The Maine Bicentennial Special Event take place March 16-22

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The Maine Bicentennial Special Event, an amateur radio activity celebrating the 200th anniversary of Maine statehood, will take place between March 16th and March 22nd, 2020.

Twelve special event call signs will be active, each representing one of Maine’s nine original counties, plus three special locations that have historical significance. These include the city of Boston (K1B), which was capital of the District of Maine while it was still part of Massachusetts, Jameson Tavern, in Freeport (K1J), where the papers were signed that separated Maine from Massachusetts, and Portland (K1P), which was Maine’s first capital. The original nine counties will be represented by the following call signs during the event: Cumberland (W1C), Hancock (W1H), Kennebec (W1K), Lincoln (W1L), Oxford (W1O), Penobscot (W1P), Somerset (W1S), Washington (W1W), and York (W1Y).

Maine became the nation’s 23rd state on March 15, 1820, following an election in the District of Maine, and passage of the Missouri Compromise in Washington. Although the idea of separation from Massachusetts was a controversial one, 70% of Maine voters eventually chose statehood.

The ham radio special event will coincide with several other celebrations during Maine’s Bicentennial year. Amateur radio operators from across Maine and Massachusetts, will operate from both portable and home stations. On-air activities will begin at 0000 UTC on March 16th, and continue through 2359 UTC on March 22nd.

Certificates will be awarded to hams who contact special event stations, with endorsements available for bands, modes, and a clean sweep for contacts with each of the Maine 200 Special Event call signs.

Please visit: https://maine200specialevent.com/ for more information and announcements leading up to this special on-air activity.

ATTENTION MAINE HAMS: If you’re interested in operating during the Maine 200 Special Event, please send an email to: mainehamradio@gmail.com

 

WS1SM Team Activates Mt. Agamenticus for Summits on the Air (SOTA)

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by Tim Watson, KB1HNZ

YORK, ME – The WS1SM team ventured to the summit of Mt. Agamenticus on May 19th, meeting for breakfast at Maine Diner, in Wells, before making their way up the mountain. Among those who participated were Greg Dean K1ME, CJ Carlsson W1CJC, Brad Brown KC1JMH, Eric Emery KC1HJK, and myself. It was my second activation from the summit, having been part of the 2013 team, but for the others, it was their first SOTA activation from Mt. Agamenticus (W1/AM-381).

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Greg Dean K1ME (left) operates 20m CW, while Eric Emery KC1HJK (foreground), makes his first HF contact, on 20m SSB

Being a former ski area “The Big A,” Mt. Aggie is more developed than most of the mountains we hike to. There is a summit house, that was once a ski lodge, well groomed hiking trails, a parking area, and remnants of an old T-bar chair lift, among other relics. We set up our stations on a picnic table on the northern side of the clearing at the top.

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CJ Carlsson W1CJC, operates 40m SSB

Among the equipment used were my Yaesu Ft-857d and BuddiPole rotatable dipole, which I used on 14 and 21 MHz, CJ’s Icom IC706, which was paired with a 40m dipole strung in the trees, and various VHF radios. Greg brought a yagi for 144, which made for some interesting contacts, and we also used a TYT TH-9000D and J Pole for 220 MHz. Brad KC1JMH also took the opportunity to try his partially finished QRP kit on the air for the first time.

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A friend stops by

The weather was cloudy and windy at times, but otherwise pretty nice compared to the several days of rain that preceded the expedition. The only rain we experienced was a little bit on the drive toward the mountain, and some during setup, but it didn’t last. Conditions on the HF bands were much worse, however, and contacts were slow going with only a handful on SSB and CW. We made the majority of our QSOs on VHF, making one summit-to-summit contact, and one as far away as Boxboro, MA on 2 meter FM Simplex.

Photos courtesy of Eric Emery (copyright mark), and Brad Brown

For more information about WSSM SOTA expeditions, click here.