Category Archives: General

Articles about Amateur Radio and the Nashua Area Radio Society. This is a general category which includes most articles on our website.

Sights from the New England Tech Trek (NETT) at NEAR-Fest

We have been doing Amateur Radio open house activities as part of our High-Altitude Balloon projects and Kids Day for some time now. These events help young people to learn about and have fun with Amateur Radio and help us to create a STEM learning experience based upon Amateur Radio.

ARRL Kids Day 2018
ARRL Kids Day 2018

Earlier this year, we began working on a project to scale our open house activities up to become an activity that we could host at local Ham Fests. We wanted to expand the scope of this activity to appeal to young people and all Hams to provide an opportunity to learn about Amateur Radio and to showcase some of the modern, “high-tech” aspects of the Amateur Radio Service. This project was debuted at the NETT event at NEAR-Fest.

Young People at NETT
Young People at NETT

Concurrently, Bill Barber, NE1B who is a Nashua Area Radio Society (NARS) member began working on a youth outreach event for the NEAR-Fest event held in Deerfield, NH. We got together with Bill, the NEAR-Fest leadership, and others to create the New England Tech Trek (NETT) at NEAR-Fest. We held our first NETT event earlier this month.

NETT Banner
NETT Banner at the Display Entrance

NARS contributed 10 displays to the initial NETT event including:

We were able to secure the N1T Special Event callsign for the event and we used it to make over 450 contacts on a combination of the four GOTA stations that we had at NETT. We should have our NETT Special Event QSL cards back from our printer shortly.


Our GOTA Stations were among the most popular elements at NETT. Burns, WB1FJ ran our satellite GOTA station. He even managed to create a pileup or two as N1T on the birds!

NETT: Satellite GOTA
Satellite GOTA

Quite a few folks made satellite contacts using N1T .  Also, the satellite station antennas which were located outside the display building were interesting to many folks.

NETT: Satellite Antennas
Satellite Antennas

Our Remote HF GOTA Stations featured FlexRadio Maestros and a nice DXing and Station Building Display. Dave, K1DLM and myself, AB1OC made our stations available to support the two HF GOTA setups and NETT.


Ira, KC1EMJ helped several young folks to make their first HF contacts and Abby, AB1BY anchored our special event N1T station using the second setup.

NETT: N1T Special Event Station
N1T Special Event Station

The SDR-based remote stations and our Satellite GOTA helped us to demonstrate some of the “Hi-Tech” aspects of Amateur Radio to young people and to all Hams who attended NEAR-Fest. We live streamed our GOTA activities to Facebook so that the folks who worked us could see our operation in real-time.

Tony, KC1DXL hosted our display on High Altitude Balloons (HAB) carrying Amateur Radio. The HAB display got lots of interest from the folks who attended NETT.

NETT: High Altitude Balloon Display
High Altitude Balloon Display

Jamey, AC1DC and Connor, KC1GGX put together our displays on Fox Hunting, Morse Code, and portable operating. Their displays provided a great introduction to these activities.

NETT: Fox Hunting Display
Fox Hunting Display

Anita, AB1QB and Tom, AB1NS created a nice display on kit building and Raspberry Pi projects in Amateur Radio. This display was a popular one as well.

NETT: Kits and Computers Display
Kits and Computers Display

Bill, NE1B also engaged several other groups who provided displays at NETT. The Robotics and Drone  were among other popular displays.

NETT: Robots 1
Robots Display at NETT

The following photo archive contains some pictures from the event. There are many good memories there.

NETT BannerNETT: N1T QSL CardYoung People at NETTNETT: N1T Special Event StationNETT: HF GOTANETT: Satellite DisplayNETT: Satellite GOTANETT: Satellite AntennasNETT: Mobile HF N1TNETT: Kits and Computers DisplayNETT: Fox Hunting DisplayNETT: High Altitude Balloon DisplayNETT: Robots 1NETT: Robots 2NETT: NWS HAB DisplayNETT: Field Day - EMCOM DIsplay

Many, many members of NARS contributed a great deal of time and energy to making this project a success and I’d like to thank everyone who helped us!! I’d especially like to thank Hamilton, K1HMS,  Matt, N1ZGN, Mike, K1WVO, Craig, N1SFT, Charlie, AB1ZN, Bob, W1OLD, and Dave, K1DLM for their help with this event.  Without everyone’s support, the NETT event and our presence there would not have been possible. We are looking forward to replicating the most popular elements from our  displays at out Ham Fest events going forward.

Fred, AB1OC

SSTV Images from the ISS – Cosmonautics Day Event

The Amatuer Radio gear on the International Space Station (ISS) supports digital and SSTV modes as well as FM voice communications. The astronauts onboard periodically fire up the SSTV system and transmit images to commemorate milestones in space travel. The following is an example of receiving one of these images using our Portable Satellite Station 3.0

ARISS Russia recently sent SSTV images to commemorate Cosmonautics Day. The recent SSTV activation sent a sent of 12 images over a 1 week period. We were able to receive the full set using our Portable Satellite Ground Station. You can view each of the images in the gallery below.

Cosmonautics Day Event - ARISS SSTV Image 1 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 2 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 3 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 4 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 5 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 6 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 7 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 8 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 9 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 10 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 11 of 12Cosmonautics Day Event -  ARISS SSTV Image 12 of 12

Receiving these images is not difficult. All that is needed is a sound card connected to a radio which can receive transmissions from the ISS and the MMSSTV software to decode to images. You can read more about how to do this here.

Its a lot of fun to collect SSTV images from the ISS and we are looking forward to the next set of SSTV transmissions from the ISS.

Fred, AB1OC

New England Tech Trek at NEAR-Fest this Weekend

NEAR-Fest and the Deerfield Fair Association will be presenting a SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Exposition for young people and at the Deerfield Fairgrounds in Deerfield, NH on May 4th and 5th 2018 as part of NEAR-Fest XXIII.  The event is the New England Tech Trek.

Nashua Area Radio Society and the New England Tech Trek

Nashua Area Radio Society members will be at many of the tables in NETT.  The event is for young people but people of all ages are invited and it will be a great opportunity to learn about many aspects of the hobby.

Visit our tables to learn about:
  • Welcome and Licensing
  • Kit Building and Raspberry Pi Projects
  • Morse Code
  • Fox Hunting
  • SOTA and Portable Operation
  • Field Day / Emcomm
  • High Altitude Balloons
Raspberry Pi Projects
Raspberry Pi Projects
View from a High Altitude Balloon
View from a High Altitude Balloon
We will also have 5 GOTA stations:
  • 2 HF GOTAs
  • A Satellite GOTA
  • Mobile Communications/GOTA
  • Repeater GOTA as part of the Field Day Table
Mobile HF
Mobile HF

If you can’t make it to Deerfield this year, you can contact our GOTA stations on the air.   We will be using the Special Event Call N1T.

The New England Tech Trek will be held on Friday, May 4th from 10am to 5pm and Saturday, May 5th from 9 am to 2 pm.  See the attached brochure for more information by clicking on the link below.


“When All Else Fails”

Here is an example of one of many ways Ham Radio benefits the general public … Layne AE1N

from Reddit:  “… constant news articles calling amateur radio an ‘old form of communication’ don’t do us any favors. We should be pointing out that while we have roots in history, our technology and our skills have evolved like any other technology. I know journalists think taking the angle of amateur radio as a ‘primitive’ activity is romantic, but it’s simply not true.