SKYWARN Recognition Day 2018

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:

Friday November 30th, 2018:
7:00-7:30 PM: 146.970-Paxton Repeater (PL: 114.8 Hz)

Saturday December 1st, 2018:
7:00-8:30 AM: 146.595 Simplex
1:00-1:30 PM: 146.595 Simplex
1:30-2:00 PM: 145.37-Gardner/145.45-Fitchburg/147.39 Repeaters via IRLP 9122
4:00-4:30 PM: 146.970-Paxton Repeater (PL: 114.8 Hz)

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:

National Weather Service SKYWARN Recognition Day page
ARRL SKYWARN Recognition Day page

ARRL New England Division Director Election Results

ARRL Headquarters has released the election results for all of this season’s division director and vice-director elections.  The New England Division results were:

Fred Hopengarten, K1VR 1,432
Tom Frenaye, K1KI 1,383

Candidate Mr. Hopengarten was declared elected, edging out incumbent Mr. Frenaye by only 49 votes.

Details on K1VR and his views on the positions on various topics in amateur radio and what the ARRL should be doing in that regard can be seen on his candidacy website.

Congratulations to K1VR on his election and thanks to K1KI for his many years of steadfast service in the position.

KD1CY Receives Blue Hills Observatory Outstanding Service Award

Re-posted from the Eastern MA ARRL website:

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 Staffers, State and Local Officials on Hand for Massachusetts ARISS School Contact

Note: This is a re-post from the ARRL national website here.

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.

Section Manager Report November 2018

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.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

Nationwide MARS COMEX (Comms. Exercise) Oct 24 – 26

MARS stations will be operating from Oct 22-26, but the participation of Amateur Radio Operators is expected on Oct 24-26.

Here is a link to the national ARRL story on it:
http://www.arrl.org/news/mars-members-to-support-defense-department-radio-communication-readiness-exercise

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.

Thanks,
Tom Kinahan N1CPE

New England Division Election Ballots Mailed

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.

Section Manager Report October 2018

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.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

Section Manager Report Aug/Sept 2018

Hello everyone, I kind of held off with the monthly report until after Boxboro to include the activities, so this is a two-month edition.

Boxboro had a number of great things going on. I think there was quite a variety of talks to suit everyone’s interest and there was the usual flea market outside which I think was bigger than last year. The weather was cooler and partly cloudy which helped a lot. There has been a downturn of commercial vendors in attendance and I feel there is a bit of concern. Some of the long time “anchors” are not there for one reason or another and the others are feeling the impact. The Nashua club set up a wall in that room which included many educational demonstrations on ham radio which also included kit building. There were a lot of kids there soldering away there. This was a very impressive achievement from them.

So, as I expected with the time and the fact a lot of the westerners had left for Saratoga on Saturday, there was a very light showing for my Section Meeting. I truly appreciate those that came to the meeting. Naturally I was a bit disappointed, but on the upside, I have a presentation in my pocket.

The big thing amongst the ARRL cathedral is the new ARES connect system now going online. Mike Cory from the league was there and did a presentation on it. Sadly, I had to work and could not attend it. I am now looking at this and getting it going for us. All county EC’s should also be looking at this and doing what is necessary to get your county online. This is going to be very important to all as reporting will be taking on a more required role, as will the trainings. Please go to the leagues webpage and view the new changes. This is now open for comments and any comments should come to me as I will send them to the league. The deadline for this is Oct 31.

September is the start of the meeting season for many clubs. I will be out and about visiting clubs during the time and I can be available to do a talk if you want. Just send me an email and we can work out a date for it.

This year our division director Tom Frenaye K1KI is up for reelection and he has an opponent in Fred Hopengarten, K1VR. Fred has a background in law and both actually agree on many things together. Keep your eyes open for ballots when they come out.

Going back to my meeting, the one thing I did stress is to go to this website for news and information, and to make sure in the league’s website it to check off to receive section emails. I continue to ask that those that do visit it to tell others in the clubs and elsewhere. I have a feeling a lot of members do not know what’s going on in the section.

I hope everyone enjoyed Boxboro and good luck in your upcoming seasons.

73,
Ray KB1LRL

WMA Section Meeting at Boxboro

During the New England Division Convention at Boxboro on Sunday, September 9, one of the discussion forums scheduled is a “WMA Section Meeting” hosted by Western MA Section Manager Ray Lajoie KB1LRL.

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.