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.
The 2020 2 Meter FM Challenge is coming up soon, on Saturday, April 3rd.
Click here for more information and complete rules.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the WSSM-ECT Training Net! We had 9 check-ins, a few of which were first time participants. The net started on time, at 7:00PM. Tim KB1HNZ served as moderator.
Among the items discussed were the various parts of the ARRL Radiogram and ICS-213 message forms, which are important to be familiar with for Emergency Communications. We also practiced sending both types of messages over the air, exchanging six messages altogether. Thanks to Brad KC1JMH for keeping a Net Log of all the traffic that was exchanged. See below:
WSSM ECT NET LOG 2021-02-25
— RADIOGRAM — 7 R KB1HNZ 10 SACO ME 1500 FEB 25 FRANK KRIZAN KR5N 1200 GARDENGROVE COURT PLANO TX 75075 KR1ZAN AT ARRL DOT NET BT GREETINGS FROM MAINE X CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW CALL SIGN BT KB1HNZ TIM
— ICS-213 —
INCIDENT NAME WSSM ECT TRAINING NET TO CHRIS WHEELER PLANNER CCEMA FROM TIM WATSON EC CUMBERLAND CTY EXERCISE MESSAGE FEB 25 1510Z
THIS IS AN EXERCISE MESSAGE DESIGNED TO INCREASE FAMILIARITY AMONG NET PARTICIPANTS WITH VARIOUS FORMS USED IN EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS. PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT.
ROUTE TO WHEELER@CUMBERLANDCOUNTY.ORG
— RADIOGRAM — 8 R KB1HNZ 16 SACO ME 1502 FEB 25 RYAN MICHAELSON KB1YTR 235 E LOCUST ST DULUTH MN 55811 KB1YTR AT ARRL DOT NET BT GREETINGS FROM YOUR FRIENDS IN MAINE X HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BT TIM KB1HNZ
— RADIOGRAM —
2977 PA N1RXR 23 NEW GLOUCESTER ME 0025 FEB 26 21 TIM WATSON 11 LYMAN AVE SACO ME BT NORTH ATLANTIC NORTH OF 31 NORTH TO 67 NORTH AND WEST OF THIRTY FIVE WEST X HURRICANE FORCE WINDS WARNING AT FIFTY EIGHT NORTH MILLIBAR OF 960
— ICS-213 — TO KB1HNZ TRAINED SPOTTER FROM N1RXR STATIONARY HOME LOCATION SUB ICEBERG LOCATION 02-26-2021 0040Z
LABRADOR COAST AND STRAIT OF BELLE ISLE NORTH OF FIFTY TWO DEGREES NORTH TWENTY THREE ICE BERGS REPORT NORTH OF FIFTY TWO DEGREES NORTH
— RADIOGRAM — 3 R HXC KC1JMH ARL 4 WATERBORO ME 1929L FEB 25 ALAN SERL KM6KPW 3121 WHATA RD JURUPA VALLEY CA 92509 ALANSERL AT SCRNET DOT COM BT ARL FIFTY ONE WSSM BT KC1JMH AR
Check-ins: KC1JMH Brad, Waterboro, Battery Power KC1HBL Ben, Buxton, Commercial Power KC1OER Norris, Portland, Commercial Power KC1MSR Nick, Gorham, Commercial Power KB1FGF Dave, Scarborough, Commercial Power KC1OLX Tom, Gorham, Mobile N1SNP Mark, Windham, Mobile N1RXR Eric, New Gloucester, Commercial Power W2VAN Mike, Portland, Commercial Power
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the WSSM Meeting on the Air! We had 15 check-ins, a few of which were first time participants. The net started on time, at 7:00PM. Tim KB1HNZ served as moderator.
Among the items discussed were the minutes from last Thursday’s monthly business meeting, which included a reminder for Winter Field Day participants to get their logs in by the deadline of February 28th. Brad KC1JMH gave us an update on the Maine Packet Radio network, and also introduced a new website that he’s designed for it, which can be found here.
Tim KB1HNZ talked about creating a place where club members can coordinate helping each other out with ham radio projects, such as antenna installs, and that is live now. It’s called Helping Hams.
Earlier in the day, Chris Wheeler at Cumberland County EMA contacted us and said they are looking for volunteers to assist with the vaccination efforts at Scarborough Downs. The job roles will be more along the lines of helping with traffic flow and observation than communications, but that may evolve. If anyone is interested in helping out, please contact Chris at: email@example.com. It’s a big job and they could use our help.
The topic for the evening was to “describe your antenna installations. If you have a wire antenna, how did you put it up?”
The informals began with Russ WA1JFX, who checked-in from Waldoboro. Russ described his 10-element beam and inverted V antennas. Next up was Roger K1DFA, who joined us from Bartlett, NH. Brad KC1JMH described some the misadventures of his first wire antenna install, which included getting a pole saw stuck in a tree! Jason W1SFS told us about the Spaulding tower and Hexbeam that he setup over the summer, and Eric N1RXR described using a fishing pole and weight to “cast” the line for his wire antenna. Ron KC1AOT described his setup, which includes a Butternut vertical for HF, while Jim KB1SDK talked about his Comet antenna on a painters pole and the fact that his dipole “slipped down onto the roof shingles.”
Next up was Frank, in Plano, Texas, who joined us via Echolink. Frank announced that he got a new call sign, KR5N. He described his G-Whip end-fed antenna and the E-Z Hang launcher that he used to put it up. Norris KC1OER, who checked-in from Portland, described his Arrow dual-band J-Pole, which was currently inside near a window. Ben KC1HBL, talked about his Diamond X300 antenna, and Pete KC1HBM also mentioned having the same antenna. Next up was Dave KB1FGF, who described his antenna setup, which includes a Diamond CP6A vertical in the backyard and a VHF antenna attached to his chimney.
We had a few late check-ins. Steve WZ1J (with club call W1GR), described his impressive operating conditions, which included a Yaesu FT1000D and FT847 among others for transceivers, and a pair of towers – one that’s 200′ tall and another that’s 90′. Waylon KC1HJN described his progression over the years from using a discone to his current Ringo for VHF, and a Cushcraft vertical for 20-6 meters and a 40/15m dipole for HF. Our final check-in was Jonathan KC1MXB, from Springvale, and Matt AC1KO let us know he was listening from Windham.
Two pieces of traffic were handled during the net:
2 R HXC KC1JMH 17 WATERBORO ME 1405Z FEB 19 STEVE HANSEN KB1TCE PO BOX 456 OWLS HEAD ME 04854 NO PHONE BT FINE JOB ON THE ARTICLES ABOUT MESSAGE HANDLING IN MAINE TELEGRAPH X THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS BT BRAD BROWN KC1JMH OP NOTE RECEIVED VIA WSSM MEETING ON THE AIR AR
8929 P N1RXR 16 NEW GLOUCESTER ME 1408Z FEB 19 TIM WATSON KB1HNZ 11 LYMAN AVENUE SACO ME 04072 NO PHONE KB1HNZ ATSIGN YAHOO DOT COM BT WEATHER CHANGES ARE COMING FOR WARMER TEMPS X 40 IN NEW ENGLAND AND TEXAS 60 DEGREES BT ERIC EMERY N1RXR OP NOTE RECEIVED VIA WSSM MEETING ON THE AIR AR
Net started: 7:00 PM
KC1JMH Brad, Waterboro, ME
W1SFS Jason, Scarborough, ME
N1RXR Eric, New Gloucester, ME
KC1AOT Ron, Denmark, ME
KB1SDK Jim, South Portland, ME
KR5N Frank, Plano, TX
KC1OER Norris, Portland, ME
KC1HBL Ben, Buxton, ME
K1DFA Roger, Bartlett, NH
WA1JFX Russ, Waldoboro, ME
KC1HJN Waylon Windham, ME
KC1HBM Peter, Scarborough, ME
KB1FGF Dave, Scarborough, ME
WZ1J (W1GR) Steve, Brunswick, ME
KC1MXB Jonathan, Springvale, ME
AC1KO Matt, Windham, ME (Listening)
Net secured at 8:01 PM
After the close of the net on the repeater, the After Net immediately followed on 28.455 USB. Conditions were quite noisy. Tim KB1HNZ barely copied Eric N1RXR, and Jason W1SFS, but with much weaker signals than usual.
It’s that time of year again to renew your membership with the Wireless Society of Southern Maine. On behalf of the society and its members, I’d like to THANK YOU for your support and continuing participation.
Your membership has enabled us to accomplish a lot in 2020! The year started out with Winter Field Day, where we operated in the Outdoor category from the Cumberland County EMA Communications Trailer. In March, members took part in the annual 2 Meter FM Simplex Contest, which turned out to be one of the most competitive in recent memory, and several were also involved with the Maine 200 Bicentennial Special Event, which was a huge effort and a lot of fun to be a part of!
We were all geared up to have a display at the Maine ARRL Convention in late March and at NEARFest a few weeks later, but both events were cancelled due to the emerging pandemic. During this period, we also weren’t able to meet in-person, but we made the best of it, gathering on-air for “Self-Quarantine Simplex Drills” on Thursday nights. These drills began as simple meetups on 146.580 FM simplex, and evolved into more complex drills that saw participants check-in from various shelter locations, and explore new modes like Winlink, and the FLDigi suite.
As the summer neared, it was time to think about Field Day, which came together quite late as COVID restrictions were eased just in time to allow small gatherings, and the Hillock family of Wassamki Springs Campground allowed us to setup in their field to operate for the 10th consecutive year. We entered in the 2A category with two HF stations and one 6 meter station, with a small team of operators who took turns getting on the air. In the meantime, the rules allowed for other club members to participate from their own homes and contribute to the club score, and several of them did.
In July, a few club members ventured up to the summit of Mt. Washington to activate it for Summits on the Air, and in late August, the WS1SM team visited Owls Head Lighthouse for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW).
Throughout the year, club members actively support Cumberland County EMA, participating in exercises, including the Simulated Emergency Test (SET), in October, which focused on a hurricane scenario, and tested the capabilities of the Maine Packet Network and voice communications on VHF simplex and HF. We learned a lot from the event, which will enable us to improve our capabilities in the months ahead.
I am looking forward to welcoming you as a returning member. Together, we can continue to improve and advance the amateur radio hobby amongst the public and ourselves. When renewing, please let us know of any changes in your contact information. Memberships can be paid at any club meeting, or online via PayPal.
SCARBOROUGH, ME – On the weekend of June 27-28, the WS1SM team participated in their 10th ARRL Field Day from Wassamki Springs Campground, in Scarborough. Since the pandemic prevented many of the usual social activities that take place during the weekend, such as cookouts and visits from the public and elected officials, Field Day had quite a different feel to it this year, but we still managed to pull it together, and it turned out to be one of our most successful to date!
With limited in-person participants, we operated as 2A (which is a club station, on battery power, using 2 transmitters), for the first time since 2013, maintaining a continuous presence on the bands on SSB, and digital. Meanwhile, we had the support of club members who operated from their own homes, including Greg Finch W1GF, who scored a remarkable 4,706 points on his own – making 1,164 QSOs! Joe Blinick K1JB, contributed over 200 QSOs and Roger Pushor NK1I, contributed almost 50 OSOs! And there were others as well. This all added up to a club aggregate score of 9,694 points!
The plan came together late as there were lots of questions about whether or not the ARRL would make changes to the rules to accommodate COVID-19 concerns, and they finally did about two weeks prior to the event. The temporary rules allowed for home stations, operating as either 1D or 1A, to contribute to a club aggregate score, and also allowed those stations to work each other. Normally, 1D stations would not be able to count QSOs with other 1D stations.
Because of regulations in place during the spring about the number of people who could gather in a single location, we didn’t know if we’d be able to operate from the campground – or any public location at all. The idea of doing an outdoor Field Day began to look more promising, though, as some of those restrictions, especially relating to outdoor gatherings, began to be relaxed after June 1st. The Hillock family, who owns Wassamki Springs Campground, were very welcoming when we approached them, and we were able to implement safety protocols that satisfied both parties.
Eleven participants joined us at the campground for the 2A operations, which is about a third of what we normally have.
Setup began late Friday afternoon when a handful of club members helped to setup a tent, hung a multiband dipole across the field between trees, and also installed a 40m rotatable dipole on the side of the CCEMA Communications Trailer. Mike and Chris from Cumberland County EMA helped out as well. The two stations consisted of a Yaesu FT-857d and Icom IC-7300, both running on battery power. On Saturday morning, Charlie W1CPS, setup his 6m station, which includes a 5 element yagi atop a 40-foot mast and an Icom IC-7000. Not long afterwards, we were ready to get on the air!
Although there was a threat of thunderstorms, the weather was pleasant for the entire Field Day, including setup and break down, and the band conditions seemed very good as well. 40 meters was steady throughout most of the weekend, and 20m opened up nicely late Saturday afternoon and early Sunday. Late on Saturday, our tent station, which multiple club members took turns operating from, switched from SSB to digital and continued to operate that way throughout the evening and into the early morning.
6 meter conditions were excellent Saturday afternoon, as Charlie W1CPS and company started to click off steady contacts. As evening set in, the conditions faded, but they had a similar opening the next day. Eric N1RXR had a really good run going on 40 meters Saturday evening, and Stefania K1GJY made lots of QSOs on 20 meters Sunday morning and early afternoon.
Our Safety Officers for 2020 ARRL Field Day were Brad Brown, Jr. KC1JMH, and Charlie Shepard W1CPS. Brad reported the following: “I made sure any trip hazards were marked, that fire suppression was handy, CDC signs were up and did my best to remind people of PPE and distance. Charlie had his space roped off to ensure guests stay within a socially acceptable distance. First-Aid kits were readily available in my pickup, my go-bag and next to Charlie’s fire extinguisher.”
Fellow club members, Frank KR1ZAN in Plano, TX, and Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, in Duluth, MN, helped us copy the W1AW Field Day message, which was super helpful because many of us were setting up antennas during the broadcast!
Tim KB1HNZ sent radiograms to the Section Manager and several others by way of the Digital Traffic Network via our Packet station on VHF.
Late Saturday, Eric N1RXR, was successful at making a satellite QSO via AO92.
Due to the situation with the pandemic, we chose not to host a GOTA station, which unfortunately means that we weren’t able to spend time introducing any newly licensed or interested parties to ham radio, but it was still good to see Mike N5QYQ and Steve AA1HF, who usually help us with that, at the event.
Special thanks to Chris Wheeler, 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 10th consecutive year!
We finished up with 714 QSOs and 3,376 points for the 2A operation, and taking into account all of our contributors from home, we got a total of 9,694 points! It was a massive effort. Thanks to everyone for helping to make our 2020 Field Day such a success!
Click here to view photos of this year’s and previous Field Days.
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:
It’s hard to believe that Winter is almost behind us! It seems like just yesterday we were on the air for Winter Field Day, operating from the parking lot at the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA), in Windham, Maine.
This was WSSM’s third year competing in Winter Field Day, which is similar in many ways to the ARRL Field Day, as it takes place over 24 hours and encourages hams to operate outdoors “in the field,” but because of the season, it often takes place in extremely cold weather. Last year temperatures were below zero overnight and we were fighting propane bottles that were freezing up. That wasn’t the case this year, as the weather was surprisingly mild. Setup on Saturday morning was a pleasure without the freezing of extremities, and the weather was good for breaking down as well. Overnight, and into Sunday morning, we did experience some heavy rain, but it didn’t have any adverse effects on operating.
Using the call sign WS1EC, the WSSM team operated two stations for the entire 24 hours, on emergency power. Thankfully, we had the shelter of CCEMA’s communications trailer, which kept us warm and dry, and access to the bunker for food and restroom breaks.
The setup included an Icom IC-7300, connected most of the time to a 40m rotatable dipole, and a Yaesu FT-950, which was utilized either a 160m end-fed, or BuddiPole tuned to 20 meters. The band conditions were quite good, and contacts were steady. At the end of the day, we logged 455 QSO’s and worked almost every ARRL section.
Thanks for everyone’s help in setting up, breaking down, operating, and for bringing such good food to the pot luck! I’d like to also give a special shout out to Dave Feeney WN1F, for all his support over the years. By the time this is published, Dave will be retired from working as a Planner at the Cumberland County EMA. Happy retirement, Dave!