Note: I know the dates on my blog have gotten confusing. I’m sorry. I’m posting this on July 6, but I’m writing about June 19. I’m trying to make a point of noting the date on posts I write about the individual days.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 — Day 25
For those of you who aren’t amateur radio operators, the ARRL is the American Radio Relay League, the most well-known organization of hams in the United States. Their headquarters is in Newington, CT.
Their station is W1AW. They have three studios there for any licensed amateur to use, and my plan for the day is to be a guest operator there.
There are pictures of Dad from 1977 when he operated W1AW. He and I toured the headquarters in 2001, but I wasn’t yet licensed, and he didn’t operate on that trip. I took a framed picture of his operating in 1977 with me while I operated there today.
I met up with Brian @N1FIY, who I know from Twitter. He and I operated in Studio 1.
I made a point of calling Dad and coordinating a frequency before we started just throwing out our call sign. W1AW can draw a pile-up, and I wanted to get Dad in the log more than anybody else. He was already on the road to my brother’s wedding in Boston, so he was using his mobile rig. We worked on 40m, and he’s actually in the log twice. He called me about 12 minutes after the first QSO to give me a different signal report. I’m so happy to have him in the log, especially as W1AW.
Unfortunately the rest of the morning wasn’t that great. We didn’t have much luck, and we certainly didn’t generate a pile-up. I made ten QSOs (including Dad twice), and Brian made four QSOs before it was time for the mandatory lunch break.
Brian and I enjoyed a nice lunch at the local pizza place. It was cool getting to talk to him face to face instead of just on Twitter. He’s exactly the same in person as he is online.
After lunch, Brian headed back home, and I went back to Studio 1 to operate solo. The station manager Joe was very helpful.
He decided maybe we should turn on the amp. I thought that sounded like a fabulous idea. We pointed the beam at Oregon, because I was trying specifically to get my friend Jason NT7S in the log. You QRPers may know Jason from Four Days in May where he hosted a forum. I called Jason a few times, and he said (via Twitter) he could hear me, but I couldn’t hear him. Meanwhile, word was getting out that a YL was working as W1AW. Special thanks to David K2DBK for spotting me on the cluster. I was on the business end of a pile-up, and that was exhilarating.
For those of you curious about who made it into the log, here’s the list:
- Brian’s four contacts:
- K3PP — Glenn
- DR60BENE — a special event station in Germany celebrating Pope Benedict
- My contacts:
- WA4BXC — Dad
- VA3QV — Bob
- WA4BXC — Dad again
- NG9R — Danny
- K2DBK — David
- WM4DE — Will
- NT7S — Jason
Jason and I had tried to work several times during all of that. I called him specifically at the end, right before we had to shut down for the day. I’m so happy to get him in the log.
My first time operating as W1AW was fabulous. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to go back in the future and operate there again. Thanks to everybody who makes ARRL such a welcoming place.
After we shut down around 4pm Eastern, I headed on towards Boston. I stopped for the night in Mystic, CT.
A note: I’ve been planning on operating as WA4USN from the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC on this trip thanks to Tom AJ4UQ. We’ve confirmed a date: Sunday, July 22, 2012. I’ll get you more specifics about the time, bands, etc, as we confirm those.
Trip totals as of Day 25:
- Miles driven: 3399
- States**: 19
- Logged QSOs: 121
- Ounces of good decaf: 204
- Ounces of bad decaf: 64
- Tow trucks required: 1
- Big metal chickens: 5
- Concrete bunnies: 1
- Terra cotta pigs: 0
- Number of times I’ve heard “Somebodeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee That I Used To Know” by Gotye: 42
** “States” now includes states and the District of Columbia
73 de NR4CB, Connie