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  Field Day Edition 2014                                                                                                                         Volume 4, Issue 3
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4th Annual Field Day at Wassamki Springs Campground
Scarborough, ME

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

SCARBOROUGH, ME -  The Wireless Society of Southern Maine took part in their 4th annual ARRL Field Day on the weekend of June 28-29, at Wassamki Springs Campground in Scarborough. Operating on battery and solar power, the WS1SM team matched their previous QSO record by the 8th hour, amassing more than 650 QSOs on CW and another 380 on SSB.

K1OT Field Day     K1RQ and K1OT

One of the highlights this year was the utility trailer that Rick K1OT outfitted for ham radio use, and the 40 foot tower that accompanied it. Above is a picture of Rick assembling the 40m yagi while up on the tower. Besides Rick, CW operators, including Dana K1RQ, Joe K1JB, and Mike K1EU, each took turns at the key.

Sean W1GFD     Dakota KB1YYC

Sean, W1GFD, and Ryan KB1YTR, operated HF on 160, 40, 20, and 15 meters for almost the entire 24 hours, while Dakota KB1YYC, Frank KA1QW, Dave KB1FGF, Charlie W1CPS, and others each took stints behind the microphone at our two SSB stations. Charlie also maintained a presence on 6 meters and made a number of contacts despite there being poor conditions on 50 Mhz. Frank, KR1ZAN, setup a station exclusively for working satellites, and many Field Day participants also had an opportunity to work the International Space Station (ISS). Early Sunday, WS1SM made two satellite contacts, earning us the much needed 100 point bonus!

KFrank A1QW     Frank KR1ZAN

WSSM Visits the National Weather Service in Gray

Weather Balloon Launch
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

GRAY, ME - WSSM members visited the Gray office of the National Weather Service on June 24th for a tour of the facilities and an opportunity to learn more about the techniques involved with launching a weather balloon.

 NWS 3    NWS 4
Forecaster and meteorologist, Margaret Curtis, was our guide. She did an awesome job demonstrating the importance of collecting good data, and showing the various ways its applied to be used in modeling and forecasting. One of the most effective tools is the use of a high altitude weather balloon which carries a small payload containing weather instruments.


These balloons are launched twice a day at various weather bureaus around the world, and the measurements they collect are used to adjust forecast models, using real time measurements of pressures, temperatures, and other atmospheric behaviors to improve their accuracy.

Balloon launch

The balloons in Gray are launched from a specially designed building which has a high roof, tall overhead door, and also storage for helium. Margaret calculated the amount of lift required based on the current conditions and the weight of the payload, and she set this up in the filling rig, using small weights. When the balloon was filled enough to lift the weight, it triggered a lever mechanism which stopped the helium.

It was a very precise process, and once filled, she measured out about 75 feet of rope, tied one end to the balloon, the other to the payload (positioned on a post outside), and brought the balloon out to release. By the time we walked back to the NWS center, telemetry showed the balloon gaining altitude quickly, and it only took a few minutes for it to reach the desired height.

WS1SM Team Activates Pleasant Mountain W1/AM-038 for SOTA

Summits on the Air

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

On May 4th, WS1SM team members hiked to the summit of Pleasant Mountain to activate it for Summits on the Air. The day started of sunny and chilly, but as we started up the mountain from a trail near Shawnee Peak Ski Area, the rain began to fall steadily. We first took shelter in a chairlift tower before continuing the rest of the way to the summit.

Among the equipment we brought along were a Yaesu FT2900 for 2 meters, as well as a portable J-Pole antenna, and a Yaesu FT857d, which we setup together with an end-fed G-Whip sloper for 20 meters.

Once word got out about our SOTA activation, we had pileups on 2 meters and later in the day on 20, despite the noise levels being s6-7 at times. We operated for about 4 hours, and just as we were packing up and about to head back down, the skies opened! At the midway point we were staying close to the treeline to avoid hail as a thunderstorm passed.

Our first SOTA of the season was a great time and reminded some of us how out of shape we'd gotten over the winter! Thanks to all who worked us during the event and helped us earn our first activation point of 2014!

Charlie W1CPS     Thom W1WMG

Brazilian Amateur Radio League Celebrates FIFA World Cup with Special Events and Award
2014 FIFA World Cup
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

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. There will be 27 special event stations on the air, one in each of the 26 Brazilian States,  including the Federal District.

Even though the Final is approaching soon, QSO's for the award can still be made until the end of July!

12 key stations will begin with the prefix ZX14 and 15 with the prefix ZY14.

  World Cup Award      

The Brazil Soccer Land Award will be awarded in 3 categories: Bronze, Silver, and Gold, based on the amount of QSO's made cumulatively with key stations (special prefixes) and Brazilian stations in general. More details can be found here.

DX News
July 2 - September 9
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

Recent weeks have brought some exciting DX, including 7Q7VW (Malawi) in mid May, E51CDW (South Cook Island) and J68HZ (St. Lucia) in late June. In the weeks ahead, we look forward to C91JR, in Mozambique, and expedition to the Gambia, V55HQ in Namibia (for the IARU contest), and
the EL2BEN expedition to Liberia (also for the IARU contest). Towards the end of July, look for expeditions to Fiji, American Samoa, Dominica, and others that will be QRV for the IOTA contest.

As we enter the mid summer contest period, have fun searching the bands and Good DX!

Click here for the latest 425 DX News

07/02 - 07/12
07/05 - 07/15
07/05 - 07/19
07/06 - 07/16
07/07 - 07/17
07/08 - 07/12
07/08 - 07/21
07/09 - 07/13
07/10 - 07/13
07/11 - 07/14
07/12 - 07/13
07/12 - 07/13
07/14 - 08/03
07/22 - 08/06
07/29 - 08/02
07/31 - 08/05
08/02 - 08/04
08/10 - 08/15
09/01 - 09/09

South Cook Island
South Cook Island
Cocos Keeling
Timor Leste
Easter Island
Mariana Island
New Caledonia
By ZS6JR; 20-10m; digital; vertical antenna
By German team QRV for IARU contest
By F8BBL; 80-6m; maily CW, some SSB & Digital; QSL via buro or dir
By RT9T from Pachyammos (AS-004); HF; QSL Direct via RT9T
By F5LMJ; from (NA-102); 40-10m; CW, SSB, & Digital
By RM2A from Nanuya Balavu (OC-156); HF; CW, SSB
By K1QBV from Rarotonga (OC-013); Holiday style operation
By BM2JCC from Koror Island (OC-009); 80-6m; SSB
By E51AND from Mauke Island (OC-083); HF; SSB, some CW
By VE3NE, HG9MAT; HF; QRV for IARU Contest
By 11 CO ops; HF; IARU HQ station
By EL2CE and others; HF; IARU HQ station
By SP5IXI from Bulawayo; HF; CW
By IW2NEF from Zanzibar (AF-032); HF; SSB
By JA3FVJ from (OC-003); 160-6m; SSB, FM, CW, RTTY, PSK31
By NB3MM; 30-12m; mainly SSB, some CW; QSL via buro or dir
By CE2NTT; 40-6m; SSB
By JQ2GYU, from Tinian I (OC-086); 80-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By VE3LYC, from Matthew I (OC-218); 40-10m; CW, SSB

QSL Corner

On page 1, we showed a card depicting a rocket sitting on a launch pad at the European Space Agency in French Guiana. Below you'll find cards from San Marino, and special event stations in Russia and Italy.

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.

T77BB - 14 MHz SSB QSO with W1WMG on 14 August 2013 at 2135 UTC. (San Marino).
IP2ANT - 21 MHz SSB QSO with KB1HNZ on 24 February 2013 at 1616 UTC - QSL celebrates Antarctica Activity Week.
RU27LU - 14 MHz CW QSO with KB1HNZ on 19 April 2013 at 0241 UTC. QSL celebrates the 27th World University Summer Games.

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.

Three Rivers Hamfest - August 9, 2014. Location: Milo, ME. Type: ARRL Hamfest. Sponsored by the Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club. Click here to learn more.

ARRL National Centenial Convention - July 17-19, 2014. Location: Connecticut Convention Center. Call: 1-800-594-0200 or click here for more info.

FLEA at MIT - July 20, 2014. Location: Cambridge, MA. Sponsored by: MIT Radio Society & the MIT Electronics Research Society. Click here for more details.

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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