Pay It Forward!

Amateur Radio is a great avocation! It challenges us to improve ourselves in many ways. Where else could we learn and manipulate how the physical universe affects our radio performance through ionospheric propagation on different bands? We communicate with each other on opposite ends of the globe through various evolving operating modes, via orbiting satellites and even by bouncing signals off the moon. We improve our operating skills while enjoying contesting with other stations. Whether we realize it or not, all this expands our knowledge and improves our effectiveness … as COMMUNICATORS.

We personally gain much from Amateur Radio, and it offers us an opportunity to return the favor …. to PAY IT FORWARD … by assisting our communities in times of need. ARES, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, is an ARRL program which does exactly that. ARES trains us to provide a communications conduit for our communities and agencies in emergency situations but also for local events that could benefit from effective communications.

The key word here is effective! We obviously must be effective in our technologies and radio skills; but it is critically important to effectively interface with those we serve. Our Post – 9/11 environment has driven government and healthcare organizations to adopt strict operational protocols such as the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS). Credentialing and Certification requirements are part of these protocols, and the ARRL has recently revamped ARES to comply with this, working with many groups such as the American Red Cross and FEMA to ensure ARES meets their current needs.

Training of ARES participants is a major factor required of us by external agencies, and it varies with the level of involvement the ARES member desires to participate on. The basic training involves locally provided sessions perhaps as part of a club meeting or event. Those who wish to get more involved will find that a few online courses will suffice (ICS, NIMS and ARRL introductory courses) to satisfy current ARES requirements. (Working onsite with certain organizations may require completing additional training required by that agency.)

ARES Section leadership officials (SEC, ASEC, DEC, EC) have a few additional online courses required. These are mandatory in order to participate in leadership positions. A 1-year period to complete relevant courses is allowed. All of us (myself included) will be held to these standards.

Over the past several months, many of you have expressed concerns about the training required for a ‘volunteer position’. I truly understand, but this is not something that is negotiable. Consider an example … would you want any volunteer firefighters or ambulance personnel without the training required by their departments responding to your needs in an emergency? I believe ARES holds a similar position.

It is critical to recognize that it’s not the ARRL imposing training on us …it is a compliance requirement of the organizations and agencies ARES serves.

Thanks to all for your support as we improve WMA ARES … and for paying it FORWARD as we move the organization in the same direction.

Vy 73
Bob Meneguzzo – K1YO
Section Emergency Coordinator WMA ARES Section

Section Manager Report for July 2019

Hello, I’m sure by now you have recovered from Field Day, tabulated your scores and feel good about what you accomplished this year. Regardless of outcome it should always have been a successful mission. Some of the clubs reported participation a little off this year. Tough to determine the reason why and it varies, but it makes me think. Are we getting older and tired? Have priorities changed? Are we bored? Tough to tell and I would say yes to all of them. We actually had 1 club that did not participate this year. I hope they will return next year. It is always best to do a after action debriefing to evaluate how the event performed and what could be improved.

One of the visits was at CMARA which is at the Aldrich Astronomy Field in Oakham. That is a great spot and it was buzzing with activity. Of course, around the “mess hall” where I found they have a killer feast there. But importantly there was a variety of activity there including satellite contact where there was over a dozen contacts made. FCARC had someone trying but this is a great thing to demonstrate to people as to what we can do with radio. Others there were trying out new antenna builds and the FT8 mode has been present at the sites also. Thanks to all who participated on a job well done by all.

Bob, K1YO has been hard at work on getting ARES put together and functioning as well. We now have a communication plan in place, and are still getting EC and DEC positions filled, but great progress is being made. Clubs can use this as some of the new hams coming in are getting their licenses largely for EMCOMM.

The July edition of QST has announced the nomination opening for the Western Mass section manager position. This is a 2-year term. In the ARRL site there are nomination instructions including a nomination signature form. I. myself am going to seek reelection, but anyone else is welcome to throw their hat into the ring.

With Field Day out of the way I am going to look at getting the Mentoring program more established and functional. I will be looking for the Tech Specialist’s to reach out to the clubs and make them more aware that this recourse is available to them and to encourage others to volunteer for this position as well.

With summer now upon us and great weather is here, it is a great time to get out there and do something radio related like contacting someone doing SOTA or IOTA, trying out a new field antenna, etc. I myself will be testing and trimming single band dipoles I have built as well as starting my trailer project. It’s not all about radio, spend time with friends and family too!

73 to all!
Ray KB1LRL

Nominations Open for Section Manager

WMA ARRLNominations for Western Massachusetts Section Manager are now open!  The term is for two years starting on January 1, 2020.

Any candidate for the office of Section Manager must be a resident of the section, a licensed amateur of Technician class or higher, and a full member of the League for a continuous term of at least two years immediately preceding receipt of a petition for nomination.  All nomination paperwork must be received by ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT by 4:00 PM on Friday, September 6, 2019.  The nomination forms and other associated information are available on ARRL HQ’s website here.

HamXposition @Boxboro – Online Ticketing Open!

The doors are open on our online ticketing system. Please visit our website to find out more about out 2019 program and to purchase your general admission, flea market vendor, and Friday and Saturday dinner tickets!
http://www.hamxposition.org

We still need about forty more volunteers to help out on 2 to 4 hours shifts. Receive a $10 lunch voucher for each day you help out.

To volunteer, please see our simple 30-second signup at:
http:///www.hamxposition.org/volunteer

And if you are interested in being a forum speaker, please see our speaker
signup at:
http://www.hamxposition.org/forums-and-classes/speaker-signup

“Triple Play:” MA Hams Receive Amateur Radio Proclamations, Resolutions from House, Senate, and Governor

This reposted from the Eastern MA ARRL website:

Massachusetts ARRL staff received copies of proclamations and resolutions congratulating the Amateur Radio community for its service to the Commonwealth, and for the upcoming annual Field Day exercise June 22-23, 2019. 

The Massachusetts House of Representatives document “offers its sincerest congratulations to the American Radio Relay League in recognition of The ARRL Field Day and the Tireless Work of Amateur Radio Operators.” The document was signed by Robert A. DeLeo, Speaker of the House.

The Massachusetts State Senate weighed in with a resolution, adopted May 9, 2019. “[The Senate] extends its appreciation to Amateur Radio operators as they celebrate Amateur Radio Week and Field Day.” The resolution was signed by Senate President Karen E. Spilka and Michael D. Hurley, Senate Clerk. It was offered by Senator Bruce E. Tarr (N1UIU), who represents the 1st Essex and Middlesex District.

The Governor’s Office issued a proclamation proclaiming June 22, 2019 to be “Amateur Radio Day” in the Commonwealth. The proclamation was signed by His Excellency Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth, Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth, and William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth.

MA State Government Liaison Hank McCarl, W4RIG, was instrumental in securing the three documents.

Copies of the documents will be delivered to Tom Walsh, K1TW, and Ray Lajoie, KB1LRL, ARRL Section Managers for Eastern and Western Massachusetts, respectively; and to ARRL New England Division Director Fred Hopengarten, K1VR.  K1TW plans to bring the copies with him for display as he tours various Field Day sites around the section

2019 MA House Resolution on Amateur Radio Operators
2019 MA Senate Resolution on Amateur Radio Operators
2019 MA Governor's Proclamation on Amateur Radio Day

New Amateur Licensees – May 2019

Western MA ARRL

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Gerald W Beltran, KC1LKS
51 Loudville Rd
Florence, MA 01062-7500

John K Bourque, KC1LKT
124 Oklahoma St
Springfield, MA 01104-2942

Section Manager Report for June 2019

Hello there! Once again that annual tradition of Field Day is upon us and I’m sure you are “making the list, checking it twice, to see if RF is naughty or nice!” (ok..lame attempt) But, we are busy getting the preparations together to have a successful event. And I wish you all good luck. Once thing I will remind you all is SAFETY! It’s always good to have 1 or 2 designated for that to check the setup, generator and fuel, even check the weather for those surprise storms. And of course, fire extinguishers and first aid kits and also a good tick repellent.

I made a visit to the MTARA’s meeting and was a nice time there. They had a presenter who has a PC repair business and appears on the local TV a bit, but, the club and the presenter are sharing information about building a “Ham Friendly” PC. That’s a neat idea as there are some pc out there that are not friendly to our setups.

I also made a visit to Mohawk ARC where my SEC, Bob K1YO did a presentation on his ARES planning and getting the service functioning again.

Speaking of Bob, he now has a final draft of our ARES EMCOMM plan and he has put forth a solid effort. He also has utilized a number of people in various roles to ensure the plan is accurate and in within the expectations of our served agencies and can adapt to the changing needs as well. Next time you see him give him a hearty Thank You!

The Franklin County ARC had some members attend the Metacomet Spring Camporee and Scout Show and set up a demonstration of ham radio to the group there. Exposure such as this and others are important to introduce ham radio to our youth and to generate interest in the hobby to keep it going. Great effort and thank you.

I do want to mention I truly appreciate all who send emails to me to keep me informed of activities surrounding areas and clubs to keep me informed of what’s going on. I may not answer all of them and most of them I do keep for some time afterward. I continue to ask that you keep at it and encourage others to do the same.

Again, I hope you all to have a safe and successful field day. I am planning to tour the sites and I am also encouraging my Assistant Section Managers and Emergency Coordinators to do the same. We need to let the section know we are out there.

Very 73!
Ray KB1LRL

Massachusetts Hand-free Mobile Device Legislation Update

This is a re-post from the EMA ARRL website:

Hands-free mobile device legislation moved one step closer to becoming law, passing in the Massachusetts House on May 16. But by all accounts amateur radio operation while driving will remain unaffected.

Eastern Massachusetts section staff who have been in touch with legislative aides in both the House and Senate have learned the language that defines mobile devices will continue to exempt “federally-licensed 2-way radios.”

“MGL Chapter 90 Section 13 provides for the use of a federally licensed 2-way radio while driving. The hands-free bill being considered (House Bill 3793) does not alter this provision,” according to a staffer in Rep. Ferrante’s office. Another staffer from Rep. Hecht’s office also confirmed the preservation of the existing language in Chapter 90 Section 13 pertaining to federally licensed 2-way radios.

The full text of the H.3793 can be found at
<https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H3793>.

The text of General Law Part I, Section XIV, Chapter 90, Section 13 can be found at <https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section13>.

The Massachusetts Senate is expected to take up the measure in June.

New Amateur Licensees – April 2019

Western MA ARRL

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Karl F Zinnack, KC1LGF
63 Thomas Rd
Huntington, MA 01050-9750

Joseph M Byrnes, KC1LHN
175 Loomis Rdg
Westfield, MA 01085-3963

Johan E Reuchlin, KC1LIX
PO Box 550
Great Barrington, MA 01230-0550

Suzanne E Colpitts, KC1LIW
PO Box 91
Housatonic, MA 01236-0091

Daniel Barker, KC1LJX
38 Rich St
Gardner, MA 01440-2714

Shon Rainford, KC1LJY
196 Campbell St
Rutland, MA 01543-1604

John L Moore, KC1LGD
22 Stallbrook Rd
Milford, MA 01757-3582