Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – September 2020

Hello all,

Hope everyone had a great summer.

Our September meeting is going to be held via ZOOM once again this Monday evening Sept 14 at 7:00 PM.

We have 2 main topics of discussion:

  • A discussion of ideas concerning holding a virtual hamfest since we could not hold our own physical one this month.
  • A discussion of the SET exercise in October.

Please join us at 7:00 PM on Monday Sept 14.

Also note that I am attaching the September Sparks from the Spa Newsletter.

Jim KG2H

Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – August 2020

Hello All,

In 1968 Ella Fitzgerald sang:

“Summertime and the living is easy”

Well I hope your summertime has been easy. I am attaching the August edition of Sparks from the Spa Newsletter. There is very important news in the first article, we have decided to cancel our physical hamfest, but we are thinking about other options.

Other news includes the Corona Challenge results, and news of a large virtual hamfest being held on August 8 and 9.


Jim KG2H

Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – May 2020

Hello all,

Hope this finds you all well.  Attached you will find the May issue of Sparks from the Spa Newsletter.  Its a little longer than usual, i hope you find it interesting.
Once again, we will be holding our May meeting virtually, via Zoom.  I will send out the Zoom specifications a few days prior to the meeting.
Since the June meeting is our annual meeting, we will be electing new officers then.  If any of you want to run, we look forward to stepping forward and injecting us with new blood (not lysol please).  The major requirement is that your dues are current in order to be nominated.  All positions are available, President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and 4 at large board members.  If you are interested, please contact Jim KG2H.  My email address is KG2H@ARRL.NET
I hope to see many of you logged into the Zoom session on May 11, at a little before 7 PM.
Jim  KG2H

Corona Challenge

The other day we announced the Corona Challenge, encouraging people to get on the air, and exercising “social distancing” to the extreme.
We had some feedback saying that it was too complicated, so a slight change was made to the rules. Here are the revised rules:

Corona Challenge – On Air Operating Event 2020

Purpose: to encourage All Saratoga County Amateur Radio Association Members to get on the air and become more active while practicing “Social Distancing” or “Self-Quarantine” during the State of Emergency in Saratoga County New York

Dates: March 22, 2020, through the end of the State of Emergency in Saratoga County, NY. The end date will also be announced to club members.

Suggested Frequencies: Any Amateur Bands and Repeaters

Modes: SSB, AM, FM, DMR, C4FM, D-Star, CW, RTTY, FT8, FT4, SSTV, basically any over the air mode used by Amateurs

Exchange: Call sign, signal report,

Logging: Date, Time, Band, Mode, Call sign, Signal report, Optional: Name and QTH


  • SSB, AM FM (voice) – 1 point each
  • CW and Digital (Excluding Digital Voice) – 2 points each
  • Only count a QSO’s with a station once per band and mode

Total Score: Total QSO points plus any bonus points

Entry: Send the completed summary sheet and if claiming more than 50 QSO’s, please also send an electronic ADIF formatted log or excel sheet with the logging information to KG2H@ARRL.NET

Awards: Certificates and TBD

Questions or help: Email Brian NJ1F@ARRL.NET

PDF of Corona Challenge Rules

PDF of Corona Challenge Summary

Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – April 2020

Hello All,

I know I missed the March edition, I apologize, however, I have been under the weather ever since I got back from our vacation to New Zealand. I am making it up to you by getting the April letter out a little early. Here is the April Sparks from the Spa Newsletter.

Just a few notes. I sent out an email earlier this afternoon that the April SCARA meeting is canceled. As of this time, that is the only thing we are canceling. any decisions about the May or other meetings have not yet been made. I will endeavor to keep you informed.

Thanks to our ARRL Division Manager, Ria Jairam (N2RJ) she has offered us an electronic option for the meeting just minutes after I sent that message, The Board will consider her offer, and see if anything will be arranged. That is a benefit of us being an ARRL affiliated club. The majority of you in the club are already ARRL Members, but if you are not, please consider joining us who are.

It doesn’t look good for family and friends getting together for Easter, but make the best of it you can. Our family will get together via SKYPE, but it’s not exactly the same as being there in person.

Stay warm and dry, and don’t forget social distancing.

April 13, 2020 Eyeball Meeting Cancelled – Online Meeting Instead

Hello All:

Good News. in the last newsletter, there was an article announcing the cancellation of the April club meeting. Since that time, our ARRL Division Manager Ria Jairam, N2RJ has offered us the use of the Hudson Division’s license to present our meeting online via the ZOOM app.
This is an app similar to Skype or Google DUO, or a number of other apps.

As I previously mentioned, since we are an ARRL affiliated club, we were offered the use of this app. This is one of the perks the club enjoys. I know that most of the members are already ARRL members, but those of you who are not, you should consider joining or renewing your lapsed membership in ARRL.

The April meeting will be:

Bruce Blain, K1BG, will present on “Entry Level Licensing – What’s Worked and What Hasn’t:”

All of us entered the amateur radio hobby in a number of different ways. Whether it was the Class B license of the 30s and 40s, the Novice license of the 50s through the 90s, or the current Technician class license, Bruce looks at the history of entry-level license requirements and conditions, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and what it means for attracting youth to the hobby.

When we get closer to the date, I will publish to all the meeting specifics on how to connect to the ZOOM app and join the meeting.

We used ZOOM to hold a Board of Directors meeting last week, and it went well and was very easy to connect. Basically you can use either the web browser in your computer or your telephone to connect.

I will be emailing this information out to you next week, closer to the actual meeting date.

Jim KG2H

[ED: Jim sent out an email with joining details on 4/9/2020. To prevent ZoomBombing, I’m not including that in this public forum. Check your email, or contact Jim, KG2H.]

2020 SwapFest CANCELED

Hello All

Due to the concern about the Covid 19 virus, the Saratoga County ARA Swapfest and the related Test Session is being canceled this weekend.

We are sorry to do this, but I hope you understand the situation.

Don’t worry, the September hamfest is far away in time, and is not affected by this announcement.

Jim KG2H