Tag Archives: W9IMS

W9IMS: Chance for a Commemorative Certificate and QSL Card

Indy 500 Week Offers the Chance for a Commemorative W9IMS Certificate and/or QSL Card

By Brian D. Smith, W9IND

Your chance to obtain the 2020 W9IMS Checkered Flag Award – or at least a QSL card commemorating this year’s Indianapolis 500 – unfolds in the coming week. And both amateur radio operators and SWLs are welcome to try.

This year’s certificate is easier than ever to earn. Normally the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s three major races take place on three different weekends, but this year, because of Covid-19 concerns, two races were consolidated into one weekend – and in turn, two W9IMS special events merged into one.

For anyone who bagged that two-in-one event, you can seal the deal on the certificate by catching the station again between now and Sunday, Aug. 23. The Indy 500 operation will conclude at midnight local time (0400 UTC) Monday, Aug. 24. (Note: Indianapolis is on EDT or New York time.)

Even if you succeed in snaring W9IMS only once, you can still claim the corresponding QSL card. All certificate and QSL designs are brand-new each year.

How to find W9IMS? The station’s two transmitters will operate on three bands – 20, 40 and 80 meters – and may appear at any time of day or night until the final signoff at 0400 UTC Monday.

However, the best bet is to catch the station during prime time – 2200 through 0200 UTC on weeknights (6 to 10 p.m. Indy time). W9IMS operators will frequently activate 20 meters on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. (1200-1800 UTC); and will cover all three bands at various times throughout the weekend starting at 10 a.m. (1400 UTC) daily.

If you still haven’t caught W9IMS by 11 p.m. Sunday in Indianapolis (0300 UTC Monday), operators commonly conduct their own “happy hour” – working stations in rapid contesting style – during that final hour of the special event. But W9IMS has also been known to pull the plug a little early on Sunday evening if no stations are calling.

Here are tips for locating the station:

  • Go to the W9IMS web page (www.w9ims.org), find the “2020 Operating Schedule” heading, and click on the link to “Indianapolis 500.” Although some W9IMS operators make unscheduled appearances, you’ll have better odds looking for the station during the hours and bands reserved with a name and a callsign.
  • Even so, never assume that W9IMS is off the air. Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) for spots that identify the station’s current frequency (or frequencies), if any. Type “W9IMS” in the search box and you can customize it to show reports for only that station.
  • Preferred frequencies for W9IMS are 3.840, 7.245 and 14.245 MHz, so the station can usually be found there or within 10 kHz.

For further details, consult the W9IMS web page. Feel free to submit your requests for the 2020 QSL cards plus certificate in the same envelope, and if you don’t have your own QSL card, a printout of your W9IMS contacts or reception reports will suffice.

Remember to include $5 for the certificate plus two cards; or an SASE for one or both of the cards alone — the house rule is “No SASE, no W9IMS card, no exception!”

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W9IMS: A delayed start for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway special event station 

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian D. Smith (W9IND), who shares the following announcement:


W9IMS: A delayed start for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway special event station

by Brian D. Smith, W9IND

It’s a late start for auto racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the amateur radio station that honors this century-old tradition … but the show must go on!

And this week it will, as special event station W9IMS returns to the airwaves from now through Sunday to offer radio hobbyists a fresh opportunity to collect more “wallpaper”: Two vivid racing-themed QSL cards and the popular certificate known as the Checkered Flag Award.

The 2020 certificate will be easier than ever to earn. Normally the Speedway’s three major races take place on three different weekends, but this year, because of Covid-19 concerns, they’ll be consolidated into two. Accordingly, hams and SWLs will be required to contact or tune in W9IMS during only two race weeks – the current one, which continues through Sunday, July 5; and Aug. 17-23, which ends on the day of the venerable Indianapolis 500.

Even if you succeed in snaring W9IMS only once, you can still send off for the corresponding QSL card. All certificate and QSL designs are new each year.

The coming Independence Day weekend will feature an unprecedented racing doubleheader, with the IndyCar Grand Prix and the NASCAR Brickyard 400 slated for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Consequently, the first W9IMS QSL of 2020 will be a full-color, four-sided card portraying images from both races.

So where do you find W9IMS? The station will stick to three bands, 20, 40 and 80 meters, and may appear at any time of day or night from now through Sunday.

However, the best bet is to catch the station during prime time – 2200 through 0200 UTC on weeknights (6 to 10 p.m. Indy time). W9IMS operators also plan to activate 20 meters during daytime hours, often between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. (1200-1800 UTC); and will cover the various bands all weekend starting at 10 a.m. (1400 UTC) daily.

If you still haven’t caught W9IMS by the time Sunday evening arrives in Indianapolis, operators commonly conduct their own happy hour – working stations in rapid contesting style – right up to midnight (0400 UTC Monday).

Here are a couple of hints for tracking down the station during special event weeks:

  1. Go to the W9IMS web page (www.w9ims.org), find the “2020 Operating Schedule” heading, and click on the link to “Grand Prix & Brickyard” or “Indianapolis 500.” Although some W9IMS operators get on the air at unscheduled times, you’ll have your best luck looking for the station during the hours and bands reserved with a name and a callsign.
  2. Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) for spots that identify the current frequency (or frequencies) of W9IMS, if any. And if you type “W9IMS” in the search box, you can customize it to show reports for only that station.

For additional details, consult the W9IMS web page. Feel free to submit both of your 2020 QSL card and certificate requests in the same envelope, and if you don’t have your own QSL card, a printout of your W9IMS contacts or reception reports will suffice.

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W9IMS: Last chance for the Checkered Flag Award

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian (W9IND), who writes:

If you’re chasing the W9IMS Checkered Flag Award, this weekend marks your last chance to snare the third and final special event of the year. The Brickyard 400 operation will conclude at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 (Indianapolis time)/0359 UTC Sept. 9.

The W9IMS crew will be working other amateurs around the world, but SWLs can qualify for the same certificate and QSL cards that are offered to hams. The Checkered Flag Award is available to anyone who contacts or tunes in W9IMS during all three special events commemorating the major races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the IndyCar Grand Prix (early May), the Indianapolis 500 (late May), and the Brickyard 400 (September).

For those who already logged W9IMS during the IndyCar Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, this is your opportunity to complete the clean sweep and earn the colorful 2019 certificate, as well as the three QSL cards. 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.

Look for W9IMS on 20, 40 and 80 meters – generally as close as possible to 3.840, 7.245 and 14.245 MHz, and often with two SSB stations on the air simultaneously. W9IMS also has a digital presence, periodically transmitting in FT8 mode.

To see if the station is 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, including how to obtain certificates and QSL cards, go to www.w9ims.org. The W9IMS page also contains a link to the Brickyard 400 operator schedule, but remember that ops can get on the air at any time between now and Sunday night.

If all else fails, look for W9IMS during its final hour of operation, between 11 and 11:59 p.m. Sunday (0300 to 0359 UTC Monday). That’s usually the time when W9IMS engages in a contest-style “happy hour” blowout, sometimes on two bands, as the closing minutes tick away.

Thank you for the reminder, Brian!

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W9IMS: New season of Indianapolis Motor Speedway-themed special events

2018 W9IMS QSL

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian D. Smith (W9IND) who shares the following W9IMS press release:

Amateur radio station W9IMS prepares to unveil a new season of Indianapolis Motor Speedway-themed special events, with three QSL cards and a certificate available to hams and SWLs.

DATE: April 24, 2019

Three colorful QSL cards and a glossy certificate await amateur radio operators and SWLs who manage to contact – or tune in – Indianapolis Motor Speedway special event station W9IMS during all three of its 2019 special events. And even those who fall short of the trifecta can claim one or two of the QSLs.

2018 W9IMS QSL

Your first shot comes in two weeks as W9IMS fires up from May 5-11 to commemorate the IndyCar Grand Prix. Only nine days later, the second W9IMS special event (May 20-26) gets underway, this one in honor of the venerable Indianapolis 500. Then comes a summer break until Sept. 2-8, when W9IMS stages its third and final special event of the year, celebrating the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race.

The certificate and QSLs change every year, so even if you scored the clean sweep in 2018, you’ll find new trophies to pursue this year.

But you’ll have a chance to snare the station on either of two bands (20 and 40 meters) and possibly three (80 meters). Remember, too, that on Race Day – the final day of each operation – W9IMS generally stays on the air late, sometimes until midnight local time (0400 UTC).

Here are a couple of hints for tracking down the station during special event weeks:

  1. Go to the W9IMS web page (www.w9ims.org), find the “2019 Operating Schedule” heading, and click on the link to the IndyCar Grand Prix 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 a callsign.
  2. Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) anytime for spots that identify the current frequency (or frequencies) of W9IMS, if any. And if you type “W9IMS” in the search box, you can customize it to show reports for only that station.

For additional details, consult the W9IMS web page. Feel free to submit all of your 2019 QSL and certificate requests in the same envelope. Again, although you’ll need to catch W9IMS during all three races to qualify for the certificate, you can earn a unique QSL card for each individual race.

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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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W9IMS special event stations, May 7-13

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian D. Smith, who writes:

My radio club is about to begin another year of W9IMS special events commemorating the 3 major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400.

We’re among the most popular annual special event operations in the United States (along with the Original 13 Colonies and Route 66). Our first special event (for the Grand Prix) will run from May 7-13; for more complete info, go to www.w9ims.org

As you probably recall, we offer 3 new and colorful QSL cards every year, as well as a nice certificate for stations that work all 3 special events in a given year.

Naturally, the offer extends to SWLs as well … so paper chasers, take note! And here’s a tip for locating us when we’re on the air: Keep an eye on DX Summit — http://www.dxsummit.fi/#/ – which will feature constantly updated DX spots for W9IMS during our weeks of operation.

Excellent–thanks for sharing this, Brian. It’s great to know that this event will also issue QSLs for SWL reports!

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