W1AW to Celebrate World Amateur Radio Day as NU1AW
Each year on the anniversary of its founding, April 18, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) marks World Amateur Radio Day. On this, the 83rd anniversary of its inaugural meeting in Paris, the IARU dedicates World Amateur Radio Day to the radio amateurs, educators and administrators who use Amateur Radio to support technology education in the classroom.
While the actual date of World Amateur Radio Day is not until next month, ARRL staffers will be activating W1AW in the CQ WPX SSB Contest this weekend (March 29-30) using the IARU club call sign NU1AW. By celebrating the event, staffers hope to provide an opportunity for hams worldwide to put NU1AW in their logs, chase the WPX award and learn about HF propagation as the world turns through day and night not once, but twice! Springtime propagation near the equinox is enhanced on the HF bands, even during the Solar Cycle minimum, so it's worth taking a listen even if the HF bands have been quiet lately.
This year's theme for World Amateur Radio Day is "Amateur Radio: A Foundation of Technical Knowledge." What better way to express the theme than by engaging in one of the largest international radiosporting events. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, said, "If you haven't tried HF contesting or the WPX contest, the general format is to exchange a signal report (a simple '59' will do nicely) and a serial number (the number of the contact in the contest for you). The contest Web site spells out the way to compute your score, but the fun of this contest is to contact as many different prefixes as possible. For example, NU1AW counts as the NU1 prefix and KX9X counts as KX9. If you're new to HF, your prefix might be one sought after by those calling CQ! The WPX contest also features a 'Rookie' category for new radiosport folk, so be sure to send in your log as described by the rules - it's easy!"
World Amateur Radio Day is also an opportunity for publicizing Amateur Radio to the interested public that may not be familiar with ham radio activities. Radiosport is an excellent way to introduce our service to teachers and students, as well. Competitive activities are an important focus for students to take the opportunity to ask questions about how signals get "from here to there" while watching hams make rapid-fire contacts around the world or even making a contact or two themselves, Kutzko said.
"NU1AW is not expected to be seriously competitive in the event," Kutzko explained, "but will make every attempt to be on the air as propagation warrants, so we hope to hear you marking the day and making World Amateur Radio Day a part of your springtime ham radio operation."