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

Framingham Ham Flea Market

The Framingham Amateur Radio Association will be holding its spring flea market and exams at the Keefe Technical School at 750 Winter Street in Framingham, MA.  The flea market is very popular among hams in both the Eastern MA and the eastern portions of the Western MA ARRL sections.

The hamfest will be held on Sunday, April 8, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  General admission is $5 (kids under 12 are free) and includes a chance at door prizes including a new 2m/440 HT.

For those how wish to get licensed or upgrade information on license exams, contact Jim W1EQW at 508-904-6188.

Vendors may reserve 6 foot tables for $20 in advance or $25 at the door.  Vendors may arrive at 7:30 AM for setup.  For information on tables, email Andy KC1DMM or call him at 508-310-5913 before 10 pm, or use the online table reservation form.

Talk in will be on the FARA 2M repeater system: 147.15+ (pl 100.0).

The flea market’s official flyer can be viewed here.

WMA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL is planning on attending the hamfest.

Section Manager Report for February 2018

Hello everyone! I hope you are doing well and looking forward to the warmer weather once again. I know I am. It has been a quiet month section-wise. I do apologize as I have been a bit preoccupied as I am in the midst of moving by mother back home from Arizona so I have been doing real estate stuff on both ends. I will be doing some travelling, but I am an email or phone call away.

I went and visited the CMARA club meeting and after witnessing their first attempt of conducting the business meeting under Roberts Rules which we will conclude is a work in progress, but had some entertaining moments. They had a kit building session that night which was interesting. They also had an impressive turnout of members and they said it was a light night. This club is a fine example of a group that actively participates for ham radio and their club. They will continue to sustain themselves for many years. Great job!

I was at the Marlboro hamfest and was a fun and busy time. When I wasn’t selling the treasures, I was meeting and talking to section members and dignitaries as well. I will be at the Mount Tom Hamfest coming up and am looking forward to meeting more of you. I am planning to not leave right away if anyone wishes to talk about things regarding section matters.

The Help Wanted sign is still out to fill some positions to get the team together to do some great things together in order to make this section more ready and visible to the section as well as the League. Give it a think and consider joining. In particular, we are looking to fill the currently vacant Assistant Section Manager Northwest and Public Information Coordinator appointments, and to replace Section Emergency Coordinator N2YHK who is stepping down.

I am going to be putting together a presentation to show what my job is and the structure I wish to form so that it will be balanced and efficient. I’ll try to make it lively. I know what some of these can be like, Zzzzzz!

For those that saw this, thank you! Please tell others about this website so more of you can see what’s going on.

Thanks again and 73. See you soon!
Ray KB1LRL

Mount Tom ARA Hamfest

The Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association is holding its annual Amateur Radio and Electronics Hamfest on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Drive in Chicopee. All amateurs and those interested are invited!

Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Doors open at 6:30 AM for vendors only and 8:30 AM for general admission.

The hamfest will feature:

  • A snack bar serving hot and cold beverages, hot dogs, burgers and the like.
  • An amateur radio license exam session will be run at 10:30 AM.
  • Several raffles (tickets $1 each or 6 for $5)

Those wishing to reserve a table for selling, please contact Brian Mullarney N1FI.

Talk-in for the hamfest will be on the W1TOM repeater (146.940 MHz, PL 127.3).

In connection with the MTARA Hamfest, the Hampden County Radio Association is presently selling tickets for their 2017 raffle. There will only be 250 tickets sold for HCRA’s raffle at $10 each. The raffle will be for brand new Yaesu FT-891 transceiver and ATAS-120A mobile HF antenna. The raffle winner will be drawn at the MTARA Hamfest.

WMA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL is planning on attending the hamfest.

Algonquin ARC Hamfest

The Algonquin Amateur Radio Club will be holding its annual hamfest at 1Lt Charles W. Whitcomb Middle School at 25 Union St. in Marlborough, MA.  The hamfest is very popular among hams in both the Eastern MA and the eastern portions of the Western MA ARRL sections.

The hamfest will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  General admission is $5 and includes a chance at the $200 Cash Door Prize.

An amateur radio exam session will be run at the hamfest at 9:00 AM for those how wish to get licensed or upgrade.

Vendors may reserve 6 foot tables at the hamfest at $15 each if purchased by February 9, 2018 ($20.00 each accepted at the door if space is available).  Vendors may arrive at 6:30 AM for setup.  For more information or to reserve a table, contact Tim Ikeda KA1OS at 1-508-919-6136 before 9:00 PM or email fleamarket@n1em.org.  A mail in order form is also available on the bottom of the hamfest’s official flyer.

Talk in will be on the MMRA Marlboro repeater system: 147.27+ (pl 146.2).

WMA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL is planning on attending the hamfest.

Hope to see you there!

Section Manager Report for January 2018

Hello everyone. This is going to be a regular feature to keep all up to date in the going’s on in our section. Anything of timely importance will be posted separately as normal.

As you are aware my priority has been getting a staff together to fill spots that are vacant or to replace those who wish to step aside. First of all, I would like to welcome Cory Goodall AC1AZ as our SW Mass ASM, and Roland Chaffee KC1VQ as our new SGL. The top of the list is selecting a new Section Emer. Coord. This is an important one as I consider this a cornerstone to the organization. With this we can align our EC staffing to an efficient structure and review and revamp our communications plan. With this plan I look to use this as a means to promote our abilities to the served agencies. It is understandable that ARES is going through a revamp in itself and FEMA may play a part in things, I do ask that this does not be a decision factor. The other position needed is a Public Information Coordinator. This role will be expanded as I will be looking to “get the word out”. Not just to the media as needed but in promotion as well. Also, I have a need for an ASM for the northwest sector.

One thing to consider is these positions may seem like a huge job, my emphasis is going to be teamwork! Everyone working together does make the job easier, it can also make it interesting and also fun. This way also we do not burnout as quickly.

Ok, enough of that. Lately I have been listening to the Paxton repeater more as our ASM, Greg WA1JXR has started a really cool net to teach people CW. He has for the last two weeks had check ins of at least 36 hams and reports of others listening on other receivers! This is huge! This is what our section needs more of throughout and Greg nailed it. Well done! The other thing that encourages me is the amount of new hams and others offering to assist. This, I feel is what keeps new hams interested as they feel there is something more other than just getting their license. This repeater has been a popular one for a long time, and the huge footprint certainly helps. All to often I hear repeaters out there with very little activity. I encourage those to use them more to promote your clubs, assist the newbies and anything else that comes to mind.

One thing I wish to highlight is we do have technical assistance team within our section. This is headed by Brian Arsenault N1FIY. He has a few tech specialist’s available. If anyone is in need of assistance in anything reach out to them. I hear they can’t wait to help.

If there is anything that comes to mind that you wish to let me know, please feel free to email me. I have asked the staff to give me an informal report of their activities and news (or gossip hi-hi). I do want to know what’s going on out there. Remember, I am the voice to the League for you. I also want to thank all those that emailed me in welcoming me to the section. In closing, please consider volunteering for a spot that is available. Together, I want to do good things.

73 to all and Thanks

Ray, KB1LRL

FCARC to Support the Greenfield Winter Carnival Sleigh Bell Race

The Greenfield Winter Carnival Sleigh Bell Race will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018. The Franklin County Amateur Radio Club will be supporting this event as they have in the past.

The amateur radio support team will meet at the Hope and Olive Restaurant. Because of last year’s UHF frequency disaster, and the new court house, this year they will be testing for use of simplex. Specifically, the most likely channel of use for this event will be the FCARC simplex frequency of 147.435 MHz. Please have your handhelds and mobiles set up with a channel for the 147.435 Simplex.

Setup and taking in people for radio positions will begin at 8:00 AM. The race start time has traditionally been at 10:00 AM. The race traditionally takes about 90 minutes for the last runner/walker to make it back to the Hope and Olive Restaurant start/Finish line.

All those interesting in helping with this effort, please contact Richard KB1NOX at stwricha@aol.com.  More details on the Greenfield Winter Carnival, including the Sleigh Bell Race, are available at the event website.

Learn CW Training Net on VHF

The Central Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association will be conducting a “Learn CW Training Net” on the Club Repeater W1BIM on 146.97 PL 114.8 on Monday Nights at 7:30 PM starting January 15.

Greg WA1JXR will be your Net Control Operator and CW Instructor. The purpose of the Net is to teach Ham Radio Operators new and old how to send and receive CW. The net will be a combination of FM voice as well as modulated CW (MCW) transmissions over the repeater. CMARA members as a club project have built an MCW interface for their 2M FM radios which will allow them to send CW. If others are interested in obtaining a MCW Interface Kit you can contact Greg WA1JXR at wa1jxr@comcast.net and I will start an interested list. If we get a minimum of 10 kit orders I will do a bulk buy of parts and circuit board and assemble more kits.

So check it off on your calendar and check into the “Learn CW Training Net” on Monday nights and learn and have fun with the Original Digital Mode, CW.

73’s Greg Algieri WA1JXR
wa1jxr@comcast.net

Volunteer Registration for Boston Marathon Now Open

Volunteer registration is open for the 2018 Boston Marathon! Sign up today on the BAA’s web site. You don’t need to specify any group name or passcode. Just make sure you request at least one ham radio assignment in your preferences. Once you get your application confirmation number, you’re all set.

If you’re a returning volunteer, you’ll be asked to provide your BAA Volunteer Loyalty Number. You should’ve received that in a separate e-mail from the BAA today. There’s also a tool to look it up on the BAA volunteer site. If you still have trouble finding it, e-mail us and we can help you out.

Don’t delay! Volunteer registration closes in early February. Help us get the word out by forwarding this e-mail to your club and other hams who might like to volunteer. Most volunteers first learn about the event through word of mouth. If you know new amateurs who might like to join us, make sure to let them know about it. Even just a quick mention at your club meeting can be a big help.

Again, If you have any questions about volunteer registration, or the 2018 Marathon generally, please get in touch anytime. Volunteering at the Marathon is a big job, and we appreciate the time and effort everyone puts into it. We’re happy to do what we can to make your work more comfortable or effective.

Again, we look forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Thank you, and 73,

Matthew Forman, K6MCF
for the Boston Marathon Communications Committee
contact@hamradioboston.org