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,

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.


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!


Section Manager Report June 2023

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

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

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

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

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

73 de Ray AA1SE

Section Manager Report May 2023

Hello! Sorry for being a little late. As I indicated last month, I had a little encounter with a surgeon and fortunately everything went well. Now I am dealing with the post op goodies like tiredness and pain that some cool medications tend to help with.

Warm weather is returning albeit a little on the slow side. Near-Fest was a bummer for me as it did not rain and I couldn’t be there.

As I am getting myself back up to speed, I have my sights to be mostly normal when Field Day arrives. I plan on making the visits as I normally do. It’s always great to see the activity going on and visit those out there. In your planning, perhaps try something a little different like ARES outreach or EMCOMM or maybe traffic handling. Educational things are great as well. Lots of possibilities there.

Most of the clubs are wrapping up their seasons and usually involves dues and elections. Elections especially have been challenging as many members choose not to volunteer for various reasons. Trust me, I’ve heard them all! There are those that dedicated themselves to the point of burnout and just quit because no one else is willing. The club, the officer’s and the board need to take a hard look at where they are and what they need to do to sustain themselves for the future. Some people have some great ideas, but there is no one to step up and say “I’ll Help!! Give it some thought please.

13 Colonies will soon be rolling around and planning will be starting to get operators for this event. This has become a popular event and if you like working pileups this is the event to participate in. Larry, W1AST is the contact person this year again and you can email him at

That’s about all for now. I should be back to visiting clubs soon or if you are hybrid I should be popping in. See you soon and thanks.


Section Manager Report April 2023

Ahhhhh….Spring! May it last a long time. At least for 3 months! I’m sure you are looking outside and writing up the list of repairs, cleanup, tree cutting, etc. especially from the most recent storm. I kind of embarrassed myself when I could not assist in storm reporting as my power went out for 12 hours and no backup was in place. Lesson learned. I also have antennas to fix and battery power re-installed and mobile set up. I’ll be busy.

Mixed in with the list of to-do’s is that toward the end of the month I will be having surgery in Worcester and will be sidelined for a couple of weeks at least. I will do whatever I can parked in front of a PC but emails may be delayed.

A busy month is in store as activities are ramping up. First of all, the VOTA W1AW/1 Massachusetts event is April 12. There are spots available if you are interested in operating. You can do it as a group or by yourself and any mode. Contact Larry, W1AST at to sign up. Let’s all have some fun and make the state proud! Speaking of Larry, he is also heading up the upcoming Big E event once again and is looking for volunteers now. Planning is now heating up as you may know as this takes a lot of time to line up everything to cover a 16-day event. I will be doing what I can and I hope you and your club can help as well. Let Larry know to volunteer.

April 28 and 29 is our favorite, Near-Fest at the Deerfield NH Fairgrounds. I have enjoyed going there and lately have been challenged getting there recently. I hope you can get out there and enjoy the area, the people and the food.

March 28 I will be kicking off the WMA Train and Test Extra class course. This is one that does not get taught a lot as it is a large undertaking. This course has actually went national and many (69 signups to date) around the country have signed up. Our teaching is actually done by a group so it is taught by those who are subject matter experts and the others can chime in to provide “color comments”. There is a need for a few volunteers to help teach the classes. This is on Zoom and you do not have to be on every session. If you are interested contact me and I can provide further information.

Field Day planning is ramping up within the clubs and one of the challenges I have been hearing about is having participants to help in setting up, take down and various other functions. The natural reason for one is those that have been doing it year to year is they are getting on in years. One thing that can help is breaking out from the norm and trying something different that makes it easier. Using this as a promotional tool to attract hams and non-hams alike. Getting the word out beyond the club can help as well.

That’s it for this month. I hope you get outside and enjoy Spring and while your at it bust out some gear and get some Q’s in your log.

See you soon!

Section Manager Report March 2023

Hello, a busy February was in store for me with meetings, visits and planning. This seems to be the preview of what the rest of the year is going to be like.

Hamfests are firing up. We just had the Marlboro Hamfest and that was fun. Nice to see a lot of familiar faces there. The turnout was really good also. The next one is March 4 in Chicopee for the Mt Tom club, and further down the road is Near-Fest at the end of April.

I have been visiting club meetings when I can, mostly on Zoom. I did go to the Quaboag Club as I was invited to do a presentation there. I applaud their efforts in the revitalization of that group. Keep at it! Also I presented at the Mt. Tom club live. I do have other’s lined up as well.

I attended the division Town Hall meeting with our director, Fred AB1OC. He touched base on the grant program and the VOTA event. Also he talked about highlights about the board meeting and some things they are working on at the league. Looks like they have a busy year as well. Good stuff coming down the road.

One of the things I have been involved with is the NTS 2.0 project. Over 30 people in 5 groups are now working on various tasks to revitalize this time honored function and get it back to modern methods and promote it to the newer generation of hams. Trainings and on-air activities are in the works.

On March 28 The Western Mass Train and Test Group will be launching the Extra Class License Course. Much work is going into this as we need to get the program put together. As you may know, last year was our first year and it was a pretty good success. We have worked in making it somewhat unique which helps in preventing the “glassy eyes” that happens sometimes. I am looking to add some more instructors to the group. Email me at if you are interested.

That’s about it for now. Remember to be a mentor to the new hams and get them on the air and active in your clubs.

Ray- AA1SE

Section Manager’s Report February 2023

Ed: Due to a website issue, this is posted late. Ray got this to me on time, sorry for the technical issue.

Hello, I certainly hope that January isn’t an indicator of the whole year, I’ll go hide somewhere! It all started with my primary computer going bye-bye and it’s been challenging all month since.

We were met with some back to back storms which in itself were not huge, but it created tree and power line damage which required nets to get going and monitor the situation. Thanks to those who participated in getting information passed along. Our new SEC Chuck WS1L has been busy gathering information and looking to see what and where we need to work on to get ARES back to where it should be. Needless to say, help is needed. Please consider volunteering for a position or just be active in net’s, public service, etc. New hams just getting their licenses have often expressed interest in EMCOMM, here’s your opportunity.

Clubs have been active with meetings in various forms which is good. One challenge is getting speakers and having an agenda to work with. Clubs with newsletters are content challenged. A lot of important elements for a healthy club is key to a successful club. If you are a member, don’t assume someone else will do the job. People handling multiple tasks get burned out real quick. Mentoring can help in a lot of it. Getting involved goes a loooong way!

Clubs and other groups are starting VE sessions again which is great! I do wish to ask that you have a mentoring plan and to introduce the “newbie’s” to the clubs and to someone who can get them started. Doing that consistently will pay dividends!. Also, to those conducting exams, there are resources available to promote your session. The Western Mass ARRL has a Facebook page you can post to. If you send me the information I will post it to this website as well as you can submit it to the website. You can also post classes as well.

Another thing I wish to ask of the clubs is to promote the WMA ARRL website more. It is frustrating when I get an email or question about something that I have been mentioning or promoting on that site. It just tells me not many are reading the postings I put in. Anyone reading this, please spread the word.

It looks like the Big E will be returning this September. Larry W1AST is starting his search for volunteers. Keep that in mind as time moves on. We are definitely going to work on improving things now that we have learned what worked and did not.

Bands are really hopping right now and many stations are looking for contacts. I hope you are getting on the air and taking advantage of the band conditions. VOTA is something that can augment your radio enjoyment. Combine it with POTA and SOTA. It’s all good!

Until next month. Hope to see you a a meeting or hamfest somewhere.


New WMA Amateurs from December 2022

Please welcome the recently licensed amateur radio operations in the WMA section!

Daniel Tereso, KC1SGB
4R Archie St
Chicopee, MA 01020-1702

Eric J Phinney, KC1SHM
197 Bumstead Rd
Monson, MA 01057-9780

Mike R Balestri, KC1SEW
486 Cold Spring Ave
West Springfield, MA 01089-3765

Steven Hilliard, KC1SFO
98 Douglas Rd
Gardner, MA 01440-1860

Edmund L Bilodeau, KC1SFD
27 Ridgewood Ln Apt 24
Gardner, MA 01440-2029

Ezrah C Itkowsky, KC1SGJ
44 Juniper Brook Rd
Northborough, MA 01532-2343

Section Manager Report January 2023

Hello everyone, Happy New Year! I have some breaking news for you all. Please join me in welcoming Chuck Chandler, WS1L as the new Section Emergency Coordinator. Chuck is from N. Adams and has a background in law enforcement. He is now retired but works part time with the Williamstown PD. I look forward to working with him in getting ARES reformed and functioning again.

2022 was certainly a busy year for us and am pleased with the uptick in activity. Some of which were brought on by the new director in Fred, AB1OC bringing his visions to fruition, and to Larry, W1AST for his efforts in bringing ham radio back to the Big E. Again, I want to thank all who participated in these efforts, near and far. We are looking to doing another event again in September.

Another item of interest is outreach, training and testing which have been dormant since Covid hit. The Quaboag Vallery Amateur Radio Club has regrouped, won a grant and has had successful license classes. I have formed a group, WMA Train and Test and have had success as well. I’m sure there are others but are keeping it a secret. Bringing in new hams is great and I am constantly reminding them to mentor those to get them on the air and active in their clubs. Please consider being part of the mentors performing that vital function. Every month I post on this site the list of new hams. You should take those that are near your club and reach out to them and invite them to the meetings.

2023 we will be looking to build on last year. With these, there are new things going on. One of Mr. Kemmerer’s initiatives is the revamping of NTS, being called NTS 2.0. This is a nation-wide program to get NTS in a better place and working better as a vital function for the modern era.

Another project starting up is the RFI group consisting of a group that is looking to help resolve interference and noise issues in the sections. This is a local (NE) effort but if successful could go national. They received a grant which is purchasing the equipment. Training starts in January.

The league has introduced Volunteers on the Air. A year long event similar to the 2014 one for the centennial. Go to to see the details.

So, what will you be doing for 2023? Can’t say there is nothing to do. Volunteer for a staff position, ARES, NCS for a net, traffic handling, take an office for a club, learn a new mode. (I’m still learning CW and getting into building things more) The list is endless. Being active on the air is great and not only being on the air is part of mentoring, but we are also protecting our spectrum by using those bands.

I hope you have a great year and again thank you for 2022!


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