Western Massachusetts ARRL

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

CMARA Breakfast Net Helping Fellow Hams

The Central MA Amateur Radio Association has recently started up a new Breakfast Net.  The net runs on their W1BIM repeater system every day at 9 AM local as well as on 80m on 3982 kHz at 10 AM local.

The purpose of the Breakfast Net is twofold.  First is to reach out to all hams in the area and keep us socially connected during these times of physical isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic and enjoy some easy-going conversation.  The second is to check in and see if anyone needs help during these times, with special attention towards older folks whom are more at risk from the virus.  In many cases, the net arranges for others that are already going to be out and about to help get groceries or other supplies and deliver them to those more at risk.

All are welcome to check in on either the repeater or the HF versions of the net.  See you there!

Looking for Local Net Information

Hi everyone,

I am looking to add to our website a listing of all the nets in the state as well as within the listening footprint. These can be casual, emergency, hf or repeater nets. The Eastern Ma website has a good one available and want to combine them with what we get so anyone has a means to see whats there for nets.

The purpose is to give new hams a resource to use nets for on-air experience, also given the current situation it can give all hams a reliable, active resource in which to participate in various nets. The league has listings but they have not been updated in some time. Having ours on our website we can maintain it better.

Send me what you have to rplajoie@comcast.net. Even though I may already know it send it along. Include any nets you regularly participate in even if it's from another state. The more, the merrier.

Thanks and stay safe and sane.

HamExposition Postponed Until Nov 6-8

I hope this messages finds you safe and healthy.   After long consideration, the convention committee has decided to postpone the 2020 convention to the week of November 6 through 8. 
There are several reasons for this, the first and foremost is the health and well-being of our attendees.   In addition, there are many logistical problems with holding the convention in July, even under the most favorable conditions of the pandemic emergency being over by then.
1. We believe it is unlikely that the state’s ban on large gatherings will be completely lifted by the end of July.
2. Even if it were, we believe attendance will be severely impacted due to lingering (and quite appropriate caution).
3. Almost all of our exhibitors are unwilling to commit to anything prior to June.
4. The convention is subject to penalties for cancellation.  The penalties increase as we get closer to the convention date.  By moving to November, we move out the schedule on these penalties.  This will allow us to reassess the viability of the convention in early August.  By then we will have further insight into  prevailing conditions.
5. The November weekend was the only one available to us – and could be lost to another group if we did not act on it.
We know that many look forward to attending each year, and have probably grown weary of all the cancellations of events like these.  However, given the reality of the situation, we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to postpone.
Stay safe & 73,
Bob – K1IW
Northeast HamXposition 2020

New Amateur Licensees - March 2020

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Antonio J Costa, KC1MTR
320 S East St
Amherst, MA 01002-2615

Daniel P Lesperance, KC1MTS
63 Laskowski St
Chicopee, MA 01020-3577

Joseph P Gomes, KC1MTM
PO Box 24
Cummington, MA 01026-0024

Robert Denault, KC1MXD
36 Lombard Ave
East Longmeadow, MA 01028-1641

Mark Bouchard, KC1MTO
267 Parker St
East Longmeadow, MA 01028-2614

Sarah K Oelker, KC1MTX
75 Evergreen Dr
Holyoke, MA 01040-1619

Matthew Chipman, KC1MTQ
1 Chatham Way
South Hadley, MA 01075-7517

Peter G Goodale, KC1MTW
180 Stony Hill Rd
Wilbraham, MA 01095-1510

Gary G Boyd, KC1MTP
78 Lumae St
Springfield, MA 01119-2506

Craig A Melchiori, KC1MTN
42 Edgemere Rd
Dalton, MA 01226-2012

Samantha Wood, KC1MTY
188 Silver St
Greenfield, MA 01301-1804

Ronald T Malotte, KC1MWX
176 Maple Ave
Apt 5-01
Rutland, MA 01543-1337

Igor Leib, KC1MWJ
94 E Main St
Westborough, MA 01581-1417

Damien M Lapierre, KC1MUT
11 Westview Dr
Sutton, MA 01590-1848

Section Manager Report April 2020

Hi everyone. What a difference a month makes. Last month we were looking forward to meeting’s, hamfests, baseball, etc. Now the new sport that’s popular is toilet paper searches and keeping the kids occupied. Needless to say, this has become a sobering experience for a lot of people. This also brings a new respect for those into making (makers) and preppers. We as hams share similar interests as we are always working on our gear so it will work under bad conditions and situations. Now that we are hunkered down, I’m sure ham projects are getting worked on and caught up, and BETTER!

With the situation in place, clubs have had to cancel events and meetings. Members have been coming up with ways to stay active within the group. I have seen some new nets springing up and there is some online stuff as well. There is a WMA page on Facebook where clubs can share information and ideas. It is pretty secured so no junk will get in. Of course, any articles of interest to all can go to Gil, WK1H, Grant, KC1KCE, our new PIO, or myself. With that, The League as you know is all working from home and can be contacted via email. There have been questions regarding exam sessions that people have been preparing for. They are looking at this as well as other things to keep parts of these areas moving. There is chatter, although nothing confirmed that the Extra class question pool may get extended to cover those that were studying before the June 30 cutoff. I’ll keep you posted.

Some of you know of my latest act of insanity where I retired from my job and went to school and got my CDL. March 30 I will be out of state going to orientation and training with Schneider. When I am done, I will be going over the road over 37 states. This was a little premature but none of the local companies would not hire unless you have experience, despite the huge demand. I will still, the best I can continue to keep up to date, attend online meetings and answer emails and calls, etc. There is good forward momentum going on, I want to keep it going.

As I have mentioned in the past, I have always encouraged the advancement of Ham Radio in some form. Whether it’s learning a new mode, taking lessons on EMCOMM, building antennas, etc. If you have kids or grandkids, this is an excellent opportunity to “home school” them in science, or if you are good, math. This hobby richly promotes STEM, what a great opportunity while at home! While I am away and, on my downtime, I do plan on busting out the Morse Code cd’s and learning code…again! Let’s see where that gets me.

I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. With any luck we will be out of this and we get back to normal with the exception that we ALL, hams or not, have learned from this experience.

Thank you all and 73!


NEAR-Fest XXVII Status Report

The big question for the last several weeks has been: Is NEAR-Fest XXVII scheduled for May going to be canceled? The answer sadly now is yes.
On March 26th the NH Governor issued Emergency Order 17 which is a “stay-at-home” advisory in effect from Friday, March 27th through Monday May 4th 2020. This Order cancels all gatherings over 10 persons during that time period. This obviously includes us.
Henceforth NEAR-Fest XXVII will be known as the “one that didn’t happen”. Now that that has been decided for us we first will need to determine what the financial impact of this will be. Some hard decisions may have to be made. I shall be in touch with you all soon to let you know what we will need to do going forward.
In the meantime we all need to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy throughout these unprecedented and challenging times. This means as much isolation as possible. But remember, amateur radio is the original “social distancing” so stay home and play radio.
The NEAR-Fest staff and management thank you for all your support for the past 14 years and we look forward to serving the amateur radio community for years to come.
Mister Mike, W1RC Benevolent Dictator

Boston Marathon Postponed Until September

The following message was sent to all amateur radio operators that have signed up to volunteer at the Boston Marathon this year:

As you should now have read in the BAA’s email to all volunteers, the decision has been made to postpone the race this year.  This was directed by the City of Boston and protects everyone involved with the Marathon; runners, volunteers, medical professionals, spectators, and others.

The BAA has posted their official statement on their website:

We greatly appreciate our volunteers and the work that you do.  There are a lot of logistics that go into planning the race and as we have more details in the coming months we will provide timely updates for volunteering for the new race date of September 14.  We look forward to your participation on our Team then.

We wish you all the best and very much look forward to September 14th!

Thank you, and 73,

Yours sincerely,
Boston Marathon Communications Committee

New Amateur Licensees - February 2020

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Lindsay E Stromgren, KC1MSD
106 Amherst Rd
Pelham, MA 01002-9706

Merrick L Stromgren, KC1MSE
106 Amherst Rd
Pelham, MA 01002-9706

Howard M Tuber, KC1MQJ
114 E Hill Rd
Monson, MA 01057-9203

Samuel L Hirshberg, KC1MSB
1 Berkshire Sq
Adams, MA 01220-1300

Lois Hunt, KC1MSC
12 Long Plain Rd
South Deerfield, MA 01373-9721

Randall J Miller, KC1MSA
596 Oak Hill Rd
Fitchburg, MA 01420-4818

Richard A Cinclair, KC1MRL
175 Hastings Rd
Ashburnham, MA 01430-1125

Robert F Goulet, KC1MQX
54 Hawley Ave
Leominster, MA 01453-2124

Robert W Salmonson, KC1MRI
14 Coachman Ln
Auburn, MA 01501-1804

Anne E Rock, KC1MRM
120 Ball Hill Rd
Berlin, MA 01503-1811

Todd E Army, KC1MRJ
107 Wheelock Ave
Millbury, MA 01527-4229

Michael Lussier, KC1MSF
176 Maple Ave
Apt 5-23
Rutland, MA 01543-1337

Jair L Jordan, KC1MQU
50 Commons Dr
Apt 36
Shrewsbury, MA 01545-4913

Christopher M Murray, KC1MRK
215 Rebecca Rd
Whitinsville, MA 01588-1640


Boston Marathon "Urgent Appeal" for More Volunteers

This year we have worked hard to build up our volunteer numbers so that the mission may be accomplished.  Unfortunately we’ve been met with lower than hoped for volunteer applications.  So here’s our urgent appeal for help.

Please spread the word, personally, that comms volunteers are needed at the Marathon.  In particular, we are seeking Amateur Radio communications for Course Medical tents, Hydration stations, Transportation medical Sweep and Express buses, and operators in the Course Net Control Operations Center.

Please tell your local Amateur Radio clubs and your licensed friends about the need.

To volunteer, send the following information immediately to contact@hamradioboston.org:
  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Amateur Radio Call Sign
  • Do you have a current Red Cross or other CPR certification
  • What is your jacket size (Male/Female)
  • What is your assignment area preference (Start, Course, Finish)

THANK YOU for stepping up as a volunteer.  You are a vital part of a highly-trained, able team of Amateur Radio communications specialists who are making a huge, and very positive impact on this complex and expansive event.  We cannot possibly thank you enough and simply cannot do the job without everyone’s enthusiasm, energy, and super volunteer spirit!

See you at the training!

Yours sincerely,
Boston Marathon Communications Committee