Rhode Island February Activity Report

We surely cannot complain so far, about the winter we’ve had. Some weather people are saying that this is the kind of winter that we can expect in the future. I’m sure that many folks in RI who are skiers are not happy to hear that but for myself, this sounds great. There’s still plenty of time for a good old fashion snow storm and we could get one in the remaining weeks of winter and early spring. But the days are getting longer, Red Sox are in spring training at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. Any bad stuff we get now will go away quickly. 

Just as I was preparing this report, the sun took our attention and popped a number of sunspots. The Solar Flux reading read an incredible 343!  A week ago, the index was about 140. A 200 point jump in a week is something I have never seen in my 70 years as a ham. The HF bands are jumping. The ARRL CW DX Contest weekend is going as I write this. I can imagine that participants will score very highly with these extraordinary conditions. Many have never seen 10 meters so wide open to so many parts of the world at the same time. The SF index dropped back to normal levels, about 160, within 24 hours, but the HF bands remain in super condition. 

The Volunteers on The Air or VOTA activity is rolling along. I have made several contacts with stations across the country. Rules and detailed information may be found at https://www.arrl.org/volunteers-on-the-air. The scoreboard at https://vota.arrl.org/leaderboard.php will show you how many contacts you have made. It doesn’t show your point score yet however. Maybe that’s one of the features under construction. 

Virtual Ham Expo will be held on March 25-26. See https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/?mc_cid=cfa50a6bb8&mc_eid=d3e32f2624 for details. There are lots of forums and presentations offered but you must register. 

The second most wanted DX entity in the world, Bouvet Island, was active for a few days this month. It was a far cry from an easy relaxing vacation type of operation. In fact, it was downright dangerous and miserable. See https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/?mc_cid=cfa50a6bb8&mc_eid=d3e32f2624 and read the latest news at https://www.dx-world.net/3y0j-by-wd5cov/. Their goal was to log more than 200,000 QSOs but they realized fewer than 20,000. Conditions were severe and tested the 13 participating operators to their limits. Happily, no one was hurt or worse. Bouvet will likely remain the second most rare on earth, second only to North Korea. 

ARRL Foundation Accepting Applications for Grants in February, until the end of the month. Go to http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-foundation-accepting-applications-for-grants-in-february for details. 

Our Air Force may have shot down a ham radio balloons in the recent Chinese balloon incident. See https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a42952566/air-force-shoots-down-hobby-balloon-ufo/.

I recently submitted the necessary forms and signatures required to permit me to run for re-election as Section Manager. If no one runs against me, I’ll receive a phone call and/or an e mail note from HQ informing me that I’m signed up for two more years. At my age, I hope I can fulfill that commitment, but I shall try. I was appointed to fill the remainder of K1FLD’s term as SM. That was in January, 2002. I honestly never intended to keep the job past the end of K1FLD’s term in 2003, but somehow I stayed. I’ve submitted the necessary papers every two years since then because many of you told me that you wanted me to stay. You should think about my successor because I can’t live forever. My Ass’t SM is Marc, W1MCX. He is a very good ham and will make a very good SM if he wants the post when I’m finished. That time might be years down the line.  73 and see you next month,

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