The Fidelity Amateur Radio Club is a group of diverse individuals who share a common interest in Amateur Radio and associated technologies. The club was founded in the early 1960's by Merrill Budlong, W1MB, formerly W1QLD, in Cranston, Rhode Island. We participate in the yearly ARRL Field Day event each June, Winter Field Day, the ARRL VHF contest, Parks on the air, and other Ham Radio events throughout the year. We currently operate two weekly nets on HF and VHF. Our official monthly meetings are held on the first and third Thursday each month (currently on the Zoom meeting platform due to Covid-19). An informal project building and radio repair session is held each Sunday morning at the shack of Nick, KC1DWH. We are always ready to assist anyone who needs help getting a license, building and installing antennas, or setting up a "shack".
Thursday nights 7:30pm EST 7.258mhz LSB
Sunday nights 9:00pm EST: 146.76 FM repeater
Please feel free to join us on the air! Our Nets are open to all amateurs.
President - Dave Nelson, WV1H
Vice President - Ken Tata, K1KT
Secretary - Nick Kettle - KC1DWH
Treasurer - Steve Williams, WA1GNB
June 26-27, ARRL Field Day: Our club will be operating from the New England Wireless and Steam Museum, 1300 Frenchtown Rd., East Greenwich RI. Set up begins at 9:00am, operating begins at 2:00pm. Dinner will be around 6:00pm.
Photos of past Field Days and other club events
Club member's shack photos, old and new
Merrill Peckham Budlong, W1MB was born in Arlington, New Jersey, May 21, 1912, was a resident of Rhode Island from the age of two, and of the Edgewood section of Cranston since 1918. An active, athletic man, as a teenager Mr. Budlong made his own surfboards and sailing kayaks. In high school and college he was on the wrestling teams, played trumpet in dance bands, and was a lifeguard at Bonnet Shores. He graduated from Cranston High School in 1931 and from the University of Rhode Island in 1935 with a bachelor's degree in business. He was a member of Phi Mu Delta fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
He was a member of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen and, into his 70s, participated in bicycle races and 100-mile rides. He was often seen riding his bicycle around Edgewood and Pawtuxet Village. He was a pioneer skin diving and spear fishing enthusiast. In the 1940s he built much of his own equipment before it was commercially available. In 1964 he speared a ten foot great white shark in Narragansett Bay. He was also a frostbite sailor, member of the Edgewood Yacht Club, and member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was owner/operator of Budlong Marine Radio in Pawtuxet Village. During World War II, he held a second job at Kaiser Shipyard in Providence.
As an avid amateur radio operator and proficient Morse Code operator, he enjoyed contacting other amateur radio operators throughout the world. His original call sign was W1QLD, which he later changed to W1MB. He founded the Fidelity Amateur Radio Club in the early 1960’s, and it became an ARRL affiliated club in 1966. He was a Major in the R.I. Civil Air Patrol and a director of the New England Wireless and Steam Museum. Mr. Budlong was an alumnus of Fidelity Chapter DeMolay in which he was a Chevalier.
Merrill was an “Elmer” to dozens of new amateur radio operators. Club meetings were held in Merrill’s basement shack, where many projects were built, and where Merrill taught young Hams essential skills like soldering, wiring and radio construction. A number of amateur radio operators who were taught by Merrill are still members of Fidelity A.R.C. to this day. Our club proudly holds Merrill’s call sign W1MB, and we humbly attempt to uphold the high standards set by our beloved founder. Merrill passed away July 21st, 2007 at the age of 95 years old.