Saturday, December 31, 2016

Special Events Honor Historic Stations and Transmissions

A trio of special event stations was on the air in December to help commemorate different pieces of radio history. On December 11, N1BCG in Greenwich, Connecticut made contact on 20 meters in both CW and SSB with GB2ZE in Ardrossan, Scotland, re-enacting the first successful transatlantic reception of an amateur radio signal on December 11, 1921. Paul Godley, 2ZE, listening in Scotland, clearly heard signals from 1BCG, Minton Cronkhite in Connecticut, on roughly 230 meters (1300 kHz), according to the ARRL Letter. The Radio Club of America (RCA) - which coordinated the 1921 test - teamed up with the ARRL for the U.S. end of the 2016 re-enactment, while the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) ran the Scottish end of the link. The 1921 tests helped prove the value of short waves for long-distance communication.

The Alexanderson Alternator
(see photo credit below)
On the longwave side of the ledger, historic Swedish coast station SAQ returned to the air on Christmas Eve, transmitting a message on 17.2 kHz. The 200-kilowatt Alexanderson alternator (see photo) is activated each year by the Alexander Association. Special event station SK6SAQ was also on the air on 40 and 20 meters.  

Also on Christmas Eve, Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, of Forest, Virginia, put his experimental 630-meter station WI2XLQ on the air on 486 kHz to mark the 110th anniversary of the first wireless voice and music broadcast by Reginald Fessenden in 1906. According to the ARRL, Fessenden reportedly played violin music and read a brief Bible verse.

(Photo by Gunther Tschuch - Own work, CC BY 2.5,