The ARRL Centennial QSO Party is generating quite a bit of excitement on the bands. The first component of the event is the portable operation of W1AW. Each week two states will have the honor of hosting a W1AW/0-9 operation, including Guam and Guantanemo. The Kentucky Contest Group recruited quite an array of operators across the state that have allowed W1AW/4 to operate from Kentucky on a variety of bands and modes. The pileups have been impressive! Thanks to all those ops who pitched in and N4GN for coordinating the event! Don’t forget that W1AW/4 will operate from Kentucky again beginning July 30, 2014. Glenn KE4KY will be coordinating operators for this event. Glenn can be reached at KE4KY@KY4KY.com. He will be out of touch for a bit in April as he is part of the Mellish Reef DXpedition team.
The results from the first KY week of W1AW are impressive. Kentucky doesn’t support the sheer number of ham operators as many other states but the effort was definitely there. Totals are well over 30,000 QSO’s with all bands and modes covered fairly well. One note from inside the operation was that there was a lot more DX interest than stateside. Beaming west there were lots of EU contacts placed in the log while there was an absence of stateside callers. Backscatter signals were impressive on 10-12-15 meters and a lot of close in states got KY on those higher bands.
The second component of ARRL Centennial QSO Party is the Centennial Points Challenge, which allows operators to earn points by making QSOs with fellow hams holding ARRL appointments or offices. For example, a QSO with Great Lakes Division Director Jim Weaver, K8JE is worth 225 points; a contact with Section Emergency Coordinator John Hudson, KO4XJ, is worth 30 points, and so on. By the way, the Logbook of the World will do all your calculations for you. No need to keep track of those card checkers or life members you work and if you didn’t know that station had a point value, it will tabulate anyhow. The ARRL awards program will offer a variety of certificates for those who earn various numbers of points in the year-long QSO party.
The ARRL began 100 years ago during the infancy of radio. These folks in Newington CT have been in the forefront of keeping amateur radio alive. They are, undoubtably, the reason that amateur radio still exists in the United States and as accepted around the world. Those early leaders of the league placed their hearts and souls in the radio art. Throughout the year there will be special articles in QST about the history of amateur radio and the league, notes from the Old Man and lots of great radio history to peruse. Enjoy the year long party and upload your logs to the LoTW. This week it’s Arizona and Ohio!
Thanks to Jim KY4Z for input for this story.