April 2022 Section News

Welcome to the April 2022 ARRL Eastern Massachusetts (EMA) section news
Visit <https://ema.arrl.org/> for frequent updates to the news


Welcome to Jon Mc Combie, N1ILZ, our newest ARRL EMA Assistant Section Manager (ASM)

Jon was first licensed in 1976, while he was in High School, as Novice licensee WB0UGM. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he tried to remain active in ham radio with the campus ham radio club, W1MX. He graduated from MIT with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  He currently holds an Amateur Extra ticket.

N1ILZ has lived most of his life in the Boston, MA area, with a 7-year stint on the west coast, and a three-year assignment in Germany. He is currently retired and lives in Eastham, Cape Cod, MA.

Jon enjoys all aspects of ham radio. He serves as regular Net Control Station for several nets and is very active in the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS). He enjoys casually chasing DX, contesting (phone and CW), using and experimenting with digital modes (NBEMS, Winlink, DMR), playing with antennas, and public service (walkathons, etc.). N1ILZ is also very active in the Cape & Islands ARES organization, and currently serves as Vice President of the Barnstable Amateur Radio Club (BARC).



The FCC released a Public Notice on March 23, 2022, stating that the amateur radio application fees, including those associated with Form 605 application filings, would become effective on April 19, 2022. The Federal Communications Commission’s authority to impose and collect fees is mandated by Congress.

The $35 application fee, when it becomes effective on April 19, will apply to new, renewal, and modification applications that request a new vanity call sign. The fee will be per application.

Administrative updates, such as a change of name, mailing or email address, and modification applications to upgrade an amateur radio licensee’s operator class*, will be exempt from fees. (*This new information was confirmed by FCC staff on Tuesday, March 29.)

For more information, see <https://ema.arrl.org/2022/04/01/important-message-from-arrl-vec/>.


Billerica 147.12 Repeater Getting a Major Upgrade

The 147.120 repeater upgrade is planned for Friday, April 22. The CTCSS will change to 146.2 Hz after installation is completed. Billerica repeater is now managed and maintained by the MMRA.

Bruce, KC1US – Minuteman Repeater Association


Events and Flea Markets

FLEA AT MIT – April 17, 2022

The monthly MIT flea market (a.k.a. “Swapfest”) is back. The popular Cambridge flea market had been called off during COVID and after the passing of Steve Finberg, W1GSL, who shepherded it through many successful years.

See https://w1mx.mit.edu/flea-at-mit/ for more info.



Do you have a fun or important net you wish to publicize?  Send the details to k1tw@arrl.net.

This months highlighted nets include:

Sunday – 09:30 EDT
Yankee SSB Net on 50.272

Sunday – 20:00 EDT
PART of Westford Weekly Net on 146.955 PL 74.4

Heavy Hitters Traffic Net, Sunday to Friday 22:00 EDT,

Wednesday at 20:00 EDT
Billerica ARS weekly net on Westford Repeater 146.955 PL 74.4

Saturday at 20:00 EDT
6-meter SSB net on 50.190



A new radio club based at the Blue Hills Observatory in Milton, MA is forming, according to Steve Hoberman, KC1MWF. Steve invites all interested parties to help the group become established. “We have had two Zoom meetings to date in recent weeks getting things started.  Elections have been postponed a bit relative to what’s in the newsletter, but there is a lot of interest in beginning to plan for the May 14 Mt. Washington event described in the newsletter,” KC1MWF adds.

Steve invites all who are interested to attend the next Zoom meeting on Wednesday, April 6 from 7-8 PM. Steve Hoberman can be reached at his QRZ.com email address.



Each year from July 1 through July 7 the 13 Colonies special event stations are on the air. The goal is to work all 13 of the colony stations plus the extra bonus stations. This is a fun event that hams of Massachusetts are part of. Massachusetts Team K2H is looking for a few additional operators to during the seven days of the 13 Colonies special event station.

If you have ever wanted to be on the receiving end of a DX pileup, this is a fun way to do something very similar. Last year the Team K2H ops worked 15,265 stations. They are aiming to beat that this year due to much better band conditions.

“We’re looking for hams that can commit to operating at least five of the seven days and work at least 500 contacts, which is very easy to do,” according to K2H Coordinator Larry Krainson, W1AST.

Larry can be contacted at <w1ast@arrl.net>.



Now you can receive timely news and information from the Eastern MA ARRL website delivered daily to your inbox. Look for the signup form in the right-hand column on ema.arrl.org and sign up to receive stories! 



By now, many of you have probably heard about the new ARRL Club Grants Program that’s beginning to take shape. It may be the most important thing to hit the Amateur Radio service in a long time.

The ARRL Foundation will award up to $500,000 to clubs. “This program will substantially contribute to the growth of amateur radio clubs and their efforts to expand and support the amateur radio community,” writes ARRL Foundation President David Woolweaver, K5RAV.

It’s not too early to start thinking about how your club might take advantage of an influx of capital to take on that pie-in-the-sky project–like a new communications trailer, or a new remote HF station to get your antenna/condo-challenged club members on the air on HF! 

Look for more announcements to follow. The official applications are scheduled to begin sometime in April.

See also: <https://nediv.arrl.org/2022/01/15/arrl-foundation-to-create-club-grants-program/>.



When:  Saturday morning to noon-ish on the 2nd Saturday (weather dependent).

What: The Great Hill Gang at Great Hill Park in North Weymouth.

Looking for a fun, social event to attend on a Saturday morning? The Great Hill Gang meets monthly at the drive-up summit of Great Hill in North Weymouth for a “Day of Radio.” The event provides an opportunity for fellowship to both old and new hams alike. Plus, the Great Hill QTH has a commanding view of the Boston Harbor islands.  Talk-in is generally available on the Quincy 146.670 repeater.



What? You don’t have a club speaker or presentation lined up for next month?

Fear not! Our Eastern MA Affiliated Club Coordinator, Bruce Blain, K1BG, stands ready, willing, and able to help you find that perfect presentation for a live or remote meeting. There’s no excuse not to have a monthly educational and entertaining presentation to maintain a healthy club ecosystem.

And for more ideas, check out the Eastern MA speaker’s list at: <http://goo.gl/6j61JY>.



The Northeast HamXposition (a.k.a. ARRL New England Division Convention) organizing committee has confirmed the dates for the 2022 convention in Marlborough, MA: August 26-28, 2022. The Committee notes that this was the original weekend for the event before they were forced into a September slot due to venue conflicts.

This year, HamXposition will play host to not one, but TWO division conventions: the New England Division AND the Hudson Division!  HamXposition’s 2022 website is now “live.”

For the latest information, visit <https://hamxposition.org>.



Section Traffic Manager – Marcia Forde, KW1U

Visit: <https://ema.arrl.org/national-traffic-system/>

The full complement of NTS net schedules may be found at: https://ema.arrl.org/national-traffic-system/net-schedule/

Here’s an excerpt from Marcia’s current report:

March brought a major influx of message traffic to our nets. Thanks to AB1OC’s attendees for their participation at his Town Hall in February and to W1CPR whose messages from the MA Task Force to over 200 of their members kept our traffic nets quite busy and brought a sense of purpose to them as well.

Speaking of nets and messaging with a purpose, especially with all the uncertainties in this world today, we could be seeing more upcoming exercise traffic, and what better a way to learn, practice and be prepared for any unforeseen events in the future than to participate in these nets.

If you want to see/hear a great endorsement of NTS by a prominent figure in emergency communications check out this link to a presentation on YouTube given by Craig Fugate, former administrator of FEMA. He speaks of the importance of amateur radio in emergency communications, and at approximately minute 37 he speaks especially of the role of NTS.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7t9UOwGm74&t=3165s

If we are to be involved in such an unforeseen event it is imperative our messaging be accurate and clear.

Marcia’s latest report can be found at <https://ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-traffic-report-for-march-2022/>.


ARES NEWS Section Emergency Coordinator – Rob Macedo, KD1CY

Visit: <https://ema.arrl.org/ares/>

News concerning ARES and Emergency Communications in the EMA section is updated regularly on our web site: <https://ema.arrl.org/ares/>.



Today, as I write, is “Opening Day” for the Red Sox.  It is also Jackie Robinson Day, who on this day 75 years ago made history as the first Black player in Major League Baseball (MLB).

MLB honors Jackie Robinson, every year when all players wear Jackie’s number 42 instead of their own.  This fitting tribute is one of my favorite days as I see every player on every team participate in this day.  Did I mention I love Major League Baseball?

In talking to several ham friends today about the annual excitement of opening day and to honor one of baseball’ greater players, one of us suggested that perhaps amateur radio should likewise participate by signing 42 at the end of a QSO instead of 73 on Jackie Robinson Day.   

To all the wonderful people in this most wonderful of hobbies, I conclude this month’s news with 42!



Where to find stuff:

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Section Leadership:


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The EMA monthly section news is jointly produced by Phil, K9HI, Assistant Section Manager and Tom, K1TW, Section Manager.


ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section
Section Manager: Thomas D Walsh, K1TW