2016 Site Updates


2016-01-01_2Welcome to the official website of SEMARA – The Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association, Inc.  We are an amateur radio club established in 1932 that owns our own property in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and has over 340 members.  If you would like to contribute to this website, please contact the Web Committee by using the “Contact Us” link at the top of this page.

Latest Site Updates

10/23/2016 W1RJC – Received October business meeting minutes from W1MMD via email.  Added it to the “Minutes” section.
10/14/2016 K1KVV – Wrote new story “VE Session Results – October 1.”
10/9/2016 W1RJC – Wrote new story “220 & 900 Repeaters Fully Functional.”
10/6/2016 W1RJC – Received October narration of QST from N1BLF via Dropbox.  Added it to the “Audio” section.
9/10/2016 W1RJC read more

VE Session Results – October 1

2016-10-14Congratulations to these hams who passed their exams at the October 1, 2016 VE Session:

Allen J. Perry II, KC1GKS – Technician
Glen M. Dowden, KC1GKT – Technician
Jonathan W. Winokur, KC1GKU – Technician & General

Enjoy your upgraded privileges!

220 & 900 Repeaters Fully Functional

2016-10-09After many days and hours of work, the SEMARA 224.800 repeater is now back on the air and interfaced to a new repeater controller. It has the ability to link via IRLP, EchoLink and RF through a remotely selectable 16-channel UHF radio. Like SEMARA’s 900 repeater, the plan is to keep this repeater full-time linked. It is now an affiliate of the Quahog Repeater Network (see http://quahognet.com) which covers most of Rhode Island, the South Shore and now the South Coast through our repeater. It is mainly parked on the New England Reflector (IRLP 9120 / EchoLink 9129 *NEW-ENG*) in which the QRN hub is also linked most of the time. It will soon participate in 220 Tuesdays, which will have it linked with other New England 220 repeaters on Tuesday only.

The SEMARA 927.8375 repeater’s IRLP node is now back up and running. It is once again parked on IRLP New England Reflector Channel 5 (New England Amateur Radio 900 MHz Network or “NEAR-900”- see http://near900.com). The repeater controller for this repeater was left in place, due to the fact that using the IRLP node itself as a repeater controller isn’t reliable. This means that all three SEMARA repeaters are now using their own SCOM 7330 repeater controllers and each repeater also has its own IRLP node. Keep in mind that the fans in this repeater still need to be replaced, in which I need to get together with Jeff-N1ZZN to swap them out.

The 147.000 EchoIRLP node had apparently froze a few weeks ago. Joey-KC1FWN had brought this to my attention last week. The node was rebooted this morning and it successfully began working again.

Looking to the future, the 900 fan swapping and mounting of the 220 equipment in the 2m rack are the next tasks to tackle. The equipment doesn’t look at all impressive right now sitting around at the repeater site unmounted. I start a new job tomorrow and my time will be limited, however most of the heavy work has been finished. Eventually, a dedicated 220 antenna will also need to be mounted at the top of our tower as I had previously mentioned. The 220 repeater is temporarily using the 220 section of a tri-band antenna (a Comet CX-333) which is less than ideal. I recommend that the club looks into buying a 4-dipole array antenna next year and plans a hardline/antenna install around the summer of 2017 through NETCOM’s maintenance window in our agreement with them. At some point at a future meeting going into 2017, I will try to be present to talk about this and to make a motion to do so.

Thanks for your patience and enjoy your 2m, 220 and 900 SEMARA repeaters!


Richard J. Cabral, W1RJC
SEMARA Repeater Committee

Tech Talk on Solar Energy

2016-09-09Joe Tavares, KC1BGF writes:

I’ll be presenting a Tech Talk on Solar Energy following the 7 o’clock SEMARA Business Meeting on October 6.

                                   Topics of Discussion
  • How Solar Panels work
  • Different types of panels: advantages and disadvantages
  • Power calculations
  • How to wire panels to batteries and load using charge controllers
  • The use of DC-DC converters to keep battery voltage constant
I will bring a solar panel and battery pack.

220 & 900 Repeater Update

2016-09-01Quick update before tonight’s business meeting:

The Raspberry Pi board for the 900 node which is used to link it into the 900 network was bad.  In the picture, the one in hand is the bad one with its replacement being tested behind it.  The board is $35, but I had this brand new one that I am donating to the club.  Also, the fans in the 900 repeater that cool the PAs have seized.  Via Jeff-N1ZZN, we will get replacements next week from another Motorola MSF5000, also at no cost to the club (thanks Jeff).

Planning to get the 900 repeater back on the air when I pick up the fans from Jeff.  The 220 repeater wiring is complete with a few level adjustments and programming of the repeater controller remaining.  I’d like to be able to make one trip to the repeater site and get both repeaters beck on air together when I get the fans from Jeff.

I hoped to have this all done in August as I previously stated.  Let’s aim for next week (again, please don’t hold me to it, but I will try).

Thanks for everyone’s patience during the downtime.

Richard J. Cabral
SEMARA Repeater Committee

Results for “License in a Weekend” July 30 & 31

2016-08-18SEMARA sponsored a class for the technician class amateur radio license.  The classes were held at the clubhouse at 54 Donald Street, Dartmouth, MA on July 30 and 31 from 10 AM to 5 PM on both days.  The total cost was $15.00 per person and this included FCC testing by lead instructor Bob Phinney K5TEC, a volunteer examiner, at the end of the class on Sunday. The results of the program are listed here together with the student’s hometown.

KC1GCY Bill Marsh – Tech and General – New Bedford
KC1GCX Allen Harris – Tech – Taunton
KC1GCW Cynthia Olive – Tech – Yarmouth Port
KC1GCV Ian Clark – Tech – Watertown
KC1GCU Ryan Marsh – Tech – New Bedford
KC1GCT Daniel Freney – Tech – Plympton
KC1GCS Robert Krupa – Tech – Acushnet
KC1GCR Mike McDonough – Tech – Grafton
KC1GCQ Janis Ricketson – Tech – East Weymouth
KC1GCP Montayo Cardoza – Tech – New Bedford
KC1GCO Kien Lang – Tech – Arlington
KC1GCN Kenneth Mingola – Tech – Westport
KC1GCM Michael Pell – Tech – East Sandwich
KC1GCL Ryan Saucier – Tech – Fall River

Enjoy your new privileges!

220 & 900 Repeaters Temporarily Off-Air

2016-07-30SEMARA’s 224.800 and 927.8375 repeaters are temporarily off the air as of today for a repair and upgrade.

1) The 900 repeater’s IRLP node failed over a month ago and it wasn’t liked to NEAR-900.  After a couple of trips to the site, it was determined that I need to re-image the SD card.  That node is being repaired and reconfigured and it will now also act as the repeater controller.

2) The 220 repeater will receive the repeater controller that was previously on the 900 repeater.  This will allow it to be interfaced to both its own IRLP node (4215) and a UHF link radio for the first time.  This will allow the repeater to be configured in a few different ways for linking.  More info on its linking status/schedule will be announced soon.

I am working from home this upcoming week which will give me additional free time to work on this project.  This is why I decided that now would be a good time to take the repeaters offline and execute the above changes.  I will send out another update when progress and/or completion occurs.  The SEMARA business meeting is this Thursday and if possible, I’ll try and get it all finished before the meeting, but I cannot guarantee it.

Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience that temporarily being off-air may cause.

Please note: 147.000 and it’s node (4210) are still ON-AIR and are unaffected by this work.


Richard J. Cabral
SEMARA Repeater Committee

SEMARA VE Session Results – June 4

2016-07-11Congratulations to these hams who passed their exams at the June 4, 2016 VE Session:

David R. Drury, (ex-KC1FVC) K1DRD – Extra

Stephen M. Cote III, KC1FUV – General

Joseph A. Pasteris, KC1FWN – Technician

Enjoy your new privileges!

“License In A Weekend” Class & Exam – July 30 & 31

2016-06-13Update 06/20/2016 by W1RJC: W1MLD has provided more details and this story has been updated accordingly.

SEMARA will be sponsoring a class for candidates of a technician class amateur radio license.  The classes will be held at the clubhouse at 54 Donald Street, Dartmouth, MA on July 30 and 31 from 10 AM to 5 PM on both days.  The total cost is $15.00 per person and this will include FCC testing by a volunteer examiner at the end of the class on Sunday.

The lead instructor will be Marek Kozubal, KB1NCG on behalf of New England Amateur Radio, Inc. (NEAR).  Donations to NEAR will be accepted, but are not required.  Anyone interested in amateur radio is urged to attend.  To register or if there are any questions, please provide your name and telephone number in an email to SEMARA President Marcel, W1MLD – president [at] semara [dot] org.

Dave Dean, K1JGV, SK


Photo Credit: Michael Ponte, W1BZJ

It is with great regret that we announce the passing of longtime SEMARA member David G. Dean, K1JGV of Dartmouth.  Dave passed away on the morning of Tuesday, May 17, 2016.  He was 77 years old.  Dave was a kind gentleman and an all around nice guy who had a strong passion for the things he did.  At SEMARA, he will always be remembered as one of our most dedicated buildings and grounds members.

Please share your thoughts and memories of Dave using the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  We send our sympathy to Amy and his family for their loss.  May he rest in peace.

K1JGV … -.-