W E C A
Serving the Public through Amateur Radio and Serving Amateurs since 1972
Westchester Emergency Communications Association
PO Box 831 Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591-0831
Please send email to: Membership@Weca.Org
See us on Facebook at WECA Ham Radio Club
2023/24 WECA Events
Check out the Ham Radio Equipment for Sale!
Interested in joining WECA?
WECA is a Ham Radio club located in Westchester County, NY about 25 miles north of New York City. Currently the group holds monthly via Zoom (no meetings in July and August). Please click here to download an information brochure about the club. If you would like to join WECA, then please click here to download a membership application form and click here to download our Repeater Use Policy. These downloads require that you have Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free download from Adobe) on your computer to read, fill out or print these documents. Member applications may be sent in electronically to Membership@Weca.Org or via USPS mail for processing. If you have any questions about the club, then please send email to Membership@Weca.Org.
If you would like to donate to WECA or pay your membership dues via PayPal, please click here to be directed to the WECA portal within PayPal.
The yearly membership dues mailing was sent out in early August 2023 to the member's email address we have on file. If you have not renewed or did not receive the dues renewal email, please send email to Membership@Weca.Org. Membership dues may be be paid via Pay Pal, check, (or cash at the in-person meetings), and were due by September 3, 2023. Please "re-up" today! Please see above to remit your dues via PayPal.
Upcoming Member meeting dates for 2023
Beginning with the April 2023 general meeting, it will be in person meetings at the County Center in White Plains where Old Tarrytown Road and Central Avenue intersect and via Zoom. WECA Board meetings will continue as Zoom meetings. Zoom meeting credentials are sent to members with email addresses about a day or so in advance of the online meeting.
The following are the meeting dates which are on Monday nights at 7pm, Board meetings at 7:30pm.
Dec 11, 2023 - WECA General Meeting. The presentation content is TBA, but may discuss lithium-ion battery safety. Please stay tuned for new details.
The December WECA Board meeting has ben cancelled.
If you would like to make a presentation to our Amateur Radio group, please send email to Membership@Weca.Org.
Our next WECA General meeting will be on December 11, 2023 via Zoom and in person
We will have our next WECA General meeting on Monday, December 11, 2023 at 7:00 pm. The presentation is TBA, so please stay tuned for details.
WECA members are invited to attend and Zoom credentials will be sent within 24 hours in advance of the Zoom meeting.
Upcoming public service events
Please see the Public Service Events calendar for 2024 "in person" public service events. As always, volunteers are needed to fill the communicator positions at these events. Please contact Kathy / firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or suggestions.
Free Ham Radio exam preparation classes
All classes are currently planned to be offered both in person within the Fire Training Center classroom and virtually using the Zoom app.
WECA conducts an Amateur Exam preparation classes began in September for technician, early January for Extra Class, and General Class sessions ending in mid May. The preparation classes are held every Tuesday evening from 7 to 9:15 PM. You are invited to attend any or all of WECA’s training classes even if you are not planning on taking the test. You just may want to learn more about a particular subject from our excellent instructors! Please join us anytime. For more details, please see below.
Please contact Larrie: W2UL@Weca.Org for access information or send email to email@example.com.
VE Testing - now in person at 4 Dana Road, Valhalla, NY
We are pleased to announce that in person Ham Radio (VE) Testing sessions are given at the Fire Training Center. The Fire Training Center is located at 4 Dana Road in Valhalla, NY. Future Ham Radio tests will be given in 2023 IN PERSON on the second Thursday night at 7pm. Please contact Bob Casino / N2GDY for more information about future sessions. Bob can be reached at N2GDY@Weca.Org.
Upcoming Free Ham Radio License Preparation Classes
All classes are currently planned to be offered both in the Fire Training Center classroom and virtually using the Zoom app.
The dates may change slightly from the dates posted below.
Have you ever thought about becoming an Amateur Radio “Ham” operator? Here are some great opportunities to learn about Ham radio and to study for your FCC license with seasoned Ham radio operators as your teachers and mentors!
The Westchester Emergency Communications Association (WECA: www.weca.org) is proud to sponsor free Ham Radio License courses. Come take your first steps and join the exciting world of Amateur Radio. Enjoy talking to other Amateur Radio Operators, near and far! Want to experiment with new technologies that utilize computers interfaced with radios? Would you like to join forces with county government and local volunteer organizations as Amateur Radio Operators for Emergency Communications assistance and Public Service events? Take your first steps by joining us for this interactive course taught by a team of knowledgeable Amateur Radio Operators with a passion for their subjects.
WECA's Ham Radio Test Preparation class for the Extra Class Ticket will begin in early January 2024. The class will run for 10 weeks every Tuesday evening from 7 to 9:15 PM eastern. On Thursday of the 10th week an FCC license testing session was conducted at the Fire Training Center, 4 Dana Road, Valhalla, NY. View the Winter 2024 "Extra" class flyer here.
WECA's Ham Radio Test Preparation class for the General Class Ticket will begin in March 2024. The class will run for 9 weeks every Tuesday evening from 7 to 9:15 PM eastern. On Thursday of the 9th week an FCC license testing session will be conducted at the Fire Training Center, 4 Dana Road, Valhalla, NY. The Spring 2024 flyer may be viewed here.
If you have any other questions, please send email to our Education Director Larrie Sutliff / W2UL at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VE sessions are normally held on the second Thursday of each month at the Fire Training Center in Valhalla. Please contact Bob Casino: N2GDY@Weca.Org with any questions you may have.
Please click here to go to the WECA.APP site for further details about the classes.
What you missed at a previous WECA GENERAL meeting
The November 13th meeting included a PowerPoint presentation with links to supporting documents by Noah / KC2DVT and the use of unsecure communications being used in the Ukraine war. There was mention of analog amateur radios such as inexpensive handhelds that sell on the Internet for less than $100 and even the use of analog AM CB radios!
Our October 16, 2023 meeting included a presentation from the ARRL on how to renew your Ham Radio license as the procedure has changed. Details of how to navigate the FCC's "ULS" pages, what details are needed to known in advance of the upgrade, and other ways to renew your license through organizations like the ARRL. Our next public service event will be the Mamaroneck Turkey Trot Race to be held on Sunday, November 19, 2023. Please contact Kathy / KC2VCT if you would like to be a communications volunteer for this event. She can be reached at KC2VCT@Weca.Org.
For our September 18, 2023 General meeting we had a presentation from Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC. This was the "kick-off" for the 2023/2024 WECA events season. Tom discussed using "directed Net" communications and proper “Net” etiquette. .
The June 12, 2023 meeting was our Field Day 2023 presentation with a Power Point by Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC with plenty of pictures from previous Field Days at the Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck. We also conducted elections for our 2023-2024 Officers and Directors.
Our General membership presentation for the May 8, 2023 meeting was with Mark / WC3W who discussed CQ Magazine's DX Marathon.
On April 10, 2023 was our Chirp-Next meeting with Steve / KD2OFD as the presenter. He explained the differences between Chirp and Chirp-Next and the many new features that Chirp-Next that allows better programming control of almost 500 Amateur radios that are supported. To receive a copy of the Power point presentation and code plug file for "WECA" frequencies, please click here.
At our March 13, 2023 general membership meeting we had a presentation from Bioenno Power and their batteries for Ham Radio and commercial systems. These are long term and deep discharge units. Please click here for more information about their batteries for Amateur Radio applications.
Our February general membership meeting was presented by Simon / KD2DOE who discussed how to use your Android phone for APRS, Winlink, and other related topics.
January was our annual Winter Field Day preparation meeting. Our presenter was Simon / KD2DOE who discussed the details of the upcoming event on January 28 & 29, 2023 at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck, NY. This year we will have two phone and one CW operating position. As always many helpers are needed to setup, operate, and take down the three stations (3I) for the event. For details, please contact Steve Pendzuk / KD2OFD by sending email to him at KD2OFD@Weca.Org or send email to Bill / KA2OFM@Weca.Org.
Our November 14, 2022 meeting was with WECA member Steve / KD2OFD who discussed "Operating DMR and Weekly Nets - Tips for operating on DMR". There was a short review of previous DMR presentations, and then he went into the many digital nets that Steve has found. These are not just local nets, they are nets from across the US, ARES/RACES, NTS, and foreign English language nets. Steve also demonstrated how to find active talk groups, and how to connect to them. Click here for a copy of Steve's presentation.
Our September 12, 2022 meeting was a "kick-off" for the 2022/2023 WECA events season. The presentation was with Tom / WB2NHC who discussed repeater usage, and proper 2 meter repeater etiquette. Peter / N2TFC gave an update regarding the membership renewal drive that is currently in motion. About 55% of the club has renewed, so please renew today. If you did not receive your renewal notice via email on or around August 28, please send email to Membership@Weca.Org. Bill / KA2OFM told us about the upcoming member meeting presentations, and Kathy / KC2VCT spoke of the upcoming Public Service events that will begin on September 24. Bob Wilson / N2DVQ reported on the repeater systems which are all fully operational including EchoLink which was offline due to a failed drive that Bob was able to restore. Finally Bob "Radar" Casino / N2GDY talked about the past and upcoming VE test sessions. The 2022 Technician exam preparation class begins on Tuesday, 9/13/2022 at 7pm at the Fire Training session in Valhalla, NY.
The June 13, 2022 meeting was a Field Day 2022 presentation with Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC with plenty of pictures from previous Field Days at the Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck. We also conducted elections for our 2022-2023 Officers and Directors.
Our guest presenter for the May 9, 2022 meeting was the ARRL Hudson Director - N2RJ / Ria Jiram who discussed ARRL / Hudson Division happenings & News.
At the March 14, 2022 meeting we had a great presentation about contesting by Tim Duffy / K3LR. He showed the group his contesting station which was AMAZING! Tim also gave the group a short presentation on DX Engineering's new Amateur Radio products.
Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC gave a presentation at our February 14, 2022 general meeting on the use of Winlink for Amateur Radio.
Our January 2022 meeting was a presentation about radio wave propagation with Rich Kautz / KC2HZW.
Our November 8 meeting was a DMR / Digital Radio presentation by Steve / KD2OFD. His Power Point may be viewed here.
For our September 13, 2021 meeting we had two presenters. Tom / WB2NHC who discussed "Ham 101", and how to operate at public service events, and on the Ham bands. Our second guest was Deborah Kerr / KC2GPV who gave a presentation on the 50th Anniversary of the NYC Marathon and its Ham Radio volunteers.
There were no member meetings in July and August 2021. There were however Board meetings on the forth Monday in July and August 2021.
The June 14, 2021 meeting was a Field Day 2021 presentation with Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC and plenty of pictures of previous Field Days at the Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck. We also conducted elections for our 2021-2022 Officers and Directors.
Our May 10 meeting was presented by Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC who discussed WECA's relationship with RACES / ARES complete with a Power Point slide show.
Our April 12, 2021 meeting was with Valerie Hotzfeld / NV9L. Valerie has been a guest presenter at WECA before when she gave a lecture about the Puerto Rico Hurricane response in 2018 of which she was a Ham Radio volunteer. Although she has created many presentations, this meeting was about about contesting and a film clip about the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. .
Our March 8, 2021 virtual meeting was a presentation by Alan / W2AEW who discussed the use of basic test equipment usage, meters and oscilloscopes. This was a great presentation to new Hams as well as experienced license holders. The Power Point slide presentation in PDF format may be downloaded here.
The February 8, 2021 virtual Zoom meeting had two presentations. The first presentation was by Joe Eisenberg / K0NER discussing kit building . Joe presented a very in depth tour of kit building, sources, and best practices for building all types of kits. The second presenter was Rob Calouri / KD2QLQ discussing WinLink - the Amateur radio email application. Rob gave a step by step presentation of getting started with Winlink on 145.07 (WB2ZII-10 [WECA]). He also discussed modems, speed, protocols, file attachments, and clear text (non-secure) exchange of messages.
The January 11, 2021 virtual Zoom meeting was a presentation by Steve / KD2OFD concerning APRS. Please click here for Steve's presentation.
The December 2020 virtual meeting featured a series of short presentations by WECA Members. The presenters included a digital presentation by Kevin / KD2PDL. Richard / KC2HZW discussed his home station. Stan / WA2NRV gave a presentation about the long lost art of soldering and Kathleen / KC2VCT gave a Holiday Culinary presentation.
The November 2020 virtual meeting was all about CW. Our guest presenters were from the Long Island CW Club. Howard WB2UZE and Jim W6JIM did a great job discussing the art to learning CW. They have a Very Successful Program on how you can Learn CW.
The October 2020 "Zoom" meeting featured Rich Kautz / KC2HZW who discussed propagation on the six and ten meter bands. He will also discussed using FT8 for long distance contacts on 80 to 6 meters. We are sorry that you missed a very informative set of presentations!
Our September 2020 virtual meeting had a presentation by John Lembke from the Westchester Department of Emergency Services and radiological training for Indian Point . Deborah Kerr / KC2GPV who is the Amateur Radio Communications Director at email@example.com discussed Ham Radio's participation in the various foot races hosted by the New York City Road Runners. Such races include the New York City Marathon usually held the first Sunday in November which is cancelled for 2020. Other races include the half Marathon and NYC Triathlon.
Our June 2020 meeting was about Field Day 2020 and how the club was going to participate in this yearly event as stations at home and not at Mamaroneck's Harbor Island Park. Please click here to see details about how WECA participated in this unusual Field Day event.
Our May 2020 virtual meeting using Zoom was led by Ria Jiram / N2RJ- the Hudson Division Director. She discussed many topics about the ARRL including how to handle Field Day 2020 and VE testing.
The April 2020 meeting was our second virtual meeting using Zoom. Our presenter was Adrian Ciuperca / KO8SCA who discussed his DXPeditions to Tokelau and Bhutan.
The March 2020 WECA Meeting was our first "Virtual Meeting" using "Zoom" the live presentation sharing website with Steve Pendzuk discussing DMR radio and its programming. Please click here to see Steve's excellent Power Point presentation in PDF format.
The February 2020 meeting was a Web presentation by Jason Oldham / KM4ACK and the use of Raspberry PI computers for Ham Radio Applications. Jason has published many YouTube videos about Raspberry Pi usage in Ham Radio.
Our January 2020 meeting with Bill KA2OFM and Simon KD2DOE discussed the upcoming Winter Field Day event in Mamaroneck.
At our December 2019 meeting member Rob Calouri / KD2QLQ gave a factual presentation about Internet Security. Many members learned about some of the fallacies that exist about Internet security and how one can better protect themselves and their information.
The November 2019 meeting featured a presentation about Echolink by Steve Pendzuk / KD2OFD. A Power point presentation was shown and is available as an Acrobat file by clicking here.
Our October 2019 meeting presenter was John Lemke from the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services (DES) who discussed the use of dosimeters and the correct protocols that are in place should a radiological event occur. WECA member Kai Chen / K2TRW gave a presentation explaining what DMR is, described and provided history regarding the various flavors of DMR, and had a question and answer session while showing DMR products from Anytone. It was a busy night!
Our September 2019 presenter was Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC who gave a presentation and slide show about good Ham Radio operating procedures.
Our June 2019 presenter was Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC who gave a presentation and slide show about previous Field Day events.
Our presenters at the May 2019 meeting was Deborah M. Kerr / K2GPV and Mike Hoeft / K2MPH who are the 2019 Verizon NYC Triathlon and TCS NYC Marathon Amateur Radio Communications Directors.
Our March 2019 meeting was a Skype connection with Bob Heil.
WECA instituteD a Repeater Acceptable Use Policy
December 31, 2017:
Over the past few months there have been some Hams using the WB2ZII repeater systems in an inappropriate manner. As a result, our Board of Directors have created the "WECA Repeater Acceptable Use Policy" which illustrates how all our repeater systems shall be used by all. Please click here to download this document.
Please review the policy and if you have any questions, comments or hear users that do not comply with this policy, please send email to TWIT@Weca.Org.
WECA has DMR on 438.7125 / 433.7125
WECA now supports both analog FM and DMR on 438.7125. Don't know what DMR is? Please click here to learn about this new amateur radio digital mode. If you have questions about DMR and our repeaters, please contact Dwight / N2FMC by sending email to n2fmc at weca dot org or Steve / KD2OFD by sending email to KD2OFD at weca dot org.
An excellent DMR presentation in PDF format by KD2OFD. Click here
Instructions how to create a DMR "code plug" - click here.
Public Service Events
WECA's 2023 Public Service Events
Below are the planned Public Service events that WECA members can participate in for 2023.
If your not-for-profit organization needs free communications assistance with a foot race or walk event in Westchester County, NY , please send email to PublicService@Weca.Org.
Are you a local Ham near Westchester County, NY and are interested in helping out with Public Service Events? If so, please contact our Public Service Director by sending email to PublicService@Weca.Org.
Public Service Operators Needed!
Please contact Kathleen O'Keefe / KC2VCT if you would like to participate in the upcoming Public Service events that WECA helps by supplying Ham Radio communicators. Operators are needed for other upcoming events. This is the best possible emergency preparedness training for Ham Radio communicators available, so please send email to Kathy / KC2VCT at PublicService@Weca.Org and volunteer!
Please welcome our newest WECA members
Call sign Name Location
KB2JLC Jim Valhalla
K2QMT Stan NYC
KE2AJH Gary Yonkers
KD2ZCH David Staten Island
KB2NXE Jan West Harrison
KD2ZNS Eileen Pearl River
WA2ZOR Bob White Plains
K2AZN Eli New City
ND2W Henry White Plains
KE2CEP Peter Tarrytown
KE2CER Skip Tarrytown
Want to learn about RFI, Ferrites, Baluns and Audio interfacing but don't have time for a class?
Dwight Smith / N2FMC has found an interesting and downloadable publication that is continuously updated by the author Jim Brown/K9YC.
Click here to view or download this treasure trove of information about RFI, Ferrites, Baluns and Audio interfacing.
Want to learn about "Return Loss"?
OK, so what is return loss? Click here for Wikipedia's answer. So how good is that feed line and much power is really getting out of the cable to the antenna? Any faults with the cable or connectors? Is there really an antenna connected? Finally, what is being reflected back down the line as loss?
Dwight / N2FMC has found a few URLs that discusses and calculates Return Loss.
Here is a link that discusses the math, please click here.
This link compares SWR to Return loss in a chart, please click here.
Another SWR chart link, please click here.
And finally an online Return Loss calculator, please click here.
Traveling abroad and want to use your US Ham license during your trip abroad?
Please read this document created by the FCC DA-11-211 to help explain the process of using your Ham callsign in "CEPT" countries in Europe.
Having troubles using the WECA Repeater system?
Sometimes due to summer band conditions, distance repeaters can be heard on our 2 meter repeater frequency of 147.060 MHz. Once someone in greater Westchester County keys up on the input using a PL of 114.8 Hz, the distant repeater interference subsides. This is normal (especially in the summer) and many times you may hear a Connecticut repeater located in the northeast corner of the state or sometimes a Philadelphia repeater can be heard as well.
But, if you have been having troubles using the repeater system or are hearing interference, please send email to Repeaters@Weca.Org detailing the trouble or interference that you are experiencing. Our Repeater and Technical Directors will quickly look into the problem.
Please welcome our 2023 Officers & Directors
At the June 12, 2023 virtual meeting, the following Officers & Directors were elected into office.
President - Simon Rosenberg / KD2DOE
Executive Vice President - Bill Bohnenberger / KA2OFM
Vice President / General Counsel - Michael Weitzner / N2EJI
Treasurer - Andy Farber / N4OOX
Secretary - Mike Kassel / N2NI
Director at Large - Josh Klempner / W2BRA
Digital Modes - Kevin Duffelmeyer / KD2PDL
Education Director - Larrie Sutliff / W2UL
Emergency Services Director - Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC
Engineering Director - Bob Wilson / N2DVQ
Membership Director - Peter Johnson / N2TFC
Newsletter Editor - Needed - interested in serving?
Public Service Director - Kathleen O'Keefe / KC2VCT
Publicity Director - Noah Levine / KC2DVT
Repeater Operations Director - Dwight Smith / N2FMC
Social Activities Director - Steve Pendzuk / KD2OFD
Directors and honorariums appointed by the board
Trustees - Tom Raffaelli / WB2NHC for (RACES) WE2EOC & N2SF,
Bob Wilson / N2DVQ for WB2ZII, and Kevin Duffelmeyer / KD2PDL for W2ECA
County Liaison - Michael Volk / W2MKV
President Emeritus - Bill Bohnenberger / KA2OFM
Webmaster / CIO - Peter Johnson / N2TFC
If you have any questions for the Officers & Directors, please email them with your questions by sending email to their call sign @weca dot org email address.
The WECAgram Newsletter is always online
WECA's monthly newsletter about Ham Radio events, projects and its local members in the greater Westchester County, NY area located about 20 miles north of New York City. Newsletter Editor needed. If interested, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have something for the WECAgram? Please send your article to The WECAgram Editor by sending email to WECAgram@Weca.Org.
Looking for special Ham Radio related websites?
WECA member Dwight Smith / N2FMC has found a bunch of web sites containing ham radio related information. Please click here for a list of "Dwight's Sites". If you have any technical or Ham Radio related sites and would like to share these sites with others, please send email to sites at "weca dot org".
Found - old WECAGRAMS!
Nick / K2ZVI (SK) found some old WECAGRAMS while cleaning one day to share with the newer members. Please click on any date below to view these found treasures!
If you have some old WECAgrams that could be "PDF" scanned, please send email to Peter / N2TFC - webmaster at weca dot org
WB2NHC - Tom Raffaelli was awarded Ham of the year!
Tom was first licensed in 1964. His interests then, as now, were in experimenting and building radio devices. Tom married Jeanne Fyfe in 1966. They moved into a three room apartment in the Bronx. Due to space limitations Tom operated exclusively on the VHF and UHF bands. In 1970, with two children in tow, Tom and Jeanne moved to a home in Thornwood New York. Beam antennas, verticals and wire dipoles soon sprang up on the roof and in the yard. In 1979 Tom joined the New Rochelle Communications Club and soon after that the Westchester Emergency Communications Association (WECA). He was elected Vice President of WECA in 1985 and President in 1987, and served for seven years. WECA doubled its membership under Tom's leadership, strengthened its affiliation with Westchester County's Office of Disaster and Emergency Services and initiated an affiliation with the Westchester chapter of the American Red Cross. He expanded the club's Field Day event and grew WECAFEST, the club's hamfest event into a major "must attend" event. Tom is now Director of Emergency Services.
Tom served as President of TSARC for several years and resolved several long standing coordination disputes and established a coordination waiting list for all bands. Tom taught many Amateur Radio license classes over the years bringing more than 50 people into the hobby. Tom began volunteering at the New York City Marathon in the mid eighties and is currently the ham radio supervisor at the Family Reunion area.
Tom was instrumental in establishing extremely strong relationships between WECA and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services and the American Red Cross. Both of these organizations are providing funding and support for maintenance of WECA's communications vehicles and equipment as well as providing meeting space and training facilities. Tom recently retired from the County of Westchester as its Director of Radio Systems. Tom continues to build on the strong ties between RACES, WECA and the county government while helping to bring state of art communications facilities to the county's public safety departments.
Amateur of the Year Award Sponsored jointly by:
As printed in the Hudson Division Awards Diner pamphlet from November 12, 2005
So, where were you in '72 ? When WECA was born !
On the first Friday night in early April 1972, five men met in Tarrytown, NY at William T. Knott's (former W2QGH/ K2AVP-sk) home to form what is now the Westchester Emergency Communications Association (WECA). Fifty one years ago these middle aged "family" men were Ham Radio hobbyists who decided to start this club "for the continuation of the Civil Defense Radio network in Westchester County, NY". Meeting minutes from those early gatherings can be read by clicking here.
WECA thanks John von Sneidern, Jr. / K2GTY for copies of those notes "from the beginning" of WECA and Efrem Acosta / W2CZ for organizing this historic project.
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