March / April 2012                                                                                                                          Volume 2, Issue 2
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Soldering in Gorham
Roger Pience, N1XP, teaches hands-on soldering workshop
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

After the January meeting was "snowed out," we began discussing what was going to be the topic of the monnth, which was soldering, and before we knew it, everyone present at the next informal session at Dunkin Donuts received "homework." Roger Pience N1XP, who was scheduled to give a soldering demonstration at the next meeting handed out printed circuit boards (about 2"X2"), along with a strip of resistors, and our assignment was to solder the resistors in the correct locations. This might sound like a piece of cake, but the smallness of the boards and the components made it quite tricky.

Charlie W1CPS, sporting his glasses, while Roger N1XP looks on

When we arrived at the meeting, proudly showing off our circuit boards - some that were pretty well done, and others that were globs of molten plastic - we all at least had an idea of the task at hand.

Roger began by going over some of the equipment required, and explained what soldering tips, flux, and solder works best in certain applications, then he demonstrated proper techniques. From there, many of us gave it a try for ourselves, using the equipment he brought in.

"The current trend might be towards smaller and smaller," said Thom Watson W1WMG. "but these electronic manufacturers should really give more consideration to us do-it-yourselfers and make something you can work on without magnifying equiptment."  Thom was no doubt refering to the magnifying spectacles that Charlie Shepard W1CPS, was wearing most of the evening. This new statement in fashion was practically a necessity, considering the size of the circuit board and components we were trying to solder.

Roger did bring in some other pieces to experiment with, which thankfully were a bit larger and easier to work on, (since the resistors could be seen with the naked eye).

Later in the evening, Charlie W1CPS, and Rory McEwen KB1PLY, took the opportunity to build a copper pipe 2 meter J-pole, which Rory was planning on using during the 2 meter contest. This was a different type of soldering, involving a torch, which Charlie handled expertly. The only downside was that it caused a little bit of of smoke, requiring us to turn on the exhaust fans over the stoves - just to keep the sprinklers from going off!

All in all we had a great time, and hopefully learned a few things as well. Thanks Roger!

Ham Radio Finally Jumps on the Maker Bandwagon
ARRL Unveils its DIY Campaign
by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

Over three years ago, I wrote that amateur radio should do more to associate itself with the Maker, or "do it yourself" (DIY) movement (  Well, it finally looks like it is going to do just that

Just before the first of the year, the ARRL unveiled its DIY campaign. It mostly consists of the video below, but there’s also a flier designed to be a hand-out to go along with the video. A PowerPoint presentation and speaker’s notes also are available, as well as ‘Ask Why I DIY with Ham Radio’ buttons.

CQ  magazine is also jumping on the bandwagon. They recently annnounced that they will run a quarterly “Maker” column, written by Matt Stultz, KB3TAN. Stultz is the founder of “HackPittsburgh,” a “hackerspace” or community workshop for makers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been a ham since 2009 and has integrated amateur radio into many of HackPittsburgh’s activities.

Stultz’s first column, titled “We Are Makers,” will appear in the March issue of CQ. It provides a general introduction to the maker/hacker community for hams, as well as a description of a high-altitude balloon project that brought the two groups together in Pittsburgh.

QSL Corner

These days there's LoTW and other ways of verifying a radio contact, but nothing quite beats a paper QSL that's traveled half way around the world, with a picture of the operator or their home town, or their equipment, and a hand written note on the back. The club station, WS1SM, has been very active this past year and these recent QSL cards are from our JOTA event back in October.

7X5QB     N3FT


DJ8OG      DK0FR

DH8BQA      DF7ZS 

To view other cards received, visit the QSL gallery on our webpage.

For Sale
X7 Cushcraft "Big Thunder" antenna for 20-15-10 meters. Call Gilbert Bineua K1LMJ for pricing and details, at 207-839-4783, or contact him by email at: [email protected] 

Maine State Convention - March 23rd and 24th at the Ramada Inn and Convention Center in Lewiston, ME. Visit: for more details.

Framingham ARC Spring Flea Market and Exams - Sunday, March 25th. Visit: for more details. 
WRTC 2014

You Can Help
items for trade
If you have any items for trade, contact one of our members to have it listed here. Send an email to: [email protected] with a brief description and contact information. 
If you offer any ham radio related services, for example, if you repair meters or radios, build your own transmitters, make QSL cards to order, or rebuild microphones, you may list these services here.

If there are any items you may be looking for, use this space to get the word out. Just send an email to [email protected], or mention it at an upcoming meeting.
All advertisements are listed for FREE. Advertising shall pertain to products and services which are related to amateur radio. No advertisement may use more than 40 words. Please send a description of items for sale, wants, or services to Thom Watson at [email protected], or bring it to an upcoming meeting of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine. All ads will be printed one time, unless renewed.
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