WSSM-ECT Training Net 03/25/2021 Net Report

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the WSSM-ECT Training Net! We had 7 check-ins, a few of which only participated via Packet. The net started on time, at 7:00PM. Tim KB1HNZ served as moderator.

Among the items discussed were the Maine Packet Network and Packet Radio in general. Even while the repeater portion of the net was taking place, we had an active chat session going on Packet, and several had already sent their first messages via BBS and Winlink. Thanks to Brad KC1JMH for helping participants out with problem solving (including myself), and answering questions.

Net Participants:

  • KC1JMH Brad, Waterboro, ME (Phone, CHAT, BBS, Winlink)
  • KC1HBL Ben, Buxton, ME (Phone)
  • KB1FGF Dave, Scarborough, ME (Phone)
  • KC1HBM Peter, Scarborough, ME (Winlink)
  • N1XP Roger, Waterboro, ME (BBS, Winlink)
  • KC1ETT Jimmy, Wells, ME (CHAT, BBS, Winlink)
  • KB1TCE Steve, Owls Head, ME (BBS, Winlink)
  • KB1HNZ Tim, Saco, ME – Net Control (Phone, CHAT, BBS, Winlink)

At one point, some time after 8:00, the W1YCA node, in Alfred, started acting up. Myself and a few others were able to maintain a good connection to it for almost an hour prior. Brad KC1JMH was able to telnet in and restart it, but it still didn’t seem right after that. This morning, however, I connected right up to the BBS, CHAT, and via Winlink, and everything seemed okay.

Nevertheless, we had a fun CHAT session going and Brad, who was multitasking, helping Peter KC1HBM get connected, also helped me troubleshoot why my call sign wasn’t displaying correctly. As it turns out, I just needed to treat my Kenwood D710 like a hardware TNC and enter “MY KB1HNZ” prior to connecting to a node, and that solved the problem.

This was a fun training and we’ll keep working over the next few months to get some more hams active on Packet.

73′

Tim

KB1HNZ

WSSM-ECT Training Net Tonight at 7:00 PM!

Please join us this evening, March 25th, at 7:00 PM on the W1QUI 147.090 (+ / 100) repeater, for our monthly On-Air Drill!

Last month we talked about the ARRL Radiogram and ICS-213 message forms and we practiced sending those over the air. We had lots of positive feedback about that and we will continue to practice message handling in the coming weeks.

Tonight, we’re going to build on a discussion that we started a couple of weeks ago during our monthly business meeting, and that’s Packet Radio and the Maine Packet Network. Brad KC1JMH gave a nice presentation on the topic, and he introduced a very informative website: www.mainepacketradio.org – Click this link if you’d like to follow along during the net.

For tonight’s on-air training, we’re asking that anyone who is equipped for Packet Radio to connect to your nearest node, check your messages, and send a message to either myself or Brad KC1JMH. If you have Winlink Express installed, you can connect via that same node (if it includes that feature), and send a message that way as well.

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

FCC Not Collecting $35 Application Fees Just Yet

According to a recent ARRL News item, published March 22nd, the new $35 amateur radio license application fee will NOT become effective on April 19th, as originally reported.

The ARRL states that “the majority of the FCC’s revised Part 97 rules (adopted in December 2020) establishing new license application fees become effective April 19, but the new amateur radio license application fees will NOT become effective on April 19, 2021.”

The FCC announced on March 19, 2021 that the amateur radio license fees, including those associated with Form 605 filings, would not become effective until the “requisite notice has been provided to Congress, the FCC’s information technology systems and internal procedures have been updated, and the Commission publishes notice(s) in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of such rules.”

When it becomes effective, the $35 license application fee would apply to new, modifications (upgrades and sequential call sign changes), renewals, and vanity call sign applications, as well as applications for a special temporary authority (STA) or a rule waiver. All fees will be per application. Administrative updates, such as changing a mailing or email address, are exempt.

It is expected that such fees will not become effective before summer 2021. The FCC has stated that amateurs will have advance warning of the actual effective date, because it will publish such date in the Federal Register.

The 2021 Maine Virtual Hamfest

Thanks to the efforts of Joe Grace W1SK and Cory Golob KU1U, who put in countless hours to make it a reality, hams around the state, and elsewhere, gathered for the Maine Virtual Hamfest, on Saturday, March 6th! With in-person events still being cancelled due to the pandemic, this was the perfect opportunity to get caught up on all things ham radio in Maine.

The Maine Virtual Hamfest offered many of the same features you’d expect to see at a regular hamfest, including presentations, club meetings and talks, a place to socialize and make “eyeball QSOs” and even a virtual flea market.

The highlight of the event were the presentations, and the most anticipated of those was “Optimizing Your Audio,” by Bob Heil K9EID. There were also presentations on FT8, antennas, SKYWARN, and an ARRL forum, where attendees could learn about what was going on around the state and at the New England and national level at ARRL.

Bob Heil K9EID presenting “Optimizing Your Audio” during the 2021 Maine Virtual Hamfest

The Wireless Society of Southern Maine was represented by Eric Emery N1RXR and Tim Watson KB1HNZ, who gave a presentation at 9:30 Saturday morning, about the NWS Gray Amateur Radio SKYWARN program. Click here to view the recorded presentation.

“From our perspective, the Maine Virtual Hamfest was a huge success, and we were proud to be a part of it,” said Eric Emery. “Hopefully, we can all meet in person next year, but if not, this is a fantastic model to go by if it needs to be done this way again.”

If you were busy on the 6th and didn’t have a chance to attend any of the presentations, they were all recorded and are available on the Maine ARRL YouTube page.

Click here to visit the Maine Virtual Hamfest website.

11th Annual Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge is Saturday, April 3rd!

Please join us Saturday, April 3rd, from 12PM-4PM for the 11th Annual Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge.

The Maine 2 meter FM Simplex Challenge is a ham radio sprint-style contest designed to give 2 meter operators a chance to compete on an even basis, and have fun doing it.

Contacts are limited to FM Simplex on the 2 meter band.

Participants may be entered as either fixed or mobile, (but not as both).

Exchange – Exchange items include your call sign, the name of the city, village, town, or township you are operating from, and your power level. Rovers and mobiles must be within the city limits of whatever city they claim to be operating from.

City or Town – This is simply the name of the city or town you are operating from. If you do not live within the city limits, use the name of the town or municipality to which mail or a package would be addressed.

For mobile entries, use the name of the city or town you are in, or the closest city or town.

Power levels are defined as follows:
• QRP – 5 watts or less
• Medium Power – greater than 5 watts, but less than 100
• High Power – 100 watts or more

Entry Categories – There are two entry categories: Fixed and Mobile. You may enter only one category for the contest. If a station gives out more than one multiplier during the contest, that station will automatically be entered into the mobile category.

Click here for complete rules – and don’t forget there’s a club competition as well!

Catch you on the air!

Meeting On-the-Air – Tonight at 7PM!

Join us this evening, March 18th, at 7:00PM on the 147.090 repeater, for our monthly meeting on-the-air!

On the agenda, we’ll discuss the minutes from our most recent meeting, and talk about the upcoming Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge, which takes place Saturday, April 3rd.

As always, if you have HF capabilities, you’re welcome to join us on 28.455 USB for the After Net, immediately following our net on the repeater.

See you there!

73′

Tim

KB1HNZ

Meeting Reminder – This Thursday!

Please join us this Thursday from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, at 200 U.S. Route 1, Suite 210, Scarborough, ME, for our monthly business meeting. Per the Governor’s executive order, please wear face coverings at all times, if you plan on attending.

On the agenda, we’ll be reviewing the 2020 Maine Virtual Hamfest, which took place last weekend, talk about the upcoming Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge, which takes place Saturday, April 3rd, and check in with Brad KC1JMH for an introduction to the Maine Packet Network.

Click here to catch up on some of the presentations from last Saturday’s Maine Virtual Hamfest.

If you’d like to join us remotely, here’s the dial-in instructions:

Dial-in number (US): (425) 436-6366
Access code: 2618168#
International dial-in numbers: https://fccdl.in/i/kb1hnz
Online meeting ID: kb1hnz
Join the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/kb1hnz

See you there!

73′

Tim

KB1HNZ

2020 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 2020 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge winners! Bill Richardson NG1P, from Topsham, Maine, who made 67 QSOs, in 26 different towns, for a total of 1,742 points, took the overall win. Bill operated QRP fixed, using a Kenwood TH-D79A and J-Pole during the contest. In the categories, Donnie Dauphin WD1F, won the Medium Fixed class. Charlie Shepard W1CPS, won QRP Mobile over Cindy Shepard W1CJS by just 2 QSOs, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ won the Medium Mobile Category, by just 2 QSOs over Stefania Watson K1GJY.

Please click here for a complete run down of the 2020 results.

Here’s a point-to-point study of NG1P’s contacts from the 2020 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge

The 2020 2 Meter FM Challenge is coming up soon, on Saturday, April 3rd.

Click here for more information and complete rules.