RI Section Manager Welcome Email to Members

RI ARRL bannerJuly 4, 2023

Hello Rhode Island radio amateurs and Happy Fourth of July!

Thank you for this opportunity to serve as your RI Section Manager. I’m pleased to update you on these exciting initiatives underway:

  • Launch of a new RI Section website, July 5
  • Leadership team update
  • Club Outreach
  • Public Service & ARES® in RI
  • Contesting, Special Events and POTA

The RI Section’s first website: RI-ARRL.org

A team has been hard at work getting our section’s new website ready for release, with an anticipated Beta launch date of July 5th. Many thanks to ARRL New England Division Vice-Director, Phil Temples, K9HI for countless hours over the last busy month helping bring this communication platform to our state. It is a work-in-progress and the website will evolve with your contributed news, updates, and photos to come alive and best represent RI. Stay tuned!

Leadership team update

Several key cabinet positions have been filled, but we have more to match to the right folks. Our Section leadership team is focused on building relationships across the Amateur Radio community and with external partners, and empowering and encouraging the good work across the Section from individuals and clubs. Working together, I know we’ll get those positions filled in time. Here is the cabinet as it stands now:

Rhode Island Section Cabinet

Section Manager – Nancy Austin, KC1NEK

Assistant Section Manager/Public Information Coordinator – Mike Corey, KI1U

Technical Coordinator – Dave Neal, W2DAN

Section Government Liaison – Todd Manni, KB1PGR

Section Traffic Manager – Marcia Forde, KW1U

District Emergency Coordinator Kent County – Jeremy Taylor, K1JST

District Emergency Coordinator Providence County – Barry Noel, W1BSN

District Emergency Coordinator Washington County – Jim Creamer, KB1MAO

Assistant Section Government Liaisons

Two Rhode Island radio amateurs have been asked to assist the SGL in his duties: Ryan Lukowicz, KC1KUF and Andrew Staub, KC1OKI.

North Kingstown High School student Ryan Lukowicz, KC1KUF is a RI State House Page learning the mechanics and negotiation tactics required to get laws enacted. This experiential learning opportunity will prepare Ryan for a planned college major in policy, including laws that impact Amateur Radio and the future of communication and mobility.  Or maybe loop back into his interest in weather, SKYWARN® and meteorology?  All relevant ways to explore possible future career options in the Ocean State’s Blue Economy and our changing climate.

Andrew Staub, KC1OKI is an attorney in Rhode Island familiar with drone/UAV and technology law issues. There are emerging issues already tackled in neighboring Massachusetts, and it is exciting to get ahead of this topic here in Rhode Island with Andrew’s expertise. Andrew also supports the drone team at Portsmouth Emergency Management Agency.

Partner Agency Liaisons

We’re trying something new with the RI Cabinet, adding liaisons to partner agencies and organizations. Initially we’ve identified three liaison positions – RI EMA, RI VOAD, and NWS/SKYWARN. Their input is critical in understanding what is needed from our partners.

Positions still to be filled:

Section Emergency Coordinator – This is a critical position for the Rhode Island Section, and we are working on identifying the person who is the right fit for this role. The relationships built and fostered by the SEC help pave the way for our service back to our communities. Until the SEC position is filled, the DECs will serve on the Section Cabinet.

District Emergency Coordinators for Bristol and Newport Counties.

Section Youth Coordinator

Public Information Coordinator – This position will be filled by Mike Corey, KI1U, with a plan of identifying and recruiting a PIC within a year.

Section Traffic Manager – We are looking for an experienced traffic handler and RI resident to support Interim RI Section Traffic Manager Marcia Forde, KW1U. We will help her recruit and train RI skilled operators for the daily RI-MA Phone/CW NTS 2.0 traffic-handling nets.

This is an exciting time for Amateur Radio across Rhode Island! There is great opportunity, energy, and possibilities as your RI Section leadership team collaborates to forge new pathways and partnerships and lead positive change for the Amateur Radio community in Rhode Island.

And we look forward to including many of you as part of this team as we fill key Section level roles and local positions. If you feel called to step up and serve, please let me or one of the members of the leadership team know.

Biographical Statements and more about your new RI Section leadership team are posted on the RI-ARRL.org website. I’d like to again thank these volunteers for their willingness to serve and offer selfless leadership, guidance, and energy to better the whole ARRL Rhode Island Section.

Club Outreach

Congratulations to the growing ARRL-affiliated clubs in Rhode Island! It was inspiring to reach out and hear twelve clubs are active, despite the pandemic, with five general interest clubs having over 25 members and the largest RI club with almost 150 members. As it is, a number of RI hams already belong to more than one club, and better communication about what each club is like will only strengthen the overall radio ecosystem.

Two active regional contesting clubs are a big draw for many, while the clubs at Brown and the University of Rhode Island are germinating renewed possibilities. EMAs continue to support ARRL affiliated Amateur Radio Clubs among their membership – with positive possibilities for coordination around public safety missions and collaborative partnerships.

The RI-ARRL.org website will be a great place to post news, nets, etc. We look forward to hearing the history, current status and future vision each club has for the coming year.

Best of all will be the possibility in our small state to visit club gatherings in person and listen to all you are doing, need help with, and opportunities you see to collaborate with other RI hams.

Public Service & ARES in RI

Your Amateur Radio license is the doorway into a radio service that has much to offer and will challenge you to learn, grow, and engage in ways that are only limited by your desire and willingness. So, what next? The Public Service section of the RI Section website suggests pathways to learn, grow, engage – and how ARES fits in.


Your license got you in the door, but this house of Amateur Radio has many rooms….go explore!

Contesting, Special Events & POTA

The 13 Colonies Special Event is underway now from July 1 until midnight July 7th. This fun, patriotic get-on-the-air Special Event is a favorite for many. The RI Section thanks those dozen or so skilled hams who dedicate their time and skill to operate the RI event call sign, K2C, and brave the pile ups to give a small state a big presence in this event.

This year’s operators include: W1KMA – Chris – Warwick,  RI – QSL Manager – SSB & Digital; W2DAN – Dave – Tiverton, RI – SSB; W1WIU – Jim – North Scituate, RI – SSB & CW; WA1BXY – Don – Little Compton, RI – SSB, CW & Digital; KC1BXY – Melissa – Little Compton, RI – SSB & Digital; AJ1DM – John – Westerly, RI –  CW; N1KM – Mark – Bristol, RI – SSB, CW, Digital & Satellite; W1KDA – Ron – Warwick, RI – SSB & Digital; KI1U – Mike – Coventry, RI – CW & Digital; N1QDQ – Pete – Westerly, RI – Satellite; N6RFM – Robert – Bristol, RI – Satellite; N2FYA – John – Mystic, CT – (working Satellite in RI); KC2BNW – Jon – Mahopac, NY (camping in RI ) – QRP; KC2BNX – Michael- Mahopac, NY (camping in RI ) – QRP

W1AW/1 July 26 – August 1

Rhode Island will go on the air as W1AW/1 as part of the ARRL’s year long Volunteers on the Air event (VOTA). You are invited to be one of the operators that makes this happen. If you would like the chance to operate as W1AW/1 from your station, or would like some help being matched up with another station for the event, please contact Mike Corey, KI1U.

POTA – Activate All RI September 6-10 (NCRC)

Jim Garman, KC1QDZ has only been licensed a short while but fell in love with the popular Parks on the Air (POTA) program. He has brought together operators from across RI and nearby Massachusetts, along with POTA top operators to do a first of its kind, activate all 52 parks in RI over five days this September. This event is being hosted by the Newport County Radio Club and is only one example of new opportunities for cross-club networking and collaboration. Stay tuned!

Happy July 4th, 2023!

Twenty-first century amateur radio is so many things: an amazing and diverse hobby, a gateway for technology and twenty-first century upskilling, and a model collaborative community based on sharing the frequency and mentoring others. Between our new leadership team, ARRL members across Rhode Island, and our robust clubs we have a chance to collaborate on where our field organization and our programs may go, and how to help promote and grow this amazing Service in our state. Thank you for your support and stay tuned!

73, Nancy, KC1NEK


Nancy Austin, KC1NEK

Rhode Island Section Manager


Amateur Radio Club of the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut Awarded Grant from ARDC

The Amateur Radio Club of the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), a private foundation that supports and promotes amateur radio. The grant will allow the Amateur Radio Club to design and implement new antennas which cover frequency ranges available to U.S. radio amateurs and add earth-space capabilities to its “shack.”

New functionality will include a computer-controlled tracking, high gain antenna system and a new satellite transceiver. This will allow for communications through the International Space Station and several low earth orbit amateur satellites.

These improvements will allow our visitors to better engage with technologies which impact their everyday lives.

Bob Allison, WB1GCM, president of the amateur radio club commented “These new capabilities will allow club members to show the full range of technologies that make amateur radio the unique lifetime hobby it is. Over the years these demonstrations have encouraged more than a few visitors to pursue their amateur radio licenses.”

The Director of the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut, John Ellsworth, emphasized the importance of the Amateur Radio Club as part of the story of communication “During our docent-led tours we discuss the history and development of radio and television. Having a working radio station available reinforces many of the topics discussed.”

About ARDC

Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is a California-based foundation with roots in amateur radio and the technology of internet communication. ARDC makes grants to projects and organizations that follow amateur radio’s practice and tradition of technical experimentation in both amateur radio and digital communication science. Such experimentation has led to broad advances for the benefit of the general public – such as the mobile phone and wireless internet technology. ARDC envisions a world where all such technology is available through open-source hardware and software, and where anyone has the ability to innovate upon it.

Learn more about ARDC at ampr.org.

About The Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut

The radio station and museum are an all-volunteer organization located at 115 Pierson Lane, Windsor, CT. The museum is open all year, Thursdays and Fridays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed for major holidays.)  We can be reached at (860) 683-2903. Please visit our web site at vrcmct.org for additional information.

2023 Field Day Tour – AB1OC and AB1QB

New England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC and Assistant Director Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB traveled over 900 miles over the Field Day weekend to visit many clubs in New England.  We operated Field Day from the mobile station in our F-150.  This article is a summary of our travels.

Friday June 23 – Field Day Setup

On Friday, June 23rd, we visited clubs in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod in Massachusetts, who were setting up their Field Day stations in preparation for operating on Saturday and Sunday. 

Southeastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Society – SECARS

The first club we visited was SECARS, the Southeastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Society at Zagray Farm Museum in Colchester, CT.   We enjoyed talking with the members about their Field Day plans.

SECARS Field Day


Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club – Rhode Island

The next field date site we visited on Friday afternoon was the Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club site on historic Chopmist Hill.   We had a nice chat with their club president Ken, N1RGK and the other club members about Field Day and the ARRL.

Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club
Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club


Falmouth Amateur Radio Association- Falmouth, Massachusetts

Our next site on Friday was the Falmouth Amateur Radio Association at Morse Pond School in Falmouth.  All of their towers were setup by the time we arrived.  We had a nice visit with the club members and toured their communication trailer.

Falmouth Amateur Radio Association
Falmouth Amateur Radio Association



Saturday, June 24th – Massachusetts and New Hampshire

Whitman Amateur Radio Club 

Our first visit on Saturday morning was the Whitman Amateur Radio Club, at the Old Colony YMCA in East Bridgewater, MA.  They were setting up their stations and antennas in a nice wooded area behind the YMCA.  We enjoyed visiting with the members and touring their site.

Whitman Amateur Radio Club
Whitman Amateur Radio Club

Boston Amateur Radio Club

The next site we visited was the Boston Amateur Radio Club at Hale Education in Westwood, MA.  We had a nice chat with the members about their plans for field day and about Satellite operating.  They had a great satellite setup for Field Day.

Boston Amateur Radio Club
Boston Amateur Radio Club


Satellite Antenna at Boston ARC Field Day
Satellite Antenna at Boston ARC Field Day

PART of Westford

Our next visit was with PART of Westford at the Concord Rod and Gun Club.  We had operated Field Day with them in the past – it is a great site.  We got a tour of the site from Dale, KB1ZKD, and visited with Bob, W1IS at the CW Station, Andy, KB1OIQ at the GOTAs station, Alison, KB1GMX at the VHF station, and George, K1IG, at the SSB station.  It was also nice to chat with Alan, W1AHM, Geoff, W1GCF, and the rest of the PART team!

PART of Westford
PART of Westford

Operating Field Day Mobile HF

Once it was 2:00 PM EDT on Saturday, we started operating from the F150 as we drove between sites. We operated in the Class C Mobile category.  We were able to make a total of 115 contacts on the road over the weekend.

AB1OC/AB1QB Mobile HF Station
AB1OC/AB1QB Mobile HF Station

Nashua Area Radio Society

Next stop on Saturday was our home club, the Nashua Area Radio Society. Earlier in the day, we encountered some light rain, but by the time we arrived at the NARS Site, at Hudson Memorial School in Hudson, NH, the rain was pouring down.  Despite the rain, we had a nice visit with Rick, KB1RGB, Jamey, AC1DC, Matt, WE1H, Peter, KC1FNF, Assistant Director Jack Ciaccia, WM0G, Andrew, AJ1AJ, Dave, KB1JCU, Ben, W1BPM, and Alan, KC1PWB.

Nashua Area Radio Society - Hudson Memorial School
Nashua Area Radio Society – Hudson Memorial School

Contoocook Valley Radio Club

Our last stop on Saturday was at the Contoocook Valley Radio Club at Dale (AF1T) and Mickie (W1MKY) Clement’s QTH in Henniker, NH. We enjoyed hearing about Dale’s latest VHF activities and chatting with the rest of the club.

Contoocook Valley Radio Club
Contoocook Valley Radio Club

Sunday June 25th – Maine

On Sunday, the rain had moved out of New England and we had a beautiful drive up the Maine coast to visit Field Day sites in Main.

New England Radio Discussion Society

The first site we visited Sunday morning was the New England Radio Discussion Society at the Sea Road Church in Kennebunk, ME.  They also had a beautiful site and we enjoyed visiting with Susan, WB2UQP, and the other members of the club.

New England Radio Discussion Group
New England Radio Discussion Society

Wireless Society of Southern Maine

Our next stop was the Wassamki Springs Campground in Scarborough, Maine, the Field Day Site of the Wireless Society of Southern Maine (WSSM).  Their site was spread out around the campground and we had a nice visit with operators at the SSB and the CW sites.  

Wireless Society of Southern Maine
Wireless Society of Southern Maine
WSSM CW Antenna and Trailer
WSSM CW Antenna and Trailer

Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club

Our last stop was at Beaver Park, Lisbon, ME, the Field Day site for the Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club.  We enjoyed visiting with Cory Golob, KU1U, his newly licensed son Simon, N1URA, Mike, KO4PPM, and the rest of the club members.  The club had a great field day with successful outreach to the public, and an article in the Lewiston Sun Journal!

For more about their Field Day, see https://www.w1npp.org/2023/06/30/field-day-success/

Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club
Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club

As it was after 1pm, we headed home after the visit with the Androscoggin club and managed to make almost 100 QSOs on the ride down I-95 before the end of Field Day.  We had a great time visiting with New England clubs over the Field Day weekend and we’re looking forward to next year.

AB1OC/AB1QB Field Day Visit Route
AB1OC/AB1QB Field Day Visit Route
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AM Radio in Electric Vehicles (EV’s) – Why Do We Care?

The national news has recently covered the decision by Ford Motor Company to continue to provide AM radios in their EV’s, after first announcing AM radios would be discontinued.  The noise from battery systems interfering with reception was the reason cited in the news. 

We hope that this means that the RFI shielding in these EV’s will be upgraded to suppress the RFI generated from these EV systems and that other auto manufacturers will follow suit.

Hams suffer from the RFI generated by the internet of things, solar energy systems, LED lighting, faulty power line components, motor controllers, electric fences and many other sources with more emerging all the time as technology delivers more and more devices that generate RF energy as a by-product.  EV’s are yet another example but the national commitment to replace the fleet of gas and diesel driven vehicles with EV’s in the next decade is an order of magnitude more of concern.

It is reasonable to question whether the FCC’s self-certification approach is sufficient for EV’s given the potential impact to the RF spectrum, not just to amateur radio but to public service frequencies as well.  The 60 meter band, for example, is used by government services with amateur radio secondary.  If EV’s are too noisy in the AM broadcast band for them to receive many AM stations, is it likely that strong harmonics will impact signals at 5 MHz?

Congressional hearings are underway to consider the impact of removing AM radios in vehicles.  The issue appears to be uniting both progressive and conservative senators for commercial reasons.  It seems to me that this is an opportunity to surface the issue of RF pollution of the spectrum to our lawmakers, not just for the sake of amateur radio but in the broader public interest as well.