MARA W1/GaZette


In This Issue...
Next Meeting 1
Watt's Happening 2
Old Timer's Lunch 2
March Meeting 3
VE Team Report 5
Boston Marathon Needs You 5
Groton Road Race-27 April 6
Walk For Hunger-May 4 6
Georgia Hams Respond 7
Hams Save Burn Victim 8
Public Service List 9

Contributors To This Issue: K1JHC

Next Meeting
Wednesday, April 9 7:30PM
Fitchburg Central Fire Station Community Room

The April MARA meeting will be held in the Community Room of the Fitchburg Central Fire Station. Paul N1QDX will be presenting a special topic of his choosing.

The Fitchburg Fire Station is located directly behind Dunkin Donuts on lower Main Street. Turn up North Street next to Dunkin Donuts and proceed past the fire station to the visitor's parking area at the rear of the station. Please do not use the visitor slots near the entrance unless you are unloading gear for a presentation.

From the parking area, walk back down North Street to the front entrance on North Street at the Fire Station sign. Ring the bell at the inner door to gain entrance then head directly across the lobby and down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs turn left in the hallway. The Community Room is then directly ahead of you.

Volunteers Needed

Two local events in April need the support of the Amateur Radio community.

On Saturday, April 12 the Townsend Lion's Club is holding their annual canoe race on the Squannacook River. The race starts in West Townsend and travels a little over 7 miles to Townsend Harbor. In the past, 60 to 80 canoes have participated. A pre-race briefing takes place at 09:30 and the event is usually complete about 13:00.

Bill NZ1D is the coordinator for this event, if you are able to assist, call him.

On Sunday, April 27 the Squannacook River Runners hold the Groton Road Race in Groton. This event consists of four races, two on the grounds of the Groton public schools and then 5k and 10k races on the local streets. Over a thousand runners typically participate.

Ralph KD1SM is coordinating the communications volunteers this year for the Groton Road Race. You can reach Ralph 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
Wednesdays, 2100 local 28.341 Harvard Repeater Club
10 meter sideband net "Activity Night"
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

Sunday, April 20, Cambridge MA Flea at MIT. Third Sunday April-Oct.

Wednesday, April 23, 7:00pm VE Session, Shirley. Contact Paul KD1YH.

Saturday, April 26, Nashua NH NE Antique Radio Club, 0900, St. Stan's.

May 2-3, Hopkinton NH Hoss Traders Flea Market

Old Timer's Lunch

de Tom K1JHC

The "Old Timer's" had their monthly luncheon meeting at Bickford's Restaurant in Leominster on February 5th at 12:45 PM. Members presentwere Norm W1LXE, Roy W1OOY, Tom K1JHC, Howard W1TQB, and Norm W1BYH. The discussion was both varied and interesting. During the conversation the new location for the MARA club at the new Fitchburg firehouse came up. It was agreed that this would be much better than the old location in the Burbank cafeteria porch. However it was felt the small room should not have been the reason for a lack of programs at recent meetings. It was brought out that many fine programs were given at that location in the past. Topics like Emergency Preparedness, Mapping, and The Red Cross. Height above Average Terrain, Space Cameras, Fedex Communications, Message Handling and the ARRL, came to mind.

The seven astronauts that were lost tragically with Space Shuttle were remembered. The impressions of visits to the Launch Site and the Houston Space Center were given by different members.

Please try to join us on the First Wednesday of the month and enjoy the fellowship and the fine food.
Parker Classic -- May 18, Devens
Contact to volunteer.

March Meeting

de Ralph KD1SM

The March MARA meeting was called to order at 19:35 by President Gary K1YTS. Members present were Paul KD1YH, Gordon N1MGO, Tom K1JHC,
Howard W1TQB, Bill N1UZ, Ralph KD1SM, Charlie KT1I, Paul N1QDX, Phil N1QAM, Jerry AA2T, Norm W1LXE, John WA1NAQ, and Wayne KB1FOU. Guest
Anna Rogich was also made welcome.

The record of the February meeting was accepted as published in the March gazette.

Reports Treasurer (Gordon N1MGO): February starting balance of $710.76. Income of $40 dues, $12 from the February raffle. Expenses
of $23.64 for the December phone, $23.87 for the January phone bill and $70 for the Post Office box rental. Ending balance of $666.25.

Gordon noted that the Post Office box fee increased by nearly 100%. The only town close with a lower fee is Pepperell but that is not
convenient. MARA has held PO Box 95 for years and it is widely known. The general consensus was that we need to pay the higher fee and keep
the same box.

Ralph asked if the autopatch got much use. Gordon answered that the phone bills show only 3 autopatch calls in the previous 6 months.
Ralph moved that the Technical Committee be asked to look into an alternative control link for the repeater that would not cost us $25 per month. Paul KD1YH noted that there is a 440 link for backup to the phone line but that it needs filters and a preamp to be a reliable control link. Gordon observed that the autopatch serves two purposes, a control link and for emergency calls. Gordon feels that the Treasury can currently afford the service. After some general discussion no action was taken on the motion.

Paul KD1YH gave the VE Team report: 2 candidates at the February session earned new licenses. The session was very efficient, everything was completed in 45 minutes.

Old Business

Gary reported that he did not know if a letter requesting use of Mt. Wachusette for Field Day had been sent to DEEM yet. Gary did receive a letter from AA2T saying that a group would be running Field Day class 1F at LEMMA Headquarters. [1F is a new class for 2003 for stations operating from an established Emergency Operations Center site. -Ed.]

Ralph reported that the official request from the Red Cross has been received for assistance with the Longs Bike Race, which is also on Field Day weekend this year.

Gary reported that he is attempting to get an update on the Lion's Club Canoe Race dates. There is concern about high water levels.
Paul KD1YH said this event is usually the last or next-to-last weekend in April. [Actual date is 12 April this year - Ed.]

Gary reported that there was no activity on the By-laws update. Gary did his own review of the By-laws (dated 1995 and published most recently in the October 1998 GaZette) and did not see any serious issues that required immediate attention. Gordon N1MGO said that these By-laws had been researched by himself and Mark WR1Q from older Club records and were confirmed to be the latest version.

Jerry AA2T reported that a cleanup day was scheduled for LEMMA headquarters on March 22. LEMMA hopes to get flooring in the EOC and to start constructing cubicles in the Communication Room. Walls and partitions are up but the drop ceiling is not yet in.

Gary K1YTS reported that the committee to make a recommendation for use of the Amateur Radio space in the LEMMA Communications Room had not yet been able to meet.

Paul KD1YH reported that the Boy Scout Camporee is scheduled for May 2-4 in Lunenburg. There will be plenty of space for antennas.
Amateur Radio has been made an official part of the activities; the Scouts will be engaging in a traffic handling exercise. A "transmit station" and a "receive station" will be established for sending messages and Teams will be scored. Paul would like to setup 2 digital links and 2 voice links, all VHF. He would like 6 operators to volunteer for Saturday. If enough operators volunteer an additional HF station is a possibility.

Tom K1JHC asked that there please be meeting programs.

Paul N1QDX volunteered to give the April program.

New Business

Gary reminded the Members that Annual Elections are in June. It is time to start thinking about nominations now.

Gary also announced that he would like to form a Field Day committee at the April meeting. Bill N1UZ volunteered to co-chair this committee. Bill expects that the Mohawk Amateur Radio Club will want to join with MARA again this year for Field Day.

The meeting adjourned at 20:20.

Following the meeting, Bill N1UZ showed off the MJF 259 HF/VHF antenna analyzer and resistance meter. Bill described some of this meter's many functions.

Ralph KD1SM played the CD-ROM (high-resolution) version of the new ARRL Amateur Radio today video. This video highlights the role of Amateur Radio volunteers in providing backup emergency communications.

Above: Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, narrates the new Amateur Radio today video presentation.

VE Team Report

The March VE Session was held at Neurophysics Corporation in Shirley on March 26. Three candidates successfully passed their Technician Volunteer Examiners Tom K1JHC, Paul KD1YH, Tom WA1RHP, Don N1HVA, Chat WA1FIA, and Ralph KD1SM conducted this session.

MARA and the Harvard Repeater Club co-sponsor Amateur Radio license exam sessions on the fourth Wednesday of every month.
Pre-registration is required, as the session will be held only if we know by the weekend prior to the fourth Wednesday that at least one candidate will be attending. Walk-ins will be accepted as long as the session is being held, however we still prefer to receive some advance notice. Paul KD1YH is the pre-registration contact. Paul can be reached at

Boston Marathon Needs You!

Paul W1SEX is still in search of a couple of dozen more radio operators to help with the Boston Marathon finish line crew.

If you've helped with the Marathon before, you know how appreciative the runners are of the medical crews at the end of the course. Ifyou've never done this work before, you've been missing out on a very rewarding experience.

Contact Paul if you are able to help this year.

Groton Road Race Depends on Amateur Radio

Since its start in 1990, the Groton Road Race has depended on Amateur Radio to provide logistics support and course safety communication. The Groton Road Race pulls in Police Officers from a wide area to manage traffic on the major roads over which the course runs. Hams provide the only radio communications that all these Officers from multiple towns have in common. This is a premier opportunity for Amateur Radio to "strut its stuff" -- to demonstrate that we are professional in what we do and that we provide a service
with skills that cannot be obtained anywhere else.

In addition to the health and safety communication during the actual race, Amateur Radio Operators assist the pre-race parking teams get a thousand vehicles safely into and out of the parking area and their occupants into shuttle busses to the race grounds. Radio Operators also shadow the Race Directors and their staff during course setup and provide the critical coordination link between the Race Director and the Groton Police Department to confirm road closings and permit the starting musket to be fired.

This year, the 12th Groton Road Race will be held on Sunday, April 27. There are four separate races scheduled during the day, a Tot's Trot, a 2k Fun Run, a 5k-road race, and a 10k-road race.
Approximately 40 Radio Operators are needed to fill the necessary roles during the day. This has always been a fun and rewarding experience for the radio volunteers. There is even one operator who runs the 5k race then grabs his HT to man a station along the 10k course. 2-Meter handhelds are sufficient for most of the locations, though a few stations with higher ERP (mobile magmount and higher power) will be needed.

If you are able to assist, please contact Ralph Swick KD1SM at or telephone. evenings. Some tasks will start as early as 0900 while the major 10k race requires operators to be on station at 1230. A pre-race-day briefing meeting is planned for Saturday, April 19 in Groton, location TBD. At the briefing meeting station assignments will be made and T-shirts and instruction packets will be distributed. If you are not able to attend the briefing meeting but have participated in the Groton Road Race or similar event
before and are available on the 27th, please do still contact Ralph.

For further details about the race itself, go to

Walk for Hunger Sunday May 4

your skills are needed! Put that communications training you have received to good use at Project Bread's Walk for Hunger. This will be the 35th event with radio operators playing a key role for many years. Last year over 42,000 walkers participated, raising a record 3.2 million dollars. This money funds in part emergency food programs at nearly 400 food pantries, kitchens and shelters throughout Massachusetts. More information about the walk itself or the food programs can be found at <>. Our vital
support is needed this year more than ever, due to the increased demand on these services.

Using two meter equipment, we will be in key areas tying together the over 1,500 volunteers with the Project Bread walk managers. With better weather coming, it will be a nice day to be outside, helping this worthwhile cause. Positions are available throughout the day along the twenty-mile route from Boston out to Newton and back. We need coordinator shadows, van communicators, operators with walking marshals and at checkpoints. All skill levels of hams are needed. Net control will be using the special event call sign of W4H.

To join in on the fun, you can sign up on line at the Crocker Public Service Group web site <>, send a message to <>

Thank You - Bruce Pigott KC1US

Georgia Hams Respond In Aftermath Of Killer Tornado

Amateur Radio operators in southwestern Georgia helped their neighbors and relief agencies in the wake of a tornado March 20 that left six people dead and 200 or more injured--dozens seriously. Georgia Gov Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency in Mitchell and worth counties, located south of the City of Albany. According to the Georgia emergency Management Agency (GEMA), the tornado rendered dozens of houses uninhabitable and damaged many others. Upward of two dozen amateurs have been assisting responding organizations including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief. Albany Metro Area SKYWARN had activated earlier in
response to severe weather warnings.

"ARES members of the Albany Amateur Radio Club--who are just about all Red Cross volunteers--have been taking emergency response vehicles (RVs) to the affected areas to feed victims and provide vital communications," said ARRL Lee County Emergency Coordinator Bob Smith, K4PHE, who's also a Red Cross communications officer. Other duties. Several ARES members volunteered continuously for several days after the tornadoes struck.

By week's end, ARES District 7 (Southwestern Georgia) Emergency Coordinator J.D. Goings, AA4P, reported that the amateurs' response to the tornado in Mitchell County --the worst hit area--was winding down. Goings was among those supporting the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief team as a communicator for the clean-up and recovery and cooking units. "There is a lot of damage, and it is widespread," he indicated, adding that ARES members did "a fantastic job" helping out in Mitchell and Worth counties.

Dougherty County EC Arthur Shipley, N4GPJ, the disaster chairman for the Southwest Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross, organized Red Cross and ARES operations. The Red Cross established a shelter at Mitchell County Middle School on March 21, and N4GPJ set up a 2-meter station to coordinate communications from there. The shelter closed
March 22.

Smith said the tornado took a northeasterly path from Camilla through Worth County, destroying several other homes in its path. "The devastation in Camilla was unbelievable," he said. "This tornado hit the same homes that were destroyed and then rebuilt when a tornado hit Camilla in 2000." The Valentine's Day 2000 storm claimed 11 lives.

From The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 13
March 28, 2003

Hams Help Save Young Burn Victim In Honduras

Had it not been for quick action on the part of a group of US ham radio operators, an eight-year-old Honduran girl who was seriously burned late last month might not be alive today. Larry Strain, N7DF, credits radio operators and volunteers at the International Health Service clinic in a remote village in southeastern Honduras and stateside amateurs with making the dramatic rescue possible.

"The girl was given a good chance of recovering and eventually returning to her village," said Strain, who at the time of the incident was a volunteer in Honduras with the nternational Health Service <>, a private group of health professionals. "Without the immediate care and evacuation made possible through the IHS team and the Amateur Radio operators, her chances of survival would have been zero."

The rescue began February 24 on an otherwise-routine evening in the remote Miskito Indian village of Auka. An Indian man arrived at the clinic seeking help for his young daughter--identified by IHS as Barbiluz Coper--who had fallen into a cooking fire and suffered some severe burns. Strain said the clinic's medical staff sprang into action, starting intravenous fluids and pain medication. Strain, HIS volunteer Lou Linden, KI5TD/HR3, and Strain's 16-year-old foster son Justin Radford got a generator running and strung lights.

"Within 20 minutes the girl's burns had been cleaned, medicated and bandaged and she was resting comfortably, but it was critical that she be gotten to advanced medical care as soon as possible," Strain said. The nearest town with medical facilities was 20 minutes away by air, but Auka had no communication facilities other than ham radio.

Strain quickly got N7DF/HR3 on 40 meters and was able to get a response from Ed William's, KN4KL, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who, in turn, contacted Ernie Zimmerman, N0GDY, the International Health Service liaison in Minnesota. N0GDY did not have propagation to Honduras, so Jim Dunbar, K4PV, in Milton Florida--who had been ragchewing with lliams--telephoned the IHS administrative office in La Ceiba, Honduras, Strain said. Williams also called Strain's brother, John, K0HGW, to get him on the air from his Larry Strain's
well-equipped contest station in New Mexico.

With ham radio to coordinate the move, Barbiluz was evacuated via air to Puerto Lempira--the nearest town with a hospital--and from there to the capital city of Tegucigalpa, where the University of Honduras medical center has a burn trauma unit.

"Under normal circumstances," Strain said, "an injury like this would have gone untreated and the girl forced to die a slow and painful death. Her chances of survival are now about fifty-fifty." Word was unavailable this week on the girl's condition.

from The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 11
March 14, 2003

PSLIST April 3, 2003

Public Service Volunteer Opportunities in the New England Division Listing public events at which Amateur Radio communications is providing a public service and for which additional volunteers from the Amateur Community are needed and welcome. Please contact the person listed to identify how you may serve and what equipment you may need to bring. The most up-to-date copy of this list is maintained as

**** Every event listed is looking for communications volunteers ****

Date Location Event Contact Tel/Email
Apr 12 Athol MA River Rat Race Tom N1KKY
Apr 12 Townsend MA Lion's Club Canoe Race Bill NZ1D
Apr 21 Hopkinton MA Boston Marathon (start) Steve K1ST
Apr 21 Hopkinton MA Boston Marathon (course) Steve W3EVE to Boston MA (phone 0800-2100 only)
Apr 21 Hopkinton MA Boston Marathon (finish) Paul W1SEX -
Apr 27 Boston MA Run of the Charles Ed N1VSJ
Apr 27 Groton MA Groton Road Race Ralph KD1SM
Apr 27 Boston MA March of Dimes WalkAmerica Bruce KC1US
May 4 Boston MA Walk for Hunger Bruce KC1US
May 18 Devens MA Parker Classic Stan KD1LE
Jun 13 Bethel ME Bicycle Trek Across Maine Bill W1LEE Farmington ME
Jun 14 Farmington ME Bicycle Trek Across Maine Bill W1LEE to Waterville ME
Jun 15 Waterville ME Bicycle Trek Across Maine Bill W1LEE to Belfast ME
Jun 21 Quincy MA MS Great Mass Getaway John N1PYN to Sandwich MA
Jun 22 Sandwich MA MS Great Mass Getaway John N1PYN to Provincetown MA
Sep 12 Provincetown MA MS Challenge Walk John N1PYN to Dennis MA
Sep 13 Dennis MA MS Challenge Walk John N1PYN to Truro MA
Sep 14 Dennis MA MS Challenge Walk John N1PYN to Brewster MA
Oct 17 Boston MA Head of the Charles Regatta Jeff N1FWV to 19

This list is published periodically as demand warrants by Stan KD1LE and Ralph KD1SM. Our usual distribution is via packet to NEBBS, via Internet mail to the arrl-nediv-list and ema-arrl distribution lists, and on the World Wide Web (see URL above). If other mailing list owners wish us to distribute via their lists we will be happy to oblige. Permission is herewith granted to republish this list in its entirety provided credit is given to the authors and the URL below is included. Send comments, corrections, and updates to:

(via packet)
(via Internet)

We make an attempt to confirm entries with the coordinator unless the information is from another published source. We very much appreciate the assistance we have been receiving from our 'scouts'; everyone is welcome to send us postings.

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 2003, MARA. Permission to use in other Amateur Radio publications with credit to MARA is hereby granted.

Editors: Ralph Swick KD1SM
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
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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