2016 SET – Simulated Emergency Test

On SATURDAY, October 1st, the annual ARRL/ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) will take place, and Saratoga County amateurs will be taking part. The objective is to activate as many stations from as many county locations, including served agencies, as possible. The goal is to demonstrate that our county can activate a corps of radio operators quickly in case of a real emergency. Points are awarded based on the nature of each QSO, and each county will report its results to the section emergency coordinator for ENY by noon that same day.

The exercise begins at 9 am and runs until 11 am for home, portable and mobile participants. You can take part by checking-in to the club’s linked 2-meter repeaters (147.00 & 147.24) and reporting your location. You may report from home, and you may also report from local fire stations, hospitals, churches, schools, etc. — any facility that might serve as a shelter in a real emergency. If possible, go inside, introduce yourself, and tell them what’s happening. We get more points for going inside than for calling from the parking lot.  Anyone wishing to be an early responder needs to submit a cell phone number and email address by noon on Wednesday.

So please join us this Saturday, Oct. 1st, from 9 – 11 am. Call in from home and then drive to “shelter” facilities in your area and check in as well.

  • Check-in to the SET network on the club repeaters from each location.
  • Do this as many times as you can … then enjoy your afternoon, knowing you’ve made a real contribution to Saratoga County’s emergency preparedness.

The RULES for scoring the Eastern New York Section SET 2016 are available.

If you’re willing to commit in advance to visit any fire stations, etc. in your area, please let Phil-KC2YLM pweissman@nycap.rr.com or Fred – W2EMS W2EMS@ARRL.NET know.

73 and thank you,
Fred – W2EMS

NY QSO Party – Get Ready for October 15!

Originally posted at Upstate NY HAM Radio News & Information. Reposted courtesy of the author.

NY QSO Party – Get Ready for October 15!

by Dean NW2K

It’s all about NY on October 15 as radio amateurs from around the world get on the air to work all 62 NY counties, Chautauqua to Clinton, Niagara to Suffolk. A dozen or more mobile operators will take to the mean streets of NYC or the bucolic surrounds of the Southern Tier and North Country. Brave souls will sneak out to the woodlands to activate a rare county, Field Day style, as temps may dip into the 30’s. And good, solid Elmers will open up their shacks to new hams and build excitement as the spotlight is on US!

The NYQP game is easy to play as all operating modes and bands are eligible. The QSO exchange is simple for NY operators: signal report and county. For those eager out-of-state ops wanting to work all 62 counties, they’ll send a signal report and their state, province or DX.
There’s a category for all operating styles from single-operator-QRP to multi-operator-high-power-mobile! And the 48 plaques, which are awarded to category winners, are simply beautiful and I think they’re the best in the business. Serious “furniture” for the discerning ham’s shack! The state-wide NYQP Plaque Sponsorship Team and the Rochester DX Association really step up to the plate each year to make all the effort worthwhile.

Please start thinking about your NYQP operations. Mobile or Fixed, SSB, CW or digital, the important thing is to get on the air with friends and make some “noise” and help promote amateur radio spirit in NY. Please consider using this event to introduce new hams into the mix. Elmering has always been an important aspect of our hobby and NYQP is a perfect vehicle from which to teach operating concepts and station engineering. Make a new antenna, try a new digital mode, operate a vintage rig, have fun!

There is a page at the NYQP website (www.nyqp.org) that we’ve created to announce activity across the state. It’s called “2016 Planned Activations” and it’s easy to list your plans online to alert others of your activity in that rare or not-so-rare QTH. It helps all of us make informed choices on how to operate to maximize fun. The event’s rules are also listed at the site.

In 2015, we had a record 314 logs, 156 from NY, 135 stateside, 14 from Canada, and 9 from DX. 5,670(!) unique call signs participated in the event, with 43,065(!) reported QSOs. Contacts were made in all 62 counties from 49 (missed AK) states, 9 (AB, BC, MB, NB, NT, ON, PEI, QC, SK) provinces, and dozens of DX countries. There were 57 amateur radio clubs (25 New York and 32 out of state) involved the event. Let’s set some new records in 2016!

Need any assistance or have any questions? Wondering which are the rare counties? Have a question about logging software? The NYQP Team is at the ready…send me a note any time at NW2K@arrl.net or check out the great NYQP website (www.nyqp.org) for all the details. We’ll help you get on the air on October 15!

Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – 2016 September HAMFEST Edition

Hamfest OutdoorsHAMFEST HAMFEST HAMFEST

Don’t forget this Sunday, Sept 11 is the 31st annual SCARA Hamfest at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. Gates open as early as 6:30 AM.

We are having a plethora of door prizes from many, many vendors, and some HUGE bucket prizes (do I sound like a car dealer?)

Come on out, admission is a NEW REDUCED price responding to popular demand. The test session is at 9 AM in the Cooperative Extension Building at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa.

Read all about it in the attached Sparks from the Spa Newsletter.

Hamfest 2016 Presentations and Demonstrations

Official Hamfest Chef at WorkLearn about new and exciting aspects of ham radio

Find out what’s new by attending one of our “how-to” presentations and demonstrations held during the hamfest.  These events are held in the open building directly behind the Club Table — with the exception of the foxhunt and the antenna launching demo, which are held outside on the fairgrounds.

Schedule of Hamfest Demos and Activities

9 am—Raspberry Pi and DVMega Projects and Beyond

Tom, AC2IE will demonstrate a dual-mode DStar/DMR hotspot based on a Raspberry Pi and a DVMega. The RPi also incorporates a safe shutdown switch needed for portable, headless operation as well as a 2.4-inch color display.  G4KLX’s MMDVMHost software configuration will be briefly discussed.

9:45 am—Remote operation of your home HF station

Steve, WA2TTP will demonstrate two methods of remote operation used from Florida and Hawaii with very good results. The first setup uses a Kenwood TS-480sat in conjunction with the Remoterig internet interface that can be used without computers at either end. It also allows you to have the radio control head at the remote location. The second setup will operate a Kenwood TS-590SG remotely using a laptop running Kenwood’s free software.  Pros and cons of each will be discussed

10:30 am—Intro to ARES, RACES and EmComm

Fred, W2EMS will provide an overview of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) and RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) and how they are deployed to support government agencies with Emergency Communications. Fred will also cover the basic ARRL and FEMA courses and certificates to obtain as you get up to speed. He can also sign you up as a member to help out whenever the need arises.

11:15 am—NBEMS and FLDIGI operation for emergency situations

Emergency communication today often requires data transmission of sensitive information, as well as voice traffic.   Red Cross and hospitals often need privacy for the files they share. Frank, KA5VVI will show how Narrow-Band Emergency Messaging System and Fast, Light Digital software are used to quickly and accurately send all types of data files among sites involved. FLDIGI can handle PSK, RTTY, MT63, and other digital modes — even CW.

12 noon—Foxhunt on the Fairgrounds

Meet at the Club Table before noon, set your VHF rig for 146.52, and test your skills at locating the crafty Fox — periodically transmitting WA2UMX in CW. Leave the Fox where it is, then hurry back to the Club Table to check in. Hope you’re first!

12:30 am—Olympics of Antenna-Launching Devices

What’s the best way to hang an antenna from a tree? Hams have used bows and arrows, thrown objects, slingshots, shotguns (no!) and now pneumatic launchers. KA5VVI and friends will demonstrate some of their favorites and try to show what method sends a projectile highest and farthest. Stand back and watch the fun!

HAMFEST 2016 Flyer

Hamfest 2016 Update

Hamfest - SwapfestI know I sent out an email last week concerning the hamfest, but I just want to give you an update.  We have received commitments from additional vendors for various raffle prizes, four additional ones since last week.  Here is the latest list:

  • GigaParts – In addition to providing Bucket Prizes, they’ve sent us discount vouchers to pass out with every ticket purchase.
  • ARRL – two $50 and two $25 gift certificates;
  • DX Engineering – one $50 Gift Certificate plus catalogs with discount vouchers included.
  • Tigertronics – one USB Interface;
  • N3FJP/Scott Davis – one downloadable Logging Software Suite;
  • KJI Electronics – one Gift Certificate.
  • Radio Oasis – G5RV antenna
  • RF Adapter Guy – gift certificate
  • Ham Call/Buckmaster – Ham Call CD
  • Hy-Gain – raffle prize
  • Diamond Antennas – raffle prize
  • True Ladderline – raffle prize

In addition, we expect vendor K1CRA Radio to attend on site, offering antennas, connectors, adapters, and other accessories.

Finally, we have … not one, not two, not three, but FOUR “bucket prizes” which will be raffled off just like we do in our Spring swapfest.  GigaParts has provided us with a discount for these bucket prizes.  We will be selling tickets at $5 each or 3 for $10, that you can place in the bucket for appropriate prize you want.  Here is a list of the available items:

  • LDG-Pro III tuner   ZLD-AT-200Pro II
  • Icom IC-2730A dual band mobile
  • Yaesu FT-2DR  mobile rig
  • Rig Expert Antenna analyzer ZRE-AA-170

Remember, Sunday, Sept 11 at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds.  Gates open at 7 AM.  I am attaching a PDF of the HAMFEST 2016 Flyer, and I hope you will distribute it to all your friends.

Jim  KG2H