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  July / August 2014                                                                                                                         Volume 4, Issue 4
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Seguin Island Expedition
2014 RSGB IOTA Contest

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

SEGUIN ISLAND, ME -  The Wireless Society of Southern Maine ventured to Seguin Island, on July 26th, to take part in the RSBG IOTA Contest.

The 16 member team, included 11-year-old Willie KC1AKU, and his dad Bill NG1P, Thom Watson W1WMG, and brother Tim KB1HNZ, Dave Wood KB1FGF, the Dumont family - Dakota KB1YYC, Bert KB1ZLV, and Annette KC1AMQ, Sam Webber N1WIG, Sean Binette W1GFD, Frank Krizan KR1ZAN, Steve McGrath N1EOE, Charlie Shepard W1CPS, and XYL Cindy W1CJS, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, and Stefania Chiruta YO9GJY, who visited from Romania.

The day began at Fort Popham, where we met the captain and crew of the Leeward, which was to take us to the island. We left at around 8 under clear skies and a stretch of shimmering sea before us. The first task was to load the boat with all of our gear, but this went smoothly since the boat crew was used to hauling fishing gear on its various charters.

Loading all the gear (and passengers)
Leaving shore from Fort Poham

The first thing we saw once we set off was Pond Island Light, on the starboard side. Seguin still appeared far away at this point, and it took almost another 20 minutes to reach it. Once we reached the island, the boat anchored in a small cove, surrounded by rock ledges and tall pines, and we began unloading passengers and equipment by way of an inflatable dinghy.

Dave KB1FGF, Bert KB1ZLV, and Frank KR1ZAN
Bert and Frank check out Pond Island Light on the way by

It took several trips to get everyone and their belongings ashore. We gathered on a small sandy beach, and began surveying the area. The lighthouse was almost a quarter mile away, and sat at an elevation of several hundred feet above the beach.

The WS1SM team landing on the beach at Seguin

The task of hauling all of our gear up ther appeared daunting, if it weren't for an old tram, which was still in operation. We loaded our things on, and one of the lighthouse volunteers operated the massive engine which pulled the cart along a raised rail line to the lighthouse.

A member of the boat crew paddles Bert, Annette, and Dakota ashore
Sam N1WIG and Steve N1EOE, load up the tram car

Meanwhile, our team followed a winding path which passed underneath the tram line in some places, to reach the top of the hill. Once we were unloaded, we began unpacking and setting up stations. We did this in a hurry because the contest had already started about an hour before.

3 HF stations were setup, including one exclusively for 40 meters, using a Yaesu FT857d and an Ultra Lite dipole, supported at the center by a telescoping fishing rod.  Another station used an Icom IC706MKIIG and a BuddiPole which was tuned for 15 and 20 meters. Charlie, W1CPS made contacts on 17 meters, using his Icom IC7000 and a fan dipole, while Ryan KB1YTR, setup a VHF station using a Kenwood D710 and a directional yagi. At one point, Bill NG1P, worked some QRP with a sloper hanging from the light tower.

Stefania, YO9GJY, poses with the lighthouse
The BuddiPole with Seguin Island Light in the background

The threat of rough seas forced us to breakdown earlier than we expected, but despite this, and the fact that HF conditions were downright miserable, we made lots of QSOs and had an awesome time doing it.

Bert KB1ZLV, Dakota KB1YYC, and Sean W1GFD operate 40m
Ryan, KB1YTR, operates VHF

The most important lesson we took away for next time is to pack lighter! We lucked out having help from the tram and the number of participants, who all shared the load, but if we were a few less and had to hike the whole way, we'd be beat by the time we reached our operating location.

Up in the light tower
Gathering equipment for the trip back

We applied this lesson to our most recent expedition in West Quoddy, where we were successful in trimming considerable weight from our gear. This made for quick setup and breakdown, and allowed us to setup on-the-fly on Campobello Island as well.

WS1SM Team Activates West Quoddy Head Light for ILLW

Lubec, ME
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
LUBEC, ME - On August 16-17, WSSM members ventured to Lubec, Maine to activate West Quoddy Head Light for this year's International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. This year's ILLW saw more than 500 lighthouses in almost 90 counties participate.

West Quoddy Head Light, located in Quoddy Head State Park, is the Easternmost point of the contiguos United States, and the closest point to Europe. The current lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white stripes, features the only 3rd order Fresnel lens on the Maine Coast, and overlooks Quoddy Narrows straight, between the United States and Canada.

Saturday, the 16th, was a beautiful day, and offered spectacular views along the coast and across to Grand Manan Island. We setup three stations, spaced apart in different areas of the park. The 40 meter station was situated in the maintenance area, near the parking lot, while the 20 and 17 meter stations were setup on both sides of the lighthouse.

West Quoddy Head Light
Ryan, KB1YTR, operates 20m at West Quoddy Head Light

Once word got out that West Quoddy was on the air, we became extremely popular! We had runs on both 20 and 40 meters at various times, and experienced pileups  - many of which reflected dramatic propagation shifts. One minute you could be working stations in the W3 region and moments later you'd get 20 DLs in a row - all without changing the direction of the antenna. QSB also dominated the conditions, but it was never bad enough to bust a QSO.

While on the radio we were logging by UTC time, as usual, but there was some confusion about what the local time was as our cell phones bounced between the Atlantic and Eastern time zones depending on which network they detected.

Thom W1WMG spends some time on the air
Cindy W1CJS and Charlie W1CPS work 17m

The surrounding area is rural and somewhat depressed. It wasn't unusual to see abandoned houses in one stretch, and million dollar vacation homes in the next. Things are also spread out quite a bit. After we broke down the stations on Saturday, we drove nearly 30 minutes before finding a place for dinner! But once there, we were treated to friendly service and heaping portions at very reasonable prices.

On Sunday morning we woke to rain, but once arriving at the lighthouse only heavy fog lingered. This time, we setup the Ultra Lite 40 meter dipole on the front lawn, in more of a north-south orientation, and Charlie setup his fan dipole across the way, on the opposite lawn. Later in the morning we were visited by Andy KB1DQT, of nearby Machias, who joined in and made some QSOs.

Charlie and Thom operate 40m Sunday morning
Cindy works a pileup on 15m while Charlie looks on

Our expedition to West Quoddy was a great experience, and we hope to revisit again someday. Special thanks to Park Manager, Shawn Goggin, and Regional Manager, Mike Leighton, for the support.

VE9/WS1SM Activates Head Harbor Lighthouse
Campobello Island, NB
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

WILSON BEACH, NB - During the afternoon of August 17th, members of the WS1SM team crossed the border into Canada to activate East Quoddy Head Light, on the northern most point of Campobello Island.

Campobello International Park stands as a symbol of cooperation and friendship between Canada and the United States, as well as the President who was instrumental in strengthening those ties. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family summered on the island for more than 50 years, and his summer cottage can be visited today. The island also features a golf course, villages with shopping and dining, and two lighthouses. We visited the most picturesque and well known of these - East Quoddy Head Light (known to locals as Head Harbor Light).

Tim VE9/KB1HNZ, Thom VE9/W1WMG, and Ryan VE9/KB1YTR
Thom and Ryan are on the air, eh!

Here, we strung up a long wire in the trees and tuned it up for 20 meters, using KB1YTR's Elecraft KX3. We also setup a 2 meter station and worked, among others, a lighthouse on Grand Manan Island.

Despite fending off a few rain showers, we were able to operate for the rest of the afternoon as VE9/WS1SM, to become the first to activate East Quoddy Head Light for ILLW.

Celebrating the Dawn of Mass Global Communication
RSGB Press Release - Used by Permission

LONDON, U.K. - At the turn of the last century, radio communication was in its infancy. The properties of "Hertzian Waves" – what we now call radio waves - were only just beginning to be understood.

Starting with Marconi, the use of a crude form of radio communication began to evolve. The development of the thermionic valve then opened up opportunities both in radio transmitter and receiver design. However, the ‘conventional wisdom’ remained that the longer wavelengths of radio signals (as used by Marconi) were those most suited to long-distance radio communication.

In that age of technical discovery, many every-day people experimented with radio. These people were the early radio amateurs and their work was at first largely unregulated. When it became clear that radio amateurs could cause interference to the emerging commercial radio circuits, the decision was made to restrict their experiments to wavelengths shorter than 200m – corresponding to a frequency of 1.5 MHz and above, as it was felt that such frequencies were worthless for long-distance communication.

And so radio amateurs began to experiment at these ‘short waves’.

It wasn’t long before they began to realise that, far from being worthless frequencies, they in fact held the key to low power long distance communication.

In 1923, tests were conducted to span the Atlantic with radio. Then, in 1924, as both transmitter power and receiver sensitivity improved, the dream was to span the globe by radio. After some false starts, on 18 October 1924, two-way communication was finally established between Frank Bell, call sign 4AA, a sheep farmer in South Island New Zealand, and Cecil Goyder, callsign 2SZ, a former pupil of Mill Hill School, operating from the School in North London.

The world had been shrunk, and things would never be the same again.

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of this historic contact made by Goyder and Bell, radio amateurs in the UK and New Zealand will be operating a number of special event stations.

GB2NZ will be operated from 20 September to 18 October 2014 from a number of UK locations and all bands from 10m to 160m.

The unique callsign 2SZ will be aired from 11-18 October from Mill Hill School. The UK spectrum regulator Ofom has agreed to issue this special callsign for the anniversary week, and the radio waves can be expected to be buzzing with stations seeking to contact this rare call.

A special station, using the call ZL4AA, will also be operating from Shag Valley in South Island, New Zealand, from 11-18 October 2014. At Mill Hill School and Shag Valley, amateurs will recreate the first Goyder/Bell contact, hopefully on a wavelength close to that used in 1924.

Radio amateurs in New Zealand will continue to operate ZM90DX on all bands.

Pupils at Mill Hill will be able to visit the radio station, speak to the operators, and even speak over the air. Displays will be situated around the School giving more information about the history and technologies involved, so that the whole event will be a real learning experience for the School’s pupils. Whilst the station won’t be open to the public, on 18 October 2014 there will be a live webcam at the School covering the communications and celebrations.

Members of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), which is the national society for amateur radio in the UK, will be providing the station at Mill Hill School and much of the supporting documentation. The School will be using the facility provided by the RSGB as an interactive learning tool for the pupils.

Don Beattie, Vice President, RSGB commented: “This was a significant milestone in the development of global communications. I am delighted that the RSGB is able to help Mill Hill School celebrate this anniversary, and share with its pupils and the amateur radio world the historic nature of this event.”

DX News
August 24- October 10
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

Recent weeks have brought some exciting DX, including the XV7BM expedition to Vietnam from early July through early August, and many who were QRV for the IOTA contest in late July. Towards the end of August and early September, look for expeditions to Chagos (VQ9XR), Tristan da Cunha (ZD9ZS), and Chatham Island (VK9AN).

As always, if you have a brag or know details about an upcoming DXpedition, please let us know, and we'll be sure to include it.

As we enter late summer and early fall, have fun searching the bands and Good DX!

Click here for the latest 425 DX News

07/23 - 08/31
07/31 - 08/31
08/06 - 08/27
08/10 - 08/28
08/16 - 08/26
08/20 - 08/24
08/21 - 08/24
08/21 - 08/29
08/26 - 09/01
08/26 - 09/02
08/26 - 09/15
09/01 - 09/03
09/01 - 09/09
09/04 - 09/08
09/04 - 09/11
09/05 - 09/12
09/05 - 10/10
09/08 - 09/08
09/09 - 10/03
09/11 - 09/16
09/18 - 10/02
Hong Kong
Timor Leste
Ascension Island
Trinidad & Tobago
Mariana Islands
New Caledonia
Cape Verde
Sable Island
Tristan da Cunha
Chatham Island
Christmas Island
By K0UU; op to continue through Dec. 2015
By YO8RCW as V85/YO8RCW; 20m; SSB
By F6CTW; 20, 17, 15m; CW
By IZ2DPX, fm NA-103; 160-6m; SSB; QSL okay via Buro
By PE7T as 4W/PE7T & N1YC as 4W/N1YC; 80-10m; CW, SSB
By JH2DFJ; 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY, SSTV, WSPR, & JT65A
By EA7FTR, and others; fm Rabat; all bands/modes
By G3ZVW; HF; mainly CW
By G4BLH, fm Christ Church, Barbados (NA-021); 20-10m; CW, SSB
By OZ0J as KH0/OZ0J; fm Saipan (OC-086); 80-6m; CW & Digital
By N7XR fm Diego Garcia; 160-10m; SSB, RTTY, CW; QSL via N7XR
By ZS6AYU, fm KH22od; 6m; Holiday-style operation
By VE3LYC & KD1CT, fm Matthew I (OC-218); 40-10m; CW, SSB
By IK7YTT fm Coloane I (AS-075) QRV for All Asian DX Contest; SSB
By JA3IVU; HF; SSB, RTTY, PSK31; QSL okay via JARL Buro
By YO2MSB as 3A/YO2MSB; HF; QSL also okay via eQSL
By EA7FTR; 40-6m; SSB, RTTY, Spare-time operation
By WA4DAN, N0TG; 30, 20, 17m; SSB; 1430-2130z
By ZS1S; HF; more info to be announced
By JH1HRJ and others; 160-6m; CW; SSB & Digital; QSL via JH1TXG
By N7QT; 80-10m; SSB & Digital; Holiday-style operation

QSL Corner

On page 1, we featured a card celebrating Riga's designation as the 2014 European Capital of Culture. Below you'll find images of a card from the FT5ZM DXpedition to Amsterdam Island:

If you received an interesting QSL yourself that you'd like to show off, please send a digital image to [email protected] and we'll be sure to publish it in an upcoming issue.

FT5ZM - Here's some images of a QSL card sent to us by Stefania, YO9GJY for QSOs on multiple bands with the FT5ZM DXpedition to Amsterdam Island, which took place in late January through early February.

QSO Details:

2/8/2014 - 0923 UTC  12m SSB

2/9/2014 - 1134 UTC  15m SSB

2/9/2014 - 1153 UTC  17m SSB

Congratulations on a job well done, Stefania, and thanks for taking the time to share it with us!

For Sale
FOR SALE - Kenwood TS-830 transceiver, TS-830-S digital remote VFO, MC-50 microphone, SP-830 programmable contest keyer, NCL-2000 National 1kw amp. Contact Rick Fickett K1OT for prices and details: [email protected]

If you have any items for sale, contact one of our members to have it listed here, or send an email to:
[email protected] with a brief description and contact information.
New England Division Convention - August 21, 2015. Location: Boxboro, MA. Type: ARRL Convention. Sponsor: FEMARA. Click here for more info.
Windsor Hamfest - September 6, 2014. Location: Windsor, ME. Type: ARRL Hamfest. Sponsored by the Augusta Amateur Radio Association. Click here for more info.

St. Croix Valley ARC Hamfest- September 20, 2014. Location: Alexander Elementary School, Alexander, ME. Call: (207) 454-2174 or click here for more info.

- September 21, 2014. Location: Cambridge, MA. Sponsored by: MIT Radio Society & the MIT Electronics Research Society. Click here for more details.

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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