2015 Field Day at Wassamki Springs
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
ME - During the weekend of
June 27-28th, the WSSM team fought off the rain and wind to participate
in their 5th annual Field Day at Wassamki Springs Campground, in
began on Friday, with a number of members helping out, first with the
trailer, which included a 40' tower and 40 meter mono-bander. Rick K1OT
did a lot of work over the winter months to streamline the tower
raising process, and his engineering of a hinged bracket mechanism made
it so no one needed to climb the tower to get the yagi in place.
Saturday afternoon, when we first got on the air, the weather was
absolutely perfect, and the bands came to life with the anticipated
excitement of Field Day operators from all over North America. After
working out some bugs with the logging software, we started out
operating on 20, 15, and 40 meters, and also had a "free station"
setup on 50 MHz.
Throughout the afternoon, we were joined by several visitors, including a police officer from Gorham, Richard Hillock, of Wassamki Springs Campground,
who we presented with a thank you plaque (pictured above), and several
prospective and first-time amateur radio operators. Thanks to Frank
K5HS and Steve N1EOE, we had a dedicated GOTA team, who spent a lot of
time with the newcomers, making sure everyone who wanted to had a
chance to get on the air and experience Field Day for themselves. .
W1CPS, maintained a constant WS1SM presence on 6 meters, making more
Field Day QSOs than we've ever had on that band. He also attracted some
big crowds, as many stopped by to take a closer look at his antenna and
after midnight the skies opened up, and the rain came in relentless
waves. Our operations were mostly unaffected though, since we were
already setup in a trailer and tent. The only thing extra that we had
to do was drape a few tarps over the top to keep water away from the
By morning there was standing water everywhere, especially around the
trailer, but miraculously the equipment stayed dry overnight. Annette,
Cindy, and Bert all helped to make breakfast possible while the rest of
us manhandled a tarp in the gusty winds to keep the fire on the griddle
from blowing out. Most of us were soaked and cold, but we were warmed
up by the food, and soon we were back at our stations for the final few
Despite the challenging conditions, we persevered to achieve our most
successful Field Day results to date! Thanks to everyone who helped
make it possible.
5th Anniversary Special Event
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
July 13-27th, WSSM members took turns activating the special
call sign, W1V, in celebration of the club's 5th anniversary. The
goals, which were set out during our June meeting, were to activate
Maine on as many different bands and modes as possible, and to help
spread word about the Society. A special certificate was created that
contacts with the special call sign, and it would be offered with three
endorsements - the Gold endorsement being for QSOs on 10 or more
different band slots.
We created and shared a Google Docs spreadsheet with bands and modes
down the left column, and hours (in two-hour time blocks) across the
top. There was a separate page for each day of the operation. This
allowed operators to easily reserve a time, band, and mode, and it was
real-time, so if band conditions weren't cooperating, you could look
for an empty slot and claim it, by entering your call sign.
The most active participants included Rick Fickett K1OT, Charlie
Shepard W1CPS, Brian Chaloux AA1QW, and Jason Andrews W1SFS. We were
also pleased to have two DX participants, with Stefania Chiruta YO9GJY,
operating as YO/W1V, from Baicoi, Romania, and Michael Briggs KL3UX,
operating as KL/W1V, from Wasilla, Alaska.
There were a number of chasers who worked us on many different bands,
and several qualified for the gold endorsement. Rick commented on his
surprise about how many Europeans were excited about the event, and
this has proven to trueso far, as hundreds of QSL and certificate
requests have been received, with many more likely on the way.
During our informal meetings at the campground for the two weeks that
the special event was going on, we setup a portable station, which
allowed many members who didn't yet or couldn't get on a radio, take a
turn on the air as W1V.
After 14 days of operating, we logged over 3800 QSOs, working 94 DXCC
entities, and every state in the U.S. Thanks to everyone who called us
on the air and took part operating as W1V. It was a fun time for all.
Team Operates CQWW VHF from Mt. Washington
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
the 4th consecutive year, WSSM members ventured to the summit of Mt.
Washington, in New Hampshire, to take part in the CQWW VHF contest -
this year using special event call sign W1V.
W1V Contest team included Thom Watson W1WMG, Charlie Shepard
W1CPS, and myself. Upon arrival, the weather at the summit was cool and
overcast, but shortly after setup, we were bombarded with
rain and wind that caused us to quickly break down the station
and run for cover!
"I never knew a BuddiPole could come apart so fast," said Thom, shortly
after getting back on the air - this time from the warm confines of a
Volvo XC70 in the parking area. "Since the wind was relentless,
(reaching speeds of 60+ mph), the only way we could get the 6 meter
station back on the air was to wedge the legs of the Buddipole tripod
in the rocks, and then stack a few more around the edges to keep it
from blowing over."
"It wasn't an ideal setup," said Charlie, who began to work 6 meter SSB
from the back seat, while Thom started a long run on 2 meter FM. The
pile of rocks, which were keeping the 6 meter antenna from blowing off
the mountain was also blocking signals from the northeast, but as
Charlie pointed out, "There wasn't much we could do about it. We were
just happy to be on the air."
in the afternoon, when the rain finally subsided a little, we ventured
out to use the restrooms and get something to eat at the visitor's center. We were amazed at
the amount of water that was around, and watched as people stepped off
the Cog Railway only to make a dash for the nearest structure, just to
get out of the elements. To us, who'd been there since morning, the
conditions were drastically improved, but the wind was still blowing
pretty hard, and it was raining steadily - just nothing like the wall
of water that came at us earlier.
We were thoroughly soaked and frozen, so we ceased operation sometime
around 3pm, despite the fact that we were still working a steady flow
of stations on 2 meters. Even with 1 less station running (we never got
setup on 144 SSB), and a rock pile blocking half of our 6 meter
horizon, at the end of the day we tallied almost 50 more QSOs than our
previous record! Not a bad for a rainy day.
WS1SM Team to operate ILLW from Nubble Lighthouse
August 16, 2015
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
The ILLW, now in its 18th year, was started in Scotland by
members of the Ayr Amateur Radio Group.
ME - The WS1SM Team will operate during this year's International
Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) from Cape Neddick
York, ME. Last year, the annual event saw more than 450 lighthouses
It evolved from
the Scottish Northern Lighthouses
Award Weekend into a popular international event, which now sees
participation from over 85 countries.
which was built in 1879, is one of only eight lighthouses in Maine to
still have its original fresnel lens. Its one of the most photographed
lighthouses in the country, and an image of it was even sent to space
aboard the Voyager Spacecraft.
The event will take place Sunday, August 16th, from 8am-4pm.
In our efforts to highlight new and interesting on-air activities,
we'll take a closer look at the Enigma
Organized by Krzystof Joachimiak SQ2JK and Daniel Danecki SQ2KLU, the
purpose of the special event is to honor Marian Rejewski, whose success
in cracking the Enigma cipher changed the course of events during WWII.
The event will take place between August 14-30, using the special call
signs SN0CIPHER, SN1ENIGMA, SN2ENIGMA, SN3ENIGMA, and SN0LEAK.
For QSOs with SN0CIPHER, an operator will receive a cryptogram, which
he/she has to decode. This station will give a new cryptogram for each
QSO on a new band or new mode. For QSOs with the SN1ENIGMA, SN2ENIGMA,
and SN3ENIGMA stations, the operator will receive the decryption data
necessary to decode the cryptogram. In order to decode one cryptogram,
it is necessary to make contact with all three stations with the ENIGMA
The special station SN0LEAK will work only 3 days during the event
without providing exact times. The station will call CQ as long as it
will not be added to a DX cluster. At the moment of showing up on the
cluster, the station will announce QRT for 30 minutes, after which it
will begin calling CQ on a different band and mode. For QSOs with the
Sn0LEAK station, the operator will receive all necessary data to decode
For more information about the Enigma special event, please click here.
the "Two Tinned Tunas ]["
by Tim Watson
on the classic kit designed by Doug Demaw W1FB, the Two Tinned Tunas
][, sold by QRPME.com, is easy to build and excellent for beginners. A
step-by-step builders guide is available on the website, and all the
parts you need to complete the project are included. The result is a 40 meter CW QRP transmitter.
The Two Tinned Tunas ][ is
a modern rendition of a classic kit, which includes some great features
that make building it quite simple. It comes complete, with components,
a tuna can for a chassis, a cool QRPME label for the outside, and this
version utilyzes the EZ Build Board, which is pre printed with component indicators and numbers.
I was able to assemble my Two Tinned Tunas
kit in about 1 hour. All that is needed is a good electronics soldering
iron, a well ventilated area, and a little patience, and you'll be on
the air in no time! To make it even better, these kits are designed and
built right here in Maine, by Rex Harper W1REX. Click here to learn more.
Started with DMR
The DMR-MARC Worldwide network
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
Now with repeaters in Southern Maine and throughout New Hampshire, hams
in this area have access to one of the fastest growing digital voice
networks in the world.
DMR, or Digital Mobile Radio,
is an Open Standard defined by the European Telecommunications
Standards Institute (ETSI), and used in commercial and amateur
products. Designed to operate within the existing 12.5 kHz channel
spacing used in licensed land mobile frequency bands globally AND to
meet future regulatory requirements for 6.25 kHz channel equivalence.
The primary goal of the DMR standard is to specify a digital
system with low complexity, low cost, and interoperability across
brands, so radio communications end users are not locked into a
proprietary solution (such as the case with D-STAR). This being said,
there are brands which have not adhered to this open standard and have
introduced proprietary features that make their products incompatible
with some networks.
DMR is similar to P25 Phase II, as both use two-slot TDMA (Time
Division Multiple Access) in a 12.5 kHz channel, while NXDN uses
discreet 6.25 kHz channels with frequency division.
DMR and Ham Radio
DMR-MARC is the primary amateur radio network, offering an all-digital
network of over 400 repeaters in 37 countries. There are more than
10,000 registered users, and the number is growing daily. The repeaters
are connected all the time, and DMR offers excellent voice quality
compared with other digital voice modes.
As mentioned above, DMR uses a Two-Slot TDMA protocol, which means that
it occupies a 12.5 kHz bandwidth with two channels sharing, using Time
Division Multiple Access (TDMA). This results in spectrum efficiency of
6.25 kHz per channel.
Comparing to a wideband FM modulated signal, DMR only uses 25% of the
bandwidth per talk channel, making it extremely efficient and battery
friendly. Each channel can carry either voice or data, depending on the
system design. The two time slots are sometimes called Time Slot 1
(TS1) and Time Slot 2 (TS2).
For the amateur, this means one repeater allows two separate channels
at the same time. Currently, most amateur DMR repeater systems utilyze
both channels for voice and some limited text messaging. Typically one
channel (time slot) is used for wide-area and the second is for local
and regional talk groups.
DMR is a fun mode to use, offering scalable communications, from
worldwide to local. It has also proven to be a reliable and effective
tool for retrieving SKYWARN reports in recent months, as it connects us
to places that typical VHF and UHF repeaters cannot reach.
If you'd like to learn more about DMR, please visit the DMR-MARC website. You can also find out more from the New England Digital Emergency Communications Network, which is working to expand and maintain the network here in New England.
To see if there's a repeater near you, click here.
Click here to download our Intro to DMR presentation from the March meeting.
March 5 - July 4
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
the summer DXpedition season coming to a close, we look forward to some
exciting activations, including an Italian expedition to Sazan Island,
Albania, in early September, with the call sign ZA0I, a Bulgarian expedition to Comoros week later, with call sign D67GIA, and the much anticipated TX3X DXpedition to Chesterfield Island, in early October.
Check out the list below for more information about upcoming announced
DXpeditions, and click here for the latest 425 DX News, by Mauro
|07/05 - 08/21
07/15 - 09/15
08/15 - 08/23
08/23 - 09/04
08/26 - 08/31
08/28 - 09/03
08/29 - 09/15
09/02 - 09/09
09/03 - 09/07
09/04 - 09/07
09/04 - 09/28
09/04 - 09/19
09/12 - 09/16
09/13 - 10/18
09/14 - 09/23
09/15 - 09/30
09/18 - 09/30
09/23 - 09/28
09/24 - 10/14
09/27 - 10/29
10/02 - 10/12
10/03 - 10/18
10/13 - 10/28
Fernando de Noronja
North Cook Island
By UR4LRQ and others; HF; CW, SSB
By F5LCI; HF; CW, JT65; QRP
By KD8CAO, from Jacmel (FK38rf); mainly satellite, but some QRP HF
By W2JHP, from Turneffe Atoll (NA-123); HF; SSB; limited operation
By PP1CZ as PT0F/PP1CZ; 80-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By JS3LSQ; HF; QSL via JS3SLQ
By EA5RM; from Bolivian jungle; spare time operation
By IK7JWX and team from Sazan Is.; HF + 6m; CW, SSB, PSK31, RTTY
By JA0JHQ, from Port Vila; 80-6m; CW, SSB, QSL via JA0JHQ
By JA1NEJ, from Chich-jima Is (AS-031); 80-10m; CW, SSB & digital
By NK8O, from Zinga; 20-6m; 100w; QSL also OK via EA7FTR
By AG6IP; 80-6m; SSB & digital; QSL via AG6IP
By JP1RIW, from Koror Is (OC-009); 80-6m; SSB; QSL via buro or direct
By IK2GZU; HF; QSL direct via IK2GZU, buro, or eQSL
By LA7GIA; 40-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By G3BJ and others, from (OC-040); HF; CW, SSB, RTTY; QSL via buro
By OK1FCJ and others; 160-10m; CW, SSB & digital; QSL via OK6DJ
By JA1NLX, from Yangeta Is (OC-156); 40-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By LZ1GC and OM5ZW, from Funafuti; 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By N7QT, from Manihiki Is (OC-014); 80-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By HA5AO and others; 160-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY; QSL via OQRS
By SP6EQZ and others, from Mahe Is (AF-024); 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By DL7VEE and others, from Majuro; 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY
with our lighthouse theme, here's some other interesting QSLs from
lighthouse operations around the world, sent to us by Stefania Chiruta
If you received an interesting QSL lately that you'd like to show off,
please send a digital image to [email protected], and we'll highlight it in an
|JA1BPA - 18
MHz SSB QSO with YO9GJY on 07 June 2014, at 1522 UTC. QSL features the
Iioka lighthouse (ARLHS: JPN-156), near Asahi City, Japan.
IQ6PS/LH - 18 MHz SSB
QSO with YO9GJY on 16 August 2014, at 1643 UTC. QSL features a
lighthouse in Pesaro, Italy, which was on the air during last summer's
SM3TLG/LH - 14 MHz SSB QSO
with YO9GJY, on 16 August 2014, at 1419 UTC. QSL is for a portable
lighthouse operation during last year's ILLW weekend.
- Free to a good home: Motor Generator Set: 1.5 hp 115v single phase
motor, dc generator, panel meters indicate 150 vdc and 50 amp,
rheostat voltage control, Heavy - about 100 lbs. Call Ron Vaughn
at (207) 452-2190.
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.
September 12, 2015. Location: Windsor Fairgrounds, Windsor, ME. Type:
ARRL Hamfest. Sponsor: Augusta Amateur Radio Association. Talk-in on
the 146.700 repeater.For more info, visit: http://www.w1tlc.com
St. Croix Valley ARC Hamfest -
September 19, 2015. Location: Alexander, ME.
Type: ARRL Hamfest. For more info, click here
, or call Roger Holst W1LH at: (207) 454-2174
New England Division Convention -
August 21, 2015. Location:
Inn, Boxboro, MA. Type: ARRL Convention. Sponsor: FEMARA. Talk-in on
147.270 (PL 146.2) repeater, & 449.925 (PL 88.5). Visit: http://www.boxboro.org
for more info.
- August 16, 2015. Location: Cambridge, MA. Type: Non-ARRL
Hamfest. Sponsored by:
MIT Radio Society & the MIT Electronics Research Society. Click here
for more details.
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.
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.
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.
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.