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Well done, ARRL!

Jan 1st 2015, 14:26


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I recall reading about the on-air operating events planned for 2014 a bit over a year ago. The one that caught my eye was the W1AW portable operations and the opportunity to have WAS solely from W1AW/*. The QSO party points had secondary appeal and I managed to work both N3KN and K1ZZ on 01 Jan 2014 as well as W1AW/4 and W1AW/8. It seemed much easier to work those stations a year ago than it was over the past couple of weeks.

By February and March it was clear that the W1AW portable operations had hit critical mass and were being sought by an increasing number of operators. The pileups were deep and often times trying to break them before the weekend was tough. The QSO party really seemed to gain momentum over the second half of 2014, especially after the first Red Badge Day. Another stroke of brilliance, although I kind of let it go by for various reasons.

While I've been active on the bands all of my amateur radio career, this past year had me watching for spots on the cluster and checking my logs and calling more than ever before. I'll admit that I had fallen into a rut and the 2014 Centennial operations were the jolt to get me out of it. My challenge is to continue to operate and just make contacts and not fall back into that rut.

Well done, ARRL. The Centennial operations were a grand slam and I think Hiram would be proud.

Going forward, I would welcome the QSO party being held for each five year anniversary of ARRL so the next one would be in 2019 and so on. Also, give consideration to running the W1AW portable operations again for the 125th and every 25th anniversary thereafter. I'd like to do this again in 25 years! The key is not to overdo such special events so they don't become "old hat" but often enough to recapture the spirit of the Centennial event.

Good show.

73, Nate

P.S. BTW, I bookended the year by working N3KN and K1ZZ again on 31 Dec 2014.
Jan 1st 2015, 19:49


Joined: Jan 10th 2014, 17:32
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Congratulations to ARRL for a fantastic year of operation. I caught the ARRL bug this time last year and didn't realise the journey I would take and where it would lead me. I set out with the goal in January of working 200 Dxcc entities and All states in the USA with Log of the world. Then I came across W1AW.
The first 50 countries were easy and then it started to get a little harder! About mid-February I started noticing W1AW turning up everywhere. By this time I had worked 30 states and had 18 verified on Lotw. I joined ARRL about this time and when I started collecting points and every Tuesday looking forward to the change of states.
I applied for DXCC in July and got my certificate. In the meantime, on the worked all states with W1AW things were going well. Any that I missed first time were coming back round and mostly easy. Dark clouds! I thought I was going to end up with 49 out of 50 because Hawaii (HI) was standing between me and completion of WAS. As most of the Hawaiin operators were working low band data modes which I don't do (yet) I was resigned to the fact, but then on LP on 20 meters I heard W1AW/KH6 and called. I got through on the second call at 6.50pm on Thursday. It was a fantastic feeling to know that I had completed the whole lot!
Meanwhile, I was looking for points and they soon gathered up, and for instance it was great to work N3KN and then find out from the DX Cluster that it was Kay Craigie the President of the ARRL and worth 300 points!
Working from Northern Ireland or the northern part of Europe is not always easy. Not everyone likes it but I think that the stations could possibly use split operation a lot more. It is very difficult to hear some of the stations in the QRM from southern Europe.

Activity from each state has varied a great deal, I understand that there is a big difference between the population of ND at one end and CA on the other. And there were some operators who had to learn quickly (and probably benefited from the experience) but, the overwhelming majority were “tuned in” to what they were doing and managed the pileups well.
I have had a good year just working the bands round work and home life, I now have 202 countries worked and I have my WAS through W1AW (although I am still waiting on ND and SD to complete WAS through Lotw.

So, as an overseas ARRL member, it really gave me the feeling that I was a part of it. Through 2014 I’ve contacted lots of new “US ham radio friends” on the air that I will be looking to work further down the log.
In summing up, I can definitely say that more of us could benefit reading and living up to “The DX Code of Conduct”.
But, to the guys (and girls) who operated the W1AW stations congratulations and thank you to each and every one of you, it’s not that easy in the huge pileups. Well done ARRL and good luck for the next 100 years. GI0JHR

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