It’s time for our personal favorite special event on the Ham Radio calendar: The 13 Original Colonies Special Event.
13 Colonies is an annual Special Event held during the week of Independence Day (that’s the 4th of July, for those of you in Rio Linda). Participants endeavor to make contact with special event stations in all 13 Colony Stations. In addition to stations in the original 13 colonies, there are also two Bonus Stations.
Aside from the stations in NY, VA, RI, CT, DE, MD, GA, MA, NJ, NC, NH, SC, and PA (call signs K2A through K2M, respectively), the two bonus stations are the WM3PEN station from Philadelphia, PA, where independence was declared, and GB13COL from Durham, England.
Participants do not need to make contact will all 13 to get a certificate, but doing so does get you the “Clean Sweep” endorsement on your certificate. Likewise, participants do not need the 2 bonus stations for a clean sweep. Making contact with WM3PEN will get you a “Liberty Bell” endorsement and GB13COL will get you a “British Standard” endorsement. Additional special endorsements are added for all CW operations, all QRP operations, SWL, as well as membership in the National Rifle Association (NRA), American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and active or former military service (thank you for your service!).
We always have great fun participating in this special event and celebrating our independence. Our family usually ends up with at least a couple of certificates, usually clean sweeps plus WM3PEN and a few extra endorsements on them, I don’t think any of us have ever made GB13COL. Maybe this is our year.
Let us know if you’ll be participating, how you are doing, and your final results in the comments below.
LOS ANGELES— The Queen Mary, an ocean liner that once sailed the North Atlantic, is now permanently berthed in Long Beach, California, where it’s a tourist attraction and hotel. In one of the rooms aboard the ship, the tradition of ship-to-shore wireless operations is continued and visitors are introduced to the hobby of ham radio.
A young visitor recently got an introduction to Morse code, the system of dots and dashes once used for wireless communication. Amateur radio operators, called “hams,” still use it today.
The Queen Mary was the pride of the Cunard Line after its 1936 launch, and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The wireless room preserves the ocean liner’s communications hub. Queen Mary Commodore Everette Hoard said it was a lifeline in emergencies, providing two-way messages — ship to shore.
“And not only did they carry several transmitters for transmitting the ship’s business, they also, even in 1936, had radio-telephone service,” said Hoard. Continue reading