100th anniversary of the success of the transatlantic tests

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N2RJ, Dec 11, 2021.

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  1. N2RJ

    N2RJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Today I talk about the 100th anniversary of the transatlantic tests, including failures and successes and the infamous spring hat. Additionally I talk about some events surrounding the commemoration.

    Attached Files:

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  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice job Ria:)


    The re-enactment was SUCCESS! (see K9FJ at hand key of W2RCA transmitting the re-enactment)

    The 1921 --first-- signal across was done by 1BCG with the transmitter and system designed and built by Radio Club of America (RCA) members. They used CW on about 225M. (Note: in 2021 the closest ham band is 160M).

    Last night, exactly 100 years later, the RCA re-enacted that first message at exactly the same time (02:52Z)--and added one for the next 100 years-- from Connecticut. We operated as W2RCA. CW on 160M.

    and appears to have been heard by several hundred other hams and SWLers, as far east as central Europe, as far west as Arkansas....more info on that when it becomes available.

    Did you hear us? Please check out the RCA link tomorrow and we'll post your comments--and download your free certificate! See--

    Transatlantic Test Centennial - Radio Club of America

    W2RCA ALSO made over 100 two-way contacts on CW leading to re-enactment. We worked Scotland 4 times, including the Ardrossan location!

    This re-enactment was made possible by the kind and generous use of K1KI--Thanks Tom!!

    Many thanks and congrats to our colleagues who also shared this adventure... K1KI, RSGB, AWA, ARRL, K3LR, N1BCG, and many others! Ham radio at its best!

    Chip W1YW
    Trustee W2RCA
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
    KD2SPX, K8PG, VK2JI and 3 others like this.
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    W2RCA Message-- 12 Dec 2021 at 0252 UTC....

    W2RCA Transatlantic Centennial Re-enactment Message

    At 0252 GMT 12 Dec 2021, (2152 ET Dec 11)




    Nr 1 de 1BCG W 12 New York Date 11 / 12 – 21

    To Paul Godley Ardrossan Scotland

    Hearty Congratulations

    Burghard Inman Grinan Armstrong Amy Cronkhite


    Best wishes to all from the Radio Club of America for the next 100 years of wireless progress

    73 de W2RCA W2RCA

    QRT CL

    N6SPP likes this.
  4. G3SEA

    G3SEA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cool !
    Mele Kalikimaka ! :cool:
  5. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Indeed. The 100th anniversary of the 1921 Transatlantic Tests was a HUGE success thanks to several organizations that participated in celebrating what is widely considered the birth of both DXing and DXpeditions.

    For example, the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum in Windsor Connecticut (https://www.vrcmct.org) held a well attended all-day open house for the public featuring the set up and operation of a replica 1BCG transmitter by the Antique Wireless Association (http://1bcg.org). This transmitter was originally built for the 75th anniversary of the Transatlantic Tests in 1996 and was put on the air again into an inverted L antenna with regular 160M transmissions that began at 6pm EST.


    Bruce Godley Littlefield, grandson of Paul Godley, the American amateur radio operator who traveled to Scotland in 1921 to listen for signals from U.S. amateur stations, also attended and shared stories of the original event based on hand written notes he has carefully preserved.


    The museum's amateur radio station W1VCM activated as special event n1BCG thanks to Bob Allison (WB1GCM) to promote the event and allow amateurs who made contact to speak with Paul Godley's grandson on this historic anniversary!


    To maximize participation, Mike (K3FEF) set up live YouTube stream throughout the entire event that included a live chat along with virtual tours of the museum, the testing and operation of the 1BCG transmitter, and interviews with Bruce Godley Littlefield who showed the viewers his vast collection of memorabilia including the original logbook from the 1921 Transatlantic Tests.

    Links to the many highlights from the stream should be available in the next day or two...
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  6. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    Did you folks get the replica transmitter back up? We lost hearing it shortly after 6PM...it had an 8KHz wide chirp:-(

    Not sure if anyone heard W2AN (with the replica TX) in Europe... not on RBN or DXsummit with Euro spots... BUT looks like G4PIQ heard you guys 447 at one point:). Did you guys get heard at Ardrossan as W2AN?

    Here are the dxsummit spots...

    01:02 12 Dec
    Last hrd 2342 UTC
    United States
    00:28 12 Dec
    Was 447C here
    United States
    00:23 12 Dec
    next message at 0030Z
    United States
    00:20 12 Dec
    Hrd briefly 2342 UTC
    United States
    00:19 12 Dec
    Hrd briefly 2342 UTC
    United States
    23:57 11 Dec
    Where R they ????
    United States
    23:01 11 Dec
    1BCG centennial event
    United States

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
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  7. MM7WAB

    MM7WAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a member of the Kilmarnock and Loudoun Amateur Radio Club and one of the special event station operators at the Ardrossan site operating as GS2ZE and GB2ZE I would like to thank all who made this event possible.

    After many hours in the cold, wind and rain the Trans--Atlantic re-enactment signals from W2RCA were clearly received and recorded at the Ardrossan event site.

    Many thanks to all those who managed to make contact with GS2ZE, GB2ZE and GB1002ZE while we were operating on HF and VHF in rather challenging conditions. There were also over 100 amateur stations who could not work the special event team at ardrossan on HF or VHF but made contact with us via the FreeSTAR network using DV digital voice modes and through digital and analog repeaters and gateways during the event.

    A special Thank You to those who provided support, assistance and sustainance to the KLARC team at the Ardrossan site during the event. Every little bit of support was greatfully received and helped to keep us going throughout the night.

    Long may You all continue to enjoy this wonderful hobby.

    73 de MM7WAB/2ZE Ardrossan, S.W.Scotland.
    W4ABC, W1YW, WB1GCM and 1 other person like this.
  8. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes! We made several contacts and were able to send most of the planned transmissions despite some setbacks including glowing plates, smoke, and exploding glass fuses. All in all we developed a profound appreciation for what the 1BCG team went through 100 years ago in getting the original transmitter going.

    Interestingly, a review of the "Proceedings Of The Radio Club Of America, 1BCG Commemorative Issue, October 1950" where Ernest Amy and George Burghard shared their recollections of building and operating 1BCG proved that it wasn't all that easy back then either...

    "At Armstrong's suggestion, it was decided on December 5th to rebuild the transmitter, using a master oscillator power amplifier arrangement in order to avoid the self-excited oscillator disadvantages and produce a pure, steady C.W. signal for ideal heterodyne tone reception...

    During the evening of December 6th, however, this new transmitter was put into operation. Using two 250 Watt "P" tubes as amplifiers and one as oscillator the antenna current was slowly increased to 4 amperes, and there it stayed for all adjustments until finally, having worked past 4 amps, it suddenly jumped to 6. A long CQ was sent out at 3.30 until the filter condensers began to boil and break down. We shut down at 4.30 AM."

    But there's more...

    "On December 7th, the first day of the transatlantic tests the entire staff was kept very busy making last minute improvements and adjustments. The control switches for filaments and motor generator were installed on the receiving table and another tube added to the power amplifier which was running much cooler now, but still not satisfactorily. During this time the tests had officially started and we heard many stations sending while we were still in a condition of more or less chaos....

    Although we were still having some condenser troubles and keying difficulties we sent out a long C.Q. calling Godley until the condensers in the master oscillator circuit heated up and forced a shut down."

    Who could ask for any more excitement then or now?
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  9. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The replica was definitely a tough taskmaster! There was a voltage drop during TX that must have produced the chirp.

    BTW, there is a theramin in the photo--- that looks like it was connected to the replica....maybe the source of the chirp;-)?

    Chip W1YW
  10. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh, right, the theramin. As it turned out, the theramin which was part of the museum's exhibits, was nearby, turned on, and connected to an amplifier. You can imagine the sound from the large speaker under the table when the 1BCG transmitter was first keyed!

    Another exciting moment, and there were many, was during the tune-up procedure when a visitor snapped a picture with a brilliant flash. It was easy to tell who was jumpy, understandably.
    N6SPP, KD2SPX, W0PV and 2 others like this.

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