June 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/>.





I’m trying something a little different this month.  There is so much about Amateur Radio happening right now as July is knocking on the door, that I almost certainly will break my tradition of one long newsletter a month and issue shorter but more frequent newsletters for a while.

I am calling this June Newsletter the “Prelude to a summer newsletter series.” What might get covered?

      Getting to know the ARRL better

      The virtual ARRL Board meeting coming in mid-July

      Who represents the New England Division at the Board

      Who are our neighboring New England section managers

      More about a most unusual Field Day that just concluded

      The 13 Colonies Event

      The IARU HF Championship (a great event)

      Lots of other wonderful on-air events

      Covid-19 hasn’t left but ham radio has been a huge help

      And more!

I plan to start an ongoing series called “Understanding ARRL” (see below). Learn what League Officials, Division Directors and Vice Directors, Section Managers, Field, and Headquarters staff all around the nation do to make the amateur radio service better for all. PART 1 coming up soon!

Tom K1TW



“In the midst of a global pandemic, classroom learning continues. This is a story about a high school physics class continuing to operate and expand its horizons through exposure to the magic of amateur radio satellites – even while taking on the challenges of social distancing.” <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/06/26/amateur-radio-meets-stem-in-pandemic-challenged-virtual-classroom/>




(Taunton Gazette) Taunton amateur Ted Figlock, KA1AAT, was the subject of a nice feature story in the June 24, 2020 issue of the Taunton Gazette: By Charles Winokoor, Taunton Gazette Staff Reporter TAUNTON – Dr. Thadeus “Ted” Figlock has been a world traveler for the better part of six decades. And he’s done most of it from a sitting position. The 85-year-old, former obstetrician and gynecologist, who unpretentiously describes his medical career as having consisted mainly of “delivering babies and cutting out tumors,” has had a difficult year.  <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/06/25/taunton-amateur-radio-enthusiast-still-hamming-it-up-after-nearly-60-years/>



How well do you understand the organization and operation of the ARRL?  Some members know it extremely well.  Many probably need to consult the ARRL website.

Our newly elected ARRL First Vice President, for example, is Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, who is from our section.  How does the First Vice President fit into the ARRL hierarchy? Find out soon or go now to <https://www.arrl.org>.

How well do you know your Division Director, Vice Director, and Section Manager? If you heard them on the air would you recognize their callsign?  I like to ask people when I visit clubs, how many Divisions and how many ARRL sections are there anyway? Do you know?

The goal of this periodic series will be to provide members with a concise, focused look at many aspects of ARRL. You will be impressed by how varied the ARRL is and how much good it does for this hobby.

Stay tuned for the first installment!



We know 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 Wellesley Amateur Radio Society page at <https://ema.arrl.org/wars> and the Nantucket Amateur Radio Association at <https://ema.arrl.org/nara>.

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

      Call for Speakers: ARRL Learning Network


      PART of Westford 2020 Field Day Awards


      National Zoom Meeting: Winlink Express for EmComm, June 25, 2020


      New England Sci-Tech Offers Three On-line Technician Class Courses in July, 2020


      YCCC SIG: SSB Contesting, June 23, 2020


      13 Colonies Event Week, July 1-7, 2020


      “Chatham’s Rob Leiden Helps Keep Amateur Radio Alive”




Amateurs Active during Severe Weather in Southern New England on June 6, 2020

Amateur radio operators were active for two rounds of severe weather on Saturday, June 6, 2020. The first round brought a swath of wind damage to portions of central and interior southeast Massachusetts. Wind gusts as high as 60 MPH—peaking to 70 MPH—caused damage in numerous towns in Western MA, extending into the Eastern MA communities of Bellingham, Wrentham, and Franklin.  Plainville and North Attleboro were particularly hard hit with damage extending into Hanover. Numerous downed trees and wires were reported. SKYWARN was active on the Paxton (146.970) and Walpole (146.895) repeaters.

On Saturday evening, a second severe thunderstorm affected a wide area from eastern Worcester County into south-central Middlesex along with portions of northern Norfolk County. Marc Stern, WA1R (Sudbury) and Carl Howe, WG1V (Stow) reported up to 1” hail and downed trees and wires.  Wellesley and Needham were also hard hit. Wolfgang, KB1OTR, contributed reports from Needham. SKYWARN nets were operational on the Westford and Paxton repeaters.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Update

Eastern Massachusetts ARES participated in the national Red Cross exercise on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Numerous stations participated across the section.

EMA ARES also participated in the WX4NHC On-Air Test. WX4NHC operated on the MMRA linked repeater system ARES Net for over an hour as part of the exercise. A complete exercise report will be posted in a few weeks.

Eastern Massachusetts ARES Leadership continues to meet regularly.

Virtual, online training classes are being planned over late July and August and will be announced soon.

Plans are underway for a section ARES exercise on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10 AM. Check <https://ema.arrl.org/ares> for updates.

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 May section traffic manager report may be viewed at: <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/06/14/massachusetts-traffic-report-for-may-2020/>

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 May net had 62 sessions that handled a total of 118 pieces of traffic and a total of 207 check-ins for the month.


Betsey, K1EIC, manager of FRN, the daytime phone net reports the May net had 62 sessions that handled a total of 161 pieces of traffic and a total of 327 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>


FINAL WORD – Tom Walsh, K1TW

There has been quite a debate and some unhappiness about the ARRL allowing home stations (Class D) to count for points when making D-to-D Field Day QSOs this year.  This has surprised me a lot.  Everybody has a role to play in Field Day so why discourage any class from participating?  Here is my take!

Often, we overlook the importance of the Category 1D (home) station during our annual Field Day operations. Field Day provides not only the opportunity to set up in the field under simulated emergency conditions but also, to exercise and improve home station operations. There are very few emergency situations where a home or commercial-powered station is not involved as well.

I used the opportunity to make improvements to my existing home station including the addition of an amplifier for the first time ever.  I have the capability now to operate at home on 100 percent emergency power, which I maintain carefully, so I felt no need to turn on my air polluting generator for the full 24 hours this year. I proudly operated 1D for the entire exercise.

In fact, the ARRL has always allowed some categories to operate from commercial power and count for point credit after briefly exercising a generator. See Field Day Rules for Category A (“Commercial”) class and Category E (“Emergency Operation Center”) on commercial power.

In his Field Day message, ARRL President Rick Roderick stated it well: “For some of you, especially new licensees, this may be the first time you’ve established your own home station or portable radio communications capability. Let’s use this opportunity to show our friends, families, and community leaders that we are a trained, resourceful and reliable corps of volunteers.”

And if you need still more disaster operating experience join Eastern Massachusetts ARES at <https://secure1.ema.arrl.org/qilan/ares/EMA/ARES_membership_app_new>.

Also, check out the Eastern Massachusetts ARES web page at <https://ema.arrl.org/ares/>.  You can participate in planned fall and winter disaster exercises.  If you’re interested, don’t wait until next year—do more this year.

Congratulations and thanks to all who got on the air—whether from home as 1D, or any of the other categories—and helped to fill the bands during the weekend. No doubt everyone gained valuable operational and technical experience while at the same time had a lot of fun. 

Tom K1TW



This June 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