MARA W1/GaZette

June 2004


Vol 46 No. 10

In This Issue...

Next Meeting 1

Field Day Meeting 2

Watt's Happening 2

May Meeting Report 3

A Day At Hosstraders 5

"Firsts" in ARISS Contact 6

Amateurs Aid in Tornados 6

Nurture Newcomers 7

Contributors To This Issue: KB1JXJ, N1MGO


Next Meeting

Wednesday, June 9


Central Fire Station

Fitchburg MA

The annual MARA meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9. This is

the meeting at which we elect officers for the next year. Come

participate! Selecting those to guide the Club for a year is your

simplest opportunity to affect the Club's focus.


Member Roster Update

Apologies to Jerry WB1HIB and Brian KB1KLQ who were omitted from the

member roster in last month's W1/GaZette.


22 May Field Day Meeting

de Pauline KB1JXJ

Secretary's Notes - Field Day Organizational Meeting, 22 May 2004, at

the Fitchburg Central Fire Station.

In Attendance (8) K1YTS, KD1YH, N1MGO, KB1JXJ, KT1I, K1JHC, WA1RHP,


Agenda - 9am - 9:45 am

Field Day Facts

1. Class 4A Battery 5 watts

2. Food Cost $15.00 per person

3. Handy House $100.00; Gary K1YTS has reserved

4. Generators Gordon N1MGO and Gary K1YTS

Discussion and sign ups for Field Day

See charts to sign up

Information needed

Name of operator

Number of radios

Type of radios

Day of arrival (Fri. or Sat)

Number / type of tents or motor homes

Type of antennas you will bring

Your hours of operation/band modes

NIGHT OWL sign ups (9pm - 2/3am)

Payment in full or partial payment for food costs

9:45 - 10:00 BREAK


Demonstration and hands on training for computer logging and networking

Discussion of Field Day Facts.

1. Members added a small generator for Paul to run the food station.

2. Sign up sheets will be available also at the June meeting.

3. Would be helpful to have food payment and members at the June meeting.

4. Discussion of GOTA station to be run by Bill - N1UZ

5. Tom S. to run CW!!!!!!

6. Computers at Field day:

a. Gordon & Charlie - 5

b. Tom S. - 1

c. Paul U. - 1+1? not sure yet

7. Gary - to contact an elected public official to attend.

8. Pauline - Letters of invitation to the Mayors of Fitchburg and

Leominster and to Tom S. to post in Shirley.

9. Gary's Cousin will do a cartoon for us.

10. Charlie has the club's cloth banner.

11. We should have hand outs for the public as to where we are.

12. Signage needed for Mountain, Pauline to investigate.

13. Charlie to contact Barry Fox Re: inventory on band pass filters.

14. Gordon to research adding 2 meter logging to Writelog.

15. Quick reference guides for Field day logging will be at all stations

16. Members present voiced dismay at low attendance for this meeting.

Respectfully Submitted

Pauline KB1JXJ

Interim Secretary


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, June 20, Cambridge Flea at MIT

Sunday, July 18, Cambridge Flea at MIT

Saturday, August 14 - Sunday, Aug 15

Boxboro, MA; ARRL New England convention.

see for additional

information about New England area Ham and electronic flea markets.


May Meeting

de Pauline KB1JXJ

Secretary's Notes 12 May 2004

7:35 PM - Meeting Called to order by K1YTS

Attendance: (10) K1YTS, KD1YH, N1MGO, KB1JXJ, KT1I, N1UZ, KD1SM,


07:39 PM - Vice President's Report - KD1YH Nothing, reporting as Tech

committee - Whole system has been checked out.

07:40 PM - Treasurer's Report N1MGO Report for April 2004.

Beginning Balance

Income - Dues, Expenses, for insurance, phone bill.

Leaving a balance of

07:41 PM - Accepted

07:42 PM - Secretary's Report - KB1JXJ, Pauline,

1. KB1KLQ, Brian, was sent a thank you note for his donation to the club.

2. W1DF, James, was sent a personal invitation to attend field day as

a CW representative.

3. Sharri Duffy - Sentinel & Enterprise has received a time schedule

and requests for field day publicity.

07:42 PM - Secretary's report Accepted as written in the newsletter

07:43 PM - Old Business

1. N1MGO, Gordon, The Club received a certificate for the Spectrum

defense fund donation ($100)

2. Tom - Are we accepted as an affiliate Club? - No, need 51% and

we can't confirm 8 or 9 hams as members of ARRL.

3. Gary - Thanked all for the Townsend Canoe Race - 8 hams present

plus 5 others from the civil defense for Townsend.

4. Ralph - Groton Road Race, 42 volunteers, the Groton Police were

happy, Lt. Rooney visited most hams and thanked them personally.

This year may be the last year for this event. [Ed. note:

correction -- 2005 might be the last year.]

5. Parker Road Race - Stan is not sure how he is doing, may need

more volunteers as there is a new course.

6. Ralph - Longsjo bike race, nothing new yet.

07:50 PM - New Business

1. Bill - State permission for the Mountain - Yes, needs check for

Cars access fee is pass available for the day,

seniors should use their Green Card.

2. Handy House - Gary - Same price as last year, about $

Open discussion on Field Day.

Food - Paul, KD1YH

Saturday Supper - Pauline, KB1JXJ

Invitations to 22 May meeting to area hams

We need 51% membership to have web space at ARRL.

Bill, Before VE sessions put in FATV & LATV announcements.

08:40 PM - Meeting adjourned

Respectfully Submitted

Pauline KB1JXJ

Interim Secretary


A Day At Hosstraders

The largest hamfest in the region, Hosstraders, is held twice a year

at the Hopkinton State Fairground in Hopkinton New Hampshire.

The hamfest opens on Friday and runs through early afternoon on

Saturday. This year the spring dates were April 30 and May 1.

Gordon N1MGO and Charlie KT1I shared a table and Gordon sent the

following photos.


More information about the Hosstraders Hamfest can be found at


Two "Firsts" in ARISS Contact

NASA Expedition 9 International Space Station Science Officer and

Flight Engineer Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, logged what's believed to be his

first-ever Amateur Radio contact May 25 from the spacecraft's

NA1SS. The QSO also marked the first Amateur Radio on the

International Space Station (ARISS) school group contact for the

Expedition 9 crew. The US astronaut and Russian cosmonaut and

Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, arrived aboard the ISS

in late April. Fincke advised a dozen youngsters gathered at Erie

Planetarium < htm> in

Pennsylvania, that the crew must take a space walk in the next few

weeks to replace a failed remote power controller module for one of

the four ISS control moment gyroscopes, or CMGs.

Responding to another question, Fincke said he's really enjoying the

weightlessness of space, although he noted, some caution is in

order. "I love being weightless," he said. "I can fly around like

Superman and pick up very big things." He cautioned, however, that

crew members need to "take it nice and easy" in weightlessness to

avoid banging into things and injuring themselves.

For fun and recreation, Fincke said, the crew has laptop computers and

can watch DVDs--although there's no television aboard. "The whole

space station is a little bit fun to play in and do fun things," he

said, "but just being aboard the International Space Station is like a

dream come true, so it's all fun--every minute of every day is really


In all, the youngsters asked 18 questions of Fincke before the ISS

went over the horizon from the telebridge station of Tony Hutchison,

VK5ZAI, in South Australia. MCI donated a teleconferencing link to

handle the two-way audio between VK5ZAI and the planetarium. Fincke

has twice before visited the Erie Planetarium, run by the Erie County

Historical Society.

ARISS <> is an international educational

outreach program with US participation by ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.

From The ARRL Letter

Vol. 23, No. 22

May 28, 2004


Amateurs Aid as Tornados Devastate Nebraska

From storm spotting through recovery support, Amateur Radio operators

were on duty this week, aiding tornado-stricken communities in

Nebraska and elsewhere in the Midwest. A May 22 tornado virtually

destroyed most structures and was blamed for one death in Hallam, a

town of approximately 300 some 20 miles south of Lincoln. ARRL

Nebraska Section Emergency Coordinator Reynolds Davis, K0GND, said

Lancaster County ARES/SKYWARN spotters activated the evening of May 22

in response to a report of an approaching front. Within a half-hour,

W0NWS at the National Weather Service office in Valley already was

receiving tornado damage reports via the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club

K0KKV repeater.

"When the system moved into Lancaster County shortly after 8:30 PM, it

destroyed almost every structure in the town of Hallam," Davis said,

leaving the residents homeless. The NWS rated the tornado that struck

Hallam as an F-4 on the five-point Fujita Scale--207 to 260 MPH.

The storm also severely damaged the high school in Norris and plucked

the tower supporting the K0RPT repeater's south receiver from the

ground. The tower remains missing. The tornado went on to destroy

additional homes to the northeast, and its path of destruction finally

ended south of Bennet, he said.

More than 50 amateurs participated in the SKYWARN net, said Davis, who

also serves as Lancaster County Emergency Coordinator. The National

Weather Service Omaha office logged dozens of weather and storm-damage

reports from radio amateurs in several Nebraska counties on May 22.

Once the SKYWARN Nets closed, the K0RPT VHF repeater was put into

service to support Red Cross communications among the tornado scene,

the chapter house and a shelter set up in a Lincoln high school for

residents displaced by the storm. Two ARES nets activated May 23 to

coordinate damage survey and assessment, and reports logged via K0EOC

at the Lancaster County Emergency Operations Center.

Davis said that by the time both damage survey nets shut down, 41

operators had driven nearly 2200 miles and surveyed 100 square

miles. Gov Mike Johanns declared a state of emergency after more than

a dozen tornados swept several southern Nebraska counties.

In Missouri, Grundy County EC Glen Briggs, KB0RPJ, reports that

Amateur Radio groups in the northern part of the state relayed severe

weather reports to the National Weather Service and to local emergency

management and law enforcement officials May 22. Hardest hit areas

were near Chillicothe and Brookfield. After one repeater was knocked

off the air, amateurs switched to backup repeaters and simplex. Some

18 operators in nine Missouri counties participated, he said.

From The ARRL Letter

Vol. 23, No. 22

May 28, 2004


Nurture Newcomers

It's up to today's Amateur Radio veterans to cultivate the younger

generation, ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, told the ARRL Forum at

Dayton Hamvention 2004 May 15. Calling the statistic "shocking,"

Haynie cited ARRL survey data showing that more than one-fifth of new

amateur licensees never get on the air. He suggested that too few

experienced amateurs take new licensees under their wing to help them

get started.

Haynie suggested that today's older hams need to consider that

technology is changing, and the questions appearing on the ham radio

examinations of tomorrow will be ones "that haven't been thought of

yet." In 1972 when he took his General, he said, his test included

questions on Hartley and Colpitts oscillators. In contrast, today's

examinations cover topics such as phase-locked loops, satellite

operation and digital technology.

"Amateur Radio is what you make of it once you get your license,"

Haynie continued. Getting a ham ticket doesn't make anyone more

intelligent, and learning the ropes usually begins after someone

already has a license in hand. "You learn by doing," he said.

From The ARRL Letter

Vol. 23, No. 22

May 28, 2004


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 2004, MARA. Permission to use in other Amateur

Radio publications with credit to MARA is hereby granted.


Editors: Ralph Swick KD1SM

Webmaster: Paul Upham KD1YH


Club Secretary: Pauline Carulli KB1JXJ

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

Pauline Carulli, KB1JXJ 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

press the