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ARRL Sections - Eastern Massachusetts

Eastern Massachusetts

Eastern Massachusetts

Contact Information

Section Name:
Eastern Massachusetts
Jon McCombie, N1ILZ
Daytime Phone:
Evening Phone:

Basic Information

New England


Division: New England

Previous EMA Monthly Summaries 

Welcome to the April/May 2023 ARRL Eastern Massachusetts (EMA) section

Visit <> for frequent updates to the news


Happy May Day! Happy Spring! I hope you are happy and healthy as we proceed into the warmer months. And Happy Mother’s Day to all! Whatever holiday(s) you celebrate, I hope they are sunny and bright, and filled with joy!



I hope everyone is getting on the air and racking up their VOTA (Volunteers on the Air) point scores. To help make things “interesting,” I’m announcing a section-wide competition. When the VOTA period is over and all the points are tabulated in the LoTW system, the one ARRL member of the EMA Section that has the highest VOTA point total will receive a W1AW coffee mug or their choice of ARRL merchandise of similar value.

Perhaps more exciting, the ARRL affiliated club that has the highest combined VOTA point total will receive a brand-new hardcover “Handbook 100 | The 100th edition of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications.” The winning club can do with this what they wish: hold a club raffle, give to a deserving new ham, donate to a library…

Club competition rules are simple:

1. Only ARRL affiliated clubs located in the Eastern MA section may apply.

2. Club’s entry is the sum of VOTA points of all club members.

3. The intent is for clubs to motivate their members to work the year-long event and get point totals up. Clubs decide who is and is not a member of the club for purposes of this contest, but please be reasonable.

4. In January 2024, participating clubs will tally their members’ totals from the VOTA Leaderboard ( and send me an email with a spreadsheet listing your club’s participating members and each member’s VOTA total.

Are you enjoying the VOTA event? Have suggestions for your fellow hams? Or for the League? Please drop an email to Jon, N1ILZ at



On Monday, May 1, ARRL launched a survey for members, encouraging their participation as the League considers a dues increase.

The survey includes some short questions about raising dues and modifying the way some membership benefits are bundled. The survey will also include an opportunity for members to share their feedback.

The survey opened on May 1 at This is a member-only page. Members need to be logged into the ARRL website to take the survey. Members who are not logged in may select the Login button on the top of the web page, and they will be prompted to enter their ARRL website username and password.

The participation of every member is important. Please, complete the survey in May.



It’s not every POTA activation that includes the Director of the US Park Service! On International Marconi Day, April 22, 2023, the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club (KM1CC) activated the Cape Cod National Seashore National Park including a station on the observation platform overlooking what remains of the old Marconi site in Wellfleet, MA. The highlight of the activation was a visit by the National Park Service Director, Chuck Sams. Chuck was thrilled to make a 40m SSB contact with W1AW (ARRL Headquarters in Newington, CT). Chuck then called “CQ” and made a second QSO with a ham who seemed to be quite surprised to be working the Director of the US Park Service! A great time was had by all. See also



Bruce, K1BG, has done great service to the EMA Section as Affiliated Club Coordinator for the past several years. Since “two heads are better than one,” I’m pleased to announce that former Section Manager and current Assistant Section Manager, Tom, K1TW, has agreed to serve alongside K1BG as Affiliated Club Coordinator for the Eastern MA Section. Thanks, Tom!



The one-and-only NEAR-Fest happened on April 28-29, 2023. Participants were blessed with excellent weather: not too cool, not too warm, and not a hint of rain. Sadly, I didn’t make it up for the fun, but I expect I’ll be up there for the fall session. Want to check out the forums? They’re online at Want to start planning for the fall event, October 12-13? Check out



Andy, KB1OIQ, has released a new version of his very popular Andy’s Ham Radio for Linux distribution! The previous version (v25) had over 10,100 downloads in about a year.

AHRL is based on Xubuntu 22.04. All of your favorite software has been updated, and a few things have been added. For more info, please visit

And if you’re going to HamVention (Dayton), be sure to check out Andy’s talk at the show!



The USS Salem ARC, N1SLM, will be on the air during Museum Ships On The Air, June 2 from 0000Z (8 PM ET) until June 4 2359Z (3:59 PM ET). The event will feature license exams onboard, Sunday, June, June 4 at 11 AM.

The USS Salem is located at the US Naval Shipbuilding Museum, 549 South Street, Pier 3, in Quincy.

For a QSL card, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to USNSM, PO Box 165, Quincy MA 02170.



Members of New England Sci-Tech (NEST) hoisted their balloon repeater payload over their makerspace in Natick on May 7 to test the repeater hardware and live video transmission setup prior to the actual flight.

According to NEST’s Seth Kendall, KC1PZY: “We’d like to invite anyone who might have line of sight with NEST to try calling in once we start the event to test the functioning and propagation. Keep in mind, the repeater uses low power HTs with homemade Slim Jim antennas, so do not expect the level of performance achieved by the real NEST repeater. It is also expected to get significantly better signal up in free space during the flight than it will on the ground.

Kendall invited area hams participating in the test to stop by the makerspace during the event to help with setup and operation, and to stay for a meal.

“When the balloon takes to the skies . . . typical balloon climb rates for National Weather Service balloons are 820 to 1150 feet (250 to 350 meters) per minute, but Seth and Max may be able to adjust these figures based on their balloon and payload,” according to NEST’s Rusty Moore, K1FVK. “Knowing the time of launch, rate of climb, and distance to the launch site you can figure out roughly when the repeater should rise above the horizon at a given location. Following the flight online will give much more accurate results.”

Moore estimates that a balloon height of 10,000 feet would achieve a footprint radius of 122 miles, while a 50,000-foot height might yield a radius of 274 miles.

An official launch date has not yet been announced.



Do you have a fun or important net you’d like to get some publicity?

Send the details to me at <>.

This month’s highlighted net:


MARIDN is the newest affiliate of the National Traffic System. The net uses the Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software (NBEMS) suite, part of the fldigi suite of digital mode software, to run a traffic net and relay messages. MARIDN meets every week at 1800 ET on 3583 kHz +/- USB, starting in mode THOR22. Are you curious about using the “soundcard” digital modes? Join the net! The net has a Zoom session in parallel with the net on-air, so net members can more easily coordinate and troubleshoot. Want more information? Email Net Manager N1ILZ at




The monthly MIT flea market (a.k.a. “Swapfest”) returned starting April 16, 2023. See <> for more info.


The Northeast’s premier Amateur Radio convention, serving the ARRL New England Division, returns August 25-27, 2023. It’s not too early to start making plans, and especially to get thse hotel reservations in at the convention rate!

Visit <> for details and hotel reservation information.


Yes, Project “Big E” is back again for 2023 and doing another booth at the Big E this year. Changes will be made to how the booth will be arranged and presented to the public.

2023 dates are Friday, September 15 thru Sunday, October 1. Organizers are applying for another grant and if they get one, they will be able to provide admission tickets and parking reimbursement again this year.

Last year was a lot of fun for everyone and we hope you will join again for another Big E.

Stay tuned to this section of the newsletter for updates as we get closer.



Section Traffic Manager, Marcia Forde, KW1U Visit: <>

The full complement of NTS net schedules may be found at:

Marcia’s latest report can be found at


ARES NEWS Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY Visit: <>

News concerning ARES and Emergency Communications in the EMA section is updated regularly on our web site: <>.



Are you getting the most out of your ARRL membership? In addition to the print copy of QST magazine that most of us get, ARRL offers three more magazines: “On the Air,” focused on getting brand-new hams radio-active; “QEX,” for in-depth technical discussions, and “National Contest Journal, for die-hard contesters. Visit to read digital copies of any or all these publications — all included in your membership!

As your Section Manager, I want to hear from you: your thoughts, critiques, complaints — or even praise for something we’re doing right. What’s on your mind? Let me know via email to



Where to find stuff:

New England Division website: <>

Eastern MA Section website: <>

Section Leadership: <>

Section Public Service List: <>

Section Speaker List: <>

To join EMA ARES visit: <>


The EMA monthly section news is jointly produced by Phil K9HI, Assistant Section Manager, and Jon N1ILZ, Section Manager.


ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section
Section Manager: Jon W McCombie, N1ILZ

Eastern Massachusetts Officials

  • Jon McCombie

    Section Manager,
    Assistant Section Manager

    Jon W. McCombie N1ILZ

  • Thomas Walsh

    Affiliated Club Coordinator,
    Assistant Section Manager

    Thomas D. Walsh K1TW

  • Paul Graveline

    Section Youth Coordinator

    Paul D. Graveline K1YUB

  • Phillip Temples

    Assistant Section Manager

    Phillip Temples K9HI

  • James Tinkler

    Assistant Section Manager

    James B. Tinkler N9JBT

  • Bruce Blain

    Assistant Section Manager,
    Affiliated Club Coordinator

    Bruce D. Blain K1BG

  • Stuart Solomon

    Assistant Section Manager

    Stuart Solomon W1SHS

  • Marcia Forde

    Section Traffic Manager

    Marcia K. Forde KW1U

  • Robert Macedo

    Section Emergency Coordinator

    Robert Macedo KD1CY

  • Dan Brown

    Technical Coordinator

    Dan Brown W1DAN

  • Stephen Boyson

    State Government Liaison

    Stephen P. Boyson N1VLG


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