MARA W1/GaZette


In This Issue...
Next Meeting 1
Watt's Happening 2
VE Team Report 2
June Meeting 3
Fitchburg Longsjo Classic 4
Waldo Nason W1LUG SK 6
Field Day Photos 7

Contributors To This Issue:

Next Meeting
Wednesday, September 10
Fitchburg Central Fire Station
Community Room

Welcome back from summer. The first meeting after the summer break is scheduled for Wednesday, September 10. Bill N1UZ has confirmed that
the Community Room remains available for the second Wednesday of the month.

The Fitchburg Central 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 spots near the entrance except to unload gear for a presentation.

From the parking area, walk back down North Street to the front entrance on North Street at the flag pole and 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.

Old Timers' Lunch

de Tom K1JHC

The Old Timers had their monthly luncheon of Wednesday the 3rd of September at Bickford's Restaurant, in Leominster. Members present were Norm W1LXE, Roy W1OOY, Tom K1JHC, Howard W1TQB, and Norm W1BYH.

Topics of conversation included summer time activities, a trip to the Open House at HRO (including a trip by two lost souls that couldn't stay on route 111 and ended up in Westford, Mass.) and the activities on the new 60 meter band.

Norm W1BYH reported that he had worked England and 45 states so far.
He said that many stations were using Inverted Vee Dipoles and signals were quite strong earlier in the summer.
Please join us at our October meeting on Wednesday the first day of October.

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 MHzWestern Mass Traffic Net (cw, slow)
First Monday, 1900 local 3943, 7245 RACES Net
First Wednesday, 2000 local 3915 K1ARC Red Cross Net

Sunday, September 21, Cambridge MA Flea at MIT
Saturday, September 27, Orange MA Mohawk ARC Hamfest. Athol/Orange Elks Lodge, Route 2A, 8am.
Friday, October 3, Hopkinton NH HossTraders Hamfest
Saturday, October 4, Hopkinton NH HossTraders Hamfest

VE Team Report

The MARA/Harvard Repeater Association VE Team did not take a summe break. Exam sessions continued through June, July, and August with a total of 16 candidates taking 21 exam elements. Five new Technician licenses and two new General class licenses were earned. One upgrade to General and three upgrades to Extra were also earned.

Volunteer Examiners conducting the June 25 session were John KB1HDO, Don N1HVA, Gordon N1MGO, Chat WA1FIA, Tom K1JHC, Paul KD1YH, Tom WA1RHP, and Ralph KD1SM.

VEs for the July 23 session were Gordon N1MGO, Paul KD1YH, Tom WA1RHP, Gary K1YTS, and Ralph KD1SM.

The VEs at the August 27 session were Larry W1MW, Tom WA1RHP, Gordon N1MGO, Charlie KT1I, Paul KD1YH, and Ralph KD1SM.

MARA and the Harvard Repeater Association 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 Upham KD1YH is the pre-registration contact. Paul can be reached at

June Meeting

The June MARA meeting was called to order by President Gary K1YTS at 1930 on June 11.

Members present were Paul KD1YH, Gordon N1MGO, Gary K1YTS, Norm W1LXE, Tom K1JHC, Warren KA1JL, Ben N1XYT, Charlie KT1I, Norm W1BYH, Jerry
AA2T, Jerome K1SON, Wayne KB1FOU, John WA1NAQ, Howie W1TQB, and Ralph KD1SM.

Guests Paul Topolski W1SEX and Nancy Richards (now KB1KEF). Nancy is the S.O. of Gary K1YTS.

A correction to the minutes of the May meeting were noted: Pauline Carulli KB1JXJ is a new member and was omitted from the report.
Pauline is the S.O. of Gordon N1MGO.


Treasurer's Report (Gordon N1MGO): Income: in dues, in newsletter advertising.


March & April phone bill for repeater autopatch, liability insurance premium.

Field Day:

Gary K1YTS reported that the Wachusett Mt. State Park has a parking fee of $2/day/vehicle plus an event fee of $25 for up to 50 people.
Government agencies get a 50% reduction in the event fee.
Vehicle permits will be required to access the Mountain on Saturday due to the Longsjo Race. Ralph will distribute these permits.
Paul W1SEX reported that the Mohawk ARC is prepared to run the VHF/UHF and GOTA stations for Field Day.
A motion to rent a porta-potty from Arrow Septic for Field Day was approved. Gary K1YTS will provide a padlock for the porta-potty.
Paul KD1YH is willing to cook meals but needs a head count. He could also leave his stove setup for people who wish to grill their own food. Paul proposed meal fee for Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast.
The location of all the Club's Field Day filters is not known. Paul KD1YH has one. It was suggested that Barry W1HFN has the others to be tuned.


Nominations were open for Officers for the 2003-2004 year. After a pause, Charlie KT1I moved to re-elect the same officers for another year. Howie W1TQB seconded and the motion carried.


Paul W1SEX announced that the Mohawk ARC is planning to have a demonstration station for the Boy Scout American Legion Camporee at Camp Collier in Gardner on the Saturday before Father's Day. Approximately 20 Scout troops will be participating.

Paul said in previous years he had given a Ham Radio demonstration in the morning and then a geocaching/GPS activity in the afternoon.

Paul has a family commitment that day (his daughter's High School (graduation) and is not able to coordinate the event himself. Paul asked for any other volunteers to contact him.

Paul also reported that the Boston Athletic Association continues to be very pleased with the Ham Radio support for the Boston Marathon.
They hope to use APRS for the medical busses in 2004.

Ralph reported that he has 9 radio operators to support the Red Cross with the Longsjo Race on Saturday and 6 for Sunday. More operators are needed for the Saturday crew.

The meeting adjourned at 2040.

Fitchburg Longsjo Classic

This year presented new challenges with the dates of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic and Field Day coinciding for the first time.

The date collision was a result of the request by the City of Fitchburg for the Longsjo to advance their race date by one weekend so as not to run into the Fourth of July holiday.

In addition to the competition for radio operators with Field Day, we also had competition for access to the top of Mt. Wachusett. Happily, the crew from MARA and the Mohawk ARC plus a couple of volunteers from further out were able to cope with the competing demands and once again make for a very successful communications support crew for the
Red Cross.

With the W1OJ 70cm still off the air, Gary K1YTS setup a portable low-power 440 repeater on loan from Dave Peabody N1MNX. Gary did some rapid reconfiguring of the antenna in real-time on Saturday morning to improve the coverage to the stations at the base of the mountain and this portable repeater proved to be a success.

Saturday proved to be relatively uneventful with no serious injuries or other health and safety calls. The principal traffic was communicating race data to the finish line, a backup function that wins us great appreciation from the USCF officials in charge of the race.

The Red Cross support vehicle monitored our communications throughout the day on Saturday in order to be able to respond to any incidents.
We were not able to provide an operator to ride in the vehicle, however the 'receive only' function was a welcomed source of information. The Red Cross Disaster Services Volunteer who drove that vehicle is now interested in getting his Amateur Radio license.

Sunday's races in downtown Fitchburg saw four significant crashes with riders transported. Our Ham Radio assistance was critical in getting medical assistance to these riders in a timely manner. Two of the crashes occurred on the final laps of races and the USCF officials relied on us to communicate to them when the course had been cleared.
Some quick action by Stan KD1LE saved the day as the officials were unaware that the course was not safe for the start of the next race.

Saturday's crew consisted of Tom Pratt N1KKY, Greg Rice N1VAV, Pat Rice N1VAW, Justin Hughes KA1ULT, Warren Tuiskula KA1JL, Ben Tuiskula N1XYT, Tom Duffy K1JHC, Gordon Lapoint N1MGO, Gary Busler K1YTS, Paul Topolski W1SEX, and Ralph Swick KD1SM.

Sunday's crew was Stan Pozerski KD1LE, Warren Tuiskula KA1JL, Ben Tuiskula N1XYT, Tom Duffy K1JHC, Don Salls N1ZYF, and Ralph Swick KD1SM.

According to the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, 862 riders were registered this year. The Sentinel and Enterprise also reports that the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic is the largest bicycle race in North America.


Waldo Nason W1LUG became a silent key on July 14. Waldo was 95.

Waldo joined MARA about 10 years ago after moving from Norwood to Fitchburg ago. He was a founding member of the Norwood Amateur Radio Association and had a great love for Amateur Radio. Waldo's family acknowledged his involvement with Amateur Radio by noting his membership in the ARRL and listing his callsign prominently in his
obituary. Waldo was a regular attendee at MARA meetings until about 2 years ago when his health prevented him from attending. He brought artifacts and stories of his many years in the hobby.

Waldo was an electrical engineer for Sylvania Corporation and then Raytheon Corporation, retiring in 1975. Waldo was active in local and state politics. In 1972 he ran unsuccessfully for state representative.

Below, Waldo displays his 1987 CQ WW 160 meter first place certificate in this photograph from March, 2000.

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
Bill Wornham NZ1D
Webmaster: KD1YH

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