Western MA Train & Test Group Amateur Extra Class Begins March 28, 2023

Amateur radio "action" photos for Western MA Train & Test Group

The Western MA Train & Test Group invites you to a FREE on-line course so that you, too, can upgrade to the Amateur Extra class license.

The free on-line Zoom classes will start Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM.

QR code for Western MA Train & Test Amateur Extra Course

Sign up at: https://forms.gle/6KT2PCGFnibQdDDF7

Questions? Contact Ray Lajoie via email at ray.aa1se@gmail.com.

Talk to the World with your Upgrade to Amateur Extra Class HF Operating Privileges

Ask Us How!

We Need a Little Help!

Hello, we have a couple on needs which we hope you can help with:

  1. First Larry, W1AST is looking for someone with some graphic drawing experience who would like to create a QSL card for the upcoming 13 Colonies event coming up.
  2. Second, he is also looking for volunteers for the VOTA W1AW/1 event coming in April.
  3. Also look at the notice from the NEDIV.arrl.org site about the Big E.

   If anyone like to assist Larry contact him at w1ast@arrl.net.

   Also, the WMA Train and Test Team is looking to add some instructors to the group. This is something that does not require a full effort and you can teach a chapter based on your expertise and be a backup on the others. Slide decks are provided. For further information contact me at ray.aa1se@gmail.com

   Thank you!


ARES and SKYWARN Activation for March 14 Winter Storm


As of 1030 on Monday, 13 March 2023 all Western Massachusetts ARES members are notified that a severe winter storm will impact our area during tonight, all day Tuesday, and into Wednesday. We are expecting a large amount of heavy, wet snow and some high winds that are likely to bring about power outages and other storm damage and infrastructure issues.


All WMA ARES members who are able to do so are requested to report any known instances of storm damage, failures of infrastructure as well as winter precipitation types and accumulation totals via their local ARES nets. Unless specifically requested to deploy by local emergency officials or other served agencies, all reporting should be done from your present location. ARES nets will begin on or about Monday evening, 13 March 2023 or Tuesday morning, 14 March 2023 and will run until the storm impacts have been fully reported.


The Western Massachusetts Amateur Radio Emergency Service will establish ARES nets in cooperation with SKYWARN for the National Weather Service Forecast Offices in Albany and Boston. Reports of storm damage, failures of infrastructure and winter precipitation types and accumulation totals will be solicited from spotters and the reports received will be transmitted to the appropriate NWS office.

ARES nets will begin Monday evening, 13 March 2023 on the Mount Tom repeater. They will begin no later than Tuesday morning, 14 March 2023 on the Mount Greylock repeater. Nets will run until the storm impacts have been fully reported. Monitor the channels below for other net times. All nets times are subject to change based upon local conditions and need.

Net Control Stations will request storm damage or infrastructure failure reports containing:

  1. Callsign
  2. Name
  3. City/Town, County, State
  4. Location of damage or infrastructure failure
  5. Type of damage or failure (i.e., power outage, water leak, trees down, roof collapse, etc.)
  6. Time of the observation

Net Control Stations will request SKYWARN reports containing:

  1. Callsign
  2. Name
  3. City/Town, County, State
  4. Location to the nearest street intersection
  5. Elevation if known
  6. Precipitation Type (i.e., snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain)
  7. Total accumulation to the nearest tenth of an inch
  8. Time of the observation

Net Control Stations will record reports and transmit them to their respective Weather Forecast Office using their preferred means of reporting. If NWS Liaison Stations have checked in to the net, the Liaison Station may transmit these reports.


ARES nets will not require travel or deployment. Members should ensure they have essential needs on hand to avoid any need to travel during the impact of severe weather.


The following VHF analog FM channels will be used for weather spotting nets in the following general areas:

  • Berkshire County – Mount Greylock repeater 146.9100/146.3100 Tone 162.2 Hz
  • Hampden/Hampshire – Mount Tom repeater 146.9400/146.3400 Tone 127.3 Hz
  • Franklin/Worcester – Paxton repeater 146.9700/146.3700 Tone 114.8 Hz

In addition, the following channels may be polled by NWS Boston Liaison Station WX1BOX for any reports:

  • Fitchburg repeater – 145.4500/144.8500 Tone74.4 Hz
  • Gardner repeater – 145.3700/144.7700 Tone 136.5 Hz

The following HF channels are tentatively established as backups in the event of infrastructure
failures impacting the VHF channels above:

  • Western Mass. Emergency Net – 3944 kHz LSB
  • New York Stare Phone Traffic and Emergency Net – 3925 kHz LSB
  • Eastern New York ARES Net – 3993 kHz LSB

73 de Chuck Chandler, WS1L
WMA Section Emergency Coordinator

Introducing the New WMA ARES Membership Database

The Western Massachusetts Section has re-started the former Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) membership database.  This database was in use up until 2019 or 2020, and contains records going back to at least 2013.  We are in the process of cleaning up the membership records, and we are urging every ARES member in the WMA section to log in or create a new record and make sure we have your information up to date. 

To update or create a new WMA ARES membership record, on this website, use the menu to navigate to Emergency Communications > ARES Member Registration System.

If you already have a password from prior use, it should still work.  If not, there is a link to reset your password, but it requires that you have access to the email you used when you first registered.  If you cannot access an existing registration, email either Gil, WK1H gilwk1h@gmail.com or myself, Chuck WS1L chandlerusm@gmail.com and we will get you reset.

If you have never registered with this database, you will need to create a new record.  You will find that this database has fields for a lot of data to record your equipment, availability and training.  Please be as thorough as possible as the information provided is a value when we need to match abilities with needs.  

Even if you already have an existing record, please take a few moments to update all your information so that we have the most up to date records possible.  Every ARES member should update their information once a year so that we are able to accurately assign resources to needs. 

Many thanks for being a part of ARES!

73 de Chuck, WS1L

New WMA Amateurs from February 2023

Please welcome the recently licensed amateur radio operations in the WMA section!

Maxim Veremchuk, KC1SKS
44 Sprague St
West Springfield, MA 01089-3423

Eric R Schirmer, KC1SLU
226 Gray Rd
Templeton, MA 01468-1142

Willow E Nichols, KC1SMN
2 Ledgewood Dr
Boylston, MA 01505-2034

Declan T Foley, KC1SLO
3 Parker Pl
Princeton, MA 01541-1235

Section Manager Report March 2023

Hello, a busy February was in store for me with meetings, visits and planning. This seems to be the preview of what the rest of the year is going to be like.

Hamfests are firing up. We just had the Marlboro Hamfest and that was fun. Nice to see a lot of familiar faces there. The turnout was really good also. The next one is March 4 in Chicopee for the Mt Tom club, and further down the road is Near-Fest at the end of April.

I have been visiting club meetings when I can, mostly on Zoom. I did go to the Quaboag Club as I was invited to do a presentation there. I applaud their efforts in the revitalization of that group. Keep at it! Also I presented at the Mt. Tom club live. I do have other’s lined up as well.

I attended the division Town Hall meeting with our director, Fred AB1OC. He touched base on the grant program and the VOTA event. Also he talked about highlights about the board meeting and some things they are working on at the league. Looks like they have a busy year as well. Good stuff coming down the road.

One of the things I have been involved with is the NTS 2.0 project. Over 30 people in 5 groups are now working on various tasks to revitalize this time honored function and get it back to modern methods and promote it to the newer generation of hams. Trainings and on-air activities are in the works.

On March 28 The Western Mass Train and Test Group will be launching the Extra Class License Course. Much work is going into this as we need to get the program put together. As you may know, last year was our first year and it was a pretty good success. We have worked in making it somewhat unique which helps in preventing the “glassy eyes” that happens sometimes. I am looking to add some more instructors to the group. Email me at ray.aa1se@gmail.com if you are interested.

That’s about it for now. Remember to be a mentor to the new hams and get them on the air and active in your clubs.

Ray- AA1SE

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