K1XFC Appointed as CT Section Emergency Coordinator

CT ARES logoBetsey Doane, K1EIC, writes:

I am sending this note to you all with respect for and heart felt thanks to AB1GL who was very active in so many ways including our immediate past SEC. George was a gift to us all.

We are very fortunate to have a volunteer step up and offer to fill this vacancy.

I am pleased to appoint Phil Crombie, Jr, K1XFC, as our Section Emergency Coordinator. Phil has been a licensed Amateur radio operator since 2014 and has a wealth of leadership experience. He has volunteered for the South Windsor Fire Department for the last 40 years and served as chief for 10 of those years. Notice the call—XF(ire) C(hief)!

He started getting involved right away with the Western CT Traffic Net after listening for a few times—in fact, that net was his very first contact.

Phil holds an Amateur Extra class license and is the trustee of the ham radio station at the South Windsor EOC. He is currently the vice president of The Bears of Manchester. This club has a long standing tradition of running the comms for the well known Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day. Phil has coordinated that event with over 50 ops for the last seven years.

Phil served as EC South Windsor, Assistant District Coordinator, District Coordinator and now Section Emergency Coordinator.

He is currently the chair of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Fire Investigation Subcommittee.

I know you will all give Phil the support you always give to our leaders. You can write to him at k1xfc@arrl.net. So do write him a note preferably off list and give him a warm welcome to the Section cabinet. Remember—the Section is a team. He will need your help. Congrats Phil—join the fun!


Betsey Doane, K1EIC

Interim SM

Betsey Doane, K1EIC, Appointed as Connecticut Interim Section Manager

ARRL logoARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, has appointed Betsey Doane, K1EIC, as Interim Section Manager for the ARRL Connecticut Section.

The Sheldon, Connecticut native is no stranger to the job. Her stint as Connecticut Section Manager from 1991 until 2016 for 25 uninterrupted years of service makes her one of longest serving Section Managers in the history of the ARRL Field Organization.

In 2012, K1EIC was honored by the ARRL “for more than 50 years in the ARRL Field Organization, beginning as an Official Phone Station in the 1960s. Before becoming Section Manager, she served as Official Relay Station, Net Manager of the Connecticut Section NTS, Section Traffic Manager. Besides serving as Section Manager, Doane is also an Official Emergency Station. In 2005, she was named CCE Mentor/Instructor of the Year.”

In 2018, Doane received the Housatonic Community College Foundation (HCCF) Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in higher education.  

During her time in the interim role, she hopes to “find a new permanent Section Manager  and train that person.” Also, she would like to “reacquaint section members with the ARRL field organization. “There are lots of new people … who may not know what it does or what its value is to the national organization.”

Betsey hopes to “promote Zoom presentations among the clubs on topics of interest, including advanced technology.” She also will begin a search for a newsletter editor to compile club news for the Section.

“Thank you for stepping in as temporary SM. I very much appreciate your doing this,” writes New England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC.

We wish Betsey Doane, K1EIC, all the best in her new endeavors!


Eastern Massachusetts Section to Welcome New Section Manager; Incumbent Section Managers were Reelected

ARRL logoFrom ARRL News:

11/18/2022—Jon McCombie, N1ILZ, will become Section Manager (SM) of the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section on January 1, 2023. McCombie, of Eastham, was the only nominee to submit a petition to run for office when the nomination period closed in early September. As the sole nominee, he has been declared elected.

This past year, McCombie has been Assistant SM to Tom Walsh, K1TW, who has been the SM of the Eastern Massachusetts Section for the last 8 years. Walsh, of Bedford, decided not to run for a fifth 2-year term of office.

There were no balloted elections during this fall season’s SM election cycle. The following incumbent SMs ran unopposed, and they were declared reelected, beginning their new 2-year terms of office on January 1: Cecil Higgins, AC0HA (Missouri); Matt Anderson, KA0BOJ (Nebraska); Jim Mezey, W2KFV (New York City-Long Island); Rocco Conte, WU2M (Northern New York); Marc Tarplee, N4UFP (South Carolina); Tom Preiser, N2XW (Southern New Jersey); Michael Douglas, W4MDD (West Central Florida), and Joe Shupienis, W3BC (Western Pennsylvania).

Thanks to ARRL Field Organization Supervisor Steve Ewald, WV1X, for information contained in this story.

Director’s Update for 3Q-2022

Fall has gone by very quickly for me. I have been busy with ARRL Board work, New England Division projects, attending Ham Fests, Mentoring and Licensing work, and a 6m Antenna Project. I am pleased to report good progress on all fronts. Here’s more about what I’ve been up to.

BIG E Space Chat

BIG E Space Chat Students and Speakers
BIG E Space Chat Students and Speakers

New England school students made live radio contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station from The BIG E on September 27th. You can view a video of the contact below. This and other videos made by folks who attend Space Chat were viewed more than 3,000 times by people worldwide.

The “BIG E Space Chat” is part of a project to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational activities and Amateur Radio learning activities for young people. We brokered the creation of this project through a partnership between The BIG ENew England Sci-Tech (a STEM education group in New England),  Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), and Black Helicopter Creative LLC.

We received quite a bit of television and newspaper coverage for our contact as well. Here’s an example of some of the TV coverage that aired on New England stations –


In addition to inspiring the young people who participated in Space Chat, we were able to help to make the public aware of the value that Amateur Radio brings to young people. I want to thank the many folks here in New England and the great people at the BIG E for making this project possible.

You can learn more about the BIG E Space Chat project here.

Club Grants

Mike Walters, W8ZY, and I worked with a team to select and award the first round of grants as part of the ARRL Foundation Club Grant program. We received a total of 128 grant applications totaling over $1.7M! We awarded a total of $270K to 24 Radio Clubs in the United States. 

ARRL Club Grant Program at a glance:

  • Clubs do not need to be ARRL-affiliated clubs to submit proposals
  • Looking to fund projects that create significant impact beyond the applying club: transformative impact on Amateur Radio; create public awareness and support for Amateur Radio; educational and training impact.
  • Examples of projects include, but are not limited to: get-on-the-air projects; ham training and skills development through mentoring; STEM and STEAM learning through Amateur Radio; station resources for use by the ham community; emergency communications and public service projects that emphasize training; club revitalization projects.

The second round of grants will be awarded early in 2023.

Board Projects and Meetings

National Traffic System 2.0 Project

I’m also leading a subcommittee within the Emergency Communications and Field Service Committee that is working on a plan to create the next generation of the National Traffic System (NTS). We are in the process of holding a series of briefings for Traffic Handlers across all ARRL divisions on the NTS 2.0 project. The briefings will be completed in December. We have signed up a total of 35 volunteers to help us work through the details of implementing the NTS 2.0 program. We are planning a kickoff meeting for the volunteers and I expect that the Implementation Teams will begin their work by the end of this year.

The ARRL has initiated a routine Traffic Origination program as part of NTS 2.0. The first messages were sent in October to all Section Managers, STMs, Directors, Vice Directors, the ARRL CEO, President, and first and second Vice Presidents.

NTS 2.0 Project - ARRL Routine Traffic Origination
NTS 2.0 Project – ARRL Routine Traffic Origination

The purpose of this program is to provide information about our work on the NTS 2.0 program as it rolls out and to measure the performance of the National Traffic System.

ARRL Club Development Webinar Series

Mike Walters, W8ZY, Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, and I are working on a program to create a series of webinars for clubs to help them develop skills and solve problems. This webinar series will kick off in 2023 and will feature presentations by ARRL members on the following topics.

ARRL Club Development Webinar Series
ARRL Club Development Webinar Series

Please get in touch with Mike Walters at mwalters@arrl.org if you are interested in helping us to produce content for the new Club Webinar Series.

Additional Board Committee Work

My work as chair of an Administration and Finance Subcommittee that is looking at ways to grow ARRL membership and increase active participation in Amateur Radio is nearly complete. The subcommittee will be sharing our final recommendations with the Administration and Finance Committee later this year and with the ARRL Board in January.

Finally, I have been serving as one of the ARRL Board members on the newly formed Investment Management Committee. The Investment Management Committee provides oversight of ARRL’s external investment manager and advises ARRL’s Administration and Finance Committee and the Board of Directors on investment policies and portfolio management. We have been working on procedures and processes that govern our oversight work with our outside investment manager.

Assistant Director Teams

Our Division Assistant Directors have all held several meetings with their working groups this quarter. In addition, the Spectrum Protection team has received a generous grant from ARDC to equip RFI Teams in each New England Section with direction-finding radios and antennas to enable them to assist Hams across New England in resolving interference problems. Our Assistant Directors and their working group areas follow –

  • Cory Golob, KU1U – Assistant Director, Emergency Communications and Public Service Activities
  • Rob Leiden, K1UI – Assistant Director, Spectrum Protection and Use
  • Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB – Assistant Director, Mentoring and Ham Development
  • Dan Norman, N0HF – Assistant Director, Youth Outreach and STEM Learning

Each team has projects underway that will benefit hams across New England. This newsletter features articles about what our Assistant Directors are doing.

Communications, Club Meetings, and Hamfests

We continued with our work to improve communications this quarter. There are three parts to our activities in this area:

  • Quarterly Division Cabinet Meetings with Club Presidents, Section Managers, Field Staff Members, and other leaders
  • Triannual (every 4 months) Division Town Hall Meetings with all ARRL Members in New England
  • Frequent attendance at Club Meetings (at least 6 times a quarter for each New England Division leadership team member) 

We held our third Town Hall Meeting on October 19th. We provided an update on ARRL and New England Division activities and answered questions from the folks who attended. You can see what was discussed, including a recording of the event, here. We are planning to hold our next Town Hall Meeting in February 2023.

We held an ARRL Forum at Fall NEAR-Fest in Deerfield, NH, where we updated folks on ARRL and New England Division projects and answered questions. We joined Peter Stohrer K1PJS at NEAR-Fest to talk with folks and answer questions.

Our next Cabinet Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, December 17th. We are inviting members of the HQ Staff to these meetings so that they can share information on what they are doing and receive feedback directly from division leaders.

Here’s a summary of the many events and communications activities that we’ve participated in and hosted this year –

New England Division Events & Communications 2022 YTD
New England Division 2022 Events & Communications

The New Division Team has been attending club meetings to stay in touch with what clubs are doing and to hear feedback and concerns from folks. We each try to attend at least six club meetings every quarter. If you’d like one of us to visit your club’s meeting, don’t hesitate to contact me at ab1oc@arrl.org.

AB1OC Amateur Radio Activities

I’ve been working on an upgrade to the 6m antenna system at our QTH. The project consists of adding a total of 12 new 6m antennas along with tower-mounted preamplifiers. We are putting up three fixed stacks of 3-element Loop Fed Array (LFA) yagis and a new 7-element LFA yagi on our main tower. The project is just being completed, and I have been making Meteor Scatter contacts on 6m with the new antennas. You can read more about the project here.

US West Stack of LFA Yagis & Large LFA Yagi on Mast
US West Stack of LFA Yagis & Large LFA Yagi on Mast

I hope to see you soon at a Hamfest, Club Meeting, Town Hall Meeting, Cabinet Meeting, or some other event in the near future. All the Best, and 73,

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
ARRL New England Division Director
Email: ab1oc@arrl.org

ARRL Headquarters Connecticut Open House and Picnic a Great Success

ARRL picnic, October 29, 2022
Photo courtesy Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R

The weather cooperated beautifully for the ARRL Headquarters’ Connecticut Open House and Picnic on Saturday, October 29. ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, reported that the event was well-attended. He estimated that around 130 Connecticut amateurs came to the picnic.

In addition to supplying tasty hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, the staff hosted an outdoor display of Ham Aid Kits used for disaster response. Books and items were on sale in the lobby area. The Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, was on full display for people to visit and operate. Every W1AW visitor was issued an attractive certificate. 

Third 2022 New England Town Hall Recap, October 19, 2022

The third of three 2022 New England Division Town Hall meeting presentations held on October 19 was, once again, well attended. 

Director Kemmerer, Vice Director Temples and the division’s four assistant directors described their recent activities and accomplishments, including the ARRL Club Grant Program and The BIG E Space Chat. In addition, the six panelists fielded questions on a variety of topics, including: the status of Technician license band enhancement with the FCC; digital symbol rate rules; efforts to revamp NTS (“NTS 2.0”); ARRL membership renewals, and new ham recruitment.

The agenda (in PDF format) can be viewed, below; as well as the entire video presentation.


ARRL New England Division Town Hall 2022-10-19 slide presentation
ARRL New England Division Town Hall 2022-10-19 slide presentation


ARRL New England Division Town Hall 2022-10-19 video recording

New England Division Town Hall Meeting, October 19, 2022

ARRL logoPhil Temples K9HI, our Assistant Directors, and I will hold our next New England Division Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, October 19th, at 7 pm EST. The purpose of the meeting will be to provide you with an ARRL update, get your thoughts on what we should be focusing on, and answer any questions you might have about the ARRL and what we are doing on behalf of ARRL members here in New England.

We plan to spend a good deal of our time together answering your questions. If you’d like to send us a question in advance, you can do so via an email to ab1oc@arrl.org, or you can just plan to ask your questions during the Town Hall Meeting.

We will hold our Town Hall Meeting via a Zoom Webinar. You can get your personal link to join the Town Hall Meeting via the following link (paste the link in your browser to register) –


We hope to see you on October 19th!

ARRL New England Division
Director: Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC