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  March / April 2014                                                                                                                         Volume 4, Issue 2

WSSM Members Teach Intro to Ham Radio Class
Maine Air National Guard, South Portland, ME

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

 Maine Air National Guard

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME -  On Wednesdays in March, WSSM members Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, Thom Watson W1WMG and Tim Watson KB1HNZ taught an Intro to Ham Radio course for members of the Maine Air National Guard. The class was capped off by a VE exam on March 26th.

Full Story

WSSM Members To Teach Course for Wells / Ogunquit Adult Education

Intro to Ham Radio
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

 adult ed 

On Tuesday, May 6th, WSSM members will teach a 2 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!

QSL Corner

Here's a QSL card received recently by KB1HNZ for a 17m SSB QSO at 1352 UTC on February 22, 2014. The QSL is for a special event station commemorating Rotary International's continued efforts to eradicate Poliomyelitis. 

See more QS:'s

Seguin Island DXpedition

Visiting the WSSM booth at the Maine State ARRL Convention

Lewiston, ME
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

LEWISTON, ME -  Join us as we visit the WSSM booth at the Maine State ARRL Convention, which took place the final Saturday in March. The booth featured a visual display, slideshow presentation, the Challenge Cup, and plenty of handouts to promote club membership and our sponsored events.

Full Story

Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge
2014 Final Results

by Thom Watson, W1WMG

Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge

SCARBOROUGH, ME - The 2014 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge was the most competitive yet, and for the first time saw a mobile operator take the top prize. The most closely fought battle was in the QRP mobile category, where there was a tie for first, and the heavily contested Medium Mobile category was seperated by only a few QSOs.

Full Story

BARL celebrates FIFA World Cup with Special Events and Award
2014 FIFA World Cup

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

Ham CalcZX14RJ

The Brazilian Amateur Radio League celebrates the FIFA World Cup with special event stations and the Brazil Soccer Land Award, for QSOs that take place between 1 June - 30 July.

Full Story

Upcoming Meetings

May 8th - from 7PM-9PM at Wassamki Springs Campground

June 12th - from 7PM-9PM at Wassamki Springs Campground


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:  Peter Dootz KC1BNZ of Falmouth, ME, Sebastian Ames KC1BMY of Scarborough, ME, David Gilchrist N1OXE of Lewiston, ME, Christopher Ludden KC1BNB of Wells, ME, Gonnapa St. Pierre KC1BMX of South Portland, ME, John Hawkins KC1BMZ of Topsham, ME, Willie Richardson KC1AKU of Topsham, ME, and Bill Richardson NG1P of Topsham, ME.

Happy Easter
From the Editor's Desk

Rules For Band Cops

In a recent QST article entitled "More Views on Pileup Misbehavior," the author expressed his opinion that pileups are more unruly now than ever before, and the reason for this is that hams who are calling a DX station have either a genetic predisposition toward conflict, or a complete disregard for the rules. I don't know about about any of you, but my own experience from recent pileups doesn't quite match this description. Sure there are always those few who continue calling even if the letters in their call sign are nowhere near what the DX station came back to, or when working split, there's the occasional few who don't get the message and call on the DXer's transmit frequency instead. But these are rare exceptions. The biggest menace lately is the increasing number of what I call "Band Cops."

Have you ever wondered who these people are? The fact is, we don't know because they never identify. They sit on a DX calling frequency, (obviously without any intention of contacting the DX, since they don't operate split). Furthermore, they have stations that most of us would probably envy, because their signals are almost always 20db over S-9! This makes you question why they don't just work the DX station and move on, but instead they park themselves there for an extraordinary length of time, just waiting for the opportunity to pounce.

But why? What authority do they believe they have to "police" the bands, and for who's benefit? Certainly not hams like me who are trying to work the DX but can't hear them because there's 11 idiots who are screaming "he's working split! Up! Up! Up!" over and over and over. Most of the time I don't even hear the so-called offending station - if there even is one! As far as I'm concerned, these "band cops" are causing intentional interference, and are the only ones breaking any laws.

What is the Solution?

Now, in order to best answer this question, let's first identify the disorder that is at the root of this problem. "Band Cops," we know, have or show a feeling of patronizing superiority. In psychology, this is called a Narcissitic Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, this is one of the three most difficult disorders to treat. It is definied as an ongoing pattern of grandiosity and need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. It should be noted that it's three times more common in males than females. (which seems to hold true, since I've never heard a YL Band Cop). These individuals have an obvious self love, and they believe they are more knowledgeable and indeed an expert in "the rules of DXing," among other things. Furthermore, they are usually shocked when they are not praised for their efforts. 

The  QST article, which blames inexperienced and "unruly" hams for "Pileup Misbehavior" is unfortunately the kind of condescending and unhelpful nonsense that is actually the most damaging behavior in amateur radio today. It seems to me that if this were truly an issue, then the easiest way to fix it would be through education and support - something it doesn't offer. It is more likely that this particular article, in a misguided attempt to deflect blame, is written by a card carrying "Band Cop" himself.

Since I've now shocked the "Band Cop" community by not praising their efforts, I will now attempt to explain my reasoning. The biggest being that you're doing it all wrong! So, to help assist you in your future band-policing efforts, I've come up with a few simple rules:

Rule Number 1 - For a split operation, spend most of your day listening and transmitting on the DX sending frequency. On CW, if somebody calls on this frequency, right away, using your Vibroplex at 5 wpm, send: VP.. UG.. NP... UP (until you get it right).

This has three benefits.

A. Others waiting to work the DX station will be forever indebted to you for informing the offending station that the DX is working split.

B. The offending station will be grateful.

C. You will get some needed code practice so you can get over that 5 wpm hump.

Rule Number 2 - (For those with CW and Voice memory keyers, this will be easy). All you have to do is pre-program some macros with the words: "UP" and "LID." For the more advanced operators, you can try "SPLIT" or "YOU IDIOT, WORKING SPLIT." And don't forget the simple, but effective "FU."

Using the memory keyers for your days policing will save your voice. Should you happen, by chance, to have a QSO... you might need it.

Till next issue,


Tim Watson