On Friday, February 8, 2019, WWV committee members Darren Kalmbach KC0ZIE, Kevin Utter N7GES, and Dave Swartz WODAS met with John Lowe, WWV/WWVB/WWVH Station Manager, Matt Deutch, N0RGT and WWV Chief Engineer, and Glenn Nelson, WWV Electronics Technician.
This was the first meeting for the committee and NIST since the government funding was reauthorized and the first to include NIST upper management. The meeting was very productive, helping clarify the involvement of both NCARC and NIST in planning for the 100th anniversary.
NIST management is “on board” with the celebration.
John Lowe, NIST Station Manager, made it very clear that the government can’t fund any of the amateur radio special event station, but can allow it to use the already identified 15-acre parcel on WWV property. The operating site lies outside the security fence and simplifies logistics. NCARC will also conduct RF and site tests through the summer, and are aiming for a dry run at the end of August/first of September. Antenna installs will occur throughout September for the special event station, which will operate September 28 - October 2.
NIST will plan and produce the celebration on October 1, 2019, at the station site. Plans include reflections and comments by NIST officials, as well as comments from local dignitaries and civic leaders.
NIST will issue a press release soon regarding the WWV 100th Anniversary, including more details.
Matt Deutch, WWV Chief Engineer, will be going to Dayton for the Hamvention May 17-19, to promote the 100th anniversary.
Discussions on Feb 8 included the need to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the involvement of both NIST and NCARC. John Lowe will check with NIST lawyers for clarification of land use policy and liability issues related to having a special events station on NIST property.
John Lowe shared some handsome artwork related to the 100th anniversary, and we’ll post here once we’re allowed to. Let’s just say it’s a working design!
NIST was also contacted by the US Northern Command MARS operations, and they are also interested in the special events amateur radio station. NIST will facilitate discussions about their involvement in the special event amateur radio station.
NIST can support the celebratory events at the station proper on October 1. NIST can NOT, however, provide consumables, as restricted by U.S. Government spending regulations. This also prohibits the purchase of drinks and a birthday cake, but private donations will ensure we celebrate in style. A 100th birthday party needs a really nice cake!
In summary, the 100th celebration of WWV will be October 1, 2019, at the station site north of Fort Collins. NCARC will operate a special events amateur radio station on NIST property adjacent to WWV/WWVB from September 28 through October 2, 2019.
We are aware that many in the amateur community want to help operate the station, and we certainly can’t do this alone. The initial press release in mid-January was to ARRL affiliated clubs in Colorado. Hopefully this was shared with various club members, and a few hams out there are thinking about traveling to Fort Collins for the event. NCARC is completing a review of the operator’s application and will post this on the WWV100.com website on March 1, 2019. We’ll use the next few weeks improving some questions and also will investigate motel/hotel/RV camping options for potential operators. There will be no on-site RV parking. More to come on this soon.
In the meantime, amateurs interested in participating next fall may want to consider signing up as representatives of a club, or in a team of two as a minimum. Operations will be a team of 2 for a two-hour block, with a suggested overlap of 30 minutes prior to and after each session. The 2-person teams could potentially operate a second shift, but we also would like as many operators involved as practical. Consider if you’d like to operate at the beginning of the 5-day period, the middle, or the end. Also suggest several blocks of time to make assignments easier. You are welcome to hang out at the station as you’d like, but know it will be a busy place, and operators will designate their own working environment. There are plenty of other things to do while here; we hope a Northern Colorado vacation becomes part of your fall plans. Let us know if you have any questions.
The WWV committee will meet again in two weeks, at 4pm on February 22, 2019, at the WWVB conference room.