Elections for ARRL New England Division Director

There are three candidates running to become the next ARRL New England Division Director with three very different sets of priorities and visions for the future of the League and Amateur Radio. All three candidates recently participated in a Candidates Forum at the Northeast HamXpostion in Marlborough, MA in which we were asked about our plans and goals.

I encourage your members to watch the video from the Candidates Forum and learn about the vision each candidate has for the future. You can view the video here or click on the image above. Ballots will be mailed to ARRL New England members on October 1st and are due back to ARRL HQ by November 19th. The last Director election was decided by only a few votes so your vote is very important.

Section Manager’s Report Sept. 2021

   Hello one and all! It has been an interesting month overall with activities and the weather. I will not labor on the weather. Anyone who poked their head out the window lately knows!

   Looking forward to HamExposition! I am getting my goodies ready and will be out there to “lighten the load” and to get to see everyone there. Look at the link https://hamxposition.org/covid for up-to-date information on Covid policies. 

   The Director elections are still going strong. The ballots are going out at the end of the month or beginning of October. As I had mentioned before, please review each candidate and make an informed decision as to who you want for the next 3 years. They have been busy visiting social events and club meetings.

   The Franklin Club came up with a swell idea. Brad Councilman, W1BCC set up an operating event called Coffee and Radios at Apex Orchards in Shelburne. This was treated to great weather, scenic view, and treats. This was well received and everyone there participated in operating, and answering questions to curious onlookers. Club people, this can be a great thing to do to promote radio and participate in activities. It doesn’t have to be public service events at all! Great job Brad!

   One thing that has been scarce is VE sessions in our area. One person Ken WB8PKK from Westminster looked to improve on that and became a VE and with the help of some seasoned people and the league, helped Ken put together a VE session in Gardner, MA. Eight people helped administer the test and 13 passed their Tech and 2 got upgraded to extra. 6 of them were school age kids! Thanks to Ken and the team for putting it all together. Next one will be Oct 30.

   Just a reminder there are a number of positions open for my section staff, both for myself and for ARES. I had hoped things were further along than what we have now. We are doing much better but getting the extra help will help in many ways. Contact myself or Bob K1YO for more information. Also, we have a Western Massachusetts ARRL Facebook page that is there to get more information on things. It can be used to promote events you may have.

   I hope to see you soon in whatever fashion. As always drop an email and let me know what’s going on.

73

Ray KB1LRL

VE Session for Sunday August 22 postponed.

CMARA Logo.png
Ken WB8PKK wants everyone to know that the open VE session scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday August 22 at the Masonic Lodge, 42 Central St., Gardner is being postponed for one week for safety reasons.
The session is scheduled for Sunday, August 29 at 10am. You can go for your Tech, General or Extra license!
Sunday Sunday Sunday August 29 10am at the Masonic Lodge, 42 Central St.!
www.cmara.org

Communications for two events in our area

The Franklin County Amateur Radio Club will provide communications for two events soon to take place in our area. We welcome licensed amateurs who would like to join us.

On 21 August, the Franklin County Land Trust will host an off the beaten path bicycle tour, called the Deerfield Dirt Road Rondonee (D2R2). It is part of their fund raising efforts. As the name of the tour suggests, it is mostly over dirt roads, in rural towns of western Franklin County and up into southern Vermont. Radio communications are necessary for key points along the tour where cell phone service is not available. At those points, our communicators will be the only way the Franklin Land Trust staff can send or receive messages to and from the base for the race in Deerfield.

The tour consists of three routes: 100k, 160k, and 180k. The first group of riders start at 6 AM, and the last rider may return as late as 6 PM. We will not cover that entire time period. We will ask radio volunteers to work in shifts. Volunteers may occasionally be asked to bring equipment, water, or food to remote stops along the way

On 29 August, the Connecticut River Conservancy and the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club sponsor a traditional, 26 mile marathon. It starts at the campus of the former Marlboro Community College, in Marlboro, VT, and follows a path along the banks of the Green River, over mostly dirt roads. Our club members, with help from others, will help with the needs of the race staff, many positioned at water stops along the way. We are also there to call for help if needed by runners in distress.

For the D2R2, contact Al Woodhull, N1AW, at aswoodhull@yahoo.com, or 413-773-3522.
For the Green River Marathon, contact Chris Myers, KB1NEK, at camyers@protonmail.com, or 413-625-0344
More information on the Groups.IO site, at FCARC-MA, in the FILES section.

WBZ’s 100th anniversary

The Billerica Amateur Radio Society, along with the Hampden County Radio Association in Springfield, will be commemorating WBZ’s 100th anniversary by conducting a special operating event starting at 1300z/9:00 AM EDT September 17 and ending at 0359z September 20/11:59 PM EDT September 19. Amateurs using the callsigns W1W, W1B, W1Z, and WB1Z will make two-way contact with other amateurs across all bands on SSB, AM, CW, and digital modes. A special QSL card will be sent to anyone who contacts one or more of the special event stations and sends a card accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

If you or someone you know might be interested in operating one of the special stations, please contact Larry Krainson, W1AST, at wb1dby@comcast.net. Seeking New England operators only at this time.

More information on this event at https://nediv.arrl.org/wbz100/

Emergency Radio Communications personal enrichment course

MWCC Noncredit Personal Enrichment Course
Instructor Name: Paul Topolski
Name of Course: Emergency Radio Communications
Dates: Thursdays, September 9 to October 28, 2021
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Where: Gardner Campus
Cost: $169
Description of Course:
A course for everyone who uses or wants to use two-way radios professionally, as part of their emergency
preparedness efforts, on-board air and water craft, to help their community during disasters or special events, or
as a hobby.

Public safety professionals such as police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, hospital nurses, and more,
depend heavily on two-way radios to request and receive vital information. More importantly, the radio is the
critical link to safety and getting help. Unfortunately, little if any time is spent in training academies on how radios
work, why they will not work, and how to resolve communications failure issues on the fly. Students will learn
about the different types of radio system systems such as repeaters, simplex, trunk systems, analog and digital
systems.

The prepper community knows all too well the importance of communications and they have a large variety radio
services to choose from. Learn what radio services best suits the type of communications needed. Which service
is best, FCC Part 95 CB, MERS, FRS, GMRS products, or a Part 97 Amateur Radio license? This course will help you
sort it all out.

Are you interested in learning about new things, emerging technologies, nature, physics, and electronics? Are you
interested in communicating locally or internationally, without the aid of expensive infrastructure such as the
internet, cable provider, cell phone or landline telephone systems? How about having a casual conversation with
an astronaut aboard the International Space Station? STEM students will find this course exceedingly helpful in
their studies.

This course, based on the FCC Technician Class Amateur Radio examination criteria. The material provides
answers and solutions to the questions above. At the end of the class, students will have an option to take the
exam and apply for a Technician Class License. The course fee includes the required text and materials. Not
included is an optional exam fee of $15 and FCC license application fee of $35.

Text and Materials required:

  • The ARRL Technician Class License Manual
  • An inexpensive digital multimeter
  • A Texas Instrument TI-30xa Scientific Calculator
  • Access to one of the many free on-line exam practice sites such as www.qrz.com

Section manager’s Report August 2021

Greeting’s! What a month! West coast is burning while out our way is drowning. You never know what the forces of nature is going to bestow upon us. This is a great example of making people aware that even though it has not reached that point, it can turn into a disaster and things will fail. This is an opportunity to tell people how Amateur Radio can be a valued service to our neighbors, towns, counties. Even if you are not involved in emergency communications you can still provide information to others about it.

On that note, Aug. 1 I had the privilege of attending the NTS picnic hosted by Marcia, KW1U who is the East/West Traffic mgr. and was treated to perfect weather and good food and company. Along with myself also were the Eastern MA and NH section manager and the Vice Director with the 2 candidates for New England director. Both of which shared their passions for Ham Radio and why they would be the choice for director. Looking around the group shows there is still a passion for NTS and traffic handling in ANY mode and needs to be recognized more by the league and others in order to keep this valued tradition alive, because…you never know!

Over the past year I have been working in the trucking industry and found the hours were taking a toll on a lot of things personally and physically. After a huge amount of thought and soul searching, I decided to retire as of July 30. This does not mean I’m old! Lol. Yes, radio played a big part of that as I was not on the air very much and stuff was piling up because I was too tired to do anything. So, first thing I did was get my hotel for Dayton for next May. (I know, Xenia.) I have been wanting to do that for some time and I’m doing it. As I have told others, “I will not be bored!”

It looks like the club meetings will be making a comeback after our Covid hiatus in September. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Zoom has now provided a new element to meeting as you can add it along with presenters who may be distance challenged. There is a plethora of recorded content that can also be used to get a good presentation. Definitely worthy of a search in YouTube and other sources for good content. The League is also expanding on available content and also there is a speaker list in this website. Good meeting agenda will keep things interesting and coming back each month.

That’s enough chatter for this month, hope to see you at Marlboro in September and at the club meetings. Enjoy!

Ray, KB1LRL

Youth On The Air 2021 Camp Makes Successful ARISS Contact

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, writes:

“I had the pleasure of serving as the ARISS contact moderator for the Youth On The Air (YOTA) 2021 Camp’s contact with the International Space Station (ISS) using Amateur Radio today. Young Hams spent the week at the Voice of America Bethany Relay Station in West Chester, OH engaging in a variety of Amateur Radio Activities. Ruth Willet, KM4LAO, was the host for YOTA 2021 and provided an excellent pre-contact program. The West Chester Amateur Radio Association partnered with YOTA 2021 Camp group to help them with YOTA 2021 activities and their ISS contact. You can view a video of the YOTA 2021 Camp’s contact with astronaut Aki Hoshide, KE5DNI, on the International Space Station (ISS) by clicking on the video above.

Working with a school or group to help young people make contact with an astronaut on the ISS using Amateur Radio is a great way to build a lasting relationship around Amateur Radio with young people and their teachers and mentors. In my role as an ARISS Mentor and Ground Station, I have had the pleasure to help with nine of these contacts around the world over the last several years. In every case, local Ham Radio clubs partnered with the school or group to provide STEM learning experiences based on Amateur Radio. Helping a school or group make contact with the astronaut on the ISS provides a memorable experience for everyone involved.

You can learn more about the ARISS contact program here or contact me at ab1oc@arrl.net.

Fred, AB1OC

Section Manager’s Report July 2021

  Hello everyone. I hope your summer is going well so far. I will admit it was a bit toasty of late, day and night.

  July starts off elections in our area. The big one is for New England Director which is a 3-year term. Fred Hopengarten K1VR is seeking reelection and will be opposed by Fred Kemmerer AB1OC who is currently the Nashua club president. It is unconfirmed but Tom Freneye K1KI may be running as well. With the changes coming with the new CEO, I ask that you consider your choices carefully and choose who will be the best fit for New England and for the League.

   The other on is for WMA Section Manager. This is a 2-year term. Anyone interested in running for this go to the ARRL website and see the details and how to be nominated which is only a 5-signature petition. I will be seeking reelection as well.

   Last weekend was our regatta of sorts as it was Field Day. It started out with great weather although a little warm, but doable. I got to visit the 3 sites that had field day and was pleased to once again see the activity once again and also happy to see the people as well. NOBARC returned after a hiatus which was great. Not only did they have a field, but also altitude. Hope it paid dividends in QSO’s. 

   As I previously mentioned changes with the league. Our New CEO, Dave Minster NA2AA was hired as the new CEO for the league. What’s he been doing? Well, listening, sitting on MANY meetings nationwide, receiving input from the members,etc.

   On June 9 I sat on a Zoom meeting with other section managers and other officials and he briefed us on changes taking place. Here is the Readers Digest version:

  • Norm Fusaro W3IZ had retired and taking over as Director of Operations is Bob Naumann W5OV
  • Bart Jahnke has moved from Field services management to Radiosport and Regulatory and Advocacy replacing Dan Henderson N1ND who has also retired
  • Taking over as Field Services Manager will be Mike Walters W8ZY who was the Connecticut SEC. Mike has already hit the ground running doing “meet and greets”. He will be at the HamExposition in Marlboro.

   Dave has revealed his plan of focusing on Clubs, and its revitalization and growth, to attract new members and KEEP them, and getting them active on the air. He finds the new licenses are up and membership is flat. He has groups formed to assist and I’m sure you will hear more about it. Staff members, section managers, and directors are working as groups to come up with ideas to make this work for all. I am encouraged to see this happening as I have been preaching this since I became a SM.

   That’s it for now. There will be other announcements down the road so stay tuned. I will do my best to get the word out to you and I will press on to ask those who read this to encourage others to look at our website and also the http://nediv.arrl.org website as well to keep up to date.

Thanks so much and 73! Stay cool!

Ray KB1LRL

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