I had what some of my European racing friends would call a ‘Mega’ day on the radio today! I wasn’t able to be very active on HF for the last couple of weeks, but made up for it today by putting 22 stations in the log. Between the National Weather Service Skywarn Recognition Day event, Pearl Harbor Special Event Stations, and SEC Championship Special Event station, there was a lot of activity on HF today.
Each year, the National Weather Service sponsors Skywarn Recognition Day to recognize the contributions that amateur radio operators make to the Skywarn weather spotter program. Amateur Radio Stations are activated at many NWS offices and amateur radio operators try to contact as many of them as they can. I was able to work 12 of the stations:
- WX9ILX – NWS Northern Indiana, 40 Meters
- WX2BUF – NWS Buffalo, New York, 40 Meters
- WX5NWC – National Weather Service, Norman Oklahoma, 40 Meters
- WX4MRX – NWS Morristown, Tennessee, 80 Meters
- WX4RNK – NWS Blacksburg, Virginia, 40 Meters
- WX1BOX – NWS, Taunton, Massachusetts, 20 Meters
- W9NWS – NWS Indianapolis, Indiana – 20 Meters
- W5A – NWS Little Rock, Arkansas – 20 Meters
- W1BOS/MQE Blue Hill Observatory, Milton, Massachusetts- 15 Meters
- WX8WIL – NWS Wilmington, Ohio, 20 Meters
- WX4AKQ – NWS Wakefield, Virginia , 20 Meters
- WX4NWS – NWS Louisville, Kentucky, 20 Meters
A number of stations are on the air this weekend and will be on the air on Wednesday in remembrance of the Pearl Harbor attacks on 7 December 1941. I worked 4 Pearl Harbor Special Event Stations including 3 stations on Battleships or related to a Battleship. It was an honor to work the USS Texas, BB-35; the Texas is a 95 year old workhorse of the US Navy Fleet, a veteran of World War I and World War II. From what the operator on board the USS Texas said, they were using one of the ship’s original dipole antennas!
- NA5DV – USS Texas, BB-35, 40 Meters
- W8VA – Remembering the sinking of the USS West Virginia, BB-48, 20 Meters
- N4WIS – USS Wisconsin, BB-64, 20 Meters
- W2W – National Electronics Museum (regular call K3NEM), 20 Meters
Amateur Radio Clubs from the Universities of the Southeastern Conference were on the air this morning as well. They were celebrating today’s SEC Championship football game and promoting amateur radio on the college level.
- K5LSU – Louisiana State Amateur Radio Society, 20 Meters
- W4E – Auburn University Amateur Radio Club, 40 Meters
- W5YM – Amateur Radio Club of University of Arkansas, 20 Meters
Today was really the first day that I was able to give my new Heil headset and foot pedal a workout, both truly made operating more enjoyable. I’ve always liked using a foot pedal (began using them at work) because it frees up my hands to write or type while talking. The Pro Micro headset is lightweight and sounds great – I spent several hours underneath it this morning without becoming uncomfortable.
It was also fun sharing the active stations with other hams over Twitter. We used Twitter like a spotting network and had a lot of fun talking about our contacts (and you never know where these conversations might go!). I strongly recommend combining Twitter with the amateur radio hobby, there is a great group of hams on Twitter and we really have fun with it!