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Volunteers Celebrate 98th Anniversary of ARRL Transatlantic Tests at W1AW


A group of radio amateurs gathered on December 11 at W1AW to mark the 98th anniversary of the successful ARRL Transatlantic Tests. On December 11, 1921, a message transmitted by a group of Radio Club of America members at 1BCG in Greenwich, Connecticut, was copied by Paul Godley, 2ZE, in Scotland. Reporting on the accomplishment, ARRL Secretary Kenneth B. Warner, 1EH, declared “Excelsior!” Clark Burgard, N1BCG — who lives in Greenwich and fashions his call sign as n1BCG to honor the original 1BCG — was among those on hand at the Maxim Memorial Station.

“We completed a successful special event yesterday at W1AW commemorating the 98th anniversary of the Transatlantic Tests,” Burgard recounted. “This was particularly important historically to amateur radio as it was originally organized by the ARRL in 1921 to determine if low-power amateur radio stations using shortwave frequencies could actually be heard in Europe. Until then, it was thought impossible.”

Burgard pointed out that the 1921 event changed radio history, took three issues of QST to cover, and opened the door to the first two-way transatlantic tests a couple of years later. The 1921 transatlantic success marked the beginning of what would become routine communication between US radio amateurs and those in other parts of the world — literally the birth of DX.

Those pitching in to take part in the day-long anniversary celebration were Michael Pfaeffle, K3FEF; Lisa Kress; Brian Kress, KB3WFV; Bob Allison, WB1GCM; Blaine Morin, N1GTU; Clark Burgard, N1BCG; Chris Codella, W2PA; Glenn Cooper, W2BK, and Greg Fiozzo, KD2HRD.



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