MARA W1/GaZette
February 2003
Vol 45 No. 6

In This Issue...
Next Meeting 1
Freeze-Out At Wanocksett 1
Watt's Happening 2
VE Team Report 2
LEMA Notes 2
January Meeting Report 3
Region 4 RACES Position 5
Boston Marathon 6
Annual ECARS Meeting 6
December Meeting 7

Next Meeting

Wednesday, February 12 7:30PM Central Fire Station Fitchburg MA

The February MARA meeting will be held at a new location. Thanks to Fitchburg Fire Chief Kevin Roy, Bill Leger N1UZ has been able to obtain meeting space for MARA at the Fitchburg Central Fire Station.

Since we have not been able to use the cafeteria at Burbank Hospital for several years, the "dietary porch" has been too small to
accommodate presenters. Bill contacted the Fitchburg Fire Department and Chief Roy quickly answered Bill's request.

The Fitchburg Fire Station is located directly behind Dunkin Donuts on lower Main St. Turn up North St. next to Dunkin Donuts and proceed to the rear of the fire station. Parking is to the rear of the station; please do not use the visitor slots near the entrance unless you are unloading gear for a presentation.

Enter the Fire Station through the front entrance. Ring the bell at the inner door to gain entrance then head down the stairs in front of
you to the basement.

Freeze-Out At Wanocksett

On Saturday, January 25 Paul KD1YH organized a Ham Radio activity at the Boy Scout's winter freeze out at Camp Wanocksett in Jaffrey, NH.
Paul N1QDX and Gary K1YTS helped with the event.

Gary submitted the following report:

We set up a couple of HF radios and made a few contacts.

We talked to numerous Scouts and Scout leaders about amateur radio activities.

We discussed what we could do to help the Scouts in May and perhaps at the October JOTA weekend.

It was also a test of our preparedness. I found it very difficult to start a portable generator with 30 weight oil, Oh Well.


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)

First Monday, 1900 local 3943, 7245 RACES Net

First Wednesday, 2000 local 3915 K1ARC Red Cross Net

Saturday, Feb 15, Marlboro MA
Algonquin ARA Hamfest,
Marlboro Middle School, 9am

Sunday, Feb 16, Westboro MA
GBARC Radio34 Antique Radio swap
Regency Hotel, 8am

Sunday, March 9, Amherst MA
Mt. Tom Hamfest
Middle School

Sunday, March 30, Framingham MA
Framingham ARA Hamfest
Walsh Middle School, 9am
Web Site Updated

Paul KD1YH has spent some time cleaning out dead wood from the MARA Web site and updating some of the material there.
VE Team Report

The January Amateur Radio exam session brought 5 candidates taking 10 exam elements. Four candidates earned new Technician licenses.

Volunteer Examiners who served at this session were Tom WA1RHP, Paul KD1YH, Jerry AA2T, Jim W1DF, Gordon N1MGO, Chat WA1FIA, Tom K1JHC, Charlie KT1I, and Ralph KD1SM.

Amateur Radio exam sessions are scheduled on the fourth Wednesday of the month, 7:00pm at Neurophysics, Mount Laurel Circle, Shirley.
Preregistration is required; contact Paul KD1YH to register for exams.

LEMA Communication Meeting Notes

de Jerry AA2T
21 January 2003

We have DSL service now and we will get local email addresses for everyone. We have a server that is about ready to go.

There is not much heat in the building and we had a pipe burst. Electricity is off in offices right now waiting for city electrician to come by and wire in generator. Rest of the work is pretty much on hold right now until this is done. Need to get the
computer room finished first.

A display case is being build to hold some history of emergency management/Civil Defense in Leominster with pictures and old

Will work to get "club" call WC1LEM for LEMA OEM HQ. We have a windom antenna, antenna tuner and R6000 HF antennas that can go up in the spring.

January Meeting

de NZ1D

The January MARA meeting was called to order by President, Gary K1YTS at 1947 on Wednesday, January 8 in the Burbank Hospital cafeteria foyer, there being a conflict with our use of the "dietary porch." Twelve members and one guest present.

Officers' Reports:

President (Gary K1YTS): Gary asked if anyone had checked into the club's lapsed ARRL affiliation. Bill NZ1D said he thought maybe KD1SM knew more about it than he did but he would try to look into getting registration/application information.

Vice President (Paul KD1YH): Nothing new to report.

Secretary (Bill NZ1D): Mailed two club applications in the last several months. Still have to file the annual report with the state,
was due November 1st. Will need a check from treasurer to cover the $15 fee. Received query from KA1VV re his dues not being recorded,
passed on to Treasurer, etc. No other correspondence of note.

Committee Reports:

Technical (Gordon N1MGO): short discussion re repeater user interference from RI repeater on same frequency different PL.

Membership: Bill NZ1D has made "stickers" to paste on the old flyers (we have scads of them). Bill N1UZ suggested that we bring a pile of them to the Feb meeting, each member take five or so and keep at the ready for prospective members. NZ1D replied that he would bring some but no guarantees that he will have time to paste up stickers by then.
Some discussion re contacting all the 300-odd hams in the area with info about the club. Comment was made that if we don't have anything to offer them it won't do much good to recruit; they may come once but
they won't come back. One complaint was that we spend too much time on "business" and not enough on program.

Bill NZ1D also asked what it would take to put a club application on the club's web page (assuming it ever gets brought up to date) or even a simple e-mail fill-in form. Should it be a text file, html, Word? Anyone?

Programs and Activities: Bill NZ1D mentioned that the Longsjo, which is one of our biggest public service events, apparently has been moved to the same weekend as Field Day, our other big PS event, so as not to conflict with Fitchburg's 4th celebrations. This causes us a problem in at least two regards: many of our FD ops are the same ones who volunteer for the Red Cross service at the races and the Saturday Mt. Wachusett event may interfere with our traditional FD site on the summit. It was argued that if we were allowed to use our site in the picnic area, the only limitations would be access to and from the mountain on Saturday and possible loss of key operators to the Longsjo event. NZ1D will query DEM re availability of the mountain, although Bill suggested that we start looking for an alternate site just in case, there being not much we can do about the conflict in service opportunities -- some of us will just have to make a decision as to which event we can support. [Note: as of this writing, the DEM is leaning toward charging a "user fee" for visitors to the mountain, Ed.]

In a related note, Bill mentioned that some Princeton residents had complained to the Selectmen that the race "and its participants caused unnecessary traffic problems due to rerouting to accommodate the race." Race organizers have been meeting with the BOS to discuss the complaints. Whether any changes will impact the "job descriptions" of the hams helping out remains to be seen.

Tom K1JHC said that an area on Flat Hill Road in Lunenburg might be available if we want it. Bill N1UZ suggested a high profile central location such as a city park, etc., might be good. Or a location such as a corner of WalMart's parking lot. Some members felt that if we set up elsewhere, that "once we lost the mountain" it would be hard to get back. There is also the spiritual aspect of the mountain that would be hard to replace. [Anyone have any connections with Marshall Farm? The view from there is almost as good..., Ed.]

Executive Committee: Nothing to report

Unfinished Business: Gary K1YTS reminded members that several meetings ago we discussed bringing our by-laws up to date. Bill NZ1D reported that the membership levels and dues structure we voted to change in April 2002 was in conflict with several areas of the by-laws and unfortunately also affected the club's articles of organization on file with the secretary of state's office. It was suggested that someone (NZ1D? since he had already started a review) write a report on suggested changes and bring them to the club for review. At that time a decision can be called for as to whether to form a committee to make further review or act on Bill's suggestions. A lengthy discussion followed on the merits (or problems) associated with being a corporation vice an unincorporated association. No conclusion was reached (nor expected!). Bill did say that he had tried to find an
attorney who would provide some pro bono advice but so far no takers.

New Business:

Bill N1UZ offered to try to find a new site for club meetings, at
least until room at the LEMA office might become available.


NZ1D announced that he still had one 2000 Field Day pin left ($5.00), and has two 2001 pins left (pending the decision of the ops who pre-ordered he may have a 2001 pin left over).

Meeting adjourned at 2050.

de NZ1D, Secretary

Region 4 RACES Officer Position Open

19 Jan 2003
Tom Kinahan N1CPE
Massachusetts State RACES Radio Officer

I have recently received and accepted the resignation of Mike Baril, N1PSE as Region 4 RACES Radio Officer. Mike noted personal and work related issues in his decision to make this change.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Mike for his help and support in the RACES program in Massachusetts, and for his support and leadership of RACES in Region 4.

As a result, I'd like to make a public request for applications for the position of RACES Radio Officer for MEMA Region 4. This region covers the area of Worcester County in Massachusetts. This position is a volunteer position, appointed by the Director of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. This position "answers" to the State RACES Radio Officer, with a dotted line responsibility to the Region 4 Director or his designee per the state RACES plan. The primary job description for this position is to develop and manage Amateur Radio communication plans and efforts to provide emergency communications support to MEMA and the communities of region 4.

The skills requirements for the position are:

1) Amateur Radio Technician Class or above licensee (preferably General or above).

2) Reside in MEMA Region 4 (Worcester County).

3) Ability to devote primary effort and support to RACES at the Region level (versus other volunteer positions).

4) Demonstrated Leadership abilities.

5) Current knowledge of amateur radio technologies including repeater operation, simplex, Packet Radio, Cross Band Repeaters, HF propagation etc.

6) Ability to present a professional appearance and be comfortable in front of groups talking about the RACES program.

7) Regular participation at weekend coordination meetings as well as participation in monthly and ad hoc drills.

8) Ability to assemble a team to support emergency and drill activations.

Persons interested in this position are requested to submit a cover
letter and resume to:

RACES Coordinator
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
400 Worcester Rd.
Framingham, Ma. 01701

Tom Kinahan N1CPE
Massachusetts State RACES Radio Officer

Boston Marathon

12 Jan 2003
Bill Ohm W1OHM

Uncle BAA Wants You!

The Boston Athletic Association is looking for a few good patriotic hams to enlist for the 2003 Boston Marathon on Patriots Day, April 21.
Uniform includes a 106th Marathon jacket, supplied by the BAA, and a 2m HT with gain antenna, supplied by you. You can retire with an honorable discharge and full pension after serving only one day (it will be a long one -- and I don't mean the pension). Volunteers needed for the Hopkington Start, Boston Finish, and along the course.

Sign your John Hancock on the enrollment form you download at:


Annual ECARS Get-Together

de Russ K1LRB via Jerry AA2T

On May 16-18 ECARS will be returning to the world-famous Chateau Resort and Conference Center at Camelback Mountain, Tannersville, PA; conveniently located just off Exit 299 of Interstate 80 in Northeastern Pennsylvania for its 2003 Meeting and Get-Together.

All the amenities of a fantastic getaway weekend in a classy but comfortable resort setting are combined with the camaraderie of fine
folks with a common interest in Amateur radio and Public Service -- it's a hard combination to beat!

Many attendees check in on Friday afternoon and stay until Sunday or Monday. Several members have already made arrangements to play golf Friday morning -- and more are invited to join in. We'll need more reliable witnesses to verify the scores that will be claimed around the bar that evening.

Saturday morning at 9 o'clock is the annual organizational membership meeting, where the formalities of ECARS are blended with an interesting agenda of discussions -- and a special guest speaker or two.

Saturday afternoons are left to fun options -- such as more golf, walking around the beautiful Chateau grounds, touring the Poconos
resort region, or shopping in one of the nearby gift and outlet centers.

Several drove to the top of Camelback Mountain last year, where you can take in the scenery, as well as test the reach of that HT or
mobile VHF rig. There's something magical about calling CQ from the top of a mountain. The possibilities are endless.

The absolute highlight is the Saturday Night banquet, when everyone comes together for a memorable evening of food, friendship and frolic.

Make reservations by calling the Chateau at 800-245-9500. Check-in time is 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. The resort is located just off Exit 299 of Interstate 80 in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Room rates are approximately $95 per night, double occupancy. Saturday Evening Dinner is $32 per person. Please send reservation checks payable to
ECARS to: Russ Newton, 363 S. Mountain Rd., Northfield, MA 01360.

There is no charge for the Friday Night reception, which begins at 5
p.m. There will be a cash bar and light snacks.

December Meeting

de Paul N1QDX

On Sunday December 8th at 1400 MARA held its yearly Holiday party at Monty's Garden in Leominister.

The members and guests started off the afternoon with cheese and crackers and good cheer. After a social hour we all found our seats
to start the December meeting. At about 1500 the meeting was called to order. The members present were N1QDX, N1MGO, KD1YH, K1JKC, KT1I,N1QAM, K1YTS, AA2T, and WA1FIA.

At 1501 by unanimous vote of the members present the meeting was adjourned to a fine meal.

The meal was started with a salad and bread, then a choice of veal parmesan or spaghetti and meatballs.

As in the past the meal was very good with great service. I saw mostly empty plates some even had room for dessert so it was apparent the meal was enjoyed by all.

Altogether there were 16 members and guests present and a jolly good time was had by all hope to see you there next year.

de N1QDX

Member Profiles Wanted

Your chance to be famous; write about your Ham career for the W1/GaZette!

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: (open)

Club Secretary: Bill Wornham, NZ1D
Annual Dues: Regular $25
Family $30
Fixed income $15
Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7:30pm
September to June

Mailing address: MARA
PO Box 95
Leominster, MA 01453
Web site:

Gary Busler K1YTS President

Paul Upham, KD1YH Vice President
Bill Wornham, NZ1D Secretary 978-597-2348
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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