February 2020

PART held Winter Field Day for the first time on January 25-26, and in spite of threatening weather forecasts, it turned out to be an enjoyable event. Our site was at the Westford Sportsman’s Club in Westford, and Brian, W1BP, took the lead to set it up, providing the tent (with a heater!), an Icom IC-7300, a generator, and even a pot of stew!. We used one of the 80-10 meter off-center-fed dipoles from summer Field Day which loaded up on all bands, and we operated on phone, CW, and JS8-Call with the single rig. Eleven PART members and one non-ham showed up to operate the station — we made 158 contacts and with many bonus points, claimed a score of 7,508. There will be a full report at the January PART meeting.


The photo above shows three of our intrepid Winter Field Day attendees: Niece, KA1ULN, Frank, KC1HSC, and John, WB2OSZ, at the WFD site.

I’d like to thank Brian for taking the initiative on this very successful event. With the experience we gained this year and the many lessons learned, next year’s Winter Field Day should be even better, so mark your calendars now for the third week in January 2021.

And speaking of Field Day, the Concord Rod & Gun Club has offered to host us for Summer Field Day 2020, June 27 - 28. This has always been a great site for us, with plenty of room (and trees) for our stations and antennas. We'll be talking more about Field Day at upcoming meetings.

If you’re reading this, you can see that we’ve rolled out a new PART website. We’re trying to make this as useful and informative as possible, so take a look around at the various pages and tabs, and let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement. Any club member can submit text for this blog; if you’ve had a ham radio adventure that you want to tell the club about, send it to me via email.

We're also making a transition to Groups.io for club email and notifications. Groups.io gives us a lot of capability to manage email to members, and additionally provides space for files, photos, and even a wiki. Signing up and using the system is easy:

1. If you are already a user of
Groups.io, go to: https://groups.io/g/PARTofWestford and request to join our group.

2. If you are not a
Groups.io user, you’ll need to register (it’s free). Go to Groups.io and hit “Sign Up” in the upper right corner. You’ll then be sent to a page to enter your email address and select a password. After you’ve been notified by email that you’re registered, go to https://groups.io/g/PARTofWestford and request to sign up to our site.

Once you’ve registered on our site, I’ll get a notification for approval. The site is “semi-moderated” your first posting must be approved by me; after that you can post without my intervention.

We’ll still be using the PART-L mailing list while members are registering for the new system.

73, George K1IG
PART President

January 2019

Before starting off the new year, there’s some business to take care of from last year – thanking Chauncey, K1OPE, for arranging the annual holiday party at Il Forno in Littleton. We had a very good turnout, and as usual, the Yankee Swap, emceed by Alan, KD1D, was the highlight of the night. If you’ve got any comments or feedback on the event or the location, let Chauncey or me know.

So, the new year has arrived… did you make any ham-related resolutions? This hobby is so vast that there is always something new you can resolve to do. For example:
  • Try operating in a contest. Every week, there are probably seven or eight on-the-air contests that you can enter with no experience and pick up a few new and rare contacts. Contesting isn’t difficult; as with anything new, the first contact is always the hardest – after that it’s addictive. See the listing at https://www.contestcalendar.com/index.html for a complete schedule of the year’s events.
  • Volunteer for a public service event. April’s Boston Marathon is, of course, the major public service event and it needs hundreds of volunteer hams on the route, but there are local events as well that are looking for hams. The Apple Blossom Parade in Westford in May is a fun event and the Pumpkin Patrol on Halloween can use some volunteers too. Keep these dates in mind as you plan your schedule for the year.
  • When the weather gets warmer, the fox hunting season will start. PART has many avid hunters who can provide spare equipment to get you started in this outdoor sport.
  • PART is always looking for meeting speakers. Is there a project you’ve been working on, or some special expertise you want to share with the club? It needn’t be technical, and even a ten or fifteen-minute presentation is welcome. Contact Greg, N1DAM, or me if you want to discuss an idea.
PART is trying something new this year that we’ll need helpers for: Winter Field Day (WFD), to be held on January 25-26. Brian, W1BP, is setting up a station for WFD at the Westford Sportsman’s Club, 80 West Street, Westford, and he’s looking for operators. With only a single station, this is not going to be nearly as large as summer Field Day, and weather considerations will require flexibility in operating. Brian will describe the event at the January PART meeting.

This should be a good year for PART, and there are rumors that sunspots are finally starting to appear, so warm up your transceiver and get on the air. Don’t let those sunspots go to waste!

73, George K1IG
PART President