Section Manager Report May 2018

Hello there! 2018 seems to be going by and leaving a vapor trail. It weird that it has been six months since I assumed the position as Section Manager. Through this time, I have received messages of a number of you expressing encouragement and appreciation for what I am doing and that is very much appreciated.

On June 1st as you remember was the day seven years ago we had an F3 tornado hit the Monson and Springfield area which cut a swath of destruction in it’s path. I ponder this thought in reflection to this event. Are we ready if it hits again? The help wanted sign is still out for a new SEC, but there is a deafening sound of crickets. My desire is to establish a formal emergency communication system that is a standard for all counties, and to start getting served agencies on board as a reliable and important resource ready to go if needed. I cannot accomplish this without a crew of willing volunteers to help establish this goal.

In May, along with the big move of my mother from Arizona to Mass. I was able to visit the WECT club meeting which demonstrated the dispatch console software they used for the marathon and was quite impressed with what that can do more multi-link and mode communication. I was impressed with the knowledge they had with UHF/VHF Motorola technologies. I also want to congratulate Gil Hayes WK1H as he is now the Official Observer Coordinator and the Affiliated Club Coordinator. These are a couple of important roles and I know Gil will do a great job.

June is also the month for our annual ritual called Field Day. This will be different for me as I will be out visiting sites and not setting up on Mount Wachusett. I encourage you to enter your field day in the ARRL website and email me where you will be so I can plan on getting there. My attempt is to visit as many as I can if not all sites. There are some sites way out there and I will be working on getting there early. I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else has theirs set up.

Along with Field Day locations, I also encourage all Assistant Section Managers to visit the sites as well. Please send a report as to your activity and any news regarding club activity and DEC and EC activities. ALL are encouraged to feed me with anything pertaining to the section so I know what’s going on. Those that currently do, thank you and keep it up! Reporting will be more essential as the organization develops.

That’s enough for now. Time to get off the soapbox. Hope to see you at Field Day!

73,
Ray KB1LRL

13 Colonies Special Event

Eastern MA ARRL Affiliated Club Coordinator Andy Stewart, KB1OIQ writes:

The annual 13 Colonies Special Event will take place from Sunday, July 1st, 9:00 AM Eastern (1300 UTC) until Saturday, July 7th, 12:00 Midnight Eastern (July 8th, 0400 UTC).

Participants are encouraged to contact as many of the original 13 Colonies as possible in that timeframe.  There are also two bonus stations: WM3PEN (Philadelphia, PA), and GB13COL (Durham, England).  A nice certificate is available at the end of the event.

Each colony has its own callsign and list of operators.  Massachusetts is K2H.  If you are a Massachusetts ham interested in being a K2H operator, contact Bob (K1KVV) at radioevents [at] semara [dot] org so he can put you on the official operators list.  One must hold a General Class license, or higher, and should plan to operate from their home station.

This is a fun event and I hope a lot of you will participate. For more information:  http://www.13colonies.net.

MEMA Region 4 RACES Net Restarts on June 4

RACESAs a part of the continuing desire to slowly but surely rebuild a RACES program across the state, I have been appointed as the new MEMA Region 4 RACES Officer.  We’re restarting the Region 4 RACES Net this coming Monday night (June 4).  The net typically will run on the first Monday night monthly (second Monday in the case of a state holiday) at 7:15 PM on the CMARA W1BIM repeater system in Paxton on 146.970 MHz PL 114.8, and during times of RACES activation.

We’re going to start small here and build it up over time. This coming Monday night it will be simply check in / check out, basically just to test out equipment and ensure no interference to or from any other existing infrastructure in the areas around various stations. It has been years since we’ve run this net, so the first order of business is simply a test of the infrastructure used by the net in this configuration.

All radio amateurs are welcome to check into the net. If you are a RACES Officer or RACES Radio Operator for any local municipality or town in MEMA Region 4 (i.e. Worcester County), please consider checking into the net on Monday and going forward as a part of our on-going RACES readiness.

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H
MEMA Region 4 RACES Officer

Relay for Life Special Event Station

Relay For LifeEvery year, the Mohawk Amateur Radio Club sets up and runs a special event station in conjunction with the Greater Garnder Relay For Life’s annual event.  The Relay For Life is a fundraiser event for the American Cancer Society to raise money and awareness towards a cure for cancer.

The special event station will operate from 6:00 PM EDT on Friday, June 8 until 6:00 PM EDT Saturday June 9.  The Relay For Life event and the special event station will both be located at the Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner.

QSLs for contacts can be requested via N1UZ.

Check in with them on the air and support a good cause!

New England Season Opener Triathlon

The Worcester Emergency Communications Team is looking for amateur radio assistance with the New England Season Opener Triathlon on Saturday, May 19 from 7:00 AM to around 12:00 PM.

Assignments will vary but will generally include various checkpoints along the route, start and finish line, and shadowing the triathlon coordinators. Times involved with each of the assignments will vary as well.  The event will be held at the Hopkinton State Park and includes a swim, bike and run that travels through Hopkinton, Southboro and Ashland.

More details on the triathlons are available on the Max Performance website.

For more details on the amateur radio assignments or to sign up contact WECT Events, and let us know if you have UHF equipment with DCS / DPL when you sign up.

WK1H Appointed as WMA Official Observer Coordinator

I’m happy to report that my appointment as Western Massachusetts ARRL Official Observer Coordinator has finally been approved and accepted.

I first expressed interest in this appointment in October 2016.  Former Section Manager W1KT approved and put the appointment change in with the League.  However, League HQ rejected the change and sent out a message to all SMs nationally that all applications for new OO and OOC appointments are being put on hold until a new study and revamp of the entire OO program has been completed.

The study and program revamp is still ongoing, however, the League recently decided that with the revamp taking as long as it has been, some appointments for new OOs and OOCs would be allowed in the interim.

WMA Section Manager KB1LRL immediately put me in for the OOC appointment again, and given we have not had an OOC here in WMA for so long, League HQ has accepted and approved the appointment.

I look forward to assisting the section in this way.  Please feel free to contact me if you need my help in this area!

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H

Section Manager Report for April 2018

Greeting’s to all! I am still winding down from my adventure at Near-Fest. I was one of the unfortunate to have 2 canopies take off to meet Dorothy and Toto in that storm Friday night. But like most ham’s we persevered, regrouped, and made the scrap metal guy happy!

April was quite a busy month for me as I made a number of visits to clubs and a hamfest mixed in. I visited the Hampden County Radio Association and the Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association. Both of them were lively groups and was most impressed of the number of attendants and I find the level of participation and activity to be one of sustaining continued growth in the hobby as well as the club for years to come. Keep up the great work!

I also visited the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club breakfast and they have a great Tech class going on which produces and good number of new hams and has a good amount of activity in public service. I love the enthusiasm as they approach me to share their information of what they are doing out there and the passion that is behind it. Warning! Stuff like this is contagious! Do it liberally! Hi-hi.

My “alma mater”, the Montachusett Amateur Radio Association, had a QSL card sort which we sorted out 13,000 cards that night and finished it off with some great pizza. This is gone annually and is a popular event there.

May is going to be light for me as I will be in Arizona making the move for my mother back east. There’s a Mother’s Day gift! I will available via cell (leave message) or email. If you have anything section or club wise, please let me know.

With June coming up we are all planning and gearing up for Field Day. My plan is to try to visit the far western sites on Saturday, Sunday to be on the air for traffic and visit the local clubs the rest of the day. Let’s see how it works! Let me know where you will be and place it in the Field Day locator on the ARRL web site.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone has a great month.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

“Experience Amateur Radio” in Worcester

On Saturday, May 12, from 1-3 PM, members of two local amateur radio clubs will be at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester on 65 James Street to talk about their experiences with ham radio, and give a hands-on demonstration of what ham radio operators do.

The event is meant to perk the interest of kids in the middle school to college age range, although anyone of any age is welcome to come and enjoy the event.

Several members of the Central Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association and the Worcester County Radio Club (including KC1SDL, W1TAB, WW2JS, W3SJP and others) will be working the event, describing what ham radio is and what you can do with it once you have your license.  A partial amateur radio station will be set up at Annie’s Book Stop and attendees will be able to get on the air.

More on this event is posted on the event’s Facebook page.  Feel free to drop by during the event and say hello!

Westover CAP Looking For Comms Volunteers

The Westover Composite Squadron, located at Westover ARB, Chicopee MA is looking to recruit two assistant communications officers.

A strong candidate would have an amateur radio license (technician or higher) and would be willing to commit to attending weekday evening meetings at least twice a month, as well as participating in almost monthly scheduled practice exercises (weekend one day).   Being able to respond to at least some actual no notice missions would be highly desirable.  Some skills with soldering coax connectors to cables, HF antenna/VHF antenna maintenance, and familiar with repeater maintenance would be very helpful.   Also having an active HF/SSB setup at your home could be beneficial.   Generally volunteers would perform these duties at the squadron facility at Westover ARB.

Volunteers must reside in Hampden, Hampshire, or southwestern Worcester counties and must pass a screening interview by unit membership board, as well as pass a local Westover security and National FBI criminal records check.

IF you have an interest please email me with your phone # and the best time to call you.

Thanks!
Ken KB1PKI