W1BYH (SK) avatar

Sad to report that Norman L. Rivers, W1BYH, of Leominster, MA and CTRI member became a silent key yesterday, October 27.

Norm was a high school classmate of mine and was largely responsible for my becoming a radio amateur.  He ran a two-way radio business for his entire professional life. 

Norm was a frequent contributor to CTRI contest scores:  Sweepstakes, RTTY, DX, NEQP.  He was especially an RTTY enthusiast from the days of the Model 15. I operated Class B Field Day with Norm the past three years from his lakeside cabin in Ashburnham, MA.  He was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago.

I was advised today by telephone by his son Michael.  Carolyn and I will be attending the calling hours on Wednesday in  Fitchburg, MA.

The key of W1BYH is now silent.

— John, W1XX


Meeting Minutes, October 18, 2013
Meeting Minutes, October 18, 2013 avatar

Meeting called to order at 1038h by K1DM

A quorum was recognized

K1DM ruled that in view of the principal topic for discussion the meeting would be governed by Roberts Rules and that business would be conducted with controlled debate.

Treasurer was absent but sent a report that the treasury was $487.56.

Contest report moved to the end of meeting.

MOTION: K1SD/NG1G moved (this convention of showing who moved and who seconded will be followed in these minutes for brevity) “CTRI CG will eliminate the sponsorship of all plaques”.

Discussion: Jim then argued against his own motion saying he would like to see sponsorship of plaques expanded if it were not for the shortage of funds.

K3IU: would rather give Members the opportunity to donate sufficient funds by Jan 1 to cover one year’s expenses, if this fails then revisit the issue.

W1XX: surprised by posting by NG1G on website listing the number of plaques we sponsor — we should review which we really need to sponsor.

W1PN: discussion is wandering away from the motion, we should vote before spending more time on a motion that may fail.

Action: K3IU/W1XX call the question.

 Motion failed.

Effect: we do not want to stop sponsoring plaques. This raised the issue of how we can reconcile that with no source of funds.

Motion: W1PN/W1AN we should not agree to sponsor any plaque until we have money in hand to pay for it.

Discussion: NG1G argued that we need long term consistency of sponsorship because it works a hardship on contest sponsors to not know what we are going to do from year to year.

The nature of this motion made it obvious to the assembly that to rationally discuss the motion we had to grapple with the issue of how to have “money in hand to pay for it”.

W1PN: In the past we had essentially two sources of revenue: One revolved around Boxboro; the funds from there were returns on a raffle, and contributions from members for the sales of their equipment at the flea market table, the idea being you gave ten percent or more of the selling price, sometimes this happened and sometimes not. The other source, for example if we closed out a ham’s estate it was generally expected that ten percent of the proceeds would go to the club although in the case of the largest estate we received nothing from the heirs. There are no other sources of funds. Both external and internal forces have eliminated Boxboro as a source of funds, and there isn’t anything we can do about the external forces and so far we have failed to do anything about the internal forces. So the only source of funds we have is the commission on the sale of members’ equipment, or of the direct donation of funds by members, or of dues. There are no others, and it is a waste of time to talk about them as if they existed.

KB1RFJ: Is there a group that is violently opposed to dues?

There followed a long, rambling, and sometime impassioned, discussion of the nature of the club and the role that no dues plays in that essence.

  • Gentlemen’s club where we get together and help each other out.
  • Don’t want dues to govern the club.
  • We have always had dues; the dues were paid by the people who were willing to do the work.
  • Theme of camaraderie.
  • Don’t want to risk endangering camaraderie and sense of cooperation.

At last it became obvious to all of us that none wanted dues, and that all recognized we either had to eliminate all expenses (mostly plaques and website rental) or find another, assured, source of funds.

The chair called for a vote on what he characterized as “the no deficit spending motion”.

 Motion passed 5/3

Whereupon Pat made the following motion.

Motion: NG1G/KB1RFJ CTRI CG will remain a no dues club.

Discussion: W1XX objected that is was not necessary since the Constitution provides we are a no dues club.

W1PN: it’s a vacuous motion, therefore there is no penalty for voting either way.

None, except the observations that the motion by Pat was vacuous but not a tautological question.

Motion passed without dissent

Motion: W1PN/KB1RFJ In view of the ongoing financial needs of the club that members be encouraged to make a planned contribution in lieu of dues of $30 to $50 per year.

Discussion: There were comments and questions characterized by:

  • What does ‘planned’ mean.
  • I am not in favor of specifying an amount. …

which prompted the following:

Motion to amend: W1XX/K3IU moved to amend the motion to omit the dollar amount.

Discussion: The crux of the discussion revolved around recognition that the circumstance of some members in these hard times made it difficult for them to contribute that amount. The rejoinder was that this is a suggested amount not a requirement and that it is informative to the members in that it highlights the approximate cost of operating the club divided by the number of most active members.

Motion to amend passed 5/2/1

Motion to amend: W1XX/KB1RFJ so that the motion shall reflect a date certain of January 1.

Discussion: extensive discussion before wording of the amendment had been established. Issues raised included:

  • If no date certain is specified then nothing will happen.
  • January 1 is not the right date, it should be in September.
  • The date should be decided by the Executive Committee to allow for changing conditions.
  • The Executive Committee never meets.
  • There is a reason for choosing January 1. The new officers should have an opportunity to affect this and the issue of spending levels.

Motion to amend passed 7/1

 Motion as amended: In view of the ongoing financial needs of the club that members be encouraged to make planned contributions by January 1 in lieu of dues.

 Motion carried: unanimous.

W1PN made the suggestion that we take a few minutes to discuss the mechanics of implementing the motion that just passed.

W1PN: The motion on its face is not sufficiently explanatory for absent members to grasp what we are doing. A Q & A or exposition of some sort needs to be written that explains the elements of the issue and why we chose this way of approaching it, and how it will be implemented.

K1DM: I absolutely agree with that.

Motion: NG1G/W1XX That the Secretary, as a result of his eloquence, be assigned the task of a) informing the membership of the afore mentioned motion, and b) describing the mechanics of implementation and process of how that will take place, on WA1RR.ORG, and at the next club meeting which will be in November.

Discussion: K1SD objected that the first part was routine business and the Secretary’s responsibility to report.

K3IU: That’s pretty specific direction.

K1SD: The second part is your interpretation (addressing the Secretary, emphasis of speaker) of what the action is and the ramifications and the implementation policy, that is, your interpretation of what we intend to do to raise money. The first part is your job, Secretary Report, that doesn’t need to be a motion. The second part is …

NG1G: Well it is a motion, so we have to vote on it.

K1SD: The second part is, again, your interpretation (emphasis of speaker) of our intent and does that need to come back to an Executive Committee meeting, or is that just your interpretation of what we decided and how we’re gonna do it, and that’s it?

After some additional comments to clarify the meaning of the motion a vote was called.

Motion passed: unanimous

Contest Manager’s Report

See posting for October for details.


Respectfully submitted

Ed Haskell, W1PN, Secretary

2013 CQWW DX Phone Contest Results
2013 CQWW DX Phone Contest Results avatar

We shouldn’t hear too many complaints about lousy propagation for this contest. Should be some big scores!

Please report your results here for inclusion in the CTRI Champions competition. Don’t forget that you log must be submitted to CQWW “no later than 2359 UTC November 1, 2013 for SSB.” (Quote from rules).

Ken K3IU
Keeper of the CTRI Champions Leaderboard

CQ WW SSB Contest this Weekend at W1DX
CQ WW SSB Contest this Weekend at W1DX avatar

Hi Gang, I hope all the CTRI members will be active this weekend in the CQWW Phone Contest. The station here will be operating as a multi-2. We should be able to nicely exercise the new 4 element 20M monobander and the recently installed 15M stack. If band conditions are as least as good as during the RTTY contest last month we should be able to put together a decent score. Operators are still needed. Remember the rules allow you to operate at more than one station so you can still put in the hours both at home and away contributing to the club aggregate score. Hope to see you and work you.
John, W1AN

Meeting This Saturday Oct 19 at W1XX
Meeting This Saturday Oct 19 at W1XX avatar

We always seem to have a good turnout for meetings at my house…so I look forward to seeing many of you again this Saturday, Oct 19.  What has become a tradition in recent years to open the fall operating season, is to assist in once again (!) in raising the 160 meter vertical.  This meeting is no exception.  Please arrive perhaps a 1/2 hour early for this fun activity.  We’ll need: 3 crankers, 2 strongmen, at least 2 on the ropes with more better, and 1 yeller (me?).  As always I appreciate the help.  I’ve spent a lot of hours in prepping the antenna and it should be ready to go…up that is.  Bring hardhats if you got ’em.

With the antenna blocking the top of the driveway, parking is somewhat of a problem:  along the street, across the street, at the bottom of the driveway but not blocking;  if you park on the top 1/2 of the driveway, stay on the hardtop and off the gravel on the side…blocking the driveway there is OK.

Directions:  From Rte 1 North…past all Wakefield signs…past Perryville signs…past Moonstone Beach Rd…look for green sign “Shannock Rd Next Right.”  3rd driveway on the left #48 Shannock Rd.

From Rte 1 South, do a turn-around from the left lane at the “Post Rd Perryville” sign just past Green Hill Beach Rd exit…double back ON Rte 1, 1 mi and see above directions.

It’s always helpful in planning refreshments (the usual dogs & burgers) to post your intention to attend.  That would be appreciated.  

As has been posted earlier, there are important agenda items for the membership to consider.  Hope to see you all.  73!

— John, W1XX  401-783-1588 if you get lost.  


VE’s Needed
VE’s Needed avatar

Hope Valley Ambulance is looking for someone to teach a class for about 5 members and administer the exams. If you think you may be interested please contact me at; billc230@verizon.net

Thank you

Bill N1HRA

Say “HI” to NASA’s JUNO satellite fly-by
Say “HI” to NASA’s JUNO satellite fly-by avatar


I just found something you might find interesting, and want to participate in.


This URL has the details.  We, the Amateur Radio Community, are being asked to assist NASA with an experiment when their JUNO space craft does a fly-by of Earth on Wednesday (Tomorrow).

The details are on the web site I have given above.  We are being asked to transmit on 10-meters according to a VERY SLOW CW schedule all explained.  It’s an opportunity to be part of the history of a space-craft traveling to Jupiter.

If you’re available, give it a try.

73, Mike, K1DM, CTRI CG President

October, 2013 Contest Manager’s Notes
October, 2013 Contest Manager’s Notes avatar

The CQ WW RTTY has come and gone, with some great scores submitted. Rick, KI1G and his M2 team submitted 8,880,003 points, placing them 7th overall in the claimed score standings and 3rd in North America. John, W1AN and his M1 team as W1DX submitted a score of 3,552,508 points, unfortunately placing them pretty far down in the standings. There were a lot of M1 scores submitted, so as a strategic choice it may not have been the best one for the team to make. Live and learn. As a club, we had four logs submitted, two of which were from members of the multi-op teams (K1SD and K1DM). Our aggregate claimed score is 12,525,058, which is down from last year but still a very significant amount. Great job guys! In searching the submitted scores I saw a lot of unaffiliated 1-land scores reported. I wonder how many of those hams are in the CTRICG “zone”?

This weekend is the Oceania DX Contest (Phone), through 0800Z on Sunday October 6th. Its CW version is from 0800Z on October 12th through 0800Z on October 13th. They might be a good opportunity to pick up some new countries for 5BDXCC.

If you want another good RTTY contest opportunity the Makrothen RTTY Contest will fill the bill. It has some interesting operating times spread across three separate periods between 0000Z October 12th through 1559Z on October 13th.

Get those radials laid out! The Stew Perry Topband Distance Challenge is a 160M, CW-only contest that takes place this year from 1500Z, October 19th through 1500Z, October 20th. This is what they call the “Pre-Stew”, in preparation for the “Big Stew” in December. I expect 160M conditions to be somewhat favorable this year due to a declining solar flux, but we’ll see. It’s a great contest that offers good DXing opportunities as well as many NA contacts. Scoring is by distance between stations (hence the name), and you get multipliers for working low-power and QRP stations. Those are figured by the log-checking software after you submit your log.

As we all know, one of the “big ones” occurs at the end of the month, from 0000Z, October 26th through 2400Z, October 27th. It’s the CQ WW DX Contest (SSB). There’s not much I can say about it that most of us don’t already know, but for those not “in the know” this is one you won’t want to miss. It is an exciting, fast-paced, bare-knuckled bru-ha-ha of a contest. To borrow a phrase from our illustrious Dave, W1CTN, it’s like “a knife-fight in a telephone booth.” There will be wall-to-wall signals on all bands if conditions are right. I know many of us aren’t thrilled by SSB contests, but if you don’t mind getting beat up a little it makes for a really good time. John, W1AN is talking about opening up his shack for a multi-op effort, and if any of our less-experienced operators would like to try the contest from a fairly “big-gun” perspective, this is a good way to do it. I expect periods where we will be running stations at 200-300 per hour if we find some good spots on the high bands. No kidding. I’m sure John will tell us his plans shortly, so keep your calendar open! Last year we had 4 entries in this contest for a combined score of 3,567,268.

In case I don’t get to post my notes for November before it happens, the ARRL Sweepstakes (CW) is the weekend of November 2nd through the 4th. This is among a lot of members’ favorite contests, probably because it’s so friendly and such a huge part of contesting history. It’s one in which US and Canadian stations work each other, with ARRL/RAC sections as multipliers (for a total of 83). Getting a “clean sweep” of the sections is the dream of many who enter, and lots of folks come up one or two short each year. It can be very frustrating but great fun to try for. The exchange is a long one, which makes for lower rates, but it can really test your copying ability! Last year we only had 4 members submit scores for this for a total of 344,144 points, so I think we can do better. Why not give it a try?

I hope to hear many of you on the air during the month. Good luck!

Pat, NG1G