USS Intrepid Museum Ship Tour

USS IntrepidVolunteers of the USS Cassin Young museum ship at the Charlestown Navy Yard are planning a day trip to see the USS Intrepid museum ship in Manhattan, New York on Saturday, February 14, 2009. The cost, including admission is  $89.00.  According to Bob Reiser, AA1M, the group will depart and arrive back at the Charlestown Navy Yard.  Anyone interested is requested to contact AA1M by phone  at 781 272 6219 or email at

–Thanks, QRA News, January 2009

2009 Boston Marathon — Call For Volunteers

BAA logoThe 2009 Boston Marathon will be on Monday, April 20. Registration for amateur radio volunteers for the has already opened. If you would like to volunteer, follow the instructions on the following website:

Assignments vary greatly and equipment needs will vary with the assignment that you select. Generally, at least a 2M/440 HT is required, with batteries to last the entire day, but please refer to the assignment details or ask the event coordinators (see website address above for names, email addresses and phone numbers). All Boston Marathon volunteers receive a light jacket.


Cape Ann ARA To Begin General Class Course, 01/28/09

Cape Ann ARA logoThe Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association will hold a General Class license course on the fourth Wednesday of each month beginning in January.

The course will start on Wednesday, January 28th at 7:30 PM at the CAARA club house on 6 Stanwood Street in Gloucester. It will be open to all non-members as well. The course will be headed by CAARA club President Curtis Wright, AA3JE and Bill Canty, W1OKD.

There will be no cost for this course but attendees are requested to register in advance by e-mailing Dean Burgess, KB1PGH at

“Please spread the word if you know of anyone who is looking to upgrade to General class,” writes Burgess.  “This is a perfect opportunity to do so.”


Framingham ARA License In A Weekend, March 21-22, 2009

Framingham ARA 75h anniversary logoThe Framingham Amateur Radio Association announces its License In A Weekend on March 21-22, 2009 in the Danforth Museum, Lexington Street, in Framingham, MA. The $42 fee includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday, a textbook and the FCC exam fee.

The class schedule is as follows:

– Saturday 9 am to 5 pm

– Sunday 9 am to 4 pm

– FCC Technician license exam on Sunday 2 pm

To reserve a seat, contact Ed Weiss (W1NXC) at  508-881-2301 or email Pre-registration is required, and applications must be received no later than Feb. 21, 2009. (NOTE: there are limited FREE openings for Boy and Girl Scouts.)

New England Area Flea Markets, Jan. 1, 2009

New England Area   Ham - Electronic  Flea Market  ***  DATES  *** 2009 P 1 of 2
All events are Ham Radio/ Electronic related except ~_____~

2009 Contact Source
24 Jan Worcester MA ACM @WPI Odeum @9 free Bob 908 672 2841 W+

31 Jan Chelsea ME AARA @Crystal Falls Bill K1NIT 207 623 9075

14 Feb Marlboro MA AARC @Interm Sch $5@9 +15/T@7 Tim KA1OS 978 333 1715 W

15 Feb Westford MA Radio 40 Antique @Regency $11@8 Cindie ARC 866 371 0512 T

21 Feb Chelsea ME AARA @Crystal Falls Rt17 Bill K1NIT 207 623 9075 W+

28 Feb Colchester VT RANV was Milton @Hampton I89x16 Mitch W1SJ 802 879 6589 W+

7 March Feeding Hills MA MTARA @TurnvereinClb Cindy K1ISS 413 568 1175 W+

8 Mar Hicksville NY LIMARC @LevitH $6@9+$20/T@7 Richard K2KNB 516 694 4937 W+

21 Mar Pomfret CT ECARA @CommSch Paul KE1LI 860 928 2456 A+

22 March Southington CT SARA @HS $5@8 $20/T@6 Chet KA1ILH 860 628 9346 W+

28 Mar Middletown NY OCARC @Wallkill ComCtr Donald AA2DS 845 342 2056 A+

28 Mar Lewiston ME AARC ME Conv @Ramada $6@8 +8/T Cory N1URA 207 514 0202 +

29 March Framingham MA FARA @KeefeSch $25/T@7:30 Bev N1LOO 508 626 2012

29 Mar Henniker NH CVRC @CommSch Jim NS1E 603 428 7438 A+

11 April Montreal PQ MARC @CanLegion $5@9 $10/T@8 James 514 697 7205 W+

18 Apr Manchester NH NEAntqRC @BingoCtr $10@7:30$3@8:30 Charlie 603 898 4821 F

18 Apr S Portland ME PAWA @AmLegion Bryce K1GAX 207 799 1116 A+

19 April Cambridge MA FLEA at MIT Nick 617 253 3776 F
Third Sunday April thru October

26 April Lindenhurst NY GSBARC Walter KA1RGI 631 957 0218 W

26 April Lagrangeville NY MtBARC @Tymor Pk James K2JIM 845 427 2702 A

1,2 May Deerfield NH NearFest @FG Mike K1TWF 978 250 1235 W

9 May Lindenhurst NY GSBARC John W2HCB 631 669 6321 A

9 May Rensselaer NY EGARA Thomas KC2FCP 518 272 1498 A

LAST UPDATE 1-1-09 de W1GSL P 1
List is normally updated twice a month - look for the latest version
Additions/ Corrections via e-Mail <- SUBSCRIBE
US Mail W1GSL POB 397082 MIT Br Cambridge MA 02139
(c)2009 unlimited reproduction permitted in entirety

New England Area Ham - Electronic Flea Market *** DATES *** 2008 P2 of 2

2009 Contact Source

17 May Cambridge MA FLEA at MIT Nick 617 253 3776 F
Third Sunday April thru October

29,30 May Rochester NY ???? Harold K2HC 585 424 7184 W+

30 May Rochester NY RARA New Location Sat Only Len KC2PCD 585 671 2424 W+

21 June Cambridge MA FLEA at MIT Nick 617 253 3776 F

19 July Cambridge MA FLEA at MIT Nick 617 253 3776 F

8 Aug Gales Ferry CT RASON @VFD $4@9 $15/T@7 Wayne KB1NKK 206 350 3064

16 August Cambridge MA FLEA at MIT Nick 617 253 3776 F

11 Sept Windsor ME AARA @FG Bill K1NIT 207 623 9075

12 Sept Ballston Spa NY SCRACES @FG $5@7 Al KA1IEG 518 677 3316

19 Sept Forestdale RI RIFMRS @VFW rt146 8A flea+auct Rick K1KYI 401 864 9611

20 September Cambridge MA FLEA at MIT Nick 617 253 3776 F

11 Oct Wallingford CT Nutmeg Conv $20/sp $7@9 John N1GNV 203 440 4468

16,17 Oct Deerfield NH NearFest @FG Mike K1TWF 978 250 1235 W

17 Oct Manchester NH NEAntqRC @BingoCtr $10@7:30$3@8:30 Charlie 603 898 4821 F

18 October Cambridge MA FLEA at MIT Nick 617 253 3776 F

31 Oct Waterford CT TCARC Auction @Oswegat Fire @10 Tom WA2RYV 860 464 6555

2 Nov Feeding Hills MA HCRA Auction @CongCh @6:30PM Jim KK1W 413 245 3228

7 Nov Londonderry NH IRS @Lions Sellers$15@6 $3@8 George N1NAZ 603 421 0940

14 Nov Bourne MA FARA @UpperCC VoTech $5@9 $10/S@7 Ralph N1YHS 508 548 0422
LAST UPDATE 1-1-09 de W1GSL P 2 of 2
List is normally updated twice a month - look for the latest version
Source F= Flyer T= tentative early info + = new info this month
A= ARRL R= RAC list W= web WR NV CQ QST = Mags
This list has been compiled from many sources. While we believe the info to
be accurate the author can not be responsible for changes or errors.
Check with the sponsoring organizations for more details. This list will be
posted monthly to USENET. Mailed copies are sent when additions are made.
Additions/ Corrections via e-Mail <- SUBSCRIBE
US Mail W1GSL POB 397082 MIT Br Cambridge MA 02139
(c)2009 unlimited reproduction permitted in entirety

New England Area Ham - Electronic Flea Market *** DATES *** 2008 -> ***
Page 3 Electronic distribution only. This page has the overflow if any P3
from the paper version.
2009 Contact Source

LAST UPDATE 1-1-09 de W1GSL P 3
List is normally updated twice a month - look for the latest version
Additions/ Corrections via Internet
US Mail W1GSL POB 397082 MIT Br Cambridge MA 02139
(c)2009 W1GSL SASE for updated copy as issued.
unlimited reproduction permitted in entirety

List is normally updated twice a month - look for the latest version

Be sure to check for the latest version as updating is under the control
of the page owner.

* You can have the list e-mailed directly to you as it is updated. *
* Just send a request to be added to the distribution to *

73 Steve F

New England Area Ham - Electronic Flea Market *** DATES *** P4
Links to New England Hamfest Web Sites (c) 2009 W1GSL
This section is only included in the electronic distribution.

Cambridge MA Flea at MIT

Hopkinton NH Hosstraders RIP :-(

Adams MA N BerkshireARC

Boxborough MA NE ARRL Conv

Dartmouth MA SEMARA

Falmouth MA FARA

FeedingHills MA MTARA

Framingham MA FARA

Marlboro MA AARC

Newton MA Waltham ARA Auction

S Dartmouth MA SEMARA

Wakefield MA Photographica

Whately MA FranklinCARC

Worcester MA WPI ACM +

Gales Ferry CT RASON +


Enfield CT VHF/UHF Conf

Newington CT NARL

Newtown CT CARA

Southington CT SARA

Wallingford CT Nutmeg CT Conv

Windsor CT Vintage R Mus

Chelsea ME AARA +


Lewiston ME AARC

S. Portland ME PAWA

St. Albans ME PARC

Windsor ME AARA +

Deerfield NH NEAR-Fest

Henniker NH CVRC

Manchester NH NEAntiqueRC

Rochester NH GBRA

Bergen NJ BARA


Ballston Spa NY SCRACES

LaGrangeville NY MtBARC

Lake Placid NY NNY ARA

Lindenhurst NY ToB ARES

Long Island NY LIMARC

Massapequa NY GSB ARA

Middletown NY OCARC

Queens NY Hall of Science

Rensselaer NY E Greenbush ARA

Rochester NY AWA

Rochester NY ????

Rochester NY RARA +

Wallkill NY OCARC

Greenwich RI Fidelity ARC

Essex Junction VT Burlington ARC

Milton VT RANV VT Conv

St Albans VT STARC

Drummondville PQ leCRdeD

Greenwood PQ GARC


Montreal PQ MARC

Montreal PQ WIARC

Montreal PQ MS-SARC

Montreal PQ UMS

Sorel-Tracy PQ CRAS-T

St Romuald PQ ARES

St Therese PQ CRALL

Summerside PEI SPARC

Greenwood NS GARC

Halafax NS HARC

Timonium MD GBHC

Montreal Area MARC List

Canada RAC List

Phila. Area VARA List


Norwood ARC Assists With “Festival Of Lights” Celebration

Norwood ARC logoThe Norwood Amateur Radio Club assisted the Town of Norwood with its annual Festival of Lights celebration on November 30, 2008. Amateurs helped in providing radio communications, hay-ride escort, and most importantly–synchronized tree lighting.

The communications effort was a joint endeavor with the Commonwealth REACT team. According to newsletter editor Barry Devine, K1BPD, “Many of the REACT members are also licensed hams, and several are members of NARC.”

Despite inclement weather, everyone enjoyed the festivities. “We all received a big thank you from Bernie Cooper for helping to make the 2008 Festival of Lights a resounding success.”

–Thanks, K1JMR Newscarrier, December, 2008

Algonquin ARC Adds Book To Marlborough City Library Collection

Algonquin ARC logoThe Algonquin Amateur Radio Club has voted to augment  the Marlborough City Library’s collection of ARRL library books with the new title, “Hands-on Radio Experiments.” The book has been purchased and will be donated sometime in early 2009. AARC donated the League’s book set consisting of fourteen titles to the library last year. It intends to supplement the collection with a new book each year.

–Thanks, AARC QRZ, December 2008

Algonquin ARC Flea Market, Feb. 14, 2009

AARC Flea Market photoMark your calendars for the Algonquin ARC Flea Market in Marlborough, MA on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009 at the Marlborough Intermediate Elementary School, Thresher Drive (off Union Street) or off Bolton Street (Rt. 85).

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Six-foot tables or 10 ft. spaces $15.00 before February 6, 2009; $20.00 later. Tables and spaces include One Admission; Spaces provide own chairs, tables Setup Time: 6:30 a.m.

Information: David “Shack” Haralambou 1-978-333-1715 before 9:00 PM; email: Talk-in: 147.27+ (pl 146.2), 449.925- (pl 88.5)

Grand door prize $200.00 awarded at 11:30 a.m. Must be present to win.

See also:

Photo courtesy K9HI: a recent AARC Flea Market

Framingham ARA To Operate in ARRL Kid’s Day, Jan. 3, 2009

Framingham ARA 75th anniversary logoMembers of the Framingham Amateur Radio Association will operate in the upcoming ARRL Kid’s Day event on Saturday, January 3, 2009 in the FARA club shack from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon.

“Bring your kids or grandkids to the FARA radio shack for Kids Day! We have done this before, and it’s good fun both for kids and for adults,” writes Sumner Weisman, W1VIV. “It’s a great way to introduce a kid to Ham Radio. We will put every kid on the air, and they will enjoy talking to other kids,” he adds.

Refreshments will be served. And a colorful certificate, suitable for framing, will be sent to every kid who operates.

Please RSVP to Sumner, W1VIV, at




MA Hams Respond To Storm Crisis

storm damage, photo courtesy KA1JJM(Dec. 16, 2008) As a major ice storm — accompanied by freezing rains, flooding and strong winds — severely impacted New England on Thursday evening into Friday morning, ARES®, RACES, SKYWARN and MARS operators worked together to respond to calls for assistance from served agencies and to participate in the recovery phase of the storm. As the storm progressed into the weekend, ice accumulations up to 1.5 inches were common throughout a very large area of Western, Central and Northeast Massachusetts, as well as parts of New Hampshire and Maine. [Full story]





Hams, MARS Operators Participate In “Operation Snow Shoe ’08”

On Friday evening, December 5 and Saturday morning December 6, 2008, Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)  operators from the Northeast US participated in the  Operation Snow Shoe ’08 exercise. The scenario was a major Nor’easter with 24 inches of snow and heavy ice. The weather results in catastrophic damage and disaster area declarations. Operators from Virginia to Maine to Illinois participated. Multiple communication modes were used including HF voice, military VHF frequencies, Winlink2K, MT63, and phone patches.

A drill objective was to practice station survivability with operations using emergency power and back-up antennas. “Severely austere” conditions of no phone, internet, and commercial power were practiced in some locations.  Message traffic from coastal areas with major damage was passed as far west as Iowa.  Mike Neilsen, W1MPN provided  the point of contact for the MA State EOC for the drill in MA. Reports were also collected from Carl Aveni, N1FY at the SKYWARN desk at NWS Taunton. Reports from Army, Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps MARS members in MA were collected, formatted as “spot reports” and forwarded. This fulfilled another drill objective of sending the disaster assessment reports to provide military and civilian federal response planners with “ground truth” that they may not be receiving from any other source. It was a challenge to co-ordinate the drill around the Skywarn  Recognition day activities!

–Thanks, Phil McNamara, N1XTB

Larry Coyle, K1QW, Wins November QST Cover Plaque Award

Nov.The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for November is Larry Coyle, K1QW, of Needham, MA, for his article “A Modular Receiver for Exploring the LF/VLF Bands.”

The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award — given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue — is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the December issue by Wednesday, December 31.

Congratulations, Larry!


Whitman ARC Conducts Plimoth Plantation Special Event

Bruce Hayden, NI1X writes:

The Whitman Amateur Radio Club conducted a two-day special event from the Plimoth Plantation over the weekend following Thanksgiving.

Paul Burbine N1VTI, President of the Whitman Club reports that 22 area amateur radio operators set up six base stations and portable antennas at the re-creation of the 17th century Pilgrim settlement and Indian homesite and exchanged contacts with 216 other amateur radio operators in 32 States, 8 foreign countries and 3 Canadian Provinces.

The HAM operators spread the word of Plimoth Plantation over the airways, explaining about the living museum and how they found the visitors, especially the children, amazed by the actors, dressed as Pilgrims and trained to speak in the language of the time and who did not acknowledge the existence of any of our modern technical wonders as they explained about the harsh reality of early Pilgrim life.

The crew operated using both voice and Morse code and made a special contact linking the Hams in Plymouth, Massachusetts with a HAM,  Laurie Hummerstone M0VRT, in Plymouth England. The crew found amateur radio operators from all over the world eager to make contact with Plimoth Plantation. Each amateur who contacts the club station WA1NPO is entitled to receive a certificate, suitable for framing, which includes a picture of  Mayflower II, docked in Plymouth harbor, and confirms the date and time of the two way radio contact.

The adults visiting the Plantation were encouraged to send a radiogram message free of charge to friends and relatives via amateur radio. We were able to explain how amateur radio operators practice sending routine messages, via radio to amateur radio operators in the local neighborhood who pick up the phone and deliver the message free of charge. We also explained how these routine messages could quickly change to priority or emergency messages in times of National emergencies.

The licensed operators who were able to participate in this special event were: Roy Logan KB1CYV and Pete Carlson N1POO of Bridgewater; Paul Burbine N1VTI of East Bridgewater; Ron Smith N1PXX of Bryantville; Al Drollett W1SM and Bob Loring K1REL of Carver; Jeff Lehmann N1ZZN and John Murphy KB1PHN of Hanson; Matt Paine KB1OSV of Mansfield; John Coombs WQ1L of Marshfield; Mark Loring KC1ML of Plymouth; Dave Polk N1YIA of Quincy; Bruce Hayden NI1X of Raynham; Neal Harrington KBLXL of Rehoboth; Byron Piette K1YCQ of Somerset; Don Burke KB1LXH, John Miller N1UMJ, Jim Tynan KC1JET of Taunton; Bill Hayden N1FRE, Mike Supple KB1OEP, Paul Moss KB1MTW and Ron Stundze KB1OEQ of Whitman.

Left: Plimoth Plantation 2008 certificate; right: Plimoth Plantation ops Jeff Lehmann, N1ZZN and Mark Loring, KC1ML
Plimoth Plantation 2008 certificatePlimoth Plantation ops Jeff Lehmann, N1ZZN and Mark Loring, KC1ML

SEMARA 80m CW Night Starts Dec. 8, 2008

Bencher paddleDonald A Rosinha, WA1BXY writes on the SEMARA Discussion List:

“I will be starting the weekly 80 meter cw night again starting 12/08/08 at 8:00pm (0100z) will be on 3.545 +/- QRM. This will not be a QRS (slow speed) “net” but a comfortable speed; but will QRS for anyone who wishes. I hope to hear more local/club members this time around.


Don, WA1BXY Now Powered By Drupal

DrupalAfter six years of operation using the phpWebSite content management system (CMS), this site is now powered by Drupal, a powerful, database-driven open-source system in widespread use on the internet. Over the next few days, you might see minor changes to the home page and some added functionality.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Phil McNamara, N1XTB, thousands of posts from previous years have been converted over onto this new site. You may find a few things missing and/or broken links over the next few days, but we’ll endeavor to fix all problems you bring to our attention.

You’ll note that any web story links from the old site will automatically map over to the new site; e.g., a story with a URL of will display in your browser as So if you’ve linked to any of our stories, there’s no need to make any edits on your own site.

The move to Drupal also fixes a major problem where accounts were restricted earlier in the year due to spamming. (See “Web Site Comments Feature Disabled“.) Old accounts have been removed, but you’re welcome to re-apply for a user account and comment on stories, or submit material for new stories to the site. 73, K9HI

“This Group ‘Hams’ It Up”

“TAUNTON — Amateur radio isn’t just a unique high-tech hobby to chat with other individuals in near or faraway lands, but in times of crisis it can be seen as a call of duty.”

The online edition of the Enterprise carried a story focusing on Taunton Area Communications Group members’ work in emergency preparedness but also about the Amateur Radio hobby in general in a September 26, 2007 story entitled “This Group ‘Hams’ It Up”. 

[Full story]

ARES-NTS Forum, April 24, 2004

There were 12 attendees at the seminar and they were as follows:

KB1EKN-Mark Duff Metro Boston ARES District Emergency Coordinator
WQ1O-Frank Olaughlin Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordinator
N1XTB-Philip McNamara Bridgewater ARES Team Member
K9HI-Phil Temples Eastern Massachusetts ARRL Section Manager
WA1IDA-Bob Salow Eastern Massachusetts Assistant Section Manager
N1LKJ-Jim Ward Eastern Massachusetts Section NTS Traffic Manager
N1BDA-Steve Telsey Middlesex County ARES District Emergency Coordinator
KW1U-Marcia Forde NTS EAS Chairperson
W1GMF-Gil Follett NTS Traffic Handler
W3EVE-Steve Schwarm Norfolk County ARES District Emergency Coordinator
N1FY-Carl Aveni Bridgewater ARES Emergency Coordinator
KD1CY-Rob Macedo ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton

The first topic of the meeting was an ARES Program Overview. During the program overview, introductions were made and each person was asked about what they would like to get out of the meeting. The overview described how the ARES program has progressed over the last several years and how ARES has expanded relationships with different served agencies. It also talked about existing working relationships with MEMA and the National Weather Service. The presentation was well received and some suggestions on enhancements for the NWS Taunton station and for an additional project involving receiving AM Radio Stations was discussed and will be reviewed with NWS.

Following the ARES Overview, numerous items were discussed. Gil Follett-W1GMF requested what Clients/Served Agencies might need NTSD (National Traffic System Digital) or Packet support. This included the following agencies:

  1. Red Cross
  2.  Salvation Army
  3. National Weather Service
  4. Cities/Towns ARES/RACES operations
  5. VOAD non-profit (Southern Baptist, Adventists, REACT and other smaller groups) (Mass. VOAD currently defunct due to internal issues.)
  6. MARS-Is there some way to try and plug into their digital system

It was noted in these discussions that any agency could need support in an emergency but the various agencies listed above would be some of the main agencies to service for potential ARES activations. Several additional ideas were also noted:

Instruct all NTS traffic that is going to a different ARES team either within district but especially outside of the district to pass their traffic via an active NTS traffic net using voice for all future ARES exercises.

  • Utilize Packet more heavily across all parts of the Eastern Massachusetts section during exercises and actual activations.
  • Add Health and Welfare traffic as part of the exercise and utilize active NTS voice traffic nets as well as Packet to pass this traffic.
  • Add NTS Net and Net Control Operations to the Advanced Emergency Communications Workshop as follow-on to the Basic NTS Course offering in the Basic Emergency Communications Workshop.
  • Assist NTS with utilization of a Laptop and LCD Projector capable of putting together Power Point slides to assist with getting more people involved with NTS.
  • NTS Traffic Overview

Jim Ward-N1LKJ gave an overview of the voice and CW network. He explained what nets are run at run times and how the local nets interface with the region and area nets.
All these nets are available and need to be utilized further.

Gil Follett-W1GMF gave an overview of the digital system of NTS traffic. He put up a diagram using post it signs on the whiteboard to describe the Packet network. Learned that KW1U-Marcia is a Winlink PMBO node that can be utilized as part of the NTSD network. MMRA is attempting to put this together and we need to refer MMRA to Marcia for technical/logistical support.

Gil then walked through how to format a NTS message via Packet. With Digital, messages can be handled at any length within Gil’s system. Outside of Gil’s system, you have to follow normal NTS traffic rules. Keep in mind, that you can send regular messages at any length in and/or out of the Mass. system.

Gil-W1GMF discussed the NTS program. He discouraged the use of WinRC Packet because it’s only compatible with systems in Colorado. Gil discussed the NTS system being developed by KA1VGM and Beta tested by Gil. The system has most if not all of the bugs worked out. The system should be compatible with any BBS system and include the Winlink systems. The program should now be up on the KA1VGM web site. It is meant for anyone writing NTS traffic. It has several views for NWS messages, NTS traffic and other types of messages and will be passed to the various stations on the Packet network.

Several suggestions have come out of discussion:

1.) Have Jim-N1LKJ and Gil-W1GMF involved in ARES Meetings/exercise discussions. (Add them to all ARES Meeting invitations)
2.) For regular NTS nets, get listeners and anyone else to check into the net and encourage them to get out there and check-in and try to slow down on traffic for new people that are interested. Make sure that NTS people slow down to pass traffic to newcomers.
3.) Need to encourage Amateurs to utilize NTS traffic messaging via the Packet/Digital network even if its for routine traffic as its good practice for activations.
4.) Ask Jim to contact the local Net Managers, one night a month or one night a week to conduct a very basic training net to pass traffic. Jim to put together the scenario to run the basic NTS training across all the traffic nets.
5.) Jim asked that all ARES/RACES personnel encourage their members to check into the NTS Traffic Nets and generate and pick up traffic whenever possible and check into the local, and region traffic nets.
6.) Make sure NTS personnel are invited to the MRAS Meetings.
7.) Put together an all day NTS workshop that would encompass the existing slide sets from the basic and advanced Emergency Communication Workshops and include running a NTS Traffic Net on simplex or a repeater with everyone checking in using HT’s.
8.) Recommend NTS utilize Echolink/IRLP capabilities for in addition to their Region and Area nets and be part of the NTS national infrastructure.
9.) Supplying creative NTS traffic throughout the network via voice or digital nets. Use the key NTS traffic handlers to get this accomplished.
10.) Look into a formal DEC appointment for NTS.

After lunch, continued brainstorming continued and the first part of the afternoon focused on the ARESCOM proposals and the NTSD system. Marcia discussed the NTSD (National Traffic System Digital) System in reasonable detail. Marcia is able to get bulk traffic (2500 messages plus per month) sent across the national digital network using her WinLink node.

Marcia knows several members that are on the ARESCOM, which is a committee setup by Board of Directors concerning nationwide emergency communications and how to improve it. There are two NTS people are on this committee. ARESCOM is working closely with the Winlink Classic and the Winlink 2000 programs. The Winlink Classic program allows single user text messages using conventional forms of Packet. Winlink 2000 is an enhancement to Winlink Classic that would allow traffic from ARES clients including attachments, email and more. The protocol being utilized is called B2, which can handle attachments and has much higher compression rates and makes the message relatively secure.

The idea is to improve ARES capability to expand beyond the local area and to handle anything the client wants to send out. They want a flat “invisible” network with traffic coming in and out of Internet/Digital without knowing where the source is. The National Connection is through the Internet backed up with HF. It was noted that Doc-W1EO might be an excellent resource in the NTSD discussions going forward. The goal is to have regular messages and email with or without attachments to be able to be accepted through the NTSD system utilizing PMBO’s (Participating Mail Box Operators) when needed with the Winlink Classic program via Internet backbone or HF backbone whenever needed.

The EMCON proposal was proposed by W3YVQ-Jim from the Baltimore, Maryland area. Marcia stated that in direct discussions with Jim, they do not consider what they are proposing to be an ARES-NTS merger although at times the document comes across like it should be an ARES-NTS merger. Marcia stated that there is a Message and Procedure Guide on the League web site concerning Winlink and the EMCON proposal and you can click on topics of interest to gather information.

Marcia-KW1U highlighted the following items from the proposal documentation and in direct discussions with W3YVQ-Jim, which is one of the NTSD/EMCON proposal writers:

  • STM and SEC as separate organizations doing what they are doing.
  • ARES will work with the agencies and that’s their primary responsibility.
  • NTS responsible for the message handling network and meet certain criteria.
  • SEC and STM should work together to establish the Emergency Communications Plan for the section.

Based on this discussion, the ARES-NTS Workshop participants drew the following conclusions:

  • The ARESCOM Report/Proposal is very misunderstood by ARES and NTS leadership on what the changes would mean for ARES and NTS.
  • The report needs to be streamlined, reorganized and reworded and should separate the ARES-NTS network alignment from the Winlink-Digital system technical documentation.
  • Volunteer Resource Committee had very negative feedback on NTS. ARESCOM is far less negative on NTS. ARRL Board of Directors needs to decide what committee’s report is more relevant. Based on the fact that ARESCOM does not recommend NTS merge with a ARES, we recommend that ARESCOM apply pressure to the ARRL Board of Directors on preventing any merger of ARES and NTS.
  • Recommend Board of Directors to clear-up miscommunication of ARES-NTS network realignment/further cooperation. State to all SMs that NTS IS a requirement and having a STM IS a requirement that must be upheld.
  • Recommend that the Part 97 rule changes that would dissolve RACES be dropped. While this may happen at some point in the future by attrition, the ARRL should not advocate it as it could promote ill will from RACES groups that already feel threatened by ARES.
  • After the NTSD/ARESCOM discussion, the participants discussed Gil’s recent issues with passing traffic to certain states that are blocking it as “SPAM” traffic. Phil-K9HI plans to confront some of the ARRL Section Managers that are allowing this behavior at the
  • Dayton Hamfest in late May. Phil has recommended that all who attended the meeting be prepared to write complaints to Tom-K1KI, New England Division Director if necessary, to try and resolve these NTS problems as ARRL HQ and the Board have not responded on the issues that Gil is having. Phil also recommended to Marcia that ARESCOM apply pressure to the ARRL Board of Directors and HQ on this issue as well. Phil-K9HI plans on providing status reports on this issue.

Additional discussions surrounded increasing NTS participation. A suggestion was made to take a NTS net, record it and put it on the NTS web site and the ARES web site as well. There should be recordings of one voice net and one CW Net. After putting these recordings, commentary to explain the various portions of the NTS Net, voice or CW could be done as well. Jim and Gil will attempt to put together the recording via .wav or other audio type file that can be put on the web-site, put in workshops and bring to club meetings etc. Gil-W1GMF, Phil-N1XTB and Phil-K9HI will check with Elliot Mayer-W1MJ as he may be an expert in utilizing audio files and could help with breaking up the audio files to allow commentary to be put into the audio files to help describe what various items that happen in the net are so that Hams can learn about NTS Nets quicker.

The next item discussed was a recommendation on a potential name change from ARES to a more generic “Emergency Communicator, Emergency Communications team” type of name. The recommendation was taken under advisement for a future meeting.

Phil-N1XTB brought up a generic point about technical considerations of what MARS is running into for their digital system and how NTS may run into some of the same issues. Some corroboration between MARS and NTS in this area maybe very helpful for both Digital networks to work well and potentially have a path to connect to each other if needed.

The next meeting will be scheduled in the late Summer/Fall of 2004 to review actions generated from this meeting and assure that the plan for expanding the cooperation of ARES and NTS goes to the plans laid out during the meeting. The next meeting will also assure that the recommendations to the ARRL Board of Directors and HQ on ARES and NTS are heard and taken into account on the future of ARES and NTS going forward.

Bridgewater Town of Selectmen Proclaim “MARA Day”

The Massasoit Amateur Radio Association was recognized by the Bridgewater Town of Selectman in a special proclamation on March 20.  Noting the club’s “technical and communications expertise” to the emergency management department, police, and fire departments, they declared March 20, 2001 as “MARA Day.”

image of Bridgewater Town of Selectmen Proclaim "MARA Day"