Museum Ships Weekend 2019

This year’s Museum Ships Weekend was a lot of fun.

Started with the USS Yorktown (WA4USN) on Saturday. By the time I got to the ship, Tom/AJ4UQ had already racked up about 100 QSOs. Then he had to leave, so I had the radio all to myself for the next few hours. Spent a couple hours hunting ships on 20m and 40m to make sure we’d have enough to earn the certificate from NJ2BB (need 15 ships in the log). Then I found a clear frequency on 20m, parked and started calling. Didn’t take long for the pileup to happen, and added another 60 or so contacts to the log before I had to call it a day. Band conditions were decent with contacts from the northeast and across to Texas and Alabama. Some propagation up to the midwest as well.

Sunday we activated the USS Laffey (NT4HI) and the USS Clamagore (NJ4DU). Tom had the idea to alternate activating the Laffey and Clamagore about every hour or so, with him activating NT4HI while I activated NJ4DU. Seemed to work out pretty well. Working pileups can get tiring so being able to switch up periodically was helpful. We definitely had pileups going for both ships. Lots of fun. Lots of contacts from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas today. Also had some propagation up to the northeast and midwest again too. Had a few Wisconsin and Michigan stations in the log for both ships.

Ended up with close to 200 contacts for each ship today. Pretty good weekend on the air.

Museum Ships Weekend 2018

I ended up being busier than originally anticipated and was only able to operate in Museum Ships Weekend for a few hours Saturday afternoon.

I started off with doing some logging. Band conditions on 20m were pretty crummy and there wasn’t a whole lot of activity we could hear, but we managed to hunt down about 6 other museum ships.

Then it was my turn on the radio and managed to nab a couple more museum ships. Found an open frequency to start calling on, made a few contacts into the Midwest and Northeast. Then a pileup happened and I was working stations as far as CA, and even a few DX stations (Austria, Belgium, and Italy). That lasted about 30 minutes, and then as quickly as the band opened, it shut down again. Towards the end, static crashes from thunderstorms rolling in from the west obliterated any signals we could make out on 20m.

I decided to call it a day around 6PM and turned things over to the evening crew, but I’m not sure they were able to dig up much more activity even after the thunderstorms went by.

There were about 48 contacts, including 10 museum ships (I think) by the time I left. I’ll find out later how the rest of the weekend went.

Museum Ships Weekend 2017

Had a blast playing radio in the NJ2BB Museum Ships Weekend event this weekend. I think this was the first time I’d done any significant radio since last year’s Field Day (I really need to get that antenna up in the air…).

This year two of the ships at Patriot’s Point were activated: the Yorktown (WA4USN) on Saturday and the Clamagore (NJ4DU) on Sunday.

Although there was a lot of QSB on 20m both days, there was still some decent propagation into the northeast, midwest and out west. Lots of contacts in the New York/New Jersey area, a bunch of contacts in California and Michigan/Illinois/Ohio. Texas was a big hot spot of contacts.

Unlike last year, we got some pretty good pileups going, and I was able to work on a pileup for a solid hour on Saturday before taking a break. I had a few other pileups going earlier, but that was the longest one I worked. When I left for the evening, I think we were up to just over 400 contacts for the day for WA4USN.

Sunday I wasn’t able to play radio for as long, but it was the first time I had operated as NJ4DU. Interesting little tidbit:the NJ4DU call sign is derived from the ship’s naval call sign, NJDU.

We got a few small pileups going on 20m before the band got too crowded. Took a bit of a break to look for some other ships, and then found a decently clear frequency to run again. Had a nice little pileup going before I had to call it quits for the day and let someone else take over.

Unfortunately, this may be the last time the Clamagore gets activated for Museum Ships Weekend. Because of its deteriorating condition and high cost for restoration, it looks like it is destined to be sunk for a reef off the coast of Florida.

It may not be the last time NJ4DU gets on the air though.

Next up: Field Day 2017.

Museum Ships Weekend 2016

Spent a few hours on the USS Yorktown yesterday activating it for Museum Ships Weekend as WA4USN. I had the Saturday afternoon shift from noon-4PM. Didn’t bother to count how many contacts I made, but managed to get a few in the log.

Operated mostly on 20m in seek and pounce mode as well as sitting on a frequency calling CQ. I wasn’t able to generate any pileups like some of the other ship stations out there, but there were a few times where I got a nice steady flow of contacts.

The band was pretty noisy with lots of QSB while I was operating. Contacts would be booming in one minute, and by the end of the QSO would be almost down in the noise. Still, it was a lot of fun getting back on the radio and making contacts. Getting to play radio on the Yorktown is always a lot of fun.