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.
Serving as an easier-to-use supplement to their online Frequency Allocation resources, the Amateur Radio Relay League’s (ARRL) revised “US Amateur Radio Bands” charts are now available for download here.
The updated charts show the new 630m and 2200m bands although they are not yet available for Amateur Radio use. According to the ARRL page, “the effective date of the recent FCC Report & Order granting these allocations has not yet been determined, and until the start date has been set, it is not legal under an Amateur Radio license to transmit on either band. The FCC will publish a notice in The Federal Register ‘announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.’ ARRL will announce the UTC notification procedures and the effective date to use these new bands as soon as these are known.”