A vintage camper in Edgerton owned by former Gardner businessman Del Sawyer was the scene this past Saturday of a special amateur radio event celebrating the 162nd anniversary of the admission of Kansas to the Union.
Over a five-hour period, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., members of the Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club manned two operating stations in striving to hook up with as many other licensed operators, or “hams,” as possible the day before Kansas Day. The group included Sawyer, call sign K0DDS, Gil Ludwig of Gardner, WA0YCY, Joe Krout, KR0UT, Marty Peters, KE0PEZ, the secretary-treasurer of the club, Bob Shaumeyer, KC0TZX, and Peg Nichols, KD0VQO.
Using the club call sign KS0KS, the SFTARC’ers connected with a total of 113 “hams,” 103 from the single sideband station in the front part of the camper and 10 from the continuous wave (i.e., Morse code) station in the back. According to Peters, the single sideband station operated on 15 meters and 20 meters and was heard in 16 foreign countries and 22 different states. Canada and nations in Europe accounted for most of these countries, but one member of the club managed to reach a station in South Africa. The CW station operated on 20 meters and 40 meters and got into seven states.
“Many of the hams contacted said that they enjoyed chatting about Kansas and taking part in our special event,”Peters reported afterward.
Asked what he likes most about the Sunflower State, Peters mentioned the Flint Hills.
Sawyer took the opposite position and simply replied, “It›s flat.”
As for Ludwig, he went with both the climate and his fellow Kansans. “I think the weather›s pretty neat, but the people are extremely helpful and friendly,” he related.
For more information about the Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club, visit www. sftarc.org.