Transatlantic Centenary

| September 24, 2021

The RSGB and the ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® in the US have announced joint events to celebrate the achievement of transatlantic communications by radio amateurs 100 years ago. 

In December 1921, ARRL 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 set up his listening equipment in Ardrossan, on the west coast of Scotland. He received the signals of more than 2 dozen American Amateur Radio stations.

During the morning of 12 December in Scotland, (the evening of 11 December in the US), Godley received the first transatlantic message from Amateur Radio station 1BCG in Connecticut, operated by members of the Radio Club of America (RCA). The message read, “Nr 1 NY ck 12 to Paul Godley, Ardrossan, Scotland. Hearty Congratulations. (Signed) Burghard Inman Grinan Armstrong Amy Cronkhite.”

These successful Transatlantic Tests, and the ones that followed in the next years, would spur technological advances and new wireless distance records spanning the globe. The following events commemorate the centenary of these significant milestones that heralded the dawn of two-way international Amateur Radio communications.

160-Meter Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party 

0200 – 0800 UTC Sunday, December 12, 2021
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the successful Second Transatlantic Tests, ARRL and RSGB will activate special event stations for 6 hours on 12 December 2021 for the 160-Meter Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party. 

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 by Morse code (CW) only. Operation will start at 0200UTC and continue until 0800UTC. If propagation across the Atlantic holds up, the stations may continue to operate beyond 0800UTC. 

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

Transatlantic Centenary Marathon

December 2022

The RSGB and ARRL are also organising an international Amateur Radio Marathon on the HF bands, commemorating the centenary of the Transatlantic Tests held between 1921 and 1923. The Transatlantic Centenary Marathon will be held in December 2022. The objective of the Marathon will be to mark these historic events by encouraging all radio amateurs to get on the air and make QSOs. Full details will be available closer to the event.

More Events and Commemorations

The RSGB and the ARRL have assembled a list of stations and groups who are also organising events and activities to celebrate 100 years of Amateur Radio transatlantic communications. For more information, visit and The sites also include links to many previously published articles and presentations covering the historic Tests. Here are a few additional events and commemorations:

  • Radio Club of America (RCA) Transatlantic QSO Party, 1200UTC 13 November 2021 to 0400UTC 14 November 2021 (16 hours total). The QSO Party commemorates the contribution of members of the Radio Club of America, who, on 11 December 1921, from a station constructed and operated in Greenwich, Connecticut, sent the first message received by Godley in Scotland. The callsign used by the RCA members was 1BCG. Visit the RCA website for the QSO Party exchange and rules.
  • W1AW Commemorative Transatlantic QSL Card. Stations making contact with the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, from 11 December 2021 to 31 December 2022 may seek a commemorative W1AW QSL card. The Maxim Memorial Station is located at ARRL’s headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. US stations, please QSL with a SASE; international stations QSL via the Bureau.
  • The 2021 ARRL 160-Meter Contest, 2200UTC Friday, 3 December — 1559UTC Sunday, 5 December. This 42-hour annual CW contest is most similar to the original Transatlantic Tests of the early 1920s. International stations work ARRL/RAC Sections. W/VE stations work stations in ARRL/RAC Sections and DXCC entities. RSGB is planning to activate one of the original call signs that was used in the Transatlantic Tests with up to seven different prefixes from the UK and Crown Dependencies. Look for G6XX England, GD6XX Isle of Man, GI6XX Northern Ireland, GJ6XX Jersey, GM6XX Scotland, GU6XX Guernsey, and GW6XX Wales. See contest rules.
  • GB1002ZE, 1-26 December 2021. The Crocodile Rock Amateur Group (CRAG) based near Ardrossan in Scotland will activate the special call sign GB1002ZE to commemorate the successful reception of amateur transatlantic signals by Paul Godley, US callsign 2ZE, in 1921. RSGB encourages stations in the UK and Crown Dependencies to add the suffix “/2ZE” to their station’s normal callsign throughout the period, as authorised by Ofcom (the UK regulator).

Category: RSGB Notices