NOVEMBER 2020: 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/>.
IMPORTANT WEBSITES – Check Often
Please bookmark these 2 websites and check regularly for the latest Division and Section news items:
DIVISION WEBSITE (NEW): <https://nediv.arrl.org/>
EMA SECTION WEBSITE: <https://ema.arrl.org/>
EMA SECTION MANAGER UPDATE
The ARRL has announced the results of the recent Section Manager elections. Tom, K1TW will continue for another 2-year term as the Eastern Massachusetts section manager beginning January 1, 2021.
You can see more information by checking ARRL Bulletin ARLB037 or visiting this website story: <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/25/tom-walsh-k1tw-declared-elected-to-a-two-year-term-as-section-manager-beginning-january-1-2021/>
MD DOCKET 20-270 – AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE FEE
ARRL has filed comments which among other things noted “that the FCC has explicit authority to waive the fees if it would be in the public interest and should do so for the Amateur Radio Service.”
“FALL FURY SET” HELD ON NOVEMBER 14
Congratulations to Frank, WQ1O; Rob, KD1CY; and all who participated in the Eastern MA (ARES) Simulated Emergency Test (SET) named “Fall Fury” on November 14, 2020. The exercise scenario involved a fictional Category 1 hurricane which strikes MA/CT/RI as a hybrid coastal storm, battering Cape Cod and the Islands with winds ranging from 90-100 MPH.
BILLERICA ARS (BARS) VE TEAM TO BEGIN ONLINE TESTING IN DECEMBER
The VE Team associated with BARS has been working closely with the ARRL VEC to train their VEs to give online exams and expects to start online testing in December.
SLOW SPEED TEST (SST) EVERY SUNDAY EVENING
00:00-01:00 UTC Mondays
19:00-20:00 EST Sundays
Kudos to Pi, K1RV, and the gang at the K1USN Radio Club for initiating the one-hour weekly Slow Speed Test (SST) every Sunday evening at 7 PM EST. For those who prefer a more leisurely CW pace or are new CW operators this just might be what you’re looking for!
NORFOLK COUNTY RADIO ASSOCIATION DONATION
Norfolk County Radio Association members voted to award a $100 donation to the ARRL Education and Technology Fund. “The NCRA has been making it a tradition to donate to a selected ARRL Fund nearly every year since 2008 for a total of $1,300 to-date,” said Norfolk County RA Secretary Dave Doe, K1HRV. The ARRL-affiliated club was established in 1921 and plans to hold a centennial celebration in 2021.
AN EASY WAY TO SUPPORT ARRL
Those who use Amazon for online purchases can automatically donate to ARRL by opting to use AmazonSmile and designating American Radio Relay League (ARRL) as their charity of choice. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible AmazonSmile items to whichever charity you choose. Product and Marketing Specialist Jackie Ferreira, KB1PWB, reports that the benefit of AmazonSmile to ARRL for 2018 was $8,676, up from $8,022 in 2017. Family and friends can select ARRL as their charity of choice too. There is no difference between Amazon and AmazonSmile in terms of making purchases.
AMATEUR RADIO’S ROLE IN THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING
Steve, Schwarm, W3EVE, of Wrentham will present “Amateur Radio’s Role at the Boston Marathon Bombing,” one of series of presentations sponsored by the ARRL Learning Network on December 8, 2020 at 10 AM PT/ 1 PM ET.
Amateur radio has played a significant role in public service communications for the Boston Marathon for several decades. That role was put to the test in 2013 when two bombs were exploded near the finish line. This presentation will describe the role that ham radio played at the Marathon and how that role changed due to the bombing.
OTHER NEWS FROM EMA.ARRL.ORG
Each day on the section web site we bring you news and information from Eastern Massachusetts and beyond. Visit https://ema.arrl.org for the latest.
Here’s a brief selection of the stories from November 2020:
Bristol Co. RA Foxhunt Update https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/23/bristol-co-ra-foxhunt-update/
MIT Radio Society Update: Station Renewal and COVID Response https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/23/mit-radio-society-update-station-renewal-and-covid-response/
2020 K1USN Veterans Day Special Event Wrap-Up https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/20/2020-k1usn-veterans-day-special-event-wrap-up/
Hopkinton State Park POTA Activation, November 14, 2020 https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/13/hopkinton-state-park-pota-activation-november-14-2020/
K1VV, N1DT Awarded Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/12/k1vv-n1dt-awarded-amateur-radio-lighthouse-societys-lifetime-achievement-award/
K1UVH Continues the “Great Hill” Tradition https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/10/k1uvh-continues-the-great-hill-tradition/
Cape Ann ARA Seismograph Detected Today’s Earthquake https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/08/cape-ann-ara-seismograph-detected-todays-earthquake/
K1USN Radio Club Veterans Day On Air Event, November 11, 2020 https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/06/k1usn-radio-club-veterans-day-on-air-event-november-11-2020/
Algonquin ARC Battery Challenge Begins December 1, 2020 https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/06/algonquin-arc-battery-challenge-begins-december-1-2020/
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS ARES
November ARES Report – Section Emergency Coordinator, Rob Macedo KD1CY
SKYWARN Recognition Day 2020 (SRD ’20) will occur from Friday, December 4 at 7:00 PM until Saturday at 7:00 PM. While operations will not take place at the NWS Norton Mass office due to COVID, members of the WX1BOX Amateur Radio team will be active for the event via their home stations. See <http://wx1box.org/2020/11/27/srd20/> for SRD and WX1BOX team updates.
Two notable SKYWARN activations occurred this past month. On November 8, a rare November Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued for all of Southern New England. Amateur Radio SKYWARN Spotters reported tree and wire damage along with power outages. At the height of the severe weather, 25,000 people were without power in Massachusetts.
On November 23, heavy rainfall caused urban and poor drainage flooding. A rare November Tornado Warning was issued for parts of the Cape and Islands. Cape Cod ARES-SKYWARN was activated. Wind gusts of 35-65 MPH were reported along with pockets of wind damage, but no tornado occurred.
Rob Macedo, KD1CY, gave a live interview on FOX-25 TV Boston. It can be viewed at: <https://www.boston25news.com/news/rob-macedo-joins-boston-25-news-discuss-mondays-tornado-warning-cape-cod-marthas-vineyard/6758bf6d-a723-4c58-92b8-d3deef2121b2/>.
The Eastern Massachusetts ARES Simulated Emergency Test took place on November 14 from 1000 AM-1200 PM in coordination with a Red Cross national exercise. Digital messages were sent to the National Red Cross by Cape Cod ARES members. Over 100 stations checked in over various nets in Eastern MA. A complete report on the exercise will be posted on the Eastern Mass ARRL ARES page in the coming weeks.
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS NTS
November EMA NTS REPORT – Section Traffic Manager (STM), Marcia Forde KW1U
As many of you know, the New England ARES Academy was conducted during the month of October as part of our virtual HamXposition. Yours truly, along with K1UAF SM of NH and participant on MARIPN conducted the session on message handling.
All the programs were recorded and are available on YouTube under New England ARES Academy. There were 400 to 500 registered participants from all over, and thanks to our own K9HI, the organizer has agreed to send out radiograms to all those who were registered.
After consulting with several traffic handlers in the section there seemed to be a positive interest in an email group for Massachusetts traffic handlers. I have now set up a group on groups.io called MA-NTS, for the purpose of sharing information, asking questions and having discussions about topics of interest in regard to the National Traffic System, message handling and net operation. All MA message traffic handlers and anyone interested in learning more about it are invited to join us. Go to groups.io search for MA-NTS.
The nets are doing fantastically well with new check-ins, and with Peter KC1HHO’s training program a number of these are now handling message traffic. If any are interested in training and can make the Boston 145.23 repeater at 8 PM nightly, check in with Peter, or if not contact KW1U@arrl.net for more information.
Much more NTS news and detail on the various NTS nets along with the Public Service Honor (PSHR) roll listing for the month may be found at: <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/11/08/massachusetts-traffic-report-for-october-2020/>
FIRST REGION NET (1RN) REPORT (CW)
Eric, W1RVY, is manager of 1RN Cycle 4, the evening CW net. Eric reports the October net had 59 sessions that handled a total of 145 pieces of traffic and a total of 188 check-ins for the month.
FIRST REGION NET (FRN) REPORT (SSB)
Betsey, K1EIC, is manager of FRN, the daytime phone net. Betsey reports the October net had 62 sessions that handled a total of 148 pieces of traffic and a total of 242 check-ins for the month.
We are sad to report the passing of Gardner H Winchester, II, KA1BTK of Gloucester, MA. Gardi was active in the Cape Ann ARA (CAARA), ARES, SKYWARN, and other Amateur Radio pursuits.
We’re also sad to announce that Steve Gilbert, K1SG (formerly WA1AYS) passed away this month after a long illness. A long-time Newton and Hopkinton resident, Steve was passionate about six-meter DXing for many decades.
Division Website (NEW): <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>
Our last word this month is from Phil Temples, K9HI, New England Vice Director. Phil writes:
Lest you think that our losing secondary status on the 3.3-3.5 GHz band is no big deal since no one ever uses it–think again. The band holds considerable promise for higher data rates and wide area mesh networking for emergency communications. The ARRL recently petitioned the FCC for reconsideration for use of this band. Be sure to remind your friends and fellow club members who may have sworn off membership in the League over some past petty grievance that the ARRL is in there fighting to preserve our spectrum.
I want to share with you these thoughts from Rick Palm, K1CE (originally from Lexington, Massachusetts) who is editor of the monthly ARES E-letter. He wrote an op-ed piece entitled, “Use or Lose the SHF Bands; Increase Data Speed, Modes for Keeping Up with Needs of Served Partner Agencies”:
“The FCC’s decision to delete the amateur service from the 3.3 – 3.5 GHz allocation sent a chill down my spine. The message is clear: we must use our super high frequencies (SHF) or risk losing even more access. There is ever-increasing demand by our served partner agencies for higher speed data, digital voice and image transfer, the kinds of data rates that are made possible by the greater bandwidth afforded by our access to the SHF spectrum. There are many forward-thinking amateur groups around the country that are exemplary.
“The 5 cm amateur band was recently used for filing a wildfire report – on September 8, 2020, two hams in the Puget Sound region of Washington State were watching the live camera feed from the Mt. Baldy HamWAN site and spotted and reported a wildfire in the surrounding forest. The Ham Wide Area Network is a system of commercial microwave radios tuned to the 5.65-5.925 GHz amateur radio band. Data speeds between the link sites vary depending on the path, but speeds four orders of magnitude faster than 9600 baud packet is common. Video cameras with PTZ control have been added to many of the link sites.
“The use of HamWAN as a backup emergency communications system throughout the Interstate-5 corridor in Washington is growing. The Washington Emergency Management Division EOC, the Washington State Department of Transportation Southwest Region EOC, two county and four city EOCs, three hospitals, and one Red Cross office already have permanent connections (so far). The Northwest Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) Mesh Steering Committee (Lucas County ARES) conducted a drill focused on setting up individually-owned AREDN Mesh gear, troubleshooting and operating the ancillary gear (phones, cameras, laptops, self-contained power boxes) on an individual basis.
“Numerous law enforcement officers from Wood County as well as from Lucas and Monroe counties in Michigan were enthusiastic about the Mesh Networking capabilities.
“In Colorado, the Boulder ATV club installed its new 5.9 GHz, FM-TV beacon transmitter on a government building for the purposes of encouraging microwave experimentation; to get hams to try ATV, especially with the really low cost FM-TV gear now available for drones; to be used as a known signal source for testing antennas and receivers; and to increase usage of our microwave bands, to help prevent their being taken away from us. Use it or lose it. Add microwave apps to your ARES toolkits. There is a wealth of information from ARRL to get you started. A quick click on any search engine will lend more.”
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