New Assistant Director for EmComm and Public Service: Jack Ciaccia, WMØG

photo of Jack Ciaccia, WM0G
Jack Ciaccia, WMØG

I’d like to welcome Jack Ciaccia, WMØG, as our new Assistant Director for Emergency Communications and Public Service. Jack brings a great deal of experience in emergency communications, and as a former as an ARRL Section Manager, club president and more. You can learn more about Jack’s background and experience at Jack will take on the work of leading the NE-ECAPS group effective immediately.

I’d like to thank Cory Golub, KU1U, for all of the work that he has done as New England Assistant Director for EmComm and Public Service over the past 14 ½ months. Cory has done great work in establishing the NE-ECAPS group and has brought together a dedicated group of EmComm and public service folks here in New England to share ideas and best practices.

Best and 73, 

Fred Kemmerer,  AB1OC

(603) 413-5400


ARRL New England Division Director

Rhode Island March 2023 Activity Report

Greetings ARRL members and friends:

We’re on Daylight Savings Time now and have more daylight every day.  We haven’t had much of a winter. And only now as I’m typing this, we’re expecting some heavy wet snow. Of course, if we get any, it won’t last or amount to very much. 

For the first time in the 21 years I have served you as Section Manager, I am facing an opponent for re-election. This year, Nancy Austin KC1NEK is also running. She is currently president of the Newport County Radio Club. Obviously, I cannot suggest anything relative to the election other than to encourage you all to vote when ARRL sends you a ballot.  Please make your selection and return your ballot to ARRL as soon as possible. Best advice is to fill out your ballot as soon as you receive it so it isn’t lost or mixed with your junk mail or bills. Then mail it back to ARRL right away in the envelope provided. Thank you. 

HF propagation is beginning to show good signs. So, if you haven’t been on the air very much, I can tell you that you have missed some really good openings in the last few weeks. Six meters is starting to show activity also. Just yesterday, a station in Falkland Islands and several in South America were working stations up and down the east coast of US. It will only get better from here. 

Weather has been reasonable this winter, so if you have been putting off some necessary antenna work, you have no excuse linked to the poor weather. Be careful, however. If you’re a senior citizen like me, please don’t think that you can still climb trees, tall ladders, get on your roof and do other risky antenna work. Yes, we want the antenna to be as high as possible but please get it there safely. Someone at ARRL said long ago that if your antenna didn’t come down over the winter, it wasn’t big enough. I guess that’s the tipping point. 

The Volunteers on The Air (VOTA) program is creeping along steadily.  Every day, I see stations on 20 and 40 meters calling CQ VOTA. I always try to work them in order to give them the Section Manager’s 175 points. I totally love the fact that VOTA is encouraging folks to get on the air. Far too many fellow hams are inactive on the air. Some use 2 meter repeaters but as you know, I consider this similar to using a wireless intercom and not radio. When was the last time that you made an honest HF contact? So long ago that you can’t remember? I know some hams who have never made a contact on the air and been licensed for many years. I can’t help but wonder why they bothered to get a license. 

I can easily remember back in the dark ages when my first license, a Novice ticket arrived in that small FCC envelope. I literally ran from the mailbox to where I had set up my shack in my parent’s home. I was 14 years old and could hardly wait to call CQ on 80 meters. That was June, 1953 and the thrill of working distant stations hasn’t left to this day.  

Sadly, some folks taking their exams now are doing it only to see if they can pass the test. Some simply want another line on their resume to help their job search. 

We have nearly 800,000 licensed hams in the US. I suppose we should be happy that they all don’t get on any band at the same time and call CQ. What a mess it would be. 

Amateur radio is the greatest hobby that we have in this world, in my humble opinion. I’ve held W1YRC for 70 years and hope to do so for several more. Ham radio has been a perfect fit for me. Many agree but others prefer messaging on their cell phone or just sending e-mail. Has ham radio become obsolete? 

That question is as silly as asking if fishing or baseball has outlived its appeal. Anyone who actually thinks so doesn’t understand what the thrill is of radiating a signal to someone many miles away by using a radio that you built and can hold in the palm of your hand or an antenna that you made out of scrap wire with no connection with to Internet or telephone lines. 

Like baseball or fishing, the appeal is inherent within the occupation itself. One cannot cast a line or swing a bat without feeling joy in your heart and pure love for the feeling. It’s therapeutic to slowly tune the bands looking for weak signals before others find them. 

I feel no thrill when I dial my telephone. However, the feeling that I felt at age 14 is still loud and clear today when I call CQ. Where is my signal being heard? Who will respond to me? Will it be someone on the opposite side of the earth? That million dollar feeling doesn’t cost very much, other than the relatively small initial acquisition price of the radio. I just don’t have the same feeling of reward or accomplishment when I dial a phone or send a text message. I’m very happy that I hold a ham ticket. I know that special feeling very well and feel privileged. 

Our licenses expire every ten years. Do you know the expiration date of your license? Check it or look yourself up on I regularly hear about someone whose license expired many months ago and he didn’t realize it. No one will send you a reminder when your license needs renewal. The process is simple and may be done entirely on line, but you absolutely must do it. Don’t let your license expire. You worked hard to get it, so don’t lose it by forgetting to renew it. As an ARRL member, the good folks in Newington or I will be happy to help you if you have any difficulty in the renewal process.    

I want to wish you a happy springtime and good DXing. Enjoy every day on the air. 

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

ARRL Division Cabinet Meeting, March 11, 2023 from 10 AM-12:30 PM

If you are a club president or section cabinet member and failed to receive an email with Zoom information about this meeting, please contact Phil Temples, K9HI, at


ARRL logoTo: All Section Managers, section cabinets, club presidents or designees:

Subject: 1st Cabinet Meeting for 2023

Please join us for the first of four scheduled New England Division Cabinet Meetings, on March 11, 2023 from 10:00 AM-12:30 PM.

  • ARRL Update:  Fred, AB1OC, and Phil, K9HI
    • VOTA Event Update
    • Field Day Rules Adjustments
    • Annual Board Meeting Highlights
    • ARRL Director and Vice Director Projects
    • Assistant Director Updates
    • Our Division Report/Goals for 2023
    • Club Programs—Grants, Membership Commissions
  • Break
  • Club Webinar Series—Mike Walters, W8ZY
  • Section Manager Updates (5 min. each)
  • Open Mic

New England Division Town Hall Recap, February 23, 2023

UPDATE: Town Hall video recording added

The first of three 2023 New England Division Town Hall meetings was held on February 23. Registrations for the Town Hall meeting set an all-time record with 204 registrants. 

Director Kemmerer reviewed the accomplishments from the January, 2023 ARRL Board of Directors meeting, and discussed his committee work as did Vice Director Temples. Three of the division’s assistant directors recapped their recent activities and accomplishments.

In addition, Kemmerer fielded questions on a variety of topics, including: possible HOA bylaw wording from ARRL favoring Amateur Radio antennas; malicious interference on 75 meters; help with Logbook of The World certificates; moving toward radiogram support for ICS-213 format; bandwidth versus baud rate, and so forth.

Powerpoint slides (in PDF format) can be viewed, below. The video presentation will be posted soon.

Image of Town Hall PP presentation 2/23/2023




ARRL New England Division Town Hall 2023-02-23 video recording

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 The scoreboard at 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 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 and read the latest news at 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 for details. 

Our Air Force may have shot down a ham radio balloons in the recent Chinese balloon incident. See

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

New England Division Town Hall Meeting, February 23, 2023

ARRL logoPhil Temples K9HI, our Assistant Directors, and I will hold our next New England Division Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 23rd, at 7 pm ET. The purpose of the meeting will be to provide you with an ARRL update, get your thoughts on what we should be focusing on, and answer any questions you might have about the ARRL and what we are doing on behalf of ARRL members here in New England.

We plan to spend a good deal of our time together answering your questions. If you’d like to send us a question in advance, you can do so via an email to, or you can just plan to ask your questions during the Town Hall Meeting.

We will hold our Town Hall Meeting via a Zoom Webinar. You can get your personal link to join the Town Hall Meeting via the following link (paste the link in your browser to register) –

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

We hope to see you on February 23rd!

ARRL New England Division
Director: Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC