WMA ARES Simulated Emergency Test Sunday November 3

WMA ARESAfter a long hiatus, the Western Massachusetts ARES Section will conduct a simplified Simulated Emergency Test (SET) to determine our current capacities for communications within the 5 counties in the section.

The exercise will begin at noon local time on Sunday November 3 and last until approximately 3PM. Inter-section communications -MAY- be attempted in the 3PM to 4PM timeframe if the appropriate equipment can be put into place. More information on this will appear on this website prior to Nov 3 or be announced in an update during the regular ARES nets on the Sunday morning od the SET.

The SET will attempt to communicate across counties using our normal repeaters for an initial callup at 1200 local time, followed by county – to – county VHF simplex testing from 1230 to 1255.

At 1300, the ARES HF Emergency net will do a roll call on the same frequency (3.944 MHz+/-) as the usual Sunday morning HF net. Following this, at 1330, we will attempt to establish contacts across counties using SSB; there will be several ‘acting EOC’ stations to facilitate this testing under the guidance of an announced net control station.
Digital mode (NBEMS) activity will commence at 1400 with a simple HF digital net on the 75M NBEMS frequency … 3.580 MHz USB using PSK31. We will attempt to broadcast a beacon message for stations to synchronize their operating frequency … the short message will read :


And will be repeated for 5 minutes after which we will have an NBEMS net control station calling up several stations by county and coordinating direct digital communications between them.

At 1430, we will initiate some WinLink messages to pre-established addresses to test this capability for stations so equipped. There also may be some direct peer to peer testing using WinLink although this is not anticipated to be the usual mode for direct communications during an emergency.

Additional inter-section testing is possible after 1500 with predetermined parameters that will not likely include the general ARES membership but could give our neighbor section(s) a chance to test whatever may be appropriate for their needs.

It is important to note that we are NOT looking to have a flawless exercise – but we should observe how effectively we may participate … a chance to identify our individual and group shortcomings and make notes on these. We will conduct several review meetings to reveal where we need improvement, and to identify additional training the WMA ARES team will develop and provide to our members. This will allow us to develop exercises in the near future to test and measure our improvement in key areas needed. MISTAKES ARE WELCOME !! – IT’S HOW WE WILL LEARN TO BE EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS

Vy 73,
Bob K1YO
WMA Section Emergency Coordinator

Sutton Chain of Lights

Sutton Chain of LightsBrian Loverro K1BML, President of both WECT and CMARA, is looking for amateur radio operators for the Sutton Chain of Lights Saturday December 7, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

The event is a town-wide holiday celebration featuring open houses and activities at a large variety of locations throughout the town. For more on the event, visit the Sutton Chain of Lights Facebook page.

The role of amateur radio is to coordinate the trolley buses that shuttle people to and from various locations throughout the town. You will need an external antenna. The trolleys’ roofs are made of fiberglass, so you’ll need another means of attaching the antenna to the trolley other than mag mount. Duct tape has often been used in the past. HT’s should be OK but portable mobiles are preferred. No DC power is available from the trolley so everything will need to be run by battery.

This is a very fun, festive and low-key event, perfect for those wanting to get into public service for the first time. Operators will also likely have opportunities to get out at some of the stops to shop and the like.

To sign up or for more information email K1BML and confirm that you have the equipment listed above. Thank you for your help and support.

Section Manager Report for October 2019

Hi everyone, sorry for being a little late. Things are a little crazy for me, hopefully after this month things will settle down more.

The weather prognosticators really messed up the forecast this weekend and unfortunately had an impact on Near-Fest. I know this event is notorious for having weather of some sort. As Mr. Mike said. “It’s not all about the selling, it’s getting together twice a year and catching up with friends in the hobby.” Usually I am selling there and this time I did not fearing the easy ups were not going to be adequate, I did come up on Saturday and yes, had a great time visiting with friends. It was fun and relaxing indeed. The next Near-Fest is May 1 & 2, 2020. Put it on your calendar now to plan for it.

Most of the clubs have now started on their monthly meetings and I have been hearing about some good presentations coming up. Presentations are very important to a club and some clubs do struggle in finding good speakers. To those that do have a presentation, please consider going to other clubs. They would truly appreciate it and it helps to keep things interesting and helps in attendance. I hope to get a list together of people willing to visit clubs both in East and West Mass. which can help to see who’s available.

As a reminder if you have any news of interest, events, etc. Send it to me or to Gil, WK1H and we can get it on the website. Also, it helps me in knowing what is going on out there more.

That’s all I have for now be safe on Halloween and check out a contest or two!


New Amateur Licensees – September 2019

Western MA ARRL

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Chester M Andrzejczyk, KC1LWF
22 Williston Ave
Easthampton, MA 01027-2219

Timothy J Otto, KC1LXJ
1056 Millers Falls Rd
Northfield, MA 01360-9622

Jacob N Killoy, KC1LYF
29 Geordie Ln
Hubbardston, MA 01452-1664

Elana Rabinow, KC1LVQ
241 Reservoir Rd
Lunenburg, MA 01462-1530

Eric J Koslowski, KC1LWR
271 Sunset Ln
Lunenburg, MA 01462-2144

Kaitlyn Whelan, KC1LWP
80 Brigham St
Northborough, MA 01532-2012

Christopher D Western, KC1LXK
689 Main St
Bolton, MA 01740-1307

Fall 2019 NEAR-Fest


The next New England Amateur Radio Festival will be Friday and Saturday October 11 and 12.

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.

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”.

NEAR-Fest typically attracts attendees from the six New England states, NY, NJ, PA, MD and other states as well as from Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada. Some attendees travel great distances; one gentleman from Los Angeles has attended fifteen events and in 2010 one radio amateur traveled from Greece to join us for the fun. It is a perennial attraction for many hams in the Western MA section.

Hope to see you there!

Official Observer Program Sunset


As announced recently on the ARRL HQ website, on September 30, 2019, the Official Observer program was sunset and replaced with the new Volunteer Monitor program.

As the last Western MA Official Observer Coordinator, I would personally like to thank all of the OOs that have worked in the section over the years and have helped the community by helping bring innumerable issues to resolution over the years, and sent out plenty of Good Operator cards to let our fellow hams know when their good operating has been noticed and appreciated by others.  I’d also like to thank those that have become the new Volunteer Monitors and whom will work directly with the FCC and their continued support of the amateur radio community.

For everyone going forward, for the near future, if there is a need for Volunteer Monitor assistance somewhere, please contact Volunteer Monitor Coordinator Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH by email.  Mr. Hollingsworth once handled Amateur Radio enforcement as an FCC employee and is now the liaison between the FCC and the ARRL in regards to the Volunteer Monitor program.

Thanks again and 73,
Gil WK1H