Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – April 2022

Hello All,

I hope everyone is doing well.

First item of interest is that the April issue of the Sparks from the Spa Newsletter is available.

Second, is the information for the April Club meeting, which will be held in person.  It will be at our usual location, the Saratoga County Fire Training Center.  It is located at the Saratoga County facility on County Farm Rd. If you need an address for your GPS, try 6012 County Farm Rd, Ballston Spa.  The actual training center is located behind the animal shelter building.

The business meeting will start at 6:30 PM, and the general meeting will start at 7:00 PM.  The speakers for the evening will be Brian Szewczyk NJ1F, and Jim Polewczak KG2H.  We will be examining and comparing 2 very popular computer logging systems, N1MM+ and N3FJP Amateur Contact Log.  It should be an interesting meeting.  I hope to see you there.

Jim KG2H

Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – March 2022

Hello all,

Here is the March issue of Sparks from the Spa Newsletter.

Just a reminder that the monthly meeting for March is scheduled for Saturday, March 19, at 8:00 AM.  It is our annual Swapfest which is being held at the Cooperative Extension Building located at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa.  This has been on hiatus for the last 2 years because of you know what!  There is no admission charge.  The Swapfest will close at 11:00 AM so we can set up for the exam session to be held at noon.  More information is in the newsletter and this post about the Swapfest details.

I hope to see you there.

Jim KG2H

2022 Swapfest – March 19

[graphic of assorted ham gear in box]Hi all.

Just a simple reminder about our March meeting.

I am pleased to announce that we will be having our traditional March Swapfest to be held in person (!!) for the first time after the last 2 years in COVID isolation. We will be holding it on Saturday, March 19 at its usual location in the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building at 50 West High Street in Ballston Spa The doors will officially open at 8:00 AM so come on out and get an eyeball QSO with your fellow hams. If you have some items you wish to give a give a new home to, bring them along also. Tables will be available until they’re all used up. We will have to close down the swapfest at 11:00 AM so that we can ready the room for a VE Test session at Noon.

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. It will have your FRN number which you need to have to fill out Form 605. If you don’t have a copy of your license you can visit https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/universal-licensing-system to obtain one.
  • If you are unlicensed, the FCC requires that you have a FRN. You can obtain a FRN in just a few minutes before the exam session by visiting FCC FRN Registration. You simply apply for the FRN on line (you will receive it immediately), and you will have it with you when you come to the test session.
  • You need an email address to enter on the FCC form 605. This is the address that the FCC will use to communicate with you.
  • 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 team 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.

Jim KG2H

Sparks from the Spa Newsletter – February 2022

Hello all,

Here is a link to the February issue of the Sparks from the Spa Newsletter.

It’s a bit short this month, the editor has been having some medical issues, so we’re lucky to have this.

Also, don’t forget that tonight is monthly meeting for SCARA. It will be a ZOOM meeting, starting at 6:30 PM.

Check your email for the Zoom meeting information.

Jim KG2H

February 2022 SCARA Club Meeting – Winlink

Hello all,

Hope you all are doing well.  It’s time for the monthly SCARA Meeting.  It will be a Zoom meeting, this Monday Feb 14.  The business meeting will be held starting at 6:30 PM, and the general meeting will start right after that, at approximately 7:00 PM.

The February SCARA Meeting Program will be on Winlink presented by our very own Fred – W2EMS.

Winlink Global Radio Email®️…

…is a network of amateur radio and authorized government-licensed stations that provide worldwide radio email using radio pathways where the internet is not present. The system is built, operated and administered entirely by licensed “Ham” volunteers. It supports email with attachments, position reporting, weather and information bulletins, and is well-known for its role in interoperable emergency and disaster relief communications. It is capable of operating completely without the internet–automatically–using smart-network radio relays. Licensed Winlink operators/stations use both amateur radio and government radio frequencies worldwide.

It should be interesting to see.  I’m sure that Fred will wind in the emergency communications aspects of Winlink.

March Meeting – Swapfest

Also, here is an important announcement, our March Meeting will be our annual swapfest meeting, to be held live and in person on Saturday March 19 starting around 8 AM at the Cornell Cooperative building, at 50 West High Street, in Ballston Spa.  We anticipate a VEC test session Starting at noon.  There will be further information coming in this later.

Check your email for the Zoom link for the February meeting.

Jim KG2H