Category Archives: On The Air

Articles and other information related to On The Air Operations, Special Events, Activations, DXxpeditions, Portable and Mobile On The Air Activities, Nets, etc.

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

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.


Field Day Plans 2018

ARRL Field Day 2018 will be held on June 23 – 24 this year.  Our Field Day plans are starting to shape up.  We have 4 co-chairpersons this year:

Field Day Plans

We had finalized selecting the site, which is the Hudson Memorial School.

Field Day site at Hudson Memorial School
Field Day site at Hudson Memorial School

We plan to operate in the 10A category.  We will be adding 3 digital stations to get to the 10A.

Digital Field Day Station
Digital Field Day Station

Field Day Planning Meeting

Join us at our first Field Day Planning meeting on May 7th at 7:00 pm at the Nashua Public Library.  We can use many volunteers to put up towers, operate CW, put up Wire Antennas and much more.  Hope to see you there!

Armed Forces Day Crossband Test May 12, 2018

I always enjoy connecting with the military stations on the annual radio communications test. It is a chance to check the rig’s capabilities. And as always, I make a special chart and program the frequencies in my transceiver’s memory slots. That way I can quickly zip down the frequencies and check for activity using the chart below,.—Layne AE1N

2476012-24zCW+SSBWARDCPentagon Washington
22924.517-24zSSBNMC3CACoast Guard Island
2099716-23zSSBABHHISchofield Barracks
2099415-01zSSBABM2JapanCamp Zama
2099415-01zSSBADBOkinawaCamp Foster
20937.513-02zCW+SSBWUG-5TNArmy Corps of Engineers
2092013-01zSSBAACKYBarrow Army Reserve Ctr
2074012-24zSSBAIRVAAndrews AFB
1829313-02zCW+SSBWUG-4TNArmy Corps of Engineers
1829315-24zSSBNEPMCAUSS Iowa
1827216-23zSSBABHHISchofield Barracks
1821114-01zSSBNIIWCAUSS Midway
1754513-02zCW+SSBNSSMDUS Naval Academy
1580712-24zSSBAIRVAAndrews AFB
15740.517-24zSSBNMC2CACoast Guard Island
14663.512-22zSSBNWKJSCUSS Yorktown
1448713-02zCW+SSBNSSMDUS Naval Academy
1448715-01zSSBABM1JapanCamp Zama
1448715-01zSSBADBOkinawaCamp Foster
14463.515-24zSSBNEPMCAUSS Iowa
14438.516-23zSSBABHHISchofield Barracks
1441116-01zSSBAGA9TRCATravis AFB
14383.514-01zSSBNIIWCAUSS Midway
1399312-24zSSBAGA2SYNYHancock Fld
13963.513-01zSSBAACKYBarrow Army Reserve Ctr
13910.513-02zCW+SSBWUG-3TNArmy Corps of Engineers
1349812-03zSSBAFN4AFTNNaval Support Activity
944713-02zCW+SSBNSSMDUS Naval Academy
754516-23zSSBAGA5SCILScott AFB
754213-01zSSBAACKYBarrow Army Reserve Ctr
754217-24zSSBNMC1CACoast Guard Island
754012-24zSSBAGA2SYNYHancock Field
7533.513-02zCW+SSBNSSMDUS Naval Academy
7493.514-01zSSBNIIWCAUSS Midway
7375.512-03zSSBAFN4AFTNNaval Support Activity
736012-22zSSBNWKJSCUSS Yorktown
732916-01zSSBAGA9TRCATravis AFB
730512-24zSSBAIRVAAndrews AFB
6903.515-24zSSBNEPMCAUSS Iowa
5403.513-02zCW+SSBWUG-2TNArmy Corps of Engineers
5371.514-01zSSBNIIWCAUSS Midway
535716-23zSSBABHHISchofield Barracks
5346.513-01zSSBAACKYBarrow Army Reserve Ctr
5346.516-01zSSBAGA9TRCATravis AFB
5330.513-02zCW+SSBNSSMDUS Naval Academy
487216-23zSSBAGA5SCILScott AFB
457512-24zSSBAGA2SYNYHancock Field
451712-24zSSBAIRVAAndrews AFB
4043.515-24zSSBNEPMCAUSS Iowa
4038.513-02zCW+SSBNSSMDUS Naval Academy
4013.514-01zSSBNIIWCAUSS Midway
400012-22zSSBNWKJSCUSS Yorktown
330816-23zSSBAGA5SCILScott AFB
139616-01zSSBAGA9TRCATravis AFB

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will sponsor the traditional military/amateur radio communication tests to mark the 67th annual Armed Forces Day (AFD) on Saturday, May 12. Armed Forces Day is May 19, but the AFD Crossband Military-Amateur Radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier in order to avoid conflicting with Hamvention. Complete information, including military stations, modes, and frequencies, is available on the US Army MARS website.

The annual celebration is a unique opportunity to test two-way communication between radio amateurs and military stations (authorized under §97.111 of the Amateur Service rules). It features traditional military-to-amateur crossband SSB voice, CW, practice using legacy interoperability waveforms, and the opportunity for participating hams to utilize more modern military modes, such as MIL-STD Serial PSK and Automatic Link Establishment (ALE).

An Armed Forces Day test message will be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) Serial PSK waveform (M110) followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY), as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B. Technical information regarding these waveforms is available. The AFD test message will also be sent at 0300 UTC in CW