Meeting Minutes 07/08/2021

Meeting Date : July 8, 2021

Start Time: 7:05pm

Members Present: Tim Allen KC1PDR, Stephen McGrath AA1HF, Josh Brown KC1KTX, Tim Watson KB1HNZ, and (Frank Krizan K5RN, Eric Emery N1RXR, & Tim Welch KA1VPU via Free Conference Call).

Treasurer’s Report:

Checking balance: $584.17, PayPal balance: $863.49, Cash on hand: $138.09, W1 QSL Bureau: $20.96. Motion to approve by Eric Emery N1RXR, Seconded by Tim Watson KB1HNZ, and approved by all present.

Old Business:

There were 18 members and guests in attendance at our last meeting, which was held June 10th, at Wassamki Springs Campground. The topic of discussion was final preparation for ARRL Field Day, which would take place the weekend of June 26-27. Several items were discussed, including what radio equipment to use, logging, antennas and antenna placement. Tim KB1HNZ went over the bonus point categories and all were covered. Steve McGrath AA1HF offered that his wife, Marilyn could cook dinner (Saturday) and breakfast (Sunday Morning), and the club agreed to provide a $200 budget for food and supplies.

Tim KB1HNZ mentioned that International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW), which is an event that the club has taken part in every year since 2011, takes place the weekend of August 21-22 this year. Tim has been in contact with the owner of Doubling Point Lighthouse, on the Kennebec River, in Arrowsic, as a possible lighthouse to activate. Doubling Point is a private light, and the owner seemed very interested in our interest to activate it for the event.

Brad Brown KC1JMH, asked if we had any club activities planned for July. Jason Andrews W1SFS suggested a Parks on the Air (POTA) expedition to Mt. Blue State Park (K-2307), with a cookout nearby afterwards. More info to follow.

After the formal meeting, several members walked out to survey the field day site, and especially focused on where to put Rick K1OT’s trailer and tower combo. Steve AA1HF offered to speak with Cindy of Wassamki Springs Campground, during the week to secure a location.

New Business / Announcements:

Josh Brown KC1KTX presented the Treasurer’s report, followed by Tim KB1HNZ reading the Secretary’s report in the absence of our regular secretary, Jason W1SFS. Josh KC1KTX made a motion to accept the secretary’s report, seconded by Eric N1RXR, and all voted in favor.

In New Business, the topic of the night was to reflect on ARRL Field Day. Tim KB1HNZ thanked everyone who contributed to the effort, including Steve’s wife, Marilyn, for her hospitality and for cooking for us all weekend, our Safety Officers, Eric N1RXR and Mike N5QYQ, everyone who helped us earn bonus points, those who helped us setup and breakdown the tents, antennas, and other gear – especially in the heat Sunday afternoon, and everyone who operated!

We logged 1776 QSOs, for a total of 2,966 QSO points, plus we earned 1490 Bonus points, giving us a preliminary total score of 7,422 points!

The discussion then turned to our upcoming POTA activation. Tim KB1HNZ mentioned a few possible dates, and the one that everyone seemed to agree on was Sunday, August 1st. Tim said he would check to see if this date would work for Jason, and once confirmed, we can formally schedule it. This would be a portable activation with no more than two transmitters. Tim KA1VPU offered to bring one that he’d like to try out. Possible antennas could be Tim’s BuddiPole, SOTA Beams dipole, or any other free-standing antenna. The site that we were thinking about setting up at is a scenic overlook, with no trees to use as antenna supports. We would operate on battery power, so extra batteries would be helpful.

Meeting Adjourned: 8:19pm. Josh KC1KTX made the motion to adjourn, seconded by Eric N1RXR, and approved by all present.

Open Discussion Followed:

Afterwards, Steve AA1HF showed off pictures of the weather balloons that he’s tracked down, and he talked about some of the techniques used to track them. He and Tim KC1PDR continued to talk about various ham radio related topics.

Tim KB1HNZ and Frank K5RN talked about their experiences at Field Day, portable antennas, and HF propagation prediction software.

73′
Tim Watson KB1HNZ
President

2021 ARRL Field Day at Wassamki Springs June26-27

Please join us this weekend, June 26-27, at Wassamki Springs Campground, (located at 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME) for ARRL Field Day!

We will be operating in the 3A category (club station with 3 full time HF transmitters), plus we’ll also be active on 6 meters, VHF, and satellite throughout the event.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY – 10:00 AM – Setup for the CW tower/trailer.

FRIDAY – 6:00 PM – Setup for the other HF stations, including tents and antennas.

SATURDAY – 11:00 AM – Final prep and small items such as the table display, will be setup.

SATURDAY – 2:00 PM – On-air activities begin.

SUNDAY – 2:00 PM – On-air activities end, followed by breakdown of equipment and site cleanup.

GOTA STATION

The public is encouraged to attend, and there will also be a Get on the Air (GOTA) station available for anyone who’d like to try out ham radio! Here’s the preliminary schedule for the GOTA station:

Setup: SATURDAY 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Operating hours: SATURDAY: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM & 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Operating hours: SUNDAY: 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM & 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

TEMPORARY RULE WAVER

Similar to last year’s Field Day, a temporary rule waiver allows participants from any Class to optionally include a single club name with their submitted results. This means that if you’d prefer to operate from home, using your own call sign, and would like to contribute to our club aggregate score, you may do so. Please include the full club name: Wireless Society of Southern Maine with your entry.

Click here to review the complete 2021 Field Day rules.

FIELD DAY BULLETIN

Since quite a few of us will be setting up on Friday evening, we could use some help copying the Field Day bulletin. Click here to view the 2021 ARRL Field Day Bulletin schedule, including times, frequencies, and modes.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Wassamki Springs Campground is located at: 56 Saco Street, Scarborough, ME 04074.

Talk-in on 146.580 FM Simplex.

WSSM Meeting on the Air – Tonight at 7:00 PM on 147.090 repeater!

Join us this evening, June 17th, at 7:00PM on the 147.090 repeater, for our monthly meeting on-the-air.

On the agenda, we’ll be reviewing the minutes from our last in person meeting, talk about ARRL Field Day, which takes place next weekend, and ask participants about their latest ham radio project or station upgrade.

As always, if you have HF capabilities, you’re welcome to join us on 28.455 USB for the After Net, immediately following our net on the repeater.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Meeting Reminder – Thursday from 7PM-9PM at Wassamki Springs Campground

Please join us this Thursday, June 10th, from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM, at Wassamki Springs Campground, for our monthly business meeting. If the weather is nice, as expected, we’ll be meeting outside near the former camp store. Please bring a lawn chair as there may not be a picnic table available near the site.

For those who haven’t been there before, the camp store is located near the back of the camping area. Turn right after checking in at the office, follow the road past the lake, and take the next left. Follow that road almost to the end, where you’ll see a small white building with a porch. Its important to DRIVE SLOW and follow all campground rules when present on the property. We are guests!

On the agenda, we’ll be talking about ARRL Field Day, which takes place the weekend of June 26-27 this year! If we have a chance, we may take a walk down and scope out the area where we’ll be setting up.

If you’d like to join us remotely, here’s the dial-in instructions:

Dial-in number (US): (425) 436-6366
Access code: 2618168#
International dial-in numbers: https://fccdl.in/i/kb1hnz
Online meeting ID: kb1hnz
Join the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/kb1hnz

For additional assistance connecting to the meeting, text ‘Call Me’ to the Dial-in number above and you will be called into the conference. Message and data rates may apply.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

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 June 26-27 at Wassamki Springs Campground, 56 Saco Street, Scarborough.

The public is encouraged to attend on Saturday, June 26, from 2p.m. to 8 p.m.

“After the pandemic limited us to a much smaller operation last year, with very little public participation, it will be great to have a more traditional Field Day,” said WSSM President, Tim Watson, of Saco. “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.”

During the event, participants 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 Watson.

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,” Watson explained. “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 club Field Day score in Maine and hopes to finish on top again in 2021,” says Watson. “The public is welcome to attend the event and if anyone is interested in learning more about amateur radio, we’ll be glad to help.”

Anyone can become a licensed amateur radio operator. There are more than 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. The Wireless Society of Southern Maine is ready to help anyone 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

“We’d like to thank the Hillock family, owners of Wassamki Springs Campground, for being such great hosts and providing us with an exceptional facility to setup for Field Day at for meetings throughout the summer.” Please visit: https://wassamkisprings.com/ to find out more about this wonderful campground, located in Scarborough, ME.

WSSM-ECT Training Net – Tonight at 7PM

Please join us this evening at 7:00 PM on the W1QUI 147.090 (+ / 100) repeater, for our monthly On-Air Drill!

The topic for this evening is to review the components of the ARRL Radiogram and to compose and sent test messages that will be similar to those we’ll be sending during ARRL Field Day. We’ll start out on the repeater and move over to 146.580 FM simplex for a roll call. On simplex, we’ll exchange signal reports with each other, note who we can copy, and send traffic.

The purpose of this net is to focus on developing skills, such as familiarity with message forms, traffic handling, using modes like FM Simplex, Winlink, Packet, and the FLDigi suite, while fostering an interest in and recruiting newcomers to emergency communications.

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

SKYWARN Spotter Training and Business Meeting this Thursday!

Please join us this Thursday, May 13th, from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, at 200 U.S. Route 1, Suite 210, Scarborough, ME, for virtual SKYWARN Spotter Training, followed by our monthly business meeting.

From 6:00 to 7:15, we’ll log into NWS Gray’s virtual SKYWARN Spotter Training, which will focus on spring and summer storms, including thunderstorm development. The direct link to the SKYWARN training, if you’d like to join from home can be found here (click on the Training tab):

https://www.weather.gov/gyx/skywarn

Once the SKYWARN training is complete, we’ll begin our monthly business meeting. On the agenda, we’ll be previewing 2021 ARRL Field Day, which takes place June 26-27. We’ll also talk about new membership outreach and development processes that were voted on last session, and an upcoming EmComm drill that will take place this Saturday.

If you’d like to join us remotely, here’s the dial-in instructions:

Dial-in number (US): (425) 436-6366
Access code: 2618168#
International dial-in numbers: https://fccdl.in/i/kb1hnz
Online meeting ID: kb1hnz
Join the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/kb1hnz

For additional assistance connecting to the meeting, text ‘Call Me’ to the Dial-in number above and you will be called into the conference. Message and data rates may apply.

See you there!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

WSSM-ECT Training Net 04/22/21 Net Report

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the WSSM-ECT Training Net for Thursday, April 22nd! We had 12 check-ins on the repeater and 2 on DMR. The net started on time, at 7:00PM. Tim KB1HNZ served as moderator.

One announcement was made by Dave KB1FGF, who mentioned having a 4-way coax switch available for free to anyone who needed one, and he was also looking to sell his Connect Systems CS801 DMR radio.

The topic for the evening was SKYWARN, which focused on some of the things that a new Net Control station should be aware of, including where to find information about approaching hazardous weather, when and how to activate a net, on which frequency to operate, what to ask for, and how to log reports.

Tim KB1HNZ talked about the new SKYWARN Official Supporter program that was rolled out on Tuesday, which is designed to encourage more participation in SKYWARN from the ham radio club and EmComm group level.

Eric N1RXR talked about some of his experiences operating as Net Control for SKYWARN, and stressed the importance of good listening and asking for a specific location when taking reports.

Following the net on the repeater, we took call-ups for weather reports on the DMR SKYWARN Talk Group (759) to help familiarize participants with the SKYWARN talk group.

Net Participants:

  • KB1FGF Dave, Scarborough, ME (FM)
  • KB1IIR Luke, Madison, NH (FM)
  • K5RN Frank, Planto, TX (Echolink)
  • KC1OLX Tom, Gorham, ME (FM)
  • KC1JMH Brad, Waterboro, ME (FM & DMR)
  • KC1OER Norris, Portland, ME (FM)
  • N1RXR Eric, New Gloucester, ME (FM)
  • KC1NZD Rick, Peaks Island, ME (FM)
  • KC1HBL Ben, Buxton, ME (FM)
  • WX1D B.J., Kennebunk, ME (FM & DMR)
  • KU1U, Corey, Sabattus, ME (Echolink)
  • W1QUI, George, Auburn, ME (FM)

This was a fun training. SKYWARN is an important topic that we’ll be revisiting again in the future, and we’ll also work on getting more involvement on the DMR side of things, by helping to update code plugs and programming radios if needed.

73′

Tim

KB1HNZ

WSSM-ECT Net – Tonight at 7PM!

Please join us this evening, at 7:00 PM on the W1QUI 147.090 (+ / 100) repeater, for our monthly ECT Training!

We’ll first meet on the repeater, where we’ll exchange traffic and share announcements, and introduce our topic for the evening, which will be SKYWARN. We’ll talk about the SKYWARN activation process, how a typical net occurs, and answer any questions that come up.

After that, we’ll move over the the DMR SKYWARN Talk Group (759), where we’ll take do a call up for weather reports (which may be real or simulated).

Catch you on the air!

73′

Tim
KB1HNZ

Meeting On The Air – Tonight at 7PM

Join us this evening, April 15th, at 7:00PM on the 147.090 repeater, for our monthly meeting on-the-air.

On the agenda, we’ll review minutes from the most recent Monthly Meeting, in which we talked about Membership Outreach, describe a new feature on the website called Helping Hams, where club members can coordinate helping each other out with ham radio projects, and make announcements about upcoming items of interest. For tonight’s topic, we’ll be asking you to reflect on your first Amateur Radio QSO.

As always, if you have HF capabilities, you’re welcome to join us on 28.455 USB for the After Net, immediately following our net on the repeater.

See you there!

73′

Tim, KB1HNZ