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

Section Manager’s Report Sept. 2021

   Hello one and all! It has been an interesting month overall with activities and the weather. I will not labor on the weather. Anyone who poked their head out the window lately knows!

   Looking forward to HamExposition! I am getting my goodies ready and will be out there to “lighten the load” and to get to see everyone there. Look at the link https://hamxposition.org/covid for up-to-date information on Covid policies. 

   The Director elections are still going strong. The ballots are going out at the end of the month or beginning of October. As I had mentioned before, please review each candidate and make an informed decision as to who you want for the next 3 years. They have been busy visiting social events and club meetings.

   The Franklin Club came up with a swell idea. Brad Councilman, W1BCC set up an operating event called Coffee and Radios at Apex Orchards in Shelburne. This was treated to great weather, scenic view, and treats. This was well received and everyone there participated in operating, and answering questions to curious onlookers. Club people, this can be a great thing to do to promote radio and participate in activities. It doesn’t have to be public service events at all! Great job Brad!

   One thing that has been scarce is VE sessions in our area. One person Ken WB8PKK from Westminster looked to improve on that and became a VE and with the help of some seasoned people and the league, helped Ken put together a VE session in Gardner, MA. Eight people helped administer the test and 13 passed their Tech and 2 got upgraded to extra. 6 of them were school age kids! Thanks to Ken and the team for putting it all together. Next one will be Oct 30.

   Just a reminder there are a number of positions open for my section staff, both for myself and for ARES. I had hoped things were further along than what we have now. We are doing much better but getting the extra help will help in many ways. Contact myself or Bob K1YO for more information. Also, we have a Western Massachusetts ARRL Facebook page that is there to get more information on things. It can be used to promote events you may have.

   I hope to see you soon in whatever fashion. As always drop an email and let me know what’s going on.

73

Ray KB1LRL

Section manager’s Report August 2021

Greeting’s! What a month! West coast is burning while out our way is drowning. You never know what the forces of nature is going to bestow upon us. This is a great example of making people aware that even though it has not reached that point, it can turn into a disaster and things will fail. This is an opportunity to tell people how Amateur Radio can be a valued service to our neighbors, towns, counties. Even if you are not involved in emergency communications you can still provide information to others about it.

On that note, Aug. 1 I had the privilege of attending the NTS picnic hosted by Marcia, KW1U who is the East/West Traffic mgr. and was treated to perfect weather and good food and company. Along with myself also were the Eastern MA and NH section manager and the Vice Director with the 2 candidates for New England director. Both of which shared their passions for Ham Radio and why they would be the choice for director. Looking around the group shows there is still a passion for NTS and traffic handling in ANY mode and needs to be recognized more by the league and others in order to keep this valued tradition alive, because…you never know!

Over the past year I have been working in the trucking industry and found the hours were taking a toll on a lot of things personally and physically. After a huge amount of thought and soul searching, I decided to retire as of July 30. This does not mean I’m old! Lol. Yes, radio played a big part of that as I was not on the air very much and stuff was piling up because I was too tired to do anything. So, first thing I did was get my hotel for Dayton for next May. (I know, Xenia.) I have been wanting to do that for some time and I’m doing it. As I have told others, “I will not be bored!”

It looks like the club meetings will be making a comeback after our Covid hiatus in September. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Zoom has now provided a new element to meeting as you can add it along with presenters who may be distance challenged. There is a plethora of recorded content that can also be used to get a good presentation. Definitely worthy of a search in YouTube and other sources for good content. The League is also expanding on available content and also there is a speaker list in this website. Good meeting agenda will keep things interesting and coming back each month.

That’s enough chatter for this month, hope to see you at Marlboro in September and at the club meetings. Enjoy!

Ray, KB1LRL

Section Manager’s Report July 2021

  Hello everyone. I hope your summer is going well so far. I will admit it was a bit toasty of late, day and night.

  July starts off elections in our area. The big one is for New England Director which is a 3-year term. Fred Hopengarten K1VR is seeking reelection and will be opposed by Fred Kemmerer AB1OC who is currently the Nashua club president. It is unconfirmed but Tom Freneye K1KI may be running as well. With the changes coming with the new CEO, I ask that you consider your choices carefully and choose who will be the best fit for New England and for the League.

   The other on is for WMA Section Manager. This is a 2-year term. Anyone interested in running for this go to the ARRL website and see the details and how to be nominated which is only a 5-signature petition. I will be seeking reelection as well.

   Last weekend was our regatta of sorts as it was Field Day. It started out with great weather although a little warm, but doable. I got to visit the 3 sites that had field day and was pleased to once again see the activity once again and also happy to see the people as well. NOBARC returned after a hiatus which was great. Not only did they have a field, but also altitude. Hope it paid dividends in QSO’s. 

   As I previously mentioned changes with the league. Our New CEO, Dave Minster NA2AA was hired as the new CEO for the league. What’s he been doing? Well, listening, sitting on MANY meetings nationwide, receiving input from the members,etc.

   On June 9 I sat on a Zoom meeting with other section managers and other officials and he briefed us on changes taking place. Here is the Readers Digest version:

  • Norm Fusaro W3IZ had retired and taking over as Director of Operations is Bob Naumann W5OV
  • Bart Jahnke has moved from Field services management to Radiosport and Regulatory and Advocacy replacing Dan Henderson N1ND who has also retired
  • Taking over as Field Services Manager will be Mike Walters W8ZY who was the Connecticut SEC. Mike has already hit the ground running doing “meet and greets”. He will be at the HamExposition in Marlboro.

   Dave has revealed his plan of focusing on Clubs, and its revitalization and growth, to attract new members and KEEP them, and getting them active on the air. He finds the new licenses are up and membership is flat. He has groups formed to assist and I’m sure you will hear more about it. Staff members, section managers, and directors are working as groups to come up with ideas to make this work for all. I am encouraged to see this happening as I have been preaching this since I became a SM.

   That’s it for now. There will be other announcements down the road so stay tuned. I will do my best to get the word out to you and I will press on to ask those who read this to encourage others to look at our website and also the http://nediv.arrl.org website as well to keep up to date.

Thanks so much and 73! Stay cool!

Ray KB1LRL