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WWV Centennial Celebration and Special Event Kick Off this Weekend


The culmination of months of planning will come to a head this weekend as the WWV Centennial Celebration and the related WW0WWV Amateur Radio special event get under way. WW0WWV will begin operation on Saturday at 0000 UTC and continue through October 2 at 0000 UTC. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club (NCARC), and the WWV Amateur Radio Club have teamed up to organize 100th anniversary events. WW0WWV will be active around the clock on 160 – 6 meters on CW, SSB, and digital modes (FT8 operation will be Fox and Hound, except on 160 meters). WW0WWV will operate from the challenging RF environment at the WWV site near Fort Collins, Colorado. Logs will be streamed live to Club Log, and all logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World (LoTW) after the event ends.

WW0WWV committee member Dave Swartz, W0DAS, said he’s been addressing last-minute details and putting out “many little fires.” Swartz is camping out at the WWV site ahead of the special event.

WWV is reputed to be among the oldest — if not the oldest — continuously operating radio stations in the world. It started out as an experimental station that eventually became a time and frequency standard, and WWV often broadcast music in its early years. WWV served as a beacon for Amateur Radio pioneers, who may only have had a rough idea of where they were transmitting.  When they began, early time announcements were in CW. Voice announcements did not start until 1950. Time announcements used to be every 5 minutes, but WWV switched to announcing the time every 60 seconds in 1971.

W3V East Coast Special Event Will Also Mark WWV Centennial

An unrelated east coast special event, W3V in Maryland, will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of WWV. Originally an experimental/demonstration radio station, WWV was licensed to what then was called the National Bureau of Standards — today NIST — on October 1, 1919. The transmitter site, initially in the Washington, DC, suburbs, moved to the grounds of the Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Beltsville, Maryland, in the 1930s, before relocating to Colorado in 1966.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) also was located on the BARC campus, and the Goddard Amateur Radio Club (GARC) will host the W3V special event September 28 – October 2 at the GARC club station, just north of the old WWV site. It will use the former WA3NAN space shuttle HF retransmission frequencies — 3.860, 7.185, 14.295, 21.395, and 28.650 MHz — as well as amateur satellites. For many years, the GARC retransmissions used 100-foot wooden antenna poles that it inherited from WWV.

As part of the WWV centennial, HamSCI and the Case Amateur Radio Club of Case Western Reserve University (W8EDU) invites all radio amateurs and others capable of making highly accurate HF measurements to participate in the WWV Centennial Festival of Frequency Measurement. The event will take place on WWV’s centennial, October 1, from 0000 to 2359 UTC (starting on Monday evening, September 30, in the Americas). Participants are requested to share their data with the HamSCI community on the Zenodo data-sharing site.



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