Operating Notes: WA2HOM 11/3/13

I had a great time down at WA2HOM yesterday. I only spent two hours down there, but I managed to work three special-event stations and even did a little running in the Sweepstakes contest.

RCA officially began operations from this site on Long Island on November 5, 1921.

RCA officially began operations from this site on Long Island on November 5, 1921.

The first special event station I worked was W2RC, the club station of the Radio Central Amateur Radio Club. W2RC was operating from the RCA Radio Central facility in Rocky Point, NY, shown in the photo at right. RCA officially began operations from this facility on November 5, 1921, and, at the time, it was the largest transmitter facility in the world.

I also worked W0I, a special event station run by the Arrowhead ARC commemorating the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The club was operating from the pilot house of the William A. Irvin, a Great Lakes freighter docked in Duluth, MN.

The club’s website notes, “The club was founded in 1929 and received its charter from the ARRL and was signed by W1AW, Hiram Percy Maxim himself. The club continues to hold monthly meetings and has a yearly Hamfest, Christmas Party, Picnic, as well as supports local VE testing in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.” What a great history!

The third special event station was with N4V, operating from the Stuart (FL) Air Show. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the ops there talking about the show, but I did visit the show’s website this morning, and it looks like quite an affair.

If you’re interested in working special event stations, go to the special event stations page on the ARRL website. I visit it nearly every weekend when I’m down at the museum.

I would also encourage you and your club to organize a special event. It’s a lot of fun to be on the other end of the mic or key. If you do organize a special event, make sure to get it listed on the ARRL site. You can do this by filling out the Special Event Listing Form.


  1. Hi Dan

    Thanks for mentioning our club (W2RC).

    The shack in the photo was originally built in Babylon around the turn of the century and is believed to be the first structure built in North America specifically for radio communications. It was used to train ship to shore operators for vessel traffic control in New York harbor. The shack has been moved a few times over the years and presently stands on the school grounds of the Frank J. Carasiti Elementary School in Rocky Point, NY. Our club operates special events from the building twice a year, once to celebrate the anniversary of the commissioning of RCA’s Radio Central facility in 1921 (hence the name Radio Central Day) and once in April to celebrate Marconi’s birthday on International Marconi Day.

    RCA Radio Central, the transmitting station from which our club derives its name, is quite another story. This mighty transmitter site was built circa 1920 and was placed on the air for the first time on November 5, 1921. In its day, Radio Central was the largest and most powerful wireless transmitter site in the world. In 1977, the last of the mighty towers came down, with the advent of satellites rendering commercial HF communications obsolete. Here is a link to a great article describing Radio Central:

    73 de Neil, KC2KY
    President, Radio Central Amateur Radio Club

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