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  September / October 2014                                                                                                                         Volume 4, Issue 5
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WS1SM Team Activates W1/AM-019 for Summits on the Air
Weld, ME

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

WELD, ME -  On Saturday, October 18th, the WS1SM team ventured to the summit of Mt. Blue, in Weld, to activate it for Summits on the Air. Along for the 1.6 mile hike were Sebastian Ames KC1BMY, Dave Wood KB1FGF, Charlie Shepard W1CPS, Bert Dumont KB1ZLV, Thom Watson W1WMG, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ. Once at the summit, they setup a VHF station atop a steel fire tower and two HF stations in the clearing below.

Mt. Blue trail
Charlie W1CPS takes a break while others catch up

Getting steeper
The trail gets rocky and steep

Part of the WS1SM team at Mt. Blue
Bert KB1ZLV, Sebastian KC1BMY, Thom W1WMG, and Dave KB1FGF

rock climb
Nearing the summit, the trail is a rock climb. Here's Thom taking a break

The hike was possibly the toughest we've done so far, and after we reached the summit we were thankful that we spent the summer finding ways to lighten up the gear we brought along. The trail was steep, slippery, and rocky, and at some points required us to climb over stacked rocks and boulders that were in the way. Bert led the way early on and we stopped a few times - first at what looked like an abandoned ranger's station, and later at a spot that flattened out. It was at this point, after about an hour of hiking, that we thought we were getting close to the summit, when Bert pointed out a mountain that just became visible on our right.

"Don't tell me we're going up there!" said Dave, KB1FGF.

Bert replied with a nod, and we picked up our things to continue on. The rest of the way was almost all rocks, and the trail steepened considerably as we neared the top. When it became the most challenging was when the rocks became bigger than we were - to the point that we had to pass equipment to each other as we needed both hands free to pull ourselves up.

View from the summit
The view from the summit!

Finally we reached the summit, and many of us just stopped to take in the view for a while. A steel fire tower that had an accessible platform about three stories up, offered a great place to setup our VHF station, which consisted of a Yaesu FT2900 and a J-Pole for 144 and 432. Thom and Bert operated VHF from the tower till the weather took a turn for the worse and they had to break down the station.

On a small clearing below the tower, Tim, Sebastian, and Dave setup a SOTA pole antenna and a Yaesu FT857d for HF, starting on 40 meters.

Thom W1WMG, operates VHF
Thom, W1WMG works VHF from the Fire Tower

Bert KB1ZLV works VHF with an HT
Bert, KB1ZLV works some VHF with his HT from atop the tower
Dave KB1FGF is glad to reach the summit
Dave, KB1FGF is happy to reach the summit

Charlie W1CPS operates from a ledge
Charlie, W1CPS poses with his fan dipole

On a ledge, not far away, Charlie setup a fan dipole which covered 10,20, and 17 meters, and an Icom IC7000, starting on 17 meters. All stations used battery power.

Wassamki Springs Speaker Project Receives Praise

Scarborough, ME
by Frank Krizan, KR1ZAN
Speaker Project
SCARBOROUGH, ME - Richard Hillock and several members of the staff at Wassamki Springs Campground were pleased with the results of the "Speaker Renovation Project" which several members of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine took part in this summer.

"This is exactly what we needed," said Gerry Grenier, Activities Director for the campground.

The project included repairing and verifying the existing Banquet Hall speaker system. New speakers were installed in the Recreation Hall as was a convenient A/V connector box for a Wii gaming system. A speaker selection box was designed, built, and installed in the audio room to allow for selecting which speakers could be on or off.

Eight WSSM members participated in the Project. Sebatian Ames KC1BMY, built and donated new speakers and enclosures for the Rec. Hall, and Cindy Shepard W1CJS painted and finished the new speaker enclosures. Ron Vaughn KC1AOT, built and wired the speaker switch box and wired the A/V interface for the Wii gaming system. Charlie Shepard W1CPS, moved and mounted speakers, pulled cables, and installed the A/V interface for the Wii system, as well as mounting the speaker switch box.

C.J. Carlsson KC1AMT, documented and helped organize the speaker wiring during the project, and took care of cable wiring. Additional help was provided by Thom Watson W1WMG, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ. Frank Krizan, KR1ZAN, was the Project Coordinator.

The Speaker Project was performed by the Club as a service project for the Campground as a Thank You for allowing us to meet weekly during the summer, and holding Field Day at the Campground.

WSSM members attend SKYWARN Strategy Meeting

Taunton, MA
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

TAUNTON, MA - WSSM members Thom Watson, W1WMG and Tim Watson KB1HNZ, attended a SKYWARN Strategy Meeting on November 1st, in Taunton, Mass. The meeting was a recap of severe weather events that effected Southern New England during 2014, and also included discussions about changes and improvements for the coming year.

NWS Taunton
NWS Forecast Office, Taunton, MA
SKYWARN Strategy Meeting

Some of the weather events that were covered include Hurrican Arthur in early July,  an EF-2 tornado that struck Revere on the morning of July 28th, an EF-0 tornado that struck Worcester on the evening of August 31, and a microburst that effected Easthampton and Colrain in the early morning hours of October 8th. The NWS and SKYWARN reaction to each scenario, and the lessons learned were discussed in detail.

Revere Tornado - July 28, 2014

The Revere tornado brought to light shortfalls in both forecasting and spotter coverage, and there were many factors which led to these. Forecasters were not expecting severe weather until the afternoon, calling for only heavy rain in the morning, despite conditions becoming more favorable for thunderstorm development throughout the night. Because of this, the office was lightly staffed in the morning, as they were expecting to call in more during the afternoon, when the atmosphere would be more unstable. The storm developed quickly, however, when a cold front sweeping from west to east converged with a warm front climbing north. Winds on either side of the front were moving in diffrerent directions, causing high helicity (rotation) values. At the same time, only heavy rain reports were received from the area, so a Flash Flood warning was issued.

The tornado developed swiftly, touching down, and dissipating within 4 minutes. The radar captured images just prior to developement, and just afterwards, since it takes nearly 4 minutes to complete a 360 degree sweep. No prior warning was issued because the rotation in the earlier scan was very broad. For the future, this limitation has been addressed by a new alogorithm that allows the radar to make a low level scan once every two minutes - cutting the time between scans in half.

Lessons Learned

The lack of a warning also meant that SKYWARN spotters weren't on alert for the possibility of severe weather. They, like the forecasters, had been alerted to a potential in the afternoon, so live reports were not received on the morning of the tornado. SKYWARN spotters did, however, react quickly to provide follow up information. The lack of reports was determined to be due in part to the limited number of trained spotters in the effected towns and the lack of an organic self activation.

Forecast Office
Tour of the Forecast Office, Taunton, MA
NWS Taunton ham station
Rob, KD1CY, shows off the WX1BOX ham radio station

Rob Macedo, KD1CY directed most of the SKYWARN meeting, assisted by Jim Palmer, KB1KQW, who put together an amazing video presentation recapping 2014 events. Forecaster, Stephanie Dunten, and Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Glenn Field, also made presentations during the event.

WSSM Announces Technician Class Course and Exam

Starting January
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

GORHAM, ME - WSSM members will teach a Technician Class course and host an exam session Wednesday nights starting in January, at the National Weather Forecast Office, in Gray, ME. There will be three classes followed by a VE exam. More details will be available soon. For information, please contact Tim Watson KB1HNZ at: [email protected]

DX News
October 13 - January 1
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

Recent weeks have brought some exciting DX, including Liberia EL2BEN in mid July, Zimbabwe Z21DX, in mid July - early August,  Lord Howe Island, VK9L, in mid August, and Macao XX9TYT in September. Currently, Tromelin FT4TA, is on the air and has been spotted on several bands including 24 and 28 MHz. More information about the expedition can be found here.

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 the winter season, have fun searching the bands and Good DX!

Click here for the latest 425 DX News

10/13 - 11/09
10/29 - 11/04
10/30 - 11/10
10/31 - 11/20
11/02 - 11/16
11/03 - 11/30
11/05 - 11/10
11/06 - 11/30
11/07 - 11/16
11/15 - 11/29
11/15 - 11/30
11/16 - 11/24
11/17 - 12/02
11/20 - 12/02
11/23 - 11/28
12/01 - 12/06
12/01 - 12/09
12/04 - 12/12
12/11 - 12/14
12/12 - 01/08
12/26 - 01/01
South Cook Islands
Andaman Island
Rodrigues Island
Burkina Faso
Easter Island
Cape Verde
Norfolk Island
By N7OU from Rarotonga; 106-10m; CW; spare time operation
By JS3LSQ; 20-10m; SSB
By F5UFX, FM5CD, and others; HF; QSL direct via F1NGP
By JA8BMK from Kathmandu; HF; verticals; holiday style operation
By FG8OJ and others; 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK-31/63; QSL direct
By JR3MVF, F5RPB, and others; YL group; SSB, CW; QSL direct or buro
By SM0XBI from NA-101; HF; SSB, QSL buro or direct via SM5DJZ
By JA0FKK from OC-009; HF; SSB, CW, Digital; QSL via buro or direct
By DL4WO; HF; op to continue through January 15, 2015
By W4VKU and others fm Neil Is, AS-001; 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By G0CKV; CW; may try low bands; holiday style operation
By DF2WO from Ouagadougou; CW, SSB; holiday style operation
By Team 2; 160-6m; CW, SBB, RTTY; QSL also okay via Club Log
By PG5M as CE0Y/PG5M; HF; CW
By JA1XGI; HF w/focus on low bands; mainly CW, some SSB & digital
By IK0FUX; HF; holiday style operation
By F4HEC; 80-6m; SSB; QSL direct via F4HEC
By G3RWF; HF; mostly CW
By DF2WO from Praia, Santiago I, AF-005; HF; CW, SSB
By G7VJR as VK9N/G7VJR; high bands; mostly CW

FRR Celebrates 555th Anniversary of Bucharest with Operating Diploma

New Award for 2014-2015

by Stefania Chiruta, K1GJY

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - The Federaţia Romānă de Radioamatorism celebrates 555 years since the first documented mention of Bucharest with the "Diploma Buchareşti 555."

To earn the award, (which is available in four classes), its necessary to have QSO's with stations in Bucharest between September 20, 2014 - September 20, 2015.

Bucharest 555 Award

Each QSO gives one point per operating mode (CW, PH, RTTY, PSK, and other DG - one category: JT65, ROS, Olivia, Hell, etc).

QSOs can be made on any authorized band. Repeater or Echolink contacts will not count towards the award.

Also, during this period, look for the following special call signs: YO555BU, YP555BU, YQ555BU, and YR555BU. QSOs with these stations will be worth 2 points apiece.

A diploma will be issued in four classes: "Novice" - needs a total of 50 points, "Standard" requires a total of 100 points, "Advanced" requires a total of 250 points, and "Extra" requires a total of 500 points.

Applications should be sent no later that 12/01/2015. The station that will take the highest score will receive a special trophy. Diplomas are issued free of charge in an electronic format.

Send applications via email to: [email protected]

If desired, you may choose to receive a printed diploma for 5 Euros. Send your application to: CP22-50, Bucharest, Romania or email: [email protected]

QSL Corner

On page 1, we feature a card received by Stefania Chiruta, operating W1/YO9GJY, for a 14 MHz QSO with K1QS at 2256 UTC on August 3, 2014.

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.

SZ5RDS/P - Here's a card received by YO9GJY for QSOs on both 18 and 21 MHz ssb, on August 16, 2014. The card features images from the ILLW and IOTA expedition to Stroggyli Islet during International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.

H7H - Here's a card received by KB1HNZ for QSOs on both 7 and 14 MHz CW on October 3, 2013. The card features the famous Concepcion Volcano, in Moyogalpa, Nicaragua.

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.
Algonquin ARC Flea Market - February 14, 2015. Location: Marlborough, MA. Type: ARRL Hamfest. Click here for more info.

Winter Hamfest-  February 28, 2015. Location: Big Flats, NY. Type: ARRL Hamfest. Sponsor: LIM Amateur Radio Group. Click here for more info.

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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