K1DG Joins the Contest Crew to Discuss How to Learn More About Contesting

Kevin Thomas, W1DED, writes on the YCCC mailing list:

After one of our past Contest Crew conversations, Doug Grant, K1DG, sent an email reminding me that there ARE resources available to contesters – a book that he wrote (and that the ARRL publishes), and Contest University. So, I asked him to come on the show to talk about those resources.

As all of you know well, Doug is a worthy contest educator given his participation in five World Radiosport Team Championships (he medaled in three) and his well earned place in the CQ Contest Hall of Fame.

We also talk about learning options if you can’t travel all the way to Xenia, Ohio or just can’t get the gumption to crack open “Contesting for Beginners” by Doug Grant or the dense compilation of Contest University powerpoint slides.

The bottomline is that there are plenty of options – including subscribing to this YouTube channel – for those who want to learn more about ham radio contesting.

Thanks for joining the Contest Crew’s K5ZD and N6MJ (KL9A and KØMD were unavailable) for Episode 5. And, if you’ve subscribed to the channel, we all thank you.


New England Division Convention to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first ARRL New England Division Convention, and Northeast HamXposition committee members are discussing ways to commemorate the milestone. 

New England Division conventions have been held for one hundred years, although there haven’t been one hundred annual conventions. New England’s first ARRL-sponsored Division convention was held in Springfield, MA, on 28 and 29 March 1924.  Division conventions moved to Worcester (1925), Providence (1926), Hartford (1927), and Boston (1928).  Throughout the twenties and thirties, Boston-based Massachusetts State conventions were typically held in combination with the Boston Hamfest.    Division and State (Section) conventions filled the average ham’s social calendar from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The original New England gathering, the 1920 Conference on Interference, was a meeting of the FCC Boston office, Amateurs, and Harvard and MIT traffic handlers to address issues affecting the passing of traffic.  The 1922 “convention” was also principally one of a continuing series of traffic meetings.  The 1924 convention (“the first real convention ever held as such,” per QST) and those thereafter were usually the kind of technical get-to-know-you events we are now used to.

A few historical highlights:

  • The Springfield ARA celebrated its 20th anniversary and the League’s 25th anniversary by sponsoring the New England Division convention in 1939.
  • Attendance at early conventions was in the low hundreds. Attendance finally totaled one thousand—at the Massachusetts Section convention—in 1939.
  • Conventions were suspended from 1941 through 1945. Then in April 1946, QST pronounced, “FLASH!  First Postwar New England Division Convention, Dennison Memorial Hall, Framingham, Mass.  Saturday May 4th.”
  • The New England Division conventions presented a Ham of the Year award in the mid-1960s.
  • The New England Division convention was billed as “the world’s largest “hamfest” in April 1964 QST.

So what does today’s New England Division convention offer?  Camaraderie, flea markets, a full program of talks, vendors, activities and demonstrations, banquets, guest speakers, and prizes.  Amateur Radio is a doing, achieving, learning hobby, with many personal rewards.  At conventions, we convene: we share the opportunity to exchange brags and ideas, and have the opportunity to learn about the full spectrum (pardon the pun) of Amateur activity and interest.  

—Thanks, Skip Younberg, K1NKR

[The complete article can be viewed at <https://hamxposition.org/one-hundred-years-of-new-england-division-conventions/>]

HAM-CON 2024, ARRL Vermont State Convention, February 24, 2024

HAM-CON logoHAM-CON 2024, the ARRL Vermont State Convention, will be held Saturday, February 24.

HAM-CON is a fully hybrid show, meeting live at the Hampton Inn in Colchester, Vermont AND also ON-LINE at http://ham-con.org/ If you are not in a position to join us live, you have the opportunity to join us from the comfort of home!

We have a great line-up of speakers and events. These include:

Considering a New HF Rig? – NC0B
Grounding and Bonding – N0AX
Winning the WRTC – VE3DZ
HAM-SCI Solar Eclipse – N1XGB
ARRL Forum – AB1OC
The KI1P Ham Van – KI1P

In addition we will also have the W1V Special Event Station, the DMR table, Tech table and N1YD Science Demonstration.

And, not seen at any other Ham Event anywhere, we have GAME SHOWS:

Who Wants to Run a DXpedition?
The Weakest Radio Link

All this and a flea market and hundreds of hams from the North Country. It is a GREAT WAY to spend your Saturday morning!

Advance sale tickets are only $7 – a real special deal considering the cost of everything these days. If you plan to attend, we also have a special room rate at the Hampton Inn. But you must act soon as the special rate for the hotel ends February 10 and the special rate for HAM-CON ends February 15.

Full details on HAM-CON are at  http://ham-con.org/

To buy tickets go directly to: http://ham-con.org/hamconpay.html

Please be sure to let your ham radio friends know about HAM-CON!

So, Don’t sit home thinking about Ham Radio. Instead join us for HAM RADIO FUN at HAM-CON 2024!

Providence Radio Association To Sponsor 2024 Official HamXposition station W1XPO

The Providence Radio Association, Inc. (PRA) is proud to sponsor and staff the official station of this year’s Northeast HamXposition and ARRL New England Convention. The station will be open at various times through the convention for all to operate and will utilize the FEMARA club call sign W1XPO (“hamXPOsition”). Mentors from the PRA will be on hand to assist in operating and to encourage new amateurs to Get on the Air. 

A few PRA members who manned the 1956 and 1958 New England Convention station will be present. “The equipment has changed in 68 years. We will not be using the E.F. Johnson Viking II transmitter and Hammarlund HQ-140-XA, but the thrill and excitement of Amateur Radio will be the same,” writes PRA President “Tess” Tessitore, K1DT. 

“This year we’re conducting a massive outreach to all Technician class amateurs across New England through the ASCEND Program and inviting them to attend HamXposition,” writes New England Vice Director Phil Temples, K9HI. “We’re especially grateful to PRA and its members who are willing to assist newly licensed or inactive hams to experience firsthand the joys of operating on the HF bands.”


A recent W1A Convention operation from 2018.
A recent W1A Convention operation from 2018


W1OP, the official station of the 1956 ARRL New England Convention, Cranston, RI




FEMARA Announces New Club Call Sign: W1XPO

January 31—FEMARA, the ARRL-affiliated regional club that runs the Northeast HamXposition and the ARRL New England Division Convention, today announced that it has received its new, permanent club call sign: W1XPO. The club station trustee is Phil Temples, K9HI.

“Many folks abbreviate the name of our convention to “Expo” and so it’s a very appropriate choice of vanity call,” writes FEMARA President Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF. 
In previous years, FEMARA has featured an HF station at the Convention using the special event call sign “W1A.” FEMARA can now choose to use W1A, W1XPO, or both going forward.
W1XPO QRZ.com page
W1XPO QRZ.com page

NEAR-Fest XXXV Changes and News (UPDATED January 27, 2024)

NEAR-Fest logoMike Crestohl, W1RC, writes on January 27, 2024:

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

Please note this is an updated announcement. Please disregard any other notices you may have read.

Our Spring 2024 hamfest, NEAR-Fest XXXV, will be held on Thursday April 25th and Friday April 26th 2024. There will be no hamfest activity on Saturday due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict with the Deerfield Fairgrounds. We had originally announced that the event would take place only on Friday but due to popular demand and the cooperation of the Deerfield Fair Association we are pleased to announce this new full two-day schedule.

Our 2024 Fall NEAR-Fest XXXVI is scheduled for October 11th and 12th and will be the same as always for the past eighteen years, on Friday and Saturday.

The gates will open on Thursday morning at 7:00 AM for PREPAID TICKET HOLDERS ONLY so you might want to buy your tickets online well in advance starting February 1st 2024 on our Web site, www.near-fest.com, or in March at the Ham Radio Outlet store in Salem NH and at Ross Hochstrasser’s Clock Shop in Whitman MA and get your favorite spot. NEAR-Fest XXXV will end at 3:00 PM on Friday.

Prepaid ticket holders will line up and enter via Gate C as we did in the Fall. They MUST have ALL of their needed tickets and inside parking passes or they will be sent to Gate F. This includes all Campers, RVs, tenters, who MUST also have their overnight camping passes as there will be NO tickets or passes sold at Gate C. Anyone needing to buy tickets or parking passes will go to Gate F and will be admitted starting at 8:00AM. Once the line has entered at Gate C it will close and all others entering the grounds will proceed to Gate F.

For this event only admission per person is $10.00 whether you buy your ticket online or in advance or at the gate. Overnight parking and tent passes are $15.00 regardless of whether you plug into an electric outlet or not. Campers, RVs and overnight stayers will go directly into the Fairgrounds as we will not be using the campgrounds this time. The cost of the pass for RVs, Campers, Motorhomes, etc, is $30.00. All vehicles that remain in the Fairgrounds overnight (after 9:00 PM) will require an overnight parking pass in addition to an inside parking pass for Friday.

Everyone over 21 will need an admission ticket except unlicensed spouses, active duty military, full-time students (with ID) and other valid pass holders.

If you buy something big and heavy in the flea market one of our volunteer staff members will be glad to transport it and you to your vehicle at no charge as we have been doing for many years. As always inside parking for disabled persons is free of charge and they may use a single person “mobility device” as well. NEAR-Fest reserves the right to limit the use of golf carts and “other power driven mobility devices” due to safety concerns and potential liability issues.

Please visit our Web site, www.near-fest.com, or our Facebook page, NearFest NH for any further updates. We apologize for any inconvenience that this modified version of NEAR-Fest may have caused but it is only for this time. We appreciate your indulgence and understanding.

See you at Deerfield!


MisterMike, W1RC

WinterFest 2024, Whitman MA, January 20, 2024

WinterFest 2024
Saturday Jan 20, 2024 9 am to 1 pm
Vendor setup at 7 am
The First-Best Ham-Fest of the Year!

Whitman Amateur Radio Club
K of C Hall Rt. 18 Whitman MA
$5 entry fee with Raffle Prizes (drawn at noon)
VE testing sessions for Tech/General/Extra

Talk-In on the Whitman club repeater: 147.225 MHz +pl67

For vendors to purchase tables ($15/ea)
Use Paypal or Credit Card

Name (and optional) Callsign
Phone Number
PayPal – The safer, easier way to pay online!

Or send a check to:

The Whitman Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 48 Whitman, MA 02382

Be sure to include name/callsign/ph# w/your payment
Table cost: $15/ea
(no refunds unless event cancelled)
Questions call: 781-523-5010

Winterfest 2024 Flyer

QRPme 2024 LIVE Stream Buildathon #1

QRPme logoW1REX and friends will be hosting a LIVE streamed BUILDATHON over three nights, starting at the end of January.

Three sessions will be held on Sunday, January 28; Wednesday, January 31; and the following Sunday, February 4, centered around building a Tuna Tin 2 40th Anniversary kit. In previous LIVE streamed BUILDATHONS, we have been limited in trying to cram an entire BUILDATHON in a two- or three-hour time slot. The builds were done rather quickly in order to fit everything into the single session with little time for in-depth discussion on the what and why. This BUILDATHON will be much different.  Each session will focus on a different aspect of the process. 

Sunday January 28 4PM EST

Objectives: WHY QRP, TT2 circuit operation, parts identification & sorting, soldering techniques and practice.

We will be talking about all the above stuff then ending with soldering practice, building a couple of elementary pieces of QRP test equipment useful after your successful completion of the 40th Anniversary Tuna Tin 2 kit. Lots of time to cover these topics with Q&A encouraged. Additions to the 40th Anniversary kit will include parts & PCB for a simple straight key, dummy load and RF probe. These three items are much simpler than the actual TT2 transmitter so easier to build. They will make good starting points for those learning to solder, YET very useful when checking out your completed Tuna Tin 2 transmitter.

Wednesday January 31 8PM EST

Objectives: BUILDING a QRP kit!

Since you now know ‘everything’ about the Tuna Tin 2 design and how to solder, we get to work and actually BUILD the kit. With 37 total parts, this TT2 kit is a relatively simple to build and should be able to be completed in one evening. We will take it slow and since this session is not in another event’s  time window, we should be able to take it slowly so that everyone should be able to keep up, now that you are ALL experienced solderers.

Sunday February 4 5PM EST

Objectives: Getting everyone’s kit up & running and testing its performance.

We will have the whole session devoted to getting EVERYONE’s kit completed and running as expected. We will learn how to use the key, dummy load and RF Probe to debug and check transmitter performance.  We will be LIVE streaming this BUILDATHON from Stephen, N1SH, Houser’s QTH and will have plenty of time each evening to get through the objectives. It will be broadcast on my YouTube account (Rex Harper)  and on Charlie “Red” Brown, NJ7V, (Red Summit RF) Podcast channel. All three sessions will be archived on those sites immediately after their broadcast, so latecomers will be able to review any missed material. Times will be 4 PM EST for the Sunday sessions and 8 PM EST for the Wednesday session.

All kits will be shipped via USPS Priority Mail, so US and Canada orders should have ample time to arrive on time. DX orders are a little iffy, unless they are ordered ASAP.

Stay tuned to this product page for more information. I will be posting lots of pre-Buildathon information before the first session. 

Website: http://qrpme.com/ Buildathon page:http://qrpme.com/?p=product&id=LS1

Hope to see you there!

Rex, W1REX

Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP), April 8, 2024: A NASA Supported Citizen Science Event

Bruce Tinkler, N9JBT, writes on the New England Sci-Tech ARS mailing list:

“Join thousands of other operators for a fun, friendly HF competition with a unique goal:  Increasing our understanding of how the ionosphere works.”

April 8th, 2024 during the total solar eclipse.  Operate CW, SSB, FT4/8, even WSPR and FST4W.

Information at https://hamsci.org/eclipse

Please bookmark this page and join the HamSCI eclipse mailing list for future announcements related to the HamSCI FoEIS.

[Stanley Pozerski, KD1LE, presented on “HamSCI Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science” at the 2023 Northeast HamXposition.]


HamSCI Eclipse logo

Collegiate Clubs

The Northeast HamXposition and New England ARRL Convention would be delighted to have more collegiate clubs at this year’s convention.  Our goal is to attract more youth of any age into amateur radio, but also to highlight the local colleges that have amateur radio clubs and perhaps interest youth in staying in the hobby through their college years.  [Full story]