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NEAR-Fest XXVII - May 1 & 2 2020 / Re: Checking up on your friends
« Last post by KB1NZN on March 22, 2020, 03:23:55 AM »
Hey Bri,

Good to hear from you as always. We’re doing our thing, laying low but still getting outside in our rural area and doing some things outside when we can. Many of the school events we are normally involved in during the spring are cancelled with nothing on the horizon indicating any changes are coming to alter that direction. Kids are going to school remotely, Jaycie is about to be promoted from 7th grade to 9th grade because she’s already completed all the curriculum they have for her in our local school. She’s a math whiz and will probably be starting her High high school math career at algebra II, so at this point we are just trying to keep up!

I’m still going to work daily and expect to continue that because of the critical infrastructure my coworker and I are responsible for keeping up and running for a fairly large number of public safety agencies in York County. Public access to our building is closed, so there’s a lot less people traffic in our area but we have been busy trying to ensure the various departments have been able to communicate using alternate meeting methods besides in-person, so it’s been busy, but so far everybody in our daily circles are healthy, and doing our part respecting safe distances and washing hands, I am very thankful for that.

Wishing the best for all, especially those in the higher risk categories.

NEAR-Fest XXVII - May 1 & 2 2020 / Re: Checking up on your friends
« Last post by W1RC on March 22, 2020, 01:29:15 AM »
Hi Bri....

Glad to see you and the family are okay.  We are doing okay as well.  The NH governor shut us down until April 6th and probably beyond.  We haven't cancelled NEAR-Fest XXVII but looks like it will be done for us.  Hang tight amd we will hopefully see you at MIT in June.....

Please use the forum to check up on each other.....that is a good use for it.


From 1966 and very timely right now in 2020.

Dedicated to the memory of Jerry K0TV.....

Jerry and I used to do this routine together all the time............

In case you do not recognize it the scenes are from the 1966 comedy film THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.....THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.,_the_Russians_Are_Coming
This treatise was researched and written by a retired professor friend of NEAR-Fest.  It contains no radical or controversial medications, regimens or remedies. It is mostly a collection of common sense suggestions on how to minimize your and your family’s risk of contacting this virus.  Read it carefully and you will see what I mean........and hopefully we will all see each other again at Deerfield very soon!

73 and stay well!!!

MisterMike, W1RC

PS:  As an addendum to this treatise is a link to a very interesting document from the Journal of Hospital Infection that discusses persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Here it is now.....

Coping with the Corona-19 virus

There are many studies that address the length of time that the virus can remain dangerous on various surfaces and the efficacy of different agents in destroying it. I have tried to analyze these studies in order to present some suggestions to help us get through this crisis. The virus has been found on smooth surfaces over 14 days after infected people inhabited a room so any surface that may have been contaminated must be disinfected. If you are not able to get the usual sanitizing products like Clorox, diluted bleach and hydrogen peroxide, I offer a very effective alternative based on the proven virus killer, iodine.
Before I offer some specific suggestions I want to emphasize the importance of washing your hands frequently with soap and water for an adequate amount of time, ideally 20 seconds. The current suggestion is to sing the alphabet song to yourself while you wash your hands thoroughly. This will ensure about 20 seconds of brisk washing. Viruses consist of a core wrapped in a fat-based (lipid) envelope. Soap dissolves the fat, rupturing the envelope and exposing the core, which dies immediately.
The other critically important general suggestion is that you Work VERY hard to get into the habit of NOT touching your face and mouth and avoiding rubbing your eyes.  Your mouth and nose are primary entry points for the virus and if it gets into your eyes it will travel down the tear ducts into your respiratory system.  You will need to spend time and thought to train yourself since the average number of times that people touch their face is quite high and it is critical to avoid this behavior. It may sound funny but a wide collar around your neck like that worn by a dog after surgery may be necessary until you get into the habit of avoiding touching your face.
We have been told by the CDC and others that there is little-or-no benefit from wearing surgical masks to help prevent you from catching the virus.  This is absolutely not correct. Virtually every healthcare professional including my ER doctor son says that masks ARE helpful in trying to avoid the virus any time that you are near or in contact with other people. Obviously masks are not needed when you are outdoors and away from people.
I believe that we are being told this because:
...they don't want people to panic when they find that they can not get these masks.
...Most N95 and other masks were made in China and China totally blocked any shipments of masks outside their country.
...there are so few masks available that health care professionals like my ER doctor son can only have one mask each day and they are kept in a locked cabinet in the hospital.  (He says that standard practice WAS to use one mask for each patient and discard them after use.)
If you can find N95 masks or similar ones it is important to take time to carefully fit them to your face in order to minimize any chance of leakage around the edges of the mask.  Medical personnel are all trained in the proper fitting of a mask. Place the mask over your nose and mouth, put the elastic band around your head to hold it in place, press on both left and right sides of the metal strip so that the mask seals snugly around your nose and check the edges and bottom of the mask to ensure a good seal.
When you remove the mask remember that the outside of the mask may be contaminated with the virus and do not touch the outside of the mask. Grasp the rubber band to remove the mask and use the band to keep it away from your face. If you absolutely must reuse the mask, disinfect the outside before you use it again. Suggestions for ways to disinfect the mask are given below. The following link gives some helpful guidance in the proper use of masks:
Hopefully the supply of masks will gradually catch up with demand but for now remember that virtually any tightly-woven covering for your nose and mouth and can help keep airborne droplets out.  So far I have not heard this suggestion made in public but it seems very obvious.
Iodine is a very effective virus killer. The effectiveness of masks and homemade-masks can be Greatly Enhanced by applying the following DILUTED iodine spray. Other effective virus killers such as >70% ethyl alcohol, 1:50 concentrations of bleach, and Lysol sprays are too irritating to use on masks and may not be available.
WARNING: Do NOT use iodine straight from the bottle without diluting it as described below. It is poisonous in its undiluted form in the bottle and MUST be diluted by mixing 3-drops of iodine into 1/2-cup (4-ounces) of water.
Here are instructions for making up a simple DILUTED iodine spray that you can safely use on a mask or homemade-mask after each use to make it safer to use again. It can also be used to disinfect surfaces and objects.  As you will see in the references below, DILUTED iodine kills viruses nearly instantly.
You may want to read one of the scholarly articles written in 2009 about iodine’s efficacy in killing viruses now:
Mix 3-drops of tincture of iodine with 4-oz (1/2-cup) of water to make this nearly colorless DILUTED solution. Do not put in more than 3 drops of iodine for each 1/2-cup of water.
Then put this DILUTED solution into a spray bottle... any bottle that will produce a fine mist from the solution is perfect.  Now spray the DILUTED iodine solution lightly on the outside of the mask or homemade-mask and this will make the mask much more effective in killing any virus droplets.  It will also kill any virus droplets that have accumulated on the mask from previous use and make the mask safer to use again. You may also use this spray as well as Clorox, hydrogen peroxide and a 1-part bleach to 50-parts water solution etc. to disinfect surfaces. It is not clear  that Lysol is as effective.
We have found three different bottles that say they contain iodine at CVS, Walgreens and other drug stores.  Two of these products including one that is colorless contain iodine mixed with some other chemicals that smell awful so it is important to get the bottle that says: Tincture of Iodine 2% iodine and 47% alcohol ...and be sure NOT to use it until you DILUTE it by putting 3-drops of iodine in each 1/2-cup of water.  Do not use the “decolorized” product which may not actually contain effective iodine.

If you cannot find this iodine your local pharmacy or grocery store here is a link directly to the correct product online.  It costs $5.67 including shipping.  I wouldn’t wait too long to get a bottle or two because they will likely sell out once more people learn about this and as more traditional products become less available.
If you believe that you may have been exposed to the virus and/or if you want to be safer when after you "social-distance" with others you may want to use a DILUTED iodine gargle made by mixing 3-drops of iodine in 1/2 cup of water 2-4 times a day.
A quick search of the internet will show several recipes for making this DILUTED iodine gargle that can also be used as a disinfecting spray. You may Google: "Iodine Gargle Recipe" for verification since it seems counter-intuitive to gargle with a poison.  Here is a link to a DILUTED iodine gargle recipe from "Cheery Kitchen" that uses the above dilution ratio:
Remember: you MUST dilute the iodine by mixing 3-drops of iodine in 1/2-cup (4 ounces) of water.  Iodine is indeed poisonous if you don't DILUTE it in this ratio.
Gargling with a DILUTE solution of iodine has been shown to kill all of the previous virus infections including MERS, H1N1, other Corona viruses etc. (See the links to these studies at the bottom of this email). 
These studies indicate that the DILUTED iodine gargle will kill viruses. The aerosolized droplets that are released during gargling may also kill viruses in the respiratory tract although I am told that they will probably not reach down into all recesses of the lungs.
If you leave your home and touch any surface that someone else may have touched, you stand the risk of getting the virus on your hands. To avoid this, wear Nitrile, or other disposable gloves.  Be very careful as you take them off and then discard them or if you don't have a large supply of them drop them into a box or container for future disinfection.  Remember that Gloves are only effective if you remove and discard them after use or disinfect them thoroughly before re-using them.
Protective glasses or goggles (if kept clean and regularly disinfected) will help deflect any airborne virus particles from entering your eyes.  Painters' goggles or face shields are, of course, even more effective.
If any virus particles enter your eyes they may drain through the tear-ducts directly into the nasal passages and ultimately your lungs. Remember to disinfect your glasses if you think they may have been exposed to virus droplets.
This is another warning that has not been offered to the public yet...
If you walk around in public even with a face mask, goggles and rubber gloves you still stand the risk of walking where someone has sneezed or coughed so the soles of your shoes should be considered to have been contaminated.  Spraying the bottoms of your shoes with the iodine spray or a 1:50 dilution of bleach or wiping them with Clorox wipes and perhaps using Lysol spray are ways to sanitize them.
Hand washing soaps are very effective and are the first line of defense against the virus because the soap dissolves the fat-based (lipid) envelope. They may contain additional active virus killing ingredients such as Benzalkonium found in most Dial hand soaps and Dial foaming soaps.
Wipes with greater than 65% alcohol along with Clorox wipes and wipes that contain benzalkonium such as "Wet Ones" are effective in destroying the virus.
The same goes for sprays using the DILUTED iodine spray, a 1:50 dilution of bleach, Clorox and perhaps Lysol.
Ultraviolet light and specifically Ultra Violet - C  (UV-C) is a very effective and quick virus killer but the demand is so great for these lights that I can not suggest any sources at present. You can Google "portable UV-C disinfectant lights" and you can try ordering them on Amazon or elsewhere but there may be a long wait.
Unlike UV-A and UV-B, UV-C is not considered harmful as long as you don't look into the bulb for any length of time or apply it to the skin for long periods.  I use the lights to disinfect surfaces packages and currency but wiping with Clorox wipes or spraying with DILUTED iodine or a spray made with 1 part bleach in 50 parts of water or perhaps Lysol will do the same thing.
Note that currency and coins are a major danger so I suggest paying by credit card (and wiping the card with Benzalkonium wipes right after removal from the card reader). Alcohol wipes might dissolve the writing on the card.

Use gloves for cash transactions and put any change you may receive from a cash transaction into a quarantined container. and disinfect it before you touch it.
Also if you pump gas, use gloves on the gas pump and discard or put the used gloves in a quarantined container for future disinfection.
It is important not to bring the virus into your home.
I suggest setting up a quarantine area at the entrance to your home. A mud-room would also work.
Leave any shoes, gloves and clothing that may possibly have become contaminated in the quarantine area in a labeled quarantine box until you have time to disinfect them.
At stores or supermarkets, wear Nitrile, Latex or similar gloves, choose products from the back of the shelves, use the self-serve checkouts if available, take products from the cart, scan them and place directly in bags that you bring from home.

Disinfect their containers when you get home.
By using the self-checkouts you may be able to avoid allowing products that you buy to come into contact with conveyor belts, scanners or surfaces.  Bring your DILUTED iodine spray in a small spray bottle and disinfect the area, scanner or surface right in the store if necessary.
Disinfect all products before handling, storing or refrigerating.  Use disinfectant wipes to wipe down or use UV-C light on products requiring refrigeration.

If you buy anything, receive delivered packages or pick up the mail, disinfect the surfaces of these items with the DILUTED iodine or 1:50 bleach spray or Clorox or benzalkonium wipes BEFORE bringing them into your home. This will keep any possible contamination out of your home.
Heat is an incredibly effective virus destroyer. This is good to know when you are preparing food. It seems to be generally agreed that a temperature of 160-170 degrees will kill a virus immediately. This is hot enough to burn your fingers.  Boiling in hot water at 212 degrees is probably not needed.
Wash clothes often, especially clothes that been anywhere near other people. The combination of heat (hot water) and soap is particularly potent.
Stay safe and healthy ! 
NEAR-Fest XXVII - May 1 & 2 2020 / Checking up on your friends
« Last post by Bri on March 21, 2020, 12:32:33 PM »
Hi All,
It's been a while since I've attended the Fest and while I don't see myself going in May (Covid-19 not withstanding) I do want to reach out to many of the friends, characters, trolls and reprobates I've met over the years.
Some of you I have contact info for and some I don't. I'm not looking for people to post their contact info, just for a place we can say "hi, I'm doing ok and I hope you are too"  Possibly through this forum.

Some of you I know by what you buy or sell, some by first name only, some by what instrument you play or how you wear pants 3 inches too short. We are an interesting bunch but we're family in a way. Our common interests pull up together. We meet up at Ham fests, the MIT Flea, Audio Karma  fests and other "electronics events"

I hope our common interests can help us and our loved ones stay safe in the coming days and months ahead. Keep your head cool, watch out for the hype (it doesn't help), practice safe measures: frequent hand washing, avoiding crowds and exercising to help build up your resistance should you get the virus. I believe a healthier body is one who stands a better chance of surviving.  Call a local friend and meet somewhere to go out for a walk or hike; Just remember to keep a your distance.

My family and I are doing ok tho we have 3 elderly family members in nursing homes in lockdown not because they have the virus but to minimize the risk of bringing it in. Like you we're trying adjust to this new topsy turvy normal that is current life in the US and the world at large. I'm trying to keep busy by playing music (unfortunately solo :( these weird days) repairing a 1973 Lafayette quad receiver and hiking.

So, A shout out to all the names I can remember (in no particular order)
Mr. Mike, John D. Cliffy, Ben, Jenny, Andrea, Raj, Adam1, Adam2, Rick,
Greg, Don, Bob A, Ross,Scott & Bill & Ben and Kathy.

Stay safe and lets all get together again when it's over!


NEAR-Fest XXVII - May 1 & 2 2020 / Re: nearfest 2020
« Last post by W1RC on March 20, 2020, 04:50:00 AM »
Yo, Ed......Do not worry.  We still have six weeks left to go but we will err on the side of caution.  I have no intention of endangering anyone.  As of now the governor’s executive order puts the fester on hold until April 6th and after that who knows.
NEAR-Fest XXVII - May 1 & 2 2020 / NEAR-Fest 2020
« Last post by n1iwv on March 18, 2020, 10:39:12 PM »
This is hard for me to post..but given the degree of filth that I witnessed at the Fall 2019 fester..I believe Spring 2020 should be cancelled.
The restroom facilities thru out the fair ground reeked of raw sewage and quite honesty disgusting.
I hope this post is not deleted .
Ed / n1iwv
On March 26th 2020 NH Governor Chris Sununu issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order that went into effect on Friday, March 27th and runs through Monday May 4th.   See below.

NEAR-Fest XXVII has been cancelled by this order.

There was no doubt this was coming; it was just a question of when. The name “NEAR-Fest XXVII“ is being retired with full honors.  We hope to see you all at the Northeast HamXposition in July and NEAR-Fest XXVIII October 16th and 17th 2020 but with a pandemic such as this there are no guarantees.  Have a safe and healthy summer!

We have never cancelled NEAR-Fest and sincerely regret that NEAR-Fest XXVII will not take place.  However even if we were permitted to open on May 1st there is no way we would do it because we have no wish to endanger ourselves, the Fair staff, our vendors and our attendees to the Corona virus.  It gets worse every day and there is no end in sight.  Indeed it may be several months or more before it is safe to go anywhere to have fun with others.  In my opinion that time will be signaled by the resumption of professional sports playing to full stadiums. 

This nightmare is so unprecedented and widespread the 2020 Decennial US Census is being postponed.  I am now officially unemployed.  Now to stay at home, collect those unemployment checks and play radio.


Benevolent Dictator.

Emergency Order #17 dated March 26th, 2020.

Exhibit A

Media coverage:

NEAR-Fest XXVII - May 1 & 2 2020 / Re: I’ve got a lot to do!
« Last post by KB1NZN on March 15, 2020, 10:04:58 PM »
This is true! But many of them are getting shut down by Amazon, eBay etc for profiting from the situation. This morning I read a story about a guy that rented a U-haul and drove around cleaning stores out of stuff so he could sell it on Amazon. Amazon shut him down so now he’s got 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer that he can’t sell for $8 a bottle. Capitalism is good, but this kind of excess hording Of supplies and feeding off of people’s fears is not ok. Ok, so maybe you get ahold of some product and mark it up a bit, but if you have an item the normally sells for 2.50 and mark it up to 8, 10, 50, 80 dollars that’s the worst kind of abuse.

I’m not a big fan of these ultra-huge companies and the amount of control they have on marketplaces, but in this case they seem to be doing the right thing. so kudos for that.

NEAR-Fest XXVII - May 1 & 2 2020 / Re: I’ve got a lot to do!
« Last post by N1ERF on March 15, 2020, 09:40:09 PM »
The long lines and empty shelves are true.

My wife went to Costco last week just to get the regular refill of toilet paper.
There was none. Had to find a Plan B source.

Too many morons are hoarding, and the ultra-greedy are snapping up stuff to resell at a profit.  >:(
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