March 2021: EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS (EMA) 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/>.
ARES STAFF UPDATE
It is my pleasure as Section Manager to welcome Dean Burgess, KB1PGH, who has been appointed an EMA section ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) by ARRL Headquarters. Dean is an active member of Cape Ann ARA (CAARA) and will serve the northern part of Essex county. The EC position is one of the key roles in the ARES program and we wish Dean great success.
ARRL FIELD APPOINTMENTS
Field appointments are described at: <http://www.arrl.org/pages/view/field-appointments>.
If you are interested in being considered for an appointment contact me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
MASSACHUSETTS HAM RADIO LICENSE PLATES: PROBLEMS CONTINUE
AJ1L reports his ham radio license plate problems with the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles are continuing. “My application has been caught up in the mess since January, 2020. I’ve had to call the Registry every 20 days for a year now to renew my current plates, which are my old call sign (N1ZZN). I’ve been told the last two times that some [applications] have been processed, and I should be receiving a call within days with good news. That has yet to happen. During the last call, they gave me the supervisor’s email address, saying that if I didn’t get a call within a couple weeks to email her. Well, I didn’t get a call, so I emailed and received an apologetic response: “I am trying to get it fixed.”
MASSACHUSETTS RHODE ISLAND PHONE NET NOW DAILY EX SUNDAY
The 75-meter Massachusetts Rhode Island Phone Net (MARIPN) is now operating daily, except Sunday, on 3978 kHz beginning at 5 PM local.
SLOW SPEED TEST (SST) NOW FRIDAY AND SUNDAY EVENINGS
Note: Last month’s news gave an incorrect time on Friday.
The K1USN Radio Club sponsors the one-hour, twice-weekly Slow Speed Test (SST) every Friday afternoon and Sunday evening. Details can be found at <http://www.k1usn.com/sst.html>.
Fridays 20:00-21:00 UTC: 4-5pm EDT
Mondays 00:00-01:00 UTC: 8-9pm EDT (Sunday)
WELLESLEY ARS “POTA PARTY” AT OTTER RIVER STATE FOREST
Members and friends of the Wellesley Amateur Radio Society participated in a “Parks On The Air (POTA) Party” at the Otter River State Forest in Winchendon, MA on March 27.
Amateurs showed up with their own equipment, or borrowed radio equipment from Mindy, KM1NDY, who spearheaded the event.
Mindy brought both a CW and an SSB station equipped with “band pass filters for 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 40, and 80 meters so we can run stations simultaneously.”
The group observed social distancing and enforced the use of masks. They also kept the group size under 25 people per Massachusetts state regulations.
CASTLE ISLAND STATE PARK IN BOSTON, K-6876, ACTIVATED FOR POTA
Boston ARC members Greg, KC1NRJ, and Brendan, NW1S, activated Castle Island (K-6876) in Boston this past month using a Yaesu FT-897D and a 24-foot B’n’M “Black Widow” fiberglass extension rod antenna. According to Greg, it was a “very cold day in the park.”
Full details are at: <https://ema.arrl.org/2021/03/16/castle-island-k-6876-activated-by-kc1nrj-and-nw1s/>.
FOURTH-GRADER EXPERIMENTING WITH WEATHER BALLOONS
Ten-year-old Max Kendall, WØMXX, has been having a blast with a weather balloon construction project. The Medway youth has been constructing a balloon payload around a Raspberry Pi computer and camera. The microcomputer he’s programming will collect atmospheric data, and convert the temperature values to the Fahrenheit scale “because I have a better feel for Fahrenheit than Celsius.”
Max has been spending many hours of his free time preparing for a spring launch. See: <https://ema.arrl.org/2021/03/07/w0mxx-experimenting-with-weather-balloons/>.
MIT HAMS WORKING TO SAVE HISTORIC RADOME
Members of the MIT UHF Repeater Association, W1XM, are involved in efforts to rebuild their club shack as well as preserving the large, radome atop the 21-story Green Building on the Cambridge campus. The Green Building renovations project will include the radome if the club and other interested parties can raise $1.9 million by this spring.
“Thanks to overwhelming support from our alumni and friends, MIT is now supporting much of the renovation of our physical space directly, enabling us to focus our resources not just on rebuilding, but on improving our VHF/UHF and microwave contest and research station, W1XM, on the Green Building roof for the MIT community. Our next step is working to preserve the iconic large radome and dish within,” writes W1XM President Milo Hooper, AI1XR.
“While this is an enormous challenge, we believe it is not insurmountable. We have already raised a part of this in the process of our overall station renovation fundraising drive, and there is additional interest in this project across MIT from Physics’ J-Lab, to AeroAstro’s Small Sat Center and STAR Lab.”
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS ARES
Section Emergency Coordinator, Rob Macedo KD1CY
Visit <https://ema.arrl.org/ares> for reports and news.
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS NTS
Section Traffic Manager (STM), Marcia Forde KW1U
Marcia writes: “I am happy to announce that the Mass Rhode Island Phone Net has expanded its sessions to six evenings a week, Monday through Saturday. Find us on 3978 kHz plus or minus to avoid interference at 5 PM whether you have traffic or not. One of the fun aspects of traffic nets is the camaraderie we experience. Get to know the folks on the net. Often time is set aside following the passing of traffic for comments. Keep in touch with the new friends you meet.
See the latest NTS monthly report at: <https://ema.arrl.org/2021/03/12/massachusetts-traffic-report-for-feb-2021/>
FIRST REGION NET (1RN) REPORT (CW)
Eric, W1RVY, is manager of 1RN Cycle 4, the evening CW net on 3598 kHz. Eric reports the February nets had 56 sessions that handled a total of 113 pieces of traffic and a total of 161 check-ins for the month.
FIRST REGION NET (FRN) REPORT (SSB)
Betsey, K1EIC is manager of FRN, the daytime SSB net on 3950 kHz. Betsey reports the February nets had 55 sessions that handled a total of 186 pieces of traffic and a total of 283 check-ins for the month.
Where to find stuff:
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/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>
You hear it a lot from disgruntled ARRL members:
* “The ARRL has failed us on [fill in the blank].”
* “The ARRL has been out of touch with amateurs for years.”
* “I’ve been an amateur for over 40 years. I’m really upset about how the ARRL handled [fill in the blank].”
* “I wrote a letter [umpteen] years ago to my director and never received a response. They don’t care about us. . .”
Then there’s my favorite: “My membership is expiring next month, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to renew it.”
When the FCC recently announced a $35 fee for our ten-year licenses, was it disappointing? You bet! Do you still feel that our licenses should be free? Yes, I know I do. But, why blame the League? Why not recognize the fact that the RAYBAUM’s Act tied the FCC’s hands, forcing them to implement a fee-based charge for processing licenses? While you’re at it, why not acknowledge the ARRL’s superlative lobbying efforts—aided by thousands of ARRL members who registered their comments on the FCC’s website—which led to the proposed $50 fee reduced to $35?
Are you unhappy about some aspect of your membership services? Perhaps you’ve experienced a slow response time in processing your award? Or, you are frustrated about the website being “clunky.” Maybe you couldn’t find what you’re looking for when you searched the site. Why isn’t the League doing more to combat the illegal activities on many of the HF bands? It’s frustrating. But you probably wouldn’t throw a temper tantrum in public, right? So, why publicly threaten to drop your ARRL membership?
How will things ever get fixed in our less-than-perfect, but evolving national organization if you decide to withdraw your voice (and financial support), depriving the rest of us of your valuable constructive criticisms?
Think about it.
Phil Temples, K9HI
An additional thought from EMA Section Manager K1TW:
Phil makes several good points. I have found that more-often-than-not ‘negative comments’ are far less effective than a well thought out statement of the issue along with ‘positive suggestions’ to improve things. If you can be constructive in your criticism a good result is far more likely.
Stay well, stay safe, and be helpful to your clubs and fellow ham!
73, Tom K1TW.
This monthly 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