WS1EC Team Participates in Exercise
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
- On Saturday, January 28th, WS1EC team members participated
an Emergency Communications Exercise which was organized by Knox
County. The scenario for the exercise was a statewide blizzard, and
goals included the exchange of ICS-213 messages via Winlink.
left: Frank Allen W1FRA, Mike MacDonald KR1MAC, Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR,
are gathered around Charlie Shepard W1CPS, as he composes a message in
right: Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR teaches Charlie W1CPS how to transmit a
message via Winlink.
of the participants met earlier in the morning for breakfast at Q St
Diner, in South Portland, prior to meeting at the CCEMA Bunker, in
Windham. Unlike the SET, this was a much smaller exercise, involving
only a handful of EmComm teams, and the objectives were simply to
exchange messages via Winlink, and also to attempt to connect to a
Packet node in Knox County on UHF. For our club, it was a good training
exercise and also exposed some more people to the software programs
used to compose, transmit, and receive digital messages.
Number 1 in Maine for 2016 Field Day!
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
ME - The 2016 Field Day results are in, and WS1SM finished 1st place in
Maine! In only our 6th year competing, this is a huge
accomplishment! Thanks to everyone who put in such an amazing effort.
WS1SM tallied 1,921 QSOs, and 7,530 points, operating in the 3A
were separated into three main areas, including the "CW Trailer,"
courtesy of Rick K1OT, with accompanying tower and 40m
operating tent with nearby Spiderbeam tribander - for SSB, and
Cumberland County EMA trailer, which we used mostly for digital
activities. Additionaly, Charlie W1CPS, operated a "free" VHF station,
primarily on 6 meters for most of the 24 hours.
left: Rick Fickett K1OT and Rory McEwen operate in the CW trailer.
right: Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR and Sean Binette W1GFD operate HF digital
while Mike MacDonald KR1MAC looks on.
Some of the
highlights included entertaining guests from various agencies, as well
as meeting visiting hams. Annette KC1AMQ and others helped keep
us fed thoughout Field Day. Frank K5HS put together
educational piece on how to craft a radiogram message and taught a
class on it, which also helped us gather messages to send over the air.
Ryan KB1YTR and Sean W1GFD worked the digital modes, and played a big
part in relaying messages, especially during Sunday morning. Rick K1OT,
Dana K1RQ, and Joe K1JB maintained a continuous presence
on CW, while Stefania K1GJY maintained a presence on
left: Several club members, including Frank Allen W1FRA, Steve McGrath
AA1HF and his wife, Peter Warren KC1DFO, Nancy Krizan K5NCK, and Dakota
Dumont KB1YYC, gather around the picnic table for some food. Above
right: Frank teaches a course on composing radiograms
during the educational activity.
K5HS, Peter KC1DFO, and Fred W4FWW, worked on making a satellite QSO,
while first time Field Day operators, Adam N3AWM, and Corey KC1FKH, got
time on the air. Altogether, Field Day 2016 was a huge success.
who participated enjoyed the experience and felt a tremendous sense of
accomplishment when it was over.
From Nubble to West Quoddy
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
ME - What better thing to do during the summer, than participate in
favorite hobby, while also exploring Maine's iconic lighthouses?
Since our first activation of Pemaquid Point, in the summer of 2011,
that's exactly what we've done.
From left to right: Charlie W1CPS, Ryan KB1YTR, Cindy W1CJS, and Thom W1WMG, operate from West Quoddy.
was the first to activate several lighthouses, including Pemaquid
Point, for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW), which
is an annual on-air activity that sees over 400 lighthouses
wide participate. To qualify as a ham radio activation during ILLW, the
radio operators have to be on site, within direct view of the
lighthouse. This involves getting permission from the owner of the
lighthouse, often months in advance, and in some cases arranging for
special transportation. Our second ILLW activation took us to Wood
Island, just off the coast of Biddeford Pool, which is only accessible
by boat. Another lighthouse that required transportation by water was
our Islands on the Air expedition to Seguin Island, in
left: Tim KB1HNZ, Ryan KB1YTR, Dakota KB1YYC, Dave KB1FGF, Annette
KC1AMQ, Bert KB1ZLV, Steve AA1HF, and Frank K5HS, pose in front of
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Above right: (Seated from left to right) are
Sam N1WIG, Tim KB1HNZ, and Dave KB1FGF, operate from Wood Island
In 2013, we returned to Pemaquid - a lighthouse Frank
W1FRA, and his wife, love to visit because the restaurant nearby makes
"the best blueberry pancakes around."
One of the most
memorable ham radio adventures of recent years was the trip to West
Quoddy Lighthouse (Lubec, ME), and Head Harbor Lighthouse (Campobello
Island, NB) for ILLW in August of 2014. Charlie W1CPS, Cindy W1CJS, and
Ryan KB1YTR, stayed at a nearby campground, describing it as the
"quietest campground in the world." The weather was perfect over the
two days, and we made over 300 QSOs combined. One of the coolest
contacts during Saturday, was with Swallowtail Lighthouse on nearby
Grand Manan Island. The ham I was talking to was describing a
helicopter coming in for landing at about the same time we were
watching one land on an island across the water. It didn't take long to
realize we were seeing the same one! Not being from the area, we had no
idea how close we were to Grand Manan.
left: One of the portable stations used at West Quoddy. Above right:
(from left to right) are Thom W1WMG, Dakota KB1YYC, Ryan KB1YTR, and
Jason W1SFS, operating from Nubble Lighthouse.
In 2015 we
activated Cape Neddick Lighthouse, in York, Maine.
"Nubble," as its called, is one of the most photographed lighthouse in
the world, and one of the busiest. During the day there was a steady
stream of visitors, who stopped by to ask questions about what we were
doing, or about ham radio. Afterwards, several of us went out
the Bull 'n Claw for dinner, and talked about an Official Observer who
threatened to send Dakota a pink slip for spotting WS1SM on the cluster
- apparently you can't spot someone you hear in the Extra part of the
band if you're a General. We still laugh about it to this day.
left: (from left to right) are Thom W1WMG, Charlie W1CPS, Cindy W1CJS,
Jason W1SFS, Annette KC1AMQ, Ryan KB1YTR, Tim KB1HNZ, and Dakota
KB1YYC, at Nubble Lighthouse, in York, ME. Above right: Stefania K1GJY,
operates from Portland Head Light.
year we did a two-day activation of Portland Head Light. This was a fun
ILLW because it was so close to home, which allowed participants to
come and go throughout the weekend. We were also able to bring a lot
more gear, and we had a lot of club members, and other area hams, stop
by to take a turn at operating.
For this year, we've discussed
a few different lighthouses, but we haven't quite decided on one yet.
I'm sure no matter which one we choose, we'll have a lot of fun.
Early Days of Communications
TARS Printed Circuit
By Phil Ashler, N4IPH
TALLAHASSEE, FL - Have you ever thought of what the early days
of communication were like (before cellphones, HD TV, satellite and
cable television?) Many members of our club have lived
through the changes and probably could spend hours telling you about
the “good ole days.” If you wanted to talk to someone on the
telephone you had to first pick up the receiver and turn the crank on
the side of the large wooden box on the wall. In a short
period of time a voice came over the receiver saying “This is Central…
How may I help you?” You may have replied, “Could you please
connect me with Sally Smith on Elm Street.” The operator would
sometimes say, “Sally Smith isn’t home, she is at her daughter’s house
for the weekend… do you want me to try and ring her up?” How
many of us as children listened in on conversations on the party
line? How many of us remember watching black and white TV
shows on Friday night and trying to tune in the station better by
adjusting the “rabbit ears” antenna. Things have changed a
lot over the years in the world of communications.
One of my favorite
shows on TV is the series Mysteries at the Museum which is currently on
the Travel Channel Thursday evenings and on Netflix I can watch several
hours of their very interesting segments detailing some of the items
and stories found in museums around the world. Last Thursday
evening they had a segment on the “Hot Line” and “Red Phone” between
Washington and Moscow during the 1963 Cuban Missile
Crisis. Many of us
can remember the movie “Dr. Strangelove,” when the
conversation between Washington and Moscow on the “Red Phone” became
one of the highlights of the movie. Surprisingly, there was
never a “Red Phone,” but in reality the direct line of communication
was a set of teletype machines linked by a long cable! In the
Mysteries of the Museum segment,
the Vintage Radio and
Communications Museum of
Connecticut has a display showing the
type of “Hot Line” using the teletype setup that was probably used
during this period of time. I couldn’t find that particular
exhibit on their website but did notice that there is an interesting
YouTube video on the history of the Victor Talking Machine
Company. If you view this video there are a number of other
suggested videos linked dealing with other “Early Stereo
Systems.” In addition to the exhibits they have an active
Amateur Radio Station, W1VCM, with a number of vintage radios on
One of the links on
the museum’s webpage shows a rough timeline of early communication
systems beginning with the telegraph, telephone, recording devices and
motion pictures in the 1800’s. As we move into the 1900’s we
see the development of wireless (radio,) vacuum tubes, crystal radios
and the Tesla coil. Many of us that were in the Boy Scouts in
the 1950’s are familiar with the crystal radio, winding a coil on a
toilet paper tube and using a “cat’s whisker” to tune in local AM
stations. If you have a young child or grandchild, this is a
great project to help them become interested in your Amateur Radio
hobby. There are many websites that have directions/videos on
building a simple crystal from scratch or from one of the many
In the 1920’s and
30’s we see the development of battery-powered radios, large radios as
furniture, car radios, radio/phonograph combinations and the
teletype. How many of us remember the news broadcast in the
1950’s, 60’s and 70’s leading in with the sound of the teletype machine
in the background? I can remember seeing pictures taken in
the 1940’s of families sitting around an old console radio in a living
room listening to soap operas and other weekly
Moving into the
late 1960’s and 70’s we see transistors replacing vacuum tubes in most
of our radios and TVs and the establishment of FM radio as the
preferred entertainment band. Businesses started to
communicate by two-way radio, AM at first then FM later on.
With FM we were able to hear concerts and music in stereo, all without
the static and poor audio quality that was found in the AM
band. Transistor radios were portable which meant we could
carry our music, news, stock reports and latest ads with us no matter
where we went. Just remember to have extra batteries on hand.
As I was
researching information for this article, I came across a very good one
in the January 2000 edition of QST Magazine written by Jim Maxwell,
W6CF. The ARRL has the article available in PDF format on
their website if you would like to read about the “First 100 Years of
Ham Radio.” Jim covers the history of Amateur Radio, advances
in electrical theory and what we know today as radio over the years and
breaks down the information by decades starting with Clinton B.
Desoto’s book “200 Meters and Down” published in 1936. We
have all used the terms Hertz, Ohm, Ampere, Henry and Faraday in our
hobby, but do you know who these people really were? Jim
gives a brief history of work done by James Clark Maxwell developing
his theory of electromagnetism and follows the advances of radio
through the 20th century. Beginning with the Guglielmo
Marconi transmission across a distance of 2 miles in 1896 during a
demonstration in England, Jim takes us through a journey into the 20th
century highlighting the advances in communication, licensing structure
and the Amateur Radio hobby.
Many Amateurs today
are probably not familiar with the contributions of early radio
operators during the first and second World Wars and the hardships they
dealt with. There were several times when Amateurs were not
allowed to operate (or even possess equipment in) their stations due to
wartime government regulations. The ARRL has been a voice and
advocate for our hobby since 1914 and has continued to represent
Amateurs through the years. How many newly licensed Amateurs
know anything about “The Old Man” in the early days of the ARRL?
very important to the future of our hobby for the Amateurs of today to
be aware of the contributions of the past. There are numerous
articles and videos online on the history of our hobby which are all
just a simple Google or YouTube search away! One of the best
videos available on YouTube is the Ken Burns documentary “Empire of the
Air – The Men Who Made Radio.” There have been many more
advances even since Jim’s article was written in 2000. What
will the next 100 years bring the world in the methods of
communication? How will our hobby play a part?
WSSM Members Support SKYWARN During
National Weather Service, Gray, ME
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
ME - Amateur radio volunteers were drawn from several area ham clubs
including the Wireless Society of Southern Maine, Androscoggin Amateur
Radio Club, Androscoggin ARES and York ARES, during the winter
storm of February 12-13th. First
time participants who activated the WX1GYX station in Gray, included
Dakota Dumont KB1YYC, Stefania Watson
K1GJY, David Baizley, and Paul Leonard KE6PIJ.
a mild winter in 2016, which was followed by a less active thunderstorm
season than usual, it was good to see that so many SKYWARN radio
operators were excited to help out, by either sending in reports, or
braving the snowy conditions, to man the station at the NWS office.
began just before 4pm, when Dakota KB1YYC, and David Baizley,
started net operations, focusing on Cumberland, York and Rockingham
counties, as the storm was well to the South at the time. By 5pm, they
were joined by Tim KB1HNZ and Stefania K1GJY, who made call-ups on DMR
and HF. They were relieved by Dave WE1U, and Paul KE6PIJ, who operated
during the overnight, until being relieved by Jason W1WDW, in the
Many nets throughout New Hampshire and Maine
contributed to the activation by collecting reports and forwarding them
to NWS, either by radio, email, or phone.
Lulofs, Meteorologist in Charge at NWS Gray, says: "I wanted
follow up with our amateur radio operators to thank you for the
fantastic help you provided during our recent storm. I received lots of
positive feedback from my staff regarding the operators that came out
during the storm! There were some new faces that helped out and we
welcome you to GYX SKYWARN." Wayne Santos, SEC for New Hampshire, also
commended our effort, saying "Great effort! As we go forward, I'd like
to rebuild the relationship between your operation and NH ARES."
Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible. Keep up the good work!
Dana Cobb K1RQ, SK
1945 - 2016
Above: Dana K1RQ (white t-shirt),
operates during Field Day at Wassamki Springs Campground, in
Cobb, who was born May 28, 1945, in Portland, passed away November
18th, at Manatee Memorial Hospital, in Ellenton, FL.
of us in the club will remember Dana's talent of telling stories during
meetings and the seeming ease with which he operated CW. He's also been
one of the biggest contributors to our
Field Day efforts, almost since the beginning. News of his passing hit
us all very hard, and we will miss him.
amateur radio operator since his early teens, Dana, (whose original
call sign was K1RQF), joined the Maine Air National Guard in 1965,
attending Basic Training in Biloxi, Miss. Because of his ham radio
background, he was assigned to Lakeland Air Force Base, in Texas, for
schooling in military communications. While serving in the reserves,
Dana married his high school sweetheart, Theresa Sawyer, in 1967, and
took a job with AT&T in a radio relay communication station in
Peru, Mass., shortly before their wedding. They moved
to Hindsdale, Mass., where he spent 17 years inside plant.
and Theresa had two children, Susan and Stephanie, and they stayed in
the Berkshires until he transferred to outside plant, in Chesterfield,
In 1987, an opportunity arose for him to move back to
Maine, after 21 years. He transferred to Manchester, NH and lived in
East Raymond, Maine. In his new role, he was in charge of the new
fiberoptic cable from Manchester to Portland, which he patrolled until
his retirement from "Ma Bell" in 1999. Dana drove one million miles,
accident free, while driving for the phone company, and never had his
fiber optic cable dug up. After 34 years with AT&T, he retired
1999 after his first heart attack and moved to Florida.
hobbies were many, but ham radio was his first. He enjoyed contesting
for several radio groups over the years, working many international
phone and CW contests. He was a founder of the North East Contest Club,
which merged with Murphy's Marauders to become the Yankee Clipper
Contest Club. In fact, it was Dana's connection with the phone company,
setting up conference calls between members in 1977, that the YCCC can
owe its existance. Dana's other hobbies included hunting, boating,
camping, and Civil War reenactment.
Dana and his wife also
loved to travel, visiting 48 of 50 states with their travel trailer,
always going back to Maine as soon as possible. Through all their
travels, Maine was always home to them.
Dana leaves behind his
wife of 49 years, two children, and two grand children. He was laid to
rest in Raymond, with his parents.
Read more about Dana's
contributions to the Yankee Clipper Contest Club on the YCCC
Click here to read the obituary,
originally published on November 23, 2016, in the Portland Press
March 5 - May 27
Tim Watson, KB1HNZ
Holiday and Winter DX season was extremely active, with expeditions to
the Azores (CU9AB), Ascension (ZD8SC), Bangladesh (S21ZBA), Bahrain
(A91SD), the Maldives (8Q7AZ), Mauritius (3B8HC), and Palau (T88AQ), in
December and January, and more recently, the VP6EU expedition to
Pitcairn throughout the month of February, and the TX5T dxpedition to
Austral Island, in late February and early March. As the Spring season
approaches, we look forward to contest activations that will be QRV for
the Russian DX Contest, which takes place March 18-19, and CQWW
WPX SSB, which takes place March 25-26.
For more information about upcoming announced
DXpeditions, click here for the latest 425 DX News, by
03/06 - 03/13
03/07 - 03/13
03/08 - 03/20
03/08 - 03/24
03/11 - 03/18
03/14 - 04/12
03/15 - 03/18
03/15 - 03/31
03/17 - 03/19
03/18 - 03/21
03/19 - 04/01
03/19 - 04/03
03/21 - 03/27
03/25 - 04/22
04/02 - 04/06
04/06 - 04/12
04/14 - 04/16
04/15 - 04/22
04/25 - 05/06
04/29 - 05/16
05/13 - 05/27
British Virgin Islands
Ceuta & Melilla
St. Kitts & Nevis
Papua New Guinea
Isle of Man
DK9FN, from Nendo I (OC-100); HF
By PA7X; 20m; 100w; end-fed; afternoons
By G3PJT; mainly CW; holiday style operation
By EI2II and others; 80-10m; SSB, CW, Digital
By DL2GAC, from Nendo I (OC-100); HF; QSL via DARC buro or direct
By K6UDA, from San Salvador (NA-001); 40-20m, perhaps 10m
SP5EAQ and others, from OC-015; 80-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY; QSL direct
By IK2GZU, from Ilembula; 80-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY; spare time operation
By N2IEN as VP2V/N2IEN from Tortola (NA-023); HF; focus on RTTY
By SP6AXW; HF; QSL also OK via SP6AXW
By M0CFW; for Russian DX Contest; QRV before and after using MJ0CFW
By EA4PN, and others; CW; will use ED9T during King of Spain Contest
By W2APF from Nevis (NA-104); 80-6m; CW, SSB; 100w; holiday style
By JA6REX, from Chuuk I (OC-011); 160-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY; 1KW
By YL3CW and others; 160-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By 3D2AG; 160-6m, including 60m
By WM1J as CE0Y/WM1J; 40-15m; CW
By JA1XGI from Rapopo (OC-008); 6.5m vertical; focus on Europe
By HP1RIS and others, from Taboga I (NA-072); 40-10m; SSB, CW
By GW0ANA and others; 160m, and 60m; CW, SSB, JT65
By 11 op team; 160-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By KZ3AB, from NA-016; HF
By AD8J from NA-057; 160-15m; mainly CW, some SSB; 100w, dipole
month we'll take a look at a pair of QSLs from expeditions to Pitcairn
Island (VP6J and VP6AH), as well as Laos (XW1IC), and a
classic QSL card from ABC, in honor of the final shortwave broadcast of
Radio Australia on
January 31st, 2017. The QSL, featuring the famous Sydney Opera House,
is for reception of a shortwave broadcast in 1978.
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
|VP6J - for multiple QSOs
30m CW, on 28 August 2016, at 0929 UTC.
17m SSB, on 28 August 2016,
at 2329 UTC.
10m CW, on 30 August 2016, at 0058 UTC.
20m CW, on 2 September 2016, at 0916 UTC.
17m CW, on 3 September 2016, at 0037 UTC.
|XW1IC - for a
QSO with KB1HNZ:
20m SSB, on 30 May 2016, at 1423 UTC
XW1IC was operated by an international team, including: HS0AC, XZ0A,
XW1HS, 9M0SEA, 9M4JB, XU7POS, XW1A, PS2T, W1AW, K7RC, W7RN, W1CU, XU1A,
XZ1Z, XZ1J, and others.
- for multiple QSOs with KB1HNZ:
12m SSB, on 7 September 2016, at 2333 UTC
20m SSB, on 9 September 2016, at 0233 UTC
15m SSB, on 18 September 2016, at 0009 UTC
10m SSB, on 27 September 2016, at 2216 UTC
Equipment used on the DXpedition: Icom IC7300 /100w & a Windom
Australia - for
shortwave reception of the Shepparton transmitting station, at 0651
UTC, on April 18, 1978, on 21680 kHz.
Always a strong signal on the shortwave bands, especially in the
mornings here in the U.S., Radio Australia made their final
transmission on January 31st, 2017. They will surely be missed.