The Radiogram – Summer / Fall 2018

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Click here to view the latest issue of the Radiogram – the official eNews of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine.

In this issue we review the WSSM Field Day at Wassamki Springs, ILLW 2018 from Spring Point Ledge Light, 2018 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge Winners, DX News, and more!

2018 Field Day at Wassamki Springs

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The Spiderbeam with WS1SM banner on a guy wire

2018 Field Day was a tremendous success, and a lot of fun! Special thanks to the Hillock family of Wassamki Springs Campground for hosting us for the 8th consecutive year!

UPDATE: The 2018 ARRL Field Day results are in, and WS1SM captured 1st place in Maine for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, we finished 14th overall in the 3A category, cracking the top 20 for the 2nd time in 2 years. Congratulations to everyone on our team for a job well done! Click here to read the QST article.

Operating twice around the clock, in the 3A category, we captured 1,730 Bonus Points, and 6,968 QSO points, which is a new record for WS1SM. The biggest areas of improvement this year were in SSB QSOs (+500), and in the bonus points (+200) over last year.

Setup began Friday morning, as Rick K1OT and helpers met to raise his 40′ tower and antennas. Later in the evening Tim KB1HNZ and Eric KC1HJK setup the Spiderbeam tribander.

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Rick K1OT (L) and Joe K1JB (R) in the CW Trailer

On-air activities began at 2PM on Saturday, and continued through 2PM Sunday. All the radios ran on 100% battery power, with the exception of a handful of QSO that Charlie W1CPS made on solar power.

Frank KR1ZAN and Steve AA1HF served as coaches for a Get on the Air (GOTA) station, which operated concurrently in the Wassamki Springs Ham Shack, which is located in the former camp store. There were 6 participants who made QSOs!

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Waylon KC1HJN and Steve AA1HF hunt for hidden transmitters

The educational activity for this year was Radio Direction Finding, using various methods, including a tape measure yagi, rotatable loop, and attenuator.

Peter KC1HBM, invited Scarborough Town Councilor, Jean-Marie Caterina, who spent some time talking to participants and got a tour of the Field Day and GOTA operations.

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Scarborough Town Councilor, Jean-Marie Caterina visits the WS1SM Field Day site and also checks out the GOTA station (seen above).

Special thanks to everyone who brought food to the pot luck supper on Saturday evening, especially to Sheila Martin, W1DXX, who brought lots of pizza, and Mike Mooney, who brought ribs and pulled pork!

Tim KB1HNZ composed or replied to 23 messages, which were transmitted via Winlink on HF. He also operated some digital modes over night on Saturday.

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Frank KR1ZAN successfully makes a satellite QSO

The CW operators equaled last year’s total, and Charlie W1CPS came just 2 QSOs short of his previous best on 6 meters.

We also copied the Field Day bulletin, thanks to the efforts of Frank KR1ZAN and Ryan KB1YTR.

Frank, with the help of Waylon KC1HJN, also helped us get a satellite QSO during the last SO50 pass of the day.

Field Day was a massive team effort, and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s help. Great job everyone!

DMR Simplex Sunday

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On Sunday, June 17, 2018, WSSM members set out on a coordinated mountain topping expedition in order to learn more about the range limits of DMR simplex. The longest distance contact achieved was between Mt. Equinox, VT and Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC – a distance of: 151.13 mi / 243.22 km (UHF), and the second longest was between Mt. Greylock, MA and Mt. Washington, NH – a distance of: 145.56 mi / 234.25 km (both VHF and UHF).

Read the full story here.

WSSM Meeting on the Air – Jan 4, 2018

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Net Report for 01/04/2018

WSSM Meeting on the Air

Net commenced at 7:00PM (0000 UTC)

Moderator: Tim KB1HNZ, Saco, ME

11 Check-ins, including:

  • WX1GYX  Eric,  New Gloucester, ME
  • KB1PLY  Rory,  Saco, ME
  • W1AMX  Dave,  Harrison, ME
  • KC1HBM  Peter,  Scarborough, ME
  • KC1DFO  Pete,  Dayton, ME
  • KC1HJN  Waylon,  Windham, ME
  • KC1AOT  Ron,  Denmark, ME
  • KA1VPU  Tim,  Gorham, ME
  • W2VAN  Mike,  Portland, ME
  • W1CJC  CJ,  Portland, ME
  • KC1DSP  Patrick,  Biddeford, ME

Net closed at 7:45PM (0045 UTC)


The After Net (28.455 USB)

Net commenced at 7:47PM (0047 UTC)

Moderator: Rory KB1PLY

2 Check-ins, including:

  • KC1DFO  Pete,  Dayton, ME
  • KB1HNZ  Tim,  Saco, ME

Net closed at 8:15PM (0115 UTC)


Net Announcements:    

SKYWARN was activated throughout the day for the winter storm, beginning at 10AM, collecting reports from multiple sources, including 2m FM, DMR, and HF.

WSSM will take part in Winter Field Day on January 27-28, 2018. A planning session will take place at the January 11th formal meeting at the CCEMA Bunker, 22 High Street, Windham, ME