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New Providence Amateur Radio Club
The  Radio Club of the Watchung Hills Area
Box  813, New Providence, NJ  07974    USA
n2xj@arrl.net

 
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Club call signs are N2XJ and W2FMI



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page last modified: Sat Nov 22 18:10:06 2014


* * * Next Meeting - Monday, Nov. 24th * * *
7:30pm @ NP Senior Citizen Center
 

Current News and Notices, Club Activities, Upcoming On-Air Events, Upcoming Off-Air Events and Past News and Notices are below.
*** Note the new sections, especially Upcoming On-Air Events and Upcoming Off-Air Events ***

Latest Club Newsletter: October Spark Gaps

* Note: All club meetings starting with the Fall 2014 school year will be at the New Providence Senior Citizen Center (GPS Coordinates: 40.703814,-74.398284) at 7:30 p.m., unless specifically noted otherwise. We suggest you always check this web site on the day of all meetings in case of any last minute changes in time or location.  Meeting Refreshment Assignments.

Upcoming Event Calendar
  November 24, 2014 Project Meeting -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
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  December 6, 2014 Holiday Luncheon -- Chimney Rock Inn, 342 Valley Rd., Gillette, NJ.
 
  December 8, 2014 Regular Meeting -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
  December 22, 2014 Project Meeting -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
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  January 4, 2015 Kids Day -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
  January 12, 2015 Regular Meeting -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
  January 26, 2015 Project Meeting -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
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  February 9, 2015 Regular Meeting -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
  February 23, 2015 Project Meeting -- New Providence Senior Citizen Center.
 
  February 27, 2015 Auction -- New Providence High School.
 

Current News and Notices (Note - 2014 Dues were Payable by January 1st -- Forms: Word, PDF)

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Our next meeting will be held on November 24, 2014 at the New Providence Senior Citizen Center. The main function of the meeting will be to hold our annual election of officers. We will also probably discuss the NPARC Holiday Luncheon and potential 50th Anniversary ideas. Finally, Dave K2YG will be collecting checks (or cash if you must) for the Holiday Luncheon.

At the December 8, 2014 meeting we will be having a review of the New York City Marathon. Some of the members who provided communications during the marathon this year will provide a review of their experiences.

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The next Digital Net will hopefully be held on Monday, December 1, 2014 at 9:00pm local time. KC2WUF will be net control QRV 28.070.500 or 7.069.500 MHz +/- 1.000 kHZ Mode Center Frequency.  Mode and QRV frequency (shifting due to winter season) should be published (both here and via the reflector) a couple of days prior to the net. All club members and non-members alike are welcome to join in the round-robin format. A test transmission should start 5-10 minutes prior to the net for the purposes of locating the net control frequency.

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The annual NPARC Holiday Luncheon will be held on December 6, 2014 at the Chimney Rock Inn located at 342 Valley Rd in Gillette, NJ. The luncheon which includes pizza, salad, soft drinks, coffee and desert plus your choice of one entree from a limited menu (sent out via the reflector) will cost $28.00 per person payable to Dave Barr, K2YG, either: 1) at the next meeting 2) at the luncheon or 3) by mail (check only) to Dave's home address (29 Montrose Ave., Summit NJ 07901). Please make checks payable to "NPARC" or if you absolutely have to use cash please have some way of identifying that it came from you (i.e. labeled envelope with name and callsign). Alcoholic beverages will be the responsibility of the individual.

Finally, please let Dave Barr, K2YG, know if you plan on attending and if so, how many guests you are bringing.

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The "Hands-on Antenna Modeling using EZNEC Workshop" Parts I, II and III were held during 3 consecutive club meetings (September 22, October 13 and 27). Part I included a basic overview of EZNEC by David K2MUN along with a 40-meter dipole and then he added some drooping ends. Part II was run by Barry K2JV with David K2MUN walking around the room to help. Barry began by reviewing the basic operation of EZNEC and then taking the "Back Yard" dipole model that comes with EZNEC and modifying it to show what various changes can do to the results. He also showed the SWR graph of his approximation of his 300 foot loop that he had when he lived in Massachusetts which he proposed to model at the following meeting. Part III was Barry K2JV running through setting up a 4x70-foot sided horizontal square-loop which he hinted at the previous meeting. Many questions were posed during the 3 weeks and many members came away with positive comments on the capabilities of EZNEC for modeling simple antennas.

Finally, both David K2MUN and Barry K2JV have been gracious enough to provide some information about their talks:
    Part I - David's October President's Column. (.pdf and .doc formats) are available.
    Part II - Barry's outline (.pdf and .docx formats) and presentation (.pdf and .ppt formats) are available.
    Part III - Barry's presentation (.pdf and .ppt formats) are available.

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January Kid's Day 2015 will be held January 4th, 2015 in the New Providence Senior Citizen Center located at 15 E. 4th St, New Providence, NJ. Further details will be forthcoming both here and via the reflector.

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Our 2015 edition of the Annual NPARC Auction will be held Friday, February 27, 2014 at the New Providence High School. Further updates will be forthcoming shortly, but have your extra gear ready to be auctioned and consider donating some of it to the club. Also have your wallets ready to pick up that piece of gear that you need to complete your shack. The snow date is the following Friday on March 6, 2014.

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David K2MUN began his sessions guiding us through a "Hands-on Antenna Modeling Workshop using EZNEC". Many members brought their laptops and followed along. David would love to get some feedback and is willing to try to address some particular issues (if he can). Please send your feedback and/or questions to k2mun at arrl dot net. Please try and bring your same laptop(s) with you so that you can follow along some through the more advanced analysis. The second session of this will take place on Monday, October 13, 2014 at the new regular meeting location of the New Providence Senior Citizen Center. Hope to see you all there with laptop in hand again.

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Our regular club meetings have been relocated to the New Providence Senior Citizen Center for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

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Another Field Day has come and gone. By all accounts a good time was had by all. Thanks to all those who supported our effort before, during and/or after the event. Special thanks go out to our Activities Manager Paul W2PTP for all his efforts in organizing all of the pieces needed to make the weekend a success. More information will be posted on this site as it becomes available. Also, we ask that any pictures taken be passed on to David KC2WUF for inclusion in our Field Day archives. Next to the newsletter archives, this is the largest content to our website. 2014 Field Day Archive pages will be created shortly after all information has been submitted for our club entry. The pages are still being constructed. Sorry for the delay - KC2WUF

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Club Activities (Nets and other Special Events)

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NPARC Sunday Night Net - Al K2AL is net control on the W2LI-VHF (2-meter) repeater (147.255, input +.600 MHz, Tone 141.3) every Sunday at 9 p.m.  We encourage and welcome members and non-members alike to join us on the net.  It is an informal, directed net.  We discuss topics related to our ham radio activities, club activities and other topics of general interest. Note: TCRA has been nice enough to link the W2LI-UHF repeater (449.975, input -5.000 MHz, Tone 141.3) in for our net.

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NPARC Digital Net - David KC2WUF is net control for the NPARC Digital Net currently held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 9 p.m. local time. Digital mode and frequency are announced via the reflector sometime during the week leading up to the net. Often the operating parameters are also announced during the club business section of the NPARC Sunday Night Net the night before. We encourage members who are equipped for operating digital modes to check in to the net. Lately the mode of choice has been Hellschreiber (more resilient to multi-path signals experienced on 10m) and the signal frequency has been around 28.070.500 MHz. The net is a directed net and will be handled round-table format similar to the Sunday Night net as long as conditions permit. The net is a good forum for members who are new to digital modes as there is no pressure to "complete the QSO" quickly. Note: Talk-in should be available on the club frequency (145.750 simplex) and the W2LI 2-meter repeater (147.255, input +0.600 MHz, PL 141.3) during the net.

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NPARC Kids Net - Nick KC2ONP former net control for our NPARC Kids Net is away at school.  The Kids Net is in recess until a new net control is identified.

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Upcoming On-Air Events

This is a new section of the home page and will try to list interesting on-air activities that you may want to join in. This list grew out of a request by several club members to be notified about upcoming contests that they might have operated in if they were notified.

Note: If you find an event you think might be of interest to the club members please send any information about it to David Bean KC2WUF or David Berkley K2MUN for inclusion in this list.

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ARRL Centennial QSO Party : Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014. This is a 2 part full year event to celebrate the centennial of the ARRL. The first part is working W1AW portable operation in each of the 50 states and most US territories. During 2014, W1AW will be operating in each state during 2 different weeks as well as many of the US territories. The second part is Centennial Points Challenge where you accumulate points by contacting ARRL member stations. Point values are awarded based on the position(s) held by the station/operator. The W1AW portable operations also counts for the points as well. All scoring and awards from this event will use the honor system with logs submitted to LotW. Since this is more of an event than a contest, WARC bands are acceptable for QSOs. More information is available on the ARRL web site here. The schedule for state portable operations is available here.

Further information on upcoming contests can be found at:

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ARRL Contest Calendar - In addition to listing all upcoming ARRL-sponsored contests, there is a link to past Contest Corrals and instructions on how to sign up to receive the Contest Update to your email account.

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WA7BNM Contest Calendar Site - Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, has created a site that includes an 8-Day Contest Calendar among many others. The 8-Day Calendar shows all contests for the next 8 days. It also has links at the top of the page to look forward or backward one week from the current calendar.

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Upcoming Off-Air Events

This is yet another new section of the home page and will try to list off-air activities that may be of interest to club members.

Note: If you find an event or activity that you think might be of interest to other club members, please send any information about it to David Bean KC2WUF or David Berkley K2MUN for inclusion in this list.

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Placeholder until new information becomes available

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Past News and Notices

2014

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Barry K2JV finished up the "Hands-on Antenna Modeling using EZNEC Workshop" by reviewing an approximation of his 300 foot loop that he had when he lived in Massachusetts at the October 27, 2014 meeting. Our next meeting will be held on November 10, 2014 at the New Providence Senior Citizen Center.

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Barry K2JV joined David's "Hands-on Antenna Modeling using EZNEC Workshop" demonstrating a simple dipole and refreshing us on the various settings. Barry has graciously volunteered to continue this subject in a Part III at the next meeting and plans on modeling his 300 foot loop that he had when he lived in Massachusetts. The next meeting is October 27, 2014 at the New Providence Senior Citizen Center. Since it will be hands-on once again, hope to see you all there with your laptops.

Finally, it would be nice if at least a few of you could bring your own "real-world" antenna descriptions to be modeled. Basic element (wire, rod, etc) dimensions (lengths, etc.) and conditions (height above ground, etc.) is all you really need to provide.

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During our next 2 club meetings (September 22nd and October 13th), David K2MUN will be guiding us through a "Hands-on Antenna Modelling Workshop using EZNEC". Please try and bring a Windows capable laptop with you so that you can get the freeware version of EZNEC and try out some of your own antenna models. Both of these sessions will be held at the new regular meeting location of the New Providence Senior Citizen Center. Hope to see you all there with laptop in hand.

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Our next meeting (September 8, 2014) will feature ???. The meeting will begin shortly after 7:30pm EDT and will be held at the new regular meeting location of the New Providence Senior Citizen Center. Hope to see you all there.

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Dave AC2GL gave a brief demonstration of the "DVB-T Dongle & SDR# Software" at the August 25, 2014 meeting.

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The presentation files from the August 11, 2014 meeting have been updated by Jon, AE2JP, based on some of the feedback he received. The new versions of "Software Defined Radio: State-of-the-Art & State-of-the-Future" are available in both .pptx and .pdf formats. August 18, 2014

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The August 11, 2014 meeting featured a short discussion on impressions of the ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford, CT from several of the members that attended at least some of it last month. This discussion was led by Paul, W2PTP. After that Jon, AE2JP, gave a talk entitled "Software Defined Radio: State-of-the-Art & State-of-the-Future". The talk was inspired by two of the talks that Jon saw at the convention. The original slides are available here in .pptx and .pdf formats.

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The second week of W1AW/2 operations from New Jersey starts Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 0000UTC and runs until Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 2359UTC. The sponsoring club is looking for operators to run some band-mode slots for whatever time you can manage. If you didn't read the email forwarded by David, K2MUN, and would like more information, contact either David, K2MUN, or David, KC2WUF, for a copy of the email from the sponsoring coordinator. They especially expressed a need for digital operators. For those of you looking to see what a pileup sounds like from the other end, you might want to give it a try. You must be able to send in an ADIF file with all QSOs that you make during your time operating as W1AW/2.

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QSL Night - Our next meeting (July 28) will feature QSL Night where everyone is asked to bring some of their favorite QSL cards and share them along with a story or two about one or more of them. The meeting will begin shortly after 7:30pm EDT and will be held at this year's summer location of the New Providence Senior Citizen Center. Hope to see you all there.

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ARRL Centennial Convention: Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Saturday, July 19, 2014. Information about this event was presented by Hudson Division vice Director Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, at the January 27, 2014 meeting. Additional information is available here.

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Don't forget our next big event is Field Day this coming weekend. We will be operating from the first field directly behind Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights as we have for the past several years. Setup will begin around 9:30am and all of your help will be greatly appreciated to get us ready for the 2:00pm start to operations. Make sure you've read the attachment on the email that our Activities Manager, Paul W2PTP, has sent out identifying every members tasks. If you have any problems with the tasks assigned you or you think you were supposed to be identified on the spreadsheet, please contact Paul directly so that things run smoothly this weekend.

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Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, ARRL Hudson Division Director led an informative discussion on several current topics related to amateur radio operations. He discussed RM-11708, CC&R's, recent FCC changes, the ARRL Centennial among other topics.

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Thanks to the find that Al Hanzl, K2AL, made prior to our 2013 Luncheon and the effort being undertaken by David Bean, KC2WUF, to scan them in, additional past issues of Mountain Spark Gaps, starting with 1987, are now available on the website via the Newsletter archive page. Scanning will be done in reverse chronological order as that is how they were filed in the book that Al discovered. Check back often to see when additional years become available.

Additional Mountain Spark Gaps Newsletters from 1986 (January - November), 1985 (March - June and September - November), 1984 (January-June and September - November), 1983 (January - July and September-November), 1982 (January-June and September - November), 1981 (January, October and November), 1980 (January - Jun and September - October), 1979 (January - March, May and September - November), 1978 (January - June and September - November), 1977 (January - April and September - November) and 1976 (January - June and September - November)  have now been scanned and are available in the newsletter archives.

1983 includes the change to the current club frequency. 1978 and prior include some mimeograph copies resulting in poorer quality scans.

The task of scanning all available Mountain Spark Gaps was completed on June 7, 2014. This includes the first Mountain Spark Gaps circa April 1966.

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Harvey Klein, WS2Q, gave an interesting talk about "Remote Station Operation" at our June 9, 2014 meeting. He discussed the hardware and software he uses to access his HF rig at his Home QTH from his smartphone and tablet devices. He also discussed some of the other communications options he employs for emergency communications.

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The talks scheduled for the last two meetings (Barry, K2JV, and Mike Lisenco, N2YBB) which both had to be postponed have been rescheduled along with a talk by Harvey Klein, WS2Q. Barry will give his "RF Safety" talk at the Tuesday, May 27th meeting. Harvey will give his talk on "Remote Station Operation" at the June 9th meeting. Mike will now speak with us at the June 23rd meeting.

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Once again this year as we have in the past, NPARC will have a contingent of marchers in the New Providence Memorial Day Parade. Please contact Rick Anderson WB2QOQ if you have an interest in participating or any questions. Please consider representing our club in the most public display we have each year.

At the same time we are marching,  the NPARC ERT will be providing communications support to the parade organizers as they have for the past few years as well.

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Hamvention® 2014: Friday, May 16, 2014 - Sunday, May 18, 2014. This is considered the premier ham event in the United States if not the world. It has been said that every amateur radio operator should go to this event at least once in their lifetime. Each year one or more members of our club make the trek to Dayton, OH and have a good time. If anyone plans on attending and wants to see if others are headed there, please start a thread by posting to the reflector. Additional information can be found here.

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Mike Lisenco N2YBB, ARRL Hudson Division Director, will be unable to make tonight's meeting (May 12, 2014). He will need to be rescheduled for a later date. Details will follow as they become available.

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The "RF Safety" talk from Barry K2JV scheduled for this coming meeting (April 28, 2014) needs to be rescheduled for a future meeting. Details will follow when available.

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At the March 10, 2014 meeting, Rich Taylor, N2AUG, gave an impromptu presentation on some additional uses (besides finding the resonant frequency of your antenna) for the venerable MFJ-259B. He also proposed a future program/demonstration of the various aspects that make up a high-end and low-end receiver. More will follow on this as additional details become available.

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Our 2014 NPARC Auction was held on Friday, February 21 at the New Providence High School. Pictures are available here.

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2014 Dues (forms Word, PDF) should have been paid by January 1!  Renewal notices will be sent to all current members.  You may also send in the linked forms. Any questions, please contact club secretary Tim Farrell, KD2EKN. If you haven't already paid, please get your dues in soon as the grace period ended March 31, 2014.

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Kids Day was held Sunday, January 5, 2013 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM at the Berkeley Heights Community Center.  Even with less than ideal weather (both on the ground and in the sky) we had several youngsters turn out to talk to people (other kids and adults) from around the globe. Photos are now available here and in the photo archive. Flyers (PDF, DOC) are still available for reference.

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NPARC Officers for 2014 were elected at the November 25, 2013 meeting and were formally introduced at the Holiday Luncheon on December 7, 2013. Current Officer are always shown on the Club Information page.  Four officers continue from 2013: David Berkley, K2MUN, President; David Bean, KC2WUF, Vice President; Dave Barr, K2YG, Treasurer and Paul Wolfmeyer, W2PTP, Activities Manager.  A new Secretary, Tim Farrell, KD2EKN was also elected for 2014, replacing outgoing Secretary, Hillary Zaenchik, KC2HLA.

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2013

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Jim Stekas', K2UI, talk about 'A Practical Portable Antenna' is now available online here.

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The NPARC Holiday Luncheon was held on Saturday December 7 at the Chimney Rock Inn in Gillette.  It was, once again, a fun affair.  Photos are now available.

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The 2013 Field Day Results have been posted by ARRL and are shown for NPARC on the Field Day 2013 Page.

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Take a look at the wonderful B&W, medium format high-quality photos for NPARC Field Days from 1994, 1996 and 1997, that Jim, N2TSJ, uncovered in his collection.

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David, K2MUN, presented "Software to Predict HF Propagation (Part I - Tools; Part II - Applications)" at the September 9 and 23, 2013 meeting. Click on the title to view the PowerPoint.

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The 2013 NJ QSO Party (pdf) took place on July 27 - 28 (the last full weekend in July).  We encourage members of NPARC to participate and to designate "New Providence ARC" as their club entry.  This will not affect your individual score.

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Field Day 2013 is in the books!  Great Field Day; the weather and bands cooperated.  Here are some 2013 Photos  and  Results as submitted on July 10 posted. Take a look!  Additional found photos (2003 and more from 1993) have also been posted.

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Take a look at found photos from Field Day 1993 (from David Bean, KC2WUF and Bob Willis, K2GLS).  Bob also found a set of photos from a decade later, Field Day 2003.

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Some photos have been posted from our club trip to W1AW on January 30, 2013.  As a bonus, there is also a photo of participants from many years ago.

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Kids Day was Sunday, January 6, 2013 from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM at the Berkeley Heights Community Center, 29 Park Avenue next to the Town Hall.  There was a good turnout both of club members, parents and kids.  Flyers (PDF, DOC).  Photos when available

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2012

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During the July 23, 2012 meeting, David Bean, KC2WUF, discussed use of the N1MM contest logger for the NJ State QSO party this coming weekend, Saturday - Sunday, July 28 and 29.  We hope that participants will enter as New Providence ARC members.

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David Berkley, K2MUN, NPARC Webmaster introduced the new NPARC Wiki to members present at the July 9th meeting.

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NPARC had a good turnout for the May 29, New Providence, Memorial Day Parade.  See photo.

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Our 2012 NPARC digital mode series of presentations can be found at:
-- "Software to Control Radios" (Barry Cohen, K2JV):  Slides HTML; PowerPoint (0.6MB)
-- "Hellschreiber" (Andy Meyer, N2FYE): Slides (HTML)

-- "PSK" (David Berkley, K2MUN and Frank McAneny, K2EZR): Slides (HTML)
-- "Packet Radio" (Bob Willis, K2GLS): Slides (HTML)
-- "RTTY" (Dave Barr, K2YG): Slides (2.6 MB PowerPoint)

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2011

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The December 12, 2011 NPARC meeting was a panel discussion of Emergency Power Systems with good attendance by hams and the general public.  Presentations and discussion were well received.  Discussion material is available here.

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NPARC is pleased to announce that the FCC has assigned a second call sign, W2FMI, to the Club.  This call sign was held by Jerry Sevick (SK) and we expect that it will be used at many special events, including Field Day, Kids Day and wherever we can use it to honor Jerry's memory.

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