Section Manager’s Report. April 2021

Hello everybody. This month’s report actually started a couple of weeks ago in my head and changed countless times. I usually put a positive spin on them, I could not this month, sorry. I do want to address something if I can. We as radio operators are trained and licensed to communicate. We do that well on the air, but in other media I feel it is seriously lacking. When I became your section manager in 2017 the one thing I promised to do is be visible. I made it a priority to put out the monthly report to communicate to you what’s been going on. I use the section email reflector often and as needed. We have made improvements to our website and is still ongoing. Some good
things indeed!

The thing that is lacking is feedback, response. The term I lovingly use is “crickets”. Now I don’t expect my email box to
blow up with responses each and every time I put something out. But if it is relevant to you in the subject at hand, let others know and let me know. Silence usually tells me that I may not be heard as effectively as I would like. There may be other reasons, but I am not focusing on that. The thing I have also been promoting is participation in our section. Communication within our section is participation.

There are those out there and you know who you are that let me know there is a pulse out there, my sincerest THANK YOU!

I want to ask those out there who are reading this, 1) Ask your club to make sure the section web address in on your website and newsletters. Also, for those that have newsletters and need content, use my section report. 2) Make sure you and others have the section emails checked off in the league’s website to make sure you are getting important emails I send out. Thank you in advance in trying to better our communication with each other.

Now a couple of tidbits…..

Bob, K1YO has been working hard in getting a SET established to exercise our communications capabilities in an emergency. He has been inviting neighboring states and other served agencies to participate as well. He is looking to get as much help and participation as well. It There is a link elsewhere on this site or you can contact him as well.

The other thing is the HamExposition planned for Marlboro in September will be a live event. Obviously current situation may dictate differently down the road, But I am being optimistic. I am looking forward to being there.

That about wraps it up for this month. Hope you enjoy the
spring and the warmth it brings. 73 all.

Ray KB1LRL

New CW Slow Speed CW Traffic Net

Want an opportunity to practice your newly acquired CW skills or brush up on old skills once learned but not used for many years?

Learn and practice the art and skill of handling written messages, and have some fun along the way. You’ve asked for it and now we are reviving a slow speed CW traffic net. It is called MARISN or Massachusetts Rhode Island Slow Net and it will be meeting four evenings a week on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 PM local time on 3598 KHz. Rob K2MZ has offered to organize and manage this net. He has been a successful teacher of CW and has been active on our various traffic nets. He is welcoming all comers.

Come join us beginning Monday March 22, 2021. Looking forward to seeing you there.

73,
Marcia KW1U STM EMA / WMA

New Amateur Licensees February 2021

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Kevin M Odlum, KC1OPV
153 Brookfield Rd
Brimfield, MA 01010-9766

James Epps, KC1OPM
123 Trouble St
Cummington, MA 01026-9722

Steven M Mendrek, KC1OPU
62 Russellville Rd
Southampton, MA 01073-9338

Philip M Pin, KC1OPP
15 Briar Cliff Dr
Wilbraham, MA 01095-1578

Matthew T Lichenstein, KC1OOO
22 Argentine St
Leominster, MA 01453-5902

Michael F Caruso, KC1OPF
39 Gray Rd
Templeton, MA 01468-1112

Justin P Schur, KC1OPR
727 Moore Rd
New Braintree, MA 01531-1841

Section Manager’s Report March 2021

Hello! You know those video clips you see and there is the phrase “wait for it”, well that’s how I feel when March has arrived. Come on Spring! Not that we had a bad winter, but there is this thing about warm temps that interest me.

Basically, another quiet month. I have been getting to Zoom meetings the best I can with my schedule. One in particular is one set up by Ed Snyder W1YSM in CT. who, with Phil K9HI our vice director has reached out to club coordinators and section managers to get together with the division to looks at our clubs and what works, what doesn’t and see what can be done with clubs that are struggling. This will be an ongoing group and I will share things as we go along and as usual, if you have any suggestions feel free to email me. (crickets not invited!) I do want to give kudo’s to Phil, since he stepped into the role as Vice Director, he has been really opening up communications amongst the division. Well Done Phil!


I got word the League has approved the Hamexposition in Marlboro to be the New England Division Convention. I really hope this will be a live event. Zoom events are nice, but I miss the face to face that these have to offer. Cross your fingers.

I have over the year purchased a Anytone handheld and a tri-band mobile and have been trying to get it operational. One challenge is there is no repeater nearby. I purchased one of those MMDVM hotspots which I fear I ruined the card in it. I can really use some help in getting things up and running from one of the DMR guru’s out there. Give me an email if you are interested in giving me a hand. I also have a rotator that only turns 90 degrees that needs a climber for but that is when the snow melts.


Paul W1SEX from the Mohawk club is issuing a challenge to the WMA clubs for Field Day. This is to inspire some friendly competition and drive participation. It used to be a challenge with the Montachusett club. The losing club would get the 23 channel CB to display at the meetings for the year. An old Sears mobile I donated to the cause. For this one I will provide a new Handbook and maybe some other goodies to the highest scoring club, and the CB will continue as the booby prize. The Mohawk club in Gardner was one of the clubs that was struggling, but thanks to Bill, N1UZ and W1SEX along with others have been working to get better participation and activity, and their efforts are now paying off. Hats off to those guys! Keep at it!

I hope everyone has a great month. See you next month.

73 Ray, KB1LRL

Section Manager’s Report Feb, 2021

   Hello there! It must be the cold of winter doing this, my brain is frozen! Seems like as soon as February comes around, I get itchy for Spring. I guess Puxatawney Phil has an influence in this…oh well!

   The nice thing about winter is there is some great contests going on in the weekends. There is something for everyone so I hope you dust off that radio and work one of them. CQ WPX RTTY is one of my favorites which is on Feb 13. Contesting is also a good way to mentor that brand new Ham. So many things go into it live and behind the scenes.

   On the Federal side of things there is much going on. Of course, there is the Fee increase which will take place except it will be 35 dollars instead of the 50 as planned. The Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai stepped down on January 20. There was a flurry of notices regarding rumors of people using Ham Radio’s in protest/riot situations. The usual culprit were the Baofengs. It is a good idea to scan around to see if there are anyone using the bands illegally, especially the simplex vhf/uhf frequencies. Report any occurrences to myself or to one of the Volunteer Monitors. Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH is the head of that program and will assist were needed. So far things have been quiet. 

   January 9 we had our Division Cabinet meeting which was a virtual event this year. I think this was the first in a long time all 6 Section Manager’s in New England was present. Fred Hopengarten K1VR received reports from us as to what has been going on. Our new Chairman David Minster NA2AA was also present and presented the Rhode Island SM Bob Beaudette a very distinguished award for his many years of promoting radio. The meeting went well and there was some good information presented there. 

   Our Hamden Club President Larry Krainson W1AST is forming plans to hold an amateur radio booth at the 2022 Big E in Springfield and had asked the NE division to participate and assist where possible. This is a huge undertaking as this event runs for nearly 2 weeks. He has set up a groups.io reflector for those who want to join a group discussion. Contact Larry for more information.

   That’s enough for now. I hope you and your clubs are doing well. Keep looking for ideas to have participation and activity during this Pandemic. Keep in mind, it’s not a restriction, it’s an OPPORTUNITY! Stay Safe

73

Ray KB1LRL

New Amateur Licensees December and January

Congratulations to the latest new hams of Western Massachusetts:

Timothy L Johnson, KC1OJL
PO Box 31
Southampton, MA 01073-0031

Michael S Maruk, KC1OHK
25 Potter Mountain Rd
Pittsfield, MA 01201-1079

Flavia R Mastellone, KC1OHX
PO Box 207
Williamstown, MA 01267-0207

Rachel L Schmoyer, KC1OHY
278 Stow Rd
Harvard, MA 01451-1907

Josue Valentin, KC1OLK
113 Prospect St
Chicopee, MA 01013-4027

Todd Alexander, KC1OKD
202 Reservoir Rd
Westhampton, MA 01027-9613

Brian D Strout, KC1ONA
15 Stirling Dr
Wilbraham, MA 01095-1941

Daniel Conroy, KC1OLR
54 Primrose Dr
Longmeadow, MA 01106-2532

Thomas Jahl, KC1OKK
PO Box 126
Petersham, MA 01366-0126

Peng Bai, KC1OMW
54 Howard Hepburn Dr
Sunderland, MA 01375-9496

Stephen Levin, KC1ONF
31 Royalston Rd
Warwick, MA 01378-7805

James Williams, KC1OLT
1 Oak Hill Rd
Fitchburg, MA 01420-1000

Fabrizio Laporta, KC1OKM
8 Flagg Rd
Hubbardston, MA 01452-1308

Michael J Aschettino, KC1OKT
22 Nathan Dr
Clinton, MA 01510-1339

Bradley J Pontbriand, KC1OKV
PO Box 301
East Brookfield, MA 01515-0301

Roger P Proctor, KC1OLD
58 Keith Hill Rd
Grafton, MA 01519-1315

Michael E Paul, KC1ONZ
176 Maple Ave
Apt 3-33
Rutland, MA 01543-1332

Matthew T Pandina, KC1OKH
12 Fairview Rd
Westborough, MA 01581-1105

Ian J Winiarski, KC1ONS
115 Drumlin Hill Rd
Bolton, MA 01740-2021

Fall Boston Marathon Date Announced

This just in from the BAA to all its volunteers. More details on the BAA announcement on their website.

We hope you are safe and healthy. We wanted to provide you a short update on 2021 Boston Marathon plans in light of today’s public statement from the Boston Athletic Association (BAA).

The BAA statement can be seen here:
https://www.baa.org/fall-2021-boston-marathon-date-selected

Per the BAA, a Boston Marathon race date for 2021 has been set for Monday October 11th, 2021, which is the Columbus Day holiday, and a virtual option will also be offered. This race date assumes that the Massachusetts statewide reopening plan will allow road races at a large scale such as the Boston Marathon to take place. Additional details, including field size for the in-person race, registration dates for runners and volunteers, safety measures and protocols, and participant requirements that will be in place, are still being determined and will be communicated when available.

Our team continues to be engaged with the BAA at both the Organizing Committee and Medical Committee levels regarding the 2021 Boston Marathon. We have continued to meet regularly as an Amateur Radio Communications Committee in an attempt to review some of the issues of past events to more proactively address them for this year’s 125th running of the Boston Marathon..

Over the next few weeks, in addition to our proactive review of some of the issues seen in past marathons, we will be working with the BAA to send out a survey to our volunteers to gauge how comfortable you would be, given your specific personal situations, to participate in this year’s marathon on the October 11th, 2021 date. The availability and comfort of all volunteers, including Amateur Radio Operators as part of the thousands of volunteers of our race, is very important. These surveys will help inform the Communications Committee and the BAA of what r services our team can offer them this year.

There are still many details to be finalized and will be forthcoming as stated in the BAA press announcement. We will keep you posted as updates become available and questions are answered. We will continue to release updates as appropriate in coordination with the BAA. Thank you for your continued support of the BAA and the Boston Marathon.

As always, we welcome your correspondence and questions on volunteering to our general mailbox: contact@hamradioboston.org.

Thank you, and 73,

Boston Marathon Communications Committee
contact@HamRadioBoston.org

Amateur Radio Booth Proposed for “The Big E” in 2022

Hampden County Radio Association president Larry Krainson, W1AST, is coordinating an effort to organize an amateur radio booth at “The Big E” in West Springfield, Massachusetts for 2022. The exhibition runs for 17 days from September 17 through October 3, 2022. 

According to Wikipedia, “The Big E,” formally known as The Eastern States Exposition, is billed as ‘New England’s Great State fair.’ It is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the sixth-largest fair in the nation.”

W1AST says the 2016 event had 1.4 million visitors, and over 1.6 million visitors in 2019. “If just one-tenth of one percent of attendees sign up for ham classes, that would be 1,600 names to distribute to all New England clubs. We would all benefit and grow ham radio.” 

There hasn’t been a ham radio exhibit/booth at The Big E in over ten years.

Larry envisions a ham radio booth that would demonstrate the many aspects of ham radio, as well as an avenue for people to sign up for information and courses in their local area.

Some of his ideas include:

  • an EMCOMM display
  • DMR and/or other digital mobile mode demo
  • Digital HF modes on a big screen
  • A special event station (W1E or N1E or similar) with unique QSL cards
  • SSB, CW and digital modes
  • Demonstrate portable stations for field operation (i.e., Parks On The Air, Summits On The Air)
  • Highlight youth in ham radio

W1AST says he’d like to see clubs from different states staff the booth during “State” days and theme days. 

“If there is enough interest, we have lots of time to plan.”

Such an undertaking can succeed only if there is a sufficient number of volunteers and radio clubs who agree to participate in the event.  A special Groups.io mailing list group has been established to promote exchange of dialogue and ideas for the event. To join, send an email to ProjectBigE+subscribe@groups.io.

NEAR-Fest XXIX May 2021 Deerfield NH Cancelled!

Dear Friends of NEAR-Fest…..

I am sure that just about everyone knew this was coming but this makes it is official.

Given the current Coronavirus situation with new cases reported every day at astronomical levels (on January 8th there were 7,110 in Mass. alone) and the fact that the vaccination process is running behind schedule we have decided that April 30th/May 1st 2021 is far too soon to hold NEAR-Fest XXIX and guarantee that it will safe for all.  Consequently I have this day notified the Deerfield Fair Association that we have decided to cancel it.

This decision was not taken lightly but it is also a no brainer.  There are no options.  As you know this is the third NEAR – Fest that had to be cancelled because of Covid-19.  The good news is that NEAR-Fest XXX is scheduled for October 15th and 16th, 2021 and, for the first time since this started, I am fully confident this will be our grand “NEAR-Fest Homecoming!”

Advance tickets and parking passes that were sold for NEAR- Fest XXIX will be valid for NEAR-Fest-XXX.  However anyone wanting a full refund may have it.  Email w1rc@near-fest.com for details. 

For more information visit http://forum.near-fest.com/index.php?topic=1522.0

73 and see you all on October 15th

Mister Mike, W1RC
Benevolent Dictator
New England Amateur Radio Festival, Inc.

Section Manager Report January 2021

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I guess we can all agree we won’t regret 2020 going bye-bye. But a new chapter opens up and we can all hope our dreams, plans, hopes can be realized without much resistance. Myself, I cannot complain, I made some pretty good achievements last year. I learned CW finally and now I need to hone it more so I can get on the air with it. Also, a new career and some home improvements. I’ve been a busy boy!

I do want to apologize as I forgot to announce a new staff member to our ranks. Mike DeChristopher N1TA has become our new Assistant Section Manager. Mike has a background in contesting and once had the position as ARRL contest manager in Newington. He is also a member of HCRA. He will be overseeing the western end of the state and he will be a great addition to our staff. Welcome aboard, Mike!

And as usual we still have some holes to fill in our staffing. Maybe it is a New Year’s resolution to become part of it. Shoot me an email to see what is available. Both Myself and ARES are seeking people to join.

As you are aware the latest scuttlebutt for discussion is the new license fees coming up. The FCC dropped the price down to $35 instead of $50. There were over 190,000 comments sent to the FCC and it did have some impact but not ideally what we want. You can see the R&O at this link. Thanks to all who sent in the comments.

As mentioned last month, our website has a new look and feel having been moved to a new system. We are now looking at incorporating our ARES membership database into our new website, so it is all managed from a single system, making it easier for everyone. Stay tuned on more announcements and instructions about that!

With the new year is also a big time for contesting as there are a number of big ones for the next two months, starting with Straight Key Night tonight. Also the RTTY Roundup this weekend. This is a great way to fatten up your log and maybe get that elusive award you are looking for. It is also a good way to hone skills that you are new to or to dust off your equipment and get back into it. I am just a casual contester which is fine with me, but there are others that really get into it to test their skills and beat scores, etc. Whatever works for you, get into it and enjoy yourselves. Share your experience with your fellow club members.

I hope you all have a productive and prosperous new year and make the best of it! Let’s be hopeful that at least some of the hamfests come back!

Best 73,
Ray KB1LRL