Self-Quarantine SKYWARN Drill 042320 – Net Report

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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

Meeting On-the-Air 04/16/2020 Net Report

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Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a great turnout, with 17 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 17 check-ins:

KC1JMH Brad, in North Waterboro
W1QUI George, in Auburn
KC1KWH Anne, in Waterboro
KC1AOT Ron, in Denmark
KC1MSR Nick, in Gorham
W1SFS Jason, in Scarborough
KC1MSQ Cole, in Gorham
KC1HBL Ben, in Buxton
K1MGR Greg, in South Portland
KC1SQ Todd, in Standish
KC1HJN Waylon, in Windham
NB9D Neil, in Paris
N1RXR Eric, in New Gloucester
KC1MSO James, in Portland
N1BJX BJ, in Kennebunk
W1TGG Tim, in Sanford

In Old Business, March’s meeting topic was the Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge, which took place on Saturday, March 28th. Quite a few of the check-ins mentioned that they participated in the contest, and a few did for the first time. Net Control mentioned there being a lot of new activity in the midcoast. Also, in Old Business was mention of the Winter Field Day Follow-up, and the fact that news came in about the cancellation of the Maine ARRL Convention during the March meeting.

In New Business, we discussed the recent Self-Quarantine Simplex Drills, of which there have been two so far, and also the Winlink Drill that took place the previous Thursday. Brad KC1JMH mentioned possible interference as preventing him and others from being able to connect to the local Packet nodes. Turnout for the drills has been excellent, and there have also been a lot of positive comments about them.

The topic for the evening was a discussion about 2020 Field Day, and the fact that we will very likely have to do it differently this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some options that were brought up included encouraging members to operate portable from their own homes, in the B category, or to find a way to setup as a club and schedule operations so only one or two people are present at a time.

Ron KC1AOT suggested we operate from our homes, while Todd KC1SQ, and a few others, suggested we keep an eye on the response from the ARRL, in case they announce any rule changes that might allow club members to operate from within a wider radius and still contribute to a combined club score. Regardless of how Field Day comes together, there will likely be less public visibility or interaction with visitors, so this presents an opportunity to try something different, like live streaming, to reach new folks. 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.

The Net was secured at 7:39 PM, after a round of informals.

This was followed by the After Net, on 28.455 MHz USB. Participants included: KB1HNZ, W1SFS, and N1BJX.

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Self-Quarantine Simplex Drill #2 – Net Report

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Self Quarantine Simplex Drill #2 – Net Report

Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a great turnout with 9 check-ins, and handled 13 messages altogether. Besides giving us an opportunity to practice our traffic handling skills – this time using the ICS-213 message format, the exercise helps us to determine who can hear each other, and which ops could serve as key stations during an actual emergency net on simplex.

Congrats to Paul KB1IAW, who contacted 5 stations directly and handled 5 pieces of traffic! Paul is our winner! Our honorable mentions go out to Ben KC1HBL, and Waylon KC1HJN, who each contacted 5 stations directly, and handled 4 pieces of traffic. Great job, everyone! See the net report below:

The net started on time, at 7:00 PM. Net Control: KB1HNZ Tim, in Saco.
We had 9 check-ins, and 1 listener:

KB1IAW Paul, in North Yarmouth (2300 UTC)
Contacted 5 stations: KC1HJN, KC1HBL, KB1HNZ, KB1PLY, KC1HJK. Traffic handled: 5

K1MGR Greg, in South Portland /mobile (2301 UTC)
Was operating another net simultaneously, but contacted 2 stations: KB1IAW, and KB1HNZ

KB1PLY Rory, in Saco (2302 UTC)
Contacted 2 stations: KB1HNZ, KC1HBL. Traffic handled: 3

KC1AOT Ron, in Denmark (2303 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: KC1HBL, KB1IAW, KC1HJN, and NB9D. Traffic handled: 1

KC1HBL Ben, in Buxton (2303 UTC)
Contacted 5 stations: KB1PLY, KB1IAW, KB1HNZ, KC1HJN, KC1JMH. Traffic handled: 4

KC1HJN Waylon, in Windham (2305 UTC)
Contacted 5 stations: NB9D, KC1HBL, KB1IAW, KC1AOT, KC1HJK. Traffic handled: 4

KC1HJK Eric, in New Gloucester (2314 UTC)
Early check-out, but contacted 4 stations: KC1HBL, KC1HJN, KB1IAW, NB9D. Traffic handled: 3

KC1JMH Brad, in North Waterboro (2320 UTC)
Contacted 1 station: KC1HBL. Traffic handled: 2

NB9D Neil, in Paris (2330 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: KC1HBL, KB1IAW, KC1HJN, KC1HJK

KC1DFQ Margaret, in Westbrook (Listening)
Could hear 3 stations: KC1HBL, KC1HJN, and KB1IAW.

 

73′

Tim  KB1HNZ

The Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge is Saturday, March 28th

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CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT

Saturday, March 28th, from 12PM – 4PM

The 2020 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge takes place Saturday, March 28th, for 4 hours, beginning at 12pm local time!

Getting started is easy!

Choose a power level from: QRP (5 watts or less), Medium (Greater than 5, but less than 100 watts), or High (100 watts or more), and decide whether to operate as Fixed or Mobile.

The Exchange is 3 items: your call sign, the name of the city, village, town, or township you are operating from, and your power level.

For example, if your call sign is W1ZZ, and you’re operating from your home station in Gorham, and running 50 watts, you’d say: “Please copy, Whiskey One Zulu Zulu, Gorham, Medium Power”.

Suggested frequencies: 146.475, 146.490, 146.505, 146.550, 146.565, 146.580, 147.420, 147.435, 147.450, 147.465, 147.480, 147.495, 147.510, 147.525, 147.540, 147.555, 147.570.

Contacts with an EOC, SKYWARN, Red Cross, or other served agency station are worth 2 points each! Check out the official rules for more details.

Now, get on the air, and have fun!

Click here for complete rules and details.

The Maine 200 Special Event is less than a month away!

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The excitement is building!

It’s hard to believe, but the Maine Bicentennial Special Event is less than a month away! Activities will kick off at 0000 UTC on March 16th.

We still need some operators! If you’re interested in participating, click here for more information about the event and how you can help.

The Maine 200 Special Event recognizes the original 9 Counties of the State of Maine, plus Jameson Tavern in Freeport, the Town of Portland, and Boston, which all played important roles in Maine’s history around the time of statehood.  Special 1-by-1 call signs will commemorate each county and special location.

The Maine 200 Special Event Stations are:

Cumberland: W1C
Hancock: W1H
Kennebec: W1K
Lincoln: W1L
Oxford: W1O
Penobscot: W1P
Somerset: W1S
Washington: W1W
York: W1Y

Jameson Tavern: K1J
Town of Portland: K1P
City of Boston: K1B

Operations will take place on HF, 6m, 2m, and 70cm.  Modes include CW, Phone, and Digital. This allows all Maine Amateur Radio operators to participate in some form.

Certificates will be available for chasers as well as operators. 

Participants can choose to operate at their convenience by signing up on a spreadsheet on the event website. Simply notate the Time Block, and select the Band and Mode you wish to operate. You can operate from your home or any remote location as long as it’s listed on the corresponding County spreadsheet.  (e.g.  QTH is in Hancock County but operating in Cumberland Co. The operator would use the Cumberland County spreadsheet).

If you’re interested in operating, please sign up on the appropriate spreadsheet for your “1820 county.” If you need help determining which is the right one, or if you have any questions, please send an email to: ws1sm@yahoo.com. Be sure to title your message as: Maine 200 Special Event.

Whether its as a chaser or operator, we look forward to having you take part in this Special Event for Amateur Radio in Maine!

73′

Maine 200 Special Event Committee

ARISS SSTV Special Event

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On the weekend of August 3-4, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) conducted a special event commemorating the life of Owen Garriott, W5LFL, who was the first astronaut to utilize amateur radio in space. Many of us were fortunate enough to make contact with him as the Space Shuttle(s) he orbited around the globe.

The crew aboard the ISS transmitted a series of photos using Slow-Scan-Television (SSTV) on their standard ham radio downlink frequency.  One of our founding members, Frank Krizan KR1ZAN, was able to capture 5 good photos and 3 partials (keep in mind that the ISS is only visible about 10 minutes each pass and each SSTV photo takes 2 minutes to transmit). A number of photos he received were also duplicates of previous ones.

The ARISS Team has provided a place to upload the photos for posterity. Click here to view the images. In the Call Sign block, enter the call KR1ZAN, and you’ll see the 5 photos that Frank received.

2019 Maine QSO Party is September 28-29

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The 7th annual Maine QSO Party will take place the weekend of September 28-29, from 1200 UTC on the 28th, through 1200 UTC on the 29th. Last year’s overall winner was Joe Blinick K1JB, of Portland.

The contest is designed to encourage Maine stations to expand their knowledge of DX propagation on the HF and MF bands, and improve their operating skills, and station capability by participating a competition in which W/VE, and DX stations have the incentive to work Maine.

The contest takes place on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands, and allows for phone and CW for modes.

For an exchange, stations in Maine send signal report and county, while stations outside of Maine, but within either the United States or Canada, send signal report and state/province. DX stations send signal report and “DX.”

For scoring, contacts with stations in Maine are worth 2 points. Contacts with stations outside Maine are worth 1 point. Multipliers are the same for all participants: Use Maine counties (16), States (50), Canadian Provinces (14), and DXCC entities as multipliers. You may work any station once on each of the two modes, on each of the six contest bands.

The Maine QSO Party is a fun contest that offers categories for operators of all skill levels and station capability. Also similar to DX contests like the Canada Day contest or YODX, its open to all contacts as long as the proper information is exchanged. Stations outside of Maine are not required to work only Maine stations for credit, as is the case with most QSO parties. This being said, its important that as many Maine stations as possible are active, and it would be really nice to have participation from all 16 counties. So far, the competition has seen most Maine participation from the more populated southern counties. Help get the word out and share this on contest blogs and social sites!

For more information, including complete rules, click here.

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2019 ILLW at Rockland Breakwater Light

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Eric Emery KC1HJK attaches a mast to a railing to mount the 40m SOTA Beams dipole

On Saturday, August 17th, the WS1SM team activated Rockland Breakwater Light, in Rockland Harbor, ME, for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW). Club members operated from 10am-5pm, using call sign WS1SM.

2019 marked the ninth year that WSSM has participated in ILLW, which sees over 500 light houses and lightships activated in over 40 countries. The international event helps promote the preservation of lighthouses and lightships, and at the same time gives the community an opportunity to experience Amateur Radio first hand.

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Tim KB1HNZ, Pete KC1DFO, and Brad KC1JMH about to take on the breakwater

The morning started out with breakfast at Moody’s Diner, in Waldoboro, before the team met up at the parking lot for the lighthouse. Ahead of them was task of carrying the radio equipment across the 7/8-mile long breakwater. This wasn’t easy, as one of the heavisest items, a marine battery, had to be brought out in a cart that wasn’t well suited to the rough surface of the rocks that made up the breakwater. It required two to three people at any given time to help it along. Once at the lighthouse, however, the setting was a beautiful place to spend the day on the radio.

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L-R: CJ W1CJC, Tim KB1HNZ, and Pete KC1DFO setting up antennas

The WS1SM team operated 2 stations full time from the front porch of the lighthouse, which overlooks the breakwater, including a Yaesu FT-857d with a 40m dipole, and an Icom IC-706 MKIIG connected to a BuddiPole (for 6-20m) antenna. Both stations operated on battery power, with solar assistance. 40 meter conditions were excellent and contacts were plenty there. Band conditions were a little more difficult on 20 meters, but it improved later in the day to even include a few DX contacts.

Particpants included Eric Emery KC1HJK, CJ Carlsson W1CJC, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, Brad Brown, Jr. KC1JMH, and Peter Warren KC1DFO.

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Tim KB1HNZ operates 40 meters

“This year’s ILLW has been a lot of fun,” said Tim Watson KB1HNZ. “It was fun working all the other lighthouses on the bands and also demonstrating ham radio to the public. We even met some other hams in person, who stopped by to say hi.”

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Lifting the cart over the cracks in the breakwater on the way back

Brad Brown KC1JMH said afterwards, “We’d really like to thank the folks from Massachusetts who helped us carry the cart back,” referring to a gentleman and his two grandsons who saw Brad, Tim, CJ, and Pete struggling with it and helped carry it to the mainland. “The extra help meant a lot at the end of a long day.” Earlier, Eric KC1HJK, brought the battery back on his kayak, so it was a little easier than it could’ve been.

Click here to see more photos from this and previous lighthouse events.

2019 Field Day at Wassamki Springs Campground

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SCARBOROUGH, ME – On the weekend of June 22-23, the WS1SM team participated in their 9th ARRL Field Day from Wassamki Springs Campground, in Scarborough. With over 30 participants and guests, including visitors from Cumberland County EMA, public service representatives, and Scarborough State Representatives Shawn Babine and Chris Cuazzo, the activities were many.

On the air, we operated as 3A (which is a club station, on battery power, using 3 transmitters), maintaining a continuous presence on the bands on CW, SSB, and digital. We also had a Get on the Air (GOTA) station operating as N5QYQ during most of the event, allowing beginners and new hams to operate HF as well.

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Anne KC1KWH, Ara AA1FB, Ben KC1HBL, Sean W1MSA, Gregg KM4PKE, and Pete KC1DFO work on installing a 40m rotatable dipole.

Setup began late Friday morning when a number of club members helped setup Rick Fickett’s (K1OT) CW operating trailer. The trailer is an all-in-one ham shack, which includes a 40-foot tower with 40m monobander and support for wire antennas. The radio used is an Elecraft K3 with built in tuner, and is complete with digital logging. Later Friday afternoon, the SSB station was setup, which includes a Spiderbeam tribander (for 10, 15, and 20m), and a rotatable dipole for 40m. The radios, and Icom IC-7300 and Yaesu FT-950, were setup in the Cumberland County EMA’s utility trailer. On Saturday morning, Charlie Shepard’s (W1CPS) 6 meter station was setup, which includes a 5 element yagi atop a 40-foot mast and an Icom IC-7000, and we were ready to get on the air!

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Rick Fickett K1OT, in the office

Although cloudy on Saturday, the weather was pleasant and remained that way until late in the day when a storm blew through. The winds were severe enough to shake the tower on the CW trailer and there were some crashes of thunder that caused us to shut down operations, but it only lasted for a few minutes. 40 meters was steady throughout most of Field Day, and 20m opened up nicely late Saturday afternoon and early Sunday. Rick K1OT, Joe K1JB, Greg K1ME, and others had some good runs going on CW on both 40m and 20m throughout the event, and Brad KC1JMH, Eric KC1HJK, Greg KM4PKE, Pete KC1DFO, Sean W1MSA, and Ben KC1HBL all had good runs on 40m SSB at various times. Stefania K1GJY and Waylon KC1HJN did the same on 20m SSB.

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Charlie Shepard W1CPS operates 6m SSB

Eric KC1HJK served as the safety officer for 2019, and he did a great job posting informational signs for the public and making everyone aware of the whereabouts of safety equipment such as the fire extinguisher and first aid items.

Frank KR1ZAN helped us copy the W1AW Field Day message from his home QTH, which was super helpful because many of us were setting up antennas during the broadcast.

Tim KB1HNZ sent radiograms to the Section Manager and various others by way of the Digital Traffic Network via our Packet station on VHF. Late Sunday, he and Eric were also successful at making a satellite QSO via AO92.

Mike Fandell N5QYQ and Steve McGrath AA1HF ran the Get on the Air (GOTA) station, which was located at the Wassamki Ham Shack. Many guests stopped by throughout Field Day, and lots of new folks had a chance to get on the air and experience HF. Thanks to Mike and Steve for making it so much fun for everyone!

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From L-R: Rep. Shawn Babine, Rep. Chris Cuazzo, Mike Fandell N5QYQ, Peter Hatem KC1HBM, and Ann McBride KC1KWH

Josh Brown KC1KTX got on the air at both the SSB and the GOTA stations, having QSOs at both, and was also the grill master during the cookout Saturday night!

Anne McBride KC1KWH got on the air and made lots of HF contacts at the GOTA station, as did Delia Brown, Daniel Fransiscus KC1DUN, Waylon McDonald KC1HJN, and Dave Wood KB1FGF.

Pete Donovan K1SK did a great job with the media publicity. Portions of our press release were published in the Portland Press Herald in the days leading up to Field Day.

Peter Hatem KC1HBM invited Scarborough State Representatives Shawn Babine and Chris Cuazzo to attend the event, and not only did they both make an appearance, but they stayed a while as Peter showed them around the various stations, including the GOTA station.

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Josh Brown KC1KTX operates 40m SSB

Special thanks also to Dave Feeney WN1F, and everyone at Cumberland County EMA for their support, and to the Hillock Family for allowing us to operate from Wassamki Springs Campground for the 9th consecutive year!

We finished up with nearly 1,700 QSOs and maximum bonus points! It was a massive effort. Thanks to eveyone for helping to make our 2019 Field Day such a success!

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The 20/15/10 meter Spiderbeam and CCEMA trailer

Click here to view photos of this year’s and previous Field Days.