October 2021 Rhode Island Activity Report

I’m writing this report in mid-October and weather feels more like early September or late August. Global warming? No, I don’t think so.  But, we certainly can enjoy the warmer than normal weather. Hopefully, you are using comfortable temperatures to finish your antenna projects.  Don’t procrastinate because one morning, we’ll look out our kitchen window and see that the temperature has suddenly dropped 30 degrees from what it was the day before. New England weather can change overnight.

I hope your antenna plans included something for 6 meters. That band will suddenly start popping with DX and you don’t want to be wrestling with a small Yagi at the end of a makeshift mast during a snowstorm.  Openings on 6 are more likely to occur next spring and summer, but we never know when a sporadic E opening can pay a visit.

We were able to host a session of the 15 year old and much loved Consortium,  http://www.w1ddd.org/consortium_reference.html on October 4th. It was the first in-person session we held in about 18 months, when Covid-19 came calling. We ran a few Zoom sessions, but they were not the same at all. It was great to see old friends again and the program highlighted setting up a simple HF station including a 40-meter antenna which was mounted on K1ETA’s truck immediately outside one of the access doors to the large hall of the Manville Sportsman’s Club. We are unable to return to the Asia Grille in the Lincoln Mall, at least for the present. The Consortium will be meeting at the Sportsman’s Club for the November and December meetings, November 8th and December 6th. A decision for dates following December will be made later.

NEAR-Fest is over now. It took place on October 15 and 16. I’ve had no reports but it’s reasonable to think that it was a success.  https://near-fest.com/. NEAR-Fest is held twice annually, spring and fall, rain or shine, at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, Deerfield NH beginning on Friday at 0900 and ending Saturday at 1500 hours. All radio enthusiasts are welcome, not limited to Amateur radio. It attracts a rather eclectic group of people and many love it. If you went, I hope you had a great time.

Our RI ARES team is hosting a 2 meter J Pole Antenna Build-a-thon. The only cost is the material necessary to build the antenna. More information may be found at https://ri-arec.square.site/. You will find information about ARES at http://riares.org/ and how to join at http://riares.org/membership/. Our Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) is Paul Silverzweig, W1PJS, and he would be able to answer your questions. You may reach Paul at W1pjs@hollowsolids.com

You should all have received blue ballots from ARRL to allow you to vote for a New England Director for the next three years. The Vice-Director post was unchallenged, therefore the incumbent, Phil Temples, K9HI, was re-elected for another term. We have three candidates running for Director, former Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, and Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, running against incumbent Fred Hopengarten, K1VR. Voting is important. Be sure that you mail your completed ballot so that it’s received before noon, Eastern Time on Friday, November 19, 2021. So you won’t forget, why not mail it now?

Have you noticed that HF band conditions have improved slightly? I have.  10 and 12 meters are open more often and for longer periods of time.  While we have usual trans equatorial openings on those bands, we often see some nice openings to Europe and even some polar openings on 12.  Cycle 25 has definitely arrived  and we’ll see more and better openings as time rolls along. But, finish that antenna work. You’ll be happy that you did when the nasty cold winds keep you in your cozy warm ham shack.

The Volunteer Monitor program submitted its September report and you may review it at http://www.arrl.org/news/september-2021-volunteer-monitor-program-report. The VM program is the replacement for the former Official Observer program that lasted several decades. New Amateurs may not fully appreciate the value of the VM program. Hundreds of skilled and dedicated fellow hams contribute hundreds of hours of their operating time to monitor the bands and note practices that are not compliant with FCC rules. They also make note of exemplary operating practices. One of the VM’s major purpose is to notice non-compliant operating before FCC does and sends you a dreaded “pink slip.” A VM notice is friendly advisory coming from a fellow ham , but a pink slip has sharp teeth and can bring severe action from our friends at the Friendly Candy Company.  It’s best to always follow Part 97 rules and operating recommendations. 



ARRL Rhode Island Section

Section Manager: Robert G Beaudet, W1YRC