AB1OC Announces run for ARRL New England Division Director

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC : Speaking at Dayton

NASHUA, NH: Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, has announced his intention to run for the position of ARRL New England Division Director. Kemmerer has a long history of helping individuals to become licensed, learn new skills, and become active in the Amateur Radio Service. Fred has also served as President of the Nashua Area Radio Society, a club that has provided many hams licensing and development programs over the past six years.

“I believe that Amateur Radio clubs and interest groups play an essential role in bringing new hams into the Amateur Radio Service and in helping hams to develop new skills,” said Kemmerer. “As New England Division Director, I will work with clubs and individuals in New England to help them expand their role as mentors and create a world-class environment for learning based upon Amateur Radio.”

Fred, AB1OC, also serves as an ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Mentor and Ground Station, helping schools around to world to participate in STEM learning based upon Amateur Radio. “I will help groups and individuals in New England to create projects and programs to bring Amateur Radio to young people across the division,” said Kemmerer. “Amateur Radio provides a tremendous opportunity for youths to learn about technical topics and to develop valuable skills that they can use throughout their lives.”

Kemmerer has been an active amateur for over 10 years with a broad range of Amateur Radio interests. “I enjoy many aspects of the hobby, including DXing, contesting, EmCom activities and Field Day, satellites, station building, and weak signal operating on the VHF and higher bands. One of Amateur Radio’s most important strengths is its tremendous diversity and range of interests and activities. We need to work across New England and the ARRL to grow our hobby and protect our spectrum by encouraging our hobby’s broad use.”

Fred, AB1OC, continues to devote considerable time and energy to license new hams and help all hams to upgrade their licenses and get on the air. “I’ve had the pleasure to lead a team of hams who have taught license classes, enabling over 350 people to earn a license or upgrade over the past five years.” Kemmerer has created some innovative approaches to new ham development and getting hams on the air. “We created a very popular program called Ham Bootcamp, designed to help both new and experienced hams get on the air, build their stations, and participate in new operating activities.” The last Ham Bootcamp drew over 480 participants from across the United States. “I hope to help clubs and individuals around New England and across the ARRL to develop successful programs to license and assist hams to get on the air and have fun in new activities,” he added.

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, is an electrical engineer by training and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in EE. He has served in many business leadership roles, including Chief Technology Officer, VP and General Manager of a large data networking and communication business, and a Project Leader at Bell Laboratories in the development of wireless and wired data communications technologies. Fred has also served on the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council where he assisted the FCC in developing public policy related to wireless and broadband communications. Fred holds an Amateur Extra license and has been quite active on the air logging over 90,000 contacts on the HF and higher bands over the past 10 years.

100th anniversary of WBZ radio Special Event

September 17-19th is the 100th anniversary of WBZ radio in Boston. But there was a WBZA radio here in Springfield at one time.

The HCRA is working with the Billerica club to co-sponsor this operating event. Billerica started the event and the HCRA is helping out in many ways including the use of one of our club calls  WB1Z. 

The call signs used are: W1W, W1B, W1Z and WB1Z.

It’s going to be lots of fun and you will start seeing info everywhere very soon. There will be a special QSL card and possibly a certificate.

We are looking for operators to sign up to activate during the 3 day period. We’re looking for CW, SSB and Digital ops as well as Satellite.

If you are interested, please email me if you’d like to be an op and we’ll add you to the list.

Larry, W1AST

W1AST@arrl.net

WMA ARES Announces Drawing Winners from SET Log Submissions

Hello Everyone …

As promised, we put all stations submitting a SET Log into a drawing and had an impartial volunteer pick 4 winners from equally sized slips of paper in a container.

Our Section Manager, Ray – KB1LRL, kindly provided the prizes  …. 4 highly relevant ARRL books on amateur radio topics. Thanks Much, Ray !!

Here are the winners. I will send each of you an email asking where you’d like your prize sent.

1st prize: 2021 ARRL Handbook to KC1IBU – Leominster EOC station represented by Jerry AA2T

2nd prize: 2021 Repeater Directory to KB1JWZ – Bill Pease

3rd prize: HF Dipole Antennas for Amateur Radio to KA1HAH – Robert Weller

4th prize: Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur to W1RVY – Eric Wilhelm

Id like to again thank all of you who participated in our recent SET, and extend congratulations to our prize winners! This exercise is proving truly valuable to the development of our WMA ARES communications capabilities.

Vy 73,

Bob – K1YO

Section Emergency Coordinator – WMA ARES

Section Manager’s Report June 2021

   Hello, welcome to summer, “unofficially”, but we know what that means…FIELD DAY! So far, I know of 2 clubs going live this year. How about the others? I am looking to plan the tour. I may not get to them all but will sure try.

   May 8th, we had our ARES SET to figure out where we are at and what we need to work on, I feel after 10+ years of nothing we did pretty darn good, some good data was received and Bob K1YO is looking at it to develop the next step. I wish to thank you all who participated and did a fine job. I was disappointed my NVIS antenna I built did not perform well as I hoped. I need to look at a possible connection issue at the center point. I guess that is what the test is about! I also need to hone my digital setup more to be more effective and allow to rapid deploy and change as needed.

   With the opening up of the state and the relaxing of Covid safeguards things are coming back to normal. The HamExposition is going to happen! Phil Temples, the Vice Director is looking for people who would like to do a presentation there. Give him a shout if interested. Also live is Near-Fest. That one I missed a lot. (Not the rain though!) Near-Fest is going to be October 15 and 16 this year. Plan on going and supporting this great event.

   I know that some club’s kind of fell into a deeper slumber and others saw opportunities and capitalized on them. One thing that Covid brought us was the benefit of virtual presentations that are in YouTube, etc. and invitations to far reaching people are now a click away. I feel all the clubs should take advantage of this medium. There are clubs that struggle for presentations. This is the answer for you. I know Gordon West just did one for the club in Meridan CT. I don’t think Zoom is going away anytime soon!

   We as Ham’s have this love affair mostly is that nice tower of steel supporting a variety of antennas on them. The one thing that seems to be a challenge is getting someone to climb them to do repairs. I know that some that did is getting older and does not climb anymore. The other thing is liability. That one seems to loom large in light of some of the accidents we have read about. One question is who is out there? The other is, is there some kind of training and certification available? Is there anybody interested in getting that training? Yes, I do need tower work, but I put this out as a general inquiry to see who is doing what and what’s out there.

   I hope everyone has a Fun, safe summer out there. Enjoy the sun!

73, Ray KB1LRL

2021 Western Mass SET – Stations Submitting Activity Logs

Here is a list of SET log documents received as of May 24, 2021. Please accept our sincere thanks to all stations that participated in this event as it has provided valuable data (still under analysis) regarding the Inter-County communications capabilities and the utility of several communications modes available for use in potential emergency situations. If you have submitted a log and are not listed, please notify Bob at k1yo@arrl.net asap.

As previously mentioned, we will shortly have a drawing for a few simple prizes for those stations that have submitted log sheets. Winners will be announced on this website when the results are in – probably by this time next week!

Again, THANK YOU to ALL participants for your assistance in out very successful exercise from your entire WMA ARES team!

SET Logs Received From:

K2MZWORCESTER EOC
KA1HAH
KB1AKU
KB1JWZ
KB1NEKSHELBURNE EOC
KB1NOXNCS
KC1FIDSPRINGFIELD EOC
KC1IBULEOMINSTER EOC
KC1IKANCS
KC1OKV
N1AW
N1NWQ
N1PVX
N1YL
W1BCC
W1ECTWORCESTER EMER COMM TEAM
W1RVY
W1SEXGARDNER EOC
WC1SWSOUTHWICK EOC

Section Manager’s Report. May 2021

Hello everyone. Another month has quietly gone by without much fanfare. I hope it’s because you are planning your club’s activities.

   Speaking of club’s activities, Field Day is just around the corner. Who’s doing what? I know the NOBARC club is having a live one this year. Let me know what you are doing. I may do “the tour” this year. 

   On May 8 which is a Saturday our ARES group led by Bob K1YO is having a SET drill to demonstrate and test our communications capabilities. This is a combination of HF, VHF, Digital, simplex and repeater exercises run during segments of a 10am-2pm window. This will help us define where our strengths and weaknesses are and to build on making a stronger operation out of it. Bob has spent months putting this together along with the ARES group. This is something that has been silent for a long time and I am so appreciative of their efforts to get this back on track. Check out more on this website.

   Club Presidents, are you up to date with the league? In order to maintain your affiliation with the League you need to update once a year. More information is found on the http://www.arrl.org/clubs website or contact our club coordinator, Gil, WK1H at wk1h@arrl.net.

   In July Larry, W1AST is heading the annual 13 Colonies event for Mass. It is run from July 1st to the 7th. This event has been going for a number of years and has had rising numbers with last year being the biggest yet. Larry is looking for operators to participate and have some fun. Contact Larry at w1ast@arrl.net for further information.

   That’s all for now, see you next month.

Ray KB1LRL

Additional RF Exposure Rules Presentation, May 4, 2021

Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, will hold another presentation addressing the new FCC RF exposure rules on May 4 at 7:30 PM using the ARRL GoToWebinar platform. 

His April 27 talk was a hugely successful–a maximum number of 100 connections for the call was reached just as the discussion started. The GoToWebinar has a much higher limit and should accommodate all who are interested.  ARRL Laboratory Manger Ed Hare, W1RFI, will serve as Technical Moderator on the call.

To sign up for the presentation, visit:

Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3400737102800150797

System Check: https://support.goto.com/webinar/system-check-attendee

Tech Support: (833) 851-8340

Steve Finberg, W1GSL, SK

It is with deep sadness and regret that I report the passing of Steve Finberg, W1GSL, of Cambridge Massachusetts, the founder and Benevolent Dictator of the “Swapfest, the Flea at M.I.T.”  who became a Silent Key on Friday, April 23rd 2021 just before 7:00 PM.

Steve Finberg, W1GSL

Steve started the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology electronics flea market in 1985 and ran it up continuously until October 2019.  That was 35 years, 8 shows a year, always the third Sunday of the month, April through October.  I don’t recall it ever being canceled.  An outstanding accomplishment!   “The Flea” produced many amazing treasures over the years, things you would find nowhere else.  You never know what you will find at “M.I.T.”, an event that was highly popular with amateur radio operators and electronics enthusiasts in the Northeast.  “Chip” Cohen, W1YW, inventor of the fractal antenna said that he bought all the test equipment and parts he needed at the M.I.T. Swapfest to invent his revolutionary antennas when he was first starting out.

Steve was a long-time analog electronics engineer at Charles Stark “Doc” Draper’s lab at MIT and the holder of several patents.  He was still working at Draper Labs at the time of his passing.  Steve was an intensely private man and not much is known about his life outside of his work at Draper and M.I.T. I know he would probably not approve of all this attention but the fact that he was so high profile and popular at most amateur radio hamfests and flea markets in the eastern United States makes it necessary.

In addition to his work with The Swapfest, he also compiled and produced the bi-weekly New England Flea Market list for over 30 years.  He was a very familiar figure in his signature red sports shirt and straw cowboy hat at hamfests anf flea markets for many years all over the east coast and as far south as Orlando FL distributing his famous list along with the Flea at M.I.T. promotional flyers.

Steve was a personal friend for many years and was a knowledgeable source of information on New England hamfests and electronic flea markets.  His deep wisdom, advice and wise counsel were invaluable to me when we started the New England Amateur Radio Festival, aka NEAR-Fest at Deerfield NH, in 2007.

In 2009, Steve was awarded the NEAR-Fest Lifetime Pass Award for his contribution to the advancement of the hobby in New England.

https://www.telegram.com/entertainmentlife/20161004/mits-flea-market-specializes-in-rare-obscure-electronics

Unfortunately, there were no M.I.T. flea markets in 2020 and it doesn’t seem there will be very many or possibky none this year as well.  However, the radio clubs at M.I.T. and Harvard University, (the MIT Radio Society,  the MIT UHF Repeater Association, the MIT Electronics Research Society and the Harvard Wireless Club) beneficiaries of the “Flea” since the beginning will be resuming the event as soon as conditions allow it.   First one is tentatively scheduled for August 15th 2021.  The Web site is

https://w1mx.mit.edu/flea-at-mit/

Definitely the end of an era.  Thank you Steve for all those wonderful fleas and the lists.

May he rest in peace.

73,

Michael Crestohl, W1RC/VE2XL,

“Mister Mike”,

Benevolent Dictator,

New England Amateur Radio Festival, 

“NEAR-Fest”

2021 World Amateur Radio Day is April 18

World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.

On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public.

IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, Sunday, April 18, 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, amateur radio stands out as welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities – even helping overcome online fatigue and social isolation. The amateur radio community has organized “wellness nets” to keep amateurs in touch and check on those who may be higher risk or elderly, “stay safe” special event stations across the globe, and has encouraged generally higher levels of on air activity.

More info on World Amateur Radio Day is available and the ARRL HQ website.

New England QSO Party

The New England QSO Party will be held on May 1st and 2nd.  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.