Section Manager Report October 2018

Hello once again. Now that fall has officially arrived and we are getting into winter mode, the local clubs are firing up for a new season. I will be making visits still and getting the word out I am here. I will be working on some things to try to revitalize the section a bit more.

My “Help Wanted” list grew a little bit as I was made aware that my newest ASM Cory Goodall AC1AZ is being transferred to Arkansas for the military and will be leaving in November. Please join me in thanking him for his service to the section and more importantly, thank him for his service to the country. Best of luck to you.

Speaking of help wanted, our webmaster, Gil WK1H has created a list of open positions that I am looking to fill. It is my plan to get an active, involved group in place especially in ARES. I still feel my efforts are not being heard or this section enjoys the deafening roar of silence. I cannot do all this alone. Please spread the word or consider joining in.

You should be if not already be getting ballots for the upcoming NE Division Director election. Please make your selection and send it in by Nov.16

I hope to see you and talk to you during my upcoming club visits.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

Section Manager Report Aug/Sept 2018

Hello everyone, I kind of held off with the monthly report until after Boxboro to include the activities, so this is a two-month edition.

Boxboro had a number of great things going on. I think there was quite a variety of talks to suit everyone’s interest and there was the usual flea market outside which I think was bigger than last year. The weather was cooler and partly cloudy which helped a lot. There has been a downturn of commercial vendors in attendance and I feel there is a bit of concern. Some of the long time “anchors” are not there for one reason or another and the others are feeling the impact. The Nashua club set up a wall in that room which included many educational demonstrations on ham radio which also included kit building. There were a lot of kids there soldering away there. This was a very impressive achievement from them.

So, as I expected with the time and the fact a lot of the westerners had left for Saratoga on Saturday, there was a very light showing for my Section Meeting. I truly appreciate those that came to the meeting. Naturally I was a bit disappointed, but on the upside, I have a presentation in my pocket.

The big thing amongst the ARRL cathedral is the new ARES connect system now going online. Mike Cory from the league was there and did a presentation on it. Sadly, I had to work and could not attend it. I am now looking at this and getting it going for us. All county EC’s should also be looking at this and doing what is necessary to get your county online. This is going to be very important to all as reporting will be taking on a more required role, as will the trainings. Please go to the leagues webpage and view the new changes. This is now open for comments and any comments should come to me as I will send them to the league. The deadline for this is Oct 31.

September is the start of the meeting season for many clubs. I will be out and about visiting clubs during the time and I can be available to do a talk if you want. Just send me an email and we can work out a date for it.

This year our division director Tom Frenaye K1KI is up for reelection and he has an opponent in Fred Hopengarten, K1VR. Fred has a background in law and both actually agree on many things together. Keep your eyes open for ballots when they come out.

Going back to my meeting, the one thing I did stress is to go to this website for news and information, and to make sure in the league’s website it to check off to receive section emails. I continue to ask that those that do visit it to tell others in the clubs and elsewhere. I have a feeling a lot of members do not know what’s going on in the section.

I hope everyone enjoyed Boxboro and good luck in your upcoming seasons.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

Section Manager Report July 2018

Hello, I hope all of had some good downtime and enjoyed the fine summer weather. I have been trying to get some things done, but it seems I get one thing done, two more come up. I’m sure most of you can relate.

So, as we work on our BBQ skills and sunburns, the League is very busy with some long, anticipated items which now is now coming to light. In the upcoming edition of QST, there will be more information regarding ARES and the new structure in greater detail. There is a period from now to the end of October for comments then a final plan is due for around January. Please read carefully and get your comments in. I still could use a Section Emergency Coordinator to help get what I consider a new Ares program off the ground. Two close calls in July. Are we ready??

The other one of interest is the OO program. Guess what, it’s going bye-bye. An entirely new program is launching and they call it the Volunteer Monitoring Program. It is now being negotiated with the FCC for a new Memorandum of Understanding. This new program will have frequent trainings, reporting is different, technical requirements and also will have limited terms and will need to reapply to retain that position. Again, more details will be forthcoming.

These changes can potentially make a section manager’s hair get whiter, rapidly. It is more important now that the section as a whole work together to regroup and pull together as a team to accomplish this work. Crickets cannot do this.

September is coming swiftly and so is our Convention in Boxboro. It is on Sept 7-9. As some of you know I am planning a talk with the Western Ma section as a talk/meeting. They scheduled me as the last talk before the prize drawings. In short, I’m bringing up the rear. I truly hope you can hang around and attend. I am trying my hardest not to bore you, but if you cannot I will highlight the talk in next month’s report.

That’s enough for now. Hope to see you all at Boxboro

73,
Ray, KB1LRL

Section Manager Report June 2018

Hello Field Day survivors! Now that we have had a week to recover somewhat, we can all recap what we experienced this time around. From the unofficial reports, it appears the vast majority had a very successful event. Well Done!

This year was different for me as this was my first Field Day as SM. Previously I set a goal to visit all the sites and I actually did it. 11 stops and over 600 miles of driving. What I saw gave me a good perspective of different sites, and how they set things up. There are some clubs which appear to be struggling a bit, and there are others which are hopping with activity. I will not go into too many specifics due to space, but, there is evidence of some frustration. The worst part is finding the answer to it. I, myself have and still is in the same predicament as now I have more than 1 club under my leadership and am trying to find the answers. I certainly appreciate those who took the time to give me feedback and showed me around and I also made sure I spent time with everyone.

I was reading a magazine article and they had a similar circumstance they used as an example and to sum it up was three simple words “Activity Breeds Activity”. That caught my eye and what they said was true. Try different activities and find the one that works, especially if other people see it. For example, at one site a father and his 2 boys stopped at a park where a field day was in operation. They went to the observation deck and came down. The father asked what we were doing and we explained what Ham Radio and Field Day was about. The eldest boy seemed interested while the youngest one went in the car to listen to music on guess what? His phone! The young teen was shown the GOTA station and was asked if he wanted to give it a try and did. He took another hour but finally made 2 contacts. We realized after the first one the radio was at 10 watts. I think he was more impressed after we told him. They were visiting the Franklin County group and they live in Natick. When they left they asked me where the nearest clubs were down there. True story. “Activity Breeds Activity”

I have just recently added Paul Toplski W1SEX to the section Tech Specialist joining the others under Brian N1FIY. Brian, Paul, and Cory, our newest ASM with the others have been given a job of discussing and finding a way to get Elmering back to support the new hams who get their licenses, their 1.98 handheld and asks, is there anything else? I feel a big need to get that back online, not only to teach them radio and electronics, but show them what else is there for a new ham to do. They too, need to feel there is value, and support and friendship this great hobby can provide to them. Activity Breeds Activity!

Today I was with a group meeting with Tom K1KI our division director and other New England Presidents, SM’s EC’s, etc. There is a plan to open the band plan to give the tech class people more slices of HF for use under the class. It is now with the FCC and we hope will move fairly quickly. All the clubs in attendance do agree this will help a lot with what I mentioned above. This subject has been kicked around since I started going to these meetings and we are now seeing progress. The League knows they need to do a better job with new hams and also youth. It is their future also.

A lot went on this month. I can go on and on but I won’t. I was impressed with so many things at field day. My hope is to build on that success. And to ask you to help your neighboring club if they need it. There are no territorial rights. We just have a common goal. Amateur Radio. Have a great Summer.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

Section Manager Report May 2018

Hello there! 2018 seems to be going by and leaving a vapor trail. It weird that it has been six months since I assumed the position as Section Manager. Through this time, I have received messages of a number of you expressing encouragement and appreciation for what I am doing and that is very much appreciated.

On June 1st as you remember was the day seven years ago we had an F3 tornado hit the Monson and Springfield area which cut a swath of destruction in it’s path. I ponder this thought in reflection to this event. Are we ready if it hits again? The help wanted sign is still out for a new SEC, but there is a deafening sound of crickets. My desire is to establish a formal emergency communication system that is a standard for all counties, and to start getting served agencies on board as a reliable and important resource ready to go if needed. I cannot accomplish this without a crew of willing volunteers to help establish this goal.

In May, along with the big move of my mother from Arizona to Mass. I was able to visit the WECT club meeting which demonstrated the dispatch console software they used for the marathon and was quite impressed with what that can do more multi-link and mode communication. I was impressed with the knowledge they had with UHF/VHF Motorola technologies. I also want to congratulate Gil Hayes WK1H as he is now the Official Observer Coordinator and the Affiliated Club Coordinator. These are a couple of important roles and I know Gil will do a great job.

June is also the month for our annual ritual called Field Day. This will be different for me as I will be out visiting sites and not setting up on Mount Wachusett. I encourage you to enter your field day in the ARRL website and email me where you will be so I can plan on getting there. My attempt is to visit as many as I can if not all sites. There are some sites way out there and I will be working on getting there early. I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else has theirs set up.

Along with Field Day locations, I also encourage all Assistant Section Managers to visit the sites as well. Please send a report as to your activity and any news regarding club activity and DEC and EC activities. ALL are encouraged to feed me with anything pertaining to the section so I know what’s going on. Those that currently do, thank you and keep it up! Reporting will be more essential as the organization develops.

That’s enough for now. Time to get off the soapbox. Hope to see you at Field Day!

73,
Ray KB1LRL

Section Manager Report for April 2018

Greeting’s to all! I am still winding down from my adventure at Near-Fest. I was one of the unfortunate to have 2 canopies take off to meet Dorothy and Toto in that storm Friday night. But like most ham’s we persevered, regrouped, and made the scrap metal guy happy!

April was quite a busy month for me as I made a number of visits to clubs and a hamfest mixed in. I visited the Hampden County Radio Association and the Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association. Both of them were lively groups and was most impressed of the number of attendants and I find the level of participation and activity to be one of sustaining continued growth in the hobby as well as the club for years to come. Keep up the great work!

I also visited the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club breakfast and they have a great Tech class going on which produces and good number of new hams and has a good amount of activity in public service. I love the enthusiasm as they approach me to share their information of what they are doing out there and the passion that is behind it. Warning! Stuff like this is contagious! Do it liberally! Hi-hi.

My “alma mater”, the Montachusett Amateur Radio Association, had a QSL card sort which we sorted out 13,000 cards that night and finished it off with some great pizza. This is gone annually and is a popular event there.

May is going to be light for me as I will be in Arizona making the move for my mother back east. There’s a Mother’s Day gift! I will available via cell (leave message) or email. If you have anything section or club wise, please let me know.

With June coming up we are all planning and gearing up for Field Day. My plan is to try to visit the far western sites on Saturday, Sunday to be on the air for traffic and visit the local clubs the rest of the day. Let’s see how it works! Let me know where you will be and place it in the Field Day locator on the ARRL web site.

That’s all for now. Hope everyone has a great month.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

Section Manager Report for March 2018

Hello everyone. I want to start off with an item of importance that all club presidents or officials need to do right away. Our division leader Tom Freneye K1KI has advised the New England section managers as to the status of the club status in the ARRL. There are many clubs who have not updated their information which acts as your annual report. It does state on the website:

“The club update is your annual report.  You must update your club record at least once per year even if nothing changes.  The club update is how we know that the club is still in business and keeps the contact information current for ARRL and prospective hams to get in touch with your club.  Should two years pass without an update your club will be listed as inactive.”

I am just as guilty of neglecting this as I was never told of this in the past. I am asking ALL clubs to update this as soon as possible. Follow this link and there is a PDF on how to do it: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Clubs/Club%20Update%20Online_20150806.pdf

This is something that the club secretaries should have as a reminder and needs to pass it down to their successors as well. Thank you in advance to updating your information.

I was at the Mount Tom Hamfest and had a great time there and had some members stop by and say hi which I truly appreciate. I am continuing my quest to visit the clubs and generate interest in section positions. (the crickets are getting loud on this one!) I do apologize again in advance as I am in the process of moving my mother back east from Arizona so I have been in the middle of that project which is not easy logistically. Just drop an email if you need to reach me.

The Franklin County ARC has been busy as they have a license class starting up and it actually made it in an article in their local paper. They are also going to be participating in a shelter drill in April and will be working on communications support on the ham radio side. Chris KB1NEK has been reporting and communicating to me the activities there and does a great job of keeping me informed with the going’s on in their county. I encourage all EC’s to do the same.

The Mount Tom ARA has been working with the Pathfinder Regional Vocational HS and has been selected to participate in an upcoming ARISS Space Station QSO event to take place in the Fall. This also got regional press coverage and the students are exited to take part in this. This is a fine example of getting youth into the hobby and showing them that there is more to communication than just a smartphone. Well done to the group there!

Reporting from other section officials has been a little light and I hope to hear from more of you, ASM’s, EC’s, etc. Does not have to be much or formal. Your input can also help where the needs are and what we have to do to get our section going in the right direction.

I will still be visiting one or two clubs in April. Schedules will determine how much I can do. I will also be at the Framingham Flea Market in April. I will also be among the volunteers at the Boston Marathon.

That’s enough from my world, what’s going on in yours in Ham Radio? Let me know.

73
Ray, KB1LRL