Welcome to the February 2023 ARRL Eastern Massachusetts (EMA) section news
Visit <https://ema.arrl.org/> for frequent updates to the news
Goodness, where did the time go? Ah, that’s right, February is a short month—THAT’S why the Section News is being published so late. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
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.”
SECTION MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
Andy (KB1OIQ) Stewart has created and maintained a version of Linux for use by ham radio operators, and he calls it “Andy’s Ham Radio Linux” (AHRL). It is heavily based on Ubuntu Linux.
First released in 2011, Andy periodically updates this software collection and releases new versions. It contains as many ham radio related programs as he can find, all of which are Free Software, Open Source, or similarly licensed.
The idea is that the user can install it on their computer, and the programs “just work”. It takes a lot of the setup pain away from the user.
“Andy’s Ham Radio Linux” can be downloaded from here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/kb1oiq-andysham/ (Be sure to read the GETTING_STARTED document first!)
Recently, AHRL was discussed on Hackaday: https://hackaday.com/2023/02/23/a-linux-distro-for-all-your-ham-needs/
AHRL has had over 100,000 downloads in its lifetime. The most recent version, released in June 2022, has over 7,600 downloads as of this writing.
Perhaps even more exciting, KB1OIQ has been chosen as a speaker at Hamvention 2023 in Xenia, OH, briefing on AHRL. Section members, please join me in thanking Andy for his great contributions to Amateur Radio! And if you’re going to Hamvention 2023, stop by Andy’s presentation and give him some support!
ARRL’S VOLUNTEERS ON THE AIR (VOTA)
ARRL’s Volunteers on the Air (VOTA) event is underway now. It’s a year-long operating event to celebrate ARRL’s Volunteers. VOTA started January 1, 2023 and runs through December 31, 2023. It’s similar in nature the 2014 ARRL Centennial Celebration and the 2018 International Grid Chase. But there are no registrations to fill out or applications to send in. Instead, scores are driven entirely by QSOs uploaded to LoTW.
How does one earn points? Make two-way radio contacts (QSOs) with ARRL volunteers (Officers, Division and Section Staff, Members). Also, ARRL will activate W1AW/# stations in all 50 states and several US territories world-wide. Phone, CW and digital QSOs all count on all ham radio bands, DC to daylight, EXCLUDING the 60/30/17/12-meter bands
Details are at https://www.arrl.org/volunteers-on-the-air Or send your questions and comments to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Are you enjoying the VOTA event? Have suggestions for your fellow hams? Or for the League? Please drop an email to Jon, N1ILZ at email@example.com.
MASSACHUSETTS W1AW/1, VOLUNTEERS ON THE AIR SIGNUP
As part of VOTA, twice a year, for one week, each state will be activated as W1AW/1 (for call area 1 Massachusetts, for example). To make this happen, we need operators to get Massachusetts on the air.
Would you like to be an W1AW/1 activator for the first session this spring? The first MA session is Wednesday, April 12 through Tuesday, April 18.
There’s still time to sign up! Would you like to know more? Contact Larry, W1AST, at W1AST@arrl.net.
Do you have a fun or important net you’d like to get some publicity?
Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org .
This month’s highlighted net:
The MASSACHUSETTS RHOSE ISLAND DIGITAL NET (MARIDN) is a section-level net of the ARRL’s National Traffic System (NTS). The purpose of the net is to pass formal, written traffic within, into, and out of the EMA, WMA and RI Sections. MARIDN parallels the Mass/Rhode Island Phone Net (MARIPN) but focuses on using the Narrow Band Emergency Message System (NBEMS) system, a part of the fldigi suite. MARIDN meets on the air every Tuesday at 18:00 Eastern Time on 3583 kHz USB-digital, center frequency 1500 Hz, mode THOR22. Come help us figure out how to use the powerful NBEMS tools for moving NTS traffic! Interested? Contact MARIDN Net Manager Jon, N1ILZ (email@example.com) or Assistant Section Traffic Manager Michael, WZ0C (firstname.lastname@example.org).
FLEA AT MIT
The monthly MIT flea market (a.k.a. “Swapfest”) will be returning on April 16, 2023. See <https://w1mx.mit.edu/flea-at-mit/> for more info.
The one-and-only NEAR-Fest is coming April 28-29, 2023. See <https://near-fest.com/> for more info.
NORTHEAST 2023 HAMXPOSITION
The Northeast’s premier Amateur Radio convention, serving the ARRL New England Division, returns August 25-27, 2023
PROJECT BIG E 2023 IS RAMPING UP!
Yes, Project “Big E” is back again and doing another booth at the Big E this year. Changes will be made to how the booth will be arranged and presented to the public.
2023 dates are Friday, September 15 thru Sunday, October 1. We will be applying for another grant and if we get one, we will be able to provide admission tickets and parking reimbursement again this year.
Last year was a lot of fun for everyone and we hope you will join again for another Big E.
Stay tuned to this section of the newsletter for updates as we get closer.
Section Traffic Manager — Marcia Forde, KW1U
Visit: MASSACHUSETTS STM REPORT FOR DECEMBER 2022 — Eastern Massachusetts ARRL
ARES NEWS Section Emergency Coordinator — Rob Macedo KD1CY
News concerning ARES and Emergency Communications in the EMA section is updated regularly on our web site: <https://ema.arrl.org/ares/>.
N1ILZ FOR A FINAL
I’ve delivered ARRL/Section updates to Clubs around the section, and I think these are well-received. I look forward to doing many more. If you’re interested in a Section/ARRL update for your Club, please reach out to me!
A common thread at these meetups is “How can we help the EMA Section be better?” Excellent question! My thoughts:
Stay active in the hobby and in your club(s). I believe clubs are integral to keeping our hobby fresh, vibrant, and growing.
Communications are key! If you hear or see something interesting, please let me know so I can include it in the EMA Section Newsletter or otherwise publicize it. We’re doing some truly outstanding work in the Section. I want to make sure hams and non-hams alike are aware of all the good stuff we’re doing.
Please, reach out to me, via email (email@example.com) or NTS, or whatever works for you. I look forward to serving you in the next two years!
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS SECTION LINKS
Where to find stuff:
New England Division website: <https://nediv.arrl.org/>
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/eastern-ma-public-service-list/>
Section Speaker List: <https://ema.arrl.org/eastern-ma-club-speakers-list/>
To join EMA ARES visit: <https://secure.ema.arrl.org/qilan/ares/EMA/ARES_about>
The EMA monthly section news is jointly produced by Phil K9HI, Assistant Section Manager, Tom K1TW, Assistant Section Manager, and Jon N1ILZ, Section Manager.
ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section
Section Manager: Jon W McCombie, N1ILZ