Cape Cod National Seashore Says Goodbye to Education Specialist Barbara Dougan, N1NS

From the Cape Cod National Seashore Facebook page:
Today we said “Happy Trails!” to one of the seashore’s longest-tenured employees, Education Specialist Barbara Dougan, who retired today. Barbara began working here in the 1970s, wearing many hats over the years…naturalist, interpreter, event coordinator, ham radio operator, public information officer for the national wildland fire program, in addition to decades of work as our education specialist.

Under Barbara’s direction, and in collaboration with local educators, the seashore’s education program has been a model for aligning state and national learning standards with park resources. Over the course of their school careers, students in Outer Cape communities have had multiple, sequential learning experiences in the seashore, developing understanding about complex resources and issues, while also becoming aware of the important role they will play as future stewards of our Nation’s treasured lands and waters.

Barbara was successful in obtaining grants to increase program capacity in important focus areas, such as climate change, citizen science, education materials for students with low and no vision, and career awareness for young people.

Barbara has championed the seashore’s interpretation of Guglielmo Marconi’s history-making transatlantic wireless message in 1903. She worked closely with radio clubs on commemorative events every year.

Barbara’s contributions to the seashore and our communities are beyond measure, and we wish her the very best in retirement.

Images: (left) Barbara and a young girl stand at the edge of a pond analyzing critters in a dip net. (right) Barbara stands with Guglielmo Marconi’s daughter, Elettra during a special event.


“After almost 17 years I retired in 2019 from being the trustee for KM1CC, the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club.  Bill Kretschmer , N2KNL, is now the trustee. KM1CC QSL card requests are now going directly to Bill.  Look up KM1CC or Bill, N2KNL for the best information.”  -N1NS.


“Space Weather Operational Resources and Needs of the Amateur Radio Community” at 100th Annual AMS Meeting in Boston, January 12-16, 2020

The American Meteorological Society’s 100th Annual Meeting will be held in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston’s Seaport District from January 12-16, 2020. It will feature many informative talks and presentations. Among those is  an invited presentation by the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) entitled, “Space Weather Operational Resources and Needs of the Amateur Radio Community” on Tuesday, January 14 from 11:45 AM- 12:00 PM.

The authors include: 

Nathaniel A. Frissell
Univ. of Scranton
Scranton, PA, USA

Philip J. Erickson, W1PJE
MIT Haystack Observatory
Westford, MA, USA

Ethan S. Miller
Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab
Laurel, PA, USA

William Liles
HamSCI Community
Scranton, PA, USA

H. Ward Silver, N0AX
HamSCI Community
Scranton, PA, USA

R. Carl Luetzelschwab
HamSCI Community
Scranton, PA, USA

Tamitha Skov
Aerospace Corporation
El Segundo, CA, USA

The presentation abstract follows:

The amateur (ham) radio community is a global community of over 3 million people who use and build radio equipment for communications, experimentation, and science. By definition, amateur radio is a volunteer service, with the operators required to hold government-issued licenses that are typically earned by passing knowledge tests covering radio regulations and practices, radio theory, and electromagnetic theory. In the United States, there are about 750,000 licensed hams, ranging in age from very young to very old, and ranging in experience from neophyte to people with advanced degrees in radio engineering and science. Amateur radio operators are licensed to transmit on bands spread across the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, from very low frequency (VLF) up to hundreds of gigahertz. The purpose of these communications range from mission-critical emergency and public service communications to social contacts to highly competitive contests and achievement award programs. Many of these communications rely on trans-ionospheric paths, and therefore are heavily influenced by conditions in near-Earth space, or space weather.

“Amateurs today obtain space weather and propagation prediction information from sources such as the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC),, the Voice of America Coverage Analysis Program (VOACAP), amateur radio propagation columnists (ARRL, RSGB, and CQ Magazine), and (Dr. Tamitha Skov). In order to predict success for their communications efforts, hams often use parameters such as smoothed sunspot number, 10.7 cm wavelength solar flux proxy, and the planetary Kp and Ap indices as inputs to predict radio propagation performance. Traditionally, these predictions focus on the driving influence of space conditions and the sun’s output. However, frontier research in the space sciences community has revealed that for improved predictive success, much more information needs to be provided on neutral atmosphere dynamics from the lower atmosphere and its coupled effects on the ionosphere, and predictions need to be available at higher temporal and spatial resolution. Lower atmospheric influences include atmospheric gravity waves that can couple to traveling ionospheric disturbances that can dramatically alter radio propagation paths. Tropospheric phenomena such as temperature inversions and wind shear also affect VHF and UHF propagation. To be most useful, the ham community needs operational products that provide real time nowcasts and multi-day forecasts which predict how space weather through the whole atmosphere affects radio wave propagation on global scale and at all operational wavelengths.
“To help with this effort, hams can provide data with unique spatial and temporal coverage back to the research and forecast community. The amateur radio community has already started this process with the creation of multiple global-scale, real-time propagation reporting systems such as the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting Network (WSPRNet), PSKReporter, and the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN). Studies by the Ham radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) have shown that data from these systems, if applied correctly, can effectively be used to study ionospheric space weather events. Experienced amateurs keep detailed records of verified point-to-point contacts and have extensive experience operating under a wide variety of geophysical conditions and locations, both of which can provide unique insights when shared with the professional research community. In this presentation, we will describe efforts led by the HamSCI collective to provide this research community feedback through active HamSCI community email lists and annual HamSCI workshops. We will also describe strategies with good initial success at amateur-professional collaboration, including a HamSCI-led amateur radio community – professional research community partnership to create a network of HamSCI Personal Space Weather Stations (PSWS), which will allow citizen scientists to make science-grade space weather observations from their own backyards.”

Straight Key Night: A New Year’s Eve Tradition!

Andy Wallace, KA1GTT, writes on the Billerica ARS mailing list:

Hi everybody! I hope to spend several hours enjoying Straight Key Night starting tonight at 0000Z.

It’s a perfect time to get on CW when the speeds are generally slower. If you’re rusty at the key, give it a try anyway!

If you’ve never done CW then perhaps download a decoder app for your computer or smartphone and listen in. I believe FLDigi is a good CW decoder and on my iPhone I find Morse-It works well. Android users, suggestions welcome.

Please join in the tradition!

Eastern MA Hospital Net, January 4, 2020

John Barbuto, KS1Q, writes:

Net Control for the January 4, 2020 Eastern MA Hospital Net will be W1SSH, the South Shore Hospital Amateur Radio Group.

The net will commence at the usual time of 10:00 AM using the following repeaters / frequencies in the order listed:

1. Plymouth 146.685 tone 131.8
2. W. Bridgewater 146.775 dcs 244 
3. Boston 145.230 tone encode 88.5 tone decode 100.0
4. Simplex 147.42 Mhz

The Net will then return to the Plymouth Repeater for final comments and Net closing. 

NET Protocol: Please wait for Net Control to ask for Check-ins. When asked to check in please use the standard net check-in procedure which is:  Here is.., un-key, wait 3 seconds to check for doubling, then give your or your facilities call sign, your first name, and your facility’s name.

We extend an invitation to any health care facility or EOC of any city or town that is served by one of the participating hospitals to join the Net. We also extend an invitation to any RACES or ARES member to check in during the NET.

We are always looking for groups or organizations to try their hand at Net Control duties. If you are interested in joining the group please let us know. We can be reached by sending an email to The goal is to rotate Net Control practice and the experience among as many individuals and groups as possible.

We thank the repeater trustees for their generosity in allowing us to conduct the monthly nets and the use of their systems in an actual event. The following list of repeaters is available for our use. Only a few systems are used each month with the selection of those used made by Net Control for that month.  More systems are being added to the list on a regular basis.


Attleboro 147.195 tone 127.3 (Sturdy Memorial Hospital)
Belmont 145.430 tone 146.2
Boston 145.230 tone encode 88.5 tone decode 100.0
Bridgewater 147.180 tone 67.0
Danvers 145.47 tone 136.5
Dartmouth 147.000 tone 67.0  
Fall River 146.805. tone 67.0
Falmouth 147.375 tone 110.9  
Mansfield EMA 446.925 tone 100.0
Mansfield 147.015 tone 67.0
Marshfield 145.390 tone 67.0      
Norwood 147.210 tone 100.00
Plymouth 146.685 tone 131.8
Salem 146.88 tone 118.8        
Sharon 146.865 tone 103.5    
Weymouth 147.345 tone 110.9 (South Shore Hospital)
W. Bridgewater 146.775 dcs 244 
Wrentham 147.09 tone 146.2 

We look forward to hearing from you all on the Net.


 John Barbuto – KS1Q

Monthly Ham Radio Breakfast, Northborough, January 4, 2020

Jim, KX1M, writes on the Framingham ARA mailing list:

Subject:       Ham Radio Breakfast for January
Where:        IHOP
Location:    4102 Shops Way Northborough, Ma 508-393-1222
When:          Sat January 4th 2020 … The Breakfast starts at 7:00 AM

Talk-in: Many going to the breakfast as well as those at the breakfast may be listening on the following repeaters:

  • W1BIM – Paxton, 2 m repeater (146.970, PL 114.8)
  • W1MRA – Marlborough, 2 m Repeater (147.2700, PL 146.2)
  • AE1C – Southborough, 2 m DMR Repeater (145.27, Timeslot 2,  TG # 3125 Mass State Wide, Color Code 7 )
  • AE1C – Southborough, 70 cm DMR Repeater (448.375, Timeslot  2, TG # 3125 Mass State Wide, Color Code 1 )
  • W1WNS – Westborough, 70 cm Repeater (448.775, DCS D244, P25 NAC 353) 
  • WA1NVC – Framingham, 33 cm Repeater (927.01250, PL  131.8 )
  • WB1CTO – Framingham, 1.2 cm repeater (224.24, PL 103.5)

Spread the word to all the hams you know. Much fraternalism and friendships to be had!


Jim, KX1M

Framingham ARA Meets January 2, 2020

Framingham ARA logoThe Framingham Amateur Radio Association will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, January 2, 2020. The meeting will feature, “show and tell, CW with left foot.” Also, a video of the VP8ORK DXpedition to the South Orkney Islands will be shown.

FARA meets the first Thursday of the month (except in July and August), 7:30 pm at the Framingham Police Station, 1 William Welch Way (corner of William Welch Way and Union Ave) in the first floor training room. Enter through the front door on Union Ave. and the room is to the left.  All area hams and those not yet licensed but interested in amateur radio are welcome to attend.


Eastern Massachusetts ARES Stand-By – Sunday December 29th, 2019 2300 Local Until Further Notice for Late December 2019 Ice Storm Potential


A significant winter storm is taking shape across the northeast with the potential to cause ice accretion greater than ½ inch across portions of the Ice Storm warning area, particularly in higher elevations where there is the highest risk. This would create the potential of significant and possibly prolonged power outages to those areas with the highest accretion. Areas that are under the Winter Weather Advisory have the potential to see anywhere from a glaze to 0.4” of ice accretion which can result in isolated power outages and tree damage. An inch of snow or sleet is also possible in these areas. Please refer to the SKYWARN storm coordination message below for further information on the storm.

SKYWARN activation will take place starting at 0530 Monday to monitor for damage and ice accretion reports. SKYWARN will be running various nets across our section on the assigned SKYWARN repeaters, and the list of SKYWARN repeaters can be found at:

The latest SKYWARN coordination message for this storm (as of 2200, December 29) is at:

For the latest bulletins please visit

Due to the potential of prolonged power outages and the possibility of communications support needed for isolated areas, Eastern MA ARES has been placed on stand-by effective 2300 on Sunday and lasting until cancelled. Please notify ARES leadership of availability to deploy for any post storm support. All amateurs during the storm are asked to shelter in place and monitor their local SKYWARN repeaters to help relay damage; infrastructure issues; ice accretion; change over between freezing rain/sleet/snow; and any other pertinent information. ARES members are advised to continue to maintain readiness at home and check your emergency power and antenna situation.

In advance of the storm, please advise your local EC/DEC/ADEC (SEC/DEC listed below) of your availability to support a potential deployment anytime over the next 48 hours. We are creating a list of availability for ARESMAT (ARES Mutual Aid Team) deployment if needed for various local EOC’s, Red Cross, Salvation Army, NWS Storm Survey Teams, and hospitals as required. Keep your situational awareness level high for any updates from ARES leadership by checking your email for updates and our ARES web site at and monitoring local SKYWARN/ARES/RACES frequencies for any updates on this developing situation.

When sending your availability, please send the following: Name, Call-sign, License Class, Capability (HF / VHF / UHF), Availability, and any other special notes we should be aware of. Also, please let us know if you can do an ARESMAT to the Western Massachusetts sections as most of the impacts will be experienced in Central and Western MA for this anticipated ice storm. We ask that as you contact your DEC, please send a copy of the message to where multiple members of the EMA ARES Leadership will be able to access your availability.
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 or could be 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 is fully understood.

Thanks for your continued support of Eastern Massachusetts ARES, as well as Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all!

Respectfully Submitted,
Jim Palmer (KB1KQW)
North Shore ARES District Emergency Coordinator


Essex County – KB1KQW –
Middlesex County – KB1KQW –
Metro-Boston – KB1KQW –
Metro-Boston – K1BTH –
Norfolk County – W3EVE –
Bristol County – N1YLQ –
Plymouth County – N1YLQ –
Cape & Islands – WQ1O –

Area Clubs Celebrating Holiday Cheer, Part II

In November, 2019, we reported on a number of Eastern Massachusetts clubs who were holding holiday dinners and informal parties in the month of December.   These clubs are getting into the holiday spirit in January with these social events:

In lieu of its traditional Christmas Party, the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association will hold a holiday brunch on January 4, 2020 from 8 AM to 10 AM.  The group will be seated in a private room with a great view of Buzzards Bay.  

The Boston Amateur Radio Club will hold its annual holiday party on Sunday, January 5, 2020, at the Stockyard restaurant in Brighton. Directions can be found at  Please RSVP by Saturday, December 28. BARC members will also elect the 2019 BARC Ham of the Year. Nominations and RSVPs go to

In lieu of their regular January meeting, Billerica Amateur Radio Society members will gather for a 2020 holiday get-together on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 7:00 PM at the Great Wall Restaurant, 309 Great Road in Bedford. In addition to a superb Chinese buffet, the celebration will include a “New Year’s version” of their traditional Yankee Swap. RSVP to

The Southeastern MA Amateur Radio Association (SEMARA) will hold a free Christmas party for all members (and one guest) at the clubhouse in Dartmouth on January 11, 2020 (with a snow date of January 18, 2020) at 2 PM, casual dress. RSVP to Marcel Dumont, W1MLD at no later than January 6, 2020.

Special Announcement: Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/Happy Holidays to All SKYWARN Spotters & Amateur Radio Operators

SKYWARN logoRob Macedo, KD1CY, writes on the SKYWARN_Announce list:

Hello to all..

On behalf of the entire Amateur Radio Group at WX1BOX, the Amateur Radio station for NWS Boston/Norton Massachusetts, and the forecaster staff at NWS Boston/Norton, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday season. 2019 was another interesting year for weather across the region. Some of the highlights included a relatively quiet winter season that did have a brief period of active weather with a damaging wind event on February 25th, 2019, a significant winter storm Sunday Evening March 3rd into Monday Morning March 4th, rain, thunderstorms, and strong to damaging winds on April 15th for the Boston Marathon, the July 23rd Cape Cod Tornado event, several other active severe weather events in the spring to summer season, a significant nor’easter that brought hurricane force wind gusts and many power outages to Southern New England on October 16th-17th 2019 followed by another potent damaging wind event on October 31st through November 1st.  The year ended with an active first half of 2019 with several winter storms bringing heavy snowfall including the 3-day storm of December 1st through December 3rd 2019, the Monday December 9th-10th heavy rainfall event, Wednesday December 11th winter storm and December 17th icing event. A complete slate of SKYWARN training classes were completed largely by Amateur Radio Operator instructors with some assistance from NWS forecasters. On Monday May 6th, 2019, members of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts ARES and SKYWARN and other Amateur Radio SKYWARN spotters from around Southern New England participated in the 2019 Hurricane Awareness Tour from Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown, RI. Amateur Radio Operators supported event logistics and had a special event station that made contact with WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the National Hurricane Center in Miami Florida who came on the air to support his event.

As has been the case for the last several years, many of you provided critical reports, pictures and videos that supported and resulted in the protection of life and property and timely warnings being issued based on the surface reporting and ground truth that is so critical in confirming what the radar is or is not seeing. This information was then shared with the media, local, state and federal emergency management and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are always looking for situational awareness and disaster intelligence to gauge the level of response and recovery required for an incident. They remain extremely impressed with all the work that all of you do and they extend their appreciation. That appreciation of the weather and damage reports is highly recognized by many of the media outlets as well who thank SKYWARN Spotters and Amateur Radio Operators on television and over social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This mission could not be done without all of your support.
The winter season of 2019 was quiet for most of the season with very small snowstorms and below average winter storms. That said, there was one active week between February 25th and March 4th. It started on February 25th with widespread pockets of wind damage with trees and wires down, power outages and wind gusts over 60 MPH in many locations across Southern New England. After a couple of smaller winter storms, a coastal storm, responsible for a significant severe weather outbreak in the Southeast United States, would affect the region with a widespread 6-12″ of snow and a band of 12-18″ of snow across portions of interior Southern New England. The snow was heavy and wet but the lack of stronger winds precluded a more damaging event. Nonetheless, the heavy wet snow caused pockets of tree and power line damage in the areas that received the most snow across interior and coastal Southern New England.
In April, a storm system brought thunderstorms with heavy rainfall impacting the morning of the 2019 Boston Marathon with the lightning over the area causing some minor contingencies to be invoked for the start of the race. Some of the thunderstorms were severe with wind gusts of around 60 MPH causing pockets of tree and wire damage. These severe thunderstorms stayed just south of the race route that morning with wind gusts of up to 48 MPH in Wrentham, Massachusetts while Hopkinton, Mass at the start line of the race only had wind gusts to 30 MPH. The race was largely dry after thunderstorms that morning but later in the day, some rain showers with gusty winds and wind gusts 40-50 MPH moved through the area including along the race route but towards the end of the race with only minor race impacts.
Severe thunderstorm events started up in late May and extended into June and July. Several notable events included thunderstorms with hail that affected numerous Amateur Radio Field Day sites on Saturday June 22nd. Several Amateur Radio Field Day sites across Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts were affected by these thunderstorms until the thunderstorms cleared out during the early evening. The following weekend, two days of severe weather affected portions of Southern New England. On Saturday June 29th, Golf Ball Sized hail affected locations such as Lincoln RI, Cumberland, RI and Attleboro and North Attleboro, Massachusetts. On Sunday June 30th, another round of severe thunderstorms affected the region with Quarter to half-dollar sized hail and larger affecting the Warwick, RI area. On both days pockets of tree and wire damage also occurred.
As we moved into July, several flood and severe weather events occurred during the month. On July 22nd, several tornado warnings were issued for Cape Cod but no tornado occurred. Wind damage with numerous trees down occurred in a section of Harwich, Mass but it was determined to be from straightline winds.
On July 23rd, 2019, a meso-low pressure system with a ring of severe thunderstorms caused significant straightline wind damage and 3 tornadoes, effectively doubling the number of tornadoes on record for Cape Cod in one day with wind damage and wind gusts over 60 MPH recorded on Martha’s Vineyard. Straightline wind gusts as high as over 90 MPH were recorded on Cape Cod. Many trees, wires and utility poles were downed along with structural damage to a few structures. SKYWARN Spotters and Amateur Radio Operators along with several automated weather stations around Cape Cod were the first to report the significant severe weather conditions in the region. Within a few hours, Cape Cod ARES and SKYWARN produced over 100 pictures of the damage in the region. At the height of the storm, over 53,000 were without power across Cape Cod and parts of Marthas Vineyard. Cape Cod ARES was active with shelter and support of the Barnstable County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Multi Agency Coordination Center (MACC) in Barnstable, Massachusetts. The Amateur Radio and SKYWARN Spotter efforts drew media attention with 2 phone interviews with FOX-25 TV in Boston as well as an article on the ARRL web site. The ARRL web story can be seen at the following link:
On July 31st, 2019, a potent severe weather event affected much of interior Southern New England all the way into the Metro Boston area with wind gusts of 73 MPH recorded at Boston Logan Airport. Pockets of tree and wire damage and hail up to Quarter to Half Dollar sized occurred across interior Southern New England. Straightline wind damage in more numerous pockets occurred across parts of Winthrop and Boston, Massachusetts along with areas further west in parts of Southern Worcester County Massachusetts and along the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border. This was one of the more notable severe weather events of the summer season.
As we moved into August, several flood and hail, wind damage events occurred over the course of the month. The most notable event was on August 19th where reports of hail up to Golf Ball and 2″ diameter in the Agawam and Springfield, Mass area with pockets of wind damage in this area and across portions of the remainder of interior Southern New England. As we moved into September, there were several weather events in the first week of September, the most notable of which was on Wednesday September 4th, 2019, where severe thunderstorms occurred across portions of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut with the fourth tornado of the severe weather season occurring in Coventry to Mansfield, Connecticut. Dorian would then make a pass close enough to Cape Cod and the Islands to produce tropical storm force conditions across this area with wind gusts to around 40 MPH into other parts of Southeast Coastal Massachusetts. Severe weather season was quiet until Wednesday October 2nd where a few severe thunderstorms in Rhode Island caused pockets of straightline wind damage and a weak, brief EF0 Tornado in Portsmouth, RI bringing the total tornado count for 2019 to 5 for the season. The 5 tornadoes were above normal for the season but well below the 11 tornadoes that occurred in the 2018 severe weather season.
As we moved into October and November, wind events and coastal storms were scattered about these months. The most notable events was the coastal storm of October 16th and 17th 2019 which had widespread pockets of tree and power line damage and power outages and widespread rainfall of 2-4″ with isolated higher amounts. Several hundred thousand people were without power in Southern New England including over 250,000 in Massachusetts alone. Hurricane force wind gusts occurred in portions of Southern New England with widespread wind gusts of 58 MPH or greater meeting High Wind Warning criteria. SKYWARN Amateur Radio Operations used self-activation given the strongest winds happening during the overnight. Some flooding of road ways occurred from the heavy rainfall in urban and poor drainage areas. On October 31st into November 1st, another round of strong to damaging winds with a cold front and area of low pressure brought a second round of damage to the area but not as significant as the October 16-17th event though there were power outages in the tens of thousands across Southern New England. November had several wind events and some areas in Northwest Massachusetts having their first snowfall of the 2019-2020 winter season.
In December, the first half of the month was very active and kicked off by the first major winter storm for the region as a 3-day winter storm affected the region. Reports in parts of North-Central and Western Massachusetts ranged between 15-29″ of snow with other areas receiving 4-12″ of snow over a long duration 3-day period. Some strong wind gusts in the 40-50 MPH range with isolated higher gusts were also recorded causing some minor tree and power line damage. An extended period of SKYWARN activation starting with Ops on the Sunday Night and Self-Activation with Amateur Radio call-up nets on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday Night December 9th through Tuesday December 10th, 2019, heavy rainfall was widespread in the region with the highest rainfall amounts in Southeast New England where 2-4″ of rain occurred. Immediately following this storm, late Tuesday Night December 10th into Wednesday December 11th a moderate snowstorm bringing a widespread 3-6″ of snow with isolated higher amounts of 7-8″ across much of Southern New England with the highest amounts over parts of Central and Eastern New England. This storm adversely affected the Wednesday Morning December 11th commute. Another heavy rain event occurred Friday December 13th into Saturday December 14th with some minor flooding issues. This event brought some strong winds over Wind Advisory level with brief wind gusts to over 60 MPH on Nantucket Island. Finally, on Tuesday December 17th, after a period of light snow and some areas receiving 2-5″ of snow, icing of largely 1/8-1/3rd of an inch with isolated amounts of 1/2″ inch of ice occurred in portions of Southern New England. This even resulted in a few isolated pockets of tree and wire damage in parts of Northern Connecticut, Rhode Island and interior Southeast Massachusetts.
With the high pace of events in the first half of December, we have not had a chance to post any Facebook photo albums of the storm events. Over the next week if the weather remains quiet enough, we will post those photo albums of these storm events on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Many thanks to all SKYWARN Spotters and Amateur Radio Operators for photos and videos from these events in December and year round in 2019.

As we move forward in 2020, we will be continuing our commitment to SKYWARN training. Planning has started and sessions will be posted for 2020 SKYWARN Training starting in January. There will be a presence at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) 100th Anniversary Conference Weatherfest on Sunday January 12th from Noon-4 PM and planning is ongoing for this event.  We know that we’ve continued to have a large influx of SKYWARN Spotters and Amateur Radio Operators after a full slate of SKYWARN Training classes. We will also look at ways spotters and Amateurs can become more active in supporting efforts to gather critical reports from other areas beyond where they are located and do so in a precise manner.

We will also continue to embrace new technologies while maintaining all the other technologies utilized to gather as much real-time and precise meteorological and damage report information as possible and this effort will be pushed more heavily as we get into 2020. We will attempt to look at expanding DMR usage and potentially look at DSTAR Amateur Radio as an additional means for reporting during severe weather and we are still looking at a new Amateur Radio technology called NBEMS, the Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System, as a potential means to gather weather spotter data digitally over Ham Radio. These are added capabilities that we will be looking at and will not replace the continued core technologies within VHF and UHF (2 Meters/440 MHz) SKYWARN Amateur Radio Repeaters and simplex capabilities, our usage of Echolink/IRLP Amateur Radio linked repeaters, Amateur Radio HF and 6 Meters capabilities as well as monitoring of weather stations ingested over APRS and into the Mesonet networks that have supported and helped with seeing what is happening on the ground.

We will also be looking at other ways to engage both Amateur Radio and non-Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters via other ways to get near real-time and historical spotter reports and near real-time video and pictures as well as historical video and pictures after a major severe weather event via a project the WX1BOX Amateur Radio team is working over the past year. Further details on this will be announced as the project progresses along with additional projects being worked over the past Spring as well. This will further enhance our abilities to gather situational awareness and disaster intelligence information in a short period of time
We continue to have our twitter feed setup and you can follow WX1BOX on Twitter by following our Amateur Radio Call-Sign, WX1BOX and have our WX1BOX Facebook page available as well. NWS Boston/Norton has also continued the use of their Twitter and Facebook feeds as well over the course of 2019. Spotters and Amateur Radio Operators can follow WX1BOX and ‘NWSBoston’ on Twitter and on Facebook can ‘like’ these pages. They are available via the following links:
WX1BOX Amateur Radio SKYWARN Facebook Page:
NWS Boston/Norton Facebook Page:

WX1BOX Amateur Radio SKYWARN Twitter Feed:

NWS Taunton Twitter feed:

We, again, want to provide a tremendous THANK YOU to all of you that supported SKYWARN and the National Weather Service during 2019. We wish everyone once again, a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holiday Season and hope people enjoy their time with family and friends during this joyous holiday season!
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 #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address:
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Virginia Radio Amateur will Recreate 1906 Fessenden Christmas Eve Broadcast

From ARRL Web, 12/23/19:

The Canadian inventor, experimenter, and entrepreneur Reginald Fessenden has been credited as the inventor of radiotelephony. Fessenden claimed to have made his first voice — and music — broadcast on Christmas Eve in 1906 from Brant Rock, Massachusetts, although his account is disputed. As he has done each December for the past few years, Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, of Forest, Virginia, will transmit a program on 486 kHz, under authority of his FCC Part 5 Experimental License WI2XLQ to commemorate Fessenden’s accomplishments.

Justin will transmit for at least 24 hours starting at around 2000 UTC on December 24, with a repeat transmission on New Year’s Eve likely, “keeping in step with what Fessenden was reported to have done on both nights in 1906,” Justin explained.Fessenden’s transmitter was most likely a high-speed “dynamo” or alternator — a predecessor to the later Alexanderson alternator — modulated by placing a carbon microphone in series with the antenna feed line to create an amplitude modulated signal. Fessenden a few years earlier had limited success making voice transmissions using a rotary spark gap transmitter. Fessenden fed his signal into a substantial antenna system erected in Brant Rock for his experiments. Accounts say on Christmas Eve 1906, he transmitted recordings of two pieces of music and read a verse from the bible.

Justin will use somewhat more modern equipment — a home-brew master oscillator, power amplifier (MOPA) transmitter based on a classic design from the early 1920s. It uses a UV-201 oscillator tube driving a VT-25 tube — a modern equivalent to a UV-202 — to generate “a few watts” on 486 kHz. His modulator consists of another VT-25, which uses a large inductor in the RF amplifier’s plate supply to serve as a Heising modulator. The audio program comes from a laptop computer.

“Heising modulation was used in World War I as an easy way to achieve AM in rigs such as those used in aircraft,” Justin said. “My particular Heising modulator can deliver only around 60% modulation, so an audio processor is used to help boost the average volume level ahead of the modulator tube.”

Justin uses far more modern technology to boost “the few watts” of modulated RF to drive a modified Hafler 9505 solid-state 500-W audio amplifier. “The idea for the amp came from W1TAG and W1VD,” he said, “and information on using such an amp on the 630 and 2200-meter ham bands can be found on the web.” After a multi-pole low-pass filter, the carrier output is 150 W.

Justin’s antenna is a Marconi T, crafted from a 160-meter dipole some 60 feet above ground and fed with open-wire line, which is shorted at the transmitter end. A homebrew variometer — constructed from 14-gauge wire wound on a piece of 4-inch diameter PVC pipe — is placed in series to resonate the antenna, which is fed against an extensive ground system. “Most of the RF is lost due to the ohmic losses of the ground system, but at least 15 W ERP is possible, depending on the dampness of the soil. Damp soil helps lower the ground losses,” Justin said. 

December “Youth On The Air” Month

Youth On The Air Month takes place from 0000 UTC on December 1 until 2359 UTC on December 31. Participants earn certificates by working the various YOTA-suffix stations on the air throughout December. Not a contest, the event is aimed at getting as many youngsters on air from as many countries as possible. Stations operated by young radio amateurs around the world will get on the air to celebrate youth in amateur radio. YOTA Month began a few years ago in International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1, and the concept has now taken root in the Americas as YOTA Month in the Americas.

During YOTA Month, radio amateurs aged 25 and younger will be on the air as special event stations during December on various bands and modes. In the US, look for K8Y, K8O, K8T, and K8A. Elsewhere in the Americas, VE7YOTA will be on the air from Canada. XR2YOTA in Chile has been added to the list of youth stations in the Americas for YOTA Month. Young hams in other countries may also join in. Listen for other YOTA Month stations with “YOTA” suffixes.

For more information about YOTA in the Americas, contact Coordinator Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO, or Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.


Massachusetts Rhode Island Phone Net Time Change

Ralph, N1LAH, MARIPN Net Manager, writes:

Thanks to all who responded to my email about changing the time of the Massachusetts Rhode Island Phone Net (MARIPN) from 6:00 PM in the hope that propagation will be more favorable at an earlier time. All who responded indicated that 5:00 and  5:30 were equally acceptable. Hoping for even slightly better propagation 5:00 seems like the better choice.

In consultation with the Section leadership I have decided, at least temporarily, to change the net time to 5:00 PM, starting with the first net day of the New Year, Thursday, January 2, 2020.

A couple of us have been monitoring around 3.978 MHz for a while. There has been regular activity at 3.983 MHz and 3.969 MHz but not much in between – at least not much heard under current conditions. It seems that we can stay on the net frequency of 3.978 MHz.
Please help spread the word about MARIPN and the new net time. Thanks again.
Starting on Thursday, January 2, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays thereafter the Massachusetts Rhode Island Phone Net will meet:
  • At 5:00 PM (2200 UTC)
  • On or about 3.978 MHz
Thanks again for your net participation and support.
73 and holiday greetings,
Ralph, N1LAH, MARIPN Net Manager
Ralph Devlin, N1LAH
1 Caulfield Road
Wayland, MA 01778-4611
(H) 508-655-0112
(C) 508-259-5126

Yankee Clipper Contest Club DMR Net, December 18, 2019 and Each Wednesday, 8 PM-9 PM

NE1B writes on the YCCC Reflector:

Reminder: YCCC DMR Net

When: Wednesday, 18 December 2019, 8:00pm to 9:00pm, (GMT-05:00) America/New York


View Event


Description: YCCCers!

Join us every Wednesday evening at 8pm ET for contesting talk on the DMR repeater network. There are several methods to access the Net:

  • By RF
    Access via 2 meter or 70 cm DMR repeater.  See the list of 91 repeaters near you at  The frequencies are in the left menu “DMR Repeaters>New England”.  Use the NETAC1 talk group.
  • By Dongle or Hot Spot
    You can use openSpot, JumboSpot, ZumSpot, MMDVM
  • By EchoLink
    Get the software app on your smartphone or laptop at:  Contact KM3T or NE1B to put your callsign on the Access List.  Echolink node is K1QVC-L  Connect and RX B4 TX.

73 and see you there!

Nashoba Valley ARC Meets December 19, 2019

Bruce Blaine, K1BG, writes:

The Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club’s December meeting will be Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 7:30 PM at the Pepperell Community Center in Pepperell. 

The topic for the December meeting presentation will be the New England Forrest Rally by Paul Topolski, W1SEX. Paul writes: “Ham radio on steroids! The New England Forest Rally held each July is the premier pro-am race in the northeast. Race teams from across the nation gather to compete at speeds up to 100 miles per hour on dirt and gravel logging roads through the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire. With NO cell service, no ham repeaters, and unreliable public safety radio communications, ham radio is the only viable communications system providing safe race operations. The race courses are up to 12 miles long and VHF/UHF simplex radios have trouble covering the entire course. For the first time, HF 75 meter NVIS communications will be the primary communications mode.”

The Forrest Rally webpage is:

Need directions? Click here and put your own address in box “A”.

Thanks and 73. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Bruce, K1BG

978-772-2773 or


Amateur Radio Antennas To Be Installed at New School on Cape Cod

Cape Cod ARES logoDistrict Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, writes on Facebook:

“Andrew Platt from Barnstable County and I met with the Superintendent of the [Cape Cod Regional Technical High School]. Ralph Swenson from the Barnstable County Sheriff’s office joined us to go over the new antenna installations for the new school under construction. The new school will [serve as] the new Regional shelter for the area. Public safety antennas and two new ARES dual band vertical antennas will likely be installed. My special thanks to Ralph and the Sheriff’s Office for their tireless efforts in supporting the emergency communications mission.”

School construction should be completed in June, 2020.