Tag Archives: Special Event

13 Colonies Special Event this week for hams and SWLs

Although I’ve been rather busy the past few days, I have managed to fit in a little radio time.

On Wednesday, I spent part of the day doing the RAC (Radio Amateurs of Canada) Contest to celebrate Canada Day. My simple goal in mind was to work as many provinces as I could. Although I only made a total of 25 contacts, I managed to work the ten provinces along the Canada/US border (including Newfoundland and PEI).

During the RAC event I heard pileups for the 13 Colonies Event which is held each year in conjunction with the 4th of July weekend. I like this event because it’s accessible yet challenging.

Yesterday morning, I decided to start collecting colonies. By the end of the day, I made a “Clean Sweep” of all of the colonies and even worked one of the “bonus” stations (WM3PEN). Over the next couple of days, I’l try to snag the other bonus station, GB13COL.

As you can see by my log sheet, I had to employ three different modes to snag all of these in short order:

I’m not a contester by any stretch of the imagination, but I was able to snag these stations within 12 hours without sitting in front of the radio the whole day.  I simply checked the DX Cluster from time-to-time and pounced when the path was favorable. (All of my CW contacts were QRP, too.)

An SWL-friendly event!

What’s so great about the 13 Colonies Event is that they strongly encourage SWLs to participate! From the 13 Colonies website:

ATTENTION SWLs: All Short Wave listeners (SWL). You will also qualify for the certificate. Follow the instructions on the Certificates page when you submit your log. A special SWL logo will be affixed to the certificate for you. One or all 13 stations logged qualifies you. Just log ALL of the 13 Colony states and you can get a complete set of custom special event QSL cards also! All 13 are different. QSL requests to be made to each individual Colony State Station with an SASE. Consider becoming a HAM too! 🙂

Look at all the fun we are having! (NASWA members-watch for us in your monthly journal publication).

All you need to participate is a radio with a BFO or SSB mode. Even a portable radio can easily handle this as most event stations are easy to hear throughout North America.

If you live outside North America or you don’t have a radio with SSB capabilities, consider participating via a KiwiSDR site. There’s certainly nothing wrong with this as I heard a number of remote ham radio operators working stations yesterday.  If you choose to use the WebSDR/KiwiSDR route, I would personally stick with one geographic location for the entire event and declare the receiver location/url on your log sheet.

The event takes place July 1, 2020-1300 UTC to July 8, 2020-0400 UTC, so you still have plenty of time!.

Click here to read more at the 13 Colonies Event website and request a certificate.

Please comment if you plan to take part in the event or have in the past!

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VI3RA: Last RF emanations from RA Shepparton before demolition (March 14-15, 2020)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Nigel Holmes, who writes:

Those of you who hold amateur (VK) licenses – form an orderly queue to book a spot.

Those of you who listen – make space on your shack wall for the last QSL card from Shepparton IHFTS.

A special callsign has been issued by ACMA for the event: VI3RA (Victor India…)

Amongst other experimental transmissions, will be an attempt will to reflect radio signals from the Moon using the high gain HF aerials at Shepparton. Frequencies in the 18 & 21 MHz amateur bands would be employed. This would emulate the ground-breaking work done by CSIR Radiophysics Laboratory in the 1940s from the Shepparton station which initiated Australia’s entry into radio astronomy.

Click here for more information about VI3RA at QRZ.com and SADARC.org.

Note that the event with take place March 14-15, 2020 (GMT +11:00).

Thank you for the tip, Nigel!  I’ll certainly attempt to put Shepparton in the logs! If I lived in anywhere near Shepparton, I’d make the pilgrimage to be in that long line of people hoping to light up one of those massive antennas!

I hope if any SWLing Post readers attend the event or operate as VI3RA, they’ll perhaps snap a few photos to share here with the community!

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Special event stations celebrating anniversaries of famous European pirate stations

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl (DL1AX), who writes:

At the beginning of August there will be two special event amateur radio stations active on shortwave, celebrating anniversaries of famous European pirate stations Radio North Sea International and Radio Caroline:

Radio Northsea International PA45RNI

from 01-08-2019 to 31-08-2019

http://www.radio-northsea.org

email: pa45rni@radio-northsea.org

[source: https://www.qrz.com/db/pa45rni]

and

GB55RC will be active from the Ross Revenge:

Celebrating fifty five years of Radio Caroline

Thursday 1st – Monday 5th August 2019

2019 is the fifty fifth anniversary of Radio Caroline and the Martello Tower Group are pleased to be able to activate the world famous MV Ross Revenge again in August. This year we have been granted the ‘special’ special callsign of GB55RC. […]

[source: https://www.qrz.com/db/gb55rc]

Special QSLs will be available.

[The QSLs above are] from previous GB5RC activities.

Thank you for the tip, Harald! I’d love to grab one of those QSLs!

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Today: W9IMS last special event station of 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian D. Smith (W9IND), who shares the following information about SWL-friendly awards offered by his amateur radio club to commemorate the three major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brian writes:

W9IMS: Last special event station of 2018

Amateur radio station W9IMS will conclude its special event season during the coming week by commemorating the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The W9IMS crew will be working other amateurs around the world, but SWLs are welcome to tune in and qualify for the same QSL cards and certificate that are available to hams.

For those who logged the station during the IndyCar Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, this is your chance to complete the clean sweep and earn the colorful 2018 certificate. Even if you missed one or both of the previous races, you’re still eligible for a Brickyard 400 QSL card, which is redesigned every year.

A previous SWLing post highlighted the 2018 W9IMS events.

Operating SSB on 20 and 40 meters (as close as possible to 7.245 and 14.245 MHz), W9IMS will take to the airwaves at various times between 0400 UTC Monday, Sept. 3, and 0400 Monday, Sept. 9. One of the best times to look for the station is during the evening from 2200 to 0200 (6 to 10 p.m. Indianapolis time). W9IMS also has a digital presence, periodically transmitting in FT8 mode.

To find out if we’re on the air at any given time, go to DX Summit – http://dxsummit.fi/#/ – and type “W9IMS” in the search box. For more information about W9IMS and the Brickyard special event, including scheduled operators, go to www.w9ims.org. Just remember that ops can get on the air at any time between now and Sunday night!

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Today: W9IMS special event honoring races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Brian D. Smith (W9IND), who shares this information about SWL-friendly awards offered by his amateur radio club to commemorate the three major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway special event stations: Act now for your shot at a 2018 certificate!

Attention, paper chasers: Amateur radio station W9IMS has begun another year of special events honoring major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And SWLs are welcome to submit reception reports qualifying them for the same colorful QSL cards and certificates available to the ham radio operators who contact the station.

The certificate and QSLs change every year, with three unique cards offered for the 2018 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, so even if you scored the clean sweep in 2017, you’ll find new trophies to pursue this year.

Just one catch: You’ll have to move fast if you want to log W9IMS in the first race, because its final day of operation is Saturday, May 12.

But you’ll have a shot at tuning in the station on any of two and possibly three bands (20, 40 and 80 meters), and since it’s the last day (Race Day), W9IMS will likely stay on the air till as late as 11 p.m. and perhaps beyond.

Here are a couple of hints for tracking down the station during this and the other two special events:

  1. Go to www.w9ims.org, find the “2018 Schedule” heading, and click on the link to the Grand Prix operating schedule (or any other race). Although some W9IMS operators take to the airwaves at unscheduled times, you’ll have your best luck looking for the station during the hours and bands reserved with a name and callsign.
  2. Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) for spots that identify the current frequency (or frequencies) of W9IMS. If you type “W9IMS” in the search box, you can customize it to list reports for only that station.

The second and third special events will take place from May 21-27 (Indianapolis 500) and September 3-9 (Brickyard 400). Full details can be found on the W9IMS web page; note that QSL cards and certificates are not filled out until after the third race, so you can take your time in submitting your reception reports.

Feel free to submit all of your 2018 QSL and certificate requests in the same envelope. And even if you catch W9IMS for only one or two special events, you can still obtain individual QSL cards for those races.

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13 Colonies Special Event

13-colonies

13 Colonies operating event runs from 1300Z July 1 – 0400Z July 7

Once again, the 13 Colonies Special Event will take place between 1300z, July 1st and 0400z July 7th. The certificate is printed on heavy card stock. Stations working one state or, as many as all 15, will be eligible for the certificate. A “Clean Sweep” indicator will be affixed, for those lucky enough to “Q” all 15.

A special endorsement will be attached for stations contacting their sister operation, WM3PEN, in Philadelphia, PA, where independence was declared. New since 2015, the 13 Colonies have added a second sister event station GB13COL will operate from Durham, England. The 13 Colonies certificate will have a Liberty Bell added for a contact with WM3PEN. They will also offer a special QSL card printed just for this event.

There should be at least two stations from each on the 13 colonies on the air, as well as Super contest stations, multi-operator Club stations and OM and XYL teams. The thirteen orginal U.S. colonies are CT-DE- GA-MA-MD-NC-NH-NJ-NY-PA-RI-SC-VA. Special events stations mentioned are: K2A (NY), K2B (VA), K2C (RI), K2D (CT), K2E (DE), K2F (MD), K2G (GA), K2H (MA), K2I (NJ), K2J (NC), K2K (NH), K2L (SC), and K2M (PA).

All HF bands will be in play, including the WARC bands, with the exception of 60 meters. 2 meters and 6 meter simplex are encouraged. All modes of operation should be represented – SSB, CW, RTTY, Digital, and the Satellites. The mode of operation is up to the individual colony state station. For more details on the stations, suggested frequencies, QSL info and on how to obtain the special certificate, see: http://www.13colonies.info

Thanks to the Southgate Amateur radio News for this information


This is one of my favorite events each year – and it also represents some of the best of the traditions of amateur operation. I have always found the operators to be kind and helpful and patient, and they really seem to enjoy the event. Why not give it a go  this year?!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

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