The purpose of this meeting is essentially just to give all ARRL members in Western Massachusetts a platform for discussion of things they would like to see the section change and improve. Ray’s main focus recently has been to get people appointed to various section staff positions and getting emergency communications plans going, however, any other subject can be brought up and discussed openly at this forum. The forum should be more of a town hall / open discussion rather than something that is more rigidly scripted. Come and make your voice heard!
The WMA Section Meeting forum will be on Sunday, September 9th from 12 – 12:50 in the Seminar room. Check the forum schedule on the Boxboro convention website for more details.
Those interested in getting their Technician class amateur radio license would find the Tech-in-a-Day class of interest. The class culminates in a license exam session. The exam session is also open to all, so those of us already licensed can easily take an exam and upgrade our license at convention as well.
It’s just $15, good for all three days, and special free admission for full-time students with student ID (including college students!).
General Admission tickets will also be available in advance at some retail locations, and will additionally be sold at the convention.
All proceeds, donations and profits from Boxboro go to the ARRL Foundation.
Hello, I hope all of had some good downtime and enjoyed the fine summer weather. I have been trying to get some things done, but it seems I get one thing done, two more come up. I’m sure most of you can relate.
So, as we work on our BBQ skills and sunburns, the League is very busy with some long, anticipated items which now is now coming to light. In the upcoming edition of QST, there will be more information regarding ARES and the new structure in greater detail. There is a period from now to the end of October for comments then a final plan is due for around January. Please read carefully and get your comments in. I still could use a Section Emergency Coordinator to help get what I consider a new Ares program off the ground. Two close calls in July. Are we ready??
The other one of interest is the OO program. Guess what, it’s going bye-bye. An entirely new program is launching and they call it the Volunteer Monitoring Program. It is now being negotiated with the FCC for a new Memorandum of Understanding. This new program will have frequent trainings, reporting is different, technical requirements and also will have limited terms and will need to reapply to retain that position. Again, more details will be forthcoming.
These changes can potentially make a section manager’s hair get whiter, rapidly. It is more important now that the section as a whole work together to regroup and pull together as a team to accomplish this work. Crickets cannot do this.
September is coming swiftly and so is our Convention in Boxboro. It is on Sept 7-9. As some of you know I am planning a talk with the Western Ma section as a talk/meeting. They scheduled me as the last talk before the prize drawings. In short, I’m bringing up the rear. I truly hope you can hang around and attend. I am trying my hardest not to bore you, but if you cannot I will highlight the talk in next month’s report.
That’s enough for now. Hope to see you all at Boxboro
Hello Field Day survivors! Now that we have had a week to recover somewhat, we can all recap what we experienced this time around. From the unofficial reports, it appears the vast majority had a very successful event. Well Done!
This year was different for me as this was my first Field Day as SM. Previously I set a goal to visit all the sites and I actually did it. 11 stops and over 600 miles of driving. What I saw gave me a good perspective of different sites, and how they set things up. There are some clubs which appear to be struggling a bit, and there are others which are hopping with activity. I will not go into too many specifics due to space, but, there is evidence of some frustration. The worst part is finding the answer to it. I, myself have and still is in the same predicament as now I have more than 1 club under my leadership and am trying to find the answers. I certainly appreciate those who took the time to give me feedback and showed me around and I also made sure I spent time with everyone.
I was reading a magazine article and they had a similar circumstance they used as an example and to sum it up was three simple words “Activity Breeds Activity”. That caught my eye and what they said was true. Try different activities and find the one that works, especially if other people see it. For example, at one site a father and his 2 boys stopped at a park where a field day was in operation. They went to the observation deck and came down. The father asked what we were doing and we explained what Ham Radio and Field Day was about. The eldest boy seemed interested while the youngest one went in the car to listen to music on guess what? His phone! The young teen was shown the GOTA station and was asked if he wanted to give it a try and did. He took another hour but finally made 2 contacts. We realized after the first one the radio was at 10 watts. I think he was more impressed after we told him. They were visiting the Franklin County group and they live in Natick. When they left they asked me where the nearest clubs were down there. True story. “Activity Breeds Activity”
I have just recently added Paul Toplski W1SEX to the section Tech Specialist joining the others under Brian N1FIY. Brian, Paul, and Cory, our newest ASM with the others have been given a job of discussing and finding a way to get Elmering back to support the new hams who get their licenses, their 1.98 handheld and asks, is there anything else? I feel a big need to get that back online, not only to teach them radio and electronics, but show them what else is there for a new ham to do. They too, need to feel there is value, and support and friendship this great hobby can provide to them. Activity Breeds Activity!
Today I was with a group meeting with Tom K1KI our division director and other New England Presidents, SM’s EC’s, etc. There is a plan to open the band plan to give the tech class people more slices of HF for use under the class. It is now with the FCC and we hope will move fairly quickly. All the clubs in attendance do agree this will help a lot with what I mentioned above. This subject has been kicked around since I started going to these meetings and we are now seeing progress. The League knows they need to do a better job with new hams and also youth. It is their future also.
A lot went on this month. I can go on and on but I won’t. I was impressed with so many things at field day. My hope is to build on that success. And to ask you to help your neighboring club if they need it. There are no territorial rights. We just have a common goal. Amateur Radio. Have a great Summer.
Hi everyone. I hope everyone has a moment to read this. As I had mentioned earlier, my plan for Field Day is an aggressive tour of WMA and to visit as many, if not all the public sites in action during that time.
The likely one will be NoBARC as it will be the farthest. I may be there during setup. I plan on leaving from the other end of the section very early. Southwick, Hampden, Springfield, Franklin will follow to wrap up the Western part of the state.
Sunday morning, I will start the day at WECT in Worcester where I will be taking traffic from the Western Mass 80 meter net at 8:30 am. Then to CMARA, Mohawk and Montachusett. There are no set times, and the order may change. Let’s see how I do!
If you are having a field day drop me an email and I will try to get it in there as well. I know of a couple of others and I am seeking to get the club events the priority as a lot of hard work goes into those.
Most assignments will be off-road throughout the wildlife sacutuary trails. The topography of the area means that most assignments will require using at least an HT with high gain antenna, if not a portable base/mobile setup.
The Boxboro Committee seeks fresh and exciting presentations for this year’s ARRL New England Division Convention, September 7-9, 2018. We’re looking for talks of both a technical and non-technical nature. As a Boxboro speaker, you will have the opportunity to share your subject and knowledge with Amateur Radio operators from around New England, surrounding states, and Canada.
In addition to forums throughout the day Saturday, we will feature Saturday evening entertainment, workshops on Friday, and a half-day Sunday program.
If you represent a regional club or organization (e.g. YCCC, NEQRP, WRONE, MARS, etc.) we can help facilitate open forums or closed meetings by providing you a meeting space.
Groups who wish to set up information tables should get your requests in early. While the tables are offered without charge, we ask for some volunteer time in return to assist us with ticket sales and other logistics during the convention.
Hello there! 2018 seems to be going by and leaving a vapor trail. It weird that it has been six months since I assumed the position as Section Manager. Through this time, I have received messages of a number of you expressing encouragement and appreciation for what I am doing and that is very much appreciated.
On June 1st as you remember was the day seven years ago we had an F3 tornado hit the Monson and Springfield area which cut a swath of destruction in it’s path. I ponder this thought in reflection to this event. Are we ready if it hits again? The help wanted sign is still out for a new SEC, but there is a deafening sound of crickets. My desire is to establish a formal emergency communication system that is a standard for all counties, and to start getting served agencies on board as a reliable and important resource ready to go if needed. I cannot accomplish this without a crew of willing volunteers to help establish this goal.
In May, along with the big move of my mother from Arizona to Mass. I was able to visit the WECT club meeting which demonstrated the dispatch console software they used for the marathon and was quite impressed with what that can do more multi-link and mode communication. I was impressed with the knowledge they had with UHF/VHF Motorola technologies. I also want to congratulate Gil Hayes WK1H as he is now the Official Observer Coordinator and the Affiliated Club Coordinator. These are a couple of important roles and I know Gil will do a great job.
June is also the month for our annual ritual called Field Day. This will be different for me as I will be out visiting sites and not setting up on Mount Wachusett. I encourage you to enter your field day in the ARRL website and email me where you will be so I can plan on getting there. My attempt is to visit as many as I can if not all sites. There are some sites way out there and I will be working on getting there early. I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else has theirs set up.
Along with Field Day locations, I also encourage all Assistant Section Managers to visit the sites as well. Please send a report as to your activity and any news regarding club activity and DEC and EC activities. ALL are encouraged to feed me with anything pertaining to the section so I know what’s going on. Those that currently do, thank you and keep it up! Reporting will be more essential as the organization develops.
That’s enough for now. Time to get off the soapbox. Hope to see you at Field Day!