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September / October  2013                                                                                                                         Volume 3, Issue 5

WS1SM Team Activates Douglas Mountain, W1/AM-140 for SOTA
Sebago, ME

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

 Douglas Mountain

SEBAGO, ME - On  September 22nd, WSSM members ventured to the 1382 ft summit of Douglas Mountain to activate it for Summits on the Air. Using a portable J-Pole for 2 meter FM, and a pair of HF antennas, including a BuddiPole and a G-Whip end-fed zepp, they made over 100 QSO's in just a few hours of operating. 

Full Story

WSSM Members To Teach Course for Wells / Ogunquit Adult Education

Intro to Ham Radio
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

 adult ed 

On November 12th, WSSM members will teach a 3 hour course introducing Amateur Radio to students of Wells / Ogunquit Adult Education. The course, which requires preregistration, is designed to launch students on the path toward earning their first ham radio license. Click here to sign up.

Full Story

QSL Corner

Here's a QSL card received recently by Thom Watson, W1WMG, for a 20m SSB QSO at 2137 UTC on February 6th.

See more QS:'s

Rubber Duck Antenna Comparisons Using the Comet CAA500 

Scarborough, ME
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

rubber duck comparison  

SCARBOROUGH, ME -  Modern handhelds offer features never imagined ten years ago, including APRS and digital voice, but have you ever wondered about the performance of their antennas? We'll take a look at some Kenwood and Yaesu OEM antennas, as well as popular aftermarket replacement antennas by Smiley, Nagoya, and Diamond.

Full Story

September Exams Yield  new Licencees and Upgrades

Wassamki Springs Campground
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ


SCARBOROUGH, ME - On Friday, September 27th, the WSSM VE Team held an exam session at Wasamki Springs Campground. We'd like to congratulate everyone who earned their first licenses and those who upgraded their current ones. We had one attendee who passed both his Technician and General class exams in one sitting. Nice job!

Full Story

FCC Issues Shutdown Notice
Washington, DC

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

In wake of the recent government shutdown, the FCC has issued a communique stating that the Commission is "limited to performing duties that are necessary for the safety of life or the protection of property," and that "FCC online systems will not be available until further notice."

Full Story

Upcoming Meetings

November 14th - from 7PM-9PM at the Gorham Recreation Department

December 12th - from 7PM-9PM at the Gorham Recreation Department


Welcome New Members

Check out the ads on page 2 to view items for sale, upcoming hamfests, announcements, and wanted items.

The Wireless Society of Southern Maine would like to welcome the following new members:  Tom Williams W8TOM, of Atlanta, MI, Annette Dumont, of Greene, ME,  Shawn Brust, of Norway, ME, David Rivers,  of Gray, ME, Lee Shaw, of Peoria, AZ, C.J. Carlsson, of Portland, ME, Miriam Conners, of Topsham, ME, Gary Broad, of Saco, ME, Hal Tippets, of Saco, ME, Roy Bryant III, of Old Orchard Beach, ME, Ronello Vaughn, of Denmark, ME, and Roy Bryant, Jr., of Old Orchard Beach, ME. 

From the Editor's Desk

Douglas sm

Autumn and Other Things

So far this fall we've been blessed with awesome weather for our outdoor activities, and good propagation on the HF bands. In recent weeks, 10 meters has made a reappearance, and several members have reported 10m band openings, including during the recent Maine QSO Party. 

The September meeting featured officer elections, as well as a fascinating presentation about the recovery efforts following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, by Frank Krizan KR1ZAN.  I'd like to congratulate Cindy Shepard W1CJSfor being elected President, and Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, for being elected Vice President for the upcoming year. Also congrats to David Wood KB1FGF, for returning as Secretary.

For November's topic, we'll take a look at logging programs, and especially, contest logging software, including popular freeware like N1MM, and pay programs such as N3FJP's Contest Logs. The recent Maine QSO Party gave cause for many to try a logging program for the first time, and although the benefits were recognized immediately, their complexity can be intimidating to first time users. If we have time, we'll also take a look at using these programs to make easy uploads to web databases such as LoTW, eQSL, andClubLog - which is important for keeping track of entities, states, prefixes, etc., needed to apply for awards.

As I'm writing this, the U.S. Federal Government is still in shutdown, and I wouldn't even mention it except that it has an effect on Amateur Radio. The FCC has shutdown its Universal Licensing System and corresponding website, which means new license grants and updates are currently not being processed. Even after the FCC reopens, there's no telling how long it will take to catch up with the backlog of requests being made. Unfortunately, hams-in-waiting, including those who just passed their exams during our VE session on the 27th, are personally feeling the effects of this delay. Hopefully it won't be too long of a wait.

I'd like to remind everyone that we're now meeting at the Tim Hortons on Rt. 1 in Scarborough, on the off Thursdays (from 7-9pm).

tim hortons

See you there!,


Tim Watson