MARA W1/GaZette

April 2005
Vol 47 No. 8

In This Issue...
Next Meeting 1
Watt's Happening 2
VE Team Report 2
March Meeting Report 3
Old Timer's Lunch 4
WMA Section News 4
Townsend Canoe Race 7
145.37 Repeater Re-siting 7
BPL Reconsideration Petions 7
Ham Radio Helps after Quake 8
Contributors To This Issue: K1JHC, KB1JXJ

Next Meeting

Wednesday, April 13
Lunenburg Public Safety Bldg

The April MARA meeting will be held in the emergency operations and
training room at the recently-completed Lunenburg Public Safety
Building. The Lunenburg PSB houses all Police, Fire, and Dispatch for
the Town of Lunenburg.

Our host will be Brian Leblanc, Civil Defense Director for Lunenburg.
Brian will provide some background on the new building and provide a
tour of the fire department side. If a police officer is available,
we may be able to tour the police side as well. The dispatch center
and RACES radio room are also adjacent to the EOC.

The Lunenburg Public Safety Building is on Route 2A/Massachusetts Ave
just east of the intersection with Beal St., behind Tri City Marine.
The driveway is immediately adjacent to Tri City Marine, on the east
side. Meeting attendees may park in back behind the building. There
is a rear door leading directly into the EOC/training room in the
center of the building. Look for the windows.

Volunteers Needed for NCCES Walk and Road Race 1 May

Jim W1DF and Charlie KT1I request about 6 radio operators to help with
the North Central Charter Essential School scholarship fundraising
walk and road race on May 1 in West Fitchburg.

There are two water stops, the start/finish, and several key
intersections at which radio communications are desired.

Jim will be running in the race, so you'll have an opportunity to
cheer on one of our own. Several of the "regular" ARES public service
volunteers are already committed to other events that morning, so if
you can assist please contact Jim or Charlie soon so they can convey
appropriate information to the event organizers.

Watt's Happening
Sundays, 0800 local 5330.5 (ch 1) USB
Western Mass Emergency 60M Net
Alternate frequencies are 5346.5 (ch 2), 5366.5 (ch 3), 5371.5 (ch 4),
and 5403.5 (ch 5).

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

Mondays, 2000 local 147.525 simplex
Worcester Emergency Simplex Net

Tuesdays, 1930 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

First Monday, 1900 local 3943, 7245

First Wednesday, 2000 local 3915
K1ARC Red Cross Net

Saturday, April 9, Londonderry NH
IRS hamfest, Lion's Club, 8am

Sunday, April 17, Cambridge MA
Flea at MIT. Third Sunday April-October.

Saturday, April 23, Nashua NH
NE Antique Radio Club, St. Stan's, 9am.

Friday & Saturday, May 6&7, Hopkinton NH; Hoss Trader's Ham Fest

see for other New England events.

VE Team Report

The March Amateur Radio license exam session had no registered
candidates so the session was not held.

The VE Team does accept walk-ins as long as the session was being
conducted, however we are changing the session registrations to
indicate "walk-ins not allowed" to emphasize that candidates should
contact us to insure that the session is being held.

The MARA and Harvard Repeater Association VE Team holds FCC Amateur
Radio Exam sessions on the fourth Wednesday of the month in Shirley.
Preregistration is required; the session is canceled if no candidates
are registered by the weekend prior to the session. Contact Paul KD1YH
at to register for the session.

The VEC exam session fee for 2005 is $14.00. Examinees may take as
many different exam elements as they wish during the session. Any
exam re-takes are at the discretion of the examiners and constitute a
separate "session" and payment of a new session fee is required.

March Meeting

de Pauline KB1JXJ

9 March 2005
LEMA Headquarters, Leominster


07:15 - Gary K1YTS; Any executive business?
None brought up
At 07:30 we will tour the LEMA HQ with Charlie Coggins

07:28 - Meeting called to order
Gary K1YTS thanks Charlie Coggins for his hospitality.

07:30 - Tour begins with some history of how Emergency Management came
to this new building,

. Started 2.5 years ago
. The old building was found not to be fiscally reasonable to rebuild
and remodel
. The city purchased the old TriSum Potato chip factory
. Most of the work has been done by Volunteers
. The Heating, Plumbing and Electrical was done by professionals
. LEMA has 27,000 square feet
. Houses multiple units, consisting of the Dive team, Canteen, Rescue,
EMS, auxiliary police
. LEMA is a member of the Mid-State Mutual aid system
. Has a small Ham/MARS station - needs more equipment
. 53 Volunteers
. 2 full time employees

08:20 - Tour over

08:21 - List of public service events coming up
. Townsend Canoe Race - 16 April 9am to 2pm , need 15 volunteers,
see K1YTS for more info
. Boston Marathon - 100 Amateur radio operators short, contact K1IW for info
. Dana Farber 5K race - 2 April 10am 24th is final meeting
. Groton Road Race - Ralph KD1SM needs 40, has 10 volunteers
. Walk for Hunger - 2 May
. Eastern States Expo (Big E) - 15 September, email

Field Day - Antenna plot all done, Norm W1BYH will bring the plan to
the April meeting. Bill N1UZ has sent a letter to the Mountain,
waiting for a response.

April Meeting - Ralph KD1SM has confirmed with Lunenburg Public Safety
the availability of the new Building for our meeting. There will be a
building tour during our meeting there.

08:37 - Show and tell -
. Bill W1UD, short talk and pass around of the SCS PTC II
Terminal Node Controller
. Tom K1JHC, has built a remote control for his motorized golf cart
. Paul W1SEX, Circulated the survey report of the Mohawk club and talked
about his ongoing Power Supply project by Bill Bowden, see
. Bill N1UZ, explained his tower Trailer project, a portable tower on
an old boat trailer that can be used for field day.

09:03 - Meeting adjourned
Respectfully submitted
Pauline R. Carulli KB1JXJ

Top: Charlie Coggins, LEMA Director, addresses the MARA meeting and
shows the new emergency response trailer. Middle left: the
communications room with the ARES/RACES station on the left

Left: The LEMA vehicle bay.
Above and right: Paul W1SEX shows his KA0ZLG folding J-pole from March QST

Old Timer's Lunch

de Tom K1JHC

The monthly meeting of the Old Timers was held at Bickfords
Restaurant, North Main Street Leominster, on Wednesday March 2nd.
There were four members present; Bill AA1BL, Norm W1BYH, Roy W1OOY,
and Tom K1JHC.

The discussion this month was about the Echolink and how it operates
and Rag Chewing.

Why not join us on the First Wednesday of the month, at 12:30 PM.

WMA Section News

de Bill W1UD, Section Manager

News last updated: Mon, March 21, 2005 at 10:09 AM ET

Spring is rapidly approaching. Only a couple of club meetings left and
we all will be out on Field Day. By now your place for FD should have
been decided and reserved if necessary. The number of stations and
what bands you will be operating should have been calculated. A site
and installation committee should have been formed. Of course the food
preparation people should have been brought into the fray. A census
should be taken of the available equipment whether club owned or
individually owned should be made. Plans should also be formulated for
operating times and above all the finances of the organization should
be considered. If these suggestions are adhered to, a pleasant
experience will be had by all participants.

From the propagation forecasts I have been watching, our bands are
coming to life again. There have been isolated opening on 10 meters to
various parts of the world. Mostly in the Trans-equatorial
direction. 15 meters comes to life more frequently than in the
winter. Of course 20 meters is our main DX band and will remain so
until an upward swing in the next solar cycle. 40 meters remains good
for European contacts despite the high noise level.

Digital operation is active each weekend. There seems to be a number
of contests active each weekend. Either RTTY or PSK31. I have procured
a new TNC. One of those SCS units made in Germany. Even some of the
very popular software that is designed for contest work has been
rewritten by the authors to accommodate the SCS TNC. Expensive, but
look at the specs, and you will see that it is impossible to beat with
any other unit on the market. They claim that it will dig into the
noise by 18db and produce a copyable signal. After using it a couple
of months, I am in agreement with the manufacturer. It serves a dual
purpose as far as I'm concerned. Being a MARS member, most of the
traffic on MARS is sent by PACTOR and this unit has the capability of
operating in PACTOR II and III mode. I never realized the speed of
PACTOR III until I used it to transmit traffic. It's so fast it is
almost unbelievable.

Dave Fortin, V73UX, reports via Franny Moy, W1SPG's Senior News, that
he has spent some time out in the harbor with his low lux camera
taking video of undersea sites. From the ARRL DX news, there is an
active Dxpedition there on the island. Maybe Dave will look them up
and spend some time visiting. The MARA club spent their last meeting
at the Leominster EOC. After an informative and educational tour by
the director their meeting was conducted. The present EOC facility was
the 'Tri-Sum' potato chip factory. One thing the director emphasized
it that all the physical work was done by volunteer craftspeople. The
inside is completely remodeled and looks like a new building. Most of
the material used was contributed by various business in the City of
Leominster. Yours truly brought my new toy, the SCS TNC, and explained
its advantages and operation. Little did I know it was Show and Tell
night. The HCRA had the same program for their meeting. An added
feature of their meeting was a demonstration by John, N1JIO, of rig to
computer inter-faces.

The free CEP/ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Courses are
going to be ending very soon. If you haven't taken at least the first
part of a three part series, I encourage you to get enrolled. It's
interesting and informative and above all your $45 entrance fee will
be refunded when you complete your segment of the course. Such a
bargain, where can you get educated for free these days. Check it out
on the ARRL web page. Until next month,

73 Bill W1UD.

Townsend Canoe Race 16 April

Gary K1YTS is looking for 12 radio operators to assist with the
Townsend Lion's Club Canoe Race on Saturday, April 16.

The race is on the Squannacook River starting at the VFW hall in West
Townsend and ending at Harbor Pond in Townsend Harbor.

Volunteers will track the canoeists through several checkpoints,
making sure that all participants are accounted for. A spaghetti
dinner is served following the race.

SKYWARN Training 18 May

Steve N1BDA relays a report from Terry KA8SCP that a SKYWARN training
session is being planned in Westford on May 18. The session is being
hosted by PART and the Westford Community Emergency Response Team. It
is expected to be held at the Blanchard Middle School.

Check the SKYWARN spotter training schedule at skywarnTraining2005.shtml for updates.

145.37 Repeater Re-Siting

de Paul W1SEX

Permission has been secured to co-locate the 145.37 repeater with the
Gardner Police equipment. In order to determine the effectiveness of
this location, site reception reports are needed from area hams.
Please tune your wide band two meter radio or scanner to 155.73 MHz,
PL 192.8, and report the following to

From a base station:
1. Signal strength and quality
2. Your radio make and model
3. Antenna and feed line type

From a mobile installation:
1. Signal strength and quality
2. Your radio make and model
3. Antenna type: 1/4, 5/8 or high gain
4. Permanent or magnetic mount

From a hand held radio:
1. Signal strength and quality
2. Your radio make and model
3. Antenna type: standard heli-flex or aftermarket high gain

ARRL Files Opposition to BPL Reconsideration Petitions

The ARRL has filed an Opposition to three petitions for
reconsideration in the broadband over power line (BPL) proceeding, ET
Docket 04-37. The League targeted points raised in reconsideration
petitions from Current Technologies LLC, the United Power Line Council
(UPLC) and Amperion Inc. Each is seeking reconsideration of certain
aspects of the Report and Order (R&O) the FCC adopted last October 14
that spell out new Part 15 rules to govern BPL deployment. In its
Opposition, the ARRL says the FCC should not eliminate a requirement
that BPL providers give 30 days' advance notice of service initiation,
as Current, UPLC and Amperion have requested.

"Grant of the petitioners' request to eliminate the 30-day advance
notice requirement would not only be antithetical to the Commission's
goal of providing competitive, affordable and efficient broadband
access;" the ARRL said, "it would also eliminate even the most minimal
means for Amateur Radio licensees to be able to identify and contact
the source of harmful BPL interference when it occurs."

Current, UPLC and Amperion contended in their petitions that the
30-day rule forces BPL providers to tip their hands to their
competition. The League charged that the petitioners were, in effect,
asking the Commission "to protect them by regulatory means from
competition in broadband delivery."

Keeping the 30-day notification period in place, the ARRL argued,
offers radio amateurs a chance to determine baseline ambient noise
levels ahead of a BPL deployment and to be able to identify
interference when it occurs and the extent to which the HF and low-VHF
operating environment is degraded.

The ARRL also took issue with requests by Current and UPLC either to
extend the transition period for certification of BPL equipment made,
marketed or installed on or after July 7, 2006, or to drop it
altogether. Either approach, the League contended, "is tantamount to
an abdication of any requirement to implement any of the admittedly
inadequate interference mitigation requirements in the Report and
Order at all."

As the rule is written, the League's Opposition points out, "no BPL
system placed in operation ever has to come into compliance with the
interference requirements." The ARRL maintains that the FCC erred in
its R&O by permitting the installation and operation of non-compliant
equipment after the R&O's effective date.

"The rule, as it now stands, actually encourages the installation of
systems incorporating non-compliant equipment which creates harmful
interference over the next 18 months," the ARRL said. Based on actual
interference cases, the ARRL continued, "any reasonable analysis of
BPL leads to the conclusion that the rules adopted in the Report and
Order are woefully inadequate in terms of interference prevention."

Noting that Current's equipment already excludes all amateur
allocations but 60 meters, the League said everyone would be better
served if the FCC had required BPL providers to avoid Amateur Radio
spectrum altogether--or if they would so voluntarily.

The ARRL also took the FCC to task with respect to how it's dealt with
the BPL initiative and the industry itself. "The extent to which
spectrum-polluting BPL systems have been accommodated by a Commission
with its collective head in the sand about interference is shameful
and an abdication of duty," the League's Opposition concludes. "To
further deregulate this ill-advised polluting technology would, in
this context, be unconscionable."

from The ARRL Letter
Vol. 24, No. 13
April 1, 2005

Ham Radio Provides Crucial Communications In Quake's Wake

Working under harsh conditions, Indonesian Amateur Radio Emergency
Service (ARES) volunteers the week of March 27 established VHF links
between earthquake-stricken Nias Island and northern Sumatra. Nias
Island was hit March 28 by nearby magnitude 8.2 and 8.7 underwater
earthquakes. More than 1000 people are reported to have died as a
result of the earthquakes. The tremors affected some of the same areas
still recovering from the December earthquake and tsunami. Although
officials and residents remained on alert for tsunamis this week, none
occurred. A magnitude 6.3 aftershock occurred in the vicinity March

Organization of Amateur Radio for Indonesia (ORARI) headquarters in
Jakarta this week called on its members to be ready to assist. An
ORARI team deployed by air to Nias Island March 29 set up "zulu"
(emergency) station YB6ZAH in Gunung Sitoli, the island's largest
city. YB6ZAH has been in contact with the ORARI District 6 command
post in Medan, North Sumatra. The ORARI team already had experience
supporting communication following the December 2004 tsunami that
claimed an estimated 300,000 lives in South Asia.

In the earthquake's immediate aftermath, ORARI ARES members reportedly
were on duty with little or no food to eat, although they did have
drinking water. At that point, many victims had not yet been
evacuated, and some remained trapped in the debris.

ORARI team members include Zulkarman Syafrin, YC6PLG, Herman Rangkuti,
YC6IQ, and Soejat Harto, YB6HB--a medical doctor. Syafrin reports that
the earthquake damaged the power, telecommunication and transportation
infrastructure or took them out altogether on Nias Island. Buildings
in Gunung Sitoli were reportedly flattened and roads severely damaged
or impassable.

In the early going, the team was using portable generators and had to
restrict operation to every two hours to conserve scarce fuel. TELKOM,
the Indonesian Department of Public Telecommunication, has since
provided the ORARI ARES team with a bigger generator, and the
operation has relocated to the TELKOM building, where fuel is no
longer a problem. ORARI District 6 plans to supply more logistical and
radio equipment, while Ady Susanto, YB6VK, was preparing a set of
solar cells for the ORARI ARES team's use in Gunung Sitoli.

New Mexico radio amateur Earl Campbell, N8TV, now working with the
International Red Cross in Banda Aceh on post-tsunami relief, plans to
set up an emergency Amateur Radio station on Simeulue Island, which
also was affected by the earthquakes. Campbell's IT team reportedly is
headed for Nias Island to set up a satellite Internet connection and
to support the ARES team in Gunung Sitoli.

Updates on ham radio earthquake relief activity in Indonesia are
available on the AB2QV Web site
--Wyn Purwinto, AB2QV

from The ARRL Letter
Vol. 24, No. 13
April 1, 2005


Club elections are in 2 months. Whom do you want to lead the Club for
the next year? Think about it.


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 2005, MARA. Permission to use in other Amateur
Radio publications with credit to MARA is hereby granted.

Editor: Ralph Swick KD1SM 978-582-7351
Webmaster: Paul Upham

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 978-597-8769
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