March 2020 Section News



      Welcome to the Eastern Massachusetts ARRL section newsletter.


To see all the monthly news, which is updated regularly, visit <>.



I was just looking back at the February section news.  How things have changed in only one month!  Then, one of our biggest concerns was to make sure we were all acquainted with the new Massachusetts Distracted Driving Law.  How I wish that were our only concern today. 

There already was trouble brewing as the February section news went out with a call to enjoy February 29 as a once in a 4-year event.  Yes, most of us had heard of the virus by then as it was disrupting Asia and those stuck on a cruise boat unable to get off. Well, here we all are now in a very different world.

March has not been easy for most people around the world and for us at home as our medical personnel (a.k.a. Heroes) and our state struggles to keep as many people safe as possible.  In my small town, I see an enhanced attitude amongst neighbors and most everyone to look out for each other. One enterprising resident on my street set up a google group helping me to keep in touch with the neighborhood, which I hope is common elsewhere.

As a section, we have established a COVID-19 response web page to inform others of the impact in our section on club meetings and amateur radio events.  It is updated regularly as we get new information so please keep us informed. For the latest updates visit: .

Amateur radio can be very helpful at this time.  Here are some suggestions as we all hunker down at home:

* Stay in touch with your local ham club to find out if anyone, especially older members need help. (Kudos are in order to the Algonquin ARC for querying its members about assistance required on its weekly net!)

* Clubs can hold net meetings on the air. Two meters or 10 meters are perfect for this.

* Check 10 meters frequently, especially in the evenings.  Many folks are gathering on 28.400 (Westford), 28.430 (Lowell), 28.375 (Taunton), as well as on 28.420 (RI) and 28.350 also.  Older hams remember quite fondly when ten meters was the local band around Boston with lots of mobile and evening activity, before the 2-meter repeater era of the seventies took hold. What’s old is new again!

* Use video services like Zoom, Skype, etc. to hold virtual club meeting. 

* Get on the air.  I have personally noticed a significant increase in band activity since so many stay-at-home and state emergencies have been declared.

* Help keep the stay-at-home boredom at bay by communicating with others in similar situations on the air, by building new antennas, or spending time learning something new that you always wished you could but just didn’t have the time.

* Share your radio-related ideas with us to post on our COVID-19 response if appropriate.  We want news from the section how clubs and others are responding to this unprecedented emergency. 

* My town provides a daily online update on the situation here.  I hope yours does also.

We are also updating section news regularly at

Above all, please stay safe.  Please take the advice from the medical experts and our Massachusetts state and local governments seriously.

Contact our Eastern Massachusetts section staff if you have news or we can help. <>



Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, has appointed Stu Solomon, W1SHS, as District Emergency Coordinator (DEC), Planning and Administration Manager and Norfolk County ARES. In welcoming his newest DEC, Rob said Stu will “help coordinate activities in Norfolk County” and “support planning and administration.”

Among Stu’s duties are: working on the new ARES section emergency plan, the ARES database, and outreach to new ARES members.



We understand 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,<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 new Wellesley Amateur Radio Society page at:

Questions? Contact ASM Phil Temples, K9HI, at



Please visit <> and send any information you might have to  our Assistant Section Manager (ASM) Phil Temples, K9HI, at <>.



A full list of New England flea markets can be found at

Many events are cancelled due to the health emergency.

ARRL has set up a special link to help find cancelled events at:



Each day on the section web site we bring you news and information from Eastern Massachusetts and beyond. Visit for the latest.

Here’s a short selection of the stories from March 2020:

The ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding Committee has determined that the 20th USA ARDF Championships scheduled for June 9-14, 2020 near Boston, MA must be cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation:

Mike Crestohl, W1RC, reports NEAR-Fest XXVII has been cancelled by Executive Order of the Governor of New Hampshire:

Fox hunting is a fun, safe activity during these times of social distancing. John, KB1MGI, and members of the Northeast MA Fox Hunters List are keeping one another regularly apprised of new hunts:

New England Sci-Tech in Natick is currently offering a number of online courses for Technician, General, and Extra. See and

Want to help as a volunteer instructor to teach an online course for youths wanting to upgrade to General class? See

Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club members volunteered to judge radio-related entries in the Bromfield School’s (Harvard, MA) annual Science Fair. There were fifty-two entries, five of which were in the areas of NVARC expertise. The students were quite knowledgeable in their subjects, some more than others, but all of them were impressive.

Field Day 2020—A Time To Adapt: “Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty. Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”



Eastern MA Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, held an online staff meeting on March 26. Approximately 22 individuals participated. Among the agenda items discussed: updating the ARES database, better outreach to new ARES volunteers, and implementing a section emergency communications plan.

The first Monday of every month is a test of the Massachusetts RACES and ARES communication capabilities.  The monthly ARES VHF Net is at 8:30 PM on the MMRA Repeater system.

To see all the recent news on Eastern Massachusetts ARES please visit <>. This site is constantly maintained with the latest happenings by our EMA SEC, Rob, KD1CY.

If you are interested in joining Eastern Massachusetts ARES, visit <>.

To find out more about EMA ARES visit <>.


Section Traffic Manager (STM), Marcia KW1U

The February section traffic manager report may be viewed at

This report lists all the PSHR and BPL recognitions for the month and details the very extensive level of NTS activity across the state.

February BPL recipients:  N1IQI

February PSHR recipients (70 points or more): KW1U (130), W1RVY (110), N1IQI (110), KD2JKV (110), N1TF (105), N1LAH (100), KE1ML (100), KC1KVY (90), KC1HHO (89), WA1LPM (86),

Find the list of all NTS daily nets in Massachusetts here: <>.

To see more news on Eastern Massachusetts Traffic Handling and Nets visit <>.




Eric, W1RVY, is manager of 1RN Cycle 4, the evening CW net. Eric reports the February net had 57 sessions that handled a total of 48 pieces of traffic and a total of 166 check-ins for the month.


Betsey, K1EIC, manager of FRN, the daytime phone net reports the February net had 58 sessions that handled a total of 100 pieces of traffic and a total of 303 check-ins for the month.



William R. Burke, NR1FD (ex-KA1TXK), Middleboro

Gerald D. Ceccarini, K1AIU, Framingham


Section website:


Section Facebook page:


Section Leadership:


Section Public Service List:


Section Speaker List:


To join EMA ARES visit




Stay Safe.  Stay Well.  Stay Positive.



This March 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