Self-Quarantine Winlink Drill

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Getting stir crazy yet? We have a new challenge for you! Join us this Thursday, from 7PM-8PM for the “Self-Quarantine Winlink Drill.” Building on the success of our recent simplex drills, we’re adding a Winlink component.

The purpose will be to relay radiogram 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 what templates are available. For this exercise, we’ll use the RRI Radiogram.txt form template (see below). Choose the Region 1 Liaison to send your message.

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The suggested content of your Radiogram is “What method I used to send my message.”

Catch you on the air!
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

Self-Quarantine Simplex Drill – Net Report

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Self Quarantine Simplex Drill – Net Report

Thanks to everyone who checked in and participated! We had a great turnout and handled 13 messages altogether. Besides giving us an opportunity to practice our traffic handling skills, 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 Ben KC1HBL, who contacted 7 stations directly and handled 7 pieces of traffic! Ben is our winner! Our honorable mentions go out to Dan K1DQ, who also contacted 7 stations directly, as well as Charlie W1CPS, Waylon KC1HJN, and Eric KC1HJK, who handled traffic or acted as relays. 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 14 check-ins:

W1CPS Charlie, in Westbrook (2254 UTC)
Contacted 3 stations: KC1HBM, KC1HJN, & KC1HBL. Traffic handled: 2

KC1HBL Ben, in Buxton (2302 UTC)
Contacted 7 stations: W1CPS, KC1HBM, KC1HJN, KC1HJK, KC1DFO, KC1JMH, & KC1MSR. Traffic handled: 7

KC1HJN Waylon, in Windham (2303 UTC)
Contacted 4 stations: KC1HJK, W1CPS, KC1HBL, & K1DQ, and could hear: KC1HBM. Traffic handled: 3

KC1JMH Brad, in North Waterboro (2303 UTC)
Contacted 2 stations: KC1HBL & K1DQ. Traffic handled: 1

KC1HBM Peter, in Scarborough (2305 UTC)
Contacted 6 stations: KB1HNZ, K1MGR, KC1MSR, W1CPS, K1DQ & KC1HBL

KC1FRZ Dave, in South Portland (2310 UTC)

KC1HJK Eric, in New Gloucester (2320 UTC)
Contacted 3 stations: K1DQ, KC1HBL, & KC1HJN, and could hear: K1UC, WZ1J & KC1HBM. Traffic handled: 1

K1MGR Greg, in South Portland /mobile (2322 UTC)
Contacted 2 stations: KC1HBM, & KB1HNZ, and could hear: K1DQ, W1CPS, and KC1HBL.

KC1DFO Pete, in Dayton (2335 UTC)

KB1HUU David, in Lyman (2336 UTC)

KC1MSR Nick, in Gorham (2338 UTC)
Contacted 3 stations: W1CPS, KC1HBL, & KB1HNZ.

K1DQ Dan, in Shapleigh (2339 UTC)
Contacted 7 stations: W1CPS, KC1HJN, KC1JMH, KC1HJK, KB1HNZ, KC1HBL & KC1MSR

K1UC Mike, in Portland (2344 UTC)
Contacted5 stations: KB1HNZ, K1DQ, KC1HBL, W1CPS & KC1HBM

WZ1J Steve, in Brunswick (2345 UTC)

 

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.

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.