01 Jun

440 MHz Threatened By PAVE PAWS

2007-06-01PAVE PAWS is a United States’ Air Force Space Command radar system operated by three 21st Space Wing squadrons for missile warning and space surveillance.  Operational PAVE PAWS radars are located at the Cape Cod Air Force Station, Massachusetts, Beale Air Force Base, California and Clear Air Force Station, Alaska.

Since early 2006, the USAF has claimed that amateur radio repeaters operating within a certain distance of Otis AFB and Beale AFB are causing unacceptable interference to the PAVE PAWS radar system.  Since the radar is classified, little to no details have been released on how to remedy the problem thus far. This leaves the future status of 440 MHz in our area in question.

Pictured:  One of the phased array antennas that makes up PAVE PAWS radar.

21 May

SKYWARN Training – Thursday, June 14th

2007-05-21SKYWARN is the NWS volunteer weather spotting program where public citizens send reports to weather meteorologists to help them make a precise prediction to protect life and property.  The Acushnet EMA is sponsoring a SKYWARN Training session on Thursday, June 14th, 2007, 7:00pm at the Acushnet Community Center, 232 Middle Road, Acushnet, MA.  This session is open to the public, free of charge and runs about three hours.

A video presentation will show cloud features associated with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.  It will also stresses what types of phenomena should be reported.  Upon completion of the training, identification cards will be handed out along with a special phone number for reporting directly to the National Weather Service.

18 Mar

NEAR-Fest: It’s Official!

2007-03-18It was officially announced this week by Michael Crestohl, W1RC that the New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) will hold its first ever get-together and flea market on Friday, May 4th and Saturday, May 5th at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, Highway 43 in Deerfield, New Hampshire.

This festival is not to be confused with Hosstraders that was formerly held in Hopkinton, NH (and several other locations).  Thirty-three years ago Norman B. Blake, W1ITT, Joseph M. Demaso, K1RQG and Robert V. Tiffany, W1GWU started what has become a highly popular and much beloved New England amateur radio institution.  The NEAR-Fest was instituted to retain this wonderful tradition.

  • Read the full story now on the new NEAR-Fest web site.
07 Mar

NEAR-Fest: The Next Hosstraders?

2007-03-07New England hams feeling the void of the now defunct Hosstraders may have some hope after all.  According to a post by Michael Crestohl, W1RC on The AM Forum site, things look very promising for two new events in the tradition of Hosstraders.  These events will tentatively be on May 4th and 5th as well as October 12th and 13th (both on Friday and Saturday).

Where will this new event be held?  Mike comments that “Right now I am not at liberty to reveal the venue […] It will offer all the amenities we have become used to having and more.”  How about a name for this event?  Mike adds “I have decided [to] tentatively call the event the New England Amateur Radio Festival, which produces a nice acronym; NEAR-Fest.”

  • Read Mike’s full post now on the AM Fone web site.
09 Feb

Hosstraders Discontinued

2007-02-09It is with deep regret that we report the end of a fond New England tradition.  Each May and October, hams from all over New England, New York and nearby Canada would gather for a fun filled weekend tailgate party.  This hamfest/fleamarket was called Hosstraders (a play on words for the way New Englanders pronounce “horse traders”).

The event featured raffles, concessions, ham radio dealers and several fun filled eyeball QSOs.  Norman B. Blake, W1ITT along with Joseph M. Demaso, K1RQG and Robert V. Tiffany, W1GWU had done a fine job with the event since 1973.  It was last held in Hopkinton, NH at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds, with previous homes in Seabrook, Deerfield, Kingston and Rochester over the years.

  • Read the official announcement now on the Hosstraders web site.