Pre-SET Simplex Drill

Pre-SET_Simplex_Drill

To get ready for this year’s Simulated Emergency Test (SET), which takes place Saturday, October 24th, we will be doing some on-air drills to focus on different communications skills.

These include passing radiogram messages and other forms of traffic via FM Simplex, FLDigi, and Winlink.

This week we’ll focus on passing radiograms via FM Simplex, similar to what we did on a few occasions during our Self-Quarantine Simplex Drills in the spring, but with a key difference. I’ll dispatch a few messages to participants during the net, instruct them to be relayed to others that I don’t have direct communications with, and afterwards we’ll check for accuracy.

The drill begins at 7PM Thursday evening on 146.580 FM Simplex.

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

SKYWARN Self-Activation Coordination Message 08/04/20

TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS UPDATE

Isaias is expected to track quickly through western New England early tonight. The majority of storm impacts will be felt in roughly a 6 hour period this evening.

Southerly winds are expected to increase in the early evening and gust to 40 to 60 mph at times as Isaias tracks near the Connecticut River Valley. This may be capable of downing some trees and power lines. In addition, there will be a threat for isolated tornadoes on the eastern side of Isaias. Winds will begin to diminish early Wednesday morning.

Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected, mainly in the Connecticut River Valley and White Mountains. This may lead to flash flooding in complex terrain or poor drainage areas, in addition to minor river flooding. Parts of the forecast area near the coast may see less than 1 inch of rainfall.

In general, the coastal flooding threat is low based on the forecast forward speed of Isaias, with any inundation likely less than a foot. Some splashover is expected tonight however. Rough surf and an increased risk for dangerous rip currents will be possible both ahead of Isaias this afternoon and behind it on Wednesday.

NEW INFORMATION

* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– None

* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Central Somerset,
Interior Waldo, Kennebec, and Southern Somerset
– A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Androscoggin,
Belknap, Central Interior Cumberland, Cheshire, Coastal
Cumberland, Coastal Rockingham, Coastal Waldo, Coastal York,
Eastern Hillsborough, Interior Cumberland Highlands, Interior
Rockingham, Interior York, Knox, Lincoln, Merrimack, Northern
Carroll, Northern Coos, Northern Franklin, Northern Grafton,
Northern Oxford, Sagadahoc, Southern Carroll, Southern Coos,
Southern Franklin, Southern Grafton, Southern Oxford,
Strafford, Sullivan, and Western And Central Hillsborough
– A Tornado Watch is in effect for Cheshire, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford, and Sullivan

* STORM INFORMATION:
– About 440 miles southwest of Portland ME or about 390 miles
southwest of Portsmouth NH
– 39.1N 76.1W
– Storm Intensity 70 mph
– Movement North-northeast or 20 degrees at 35 mph

SKYWARN Self-Activation will monitor Isaias for local impacts Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. The rough time frame of worst conditions will be late Tuesday afternoon, into the early overnight hours of Wednesday, but some deteriorating conditions could start earlier, with lingering conditions lasting till around daybreak Wednesday morning depending on track, speed and intensity.

Weather spotters are encouraged to report significant weather conditions according to Standard Operating Procedures. Please activate local nets as necessary. Nets are expected to commence on the KQ1L link system and 147.090 repeater in Maine, beginning around 4:00 PM Tuesday afternoon, or as the storm dictates.

Reports may be emailed at any time to: gyx.skywarn@noaa.gov

Be alert and stay safe.

73′

Tim Watson
KB1HNZ

Meeting Announcement – This Thursday!

Meeting_Reminder

MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
7:00 – 9:00pm at Wassamki Springs Campground
56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME

Please join us this Thursday at 7:00 PM at Wassamki Springs Campground, in Scarborough, for an informal in-person meeting!

We will be meeting outside near the Ham Shack (which is located at the former camp store). Please bring a lawn chair, and follow social distancing protocol. Out of respect of the owners and their customers, we also ask that everyone wear a face covering.

The Ham Shack will be open, but because of its small space, there will only be two people allowed inside at a time. We plan on setting up an HF radio, so meeting attendees can take turns operating with the Special Event call sign, W1V!

Since we are meeting outside, and the weather forecast is calling for showers Thursday evening, if anyone has an EZ-up that they bring along, that would be appreciated!

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

W1V Special Event Update

W1V_Web_Banner

One week down – One to go!

The WSSM 10th Anniversary Special Event continues through July 25!

The W1V Special Event is off to a flying start! In the first week of activities, we’ve had 12 different operators activating as many as 16 different band slots per day! So far, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday have been the busiest.

Special thanks to the following operators for putting W1V on the air:

Eric Emery, N1RXR
Mike Fandell, N5QYQ
Rick Fickett, K1OT
Susan Bloomfield, WB2UQP
Stefania Watson, K1GJY
Charlie Shepard, W1CPS
Jason Andrews, W1SFS
Brad Brown, KC1JMH
Ronald Dahle, K4FET
Rory McEwen, KB1PLY
Roger Pushor, NK1I

We’ve been active on multiple different bands and modes, including Phone, CW, FT8, PSK31, and even D-STAR. And, this past Saturday, a few club members ventured up to the summit of Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, to activate it for Summits on the Air (SOTA), where they made over 70 contacts!

If you’re a chaser, be sure to look for W1V on the spotting networks, including DXSummit.fi. Operators are encouraged to spot themselves to help chasers find them.

Stefania, K1GJY reported last night that many stations that she contacted said it was either their second or third band, so they’re definitely looking for us.

Conditions on some of the upper bands haven’t been great, but keep trying. 6 and 10 meters, especially, can be enhanced by Sporatic E openings, which come and go pretty quick.

Keep up the good work, and thanks for helping us celebrate our 10th Anniversary!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

If you’re interested in operating W1V during the event, please click here to request access to the operator signup sheet.

W1V Special Event Update

W1V_Web_Banner

On-Air Activities begin at 0000 UTC, July 12th (Saturday night at 8PM)!

Thanks to the everyone who checked-in to our kick-off / coordination net last evening. Some good topics came up, including questions about a script to use, QSL information, logging, and how chasers and operators can earn a certificate.

We’ve created a simple fillable PDF for certificate requests, which is available here.

Tips for operators:

Since this isn’t a contest, it’s okay to self-spot! We suggest spotting on DX Summit to help chasers find you.

Feel free to use social media to post your operating frequencies and modes, and to tell a story about your operating conditions, etc. If you tag us, we’ll be sure to share your posts.

Please use electronic logging, and send your logs, in ADIF format to: kb1hnz@yahoo.com when complete. This is so we can upload to LoTW, eQSL, Clublog, etc.

Operations are not limited to HF. You can get on 6 meters, VHF/UHF, DMR, and D-STAR as well.

Although we don’t suggest any specific frequencies, try to stay around the lower end of the General portion of the bands, when on HF.

We suggest the following for a script:

“This is Special Event station W1V, celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine. For information about obtaining a certificate or QSL, please visit www.ws1sm.com

Most importantly, Have fun!

To help encourage participants to activate as many bands and modes as possible, we’re offering certificates to operators as well as chasers. More information can be can be found on the event website.

If you’re interested in operating W1V during the event, please click here to request access to the operator signup sheet.

WSSM 10th Anniversary Special Event

W1V_Certificate_2020_Text_700

We’re celebrating our 10th Anniversary with Special Event operations using the call sign W1V, between July 12 – July 25!

During the two weeks, club members will take turns activating the call sign and we are offering a special certificate with the following endorsements for contacts:

Certificates will be available to anyone who works our station, in three achievement levels:

GOLD – For anyone who contacts W1V on 10 or more different bands / modes
SILVER – For anyone who contacts W1V on 5 to 9 different bands / modes
BRONZE – For anyone who contacts W1V on 1 to 4 different bands / modes

We will also be offering certificates for operators, in the same levels. For example, if you activate 10 or more different band slots, you are eligible for a Gold level certificate.

Click here for more details, and to find out how to sign up to operate W1V during the event.

Field Day is This Weekend!

Field_Day_campfire (1)

The WS1SM team will take part in their 10th annual ARRL Field Day on the weekend of June 27-28, at Wassamki Springs Campground, located at 56 Saco Street, in Scarborough, ME.

Setup will begin Friday afternoon at 5:00PM.

The plan is to operate 2 full-time HF stations – one will focus on SSB while the other will be a multi-mode station, focusing on CW and digital. An operator signup sheet can be found here.

The purpose of the signup sheet is to help limit the amount of people present at the same time. We will also be enforcing social distancing protocol as recommended by the CDC, and request that participants wear face coverings when around others, especially when interacting with the public.

It is also recommended that operators supply their own headphones, if they choose to use them.

Looking at the sheet, we still need help with some of the bonus categories. Copying the W1AW Field Day message, Site visitation by elected officials/ served agency reps, natural power QSO’s, Safety Officer, and GOTA station are just a few. Any help with these would be greatly appreciated.

Because of the pandemic we will not be hosting some of the larger social gatherings such as the Saturday night cookout or Sunday morning breakfast. All participants are encouraged to bring their own snacks and supplies.

See you there!

73′

Tim

KB1HNZ

 


 

We know that some of our members will operate from home this year, and if you’re one of those, we encourage you to log all of your contacts because they count towards the club score! See below:

ARRL Modifies Field Day Rules

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the ARRL has modified the rules for this year’s Field Day to allow QSO submissions from multiple individual hams to be aggregated as a Club Score – even though they “worked alone together” from their base QTH. The modifications are:

  • For Field Day 2020 only, Class D stations may work all other Field Day stations, including other Class D stations, for points.
  • For 2020 only, an aggregate club score will be published, which will be the sum of all individual entries indicating a specific club (similar to the aggregate score totals used in ARRL affiliated club competitions). Ordinarily, club names are only published in the results for Class A and Class F entries, but the temporary rule waiver for 2020 allows participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name with their submitted results following Field Day.

If you will be working field day from you home QTH, please consider identifying the Wireless Society of Southern Maine as your home club if you will be uploading your log.

Wireless Society to Return to Wassamki Springs for Ham Radio Field Day

Members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine are set to participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise on June 27-28 at Wassamki Springs Campground, 56 Saco Street, Scarborough.

Because of the pandemic, as recent as a month ago, club leadership was unsure if Field Day would even take place this year. They were finding it difficult to find a venue, but with the easing of restrictions on lodging facilities and public places, at the beginning of the month, the possibility to return to Wassamki Springs Campground became more promising. “When we reached out to the Hillock Family, who own the campground, they were glad to have us back, and that’s pretty special because this will be our tenth year doing Field Day at the campground,” said Tim Watson, WSSM President.

This year’s event will be of a much smaller scale than in years past. “We’ll be operating one less full-time station, and use a strict operator schedule to reduce the number of people present at the same time. Similarly, some of the social events, such as our Saturday night cookout and Sunday morning breakfast, won’t take place, and our educational activity will be done via live stream, instead of in-person” Watson explained.
“Field Day is part emergency communications exercise, and part competition, where we accumulate points and test our operating skills against other clubs and individuals around the U.S. and Canada,” added Vice President, Brad Brown, Jr., of North Waterboro, ME.

During the event, participants will try to earn points by meeting specific goals as outlined by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Some of these include handling and delivering messages, hosting educational activities, and making contacts with other amateurs through various methods, such as voice, telegraphy, satellites, and digital technology.

“This is a fun event that gives us an opportunity to share our passion with the community and to improve our operating skills, all while getting everyone out there and on the air,” says Brown.

Field Day, which has taken place annually since 1933, is designed to test radio operators’ ability to quickly setup and operate portable stations in emergency conditions.

“The entire operation will exclusively use emergency power sources like batteries, or solar energy, in order to simulate how things would be during a catastrophic event,” added Watson. “The public should be aware that in the event of an emergency, we’re ready to assist in any way that we can. While people may have the impression that cell phones and other technologies are good enough, we stand by as a trained pool of experienced radio operators to provide the vital communication services others may not. Hams have provided emergency communications during hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, blackouts, and other disasters, where more complex and fragile communications systems, such as cell networks, have failed or become overloaded.”

The Wireless Society of Southern Maine’s Emergency Communications Team provides communications support to the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency and members also support the National Weather Service’s SKYWARN operations in Gray, ME.

“Since 2014, the Wireless Society of Southern Maine, using call sign WS1SM, has recorded the highest Field Day score in Maine and hopes to do well again this year, despite the limited operation,” says Watson. “The public is welcome to attend the event and if anyone is interested in learning more about the hobby, we’ll be glad to help.”

There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States and anyone can become a licensed amateur radio operator. The Wireless Society of Southern Maine is ready to help newcomers get involved and licensed right here in Scarborough. For more information about Field Day, and amateur radio in general, please visit:

http://www.mainehamradio.com

Meeting On-the-Air Net Report – 06/18/20

Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a great turnout, with 10 check-ins!

The net started on time, at 7:00 PM, on the W1QUI 147.090 repeater. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, in Saco.
We had 10 check-ins:

KC1JMH Brad, in North Waterboro
N1RXR Eric, in New Gloucester
W1SFS Jason, in Scarborough
KB1FGF Dave, in Scarborough
KB1YYC Dakota, mobile in Auburn
N1KTA Tom, in Portland
KC1KWH Anne, in Waterboro
KC1SQ Todd, in Standish
KC1HBL Ben, in Buxton
WZ1J Steve, in Brunswick
N1KTA Tom, in Portland (re-check)

In Old Business, May’s meeting topic was to discuss the possibility of doing Field Day as a club this year. Not having a definite answer from Wassamki Springs at the time, we were researching possible alternatives for a location. Eric N1RXR’s family was kind enough to offer the use of their property in New Gloucester, if the campground location fell through. We also discussed ways to limit the amount of people that would be present during Field Day operations at the same time, and Tim KB1HNZ floated the idea of creating an operator schedule to accomplish this.

In New Business, the topic for the evening was a discussion about finalizing plans for 2020 Field Day, and some of the changes that would be made because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tim KB1HNZ mentioned that a sign-up sheet was sent out via email and asked stations that checked in to check-ins to sign up not only to operate, but to adopt a bonus category to help with. It was emphasized that the operations would be of a smaller scale than in years past, most likely a 2A operation (two HF transmitters operating for 24 hours). Tim KB1HNZ also mentioned that Chris at CCEMA offered the use of the county’s communications trailer, if desired. Two of the net participants mentioned that it might be a good idea to have it on hand in case of inclement weather.

We also anticipate that there will be less public interaction with visitors, so this presents an opportunity to try something different, like live streaming, to reach new folks, especially to accomplish the educational portion. WSSM leadership will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation, and pay close attention to the guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as state and local authorities.

Eric N1RXR and Steve WZ1J told the net about a VE Exam that will take place the morning of Saturday, June 27th, at the Whitefield Fire Station, in Whitefield, ME. There will be two exams taking place at 9:00AM and 10:30AM. Participants must register for the exam. Click here for more information.

The other topic of the evening was when to restart in-person meetings. Tim KB1HNZ mentioned the possibility of meeting outdoors at the campground, starting sometime in July, and all of those who commented on the subject liked the idea.

Click here to sign up to operate a radio, help with setup or breakdown, or to help with a bonus category during Field Day.

The Net was secured at 7:37 PM, after a round of informals.

 

73′

Tim

KB1HNZ

Meeting On-the-Air 06/18/20

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Join us this Thursday, June 18th, from 7:00PM – 8:00PM on the 147.090 repeater, for our monthly meeting on-the-air.

On the agenda, we’ll be talking about ARRL Field Day, which will take place at Wassamki Springs Campground on the weekend of June 27-28. If you haven’t already, please click here to sign up to operate or to take on a bonus category task. We’ll also be discussing the possibility of restarting in-person meetings in July.

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ