I had the privilege of being able to operate last night and today with the call sign W1AW/0. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the ARRL, the League is operating the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station from all fifty states. This week (and again in June), it is being operated in Minnesota and Texas. This is all part of the ARRL Centennial QSO Party.
The call 1AW was issued to Hiram Percy Maxim after Amateur Radio returned to the air after the First World War. When national prefixes were issued in 1928, the call became W1AW, which he held until his death in 1936. It later became the call of the headquarters station of the ARRL.
I’ve worked W1AW several times. It’s often active in contests, so it’s not a particularly rare catch, but it’s always a thrill to get this historic call sign in the log.
I noticed that the VHF slot for yesterday hadn’t been assigned. Even though I don’t have much in the way of a VHF station, I decided to at least get the call on the air on FM, rather than let it go unused for 24 hours. I made an announcement on a couple of local repeaters, and then camped out on 146.55 MHz and handed out contacts. N0AIS made a recording off the air, which you can find posted at this link.
I had a relatively leisurely time of it, and had a chance to “ragchew” with a few of the contacts. This was in contrast to the pileup on 40 CW, where I had to exercise a great deal of patience to break through and make my own contact with W1AW/0. I later scored another one on 80 CW.
A few of the contacts I made were with hams using handhelds. Several of the calls looked like they had been only fairly recently issued. I think the Old Man would be glad to know that they worked his old call.
The following calls made it into the Old Man’s log on my watch: N0AIS, W0ERP, KB0LYL, KD0LQQ, KD0UIH, WD9IGX, K0SHF, KC0VFP, KD0TTG, KD0WBM, W0COE, K0TI, KG0SF, W0ZQ, KC0IYT, K0IKV, WX0Z, WB0EBG, W0GHZ, KC0OIA, K0LAV, K0GJX.
- History of US Call Signs
- My Hiram Percy Maxim page
- W1AW QSL Information
- 200 Meters & Down: The Story of Amateur Radio (at Amazon)