April 2022 Rhode Island Section Activity Report

Greetings ARRL members and friends,

Welcome to spring. I truly believe that we are forced to endure winter just so we can appreciate spring. Weather is nearly perfect and we can enjoy it while we repair our antennas. 

The following is information from Tom Frenaye, K1KI. Tom is chairman of the New England QSO Party or NEQP. Where ever you are in New England, you can create a pile up simply by announcing your presence with a simple “CQ NEQP, this is (your call) in New England.”

The New England QSO Party on May 7th and 8th is a great time to check out antenna systems and offers a moderately paced opportunity to work new states and countries. You’ll find a wide variety of participants, from newcomers to experienced contesters, all interested in making contacts with New England stations.

NEQP’s goal is to get every one of the 67 counties in New England on the air so we hope you will encourage your friends to join in the fun!  Even if you can join the fun for a couple of hours, we’d appreciate it!  Will you be QRV? Let us know with a message to <info@neqp.org>. 

The New England QSO Party is 20 hours long overall, in two sections with a civilized break for sleep on Saturday night.  It runs from 4 pm Saturday until 1 am Sunday, then 9 am Sunday until 8 pm Sunday.  Operate on CW, SSB and/or digital modes on 80-40-20-15-10 meters.  For each QSO you’ll give your callsign, a signal report and your county/state.  Top scorers can earn a plaque and everyone who sends in a log with 25 or more QSOs will get a certificate.  The goal is to work stations anywhere in the world – and their goal is to work New England stations, so you’ll be very popular! Last year we had logs from 947 stations from around the country and world. The full rules are here -> <https://neqp.org/rules/>.

The full 2021 results were posted last month – <https://neqp.org/2021-new-england-qso-party/>.  Field Day planning is going on in our clubs. I hope to be able to tour the FD sites this year, something I have been unable to do for the last few years. Please let me know if your club will be setting up a Field Day operation this year.

June 12th will mark the 250th anniversary of the burning of HMS Gaspee in Narragansett Bay. Informed historians know that this event signaled the first shots of the American Revolution which ended on July 4th, 1776 when our beloved country was born. Folks in Massachusetts like to say that the Boston Tea Party rang the starting bell, but we know that the Gaspee burning took place a year and a half earlier. That sent the message to Britain.

Several hams under the leadership of Ken N1RGK are putting a program together, working with and augmenting the program being carried forward by the Gaspee Days Committee. Special calls W1G and K1G will be on the air and the BVARC club will set up a station at the site of the Gaspee burning. Our team is working in close partnership with the Gaspee Days committee. A beautiful certificate and QSL card has been designed by Teri, W1PUP. All you need is to work both W1G and K1G, any mode or time during their operation and you will receive your certificate. See website <http://www.w1ddd.org/gaspeedays.html> for more details.

Radio Frequency Interference or RFI is something that everyone who operates a radio has experienced. In some cases, it has kept Amateurs off the air because it is so severe. The New England Assistant Director, Rob, K1UI, is leading an effort to recruit an RFI team. To do this, Rob needs volunteers from every section. If you are interested in serving your fellow operators by tracing sources of RFI, please send an e mail note with your qualifications to Rob at k1ui@arrl.net. You may also review an RFI troubleshooting guide at <https://nediv.arrl.org/rfi-troubleshooting-guide/>.

HF bands continue to improve slowly as we climb up the leading slope of Cycle 25. 10 and 12 meter bands are open most of the time to somewhere.  15 and 17 meters have been open on occasion for round the world contacts. Some long path propagation has shown itself as well. These are all good signs of better things to come.

The ARRL Board has started discussions regarding the new club grant program which was announced in January. Starting in April, clubs will be able to apply for these grants by filing a form available on the ARRL website. More details at <http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-foundation-to-create-club-grants-program>. 

The Covid-19 bug found me last month. I’m over it now and feel fine. I never had a fever, cough, aches or other common problems. I did lose any sense of taste or smell and had a stuffed nose for a few weeks. My doctor prescribed Paxlovid by Pfizer, made available under an Emergency Use Authorization. I never learned what it was supposed to do except make me feel a lot better. In any event, I was isolated for five days during which I was on the air from dawn to midnight. I have received all my vaccinations and boosters. Please stay well and be very careful.  It’s not much fun to deal with Covid.

I’m still looking to fill the post of Section Government Liaison (SGL). See last month’s report and <http://www.arrl.org/state-government-liaison>. Someone who regularly follows state legislative affairs is the person I need.

Finally, if your club is planning to set up a Field Day operation in the field, kindly let me know where it will be. Thank you.


ARRL Rhode Island Section
Section Manager: Robert G Beaudet, W1YRC