July 2021 Rhode Island Activity Report

Over the July 4th weekend, specifically July 1st through the 7th, an on-air operating event took place to honor the 13 Colonies and other special contributors. See http://www.13colonies.us/ . This fun event takes place every year, the brainchild of Ken Villone, KU2US several years ago. The object is to contact each of the thirteen original colonies and three special bonus stations: the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, a British station in the United Kingdom and a station commemorating the tall ships in France. Participating stations may use any combination of popular modes; SSB, CW, any digital mode and satellite. Object stations are assigned special call signs, detailed on their website. In RI, our station was K2C and 8 different operators were active from their homes using that call sign. Collectively, they made 12,665 contacts in North America and with DX stations. Chris W1KMA served as Team Manager and did a great job for us. He has done this several times. I worked all 13 colonies and the 3 bonus stations all on FT8. My friend Bernie KD5QHV in El Paso, TX managed to do it on every mode, SSB, CW and FT8. That is a fairly difficult task. Bernie is a former RIer and a current member of BVARC.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t make my regular tour of RI Field Day sites. It was too much for me this year. I’m hoping to make the tour again next year.

From what I have heard, the regulars at Newport, BVARC, ARASNE, PRA, Fidelity and other clubs logged an impressive pile of contacts. Most importantly, everyone had fun, the weather was favorable and band conditions cooperated. Thanks to all. Logs submitted to ARRL so far as of the time I compiled this report, totaled more than 4,800, mostly Class D, Home stations.   

In September, we will have an election to select a New England ARRL Director. Incumbent Fred Hopengarten K1VR will be running for re-election and two other candidates will also be competing for the post. Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC and previous Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI will also be seeking to win the seat for New England.   ARRL members will be sent ballots in September. Please consider your vote as a most important one and be sure to send your completed ballot in to ARRL promptly.

Also in September, don’t forget to take part in the Marlborough Northeast HamXposition to be held September 10-11-12. Check their website for registration details and program information.  https://hamxposition.org/ . This will be the same NE Convention that was previously held in Boxborough, just a couple more exits further north on Rte. 495. I’m looking forward to seeing you there in person, not via Zoom.

The Surftown Half Marathon and 5K will be held in Westerly on September 12th. As in the past, Jim Creamer, KB1MAO and his Westerly Amateur Radio Team will provide communications along the route along the ocean front streets of Misquamicut Beach and Watch Hill, RI. The Surftown Half Marathon is a spectacular beach race featuring stunning ocean views!  Fast and flat, the 13.1 mile half marathon is a great destination race with live entertainment on the course, pace teams and a well-marked route with timing clocks, fluid stations and support on the course. The Surftown Half Marathon is a favorite of many runners, about 2,800 participants every year. Jim needs volunteers to make this task work. If you are able to provide help to Jim for this worthy task, please contact him directly at 401-596-2720 or his cell phone at 401-864-4510. The Hartford Marathon Foundation’s web address for the event is https://www.hartfordmarathon.com/surftown-half-marathon-5k/ .  The RI ARES team will be holding its annual picnic at Beavertail lighthouse on August 7th. Contact your ARES DEC or EC or Paul, W1PJS our Section Emergency Coordinator for details. Paul’s e mail address is w1pjs@hollowsolids.com .

HF band conditions are improving although I know that some will disagree with my assessment because improvement is very gradual and not dramatic.  We have experienced a few impressive openings on 6 meters into Europe, So America and the Pacific. In addition to about 50 entities, I managed to bag an FT8 contact with Japan on 6 meters. 12 and 10 meters have also shown some two- and three-thousand-mile openings. Of course, these have been occasional, not the rule. Sunspot Cycle 25 is just starting to make itself felt in world-wide propagation. Band conditions will continue improving. Summer also gives us sporadic E openings on 6 meters. These openings can take place at most any time of day or night.

The BVARC Consortium meetings at the Asia Grille in Lincoln were halted last year because of the Covid-19 issue. It was about to start its 15th year of conducting popular basic radio and electronics classes. These classes were open to all at no cost to attendees. Just last week, I received a phone call from the restaurant’s manager to inform me that even though we had been holding out hope that classes could be resumed, the restaurant cannot accommodate it. Their main problem is their difficulty in finding adequate staff to provide service. Of course, we know that is a wide-spread problem all over the country.

Don’t overlook the New England website, https://nediv.arrl.org/ .  Material is added and updated regularly. It’s a good way to learn what is happening around the New England Division. Vice Director Phil Temples K9HI writes much of the material that is posted.

In our area, we are coming out of the pandemic restrictions that were imposed upon us a year and a half ago. We’re happy for that, but we all must still be careful. Covid-19 has not disappeared or moved away.  In many states, folks have learned how to control it and live relatively normal lives. However, recent news illustrates how dangerous Covid-19 remains. Some areas of the country have had to return to wearing masks and observing distancing rules. As was said long ago, we are not out of the woods yet. Those who don’t observe sensible behavior will endanger the rest of us. We’re all in this thing and must work together if we hope to return to normal.

If your club is planning a special event that you would like to let folks in RI know about, please contact me with details and I’ll try to include your information in my monthly Activity Report which is sent to every ARRL member in RI who checks the preference box in his/her member profile stating that he/she wishes to receive e mail from the Director or Section Manager, about 350 people.

Stay well and stay safe.

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

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