Tech Class in Concord, Feb 3,6,10, 2003

Now You're Talking book coverN1BDA writes:

“An ad hoc Concord group will be running a technician class February 3, 6, and 10 at the Concord Municipal Light Plant, 1175 Elm Street, on Route 2A just west of the rotary. Classes will be 7-10pm. The exam is planned for Monday, February 10 about 9pm. We are not planning to offer any other exam elements.

“If you know of anyone interested, have them contact Steve Bates, WB1EYJ, or Phil Gaudet, K1IRK, They are requesting that students buy and read (at least begin to read) the “Now You’re Talking” ARRL text.


KM1CC Publicity on WBZ-TV!

W1AA logoK1VV writes:

Boston WBZ TV 4 was at the Marconi 100th Anniversary special event station KM1CC filming video on Weds ….

TV 4 News Reporter Ron Sanders from TV 4 did a couple of interviews …

He said it will be aired on Friday the 17th …Evening news between 5:00 and 6:30 PM .. and possibly on the Saturday news also ……

Bob Doherty K1VV
Marconi Radio Club W1AA

CA Handi-ham Camp Slots Available

WA0TDA writes:

“As of today, we are estimating that there are six places left at California Radio camp, March 2 – 9, 2003. If you know of a potential new ham who would qualify for Handi-Ham services and be interested in getting a first license at camp, please alert them to this opportunity. We do teach all levels of licensure at camp, including operating skills and computing for those already licensed at any level, but the beginners are eligible for a campership to pay a significant part of the camp tuition if they cannot afford it. Please e-mail or call toll-free 1-866-426-3442. Campers will meet Bill Pasternak, Gordon West, and Bob Zeida, as well as our other volunteers!”

[EMA clubs: do you have a new or would-be disabled ham living in your community? Consider sponsoring him or her for this camp! -K9HI]

EMa ARES Net Schedule Change

W1MPN writes:

EMa ARES has now shifted its monthly net to the third Sunday of every month, starting at 2000 (8pm) on the Minuteman Repeater Association linked repeater system following the weekly Youth Net.


Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts Section
Pager: 1-800-759-8888 PIN 1155084
Admin: w1mpn (symbol for at)
978-562-5662 Primary/Voice Mail
978-389-0558 FAX/ EFax Voice Mail

The Wizard of Wireless: Cape to Mark 100 Years Since Marconi Feat

W1AA LogoK1RB wrote:

Patriot Ledger Story – Today – TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2003 !

The Wizard of Wireless: Cape to mark 100 years since Marconi feat

[Dave Newman of Kingston speaks to another HAM radio operator in Oldham, England as other club members listen in. (Jeff Loughlin/The Patriot Ledger) ]

The Patriot Ledger

These days, just about everything electronic comes with literally no strings attached. And, it is difficult to imagine a time when the fastest way to send a message to Grandma in Florida would have been to tap-tap-tap it onto telegraph wires. Of course, if the wires had fallen down in a storm or the operator at the other end was napping, the next best option was courier pigeon. Thankfully, a man named Guglielmo Marconi came along and changed everything.Exactly 100 years ago Saturday, right here in Massachusetts, Marconi made wireless history and forever changed the way we communicate. On Jan. 18, 1903 Marconi sent a message from President Theodore Roosevelt from a station Marconi had constructed in South Wellfleet (now known as Marconi Beach) to a station in England. A reply from King Edward VII soon came back.

Marconi was born in 1874 in the Italian university city of Bologna. Although his formal education was inconsistent and he never attended college himself, he was friends with some of the foremost scientists and scholars of the day who eventually taught him a bit about physics, which would become his passion.

While he was not responsible for discovering wireless waves, Marconi was fascinated by the possibility of using electricity to communicate across distances without the help of what was then the latest communications technology, telegraphy over cables. Few others were interested in such experimentation at the time, and Marconi became the lone trailblazer of wireless telegraphy, what we now know as radio. He alone sought to communicate with wireless waves beyond visible distance and across the curvature of the globe.

Using contraptions of tin and wood first set up in the attic and the garden at his house in Italy, Marconi gradually increased the distance over which he could transmit waves. By 1895 he had transmitted the Morse code letter ”S” over two kilometers. By 1898 he had formed the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company in England, and had set up a wireless factory. Signals were sent from ships on the ocean to lighthouses on shore, and the Royal family of England was entertained by messages sent from palace to palace.

In 1899, Marconi had sent the first international wireless transmission across the English Channel, and his next goal became bridging the Atlantic with wireless waves. He sent up three stations in Poldhu, England, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and Wellfleet. While the first transmission across the Atlantic was received at Glace Bay – another letter ”S” – the first ever trans-Atlantic communication from the United States via wireless telegraph took place on January 18, 1903 between the four 210-foot-tall transmitters at Wellfleet and those in Poldhu, England. Marconi sent a message from President Theodore Roosevelt to Britain’s King Edward VII.

”In taking advantage of the most wonderful triumph of scientific research and ingenuity which has been achieved in perfecting a system of wireless telegraphy, I extend on behalf of the American people most cordial greetings and good wishes to you and all the people of the British Empire,” read Roosevelt’s message. Within a few hours King Edward sent a reply, and Marconi and others continued to develop the phenomenon of radio.

Marconi won a Nobel Prize in physics in 1909 for his achievements.

”The thing about him is that he did this all alone,” says Bob Doherty of Lakeville, president of Southeastern Massachusetts’ Marconi Radio Club. ”It was pretty tough to convince people that he’d actually done it.”

Doherty compares Marconi’s task of convincing the public of the reality of wireless transmission to convincing someone today that they could teleport from one coast to another.

Today, wireless radio communication via Morse code is much the same as it was 100 years ago. ”Every time a HAM operator sits down at his radio he does the same thing as Marconi did,” says Doherty, adding that amateur radio communication requires a great deal of technical ability.

”Anybody can talk over the radio, but not everybody can receive code and convert it in their head to the written word,” says Doherty, emphasizing the startling power of just 100 watts of electricity transmitting signals around the world.

Among the events planned to mark the anniversary on January 18 are a display of Marconi-related artifacts by the Wellfleet Historical Society, an illustrated discussion of Marconi’s achievements by Michael Whatley, author of ”Marconi – Wireless on Cape Cod,” and a presentation on family space education by a NASA aerospace education specialist.

According to Betsy Cole, a member of the board of trustees of the Wellfleet Historical Society Museum, artifacts that the historical society will put on display include letters from Marconi, many of which mention the difficulties involved in setting up his transmitters in the blustery Cape winds, and also photographs of Marconi and his team. NASA will show models of satellites and teach participants about the space shuttle.

The festivities will culminate in the transmission of the original message from President Roosevelt to King Edward, as well a special message from President George W. Bush to Queen Elizabeth meant to mark the occasion.

The message will be sent in code and in voice. According to Barbara Dougan, educational coordinator for the Cape Cod National Seashore, The Marconi Cape Cod Memorial Radio Club and the Marconi Radio Club of the South Shore cooperated to construct a tower and transmitter on Coast Guard Beach in Eastham to relay the messages. Marconi’s original transmission equipment was dismantled in 1920, and years of erosion have left only remnants of the original base towers standing.

On the 75th Anniversary of Marconi’s wireless transmission from the Cape in 1978, messages from President Jimmy Carter, President Giovanni Leone of Italy, and Marconi’s daughter Gioia were also transmitted from the Cape.

Also to commemorate the centennial, Cape Cod high school students will communicate via radio with astronauts orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station.

From January 11-19, the Coast Guard Station in Eastham will be open to the public, and members of the Marconi Radio Club and the Marconi Cape Cod Memorial Radio Club will communicate with other amateur radio operators
around the world.

The Salt Pond Visitor’s Center in Eastham will have a Marconi exhibit on display during that week as well.

Angela Salvucci may be reached at

Copyright 2003 The Patriot Ledger
Transmitted Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Robert F. Burns
Whitman, MA 02382-2510 USA
ARRL (Life Member) * Diamond Club * DXCC
Marconi Radio Club (W1AA) * Marshfield Fair Radio Club (NN1MF)

N1BLF Featured in Reading For Those Who Can’t

N1BLFBob Zeida, N1BLF of Dartmouth was the subject of a well-written article on the Southcoast Today On-line back on 06/05/01 entitled, Reading For Those Who Can’t.

In addition to the countless hours Bob devotes to reading and recording for the Talking Information Center, the article also describes his activities with the Courage Center Handi-ham System:

“Dartmouth’s Bob Zeida spends hundreds of hours recording books for the blind. It is eerily quiet at 5 a.m., and Robert Zeida’s day — like the ubiquitous coffee pot — is already perking. Nearly every morning of his life the 69-year-old Dartmouth man follows the same routine, rising early to get dressed and then boot up the computer.

“While the PC warms and the coffee perks, Bob shaves with an electric razor, so that by 5:20, or so, coffee in hand, he is well-groomed and ready to begin what has become his life’s mission: reading and recording a variety of printed material for the Talking Information Center (TIC).

“TIC, you ask, what’s that? [Full Story]

Red Cross Presentation at SEMARA January 16, 2003

SEMARA logoKD1CY writes:

On Thursday January 16th, Rachel Barrett from the New Bedford Chapter of the Red Cross will be coming to the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association. She’ll be talking about Red Cross, what they do, and what the local chapter does in the area. Along those lines, Rachel will be discussing how Amateur Radio plays an important role in Red Cross and how individual hams and SEMARA can help.I will be at the presentation and will talk a bit on some of the things that Red Cross is looking for from a communications standpoint. I would like to thank the SEMARA club for hosting this presentation. Its very much appreciated and its hoped to see a great turnout.

As some of you maybe aware, back in 1996, we (myself and several other hams, many of which were SEMARA members)started the SEMCARES (Southeast Masaschusetts Coastal Amateur Radio Emergency Services) group. The group was formed to assist with Emergency Communications issues as they arise and to assist in public service events as needed. The group was strong until the late 90’s but as attempts to form a relationship with the Red Cross kept changing due to turnover in administrations at Red Cross and the gradual downturn of public service events (several events that communications were done for ceased to exist), the group splintered into assisting the towns of Dartmouth, Fairhaven and Acushnet with Emergency Management communications. This communications work is known as RACES or the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services.

In September 2002, I was approached by our ARES Section Emergency Coordinator, Mike Nielsen, W1MPN, with a request to talk to Rachel concerning Red Cross Disaster Communications. Rachel has taken over Disaster Services work with Red Cross back in the late 2000-2001 timeframe. The goal was to begin building plans and infrastructure for Red Cross communications. Since then, I’ve had several meetings with Rachel in the past several months as we attempt to achieve these goals. She has been a professional and its been a pleasure to be working with her and a served agency which is starting to organize itself and take on Amateur Radio and the concept of ARES seriously.

The Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff has announced a Emergency Communications Exercise for Saturday February 8th at 10 AM and were looking for as many groups to participate as possible. Rachel and New Bedford Red Cross have agreed to participating in this drill for Saturday. This means having actual ham operations at the Red Cross chapter house. Details on how Amateurs can help and participate in the drill will be talked about at this presentation. Participation in the drill will be done in such a way so that anyone can participate including people who would like to participate from home only.

I hope to see many of you at the presentation. If you can’t make the presentation but are interested in what our plans are with Red Cross or the Emergency Communications drill, feel free to send me an email at

I also hope to get to more SEMARA functions this year as my work schedule should relax from the pace of the past 18 months through the high tech downturn at my work place.

Take care and hope to see many of you at the club!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
SEMCARES Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address:

Notes from New England Division Cabinet Meeting – January 11, 2003 – Springfield


Notes from New England Division Cabinet Meeting – January 11, 2003 – Springfield MA
Tom Frenaye/K1KI + Mike Raisbeck/K1TWF

A. Introduction
1. List of attendees sent out in separate e-mail
2. Purpose of cabinet meeting – to gather information and advice in advance of the ARRL board meeting.
B. Membership and growth
1. Overall ham population is flat – 682,000 nationwide, 20,000 new hams last year, but net change was only +2220 hams nationally.
2. Change in New England was a loss of 15 overall, northern NE growing, southern NE losing hams
3. ARRL membership – trend down across the region – 274 loss overall in NE. Trend was downward in all NE sections.
4. ARRL membership 156,815 full (licensed) members. Another 10,00 are associated members, foreign members or have subscriptions.

C. Expected Board of Directors Issues Next Week
1. Discussion/action on getting new people licensed (and relicensed)
2. 2003 budget – recommended by Admin&Finance committee
a. typically, $3 or 4M available from 14 M budget after fixed recurring expenses covered (for advocacy, membership services, volunteer resources)
b. question – is it worth spending lots of money to defend all of our microwave allocations? Lots of pressure particularly for unlicensed devices.
3. Strategic planning

D. Spectrum planning
1. Low power device rules are sliding (causing us more interference)
2. FCC not particularly supportive here
3. If we make a big fuss over part 15, will the FCC just go to Congress to change the rules?
4. Spectrum protection act – got 53 house sponsors last year – will reintroduce this year – but only 1 from NE – did get 4 NE senators
5. To defend microwave space, we need to develop things to do that will attract more usage
6. Typically, a lot of spectrum protection work done by Chris Imlay, with technical backup by League staff

E. Getting Legislative Support
1. Takes a lot of banging on doors – a “game of inches”
2. Know your “two minute drill” (elevator speech)
3. Mary H. – we got a great reception in Washington from the Homeland Security folks.
4. Maine has been particularly successful in getting Congressional support
5. Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Consistency Act – HR4720 – to allow radio in CCR covered places – real estate lobby is very strong – got 35 sponsors
6. Phil T. – are there specific targeted mailing lists for interested amateurs (ie., SGL’s) in the legislative arena?
7. Would it be possible to “regionalize” QST ??
8. Big problem getting hams to “write their congressman”

F. Getting membership
1. Biggest challenge is getting people on the air and active
2. Bill W. – give League membership as a gift
3. To get from 160,000 to 200,000 members, we could buy memberships for $1.4M

G. Mary Hobart/K1MMH – development
1. Key to fundraising is in setting up relationships with people
2. In picking donors…
a. Does person have the interest?
b. Does he/she have the money?
3. Advocacy costs us about $1.2M per year – in defense of frequencies we’ve gone up from $200K through donations per year, up to $400k, but last year back down to $250K
4. We now have 40 schools participating in the Big Project – now looking for objective ways to measure success here
5. Currently testing a campaign to endow W1AW – $2M – 3M would be nice
6. History project now underway using seed money – need to measure possibilities here, too
7. Diamond club – funds not restricted – this makes it particularly important. – over 400 have signed up since program started in September

H. Dave Hoaglin/K1HR – Contest Advisory Committee – reported not a great deal of activity

I. Frank Murphy/N1DHW – brief report on Salvation Army/SATERN-Boston activity
1. Beginning to build up state-based groups
2. net on 14.265 M-F

J. Big Project Schools
1. Worcester East Middle School (MA)
2. Orono Middle School, ME
3. The best combination is school with ham-licensed teacher, and a supportive local club

K. Logbook of the World
1. In beta test now
2. Possibly public test in a month or two
3. Is it possible to flag Q’s in LOTW for special purposes (ie., info only, no credit)

L. Tower cases – very little happening in NE at the moment

M. Educating the public about ham radio – the future
1. More Archie comics, or some updated equivalent?
2. Morse code certificates have been popular
3. Problem is that the general public doesn’t know anything about us
4. Hams (unlike other hobbyists) don’t identify themselves publicly as ARRL, but rather as members of individual local clubs. Push branding down a few levels?
5. Maybe the term “amateur” is not serving us well.
6. Effort must be sustained
7. Look at example of AOPA
8. Strong support for more ARRL action on this and gaining new hams

N. Auction of publications gained $148 towards the ARRL Lab fund

O. WARC-03
1. 40 meters realignment still a mystery
2. Threat from earth sensing radar at 435 MHz
3. Elimination of CW as international requirement – quite probable

P. HF digital committee
1. Where should the broader HF digital modes go?
2. Possibly revisit digital control
3. Reconsideration of sub-bands

Q. VHF awards and contests – working on making these more appealing, to increase activity

R. Section reports
1. CT
a. participation in UTC grant
b. reactivation of packet network
c. some cabinet reshuffling
2. EMA
a. 100th Marconi operations
b. website updates
3. RI
a. Bob will run for another term
b. Doing well
4. VT
a. rebuilding ARRL presence

S. NEQP – good activity with 260 logs in 2002, next running is May 3-4, 2003

T. Miscellaneous comments
1. Kudos for Boxboro
2. Noted some interference in ARRL news bulletin recording
3. Put America back on ARRL materials
4. Echolink – FCC is investigating control issues
5. Plug for Eastern States expo

Thanks to K1TWF for taking notes! — Tom

Traffic Handling Training on the Air!

A new traffic handling training net will begin on Thursday evenings at 8 p.m., beginning February 13th, on the Falmouth repeater (146.655, no tone). This is an excellent method to learn about traffic handling. It’s also excellent training for RACES/ARES groups. Many thanks to Mark, W2EAG for leading this effort, and to the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association for hosting the net.

ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section
Section Manager: Phillip Temples, K9HI

“Marconi Work Party”

Marconi work partyK1VV writes:

We were at Coast Guard Beach all day on Sunday the 12th … final work on the antennas … jacked up the H.F. masts … installed the 160 & 80 meter dipoles … set up the R8 and 2 meter antennas …… networking computers .. IRLP … Satellite …. Packet …

Watch the W1AA web page for more photos to be posted over the next few days …. . Most will be on page 8 ….

Bob Doherty K1VV

“Eastern Area Net”

fiction by Phil Temples, K9HI

published, January 5, 2003

This story, while fictionalized, serves as an introduction to the National Traffic System beyond the local nets. The dedicated hams who relay traffic throughout the US and Canada are role models for all who aspire to this high service.


I transmitted the net name, “EAN” indicating to stations that they should now “QNI” or “check in” to the Eastern Area Net. This particular net was being conducted via Morse code, an efficient mode for this sort of work. Traffic would be heavy this Tuesday evening, just a few days before Christmas. I was Net Control Station, or “NCS” of the Eastern Area Net, a clearing house for all formal, written radiogram messages passing between regions in the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and Canada.

As NCS of the net it was my responsibility to act as the “master of ceremonies” to ensure that stations with messages for one region would get hooked up to their counterparts in other regions to send, receive and relay messages destined for other nets.

In response to my call, I heard:


“…Dah dah.”

“… …Dididit.”

Three stations came back simultaneously with different “signs” and on slightly different frequencies a few Hertz apart. The result was a not-unpleasant melody of varying pitches spelling out letters like “E”, “M” and “S.” They were easily distinguishable to the ear. I thought I recognized the swing in the “M” emanating from the semi-automatic key “fist” of W2MTA.

“Dah dah,”I replied, pressing one side of the Bencher paddle to form the dashes indicating that the station signing “M” should go ahead.

Immediately I heard, “…DE W2MTA PAN RX QRU.

Bill’s regular schedule, or “sked” involved him acting as the receiving station (“RX”) for message traffic destined for the Pacific Area Net. Bill used a standard Q signal, “QRU” to indicate that he had no traffic to send.

W2MTA R AS,” I replied. “R” meant “received.” And the letters “AS” sent together “didahdididit” instructed him to standby.

DE …”

DE,” I replied, in turn.

“…W2EAG 1RN TX QTC CAN 12 3RN 5 4RN 3 AR.”

W2EAG, Mark in Taunton, Massachusetts was the First Region Net Transmit station. His list of traffic, or “QTC” included the traffic’s destination followed by actual number of messages. Clearly, Central Area Receive was going to be busy this evening. In addition, Mark listed traffic for the Third and Fourth Regions.

Sending radiogram traffic on Morse code can be an absolute pleasure. One of the real advantages one has using Morse code over voice is something called “full break-in.” If Mark had been transmitting simultaneously, or “doubling” with another station he would have quickly known this by hearing the dots and dashes of someone else’s signals between his own. The concept is similar to a group at a party who begin to speak all at once, then pause and allow one to proceed. Traffic handlers refer to full break-in as “QSK.” Sent as a question, QSK means, “Can you receive between my signals?” As a statement it means, “I can receive between your signals.”


I instructed the sender of “U” to proceed.


Marcia, KW1U, from Martha’s Vineyard was accepting messages on behalf of the Central Area Net. Marcia would check in directly to the Central Area Net in one hour with any messages she received off the Eastern Area Net.

I decided to get down to business.


“…dah,” replied Marcia, immediately.


“…dit,” Mark responded, about fifty milliseconds later.

“D 10 CAN.”

Simultaneously I heard two “dahs” from Marcia and Mark, respectively, acknowledging my instructions.

In less than six seconds I had instructed both stations to move off frequency’specifically “D 10” or “down ten kilohertz.” It was understood that Marcia would be receiving traffic destined for CAN. As the receiver, she would call Mark on the closest open frequency “down ten” per my instructions.

“EAN K.” Ready for more business.


I acknowledged the “B” station.

“…DE VE3BDM ECN TX 1RN 4 2RN 3 4RN 6 8RN 2 AR.”

George in Elizabethtown, Ontario, acting as Eastern Canada Net’s TX station, listed his QTC.

Without so much as an “R” for acknowledgement I decided to hook George up with the Fourth Region Net Receive station–a station who had not yet checked in.

“4RN RX QNI,” I sent to the net. In other words, “Fourth Region Net Receive station please check in now.”

“…DE W4ANK 4RN RX QRU,” came the reply.

I dispatched the two off frequency:


I heard a quick “dit” and “dah” response from W4ANK and VE3BDM as they headed “Up Seven” to handle the Fourth Region traffic.

Ten minutes later, I had Transmit and Receive stations checked in from the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Eighth and Eastern Canada Region Nets. I also had TX and RX stations from the Central and Pacific Area Nets. The latter were members of the TCC or “Transcontinental Corps”, an elite group who liaise between the three Area nets.

An Alternate Transmit, or “ALT TX” station from First Region Net came to EAN. The 1RN Net Control Station had wisely decided to spread the load of outgoing traffic between two stations instead of a single TX station. To further assist with the heavy volume I also had 2RN- and a 3RN ALT RX stations standing by if needed. One other station with no assignment casually checked in, “QRU.” I politely excused him from the net.

I consulted the “bingo sheet,” my low-tech, pencil-and-paper solution for tracking the locations and traffic lists of all stations on the Net. By my calculations I had facilitated the passing of roughly 60 percent of the traffic listed. Several stations were “queued” up off frequency awaiting their turn to send traffic to receiving stations.

Using my auxiliary VFO, I tuned down 20 kHz to hear how the Fourth Region Net Receive and Third Region Transmit stations were doing. Everything sounded copasetic.

“…AR 1.”


The 3RN TX ended a message with the pro sign “AR” followed by the number 1, indicating that he had one more message left to transmit. 4RN RX acknowledged that he was ready to copy the next message by answering with a single “dit”. I decided that it was time to have the next station with 4RN traffic queued up and ready to go.

I flipped back to the net frequency.

“HRI,” I sent, addressing the 1RN Alternate TX, WB1HRI.

“Dit,” replied WB1HRI.

“QNQ D 20 W4ANK 4RN,” I said. (Translation: “Change frequency down 20 kHz and wait for W4ANK to finish handling traffic. Then send him traffic for 4RN.”)

G,” he replied. (“Going.”)

Just like that, it was done.

I dialed “Up 20” to listen to the traffic flow between the 2RN TX and 3RN RX stations. Things were a little rough. The Receive station had instructed the Transmit station to “QRS 10” or “Send more slowly, 10 words per minute.” There was a significant amount of signal fading, or “QSB” between the two stations.

Solid copy is paramount when handling radiograms; speed takes a back seat to accuracy. I’ve heard veteran traffic handlers slow down to less than five wpm when the situation warranted.



The receiving station hit his key to interrupt. When he heard the TX station had stopped, RX sent, “AA MERRY.” Translation: “ALL AFTER the word MERRY.”

A causal operator might assume that the word in question was CHRISTMAS. When handling traffic, however, one does not assume. Instead, one requests a “fill” by using pro signs such as AA (“All After”), AB (“All Before”), BN (“BetweeN”) and so forth.

The sending station picked up with the word MERRY and continued sending the rest of the message slowly.

Back on the Net frequency I heard, “QRL?” A station that was not a part of the Net was inquiring, “Is the frequency in use?”

“QRL” I replied. (“The frequency is in use.”)

“SRI.” The station apologized for the intrusion and left.

A moment later, I heard: “OKN NG” followed immediately by, “…FTX.”

The previous exchange between the 3RN RX and 2RN TX stations had gone poorly. W3OKN had indicated a busted exchange by saying “NG”, or “No Go.” Following proper procedure, they returned to net frequency to await further instructions. It was time to get them a relay–someone located in a favorable QTH who could both hear and be heard by them.

“OKN FTX AS,” I replied. “Standby.” Then I called for a relay.


Dah.” W4ABC responded.

I said, “QNB W3OKN N4FTX U 20.”

I heard three “dits” confirming that all three stations acknowledged my instructions for W4ABC to act as a relay for W3OKN and N4FTX. All three went up 20 kHz to try again.

Things were rolling along. The net had been in session for thirty five minutes. Everyone who had their traffic cleared had been “QNX” or excused from the net. Eight stations were currently passing traffic, or queued up waiting. I had had no new check-ins for ten minutes. I decided to officially close the net.

QNC QRU EAN QNF TU GUD WRK ALL.” Translation: “Announcement. No traffic for Eastern Area Net. The Net is Free. Thank You. Good Work, Everyone.”

I remained on frequency for the next 15-20 minutes, excusing returning stations and thanking them individually. In the space of 55 or so minutes, we had collectively relayed 67 messages with 100 percent accuracy. Tomorrow evening a whole different group of Amateur operators would get together and do it all over again, as it’s done every day of the week, 365 days per year.

HF Nets now part of Monthly RACES Net – From N1CPE

Hello and Happy New Year to All!

I’d like to announce formally that we have been and plan to continue to operate HF nets in conjunction with our monthly First Monday RACES nets across the state.

These Nets convene at 7pm local time on or about 3.943 MHz, and 7.245 MHz LSB on the first Mondays of every month for those stations or communities that wish to test their HF equipment regularly. In addition these frequencies may be activated during RACES or ARES activations in Massachusetts.

At times, noise and other conditions may interfere with these nets. Our team of HF Net control stations will do their best to convene the nets, and pass any official or other traffic as needed.

Thanks to our team of HF net control stations: Marc WA1R, Chatmon WA1FIR, Steve W3EVE and Jerry AA2T.

Tomorrow night, January 6 at 7pm these nets will convene, as will local VHF nets at their appointed times.


-Tom Kinahan N1CPE