Day 25: W1AW

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.

ARRL, 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.


Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW

Studio 1

Lots of buttons! (and oops, I’m off frequency!)

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.

W1AW in 2012 with a picture of Dad at W1AW from 1977

I met up with Brian @N1FIY, who I know from Twitter. He and I operated in Studio 1.

N1FIY in Studio 1

N1FIY operating as W1AW 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.

WA4BXC in W1AW’s log

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.

W1AW Station Manager Joe

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:
  1. N9VX
  2. K3PP — Glenn
  3. KD4E
  4. DR60BENE — a special event station in Germany celebrating Pope Benedict
  • My contacts:
  1. WA4BXC — Dad
  2. W3DDM
  3. VA3QV — Bob
  4. WA4BXC — Dad again
  5. KB1TJC
  6. NG9R — Danny
  7. NC4MI
  8. AA4OC
  9. KD8QBV
  10. K1ING
  11. WB0UKL
  12. KC0TEP
  13. KD8QZE
  14. K4WIC
  15. KC9IGB
  16. KJ4WVZ
  17. KB9RLI
  18. W7WLL
  19. K9RUF
  20. WA6QYS
  21. W4AOT
  22. AA4QE
  23. K4VOV
  24. KG8OU
  25. N3NBT
  26. K2DBK — David
  27. WG8H
  28. KN4EZ
  29. K2UR
  30. WA0MJW
  31. WS0X
  32. W0DRD
  33. NL7HH
  34. WD9HXD
  35. W5ETZ
  36. WB3LHD
  37. WU9B
  38. K2SHA
  39. N8HLH
  40. KO7X
  41. K5CX
  42. N5AVN
  43. KA5IAU
  44. WM4DE — Will
  45. K0GVT
  46. KI0PF
  47. KA4ZPV
  48. K9DIG
  49. W4TKO
  50. WA8FRE
  51. K4KXO
  52. KE7ZAC
  53. K4WSW
  54. WD9GHK/M
  55. WA5GED
  56. KC9PIQ
  57. W9GIL/M
  58. N8ENW
  59. N5FG
  60. W5LEO
  61. KF5INR
  62. K7QDX
  63. K7PWN
  64. KI6X
  65. 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.

Could it get any better than this?

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


Day 25: W1AW — 2 Comments

  1. Sorry about the dates, I am the one confused. hihi I would love to operate W1AW with the big antennas and radios. Wow how times have change and having a picture of your dad at the radio when he was operating…..As you were talking to him….Made my step back from the computer and think of how proud he must be of you. Thanks for the great tour and look forward to tomorrows ” are we there yet”!

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