Swap And Sell Is Now Back!

HCRA’s Swap And Sell Is Now Back

With thanks to George (KC1V), Paul (NF1G) and Jim (KK1W), the HCRA swap and sell is now back. At our monthly meetings, we will have few tables setup for the members to sell amateur or electronic related items. You may never know what deals may show up at the meeting. If you are an HCRA member and items to sell, just bring them along to the next meeting.

During the MTARA hamfest on March 11th, We’ve received a donation of equipment to be sold from (Steven) N1IBS. It will be available at the next meeting and all sales from the lot will go to HCRA for future events. Thanks Steven!

Good stuff cheap – Swap & Sell September 9th


Swap and Sell will be returning to HCRA meetings for the remainder of 2016. Since the program started this past January lots of good stuff has changed hands, people have gone home with either cash in their pocket or a new trinket to play around with in the shack and HCRA added a few dollars to the club treasury.


The photo on the left shows a sample of items that could make their way to the swap table, but we need more! We need YOUR good stuff to keep up the excitement, attract customers and most of all – have fun! It’s like a mini-hamfest at every meeting.

We all benefit if you have items you’re willing to donate to the cause. Think of all the things you’ve purchased, used for years but they’re now sitting unused in the shack or workshop. You can sell them and make a few bucks or….. Why not donate them? You’ve had your fun, maybe it’s time to pass it along to someone else. Donations benefit HCRA but most of all the new owner gets to take something home and not break the bank. Everyone wins!!! If you do want to sell your items please remember the suggested donation is10%, thanks! All donations are tax deductible under 501 c3 guidelines.

One last thing. We’re looking for a new caretaker for Swap & Sell starting January 2017. All it takes is 15 to 30 minutes a month, a small donation of time to bring fun to dozens throughout the year. If you’re interested let us know. You’ll be supplied with everything you need to make it happen and at least five minutes of OJT! It’s an easy job that puts lots of smiles on our members faces. Please let me or Jeff/NT1K know if your interested in the job.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the September 9th meeting.


HCRA’s 250 Raffle – Win A Kenwood TS-590SG

Win A Kenwood TS-590SG


Tickets Just $10 EA


It’s that time for the Hampden County Radio Associations (HCRA) annual raffle. This year the board of directors wanted to raffle off a 100w base station transceiver. The Kenwood TS-590SG ($1700 Retail) was the perfect choice because it’s a very excellent radio packed with features that rival radios that cost much more. It’s an HF-6M 100W with 32bit DSP that has excellent receiver according to sherwood engineering. Some of the features include

  • Auto Tuner
  • On Screen CW decoding
  • HF and 6M Antenna Jacks
  • Programmable Functions
  • 500hz / 2.7kHz  Roofing Filters
  • USB Port
  • Noise Reduction
  • Down Conversion

HCRA has printed 250 tickets. Due to the price of the item, HCRA has put a limit on the minimum amount of tickets that can be sold before the raffle is allowed to take place. If the minimum amount has been reached, the item will be raffled at the Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association’s Ham Fest in 2016. We’re asking $10 for each ticket.

Tickets will be available at HCRA meetings, VE Sessions at Holyoke Medical Center, Field Day, Selected area Hamfest/Fleamarkets and through the board of directors.

Win an Elecraft KX3! – HCRA Raffle

HCRA’s raffle this year is going to be for a Elecraft KX3!


(Raffle for radio only! Antenna, angle adapter, microphone and keyer not included)

For a mere $10 donation to the HCRA, you get a chance to win an assembled KX3 by Elecraft valued at around $1000.

This is an very popular and excellent HF portable radio that has an excellent receiver, low power consumption, can run on external power or 8AA batteries internally, it can transmit up to 12W and has plenty of options like an 100W amplifier, 2M module, pan adapter, ATU, Roofing filters, internal battery charger, custom CW paddle and others that can be added later.

HCRA has printed only 250 tickets and we will start selling them during field day 2014. Tickets will also be sold at meetings and other events throughout 2014 and part of 2015. The drawing will happen when all 250 tickets have been sold or during MTARA’s Hamfest in March of 2015. Plenty of time to obtain your chance.

Raffle is just for the Elecraft KX3 Transceiver only.
Drawing Date Subject To Change

Twitter Is -Not- The Woodpecker Of Old…

Many of our older, Er, Ah, I mean…more experienced Hams in the club, may recall the “Russian Woodpecker”. Beginning around 1976 till around 1989 when it ceased, this powerful radio signal was heard world wide and when triangulated, the source was found to emanate from inside the Ukraine. Hence the name, the Russian Woodpecker.

Twitter’s only metonymy with the Russian Woodpecker is the use of the bird metaphor in their names. The Russian Woodpecker wanted to disrupt communications, Twitter wants to facilitate them.

As Amateur Radio Operators, one of our goals is to communicate with as many good friends, and make as many new friends as possible using our radios. Similarly, as a club the HCRA needs to communicate with as many of its members (and our friends) as it can. By using Twitter, the club has one more item in it’s tool-kit to do just that.

Twitter is easy to use, accessible via PC as well as any number of mobile devices, and proven itself to be an effective way to share information and ideas. Be it between people who follow other people, or people who follow institutions, such as our club.

A major plus Twitter has going for it, is that while not everyone has time to log onto the internet, then go to websites browsing text files, most everyone has time to look at a quick message sent to them containing 140 characters…or less! That’s right, in about 30 seconds you can instantly learn what’s happening with your club. These Tweets may include a link that would provide you with more information and content.

So, it’s with the above in mind, the Hampden County Radio Association created its own Twitter account called “Hampden County RA” or “@HampdenCountyRA” and we encourage all our members to follow us on Twitter. It’s easy to locate, you can find it by simply clicking on this link: https://twitter.com/HampdenCountyRA. We look forward to your follows, and all club members who follow @HampdenCountyRA, will be followed back.

One last thing, to alleviate any concerns, be assured this is the official and -only- account the Hampden County Radio Association has on Twitter.

A message about our “Annual Auction“

The former HCRA auction, usually held the first Friday of November at the Feeding Hills Congregational Church is NO LONGER BRING HELD.

A combination of change of meeting location and the shrinking of vendors/buyers has led us to this decision

Many thanks to all the vendors and buyers who had fun over the years.


Next HCRA Meeting- Indoor Tailgate Party

In lieu of a tailgate party in the parking lot in Feeding Hills, Hampden County Radio Association is going to have a small-scale flea market on June 7 at the Holyoke Medical Center Auxiliary Conference Center. As space permits, we will allot about 12 square feet of table space to each club member that wants to put out a few ham radio related things for sale — a rig, a reel of wire, books – anything that fits and is not totally junk, but NO computers, NO monitors, NO printers! Table space is free–we are asking a minimum 10% commission on sales for the club’s treasury.

And the winner is… ???

It brings us great pleasure to announce the winner of the KX3 raffle today. The drawing was held a little after noon at the close of the MTARA Hamfest.

KX3 Raffle

Our winner is:

Chris Snyder/KB1RMA

Unfortunately Chris was not present to collect his prize. We will be shipping it out to him the first part of the week.

Thanks to everyone that supported our second KX3 raffle and made it even better than the first. From the folks at HCRA that kept track of the sales, manned the tables selling tickets, promoted the raffle and stuck with it to the very end – thank you to Ed/KB1NWH, Rich/N1KXR, Dave/AA1YW, Jeff/NT1K, Frandy/N1FJ and others I’ve probably missed. Most importantly thanks to all our members and guests who participated and supported our efforts. HCRA is better because of your generosity.

So what’s next? Who knows, we’re open to suggestions. What would you like to see as the prize for our next raffle?


Visit the HCRA Table at the MTARA Hamfest this Saturday.

MTARA Hamfest this Saturday, March 2nd – Visit us at the HCRA club table!

The hamfest/fleamarket season is just getting underway. What better way to break out of the winter blues than to spend a few hours with your local friends, wander aisles of tables full of ham radio bargains, eat food you probably shouldn’t, and overall have a good time than to go to one? I for one can’t think of anything better, that’s for sure. Lucky for us there’s one right around the corner!

The generous folks at MTARA have again made tables available for local clubs and HCRA will be there in full force. Please stop and say hello while you’re browsing the aisles for that ‘special bargain’. Want to join or renew your membership, you can do that. How about chatting with club members, yep, you can do that too. Buy a raffle ticket or three for a KX3 – most certainly. Pick up a bargain item donated from our members – yes sir. We’ll even have a few projects from the previous nights Show & Tell on display, maybe they will inspire your creative juices and give you ideas of what ‘stuff’ you can pick up to build something yourself?

KX3 Raffle. The winning ticket for an Elecraft KX3 will be drawn around noontime at the hamfest. Tickets are selling fast (there’s only 250 being sold) so stop by the table early to get yours. Think about how you will feel taking home a $1000 radio for the price of a winning ticket!

Do you have something you would like to donate to HCRA to sell at our table? If you do please either bring them to Friday’s HCRA meeting or contact Jim/KK1W for pickup. We’re not accepting items for sale, just donations. If you have items to sell yourself contact MTARA (see link below) and see if they have any table space left. And please, no computer monitors, printers or anything else you would have to pay for disposal.

The MTARA Hamfest will be held at the Turnverein Club in Feeding Hills, MA. Doors open to the public at 8:30 AM. For more details and directions please click here.

See you at the hamfest!




HCRA Auction Returns in January – but ‘silently’!

Hey folks! We missed the auction this past November and it is always a fun event. Rather than wait a whole year we decided to hold an auction January 4th, but with a slight ‘twist’. Instead of a regular style auction we’re going to do it silently. How will this work out? We really don’t know but like anything else you don’t know until you try.

Do you have some extra stuff in your shack? Maybe you received a newer, better whatzit for the holidays and need space? Then the January ‘Silent Auction’ is for YOU!

Here’s how it is going to work:

The club will have a decent amount of donated items for sale. We will manage this just like silent auctions of the past, with a clipboard at each having a suggested resale value, a starting bid and bid increment. Here’s a list of of the items we have so far, check the January Zero Beat or the website for the latest version.

Radio Shack portable scanner
Radio Shack desk top scanner
Sony AM/FM/SW portable radio
Panasonic portable radio
CDE Ham II rotor
Mini Digital TV Stick
Circuit board set for an ARRL wattmeter
HP Netbook computer

Now for the fun part! The auction is open to the public and we invite everyone, member and non-member alike, to bring something to sell. It will be up to you, the seller, to manage your item. We have prepared a sample ‘silent bid sheet’ you can print out and use, download it by clicking here. Of course you can use a sheet of your own design too, the choice is yours.

Like everything else at HCRA, there’s only a few simple rules:

1. Bring your item(s) and place them on the tables provided.
2. Fill out a bid sheet and place it in front of your item.
3. Treat your area like a flea market table, hang nearby to answer any questions.
4. At the end of the auction the bid sheets will be collected and the winning bids announced.
5. If the final bid exceeds minimum (if you had one) you’re responsible for collecting from the high bidder and settling up the commission with our treasurer Dave/AA1YW
6. If the bid did not make minimum you can either take your item home or negotiate with the highest bidder. The choice is yours.

Items not allowed in the auction

CRT monitors
Computer printers
Stuff you wouldn’t pay a $1 for and really belongs in a dumpster 🙂

Complimentary coffee and donuts available (but donations accepted) for everyone attending. It should be a fun evening and we’re all looking forward to going home with some new toys!

Further information or questions? Contact Jim/KK1W via email or at 413-237-4666

Mark January 4, 2013 now for a fun evening!