April 2020 Section News



      Welcome to the Eastern Massachusetts ARRL section newsletter


To see all the monthly news, which is updated regularly, visit <https://ema.arrl.org/>.




By Bruce Blain, K1BG, EMA Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC)

What a difference a month makes! Eastern Massachusetts affiliated clubs have responded in a number of ways to the current Covid-19 crisis.  Some have simply shut their doors until the current crisis is over, which is understandable given the circumstances. Others have chosen to follow the Marine Corps slogan: improvise, adapt, and overcome.

For some clubs, a combination of club nets, repeaters, calling frequencies, and webinars continue to be used while meetings cannot be held.  While club nets, repeaters, and calling frequencies have been used by clubs for many years, the frequency and participation has picked up as a greater focus has been placed on them.

Some clubs are taking advantage of webinar products from WebEx, GoToMeeting, Amazon Chime, and Zoom, and have conducted webinars for both regular club meetings and board meetings.

For instance:

New England Sci-Tech recently had Mark Rudd, KC1LOM, speak regarding Titanic’s “Marconi Radio” and related broadcast history at their weekly Zoom meeting. The talk drew a crowd of over 50!

In addition to their weekly 2-meter repeater net on Tuesday and 10-meter net on Thursday, Wellesley ARA purchased a year’s subscription to Zoom Pro. I attended their webinar last week.  Turnout was heavy and there was a lot of participation by those in attendance.

There are many benefits to holding webinars right now. Participants who live physically distant from their clubs can participate, as can those with physical limitations. A much larger variety of guest speakers are available to speak if they don’t have to personally attend.  Want some great ideas for guest speakers, both during and after the Covid-19 crisis is over?  Click the “Club Speakers List” quicklink at https://ema.arrl.org/affiliated-clubs/.

While I am in no way endorsing one product or service over another, Zoom seems like a pretty popular teleconference service these days.  A free account will allow you to host a teleconference for up to 40 minutes for as many as 100 attendees. For $14.99 per month you can host a teleconference for 100 people for 24 hours. For more information, go to https://zoom.us/pricing.

If you are looking for ideas as to how to move your club forward during the current Covid-19 crisis, please let me know. And let us know what your plans are so that we can keep this site up to date and share your activities with as many hams in eastern Massachusetts as we can. 

73 de Bruce, K1BG



Bob DeMattia, K1IW, writes:

After long consideration, the convention committee has decided to postpone the 2020 convention to the week of November 6 through 8. 

There are several reasons for this, the first and foremost is the health and well-being of our attendees.  In addition, there are many logistical problems with holding the convention in July, even under the most favorable conditions of the pandemic emergency being over by then.

1. We believe it is unlikely that the state’s ban on large gatherings will be completely lifted by the end of July.

2. Even if it were, we believe attendance will be severely impacted due to lingering (and quite appropriate caution).

3. Almost all of our exhibitors are unwilling to commit to anything prior to June.

4. The convention is subject to penalties for cancellation. The penalties increase as we get closer to the convention date. By moving to November, we move out the schedule on these penalties. This will allow us to reassess the viability of the convention in early August. By then we will have further insight into prevailing conditions.

5. The November weekend was the only one available to us—and could be lost to another group if we did not act on it.

We know that many look forward to attending each year, and have probably grown weary of all the cancellations of events like these. However, given the reality of the situation, we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to postpone.



May 2-3, 2020

The organizers of the NEQP) hope you will spend some time operating in the 2020 New England QSO Party the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd!

Tom Frenaye, K1KI writes: “We’re trying to make sure that all counties in New England are active.  There will be a huge number of home stations but probably not so many mobiles!

Basic rules:

Date: First full weekend of May (May 2-3, 20120)

Contest Period: 2000Z Saturday until 0500Z Sunday (4pm EDT Saturday until 1am EDT Sunday) and 1300Z Sunday until 2400Z Sunday (9am EDT Sunday until 8pm EDT Sunday).

Categories: Single-operator high power, low power (150w or less) and QRP (5w or less) categories, plus multi-operator, single transmitter. Same four categories for mobiles.

Bands/Modes:  80-40-20-15-10m (mostly 20/40m with 80m in the evening).  CW SSB/AM and digital modes.

Contest Exchange:

Outside New England: Send signal report and state/province (DX stations send signal report and “DX”).  New England stations: Send signal report, county and state.

You can find the full rules at http://neqp.org/rules.html

Please let us know if you’ll be active by sending a brief email to info@neqp.org



We understand it’s difficult to recruit and retain a webmaster for your club. In fact, some clubs’ web sites have fallen into disrepair.  That’s why we’re excited to offer this new service to ARRL affiliated clubs—a hosted page on the EMA ARRL web site. The address is of the form, https://ema.arrl.org/<Your Club Name>. The pages would be maintained by our webmaster, with input from your club officers.

What would the page look like? Check out the new Wellesley Amateur Radio Society page at: https://ema.arrl.org/wars.

Questions? Contact ASM Phil Temples, K9HI, at k9hi@arrl.org.



Please visit <https://ema.arrl.org/affiliated-clubs/radio-clubs-of-yesteryear/> and send any information you might have to  our Assistant Section Manager (ASM) Phil Temples, K9HI, at <k9hi@arrl.org>.



Most events are cancelled due to the health emergency, but you can check for the latest information at: <http://www.arrl.org/hamfests/search/page:1/keywords:Canceled/model:Event>



Each day on the section web site we bring you news and information from Eastern Massachusetts and beyond. Visit https://ema.arrl.org for the latest.

Here’s a selection of the stories from April 2020:

Remotely Administered Amateur Exam Systems Showing Promise: https://ema.arrl.org/2020/04/16/remotely-administered-amateur-exam-systems-showing-promise/

PART of Westford Repeater Antenna Improvements: https://ema.arrl.org/2020/04/08/part-of-westford-repeater-antenna-improvements/

Papers from Cancelled Eastern VHF UHF Conference Now Available Online: https://ema.arrl.org/2020/04/04/papers-from-cancelled-eastern-vhf-uhf-conference-now-available-on-line/



The first Monday of every month is a test of the Massachusetts RACES and ARES communication capabilities.  The monthly ARES VHF Net is at 8:30 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

To see all the recent news on Eastern Massachusetts ARES please visit <https://ema.arrl.org/category/emcomm/>. This site is constantly maintained with the latest happenings by our EMA SEC, Rob, KD1CY.

If you are interested in joining Eastern Massachusetts ARES, visit <https://secure1.ema.arrl.org/qilan/ares/EMA/ARES_about>.

To find out more about EMA ARES visit <https://ema.arrl.org/ares/>.


Section Traffic Manager (STM), Marcia KW1U

The March section traffic manager report may be viewed at https://ema.arrl.org/2020/04/12/massachusetts-traffic-report-for-mar-2020/

This report lists all the PSHR and BPL recognitions for the month and details the very extensive level of NTS activity across the state.

Find the list of all NTS daily nets in Massachusetts here: <https://ema.arrl.org/national-traffic-system/net-schedule/>.

To see more news on Eastern Massachusetts Traffic Handling and Nets visit <https://ema.arrl.org/category/nts/>.




Eric, W1RVY, is manager of 1RN Cycle 4, the evening CW net. Eric reports the March net had 60 sessions that handled a total of 93 pieces of traffic and a total of 197 check-ins for the month.


Betsey, K1EIC, manager of FRN, the daytime phone net reports the March net had 62 sessions that handled a total of 84 pieces of traffic and a total of 325 check-ins for the month.


Section website: <https://ema.arrl.org/>

Section Facebook page: <https://www.facebook.com/easternmaarrl/>

Section Leadership: <https://ema.arrl.org/organization/#Section_Leadership>

Section Public Service List: <https://ema.arrl.org/2019/03/05/ema-public-service-list/>

Section Speaker List: <https://ema.arrl.org/2018/04/16/eastern-ma-club-speakers-list/>.

To join EMA ARES visit <https://secure1.ema.arrl.org/qilan/ares/EMA/ARES_about>



STAY SAFE, STAY WELL, STAY UP BEAT!   And of course, get on the air if you can!



This April section news has been jointly produced by Phil, K9HI, Assistant Section Manager and Tom, K1TW, Section Manager.



ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section

Section Manager: Thomas D Walsh, K1TW