Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society News
ONLINE and IN-PERSON Meeting: Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021, 7:00 pm. Come meet at NEST!

5:30-7:00 - Radio room open; informal radio activities.

7:00-7:45 pm - Derek's Build Classes; HamXposition Planning

Approx. 7:45 pm RADIO SHOP TALK – Each Tuesday after the regular meeting, join us for Ham Radio Shop Talk which begin after the meeting on the same Zoom link. Hang out and ask any technical questions for discussion.

To join the STARS Meeting at 7:00 pm link your computer to Pw: STARS, or phone in: +1 929 205 6099, Meeting ID: 231 170 127, Pw: 192621

Opt out? Please don't leave us! Just "Update Profile" at the bottom of this page. This mailing is for New England Amateur Radio Inc (NEAR) and the family club Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (STARS).
Thank you to Stuart Smolkin, WA5EYI, Museum Curator, for Asheville Radio Museum (North Carolina) virtual tour last week.  He showed his passion for technology as well as entertaining and educating visitors about the wonders of radio waves and their huge importance to our daily lives.
The President’s Sideband: Let's Build Ourselves an Antenna

It's time to get moving with our post-covid club projects and activities! In that vein I am planning to offer the project to build and tune a UHF (70cm), and/or a VHF (2m), 1/4 wave vertical antenna with ground plane, as we have discussd in recent meetings, on Saturday, August 28 from 8:30 - noon. Mark your calendars!

The project will have two goals:
1) To teach the practical use of the nanoVNA to make measurements on RF components and systems, with an emphasis on antenna measurements, and
2) To have each participant build, tune, and test a (hopefully) weather-proof ground-plane antenna suitable for base-station use at home, or for portable use in outdoor ham activities.

Participants will be encouraged to purchase their own nanoVNA (cost ~$50 to $90) and bring it to the session. Beyond that, no experience with a VNA will be expected. We will instruct you on how it works, how to calibrate it, and the use of the (free) VNAsaver software package. (If you have a lap-top bring it.) We will have exercises in making measurements on simple components, filters, and antennas.

For the antenna construction you will be provided with instructions and all the hardware (a PO- 239 UHF socket, PVC pipe and fittings, etc, and some 12 AWG copper wire). You will assemble the antenna, and use the nanoVNA to tune it to resonance in the 70cm band, and examine the effect of the number and angle of the radials. We hope to have a set-up ready for you to compare the performance of your new antenna with the "rubber ducky" on your HT.

The cost of the activity will be minimal, just enough to cover the hardware, probably in the range of $5-10.

If you want to take part, but don't want to purchase a nanoVNA at this point, we hope to have have 2-3 loaners available, or perhaps you might team-up and share with a friend who owns one.

Sign-up and more information will be on the STARS, including recommended models of nanoVNAs (beware of many of the cheaper models) and where to purchase them. Let's also discuss the project further tonight's meeting.

Derek, AK1WI 
HamXposition Sept 10, 11, 12, 2021
At the Best Western in Marlborough, MA on Sept 10, 11, and 12.
Online ticket sales open August 11.

STARS/NEST will have a double booth in the Atrium for Saturday and Sunday and will host the Youth Forum. We will also host a soldering workshop table, a coffee and snacks rest area, and hangout area for members and friends of STARS. Olin College of Engineering radio club will join us in the Atrium.

STARS will have a "Club Table" (or 2 or 3) at both the Friday DX Dinner and the Saturday Banquet. To sign up for the table be sure to put the word "STARS" in the comment field when you buy your dinner reservations.

You can get hotel reservations at a discount if you call the hotel directly and ask for HamXposition rates.


Tue, August 24: “Amateur Radio Public Service” by Bruce Pigott, KC1US.

Tue, August 31: “Programs Helping Hams and Young People to Develop New Skills and Get on The Air” by Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC.

Tue, Sept 21: “Satellite Operations with HTs” by Clint Bradford, K6LCS.

Tue, October 26: “Homebrew 2M” by Bruce MacKinnon, KC1FSZ.
Coming August 24: “Amateur Radio Public Service” by Bruce Pigott, KC1US. This presentation will cover procedures, resources and clubs involved with public service events. Items discussed will include typical tasks, recommended equipment to use and communications protocols. Information about training as well as the groups and agencies that need radio support are also presented. Bruce has been doing events since 1989. He has been an operator, leader at large activities and a ham planner and organizer for various Public Service events. Bruce has maintained repeater systems, done many Field Days, participated in VHF contests, and built APRS tracker boxes. He has held a number of engineering positions, such as component engineer and test engineer for assembled boards and IC wafer trim and test.
Coming August 31: “Programs Helping Hams and Young People to Develop New Skills and Get on The Air” by Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC.   Fred will be at N.E. Sci-Tech for this presentation and will share several successful programs that clubs can sponsor to help Hams to get on the air, learn new skills, and have fun. He will also share some programs that have been successful getting school students interested in and active in Amateur Radio. Programs include Tech Nights, Ham Bootcamp, Field Days, High-Altitude Balloon Launches, ISS Astronaut Contacts and more. The presentation includes videos of activities associated with the programs that will be shared.  Bio: Fred is President of the Nashua Area Radio Society (, is an ARISS Mentor and Telebridge Station, and is a candidate running for ARRL's New England Division Director position, for which he would greatly appreciate your input.  For more information on Fred, please refer to his page.
The system is commonly used by ARES/SkyWarn, other ham clubs, maker spaces, and organizations that need all-inclusive group communications. We think you will find it easy and useful, and we kindly request that everyone use it for all group activities.
  • You can chose to receive direct emails, or daily/weekly digests.
  • You start by joining the main group, then any subgroup is accessible.
  • You can send emails to to talk to the group.
  • To sign up, go to Try it out!
Support STARS by making New England Sci-Tech your donation destination on Amazon Smile.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational STEM center. Thank you Bruce for the suggestion!
ADS-B Aircraft Flight Data Relay
We are pleased to be helping Route Dynamics with aviation research using a network of receive-only sites in the continental US area for ADS-B aircraft monitoring and tracking.
You can monitor the ADS-B system at NEST by going to NEST's ADS-B web page.
STARS Lending Library
Thanks to Rusty K1FVK, our library of ham radio books and periodicals is better organized and ready for lending out to STARS members. Contact Rusty to arrange a time to visit. Generally we are open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 AM to 9 PM.

The FCC announced on March 19, 2021 that the amateur radio license fees, including those associated with Form 605 filings, would not become effective until the “requisite notice has been provided to Congress, the FCC’s information technology systems and internal procedures have been updated, and the Commission publishes notice(s) in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of such rules.” It is expected that such fees will not become effective before summer 2021.

The $35 license application fee, when it becomes effective, would apply to new, modification (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal, and vanity call sign applications, as well as applications for a special temporary authority (STA) or a rule waiver. All fees will be per application. Administrative updates, such as a change of mailing or email address, are exempt.
What's Happening at STARS
Amateur Radio Classes ONLINE
Club Repeaters
Please get on the air! Try any time of day.

Natick UHF: 446.325 PL 146.2 at New England Sci-Tech (linked)
Milton UHF: 449.125 PL 146.2 at Blue Hill Science Center (linked)
Milton VHF: 146.985 PL 88.5 at Blue Hill Science Center (linked)
Natick UHF: 447.025 PL 146.2 (portable, on air, not linked, can be used for events)
Hopkinton UHF: 448.025 PL 88.5 (off air, newly acquired, needs new location)
STARS Meetings are IN-PERSON and Zoom!
STARS ZOOM 2021-03
STARS meets at New England Sci-Tech, a non-profit educational STEM center and maker space.
One of two STARS radio rooms for members to use at New England Sci-Tech.
STARS Mission Statement:
Through its club activities and/or radio communications, the Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society (STARS) shall:
* strive to introduce the public to radio electronics, the art of radio communications, the importance of the Amateur Radio Service, and the rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
* strive to spark interest in electronics, physics, astronomy, and other sciences through club activities and the use of the Amateur Radio Service.
Membership privileges include use of the amateur radio facilities of New England Sci-Tech in Natick, attendance at STARS meetings on Tuesdays, 7:00 pm, newsletters, and invitations to club events and activities. Any member of New England Sci-Tech can join STARS for free, or you can join the club separately. See membership options.
Join the STARS NET at 8:00 pm Tuesdays on linked repeaters 446.325 PL 146.2 in Natick, or 449.125 PL 146.2 and 146.985 PL 88.5 at Blue Hill Science Center.

Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society
16 Tech Circle, Natick MA 01760
508-720-4179 --