Welcome to the South Coast Massachusetts Amateur Radio Group. We are an amateur radio group based in Acushnet, Massachusetts, serving the communities of South Coast Massachusetts. SCMARG (pronounced “smarg”) aims to promote amateur radio through its sponsored 145.490 Dartmouth Repeater. We also provide support for ARES, SKYWARN and the Acushnet Emergency Management Agency (EMA). We currently exist as a support group and not a club. This means that we do not have a President, Vice-President, etc. We also do not hold monthly business meetings. Instead, there are trustees that oversee its administrative duties:
SCMARG has roots that date back to 1980s. In 1985, the New Bedford FM Repeater Group (NBFRG) was created by Lawrence Lygren, W1DBX (SK) when he placed the 145.490 repeater on the air in Fairhaven. Likewise, the original South Coastal Massachusetts Amateur Radio Group (SCMARG) was created in 1994 by Cabral and several others when they placed the 443.800 repeater on the air in Dartmouth. The two groups were consolidated in 2006 by the current trustees, creating today’s SCMARG.
In 2007, SCMARG permanently removed the ‘3.800 repeater from service. This repeater had been located at the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association (SEMARA) property in Dartmouth since 1996. Together with several other 440 MHz repeaters in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, it was forced to shut down by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) due to interference to Cape Cod’s PAVE PAWS radar system.
In 2008, SCMARG replaced the 440 MHz repeater with a 900 MHz repeater. It was installed at a communications tower just off of US Route 6 in Dartmouth. Following water tank painting and rehabilitation by the town of Fairhaven in 2013 however, an acceptable agreement could not be reached with the town to retain the 145.490 repeater there. SCMARG made the decision to remove the 900 MHz repeater from service and to relocate the ’49 repeater there. After further upgrades and the addition of a 2m and 440 MHz remote base, it will be reactivated at this Dartmouth site in the Spring of 2015.
Thanks to a joint agreement with Acushnet EMA Director Gerard A. Bergeron, W1AFD, SCMARG has a shared conference room, living room and communications room. The communications room is equipped with high-speed internet, several networked computers, HF and 2m/440 dual-band radios. This equipment is shared with the Acushnet EMA (WA1EMA). Access is not given to SCMARG members unless they are EMA members, however they are always welcome to stop by the EMA building to use the radio equipment as long as an EMA member is present.
SCMARG membership is open to anyone, including non-hams that have an interest in our efforts. Dues are set at $20 per year. All funds go into a special savings account held by the trustees at a local Credit Union to be used exclusively for the up-keep of the group’s repeater system and for special events. If you are interested in joining SCMARG, we are more than happy to have you as a member. Simply go to our Join SCMARG page for more information (temporarily unavailable). We accept payments online via PayPal or alternately by US Mail via the Acushnet EMA mailing address.
If you have any further questions or comments regarding SCMARG, please visit our Contact Us page (temporarily unavailable). There, you can contact the three SCMARG trustees by US mail or electronically. We are always looking to serve the community and would love to hear from you if you need operators to assist with communications at an event. Our members, together with EMA members, are experienced in providing emergency communications and tactical communications at such public service events as road races and triathlons.