Western Massachusetts ARRL

A local section of the American Radio Relay League, the National Association for Amateur Radio™

ARRL New England Division Convention Web Site Live!

The 2019 ARRL New England Division Convention (now branded as “North East HamXposition @ Boxboro“) web site is now live. Sign-ups for speakers and volunteers are now available, as are applications for commercial, non-profit, and club vendor tables. Ticket pre-orders will be available in early June. 

The three-day convention is held September 6-8, 2019 at the Boxboro Regency Hotel and Conference Center (formerly the Boxboro Holiday Inn), 242 Adams Place, Boxborough, MA 01719.

Be sure to make your reservations early as the hotel fills up quickly. See https://hamxposition.org/travel-and-hotel for details.

Original posted on the Eastern MA ARRL website.

Section Manager Report March 2019

Hello and welcome to Spring! (When it get’s here!) I held off the report until the hamfest was over so I can include that.

We started the month with a visit to the Hampden County Radio Association. Gil, WK1H and myself went there and presented them with a Special Service Club certificate. These are given to clubs that go above and beyond in publicity, training, technical and operating activities. Each time I go there, that meeting is buzzing with activity. This is well deserved and congratulations to them. Any club can contact Gil Hayes WK1H, our section's Affiliated Club Coordinator, for details on applying, or what it takes to be an SSC.

A week later I was back in the area at the Mt. Tom Hamfest and time does fly there. I had the good fortune of sharing part of my table with Charlie K1II who set up an information table on ARES and RACES to promote that and answer people’s questions about what it is. Charlie had a helper in Frank, K1LMY. Both of them were busy in a mix of reacquainting with old friends and talking to people about the program. I think this was very successful and hope it can be done again next year. Thank you, Charlie and Frank, for being there and your dedication to this important part of our hobby. And yes, I did some section manager stuff and sold some things too.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Dave W1TTT, our new Berkshire Co. DEC and we discussed what we need to get ARES reintroduced to the area and getting new and renewed relationships to the area. Dave has a good idea and plan as to what needs to be done and hope the EC’s will support and assist him. Thank you, Dave, for your efforts there. I appreciate the enthusiasm you bring to it as well.

So, the recent buzz of late is the reopening of the EC-001 courses from the League. This was much anticipated and the floodgates opened. This is a revised course and is now free. I imagine as you read this you may find the course already booked, but the staff at the league is working on scheduling more courses as they need to get additional resources to accommodate the trainings. These are 9-week online courses and are mentored. If you cannot get in now, hang in there as other offerings will be available.

I do want to remind everyone that I still have a number of spots available for section staffing and would love to see some of these spots filled. I do hear there is some interest out there but there have been no inquiries. Take a moment to see if there is anything that may interest you and let me know.

That’s enough chatter for now. I look forward to seeing you at the meetings or the hamfest’s soon.


New Amateur Licensees - February 2019

Western MA ARRL

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Eddie Stankiewicz, KC1LAW
36 Grove Ave
East Longmeadow, MA 01028-2203

Philip J Lord, KC1LAV
279 North Rd
Hampden, MA 01036-9662

Jesse P Kellner, KC1LAU
383 Mountain Rd
Wilbraham, MA 01095-1725

John R Hanlon, KC1KWY
PO Box 808
Sheffield, MA 01257-0808

James A Psillas, KC1KXJ
PO Box 1016
Stockbridge, MA 01262-1016

Caleb A Fitzgerald, KC1LAB
146 Lenox St
Athol, MA 01331-1342

Brett A Yoder, KC1LAS
PO Box 73
Douglas, MA 01516-0073

Mark S Hackathorn, KC1KWV
278 School St
Northbridge, MA 01534-1218

Zabdiel E Martinez, KC1KZI
13 Bleeker St
Apt 2
Worcester, MA 01604-3748

FCARC Offering General Licensing Class

The Franklin County Amateur Radio Club is offering a General Class licensing course for those looking to upgrade from Technician Class amateur radio licenses.

Keep in mind that the General Class license question pool will be updated on July 1 of this year, so if you've been studying with the current question pool, now is a good time to get licensed before the question pool changes.

The course will cost $15 and will start on March 25 and will run Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 PM to 9 PM for three weeks (for a total of six sessions). The classes will be held at the Greenfield Community College.

Please use the web sign up form to register for this course.

Best of luck to all of FCARC's students!

Registration Now Open for ARRL's New EC-001 Course

ARRL’s Lifelong Learning Department is excited to announce the launch of the recently revised Introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001) course. As part of this new initiative, the course has been updated, beta-tested by a group of course mentors, and transferred into a new online learning platform.

With the closing of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) in mid-2018, EC-001 lost its virtual home and was taken offline. At that point ARRL’s Emergency Preparedness staff started working with the new Lifelong Learning team to explore short and long-term alternatives for offering the course. After a period of careful evaluation and review, the decision was made to move the course from the previous Moodle platform to a more modern Learning Management System called Canvas, which will be used while the new Lifelong Learning Initiative program is being developed. The EC-001 course will eventually become part of this new, comprehensive online learning environment.

EC-001 is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer. We hope this course will be the starting point for you in your service to your community as radio amateurs and inspire you to think outside the box and look at new and useful ways the radio amateur can lend a hand to the public that has given us the trust of our spectrum of skills. With the online format, students can access the course at any time from anywhere during a 9-week period, so you may work according to your own schedule.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer Introduction to Emergency Communications EC-001 once again” states Kris Bickell, ARRL Lifelong Learning Manager. “The Emergency Preparedness staff at ARRL has been incredibly helpful while we’ve worked together to get the course back up and running. And the input from previous EC-001 mentors has been an invaluable part of the testing phase. The timing is right to put the course back online.”

As in the past, students will be able to register and take the course entirely online. The Canvas platform is also mobile-responsive, meaning that students can view the course materials, interact with fellow students, and complete assignments from any mobile device.

Each course will run for nine (9) weeks, with a group of up to 30 students who will be supported by an experienced mentor. There will be no cost for the course, although students must meet certain pre-requisites to be eligible to participate, which are listed on the registration page.

To view the 2019 course schedule and to register: http://www.arrl.org/online-course-registration

HCRA Renews SSC Qualification

Hampden County Radio Association

Congrats to the Hampden County Radio Association for once again has achieving ARRL Special Service Club designation.

SSCs are clubs that go above and beyond for their communities and for Amateur Radio. They are the leaders in their Amateur Radio communities who provide active training classes, publicity programs and actively pursue technical projects and operating activities.

Keep up the excellent work, HCRA!

Gil Hayes WK1H
WMA Affiliated Club Coordinator

MTARA Annual Hamfest

The Mount Tom Amateur Repeater Association is holding its annual Amateur Radio and Electronics Hamfest on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Drive in Chicopee. All amateurs and those interested are invited!

Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 and under are free. Doors open at 6:30 AM for vendors only and 8:30 AM for general admission.

The hamfest will feature:

  • A snack bar serving hot and cold beverages, hot dogs, burgers and the like.
  • Several raffles (tickets $1 each or 6 for $5)
  • An amateur radio license exam session will be run at 10:30 AM. Candidates must obtain a FCC Registration Number (FRN) and pre-register on the Pioneer Valley VE Team's website prior to the exam.

Those wishing to reserve a table for selling, please contact Brian Mullarney N1FI. Mail-in registration is also available using the form in the official MTARA Hamfest flyer.

Talk-in for the hamfest will be on the W1TOM repeater (146.940 MHz, PL 127.3).

In connection with the MTARA Hamfest, the Hampden County Radio Association is presently selling tickets for their annual raffle. There will only be 250 tickets sold for HCRA's raffle at $10 each. The raffle will be for brand new Icom IC-7300 transceiver. The raffle winner will be drawn at the MTARA Hamfest.

WMA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL is planning on attending the hamfest.

New England Vintage Electronics Expo 2

The New England Antique Radio Club will hold its New England Vintage Electronics Expo 2 on Sunday, March 3, 2019 from 8 AM to 4 PM at the Courtyard Marriott Event Center, 2200 Southwood Drive, Nashua, New Hampshire. Billed as “the East Coast’s largest antique radio and vintage electronics show and flea market, the event features over a hundred indoor tables and more than sixty vendors. Adult admission is $10; spouses, and children under 18 are admitted free. Flea market admission is free from 11 AM to 1 PM. Onsite parking is free. For more information, see http://www.nearc.net/swapmeetinfo.htm.

Post courtesy of the Eastern Massachusetts ARRL website.

Volunteers Still Needed for 2019 Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon Communications Committee is currently at 250 out of our goal of 350 volunteer registrations for this year's Boston Marathon. Registration is scheduled to close on February 6th (we have requested an extension on this, but there's no guarantee the BAA will grant it) so there isn't much time left. 

If you're interested in volunteering, please register today. You can sign up at https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/volunteer/volunteer-registration. Please share this note with your ham friends / organizations that may be interested.

Any questions can be directed at contact@HamRadioBoston.org.