Self-Quarantine Simplex Drill This Thursday on 446.500 MHz

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Don’t get bored. Get on the air! Join us this Thursday evening from 7PM – 8PM, on 446.500, for the “Self Quarantine Simplex Drill.”

The purpose will be to test simplex coverage on the 70 cm band, and to exchange traffic using an ARRL Numbered Radiogram message of your choice. Click here for more info.

The drill begins at 7PM Thursday evening on 446.500 FM Simplex.

Catch you on the air!
73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

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 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.

RRI_Template

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 #2

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Still got the self-quarantine blues? We have a solution for that! Pick up yourt microphone and join us this Thursday evening from 7PM – 8PM for the “Self Quarantine Simplex Drill #2.”

The purpose of this drill will be to relay messages of Ham Radio Humor using the ICS-213 message format, via 2 Meter FM Simplex. The participant that relays the most traffic and establishes contact with the most others, wins a prize!

The drill begins at 7PM Thursday evening on 146.580 FM Simplex.

Catch you on the air!

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

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 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.