Section Manager Report August 2022

Hello WMA. Welcome to August! I don’t know if you also heard the sonic boom, that’s how fast this year has been going!

Our top story is of course The Big E. Larry W1AST, Fred AB1OC. And myself along with others have been immersed in getting this to be a quality experience for all. Not only have I been building the background displays and counter for the booth, but I have also been tapped to coordinate the stage event for the ARISS contact. Larry is still seeking volunteers to help in all aspects of this event especially manning the booth for various shifts. Those that do volunteer will get their parking and entrance fees covered. Those that do wish to see the ARISS contact and if they bring their license will get in free. (still have to pay parking) Details are still going on so keep up to date by going to the https://nediv.arrl.org/project-big-e/ You can email Larry at w1ast@arrl.net with any questions.

Not to be overshadowed is the other “biggie” which is our upcoming New England Convention in Marlboro August 26-28. This year we are also having the Hudson Division along with us. Reports are the ticket sales have already exceeded last year. Vendor participation looks a lot better too. Go to https://dev.hamxposition.net/welcome-to-hamxposition.html for more info and to purchase tickets. Volunteers are also needed, go to https://dev.hamxposition.net/volunteer.html You get free admission for just 4 hours of your time.

As summer soldiers on and transitions to fall and clubs start to begin their new seasons, now is the time to start thinking about programs for the season. Guest speakers, activities, etc. Try to have a good plan in place to enhance meeting attendance. Members, consider volunteering to help your club. Many clubs struggle to keep a full staff of officers to make it run well. Remember, one per cannot do it all and believe it or not, it’s not rocket science! You may learn a thing or two along the way!

One thing I have been doing during some of my down times is going through some old QST’s that were given me. Lately I have read ones from the mid 60’s. Even though I don’t go through it cover to cover, it is interesting to see how the league as well as the hobby have evolved and how the times have influenced its content. (When was the last time you saw a radio ad with a person smoking a pipe?) I think its good to look back in time and learn from it. For instance, did you know the son of a past US President was the President of the league? QST had a few pages devoted to YL’s in radio. Can the past have an influence in what we do now? I think so!

To wrap this up, I hope to see you at any of the mentioned events. Consider volunteering to these and even to the openings here in WMA staffing. Start planning your club seasons and learn from the past.

See you next month!
73, Ray AA1SE

Section Managers Report for July 2022

Hi everyone, Field Day 2022 is in the books. My day started at 0730 when I started my travels to Windsor Ma. which is between Peru and Hinsdale. It is a pleasant ride with hills and farms etc. There we find our first stop, the NOBARC club. They were setting up for a 4A effort. Marcia KW1U also stopped by there later on.

From there I visited Franklin, Hamden, Southwick, Central Ma. They all looked to be having active events. Did I mention it was HOT out there! Kudo’s to those who were out in the sun dropping large amounts of sweat on the ground setting up and taking down. Sunday, I visited WECT in Worcester and finished the day at Montachusett and helped with the take down there. Thanks to CMARA for treating me to their dinner Saturday. Montachusett made me happy as there was a new Ham operating a station and her 12-year-old daughter operating the GOTA station. Now that’s mentoring! I think she is going to study for her Tech license soon. She loved it! I hope all the Field Days had a similar experience. I would love to hear about it.

Speaking of mentoring, the license classes I have been conducting with a group of instructors just keeps surprising me. A couple of weeks ago we had a VE session in Gardner and 14 people arrived to take the test, 8 of which were our students. All 14 passed their intended tests! Many of them passed with 100% and a number of them did attempt the next level. One person was 2 questions shy of the trifecta! 2 of our students passed at earlier VE sessions. My hats off the the group of instructors who have put forth the time and effort to tune and tweak our course structure to provide a quality course. We have been developing it ongoing. We’re new and we are learning also. The reward so far is great! We are planning future classes for all 3 license classes.

The Big E event is moving right along and I am happy to report that they received a 10,000-dollar grant to help finance the project. There is so much going into this and with events of this magnitude is help is always needed. Please go to https://nediv.arrl.org/project-big-e/ to learn more. We are also reaching out to all New England states as well. This effort benefits Ham Radio, our clubs, and more.

I have been looking at the league’s web to see if the new ham listings have come out and there has been nothing. The FCC is issuing callsigns and I am not sure if the League is getting them. I have not inquired about it as I know there are issues ongoing. My arrl.org email address is still broke. Please use aa1se@arrl.net or ray.aa1se@gmail.com to contact me.

I hope everyone has a great summer. Do some good radio while cooking those burgers and dogs while working on your tan!

73,
Ray AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report May 2020

   Hello! We made it through another month. Being busy make it move quickly. Springtime has certainly sprouted activity out here. Question is…where are you? 

   I write this after a little “recovery” from Near-Fest. It was so great to see you all out there. I was there at 0530 waiting to get in to secure my favorite spot. It was great to have Brad W1BCC and Aaron KF1G and his family there alongside me and provided some assistance. Gary K1YTS and crew stopped by for a visit along with Barry W1HFN from MARA. It really is more fun when you are with friends. Next one is October 14 and 15. Hope you can make it then.

   Larry, W1AST has started the promotion of the BigE radio event planned in September. There is so much to do before then. See the flyer below and consider volunteering for some of it. This event does need a lot of people from ALL of New England.

   Some time ago I acquired a bunch of old QST’s that I have been going through and I came across several articles going back over 25 years and more concerning the state of Ham Radio and new ham mentoring and the “old timers” attitude towards new licensees, also with the general lack of participation in clubs. This kind of struck a nerve as I have been a strong advocate for some time now about the very thing. I am sure all of you who read this are probably tired of me preaching about it. The above statement says it all as to why I do! Sadly, I still hear reports of new hams not feeling welcome when they try to join in. I literally heard a comment stating they should be doing more but “I’m too lazy,” In a room of brand-new hams. My question is what had changed in the last 25 plus years? Not much I guess, just the people and the dynamics. To those that are active in many aspects of the hobby, do not let this discourage you, stay with it. If we can get more positives in the mix, it will drown the negatives out. Don’t be afraid to lean on others for ideas, encouragement, etc. This is a hobby of many investments, not just radio’s, antenna’s etc. You invest in people, community, the hobby. Believe me when I say this, I have to remind myself of this every day!

   Clubs at this time are now focusing their meetings on elections and field day. New(er) hams can benefit from this as they can develop skills at field day and grow in the hobby. It can help develop good relations to the club they participate with. Clubs are also looking for leaders to take them into the future. Some clubs have been successful in dusting it off and adding new things to make it lively again inspiring others to join in. There is a huge pool of people inside and out who are willing to help those who take on those positions. Give it a try, you can be a gamechanger.

   That’s about it for now, better get off the soapbox before it caves in hi-hi! Seriously, if I can do it, you can do it. I am by no means a rocket scientist. I utilize my imagination and my resources around me. Joe Dirt (re: the movie) said it best. Life’s a garden….dig it!

Till next month!

Ray AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report April 2022

Greeting’s earthlings! As you may know I had formed a group back in January with 3 clubs to conduct license classes and VE testing. I am pleased to report that the Tech. class has completed and out of 12 people who took the test, 10 passed and 3 of them also took the General and passed also! I think I can call this a success. We are now planning on doing a General License Class. We had the luxury in using the ARRL PowerPoint slides for the tech class, but found there is none for the general and extra class. We are now looking to develop a course ourselves. Quite challenging since we plan on a May 3rd start. With the success of this program, I am now inviting all clubs who has anyone wish to volunteer to teach some of the classes via Zoom to give me an email. The goal for this is to be a growing program and be self sufficient to provide opportunities for growth in new hams for our clubs. I also want a group of teachers to share the task so as not to burn out others causing the program to collapse.

   Earlier in March I attended the Mt. Tom Hamfest in Chicopee and I think there was an air of excitement that we are now getting out and seeing friends face-to-face again. It was great to see everyone there. My hopes are that some clubs who are still shut out of their meeting places get open again, or possibly a new venue becomes available. Remember, GO to the meetings where you can, don’t rely on Zoom all the time. There is so much benefit to being there!

   So, April and warmer weather brings the thought of Field Day. It’s coming faster than you think. One thing to keep in mind is with new hams getting licensed, the first thing you need to do is mentor them right at the beginning. What a way to enhance that and invite the new hams to Field Day. They can use the club callsign and work HF and learn great skills. That is how I got into it, on top of Mt Wachusett. Do something different, hold a class on a mode, antenna, etc. Try a different approach to Field Day. QRP, home-brew, satellites? It’s not all about the scores, it’s having fun! (I’m sure some may argue that point!)

   While I’m in the neighborhood, here is the list of new hams. Each club should look at this and reach out to them and welcome them and introduce them to your club and mentor.

   That’s all for me for now. What have you got going on? Let me know.

Report for 2022-03-02

Ralph B Cerreta, KC1QND
PO Box 749
Cheshire, MA 01225-0749

Michael Leo, KC1QKM
110 Pearl Hill Rd
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2004

Evan Hollander, KC1QKB
70R Milk St
Blackstone, MA 01504-1216

Mozart M Telles, KC1QMR
30 Douglas Hill Way
Douglas, MA 01516-2257

Howard Shpegel, AC1MN
98 Mary Catherine Dr
Lancaster, MA 01523-2958

Nichole R Anderson, KC1QMD
164 Leicester St
North Oxford, MA 01537-1006

Garret Bratica, KC1QJM
2801 Windsor Ridge Dr
Westborough, MA 01581-2358

Christopher P Pinto, KC1QKI
58 Wildrose Ave
Worcester, MA 01602-1123

Benjamin L Antupit, KC1QMU
100 Institute Rd
# 1213
Worcester, MA 01609-2247

Noel H Nieves, KC1QLQ
143 Beacon St
Apt 1
Worcester, MA 01610-1583

73, Ray-AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report March 2022

   Hello! I don’t know about you, but this has been one crazy month. I think they took the two days and stuffed those activities into the rest of the month. I am looking forward to seeing you at the Mt. Tom Hamfest this Saturday, Bob, K1YO, Smitty, KC1IKA Larry, W1AST and myself will have tables there. Should be a fun time there.

   This month, the Montachusett, Mohawk and CMARA clubs headed by myself (or instigated lol) in a joint effort have started a Zoom Tech License class which is currently attended by 10 students. The goal for this is not only to get people licensed, but also actively mentored to get them on the air and active in the hobby. My hope is this group will evolve and expand. We are learning ourselves and am working to streamline the courses and offer an effective way to present it. If anyone is interested in joining, send me an email.

   It has been observed by club presidents as well as myself there has been a distinct lack of participation among the membership in activities, testing sessions and classes, etc. That is one of the reasons I started the classes. I fully understand the lingering effects of Covid and the impact it has on what we do. We as hams are taught “if it don’t work, fix it!” That also means adapting to a situation. This should also include club activity. Clubs are dying because people are sitting back assuming someone else will do the job or plan the next activity. One phrase club Presidents would love to hear is “What can I do to help?” I know I would! Zoom has in my opinion opened up a lot of opportunities to give clubs not just meetings, but a plethora of content for presentations, trainings, etc. Don’t use it as a crutch. Online or offline, help out your club or you may just click on Zoom one day and it will be gone.

   The League has been active lately in getting key people onboard to bring more communication and resources to the members. One such resource is available grant money. The ARDC has provided the League with a sizable chunk of money and is making it available to clubs. Clubs that have certain projects going and need funding can benefit for up to 30,000 dollars. Stay tuned for more details as they are still working out the details. This is not part of the ARRL Foundation grant program. Stay tuned for more information as it comes.

   As we all look forward to the warmer weather, take some time to try something new, TEACH someone something new. Get together with others and work stations, do a demonstration, etc OUTSIDE. Like my Mama used to say, “the fresh air will do you good!”

Take care everyone.

Ray AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report February 2022

Hello, I hope you take a few moments out of your digging out to have a read. We have not had a storm like that for some time now. I hope all is safe and well.

The past two storms our ARES and Skywarn groups have activated themselves and conducted nets on 3944 kHz LSB and gathered storm reports for the National Weather Service. Bob, K1YO and Rob, KD1CY came up with this idea to not only use this to provide information to the NWS but also to use it as a training/testing platform for ARES members to see what works or doesn’t, and what do we need to improve on it. I think this was a great idea and my thanks to all who participated. Watch for further HF nets in future storms, usually run on the bottom of each hour.

The Boston Marathon is still looking for volunteers. The announcement is as follows:

Keep your eyes open on your email. ARRL New England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC will be holding his first town hall meeting in February. It is refreshing to see communication from division leadership. This was pledged during his campaign and he promised to stick to it. He is already visiting club meetings.

We now have a new ARRL Director of Emergency Management in Josh Johnston, KE5MHV. He has a lofty task ahead of him. Currently he is working on moving to CT. He has been also answering as many emails as he can. Any EMCOMM emails should be copied to Ken Bailey, K1FUG as well.

As you are aware there has been a serious lack of trainings and testings for new hams in the area. One class is starting in Pepperell on the 31st. I have formed a group from the Montachusett, Mohawk and Central Ma clubs to start planning and conducting classes and testings. Our goal is to not only get new hams on board and to mentor them to get on the air, but to create a program that makes it easy to teach and to hopefully get others to become teachers as well. With any luck and some work, we can develop this into a successful and self-sustaining program. This is not restricted to these clubs either anyone wishing to join just send me an email at ray.aa1se@gmail.com

Just a quickie. The Marlboro hamfest will be held on Saturday Feb. 19 at the Charles Whitcomb School. Mask will be mandatory. Hope to see you there.

Lots of stuff going on as you can see. Keep in touch here and elsewhere to stay up to date.

Stay warm!
73 Ray-AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report Jan. 2022

   Greetings and Happy New Year! Sometimes I think the catchphrase of the year will be “I got all my shots!” We are entering the year with a certain amount of uncertainty. I truly hope this pandemic goes away real soon.

   This year I begin my third term as section manager and with that comes a new director who is already hitting the ground running. He has been meeting with ARRL’s management as well as other directors. There are also some assistant directors coming aboard also. Fred will be doing a lot of communicating so stay tuned. 

   For the past 4 years I have maintained my visibility to the section and visited many meetings. I will be continuing this. One thing I am going to concentrate on is getting an increased amount of education, testing and mentoring. It is my hope that my staff as well as the members will assist in this project. I have spent 2 terms getting the word out. The division is going to focus on the same as well as the league. The voices are being heard. 

   Clubs have become another focus. The league knows clubs are an essential part of its success. They are now looking at ways to assist them. Needless to say, the club membership needs to play a part in this. There are clubs that are not far away from folding their tents. (Division-wide) Clubs need to have activities inside and outside of their meetings. Don’t be afraid to tap your neighboring club for advice. Our esteemed director took a mediocre club and with a collective effort turned it into a nationally recognized powerhouse. It can be done! Getting new hams into the hobby (and keeping them!) will be critical for success.

   Marcia KW1U our section Traffic Manager has been working very hard in maintaining an active NTS network. She has also had her challenges in participation and wants to put the word out that traffic handling is still alive. She has a need for traffic and Net Control operators on various nets not just in WMA but also EMA which she serves as well. Mon-Fri at 6 PM there is a traffic net which is on 146.910 MT Greylock repeater and is linked to EMA on Echolink. We can use Net Control operators as well as the 146.970 Paxton repeater at 9 PM daily also. Sunday mornings there is an HF net at 830 AM on 3944 and, yep, they need operators as well. Consider helping out and you can learn a new skill.

   Bob, K1YO my SEC is putting plans together to start trainings for ARES. He is still short staffed but will be working with the crew he’s got, including myself. NTS will likely be playing a role as well as hopes that EMA and Vermont will join in as well. As the theme, he is looking for help and this is a good avenue to learn new skills. There is a bunch of talent there!

   As you can see, 2022 looks to be a busy one. We all are looking for help in getting our section up to speed. For those who feel they cannot participate in that capacity anymore, consider mentoring a new ham. Read my posts, spread the word. I find it surprising I still get emails about things I write about HERE! As usual, I am available for comments, questions, etc. 

  The best wishes for a fabulous 2022!

73, Ray AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report Dec 2021

Hi everyone. Yet another year over. (Just about.) The silly season is upon us. I do hope everyone and their families have a happy, healthy, safe Holiday Season and 2022. Clubs have been planning their festivities this month and no meetings. So, it’s been a little quiet this month.

Well, it has been well publicized of who the winner of the New England Director is in Fred, AB1OC. I hope our section will support him and his mission to bringing a fresh perspective to Newington and New England. He has a lot of great ideas and will be looking for assistance in bringing this to fruition.

The Mohawk Club is currently underway in building their club station in the Gardner Police building. The construction of a Rohn 45 tower and running cables for rotors and antennas has started. Hopefully by Spring it will be fully functional.

Also, a bit of news, as of Nov. 19 I am now AA1SE. This was a change I have been thinking of for a while. Problem is this change is as bad as moving! All the stuff I have to update. This call will be better in contests and will play nicely when I crack CW.

I guess if there is anything I may want for Christmas is 1) a greater readership of this website, 2) Hams to participate in activities especially in mentoring, licensing, and their clubs and section. As I start my new term in January, I may have a full plate as programs are likely launching to promote all the before mentioned items from different sources. The League is listening, our voices are getting heard.  Your part will make a difference!

That’s about all I have for this month. Just a reminder to clubs that put out newsletters to send a copy to clubs@arrl.org so they see what’s happening out there.

Once again, Happy Holidays!

73 Ray, AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report. Nov 2021

Hi everyone, yet another busy month here and lot’s going on. First thing is to write this email down, clubs@arrl.org. this email will be used for anything club related. Resources, inquiries. The other thing it will be used for is to edit your club information. If you need to change things such, as contact or update your annual filing, give it to them. There has been some hanky-panky going on and the editing has gone inhouse. The other thing is there will be a club newsletter from the league starting around the middle of this month similar to the ARRL letter, Contest Letter, etc. They will be looking for news items about club activities, events, club tips, etc. If you have anything send them to the email above. You can get the club letter by going into your profile on the league’s website and check the box.

I do want to send my apologies to everyone as one of the things I said I would do is put the new ham list here. I have not done this for a while. This and other things I may have slipped on please poke me. I am going to make a better effort on the listings.

Another thing I have been working on is taking charge of a club that is on the verge of ending after 70 years. This is proving to be a real challenge as getting the few to put in the effort to revive it and get interest back. I have reached out to some people to assist and consult and hopefully, in time, I can write a success story and not an obituary.

October 23rd, I held a “Play Radio” event at Sholan Farms. The event went fairly well with eleven people stopped to visit. I even had four from the Franklin Club visit. This was very much appreciated. People did say it was enjoyable and look to have more like this. Maybe I’m on to something. Thanks to Brad W1BCC!

Gil Hayes WK1H reached out and asked for help for Worcester County ARES and also some Club Coordinator things as well. Here is the info:


WMA ARES in Worcester County recently had a number of ECs move out of the area. We’re looking for a few more ECs, especially in central and southern Worcester County. The role of the EC is to be the on-the-ground leadership of ARES in their local area, to build up the ARES membership in the area including training and direction, and to establish and maintain relationships with local served agency leadership. If interested, please contact Southern Worcester County District EC Hisham Al-Beik KB1JLW at kb1jlw@gmail.com or Worcester County ASEC Gil Hayes WK1H at wk1h@arrl.net.

Additionally, we’re updating the WMA Club Presenters List. The list is for the benefit of club officers, to try to give them some good ideas for presentations at monthly club meetings. If anyone has a presentation you’ve given at an event and want to be included on the list, please contact WMA Affiliated Club Coordinator Gil Hayes WK1H at wk1h@arrl.net.


With that I can additionally add the request for other section and ARES help. We need a PIC and a Government Liaison among others. Please consider volunteering for any of these. We are going to get very busy soon.


Stay tuned, I feel November will be just as busy with the League ramping up it’s emphasis on Clubs and membership, maybe a new director and contests galore. Also, add a little Thanksgiving to the mix. Yep, the silly season is upon us again.


I hope to see you soon somewhere, if not, I do want to wish you a fabulous Tanksgiving!

73, Ray KB1LRL

Section Manager’s Report October 2021

   Hello once again! The switch got flipped and fall is here. It’s nice that the temps have calmed down some, but I don’t like what looms ahead. This is the perfect opportunity to get your antenna projects completed before that white stuff shows up. A huge shout out and thanks got to Larry W1AST and Chris W1TRK from HCRA for coming to my QTH and fixing my tri-bander and replacing the rotator. Chris demonstrated some good skills in prep, safety in climbing the tower. Well done!

   On Sept 19, I visited the Picnic and Radio’s event held by the Franklin Co. club on top of Mt. Sugarloaf in S. Deerfield and was treated to great weather, good fellowship and food. There was over 30 people there from 2 clubs and also an unexpected bonus as there were some hams on the observation tower doing the 10 ghz contest. That was interesting to see. Passers by stopped and asked questions and it kept some busy especially Aaron KF1G with technical assistance and general questions while working the POTA event. 

   The above event has inspired me to do something similar as one club is struggling at this time and I am trying to get it back on its feet. On October 23rd I am having a Play Radio Day at Sholan Farms in Leominster. Anyone nearby is welcome to stop by and support our effort. It will run from 10-3. 

   There are clubs still having meetings via Zoom still as some facilities have not opened up their facilities. Others are live once again and are simulcasting with Zoom which helps out and shows a greater versatility in their meetings especially with presentations. A little imagination can go a long way to boost your club.

   Ballots are now hitting mailboxes for the Division election. Please read what the candidate’s messages have and VOTE. We have not seen an election like this in a long time. Speaking of elections, yours truly was re-elected for another two years by another landslide. You guessed it, no one else applied for nomination. It really is hard to determine if this is a result in my doing a good job or that no one really cares. I hope it’s not the latter. When I started this journey, my hopes is to get this area interested in participating in whatever capacity it is. This is still a struggle to this day. Everyone can help in promoting radio, teaching, mentoring, and getting them licensed and active. Making them welcome is a HUGE part of it as well.

   It was great to see everyone at the Convention in Marlboro. It was determined the event was a success despite the fall out of presenters and commercial vendors. The Friday flea market was a huge success in my eye!

   Whew! I had a mouthful to say. Remember I am here still. Questions, comments, etc. Just shoot me an email. I am your representative to the League.

73 All

Ray KB1LRL