“N1R Special Event Station”

N1IBQ operating N1R Special Event Station, Nov. 7-8, 2020From Candlewood ARA (CT) “CARA Capers” newsletter, December 2020:

On the weekend of November 7-8, 2020, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary ran eight special event stations across the country to commemorate its 81st Anniversary. Created by the U.S. Congress on June 23, 1939, the “US Coast Guard Reserve Act of 1939” established a civilian volunteer component of the Coast Guard to promote boating safety and to facilitate the operations of the Coast Guard. Members had to be US citizens who were boat owners or had partial ownership of a boat.

As America’s unofficial involvement in World War II escalated, Congress recognized the need for a military Reserve similar to the Army and Navy, so in February 1941 the original act was repealed and a new act passed that established a military Reserve and Temporary Reserve and renamed the civilian organization as the “Auxiliary”.

Back in August a call went out to Amateur Radio operators in the Auxiliary asking them if they would participate in commemorating the anniversary by setting up and operating a Special Event Station. Since N1A was already assigned by the FCC, I chose N1R (“R” for Reserve, our 1939 name) and set up a “patio portable” station. I still don’t have a permanent antenna at my home.

N1R setupSo, with great anticipation of having a pile-up with dozens of stations answering my “CQ” call to get the special event QSL card, I got on the 20- meter frequency I had published on ARRL’s Special Event page and started calling “CQ”. And then… nothing. Antenna tuned to 1:1.03, 80 watts SSB, Saturday morning, dead silence. Moved to the 40 meter frequency that I had published… nothing again. Frustrated, I listened up and down the two bands and heard a few stations, not the usual chatter. Even the POTA stations seemed to be staying home. Time to change strategy. I started calling stations that were finishing their QSO’s and that helped get a few contacts in the log.

Was it a post-election distraction? Were the bands just shut down? Not sure. After the event I called Chuck, K1DFS, in Plainville, CT who was operating N1A for the event from his home station, and he had the similar experience over the two days.

But was it fun? Absolutely Yes! Since I run the same setup almost every weekend with really good results (considering the station and antenna) I’m pretty sure that there wasn’t much more I could have done. This was my first activation of a special event station, so the learning experience was worth it all… how to get a special event call sign from the FCC, set it up in QRZ.com, list it on the ARRL Special Event webpage, and even more importantly, anticipate next year’s event!

N1R antennaMy station consisted of a Yaesu FT-891 running 80 watts with LMR400 UF cable to a 23 foot Diamond BB7V vertical antenna. An older MFJ 949D tuner and a RigExpert AA230 antenna connected to the tuner with a 2-way antenna switch. The most important component was a patient and understanding XYL.

For more information about the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and its history, visit the N1R page I posted on QRZ.com.

73, Ron Willson, N1IBQ

(UPDATED) First Annual Hams All-Holiday On Air Celebration (W1E Special Event Station), December 12, 2020

Parks On The Air logoDec. 12: Unfortunately I had to cancel this event – a very unusual occurrence for me. Looks like the weather is a bit uncooperative too.  -KM1NDY

Mindy Hull, KM1NDY, writes in the Wellesley (MA) ARS Spark Gap newsletter:

Hello Friends! You are all cordially invited to:

WHAT: 1st Annual Hams All-Holiday On Air Celebration (W1E Special Event Station)  

WHEN: Saturday December 12, 2020. Two times: W1E on air from 11am to dusk. Everyone get together from noon to 2pm.  

WHERE:  Meet at Hopkinton State Park. Use the Main Entrance at 164 Cedar St., Hopkinton, MA 01748. Follow the map below.  Same place as November’s POTA!

PARKING: Park in large lot at boat launch. We will meet in a grove of trees with picnic tables near the beach at the end of the parking lot that is the farthest from where you entered it. See maps.  Park as close to the meeting spot as possible in case it’s real cold and we need to use our cars to warm up. 



42°15’30.7″N 71°31’01.8″W     ( 42.258539, -71.517168 )

WHY: To take back some of what this year stole from us.

DETAILS: We will operate the special event station W1E from about 11am to dusk at Hopkinton State Park on December 12, 2020 for the 1st Annual “Hams All-Holiday On Air Celebration”. We will be celebrating every holiday that anyone missed because of this crazy year! Our goal is to have as many QSOs as possible and then send a greeting card to every contact. We will set up one portable radio station in a heated shelter and operate SSB on 20M early and 40M later. The shelter will only hold one to two people at a time given the pandemic, so expect it to be cold. Bring your own equipment for other bands if you want to operate simultaneously; we have 100-Watt RF band-pass filters available so we can operate on multiple HF bands at once (10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 40, 80M).

If some of you would like to help operate the main station, send me an email with the time you are requesting to be on air.  Or just show up and we’ll see if we can get you on. Or bring your own station. 

If you want to just come hang out with radio people, enjoy some non-Zoom companionship, make a few contacts, and celebrate the holidays in person, show up between noon and 2pm. We will be social distancing, wearing masks, and splitting into smaller groups if there are more than 25 of us. Be prepared for cold!

Also, Hopkinton State Park is a Parks-On-The-Air (POTA) site, so you can activate a park as well! Activation code = K-2440. 

Bring as much festivity with you as possible! We all really really need it this year…

(I’ll send one more update next week!)



Fox Hunting is Alive and Well in Connecticut

Meriden fox hunt location, ariel viewDave Tipping, NZ1J, writes on the Meriden ARC Facebook Group:

Fox Hunt #35 at Downtown Parking Lot #7 [in Wallingford]. Lots of hunters circled the block before locating this obscure spot.
A year ago, there wasn’t much fox hunting going on in Connecticut. This year, in addition to our hunts and Fox In a Box (FIABs), the BEARS of Manchester have placed a FIAB about forty times and [the Radio Amateur Society of Norwich]  has placed FIABs and had live hunts. Today, we had a live hunt in Wallingford and RASON had one in Norwich. One of the challenges for 2021 will be trying to find new places to hide.

Twin State Radio Club (NH) VHF/UHF Activity Nights

Twin State RC logoDave Colter, WA1ZCN, writes on the Twin State RC mailing list:


6:30 PM and on. Most operators start on the standard calling frequencies, and then move another to rag chew. Six and 2-meters are the most popular.

Sunday: 6 meters: 50.525 FM, 50.120 SSB; 50.110 CW

Monday: 2 meters 146.520 FM, 144.200 SSB, 144.100 CW

Tuesday: 1.25 meters 223.500 FM, 222.100 SSB/CW

Wednesday: 70cm 446.000 FM, 432.100 SSB/CW

Thursday: 902 MHz 902.100 or 903.100 SSB/CW

                1296.100 MHz SSB/CW

                5760.100 MHz SSB/CW

                10,368.1 MHz SSB/CW

Newport County (RI) Radio Club POTA Activation, Black Farm K-6989, November 27, 2020

Parks On The Air logoNancy Austin, KC1NEK, writes:
For my second [Parks On The Air] at Black Farm this morning, I was able to easily set up my 20m ham stick per Bob’s [Newport County Radio Club] presentation and make contacts with hams from Devon, England to Calgary and all in between. GREAT FUN!!! Definitely still learning how to hear the call sign as second nature plus jot down all the contact info for the logs. (Logs?? Next learning curve.) But it’s clearly easy to get going and learn, especially with such an enthusiastic and supportive NCRC community. Really a fun way to learn HF skills and get out & about this Covid winter. 
Thanks so much to John [K1JSM], Wily [W1LY] and Bob [WB4SON] for making this happen and welcoming new hams. You guys are the best.

W1A Contacts, 2020 HamXposition

Dennis Egan, W1UE, writes on the HamXposition.org list:

Below is a recap of the W1A operation by band and mode for the virtual convention on November 6-8, 2020:

W1A QSO Breakdown

For the Northeast HamExposition Virtual Convention this year, W1A was set up to be operated by various operators using their own stations. Seven operators volunteered to operate: W1RM, AJ1DM, W2NR, K1EIC, AI1G, W1FJ, KB1TBU, and KC2LSD.

Dennis W1UE,

W1A Coordinator

2020 K1USN Veterans Day Special Event Wrap-Up

2020 K1USN Veterans Day CertificateFrom K1USN [Radio Club, Braintree, Massachusetts] Happenings, November 19, 2020:

I want to extend my thanks to everyone who helped us make this a success. Obviously we would not be able to conduct our usual in-person activation at K1USN on November 11th due to the pandemic. We had some discussions back and forth and decided that a 31 hour operating event might just work providing we could get commitments from enough operators to get on the HF bands and give us coverage on SSB, CW and FT8/4. As things evolved we even had our first contacts on the 630 meter band using WSPR thanks to Dave – AA1A.

As I said, there were quite a few people who made this a success. We thought that a downloadable certificate commemorating Veterans Day would be a cool idea. Yes it is, but it meant that we had to create one (Tnx WA1MAD, N1VH & W1VP) and then create the ability for stations to submit an online certificate request (Tnx W1VP).

Oh, yeah, what if we make a certificate but nobody even works us? Well, we really had a good turnout of operators, some who covered multiple shifts!

Thanks to this crew of operators:

AA1A – Dave
K1EBY – Frank
K1RV – Pi
K1VUT – Dave
K1WCC – Henry
KC1G – Mike
N1DC – Rick
W1TJL – Tom
W1XD – Lou
WA1MAD – Mike

We need to give a special thanks to Rick – N1DC for the outstanding job he did compiling all our log data. This was quite a task, but the results are attached below and show the great results.

I’ve already received approximately 75 QSL requests via snail mail so far and Larry – W1VP said that we have at least 180 downloadable certificate requests so far. BTW, Randy – KB3IFH is updating our K1USN QSL card and I hope to receive our new order for 500 more cards soon.

If you managed to work K1USN during the 2020 Veterans Day event I urge you to at least submit a certificate request.

If you make contact with K1USN during Veterans Day and would like a certificate emailed to you, please fill out the request form here.

Here is Rick’s summary:

Rick Pendleton
Nov 16, 2020, 11:32 AM (4 days ago)


Thanks to everyone that participated in this event. The K1USN team did an outstanding job this year. We had operators using CW, SSB, FT8, FT4 and WSPR. For the first time we had QSO’s on 630M using WSPR thanks to Dave AA1A.

After working through some issues with the logs, I was able to create a master log in N1MM+ that combined CW, SSB, FT8 and FT4. Thanks to Mike KC1G and Lou W1XD for the extra effort sorting out some adif issues. The WSPR log could not be imported since it wasn’t in ADIF format. However, the QSO data was included in the summary.

I will investigate WSPR log file conversions further.

There were a LOT of QSO’s completed using FT8, FT4 and WSPR providing many with QSO’s that might not have happened otherwise.

Overall results : 1,690 QSO’s , 53 DXCC countries, 20 CQ Zones
The were 500 FT8, FT4 and WSPR QSO’s accounting for 30% of the total.

In addition, there were 157 QSO’s made during the 1300, 1900 and 0300 UTC CWops CWTs by K1VUT, N1DC and K1RV. This was not actually part of the event but K1USN was on the air using “Watson” and MA as the exchange.

Attached are pdf files showing the Results and supporting details.

The Master ADIF and LOG files have been sent to Pi and Larry.

Rick N1DC

Propagation Data Collection During December 14 Eclipse

HamSCI (www.hamsci.org) is looking for amateur radio operators around the world to help collect propagation data during the December 14 eclipse across South America. Data collection requires an HF radio connected to a computer.
There will be 24-hour practice runs on November 21 and December 5. The main data recording will run from December 9-16, to ensure an abundance of control data.
Details of the experiment may be found here:
Instructions are also available in Spanish and Portuguese. 
Interested operators should sign up at this link (https://forms.gle/C9PFSTeLf7xvCQDYA) or directly contact Kristina Collins at kd8oxt@case.edu.

SKYWARN Recognition Day 2020 – Making Adjustments for COVID-19

image of tornado on doppler radarFrom The ARES Letter, November 18, 2020:

Each year, SKYWARN Recognition Day is the day where radio amateurs celebrate the long relationship between the amateur radio community and the National Weather Service SKYWARN™ program. The purpose of the event is to recognize amateur radio operators for the vital public service they perform during times of severe weather and to strengthen the bond between radio amateurs and their local National Weather Service office. The event is co-sponsored by ARRL and the National Weather Service.

Normally radio amateurs participate from home stations and from stations at National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices, and the goal is to make contact with as many NWS forecast offices as possible during the event. However, this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, participation from NWS forecast offices will be minimal at best. So, the focus will shift to contacting as many SKYWARN™ trained spotters as possible during the event. New for this year, SKYWARN™ Recognition Day will be open to all SKYWARN Spotters.

Additionally, a SKYWARN™ Recognition Day Facebook page has been created and will host a variety of live and recorded segments throughout the day. All SKYWARN™ Spotters who wish to participate may sign up for a SKYWARN™ Recognition Day number by completing the form found on the SKYWARN™ Recognition Day 2020 website. During the event, amateur radio operators are encouraged to exchange their name, location, SRD number, and current weather conditions with other participating stations.

See the event website for the full operating guidelines. Additionally, all SKYWARN™ Spotters will be encouraged to participate by sending weather reports, images and attending various live stream events via social media. SKYWARN™ Recognition Day 2020 will be held from 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC December 5. To learn more, visit the SRD website.