Field Day is This Weekend!

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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

Self-Quarantine Simplex Drill 06/11/20

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Don’t get bored. Get on the air! Join us this Thursday evening from 7PM – 8PM, on 146.580, for the “Self-Quarantine Simplex Drill.”

This will be a basic net to test coverage on 2 meter FM Simplex, and to exchange traffic using the ARRL Radiogram format. The topic can be anything you choose.

I won’t be on the air this week because I’ll be spending the next 4 evenings at work, moving network equipment into our new building, so if anyone can pick up Net Control duties, that would be great!

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

Next week will be the Meeting On The Air, on the 147.090 repeater. We’ll be talking Field Day details, and more, including the possibility of restarting in-person meetings in July.

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

2020 Field Day at Wassamki Springs Campground

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We are happy to announce that we’ll be participating in our 10th annual ARRL Field Day at Wassamki Springs Campground on the weekend of June 27-28!

As many of you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic put the possibility of Field Day into question this year, but with the Maine CDC and state government easing restrictions, especially where it applies to lodging and camping facilities, we received good news from the Hillock Family at Wassamki Springs, that they will be happy to host us again this year!

That being said, there will be some changes to the way we do the event. We will be having a much simpler layout, most likely entering in the 2A category, (which means two full-time HF stations), and there will be a strict operating schedule to limit the amount of people there at the same time. More details, and specific COVID-19 protocols, will be published soon.

To help us to create our operator schedule, please click on this link and enter your call sign in the time block that you’re interested in. We will also need volunteers to adopt a BONUS point category, and follow through to help us earn the points. Download the ARRL Field Day Packet to learn about the specific requirements for each category.

Thanks,

Tim
KB1HNZ
Wassamki Springs Campground is located at: 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME 04074.

Talk-in on 146.580 FM Simplex.

Self-Quarantine Simplex & Winlink Drill 06/04/20 – Net Report

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Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a good turnout on both simplex and Winlink, with 6 check-ins! The purpose of the drill was to build upon previous exercises by encouraging mobile and portable participants to activate from a shelter location, and also to exchange traffic via Winlink.

The simplex portion of the net started on time, at 7:00 PM (2300 UTC), on 146.580.

Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, mobile at Windham High School.

We had 6 check-ins:

W1SFS Jason, near Scarborough High School (2300 UTC)
Contacted 3 stations: K1MGR, KB1HNZ, KB1FGF

KC1HBL Ben, in Buxton, ME (2301 UTC) I/O

K1MGR Greg, portable at the South Portland Community Center & South Portland High School (2302 UTC)
Contacted 3 stations: KB1FGF, W1SFS, KB1HNZ

KB1FGF Dave, in Scarborough, ME (Pine Point) (2303 UTC)
Contacted 3 stations: K1MGR, W1SFS, KB1HNZ

WZ1J Steve, in Brunswick, ME (2311 UTC) I/O

N1RXR Eric, in New Gloucester, ME (2317 UTC)
Contacted 2 stations: WZ1J, W1SFS

The Simplex Net was secured at 7:21 PM (2321 UTC), after a round of informals.

The Winlink portion of the exercise started immediately after the simplex net. There were 9 items of traffic handled by the following stations:

N1RXR Eric, in New Gloucester, ME
KC1JMH Brad, in North Waterboro, ME
KB1HNZ Tim, in Windham, ME
W1WMG Thom, in Gorham, ME

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Self-Quarantine Winlink Drill 06/04/20

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This Thursday, we’ll build upon previous exercises and incorporate multiple elements of communications. Like last week, if you’re mobile, you’re encouraged to check-in from one of the shelter locations listed below.

The first step will be to check-in to our coordination net on 146.580 FM Simplex, where we’ll do a brief round of informals, then you’ll be asked to send traffic (if you are equipped to do so), via Winlink. If you’re at one of the shelter locations, try connecting to the Maine Packet Network via whichever node you are closest to. If you’re a home station, you can connect to Winlink via any method you prefer.

You may use any message format or form that you’d like, however we ask that if you reply to a message, please reply using the same format as the original.

If you’re new to Winlink, click here for a brief overview to help you get started.

Here’s a list of the shelter locations:

  • Brunswick High School
  • Falmouth High School
  • Gorham Middle School
  • Gray-New Gloucester High School
  • Greely Middle School
  • Lakes Region High School
  • Portland Expo Building
  • Scarborough High School
  • South Portland High School
  • South Portland Community Center
  • Westbrook High School
  • Windham High School

 

Catch you on the air!
73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Self-Quarantine Simplex Drill – Net Report 05/28/20

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Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated this past Thursday! We had a great turnout with 8 check-ins at 4 different shelter locations. This particular drill focussed on familiarizing participants with the various shelter locations we may be deployed to, and encouraged activations from these locations. There were 4 mobiles, including Net Control, 4 check-ins from home, and 1 portable setup.

The net started on time, at 7:00 PM. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, mobile at Scarborough High School.
We had 8 check-ins:

KB1FGF Dave, mobile at Scarborough High School, Scarborough (2249 UTC)
Contacted 5 stations: KC1HBM, K1MGR, KB1HNZ, KC1MSQ, KC1MSR

N1RXR Eric, mobile at Memorial Elementary School, in New Gloucester (2300 UTC). Contacted 4 stations: KB1HNZ, KC1HBL, K1MGR, KC1HBM

KC1HBM Peter, mobile at South Portland High School and South Portland Community Center (2302 UTC). Contacted 5 stations: KB1FGF, KB1HNZ, K1MGR, KC1MSR, KC1MSQ

KC1MSR Nick, in Gorham (2304 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: KC1HBM, KB1FGF, KB1HNZ, K1MGR

KC1MSQ Cole, in Gorham (2305 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: KC1HBM, KB1FGF, KB1HNZ, K1MGR

KC1HBL Ben, in Buxton (2307 UTC) I/O

KC1DFO Pete, in Dayton (2308 UTC) I/O

K1MGR Greg, portable at Scarborough High School, in Scarborough (2307 UTC)
Contacted 5 stations: KB1HNZ, KC1MSQ, KB1FGF, KC1MSR, KC1HBM

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Self-Quarantine Simplex Drill – 05/28/20

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Got the lockdown lows? Dust off your radio and join us this Thursday evening from 7PM – 8PM for the “Self Quarantine Simplex Drill.”

The purpose this week will be to relay ICS-213 messages via 2 Meter FM Simplex, and to determine who can hear each other. If you’re mobile, you’re encouraged to check-in from at or near one of the following shelter locations:

  • Brunswick High School
  • Falmouth High School
  • Gorham Middle School
  • Gray-New Gloucester High School
  • Greely Middle School
  • Lakes Region High School
  • Portland Expo Building
  • Scarborough High School
  • South Portland High School
  • South Portland Community Center
  • Westbrook High School
  • Windham High School

For those of you who’ve participated in SET exercises with us, these locations will be familiar. The drill begins at 7PM Thursday evening on 146.580 FM Simplex.

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ