QST to All Massachusetts Hams – S1685 Needs You!

Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015Western MA Section Manager Ed Emco W1KT recently received a personalized note from ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN regarding how important Massachusetts amateur radio operators are for the passage of S. 1685, The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 right now.  She writes:

We are at a critical time for S. 1685, The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, in the United States Senate. There is reason to think this legislation will be considered in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation as early as next week. That is an extremely important step in the bill’s progress towards success.
We have learned that opponents of the legislation have urged their members to contact members of the Senate committee to communicate what can only be called bald-faced lies about the bill’s intent and effects.

A number of steps are being taken to counteract those lies. We have to remind the Senators on the committee that amateur radio operators in their states want them to support the bill. I’m asking for your help as Section Manager.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is on the Commerce committee.

It is quick and easy to do what needs to be done.

Please phone the Senator’s office in Washington, DC, at or phone a local office. Or send an e-mail to the Senator using his official web page.

The message is simple: “I’m a constituent and an amateur radio operator. I urge Senator Markey to support S. 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, when it comes up for a vote in committee on November 18th. Thank you.”

The Senator’s Washington, DC, phone number is posted at http://www.arrl.org/contacting-your-congressional-representatives.

His own web page showing local office numbers is at http://www.markey.senate.gov/.

Whether you phone or e-mail, the key thing is to do it now. As in, today.

If your Section has a web page or Facebook page, please this appeal there today. Whatever you can do to urge ARRL members in Massachusetts to contact the Senator right now and urge his support will be very important and deeply appreciated.

Sincere thanks and 73, Kay N3KN

Regardless if you are an ARRL member or not, if you are a licensed amateur radio operator living within Massachusetts, please consider following through with President Craigie’s request. Let’s show our support for our fellow amateurs that need this bill passed to put up a decent antenna system!

President Craigie also wrote directly to the Senate subcommittee yesterday on the ARRL’s behalf.  This can be viewed at: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Regulatory/ARRL-S1685-Memo.pdf

Revitalized Massachusetts / Rhode Island Phone Net

WMA NTSWe are very happy to announce, that, beginning next Tuesday, October 6, we will be reinstating the Massachusetts Rhode Island Phone Net, MARIPN. The net will meet on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1800 hours local time. The net frequency will be 3978 KHz, plus or minus to avoid QRM.

The primary purpose of the net is NTS traffic. Once any traffic has been disposed time will be set aside for general round table and information sharing. Please spread the word. We hope that there will be enough interest to warrant continuation of this net.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
1800 local time
3978 KHz, plus or minus

Marcia KW1U
WMA / EMA Section Traffic Manager

Relay for Life of Greater Gardner Special Event Station

Mohawk ARCThe Mohawk Amateur Radio Club will be running special event station N1C “Number 1 Cure” at the Relay for Life of Greater Gardner on Friday, June 12th and Saturday, June 13th 2015. 2000 UTC Friday until 2200 UTC Saturday. The goal is use amateur radio to raise awareness of the great work of the American Cancer Society, the Relay for Life of Greater Gardner, and all the local volunteers who contribute countless hours of their time to fight cancer and help find a cure.

Suggested Frequencies (+/-):
7.180 MHz, 14.295 MHz, 21.280 MHz, and 28.400 MHz. Also look for them in the General portion of the 80m phone band.

QSL Information:
Please send a SASE to: Bill Leger, 18 Madison Way, Hubbardston, MA 01452

H.R. 1301


This just sent out to all Section Managers:

At the time I’m writing this, H.R. 1301 has 64 co-sponsors, with a few more expected by the end of the week. That’s excellent, but we need more. A lot more.

Some of you have done e-mail bulletins encouraging members to meet with and write to their members of Congress. Thank you! Please repeat the message periodically. Although we don’t want to spam members and irritate them, keeping the issue fresh in their minds is necessary. The ARRL’s national media do stories about the bill, but the message needs reinforcement from someone whom members know personally. They know you.

Please mention the bill when you speak at conventions and club meetings, too. Do you carry information about the bill when you visit these events?

We have been told quite bluntly by some Congressional offices that they want letters from constituents, that they will be interested in what the ARRL has to say only if they know that voters care about this issue. Why should the Congressman care, they ask, if the voters don’t? There are tens of thousands of ARRL members who have not written yet. You can do a lot to persuade them to write, because they know you.

The ideal way for members to contact their Congressmen is to write personalized, signed paper letters based on the sample letter on the ARRL web site at www.arrl.org/hr-1301 and send them c/o ARRL. The address is

Attn HR 1301 grassroots campaign
225 Main St
Newington CT 06111

Why is this the best way? For one thing, we able to keep track of how many communications are going to which Congressional districts. More importantly, when letters are hand-delivered to the Hill, there’s an opportunity to speak with Congressional office staff people. The stack of letters is proof that voters care about the bill. We have to convince the staff people, so they’ll advise the Representative to co-sponsor. That’s how it works on Capitol Hill.

One more thing. When you see that a member of Congress in your Section has become a co-sponsor, urge your members to call or e-mail a message of appreciation. Good manners, good strategy.

The list of co-sponsors is updated regularly at www.arrl.org/hr-1301 This is the URL that gives members the information they need in order to be effective advocates.

We are working on having a companion bill introduced in the Senate, but there is nothing to report on that yet. Members often ask about this. Until we have a bill in the Senate, we do not need letters to members of that body.

I have a Twitter feed, @KayCraigieN3KN, which I use only for advocacy about this legislation with the hashtag #hr1301. I’m not doing this as an ego trip to develop a personal fan club but rather to get information, encouragement, and reminders out there rapidly. When there is an amateur radio news story that I can reasonably tie to the issue of antenna privileges, I tweet about it and use the phrase “Can’t do it without antennas.”

Please keep your Director well informed about your activities on behalf of the bill. This is a full-team effort.

Thanks for all you do.

73, Kay N3KN
President, ARRL

Yankee Clipper Contest Club Open House

Yankee Clipper Contest ClubThe Yankee Clipper Contest Club, one of the largest Ham Radio clubs in the Northeast, is proud to open it’s doors to the general Ham population of the area! We invite all hams to come and experience one of our meetings. We will be presenting special material, of interest to all hams who operate the HF bands, relating to design and construction of your ham radio station.

Our open house will be on Sunday, April 12, 2015 from 1:00 – 4:30pm at the Sturbridge Host Hotel, 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566.

Presentations will include:

  • “What’s the Best HF Transceiver for Me? -A Radio Selection Strategy” – by Brian Machesney, K1LI and others
  • “Antenna Selection and Design- What’s Important” – by Joe Reisert, W1JR

YCCC is a club of over 350 members who are interested in Contesting. As such, we have developed a high level of expertise in station and antenna system design and HF transceiver selection, and would love to share this with the general ham community in the region. Whether you are just starting to put together your first station, or are well on your way, we’re certain you will pick up some great tips from these talks!

Please come and meet with our members, and hear some presentations that can have an immediate impact on the performance of your station!

We will also be selling raffle tickets to support the YCCC ARRL Youth Scholarship. Tickets will be sold for $25 per chance to win an Elecraft K3/100 Transceiver. We expect to hold the drawing at this meeting* – a lucky ham will go home with a new Elecraft K3/100 kit!

* Cash or checks accepted, no credit cards. YCCC reserves the right to delay the drawing until sufficient tickets have been sold to cover the prize and the donation.

Spring NEAR-Fest Continues, FreeFest Aspect Postponed

NEAR-FestDear Friends of NEAR-Fest:

It is with great regret and sadness that I must inform the radio amateurs and electronic hobbyists of New England that the NEAR-Fest Board of Directors finds it necessary to POSTPONE the FreeFest aspect of NEAR-FEST XVII that was scheduled for May 2015. It will be held at a later date. However, first and foremost, I want to assure everyone that NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE AS SCHEDULED on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, at the Deerfield NH Fairgrounds. NEAR-Fest XVIII will also be held as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015.

The Directors made the difficult decision to POSTPONE the FreeFest due to a legal issue that has arisen since the FreeFest was announced last October. The matter is being addressed professionally; however the funds that would have financed the FreeFester may now be needed to resolve this issue at hand. There was no other option open to us. It is important for everyone to understand that there are no issues or problems with the Deerfield Fair Association; in fact our relationship with them is better than ever.

I want to personally assure you all that the FreeFest will be rescheduled as soon as possible once this issue has been resolved. The entire NEAR-Fest management team is committed to, and is looking forward to, hosting the FreeFest, in it’s original spirit, to thank all our loyal attendees and the amateur radio community for the support since 2007. We appreciate your understanding and continued support. We hope to be able to post an update about FreeFest on our website before the end of the year. Advance tickets and inside parking passes will be on sale in the usual places starting in April. Check our Web site (www.near-fest.com) for more details.

To summarize: NEAR-Fest XVII WILL TAKE PLACE on May 1st and 2nd, 2015, exactly as scheduled, Admission will be the same as always, $10 per person and $10 for an inside parking pass. NEAR-Fest XVIII will also take place as scheduled on October 16th and 17th, 2015. The FreeFest that was planned to take place as a part of NEAR-Fest XVII is POSTPONED until a later date.

The NEAR-Fest staff and management as well as I thank you for your total support and understanding.

MisterMike, W1RC

MTARA 27th Annual Amateur Radio & Electronics Hamfest

MTARAThe Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association will hold their 27th Annual Amateur Radio & Electronics Hamfest on Saturday March 7, 2015 at 8:30 AM.  The hamfest will be at the Moose Family Center/Chicopee Falls Moose Lodge 1849, 244 Fuller Road, Chicopee, MA 01020.  The hamfest will feature raffle tickets / prizes, a VE exam session, and more.

Admission is $5 for adults, kids are free.  Tables are $15 each or tailgating for $10.

More information is available on the MTARA website or their general info flyer.  Vendors should also read the vendor brochure.