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Station Manager Explains NN3SI's Silence

08/02/2008

ARRL has received numerous e-mails asking for information on why NN3SI, the Amateur Radio at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History (NMAH) was closed after more than 32 years of operation. According to Hal Wallace, NN3SI Station Manager and Associate Curator for the Museum's electricity collections, there will be no appropriate place to house the station once the Museum reopens this fall after undergoing an extensive renovation.

"NN3SI ceased operating from the National Museum of American History on July 31," Wallace told the ARRL. "As you may know, NMAH has been undergoing a renovation of the building's infrastructure and interior for some time. The renovation forced us to remove the Information Age exhibition -- the station's home since 1990. We placed the station in a temporary location for the duration of the renovation but it cannot remain there when we reopen to the public later this year. The Information Age exhibit will not be reinstalled, and since we have no other appropriate exhibition areas within the Museum, the station had to cease operations at NMAH. Various alternate locations throughout the Smithsonian have been considered but none are viable at this time."

Wallace said that the station's license is valid until 2013 and its equipment will go into storage: "John Johnston, W3BE -- NN3SI's trustee -- assures me that a renewal of the license would not be an issue if we need one. Should a suitable exhibition area elsewhere in the [Smithsonian] Institution be found, we will be able to reactivate the NN3SI activity."



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