Pre-SET Simplex Drill

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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

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

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.

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

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

Self-Quarantine Winlink Drill 05/07/2020

Self_Quarantine_WInlink_Drill

Join us this Thursday, from 7PM-8PM for our next “Self-Quarantine 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