Ham Radio Santa is On the Air at OF9X
Operating as OF9X (“Old Father 9 Xmas”) from the Finnish Lapland — reputed to be the home of Santa Claus and his reindeer — Santa Claus is proving to be a popular on-the-air attraction again this year. One of Santa’s elves, Martti Laine, OH2BH, reported a first-night count of some 1000 contacts on December 18.
“The US Santa Path opening from 2000 UTC to 0300 UTC was covering the entire USA,” Laine said from the “Offices of Santa Claus” in Lapland. As Laine and his fellow elves say, “Christmas is, after all, for children — for those who truly believe. So, take a moment and join us. Welcome your children or grandchildren on a trip to Christmas with the dedication it deserves.”
Last year Santa established himself as an Amateur Radio figure with thousands of followers, and more than 800 “Santa Awards” were issued around the world. There’s a new twist this year, though. Santa has become a Morse code pro and is now active on CW as well as SSB.
According to the latest news release from OF9X, “Santa has been loading up his sleigh and will soon begin his journey across the world. It all starts from Finnish Lapland and ends up on Christmas Day in the United States.” The primary ham radio activity will take place this weekend before Christmas, and, as Santa is busy, his elves will helm Santa Radio, OF9X, most of the time. Santa should be on CW around 25 kHz up the lower band edge and on SSB at approximately 14.225 kHz.
Making two contacts with Santa — at least one from 2013 — qualifies stations for the 2013 Santa Cold Winter Award (contacts from 2012 may be applied). Operators can track their two QSOs and send requests by e-mail. If you make just one contact this season, operators may compensate by solving the Christmas Puzzle by N0AX. Send details of your 2013 QSO along with the two “mystery words” from the puzzle, and you will qualify.
If you need help with the puzzle, you may ask Santa for help. Contact OF9X and mention the question line number (two lines maximum), and Santa will whisper the needed word to you. On CW send “QSC NR” (Q-Santa-Claus). Santa Cold Winter Awards are sent free of charge by e-mail.
In addition to Laine, Santa’s elves this year include Olli, OH0XX; Ville, OH1JD; Jaska, OH1TX; Rami, OH2BCI; Pertti, OH2BEE; Kati, OH2FKX; Mari, OH2FPK; Pertti, OH2PM; Olli, OH6CT; Veijo, OH6KN, and Kim, OH6KZP.
“Merry Christmas to all Amateur Radio operators and their children and grandchildren the world over,” greeted Santa Claus, OF9X. “Enjoy your Christmas and share the joy of being together. Always!”