Welcome to the Southcoast Massachusetts Amateur Radio Group (SMARG). We are an amateur radio group based in Acushnet, Massachusetts, serving the communities of Southcoast Massachusetts. SMARG aims to promote amateur radio through its sponsored 145.490 Dartmouth Repeater. We also provide support for ARES, SKYWARN and the Town of Acushnet Office of Emergency Management (EM). No membership is required to be active with SMARG. Three trustees simply oversee its management duties:
SMARG has roots that date back to 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 SMARG.
In 2007, SMARG 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 Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) radar.
In 2008, SMARG 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. SMARG made the decision to remove the 900 MHz repeater from service and to relocate the ’49 repeater there in 2015.
Thanks to a joint agreement with Acushnet EM Director Gerard A. Bergeron, W1AFD, SMARG has access to Acushnet EM’s (WA1EMA) conference room, living room and communications room. The communications room is equipped with high-speed internet, several networked computers, HF, VHF and UHF radios. Access is given to EM members only, however active SMARG hams are always welcome to stop by the EM building as long as an EM member is present.
In place of membership dues, SMARG accepts cash donations from anyone with an interest in our efforts. All funds go into a special savings account held by the trustees to be used exclusively for the up-keep of the group’s repeater system and for special events. If you are interested in contributing to SMARG, we accept payments via PayPal or alternately by US Mail via the Acushnet EM mailing address. Please contact us for more information.
If you have any further questions or comments regarding SMARG, feel free to reach Tony, Rick or Rob via the QRZ.com links at the top of this page. 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. Active SMARG hams, together with EM members, are experienced in providing emergency and tactical communications at road races, public community events and more.