MARA W1/GaZette

October 2003
Montachusett Amateur Radio Association
Vol 46 No. 2

In This Issue...
Next Meeting 1
BPL Threat to Amateur Bands 1
Watt's Happening 2
LEMA Training 4
VE Team Report 4
MassJam'03 5
ARES Assistance in Isabel 6
Space Station Contacts 7

Contributors To This Issue: N1UZ, AA2T, KD1YH

Next Meeting

Wednesday, 8 October
Fitchburg Central Fire Station
2nd Floor Meeting Room

For the remainder of this year, we will be meeting in the second floor
meeting room rather than in the Community Room in the basement. From
the lobby, go up the stairs. At top of stairs turn left and left again
just before the Chief's door.

The October meeting will include a tour of Fitchburg's new tower
truck. If the tower truck is not available we will get a look at the
equipment that is available at Fitchburg's OEM.

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.

BPL an Unprecedented Threat to Amateur Radio

Citing the potential for interference to and from Amateur Radio, the
ARRL has called on the FCC to "take no steps" to permit Broadband over
Power Line (BPL)-a form of power line carrier (PLC) technology. The
League has filed a 120-page response- including studies-in
response to the FCC's BPL Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in ET Docket 03-104,
published May 23.

The ARRL has strongly objected to FCC Commissioner Kathleen
Q. Abernathy's suggestion that Broadband over Power Line (BPL)
technology will contribute to what she described as "broadband
Nirvana." Addressing the United Powerline Council's annual conference
September 22 in Arlington, Virginia, Abernathy expressed unabashed
enthusiasm for BPL and recommended a combination of regulatory
restraint and the elimination or substantial modification of existing
rules as steps along the "path to Enlightenment," as she put it. In a
terse response faxed September 25 on behalf of the League's 155,000
members, ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, asserted
that Abernathy overlooked some significant issues in her Nirvana

"Nightmare is more like it," Sumner declared. "The technical showings
submitted by the ARRL and others in response to the Commission's
Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in ET Docket No. 03-104 clearly establish that
BPL is a significant source of radio spectrum pollution. It cannot be
implemented without causing harmful interference to over-the-air radio

Sumner told Abernathy that while BPL industry groups, such as the one
she addressed this week, prefer to deny the evidence, the FCC is
obliged to work to a higher standard.

In its comments in response to the FCC NOI, the League characterized
BPL as "a Pandora's Box of unprecedented proportions" and said the
Commission's Part 15 rules "should be modified so as to prevent
interference to users of the HF and low VHF spectrum" from the outset.

Abernathy's speech, "Reaching Broadband Nirvana," never broached the
topic of BPL's potential to interfere with other radio
services. Recently, the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) <
-which">-which regulates
spectrum allocated to federal government users-expressed "broad
concerns" about interference to government users and launched an
extensive modeling, analysis and measurement program for BPL. In his
letter, Sumner reminded Abernathy that the radio spectrum is a
precious natural resource.

"To squander that resource simply to add a redundant, unnecessary, and
relatively poorly performing 'last mile' connection for consumers, is
unconscionable," he said. Sumner expressed the hope that Abernathy
will give the League an early opportunity to explain its BPL concerns
to her in person.

In her remarks to the UPLC gathering, Abernathy contended that it's
been regulatory restraint rather than heavy-handed regulation that has
allowed nascent platforms such as direct broadcast satellite (DBS) to
become competitively viable. "When the Commission completes this
rulemaking," she said, "I expect that we will eliminate many existing
rules and substantially modify others; the central question is the
degree of regulation that will remain during the transition to a more
robustly competitive market."

Individuals may e-mail Abernathy via her FCC Web site
< commissioners/abernathy/mail.html> or directly
<>. The text of her prepared remarks also is available
on the FCC Web site <

The League's initial 120-page package of comments and technical
exhibits < et03-104/> and its
reply comments <
et03-104/reply-comments-index.html> are available on the ARRL Web
site. Additional information and BPL video clips are on the ARRL
"Power Line Communications (PLC) and Amateur Radio" page

To support the League's efforts in this area, visit the ARRL's secure
BPL Web site < development/donations/bpl/>.

To date, more than 4600 comments--many from the Amateur Radio
community--have been filed in response to the FCC's BPL NOI. They are
available for viewing via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System
(ECFS) <>.

from The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 38
September 26, 2003

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, October 19 Flea at MIT

Sunday, November 2
Framingham ARA Hamfest, Walsh Middle School, 9am.

Saturday, November 15
Waltham ARA & 1200 Society Auction, Newtonville Mason's Hall, 10am

LEMA Training Exercises

de Jerry AA2T

On the morning of Saturday September 27 a training event was held. The
scenario was a mass causality event. The event was an unknown release
of a chemical agent in Boston and victims were transported by train to
Leominster and then by bus to the north end of Leominster
Hospital. Actually for this training event, they just had victims go
from the bus to through a quick decontamination area (fire department
set up wash areas) and triage area. Once into cool zone, people moved
into hospital as needed.

Leominster OEM supported communications for the event via our regular
commercial frequencies as well as an ARES callup which was done from
the OEM HQ. If this had been a real event, we would have used the ARES
callup for off loading of communications between towns as well as
health and welfare traffic.

Also, for the Johnny Appleseed parade on the 20th, Leominster OEM
again provided communications for the whole event including for the
organizers. We had a 2M FM setup and used 145.45 to make a few contacts
including the folks from the Groton festival under the WC1LEO callsign.
I did have some signs up for NTS traffic if anyone needed it. K1JHC,
KM3T, K1NX,W1BYH and myself attended at part of Leominster OEM.

VE Team Report

The September VE session in Shirley was canceled as we had no
candidates pre-registered. We will only hold the session if we know
that there will be at least one person coming to take a test.

The October session is scheduled for Wednesday, October 22.

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

Paul Upham KD1YH is the pre-registration contact. Paul can be reached


de Paul KD1YH

ATTENTION: Ham Radio Operators

Bring your HTs to MassJam; We need your help for on-the-spot emergency

BSA (PVC) Venture Crew 510 is sponsoring a Ham Radio demonstration at
MassJam. There will be many different modes on display, including HF
(SSB & CW), VHF, SSTV, ATV, and RTTY/PSK31. We wil be operating under
Crew 510's club callsign NE1C (New England's #1 Crew).

We will also be running a low power (~10w) 2m repeater on 146.790(-).
By using this repeater, you should be able to keep your HT power to a
minimum to save battery, yet have fairground-wide communication
ability. Though the use of the repeater for casual use is encouraged,
we would like you to be our eyes in the field for on-the-spot
emergency communication. The repeater will be actively monitored
throughout MassJam, and we will have a direct connection to emergency
teams from our location.

Regular nets will be held on the repeater beginning at 11:45AM on
Saturday morning. Please check in and let us know you're out there!
MassJam'03/NE1C QSL cards will be available for all licensed hams that
we make an on-the-air QSO with (including VHF).

For more information, please contact Crew DX Advisor, John Pise, KX1X,

MassJam Ham Frequencies:
HF: 7.270, 7.030, 14.290, 14.230 (SSTV), 21.360, 28.390
VHF: 146.52 (please make contact then move off freq)
MassJam (NE1C) low-power repeater: 146.790/146.190
MassJam simplex: 146.550
VHF SSTV (50w): 145.520
ATV demo (100mW): 439.250 (Cable Channel 60)

More than 9,600 Scout and their leaders will set up camp at MASSJAM 03
on the Barnstable Fairgrounds on Cape Cod in Falmouth, Massachusetts
to test their scout craft skills on Columbus Day weekend, October
11-12, 2003. This Boy Scouts of America event will bring scouts
together from 9 councils in Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Scouts will participate in the traditional skill events such as first
aid and lashing. Competition events such as compass course and
challenge will also be featured. Sport competition will include a
fitness area where the Scouts will test their physical endurance.

In their spare time, Scouts will visit a midway that will have a
variety of exhibits and demonstrations by organizations such as
Massachusetts Audubon Society and US Coast Guard. A favorite spot
will be the area set aside for patch and souvenir trading.

ARES Assistance in Isabel


Amateur Radio assistance in the Hurricane Isabel relief and recovery
stage has continued this week in the Southeast. Ham radio's role has
drawn compliments from the American Red Cross of Central Maryland,
which praised the amateurs' dedication.

"I want to thank the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the
amateur radio community for coming out and supporting the American Red
Cross over the critical 72 hours when Hurricane Isabel passed over
Maryland," said Frank M. Eilbacher, KC0EKL, a Red Cross disaster
communications lead. "We recognize you took time away from your families
and, for some of you, your own personal disasters to support us."

During the storm's peak on September 18, Eilbacher said, electrical
power and telecommunication problems abounded, but ham radio operators
"filled the gap providing a crucial communication link between Red
Cross chapters and shelter locations." Amateurs in the storm-struck
region staffed state and county emergency operating centers and
shelters, as well as the Maryland/Delaware American Red Cross
Hurricane Watch Center.

The Salvation Army also has responded to affected areas including
North Carolina, where Hurricane Isabel came ashore September
18. Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) volunteer
Carlos Varon, K2LCV, from Flushing, New York, this week accompanied
two Salvation Army canteen units from New York City to Morehead City.

Varon, who took along his "orange box" portable ham station, reports
the Salvation Army has been operating up to a half dozen field
canteens. Carteret County Emergency Coordinator Rich Wright, KR4NU,
and his ARES team have been supporting the SATERN operation. Operators
were deployed this week to provide communication between the canteens
and the local command post.

The Salvation Army is providing relief to affected residents and
emergency response workers in North Carolina, Washington, DC, and
Baltimore, Maryland, as well as in smaller communities.

Earlier this week, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager John Covington,
W4CC, reported that some ARES teams were providing communication
support for localities--most in the hard-hit northeastern portion of
the state--that still lacked power and telephone service. Covington
said hams established point-to-point communication between shelters
and emergency operations centers in affected counties. In one
community, hams helped a fire dispatch center that lost its antennas
in the storm.

Venture Crew members helped support communication at the Alexandria
and Fairfax EOCs, at the Alexandria American Red Cross chapter house
and at Red Cross shelters in both communities. While distributing bulk
bottled water to homes lacking running water, crew volunteers got to
meet Virginia Gov Mark Warner, who was visiting a shelter to thank

Members of the Mount Vernon Amateur Radio Club and the Alexandria
Radio Club also provided communications support to Alexandria and
Fairfax operations. Repeaters operated by both clubs were used during
the emergency response.

"Things are still messy down here, and some of us are still
recovering," said Bill Stewart, W2BSA, a Venture Crew 80 chartered
organization representative and committee member. "Most of Northern
Virginia has power. The biggest problem we have had is flooding."

Power has begun returning to the half-million or so residents who
still had none at the new week began. ARRL Virginia Section Emergency
Coordinator Tom Gregory, N4NW, reports commercial power finally
returned to his home September 24. He'd spent 141 hours running his
home from an emergency back-up generator. Gregory, who lives in
Stafford County, lost power September 18. This week he strongly
advised amateurs involved in public service communication to have a
supply of emergency power available for such situations, so they can
remain on the air.

from The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 38
September 26, 2003

Space Station Contacts

Students from second grade through high school at Punahou School in
Honolulu, Hawaii, quizzed NASA International Space Station Science
Officer Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, on September 15 about how he's faring aboard
the ISS. The early morning contact between NA1SS on the ISS and WH6PN
in Honolulu marked the 115th Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS) school group contact. Lu told the students that living
in space makes him appreciate life on Earth.

In responding to another question, Lu pointed out that ISS crews are
quarantined for about a week before launch, in part to make sure they
are not sick or coming down with something. But the quarantine period
also provides some needed quiet time, "to keep you away from all of
the hullabaloo that surrounds the launch," he said. "At that point you
just need to study and prepare and think about your mission and get
ready." Without the quarantine period, he said, "you wouldn't have any
time to yourself."

Handling Earth station duties for the contact was Nancy Rocheleau,
WH6PN, who operated from the Sacred Heart Academy station. ARISS
School Contact Coordinator Tim Bosma, W6ISS, moderated the
contact. Two-way audio for the QSO was provided by an MCI-WorldCom
teleconferencing link.

ARISS <> is an international project with
support from ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.

from The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 38
September 26, 2003

tell them you saw it in 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 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