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

New England QSO Party

The New England QSO Party will be held on May 5th and 6th.  Now’s your chance to be the sought after stations instead of the other way around!

The NEQP is a great time to check out antenna systems and offers a moderately paced opportunity to work new states and countries. You’ll find a wide variety of participants, from newcomers to experienced contesters, all interested in making contacts with New England stations.

We’re working to make sure that all of the New England counties are active again this year and would appreciate your help. Get on for at least an hour or two and join in on the fun. Please let me know if you can put in any time at all so we can work on activity from the rarest counties. Will you be QRV? Let us know by email which county you’ll be on from.

Oh yes, the NEQP is also lots of fun when mobile. Every time you cross a county line the action starts over again. It’s amazing what a 100w radio and mobile whip can do.

The QSO Party is 20 hours long overall, in two sections with a civilized break for sleep Saturday night. It goes from 4pm Saturday until 1am Sunday, then 9am Sunday until 8pm Sunday. Operate on CW, SSB and digital modes on 80-40-20-15-10 meters. For each QSO you’ll give your callsign, a signal report and your county/state. Top scorers can earn a plaque and everyone who makes 25 QSOs and sends in a log will get a certificate.

The full NEQP rules are here.  The 2017 results are posted and the results since 2002 are also available here.  Last year we had logs from 177 New England stations and 460 more from around the country and world.

NEAR-Fest Spring 2018

The Spring 2018 edition of the New England Amateur Radio Festival will be May 4 – 5, 2018.

The NEAR-Fest is an international event run by and for all radio hobbyists and enthusiasts, including hams”, short-wave listeners, scanner buffs, vintage/antique radio fans, etc. NEAR-Fest is held twice annually, spring and fall, rain or shine, at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, Deerfield NH beginning on Friday at 0900 and ending Saturday at 1500 hours.

Admission is $10. Persons under 18 and over 80 are admitted free of charge upon presentation of government-issued ID. Inside parking is available for $10 and includes a “reasonable amount of flea market selling space” for PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS selling their own personal property. Commercial vendors must register and pay applicable fees. If you are wondering if you are a “commercial vendor” you probably are. One complimentary inside commercial space is available for clubs, estates and other “non-profit organizations” on an “as available” basis.

Overnight camping, trailer and RV hookups are available. Three food vendors provide meals and snacks at reasonable prices. The Deerfield Community Church ladies serve up a breakfast that has to be consumed to be believed. Angelino’s offers hamburgers, steak, sausage submarines and other great “fair food” specialities and Patty’s Polish Kitchen menu features wonderful “Mitteleuropa” cuisine. No one goes hungry at NEAR-Fest.

The program of activities and events at NEAR-Fest is extensive; a huge outdoor electronic flea market, three buildings full of commercial vendors, forums, technical seminars and symposia, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, licensing examinations, special events radio stations, a “jam session”, good food, fellowship, fun and general mishigoss. NEAR-Fest is the largest event of its kind in the Northeast and has once been described as the “Woodstock of Amateur Radio”.

We look forward to seeing you at NEAR-Fest.

 

Groton Road Race

April 29 will be the 27th running of this race and the race committee is again asking the Amateur Radio community to provide the logistics and safety communications for this high-profile event.

The Groton Road Race continues to be a major event for Amateur Radio in North Central Massachusetts. Those of you who have joined us in the past years know that the runners sincerely appreciate our presence. Many say so as they run past.

If you are interested in helping at these events but unsure of what is expected of you or what equipment you may need, please do not hesitate to ask Ralph KD1SM, Stan KD1LE, or John KK1X.  You can also learn more about the race itself from their website and Facebook page.

The Squannacook River Runners and the Groton Police Department repeatedly praise and express their appreciation for your assistance in providing communications for this event.

HAMCRAM Pittsfield April 21/22

Peter Mattice KD2JKV and Rich Hall KC1BYD are leading up a “HAMCRAM” license-in-a-weekend session in Pittsfield on April 21 and 22, 2018.

The session will be held in Studio K at Pittsfield Community TV at 4 Fedrico Drive in Pittsfield.  The class will run April 21 from 8 AM to 5 PM and April 22 from 8 AM till noon.  The North Berkshire Amateur Radio Club‘s VE team will provide an exam session at 1 PM on the 22nd, after the class and a lunch break.

There is a $30 registration fee, which includes the class, lunch and exam.  Sign-up is on available on kd2nsa.org but walk-ins are welcome.

Peter and Rich also looking for teachers and camera people since Pittsfield Community TV will be recording the class for air.

For more information, contact Peter KD2JV or Rich KC1BYD.

Section Manager Report for March 2018

Hello everyone. I want to start off with an item of importance that all club presidents or officials need to do right away. Our division leader Tom Freneye K1KI has advised the New England section managers as to the status of the club status in the ARRL. There are many clubs who have not updated their information which acts as your annual report. It does state on the website:

“The club update is your annual report.  You must update your club record at least once per year even if nothing changes.  The club update is how we know that the club is still in business and keeps the contact information current for ARRL and prospective hams to get in touch with your club.  Should two years pass without an update your club will be listed as inactive.”

I am just as guilty of neglecting this as I was never told of this in the past. I am asking ALL clubs to update this as soon as possible. Follow this link and there is a PDF on how to do it: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Clubs/Club%20Update%20Online_20150806.pdf

This is something that the club secretaries should have as a reminder and needs to pass it down to their successors as well. Thank you in advance to updating your information.

I was at the Mount Tom Hamfest and had a great time there and had some members stop by and say hi which I truly appreciate. I am continuing my quest to visit the clubs and generate interest in section positions. (the crickets are getting loud on this one!) I do apologize again in advance as I am in the process of moving my mother back east from Arizona so I have been in the middle of that project which is not easy logistically. Just drop an email if you need to reach me.

The Franklin County ARC has been busy as they have a license class starting up and it actually made it in an article in their local paper. They are also going to be participating in a shelter drill in April and will be working on communications support on the ham radio side. Chris KB1NEK has been reporting and communicating to me the activities there and does a great job of keeping me informed with the going’s on in their county. I encourage all EC’s to do the same.

The Mount Tom ARA has been working with the Pathfinder Regional Vocational HS and has been selected to participate in an upcoming ARISS Space Station QSO event to take place in the Fall. This also got regional press coverage and the students are exited to take part in this. This is a fine example of getting youth into the hobby and showing them that there is more to communication than just a smartphone. Well done to the group there!

Reporting from other section officials has been a little light and I hope to hear from more of you, ASM’s, EC’s, etc. Does not have to be much or formal. Your input can also help where the needs are and what we have to do to get our section going in the right direction.

I will still be visiting one or two clubs in April. Schedules will determine how much I can do. I will also be at the Framingham Flea Market in April. I will also be among the volunteers at the Boston Marathon.

That’s enough from my world, what’s going on in yours in Ham Radio? Let me know.

73
Ray, KB1LRL