Posts Tagged ‘special events’

Hey! I almost forgot !!!

This weekend is Museum Ships Weekend!  This is always a lot of fun to see how many you can work. And the event is sponsored by none other than the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station.


As per the ARRL Announcement

Museum Ships Weekend will take place over the June 1 – 2 weekend, sponsored by the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station NJ2BB. Radio operation will be from a variety of vintage and noteworthy vessels. This is not a competition.

So far 75 ships are on the roster to take part. All stations working at least 15 different participating ships will receive a certificate, if they send a copy of their log showing these contacts.

While operation on any amateur frequency is allowed, most ships will be operate in the General portion of the bands. PSK31 operation will be on 14.070 MHz, 10.142 MHz, 18.100 MHz, 21.070 MHz, and 28.120 MHz.

Some ships also may be found on 75 meters (3.880 – 3.885 MHz) and on 40 meters (7.290 MHz) using AM, some using the vessel’s original restored equipment.

This is what I love about Summer - there's always something going on, just about every weekend. If you follow the link above, you'll get a list of who will be on the air. Log 15 ships and $4 will get you a piece of wallpaper for your shack.


72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Another D Day Special Event


This one is being carried out by the Torbay Amateur Radio Society in England.  Here's the info that the ARRL is disseminating:

June 6 will mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord during World War II and the D-Day landings in Normandy. To commemorate those who took part, a small team from the Torbay Amateur Radio Society (TARS) in England is organizing a chain of five special event stations along the UK’s southern coastline. Each will be based in the geographical area of a beach-landing force point of departure and will use a relevant call sign.

TARS will activate a site above Brixham Harbour in Devon — a departure point for many US soldiers who later landed on Utah Beach and will use the call sign GB75UF.

Other clubs activating similar relevant locations will use these call signs: GB75OF — Omaha Beach, South Dorset Radio Society; GB75GF — Gold Beach, Southampton ARC and Soton University Wireless Society; GB75JF — Juno Beach, Itchen Valley ARC and Waterside New Forest ARC, and GB75SF — Sword Beach, Fort Purbrook ARC.

In addition, TARS hopes to have two club stations from the Normandy area of France activating sites on the beaches. Logging is being coordinated centrally, and stations who contact two or more of the stations within the chain will be able to download a suitable certificate to commemorate their achievement. Details on logging, certificates, and operating frequencies will be available on the TARS website. Contact the organizing team via email.

SSB frequencies will include 3.644, 7.144, 14.144, 18.144, 21.244, 24.944, and 28.244 MHz (data only on 10.144 MHz). Stations operating on CW or data will attempt to use similar frequencies ending in 44.

And now for something completely different.

I saw some Hams talking about this on one of the e-mail reflectors I subscribe to. It's the Acu-Rite Lightning Detector.


With the plethora of bad weather we've been getting here, I went onto eBay and picked one up for $20. It arrived yesterday and I put the batteries in, turned it on and it started detecting local lightning strikes immediately - at about 17 miles out. At that point, I wasn't even hearing thunder rumbles. Within a few minutes I WAS indeed able to see flashes and hear thunder, so it seems to work. 

A few hours later, it started chirping again and sure enough - about ten minutes or so after chirpage, another thunderstorm was upon us. I will keep this little guy going so that when I'm home and the antennas are connected, I'll get ample warning that it's time to go disconnect. Better safe than sorry!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

SOTA, POTA, NPOTA ??? Now there’s NOTA

AND ....... if you're a space buff like me - this one's a goody!  NASA On The Air!

From the ARRL Website:

The Amateur Radio clubs at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers around the US have invited the Amateur Radio community to join the NASA On The Air (NOTA) special event. NOTA gets under way in December 2017 and continues through December 2018. In addition to being the agency’s 60th anniversary, 2018 will mark 50 years since NASA orbited the first human around the moon, and 20 years since the first elements of the International Space Station (ISS) were launched into low-Earth orbit.

Starting on Monday, December 11, 2017 (UTC), Amateur Radio club stations at various NASA centers and facilities will be on the air with special event operations to celebrate these monumental achievements, as well as current milestones. Some clubs will offer commemorative QSL cards, and a special certificate will be available indicating the number of NASA club stations worked on various bands and modes.

“We plan to have a web-based system for you to check your points total and download a printable certificate at the end of the event in December 2018,” the NASA announcement said. “Points will be awarded for each center worked on each band and mode (phone, CW, digital, and ‘space’ modes — satellites, meteor scatter, EME, ISS APRS).” That would, of course, include contacts with any of the Amateur Radio stations on the ISS.

Key anniversaries during NOTA include the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17 on December 11, 2017, which kicks off the event; NASA’s founding on July 29, 1958; the 20th anniversary of the ISS first element launch on November 20, 1998; the 20th anniversary of the ISS Node 1 Launch on December 4, 1998, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 — launched on December 21, 1968, and returned on December 27 — marking the end of the event.

Ham radio clubs at various NASA facilities will sponsor their own special events to commemorate and celebrate specific events.

“We hope to be on the air for casual contacts and contests as well. All contacts with NASA club stations will count toward your total,” the announcement said. “QSL cards can be requested from each club you work and details will be on the individual QRZ.com profile page for each club call sign.”


I can imagine the pileups now!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Skeeter Hunt – NPOTA News

Several things:

First - The NJQRP Skeeter Hunt for 2016 is moving from the second Sunday in August to the third. So please mark Sunday, August 21st on your calendar for this year's Skeeter Hunt.  There are two reasons for this. The most important is that yours truly has an outstanding monthly commitment each 2nd Sunday of the month.  That's the Sunday I go help out at the soup kitchen in the next town over.  I kind of blew that off the past couple of Augusts, and that's not right. There are some things more important than Amateur Radio, and this is one of those.

But hey, the organizer shouldn't go AWOL, right?  (That's how I feel, anyway). So I have moved it back a weekend to the third Sunday in August, where it shall occur forever more.  Another added benefit is that this makes the spacing between Flight of the Bumblebees, the Skeeter Hunt and QRP Afield and the Peanut Power Sprint a bit more even.

Second - I have gotten blessing from Sean Kutzko KX9X to incorporate NPOTA into the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt this year.  Is that COOL or what?  I'm not exactly sure how it's going to all work out. Maybe bonus points for activating an NPOTA unit for the Hunt - or possibly some special "memento" for activating an NPOTA unit during the Hunt.  I'll have to ruminate on that one for a bit - but there's time.



Third - On a personal level, Sean announced some new NPOTA units the other day. This was a biggie for me, because in the Northeast, the Washington - Rochambeau Historical Trail was added. This is the route taken by General Rochambeau's French forces and General Washington's Continental forces as they both marched on towards the siege at Yorktown, which all but brought the American victory in the Revolutionary War.


The Washington - Rochambeau Historical Trail is within a stone's throw from my house - literally. To make this situation even better, there is the Frazee house located on the trail in Scotch Plains, NJ - the next town over. Rather than try and explain the significance of the Frazee house in my own words - allow me to post something from the official Website.


"As the legend holds, after the Battle of Short Hills, General Cornwallis and his troops passed by the house while marching toward the Watchung mountains, located a few miles to the north. Known to the locals as a prolific baker, Aunt Betty was baking bread at the time. Hungry and tired, the troops smelled the bread and Cornwallis approached her stating, "I want the first loaf of bread that next comes from that oven." Betty is said to have replied, “Sir, I give you this bread through fear, not in love.” Evidently impressed by her courage, Cornwallis is said to have stated, “Not a man in my command shall touch a single loaf.” While history offers evidence that Betty lived in the house and did, indeed, bake bread, the story of the actual conversation is not authenticated by primary source documents.  The words allegedly spoken by the principals are found in the earliest authoritative source on the subject, F.W. Ricord's History of Union County, page 513, which is one of the sources cited in the National Register of Historic Places filing that led to the Frazee House being placed on the Register."


I'll have to look onto getting permission to operate from the property that the house is on. If that's not obtainable, there are plenty of other locations that can be operated from on the Trail, right in my local area. In fact, right in front of the Ashbrook Golf Course, is a monument to The Battle of Short Hills.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Still M.I.A.

I still need these two QSL cards to complete the 13 Colonies special event for 2015.



Of course, it's kind of ironic that one of the two QSL cards that I need would be from the state that I live in - and that my original QSL request was sent to a town just two over from home. I guess I will have to re-send QSL requests to both New Jersey and Delaware.  However, instead of mailing the NJ one, I might just drop it off at the manager's mail box. He lives not far off the route I take to get back and forth from work every day. That way I'd be 1000% sure that he received it.

I've been e-mailing back and forth with my good friend Bob W3BBO. At a recent hamfest, he picked up these:


Yes, this is a Heathkit DX-60 and the accompanying HG-10 VFO. Well actually, he picked up the DX-60 at the hamfest. A friend supplied the HG-10 and advised Bob that it needed some TLC, and that if he could get it working, that he could purchase it at a super reasonable price. Bob has succeeded in getting it to work and he e-mailed me this morning that he is in the process of homebrewing a cable to get the output of the VFO into the DX-60.

That reminded me of a much earlier time, when I had these in my Novice station.



My Novice transmitter was a Drake 2-NT that I had purchased through Burghardt Electronics. I had purchased the Globe V-10 VFO from John Kakstys W2FNT who lived in Linden, NJ which was not too terribly far from East Brunswick, where I was living at the time.  My receiver was the Heathkit HR-1680, which was my very first Heathkit build. That it worked without a hitch the very first time, upon firing it up, still amazes me to this day.


Anyway, I had the transmitter and I had the VFO. What do I do with them? That was the quandary for me at the time. This was 1979, after all. There was no Internet, no Google. I had no Elmer with whom I could speak, other than the instructor who taught the license class I had attended (and I never got his home telephone number). So it was either get the information I needed from a book, QST or go with my gut and improvise.

I improvised.  There was a two conductor cable coming from the output of the VFO.  The 2-NT's crystal socket had two holes for where you would plug in a crystal. I figured that the output from the VFO had to go there - it just seemed reasonable to me. So I took a junk crystal, pried the bottom part off, which left me with a base and pins. Then I soldered the two wires coming from the VFO output to the crystal base pins. I plugged it in, hoping the 2-NT wouldn't know the difference between a crystal and a VFO.  I took a deep breath, muttered a prayer and turned everything on.  I half expected it to blow up, taking me along with it, or to somehow electrocute me.

It didn't.

I connected the 2-NT to a dummy load and adjusted it for the lowest output power I could (see, QRP even way back then, I just didn't know it yet!).  Then I turned on the HR-1680 and keyed the 2-NT to see if I could hear anything.

It worked!

I had successfully hooked up my VFO to my transmitter and did not harm myself or anyone else in the process. Much to my parent's delight, I didn't burn down the house, either!  I used that setup for a lot of QSOs and enjoyed the heck out of it.  After I upgraded to General and bought some equipment capable of doing SSB (silly boy), instead of selling off my Novice station, I donated it to the Handi-Hams, who were pretty much a new organization back then. I guess they must have been desperate for equipment donations at the time, as they gratefully accepted it - homebrewed VFO cable patch job and all.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Easy as Pi

The David Sarnoff Amateur Radio Club down in Princeton, NJ has been distributing the following announcement. They're a great bunch of guys who always put together a good QRP Field Day effort every year - so I am going to post this for them:

Pi Day Special event station – N2RE Princeton, New Jersey

The David Sarnoff Radio Club will host a special event station on March 14, 2105 in conjunction with the Princeton Pi Day & Einstein Birthday Party that will be held in Princeton New Jersey. Einstein's birthday was March 14th the numeric equivalent of Pi! Princeton, NJ celebrates the amazing coincidence like no other city on earth! DSRC will join in celebrating this occasion with an amateur radio special event station.

STATION: N2RE

DATE: Saturday, 3.14.15 -THE REAL PI DAY & EINSTEIN'S BIRTHDAY

TIME: 1300 UTC to 1900UTC (9am EDT to 3pm EDT) 

FREQUENCIES: 14.314 MHz, 21.314 MHz, 28.314 MHz USB
                          Also 40m, VHF/UHF simplex as well as CW stations may be operating

To receive a special event QSL card send a self-addressed stamped business envelope along with your QSO information (call sign, state abbreviation, band, UTC time of contact) to:
Bob Uhrik - WA2BSP
104 Knoll Way
Rocky Hill, NJ 08553-1013


My only chance will probably be UHF/VHF as they're so close to me, but you might want to unleash your inner Mathematician and give it a go. 

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

N2A

Just a reminder. I will be on the air tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow night (Thursday) as N2A, the NAQCC Special Event Station from 0000 to 0200 UTC on or about 7.040 MHz.  That's the plan, anyway. Mother Nature might have other plans as a cold front is about to march through our area. I am hoping that the thunderstorms they are predicting are a "no-show".  Sooooooo, listen for me on 40 Meters and I will hand you NAQCC #1100 and a short QSO.


On Friday night, from 0000 to 0300 UTC, I will be on 80 Meters on or about 3.560 MHz.  I hope to be busy for the whole time - sending CQ over and over without any responses is about as exciting as watching grass grow or paint dry.  I will spot myself on QRPSPOTS. So please, keep me company if you can.

I will schedule some time Friday afternoon as it becomes available.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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