Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Seems to Us: Appropriate Use: Guidelines and Waivers

By David Sumner, K1ZZ
ARRL Chief Executive Officer
December 01, 2009

For the final time this year, we again take up the issue of the appropriate use of Amateur Radio: the extent to which radio amateurs may (and should) provide communications on behalf of others, particularly their employers.

The Amateur Radio Service has a well-deserved reputation for taking the FCC rules seriously, so it is not surprising that the subject of "pecuniary interest" has attracted a lot of attention and discussion. The relevant rules have not changed since 1993, but recent years have seen growing interest in the use of Amateur Radio as an alternative, supplemental, or backup communications medium by commercial, non-profit and government entities. When those rules changes were adopted, that was not the expectation.
In 1993 the FCC concluded that, while it is important to avoid exploitation of the amateur service, "[t]he capabilities of modern mobile communication services have all but eliminated the incentive to use the amateur service instead of those services." The Commission found that the rules then in effect "hamper amateur operators from serving the public as well as diminish the value of the amateur service in satisfying personal communication needs." Accordingly, the rules were amended to give amateur licensees greater flexibility. The FCC declined the ARRL's request for anecdotal examples of permitted and prohibited communications, preferring to "rely on the amateur service's traditions of self-regulation and cooperation between licensees, the cornerstone of the amateur service, to determine whether specific communications should be transmitted on amateur service frequencies."
In September 1993 we editorialized that the rules changes "remove the ambiguities that have plagued public-service communications for the past two decades and have generated endless hair-splitting discussions about whether particular communications were permitted." That proved to be the case for a decade and a half until -- in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina -- Amateur Radio came to be viewed as a communications solution by a growing number of businesses and other organizations. On this page in April we noted that "there are limits to what an amateur can do on behalf of his or her employer" but did not go into detail since the rules seemed rather clear, as did the FCC's desire not to answer questions about exactly what is permitted and what is not.
By the time of the July 2009 meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors, the FCC had been asked enough questions by amateurs -- and had given answers that apparently were unexpected -- that quite a controversy was developing about the appropriate uses of Amateur Radio. As explained on this page in September, an ad-hoc committee was put to work to develop suggested guidelines. The committee delivered the guidelines and recommendations for further ARRL action to the ARRL Executive Committee, which made some edits and scheduled a conference call of Board members to discuss the nine-page document. By subsequent mail vote the Board adopted the guidelines and recommendations and approved the release of the document, which was put on the ARRL Web site on September 25 (see
The main purpose of the document, entitled Commercialization of Amateur Radio: The Rules, The Risks, The Issues, is to educate amateurs and the organizations we serve about what the FCC rules permit us to do and to assist amateurs in making reasoned decisions about the appropriateness of services we may offer to organizations in our communities. While there are only two narrow exceptions to the "no communications on behalf of an employer" rule, neither of which applies to disaster relief, the guidelines note that "paid emergency personnel who are licensed amateurs and who find themselves needing to use Amateur Radio in disaster relief operations can rely on the Commission's statements that they may do so." However, this applies only to actual disaster relief operations and not to training exercises or drills.
On the subject of what communications are appropriate for volunteers to provide on behalf of businesses and other organizations, the guidelines note that such communications by volunteers are legal as long as they are not conducted on a regular basis and otherwise comply with the rules. Organizations that envision using Amateur Radio volunteers on a regular basis should be referred instead to other radio services and communications systems. A good rule of thumb for other requests is, "Who benefits?" If the public is the principal beneficiary, then the basis and purpose of the Amateur Radio Service is being fulfilled. If the entity itself and not the general public is the principal beneficiary, then the use of other services should be encouraged.
In introducing the guidelines, ARRL First Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN -- who chaired the ad-hoc committee -- observed that they "are not intended to be the last word on the subject, and surely will not be." Little more than three weeks later the FCC fulfilled that prophecy by issuing a Public Notice, DA 09-2259, to emphasize that the rules prohibiting communications on behalf of an employer apply to emergency preparedness and disaster drills. The Public Notice entertains waiver requests from government entities (and only government entities) conducting such drills. The requests must be in writing and must include the information listed in the article on page 59 of this issue. Use the following address: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC, 445 12th St SW, Washington, DC 20554, Attn: Scot Stone. The government entity may send a copy of its request by e-mail to, but we have been advised that this is not a substitute for submission of the waiver request on paper.
We understand there are petitions for rulemaking being drafted to address perceived shortcomings in the existing rules. The ARRL Board has taken no position on possible rules changes, but the subject is likely to occupy the Board's attention between now and its January 2010 meeting. As always, your own Division Director (see page 15) will be interested in your thoughts.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Phil Duggan, N1EP, has launched a new website. "Signals down East Maine". I have put a link to it on the left side. When you get a chance check it out, great site!

Friday, November 6, 2009

State Wide Exercise Report

The folowing is a after action report I filed in review of the state wide MEMA exercise held 10/29-10/30 2009. EMCOMM would like to thank all that participated in the event making it a success.

"On Thursday, October 29th at 1100 hrs I received a call from Rick Henion, an agent of the Maine Forestry Service who was calling from the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency located in Ellsworth. Rick advised me that he was tasked with calling Hancock County EMCOMM to participate in the planned weather related exercise that was a statewide event. Scenario: weather conditions were worsening with an approaching low-pressure system, which was predicted to end up in severe icing conditions across the area. We were asked to provide supplemental communications at the EOC, which was the Hancock County EMA office. I radioed Robert Carter, AA1PI who is a Hancock County EMCOMM Board of Director and he agreed to deploy to the EMA office with equipment including VHF/UHF voice and VHF packet and APRS systems. A standby net was implemented when Bob arrived and check ins were taken. We ended up with VHF and HF relay stations in Sorrento, Bar Harbor, Ellsworth, Mariville area, Lamoine and Bucksport along with AA1PI’s station at the EMA office which also has a dedicated Motorola VHF radio programmed with ham frequencies for our use. I stood by at my work QTH monitoring traffic with a 2M HT and took traffic and held any to relay to Bob while he was setting up his equipment. Through out the day traffic was passed and attempted to be passed, by which I mean the HF link(s) were sketchy at times due to propagation issues on both 3.940 and 7.262. Bob got packet messages flowing thru nodes and relays to MEMA and Kennebec EOC. There were some minor glitches that popped up throughout the day but Bob handled them professionally all the time being the sole operator at HCEMA EOC throughout most of the day. HF relay stations had issues at times but it seemed that all traffic got passed and received by teamwork. Washington County, whom we work closely, with had issues at the Washington EOC due to proximity to public service antennas and radios along with a general poor location…down in a hole. Being so, they called upon us at times to help out which Hancock County was able to do most of the time. The original scenario called for repeaters to go down but that did not happen, but we did use simplex a number of times.

Overall, from comments by the other agencies participating, we came thru with good grades from all.

Local observations: We need an additional operator when the EOC is activated. Bob was swamped at times with technical duties along with requests from EMA to pass traffic.
Hancock County EMA needs a dedicated HF antenna which was talked about a week prior to the exercise but time restraint prohibited that task at the time. Packet radio is the tool to get hams on board with if they want to play EMCOMM., and using Outpost program is the tool to make life easier for all on board. Additional nodes and digipeters throughout the state should be considered."

Congratulations go out to Gordon Gianninoto, Andrew Sankey, and Justin Willis who last night, November 5, 2009 successfully tested for their Technicians level license at a VE session held at Meadow View Apartments in Ellsworth. Two also tried the General test and came very close…without studying! The VE session was led by Bruce N1VLQ, Phil N1EP, Bob AA1PI, and Dick W1KRP were the other VEs in attendance. Security was provided by Mark N1MEA, hi hi.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


All hams are encouraged to become involved in EMCOMM. You are volunteers; you will not be forced to participate of made to feel obligated to do so. Being a Ham is a great way to give back to your community while having a good time doing so and showcasing our capabilities! If you are not a registered member of Hancock County EMCOMM please feel free to contact the following:

Linda Fuery
Andy Sankey KB1TGL
Bob Carter AA1PI
Mark Albee N1MEA

If you could participate and consider being a contact Ham in your area please contact us soon!

Also,if you know of fellow hams OR non-hams that might be interested in joining please fwd this info to them. EMCOMM will use non-Hams in different positions that are necessary to keep the operations going!

Thanks very much!

Senate Introduces Companion Bill to HR 2160

Copied from the ARRL Website:

On Tuesday, October 6, Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), along with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced Senate Bill 1755, The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009. Similar to HR 2160 -- also called The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 -- that was introduced this past April by Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18), the bill, if passed, would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to undertake a study on emergency communications. S 1755 points out that "There is a strong Federal interest in the effective performance of Amateur Radio Service stations, and that performance must be given -- (A) support at all levels of government; and (B) protection against unreasonable regulation and impediments to the provision of the valuable communications provided by such stations."
"We are delighted to have the sponsorship of both the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and especially to have the support of Senator Lieberman from the ARRL's home state," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "The bill could not have a better pedigree." Lieberman is the Chairman of the committee, while Collins is the Ranking Member.
Like HR 2160, S 1755 calls on DHS to undertake a study on the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief and then to submit a report to Congress no more than 180 days after the bill becomes law. The study shall:
· Include a review of the importance of Amateur Radio emergency communications in furtherance of homeland security missions relating to disasters, severe weather and other threats to lives and property in the United States, as well as recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts and improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in planning and furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security initiatives.
· Identify impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications, such as the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use regulations on residential antenna installations; and make recommendations regarding such impediments for consideration by other federal departments, agencies and Congress.
In conducting the study, S 1755 directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to "utilize the expertise of stakeholder entities and organizations, including the Amateur Radio, emergency response and disaster communications communities."
S 1755 makes note of the fact that Section 1 of the Joint Resolution entitled Joint Resolution to Recognize the Achievements of Radio Amateurs, and To Establish Support for Such Amateurs as National Policy -- approved October 22, 1994 (Public Law 103-408) -- included a finding that stated: "Reasonable accommodation should be made for the effective operation of Amateur Radio from residences, private vehicles and public areas, and the regulation at all levels of government should facilitate and encourage amateur radio operations as a public benefit." The bill also pointed out that Section 1805(c) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 757(c)) directs the Regional Emergency Communications Coordinating Working Group of the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate their activities with ham and Amateur Radio operators among the 11 other emergency organizations, such as ambulance services, law enforcement and others.
ARRL New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI said that Amateur Radio operators in the State of Maine have "an outstanding relationship" with their Congressional representatives -- plus Governor John Baldacci is KB1NXP!" Both Connecticut and Maine are part of the League's New England Division
Frenaye said that Maine Section Manager Bill Woodhead, N1KAT, dropped off a letter at Senator Collins' office in Lewiston two weeks ago, asking for her support. "After that, we had amateurs in Maine write the Senator," he said; more than 40 Maine hams wrote Senator Collins.
The Senate bill points out many positive things that Amateur Radio operators do, including "provid[ing] on a volunteer basis, a valuable public sector service to their communities, their States, and to the Nation, especially in the area of national and international disaster communications." It mentions that amateurs provided emergency and disaster relief communications services during both natural and manmade disasters. "The Amateur Radio Service has formal agreements for the provision of volunteer emergency communications activities with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service, the National Communications System, and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, as well as with disaster relief agencies, including the American National Red Cross and the Salvation Army," the bill reads.
Right now, S 1755 has been read twice in the Senate chamber and referred to that body's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. HR 2160 -- now with 27 sponsors -- is in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Last Reminder

Greetings all! Just a last minute reminder that Field Day 2009 for the Ellsworth Amateur Wireless Association (EAWA) will be this coming weekend (Tomorrow!!) June 27 and 28. Set up begins after 0700 hrs and ops start at 1400 hrs. Come and visit and lend a hand, all are welcome. Bring a friend or neighbor and introduce them to our great hobby! Take Route 184 (on right), just past Myrick Street going East on Route 1 out of Ellsworth. Take 184 to the end (Atlantic Ocean car wash providede if you don't stop).
Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Field Day Reminder

Well folks, the time is quickly approaching for Field Day! June 27th and 28th at Lamoine Beach. Go East on Route 1 out of Ellsworth, just past Myrick Street on your right will be the turn for Route 184. Take Route 184 to the very end and there is Lamoine Beach where the Ellsworth Amateur Wireless Association (EAWA) along with Hancock County EMCOMM will be holding Field Day activities. We will be meeting there around 0700 hours on Saturday the 27th to begin set up and all are invited to join in the festivities! Set up is a very important part of what Field Day is about (operating radios from remote locations testing equipment and antennas) and the more the merrier! There will be a Voice station, CW station and a GOTA (Get On The Air) Station. Actual operations begin at 1400 hrs (2PM) Saturday and continue for 24 hours until 1400 hrs Sunday. There will be operators needed for the entire span. If you would like to attend and have a specific time you could operate email Evie KA1BRA at . And of course, there will be food! So, if you are interested please come and join in the fun, just visit, operate, or eat! If you know of anyone interested in Amateur Radio please pass this information on to them. For further information contact any of the below listed Amateur Radio operators:

Monday, June 1, 2009

ARRL Field Day Tips and Techniques that Everyone Can Use

Everyone remember that Field Day is coming up the last weekend in June. Our group EAWA/HC EMCOMM holds Field Day at Lamoine Beach (NOT State Park). We meet around 0700, start operating at 1400 and end operating at 1400 on Sunday with tear-dow after that. On June 11th (Thursday) the EAWA monthly meeting held at Meadow View Phase 4 dining hall will include final preps for the big event. For further infor reference field day email me Dick W1KRP at, Phil N1EP at or Mark N1EMA at


Many amateurs treat ARRL Field Day (June 27-28) as a contest, even though it isn't one. But if your idea of Field Day fun is to go for the highest score possible, ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, offered the following suggestions at the ARRL Field Day Forum at the 2009 Dayton Hamvention.
1) You will get many more stations in your log by calling CQ than by tuning the dial and answering CQs; however, if you're calling CQ and not getting any replies, keep calling. Most major contesters call CQ for several minutes at a time before giving up. Giving up after three or four CQs is giving up too soon.
2) Keep your CQs short and to the point: "CQ Field Day, CQ Field Day, Whiskey-One-Alfa-Whiskey, Field Day." Wait about 5 seconds between CQs -- this gives stations enough time to answer you.
3) Use standard phonetics. "Cute" phonetics don't always get through and they can confuse newer operators.
4) When working a station, you should give your exchange information only once and keep it simple. "Whiskey-One-Alfa-Whiskey, copy three Foxtrot Connecticut, QSL?" If they didn't get all of the exchange, they will ask for a repeat.
5) If you are running a pileup: Once you have pulled a call out of the pileup, give your exchange information first. Here's an example: "Whiskey-One-Alfa-Whiskey, copy 3F Connecticut, QSL?" Don't ask for the calling station's information first -- this will reduce any sense of rhythm and timing in the pileup.
6) If you get a pileup of stations and can't make out an entire call, listen for one letter and ask for it specifically: "The station with Delta only, go ahead."
7) When you get the other station's information, keep your acknowledgment simple. "QSL, thanks, QRZ Field Day from Whiskey-One-Alfa-Whiskey."
8) Find a comfortable pace for you and maintain that pace. You will tire quickly if you are screaming into the microphone or trying to work stations too quickly. This leads to inefficiency.
9) Use a headset with a boom microphone and a foot switch -- this frees up your hands to log QSOs. Writing or typing with a mike in your hand slows you down.
10) Go for as many bonus points as you possibly can. Numerous opportunities exist, from copying the Field Day message to sending traffic to using natural power for QSOs.
These tips should help maximize your score on Field Day. Remember: No matter how you choose to enjoy Field Day, maximize your fun, however you define it.

Friday, May 8, 2009


This article was taken from the April 2009 Newsletter from the website.

By Jerry Boyd, N7WR, Associate Editor and ICS Advisor

This column will continue last month’s discussion regarding how home stations might provide some EMCOMM support during major incidents. As noted in the March issue, some amateurs, for a variety of reasons, may want to help but are simply unable to respond in the field to emergencies and disasters. There are a number of important tasks that need to be performed by the EMCOMM unit, but to assign them to a field-capable volunteer might mean that an essential field position is unstaffed. Here is where the "homebound" can step in. Radio traffic in response to an emergency/disaster is important and it needs to be documented. There are multiple reasons why documentation is important. Just one of those reasons is to aid in the after-action critique/evaluation of the incident response. The home-based station may be in a good position to monitor and audio record all radio traffic involving the EMCOMM unit response to the incident. Whether done by a tape recorder or via a computer sound card, this is important data to compile and is the type which a “ham at home” can gather. Every group, including EMCOMM groups, have need for logistical support during their operational periods. Food, water, fresh batteries, fuel, notepads, sunscreen, etc….all may need to be replenished if the event is of long duration. The ham at home can be a valuable resource in determining what is needed, where it is needed, and when it is needed and then making arrangements to procure same and have it delivered. Finally, events of long duration cannot be handled by the initial crew of responding radio operators. There will be a need to relieve them with fresh operators. The home-bound station can help team leaders determine staffing needs, and recruit and schedule replacement operators as necessary. In summary, the home station has more than ample opportunities to be of service.

73 from NE Oregon de N7WR

Monday, May 4, 2009


Work was done on the Hancock County EMCOMM repeater antenna on 5/4/2009 by Jim N1MTN of Brown's Communications. The 'temporary' Diamond antenna was replaced with the commercial unit originally purchased for the repeater package. Thanks go out to Brown's Communications for their continued help and support!

Hancock County EMCOMM's New Structure

At the last meeting of the Ellsworth Amateur Wireless Association (EAWA), at the suggestion of member Mark Albee N1MEA, it was voted on that Hancock County EMCOMM come under the ‘wing’ of EAWA. A three-person committee was formed to oversee the EMCOMM group, consisting of Bob Carter AA1PI, Mark Albee N1TDO and Dick Small W1KRP. It was felt that the EMCOMM group, lying dormant for some time now, would be better served by downsizing the command structure and trying to make the EMCOMM experience more enjoyable. On Sunday, May 3rd, the EMCOMM committee met for the first time to get the basics on paper in reference to the future of Hancock County EMCOMM, Bob AA1PI had an excellent presentation on what he thought was important and it was unanimous between the three that this was a great starting point.. Below is the work sheet type listing that we urge all to review for a discussion in the very near future. Any questions in reference to Hancock County EMCOMM please email any of the below listed Reps.

Mark Albee N1MEA

Bob Carter AA1PI

Dick Small W1KRP

Who is a member of EMCOMM

Who is active

Who can do what
weather spotter
marine service Boat with radio
ATV with radio
mapping program
solar power operation
battery operation

What is your comfort area
HF Radio
2 meter FM
2 meter sideband
digital modes HF

What mode can you bring mobile

I would like to see the packet network expand to include hospitals and shelters or portable units ready to go.

Also a workshop on sending text files to the BBS and down loading to EMCOMM control.

Also the packet controller at EMCOMM needs to have it's call sign KB1NEB installed and address mail to this call sign
the BBS system will not deliver mail to a call without a numeral in the call.

I would like to see persons that have alike interests of operating modes group together to refine their operating procedures, that way you learn from each other and when a person is missing the show goes on.

Thanks for hearing my suggestions Bob aa1pi

Houston Representative Introduces Amateur Radio Bill in Congress

On Wednesday, April 29, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced HR 2160, the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 in the US House of Representatives. This bill, if passed, would "promote and encourage the valuable public service, disaster relief, and emergency communications provided on a volunteer basis by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service, by undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur Radio for emergency and disaster relief communications, by identifying unnecessary or unreasonable impediments to the deployment of Amateur Radio emergency and disaster relief communications, and by making recommendations for relief of such unreasonable restrictions so as to expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in Homeland Security planning and response." The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
If enacted into law, HR 2160, would instruct the Secretary of Homeland Security to undertake a study and report its findings to Congress within 180 days. The study would spell out uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio communications in emergencies and disaster relief. The study shall:
· Include recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts.
· Include recommendations for improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in planning and in furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security initiatives.
· Identify unreasonable or unnecessary impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio communications -- such as the effects of private land use regulations on residential antenna installations -- and make recommendations regarding such impediments.
· Include an evaluation of Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat 56 [1996]).
· Recommend whether Section 207 should be modified to prevent unreasonable private land use restrictions that impair the ability of amateurs to conduct, or prepare to conduct, emergency communications by means of effective outdoor antennas and support structures at reasonable heights and dimensions for the purpose in residential areas.
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall utilize the expertise of the ARRL and shall seek information from private and public sectors for the study.
The bill currently has five co-sponsors: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Representative Thompson currently serves as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Representatives Jackson-Lee, Lofgren and Kilroy are members of that committee.
"We understand that Representative Jackson-Lee was very impressed with the radio amateurs she encountered on a visit to an Emergency Operations Center in Houston during Hurricane Ike last September," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We are grateful to her and to the five original co-sponsors for their support of Amateur Radio and the encouragement that their bill offers."
ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, concurred: "We are excited to have Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee introduce HR 2160. It is extremely encouraging to have the support of a number of original co-sponsors -- including several members of the House Homeland Security Committee -- who recognize the importance of Amateur Radio's long history of public service."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

146.910 Interference

Users of the 146.910 repeater here in Ellsworth have been noticing some interference on QSOs lately. Myself W1KRP, and Mark N1MEA did some snooping a few weeks ago and discovered the signal causing the trouble was coming from a construction trailer located across from the Hiltop/Kona’s/Hillfire Grill(!). A conglomeration of antennas was attached to a wooden tripod located out back of the trailer and it could have been a number of things. At an EAWA/EMCOMM meeting a few days later HCEMA Director Ralph Pinkham said that Jim Cormier N1MTN of Brown Communications, had reported to him that they, Browns, had had complaints from commercial customers of the same troubles. They went and found that H.E. Sargent Contractors who owned the trailer, uses GPS tracking in their ground working units that guide them in very small increments for precise work. These units have 6 frequencies to choose from and Jim informed them of the interference and Sargents, after checking with main office changed to a different freq. The issue disappeared for a week or so and has now reappeared. I spoke with Jim today and their commercial customers have not complained but he advised that Sargents probably would be done shortly with their part of the work. He also advised that a visit might be in order once again to advise Sargents of FCC regulations. That is where this stands as of 04/23/2009 at 0932 hours! Any updates will be posted here as soon as they surface!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Kentucky ARES Training

In the past I have suggested a number of online training sites that are available free of charge to EMCOMM personnel. FEMA of course has the ICS courses and MANY other interesting classes. Maine ARES has a course available that K1GAX controls and is a great choice also. Kentucky ARES has a great overall site with a lot of information available. Their online ARES course is a very simple course to take and complete online. (I figured I ran my mouth about it I better do it myself!) It is taken in three steps and after confirmation from their moderators you move to the next step. Two general EMCOMM related sections followed by a final NCS section. Each section has a 50-question test. After completion of the course they send you a certificate of completion in pdf format (great artwork to cover all those push pin holes on your shack walls) and an email confirmation. You are placed on their online registry so groups you might want to join up with can check easily. The presentation is very ‘friendly’ and the tests are quite simple and common-sensed based. I urge anyone interested to take this class and the many others that might interest you and ‘get smart soon’.

The link is to the right in the Links section...GOOD LUCK!


Just a reminder that the 2009 ARRL Field Day is sneaking up on us! Now is the time to think about what and how we are going to handle the event. As of this writing it looks like we will be back at Lamoine Beach, which is a great site to operate from. Keep checking this site for updates and changes if any arise!