Section Manager’s Report June 2024

Rest in peace MFJ and You Do It Electronics. I don’t know about you; free enterprise and small business seems to be dying rapidly. I think the advancements of technology has a bad side when you look at a computer and just order something. No customer service, no travel, large corporations just getting fatter and fatter without a care. Small business just doesn’t have a chance. Sad. End of rant.

Already halfway through the year. Yikes! Here comes Field Day. As per previous years. I will be doing “the tour.” I wonder if the Hampden Country Radio Club will invite Yogi Bear this year? As usual I will attempt to visit each one. I know where most of you will be, if any have changed venues let me know. Make sure you put yourself in the ARRL Field Day Locator.

I made the pilgrimage to Dayton this year. I spent a good amount of time at the ARRL booth answering questions and meeting many hams from all over. Nice to see some of the locals too. It was a great crowd and I did get some toys. I did leave there a little poorer, but I felt a bit invigorated as well.

Speaking of the ARRL, they have been dealing with a serious IT issue that has impacted multiple aspects of their system. They have been quiet about it as the last update was on the 22nd. I really hope the league and the directors look at this issue and try to get a solution to not only the system issue but also the personnel issue for that department.

If your club is looking for something to recognize an accomplishment by one of your members, there are a number of certificates available for download to print. Get some fancy cardstock and present one to them. There are a few like Mentor award, Ragchewer, etc. More are being developed and some are reserved for officials like me. Go to the ARRL’s First Contact Award page and have a look.

Our HamXposition in Marlboro is winding up to out do last year. They have been working hard to bring you the most bang for your buck there. A lot of comments were the commercial vendors not being present. Very true! So far this year they have secured FlexRadio, Elecraft and some others. They are also having a Mini Contest University from K3LR. The Space Weather Woman will be the Saturday banquet speaker. Tickets are now on sale – go here to buy them. Help keep this convention growing. Who knows, maybe it will rival Orlando, Huntsville!

Summer is here and I hope in your plans you are going out to play some radio. POTA I am sure will be really active as the popularity is booming and only growing. Have a great, safe summer!

73,
Ray AA1SE

New WMA Amateurs from March and April 2024

Please welcome the recent licensed amateur radio operators in the WMA section!

Tracy L Rondinello, KC1UHJ
PO Box 912
Chicopee, MA 01021-0912

Alfredo Rossitto, KC1UNN
972 North Street Ext
Feeding Hills, MA 01030-1522

Christopher R Vyce, KC1UNF
350 West St Lot 36
Ludlow, MA 01056-1069

Thomas J Lopes, KC1UHY
297 Howard St
Ludlow, MA 01056-2814

Justin F Herzig, KC1UHO
141 Depot Rd
North Hatfield, MA 01066-1101

Mark Rogers, KC1UHL
115 Woodland Way
Russell, MA 01071-9653

Robert F Lysakowski, KC1UHP
24 Horseshoe Cir
Ware, MA 01082-9490

Louis Rabinowitz, KC1UHI
29 Woodmont St Fl 2
Westfield, MA 01085-1917

Christopher J Decoteau, KC1UHG
22 Candice Cir
Springfield, MA 01107-1244

Sean Preston, KC1UJL
33 Root Pl
Pittsfield, MA 01201-6505

Brian G Doyle, KC1UIF
814 State Rd
North Adams, MA 01247-3027

John P Wysk, KC1UNM
189 Purple Meadow Rd
Bernardston, MA 01337-9665

William Brunner, KC1UHH
1205 Route 2 E
Charlemont, MA 01339-3904

Stacy P French, KC1UHK
6 Kettlehole Ln
Montague, MA 01351-5100

Henry L Bennett, KC1UMW
PO Box 155
East Templeton, MA 01438-0155

Tyler Emma, KC1UKG
75 Lindell Ave
Leominster, MA 01453-5435

Justin M Arruda, KC1UHF
27 Walnut St
Douglas, MA 01516-2530

Daniel M Magee, KC1UMC
21 Nourse St
Westborough, MA 01581-3507

Shannon E Canoy, K7CNY
114 Conservation Dr
Whitinsville, MA 01588-1864

Kevin G Hawes, KC1UQB
1652 Colebrook River Rd
Granville, MA 01034-9573

Michael J Konetzny, KC1UPJ
277 Old Belchertown Rd
Ware, MA 01082-9438

Robert P Wichowski, KC1UQJ
3 Wintergreen Ln
Westfield, MA 01085-3430

Braxton L Crandall, KC1URB
235 Becket Rd
Otis, MA 01253-9798

Connor Quick, KC1UPM
654 Whitney St
Gardner, MA 01440-3417

James F Kelley, KC1UOS
61 Narrows Rd
Westminster, MA 01473-1619

William F White, KC1UOX
8 Jimton Ln
Dudley, MA 01571-6158

Camille E Williams, KC1UNY
30 Fruit St
Worcester, MA 01609-2124

Aram J Taft, KC1URR
89 Uxbridge Rd
Mendon, MA 01756-1017

Section Managers Report May 2024

Hello, it has been a relatively quiet month of April, but on the other hand it was busy. I guess the big one is the Boston Marathon. That event came and went very successfully. From my seat, things went a lot smoother than ever. Everyone knew what to do and how to do it. Kudos and thanks to all those who woke up super early and helped out in the event.

One club that has been very dormant was the WPI club. This club has been around since 1920. They are now coming back to life which is fantastic. They do have a wrinkle though is they discovered an Asbestos problem in the station so they are closed until they fix it. They have been announcing nets and activities so take a moment and support them by checking into one of them.

A while back I announced that Phil K9HI was introducing an activity called Project Ascend which was active recruiting, outreach and mentoring resources, etc. An application to ARDC was submitted for a grant and sadly it got turned down. This pretty much killed the project. I think he had something with this concept. Can a section, or a club or clubs put something like that together? YES! It does take time, resources and willing participants but it is to grow the hobby. To provide new hams the guidance to get on the air, to welcome them to the hobby. Teaching new hams today are the mentors for tomorrow. I am not opposed to hearing someone’s idea about this. I have a staff of tech specialists who would love to help a ham with a tech issue.

Speaking of staff, have you ever thought about being a volunteer for the Western Ma section? I do have a number of positions that need filling and our ARES program needs people as well. Really, the big requirement is they are active and participating! Assisting me in projects that may crop up. One position is a Asst Section Manager to visit clubs, reporting to me or even coming up with a cool idea. I would love to have one that knows their way around a website. Gil WK1H does a great job with this site, but can use some help as well as he has job, family, etc. Having someone like this can also help with clubs and even myself develop a more attractive website which interacts with our social media stuff. SEC Chuck WS1L needs DEC’s and EC’s. We need people to help in developing an emergency communication system. There is a plan, but no one to help!

Another thing I am planning on is trying to get NTS traffic handling more established in WMA. Smoke signals don’t work anymore! There are nets that can restart traffic handling and maybe start it up to boost their own net activity. I am planning on setting up a training webinar to provide instruction on how to properly pass traffic. It will be conducted by current and experienced traffic handlers. More on that to follow.

Did you notice something? I didn’t start this off with mentioning the weather! I hope you enjoy my report and please give some thought as to helping this old buzzard out.

Thanks so much and 73,
Ray AA1SE

New England QSO Party, May 4-5, 2024

The New England QSO Party on May 4th and 5th 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.

Our goal is to get every one of the 68 counties in New England on the air so we hope you will encourage your friends to join in the fun! Even if you can only join us for a couple of hours, we’d appreciate it! Will you be QRV? Let us know with a message to info@neqp.org.

The New England QSO Party is 20 hours long overall, in two sections with a civilized break for sleep on Saturday night.  It runs from 4 pm Saturday until 1 am Sunday, then 9 am Sunday until 8 pm Sunday.  Operate on CW, SSB and/or digital modes on 80-40-20-15-10 meters.  For each QSO you’ll give your callsign, a signal report and your state/county.  Top scorers can earn a plaque and everyone who sends in a log with at least 25 QSOs will be sent a certificate.  The goal is to work stations anywhere in the world – and their goal is to work New England stations, so you’ll be very popular!

Last year we received logs from 784 stations from around the country and world.   There were 808 stations from New England on the air!

The full rules are here -> http://neqp.org/rules/

Results from the 2023 NEQP were posted a couple of weeks ago – https://neqp.org/2023-new-england-qso-party/

The 2024 NEQP will take place in three weeks.  Please get on and make some QSOs even if you don’t want to send in a log!

Thanks!
73 Tom/K1KI
https://neqp.org

EmComm Training Opportunities

There’s a couple EmComm training opportunities that have come up that might be of interest to everyone.

First is that the training schedule for WX1BOX SKYWARN has recently been published.  First come, first serve on class reservations, and many classes have already been filled.  This training is highly recommended to anyone interested in being a SKYWARN Weather Spotter.  The class is free.

https://wx1box.org/skywarn-training-schedule-2024/

Second is that the ARRL recently started revamping its Basic and Advanced Amateur Radio EmComm courses.  The basic course is now available.  It is recommended to anyone getting involved with ARES, RACES or any other amateur radio emergency service.  It’s also recommended for those that wish to volunteer in public service events like supporting triathlons, parades, etc.  The course is free with your ARRL membership.  You do not need to retake this new course if you’ve previously taken the prior basic course.

https://www.arrl.org/online-course-catalog

If you have any questions on these, feel free to send them to your local ARES DEC or EC, SEC WS1L or myself.

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H
Assistant SEC, WMA ARES

13 Colonies Special Event Looking for Local Ham Radio Ops

The planning for the 2024 13 Colonies Special Event stations is in motion.  I am looking for more ops for K2H Massachusetts.

The event runs from July 1 to July 7 and is usable on all frequencies and all modes. You just need to keep a log that you can submit to me right after the event ends.

To be an op, you just need to volunteer AND be able to get on the air for a few hours most of the 7 days. Also, you need to be able to log on to a computer, no paper logs accepted.

Have you ever wondered or wanted to be that rare DX that everyone is calling? That’s what it’s like being a K2H op. It’s a rush and a ton of fun.

Last year, K2H made 19,209 contacts. With band conditions good, we hope to exceed that and possibly beat our 21,374 from 2022.

Are you interested? 

Please contact Larry, W1AST at wb1dby@gmail.com for more info by May 1.

73,
Larry, W1AST

Section Manager’s Report April 2024

Wait for it…Wait… Where is Spring??? The Sun and warm! HURRY UP! That is the general feeling. Nice days but cold and rainy days warm. Wait for it.

I got some club visits in this month and am VERY happy to say that I am seeing some growth in attendance and in memberships. There was a number of new hams present as well. One highlight was the Quaboag Valley ARC. There was not a chair to be found. The town’s fire chief was there and very interested in ham radio in his department. Best of all was one ham GAVE a new ham a Yaesu FT DX 1200 radio in mint condition. He simply was not using it. Surely that is inspiration and incentive to get that extra in record time! Well done Quaboag. That is mentoring at it’s best! I can honestly say all club’s practicing mentoring is starting to reap rewards. Between the league, myself and others to promote it, is starting to pay off. The challenge….STAY WITH IT!

With April pretty much here the big talk around town is April 8 with the total eclipse event. There are some communities that are planning and getting ready for traffic and parking issues and other things that may have the potential to create a strain on their infrastructure. There will be a number of ham activities including a QSO party, Ham-Sci has some projects taking place and some others I am not aware of. Just be safe out there.

In the middle of the month on the 15th is the annual Boston Marathon. Approximately 300 hams from all around will be there to assist like they have been for many years. Hopefully it will be a smooth, incident free event and everyone will have fun. I volunteered for a net control position but I couldn’t break that force field, so I’ll be in transportation again.

The end of the month is the 2 day Near-Fest which is on the 25th and 26th. Yes, Thursday and Friday. A schedule error caused this and hopefully will be the only one. So, if you can, come on up Thursday and support this great hamfest. If not, see you Friday.

So, as you can see why we need that sunshine and warmth. Lot’s going on. I have a couple of antennas to work on and am sure you do too. The bands have been really hopping lately and I hope you are taking advantage of it, for your logs as well as showing ham radio and getting the new hams on the air.

Hope to see you out there in some fashion!

73,
Ray AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report March 2024

Well, hello! Miss me? I had originally planned to get this out after the Mt. Tom hamfest to report about it. Then I discovered I have a noise issue at my QTH I am tracking down. Next thing I see is Gil WK1H giving me a gentile nudge about my report and 10 days into the month. (Thanks Gil) Yep, forgetful played a part in this too.

Ok, we had 2 hamfest’s locally, one in Marlboro and then Mt.Tom. As usual it is always great to see everyone and meet some new ones along the way. Overall, it looked like both did really good and did not disappoint those who went. Some went in and took the test and the smiles was a good sign that we have some new hams in the ranks. My hopes are they have found a mentor to help them get on the air and learn more about our hobby and have joined a club. Veteran hams don’t wait to be asked. Reach out, extend your hand and make a new friend and teach them!

Going back to the noise issue I am having, for those that do have a problem there we have resources available. Rob Leiden K1UI is an New England Assistant Division Director is in charge of RF and Spectrum management. He has assembled teams in each section and are trained in hunting down issues with equipment received from an ARDC grant. There is also a web link available here. They do ask you do some legwork to try to locate it yourself. With information in hand and need help, contact the group in your section so they can get started. Mine appears to be powerline but am not positive yet. All I needed was a portable radio and tuned to an empty frequency. The Grundig (now Eton) radios are good due to the wide range of frequencies you can go to. Rob is interested in the cases so get feedback to him as the league is looking at this also to see if will go national.

For those that do not know yet, the league’s EC-001 and EC-016 is going away after April 1. If you are doing the course now you need to have it completed by then to get credit. A new course will be out that day and will be found in the ARRL Learning Center.

Another thing making a comeback is the book donation program. Clubs looking to donate books to a library can purchase for 250 dollars including shipping. Visit this League HQ page to find out more.

That about it for now. Hope everyone will welcome spring with enthusiasm and get those outdoor projects going. Make it a club event for more fun.

See you next month. 73,
Ray AA1SE

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