FARA Fest, Bourne, November 4, 2023

Image of flea market crowd at FARA-Fest[Ed. note: Falmouth ARA displayed its EmComm Van at the 2023 Northeast HamXposition.]

From ema.arrl.org:

The Falmouth ARA FARA Fest will be held on November 3, 2023 at the Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational School in Bourne, MA. The Fest provides and opportunity for local hams to buy, sell, or swap items of interest to amateur radio operators. VE license exam sessions are also held as part of the Fest. Flyers are distributed and available on this site prior to each annual FARA Fest.

The Board of Directors has set the following official guidelines for FARA FEST.

Outside Spaces are $10.00 per space. All vendors will be given a placard to display, bring your own table.

Indoor spaces are $10.00 per TABLE, we supply the table. All vendors will be given a placard to display.

General admission is $5.00, children under 14 free

[Full Details]

Nashua Area Radio Society Ham Bootcamp, November 11, 2023

Nashua Area Radio Society QSL logo[Ed. note: NARS is responsible for the terrific Amateur Radio Expo at HamXposition each year.]

From nediv.arrl.org:

The Nashua Area Radio Society (NARS) will host their Ham Bootcamp program on November 11, 2023, from 10 AM to 6 PM ET. This program includes a series of online demonstrations and tutorials designed to help newly licensed Technician, General, and Amateur Extra class license holders get on the air. It’s available to all licensed and prospective amateur radio operators.

Visit NARS’s Ham Bootcamp program web page to register and for additional information.

HamXposition Marketing & Promotion Subcommittee Formed

Phil Temples, K9HI
Phil Temples, K9HI

Phil Temples, K9HI, who had chaired the Northeast HamXposition Programs Subcommittee has taken on a different role: building and chairing a new Marketing & Promotion Subcommittee.

Phil has gathered a team of current and new volunteers for this endeavor. The new committee will focus on publicizing the convention among amateurs and the general public; recruiting new vendors, and soliciting funding through advertisements, grants, and other means.

Skip Youngberg, K1NKR, has agreed to serve as Chair of the Programs Subcommittee replacing K9HI in that leadership role.

New England QRP CW Net to Resume on Wednesday Nights

Greg Algieri, WA1JXR, writes on the NEQRP mailing list on Octobrer 19, 2023:

Hello fellow New England QRP Club Members. With the passing of Chuck K1CL(SK) the NEQRP CW net has not been active. I am revitalizing the NEQRP Weekly CW HF Net.

The net will be every Wednesday at 8PM local time on frequency of 3.566 MHz +/- QRM.

I will call the net to order by calling “CQ NEQRP.” I will ask for check-ins with a “QNI?” Call in with a “de” followed by your call sign.

The CW speed will be 15 WPM, but I can slow down if desired. Call in at the speed you would like me to respond at.

I will create a list of check-ins and we will do a round table QSO of the list.

All ham radio operators are welcome. You do not need to be a NEQRP member.

Hope to see you all on Wednesday night,

72, Greg WA1JXR 

RadioCraft Mod a Big Hit at HamXposition

Minecraft logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes:
Minecraft is the largest selling video game of all time with over 240 million copies sold, and it’s estimated that there are over 140 million active players world-wide, most of whom are under the age of 21. Thanks to a grant from the ARRL Foundation, Lucas, W1BTR, and the Police Amateur Radio Team (PART) of Westford, MA, have undertaken a project to incorporate ham radio functionality into the game; essentially to build a “ham radio simulator” that players can install as a game modification (the Radiocraft mod) and then use to build radios and antennas and make voice and CW contacts in the game with other players.
The project started in January, 2023, with the hiring of a professional coding team, and over the ensuing months, radios, antennas, solar panels, batteries, and even a solar weather station were developed and tested. Lucas debuted the project at the Northeast HamXposition in Marlborough, MA, in August 2023, with a capabilities presentation, an installation workshop, and a day-long demonstration in the lobby of the HamXposition site where attendees could actually play Minecraft with the ham radio mod on three computers.
Those three events, the presentation, workshop, and online demonstration, were notable because of the ages of the attendees; the average ages were about 18, and several were as young as eight, and included both boys and girls. Instead of parents bringing their kids to a ham radio show, the kids were excitedly escorting their parents to the Radiocraft events and learning how they could use ham radio to enhance their favorite game.
The lobby demonstration was continually active with youngsters playing the game, and notably, without any instruction. They were able to use the gaming skills they already had to build working radios and antennas, while most of the parents just watched in awe. Attendees of all ages were enthusiastic about the project. Lucas and his team look forward to appearing at the 2024 HamXposition with a larger display and presentation.
At this time, development of the project continues, and a small group of players is presently testing the mod before it goes into general release later this year. Final checks include searching for program bugs and polishing the user interfaces. When the mod is released it will be a free download and documentation will include links to ARRL and licensing information.

RadioCraft a Big Hit at “Geek is Glam” Girl Scout Event

Joe Fitzgerald, KM1P, shared on the New England Sci-Tech mailing list:

Mike Radz writes:

Dear Colleagues:

I have attached seven pictures from the “Geek is Glam” Girl Scout event held at WPI this past Saturday. My IQP team staffed a booth and offered the girls two STEM/HAM related activities: Morse code and Minecraft.

The former activity utilized Morse code kits from NEST as well as some circuitry built by the students that enabled the Girl Scouts to see the letters associated with the dots and dashes they tapped show up on a computer screen (this shown in the pics).

The later activity utilized a new “mod” that has been created for Minecraft that enables a player to build a HAM radio communication network within the game. It is in beta testing mode right now, but the WPI kids contacted the creator and arranged to get a copy to showcase at the event.

Finally, the kids created a QR code that took each Girl Scout to a survey instrument at which they could specify which activity they preferred. I have not yet seen the survey results, but the WPI kids will develop a “curriculum” based on the most popular activity and test to see whether or not it statistically influences youngsters to re-evaluate their views on STEM in a positive way.


Mike Radz

[The Minecraft radio mod “RadioCraft” made its official debut at the 2023 Northeast HamXposition. -K9HI]

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Bruce Anderson, W1LUS, Steps Down as HamXposition Exam Coordinator

Bruce Anderson, W1LUS
Bruce Anderson, W1LUS

Bruce Anderson, W1LUS, announced on September 29, 2023, that he is stepping down after serving twenty-three years as Exam Coordinator for the Northeast HamXposition. Bruce is one of the longest-serving members of the committee and can trace his lineage back through all the “Marlboro” years and more than half of the Boxboro conventions.

Each year, Bruce has organized teams to conduct Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning exam sessions at the convention. Bruce is responsible for countless individuals earning their tickets at a Boxboro or Marlboro event.

“Thank you for your 23 years of service (yikes!) to the convention,” wrote FEMARA Vice President Bob DeMattia, K1IW.

“We’ve been working this convention for a very long time together. I’ll miss you! We’ll all miss you!” replied FEMARA President and ARRL First Vice President Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF.

“I’ve been on the committee for only a short while compared to you,” wrote Phil Temples, K9HI, Marketing & Promotion Subcommittee Chairperson, “but your name and call are synonymous with VE testing at Boxbo … uh … I mean, HamXposition.” 😉

Bruce has asked Ron Rothman, the ARRL VE Liaison for the Minuteman Repeater Association’s team to serve in his stead as Exam Coordinator.

FEMARA and the Northeast HamXposition wishes to express its gratitude to Bruce for his hard work over the years and hopes that he stays in touch.

Nutmeg Hamfest / ARRL Connecticut State Convention, October 8, 2023

copy of Nutmeg Hamfest flyerMark your calendars for the Nutmeg Hamfest / ARRL Connecticut State Convention, October 8, 2023, at the BestWestern Plus Hotel, 201 Washington Avenue, North Haven, CT 06473.

Gates open 6:00 AM for Tailgating and Inside Vendor Setup

New!  Earlier opening — Building open 8AM to 2PM for the general public

Talk-in  147.36 R, +600, PL 162.2

General Admission $10.00, Under 12 free

Tailgating $15.00 per space

Inside Tables $25.00 each — $20 if paid by 9/10/23

For complete information, visit https://www.nutmeghamfest.com.

NEAR-Fest, Deerfield NH, October 13-14, 2023

The New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) will be held Friday October 13 and Saturday, October 14 at the Deerfield, New Hampshire, Fairgrounds. Besides the flea market, we will have a full slate of forums during the day on Friday. While we encourage everyone to attend the show, the forums will also be available to view on-line for those who cannot be present. The schedule (subject to change) can be viewed at: http://hamclass.net/nearf23.html. Details for viewing on line will appear the day before.

Further details on NEAR-Fest can be found at: https://near-fest.com/.

More Vendors!

It’s the most received comment and feedback we get.  “Where are the vendors?”

We’re working hard to bring back some of the old vendors who didn’t come in 2023. Plus, we’re working to recruit new ones.

It’s not easy—for a number of reasons. We hear from our vendors that:

  • Overall sales are down
  • We can’t find enough people to staff a booth
  • Your gate numbers aren’t large enough to justify our time and expense

The latter point is a bit of a “chicken and egg” dilemma. We need more attendees to attract the top-notch vendors. But we also need those vendors in order to bring in the masses.

You can believe that the committee is working on the problem diligently and we’ve come up with some creative ideas. In the meantime, we thank our loyal vendors who continue with us, even in this post-COVID era. Vendors like:

  • Quicksilver Radio
  • Gold Metal Ideas
  • N3ZN Keys

Look for marked improvement in this area in 2024!