Having Friday off from work I planned to go back to the ARRL HQ located in Newington CT. This time I took a tour and got to operate W1AW which was exciting. Upon arrival you have to check in with the secretary for either a tour and/or use of W1AW. I choose to take the tour since I’m interested . My tour guide was a very nice gentleman named Dan Arnold (W1CNI) who is a volunteer tour guide. He took me around the ARRL headquaters to different parts and departments of the building.
One area he took me was to the Ham Aid table.
These Ham Aid Go Kits consist of a couple of transceivers to help provide communications to disaster areas. Haiti and Louisiana were just a couple of places that received kits. Behind the partition are kits ready to be sent. It’s great to see that at least something is being sent.
Another area that I was shown was the QSL Department.
Looks sort of like an old style mail room. It’s rose-annes job to sort all the QSL cards that come into the ARRL Headquaters by country destination, box them up and prepare them for shipping all around the world. It’s a nice sight to see that people are still using QSL cards in the electronic age where everything is “E” this and “E” that. I would rather get a QSL card in the mail than a E-QSL card.
The one area I wanted to see inside ARRL headquaters is the lab. However the lab is undergoing renovations and was completely gutted. They hope for completion in early April. So maybe another time I will go back to check out the lab.
Across the parking lot is the Hiram Percy Maxium W1AW building.
(Should have taken a picture of the building… Doi!)
Inside W1AW is some history on the ARRL’s Co-Founder, Hiram Percy Maxim. There is also 3 studios filled with transceivers, D-Star/Echolink desk and a bank of equipment used for transmissions of their bulletins. Licensed Amateurs are allow to use some of the equipment in W1AW. I got to operate 15meters SSB.
Here I am operating 15M at W1AW. It’s a little (just a little) nerve racking operating their equipment. First off, It’s not mine. I didn’t want to hit a wrong switch or change a setting that I was not supposed to. Another thing is that it’s hard to say a different call other than your own. But after a couple of minutes I worked Aruba, Italy and England. I just wish I had the equipment they had.
While at ARRL I ran into four nice people that are members of a club that I recently joined. It’s a small New England world. One of which I took a class that he taught (No, Not grammer class!) on Ham radio back in the late 90’s.
Here is some of their equipment they used in broadcasting. So all of the CW runs and bulletins originate here.
Here is the desk with their D-Star equipment and Echolink setup.
Overall I had a great day and If time allotted, I would have stayed a lot longer and snapped more photos. If your a ARRL member and in the area during the weekday, I would stop in and either visit and/or take a tour.