“Facing scrutiny like never before, New England’s amateur balloonists are feeling the pressure”

From The Boston Globe, February 28, 2023:

“In July, Seth Kendall and his 12-year-old son, Max, plan to fill a giant latex balloon with gas and then launch it into the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

“Once it leaves the ground it will reach a height of around 100,000 feet, where it will expand to more than 40 feet wide. Dangling underneath will be a payload of science experiments designed by students, a device that bounces radio signals for hundreds of miles, and a GoPro camera to capture footage of the curvature of the Earth.

“From there, it will be smooth sailing — at least, that’s their hope.

“A string of recent high-profile, balloon-related incidents, including the military shooting down a Chinese surveillance balloon and several other yet-to-be-identified flying objects, have fueled anxiety among amateur balloonists across the country. Here in New England, where hobbyists and scientists routinely launch balloons for scientific research or kicks — or often both — fears about the fate of their projects are reaching new heights.”

[Full story]

K1GGI: “Cape Cod’s Fabulous Radio History” at Barnstable ARC Hybrid Meeting, March 6, 2023

Barnstable ARC logoThe Barnstable Amateur Radio Club will meet in-person on March 6 at 7:00 PM at the Brewster Police Department Community Room, 631 Harwich Road (Rt 124), Brewster, MA 02631. In addition we will provide a Zoom link to the meeting. This month,  Ed Moxon, K1GGI, will present “Cape Cod’s Fabulous Radio History.”

[Contact Norm Cantin, WA1NLG, at norman.cantin@gmail.com for Zoom details.]

Whitman ARC Offering Amateur Extra Licensing Class

Recent licensing class held by the Whitman ARCBob Azanow, WA1Q, writes In K1USN Happenings, February 23, 2023:

[The Whtman ARC Amateur] Extra class started on Tuesday, February 21 […]. But there is no problem catching up if you would like to join; just give our training manager Ross, W1EKG, a call, email, and or show up at the Whitman Police Station on Thursday evening, February 23.

Classes will run Tuesday and Thursday each week until April 13. The VE session will be Tuesday, April 18 at 7 PM.

Sorry for the late notice on this. More info found at the training link including Ross’s phone number: http://www.wa1npo.org/training/training.htm.

Beaver Works / MIT Amateur Radio License Class for High Schoolers Begins March 4, 2023

Beaver Works MIT Ham Radio Class flyerDaniel Sheen, KC1EPN, writes:

The folks over at W1MX have been organizing an amateur radio class for high schoolers with Beaver Works at MIT for the spring. It starts on March 4th and we still have space for more people, I was wondering if any of your members know anyone who might be interested?

The signup link is here: https://mit-bwsi.formstack.com/forms/bwsi_spring_2023_hamradio


Report of Sat Feb. 18, Norfolk County Emergency Preparedness (NCEP) Digital Training net

Don Rolph-AB1PH – Walpole Area ARES Emergency Coordinator writes:

We held an NCEP Digital training net on Sat Feb. 18 at 10 AM EST.

The purpose of this net was to try to smooth out some issues which surfaced during the Feb SET.

The participants were:

AB1PH Don Walpole MA NCS
WZ0C Michale Maynard MA
K1HRV Dave Millis MA
KF1D Bryan Blackstone, MA

The net was called at 10 AM EST and closed at 10:25 AM EST

We were a strictly directed net: no station transmitted unless called on. This appeared to work smoothly and appears to address some of the race conditions we saw during the Feb 4 SET NBEMS net.

We will continue with the formal directed net with stations only responding when called on for a bit and ensure that it is stable.

We passed an original message and three replies during the 25 minute net. The messages took about 1 1/2 minutes each to send.

We had a round of comments.

In addition to the four direct attendees, the following had their station on frequency but unattended and successfully copied the messages:

– Alan WA1AR
– Phil KB1CYO

The ability of the digital systems to receive messages while unattended provides a flexibility for the FLDIGI stations which we dont have with voice nets

My thanks to all who participated in this training session. I believe it clarified the situation regarding the need for strictly directed nets.

Have a great weekend, and a great holiday!

Don Rolph

W6BSD: “Digital Voice Modes for Amateur Radio” at Waltham ARA Meeting Online, February 22, 2023

Waltham ARA logoNext meeting is Wed Feb 22nd at 7:00 pm
(zoom opens at 6:30)

The next meeting of the Waltham Amateur Radio Association will be this Wednesday [February 22, 2023] at 7:00. The meeting will be held on-line with no in-person gathering this month. (zoom links below). After a short business meeting, Fred, W6BSD, will be giving a presentation providing an overview of the various Digital Voice Modes:

Digital Voice Modes for Amateur Radio

You don’t need a General or Extra class license to enjoy QSOs with people worldwide. All amateur license classes can use Digital Voice (DV) modes such as Fusion, D-Star, DMR, and many others to connect with people throughout the US and other countries using digital repeaters or amateur hotspots. During his presentation, Fred will discuss the differences between the DV modes and how the backend infrastructure works.

[For meeting information, see https://walthamara.org/.]

New General Class Element 3 Question Pool Goes Into Effect On July 1, 2023

ARRL VEC logo/bannerFrom ARRL VEC Newsletter, February 2023:

General Class Element 3 Question Pool Errata Released 

The NCVEC Question Pool Committee (QPC) has released the latest errata for the 2023 – 2027 General Element 3 question pool, which goes into effect on July 1, 2023. Nine questions were modified (G1B01, G1C01, G1C02, G5C02, G7C10, G9B05, G9C09, G9D09, and G9D10) and two questions (G9C06 and G9D13) were withdrawn from use. 

The pool is available as a Microsoft Word document and PDF. These changes are reflected in the new General Pool download file dated February 1, 2023. 

New General Examinations will take effect for exam sessions on July 1, 2023

The newly revised general pool must be used starting July 1, 2023. VECs and VEs will have new test designs available starting on that date. Previously supplied versions of ARRL VEC General-class exam booklets (2019 series) and computer-generated General-class exams from the 2019 question pool are valid until midnight on June 30, 2023. The ARRL VEC will supply its officially appointed, field-stocked VE teams with new General exam booklet designs around mid-June. 

NUWC Soldering Workshops

Northeastern Univ Wireless logoNortheastern University Wireless Club President Marty Sullaway, NN1C, writes on on the NUWC mailing list:

Tonight was the Super Bowl. Unfortunately the Patriots did not make an appearance, but nonetheless, I am sure people tuned in to watch. While our Super Bowl for Wireless does not involve parties, TV ads, and millions of people, our soldering workshops are our next best thing.

The staple of our workshop series are our soldering workshops. This week we are offering the same workshop twice. Join us at 7 PM in Dodge 050 on Monday 2/13, or in our club space (503 Hayden) at 7 PM on Thursday 2/16. We will be building a revised version of our popular traffic light project. Both sessions are expected to fill up, so be sure to arrive on time to make sure you get a seat. If for some reason we are filled up, have no fear, we will work you in.

For those who might already know how to solder, take the time during the workshops this week to pay our club space a visit, pay your door code dues and solder up a small project; study for a ham radio exam. We just restocked the club space, and plan to do so again soon.

Here’s to soldering week!

K9EID: “An Evening With Bob Heil” at North Shore Radio Association Hybrid Meeting, February 21, 2023

North Shore Radio Association logoEric Horwitz, KA1NCF, writes on the North Shore Radio Association mailing list:

We have a great speaker over Zoom: “An evening with Bob Heil, K9EID” [on February 21, 2023 at 7 PM].

1n 1966, Bob founded Heil Sound, experimenting with live sound systems and becoming the technician to several venues around St Louis.  He has played organ at age 15 at the Fox Theater in St. Louis and in his tuning of organs “Learned to Listen.” He has been a vendor of sound systems for various musicians and music groups, He made the “Talk Box” for Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh and Richie Sambora. Bob entered the amateur radio market in 1970. He developed his HC series microphones intended for amateur use.

[Zoom conference information will be sent via the NSRA groups.io mailing list.  Contact Eric, KA1NCF, at ka1ncf -at- nsradio -dot- org to be added to the groups.io list.]

Eastern Massachusetts Hospital Net – Saturday February 11, 2023 at 1000 AM ET

Good evening,

On Saturday February 11, 2023, the South Shore Health Amateur Radio Group will hold an Eastern MA Hospital Net commencing at 10AM. We realize that the usual locations for some individuals and groups are still unavailable due to ongoing COVID restrictions. We encourage everyone who is affected by these restrictions to utilize their home or mobile stations to check into the net.

We will use the following repeaters and NEDECN DMR system in the order listed.

1. Plymouth Repeater 146.685 tone 131.8
2. DMR – EMHN Talkgroup 8851 Time Slot 1 on select NEDECN repeaters:
Boston 449.175 CC1, Hingham 146.430 -1.5M CC1, Bourne 145.200 CC10, Dennis 146.470 -1.5M CC11, and Martha’s Vineyard145.180 CC10, Walpole 145.380 -0.600 CC12 repeaters
3. Falmouth Repeater 147.375 tone 110.9
4. Sharon Repeater 146.865 tone 103.5
5. Return to the Plymouth Repeater for 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, EOC of any city or town as well as RACES or ARES members 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 trying your hand at Net Control please let us know. We can be reached by sending an email to ssharg@outlook.com or replying to this message. 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 these monthly nets and the use of their systems in an actual event.

We hope to hear you Saturday.

Jeff N1SOM, Secretary, and the SSH group

South Shore Health Amateur Radio Group
55 Fogg Rd. Mail-Stop 42
South Weymouth, MA 02190

New England Division Town Hall Meeting, February 23, 2023

ARRL logoFrom nediv.arrl.org:

Phil Temples K9HI, our Assistant Directors, and I will hold our next New England Division Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 23rd, at 7 pm ET. The purpose of the meeting will be to provide you with an ARRL update, get your thoughts on what we should be focusing on, and answer any questions you might have about the ARRL and what we are doing on behalf of ARRL members here in New England.

We plan to spend a good deal of our time together answering your questions. If you’d like to send us a question in advance, you can do so via an email to ab1oc@arrl.org, or you can just plan to ask your questions during the Town Hall Meeting.

We will hold our Town Hall Meeting via a Zoom Webinar. You can get your personal link to join the Town Hall Meeting via the following link (paste the link in your browser to register) –


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

We hope to see you on February 23rd!

ARRL New England Division
Director: Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net – Monday February 6th 2023 at 830 PM on the MMRA Repeater System

Hello to all…

The February Eastern Massachusetts ARES section net will be Monday February 6th, 2023 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:
https://mmra.org/repeaters/repeater_linking.html (Click the ARES box to see the repeaters and other systems linked)

We look forward to your participation and remember, we are always looking for Net Controls to run the ARES Net. We will have several announcements for the net this evening.

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
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
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Reminder: Feb 6th, 2023 MEMA RACES/ACS Communications Test Net

Hello to all,

      This email is a reminder that this evening, February 6th, 2023 is the first non-holiday Monday of the month and, as such, is our RACES/ACS/Preparedness Net night. We will be holding our sector nets on the normally assigned frequencies.

      As always, I am looking for Net Control stations to staff our sector nets for the evening. This month I plan to be able to run the Sector 2A net, however, iff anyone is available and interested in covering the net, please let me know.  I am looking for NCS operators to lead the Sector 2B (Plymouth County) net. Sector 2D has already arranged for an NCS operator for this month’s net and Sector 2C is a Winlink only net on a monthly basis.

           The 6-meter net has generally been a very informal net. We have received an update that repairs have been implemented on the repeater. Please report any comms testing on the repeater so that those repairs can be verified.

For any operators interested in performing the duties of Net Control Station (NCS), there are materials available to make the task fairly simple and straight forward. The net pre-amble and role call lists are available at http://wc1mab.org/RACES_R2_Interim_Preamble.pdf and http://wc1mab.org/Month.php with the role call lists on the left column near the bottom. If anyone is worried that they mess up running a net, please remember that, in many cases, a less than perfect net is WAY better than no net at all! At the conclusion of any net, any operator that acted as Net Control Operator should send a note to WC1MAB@gmail.com letting me know who ran the net and who checked in so that the proper numbers can be reported to our served agencies. We can not always count on our normal net control operators to be available in the event of a large scale emergency, so every RACES operator should be prepared to act as NCO if needed when disaster and emergency strikes!

Winlink Net Instructions From Don Rolph: 

*Winlink Net*

To participate:

– create a check-in form using the Winlink standard checkin form

– send via Winlink after 6 AM EST Mon. Feb 6th  and before midnight EST Feb 7th (any mode, but include mode in check-in form) to KF1D

   I continue to ask that any operators who have the time, please try to check into sector nets from near-by sections. This will allow our Net Control Operators to practice fielding nets with a strong check-in count and will also serve to help practice with relays or modified sector assignments in the event that a single repeater is out of service. 

   For those operators who serve as Net Control Operators, please try to remember to send me a list of the stations and communities that check into your nets. The numbers are reported to MEMA to show them our level of participation. I am continuing to work on a graphical map based report to show which parts of our section have strong coverage and which areas may need a more targeted recruitment campaign to improve our ability to provide back-up communications in an emergency.

The Region #2 and State Net Schedule for this evening is as follows:

Net Frequency/Offset Time
Sector 2A 147.00 /+0.60  PL 19:30 Local
Sector 2B 145.39/-0.60  PL 67.0 20:00 Local
Sector 2C Winlink Net Check-In 6AM-Midnight Local Time
Sector 2D 146.865/-0.60  PL 103.5 19:30 Local
6-Meter State Net 53.31 / -1.0  PL 71.9  


Note: 53.31 has been reported as being repaired and back online. Please report tests on this repeater so that we can verify the repairs/improvements made to the repeater.

19:00 Local
MA RACES HF Net 3930 KHz LSB moving up to 3955 KHz until there is a clear frequency 18:45 Local
MA MEMA NBEMS Net Frequency:  3584.5 MHx, Center Frequency: 1500 Hz, Initial mode: THOR22 19:00 Local

    I appreciate you all answering the call to help our communities remain prepared. Thank you all for helping us keep things on track and prove that we remain a consistent source of communication capability to the Commonwealth. This net provides a monthly reminder to our communities and served agencies that we stand ready with a quiet professionalism prepared to serve as a voice to whomever needs one to get help and resources to where they need to be.

 If you know someone who would benefit from being on this list, please have them contact me at   WC1MAB@gmail.com and I will add them to this distribution. Thank you all!

      If anyone has any questions or comments I can be reached by e-mail or cell phone. Thanks for being a part of our team and I look forward to hearing back on who can participate this month.


Michael Leger (N1YLQ)

MEMA Region #2 RACES Officer

C: 386-566-7666

Massachusetts RACES Nets – Monday 2/6/23 for HF, Region 2D VHF, NBEMS & Winlink – Times and Details Below

Don Rolph-AB1PH-Norfolk County ARES Emergency Coordinator writes:

The MEMA RACES nets are held on the first Monday of the month, unless the first Monday is a holiday, when it is delayed one week,
For Feb. 2023, the RACES nets will be held on Mon Feb. 6.

The RACES nets will be held on Mon Feb. 6 at:

The HF net will start at 6:45 PM ET: using the following frequency plan:
We will start at 3930 KHz moving up to 3955 KHz until there is a clear frequency,

Marc Stern WA1R will be net control.
Region 2D VHF net:
7:30 PM ET VHF net on 146.865 MHz PL 103.5 (Sharon Repeater)

We will have a general call up of any RACES, ARES, or other interested stations. If there is time, we will have a simplex test.
Don Rolph using WA1PLE will be net control.
7:00 PM ET
Dial Frequency: 3584.5 MHx
Center Frequency: 1500 Hz
Initial mode: THOR22

We will have checkins, followed by an ICS-213 format message using FLMSG.
Don Rolph AB1PH will be net control.
Winlink Net:
Between 0600 ET on Mon Feb. 6 and 2400 ET on Feb. 6, please send a Winlink checkin form to Don Rolph AB1PH
We look forward to you checking in!

Don Rolph

Loren, N1IQI, Presented Certificate of Recognition at Whitman Club for Contribution to NTS

On February 1st, Peter, KC1HHO, Manager, Eastern Massachusetts 2 Meter Traffic Net was the guest of the Whitman Amateur Radio Club during their monthly meeting.  

Peter delivered a presentation about the National Traffic System (NTS).  Information about how the system works, NTS training, and how amateur stations, group or clubs can get more involved was presented.  Many great questions were asked from the club members. 

Telling the story of NTS and how it can benefit all amateur radio operators has of course been stifled by recent events. The opportunity to get out and speak to the members was much appreciated. 

Peter was able to present, on behalf of himself and Section Traffic Manager Marcia KW1U a Certificate of Recognition to club member Loren N1IQI  for his “30 years of amateur radio service and exemplary performance and dedication to the National Traffic System”. 

If your group is interested in having a NTS presentation at an upcoming meeting please contact Peter KC1HHO. 

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Exercise “Winter Wipeout” – Saturday 2/4/23 – 1000 AM-1200 PM ET

Hello to all…

Understanding it is short notice, Eastern Massachusetts ARES will be doing an ARES exercise for Saturday 2/4/23 at 1000 AM-1200 PM. Our scenario will be customized from the Cape Cod ARES district. The following is the Eastern Mass ARES exercise document that we wanted to deliver before this weekend. See Eastern Mass ARES Exercise – Winter Wipeout document for all of the pertinent info. We look forward to everyone that can participate understanding the short notice but also understanding given the extreme cold conditions forecast for Saturday, what could be better than “warming up” by the Amateur Radio and participating in the exercise where we will also be looking for some real world weather data reflective of the extreme cold conditions. Thanks for your continued support of Eastern Massachusetts ARES!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
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