160m Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party

0200 – 0800 UTC Sunday, 12 December, 2021

On 12 December 2021 we celebrate the centenary of the first message being received across the Atlantic Ocean by Amateur Radio.

In December 1921, the ARRL (the National Association for Amateur Radio® in the US) sent Paul F. Godley, who held the US callsign 2ZE, as their representative to listen for amateur signals from North America during the Second Transatlantic Tests. Godley setup his listening equipment in Ardrossan on the west coast of Scotland. He received the signals of over two dozen American stations, heralding the dawn of Transatlantic amateur radio communications.

At 0252 in the morning of 12 December in Scotland, (the evening of 11 December in the US), Godley received a personal message from the ARRL station 1BCG in Connecticut. “Nr 1 de 1BCG words 12, New York. Date December 11, 1921, to Paul Godley, Ardrossan, Scotland. Hearty Congratulations. (Signed) Burghard, Inman, Grinan, Armstrong, Amy, Cronkhite.”

Inside Paul Godley’s Ardrossan tent; Mr. Pearson of Marconi Ltd (seated), December 1921 – copyright Bruce Littlefield, used with their kind permission

QSO Party Details

The RSGB and ARRL will each activate special event stations for six hours on 160-meters to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the success of the Second Transatlantic Tests.

  • RSGB will activate GB2ZE from Scotland, with a team of stations from the GMDX Group sharing the operating
  • ARRL will activate W1AW from Newington Connecticut

The stations will operate on CW only. Please try to work both stations. At times the stations may listen for callers 1kHz above their transmitting frequency, to help those listening for them. They may also ask for DX callers only periodically.

Starting at 0200 UTC, operation will continue until 0800 UTC; if propagation across the Atlantic holds up, the stations may continue to operate beyond 0800 UTC.

GMDX Group of Scotland will award a cup – a quaich (traditional Scottish drinking cup representing friendship) – to the first stations in North America and the UK to complete contacts with both GB2ZE and W1AW during the QSO Party. Successful QSOs achieved will be published jointly by RSGB and ARRL, and there will be a commemorative certificate for stations that work one or both of the activations.

GMDX Quaich from a 2014 event

GB2ZE

The operating team for GB2ZE are:

0200 GM0DEQ and Ardrossan crew
0300 GM3YTS
0400 GM0GAV
0500 MM0ZBH
0600 MM0GPZ
0700 GM4AFF until band closes at sunrise. s/r is around 0840

Photographs

We would love to have photographs of your celebrations of this centenary. If you are able to include vintage equipment or period dress, then so much the better. Please send any pictures, with your permission for the RSGB to publish, to ContestClub@rsgbcc.org.