Sutton Chain of Lights

Sutton Chain of LightsBrian Loverro K1BML, President of both WECT and CMARA, is looking for amateur radio operators for the Sutton Chain of Lights Saturday December 7, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

The event is a town-wide holiday celebration featuring open houses and activities at a large variety of locations throughout the town. For more on the event, visit the Sutton Chain of Lights Facebook page.

The role of amateur radio is to coordinate the trolley buses that shuttle people to and from various locations throughout the town. You will need an external antenna. The trolleys’ roofs are made of fiberglass, so you’ll need another means of attaching the antenna to the trolley other than mag mount. Duct tape has often been used in the past. HT’s should be OK but portable mobiles are preferred. No DC power is available from the trolley so everything will need to be run by battery.

This is a very fun, festive and low-key event, perfect for those wanting to get into public service for the first time. Operators will also likely have opportunities to get out at some of the stops to shop and the like.

To sign up or for more information email K1BML and confirm that you have the equipment listed above. Thank you for your help and support.

Section Manager Report for October 2019

Hi everyone, sorry for being a little late. Things are a little crazy for me, hopefully after this month things will settle down more.

The weather prognosticators really messed up the forecast this weekend and unfortunately had an impact on Near-Fest. I know this event is notorious for having weather of some sort. As Mr. Mike said. “It’s not all about the selling, it’s getting together twice a year and catching up with friends in the hobby.” Usually I am selling there and this time I did not fearing the easy ups were not going to be adequate, I did come up on Saturday and yes, had a great time visiting with friends. It was fun and relaxing indeed. The next Near-Fest is May 1 & 2, 2020. Put it on your calendar now to plan for it.

Most of the clubs have now started on their monthly meetings and I have been hearing about some good presentations coming up. Presentations are very important to a club and some clubs do struggle in finding good speakers. To those that do have a presentation, please consider going to other clubs. They would truly appreciate it and it helps to keep things interesting and helps in attendance. I hope to get a list together of people willing to visit clubs both in East and West Mass. which can help to see who’s available.

As a reminder if you have any news of interest, events, etc. Send it to me or to Gil, WK1H and we can get it on the website. Also, it helps me in knowing what is going on out there more.

That’s all I have for now be safe on Halloween and check out a contest or two!


New Amateur Licensees – September 2019

Western MA ARRL

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Chester M Andrzejczyk, KC1LWF
22 Williston Ave
Easthampton, MA 01027-2219

Timothy J Otto, KC1LXJ
1056 Millers Falls Rd
Northfield, MA 01360-9622

Jacob N Killoy, KC1LYF
29 Geordie Ln
Hubbardston, MA 01452-1664

Elana Rabinow, KC1LVQ
241 Reservoir Rd
Lunenburg, MA 01462-1530

Eric J Koslowski, KC1LWR
271 Sunset Ln
Lunenburg, MA 01462-2144

Kaitlyn Whelan, KC1LWP
80 Brigham St
Northborough, MA 01532-2012

Christopher D Western, KC1LXK
689 Main St
Bolton, MA 01740-1307

Fall 2019 NEAR-Fest


The next New England Amateur Radio Festival will be Friday and Saturday October 11 and 12.

NEAR-Fest is an international event run by and for all radio hobbyists and enthusiasts, including hams, short-wave listeners, scanner buffs, vintage/antique radio fans, etc. NEAR-Fest is held twice annually, spring and fall, rain or shine, at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, Deerfield NH beginning on Friday at 0900 and ending Saturday at 1500 hours.

The program of activities and events at NEAR-Fest is extensive; a huge outdoor electronic flea market, three buildings full of commercial vendors, forums, technical seminars and symposia, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, licensing examinations, special events radio stations, a “jam session”, good food, fellowship, fun and general mishigoss. NEAR-Fest is the largest event of its kind in the Northeast and has once been described as the “Woodstock of Amateur Radio”.

NEAR-Fest typically attracts attendees from the six New England states, NY, NJ, PA, MD and other states as well as from Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada. Some attendees travel great distances; one gentleman from Los Angeles has attended fifteen events and in 2010 one radio amateur traveled from Greece to join us for the fun. It is a perennial attraction for many hams in the Western MA section.

Hope to see you there!

Official Observer Program Sunset


As announced recently on the ARRL HQ website, on September 30, 2019, the Official Observer program was sunset and replaced with the new Volunteer Monitor program.

As the last Western MA Official Observer Coordinator, I would personally like to thank all of the OOs that have worked in the section over the years and have helped the community by helping bring innumerable issues to resolution over the years, and sent out plenty of Good Operator cards to let our fellow hams know when their good operating has been noticed and appreciated by others.  I’d also like to thank those that have become the new Volunteer Monitors and whom will work directly with the FCC and their continued support of the amateur radio community.

For everyone going forward, for the near future, if there is a need for Volunteer Monitor assistance somewhere, please contact Volunteer Monitor Coordinator Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH by email.  Mr. Hollingsworth once handled Amateur Radio enforcement as an FCC employee and is now the liaison between the FCC and the ARRL in regards to the Volunteer Monitor program.

Thanks again and 73,
Gil WK1H

ARRL HQ Seeking Emergency Management Director


This is a repost from the national ARRL website.  We’re reposting it since it might be possible for Western MA to be employed at League HQ and commute in to work each day.

ARRL is seeking an emergency management director to oversee a team responsible for supporting ARRL emergency communication programs and services, including the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) and National Traffic System (NTS), and to work with staff to develop standards, protocols, and processes designed to support the Field Organization. This is a full-time, exempt position at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut.

This individual would serve as the official point of contact and liaison to key partners and other served agencies at the regional and national level. Duties would include representing ARRL at served agency and partner meetings, conventions, and exercises as well as organizing and providing presentations for various relevant audiences.

The emergency management director will oversee and manage the ARRL Emergency Preparedness Department and its support of the Field Organization that includes but is not limited to soliciting, training, and maintaining an ARRL Headquarters Emergency Response Team; creating, soliciting, or editing content for publications and electronic media; administering the Ham Aid program, and working with key partners to establish plans, protocols, and procedures for incorporating Amateur Radio in their emergency response plans.

Applicants should possess leadership ability as well as excellent written, interpersonal, and communication skills, and should hold an Amateur Radio license of General class or higher. Applicants should have at least 10 years’ experience in emergency management or equivalent. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in emergency management is required. Certifications from NIMS, FEMA, or International Association of Emergency Managers are preferred.

Frequent domestic and occasional international travel would be required.

See the job posting for complete details on this position and how to apply.

Section Manager Report for September 2019


Hello everyone, I held off this month’s report to include Boxboro’s Hamfest which if you missed it, shame on you!

Boxboro provided pretty much the usual cast of characters and events. Most of the outdoor flea vendors were a little worried with Dorian dumping its remnants in the area but, luckily it left us at 6 am and the sun broke out and went into a great day. Some of us turned a great shade of red as a result. The flea market actually looked better than last year on Sunday as they migrate to the hamfest in Albany NY.

There was a great selection of forums that unfortunately doing the flea market restricts me from attending them and I wish Sunday was just as good to go to them. Oh well! I will point out that our SEC, Bob K1YO co hosted an SEC forum with Rob Macedo and others and soon after that I was receiving many compliments on how great his part of the talk was! Bob has continued to impress. I can’t thank him enough for the effort he has done for our section. Next time you see him do the same!

On a personal note I had really one item I needed to accomplish and after 9 years finally achieved it, and that was get my Extra Class License upgrade. It’s surprising how a few pieces of paper can get someone so nerved up! But now it’s out of the way. Time to enjoy the privileges!

I do not know if it is just me, but I noticed QST has been later than normal. The last copy I got was a bit ruffled up. I did get and email from someone reporting the same. If you are getting them damaged or late, let the league know as well as myself.

One other thing, by a unanimous decision, (no one else stepped up!) I was elected to a second term as your Section Leader. So, the good thing is we can keep going on getting our section where it should be. I have a project or two in the works going on and am always looking for positions to be filled to round out our staff. Please give it a thought and join in the fun. It really is not rocket science. (Except for the tech specialists! Hi-hi)

That’s enough gab for this round. Many clubs are starting their new season. Keep me posted as to what activities are going on. Some clubs do a great job of doing that and would love to see more.

Have a great one!

More WECT Public Service Events

The Worcester Emergency Communications Team is looking for ham radio operators to assist with two more upcoming public service events.  Both of these events are out of WECT’s normal operational area.

The Buzzard’s Bay Triathlon in Westport on Sunday, September 15th. It occurs from 9 AM (hams will meet at 8 AM) until about 1 PM (some assignments should secure by noon). It will be held in Horseneck Beach State Park and includes a swim, bike and run that travels through the town of Westport. There is also a duathlon option. It is a very scenic area.

The Ride to Defeat ALS on Sunday September 22 from 6 AM to around 3 PM (depending on assignment).This is a low key event with the primary focus being on charity rather than racing. The 70 mile bicycle course begins at the Longfellow club in Wayland and continues through several towns with rest stops in Hudson, Bolton, Acton, Concord, and Sudbury. While the race runs from 6AM to 3PM, some stations open as late as 9AM and some close as early as 11AM. Operators working at a course station can report directly to their station. Lunch is provided for operators in Wayland. There will be two roving race vehicles that will require a mobile radio.

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to and let them know if you have UHF equipment with DCS / DPL.

Title 9 Women’s Only Triathlon

The Worcester Emergency Communications Team is looking for about a dozen hams to provide communications assistance for the Title 9 Women’s Only Triathlon in Hopkinton on Sunday, September 8th.

This event is sold out, so it will be busy. It occurs from about 7am to Noon (some assignments should secure as early as 9:30am, and most by 11am). It will be held in Hopkinton State Park and includes a swim, bike and run that travels through Hopkinton, Southboro and Ashland.

If you are interested in participating, please send an email to and let them know if you have UHF equipment with DCS / DPL.