EmComm Training Opportunities

There’s a couple EmComm training opportunities that have come up that might be of interest to everyone.

First is that the training schedule for WX1BOX SKYWARN has recently been published.  First come, first serve on class reservations, and many classes have already been filled.  This training is highly recommended to anyone interested in being a SKYWARN Weather Spotter.  The class is free.


Second is that the ARRL recently started revamping its Basic and Advanced Amateur Radio EmComm courses.  The basic course is now available.  It is recommended to anyone getting involved with ARES, RACES or any other amateur radio emergency service.  It’s also recommended for those that wish to volunteer in public service events like supporting triathlons, parades, etc.  The course is free with your ARRL membership.  You do not need to retake this new course if you’ve previously taken the prior basic course.


If you have any questions on these, feel free to send them to your local ARES DEC or EC, SEC WS1L or myself.

Thanks and 73,
Gil Hayes WK1H
Assistant SEC, WMA ARES

Western Massachusetts Amateur Radio Emergency Service to hold annual emergency test

UPDATE 10/15 08:51 AM: ICS form download updated to version 3.

The Western Massachusetts section of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service will hold their 2023 Simulated Emergency Test from 10:00 AM local time on Saturday, 21 October to 10:00 AM local time on Sunday, 22 October 2023.  This test will involve ARES members attempting to receive and report airport weather information to the Department of Defense via the US Army Military Affiliate Radio System.  

The Simulated Emergency Test (SET) Situation is as follows:

“Repeated patterns of wet weather have been experienced throughout the Western Massachusetts section, leaving soils saturated and incapable of absorbing additional rainfall.  Several instances of flooding have already led to road washouts impacting the transportation sector.
The first arctic cold front of the season approaches with a large pressure differential producing a sudden onset of high winds.  With root systems already weakened in soft soil, large numbers of trees are felled throughout the section.  Multiple roads become impassible.  Wire and cable damage has lead to degradation of the Public Switched Telephone and cellular networks.  Calls placed without GETS/WPS are taking up to one hour to complete.
Resource requests for high priority items are ready to transport via air to local airports but with no ability to receive local weather conditions at those airports ARES has been tasked with reporting local airport weather information.”

The ARES Mission for the SET is as follows:

“WMA ARES members will attempt to receive local airport weather information broadcast on the VHF-AM Aviation Band of 119-136 MHz.  Any weather reports received will be transcribed for later reporting.  WMA ARES members will report the information received during ARES nets to be held within the 24-hour exercise period.  US Army MARS stations will attempt to check in to these nets and receive these reports.  Reports may also be sent via WinLink.”

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.  For more information, visit wma.arrl.org.

Important Exercise Documents for Download

ETO WinLink Exercise – Friday Evening 5/12/23-Early Monday Morning 5/15/23

Hello to all…

The Emergency Training Organization (ETO) WinLink Exercise begins this Friday Evening 5/12/23 through early Monday Morning 5/15/23 where participants have a wide range of time to send a Winlink message via ETO instructions from 800 PM EDT – Friday Evening 5/12/23 through 259 AM EDT Monday Morning 5/15/23. We encourage all Amateurs in the Eastern Massachusetts and surrounding sections who have Winlink capability to participate in this exercise. Details are available at the following link: https://ema.arrl.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Semi-Annual-Drill-05-13-2023-ICS-213-v1_6.pdf

Coincident to the WinLink Exercise, Cape Cod and Islands ARES will hold its Cape Cod ARES District Test Exercise – “Spring Comm” Saturday 5/13/23 1000 AM-1200 PM EDT. Amateur Operators outside of the Cape Cod ARES district are welcome to participate. The Cape Cod ARES Exercise plan and supporting documents can be seen at the following links:

Cape Cod ARES Test Exercise – “Spring Comm” Plan:

Cape Cod ARES Test Exercise – “Spring Comm” Supporting Documents:

We hope folks who are available can participate in the ETO Winlink Exercise and Cape Cod ARES District Test Exercise “Spring Comm”. Thanks to all for their support!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
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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

Western MA Emergency Net Operations for Winter Storm Izzy

The Western MA Emergency Net will operate tomorrow as a part of the SKYWARN operations form Winter Storm Izzy. This storm system we have coming up is a quick hitting but potent storm system for our area.

For portions of western and northwest Massachusetts, we will see the snow heavy at times with the potential of 5-9″ before a change over to sleet/freezing rain and possibly rain. Wind gusts of 40 MPH coupled with the snow and ice may bring some pockets of tree and wire damage. In Eastern Massachusetts, we are preparing for the potential of damaging winds and heavy rainfall with coastal flooding at the coast. Wind gusts of up to 65 MPH are likely especially in heavy rainfall that can bring the wind down to the surface.

A good chunk of the snowfall will occur overnight and then for a few hours in the early to mid-morning. Snowfall reports would be helpful particularly in locations in northern Worcester and Middlesex counties through Franklin, western Hampshire and western Hampden counties as well as changeover of precipitation type and any storm damage. Higher elevations may see the heaviest snowfall from this event.

In response, above and beyond the normal 2M VHF SKYWARN nets which will run at the top of each hour tomorrow morning, the Western MA Emergency Net will start at 6:30 AM with hourly call ups on the bottom of the hour thereafter until its no longer needed (likely 12:30).

All SKYWARN participants are welcome to check in to either the VHF nets or WMEN on or around 3944 kHz LSB with weather reports that meet reporting criteria. For this particular storm, WX1BOX is particularly interested in the following information on each call up:

  • Measured snowfall
  • Measured ice accretion (if any)
  • Current precipitation
  • Current temperature (if available)
  • Precipitation changeover time (if changes occured since last report)
  • Measured wind gusts of 40 MPH or greater
  • Any storm damage (wind or combo of snow/ice/wind)

The latest SKYWARN storm response messages can be seen on wx1box.org. Applicable reporting criteria can also be reviews on wx1box.org.

Updating ARES Membership Roster – Your Help Needed!

WMA ARES is in the process of updating our registered Members roster. Below you will find a list of those members who are currently registered as of 10/27/2021.

If you are a member of WMA ARES and do not appear below or need a correction, please drop me a note at k1yo@arrl.net with your name, callsign, and email and I will make the appropriate changes.

Conversely, if you are in the list but want to be removed, please notify me at the same email above.

Thanks in advance and 73!

Bob Meneguzzo – K1YO

Last NameFirst NameCallsign
ArchamboScottNot Provided
BarnettDylanNot Provided
HicksAmyNot Provided
RiceBradleyNot Provided
RichardsonKyleNot Provided
SegersonPhilipNot Provided
SmithGaryNot Provided
St GermainChristopherKC1MAO
WyattDaveNot Provided

Upcoming Activities – Western Massachusetts ARES

Hello Western Mass Amateurs!

This is just a quick note to explain some of the things related to Emergency Services that we will be putting into place shortly.

First, we are going to focus heavily on training and practice for our net operations. Charlie (Smitty) Smith, KC1IKA has accepted a position as Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator and is taking over responsibility for Section net operations. The plan is to establish regularly-occurring training nets, both for simplex and repeater VHF/UHF operations. This will provide a forum for persons interested in participating on nets to learn the proper operational procedures in an environment specifically setup for learning and practice.  This should also be a good entry point for those interested in becoming a Net Control Station (NCS).

Additionally, we are initiating training in digital modes (JS8Call, FLDigi, and WinLink) to enable their use in passing messages as required on HF and VHF. Practice nets will be established and operate on a regularly scheduled ongoing basis for those interested in this type of communications. The training will also focus on getting the proper hardware and software setup and configurations to ensure you have the optimal configuration of your own equipment to operate effectively.

A link to a registration form for digital training will appear on this website so that you could choose which digital mode(s) you would be interested in … we will post a short announcement here on how to access that on the menu choices at the top of the main web page.

Operating nets properly and effectively is of prime importance in an emergency situation. I am currently investigating the communication needs of several agencies within the Section to ensure that what we can provide fits their specific needs. We are planning to hold frequent SET-type events involving those agencies to provide ongoing opportunities to fine tune and focus our combined efforts.

Finally, we intend to reach out – through the individual clubs – for assisting in communications with local public service events of various agencies. This has been a very common activity in the past and it would be great to see it rekindled.

Please watch this website for further developments for all the above.

Stay safe and well !

Vy 73

Bob Meneguzzo – K1YO
Section Emergency Coordinator, WMA ARES

Communications for two events in our area

The Franklin County Amateur Radio Club will provide communications for two events soon to take place in our area. We welcome licensed amateurs who would like to join us.

On 21 August, the Franklin County Land Trust will host an off the beaten path bicycle tour, called the Deerfield Dirt Road Rondonee (D2R2). It is part of their fund raising efforts. As the name of the tour suggests, it is mostly over dirt roads, in rural towns of western Franklin County and up into southern Vermont. Radio communications are necessary for key points along the tour where cell phone service is not available. At those points, our communicators will be the only way the Franklin Land Trust staff can send or receive messages to and from the base for the race in Deerfield.

The tour consists of three routes: 100k, 160k, and 180k. The first group of riders start at 6 AM, and the last rider may return as late as 6 PM. We will not cover that entire time period. We will ask radio volunteers to work in shifts. Volunteers may occasionally be asked to bring equipment, water, or food to remote stops along the way

On 29 August, the Connecticut River Conservancy and the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club sponsor a traditional, 26 mile marathon. It starts at the campus of the former Marlboro Community College, in Marlboro, VT, and follows a path along the banks of the Green River, over mostly dirt roads. Our club members, with help from others, will help with the needs of the race staff, many positioned at water stops along the way. We are also there to call for help if needed by runners in distress.

For the D2R2, contact Al Woodhull, N1AW, at aswoodhull@yahoo.com, or 413-773-3522.
For the Green River Marathon, contact Chris Myers, KB1NEK, at camyers@protonmail.com, or 413-625-0344
More information on the Groups.IO site, at FCARC-MA, in the FILES section.

Emergency Radio Communications personal enrichment course

MWCC Noncredit Personal Enrichment Course
Instructor Name: Paul Topolski
Name of Course: Emergency Radio Communications
Dates: Thursdays, September 9 to October 28, 2021
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Where: Gardner Campus
Cost: $169
Description of Course:
A course for everyone who uses or wants to use two-way radios professionally, as part of their emergency
preparedness efforts, on-board air and water craft, to help their community during disasters or special events, or
as a hobby.

Public safety professionals such as police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, hospital nurses, and more,
depend heavily on two-way radios to request and receive vital information. More importantly, the radio is the
critical link to safety and getting help. Unfortunately, little if any time is spent in training academies on how radios
work, why they will not work, and how to resolve communications failure issues on the fly. Students will learn
about the different types of radio system systems such as repeaters, simplex, trunk systems, analog and digital

The prepper community knows all too well the importance of communications and they have a large variety radio
services to choose from. Learn what radio services best suits the type of communications needed. Which service
is best, FCC Part 95 CB, MERS, FRS, GMRS products, or a Part 97 Amateur Radio license? This course will help you
sort it all out.

Are you interested in learning about new things, emerging technologies, nature, physics, and electronics? Are you
interested in communicating locally or internationally, without the aid of expensive infrastructure such as the
internet, cable provider, cell phone or landline telephone systems? How about having a casual conversation with
an astronaut aboard the International Space Station? STEM students will find this course exceedingly helpful in
their studies.

This course, based on the FCC Technician Class Amateur Radio examination criteria. The material provides
answers and solutions to the questions above. At the end of the class, students will have an option to take the
exam and apply for a Technician Class License. The course fee includes the required text and materials. Not
included is an optional exam fee of $15 and FCC license application fee of $35.

Text and Materials required:

  • The ARRL Technician Class License Manual
  • An inexpensive digital multimeter
  • A Texas Instrument TI-30xa Scientific Calculator
  • Access to one of the many free on-line exam practice sites such as www.qrz.com

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