September 2020: EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS (EMA) SECTION NEWS
Welcome to the Eastern Massachusetts ARRL section newsletter
September 30, 2020
To see all the monthly news, which is updated regularly, visit <https://ema.arrl.org/>
PHIL TEMPLES, K9HI, APPOINTED AS NEW ENGLAND DIVISION VICE DIRECTOR
Welcome and congratulations to Phil Temples, K9HI, our newly appointed ARRL New England Division Vice Director.
If you have not seen the original ARRL announcement look at <http://www.arrl.org/news/phil-temples-k9hi-appointed-as-new-england-division-vice-director>.
I understand the NTS networks have been quite busy handling congratulatory traffic to/from Phil.
NEW ENGLAND NOW HAS A NEW DIVISION WEB SITE
As Phil mentioned in the September 24 ARRL Vice Director announcement, “One task I’m especially eager to tackle is launching a New England Division website.”
Well, that didn’t take Phil long; take a look at https://nediv.arrl.org/
This is the next in a series aimed at improving awareness of the ARRL as a member organization; the benefits members can access; and what ARRL does every day to strengthen Amateur Radio.
Among the many standing and ad hoc committees created by the League’s Board of Directors, there are two important committees represented by prominent New England amateurs—the DX Advisory Committee and the Contest Advisory Committee. The Programs and Services Committee may send an assignment to either the DX or Contest Advisory Committees for their study and recommendation. The Committees may also take on a study on their own. Keep in mind that the DX and Contest Committees are “advisory” in nature—they only advise the Board; it is the Board and its actions that makes or changes rules.
Bob Beaudet, W1YRC, Cumberland, RI, who is, coincidentally the Rhode Island Section Manager, represents our division on the DX Advisory Committee. The Committee has, or is in the process of dealing with numerous issues, such as: redefining the DXCC entities list and/or Honor Roll to acknowledge the long-term unavailability of some entities which keep newer amateurs from the number one spot; FT-8 endorsement for DXCC; and a policy on paying for QSLs.
Dennis Egan, W1UE, Marlboro, MA, represents New England and also chairs the Contest Advisory Committee. The many issues the committee has been (or is) dealing with include: how to apportion percentages of a multi-operator station’s score to more than one eligible affiliated club; whether to add a new HF plus 6-meter digital contest event; and, waiving the band change rule when a multi station is working a new multiplier.
Both Bob and Dennis welcome your questions or feedback on any DXCC- or contest-related issue.
If there is something you’d like to see covered in this series about “Understanding ARRL” send me an email to <email@example.com>.
DMV IS NOT PROCESSING HAM OPERATOR PLATES
For almost a year now, the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles has been unable to process new “Ham Operator” special plate applications. According to one Western Massachusetts amateur who spoke to a DMV employee, “[…] the person I talked to informed me that this issue has been referred to the software company/vendor. No estimate has been placed on a resolution. She refused to tell me how many applications are being held up. I asked if there was anyone I could refer this to, she declined and said there was no one to escalate it to.”
At the request of Western MA Section Manager Ray Lajoie, KB1LRL, MA State Government Liaison Hank McCarl, W4RIG, contacted MA State Senator Bruce Tarr’s office to inquire. A legislative spokesperson from that office informed Hank that all special series and vanity plates that have specific letter-number requests are currently impacted. However, plates for which numbers are sequentially assigned; e.g., 0001 through 9999, are being processed.
How many other amateurs in Massachusetts have been affected by this snafu at the DMV? Please write and let us know at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
HAMXPOSITION/NEW ENGLAND ARES ACADEMY SCHEDULE
The first-ever New England Division ARES Academy, scheduled for the Division Convention in November, will instead be held over a period of several weeks in October via Zoom. There are five Basic Track classes for those just getting started, and more advanced classes and workshops for those who already have the basics. One-hour classes will be held on weeknights from 7:30 to 8:30, and two-hour workshop sessions will be held Saturday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00.
A big benefit of the on-line schedule is the opportunity to take every single class and workshop instead of having to pick and choose. Weeknight class participants will be able to ask questions and interact with the instructor via chat. The two-hour Saturday workshops are designed to be even more interactive. Academy Instructors are all recognized experts in their subject area.
The NE-ARES Academy is an outgrowth of the successful NH-ARES Academy program that ran at the NH State Fire Academy for eight years. The program’s goal is to offer both basic and advanced skills training based in ARRL ARES training standards.
We plan to continue this program at the Convention once the pandemic is over, in hopes that building a standardized base of training across New England will enhance our ability to provide better local emergency communications, and an effective ARESMAT (ARES Mutual Assistance Team) response across the region, and beyond.
[For a complete schedule, visit <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/09/18/hamxposition-new-england-ares-academy-preliminary-schedule/>.]
— Dave Colter, WA1ZCN
NASHUA AREA RADIO SOCIETY’S “HAM BOOTCAMP” AT NORTHEAST HAMXPOSITION, NOVEMBER 7, 2020
As a part of the Northeast HamXposition’s virtual activities (Saturday evening banquet and New England ARES Academy), the Nashua Area Radio Society is offering “Ham Bootcamp” online this year.
From the Nashua Area Radio Society website:
Ham Bootcamp includes a series of demonstrations and tutorials designed to help newly licensed Technician, General, and Extra class license holders get on the air and use their amateur radio license. It is also a great opportunity for prospective hams who are interested in seeing what the hobby has to offer.
Our Bootcamp activities are provided online via a series of sessions geared towards Technicians and prospective Hams and General class licenses and higher Hams. Bootcamp participants will find all of this material interesting and fun no matter what their focus or license level.
We are continuing to provide our Bootcamp program during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are providing Ham Bootcamp in an online format using Zoom. Our online Ham Bootcamp program is available to all licensed and prospective Hams in North America. Please contact us to sign up for our next online Ham Bootcamp via email to email@example.com.
Repeaters and VHF/UHF Session Activities
- Putting together a Station for Repeaters – How to pick an HT or Mobile Radio and an Antenna
- Radio Programming Tutorial
- Getting started with EchoLink
- Making Contacts and Joining a Repeater Net
- Getting Started with Amateur Radio Satellites
- Getting started with Fox Hunting
HF Session Activities
- Putting together an HF Station for SSB, CW, and Digital
- Picking and putting up an HF Antenna, Feedline, and Ground
- Operating on the HF bands using SSB Voice
- Software and setup for Logging Contacts via your computer
- Getting started with WSJT-X and FT8 Digital
- Finding DX and QSLing – Getting them in the log and confirmed
For more information, visit https://www.n1fd.org/2019/09/01/ham-bootcamp/.
BILL BURDEN, WB1BRE, SILENT KEY
Past New England Division Director Bill Burden, WB1BRE, of Strafford, Vermont, died on July 29. An ARRL Life Member, he was 84. Burden served as ARRL New England Division Director from 1992 to 1996. Prior to that, he was New England Division Vice Director (1991 – 1992) and New Hampshire Section Manager (1985 – 1991). He served as the emergency management director for the Town of Strafford. A graduate of Lowell Tech with a degree in electrical engineering, Burden worked for Lockheed-Sanders, retiring in 1991. -ARRL Letter, September 17, 2020
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 September 2020:
- CW Contesting–Announcing the New Slow Way to Go! <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/09/03/cw-contesting-announcing-the-new-slow-way-to-go/>
- Whitman ARC Technician Class Online, Starting September 15, 2020 <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/09/11/whitman-arc-technician-class-online-starting-september-15-2020/>
- NEAR-Fest and the Road Ahead <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/09/15/near-fest-and-the-road-ahead/>
- Wellesley ARS “Parks On The Air” (POTA) Activation, K-2427, September 26, 2020 <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/09/27/wellesley-ars-park-on-the-air-activation-k-2427-september-26-2020/>
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS ARES
Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC), Rob Macedo, KD1CY
We are pleased to announce that we have released an Eastern Mass ARES Section Plan. This plan can be found at: https://ema.arrl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Eastern-Massachusetts-ARRL-ARES-Section-Communications-Plan-Released-Version-1.0.pdf. This plan is a framework on how ARES operates section wide.
Eastern Mass ARES would like to remind folks that the Eastern Mass ARES Net will meet at 8:30 PM on Monday, October 5. We will likely be requesting information that can be sent into MARS for their three-week-long October exercise. Further instructions will be posted on the Eastern Mass ARES web site. Our Eastern Massachusetts ARES SET will be held on Saturday, November 14 in coordination with a national Red Cross drill to be held on that day.
On Wednesday, September 30, over 65,000 were without power in Massachusetts as wind gusts as high as 70 MPH on Blue Hill in Milton Mass affected the section. Dozens of reports of tree and power line damage have been received by the WX1BOX Amateur Radio team running in a SKYWARN Self-Activation mode. Several damage photos from Amateur Radio SKYWARN spotters and ARES members have been featured on social media by Boston area media outlets.
EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS NTS
Section Traffic Manager (STM), Marcia KW1U
The August section traffic manager report may be viewed at https://ema.arrl.org/2020/09/25/massachusetts-traffic-report-for-august-2020/. This report lists all the PSHR and BPL recognitions for the month and details the very extensive level of NTS activity across the state.
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/>.
If you’d like to join any of the area traffic nets, check the schedules at: <https://ema.arrl.org/national-traffic-system/net-schedule/>
FIRST REGION NET (1RN) REPORT (CW)
Eric, W1RVY, is manager of 1RN Cycle 4, the evening CW net. Eric reports the August net had 60 sessions that handled a total of 111 pieces of traffic and a total of 207 check-ins for the month.
FIRST REGION NET (FRN) REPORT (SSB)
Betsey, K1EIC, manager of FRN, the daytime phone net reports the August net had 61 sessions that handled a total of 117 pieces of traffic and a total of 262 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>
New England ARRL Division Web Site (New) <https://nediv.arrl.org/>
COVID has kept many amateurs isolated and cooped up for many months—save for the occasional on-air or Zoom radio club meeting. But several clubs and groups have been taking advantage of the beautiful Indian Summer weather and conducting outdoor activities (with the appropriate social distancing, of course).
The Wellesley Amateur Radio Society activated two parks in Parks On The Air operations: Callahan State Park in Framingham (K-2424) and Cochituate State Park in Natick (K-2427). You can read about the club’s Cochituate Stat Park event at <https://ema.arrl.org/2020/09/27/wellesley-ars-park-on-the-air-activation-k-2427-september-26-2020/>.
The Northeast MA Foxhunters group has been active throughout the summer months, hiding various “fox boxes” on public lands in the towns of Westford, Chelmsford, and Littleton. It’s not only a socially-distanced, “asynchronous” activity but it’s also great fun. For more information, visit their listserv at <https://groups.io/g/NEMassFoxHunters>.
Nantucket Amateur Radio Association members participated the 2020 International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend event at historic Sankaty Lighthouse.
“Using two HF radios and antennas strung from the lighthouse railing, we logged twenty-nine contacts, eight in various European countries and a number at other lighthouses,” according to NARA President Bob Lang, W2BTA. “The day was a great success, bringing lighthouse visitors and amateur radio enthusiasts together in the spirit of commemoration, all while carefully maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions.” See: <https://ema.arrl.org/nara>.
What outdoor activities is your group or club planning to hold before Old Man Winter arrives?
— Phil, K9HI
This 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