Norwood ARC Assists With “Festival Of Lights” Celebration

Norwood ARC logoThe Norwood Amateur Radio Club assisted the Town of Norwood with its annual Festival of Lights celebration on November 30, 2008. Amateurs helped in providing radio communications, hay-ride escort, and most importantly–synchronized tree lighting.

The communications effort was a joint endeavor with the Commonwealth REACT team. According to newsletter editor Barry Devine, K1BPD, “Many of the REACT members are also licensed hams, and several are members of NARC.”

Despite inclement weather, everyone enjoyed the festivities. “We all received a big thank you from Bernie Cooper for helping to make the 2008 Festival of Lights a resounding success.”

–Thanks, K1JMR Newscarrier, December, 2008

Algonquin ARC Adds Book To Marlborough City Library Collection

Algonquin ARC logoThe Algonquin Amateur Radio Club has voted to augment  the Marlborough City Library’s collection of ARRL library books with the new title, “Hands-on Radio Experiments.” The book has been purchased and will be donated sometime in early 2009. AARC donated the League’s book set consisting of fourteen titles to the library last year. It intends to supplement the collection with a new book each year.

–Thanks, AARC QRZ, December 2008

Algonquin ARC Flea Market, Feb. 14, 2009

AARC Flea Market photoMark your calendars for the Algonquin ARC Flea Market in Marlborough, MA on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009 at the Marlborough Intermediate Elementary School, Thresher Drive (off Union Street) or off Bolton Street (Rt. 85).

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Six-foot tables or 10 ft. spaces $15.00 before February 6, 2009; $20.00 later. Tables and spaces include One Admission; Spaces provide own chairs, tables Setup Time: 6:30 a.m.

Information: David “Shack” Haralambou 1-978-333-1715 before 9:00 PM; email: Talk-in: 147.27+ (pl 146.2), 449.925- (pl 88.5)

Grand door prize $200.00 awarded at 11:30 a.m. Must be present to win.

See also:

Photo courtesy K9HI: a recent AARC Flea Market

Eastern Mass ARES Standby Lifted/Merry Christmas Happy New Year, Happy Holidays to All!

Hello to all….

First of all, I would like to mention that our Eastern Massachusetts ARES Stand-by for the Ice Storm and subsequent winter storms has now ended. While the storm currently in progress, may cause strong winds and wind damage across portions of the Southeast part of the Eastern Massachusetts section, it is not expected to cause issues significant enough to require ARES support except to support SKYWARN reporting per the SKYWARN reporting criteria.

I would like to take a moment to wish everyone in RACES, ARES, SKYWARN, MARS and in EMCOMM in general a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday season. We had another year of successes in public service thanks to all of your efforts and I look forward to working with many of you again in 2009.

We completed several EMCOMM Workshops over the area including an Advanced Workshop in April in Walpole, Massachusetts, a basic workshop in Concord, Massachusetts and another basic workshop in Peabody, Massachusetts. The workshops were very successful and have continued to promote an interest in EMCOMM across the region. The Cape Cod ARES group has conducted a workshop over a course of weeknights for several weeks for CERT Teams that have recently gotten their Ham Radio licenses.

We had a very successful hurricane exercise in early August where we had voice command and tactical nets on HF, Echolink/IRLP and 2 Meter/440 voice with traffic flow between the nets bolted together using Winlink. It went extremely well and a complete report was sent to ARRL Headquarters and various state emergency management teams. It will be posted on the web by the start of the new year.

Many in ARES, RACES and MARS supported SKYWARN in an unusually active year that featured the most active summer severe weather season in years. The Ice Storm also resulted in a significant level of support for SKYWARN and for local, regional and state Emergency Management. An Amateur Radio Emergency Services Mutual Aid Team (ARESMAT) was deployed for the first time since the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks and was the largest ARESMAT deployment since those terrorist attacks.

Thanks to all of you for your support and cooperation over the course of 2008 and I look forward to working with you in 2009. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to all!!

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton Massachusetts

Framingham ARA To Operate in ARRL Kid’s Day, Jan. 3, 2009

Framingham ARA 75th anniversary logoMembers of the Framingham Amateur Radio Association will operate in the upcoming ARRL Kid’s Day event on Saturday, January 3, 2009 in the FARA club shack from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon.

“Bring your kids or grandkids to the FARA radio shack for Kids Day! We have done this before, and it’s good fun both for kids and for adults,” writes Sumner Weisman, W1VIV. “It’s a great way to introduce a kid to Ham Radio. We will put every kid on the air, and they will enjoy talking to other kids,” he adds.

Refreshments will be served. And a colorful certificate, suitable for framing, will be sent to every kid who operates.

Please RSVP to Sumner, W1VIV, at




MA Hams Respond To Storm Crisis

storm damage, photo courtesy KA1JJM(Dec. 16, 2008) As a major ice storm — accompanied by freezing rains, flooding and strong winds — severely impacted New England on Thursday evening into Friday morning, ARES®, RACES, SKYWARN and MARS operators worked together to respond to calls for assistance from served agencies and to participate in the recovery phase of the storm. As the storm progressed into the weekend, ice accumulations up to 1.5 inches were common throughout a very large area of Western, Central and Northeast Massachusetts, as well as parts of New Hampshire and Maine. [Full story]





Whitman CERT Helps At Town’s “Winterfest”

CERT logoThe Town of Whitman’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and amateurs from the Whitman Amateur Radio Club assisted at the recent Winterfest festival in the Town of Whitman on December 7, 2008.  According to Bill Hayden, N1FRE, fifteen CERT and ham volunteers assisted in the activities. Seven of the 15 were Whitman ARC members. Bob Schmitt, KB1MTY, Whitman Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) Director, and Chief Grenno coordinated activities from ground level at the hot chocolate factory and distribution center.

The WEMA Emergency Operations Center (EOC) radio communication center was activated and manned by Bill Hayden, N1FRE and Frank Hayes, N1OGP during the event. WEMA Motorola public safety radios were assigned to each volunteer team. The WEMA frequency of 484.250 PL 203.5, was used through out the event for two-way communication.

Members assisted the public at the hayride, a trolley ride, a Moonwalk attraction, face painting, pie eating, and rock climbing events. They also operated the CERT  mobile re-hab unit. Others provided additional eyes and ears for security personnel.

During the event the Whitman police and fire personnel were tied into the WEMA radio frequency via their radio systems as part of the “interoperability test” and thus were able to communicate directly with the EOC and WEMA volunteers during the event. This big step forward for the town’s “interoperability test” was coordinated by Bob Schmitt, KB1MTY, WEMA Director and Whitman ARC member. The EOC, located on the 2nd level of the Fire Rescue station, monitored the Whitman police and fire frequencies as well, so as to be aware of any of their normal activities that may affect the volunteer’s mission as “helpers”.

The Whitman ARC two-meter repeater was also monitored by hams on the scene as well as at the EOC. All of these modes of communication were available at the EOC on a priority basis.

–Thanks, Whitman ARC Spectrum, December, 2008

UPDATED: Gardner and Worcester Operations Secure/Eastern Mass ARES Stand-By Activation Continues

Hello to all….

..Gardner Massachusetts Shelter, Hospital and EOC Operations Secured. Ice Storm Power Outage Impact Improving..

..Eastern Massachusetts ARES Stand-By Activation Continues due to Impact from Major Ice Storm Event that affected the northern part of Eastern Massachusetts North and West of Route 2 and much of Western and Central Massachusetts and concerns for additional winter storms and potential impact on weakened infrastructure have caused the stand-by activation to be extended..
..Stand-By ARES Activation has been extended through the Afternoon/Evening of Monday 12/22..

A major ice storm has caused significant damage to tree, power line and phone line infrastructure across Western and Central Massachusetts and communities in Northeast Massaschusetts along and north of Route 2. Icing of 1/2-1″ were common particularly in elevations above 500 feet with 1″ or greater icing noted in hardest hit areas. This resulted in widespread tree and power line damage. Conditions are now improving in the recovery phase of this major incident. Power Outages are now down to 45,000-50,000 among the 3 major utility companies of Massachusetts. Phone infrastructure is now largely back in place. Some shelters and states of emergency in cities and towns have been lifted but there is still a significant number of shelters open across Massachusetts as well as local states of emergency. The situation should continue to improve over the next few days though additional winter storms are expected on Friday and Sunday which could impact the situation and slow recovery or result in renewed issues. Given this potential, Eastern Massachusetts ARES stand-by activation has been extended through to the afternoon/evening of Monday 12/22.

Since the last coordination message posting, at 1232 PM Tuesday December 6th, operations from Gardner, Massachusetts have secured. On Monday 12/15, the hospital phone system was comprimsed and the only communication between the hospital and the police station was handled through Amateur Radio. This occurred for much of the day Monday but then on Monday Evening conditions rapidly improved with power restored to many areas and phone service restored to the hospital. After a Tuesday 10 AM planning meeting in the city of Gardner, shelter and EOC operations were secured and the Amateur Radio activity and ARESMAT team was secured from Gardner at 1232 PM Tuesday 12/16.

In addition to Gardner, Worcester Operations have secured with the closing of shelters and the signiificant improvement in power outages. That occurred late Monday Evening In Franklin County Massachusetts, the last check with Tom Foxwell-N1OTS from Franklin County ARES on Tuesday is that support was continuing for the town of Heath and a few other communities in the county. If a new update is obtained here, we will update this segment of the notice accordingly.

At this time, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff is not aware of any assistance required from an Amateur Radio perspective. New Hampshire was particularly hard hit but activations have been handled at the local level and conditions are now improving after contact with the New Hampshire ARRL/ARES leadership on Tuesday. The next update to this message will be done Thursday Evening when impact from the Friday Storm is more clear.

An article on the efforts of ARES and SKYWARN across New England has been posted on the ARRL National HQ web site. See link below:

What is ARES Stand-by mode?

ARES stand-by mode is to alert Amateurs within ARES that a mobilization is possible on a wide-scale and that some localized mobilizations are taking place in isolated areas. It means to take a look at your Go-Kit and have batteries and equipment ready to go and charged up and take care of any requirements at home in case a mobilization is required and you can participate. Do NOT self-deploy. Wait for guidance from leadership for any deployment. It is an honor to be ready even if you don’t deploy for the event, Hopefully, this is just another exercise of our preparedness and capabilities. If not, the ARES leadership looks forward to working with you if any wide scale mobilization is required after the impact of this major storm to the region.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator 
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address:


Eastern Area NTS Digital Report Nov 2008

Eastern Area NTS Digital Report November 2008
Station Received Forwarded TOTAL Function
W1GMF   2069     1919      3988  1RN DRS
N2LTC   673      669       1342  2RN MBO
WX4J    478      492       970   4RN MBO
KW1U    380      372       752   1RN MBO
W8UL    242      242       484   8RN MBO
WB2FTX  196      192       388   2RN MBO EADC
NM1K    51       300       351   1RN DRS
WA4ZXV  110      112       222   4RN MBO
N1UMJ   56       161       217   1RN DRS
N3SW    80       47        127   3RN DRS
KA4FZI  125      0         125   FL  DRS
W4NBF   48       37        85    FL  DRS
N2GS    21       15        36    NJ  DRS
VE3GT   3        31        34    ECN DRS
VA3PM   16       15        31    ECN DRS
N1JX    11       19        30    NJ  DRS
KC8FWD  26       1         27    8RN DRS
TOTAL 9209

Hams, MARS Operators Participate In “Operation Snow Shoe ’08”

On Friday evening, December 5 and Saturday morning December 6, 2008, Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)  operators from the Northeast US participated in the  Operation Snow Shoe ’08 exercise. The scenario was a major Nor’easter with 24 inches of snow and heavy ice. The weather results in catastrophic damage and disaster area declarations. Operators from Virginia to Maine to Illinois participated. Multiple communication modes were used including HF voice, military VHF frequencies, Winlink2K, MT63, and phone patches.

A drill objective was to practice station survivability with operations using emergency power and back-up antennas. “Severely austere” conditions of no phone, internet, and commercial power were practiced in some locations.  Message traffic from coastal areas with major damage was passed as far west as Iowa.  Mike Neilsen, W1MPN provided  the point of contact for the MA State EOC for the drill in MA. Reports were also collected from Carl Aveni, N1FY at the SKYWARN desk at NWS Taunton. Reports from Army, Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps MARS members in MA were collected, formatted as “spot reports” and forwarded. This fulfilled another drill objective of sending the disaster assessment reports to provide military and civilian federal response planners with “ground truth” that they may not be receiving from any other source. It was a challenge to co-ordinate the drill around the Skywarn  Recognition day activities!

–Thanks, Phil McNamara, N1XTB Now Powered By Drupal

DrupalAfter six years of operation using the phpWebSite content management system (CMS), this site is now powered by Drupal, a powerful, database-driven open-source system in widespread use on the internet. Over the next few days, you might see minor changes to the home page and some added functionality.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Phil McNamara, N1XTB, thousands of posts from previous years have been converted over onto this new site. You may find a few things missing and/or broken links over the next few days, but we’ll endeavor to fix all problems you bring to our attention.

You’ll note that any web story links from the old site will automatically map over to the new site; e.g., a story with a URL of will display in your browser as So if you’ve linked to any of our stories, there’s no need to make any edits on your own site.

Old accounts have been removed, but you’re welcome to re-apply for a user account and comment on stories, or submit material for new stories to the site.

Larry Coyle, K1QW, Wins November QST Cover Plaque Award

Nov.The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for November is Larry Coyle, K1QW, of Needham, MA, for his article “A Modular Receiver for Exploring the LF/VLF Bands.”

The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award — given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue — is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the December issue by Wednesday, December 31.

Congratulations, Larry!


Whitman ARC Conducts Plimoth Plantation Special Event

Bruce Hayden, NI1X writes:

The Whitman Amateur Radio Club conducted a two-day special event from the Plimoth Plantation over the weekend following Thanksgiving.

Paul Burbine N1VTI, President of the Whitman Club reports that 22 area amateur radio operators set up six base stations and portable antennas at the re-creation of the 17th century Pilgrim settlement and Indian homesite and exchanged contacts with 216 other amateur radio operators in 32 States, 8 foreign countries and 3 Canadian Provinces.

The HAM operators spread the word of Plimoth Plantation over the airways, explaining about the living museum and how they found the visitors, especially the children, amazed by the actors, dressed as Pilgrims and trained to speak in the language of the time and who did not acknowledge the existence of any of our modern technical wonders as they explained about the harsh reality of early Pilgrim life.

The crew operated using both voice and Morse code and made a special contact linking the Hams in Plymouth, Massachusetts with a HAM,  Laurie Hummerstone M0VRT, in Plymouth England. The crew found amateur radio operators from all over the world eager to make contact with Plimoth Plantation. Each amateur who contacts the club station WA1NPO is entitled to receive a certificate, suitable for framing, which includes a picture of  Mayflower II, docked in Plymouth harbor, and confirms the date and time of the two way radio contact.

The adults visiting the Plantation were encouraged to send a radiogram message free of charge to friends and relatives via amateur radio. We were able to explain how amateur radio operators practice sending routine messages, via radio to amateur radio operators in the local neighborhood who pick up the phone and deliver the message free of charge. We also explained how these routine messages could quickly change to priority or emergency messages in times of National emergencies.

The licensed operators who were able to participate in this special event were: Roy Logan KB1CYV and Pete Carlson N1POO of Bridgewater; Paul Burbine N1VTI of East Bridgewater; Ron Smith N1PXX of Bryantville; Al Drollett W1SM and Bob Loring K1REL of Carver; Jeff Lehmann N1ZZN and John Murphy KB1PHN of Hanson; Matt Paine KB1OSV of Mansfield; John Coombs WQ1L of Marshfield; Mark Loring KC1ML of Plymouth; Dave Polk N1YIA of Quincy; Bruce Hayden NI1X of Raynham; Neal Harrington KBLXL of Rehoboth; Byron Piette K1YCQ of Somerset; Don Burke KB1LXH, John Miller N1UMJ, Jim Tynan KC1JET of Taunton; Bill Hayden N1FRE, Mike Supple KB1OEP, Paul Moss KB1MTW and Ron Stundze KB1OEQ of Whitman.

Left: Plimoth Plantation 2008 certificate; right: Plimoth Plantation ops Jeff Lehmann, N1ZZN and Mark Loring, KC1ML
Plimoth Plantation 2008 certificatePlimoth Plantation ops Jeff Lehmann, N1ZZN and Mark Loring, KC1ML

SEMARA 80m CW Night Starts Dec. 8, 2008

Bencher paddleDonald A Rosinha, WA1BXY writes on the SEMARA Discussion List:

“I will be starting the weekly 80 meter cw night again starting 12/08/08 at 8:00pm (0100z) will be on 3.545 +/- QRM. This will not be a QRS (slow speed) “net” but a comfortable speed; but will QRS for anyone who wishes. I hope to hear more local/club members this time around.


Don, WA1BXY Now Powered By Drupal

DrupalAfter six years of operation using the phpWebSite content management system (CMS), this site is now powered by Drupal, a powerful, database-driven open-source system in widespread use on the internet. Over the next few days, you might see minor changes to the home page and some added functionality.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Phil McNamara, N1XTB, thousands of posts from previous years have been converted over onto this new site. You may find a few things missing and/or broken links over the next few days, but we’ll endeavor to fix all problems you bring to our attention.

You’ll note that any web story links from the old site will automatically map over to the new site; e.g., a story with a URL of will display in your browser as So if you’ve linked to any of our stories, there’s no need to make any edits on your own site.

The move to Drupal also fixes a major problem where accounts were restricted earlier in the year due to spamming. (See “Web Site Comments Feature Disabled“.) Old accounts have been removed, but you’re welcome to re-apply for a user account and comment on stories, or submit material for new stories to the site. 73, K9HI

Concord Ham Class Begins Feb. 10, 2009

Concord-Carlisle Adult Learning and Education logo

A Technician licensing course will be offered in October by the Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education program in conjunction with the Colonial Wireless Association. The course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from February 10 to 26, 2009 at the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School L-Building in Concord. The fee is $20.

For more information contact Fred Harrington, KB1EMV at or to enroll, please visit, and enter the keywords “ham radio”.

Cape Ann ARA To Hold 24-Hour “Winter” Field Day

Cape Ann ARA logoThe Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association will hold a 24-hour “winter” Field Day exercise beginning at noon, January 24, 2009, according to CAARA’s Briggs Longbothum, AB2NJ.

“CAARA will exercise and demonstrate our capability to deploy and communicate under emergency conditions using portable/battery power. This event is similar to the ARRL’s well-known Field Day event held every June but will be conducted in January inside our club house but using non-permanent equipment and off-grid power,” says Briggs.

“Many will remember what a good time it was last year and with that experience to build on, we can plan for even more fun this time around,” AB2NJ adds. “It’s only 24 hours but there’s room for everyone to log some Q’s for the team effort.”