Eastern Massachusetts ARES Monthly Net Change

The Eastern Massachusetts ARES Monthly Net has been changed. Starting on Monday January 3rd, 2005, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES Net will be on the first Monday of every month at 8:30 PM on the MMRA Linked Repeater System (http://www.mmra.org). This immediately follows the rolling RACES Nets that occur in Massachusetts across various RACES repeaters on the first Monday every month. If a holiday falls on a Monday, the net will be moved to the second Monday of the month just like the RACES Nets are handled for Monday holidays.The ARES Monthly Net has not been held over the last several months. Over the course of 2005, we plan to reinvigorate the monthly nets and we’d like your help in making that happen. We’d like to hear from you on what you’d like to hear on the nets to entice you to take time out of your busy schedules to join us on the net monthly. We will certainly be providing announcements on ARES training, SKYWARN Training, drills, and upcoming public service events but we’d like to hear from, you, our ARES membership on what additional things we can do during the net. Perhaps a discussion topic each month where everyone can make comments or perhaps message handling practice each month or on certain months of the net.

We’ll also be looking for Net Controls. Running net control is a skill that comes with experience. Even though a monthly net is fairly routine in nature, it allows for the ARES membership to practice some basic skills on net operations which will be useful in the event of an ARES activation.

If you have suggestions on topics or if you’re interested in running the ARES Net. Please contact the following people:

W1MPN-Mike Neilsen at w1mpn@ema.arrl.org
K1BTH-Blake Haskell at k1bth@arrl.net
KD1CY-Rob Macedo at kd1cy@ema.arrl.org

We look forward to hearing you on our first ARES Net in 2005 on the MMRA repeater system on Monday January 3rd at 8:30 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Southeast Massachusetts ARES District Emergency Coordinator
SEMARA ARES Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://users.rcn.com/rmacedo
1

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ARES Web Site Activity and Best Holiday Wishes and Thanks for Your Support

Over the past few weeks, the ARES web site has been relatively quiet as our staff prepares for the holiday season as many of our members are doing as well. Also, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff has been hard at work on a “Calendar of Events and Training” for 2005 as well. As holiday preparations wind down, we will have several topics that will be covered here on the web-site.

We had an excellent ARES Drill in late October and a report on that will follow in the next few weeks. We also had an excellent SKYWARN Recognition Day where Eastern Massachusetts was well represented with active stations at the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts and with the Boston Amateur Radio Club Station setup at the Blue Hill Observatory. An update complete with pictures will be posted in the coming weeks as well.

2004 was an extremely successful year for Eastern Massachusetts ARES. In addition to flawless support and execution for SKYWARN Activations, ARES drills and Emergency Communications Workshops, the biggest ARES mobilization in recent years was completed for the Democratic National Convention. While no incidents occurred during the DNC, the fact that Eastern Massachusetts ARES could mobilize and support a sustained 4-day event for 16 hours per day is a testament as to how far the organization has grown. While there is much work to be done and we have yet to be tested in a true disaster-type situation, the growth over the past several years has been self-evident and the ARES staff truly appreciates the tremendous support from ARES members in the section. It is hoped that we will also have a report on the DNC in the coming weeks as well.

Despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, our staff is monitoring for any threats, weather or otherwise, that could cause an ARES mobilization and this web-site along with the various email lists that are maintained are ways for the membership to stay in touch. On behalf of the entire Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season. This is a wonderful time for friends and family to get together. Don’t hesitate to contact the ARES leaadership if you have any questions or concerns.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Deputy Section Emergency Coordinator
Pager #: (508) 354-3142
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com
http://users.rcn.com/rmacedo 1

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MMRA Interference NEW!

The MMRA has been encountering unintentional interference in the 2M HAM band (and adjacent services). We would appreciate wide dissemination of the forwarded message in case somebody out there can help us identify this noise source and/or so that other people can check in their local areas to see if they are encountering this as well. The MMRA believes that it has encountered at least 5 sources of this signal at this point and that there are probably others. We also believe that we have detected this noise interfering with other repeaters which are not operated by the MMRA.

More information can be obtained at: Interference

Some of the audio/video files are known to not work with quicktime but do work with windows media player.

73,

K1KWP

—–Original Message—–
From: Bob DeMattia, K1IW
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 12:51 AM
To: Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Cc: Ed Hare, W1RFI; Gruber, Mike W1MG; Chuck Skolaut; k1ki@arrl.org
Subject: Interference at MMRA 146.61 Repeater Site

Hello Mike,

I’ve been speaking with some of the guys at the league concerning the interference problem we’ve been having on 146.61. Today, Mike indicated that I should make you aware of what’s happening.

The MMRA repeater in Marlborough has been receiving interference for approximately eight months now. It disappears for a few days or even a week at a time then comes back. It is strong enough to affect the intelligibility of all but the strongest signals.

The interference is not limited to our machine. One member has heard a similar pattern on the 146.97 repeater in Paxton, though it does not appear to be as often or as strong as the problem we have.

In scanning the band, we’ve also located several other similar-sounding signal sources at 143 MHz and 152 MHz, at multiple locations in Marlborough and Northborough.

More information is available at Interference

Hopefully, with the help of the league and others, we will be able to get this resolved.

73,
Bob – K1IW

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Expanded Weather Radio Network

Contributed by KA8SCP:

Weather Radio to Handle Terror Alerts
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP)–Emergency alerts for everything from tornadoes to missing children and terror warnings will get out to the public through an expanded weather radio network, the government announced Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s network already makes emergency weather warnings available to 97 percent of the country and has added alerts for missing children and other hazards in recent years.

The addition of the Homeland Security Department to the system will allow terror alerts and warnings to be distributed automatically through the same way.“This agreement is an example of interagency cooperation that … can be applied to protect the homeland from both man-made and natural disasters,” said Frank Libutti, undersecretary for information analysis and infrastructure protection at Homeland Security.

Added NOAA Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher: “Today, radios, televisions and other devices are equipped to sound the alarm when danger threatens. Warnings and alerts can also be sent to cell phones, pagers and computers, ensuring that these vital messages can reach every corner of America.”

Special radios that automatically turn on and sound an alarm when it is received are popular in areas subject to tornado, hurricane and other weather threats. The devices are in use in many public places, stores.

Lautenbacher noted that the system encodes messages to a specific area where a threat occurs.

NOAA also cooperates with the Emergency Alert System, operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which sends alerts to local radio and television stations and cable systems.

Beginning more than three decades ago with weather warnings over special radios, the NOAA system has become an all-hazards network. It covers natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanoes; serious accidents, such as chemical releases; nuclear power plant emergencies; train derailments; maritime concerns; and 911 outages.

___

On the Net:

NOAA Weather Radio: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr

All-Hazards Emergency Messages: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/allhazard.htm

AP-NY-06-17-04 1907EDT

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ARES/NTS Cooperative Meeting 4/24

[From the EMa ARRL Website, K9HI Webmaster]

New EMA ARES ARRL members active in the ARES and NTS programs in Eastern Massachusetts met Saturday, April 24 in Bridgewater to achieve greater cooperation between their respective programs. Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI called for the workshop in light of recent reports and recommendations by the League’s Volunteer Resources Committee, and the ad-hoc ARES Committee.

KD1CY at ARES-NTS Meeting “It was a great day where much was accomplished,” concluded Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. Macedo coordinated and chaired the workshop.

“I’m very pleased with the progress we made this past weekend,” commented K9HI. “Folks from the NTS voice nets, digital nets and ARES leadership sat down and discussed their mutual needs and problems. There was no animosity between the different camps. I want to especially thank Carl, N1FY and members of the Massasoit Amateur Radio Association for hosting the meeting at the Bridgewater EOC,” Temples added.

Minutes from the ARES-NTS Seminar have been posted on the EMA ARES web site, [please press ARES-NTS button to the left]. Photos are also posted at this site under “Photo Gallery”. Additionally, K9HI has created a mailing list called “ares-nts-coop” to provide for follow up discussion to the points of interest.

[KD1CY Photo courtesy of K9HI]

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Winter Exercise Invitation

New EMA ARES On behalf of all the Eastern Massachusetts (EMa) DEC’s and EC’s, I would like to extend a cordial invitation to play in our annual Winter Communications Exercise, scheduled for Saturday February 21st. As most of you know, we are entering our “Nor’easter” season, so it is our annual opportunity to formally evaluate our winter emergency communication skills and readiness. This message will be the first in a series of messages about the exercise.

The goal of the exercise is to respond effectively to a storm driven massive power outage affecting the entire section. Among various objectives that will be emphasized include local response with an inter-district communication element. Please contact your DEC to coordinate your efforts on this year’s exercise.

The ARES Leadership is reminded to keep a detailed roster and/or logs of those stations participating in the exercise.

s/Michael P. Neilsen
Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN
Section Emergency Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts Section

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ARECC Exams Offered

ARECC Logo From: Telsey, Steven
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 12:26 PM

Subject: ARECC Exams Offered

The Eastern Massachusetts Section ARES is sponsoring an ARECC exam session:

Date: Saturday, February 28, 10:00am

Location: State Emergency Operations Center (MEMA HQ)
400 Worcester Road(Route 9 eastbound), Framingham, MA 01702-5399
(508)-820-1428

Directions: See
http://www.mass.gov/agency/documents/mema/MEMA_Headquarters_Directions.doc.

Note: This is a secure facility. Pre-registration by Monday, February 23 is required. Please contact Mike Neilsen at w1mpn@ema.arrl.org. You must bring a photo ID to be admitted.

Exams Offered: Exams for Levels I-III will be offered.

Exam Format: Multiple choice. Open-book, but no collaboration
permitted.

Cost: The cost is $10.00 per exam, $30.00 to take all three levels. You may retake a level once if necessary without additional cost if you do not pass with 80% or better. 73,

Exam Coordinator: Steve Telsey, N1BDA
40 Pine St.
Concord, MA 01742
978-369-7366 Evenings
n1bda@arrl.net

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2004 Training Cycle Dates

EMa ARES Logo Hello to all…from W1MPN, SEC

Training Cycle Dates for all districts are as follows*:

EMa Winter Communication Exercise, everyone, 2/21
ARECC Exam, MEMA Hdqtrs 2/28 (Reservation req’d)
EMa Workshop; Hingham, 4/3
Standby mobilization for Boston Marathon, 4/19
Hurricane communications exercise, for everyone, TBA 6/2?
Assist Democratic Convention? (July)
HamFest (“Boxboro”) ARES booth and presentations, weekend 8/14
EMa “Advanced” Workshop and CEMARC BBQ; SEMARA Club, 8/28
EMa Workshop; Ipswitch, late Oct
EMa annual SET for everyone, early Nov

* – CCARES may exercise more frequently. Please contact DEC for details

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Important News Item from ARRL

ARRL Flag ZCZC AG03
QST de W1AW
ARRL Bulletin 3 ARLB003
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT January 20, 2004
To all radio amateurs

SB QST ARL ARLB003
ARLB003 ARRL to Propose New Entry-Level License, Code-Free HF Access

The ARRL will ask the FCC to create a new entry-level Amateur Radio
license that would include HF phone privileges without requiring a
Morse code test. The League also will propose consolidating all
current licensees into three classes, retaining the Element 1 Morse
requirement–now 5 WPM-only for the highest class. The ARRL Board of
Directors overwhelmingly approved the plan January 16 during its
Annual Meeting in Windsor, Connecticut. The proposals–developed by
the ARRL Executive Committee following a Board instruction last
July–are in response to changes made in Article 25 of the
international Radio Regulations at World Radiocommunication
Conference 2003 (WRC-03).

[Please press ARRL FAQ’s to learn more about this proposal – W1MPN]They would continue a process of
streamlining the amateur licensing structure that the FCC began more
than five years ago but left unfinished in the Amateur Service
license restructuring Report and Order (WT 98-143) that went into
effect April 15, 2000.

”Change in the Amateur Radio Service in the US, especially license
requirements and even more so when Morse is involved, has always
been emotional,” said ARRL First Vice President Joel Harrison, W5ZN,
in presenting the Executive Committee’s recommendations. ”In fact,
without a doubt, Morse is Amateur Radio’s ‘religious debate.”’

The entry-level license class–being called ”Novice” for now–would
require a 25-question written exam. It would offer limited HF
CW/data and phone/image privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters as
well as VHF and UHF privileges on 6 and 2 meters and on 222-225 and
430-450 MHz. Power output would be restricted to 100 W on 80, 40,
and 15 meters and to 50 W on 10 meters and up.

”The Board sought to achieve balance in giving new Novice licensees
the opportunity to sample a wider range of Amateur Radio activity
than is available to current Technicians while retaining a
motivation to upgrade,” said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. Under the
ARRL plan, current Novice licensees–now the smallest and least
active group of radio amateurs–would be grandfathered to the new
entry-level class without further testing.

The middle group of licensees–Technician, Tech Plus (Technician
with Element 1 credit) and General–would be merged into a new
General license that also would not require a Morse examination.
Current Technician and Tech Plus license holders automatically would
gain current General class privileges without additional testing.
The current Element 3 General examination would remain in place for
new applicants.

The Board indicated that it saw no compelling reason to change the
Amateur Extra class license requirements. The ARRL plan calls on the
FCC to combine the current Advanced and Amateur Extra class
licensees into Amateur Extra, because the technical level of the
exams passed by these licensees is very similar. New applicants for
Extra would have to pass a 5 WPM Morse code examination, but the
written exam would stay the same. Sumner said the Board felt that
the highest level of accomplishment should include basic Morse
capability. Current Novice, Tech Plus and General licensees would
receive lifetime 5 WPM Morse credit.

”This structure provides a true entry-level license with HF
privileges to promote growth in the Amateur Service,” Harrison said.

Among other advantages, Sumner said the plan would allow new Novices
to participate in HF SSB emergency nets on 75 and 40 meters as well
as on the top 100 kHz of 15 meters. The new license also could get
another name, Sumner said. ”We’re trying to recapture the magic of
the old Novice license, but in a manner that’s appropriate for the
21st century.”

The overall proposed ARRL license restructuring plan would more
smoothly integrate HF spectrum privileges across the three license
classes and would incorporate the ”Novice refarming” plan the League
put forth nearly two years ago in a Petition for Rule Making
(RM-10413). The FCC has not yet acted on the ARRL plan, which would
alter current HF subbands.

The ARRL license restructuring design calls for no changes in
privileges for Extra and General class licensees on 160, 60, 30, 20,
17 or 12 meters. Novice licensees would have no access to those
bands.

See ”ARRL to Propose New Entry-Level License, Code-Free HF Access”
on the ARRL Web site, www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/01/19/1/, for
the specific subband allocations ARRL is proposing for each class.
NNNN
/EX

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Eastern Massachusetts Web Site Outage

Construction logoThe Eastern Massachusetts ARRL web site, including ema.arrl.org, ares.ema.arrl.org and nts.ema.arrl.org, were off the ‘net from approximately 4:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. today (Sunday, December 7). The hosting site lost its T1 line and connectivity to the interenet. It is currently operating on generator/solar power. I apologize for any inconvenience this outage may have caused.

73,

Phil Temples, K9HI
ARRL Section Manager,
Eastern Massachusetts

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Holiday Greetings…

Holiday Greetings to all….

Please accept my wishes for a joyous holiday for you and your family. Safe travels as well.

All repeaters have been restored to normal operations, and most of my staff and I will be in the area in case of any difficulties.

73,

s/Michael P. Neilsen
Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN, EMa SEC
978.562.5662 Voice
978.389.0558 FAX/Secondary Voice
http://ares.ema.arrl.org
w1mpn@ema.ares.org

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New MA RACES Plan Available

RACES logoTom Kinahan, N1CPE wrote:

We’ve spent some time updating procedures for the Massachusetts RACES program, including defining the Massachusetts Emergency Frequency Plan or MEFP, updating net operation activities requiring the usage of and defining the terms “Over”, “Out” and “Break” in the course of a controlled net to indicate what the NCS requests, a list of available VHF Simplex frequencies to pass traffic or other coordination, updated contact information on RACES, ARES, SKYWARN and MARS leadership, updated sample RACES appointment forms and updated club contact information courtesy of the ARRL.

Please download a copy and keep it with your station records.
This document is dated July 1, 2003 and approved by myself, Steve Finks W1SBF the State Communications Officer, and Stephen McGrail the Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Accept no substitutes or previous versions at this time.

Get your copy at:

http://www.qsl.net/n1cpe/racesplan.pdf

or

http://n1cpe.dnsalias.net:81/racesplan.pdf

Please forward this message as needed for the widest distribution among Amateur Radio Operators in Massachusetts.

Thank you,

Tom Kinahan N1CPE
Massachusetts State RACES Radio Officer

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What's New!

New EMA ARES Check here regularly for a summary description of new activity since you visited last!

Our new logo was designed by our PIC, Jim, N1IV.

– Workshop at the SEMARA Club in New Bedford on 8/9 announcement below
– Link (in upper left column) to Joint ARES/RACES statement concerning the Massachusetts Emergency Frequency Protocol
– Link to this year’s very robust FD site, now with wrap up articles, and picture links (see article below or press Field Day link to the left)For a list of longer term projects and goals, please press the button to the upper left “Future Additions”.

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ARES Leadership Staff Visits FD Sites

Eastern Mass SEC and DEC’s completed a tour of Field Day sites during this past weekend. Additionally, SEC, W1MPN, showed club members the Amateur Radio Day Proclamation signed by Governor Mitt Romney.

Photos now available on the Section Website at N1BDA car href=http://ema.arrl.org/mod/gallery />http://ema.arrl.org/mod/gallery! And, while you’re there, please view the field day site page for some wrap up maps and statistics!

N1BDA arriving at PART Field Day site after touring. Click on photo to enlarge.
(photo courtesy W1MPN)

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Website Update

***** Update on EMa ARES website *****

I’m pleased to report that our website is back on line as of sometime yesterday afternoon. I have worked on it since then and it working properly.Apparently, our site suffered a brutal attack as part of a larger denial of service scheme, which is all too prevalent in today’s environment. Our website host, Phil Temples, worked very hard on the problem yesterday to excise the demons from the server.

He is advising, however, that more permanent fixes need to be affected to the system which may require some periodic downtime in the next week or so. Please remain patient while he completes this hardening process. In the meantime, if you encounter an outage, please return a little later. If you need anything quickly, contact me by return email and I will accommodate you. I have copies of most pages ready to go.

This note applies to our section site ema.arrl.org and the nts.ema.arrl.org as well.

I apologize for any inconveniences. 73,

Michael P. Neilsen, W1MPN, EMa SEC
978.562.5662 Voice
978.389.0558 FAX/Secondary Voice
http://ares.ema.arrl.org

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