The NEAR-Fest is an international event run by and for all radio hobbyists and enthusiasts, including “hams”, short-wave listeners, scanner buffs, vintage/antique radio fans, etc. NEAR-Fest is held twice annually, spring and fall, rain or shine, at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, Deerfield NH beginning on Friday at 0900 and ending Saturday at 1500 hours.
We had the good fortune of attending and speaking at the Boxboro Hamvention this past weekend. We shared three presentations related to our club’s activities and projects. I wanted to share copies of these presentations here.
- High-Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio – A Nashua Area Radio Club STEM Learning Project
- Modernizing & Growing your Club – The Nashua Area Radio Club Story
- Portable Satellite Station Design & Operation
All of these presentations were well attended. In particular, there was great interest in the second presentation among other clubs in the New England area.
Also, we are planning to have our 2.0 Satellite Station setup at our upcoming Technician License Class on Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. If you are in the area and would like to see the station in operation, please contact us at [email protected] to arrange for a visit. If you’d like to register for one of our license classes, you can do that here.
Videos from our Boxboro Hamvention Presentations
Our High-Altitude Balloon Launch Video
Growing HAM Radio – How Clubs Can Help
Satellite Station 2.0 Operation and Contacts
You can find more information about our HAB Project via this link. Also, you can learn more about our club’s portable satellite station activities via this link. Finally, you can visit Anita’s and My Station Project Blog for more articles and information about Satellite Station construction and operation.
We always arrive 1 day before the Hamvention to attend Contest University. We get to listen to professors who are experts in contesting, propagation and other aspects of Ham radio and always learn something new. The presentation that stands out in my mind was on Space Weather by Dr. Tamitha Skov, who is a regular on Ham Nation and has a web site Space Weather Woman.
On Friday it was time to visit the first day of Hamvention. We spent most of our time visiting the vendors. The new venue had 5 buildings with vendor booths and 2 more buildings for Forums. It took us most of Friday and some of Saturday to visit all of them. Here are some of the highlights.
Icom has a new SDR transceiver coming out later this year, the IC-7610. We got to see it in person at their booth. The display was impressive. If the performance is as good as the IC-7300, this will be a great transceiver.
The Elecraft booth was very busy – we got to see their upcoming 1500 W amplifier, the KPA1500, which will cover 6m – 160m.. this one is going on the wishlist.
Next, we visited the Flex Radio booth and spent some time playing with the Maestro, which will have at Field Day for the GOTA station. Their newest radios, including the Flex 6600 have buttons and knobs and a display.
At Kenwood’s booth, we got to look at their newest HT, the TH-D74, a tri-bander which does APRS, D-Star and has a great looking color display.
We then visited the Begali booth where we got a chance to try out a large variety of Begali Keys.
At the Begali booth, Fred picked out his Hamvention toy for this year – the Sculpture Mono key.
We made several visits to the AMSAT booth and saw Burns, W2BFJ, one of our newest club members. We also talked to their educational lead about ARISS opportunities to contact astronauts on the space stations and learned the details about how cube sats are built and launched. We also picked up a copy of their latest satellite book, which is one of the best books on the topic we have read.
We also visited the ARRL booth where we received a warm welcome from Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, ARRL CEO, who spoke at our club meeting last year. He is very interested in our HAB project.
After the Hamvention closed for the day, we attended many of the dinners and activities at the Crowne Plaza with the contesting community. At the Top Band dinner, we saw a very interesting presentation from Nodir, EY8MM, about his home country, Tajikistan and his plans for 160m operations during the Bouvet Island DXpedition coming up in 2018.
Overall we had a great time at the Hamvention and are looking forward to attending in 2018.
The Dayton Hamvention is the largest Amateur Radio Gathering in the world. Every Ham should visit Dayton at least once to see many educational forums, a huge number of vendor exhibits and an outdoor flea market.