Phil Duggan, N1EP, writes on the ARRL Members list:
Spring is here and hopefully the warmer days will be as well. Perfect time to bring your portable gear outside for some ham radio fun. I am looking forward to throwing a wire up over a tree limb at the local park and putting my Elecraft KX3 or Yaesu FT-817 to good use!
In Maine amateur radio news, I share the following with you:
– Longtime Maine Slow Speed Net manager and net control station Bobbie Donohue, W1JX, has retired from these positions. Bobbie was MSSN Manager for nine years and served as net control for more than 25 years! She was also a past net controller for the Maine Seagull Net. On behalf of the Maine section, I thank her for her dedication and contribution to the National Traffic System and amateur radio. Her other half—Tom W1QU—also a past net manager, also retired as MSSN net control station. Bravo Zulu to Tom as well! Steve Sozanski, WA1HHK, has taken the helm of the MSSN. The cw net runs Monday through Friday at 6:00PM on 3.585 MHz.
– The Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club Hamfest & State Convention was a huge success. There were plenty of vendors, interesting speakers, and shoppers! The Women Radio Operators of Maine made their first appearance to a Maine Hamfest. They are a new group recently formed by Maine ARRL Assistant Section Manager and YL Champ Joan Hildreth, W1DLC. Congrats to Hamfest chairman Ivan Lazure, N1OXA, and all who helped put the event together.
– ARRL New England Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, presented awards to two clubs at the hamfest and convention. The Androscoggin ARC was recognized as the longest running club in Maine and for 70 years ARRL affiliation. The Ellsworth Amateur Wireless Association was lauded for 60 years of ARRL affiliation and for many contributions to amateur radio in Downeast Maine. Both clubs received plaques from the ARRL Board of Directors, and framed certificates listing their achievements.
– The Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Great Falls Model Railroad Club, 144 Mill Street, Auburn. If you live in the area, attend their meeting and help grow the club!
– The new FCC fees are starting effective April 19. The $35 application fee applies to new license and renewal applications, and vanity call sign applications. Make sure you do your research on vanity calls. If your requested call is not available, you will not get a refund. The new fee does not apply to name, address, contact updates or license upgrades. The ARRL Board has approved a reduced ARRL VEC rate for kids under 18 and that fee will be $5 instead of $15, and the board also voted for a one-time reimbursement for the $35 FCC fee for kids under age 18 The ARRL is now working on how this reduced VE fee and reimbursement will be implemented starting April 19. When an applicant takes an exam, they will only pay the VE team the $15 VE fee (or $5 child under 18), but will have to pay the FCC fee directly to the FCC. It is important to very clearly list a working email address on the form 605. After the VEC sends the files to the FCC, then you will receive an email from the FCC with a link on how to pay the $35. Your application will not be accepted until you pay the fee.
– The new England QSO Party is May 7 – 8 this year. Don’t miss it. Lots of hams will be looking for contacts from the six New England states. Let’s get Maine on-the-air in force for this contest. Details are available at neqp.org.
-Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is getting more prevalent these days with all sorts of offending devices including wall warts, solar installations, electric fences, grow lights, and computers. There is an effort to form RFI Teams throughout New England supported by the ARRL. Here in Maine I would like volunteers to form at least 5 teams. Members should have some technical know-how and also be able to work cooperatively with residents, businesses, and public utilities, as sometimes this is necessary. The ARRL will provide RFI training to team members. Most RFI Team efforts will likely be over the phone, but some will require traveling to the location with test equipment to sniff out the RFI source. If you would like to be part of an RFI Team for your region of Maine, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Field Day! June will be here before you know it. Start making your Field Day plans now. Club or group stations should consider Field Day sites in public view, so we can promote this great hobby and service. Don’t forget to make sure your Field Day operation is safe from RF exposure as well as electrical and physically safe!
-Join an amateur radio club if you haven’t done so already. There is a lot of fun associated with clubs. Operating events, interesting presentations, usually lots of food, and definitely great fellowship. Here is a link where you can find a club in your area: http://www.arrl.org/find-a-club
-No club in your area? Then form one! Here is a link to instructions on how to form a ham radio club: https://www.arrl.org/files/file/Clubs/Starting%20a%20New%20Club.pdf
-NH Digital Training Net uses the NBEMS FLDIGI and meets Saturdays at 0700 for checkins and then the net runs from 0730 to 0800 on 3.582 MHz USB (1500 Hz offset) and usually uses modes THOR22 or MFSK32. In addition to FLDIGI, you will need FLAMP and FLMSG. These programs are all available for free on sourceforge.net. This is a great way to get up and running and proficient on some of the digital modes, and especially for emergency communications.
-I am still building the statewide Elmer (Mentoring) list and need more experienced hams to volunteer to help potential or new hams, and even longtime hams that need a helping hand. Any assistance you can provide, whether over the phone advice, or in-person help, would be greatly appreciated. Your name and region of Maine will be listed on our web site, but your contact info will not be made public. Instead, the person needing assistance will contact me, and then I will refer them to you. The web site is listed here. I will be updating it ASAP. https://www.mainearrl.org/mentors-elmers
-If you have any questions or need assistance, please email me email@example.com.
Phil Duggan, N1EP
Maine ARRL Section Manager
ARRL Maine Section
Section Manager: Philip W Duggan, N1EP