Most new amateur radio operators get their first experiences with amateur radio with a local club. Whether it’s contacts via the clubs local repeater system, attending a club’s meeting, or operating at a club’s Field Day operation, local amateur radio clubs embody what the ARRL is all about.
The 2018 SKYWARN Recognition Day will be on Saturday, December 1.
SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service mission, the protection of life and property.
Amateur radio operators comprise a large percentage of the SKYWARN volunteers across the country. Amateur radio operators also provide vital communication between the NWS and emergency management if normal communications become inoperative. During the SKYWARN Special Event operators will visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world. This will be the 20th year of SKYWARN Recognition Day and its anticipated that 80-100 NWS Forecast Offices will be participating once again this year.
The WX1BOX Boston/Norton Office SKYWARN station covers all the Western Massachusetts section except Berkshire County, which is covered by the WX2ALY Albany Office SKYWARN station.
WX1BOX will be on the air Friday November 30 and Saturday December 1 on the following schedule for these Western MA repeaters:
WX1BOX will be monitoring the *NEW-ENG3* conference node 9123/IRLP 9123 system throughout the SRD event from 7 PM-12 AM Friday Evening 11/30/18 and from 7 AM-7 PM Saturday 12/1/18. Our HF station will be active on the various HF bands during the same time period. What bands/modes we operate on will be dependent on propagation and operator availability. We will attempt to announce the different HF frequencies will be on via our Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as on the DX Spotter/cluster system dxsummit.fi for people that wish to contact us on HF.
WX2ALY will also be on the air from 1300Z (8:00 AM EST) to 2100Z (4:00 PM EST).
For more information on SKYWARN Recognition Day, check the following:
The Blue Hill Observatory awarded Rob Macedo, KD1CY, with their Outstanding Service Award on November 9, 2018. The award was presented at a Blue Hills Observatory fundraising event by meteorologist and Weather Channel personality Jim Cantore and former Weather Channel meteorologist Mish Michaels. The honor was especially meaningful for Macedo as it coincided with his birthday.
“It’s both rewarding and humbling to receive [the award] in the presence of some of the most respected people in the meteorology profession,” remarked KD1CY. “It wouldn’t be possible without the support of hundreds to thousands of SKYWARN spotters and Amateur Radio operators who support the program and give their reports during times of severe weather…”
Macedo serves as the ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for the WX1BOX Southern New England / Boston / Norton National Weather Service office, and Section Emergency Coordinator for Eastern Massachusetts.
ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology alumnus Mariusz Zielinski, KB1MDS, invited ARRL Lifelong Learning Manager Kris Bickell, K1BIC, Lifelong Learning Administrator Ally Riedel, KM3ALF, and ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, to witness an exciting November 2 Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact with students at Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School in Palmer, Massachusetts, where Zielinski teaches. Pathfinder Amateur Radio Club students queued up to ask mostly technical questions of NASA astronaut Serena Maria Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT.
The Pathfinder ARC said the ARISS project became “a school-wide endeavor, capitalizing on our students’ interests in the trades and STEM subjects, giving them an interdisciplinary opportunity to apply their various skill sets.” Over the 2-year run up to the contact, Pathfinder students fabricated the antenna-aiming and mounting hardware. The club said on its website that it “incorporated many of the technical areas to construct the radio station and prepare for the ARISS contact and challenged our students to learn more about wireless technology and radio science.” One goal of the project was to “provide an educational opportunity for students, teachers and the general public to learn about wireless technology and radio science through Amateur Radio,” the club described.
Palmer Town Councilor Robert Lavoie, Massachusetts Representative Todd Smola, and Massachusetts Senator Anne Gobi were on hand to present a citation of congratulations from the State of Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Wearing an “ARISS 2018” T-shirt designed by students, Zielinski told a WWLP television reporter that the successful contact was even more exciting than the Boston Red Sox recent World Series win.
Further assistance and support was provided by fellow Teachers Institute alumni and Pathfinder instructors Schley Warren, KA1TDL, and Frank Legassey, KC1IYH, as well as from Jack O’Donnell, KC1GZB; Susan Grimaldi, WA1SJG, and Al Grimaldi, KB1XG, of the Mt. Tom Amateur Repeater Association. Legassey, an electronics instructor, and O’Donnell, a physics instructor, earned their Amateur Radio licenses during a January 2018 exam session at the school.
Others pitching in included Gary Thomas, AA1UE, of Wealth Technologies; Ronald Osimo, K1CRR, of the Cheshire County DX Radio Club; ARISS mentor Steve Taylor, W1HQL; Aggie Zielinski, and Anatoliy and Elen Borryssenko of A&E Partnership.
Videos of the Pathfinder contact have been posted on YouTube.
Hello to all, by now everyone has put away their shorts, sandals, sunblock and got out their winter woolies. October was certainly a month of quick transition for sure. This is also the time where we start turning our attentions to our hamshacks and getting on the air and exercising your equipment and operating skills. Good opportunity to try something new to!
On Nov 2nd I will be at the Hampden County Radio Association’s meeting and will be presenting there. It will be a quick, light presentation and will follow with a discussion amongst the group. Bring your suggestions, ideas, etc. (Keep the rotten tomato’s home hi-hi.) This is really the presentation I did at Boxboro to a very small group and a large gathering of crickets. Hope to see you all there.
Also, on that day the Pathfinder’s Regional HS will have their day where they will be set up to contact the ARISS Space Station. Many schools put in for the chance and with the help of the Mount Tom ARA got approved and now is the show. The Pathfinders are very exited about this and hope to get information as to how it went to post here.
One thing I do wish to share with you which kind of bother’s me is email. On many occasions I have asked for reports and request for confirmations, information, etc. and have gotten no responses at all. I am not asking for anyone to pounce the moment I send something, and I do realize we are all busy, and I am DEFINITELY not perfect. All I am asking that we all try to do a better job with responses. There are many other reasons for this and not just personal. We may need something for emergency purposes, to get important information across to others. To keep me informed as to what is going on in the section in case I need to act on something, lastly to let me know my communications are being heard. They say it’s lonely at the top, silence can demonstrate this well, even though it is not the intention. To those that have been really good about this, thank you.
It is with hopes there will be some communication regarding out Tech specialist group and Mentoring our new hams. I am hoping to pull information together and have a program off the ground soon. Anyone with ideas can certainly send me an email. (There’s a test for my previous rant!) I would like to know what works and does not. I feel there is a huge loss of opportunity the moment we congratulate them on passing the test. I am even going to approach the league for ideas as well.
That’s enough mischief for now. I hope to hear from you or see you in the upcoming visits.
As part of this COMEX, MARS members will reach out to amateur radio operators (on the 24-26) for any information on real life infrastructure failures. We have been practicing this sort of reporting as part of both Western and Eastern Mass ARES nets. If there are any know local failures of infrastructure, defined as Power, Water, Medical, Sanitation, Communications or Transportation, just let the MARS operator know with information on your county name, or your zip code (which is easy to determine county name with).
MARS Operators will use non-internet connected VHF/UHF repeaters as well as 60 meter channel 1 in our area, to gather these reports.
Amateur Radio operators are asked to monitor 60-meter channel 1 (5,330.5 kHz, USB) at 0001 UTC (8:01pm ET) on October 24, for a high-power broadcast of updated information regarding this exercise and how the Amateur Radio community can participate.
Questions about this local to the Western and Eastern Mass ARRL sections can be directed towards me.
Ballots for the upcoming ARRL New England Division Director election were mailed from ARRL HQ in Newington, CT on October 1st. If you’re an ARRL member within the New England Division, please make sure to vote and return your ballot so it arrives by noon on November 16th. If you do not receive your ballot by mid October, contact ARRL HQ for a replacement.
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.
This page contains a listing of ARRL Field Appointments that the Western Massachusetts section is actively searching to fill. All of these appointments require full, active ARRL membership. If you are an ARRL member in the Western Massachusetts section that meets the stated requirement of the appointment and are interested in it, please contact the Section Manager.
Section Staff Appointments
State Government Liaison (SGL)
The section’s State Government Liaison is the primary contact for all governmental affairs having the potential to affect amateur radio. The SGL helps inform legislative and regulatory entities of the importance in amateur radio considerations in each bill, and potentially helps muster a section wide amateur radio publicity campaign to bills as needed. The last SGL was KC1VQ, whom passed away April 2018. This appointment has been vacant since. Requires full ARRL membership.
District Emergency Coordinator (DEC) for:
Berkshire County North
Berkshire County Central
Worcester County North
Emergency Coordinators (ECs) for:
Franklin County East
Worcester County Southwest
Emergency Coordinaotors are appointed to local areas throughout the section and responsible for leading up the ARES program implementation in the local area they are assigned to (generally a large city or multiple smaller communities). They work with the DECs and the SEC to plan ARES activities, tests and procedures in the area, as well as to promote of ARES membership. They foster relationships with the local emergency response community to help coordinate ARES responses when activations are required. Requires a Technician class license or higher, full ARRL membership, and the commitment to take ARRL Intro to EmComm (EC-001) within 1 year.
Local Government Liaisons (LGLs)
Local Government Liaisons are appointed throughout the section and responsible for monitoring proposals and actions by local government bodies which may affect Amateur Radio. They work with the local PIO to alert area amateurs to problems and opportunities involving local government agencies, and coordinate local responses. We have a need for LGLs in most local areas throughout the section. Requires full ARRL membership.
Public Information Officers (PIOs)
Public Information Officers provide local “grassroots” public relations. They give regular and frequent information about amateur services to the public via the local media, school programs, presentations to civic groups, exhibits and demonstrations. They also promote the distribution and airing of ARRL public service announcements and other audiovisual material, and public awareness of club recruiting and training activities. We have a need for PIOs in most local areas throughout the section. Requires full ARRL membership. A professional public relations, journalism experience, or background in dealing with the public media is preferred but not required.
Technical Specialists (TSs)
Technical Specialists serve as a technical adviser to local hams and clubs, helping them with technical questions, problems and radio frequency interference cases. They also represent the ARRL at technical symposiums in industry; serve on CATV advisory committees; advise municipal governments on technical matters, and work with other ARRL officials and appointees when called upon for technical advice. Technical Specialists also speak at local ham clubs and conventions on technical matters. We have a need for TSs in most local areas throughout the section. Novice class license or higher is required, as is full ARRL membership.