MassJam and the 2023 Head of the Charles Regatta

Note: This was supposed to be published in the November issue of The SPARC, the Boston Amateur Radio Club newsletter, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, it was never published, so here it is for the first time in print!  It was a busy public service month for me. First off was MassJam 2023, the multi-state scout jamboree that is held every five years at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in Falmouth. While the communication staff was made up of entirely of hams, the event did not use amateur radio for its operation as obviously, while there are hams in Scouting, not everyone is a ham and therefore, commercial band radio was a must for the event. Using radios provided by DC Rentals (who seem to provide the commercial radios for practically every large event in Boston) MassJam got underway. Net control was a 24/7 operation with shifts scheduled in blocks and food for the net controllers was cooked on site. Despite some hiccups, the event itself was mostly successful, including exodus from


 Jim Fisher, AJ3DI passed away a few weeks ago. I met Jim at Winter Field Day in 2022 down in Pennsylvania. I followed him on Twitter. He was a real helpful ham, especially to my friends down in Philly who now miss his dearly. I can't really say much more because I didn't Jim that well, but to measure his impact he had on the Philly ham scene, here's a few others posts and his obituary. Jim's obituary   RIP Jedi Jim Fisher, AJ3DI Sales Whore University

Hamvention 2022

Carl and Jim and the line for tickets Back in May, I went to my first Hamvention, the largest ham radio convention in the world, held in Xenia, Ohio. I was originally planning on going in 2020 with Jim, KB1KQW, as we were discussing at that year's Boston Marathon training but then COVID happened. I flew out of Boston Logan on May 19th with Jim to Columbus, Ohio, where we met up with former Massachusetts native Carl, N1FY, who had settled down there after traveling the world until COVID struck.  From there, we drove to Dayton and checked into a Doubletree hotel in Miamisburg, Ohio. Then the next day it was off to Hamvention! There I was inducted into SLARC among other things, met some new people and came across those I knew. I also got to tour DARA's clubhouse! All in all, a good time. We left on Sunday and drove back to Columbus, spent the night at Carl's and flew back home the next morning. I will definitely be going back next year!

126th Boston Marathon

Sorry, for the delayed post, just been busy with work. It's back! The Marathon is back! At last, we had a Marathon on Patriots' Day again! Although, COVID is by no means gone, it felt good to be back to somewhat normal. Speaking of COVID, this year all Marathon volunteers had to be vaccinated. Anyways, this year I once again provided communications for a medical tent. In fact, the same medical tent as last year although with a different team, well actually, more like the some of the same team as I had in 2019. This year was mostly uneventful, and I had a competent ham partner this time around. The last two times left something to be desired. All in all, a good time was had.

Winter Field Day 2022

Yours truly participating in Winter Field Day. (Photo: N3JEC)  I've participated in the ARRL's Field Day for the past couple of years, but never Winter Field Day until this past weekend. Held at Nockamixon State Park in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, this Winter Field Day operation was done under the aegis of the Young Amateurs Radio Club (YARC) of which I am a member, and was overseen by Charlie, K3NOP who coordinated the whole event.  I left Massachusetts Friday morning and after a 5 hour drive, arrived in the late afternoon at the park. I helped to set up antennas as soon as I arrived. While the even didn't start till 2pm EDT the next day, I got up at 2am after failing to fall asleep and was joined by N3JEC with our respective FT-991As and started playing radio early. W1PAC and N3JEC playing radio at 2am in the morning. The next day the contest got underway and we were off and running doing digital and voice as a 4 India station. At some points we had 3 operators at

125th Boston Marathon After Action

Well, it took a year and half, and it wasn't in April on Patriots' Day but the Boston Marathon is finally back in person, after last year's "virtual" Marathon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In my 3rd year of service to the Marathon, I was stationed at the same Medical tent as 2019, Medical Tent 6. To be a medical tent volunteer at this tent, you had to be vaccinated against COVID-19, no exceptions. Hydration stations also checked in at the tent and were tested for COVID if they weren't vaccinated. There was also no meetup at Babson College or Newton North High School this year. Although, our convoy of hams including the Course Coordinator, Jim Palmer, KB1KQW, enlisted me to help do some last minute preparations at Babson involving getting jackets ready. Although, it was in a different location than last year and that caused me some headache as it appeared to be a last minute change that wasn't properly communicated, leading to me searching and calling on my

Getting on VHF/UHF

I have a Yaesu FT-991A, it's a great radio and it's served me well on HF, since replacing the broken FT-900, however, it's also a VHF/UHF rig too! That was one of the reasons I settled on it over the Icom 7300. Anyways, I finally got around to setting up a VHF/UHF antenna and getting on the air. I ordered Dr. Ed Fong's (WB6IQN) DBJ-1 antenna back in May. Just this past week I finally got the antenna set up and on the air. With my dad's help, we tried to first run the LMR-400 I ordered earlier this month through the wall like how the coax for my HF antenna is setup.  However, up in the attic we ran into some issues drilling through the wood, so we tried a different approach and drilled a hole right in the ceiling. It's not pretty, but it got the job done. The hole drilled in the ceiling We took a break for a few days because it was muggy and humid and I had to work anyways. Then yesterday, after cutting the PVC pipe recommended by Dr. Fong that I picked up at Low