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Ham Radio Active During Eclipse


Millions of people across the United States got to see a rare solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024.

The path of totality -- the line of darkness where the moon fully occluded the sun -- stretched through the South Pacific, Mexico, central Texas, the Ozarks, the Midwest, the Rust Belt area, and to New England through the Maritimes. In all, 14 ARRL Sections were impacted directly and several more were on the fringes of the solar umbra.  

Radio Serves  

Amateur radio was active throughout the areas of impact. Most ARRL Sections in the path had been developing a plan with their served agencies for months or years beforehand.  

Traffic was expected to be significant, with up to 3.7 million people forecast to travel to areas within the path of totality.  

Radio amateurs were activated in many locations.  

In Paris, Texas, hams split shifts at the Lamar County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Teams of two operators volunteered for 4-hour shifts. The activation doubled as a training opportunity and an equipment test.  

The ARRL Indiana Section was in full force with their Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) member-volunteers providing radio coverage on HF, VHF, and UHF amateur bands and utilizing GMRS. Using a mobile command center dubbed "Big Blue," the ARES team in Lake County set up on an overpass above Interstate 65 and was staffed in part by father and son volunteer team Chris Lattimer, N9MMR, and Tavas Lattimer, KD9NSC. The Section also utilized Winlink VARA HF to establish a digital connection with the incident command system.  

In Hamilton County, Indiana, ARES members volunteered with the county emergency management teams. They fanned out across EOCs, parks, and other locations. One ARES member, who is also active in the Civil Air Patrol, monitored traffic and crowds from an airplane.  

Section Emergency Coordinator of the ARRL Maine Section Keith Anoe, KE4UCW, held hourly check - ins via radio with the Maine Emergency Management Agency and other served agencies in case one of them needed to activate the Maine Emergency Communication Net.  

Social media posts throughout the amateur radio space hold anecdotes of 146.52 MHz being extremely active during the post-eclipse traffic jam.

 Radio Gathers  

In Vermont, several ARRL members, who also happen to be pilots, gathered at the Northeast Kingdom International Airport in Newport to watch the eclipse.  

Outside ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, staff members and headquarters volunteers took the opportunity to observe the 92% visible eclipse using a solar viewer built by W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q.  

Radio Studies  

Across the world, radio amateurs participated in the HamSCI Solar Eclipse QSO Party. It involved operating before, during, and after the eclipse to gather log data. Those logs will be studied by researchers in the coming years to further investigate the sun's impact on the ionosphere.  

HamSCI's program leader Dr. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, was active from The University of Scranton Amateur Radio Club station. "I'm happy to report that we had an excellent day at W3USR in Scranton and believe that we both had fun and collected good data," he wrote in a message to the HamSCI team.  

The organizers request that those who operated in the event upload their logs. If you used N1MM+ or N3FJP loggers, there's a setting called Solar Eclipse QSO Party. Participants can also submit a Cabrillo or ADIF file of their activity. All logs should go to



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