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NEAR-Fest XXX - October 15 & 16 2021 / See you there!
« Last post by w1es on September 17, 2021, 09:19:54 PM »
Looking forward to seeing friends, old and new, at NEAR-Fest in a few weeks!


Steve, W1ES/4
Graham, NC
NEAR-Fest XXX - October 15 & 16 2021 / Nearfest video
« Last post by k1oik on September 16, 2021, 12:47:23 AM »
NEAR-Fest XXX - October 15 & 16 2021 / Re: Candidate Statemwnt Tom Frenaye K1KI
« Last post by k1oik on September 16, 2021, 12:45:22 AM »
You would have my vote if I was a member because I can't stand the other two.
You should stated why you are the better choice.
NEAR-Fest XXX - October 15 & 16 2021 / Re: Candidate Statemwnt Tom Frenaye K1KI
« Last post by n1iwv on September 15, 2021, 11:55:26 PM »
"ARRL is at a crossroads and has faltered during the last several years."

You have been a part of the ARRL since I have known You....You are a part of "ARRL is at a crossroads and has faltered during the last several years."
Why should you be part of the solution???

Sorry..You  do not get my vote.
NEAR-Fest XXX - October 15 & 16 2021 / Candidate Statemwnt Tom Frenaye K1KI
« Last post by W1RC on September 10, 2021, 05:46:55 AM »
Candidate - New England Division Director

NOTE:  Normally NEAR-Fest doesn’t get involved in A R R L partisan politics as we have no affiliation with the organization whatsoever.  However, as a service to the A R RL members in the New England Division, we are holding a “Town Meeting” forum to which all three candidates have been invited to make a brief statememt and answer questions from the audiences.  Additionally the three have been offered table space inside the commercial building where they can meet voters, answer questions and pass out campaign literature.

Each candidate has the opportunity to submit a campaign statement amd we will carry all three.  They are presented in alphabetical order,


Hi, I’m Tom Frenaye from West Suffield CT (near Springfield MA) and I’m running for election as New England Division Director of the ARRL.  I’ve served as ARRL Director in the past and am currently elected as an ARRL Director Emeritus.

I’ve been licensed since I was 14 years old, thanks to a middle school science teacher.  Amateur Radio has been part of my life ever since!   I’m particularly interested and involved in on-the-air activities.  In high school I focused on DXing and county hunting and worked more than 1500 US counties.   A friend and I started the California QSO Party in the early 1970s. 

After graduate school I took a once in a lifetime job as a communications specialist and spent a year in Palmer Station, Antarctica, also operating as KC4AAC.   Following that, I took the job of contest program manager at ARRL in Newington CT.  During that time, I learned about packet radio, which led to an understanding of computer networks, and a career in information technology at a Hartford-area insurance company where I developed large corporate databases for end user access, managed the new information center and the network control operations.

I volunteered as ARRL Director and Vice President until 2018, and also as ARRL Foundation president for ten years.   I’ve also served on several of my town’s boards and commissions, including finance, technology, capital projects, and the planning and zoning commission.  I’ve also served as mayor (First Selectman).   I believe every ham should look for the opportunity to get involved in their town’s government in some way.

In the 1990’s I started a New England effort to get new hams on the air called the Get On The Air Program.   It focused on reaching out to new hams and helping them to get started in ham radio by connecting them to local ham radio clubs.  This program was then adopted by the ARRL as a major addition to Field Day – the Get On The Air (GOTA) station which is great for new hams to experience getting on-the-air.

In 2002 I started the New England QSO Party as a way to help encourage on-the-air activity.  Over the last twenty years it has grown to more than 100,000 QSOs made in a weekend and 1100 logs received.

When the World Radiosport Team Championships were held in the Boston area in 2014, I was part of the team that managed the event.  My assignment was to find 50+ locations for teams to operate from, and to build the several hundred volunteers for site management.   I’ve also served as President of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club – two different times.  I especially like to operate CW and on 160 meters, and really enjoy building antennas.   I’m looking forward to the improving propagation on the 15 and 10m bands!

ARRL is at a crossroads and has faltered during the last several years.  There have been five different CEOs in the last five years, many of the key staff members have retired or left the organization.  The ARRL Board has also had a difficult time with inexperience and failure to apply good management to the organization.

I’m running for Director because I’m critical of the way things have been managed by HQ and the Board.  I believe that the right decision is not just to criticize but to step forward and be part of the solution to improve the organization.

The ARRL needs to have a current strategic plan and must focus on improving the League’s relationship with both the FCC and members of Congress.   Amateur radio needs to continue to adapt to the changing technological world, FCC rules need to be modernized. 

Hams need relief from the condominium and homeowner association rules that limit or prohibit reasonable antennas.   During the last three years, no progress has been made on that relief, and actually, the effort has ground to a stop.

The Technician license needs to be modernized so digital modes can be used on HF band segments, not just CW. 

We have to find a way to limit the serious problem with consumer electronic equipment RF interference, and the explosion in noisy solar energy installations.  This will require action by the ARRL, Congress and the FCC, because the current rules are incapable of addressing the RF pollution, and enforcement is nearly non-existent.

ARRL conflict of interest rules for elected officials are not sufficient to deal with many current situations, and I will work to strengthen them.

I’d appreciate your vote in the upcoming ARRL Director election.  Ballots will be mailed out from Newington by October 1st.

If you have any questions at all, please give me a call at 860-597-4539 or email to or

Thanks and 73!     

NEAR-Fest XXX - October 15 & 16 2021 / Ham Jam!
« Last post by Whoz Your Daddy on September 10, 2021, 01:14:52 AM »
Hi everyone!
Who'z in for the Open Jam?
The Jam will be Friday October 15th
Roughly 7:00pm
All are welcome to play!
Please post any questions here.

Found this listing on ePay the other day.  It had only been up for a couple minutes.  Here is what the seller claimed as “Véritable Blouson cuir pilote Armée de l'Air” it was priced at 45€ ($USD 47.52) and 45€ (USD $53.46) for postage.   At this price there wasn’t much time to think so I went for it.  Even if it is a copy it ks easily worth double that so I am not worried about getting ripped off,

So now it’s on its way and hopefully will be here soon.

The listing had four photos and none of them were high res.  Let’s look at them and see what we can learn.

The jacket is first generation.  You can tell by the curved sleeve pocket.  Inner liner is black.  Back is one piece.  Cannot see the zipper clearly enough to determine if it is made by Eclair.  The photo of the inside shows a white square label but I cannot read it.  The shape is right though.

There are a number of other if these style jackets on ePay right now but it is easy to tell that none are “authentic”.  These photos of this one do not reveal anythimg to indicate that it is NOT the real deal so maybe I will get lucky.  We’ll see in a few days.  And of course, will it fit me?
This article is a translation of an informative narrative on am eBay FOR SALE listing for jackets.

For informed collectors in search of the authentic - exceptional pilot jacket of the French air force - jacket from the first generation 70s (coming just after the very first model which had a red-orange lining as described below) - (to my knowledge it does not) no NEW jacket from this period exists)

The very first absolute jackets had a red-orange lining (years 1955/1965) without inside pocket (and without orange survival vest - It was planned to put on the jacket inside out after ejection (absurd, but true) and it was only later that this system was replaced by a red-orange survival chasuble (vest)

The first were made by the manufacturer LEMERCIER in a leather color tending towards Petrol Blue, then those which followed by M.I.C de Cognac in a less deep blue.

French Air Force / Naval Aviation fighter pilot jackets that are authentic (having been issued to the pilots) and used for this purpose on numerous flights (missions) will have the following characteristics:

- the color of the leather is gray / blue  “Petrol Blue” color.

less heavy than the "substitutes" of jackets wrongly displayed "pilot jacket of the French air force")

- the jacket consists of 7 pockets (namely: 2 pockets respectively on each side + 2 slanted pockets inside + 1 small inside pocket with black zipper + 1 pocket on the left sleeve + 1 rank pocket on the left plastron -

- the size can be adjusted respectively on each side at the bottom of the jacket

- central zipper (brass tabs) brand "ECLAIR"

- the back is in one piece (without ANY seam - neither horizontal nor vertical)

- the lining is black

- elastic sleeves (to protect against squalls) inside the sleeves at the wrists. (Knit cuffs).

- 4 ventilation perforations on both armpits

Brief history of the PN / pilot leather jacket "saga".
In the 80s you could buy a lot of copies of jackets in the homes of BANs and / or Air Force bases - For authentic jackets, the French army provided all the components (zippers etc. ..) to the respective manufacturers (the most important manufacturer being MIC) --- The ECLAIR-Prestil company manufactured a specific model of zipper for the army (not available to the general public)

Anecdote: the manufacturers (MJ As du Cuir - MIC - Cassi Sàrl - Alto Cuir (Levroux) - Jacquin who assembled (made) the authentic jackets for the French military also marketed copies of cut and very similar quality, but with components / materials of the trade (leather thicker than the authentic one etc ...) The mark "AILEE" (for the zippers) is also used in the manufacture of the jackets of the first generation of the 70s!

The brands "BISON FUTE" - "JETKADO-FLY" - "DOURSOUX" - "K6" are NOT manufacturers-suppliers of the French Air Force.  These are manufacturers of copies.




BE CAREFUL OF THE JACKETS SOLD ON EBAY UNDER THE VOCABLE "" AUTHENTIC PILOT JACKET TYPE PN MOD.1964 'with numbers on the label canister ... made and sewn on the lining to deceive the barge, because they are copies (nothing to do with a supposed model from ..... 1964
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