KB1LRL Reaches Out Regarding Section Field Appointments

Hello to all Amateur Radio enthusiasts. I hope that you all had and will have a wonderful holiday season.

As some or most are aware, I will be assuming the duties of Western MA Section Manager as of January 1st. I wish to first and foremost want thank Ed, W1KT for his leadership for the last 12 years. I wish him the best of luck in the future.

Since my election to the position, what I have been looking for is what needs to be done to revitalize this section and get it updated to meet the needs of all the parties involved. The major task is to get the proper staffing in place. Some have indicated they do not wish to continue with their positions. I ask that they continue to support me as I select a new candidate to replace them.

The biggest one is the Section Emergency Coordinator. John N2YHK does not wish to continue in this position. I thank John for his tenure. He has made valuable contributions during his time. So, at this time, I will be looking for individuals to consider taking on this position. Please read the Appointment Description in the ARRL website or by clicking on the SEC staff member on this website. When a SEC is selected, we will work on firming up the county level DEC’s, local EC’s and the rest of the WMA ARES organization.

The Amateur Auxiliary and the OO program is currently under review and updating by the ARRL and the FCC so there will be no changes or additions until the new protocol is in place.

One of the position I will be looking for along with the SEC will be two more Assistant Section Managers, one for the southwest quadrant of the section and one for the northwest quadrant.

I am asking that anyone who is interested in any position, is wishing to continue or wants to step aside please send me an email to kb1lrl@gmail.com. I ask to also please spread the word to the various clubs and let them know as well. I will be reviewing all based on qualifications, and their involvement and participation currently.

I will be emailing others with existing WMA ARRL field appointments to see what their wishes are. But, I do ask that everyone please email me and give me the information I ask and a brief summary of your qualifications, and what you have contributed to the section since the appointment. Please again let others know who may not view this website. There will be more communication as time goes on. I do not wish to make this a huge message, but, we as a section needs to get a lot in place at the start. I do ask once again to consider becoming part of the Western Ma Section team.

Thank you and 73,
Ray KB1LRL

Communications Interoperability Training with Amateur Radio Community Set

Elements of the US Department of Defense (DOD) will conduct a “communications interoperability” training exercise November 4-6, once again simulating a “very bad day” scenario. Amateur Radio and MARS organizations will take part.

“This exercise will begin with a national massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and Internet connectivity,” Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, explained in an announcement.

During the exercise, a designated DOD Headquarters entity will request county-by-county status reports for the 3,143 US counties and county equivalents, in order to gain situational awareness and to determine the extent of impact of the scenario. Army and Air Force MARS organizations will work in conjunction with the Amateur Radio community, primarily on the 60-meter interoperability channels as well as on HF NVIS frequencies and local VHF and UHF, non-Internet linked Amateur Radio repeaters.

Again this year, a military station on the east coast and the Fort Huachuca, Arizona, HF station will conduct a high-power broadcast on 60-meter channel 1 (5330.5 kHz) on Saturday from 0300 to 0315 UTC. New this year will be an informational broadcast on Sunday, on 13,483.5 kHz USB from 1600 to 1615 UTC. Amateur Radio operators should monitor these broadcasts for more information about the exercise and how they can participate in this communications exercise, English said.

“We want to continue building on the outstanding cooperative working relationship with the ARRL and the Amateur Radio community,” English said. “We want to expand the use of the 60-meter interop channels between the military and amateur community for emergency communications, and we hope the Amateur Radio community will give us some good feedback on the use of both the 5-MHz interop and the new 13-MHz broadcast channels as a means of information dissemination during a very bad day scenario.

Ham Radio Clubs Brings JOTA to the Scouts

On September 21st at 7am, three radio clubs converged at the district Boy Scouts headquarters in Lancaster, MA to introduce amateur radio to the local scouts for the 60th annual JOTA event. The Scouts and their parents and other leaders were given a demonstration of some of the many facets of Ham Radio.

The three clubs participating were the Montachusett ARA from Lunenburg, Nashoba Valley ARC from Pepperell, and the Mohawk ARC from Gardner. Mohawk ARC brought their communications trailer, NVARC provided their tower trailer and MARA brought radios and supporting gear.

The scouts were treated to many aspects of radio including QRP kit radios, SSB, DMR, Morse code, phonetics and Echolink. The scouts had the opportunity to make contacts with other JOTA event stations across the country.

The biggest hit was the Foxhunt demonstration where the Scouts enjoyed the warm weather and attempted to locate the transmitter using tri-angulation. Stan Pozerski, KD1LE along with Skip Youngberg K1NKR created Thinking Day on the Air events for the Girl Scouts and brought their expertise in enhancing this event. They also set up tables with practice keyers and Morse code sheets and coached them on the code as well as phonetics. Kevin Erickson, N1ERS and his Mohawk group bought their nicely setup utility trailer set up for operation and gave the kids a great SSB demonstration.

This was the second event for JOTA and it saw an increased amount of participation by both Scouts and volunteers. MARA extends great appreciation to all the clubs and the volunteers for such a successful event and looks forward to a bigger and better one next year.

de Ray, KB1LRL

From ARRL President: Relief Efforts Need Your Help

Dear ARRL Member:

There are few times when I have needed to reach out directly to you for your help. This is one of those times.

The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC, this is the first time ARC has made a request for assistance on this scale. Hurricane Maria has devastated the island’s communications infrastructure. Without electricity and telephone, and with most of the cell sites out of service, millions of people are cut off from communicating. Shelters are unable to reach local emergency services and people cannot check on the welfare of their loved ones. The situation is dire.

How can you help?

1)    Volunteer. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this deployment; for instance, familiarity with Winlink, an Amateur Radio license of General class or higher, and previous experience in disaster response. Deployment will be for up to 3 weeks (at ARC expense). If you would like to be considered for deployment, please complete the following online ARRL form, which asks for your qualifications and skills: Volunteer Deployment Form

2)    Donate to Ham Aid. ARRL’s Ham Aid program loans Amateur Radio equipment kits to established Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) groups and partner agencies during disaster response, in order to establish Amateur Radio communications support. Ham Aid is supported by donations from individuals and corporations – including many of our ham radio industry partners. ARRL has previously staged Ham Aid equipment in Texas, and in the last few weeks, we have supplied kits in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Our supply of Ham Aid kits has been rapidly depleted. Your donation to Ham Aid will help us now. Your contributions to Ham Aid are 100% tax deductible. To make a donation online, go to www.arrl.org/arrl-donation-form and select “Ham Aid” from the ARRL donation form. To donate by mail, print a donation form, and mail it with your check payable to ARRL, noting “Ham Aid” on the memo line of your check; mail to ARRL, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111 USA.

It has been four weeks since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas. In little over a month, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have left paths of destruction and catastrophic flooding that will impact the lives of people throughout the southeast U.S. and Caribbean for years to come. Throughout these disasters, our trained ham radio volunteers, and especially those in coordinating roles, have helped us meet the requests of our partner agencies and organizations. To all ham radio operators who have been on alert, activated, deployed, or donated, THANK YOU. We are grateful for your service and for your generosity.

73
Rick Roderick, K5UR
ARRL President

NCS’s and Ops Needed For SATERN SSB Net During Hurricane Maria

Greetings:

The International SATERN SSB Net has been in daily operation from 0900 (CT) / 1400 Z until at least 1800 (CT) / 2300 Z (at least until 900 or 2000 (CT) the last two days) since this past Tuesday, 19 September 2017.   SATERN had initially planned on terminating the Net operations for Hurricane Maria by today, Friday, 22 September 2017, However, the amount of Health & Welfare messages flowing through the Net the last two days is expected to continue today and likely through at least Sunday or Monday (25 September).

Hurricane Maria is now the fourth activation of the International SATERN SSB Net in a month. As a result, our dedicated group of Net Control and Net Relay Stations are very tired and it is time to reach out for some assistance.

Therefore, I am asking the ARRL, HWN and MARS to reach out to their operators to ask them to assist the International SATERN SSB Net in one of two ways:

  • By signing up for a one hour slot as Net Control Operators sometime on Saturday, Sunday and / or Monday. To do this send an email to the following people indicating what time(s) they are available from 0900 (CT) / 1400 Z until 1800 (CT) / 2300 Z any one or more of those three days:
    Net Manager Ken Gilliland (AG6SV)
    Assistant Net Manager Bob Rogers (WA5EEZ)

    We are looking for experienced, qualified Net Control Operators who have had some experience as both a Net Control Operator and in handling messages by voice. Net Control Operators with a strong signal (power, antennas, etc.) and / or bilingual would be a valuable additional asset / skill.  The Net is operating on 14.265 MHz.

  • For those who may not wish to be a Net Control Operator or simply want to do more in addition to that, SATERN always needs Net Relay Stations to simply check-in and assist that hour’s Net Control Station.  With Net Control Stations operating from all over the country, they often may not hear a station with message traffic. As a result they rely on the Net Relay Stations to assist them with that. Stations with a strong propagation path into the Caribbean (especially Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and others) are especially valuable. Again, bilingual operators are a particular asset in this operation.

As National SATERN Liaison, I sincerely thank each of you for being willing to help out in this operation.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Bill Feist, WB8BZH
National SATERN Liaison
Bill.Feist@uss.salvationarmy.org

Volunteering in Florida ARES Mutual Assistance

The ARRL has been asked to share the following from the Communications Branch Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management:


“The State of Florida appreciates the service of ARES. State of Florida SEOC and its staff will never request individuals or provide individuals any information on an incident.  All requests for individuals in the ARES program in the State of Florida will follow the North Florida ARES Plan and direction of their Section Manager Stephen Szabo. Absolutely no direct communications to the SEOC or its staff is to be made by individuals to request to be deployed or provide services at anytime.”


Any amateur wishing to volunteer to assist needs to go through the ARRL Northern Florida Manager Steve Szabo’s established processes, as that is the system Florida Emergency Management is utilizing to coordinate Amateur Radio activities.  Under no circumstances should individual Amateurs contact Florida Emergency Management.

We also remind ARRL / ARES volunteers who may be assisting in support of the ongoing relief and recovery efforts that the only persons who should be speaking on behalf of the ARRL or its field organization are the ARRL Section Manager or their Public Information Coordinator / Public Information Officer.   Unfortunately we have had reports of false information being apparently shared via Amateur Radio channels.  This type of misinformation can negatively affect the hard work being done by various Emergency Management agencies involved, as well as the various agencies also providing assistance, and can be harmful to the efforts of the Amateur community trying to assist in the response and relief efforts. ARRL SMs, PICs, and PIOs only provide information publicly where it has been vetted by state officials, and only as directed.  Unauthorized false reports can seriously and negatively impact the work of relief and recovery officials as well as damage the good relationships that Amateurs have in those relief and recovery communities.  Let the trained PICs/PIOs do their jobs!

Thanks to the hundreds of Amateurs who are providing communications assistance as this story continues to unfold.  With everyone working in concert and through appropriate channels, your work is helping make a difference.

Dan Henderson, N1ND
Assistant Secretary, the American Radio Relay League, Inc.
Regulatory Information Manager
ARRL – the national association for Amateur Radio
Phone: 860-594-0236

Ray Lajoie KB1LRL Elected Next WMA Section Manager

WMA ARRLNominations for ARRL Western Massachusetts Section Manager closed on last Friday, September 8th.  Only one WMA ARRL member submitted nomination paperwork for the election.  As a result, Ray Lajoie KB1LRL won the uncontested election.  Ray hails from Lunenburg and has long been a member and highly involved with the Montachusett ARA in a variety of roles.

Regarding his election, Ray states “I am looking forward to serving the Western Mass section and visiting the various clubs in the coming future. The months coming will be a lot of fact gathering and looking to see where we need to work on first.”

Ray will take the reins from current Section Manager Ed Emco W1KT on January 1, 2018, whom is standing down from the position after serving in that role for the last 12 years.

Boxboro Speakers & Saturday Grand Banquet

We are still looking for a few more great speakers to fill out our renowned forum program. If you have, or know of someone that has a forum topic, please contact Phil Temples k9hi@boxboro.org, or sign-up on our website at http://boxboro.org/forums-and-classes/speaker-signup. Speakers will receive a $10 coupon toward lunch at the hotel and get reserved close-in parking.

We are also accepting volunteers to staff our ticket booths, assist our speakers, and help out with parking. You can sign up as a volunteer here: http://boxboro.org/volunteer. Volunteers working at least 3 hours will receive a $10 coupon for lunch at the hotel.

Finally, please join us for our Saturday Night Grand Banquet featuring key note speaker Paul Stoetzer, N8HM. With an outwardly appearing modest apartment-based set up, Paul has racked up a huge list of awards. Come listen as he tells us how he did it. The $40 banquet admission also features a full buffet. Get seven of your friends together and purchase a table for 8 for $280, a $40 discount.

Tickets available at http://www.boxboro.org

73,
Bob – K1IW
Boxboro 2017! Publicity Chair

ARRL Request to Contact Your US Senators Supporting S 1534 – the Amateur Radio Parity Act

Dear ARRL member,

I am writing to you today because we are at a crossroad in our efforts to obtain passage of The Amateur Radio Parity Act.

Our legislative efforts scored a major victory in our campaign when The Amateur Radio Parity Act, S. 1534 now moves to the Senate, where we need every Senator to approve the bill. This is the companion Bill to H.R. 555, which passed in the House of Representatives in January.

You are one of over 730,000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators living in the United States. Many of you already live in deed-restricted communities, and that number grows daily.

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL HAMS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS!

If you want to have effective outdoor antennas but are not currently allowed to do so by your Home Owner’s Association, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!

If you already have outdoor antennas, but want to support your fellow hams, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!

If you want to preserve your ability to install effective outdoor antennas on property that you own, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!

We need you to reach out to your Senators TODAY! Right away.

Help us in the effort. Please go to this linked website and follow the prompts:

https://arrl.rallycongress.net/ctas/urge-us-senate-to-support-amateur-radio-parity-act

Thank you.

73,
Rick
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Rick Roderick, K5UR
President
ARRL – The national association for Amateur Radio®

Nominations Open for Section Manager

WMA ARRLNominations for Western Massachusetts Section Manager are now open!  The term is for two years starting on January 1, 2018.

Any candidate for the office of Section Manager must be a resident of the section, a licensed amateur of Technician class or higher, and a full member of the League for a continuous term of at least two years immediately preceding receipt of a petition for nomination.  All nomination paperwork must be received by ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT by 4:00 PM on Friday, September 8, 2017.  The nomination forms and other associated information are available on ARRL HQ’s website here.

Due to increased professional commitments as well as some health issues, current Section Manager Ed Emco W1KT will not be running for election again.