ARRL and the Radio Society of Great Britain will jointly sponsor events to celebrate the achievement of transatlantic communications by radio amateurs 100 years ago.
In December 1921, ARRL sent Paul F. Godley, 2ZE, as its representative to listen for amateur signals from North America during the Second Transatlantic Tests. Setting up his listening station in Ardrossan, on the west coast of Scotland, Godley received the signals of more than 2 dozen US amateur radio stations, the first on December 12 (UTC) from 1BCG in Connecticut, operated by members of the Radio Club of America. The message read: “Nr 1 NY ck 12 to Paul Godley, Ardrossan, Scotland. Hearty Congratulations. (Signed) Burghard Inman Grinan Armstrong Amy Cronkhite.”
These successful transatlantic tests and the ones that followed would spur technological advances and new global wireless distance records. Several amateur radio operating events this year and next will commemorate the centenary of these significant milestones that heralded the dawn of two-way international amateur radio communication.
ARRL and RSGB will activate special event stations for 6 hours (0200 – 0800 UTC) on December 12 for the 160-Meter Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party. The RSGB will activate GB2ZE from Scotland, with a team of stations from the GMDX Group sharing operating duties. ARRL will activate W1AW. The stations will operate only on CW. If transatlantic propagation holds up, the stations may continue to operate beyond 0800 UTC.
The GMDX Group of Scotland will award a quaich — a traditional Scottish drinking cup representing friendship — to the first stations in North America and the UK to complete contacts with both W1AW and GB2ZE during the QSO Party. A commemorative certificate will be available for download.
The RSGB and ARRL are also organizing an international amateur radio marathon on the HF bands to commemorate transatlantic tests held between 1921 and 1923. The Transatlantic Centenary Marathon will take place in December 2022. The objective will be to mark these historic events by encouraging all radio amateurs to get on the air. Event details are pending.
ARRL and RSGB have assembled a list of stations and groups that are also organizing events and activities to celebrate 100 years of amateur radio transatlantic communication. For more information, visit arrl.org/transatlantic and rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests. The sites also include links to many previously published articles and presentations covering the historic tests.
Additional events and commemorations include:
Radio Club of America (RCA) Transatlantic QSO Party, 1200 UTC on November 13 to 0400 UTC November 14, 2021 (16 hours total). The QSO Party commemorates the contribution of members of the Radio Club of America, who constructed and operated the 1BCG transmitter site in Greenwich, Connecticut, that sent the first message received by Paul Godley, 2ZE, in Scotland.
W1AW Commemorative Transatlantic QSL Card. Stations making contact with Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW between December 11, 2021, and December 31, 2022, qualify to receive a commemorative W1AW QSL card. US stations should QSL with a SASE; international stations should QSL via the Bureau.
The 2021 ARRL 160-Meter Contest, 2200 UTC on December 3 – 1559 UTC on December 5. This 42-hour CW-only contest is most similar to the original Transatlantic Tests of the early 1920s. Stations in the US and Canada work each other as well as DXCC entities. The RSGB is planning to activate one of the original call signs used in the Transatlantic Tests, with up to seven different prefixes from the UK and Crown Dependencies. Look for G6XX (England); GD6XX (Isle of Man); GI6XX (Northern Ireland); GJ6XX (Jersey); GM6XX (Scotland); GU6XX (Guernsey), and GW6XX (Wales).
Special Event GB1002ZE, December 1 – 26, 2021. The Crocodile Rock Amateur Group (CRAG) based near Ardrossan, Scotland, will activate the special event station GB1002ZE to commemorate the successful reception of amateur transatlantic signals by Paul Godley, 2ZE, in 1921. The RSGB encourages stations in the UK and Crown Dependencies to append the suffix “/2ZE” to their station’s normal call sign throughout the period, as authorized by UK regulator Ofcom.
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