MARA W1/GaZette January 2003


In this issue...

Next Meeting 1

VE Team Report 1

Watt's Happening 2

LEMA Communications Team 2

AA2T Elected to ECARS 3

Hams and the Red Cross 3

LEMA Comms Team, December 4

Marconi Wireless Centennial 5

FCC Seeks Petition Comments 5


Next Meeting

Wednesday, January 8 7:30 PM Burbank Hospital, Fitchburg MA

Happy New Year to all. The first meeting of 2003 is scheduled, as usual, for the second Wednesday of January. As New Year's Day was the first Wednesday that means the first meeting of 2003 comes as early in the year as it can possibly come.

We wish all MARA members, their families and friends of MARA a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2003.


Old News

Charlie Cayen put up with people not getting WN1E right for as long as he could. In November he finally had enough, so he applied for and was granted - on November 19 - the callusing KT1I. Charlie's E-mail address at has been updated accordingly.


VE Team Report

With the fourth Wednesday of December being a holiday, the December Volunteer Exam session was moved forward by one week.

At the session on December 18, two candidates were served with one earning an upgrade to Extra class. The Volunteer Examiners who officiated at this session were Tom WA1RHP, Don N1HVA, Dan N1JEB,Faith N1JIT, and Ralph KD1SM.

The November session on November 27 was attended by six candidates.

Three new Technician licenses were earned and one candidate upgraded to General class. The three VEs at this session were very busy; they were Tom WA1RHP, Paul KD1YH, and Jerry AA2T.

The October session on October 23 served four candidates with two new Technician licenses and one General upgrade earned. Officiating Ves were Tom WA1RHP, Don N1HVA, Charlie WN1E, and Paul KD1YH.

The ARRL has notified all VEs that exam fees for 2003 are increasing to $12. The VE Team schedules exam sessions in Shirley on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Pre- register with Paul KD1YH at


Watt's Happening

Sundays, 0830 local 3937 Western Mass Emergency Net.

Alternate frequency is 3942 in case of QRN, QRM, or frequency in-use.

Also a good idea to scan up and down 10kHz if you cannot find the net.

Sundays, 0900 local 145.45- Montachusett Emergency Net

Tuesdays, 2030 local 145.37- Templeton Emergency Net

Nightly, 2100 local 146.97- Central Mass Traffic Net

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 1800 local 3942 MHz

Western Mass Traffic Net (phone)

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 1900 local 3562 MHz

Western Mass Traffic Net (cw, slow)

Saturday, January 25, Nashua NH New England Antique Radio Club flea

Saturday, February 15, Marlboro MA Algonquin ARA Ham flea


LEMA Communications Team

de Jerry AA2T

OEM Comm meeting notes

Nov 19,2002

Got new ITAC radio equipment for 800Mhz from MEMA. They are MTS2000 radios with spare batteries smart trunk system. On state police trunking system, other freq. is ITAC use. Need to call up state to use the ITAC frequencies with repeaters, which are Harvard and Princeton. Training from the state will be given for these radios; they must be left turned off. Once they are turned on the ID will show up in Framingham. These will stay locked up for director and vice-director usage. Fitchburg also has a mobile repeater.

We picked up a dozen old police HT radios. We need to get new batteries and we got 3 gang charges on close out.

Moving to use ICS inside OEM. Will use the ICS communication plan -form 205.

Will put in electronic form for dispatcher use.

New rule is to have dispatching 100% of the time when OEM is out on an incident.

OEM picked up a diesel small mini bus with 40K miles on it and runs well. Need to find out what use it will be put to. Comms? Present ambulance is not ready to be used for comms due to paint scheme.

Tiles are in for the floor in the back new offices. There is no power/heat yet due to money shortages. Telephone and network wiring are just about done. Some doors and windows are in.

Found out that we need walls in the kitchen that are non-porous, so looking into stainless steel sheets to cover the walls but expensive.

Training will be done after the holidays.

Some older laptops are coming available from MEMA and will be put to

use for comms. Will get Pacterm for our packet setup.

Jerry Rogich


AA2T Elected to ECARS

Jerry Rogich AA2T has won election as Director of the East Coast Amateur Radio Service, ECARS.

ECARS meets all day every day on 7.255 MHz, starting at approximately 7:30 AM East Coast time (conditions permitting), and continuing until the frequency gets over-run by Foreign Broadcast Stations.

ECARS offers a variety of services to mobile stations including weather, road conditions, emergencies, and phone calls. The ECARS net is a great place to meet other amateur radio operators, get the weather conditions around the East Coast area, setup skeds, or just sit back and enjoy.

For more information, see the ECARS Web site

Congratulations, Jerry.


Long Range Outlook Excellent for Hams and the Red Cross

de Ralph KD1SM

On December 14 I attended a meeting of Red Cross communications officers and Amateur Radio Emergency Service coordinators for all Red Cross Chapters in Massachusetts.

A number of interesting items were discussed during this meeting, including a six-year technology upgrade program that is being instituted within the Red Cross. A major goal of this technology update program is to reduce the Red Cross's reliance on cell phones for communication at large disasters and to fully computerize and network all the disaster service centers serving large disasters.

This program relies fully upon radio communication, both for the satellite-based Internet connectivity to the service centers and for the tactical communications among the disaster workers.

Jay Ferron, N4GAA, Red Cross National Disaster Telecommunications Partner, presented details of this plan to the 18 people present. Jay pointed out that the level of "high tech" at Red Cross disaster relief operations will be substantial once this program is complete.

With respect to the role filled by Amateur Radio Operators, Jay further observed that the Red Cross recognizes that efficient and accurate communication via radio is a skill that they can not teach in an 8-hour session at the start of a relief operation. Thus the Red Cross management recognizes an increasing need for the kind of people that we are; trained and practiced in communication (through regular drills and activities such as NTS) and very comfortable with technology (computers).

We Hams often view the Internet as competition. The Red Cross sees it the other way around; we are communications experts who can move quickly and freely between all the various modes of getting traffic through and not just our ham radios or cell phones. This where we shine and why the Red Cross sees a need for more, not less, of us to volunteer our expertise.


LEMA Communications Team, December Meeting

de Jerry AA2T

17 December 2002

Ordering a Netgear router for the HQ and will support DSL link with 8 VPNs. All members will have local email addresses as well. We have a server box ready to be set up in January.

We got to see the ITAC handhelds given to us by the state that run on 800Mhz. There will be an upcoming training program to use the equipment. We have 1 hour rapid chargers, holsters, and speaker mics for them.

The dozen police radios are all reprogrammed and we ordered 10 new batteries and 3 gang chargers for them. So we are up to 15 usable handhelds for 460Mhz.

The key card access is complete except for the AC connection, waiting directors to decide who has access.

Tonight was also the meeting of the "Emergency Support of Massachusetts, Inc" non profit company set up to solicit grants for local EM agencies. Looks like under Citizen Corp, Justice Dept and Homeland Security, the Feds may be opting to release grants mostly through non profits in order to be sure the dollars flow into the end users and not in the general fund of the states, cities and towns. I am one of the board of directors.

President is Paul Goguen, VP is Tom Piper and we will be using Leominster OEM HQ and facilities for the time being. Stay tuned for more to come.


Marconi Wireless Centennial

January 11-19, 2003

Celebrating The 100th Anniversary of Guglielmo Marconi's First Wireless transmission between the United States and Europe on January 11 - 19, 2003.

From atop high, sandy cliffs overlooking the Atlantic, Marconi transmitted a simple, 54-word greeting from President Theodore Roosevelt to Great Britain's King Edward VII. Within hours, the King acknowledged receiving the message, and the spark of global communications was lit.

The Marconi Radio Club, W1AA, and the Marconi Cape Cod Memorial Radio Club, KM1CC, working in partnership with the National Park Service at Cape Cod National Seashore, will operate a Special Event station from January 11-19 at the former Coast Guard station at Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, Massachusetts, from near the site of the original Marconi 1903 Station. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day, the public will be able to tour the station, listen to voice and Morse Code discussions with other radio operators around the world, and learn about wireless technology and the significance of Marconi's achievement. For details see:

January 18, 2003 will mark the centennial of Marconi's groundbreaking transatlantic wireless transmission with a reenactment of this historic scientific achievement, rivaling the Wright Brother's first flight at Kitty Hawk.

Marconi's daughter Princess Elettra Marconi is scheduled to attend the event.

KM1CC will transmit a Presidential Commemorative message from President George W. Bush on January 18, 2003.

NASA International Space Station Link - Selected Students from three Cape Cod High Schools (Cape Cod Vocational Technical High School-Harwich, Provincetown High School- Nauset Regional High School) will communicate with astronauts aboard the orbiting International Space Station.

For a complete events calendar, go to and click on "In Depth," then "News."

Bob Doherty K1VV

President, Marconi Radio Club W1AA



The FCC is inviting comments on an Amateur Radio-related petition for rule making. In his petition, designated RM-10620, Dale Reich, K8AD, has asked the Commission to automatically upgrade Novice and Advanced license holders to the "next" license class if the licensee has 20 or more years of operating experience. Reich has said such test-free upgrades would compensate for "the previous tougher exam that was past administered" and give credit for violation-free service records.

Among other proposed changes in his "merit and service upgrade" schedule, Reich asks that Novice phone privileges in the 2-meter band--rescinded in the 1970s--be reinstated for those still holding that license. In his petition, Reich asserts that Amateur Radio the proposed changes could augment public service abilities on the part ofthe affected licensees.

The comment deadline for the petition is January 17, 2003. Interested parties may view the petitions and file comments via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) 

The MARA W1/GaZette is published by the Montachusett Amateur Radio Association just prior to the monthly meeting. The newsletter is distributed free to members and friends of Amateur Radio.

Contents copyright (c) 2003, MARA. Permission to use in other Amateur Radio publications with credit to MARA is hereby granted.


Editors: Ralph Swick KD1SM 978-582-7351

Bill Wornham NZ1D

Webmaster: Paul Upham


Club Secretary: Bill Wornham, NZ1D

Annual Dues: Regular $25

Family $30

Fixed income $15

Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7:30pm

September to June

Burbank Hospital, cafeteria

Fitchburg, MA

Mailing address: MARA

PO Box 95

Leominster, MA 01453

Web site:


Gary Busler K1YTS President

Paul Upham, KD1YH Vice President

Bill Wornham, NZ1D Secretary

Gordon LaPoint, N1MGO Treasurer

Charlie Cayen, KT1I Trustee

MARA owns and operates the W1GZ repeater providing emergency autopatch

Service on 145.45 (CTCSS 74.4) in Fitchburg.

Montachusett Amateur Radio Association

PO Box 95 Leominster MA 01453_ 


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