Tune In: The WWV Frequency Celebration

12/10/2022

In March 2023, Tune In: The WWV Frequency Celebration will be held in Fort Collins, Colorado to commemorate 100 years of standard frequency broadcasts from Radio Station WWV. 

“So, why’s that important?”

Back in 1923, the Radio Broadcasting industry was in its infancy.  More and more stations were crowding into a limited space as the popularity of the new technology grew.  The commercial stations (and hams) needed a standard to keep their equipment tuned to their assigned place on the dial (frequency).  WWV started these standard broadcasts on March 6, 1923, and that service continues today, along with the better-known atomic time standard and other services.

As stated in the October 1924 QST Article The Standard-Frequency Set at WWV :

Probably no radio station has ever rendered the American radio world so great a service as WWV in transmitting the standard wave signals. Before these signals began both broadcast and amateur waves were uncertain and often wavemeters disagreed violently. Since the signals began those in the East have been able to make precision calibration on their own wavemeters and pass the information on to the west.

The WWV Amateur Radio Club, along with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery (FCMoD), and the HamSCI organization, are hosting Tune In: The WWV Frequency Celebration on March 2-4 at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Ct, Fort Collins, Colorado, and throughout the month of March on air.

Thursday evening, March 2, NIST will present a talk on the History of the WWV Frequency Broadcasts in the FCMoD OtterBox Digital Dome Theatre.  Additionally, HamSCI will present how the WWV frequency standards are now being used for crowd-sourced citizen science ionospheric research and plans for observations during the upcoming solar eclipses of 2023 and 2024.  The ongoing HamSCI/NIST modulation experiment will also be discussed.  The doors to the museum will open at 5pm, with the talks running from 5:30 until 7:30pm.  Our current plans are to stream the talks live as well as post to YouTube.

Friday, March 3, NIST will be offering tours of the WWV/WWVB facility as well as the NIST Time and Frequency Division at the Boulder Physical Measurement Laboratory.  Tours will occur at WWV in the morning and another in the afternoon.  Tours at NIST Boulder will also occur in the morning and a second in the afternoon.  The travel time of about 90 minutes should be anticipated between WWV north of Fort Collins and NIST Lab on Broadway in Boulder.  There will be time to travel between the tour sites.  Priority sign-up will be held for WWVARC members before opening the tours to the public.

Saturday, March 4, 10am – 3pm, Tune In: The WWV Frequency Celebration at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.  You can look forward to demonstrations of a variety of amateur radio activities including voice contacts, morse code (CW), and digital communications over high frequency as well as satellite contacts, meteor scatter communications, and demonstrations of emergency radio communications.  Colorado and Wyoming Amateur Radio Clubs are welcome to join us in showing off their clubs and activities and helping the public learn about our unique hobby.  Displays and information from various amateur clubs and organizations will be in the Lobby and Learning Labs portions of the museum.  The OtterBox Digital Dome Theatre will host presentations and talks on a variety of amateur topics, and visitors will have a chance to talk live to stations around the world via amateur radio.

Throughout March the WWV ARC will conduct a series of FMPs, Frequency Measurement Practices, preceding the official April 2023 ARRL FMT.  Discussion of frequency measurement techniques and practice will be coordinated through the club’s groups.io threads and Zoom teleconferencing.

As in the past, the WWV ARC will also host a special event station from March 6, 0000 UTC through March 12, 2359 UTC.  Details will be posted to our website and also the club QRZ.com page (WW0WWV).

We look forward to celebrating this important scientific and cultural anniversary and invite you to join us in Fort Collins March 2-4, and also on the air throughout the month of March 2023.