September/October 2012                                                                                                                          Volume 2, Issue 5
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International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend
WS1SM Team Activates Wood Island Light  
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

The weather was nearly perfect on August 19th, as members boarded the "Light Runner," a small aluminum landing craft, that would take us two miles out from Vines Landing in Biddeford Pool, to Wood Island, where we'd activate the 204 year old lighthouse for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. The expedition also qualified for IOTA NA137 and US Islands ME103S.

Once ashore, we traversed the half-mile long boardwalk to the lighthouse, which is situated on the opposite end of the island from where the boat landed. Thank goodness we packed light. As we approached the Northeast end of the island, a thick tree cover gradually gave way to a clearing which offered views of Old Orchard Beach to the West and the Atlantic Ocean to the North and East. We began to scope out a place to set up our station, and settled on a shady spot beside the keeper's quarters.

boat wood island light

To our surprise, among the Lighthouse volunteers - a group called Friends of Wood Island Light, or FOWIL - who ventured out with us, was a fellow ham, Harold Rosenberg VE2HRP. Harold is also a photographer, with a special interest in panoramic photos. During the day he took some specitacular shots of the lighthouse and the expedition.

The antennas we set up were a dipole for 40 meters, which was supported by an aluminum mast on one end, a telescoping fibreglass pole in the center, and the BuddiPole rotatable dipole at the other end. The BuddiPole was tuned to 20 meters, and would be used later in the day.

In the morning we had a huge pileup on 40 meters, with Thom and Rory operating. The band was open to all parts of the U.S. and Caribbean, and we also made numerous contacts with Ontario, Quebec, and the Canadian Maritimes.

rory and dave shipwreck  
Throughout the day, we were visted by tour groups, the press, and various forms of wildlife - most notably seaguls, who were completely unafraid of human presence. Later in the afternoon, each of us took turns exploring the lighthouse and the island, and had an opportunity to climb up the light tower for a spectacular 360 degree view. On the northern end of the island we discovered the remains of a shipwreck.

It was about this time we made the switch to 20 meters. Tim and Dave worked DX as well as several other lighthouses that were taking part in ILLW weekend. Sam was the last one to take the mic, and by this time the band was wide open to Europe. He and Tim managed a pileup for the last hour of operations. It was close to 4 now, and time to head back. We packed up the gear and made our way back down the boardwalk to where the Light Runner was waiting for us. Our second lighthouse activation was a tremendous success. The only thing that topped the experience itself was seeing ourselves on the front page of the newspaper the following day!

    antenna  lighthouse  banner

Special thanks goes out to Friends of Wood Island Light, who made this possible - especially Mel, who provided the transportation, and to Harold, who shared with us his photos of the event. Also, thanks to Tammy Wells, for writing a great article for the Journal Tribune.

Emergency Preparedness Fair
Saco, Maine
 by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

On September 22nd, several club members attended an Emergency Preparedness Fair, which was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Saco. We set up a booth with information about emergency communications, and also an HF station, using a Yaesu FT-857D, running on battery power, and a BuddiPole rotatable dipole. The idea for this wasn't to make a lot of contacts, but to demonstrate how easily a fully operational two-way radio station could be setup in the field. Also on display were various VHF and UHF handhelds, including ones for GMRS as well as amateur use.

BuddiPole setup at the Saco Emergency Preparedness Fair table display

The fair included several demonstrations on everything from water filtration, canning, food storage, emergency power, creating 72-hour kits, and protecting legal documents. Also on hand were members of the Saco CERT team and York County Emergency Management.

We'd like to thank Paul Courchene KJ6JBH, for inviting us to attend.

Election Update
September 13th - Annual Business Meeting
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

With September came the annual officer elections, which saw Thom Watson W1WMG remain as president and Frank Allen KA1QW remain as Vice President. New additions to the officer slate include David Wood KB1FGF, who will serve as secretary, and Rory McEwen KB1PLY, who will take over as treasurer. Items that were discussed include the upcoming Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) event that will take place October 20th at the Maine Maritime Museum, as well as the possibility of opening a PayPal account to make it easier to pay dues online.

The following week we were to take part in the Emergency Preparedness Fair in Saco, so details and planning took place before we closed up the business end of things and went into the evening's topic, which was about creating custom QSL cards using the graphics program, Gimp.

DX News
September 23rd - November 9th
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

With this issue we're introducing a new section called "DX News," where we'll compile reports about the newest DXPeditions and  activations, including as many details as possible about each one. Special thanks to Stefania YO9GJY, for submitting news about the 3D2C activation, and for alerting us to the recent NH8S expedition to Swains Island, that just wrapped up last weekend.

09/23 - 10/13
09/24 - 10/06
09/24 - 10-04
09/27 - 10-04
10/02 - 10-08
10/03 - 10-16
10/05 - 10/10
10/05 - 10/11
10/06 - 10/12
10/15 - 12/12
10/16 - 10/23
10-16 - 10/25
10/20 - 10/24
11/01 - 11/09
Conway Reef
Tristan da Cunhaa
Al Dhahrah Island
Christmas Island
Rodrigues Island
West Kiribati
Emirau Island
Chatham Islands
Bands: HF    Info
Bands: 160-10m, incl. 60m (CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK31, SSTV    Info
Will be active in CQWW RTTY contest   Info
Bands: 80-10m, mainly SSB, some RTTY   Info
Bands: HF, using the Ulaanbaatar club station   Info
Bands: 160-6m, CW, SSB, RTTY   Info
Bands: 17-6m, mostly SSB   Info
Saudi Arabia, AS-190, Bands: HF  Info
Bands: 40-6m, CW, SSB   Info
Bands: 80-10m, mainly CW, some digital and SSB  Info
Bands: 160-6m, CW, SSB, digital   Info
Bands: 160-6m, CW, SSB, RTTY    Info
Papua New Guinea, OC-103, Bands: HF  Info  
OC-038, Bands: 80-6m, CW, SSB, digital   Info

QSL Corner

Below you'll find some recent QSL's. If you received an interesting one 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.




The photo features the town of Al Quseir. "A drawing on the wall of a Haji, someone who has gone on a holy pilgrimige to Mekka." Contact made by WS1SM
with op Vladimir on 20m SSB at 0312 UTC, on June 5, 2012.

SN2012WAThe photo on the card features the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland. Special Event station, SN2012WA was part of a large operation between June 1st and July 5th, organized by the Polish and Ukrainian Amateur Radio Organizations to celebrate the 2012 European Football Championship. Contact was made by KB1HNZ with Zygi, on 20m SSB, at 2302 UTC, on June 26th, 2012.

DXPedition A5A to Bhutan. Contact with W1WMG on 15m SSB, at 0226 UTC, on June 2nd, 2012.

For Sale
Ten Tec Model Mini D, Ten Tec Model 229 Tuner, Power Supply and speed key for sale. Contact: Robert Edge, WB1EJT, at [email protected] 

Kenwood 2 meter equipment, including TR2600A HT,  TS430S, an AT139 Antenna Tuner, low pass filter LF30A, PS430 Power Supply, President HR 2510, Mirage B23 amp, code paddles, and more. Contact: Clif Smith, KA1NWB, at (207) 967-9719.
New England Amateur Radio Festival - at the Deerfield Fairgrounds in Deerfield, NH. October 12th from 0900 local until 1500 October 13th. For more information, please visit:
Flea at MIT - October 21st (starting at 9AM) at the Albany Street Garage, Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please click here, or call: (617) 253-3776.

WRTC 2014
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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