Weekend Mobile HF, Museum Ships on the Air, and Remembering the Battle of Midway

This past weekend was a fun weekend with the mobile station. It was Museum Ships Weekend 2012 and I spent several hours on Saturday hunting ship stations and also tried on Sunday prior to the IndyCar race from Detroit. The two days on the air were quite different from each other.

On Saturday, the words of the day were patience and perseverance; there were a lot of stations on the air and although there was some QSB (fading) at times, conditions weren’t all that bad. It was difficult, however, for the mobile station to break through so many strong stations. With patience and perseverance throughout Saturday afternoon I was able to log 10 museum ship stations on 20 Meters. That morning after work, I also logged a Stars and Stripes newspaper special event station on 40 Meters. Afterwards I tuned though 20 Meters to see what was going on there and heard a station from New Zealand but he had a massive pileup and the mobile station just wasn’t enough to break through. It was also interesting to hear a station in Iceland that was running 1.5 Kilowatts but referred to himself as “portable!”

The words of the day for Sunday were “What Happened?” Propagation didn’t seem to be near as good as it was on Saturday. On Sunday morning after I got off of work I checked 40 Meters for activity and heard very little (and what I did hear wasn’t very strong). After I woke up Sunday afternoon I quickly checked 40 Meters and still didn’t hear much so I moved on to 20 Meters. 20 Meters was nothing like it was on Saturday; there were plenty of stations to be heard but very few strong enough for me to work. The only one that I heard on Sunday that I didn’t work on Saturday was N1S and it took 30-45 minutes to make a contact with them so patience and perseverance were still at play.

Here’s a list of the special event and museum ship stations that I was able to work throughout the weekend:

W0S – 100th Anniversary of Stars & Stripes Newspaper
NB9QV – USS Cobia (Submarine)
W8C – SS Cedarville
N4WIS – USS Wisconsin (Battleship)
NJ2BB – USS New Jersey (Battleship)
N8LST – LST 393 (Landing Ship Tank)
WW2IND – USS Indianapolis Memorial (Memorial to Cruiser)
W8COD – USS Cod (Submarine)
W5BII – USS Orleck (Destroyer)
W2GLQ – USS Ling (Submarine)
N5E – Tall Ship Elissa
N1S – USS Nautilus (1st US Nuclear Submarine)

Given the subject of the weekend’s special event stations and the nature of many of the ships I worked, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that today is the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Midway which occurred 4-7 June 1942. The Battle of Midway was won by the US Navy over the Japanese Navy at great odds. The victory was made possible through the hard work of Navy Signals Intelligence; they were able to determine Japanese intentions and allow US forces to spring a surprise at Midway. The battle turned out to be a turning point of the Pacific War..

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