Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – September 2017

Hi, All.

Here it is, it’s after Labor Day, and I hope you all had a wonderful summer so far.

The big news is that this Sunday, we will be holding our 32 annual hamfest at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. I am attaching the final version of our 2017 Hamfest flyer in case you want to forward it on to a friend. Please note that we will have 2 new equipment vendors this year. KJI Electronics who usually comes to our event, PLUS a new (for us) vendor, RW Antenna Store. Be sure to bring lots of money to support both our vendors.

Don’t forget, after the whoop de do on Sunday, we have our regular club meeting the next day at 7 PM at the Wilton EMS building, particulars are in the attached Sparks from the Spa Newsletter. This is one of our longest newsletters, as lots of things happened over the summer. I hope you enjoy it.

Jim KG2H

Hamfest is Sunday – Two New Equipment Dealers

Great News for the Hamfest!

RW Antenna Store from Lockport NY just notified us that he will attend our hamfest, bringing a full line of ham radio equipment, and he wants 10 tables. KJI Electronics will be here too.

Bring ALL your money, and try to spread it around fairly — hi. A revised 2017 Hamfest flyer is available.

See y’all on Sunday.

Peter – W2BEW

Emergency Communications Training September 16, 2017

Saratoga County ARES has scheduled an Emergency Communications training session for September 16th from 8:00 a.m. until noon. The topic will be “What’s in your GO KIT”. The training will take place at the Saratoga County Fire Training Center classroom located on County Farm Rd, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.

The County ARES staff will provide attendees with an overview of “GO KIT” contents and use in emergency situations followed by a show and tell of several different kits. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own GO KIT to show the group.

Also, at this meeting members of Saratoga County ARES will be issued new ID cards. Please be prepared to have your photo taken for your new card.

Registration Required

You must be registered on the Eastern New York ARRL Section Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Member Registration website before you receive your new ID card. Register on the website.

A light breakfast will be provided.

– Fred, W2EMS

Hamfest 2017 VE Testing Information

Don’t Forget: the Hamfest is on Sunday, September 10 at the fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. I am attaching a Saratoga County Amateur Radio Association HAMFEST 2017 Poster in case you have an opportunity to distribute it to our fellow hams.

Also, in conjunction with the hamfest is a VE test session. Here are a few notes to pass along to anyone who is wishing to take a test:

Test Session requirements

If you are going to take a test session for either a new or upgraded ham license, here are a few things you MUST bring along:

  • A copy of your current FCC license. We need to attach the license copy to the paperwork when you upgrade. If you a new licensee, you have a few options. The FCC form 605 requires an FRN or an SSN. You can obtain an FRN before the exam session by visiting the FCC Universal Licensing System website. You simply apply for the FRN online, and you will have it with you when you come to the test session.
  • Another form of ID, a driver’s license is great, or any other form of ID. If you don’t have a driver’s license, (perhaps you are too young for the DMV) the ARRL suggests something as simple as a library card, or even a piece of mail addressed to you at your residence.
  • A pen and pencil (with a good eraser). The pen is for filling out the FCC form 605, and the pencil is to fill out the bubble answer sheet.
  • The proper testing fee. Currently, it is $15.
  • Your WITS. It is not a hard exam, so don’t get too anxious about it.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam start time in order to fill out the paperwork, and for the VE’s (Volunteer Examiners) to review it.

Another thing to bear in mind is that for many of the testing sessions, the VE will have alternate versions of the various exam elements available for you to try a retake of the exam. If you do desire to take an alternate version, we must you charge you an additional testing fee.

If you DO NOT NEED to take any alternate versions, you may take the next higher level of exam for NO additional costs. For example, if you take and pass the Technician exam, you may take the General exam if you so desire, and there will be no additional fees. I have witnessed a few people who have come into the session unlicensed, and walk away with the Extra Class license.


Hamfest 2017

Saratoga County Amateur Radio Association
presents our 32nd annual


Sunday, September 10th;  Gates open at 7:00 am

Saratoga County Fair Grounds, 162 Prospect St, Ballston Spa, NY 12020

Only $6 per person includes hourly door prize drawing, plus 8’x8′ “tailgate” space


ONLY $3 !!


  • Delicious Food served all day
  • More hourly prizes; PLUS HIGH-END BUCKET PRIZES
  • Hourly demonstrations: What’s hot in ham radio now?
  • VE exam to be held at 9:00am (off site)
    • Cornell Co-Op Ext. (Solar Bldg)
      50 W. High St / Rt 67 west
      Ballston Spa, NY 12020
  • Lots of gear and accessories to haggle over
  • Fox-hunt on the fairground property
  • Under-cover tables available for $10 each
  • Reservations and prepay welcome and encouraged


  • I-87 to Exit 12
  • West on Rt 67 to Ballston Spa
  • At intersection of Rts 50 & 67, follow 50 North; look for HAMFEST signs
  • In village, turn left at Citgo station Prospect Street; up hill on left


  • K2DLL Repeater System
  • 147.000 Mhz, PL 91.5 Hz or
  • 147.240 Mhz, PL 91.5 Hz
  • GPS Coordinates: 43.007438°, -73.855821°

For information or reservations contact:  Jim Polewczak – KG2H
231 Northline Road, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.   Email:
Phone: 518-703-9558

If you would like to help us out by distributing some flyers, a PDF document of the Saratoga County Amateur Radio Association HAMFEST 2017 Poster is available. Please tell your friends and post where appropriate Thank you for your assistance!

While we were challenged by the date change for Boxboro hamfest to be in conflict with ours, we are making the best of it! Get out and enjoy your weekend, by making it a twofer, Boxboro on Saturday, Ballston Spa on Sunday! You never know where you will find the best deals!