Among the change I’ve observed since returning to the air recently after a 20 year absence, is the proliferation of special event operations. Yes, there were radio events commemorating one thing or another as far back as 20 or more years, but absolutely nothing to compare to today. Now days you’ll find some sort of special event station on the air almost every single week. In fact, there are no less than 9 Amateur Radio special event stations on the air the week alone!
And I think that’s a very good thing.
Special event operations no only draw attention to a historical or commemorative event, but they bring the public in contact with our wonderful hobby too. And well orchestrated events have literature on hand that invites interested folks to attend a local radio club meeting, or other material that explains the magic of Amateur Radio. And what’s better that actually watching someone send Morse by hand, or hearing a voice from across the country in QSO with the special event station? Why that’s the kind of publicity you just can’t buy at any cost.
And so I made a special point of thanking the operator of KØT when I snagged him on 40 CW a few evenings ago. “Great job helping to promote our hobby”, I said. “And how cool to celebrate Thomas The Tank Engine”, I added. My children admired Thomas’s tenacity and perseverance, for he was a role model we can all look up to.
Note: KØT Special Event for Thomas the Tank Engine will operate from September 11 to 22, 2014, as Thomas the Tank Engine visits the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, in Boone, Iowa.