Eastern Massachusetts ARES Does Virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD Via Zoom – Tuesday 11/3/20

On Tuesday Morning, 11/3/20, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, KD1CY-Rob Macedo, did a virtual Meet & Greet with Massachusetts VOAD to explain ARES role and how ARES can support Non-Governmental Organizations. The 30 minute meeting was well received by the VOAD leadership that participated. ARES has been a member within the VOAD organization since 2012.

VOAD stands for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. The ARRL has a national level Memorandum of Understanding with VOAD and encourages section ARES programs to work with state VOADs. Examples of organizations that are part of VOAD include ARES traditional partners such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army as well as Team Rubicon, various church groups that support disaster relief for individuals and families and many other organizations.

“We got to explain ARES role and what we can provide to Non-Government Organizations in both auxiliary communications, additional resources supporting communications and situational awareness information when normal communications means are up as well as what we can provide to them when other forms of communication fails. We also encouraged VOAD to look at ways we can help their organization based on their communications and technical needs after giving them some understanding of what we traditionally provide and explained to them all the MOUs ARES through the ARRL has with various organizations within VOAD and National VOAD” Macedo said.

Macedo reported that the members on the call understood how Amateur Radio plays a role and is often in the background performing important tasks that help their teams and other agencies. They were impressed with the presentation and look forward to future engagement both with Eastern Massachusetts ARES and Western Massachusetts ARES. “They asked for the Western Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator contact info which we provided to them along with a short presentation that we reviewed on the call and we look forward to a continued and stronger relationship with Massachusetts VOAD and the member agencies within VOAD going forward” Macedo said.

KB1REQ: “Mobile Antennas for Amateur Radio Operation” at Minuteman Repeater Association Online Meeting, November 18, 2020

MMRA logoFrom the MMRA Newsletter, November 2020:

Jeremy Breef-Pilz, KB1REQ, will present “Mobile Antennas for Amateur Radio Operation” at the Minuteman Repeater Association (MMRA) membership meeting on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 7:30 PM via ZOOM. Members: login to the MMRA webpage for the link; non-members: send an email to contact@mmra.org.

This presentation will be a wide ranging discussion of mobile antennas used at VHF and UHF frequencies underpinned by some basic antenna theory to motivate an overview of the practical differences in products on the market and installation techniques. Examples will include both products that are aimed at the Amateur Radio market as well as exposure to some from the commercial LMR market. The goal is for attendees to come away with a better understanding of mobile antennas making them a more skilled operator and informed consumer.

Jeremy lives in the suburbs south of Boston and has been a ham since 2008. Hobby interests include repeater installation, VHF/UHF digital modes as well as HF contesting. A graduate of Northeastern University, Jeremy currently works as a systems engineer for Motorola Solutions.

SEMARA ARES Activates Net Sunday Morning 11/8/20 for Situational Awareness After Earthquake 3.6 on Richter Scale Occurs Southeast of the New Bedford Area

SEMARA ARES activated an ARES Net at 950 AM Sunday for a little over 2 hours on the 147.000-Dartmouth Repeater, approximately 40 minutes after an earthquake, originally registered 4.2 on the Richter scale and revised down to 3.6 on the Richter scale occurred several miles offshore of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The earthquake was felt as far north as Southern New Hampshire and through much of Rhode Island through parts of Western and Central Massachusetts and Connecticut and the Long Island New York area.

Rob Macedo-KD1CY felt the earthquake at his home in New Bedford while checked into the New England Phone Net on HF on 3945 KHz. “I was checked in and monitoring the New England Phone Net where I heard 2 loud bangs as if someone was in my garage and had opened the garage doors and then had rattling and shaking that was fairly violent from what I’m used to in quakes I’ve felt in the past. After about 15-20 seconds total, it was over and after checking with an Amateur Radio SKYWARN Coordinator and friend from Rhode Island, N1EGS-John Buco, it was clear that we had an earthquake with information posted on the USGS web site. I immediately informed the New England Phone Net of what I experienced and ask for reports on who felt the quake.”

Very quickly things ramped up for a time from a public safety response perspective. Fire departments in New Bedford, Westport, Dartmouth and Fairhaven responded to possible gas leak issues at numerous homes in these communities. Information on posting what you felt during the earthquake was posted on the WX1BOX Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“We informed the National Weather Service within about 5 minutes of the incident that an earthquake had occurred and we were checking on damage reports and sent a report to the USGS via their form for the quake in question” Macedo said. Numerous reports on feeling the quake were fielded from the WX1BOX social media feeds. The Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association has a USGS seismograph and it measured this quake as well – see Cape Ann ARA Seismograph Detected Sunday’s Earthquake

At the suggestion of Mike “Sparky’ Leger-N1YLQ ARES DEC and Region 2 RACES Radio Officer, it was agreed to put up a formal ARES Net on the 147.000-Dartmouth Repeater for situational awareness and in case any needs arrived from partner agencies. From Sparky’s logs, 11 stations checked into the net which ran for a little over 2 hours. The net report is listed below:

N1YLQ-Sparky-Acushnet, MA (NCO)
KA1RSY-Ed-New Bedford, MA
KD1CY-Rob-New Bedford, MA
KC0AEO-South Dartmouth, MA
KC1FOZ-Al-South Westport, MA
KC1ISZ-New Bedford, MA
KC1CBR-Berkley, MA
N1IXC-Joe-South Dartmouth, MA
W1AEC-SEMARA Clubhouse
W1EAV-Chris-Marion, MA
KB1UAM-Anthony-New Bedford, MA

Three confirmed damage reports were received on Crapo Street in the city of New Bedford as relayed by Acushnet Emergency Management Deputy Director, KA1RSY-Ed Caron and KD1CY-Rob Macedo. Three homes sustained damage to the chimney smokestack area near gas mains inside of the residences and were evacuated with 20 people being temporarily displaced. Red Cross was involved in caring for these residents. This information was relayed to the National Weather Service and the minor damage reports were include in the NWS Boston/Norton Earthquake Report. Joe Krisnosky-N1IXC, who is part of New Bedford EMA, forwarded pictures of the damage from New Bedford EMA Director, Brian Nobrega.

“This is an example of ARES in action to provide rapid and precise situational awareness for use by other agencies. In this case, it was the USGS and the National Weather Service” Macedo said.

K1UVH Continues the “Great Hill” Tradition

Mike Antoine, K1UVH, and several friends have established a wonderful tradition of operating regularly atop “Great Hill’ in North Weymouth, Massachusetts.

It started some time ago after he began hosting a Field Day operation at the summit of the hill. Since then, his group has been gathering once a month to operate the high frequency bands, two meters, 220, and 440.  Mike calls it a “Day of Radio.”

“We bring tables, chairs, batteries, radios and antennas. We practice social distancing and masking, and I have sign-in sheet for tracking purposes,” says Mike.

The core group of operators consist of K1UVH, N1KMX, K1SEH, WB1EMS. All are retired firefighters, EMTs, or paramedics.

The group have had up to 17 amateurs swing by, including a group from a VE session in Braintree. Mike has also established a Facebook  group for “The Great Hill Gang.”

“My goal is to have fun and share and learn within this great hobby of ours.”  Mike can be contacted at mikeantenna <at> verizon.net.

PART of Westford Meets Online, November 17, 2020

PART of Westford logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

We’ve got room for two or three more Show & Tell presentations for next Tuesday’s [November 17] PART meeting. If you’ve got a project or radio-related accomplishment that you’d like to share with the club, send me an email (K1IG (at) arrl.net) with a short description by November 15.  A formal presentation with slides isn’t necessary; you can hold up your project for your computer camera or send me a photo and I’ll show it while you talk.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Simulated Emergency Test (SET) – Saturday 11/14/20 1000 AM-1200 PM

The Eastern MA Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) will conduct a Simulated Emergency Test on November 14, 2020 from 10 AM to 12 Noon (setup to start at 9 AM where needed) to test its capability in establishing communications with stations inside and outside of the section. Operation “Fall Fury” will attempt to build upon the lessons learned from past operational exercises. This SET is being done in coordination with a Red Cross national exercise also being held on Saturday 11/14/20.

The exercise scenario involves a fictional Category 1 hurricane which strikes MA/CT/RI as a hybrid coastal storm, battering Cape Cod and the Islands with winds ranging from 90-100 MPH. Eventually, hundreds of thousands of people in Eastern Massachusetts are left without power as the rain rapidly changes to heavy, wet snow.

“This exercise guideline is deliberately broad and generic in nature. ARES groups are free to adapt this scenario and conduct their exercise as needed for their group,” writes District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O.

“This is also a great opportunity for new Amateur Radio Operators, whether they are involved in ARES or not, to check into nets, provide simulated information and exercise traffic, or just check in and learn how nets work and what ARES can do during an actual event. This includes the National Weather Service SKYWARN component of ARES” writes Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation in MA, it will be unlikely that groups will be able to operate at EOCs and other municipal locations. Therefore any activation of shelters will be simulated by role play. It is likely that most of the operations involved in this exercise will utilize home stations.

Some exercise objectives include:
• Simulate the activation of shelters in your area;
• Simulate the activation of EOC stations in your area;
• Establish and conduct a tactical net on simplex 2m FM/ repeater for your group;
• Simulate contact with any Town EOC RACES stations;
• Establish contact with other ARES districts where possible;
• Establish an HF 75 meter voice net for all of MA (and potentially other areas);
• Pass an NTS type message on 2 meters VHF and/or 440 MHz;
• Pass a SKYWARN and/or tactical message on voice 2 meters and on the HF net;
• Optional components of the exercise to pass information digitally via Winlink and NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System)

For full details, see the “Eastern MA Simulated Emergency Test 2020 Scenario and Guidelines” document at https://ema.arrl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/EasternMA-ARES-SET-11-14-20.pdf.

K8ZT: “FT8/FT4 Setup & Operation” at K1USN Radio Club Meeting Online, November 10, 2020

K8ZT QSL card“Pi” Pugh, K1RV, writes in K1USN Happenings:

This week our upcoming K1USN Zoom session [on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 7:30 PM] will be a presentation on FT8/FT4 setup and operating by Anthony Luscre, K8ZT. Anthony has quite a resume and some of you may have seen some of his presentations during the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo back in August. Anthony is an Ohio Assistant Section Manager for Education Outreach.
If you would like to join our rapidly growing list of K1USN Zoom attendees then send me an e-mail ( k1rv@arrl.net ) to be added to the master Zoom list which is separate from the K1USN member list!

EMARG Volunteer Exam Session in Mansfield on November 12, 2020

The [Eastern MA Amateur Radio Group] will hold its next VE testing session on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Mansfield Fish and Game Club, 510 East Street, Mansfield, MA 02048.

Directions: I-95 to 140 towards Mansfield. Turn left on 106. Just past the Municipal building, turn left at the Mansfield Fish & Game sign and follow driveway to the clubhouse.

Cape Ann ARA Seismograph Detected Today’s Earthquake

Amateurs throughout southern New England were startled by a sudden earthquake that struck the southeastern portion of Massachusetts on Sunday, November 8.  The United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude 3.6 earthquake occurred in the vicinity of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The quake began at 14:10:06 UTC (9:10:06 AM EST). Its epicenter was located 11 kilometers south of Bliss Corner, Massachusetts (41.507°N 70.938°W) at a depth of 10 kilometers.

Eastern MA Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY said, “It was right near my house. I felt shaking to my house that was violent and something I have never experienced before. Unknown on damage reports.” 

“It was more like a loud, deep noise. I’ve heard it before when we’ve had other earthquakes,” wrote Sudbury amateur Marc Stern, WA1R.

The Netquakes seismograph at the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association recorded the earthquake at the club shack at 6 Stanwood Street in Gloucester.  According to  CAARA’s Stan Stone, W4HIX, “CAARA is the only [site] still running a NetQuakes seismometer in New England—they had problems with the AC power supplies and suggested everyone turn their system off until a replacement could be found. Obviously that never happened. We decided to take the risk and it has been running at CAARA for many years now.”

image of seismometer at Cape Ann ARA club station

K9HI: “License Fee NPRM—Filing Comments to MD Docket 20-270” at Norfolk County RA Meeting Online, November 11, 2020

Dick Bean, K1HC, writes on the Norfolk County Radio Association website:
The NCRA conduct its Wednesday, November 11, 2020 meeting at 8 PM using Zoom in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Jim, WJ1R, will be our Zoom host.  Thank you to Jim for agreeing to take on this continuing role!

Phil Temples, K9HI, the recently appointed ARRL New England Division Vice Director, will be joining us for our November meeting.  We will look forward to hearing from Phil, and he will likely raise awareness of the topic of the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to impose a $50 licensing fee on amateur radio operators, something which many have said will be an impediment to encouraging youth into the hobby.It will be a good opportunity to see and hear our members! 

We have a few business items to cover, including an update on our 2021 centennial operating event and discussion of our annual donation to the ARRL, but we will let everyone have a chance to speak.

Please note that we do need to end the Zoom session shortly after the meeting ends so please be mindful of our host asking us to end our discussion after the meeting closes.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation and understanding!   

Amateur Radio’s Role at the Boston Marathon Bombing

Scene from Boston Marathon bombingSteve, Schwarm, W3EVE, Wrentham will present “Amateur Radio’s Role at the Boston Marathon Bombing,” one of series of presentations sponsored by the ARRL Learning Network on December 8, 2020 at 10 AM PT/ 1 PM ET. 

“Amateur radio has played a significant role in public service communications for the Boston Marathon for several decades. That role was put to the test in 2013 when two bombs were exploded near the finish line. This presentation will describe the role that ham radio played at the Marathon and how that role changed due to the bombing.”


K1USN Radio Club Veterans Day On Air Event, November 11, 2020

K1USN QSL cardWednesday, November 11, 2020, is Veterans Day and once again K1USN plans to be on the air to honor those who have served our country.
As you might expect during these difficult times, we are looking for an alternative way to get K1USN on the air.
We have decided to announce a 31-hour operating event beginning at 0000 UTC Nov 11th and running through 0500 UTC Nov 12th. The format will consist of two hour shifts and you can use the K1USN call from your home QTH. We will have two hour operating slots available on CW, SSB as well as FT8. Depending on the amount of interest you may need to specify a particular band to operate.
Marty – N1VH is now creating a signup document which we hope to be able to post on the K1USN web page. We will need someone to step forward to offer to handle scheduling for us. They would be the contact person for anyone wishing to operate any shift. Operators would contact you via e-mail and/or text to verify the open shifts.
BTW, the reason for making this a 31-hour operating event is to give us as much opportunity to work DX stations as well as W/VE stations. Our Veterans Day observance on November 11 coincides with Armistice and Remembrance Day in many other countries.  
Ordinarily we have a very good turnout at K1USN for Veterans day and enjoy the operating as well the free Starbucks coffee. This year you will have to supply your own coffee at home!
The current list of operators is:
K1VUT – Dave
WA1MAD – Mike
K1RV – Pi
N1DC – Rick
Due to the uniqueness of the current situation it would great if many of you decided to give it a try operating as K1USN. Although we often generate some pretty busy pileups when operating at the K1USN club station, you can set the pace from the comfort of your home station.  –K1USN Happenings, November 6, 2020

MA Ham Radio License Plate Update

MA ham operator sample license platePhil Temples, K9HI, received the following email on November 5, 2020 from Phyllis Burke, a supervisor employed by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles in response to his question about the status of his ham radio license plate order:

“The RMV has out in a fix (sic) for these plates and will hopefully be done with in the next month or two.  We will contact you when it is completed and order the plate.  I apologize for the inconvenience.” 

-Phyllis Burke <phyllis.burke@state.ma.us>.

[See: Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles is Not Processing Ham Operator Plate Applications]


Algonquin ARC Battery Challenge Begins December 1, 2020

photo of 6v latern batteryThere is QRP, even “QRPP.” Aficionados get on the air, battery and spare battery in hand and see how many contacts—or how much DX—they can log. But have you ever considered how many QSOs are actually held in a single battery pack?

A few years back, a member (W1XP) of another club, the Nashoba Valley ARC up in the Pepperell­/Groton area decided that finding out would make a good club activity. Thus, the Lantern Battery Challenge (LBC). Participants were issued a 12V stack of off­-the-­shelf 6V lantern batteries. (You know the ones—they’re about two inches square and four or so inches high.)

Each participant was charged with making as many contacts as possible within four months, or until the battery was discharged beyond the point of usefulness. By the way, at the participant’s option the battery only had to power the transmitter portion of whatever station equipment was used. Well, with virtual meetings, things are pretty quiet in these here parts. I was thinking, maybe an LBC of or own would liven things up. Under the Vice President’s sponsorship, AARC’s LBC will commence at 0000Z on 1 December 2020 and conclude at 2400Z on 31 March 2021. You can join at any time during the “contest” period. Participation is voluntary, with only one stipulation: you get your own battery stack and you let me know that you’re playing in the game. OK, that’s two stipulations. And I’d like to know what you did and how successful you were. Is that another stipulation? I’ll work up some rules for the effort and post them on AARCList. Maybe we’ll have a party when our LBC is over.

-Skip, K1NKR, AARC QRZ, November 2020

Algonquin ARC Members Conduct Halloween School Watch, October 31, 2020

AARC logoAlgonquin Amateur Radio Club members had a very successful Halloween School Watch on October 31. Over twenty club members came out to help the city of Marlboro with this event including first ­time participants. It was great to see the club back in action with a public service activity even if in a socially-distant way. It was a chilly evening in our cars under a full moon.

With a lot of radio activity on the school watch net, we even attracted the attention of some hams monitoring the repeater. Net control Eric, KV1J, responded with some great publicity for the club and the Emergency Operations Center. 

Mike W1KU, AARC QRZ, November 2020

Bristol County RA Fox Hunt, November 21, 2020

BCRA/FRARA logoThe [Bristol County Repeater Association] will be holding its “First (in a while)” BCRA Fox Hunt on Saturday, November 21, 2020.

Check-ins starting at 9:45 am on the BCRA repeater, 145.150 MHz PL 123. Chat and help on the repeater also.

The Fox will activate at 10:00 am on 146.565 MHz FM with a 5-watt signal and will transmit one minute of tone followed by Morse Code ID and four minutes of silence. The hunt will last until 2:00 pm or until all checked in participants have found the transmitter, whichever comes first.

The Fox will be located within a 10 mile radius of the intersection of President Avenue (Rt. 6) and North Main Street in Fall River. ( Latitude 41.7159 Longitude -71.1510 ) The Fox will be in a public place and will be manned at all times. When you have found the fox your time and order of arrival will be recorded and a personalized certificate will be emailed to each participant.

Participants are encouraged to work in teams, and are asked to drive carefully and observe all applicable guidelines, both from the FCC and the state & local governments. Since participants are receiving only (except for radio check-ins) an amateur radio license is not required.

Email questions to Skip at kb1cnb@bcra.club or text to 774-644-3469. After the hunt, your comments, impressions, and suggestions will be welcome!

Join us and have some good amateur radio fun!

Northeast HamXposition “Grand Finale” Virtual Weekend, November 6-8, 2020

Northeast HamXposition logo with datesHamXposition 2020 Chairman Bob DeMattia, K1IW, writes:
We are coming up on a grand finale virtual weekend.  If you haven’t already, there is still time to register!
This email gives a brief summary – see http://www.hamxposition.org for details and to sign up.

  • Our HamXposition special event station – W1A – will be activated on Friday evening, November 6th and will be on the air through 7 PM the following Sunday.   W1A will be operated from individual operator’s home stations – you can sign up so that your station is one of them.
  • On Saturday, November 7th at 10 AM, the Nashua Area Radio Society will be holding an online version of the “Ham Radio Bootcamp”.   The cover story in October QST, this activity is geared for new hams looking  into the various ways they can experience the hobby.  However, even if you’ve had your license for a long time you might learn something new!
  • On Saturday November 7th at 7 PM, we will be holding our “Virtual Grand Banquet”.  Order your favorite take-out or delivery, pull up your chair, and enjoy an evening highlighted with keynote speaker Gordon West.  At the conclusion of the event, we will hold a drawing for the banquet prize – a Kenwood V71A dual band transceiver with Astron power supply and dual-band mag mount antenna.  You must be present at drawing time to win.
All of these events are free, but all require preregistration.  Once you preregister, you will be given the connection details.
Finally, we are running a donation drive this year to help offset some of the annual costs we have and to help keep the revenue stream toward the scholarships flowing. Anyone donating $5 or more will receive a souvenir HamXPosition 2020 general admission ticket by mail.
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Those donating $25 or more will be listed on our electronic honor wall, and those donating $50 or more will receive a limited-edition “Moonbounce” badge ribbon (which you can use in 2021) and a limited-edition T-shirt:
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Preregistration and donations can all be done on our website:   http://www.hamxposition.org
To get to the donation section, click on the banquet Event Registration link.
I hope you are able to enjoy all or part of our events – and hope to be able to see you at our in-person convention on July 23, 24 and 25, 2021.
Bob – K1IW
Chair, HamXposition 2020

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday November 2nd, 2020 – 830 PM EDT

Hello to all…

The November Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday November 2nd, 2020 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

For frequencies that will be linked into the ARES Net on the MMRA Network, please see the following link from the MMRA web site detailing the repeaters that will be linked in through Hub 1:


We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. For tonight’s ARES Net, the focus will be on participation in the Eastern Mass ARES SET for Saturday 11/14/20 timed with a national Red Cross exercise. We’ll also do a quick review of past events in the month of October and preview the 2020 SKYWARN Recognition Day event for Saturday December 5th, 2020 from 0000-2400 UTC.

Thanks for your continued support of ARES!

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: rmacedo@rcn.com
Like us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/wx1box
Follow us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/wx1box

Bristol County Repeater Association Meets Online, November 2, 2020

BCRA/FRARA logoMargaret Gaffney, KA1BZE, writes on the BCRA mailing list:

This month, we will be holding a fox hunt on November 21, 2020. More details will come at tomorrow’s meeting. Because of this, we will be having a tech talk on fox hunting after this month’s business meeting. It will again be on Zoom so look for a link in your email through this group.

[Email mmgaffney -at- comcast -dot- net for meeting information.]


PART of Westford Meets November 17, 2020

PART of Westford logoGeorge Allison, K1IG, writes on the PART of Westford mailing list:

The topic for [the PART of Westford‘s] November 17 meeting will be Show and Tell.  This is the opportunity to show off the projects you’ve been working on during quarantine. Things we’d like to see include:

  • Electronic projects completed or in progress
  • Shack and antenna improvements
  • Operating awards you’ve recently earned
  • POTA, SOTA, IOTA, or other portable/mobile operations you’ve activated
  • Public service events you’ve participated in

If you have something you want to show, send me an email (K1IG (at) arrl.net) by November 15 with a short description and an estimate of how much time you need. Slides, photos, and even videos are welcome; you can show them from your computer or email them to me and I’ll show them while you do the talking.