russia following successful ground testing of Phase 1 and Phase 2 equipment using a set of flight-identical ARISS antennas as well as testing of a slow-scan TV (SSTV) system.

The Phase 2 gear will use the four antennas installed on the Service Module during space walks in 2002 specifically to support Amateur Radio operations. Addition of the new antennas, which will cover from HF to microwave frequencies, opened the door to deploying the two separate ham stations aboard the orbiting outpost. Waiting in the wings is a Yaesu FT-100 HF/VHF/UHF transceiver that could go into space in January along with the new SSTV gear.

Bauer says the second ham station with the Kenwood transceiver is near the Service Module’s dinner table and the window. "This prime location will allow the crew to more conveniently use the ISS ham radio system," he said. "They’ll be able to look out the window while operating from the Service Module" Complementing the Kenwood TM-D700E will be an Ericsson 70-cm handheld.

"Our intention is to operate SSTV on 70 cm with the Ericsson equipment," Bauer said, while the crew will use the Kenwood transceiver for ARISS school group contacts as well as for casual QSOs on 2 meters. The Kenwood radio also incorporates a TNC and can support the RS0ISS packet system, not yet back in operation.

The Phase 1 "initial station" Ericsson 2-meter handheld, which has served as the only NA1SS gear for more than three years, will remain in place in the ISS Zarya Functional Cargo Block (FGB).

Details of the ARISS Phase 2 gear is available on AMSAT’s ARISS Web page <>.

from The ARRL Letter

Vol. 22, No. 50

December 19, 2003


Central California Hams Respond to Earthquake

Amateur Radio operators aided the American Red Cross after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck California’s Central Coast region Monday, December 22. Amateurs in San Luis Obispo County provided radio links between shelters and the Red Cross San Luis Obispo Chapter office. Santa Barbara Section Manager Robert Griffin, K6YR, said the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services requested the assistance of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) teams. Griffin said San Luis Obispo ARES/RACES operators helped staff the county emergency operations center and backed-up communication for the Red Cross after cell phone service proved unreliable.

"About 24 operators were involved," Griffin said. "By 10 PM Monday night, the primary American Red Cross communication resources were again reliable, and the ARES net secured." Griffin says a few operators continued communications support at the EOC.

Griffin said the American Red Cross quickly established three shelters for quake victims—one in hard-hit Paso Robles, another in Morro Bay and a third in the southern part of the county. Hams staffed shelters to maintain contact with the Red Cross chapter office. Two people died in Paso Robles, some 25 miles from the epicenter.

Force 12 President Tom Schiller, N6BT, reports the antenna manufacturer—located in Paso Robles—suffered "minimal damage" from the December 22 quake.

"Most of it was confined to the front office, with ceiling tiles falling down, books and computers being tossed around," Schiller said in an update on the company’s Web site. "Those who had a view out the front glass doors watched the cars and trucks in the street leave the ground as the shock waves rolled through." He said the quake took out electric power, telephone and cell service within less than a minute, although the power returned and telephones became sporadically operative within a few hours.

Schiller reports his own house—about a mile away—was "trashed," although his towers and the plumbing and electrical systems survived. Standing outside while checking the house, Schiller said he noticed that there was no wildlife at all. "No birds, no deer, no dogs barking. Not even a breeze," he said. "Thankfully, we made it through."

from The ARRL Letter

Vol. 23, No. 01

January 2, 2004


Organizations’ Comments Augment Alarm Over BPL

Two organizations have filed comments with the FCC that augment previously expressed worries about potential interference from and to Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems. Picking up on the "grave concerns" the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) <> expressed over BPL December 4, the nonprofit Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association (DERA) <> called on the FCC to require impartial BPL field testing as well as additional public comment and full and open public hearings.

"DERA concludes that serious interference to and disruption of critical emergency communications systems in several licensed services throughout North America would almost certainly result from BPL implementation as currently proposed," DERA said. Endorsing the earlier FEMA remarks, DERA said proposed BPL systems don’t just pose a risk of interference, they’ve already been shown to "actually cause harmful interference to licensed radio services."

Meanwhile, the Amateur Radio Research and Development Corporation (AMRAD) has filed additional test data with the FCC to support preliminary findings suggesting that BPL systems are susceptible to interference from even modest Amateur Radio HF signals. AMRAD said its newest data demonstrated that amateur operation in the test neighborhood would cause many homes to lose their Internet service.

"At least an area out to a radius of 0.51 miles from the transmitting station could have their Internet connection interrupted," AMRAD said. "Closer-in homes would almost certainly have their Internet service interrupted."

For its RF susceptibility experiment, AMRAD used the Potomac Electric Power Company system test site. It features a mid-1960s vintage home with unshielded interior electrical wiring and overhead power lines. AMRAD found that at a distance of just over one-half mile, data transfer ceased in the face of a 100-W signal on 3980 kHz from a mobile transmitter. Adjacent to the test property, AMRAD said data transfer ceased in all but one instance at a transmitter power of just 4 W in the BPL operating band of from 4 to 21 MHz.

The ARRL hopes to complete an independent BPL engineering study early this year. It will explore how BPL might affect HF and low-VHF amateur operation as well as how Amateur Radio operation could affect BPL systems.

In related news, BPL equipment manufacturer Amperion Inc recently announced an "industry first" by successfully testing its high-speed "Connect" system on 69 kV transmission lines. Typical BPL systems have employed medium and low-voltage lines to deliver broadband and Internet access. Amperion said its tests, performed in conjunction with American Electric Power, demonstrated multi-megabit data transmission to a distance of nearly one mile without the need for a repeater. There’s more information on Amperion’s Web site <>.

Additional information about BPL and Amateur Radio is on the ARRL Web site <>. To support the League’s efforts in this area, visit the ARRL’s secure BPL Web site <>.

from The ARRL Letter

Vol. 23, No. 01

January 2, 2004


New ARRL Antenna Design And Construction Course To Start In January

If there’s one thing that all radio amateurs have in common it’s the need for an antenna. The ARRL Certification and Continuing Education program (C-CE) <> will open registration Monday, December 22, for its new "Antenna Design and Construction" (EC-009) on-line course. Signup begins at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (0501 UTC). Registration for "Antenna Design and Construction" will remain open until Sunday, December 28. The class will begin Tuesday, January 13, 2004.

Authored by Ward Silver, N0AX, "Antenna Design and Construction" joins "Antenna Modeling" (EC-004) as the C-CE program’s second antenna-related course. It will use the ARRL publication Simple and Fun Antennas for Hams <> by Chuck Hutchinson, K8CH, and Dean Straw, N6BV, for its textbook. Students must have a copy before starting this class, which takes 20 to 25 hours to complete.

Students who take "Antenna Design and Construction" must hold an Amateur Radio license to be able to complete some of the course’s practical activities. They will become familiar with—and experience—antenna design and construction techniques. Optional antenna construction projects and experiments involving HF and VHF/UHF antennas of various types are available for the more adventuresome.

The registration fee for EC-009 is $65 for members and $95 for nonmembers, exclusive of textbooks and materials.

To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) <> Web page and click on EC-009. For additional information, contact the Certification and Continuing Education Program staff <>.

from The ARRL Letter

Vol. 22, No. 50

December 19, 2003


Scouting Activity Featured on ARRL Web Site

Remember the Scout Camporee that MARA participated in earlier in the year? Stan KD1LE wrote an article about the direction finding activity he lead there and submitted it to ARRL.

Stan’s article "Rapid RDFing An Introductory Scouting Activity"— with photos by Ralph KD1SM—is now part of the ARRL’s Scouting section of the Web site.

Stan notes in his article that radio direction finding combines many of the skills that a Scout learns; map reading, compass work, and even team work.

Stan hopes that other Clubs will pick up the idea of using short-range

hidden transmitter hunting. He suggests several techniques that made

this a particularly effective Camporee activity. See Stan’s article

at <>


The MARA W1/GaZette is published by the Montachusett Amateur Radio Association just prior to the monthly meeting. The newsletter is distributed free to members and friends of Amateur Radio.

Contents copyright (c© 2004, MARA. Permission to use in other Amateur Radio publications with credit to MARA is hereby granted.


Editors: Ralph Swick KD1SM

Webmaster: KD1YH Paul Upham


Club Secretary: (open)

Annual Dues: Regular $25

Family $30

Fixed income $15

Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7:30pm September to June

Mailing address: MARA

PO Box 95

Leominster, MA 01453

Web site:



Gary Busler K1YTS President

Paul Upham, KD1YH Vice President

(open) Secretary

Gordon LaPoint, N1MGO Treasurer

Charlie Cayen, KT1I Trustee

MARA owns and operates the W1GZ repeater providing emergency autopatch service on 145.45 (CTCSS 74.4) in Fitchburg.

Montachusett Amateur Radio Association

PO Box 95 Leominster MA 01453