Few dates are more important in ham radio than December 11, 1921. That’s when members of the Radio Club of America (RCA) and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) successfully transmitted signals that spanned the Atlantic Ocean. The 100th anniversary of that day is upon us and YOU are invited to celebrate!
WHY WE CELEBRATE
During the month of November, 1921, a group of Radio Club of America members, led by Major Edwin Armstrong quickly pulled together an amateur radio transmitting station in Greenwich Connecticut. It was the cutting edge of the era: a nearly thousand watt CW station at the (considered useless) ‘shortwaves’ (just below the present 160m band). On the other end, in Ardrossan Scotland, Armstrong’s new superheterodyne receiver combined with RCA member Harold Beverage’s new ‘wave’ antenna allowed state of the art receive selectivity and sensitivity. The missing piece? The ionosphere: speculated to exist and to work for long distance at the new shortwaves. On December 11, 1921, it all came together and station 1BCG made it across, the first of about two dozen amateur radio stations heard.
The importance? Notes RCA President John Facella, K9FJ: “Hams, through the innovations of the RCA members, used ingenuity, smaller, state of the art electronic equipment, and new bands and mode to connect the continents. That set the pace for the 100 years of smaller and higher performance telecommunications wonders that followed, making a truly connected world.” Yes, the world owes it to ham radio!
JOIN US IN A QSO PARTY ON 13 NOVEMBER
The Radio Club of America is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Transatlantic Test by hosting a CW and SSB QSO Party from 1200Z, November 13 to 0400Z, November 14. We will all contact each other—not just special event stations. Open to ALL hams and shortwave listeners on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters, with 10 bonus points awarded (per band and mode) for contacting Radio Club of America’s station, W2RCA. Scores should be posted to 3830 Scores Home.
You can find all the rules and more information about additional events commemorating the Transatlantic Test’s centennial:
A free certificate will be available, along with a complimentary copy of the commemorative RCA Proceedings, from the RCA site.
A MONTH OF FESTIVITIES
The RCA Transatlantic QSO Party is held as a centennial anniversary commensurate with the building of TX station in November. Note that this is the ONLY participatory QSO event for the Transatlantic Centennial, so plan your celebration now😊
But…stay tuned… the Radio Club of America will be RE-ENACTING the TRANSATLANTIC TRANSMISSIONS at 02:52 UT on 12 December on 160m with W2RCA. More info to come!
The Antique Wireless Association(AWA), American Radio Relay League(ARRL), The Radio Society of Great Britain(RSGB), Radio Club of America(RCA), and others all are participating in the Transatlantic Centennial festivities Watch for additional news pieces as the month progresses!