33rd Annual MTARA Hamfest

The Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association is holding its annual Amateur Radio and Electronics Hamfest on Saturday, March 7, 2020 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.
  • Several raffles (tickets $1 each or 6 for $5)
  • An amateur radio license exam session will be run at 10:30 AM. Candidates must obtain a FCC Registration Number (FRN) and pre-register on the Pioneer Valley VE Team’s website prior to the exam.

Those wishing to reserve a table for selling, please contact Brian Mullarney N1FI. Mail-in registration is also available using the form in the official MTARA Hamfest flyer.

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

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

KB1LRL Featured on Tomorrow’s Ham On! Show

Every Wednesday at 9:00 AM, Peter Mattice KD2JKV hosts his show / podcast on Pittsfield Community Radio WTBR 89.7 FM called Ham on!

Tomorrow morning’s show (February 12), Peter will be talking with Western MA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL. In particular, they will be talking about the secton’s new mentoring program that Ray and section’s technical staff is starting, as well as ARES in within the section and other happenings.  You can listen live on wtbrfm.com.  Past recordings of Ham on! are also available at https://anchor.fm/peter0190.

Peter is also one of our section’s Assistant Section Traffic Manager and is highly involved in the local amateur radio community in many ways in the section.

Please tune in for Peter and Ray’s show tomorrow!

More Boston Marathon Ham Radio Volunteers Needed

The Boston Marathon Communications Committee is currently at 240 out of our goal of 350 volunteer registrations for this year’s Boston Marathon. Registration was scheduled to close on February 7ththe BAA has granted us an extension until February 17th
If you’re interested in volunteering, please register today. You can sign up at http://register.hamradioboston.org. Please share this note with your ham friends / organizations that may be interested.
Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions. You can also email contact@hamradioboston.org to contact the entire committee.
Thanks and 73,

Matt Brennan NM1B
Finish Segment Coordinator

New WMA Club Presenters List Published

I’m happy to report that, with the help of many others, I’ve compiled a list of known good club presenters and topics.  The purpose of the list is to help clubs in the section in selecting and asking people to come to their club meetings to speak and present on a variety of interesting topics.

The list can be viewed by going to What We Do > Clubs > WMA Club Presenters List in the main navigation menu above.

If anyone has any additions or changes for the list, please let me know.  Otherwise, I’d like to thank everyone that helped me putting this together, and especially everyone that elected to be on this list.

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H
WMA ARRL Affiliated Club Coordinator

New Amateur Licensees – January 2020

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Vincent J Melling, KC1MOH
88 Rick Dr
Florence, MA 01062-1046

David R Archambault, KC1MKY
44 Cottage Ave
Southampton, MA 01073-9538

Michael J Gregoire, KC1MOI
10 Brentwood Dr
Wilbraham, MA 01095-2504

Pranee Ngaokaeo, KC1MMA
3 Themeli Ct
North Oxford, MA 01537-1026

Section Manager Report February 2020

Hello Western Ma. As I write this, reports are that Puxatawney Phil did not see his shadow. Early spring? Let’s see!

January 12 I met with other division officials with Fred K1VR in Springfield and Paul W1SEX, Bob K1YO, Aaron KC1CXX and myself introduced our mentoring program which included the distribution of our guide to give to people just getting their license which can be customized to their local area to provide club, and contact information. This was met with very good reviews and was well received. I also traveled to Newington on the 23rd with it and it received the same rave reviews. Unfortunately, there were some copyright protection issues with the original copy that we published here on the website, so until we edit some things to resolve that we had to remove it. I am now looking into a different structure to this and my intention is to bring back an elmering/mentoring program to get our new hams started and on the air. Hang in there.

Now that February has come upon us, our thoughts turn to Hamfest’s starting with Marlboro which is Feb 15. I will be there with my goodies. It is a shame that Framingham has stopped their hamfest. It was a good one and can only hope it comes back. Mount Tom ARA Hamfest is around the corner and I plan on being there as well. As some of you know, I am in the midst of a career change and the new job I get may pull me in a different direction. Speaking of hamfests, most, if not all are aware of the change to what we used to call Boxboro which has now moved to Marlboro at the Best Western for July 24-26. The word that I have been hearing is this is a very positive change as it can accommodate a lot more there to the point that a national convention can occur there. My wish to this is it will bring back vendors that have drifted away from us over recent years.

January also is the time the League board gets together for their regular board meeting and at this time the board minutes have not been approved and released as yet. Two things of note is the departure of Howard WB2ITX. The board did not elect him and Barry Shelly N1VXY is back in as interim. There is no detail about why this all came about hopefully whatever the reasons are, it’s in the best interest for the league and the members. The good thing that came out of it is our Vice Director Mike Raisbeck K1TWF was elected First Vice President for the league. Bad for us is now there is a vacancy for the Vice Director which will be BIG shoes to fill and good for the league that they now have a respected voice with a bunch of years to his credit.

That’s enough razzle-dazzle for now. I hope everyone has a great February and hope to see you in my travels.


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 15, 2020 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 7, 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!

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