On June 25-26, 2022, New England Division Vice Director Phil Temples, K9HI traveled approximately 320 miles and visited seven Field Day sites in Western and Eastern Massachusetts. He attempted to make it eight––the Algonquin ARC at Crow Island in Stow––but Murphy had other plans.
Hampden County Radio Association, Agawam, MA – W1NY
My first stop on my journey Saturday morning was at the Hampden County Radio Association’s Field Day in School Street Park in Agawam. When I arrived, the gang was hard at work erecting a military-style push-up tower with a multi-band yagi beam on top. It was a team effort that went smoothly, thanks to HRCA president Larry Krainson, W1AST. I displayed the Amateur Radio Day proclamation from Governor Charlie Baker for people to pose with. All too soon, it time to move on to the Southwick EMA Radio Club.
Southwick EMA Radio Club, Southwick, MA – WC1SM
Just down the road, the Southwick EMA Radio Club field day set up operations at the Town’s DPW/Auxiliary EOC. The club’s trustee, Charlie Dunlap, K1II, was a gracious host. He took time from his busy setup schedule to show me around the Communications Trailer as well as the Auxiliary EOC building. It’s clear that Charlie and his crew take great pride in their infrastructure with which they effectively use to serve the Town of Southwick.
Worcester Emergency Communications Team, Worcester, MA – WE1CT
I couldn’t help but be impressed by the young crowd I met at the Worcester ECT Field Day at the Public Facilities and Parks Headquarters on Manny Familia Way. Many of their members are graduates of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. WECT were a welcoming bunch and took the time to explain to me WECT’s mission and the many public service events they’ve been involved with over the years.
Upon leaving Worcester, I programmed my GPS for my next stop: the Algonquin ARC at Crow Island in Stow. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. After many frustrated twists, turns, and wasted time, I finally realized that my GPS kept routing me into the same dead-end street in a subdivision. I even drove to the Stow airport to ask for directions but I couldn’t keep track of what I was told.
As Bill Ricker, N1VUX, correctly pointed out to me later, had I simply followed the information on the fd.ema.arrl.org page I would have had correct coordinates with which to find them. Lesson learned, Bill!
I accepted my defeat and set course for the Concord Rod & Gun Club––the site of the PART of Westford’s Field Day site.
PART of Westford, Concord, MA – WB1GOF
George Allison, K1IG, and company know how to run a successful Field Day! Their site occupies a small portion of pristine wooded property at the Concord Rod & Gun Club. PART featured a welcoming GOTA tent staffed by Andy, KB1OIQ. Stations were also QRV inside of the main cabin and several smaller nearby cabins.
Of course, PART is known for its great food. Given how close it was to dinner time, how could I refuse a generous helping of lasagna? PART also featured its traditional Field Day cake for dessert.
Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society, Natick MA (W1STR)
Bob Phinney, K5TEC, Rusty Moore, K1FVK, Bruce Tinkler, N9JBT, and the gang were in high gear for Field Day festivities. It seemed like the New England Sci-Tech (NEST) facility was a whirlwind of activity–people making radio contacts, people demoing gizmos, youths playing games, a VE session, and more. It’s always a thrill to see young people involved in ham radio and other STEM activities! The crew at NEST manages to create a fun, exciting atmosphere for kids and adults alike.
Wellesley Amateur Radio Society, Needham, MA – W1TKZ
The next morning, I caught up with Dan, W1DAN, and the gang at the Wellesley Amateur Radio Society at their traditional Field Day QTH–the gazebo in Needham Memorial Park. I arrived shortly after the coffee and donuts (impeccable timing!). After showing off the Governor’s Proclamation, Dan showed me around. Then I was treated to a demonstration by Bruce, KC1FSZ of the club’s LoRA (low power, Long RAnge) wireless network project. The team had set up a string of LoRA stations (cleverly disguised as birdhouses) spanning several miles. It was amazing what you can do with a few milliwatts on the 900 MHz band.
All too soon, it was time to set off for the Boston ARC Field Day just down the road in Westwood.
Boston Amateur Radio Club, Westwood, MA – W1BOS
The Boston ARC operated from a brand new QTH this year: the Hale Education center in Westwood. It was a beautiful location where participants had access to rustic cabins while also “roughing it” in tents. Geri Duff, KB1ISG, Mark Duff, KB1EKN, and BARC President Brendan Baldonado, NW1S, made me feel right home with coffee and bagels while showing me their setup. BARC netted some good publicity via the local Westwood online newspaper resulting in visitors!
Whitman ARC, East Bridgewater, MA – WA1NPO
My last stop of the weekend was a visit to the folks at the Whitman Amateur Radio Club at the Old Colony YMCA in East Bridgewater. John Murphy, WI1G, and Mike Davis, WA1MAD, rolled out the red carpet and introduced me to the crew and updated me on recent club activities. The group posed for a photo with the Governor’s proclamation.