Hudson Division Beacon – October 2009

                October 2009
Hudson Division Beacon – e-mail edition  – # 102
Frank Fallon, N2FF, Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
30 East Williston Avenue, East Williston, NY 11596
(516) 746-7652  
Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, Vice Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
235 Van Emburgh Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450-2918
(201) 445-5924   and
Hudson Division Home Page –

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***  Last Division Hamfest of 2009 this weekend – LIMARC’s Indoor event
on Sunday…… ***

CQ WW DX SSB Contest this weekend……

==> ==> FINAL Reminder –  Hudson Division Awards Luncheon Nears….
There is still time for you and your club take an ad in the journal or
sponsor a plaque?   Deadlines are at the end of October.
The 2009 Hudson Division Awards Committee selected the following
recipients for the 2009 awards:

Amateur of the Year   –   James Mezey, Jr. –  W2KFV of Carle Place, NY

Technical Achievement  – David Struebel WB2FTX of Butler, NJ
Grand Ole Ham  –  Diane Ortiz, K2DO of Copiague, NY

Recipients will receive their awards at the Hudson Division Awards
Luncheon to be held on Sunday, November 8th  2009  from noon to four at
Biagio’s Restaurant in Paramus, NJ hosted by MetroPlex ARC.  Please
plan to be there with us that day.  Ticket information at

The 2009 Buffet Luncheon Menu Includes:


Assorted Fresh Vegetable Crudits And Cheese

Penne Vodka, With Grilled Chicken
Beef Stroganoff
Veal Parmigiana
Cavatelli Broccoli
Seafood Paella with Rice
BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Chicken Marsala

2 Carving Station Selections: 

Both Roast Turkey and Roast Beef Sliced To Order

Side Items:  Roasted Potatoes & Vegetables

Desserts:  An Assortment Of Pastries and Cookies

Beverages: Coffee, Tea and Soda (along with a Cash Bar)

Ticket and ad forms are available on the division web page.

Please help us make the event a success.

We wish to again thank those who took the time to make the nominations
and we congratulate the winners.  Remember, Ham radio works because
hams volunteer!

==> Former Hudson Division, Paul Vydareny (SK)

It is with the greatest sorrow that I have to inform you that former
Hudson Division Vice Director (1986-1995) and Director (1996) Paul
Vydareny, WB2VUK, died of an aneurism last night.

He was taken to the hospital yesterday afternoon with a numbness in his
foot, then leg and we were informed this morning that he passed last

– Steve, W2ML

(Editor’s Note: Thursday, Oct. 22.  Paul was 65 years old and had for a
time served as ENY SM and Hudson Vice Director simultaneously.)

===> N2FF Operated as 6Y0FF from Jamaica in the CQWW RTTY Contest.

Last month I  wrote,  “CQ WW RTTY Contest this weekend.  I will be
signing 6Y5/N2FF if all goes well or some 6Y call if a local Jamaican
ham comes through.  Thus the short issue this month as the deadline
catches up with us once again.”

I can now report that the entire family spent almost twelve wonderful
days at FDR Resorts in Runaway Bay, Jamaica near Ocho Rios.  Planned
for months the trip almost did not take place after my son-in-law had a
heart attach and triple bypass in August.  His 50th birthday was the
centerpiece of the celebration. Once doctors gave the okay for his
air-flight the trip was once again on but there would be no diving for
him for at least a year.  Both of our adult children and the grand
children were in Jamaica with us.  Only the dog missed the trip. We had
a great time in a really nice family resort.  It was our second trip to
this resort but my daughters fourth.  We like the place. My daughter
wanted to do the trip in September when rates are low and I added that
if we were going to do it, we should be there for the CQWW RTTY
Contest, my favorite.

I sent off for a Jamaica license (you need to do that three months
ahead) and requested a special call sign with “FF” in the suffix.  When
the paper work came back I had permission for 6Y5/N2FF but not a
shorter contest type call.  A conversation with Sean Kutzko, KX9X,
ARRL’s Contest Branch Manager at Newington yielded the call of a long
time Jamaican ham who might be able to help.  The Jamaica ham whose
call I will not reveal was way more than helpful.  He wrote e-mails,
made calls and at least two visits to 6Y5 licensing office on my behalf
and called me about five times while I was in Jamaica to make sure that
all was going well.  Less than eight hours before the contest he was
able to fax me official permission for use of the call “6Y0FF.”

Meanwhile I had put the station together – an Icom 7000, a Hal DXP38
for RTTY (It was bigger than the 100 watt transceiver) and an old Dell
Latitude 3800 a computer friend had given me.  All of this had been
packed into a much used fishing bag with a PVC tube for rods into which
I placed a well traveled High Sierra 1500 mobile antenna and whip cut
down for the trip.  As I was not sure before the trip just where I
would set up I decided to bring along two cut down military section to
attach the screwdriver antenna to.  My local metal works guy cut them
down to a size that would fit into the fishing bag and did the same for
the whip portion of the antenna; all for the princely sum of five
bucks.  The best bargain on the trip!  I am happy to report that all
this gear survived the trip to and from 6Y5 but the bag did not fare as
well.  It now has a few holes and friction burns on it from either
being dragged on the tarmac or scrapped on the luggage carousel. But
the contents stayed in the bag and were not damaged.  The bag can be

We arrived on a Wednesday so I spent Thursday and Friday setting up.
My daughter, on her fourth visit to the resort, let me know that I
should look around and see if there was another room that might be
better for my antenna.  I took a look but decided the room was fine and
there was not need to move.  We had an efficiency room with kitchen (my
wife made coffee and I used the refrigerator to keep the beer cold) and
living room with a glass topped dinning room table which became the
operating position.  I was able to run the coax and the 75 foot motor
control cable I had made up along the floor and under the louvered door
out onto the balcony which overlooked Runaway Bay to a balcony space
between our room and the next.  It turned out that our room was the
only one that had access to this extra little balcony which had nothing
above it and therefore was ideal for the big mobile antenna.  I
appropriated a cinder block from a construction project on the resort
and used it to anchor the two mast sections to which I attached the
base of the screwdriver antenna  and then guyed the mast to the metal
work of the balcony.  I  had used the antenna for two trips to the UK a
few years back and had radials, two each for each band I planned to be
on.  The quarter wave long radials were made from Home Depots finest
number 14 insulated wire and were run across the balcony and also to a
palm tree beneath us.  I had only one radial for 80 meters and it was
apparently too short as I could not get the SWR below 2:1 so I did not
operate on that band.  Probably the most important factor was that the
little vertical was at about 25 feet and just 25 feet or less from the
sea.  It worked well!

Before the contest I had a goal of making 1000 QSOs.  A few things got
in the way of reaching that goal.  One was that I did not know enough
about propagation from 6Y5.  It took me too long to realize that you do
not run EU from 6Y5 in the morning.  Conditions get much better in the
afternoon. While the east coast is working EU in the AM they are not
pointing south and they are much stronger with the Europeans.  I wasted
time calling all too many stations.  I should have been higher in the
band calling CQ in the clear and hoping that someone would find me and
post me on packet.  More importantly I suffered the “NUM LOCK Curse.”
I kept getting unwanted characters and letters from the right side of
the keyboard as I tried to type in call and or report corrections.  I
was even unable to change the message buffers.  I reset the computer a
number of times and still got the wrong letters when I typed keys on
the right side of the keyboard.  I knew this was not RFI and began to
suspect a damaged or faulty keyboard.  It was not until Monday morning,
after the contest was over, that I discovered the culprit.  As I do not
often use the laptop except on Field Day I was not aware of some of the
quirks and pitfalls presented by the compress keyboard.  My big fingers
were hitting the “NUM LOCK” key along with the “F11” key I was using to
send CQ.  OUCH!!!!  I had never noticed the small dull glow of the dim
LED indicating that the “NUM LOCK” was activated. What a time waster
that had been

At the end of the contest I had 450 QSOs, well below my target goal but
still very satisfying.  I was not running a KW and using a beam.   In
the days after the contest I managed to work another 200 contacts
mostly on 30 and 17 meter RTTY.  I had planned to do CW too but I had
left my CW keying line home.  Before I left I was still frantically
trying to work the FT5 DXpedition on Reunion.  I did not get them and
the CW cable did not get put into the computer bag.  I could have
worked a lot more stations on both bands on CW than I did on RTTY.
QSLs, yet to be ordered, will be direct via my call and or LoTW once
ARRL begins again issuing certificates.

I made a point of developing a good relationship with the resort owner
and before I left he told me that there would be no problem putting
antennas on the flat roof.  A wire beam at fifty feet and about 25 feet
from the sea sounds even better than what I used.  There is even the
possibility of a slooping long wire out over the water.  I do hope to
get back there next year./

One final sidenote:  Those of us who travel with ham gear are
frequently worried that security or customs will have a “hissy fit”
over all those wires, electronic gear, or in my case long metal tubes
easily taken for pipe bombs.  On the return trip after passing through
security and waiting with the family for boarding I heard the dreaded,
“Will passenger Francis Fallon please make himself know to the Jamaica
Airlines desk.”  Here we go I thought, they had discovered the stuff
and were about to descend on the old smuggler/terrorist.  I went up to
the desk and the young woman at the desk asked me if I were Francis
Fallon and asked to see my passport.  She then took me through the door
leading to the ramp to the aircraft.  Are those your bags she said
pointing to my two pieces of checked luggage with all the wire and
radio gear.  “Is there a problem?” I asked.  She replied, “Your ticket
and passport name do not match your name on the luggage tag.  I had
listed my name as Frank Fallon on both bags.  She asked me to change
the luggage tag name – which I did.  I then had to wait for security
man to check my name and to be sure that it was the same on my ticket,
my passport and the luggage tag.  I am not sure that anyone ever looked
inside my bags and saw the suspicious stuff, but they sure did the
spell checking.

Just a few days ago the New York Times Business section on October 22,
2009 on page B7 had an article about a new Federal initiative called
“Secure Flight” scheduled to go into effect for domestic passengers
early next year and for international passengers by the end of 2010
requiring that the name on the ID you use at the airport match the name
on your ticket.  The article is titled “I see You Have a Ticket, But is
That Your Name?”  It appears that in my case Jamaican authorities were
not only early but were taking it a bit further than matching ticket
and passport identification.
After reading the article we discovered that my wife’s driver’s license
name is not the same as her passport name.
Now for the dreaded visit to the MVB.

==> Four Radio Amateurs Killed in Plane Crash While En Route to CQWW
Phone Contest
(Oct 21, 2009 [REVISED Oct 22, 2009 11:05 ET]) — Just after take-off
— around 6:30 AM on Wednesday, October 21 — a twin-engine plane
carrying four Amateur Radio operators crashed into the woods, only 250
yards off the end of the runway in Jedburg, South Carolina, about 20
miles northwest of Charleston. The plane — piloted and owned by Peter
Radding, W2GJ — carried Ed Steeble, K3IXD, Dallas Carter, W3PP, and
Randy Hargenrader, K4QO. The four men were on their way to the Bahamas
to operate in this weekend’s CQ World Wide Phone Contest as C6APR,
competing in the Multi/2 category.

Full story at

==> Nominations Now Being Accepted for the George Hart Distinguished
Service Award (Sep 15, 2009) — At its July 2009 meeting, the ARRL
Board of Directors established the George Hart Distinguished Service
Award to be given to an ARRL member whose service to the League’s Field
Organization is of the most exemplary nature. The Distinguished Service
Award is named in honor of George Hart, W1NJM. Hart was a long-time
Communications Manager at ARRL Headquarters and chief developer of the
National Traffic System (NTS). Upon learning that the ARRL Board of
Directors had established this award named after him, Hart called his
namesake award “a great honor.”

See full story at

==> HR 2160 Gains More Cosponsors – cosponsors now number 30

(Oct 22, 2009) — As of October 14, five more Congressional
Representatives — Tom Latham (R-IA-4), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-46),
Scott Garrett (R-NJ-5), Candice Miller (R-MI-10) and John Olver
(D-MA-1) — pledged their support for HR 2160, The Amateur Radio
Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009, bringing the total
number of cospon/sors to 30, including original sponsor Sheila
Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18). HR 2160 is also sponsored by W. Todd Akin
(R-MO-2), Michael Arcuri (D-NY-24), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD-6), John
Boozman (R-AR-3), Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), Geoff Davis (R-KY-4),
Bob Filner (D-CA-51), Bart Gordon (D-TN-6), Brett Guthrie (R-KY-02),
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY-22), Michael Honda (D-CA-15), Mary Jo Kilroy
(D-OH-15), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-16), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-9), Thaddeus
McCotter (R-MI-11), Charlie Melancon (D-LA-3), Dennis Moore (D-KS-3),
Bill Posey (R-FL-15), Bennie Thompson (D-MS-2), Michael Turner
(R-OH-3), Peter Welch (D-VT), David Wu (D-OR-1) and Don Young (R-AK).
Click here for information on how to encourage your Congressional
representative to sponsor HR 2160.

==> National Safety Council Responds to ARRL: No Evidence of
“Significant Crash Risks” While Operating Mobile (Sep 11, 2009) — ARRL
President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, wrote a letter to National Safety
Council (NSC) President Janet Froetscher in July expressing the ARRL’s
concerns that Amateur Radio not become an unintended victim of the
growing public debate over what to do about distracted drivers.
Froetscher has now replied, saying the NSC does not support bans or
prohibitions on the use of Amateur Radios while driving.

More at

===> ARRL General Counsel, Regulatory Information Manager to Present
(Oct 20, 2009) — ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and ARRL
Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson N1ND, will present a
webinar beginning at 9 PM EDT on Wednesday, October 28. This session
will discuss the issues behind, and the reasoning for, the ARRL’s
recent report, The Commercialization of Amateur Radio: The Rules, The
Risks, The Issues. According to webinar sponsor ARRL Atlantic Division
Director Bill Edgar, N3LLR, all amateurs need to be aware of these
issues. The webinar, available at no cost, is open to all amateurs.  To
register for this informative interactive Internet meeting go to:

==> FCC Issues Public Notice on Amateur Service Communication During
Government Disaster Drills (Oct 20, 2009 [REVISED Oct 22, 2009 13:51
ET]) — On Tuesday October 20, 2009 the FCC released a Public Notice
clarifying the Commission’s rules relating to the use of Amateur Radio
by licensed amateurs participating in drills and exercises on behalf of
their employers. Entitled Amateur Service Communications During
Government Disaster Drills, the Public Notice addresses participation
by paid employees of organizations taking part in drills.

Full story at:

Please read the Public Notice, DA-09-2259.  It is available in the site
listed above.


Please take a look at

The October 2009 award goes to ” PACARA Update ”  the newsletter of the
Peekskill/Cortland Amateur Radio Society in ENY for their September
edition.  Congratulations on a consistently outstanding job to
Newsletter Editor – Malcolm Pritchard, NM9J.  Malcolm does a very
professional job

Clubs please make sure that you continue to send a copy of your pdf
file to .  I have been missing some issues in the last few
months.  Not every division club is submitting each month.  It’s like
Lotto, if you don’t buy a ticket or send a PDF you can’t win!

==> Here is some rainy Saturday reading for you –  Surfin’: Remembering
the Woodpecker (Oct 23, 2009) — This week, Surfin’ recalls a
formidable ham radio nemesis from the 20th century.


==> Quick Summary for W2R

We managed to survive the National Wildlife Refuge Week event at the
Great Swamp NWR. Even though we almost froze — it was a fine event. I
have briefly checked the logs, we had 97 HF QSOs and an additional 19
on 2 meters.

We were on the air all three days and the total elapsed operating time
was 11 1/2 hours.

On HF we worked 22 states (81 QSOs) and 11 Foreign Countries (16 QSOs).
The most QSOs were with Minnesota (11), California (9) and Florida

You can see the effect of skip – other than some ground wave NJ
contacts, we didn’t work a single station in New England, Pennsylvania,
Maryland, etc. the nearest contacts were in Ohio and North Carolina.
The skip distance was obviously about 500 miles. But we had 9 QSOs in
California, 4 in Oregon and one in Washington as well
as 9 in Florida. All four Canadian QSOs were with western Canada
including VY1 in the Yukon.

Our “best” DX??? Take your choice. We had great, long, informative
discussions with South Africa, the Gambia, and Gibraltar.

We only had two of our kids at the event plus Theresa KC2RYE, and I am
very unhappy about the apparent lack of interest. But Keegan Myers was
on the air almost all the time either on HF or on VHF. And Maycee
Campano did the same thing when she was present. Every operator (well
almost all) stopped what they were doing to speak with the kids.

The kids also had a special event not related to ham radio. The Visitor
Service Specialist at the Great Swamp, Marilyn Kitchell, took them for
a ride on a government vehicle into the “back country” which is
generally closed to visitors. They saw the impoundments, watched the
ducks and heard about their habitat, and saw two Great Blue Herons
take off from a lake and fly around.  I don’t think they will soon
forget the experience. Too bad there weren’t more kids to go along.

QSL cards have started coming in today. W2R is listed on, but
it’s just a listing which says QSL via me.

To all the Club Members who cooperated, froze, and were present at the
Great Swamp — thank you.

73 es CUL de Barry K2JV

Dr. Barry G. Cohen
39 Cromwell Court
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922


HAMFEST:  The LIMARC event on October 25th is the last event of 2009

25 Oct 2009+LIMARC Indoor Hamfest
Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club
Talk-In: 146.850 (PL 136.5)
Contact:Richard Cetron, K2KNB
198 Haypath Road
Old Bethpage, NY 11804
Phone: 516-694-4937
Fax: 631-574-4851
Email: Hicksville, NY
Levittown Hall
201 Levittown Parkway
Div: Hudson
Sect: New York City-Long Island

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