Section Manager Report July 2023

Hello everyone, we now blinked our eyes and find that June and Field Day is done. I hope you and your respective club had a great event. I recovered enough to manage 462 miles in club visit traveling. Some of those Mass. roads made comfort a little interesting though. It was great to see everyone.

There was some rain that quite possibly impacted participation and I did observe participation was lower than previous years. Is this also yet an indication that we are aging out and not interested anymore? I hope not! I don’t have to tell you that Field Day is THE best opportunity to promote the hobby to others. Despite the participant level, most sites have been reporting good successes. Some of the highlights are:

  • Hampden County RA had an opportunity to have an operator for GOTA but was more interested in the donuts on the table. This was a very large bear that found the tasty treat. You don’t see that often especially in Holyoke!
  • Mt. Tom ARA had their own event this year at the Blandford Fairgrounds. This was very well received by both the club and the Fairground group. Congrats to them.
  • Montachusett ARA helped out the Waltham ARA and joined forces this year at Wachusett Mountain. Both clubs were happy with the outcome.
  • Franklin County ARC put a lot of emphasis on publicity and outreach to bolster membership. Le’s hope the effort paid off.

I did see clubs were not setting up with big hardware and worked with more wires and easier to manage equipment, even QRP. HCRA usually puts up 3 tri-banders on military masts but they ran end-feds also other light setups. No harm in that! It may help to mix it up and help cure possible stagnation of the same old stuff. Keep it different and interesting.

Ok, enough about field day. It is July and every two years the election of Section Manager arrives at WMA. Any member in good standing with the ARRL is welcome to get nominated. As usual, I do a lot of thinking for some time and there have been times I really questioned staying on. This year there is some momentum going on with some clubs trying a comeback, a new SEC in Chuck WS1L and ACC Larry W1AST. We now have the Big E. More license classes, etc. I guess I need to stick around and give it more of a push. I really would like to see the clubs in better shape, more active nets, more operating activity and the need for MORE MENTORING! One person cannot carry the burden alone. It does take a bit of commitment, effort, participation, a team effort, and sprinkle it with a little insanity and there may be some good things come out of it. But it takes a bunch of you to make it happen. If you are interested in trying to knock me off my soapbox, I welcome it. Go to for information on my position as well as others if interested. Email me also.

I truly hope everyone has a great summer! Enjoy yourselves. Operate VOTA, POTA, SOTA and let’s work towards making this hobby thrive even more!


Ham Radio Tech License Class!

The Western Mass. Train & Test Group would like to invite you to a FREE on-line course so you can earn your Amateur Radio Technician License.
Free On-Line classes will start Tuesday June 20 on Zoom
Classes will be Tuesday and Thursday Evenings starting at 7 PM
Sign Up with sign-up form:
Questions, contact Ray Lajoie via e-mail —
Come join us and explore all that Ham Radio has to offer! It’s a fun and diverse hobby for EVERYONE!

New WMA Amateurs from May 2023

Please welcome the recently licenses amateur radio operators in the WMA section!

David M Orr, KC1SYE
54 Hills Rd
Amherst, MA 01002-1839

Thomas A Janas, KC1SXZ
570 S Washington St
Belchertown, MA 01007-9324

Steven M Hajko, KC1SZP
28 7th St
Brimfield, MA 01010-9662

Stephan B Wurmbrand, K1SWX
29 Edwards Rd
Westhampton, MA 01027-9644

Thomas Tobiasz, KC1SYB
198 Emerson Rd
Longmeadow, MA 01106-1814

Douglas E Nelson, KC1SZS
33 Laurel St
Auburn, MA 01501-1506

Michael A Joubert, KC1SZM
76 Maple St
Douglas, MA 01516-2337

Owen F Long, KC1SZT
16 Summit Ave
Fiskdale, MA 01518-1205

Andrew R Malnicof, KC1SZG
85 Bull Run
Holden, MA 01520-2636

Muriel J Locke, KC1SZF
9 Wilson St
Spencer, MA 01562-1725

Trevor M Hajko, KC1SZL
79 Borkum Rd
Spencer, MA 01562-3115

Marc D French, KC1SZJ
10 Grasshopper Ln
Sturbridge, MA 01566-1342

We Need Your Help to Staff the Big E Booth

We are doing another ham radio booth at the Big E this September. The dates are Friday, September 15th through Sunday, October 1st. The goal is to introduce ham radio to the general public, show that it is still relevant, and to interest the public in signing up for ham courses.

Just like last year there are two shifts per day with each one being 6 hours long. Each shift requires 3 people in the booth this year.

We are making changes in the layout of the booth to make it more friendly to the public in the hopes to draw more people in.

We have applied for another ARDC grant and if we get it, we can reimburse the cost of admission and parking for everyone. We do hope to get another grant.

Last year the booth spoke to approximately 1200 to 1300 people about ham radio. We hope to do the same or more again this year.

As clubs you are welcome to show your banner on the day or session you are there as well as bring a few items to showcase what your club is about to the public. We are asking that you spread the word to your club members and try to get a group together to staff the booth for a session or the whole day. OR just ask your club members to sign up for a session to help staffing the booth. Last year we have over 100 volunteers from clubs all over New England. Will your club be one of them this year?

Please follow this link to sign up or if you are a club and want a certain day/session that is still available, please email Larry, W1AST direct at or if you have any questions about the booth.

We do have a group at:

Sign up here:

Help to make this year’s Ham Radio Booth at the Big E a success, please volunteer!

Larry, W1AST

Section Manager Report June 2023

Guess what! It’s June and that means one thing to us hams…Field Day! We are out there checking radio’s, antenna’s generators, and all the other goodies we need to stuff in our vehicles and bring it to your home for 2 days. I hope everyone has a fun time. Remember to promote the hobby to all visitors. Myself, I will endeavor to visit all sites as I can. I have been improving since my surgery and hopefully by then I will be pretty much back to normal.

One of the project’s I have been involved with is the NTS 2.0 revamp of the Traffic System. This is something the League has unfortunately let fall into disrepair and Fred AB1OC has been spearheading along with a group of us updating the standards and bringing it up to modern times. There will be an article in July’s QST about it. We are working on developing documentation, presentations, and trainings that will be available for download and for your use. Promoting NTS to your club is another way to add activity for members and providing them with a new skill of passing messages “when all else fails” This is also something to add to your nets. Even if it’s for a birthday, congrats on a new license, etc., its good practice. It was surprising to me the network of national traffic nets that meets on VHF and also HF. There is a new Net directory in the works as well.

Just a reminder, June 30 is the end of the General class question pool and the new one starts the day after.

One thing I am seeing of late is as most clubs are wrapping up their seasons and having elections there is a lack of people willing to step up and take on officer or board positions and importantly president. I presently have a couple of clubs facing that situation to the point of extinction. There are many reasons why this is happening and you need to work on a fix for it. The one thing that needs to take place from my observations is the lack of getting new hams active in the hobby and part of a club. Don’t assume someone else is doing it! Look at the new ham listings and reach out to those in your area. Invite them and offer your assistance. The reason why I started my license classes is to educate and bring in new hams for your clubs. Don’t let the cricket’s get them! The next president could be on that list!

I hope to see you out there on Field Day. I always enjoy doing the tour visiting the sites.

73 de Ray AA1SE

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