Stations bearing call signs that promote the “stay-at-home” message and the value of social distancing and isolation have sprung up during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some 150,000 messages of support shared around the world. An on-air gathering over the June 6 – 7 weekend will offer a further opportunity for stay-at-home stations and radio amateurs to share greetings in a contest-like framework, looking toward the day that restrictions will ease, eventually making the stay-at-home injunction obsolete. The patron of the STAYHOME radio campaign is Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, and the worldwide activity has the endorsement of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, and the United Nations Amateur Radio Club.
“Amateur radio operators across the world are experiencing something we have never seen before, with the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Ellam said. “In times like this, on-the-air activities can benefit our communities and ourselves. Events such as this are important to improve operating skills. It is also encouraging us to get on the air and keep active, as well as promoting social distancing.” Ellam expressed thanks to the national regulators in more than three dozen countries that made special stay-at-home-suffix call signs available for amateur use.
Sponsoring the event and campaign are the Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL), in cooperation with Araucaria DX Group (ADXG) of Brazil, and Radio Arcala (OH8X) in Finland.
UN Amateur Radio Club President James Sarte, K2QI, has said that 4U1UN will be on the air to support of the global STAY HOME movement, as will sister stations 4U1GSC (operated as 4U9STAYHOME) and 4U1A (operated as 4U2STAYHOME).
Special event station W2I/STAYHOME, helmed by Ria Jairam, N2RJ, and Peter Dougherty, W2IRT, will also be on the air, operating CW, SSB, and FT8 simultaneously. (Jairam is ARRL Hudson Division Director.)
The STAYHOME event gets under way at 1000 UTC on Saturday, June 6, concluding 24 hours later. Bands will include 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters, with CW, SSB, and digital (FT4/FT8 only). Exchange is a signal report and operator age, except for FT4/FT8 reports. Awards and certificates in the various operating categories will be available. Email for more information.