Section Manager Report for October 2023

Hello Western Mass! I must be doing a great job or no one is paying attention or ….? My re-election was another landslide again. Yup, no one else stepped up. So, your stuck with me for another 2 years.

I am a tad late getting this out as we have wrapped up the Big E for another year. I considered it another success as there was some good interest in radio. Over 100 people have signed up interested in taking classes and will go to those who conduct classes to reach out to them. (I will be starting a General class on October 17.) So, now we take a breather, and see what this event will do next year. There were a number of challenges that more helpers could overcome. Time will tell.

October brings cooler weather, fall foliage and Near-Fest. I hope you are praying to the weather gods now considering the weather we had. Most of the weekends were washouts as far as outdoor stuff was concerned. October 13 and 14 are the days.

October is also the month of the annual SET conducted by those in EMCOMM. Chuck WS1L our SEC has been working on one for us. This will be a first in a very long time. Please consider taking a part in it. Details to follow.

I have been working with others revamping NTS called NTS 2.0. We have been updating the ICS 213 and looking at ways to get more activity, awareness injected back in to encourage newer hams to take part in this. This is a national effort and great progress is being made. Tuesday 10/3 was the official launch of the NTS newsletter sent out monthly from the league. If you want to receive it you log in to the leagues website and go to the opt in/out and edit your selection. Not only are we going to provide updates to our project, we are also going to have training tips, traffic related news. This project is supported by the ARRL.

On October 4, 1948 the Hampden County Radio Association became an affiliated club with the ARRL. That makes them 75 years old! I hope you take a moment to send a note (or a piece of traffic) to the club and offer congratulations. They have been a lively active club taking part in many activities and has a membership of over 125 members. Congratulations HCRA!

That all for now. Hope to see you or hear from you. Remember, let me know what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

Ray, AA1SE

ARISS Proposal Window Opens, October 1—November 10, 2023

Ed: This news was originally posted on the ARRL New England Division website. It is being offered here upon request.

ARISS News Release No. 23-47

Dave Jordan, AA4KN

Message to US Educators
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity
Call for Proposals

New Proposal Window: October 1 – November 10, 2023

September 25, 2023 — The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. ARISS anticipates that the contact would be held between July 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is November 10, 2023. Proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and the proposal form can be found at An ARISS Proposal Webinar session will be held October 5 2023 at 7 PM ET and the Eventbrite link to sign up is:

The Opportunity:

Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and their communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the chance to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in dates and times of the radio contact.

Please direct any questions to

About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS). In the United States, sponsors are the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN) and the ISS National Lab—Space Station Explorers. The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics. ARISS does this by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities take part in hands-on learning activities tied to space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see

Find us on social media at:

X – Twitter: ARISS_Intl
Instagram: ariss_intl
Check out ARISS on

New WMA Amateurs from Summer 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

Corey M Irzyk, KC1TDP
150 Vining Hill Rd
Southwick, MA 01077-9413

Danielle Boutin, KC1TAK
117 Short Rd
Hardwick, MA 01082-9292

Christian E Burnard, KC1TAT
199 Gardner Rd
Hubbardston, MA 01452-1655

Juan M Perez Velazquez, KC1TBC
32 Linden St
Boylston, MA 01505-1007

Evan A Swackhammer, KC1TCR
5 Maple Way
Boylston, MA 01505-1544

Henry Lipka, KC1TDK
81 Maynard St
Northborough, MA 01532-1109

Ronald Lipka, KC1TDL
81 Maynard St
Northborough, MA 01532-1109

Justin P Duclos, KC1TDN
185 Prince Rd
Southbridge, MA 01550-2040

Peter S Mitchell, KC1TDO
PO Box 297
Spencer, MA 01562-0297

David A McNeil, KC1TCT
PO Box 125
Upton, MA 01568-0125

Sherri L Carrier, KC1TAL
1189 School St
Webster, MA 01570-3034

Ronald J Fournier, KC1TBT
575 School St
Webster, MA 01570-4322

Donald J McKinnon, KC1TDH
659 Central Tpke
Sutton, MA 01590-1104

Richard Cassinelli, KC1TBU
155 Blackstone St
Mendon, MA 01756-1310

Xavier S Greenberg, KC1TDX
50 Ladyslipper Ln
Florence, MA 01062-9735

Hany Aziz, KC1TDY
PO Box 1099
West Springfield, MA 01090-1099

Jacob V Schnabel, KC1TEG
12 Pembroke Ave Apt A
Pittsfield, MA 01201-5566

John M Boutin, KC1TEB
82 E Brimfield Rd
Holland, MA 01521-3107

James C Grove, KC1TGQ
50 Stephens St
Chicopee, MA 01022-1041

Calvin J McLaughlin, KC1TGN
73 Barrett St Apt 5178
Northampton, MA 01060-1719

Brian Millett, KC1THF
PO Box 1047
Southwick, MA 01077-1047

Benjamin J Ring, KC1TJO
82 North St
Ware, MA 01082-1031

Raymond Dicecca, KC1THE
85 Winter St Apt E
Leominster, MA 01453-2800

Joshua Pratt, KC1TGM
29 Winthrop Ln
Holden, MA 01520-2538

Daniel E Bray, KC1TJP
6 Brickyard Rd
North Brookfield, MA 01535-1701

Michele J Miller, KC1TIW
78 Allen Rd
Sturbridge, MA 01566-1024

Kriti Charan, KC1THL
113 Ariel Cir
Sutton, MA 01590-4822

Andrew Clay, KC1TJI
384 Lake Ave
Worcester, MA 01604-1359

Jacob Z Gonzalez, KC1THD
799 Franklin St
Worcester, MA 01604-1731

Section Manager Report for September 2023

I had an interesting realization at the New England Convention that ham’s like to talk about certain things, their radio’s, their antenna’s, the weather, and their joint’s, operations and ailments. The sad part is I BECAME ONE OF THEM! YIKES! The glaring reality is we are not getting any younger and as elder keepers of the hobby we need to pass on our talent’s, experiences, to the younger generations. Yep, we heard it time and time again by myself and others. At my sparsely attended WMA meeting at Marlboro, I made the comment, “We need more DOER’S to keep radio going” Even with aches and pains there are things you can do to promote the hobby. I was not there but Rick Roderick our ARRL president delivered a moving message. I wish it was recorded, but it also emphasized the same thing. If you did not go, you missed out. It gets better each year. The forums were the talk of the town. It was great to see many friends and others there.

The next big event is the Big E. As usual, the planning staff have been working hard to get this put together to provide another successful showing. The one really big task is getting people to sign up to man the booth for a shift or two (or three?) It is getting to the point that if we cannot get the booth manned for the entire time it’s open, we may have to cancel and possibly lose a DONATED booth space that is not cheap. I ask clubs as well as individuals to consider signing up. Doing so gets you free admission and parking. For more contact me or Larry at, or to sign up go to:

As September rolls around clubs are firing up their seasons of meetings. I hope there are some good stuff going on to boost your club. Outreach can be beneficial especially if they are new. Have an agenda and try to avoid it being a “Geritol gathering” Many sources of online presentations are available and if there is no internet, simply download it on a flash drive. Live is always best, but distance, time, etc. can prevent getting someone. I am going to try to make visits as I can. Lately I have been busy with the NTS 2.0 project and will be starting up a General License Class soon. Zoom still can be your friend if you use it right.

One thing that came up at my meeting was some ideas that they used to promote their clubs. Don’t keep them a secret, share them! Email to another club, email them to me. And don’t make excuses, be a DOER! If it did not work, try something else and stick with it. There are some clubs struggling out there. They could use whatever help they can get. We are getting creaky, don’t let that cause your club or our great hobby to go to that path.

That’s all for now. Remember the Big E and be a doer!

Thanks, and 73,

Membership Challenge

Ed: This post originated from the Maine Section Manager, whom has approved this version being released here.

Many of you have already heard of the ARRL board decision to increase membership dues and make changes in the way we receive magazines, such as QST.  If not, I invite you to read ARRL President Rick Roderick’s (K5UR) letter dated July 23, 2023 in an ARRL bulletin. It is available on the ARRL web site.

For the past year or so, our division directors and other League officials have been warning us about the serious financial situation that the ARRL has been in the past few years caused primarily from inflation, especially the rampart cost increases of print media such as QST.  In May, members were asked to take the membership dues survey. About 20% of ARRL membership answered that call and the Board has taken the results of that survey and made the tough choices.

Like many of you, I do not relish the idea of a dues increase, and I especially do not like that the print magazines will no longer be part of the membership benefits (you still get the digital versions of all the magazines free with membership). Now, to receive a printed QST, On The Air, NCJ, or QEX magazine, you have to subscribe separately. I am one of those that still likes to hold onto a paper book or magazine. Do I personally like it? No, I don’t, but I also don’t like spending 4 dollars a gallon for fuel oil or 3 dollars for a head of lettuce either.

But then, I think how much the ARRL, ham radio clubs (most of them ARRL-affiliated) and my fellow amateur radio operators mean to me. It boils down to people, to friendship, and camaraderie.  If not for the ARRL and for all of the clubs and ham radio events, I would miss out on the great friendships I have forged through the past 20 years. It is my relationship with the League, affiliated clubs and all the individuals I have met through them that has made such a positive impact on my life. I love the coffee meets, hamfest gatherings, convention get-togethers, club suppers, and all the ham radio nets where we get to chat, laugh, innovate, maybe even instigate, and otherwise socialize.

There is no doubt in my mind that this amazing hobby and service would not exist as it is today without the ARRL. The League’s advocacy and lobbying is why we have so many amateur radio bands and modes. There are many commercial entities that want some of our spectrum. It is a constant battle that continues today. What chance would we have in keeping our frequency privileges without the ARRL’s effort?  Very little in my opinion.

Instead of seeing these dues increases and other changes at the ARRL as a negative, let’s instead support the League even further. Last year the ARRL lost about a million dollars. This year that figure is expected to more than double. Dues increases alone will not make up for all of that. 

If you can afford it, I challenge you to do one or more of the following:

  1. Become Diamond Club member. The additional financial support will help close the gap and get the League into better financial health.
  2. Donate to one of the ARRL funds, such as Spectrum Defense, Education & Technology, W1AW Endowment, or the General fund.
  3. If you are a Life Member, consider making a monthly or annual donation.

Some may think the ARRL has not been a good steward of our membership money. While any business can benefit from frequent analysis of expenditures and tightening of the belt at times, I do not believe the ARRL is wasting our money. As Western Massachusetts section manager, I have met and continue to meet many League officials in person and on-line and they are doing their best in a difficult inflationary time.

In the past ten or so years ago, prior CEOs tried to close the gap by cutting spending which left many programs underfunded and unsupported which caused an erosion in confidence by the members and a downturn in membership. The League has now invested sums of money to hire new staffing and managers and to restore programs and invent new ones to move the ARRL into the future.

Yes, we do ask for donations. These donations go to programs which use a large sum on money and could wipe out any budget in a second. Another way to donate to the cause is time. Volunteer and participate in field positions, club activities, EMCOMM, mentoring new hams, etc. Your time invested will help secure the future by inspiring interest to the new and prospective hams. Being positive and understanding the real value we have with the ARRL is something we need to embrace.

Ray Lajoie AA1SE
WMA Section Manager

Section Manager Report August 2023

Well, that was one gooey, soggy, month! I hope you took some of the month and got away from it…sort of. Hopefully it got it out of its system so there is no problems for August, especially for the convention! Hope to see many of you there. There are some really cool forums this year. Sunday will feature our SEC Chuck WS1L who will be meeting with ARES members and anyone interested is welcome to join us. Right after that will be yours truly meeting with everyone in the same room. I encourage you to stop on over. Bring questions, join in something, or to say hi.

Just a reminder that this year is the re-election for the WMA Section Manager. I you wish to step forward and put in for nomination as well please do so. I am running again this year and I do hope we can make some great gains in the next two years. Crickets not included!

One thing that has been a concern for me lately are the nets we have and the ongoing need for Net Control Stations (NCS) There are nets that sadly has been getting missed due to no NCS willing to participate. The Western Ma net on Sunday mornings for example for the last two years has not had a net during Field Day, therefore no traffic has been passed. Participating in a net is easy. There is usually someone in charge that is willing to coach you. It is usually a commitment of once a week or once a month depending on the net and only for about ½ hour on average. This also is good operating training in case of emergencies. Some of these nets are actually quite fun! (George’s Old Timers Net) Please consider joining up as NCS on your favorite net or a new one.

Most of the clubs are in summer vacation mode and will be firing up in September. One thing to keep in mind is the importance to have an agenda and a program that will encourage member participation. Presenters are good to have as well. Realizing that we are kind of a drive away for speakers to visit, Zoom has opened up a bumper crop of possibilities from all over the country with so many subjects to offer. Many of you know I have made myself available to visit and present something when I can.

That’s enough jibber-jabber for now. Hope your summer is going well and hope to see you at the convention.


HamXposition is Less Than 30 Days Away!

HamXposition 2023 (a.k.a. ARRL New England Division Convention) is coming August 25-26-27 – less than 30 days away. 

Our forum schedule is now available!    Come visit our website to browse over 100 forums, seminars, and workshops available at the convention.

Two new additions on Friday – an AREDN mesh networking workshop where you will be building your own working MESH node and a NanoVNA seminar – learn to use this small but powerful device to analyze antennas and other RF devices.

Our Friday  DXCC dinner will feature Don Greenbaum, N1DG. Don will present “DXpeditioning with a RIB”. Don will describe the genesis of the “Rig in a Box” (RIB) from the 2018 Baker Island expedition to implementation on C6AGU, FO/N1DG and the recently completed VP6A DXpedition to Ducie Island.

Our Saturday grand banquet features special guest “Chip” Cohen, W1YW, an inventor, scientist, and retired professor. Chip will talk about his amusing background, ‘ham-genuity’, and some the pitfalls and pleasures along that tortuous path of invention.

Come meet some old or new friends and maybe learn something new about our hobby!

Do you know someone who really should get their license?  Bill, WZ1L is back this year with his “Tech-in-a-Day” study course, and as always, VE exams are available.

If you wish to stay overnight, discounted hotel rates are available through August 1st – so there are only a few days left to grab the discounted rate.

Visit our website for all details and to purchase tickets in advance:

Dinner ticket purchasing closes August 20th.

All online ticketing closes August 23rd.


Bob – K1IW
HamXposition 2023

Forums Fri-Sat-Sun
Flea Market Hours: Fri 12-5, Sat 9-5, Sun 9-1
Exhibit Hall Hours: Sat 9-5, Sun 9-1

Volunteer Help Needed for HamXposition 2023

HamXposition 2023 is coming to the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in Marlborough, Mass on August 25, 26 and 27.  We are actively looking for volunteers to help keep the convention running smoothly.

Among the duties –

  • Setup on August 24
  • Ticketing, Flea Market and Forum Speaker Help on 25, 26, and 27
  • Take Down on August 27

All volunteers are scheduled into two-hour shifts.  Those that work two or more shift receive free admission.

If you are interested in helping, please visit: to register.

Thanks and hope to see you there!

Bob – K1IW

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!