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.

Self-Quarantine SKYWARN Drill

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Join us this Thursday evening from 7PM-8PM, on 146.595 FM Simplex, for the Self Quarantine SKYWARN Drill. This will be similar to previous simplex drills, but the traffic to be exchanged will be your current weather, using the format of the Severe Weather Report Form, which can be downloaded here as a filable PDF. The goal will be to pass your traffic to WX1GYX, who will be checking in.

Once the net is secured on 2 meter simplex, those with DMR capabilities will be asked to check in on the DMR Talkgroup (759), where we will continue the net and take additional traffic from those who couldn’t get in on simplex.

 

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.

2019 Maine 2m FM Simplex Challenge Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 2019 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge winners! Stefania Watson, K1GJY, from Saco, Maine, who made 119 QSOs and 38 bonus points, in 17 different towns, for a total of 2,669 points, took the overall win. Stefania operated mobile from 29 different locations during the contest. In the categories, Eric Emery KC1HJK, who operated as WX1GYX from the National Weather Service, in Gray, won the Medium Fixed class, in a close battle with Ara Kemezys  AC1FB, and Brad Brown KC1JMH, who operated as WS1EC from the Cumberland County EMA.  Dakota Dumont KB1YYC won QRP Mobile over Greg Dean K1ME, and Rick Alderette KB1ASM won the Fixed High Category.

Please click here for a complete run down of the 2019 results.

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Here’s a point-to-point study of K1GJY’s contacts from the 2019 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge

The 2020 2 Meter FM Challenge is coming up soon, on Saturday, March 28th. Click here for more information and complete rules.

 

The Maine Bicentennial Special Event take place March 16-22

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The Maine Bicentennial Special Event, an amateur radio activity celebrating the 200th anniversary of Maine statehood, will take place between March 16th and March 22nd, 2020.

Twelve special event call signs will be active, each representing one of Maine’s nine original counties, plus three special locations that have historical significance. These include the city of Boston (K1B), which was capital of the District of Maine while it was still part of Massachusetts, Jameson Tavern, in Freeport (K1J), where the papers were signed that separated Maine from Massachusetts, and Portland (K1P), which was Maine’s first capital. The original nine counties will be represented by the following call signs during the event: Cumberland (W1C), Hancock (W1H), Kennebec (W1K), Lincoln (W1L), Oxford (W1O), Penobscot (W1P), Somerset (W1S), Washington (W1W), and York (W1Y).

Maine became the nation’s 23rd state on March 15, 1820, following an election in the District of Maine, and passage of the Missouri Compromise in Washington. Although the idea of separation from Massachusetts was a controversial one, 70% of Maine voters eventually chose statehood.

The ham radio special event will coincide with several other celebrations during Maine’s Bicentennial year. Amateur radio operators from across Maine and Massachusetts, will operate from both portable and home stations. On-air activities will begin at 0000 UTC on March 16th, and continue through 2359 UTC on March 22nd.

Certificates will be awarded to hams who contact special event stations, with endorsements available for bands, modes, and a clean sweep for contacts with each of the Maine 200 Special Event call signs.

Please visit: https://maine200specialevent.com/ for more information and announcements leading up to this special on-air activity.

ATTENTION MAINE HAMS: If you’re interested in operating during the Maine 200 Special Event, please send an email to: mainehamradio@gmail.com

 

WS1SM Team Activates Mt. Agamenticus for Summits on the Air (SOTA)

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by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

YORK, ME – The WS1SM team ventured to the summit of Mt. Agamenticus on May 19th, meeting for breakfast at Maine Diner, in Wells, before making their way up the mountain. Among those who participated were Greg Dean K1ME, CJ Carlsson W1CJC, Brad Brown KC1JMH, Eric Emery KC1HJK, and myself. It was my second activation from the summit, having been part of the 2013 team, but for the others, it was their first SOTA activation from Mt. Agamenticus (W1/AM-381).

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Greg Dean K1ME (left) operates 20m CW, while Eric Emery KC1HJK (foreground), makes his first HF contact, on 20m SSB

Being a former ski area “The Big A,” Mt. Aggie is more developed than most of the mountains we hike to. There is a summit house, that was once a ski lodge, well groomed hiking trails, a parking area, and remnants of an old T-bar chair lift, among other relics. We set up our stations on a picnic table on the northern side of the clearing at the top.

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CJ Carlsson W1CJC, operates 40m SSB

Among the equipment used were my Yaesu Ft-857d and BuddiPole rotatable dipole, which I used on 14 and 21 MHz, CJ’s Icom IC706, which was paired with a 40m dipole strung in the trees, and various VHF radios. Greg brought a yagi for 144, which made for some interesting contacts, and we also used a TYT TH-9000D and J Pole for 220 MHz. Brad KC1JMH also took the opportunity to try his partially finished QRP kit on the air for the first time.

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A friend stops by

The weather was cloudy and windy at times, but otherwise pretty nice compared to the several days of rain that preceded the expedition. The only rain we experienced was a little bit on the drive toward the mountain, and some during setup, but it didn’t last. Conditions on the HF bands were much worse, however, and contacts were slow going with only a handful on SSB and CW. We made the majority of our QSOs on VHF, making one summit-to-summit contact, and one as far away as Boxboro, MA on 2 meter FM Simplex.

Photos courtesy of Eric Emery (copyright mark), and Brad Brown

For more information about WSSM SOTA expeditions, click here.