Someone named Marconi has successfully completed a contact by wireless across a body of water. But wait - this is almost 120 years after this transmission created unprecedented news - and this is, of course, a different Marconi. The event - with Marconi's daughter - was a big happening nonetheless as we hear from Kevin Trotman N5PRE. Imagine a QSO with a Marconi. If you had been at the Cape Cod National Seashore on Thursday May 31st you would not have needed your imagination. At the Wellfleet Marconi Station there, the rig was tuned to 14.224 MHz. At the microphone was Guglielmo Marconi's daughter, Princess Elettra Marconi. Shortly before noon another wireless Marconi message went out -- this time to the historic Signal Hill station in Newfoundland, Canada. The special event coordinator of the Society of Newfoundland Radio Amateurs, Chris Hillier VO1IDX, had arranged for their station VO1AA to make the contact. At the microphone in Canada was 18-year-old Aaron Kent Abbott VO1FOX. Although Princess Elettra has visited both Marconi stations on previous occasions, the moment's significance was lost on no one - the radio pioneer himself first transmitted from this New England station on Jan. 18, 1903 sending the first two-way wireless message from the U.S. to Europe. It was at the Newfoundland station on Dec. 12, 1901 that Guglielmo Marconi had received that historic first translatlantic signal - the letter "S" sent in Morse Code from England. More than a century later, the event in May was no less remarkable, said Barbara Dugan N1NS, a trustee of KM1CC, the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club. She said [quote] "Marconi's magic was with us." [endquote]
Hams in the U.S. have Field Day on their minds. One group of hams, however, is adding a new element into the mix. Neil Rapp WB9VPG explains. If you're looking for an educational activity bonus for this year's Field Day, maybe D-STAR is the thing for you! D-STAR is one of the several digital voice modes available on VHF and UHF that also makes linking between repeaters easier. The organizers of the Quadnet Array, a group of linked reflectors and smart groups around the world on D-STAR, are inviting groups that want to demonstrate D-STAR to join in as a central gathering place during Field Day. Tom Early, N7TAE explains. We are offering just to say, "Hey, we're here." If you want to demonstrate D-STAR on your Field Day, then we're here and you can talk to us or you can have people listen in. Hopefully it will be fairly busy, so you'll hear some people checking in from all over. But that's pretty much the standard way it is there anyway, because like I say we've got a couple of international reflectors in the array, and there's always someone interesting to talk to. To connect to the Quadnet Array you will need to either login to one of the Smart Groups which include DSTAR1 in New York, DSTAR2 in San Francisco, or DSTAR3 in Ohio. Or, link to one of the reflectors: XRF757A in Atlanta, XLX049D in Northern Ireland, XLX307D in Wyoming, or XLX626D in New Zealand. If you have any questions about connecting to the array, email email@example.com. While you won't be able to use repeaters for scoring QSOs on Field Day, you can score some interest.
High seas emergencies have always gotten top priority for the Maritime Mobile Service Network since it began operations in 1968. So when the latest call for help came in late May, the net answered, as we hear from Christian Cudnik K0STH. Timothy Henning KE7WMZ wasn't expecting to end his around-the-world sail with a distress call - but by the time the Arizona radio amateur's vessel, the Victory Cat, was about 200 miles south of Ensenada Mexico on May 23rd, he had developed a severe problem with his right eye and was having vision issues. He made a distress call on 20 meters at about 1530 UTC and it was picked up by Maritime Mobile Service Network Net Control Operator Harry Williams W0LS. Harry stayed on the radio with Tim while contacting the Coast Guard in California. The Coast Guard met Tim at Ensenada and he was taken from there to the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. According to Net Manager Jeff Savasta KB4JKL, Tim got the diagnosis that he had suffered a severely detached retina. He was taken to Phoenix, Arizona for surgery. Following his surgery, Tim emailed the members of the 50-year-old net to express his gratitude for a response that was, his words "professional and invaluable." His voyage completed, he can now concentrate on recovery.