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Summer / Fall 2018                                                                                                                                    Volume 8, Issue 3
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2018 Field Day at Wassamki Springs
Scarborough, ME
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

  FD18 2   
Rick K1OT makes the 1000th CW contact, while Joe K1JB looks on

2018 Field Day was a tremendous success, and a lot of fun! Special thanks to the Hillock family of Wassamki Springs Campground for hosting us for the 8th consecutive year!

Operating twice around the clock, in the 3A category, we captured 1,730 Bonus Points, and 6,968 QSO points, which is a new record for WS1SM. The biggest areas of improvement this year were in SSB QSOs (+500), and in the bonus points (+200) over last year.

Setup began Friday morning, as Rick K1OT and helpers met to raise his 40′ tower and antennas. Later in the evening Tim KB1HNZ and Eric KC1HJK setup the Spiderbeam tribander.

FD18 1     
Scarborough Town Councilor, Jean-Marie Caterina, spent time talking with participants and got a tour of the GOTA station (above)

On-air activities began at 2PM on Saturday, and continued through 2PM Sunday. All the radios ran on 100% battery power, with the exception of a handful of QSO that Charlie W1CPS made on solar power.

Frank KR1ZAN and Steve AA1HF served as coaches for a Get on the Air (GOTA) station, which operated concurrently in the Wassamki Springs Ham Shack, which is located in the former camp store. There were 6 participants who made QSOs!

FD18 3   FD18 4
L: Frank KR1ZAN makes a satellite contact. R: The WSSM Field Day setup

The educational activity for this year was Radio Direction Finding, using various methods, including a tape measure yagi, rotatable loop, and attenuator.

Peter KC1HBM, invited Scarborough Town Councilor, Jean-Marie Caterina, who spent some time talking to participants and got a tour of the Field Day and GOTA operations.

Special thanks to everyone who brought food to the pot luck supper on Saturday evening, especially to Sheila Martin, W1DXX, who brought lots of pizza, and Mike Mooney, who brought ribs and pulled pork!

Tim KB1HNZ composed or replied to 23 messages, which were transmitted via Winlink on HF. He also operated some digital modes over night on Saturday.

FD18 Educational Activity
Above: Waylon KC1HJN and Steve AA1HF, use different methods to track down a hidden transmitter.

The CW operators equaled last year’s total, and Charlie W1CPS came just 2 QSOs short of his previous best on 6 meters.

We also copied the Field Day bulletin, thanks to the efforts of Frank KR1ZAN and Ryan KB1YTR.

Frank, with the help of Waylon KC1HJN, also helped us get a satellite QSO during the last SO50 pass of the day.

Field Day was a massive team effort, and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s help. Great job everyone!

ILLW from Spring Point Ledge Light
South Portland, ME

by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

Above: Keith AC1EG, Brad KC1JMH, Sean W1MSA, and Pete KC1DFO during setup on Friday night

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME – During the weekend of August 18-19th, the WSSM team activated Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, in South Portland, ME, for International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend (ILLW). Club members operated from 10am-4pm on both days, using the special event call sign K1S.

2018 marked the 8th year that WSSM has participated in ILLW, which sees over 500 light houses and lightships activated in over 40 countries. The international event helps promote the preservation of lighthouses and lightships, and at the same time gives the community an opportunity to experience Amateur Radio first hand.

Setup took place on Friday evening, with Sean W1MSA, Rory KB1PLY, Pete KC1DFO, Keith AC1EG, Brad KC1JMH, and Tim KB1HNZ all taking part. The team setup a BuddiPole rotatable dipole on the highest platform of the lighthouse, and a station on the inside consisting of a Yaesu FT857d, tuner, and battery power. They also setup an information display.

By Saturday there was a second station setup, which consisted of an Icom IC-7300 and a 40m dipole. Spring Point marked the first time we were able to operate from inside an active lighthouse. Special thanks to Keith Thompson AC1EG, and the Spring Point Ledge Light Trust for their hospitality.

SP2   SP3    
Above left: Mike N5QYQ operates 40m while Brad KC1JMH logs, Above right: Stefania K1GJY operates on 20m

Particpants included Mike Fandell N5QYQ, Charlie Shepard W1CPS, Sean Binette W1MSA, Eric Emery KC1HJK, Curt Sachs K2IPH, Rory McEwen KB1PLY, Stefania Watson K1GJY, Tim Watson KB1HNZ,  Brad Brown, Jr. KC1JMH, Keith Thompson AC1EG, and Peter Warren KC1DFO.

Click here to learn more about WSSM Lighthouse activations, and see more photos from the event.

Above: Our QSL card image, featuring Charlie W1CPS on the top platform, Curt K2IPH, on the middle level, and L-R: Pete KC1DFO, Keith AC1EG, Rory KB1PLY, Stefania K1GJY, Tim KB1HNZ, Mike N5QYQ, and Brad KC1JMH on the lower level.


WSSM Participates in Regional Sheltering Exercise
Windham, ME
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

Shelter 1    
Above: Pete KC1DFO and Roger N1XP during the morning briefing

WESTBROOK, ME – On Saturday, August 11th, WSSM Emergency Communications Team members participated in a Regional Sheltering Exercise, at Westbrook High School. The exercise was designed to improve the coordination and integration of organizations and special teams in support of regional sheltering operations during a disaster. Among those participating, were the American Red Cross, Medical Reserve Corps, Cumberland County Animal Response Team, Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency, and the Westbrook School Department.

   Shelter 2 
Above: CJ W1CJC, and Rory KB1PLY operating the VHF station

The event began with a registration period in the morning, followed by introductions, briefing, and a tour of the facility, and then exercise play took place. It was followed up in the afternoon by a “Hotwash” session, in which observations and comments from all the participants were welcomed.

The WSSM-ECT team split into two groups, with one staying at the shelter, and another heading to the Cumberland County EMA bunker, in Windham. During the exercise, the shelter team was provided with requisitions for supplies, for both the Red Cross and CCART, to be forwarded to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). These messages were transcribed into a digital format and transmitted to the bunker, where the staff at the EOC made assessments and sent back replies.

From a technical standpoint, the operation was a success, because the traffic was successfully sent and responded to, but the team did identify a few areas to improve upon. One was that the original message could be saved to a memory stick, which could be passed from the originating party to the radio operator. This would speed up the process considerably, and guarantee accuracy. Another was that, since a number of participants were relatively new hams, some additional training, especially with regards to the digital modes software, was recommended.

During the exercise, on the shelter side, Roger N1XP’s mobile setup was used. Special thanks to Roger for getting things setup and organized! Other participants included Peter Warren KC1DFO, Anne McBride, Brad Brown KC1JMH, Rory McEwen KB1PLY, C.J. Carlsson W1CJC, and Tim Watson KB1HNZ.

DMR Station QRM's AO-92 Uplink
AMSAT News Service
by Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA

Recently there has been a DMR signal QRM'ing the AO-92 uplink on 435.350 or close by. Hotspots, repeaters, terrestrial simplex (anything not satellite) should not be in 145.8-146.0 or 435-438 by international bandplan. Please QSY these radios ASAP. Please share to DMR, D-star, Fusion, P25 groups and similar, thank you!"

For amateur operators in the U.S., FCC Part 97 has a bit to say about the way we should operate in the 145.8-146.0 and 435-438 MHz amateur satellite subbands. Regulations in many other countries are not as detailed as those established by the FCC on how we should operate on different frequencies and bands. This includes where
hotspots and similar systems used for digital voice modes (i.e., DMR, D-Star, C4FM/Fusion) and other technologies like EchoLink and IRLP, should operate.

Auxiliary stations are defined at 97.3(a)(7):

"An amateur station, other than in a message forwarding system, that is transmitting communications point-to-point within a system of cooperating amateur stations."

This definition includes "remote bases;" the nodes for systems like EchoLink and IRLP; and hotspots used for digital-voice modes like D-Star, DMR, and Fusion/C4FM (among others); as well as stations using these hotspots and nodes. Auxiliary stations are not allowed in the 145.8-146.0 and 435-438 MHz satellite subbands per 97.201(b) - among other subbands in the 2m and 70cm amateur bands.

Repeaters are defined at 97.3(a)(40) as:

"Repeater. An amateur station that simultaneously retransmits the transmission of another amateur station on a different channel orchannels."

Since most hotspots are operating on a single frequency, they would not qualify as a repeater. Even if the hotspot operates like a repeater as defined above, repeaters are not permitted to use 145.5-146.0 MHz and 435-438 MHz per 97.205(b).

Beyond these two sections, Part 97 also has 97.101(a): "In all respects not specifically covered by FCC Rules each amateur station must be operated in accordance with good engineering and good amateur practice."

Whether the hotspot is interfering with a satellite downlink in a particular area, or it is interfering with the satellite uplink affecting a much larger area, this would not be good amateur practice.

In addition to subbands where hotspots are not permitted, 97.101(b) is also relevant:

"Each station licensee and each control operator must cooperate in selecting transmitting channels and in making the most effective use of the amateur service frequencies. No frequency will be assigned for the exclusive use of any station."

Frequencies used by satellites are usually incapable of being changed, and have been registered with a regulator like the FCC and the ITU. Hotspots are usually frequency-agile, and the frequencies used by those systems can be changed to avoid potential interference to satellites and other stations.

And all of this is in addition to local bandplans, which may already have provisions for hotspots or simplex nodes.

DX News
September 1 - November 3  
by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

The Summer DX season was very active, including expeditions to Vietnam (3W9NH), the Maldives (8Q7DT), and Market Reef (OJ0Y), in June, Timor Leste (4W6VA) and Svalbard (JW100PUT) in July, and most recently the Austral Islands (TX5T).

In the months ahead, there are several DXpeditions planned to coincide with the Oceania DX Contest, which takes place during the first two weekends of October, and the CQWW DX Contest, which takes place on October 27-28. Besides the announced DXpeditions listed below, look for pericontest activity around the contest dates.

Upcoming DXpeditions

09/01 - 09/10
09/01 - 09/17
09/04 - 09/14
09/08 - 09/17
09/12 - 10/01
09/14 - 09/23
09/15 - 09/27
09/16 - 09/28
09/17 - 09/26
09/17 - 09/30
09/20 - 10/22
09/21 - 10/06
09/26 - 10/10
09/28 - 10/14
09/29 - 10/06
09/30 - 10/12
10/01 - 10/12
10/09 - 10/21
10/10 - 11/06
10/15 - 11/04
10/20 - 11/03
St. Lucia
East Kiribati
Trisdan da Cunha
Christmas I
St. Kitts & Nevis
Ducie I
By SP9ONC and others; fm MN92ci; HF; QSL okay via Buro, Direct, & Clublog
By K9HZ; fm Soufriere (IOTA NA-108); 160-2m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By JH1AJY and others; 40-6m; CW, SSB, FT8; QSL okay via Clublog
By AA3B; HF; holiday style; QSL okay via Buro or Direct.
By DL2AH; fm Christmas Island (IOTA OC-024); 80-10m; SSB, FT8, RTTY
By OE3DEC; fm Biyadhoo I (IOTA AS-013); 20m; SSB; holiday style
By SP5APW; fm Cham I (IOTA AS-162) & Hoi An; 20-6m; SSB
By HA5AO; 80-10m; CW, RTTY, FT8, some SSB; holiday style
By IW5ELA; mainly CW; holiday style
By HA3JB; fm Huhumale I (IOTA AS-013); 80-10m; CW, SSB, FT8, RTTY
By G4EDG; 80-15m; mainly CW, RTTY, some SSB; QSL via LZ1JZ
By OK1BOA and others; fm (IOTA AF-027); 160-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8
By I1HJT and others; 160-10m; CW, SSB, RTTY, and (FT8 on 20m only)
By LZ1GC; fm Apia (IOTA OC-097); 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By A25DC and others; fm (IOTA OC-002); CW, SSB, Digital
By W7GJ; fm (IOTA OC-031); 6m; mainly EME, but some CW, SSB, and FT8
By S59A and others; 80-2m; CW, SSB, JT65, FT8, MSK144, JT65B (for EME)
By LA7GIA; fm N'Djamena; 160-10m; CW, some SSB, QSL Direct via LA7GIA
By W5JON; fm Calypso Bay, St. Kitts; 160-6m; SSB, FT8
By LZ1GC; fm Efate I (IOTA OC-035); 160-6m; CW, SSB, RTTY
By K3EL and others; fm (IOTA OC-182); 160-10m; CW, SSB, Digital 

QSL Corner

Many of Radio Prague's broadcasts during the month of August have been dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the Prague Spring liberalization movement that took place in 1968, after the election of reformist, Alexander Dubcek. The reforms granted unprecedented rights to Czechoslovak people, and began a partial decentralization of the economy, before it was crushed when the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact troops invaded on August 21st.

Below you'll find images of Radio Prague's 2018 series of QSL cards commemorating historic radio broadcasting equipment.

If you received an interesting QSL lately that you'd like to show off, please send a digital image to, and we'll highlight it in an upcoming issue!

Radio Prague
for a report by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

07/05/18  0200 UTC  9955 kHz (WRMI)

QSL features: Blattnerphone - recording machine
Radio Prague
for a report by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

07/17/18  0225 UTC  9955 kHz (WRMI)

QSL features: Airstream - promotional caravan

Radio Prague
for a report by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

08/21/18  2200 UTC  via Podcast

QSL features: Studer reel to reel tape machine

Items for Sale
If you have any items for sale, contact one of our members to have it listed here, or send an email to: with a brief description and contact information.

Hamfests & Events
Maine QSO Party - September 22-23 2018, Maine's Premier International HF Contest. For more information, click here.

Windsor Hamfest - September 22, 2018. Location: Windsor, ME. Type: ARRL Hamfest. Sponsor: Augusta Amateur Radio Association. Click here to learn more.
Hamfests & Events
Flea at MIT - September 16, 2018. Location: Cambridge, MA. Type: Non-ARRL Hamfest. Sponsor: MIT Radio Society. Click here to learn more.

Flea at MIT - October 21, 2018. Location: Cambridge, MA. Type: Non-ARRL Hamfest. Sponsor: MIT Radio Society. Click here to learn more.

FARA Fest - November 3, 2018. Location: Bourne, MA, Type: ARRL Hamfest. Sponsor: Falmouth Amateur Radio Association. Click here to learn more.
Items for Trade
If you have any items for trade, contact one of our members to have it listed here, or send an email to: with a brief description and contact information. 
If you offer any ham radio related services, for example, if you repair meters or radios, build your own transmitters, make QSL cards to order, or rebuild microphones, you may list these services here.
If there are any items you may be looking for, use this space to get the word out. Just send an email to, or mention it at an upcoming meeting.
All advertisements are listed for FREE. Advertising shall pertain to products and services which are related to amateur radio. No advertisement may use more than 40 words. Please send a description of items for sale, wants, or services to Thom Watson at, or bring it to an upcoming meeting of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine. All ads will be printed one time, unless renewed.

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