Pre-SET Winlink Drill 08/27/20

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Join us this Thursday, from 7PM-8PM for our “Pre-SET Winlink Drill.”

The purpose will be to relay ICS-213 messages via Winlink, by connecting to the RMS network using any method you prefer. One option is to connect by VHF, through the Maine Packet Network, or you could connect to a Winlink node via HF.

The drill begins at 7PM Thursday evening. In the meantime, if you haven’t used Winlink before, the first step is to download Winlink Express, and click here to follow the instructions for “How To Get An Account.” First time users can find lots of helpful info, including video links on the Winlink.org website.

Once you’re up and running, get familiar with how to send a message, post it to the outbox, and explore the various templates that are available. For this exercise, we’ll use the following templates:

ICS-213_TwoWay_Initial.txt

ICS-213_TwoWay_SendReply.txt

 

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

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

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 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 SKYWARN Drill 05/14/20 Net Report

Self_Quarantine_SKYWARN_Drill

Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a good turnout on both simplex and DMR, with 10 check-ins! The purpose of the drill was to expose participants to the SKYWARN simplex frequency and the Severe Weather Report form, test our simplex coverage, and also test out the SKYWARN DMR Talk Group. In addition, we encouraged those who could not check-in on either simplex or DMR to send weather reports to WX1GYX via Winlink.

The simplex portion of the net started on time, at 7:00 PM (2300 UTC), on 146.595. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, in Saco. We had 6 check-ins and handled 6 pieces of weather traffic:

KC1HBL Ben, mobile in Scarborough, ME (2301 UTC), Traffic handled: 1
K1MGR Greg, in Scarborough, ME (2302 UTC), Traffic handled: 1
KB1FGF Dave, in Scarborough, ME (Pine Point) (2303 UTC), Traffic handled: 1
KB1HUU Dave, in Lyman, ME (2303UTC), Traffic handled: 1
AB1VX Larry, in Acton, ME (2307 UTC), Traffic handled: 1
WX1GYX op. N1RXR Eric, in New Gloucester, ME (2310 UTC), Traffic handled: 6

The Simplex Net was secured at 7:12 PM (2312 UTC), after a round of informals.

The DMR net started at 7:15 PM on the SKYWARN DMR Talk Group 759. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, in Saco. We had 4 check-ins and handled 2 pieces of weather traffic:

K1MGR Greg, in Scarborough, ME (2315 UTC), No traffic
KB1HUU Dave, in Lyman, ME (2315UTC), No traffic
W1CUI Dan, in Barrington, NH (2317 UTC), Traffic handled: 1
N1KMX Scott, in Weymouth, MA (2318 UTC), Traffic handled: 1

The DMR net was secured at 7:21 PM (0021 UTC).

Two reports were received via Winlink.

All the weather traffic over the voice nets were relayed either directly or by Winlink, to SKYWARN liaison N1RXR, who checked in as WX1GYX.

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Self Quarantine Simplex Drill – 04/30/2020 Net Report

Self_Quarantine_Simplex_Drill_Text

Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a total of 6 check-ins and handled 5 messages. This was the first time we’ve done a net on the 70 cm band, operating on 446.500, and we learned quite a bit about signal coverage, characteristics of the band, and the capability of our own stations. For many who checked in this was their first simplex contact on 440 MHz. One notable difference between 440 and 2 meters, was the amount of fading (QSB) in the signals.

The net started on time, at 7:00 PM. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, in Saco, assisted by Peter KC1HBM, in Scarborough.

We had 6 check-ins:

KC1HBM Peter, in Scarborough (2231 UTC)
Contacted 5 stations: KB1HNZ, KC1HBL, KC1JMH, N1RXR, KB1IAW, and W1SFS. Traffic handled: 2

KC1HBL Ben, in Buxton (2304 UTC)
Contacted 2 stations: KC1JMH, and KC1HBM

KC1JMH Brad, mobile in Waterboro (2310 UTC)
Contacted 3 stations: KC1HBM, KC1HBL, and KB1IAW

N1RXR Eric, in New Gloucester (2318 UTC)
Contacted 2 stations: KC1HBM, and KB1IAW. Traffic handled: 2

KB1IAW Paul, in North Yarmouth (2328 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: N1RXR, KC1HBL, KC1HBM, and KC1JMH

W1SFS Jason, in Scarborough (2330 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: KB1IAW, KC1HBM, KC1HBL, and KC1JMH
73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Self-Quarantine SKYWARN Drill 042320 – Net Report

Self_Quarantine_SKYWARN_Drill

Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a great turnout on both simplex and DMR, with 22 check-ins! The purpose of the drill was to expose participants to the SKYWARN simplex frequency and the Severe Weather Report form, test our simplex coverage, and also test out the SKYWARN DMR Talk Group.

The simplex portion of the net started on time, at 7:00 PM (2300 UTC), on 146.595. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, in Saco. We had 10 check-ins and handled 13 pieces of weather traffic:

KC1DFO Pete, in Dayton, ME (2301 UTC)
Contacted 2 stations: KC1HBL, KB1HNZ, Traffic handled: 1

KC1HBL Ben, Buxton, ME (2303 UTC)
Contacted 7 stations: KB1PLY, KC1HBM, W1SFS, N1BIM, KB1HNZ, KC1JMH, AB1BX Traffic handled: 5

KB1PLY Rory, in Saco, ME (2305 UTC)
Contacted 6 stations: N1BIM, KC1HBM, KB1HNZ, W1SFS, AB1BX, KC1HBL, Traffic handled: 1

W1SFS Jason, in Scarborough, ME (2307 UTC)
Contacted 6 stations: KC1HBL, KB1PLY, KC1HBM, N1BIM, K1MGR, KB1HNZ, Traffic handled: 1

N1BIM Joe, in Old Orchard Beach, ME (2310 UTC)
Contacted 6 stations: KB1PLY, W1SFS, KC1HBL, K1MGR, KC1HBM, KB1HNZ, Traffic handled: 1

WX1GYX op. N1RXR Eric, in New Gloucester, ME (2315 UTC)
Contacted 1 station: KC1HBL, Traffic handled: 13

N1CKM Wayne, in Barnstead, NH (2316 UTC)
Contacted 1 station: KC1HBL, Traffic handled: 1

K1MGR Greg, in Scarborough, ME (2317 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: KC1HBL, KB1HNZ, W1SFS, KC1HBM, Traffic handled: 1

KC1HBM Peter, in Scarborough, ME (2318 UTC)
Contacted 6 stations: KB1PLY, KB1HNZ, N1BIM, KC1HBL, W1SFS, K1MGR, Traffic handled: 1

KC1JMH Brad, in North Waterboro, ME (2321 UTC)
Contacted 1 station: KC1HBL, Traffic handled: 2

The Simplex Net was secured at 7:59 PM (2359 UTC), after a round of informals.

The DMR net started at 8:01PM on the SKYWARN DMR Talk Group 759. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, in Saco. We had 12 check-ins and handled 9 pieces of weather traffic:

KC1JMH Brad, in North Waterboro, ME (0001 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
KC1HBM Pete, in Scarborough, ME (0001 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
W1EAV Chris, in Marion, MA (0002 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
W2VAN Mike, in Portland, ME (0005 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
NE1B Bill, in Hudson, MA (0007 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
N1KMX Scott, in Weymouth, MA (0009 UTC) No traffic
N1JGB Bruce, in Essex Junction, VT (0010 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
K1MGR Greg, in Scarborough, ME (0011 UTC) No traffic
W1HAI Joe, in Natick, MA (0012 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
N1BIM Joe, in Old Orchard Beach, ME (0014 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
W1SHS Stu, in Franklin, MA (0016 UTC) Traffic handled: 1
N1XRX Dennis, in Weymouth, MA (0029 UTC) No traffic

The DMR net was secured at 8:29 PM (0029 UTC).

All the weather traffic was relayed either directly or by Winlink, to SKYWARN liaison N1RXR, who checked in as WX1GYX.

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

2018 Field Day at Wassamki Springs

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The Spiderbeam with WS1SM banner on a guy wire

2018 Field Day was a tremendous success, and a lot of fun! Special thanks to the Hillock family of Wassamki Springs Campground for hosting us for the 8th consecutive year!

UPDATE: The 2018 ARRL Field Day results are in, and WS1SM captured 1st place in Maine for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, we finished 14th overall in the 3A category, cracking the top 20 for the 2nd time in 2 years. Congratulations to everyone on our team for a job well done! Click here to read the QST article.

Operating twice around the clock, in the 3A category, we captured 1,730 Bonus Points, and 6,968 QSO points, which is a new record for WS1SM. The biggest areas of improvement this year were in SSB QSOs (+500), and in the bonus points (+200) over last year.

Setup began Friday morning, as Rick K1OT and helpers met to raise his 40′ tower and antennas. Later in the evening Tim KB1HNZ and Eric KC1HJK setup the Spiderbeam tribander.

IMG_2021
Rick K1OT (L) and Joe K1JB (R) in the CW Trailer

On-air activities began at 2PM on Saturday, and continued through 2PM Sunday. All the radios ran on 100% battery power, with the exception of a handful of QSO that Charlie W1CPS made on solar power.

Frank KR1ZAN and Steve AA1HF served as coaches for a Get on the Air (GOTA) station, which operated concurrently in the Wassamki Springs Ham Shack, which is located in the former camp store. There were 6 participants who made QSOs!

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Waylon KC1HJN and Steve AA1HF hunt for hidden transmitters

The educational activity for this year was Radio Direction Finding, using various methods, including a tape measure yagi, rotatable loop, and attenuator.

Peter KC1HBM, invited Scarborough Town Councilor, Jean-Marie Caterina, who spent some time talking to participants and got a tour of the Field Day and GOTA operations.

Town_Councillor
Scarborough Town Councilor, Jean-Marie Caterina visits the WS1SM Field Day site and also checks out the GOTA station (seen above).

Special thanks to everyone who brought food to the pot luck supper on Saturday evening, especially to Sheila Martin, W1DXX, who brought lots of pizza, and Mike Mooney, who brought ribs and pulled pork!

Tim KB1HNZ composed or replied to 23 messages, which were transmitted via Winlink on HF. He also operated some digital modes over night on Saturday.

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Frank KR1ZAN successfully makes a satellite QSO

The CW operators equaled last year’s total, and Charlie W1CPS came just 2 QSOs short of his previous best on 6 meters.

We also copied the Field Day bulletin, thanks to the efforts of Frank KR1ZAN and Ryan KB1YTR.

Frank, with the help of Waylon KC1HJN, also helped us get a satellite QSO during the last SO50 pass of the day.

Field Day was a massive team effort, and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s help. Great job everyone!

WSSM at the South Portland Fire Department Open House

spfd_wssm_booth

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

On Saturday, October 14th, WSSM members, including Rory McEwen KB1PLY, Charlie Shepard W1CPS, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ, set up a display table and a portable HF station during the annual South Portland Fire Department Open House.

The event, which took place at the Western Avenue Fire Station, featured fire trucks on display, including a fully extended ladder unit, an ambulance, demonstrations of the jaws of life, food, activities, and more.

The Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA), and several local businesses also had displays. There were lots of kids having fun, climbing in the trucks, and the many families were enjoying the beautiful fall day.

The WSSM team setup an HF radio, using a BuddiPole antenna, for on-air activities, and made a good demonstration of the hobby for the curious onlookers. There were also some other radios on display, including an Icom IC706MKIIG, which is used during SOTA and other portable operations, as well as some of the other equipment used, including SLA batteries of various sizes. Intro to ham radio handouts and club information was also available.

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The highlights of the day occurred when mascots from two of the local sports teams stopped by to play a little radio.

 

Maine SET is October 28th

8am-1pm

SET_2017

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

On Saturday, October 28th, members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine Emergency Communications Team, which meets monthly in Windham, will participate in a statewide drill to test their communications capabilities between various different sites throughout Cumberland County and the state. The drill, known as the Simulated Emergency Test, or SET, is an annual exercise, sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, which encourages amateur radio operators from across the country test their communications skills during a mock disaster.

During the SET, hams are required to quickly establish communications between various Emergency Operations Centers and exchange formal messages and traffic, which contain requests for supplies, medical or weather information, or other things that may be of importance during a disaster. They do this via voice, Morse code, and digital two-way radio, on bands ranging from HF to UHF, as required.

“The scenario for this year is an ice storm, which is a real possibility in Maine,” says Rory McEwen, of Saco. Rory is president of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine, which provides communications support for Cumberland County EMA, as well as the National Weather Service. “The SET tests how we respond during large-scale disasters, where commercial infrastructure has failed. In these events, hams are often the only source of communications.”

“The hams in our club are a dedicated group,” adds Thom Watson, one of the founders of the club. “Amateur radio has a long history of volunteerism. Sure, it’s a hobby and there’s some fun things that we do like mountaintop expeditions or competitive events like contesting, but so many like to stay sharp by providing support for charity walks and community events, and drills like this, so they’ll be ready to offer their time and expertise when disaster strikes.”

The Wireless Society of Southern Maine is participating in the SET for the third time. “The first time we participated was only a few days after we formally established a partnership with the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency, so we weren’t very organized yet,” says McEwen. “but last year went really well, and we have a solid plan and a list of goals to accomplish for 2017.”

After the event, the participants will do an assessment to determine how well they performed and look for areas to improve on. “There’s always new things to learn and ways to improve,” says McEwen. “But the important thing to know is that we’ll be ready to help.”

For more information about amateur radio, or the Wireless Society of Southern Maine, please visit their website at:

http://www.mainehamradio.com