Tag Archives: W4M

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:

The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

During the first celebration of Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, after which 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.

This 1868 celebration was inspired by local observances of the day in several towns throughout America that had taken place in the three years since the Civil War. In fact, several Northern and Southern cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, including Columbus, Miss.; Macon, Ga.; Richmond, Va.; Boalsburg, Pa.; and Carbondale, Ill.

In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—because the town had made Memorial Day an annual, community-wide event during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

By the late 1800s, many communities across the country had begun to celebrate Memorial Day and, after World War I, observances also began to honor those who had died in all of America’s wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. (Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, is celebrated each year on November 11.)

Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Also, it is customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.

… From The Shack

2006 CQ WW DX Contest: It has been a learning experience so far. Much more intense than Field Day. It seems as if the bands are jam packed – nothing but “CQ Contest” from 80M to 10M. I started last night a had contacts mostly on 80M, but also a few on 40M – mainly South America and the Caribbean. Today contacts are about even between 15M and 20M… more Caribbean island stations, Africa, and Europe. Not much heard from the Pacific. I did hear a KH6 station on 15M buried in noise.

When I wasn’t on the radio I was finishing the QSL cards from the W4M special event station. I now consider my QSLing activities for W4M complete.

I’ve also been cleaning up my log. As of right now, I’ve logged 1069 QSOs since I upgraded to General in Nov 2005. Of those, 102 are CW QSOs (the first was back in DEC 2005). I need to go back and look up FISTS information and see if I’m close to their basic award. I’ve contacted a total of 86 DXCC entities – maybe I’ll be able to get 14 more during the remainder of the contest. The total towards the Worked All States award is 47. I’m missing Hawaii, Alaska, and Wyoming. I’m also probably close to the basic award for Worked All US Counties. The basic award is for 500 counties, I think.

Best news this weekend – I got the ICOM CT-17 working!. It’s quite slick, I can now click on a DX cluster spot in my logging program and my IC-706MKIIG automatically flips to that frequency. Or, if I’m hunting and pouncing, the log will automatically grab the freq and mode from the radio and place it in the log. I wish I had done this earlier.

I also had a short 30M QSO with Bill, WD8RTW over in WV. The QSO was going well, but then he disappeared. He came back briefly but we ended the QSO.

Busy In The Shack

WX Station: Yesterday after work I was able to reroute the cable for the wind direction/speed sensor from the radio room over to the garage. This included a quick trip up to the roof. I now need to figure out where I’m going to place the rain gauge. The location is tricky because I don’t want it under trees and it should also be accessible for maintenance/cleaning. Today I need to try and move the webcam from the window ledge outside the radio room to the garage window.

CW contacts: I had two on 80M last night, the first was from MI and the second was from AL. Band conditions were pretty bad. Yesterday at lunch I had a short CW QSO with a Polish station on 20M. I guess that’s my first CW QSO to Europe. The station was sending fast, so I only picked up about half of what was sent.

W4M Memorial Day Special Event Station: in a continued attempt to close out all the loose ends from the W4M special event station, I am now sending out QSL cards to all the remaining contacts that I have not yet sent anything to. These remaining folks never sent me anything, but I’d rather send them the W4M QSL card than hang on to a bunch of extra cards. I’m also including a return SASE for those in the US. I completed 30 last night and would like to do 40 tonight. I just want to get a QSL card out to every contact and then officially close the book on the W4M special event.

W7 QSL Bureau

I received some cards today for my old KD7PJQ callsign from the W7 QSL Bureau. The coolest one was from Senegal – there was also another from Grenada and one from Croatia. A bunch from Germany. After I’ve sent out what’s left of the W4M cards, I am going to consolidate my old KD7PJQ log with my AD7MI log and figure out exactly where I am at towards DXCC. My guess is that I’m still short by about twenty confirmed entities.

Lunch contact

I had a short QSO with Ray, W3YBF during lunch today. After my second call of CQ on 7.114 MHz, Ray came back with a nice 599 signal. He started out sending faster than I could copy, but then slowed down. I wish had had more time for a longer QSO.

I’m also slowing sending out the remainder of the certificates and QSL cards from the W4M Memorial Day special event station. These are to folks who have not sent a SASE (or anything else), but I figured I might as well send out the certificates I’ve printed and the QSL cards that I have.

….. more QSL cards

- Completed the cards for the Bodie Island Lighthouse (USA-067) activation.

- Knocked out 8x QSL cards for some QSOs with Germany under my old callsign (KD7PJQ). It’s easier to send the cards out when you can get the mailing address.

- Printed out a bunch of QSL cards for Old Point Comfort. I need them for the W4M special event QSLing as well as an activation that I did back in May.

… stamps are going quick.

What’s been going on with AD7MI?

It’s been a busy summer so far.

- Memorial Day: I really enjoyed the special event station operation – W4M. I operated from Fort Monroe on Saturday and Sunday from a WWII coastal artillery battery overlooking the Chesapeake, wonderful weather and some great contacts. I setup a G5RV for the antenna and used a portable generator for power.

- The Smithsonian, NN3SI: During my trip to Washington DC, I had the opportunity to be a guest operator at the Smithsonian’s own amateur radio station, located at the Museum of American History.

- Lighthouse Activations: Enjoyed a relaxing few days down in the Outer Banks, NC and was able to activate the Bodie Island Lighthouse (USA-067) and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse (USA-212). Link here to the Outer Banks Repeater Association: http://obra.aginet.com/

From : W2EHD
To : ad7mi
Subject : Re: 442.850

Scott – It was a pleasure to meet you – if only on the air.
Re: the the UHF side of the mobile radio. Might consider selecting medium or low power when running mobile – especially when the repeater of choice is not far away.
I am sending along a URL for a tape measure beam. Originally, I think the author meant to use it in DFing – Direction-finding – competitions – but despite the fact that it’s rather ugly and makes lots of noise when the wind blows the elements – it seems the ideal solution for accessing a repeater from a remote (vacation) location.
I bought an el cheapo grande 25 ft. tape measure a few years ago, and 8 bucks worth of the PVC tubing he recommends.
There are several of these antennae in my workshop. One thing I did was to cast a couple of concrete bases – using galvanized pails that I bought at ACE.
One 60-odd bag of Sak-Crete will let you make a couple of bases. Glue some scrap carpeting to the bottom and you’ve got built-on floor protection.

As presently described, the tape measure antenna is only good on 2 meters. The author mentions that it may well be possible to change the element dimensions and spacing to put it into the UHF portion of the spectrum. I may try one out on 70 cm, with a watt meter in the line, just for grins.
Keep in touch.
If you wish, I will add your address to the OBRA email list, which will keep you informed about major doings around here. You would not get a lot of mail from OBRA, believe me.

Next project: I’m working on a portable HF/VHF/UHF system. Intent is to build a complete setup (rig, power supply, tuner, SWR meter, NOMIC RigBlaster, etc.) into an easily transportable box.

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse activation

What a wonderful morning at Old Point Comfort Lighthouse, Fort Monroe, VA on the Chesapeake! Blue, clear skies, temp at 60d F, with a slight breeze. I could see the Norfolk Navy Base across the bay and watched as USNS Comfort pulled out towards the Atlantic.

I pulled up to my position on the top of the wall surrounding historic Fortress Monroe, right above the moat. Instead of using my mag mount Hamstick, I set up the homebrew vertical dipole on the edge of the wall, raising the mast to about 10 feet. Setup was complete by about 0740/1140(UTC) and started calling CQ on 40M.

Callsign State Member
WA1OHR CT Y/#587
W1VR FL Y/#143 operating from USA 869
W1MCE NH Y/#491

The band died down and I took W1MCE’s advised and switched to 20M.

Callsign State Member
VO1RYL Canada Y/#1218

I then dropped back down to 40M to finish up the morning.

Callsign State Member
K2DNV NJ Y/#1004

I shut down at 1050/1450(UTC) and packed up. Thank you for the contacts and the spots on DX Summit and the Beacon Bot. I really enjoyed all the exchanges.

Please look for US Army Amateur Radio Society’s special event station W4M on 27-28 May, operating from Fort Monroe (and USA 567) in commemoration of Memorial Day.


73 Scott AD7MI