FROM BOB W1YRC APRIL

Greetings ARRL members and friends,

This is Field Day season and those who are taking part are rushing
around making arrangements for their participation. With the Covid rules
in place, many FD participants will be taking part from their home
stations and contributing their scores as an aggregate score for their
club. This was done last year as well because of the pandemic

I’m assuming that the Newport, Fidelity, ARASNE and BVARC clubs will
be operating their club stations as well. Don’t forget the bonus
points and don’t forget to copy the special Field Day bulletin
transmitted from W1AW. All FD rules may be reviewed at
http://www.arrl.org/field-day-rules
The special Field Day Bulletin is transmitted from W1AW during the week
prior to FD weekend. Watch www.arrl.org for a news bulletin regarding
times and details to copy it. 

I want to reiterate that although ARRL HQ has sent most of its staff
home because of the state workplace restrictions, all departments and
staff members are open for business. Phone calls and e mail sent to ARRL
will be forwarded to appropriate staffers working from their homes. The
outgoing QSL Bureau is delivering it’s work and it’s service to the
membership from Roseanne Lawrence’s living room. She is the person
responsible for the bureau at HQ. So, rest assured that ARRL’s work is
being done as it was before the pandemic. 

I realize that nearly everyone reading my report is a member of ARRL,
but I want to remind you how many of our fellow Amateurs are not. RI has
507 League members out of its 1915 licensees, for 26.5%. That’s a
little better than New England’s statistic which stands at 9006 out of
35160 for 25.6%. We’re quite a bit  better than compared to the total
US which stands at 21.1%. 

This usually surprises some who believe that everyone supports the
national organization that works to maintain our license privileges.
Most believe that nearly all are members. In some countries, membership
in its national organization is mandatory. But, about three quarters of
our Amateur brethren in the US are consistently willing to let one
quarter of us carry the total support of ARRL. Membership in ARRL costs
less than a dollar per week, 94 cents. It’s fairly safe to say that
everyone of us wastes more than that every week without missing it. Some
of us choose to contribute more than our membership dues to help make up
for the free loaders or “strap hangers” as they were called when
folks rode the buses and commuter trains.

ARRL has established donor organizations such as the Diamond Club and
several specific funds to help in providing continued support and
sustenance for essential services of ARRL. More about these may be found
at https://www.arrl.org/arrl-donation-form . The office’s direct phone
number is 860-594-0291. I have been a member of ARRL’s Diamond club
for many years and more recently, a member of the Maxim Society. Details
of these organizations may be reviewed at  
http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Get%20Involved/2015DiamondClubBenefitsBrochureREVISED_NO_CROPS.pdf
and http://www.arrl.org/maxim-society#QSL . 

For the last few days as I have been preparing this report, I have been
making contacts on 6, 10 and 12 meters, mostly to the south. Many
Florida stations are workable on 6 meters and South and Central America
stations are plentiful on 10 and 12 meters. These are very good signs,
suggesting bigger and better openings as time goes on. Soon, I believe,
we’ll see openings to Europe on 10 and 12, possibly even long openings
to the Pacific in late afternoon. Sunspot Cycle 25 is the reason and
we’re all cheering its appearance. 

RI ARES has been active through this pandemic, running training nets on
a regular basis. If emergency service is something you would like to do,
please contact our Section Emergency Coordinator, Paul W1PJS at
W1pjs@hollowsolids.com .  He will set you up where you can contribute to
the program. 

The big hamfest in Friedrichshafen, Germany has been cancelled as was
expected. So, all the well known hamfest around the world this year have
been either cancelled or switched over to a virtual program. I just
registered into the International DX Convention which is held in
Visalia, CA. As they did last year, this year it will be a virtual
program with speakers and forums held on line. I don’t know how you
feel about this, but I am totally tired of Zoom meetings and virtual
forums. They don’t deliver much useful benefit in my view. Yes, I
suppose they’re better than cancelling outright but they don’t
provide any good opportunity for discussion or collaboration and
obviously no social interaction, one of the main reasons I travel across
the country to participate. The end of this pandemic can’t come soon
enough for me. 

Regarding the pandemic, RI seems to be doing better than some states.
Some other countries are in really bad shape. A ham in Indonesia told me
that in his country, if he is seen by a police person driving his car
not wearing a face mask, he can be arrested and hauled off to jail. This
is while he is alone in his car. A person must wear a face mask all the
time, even when alone with no one to infect. So, our situation is not
that bad, is it? 

ARRL offers a weekly service reporting all the major ham related news
that we should know about. It’s called ARRL Audio News and is
available to everyone, free of any charge in a variety of formats and
times. Primarily, Audio News is listed on its website
https://blubrry.com/arrlaudionews/ and is playable and downloadable from
there. Audio News is also retransmitted on the NB1RI repeater network at
9:00 AM on Saturday morning and on the commercial broadcast station WOON
on 1240 khz AM and 99.5 MHz FM on Sunday morning at 08:00. The BVARC
Simplex Net on Wednesday at 7:00 PM on 146.565 also retransmits Audio
News.  

I suggested long ago that Audio News should report band conditions; the
SFI number plus the K & A index numbers. But folks in charge haven’t
seen fit yet to report that. For the benefit of readers of my report,
band condition reports may be seen at https://dxheat.com/dxc/ . Log in
is not necessary to see the current SFI, K and A report. Knowledge of
propagation and MUF is useful when looking for DX.

RI native, friend and world-famous contester, Frank Donovan W3LPL
authored an article in the May issue of QST, titled “What to Expect
During the Rising Years of Solar Cycle 25”. It is very well written
and documented as well as an easy read. It contains useful information,
especially for operators who are experiencing a rising sunspot curve for
the first time. Be sure to vote for this article for best in 2021 by
going to http://www.arrl.org/cover-plaque-poll and entering your vote.
Please do it right after you read Frank’s article so you won’t forget.
Winning the cover plaque is a great honor and Frank surely deserves.  

Field Day is always the fourth full weekend in June. This year, it is
June 25th through the 27th. Complete details of Field Day may be found
at http://www.arrl.org/field-day . I hope you will find some time to
participate either from one of our club stations or from your home
station. See you on the air. 
73,
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ARRL Rhode Island Section
Section Manager: Robert G Beaudet, W1YRC
w1yrc@arrl.org
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