Not many magazines celebrate a 100 year anniversary, but when it happens, it’s time to get the word out. Ham radio’s largest publication is marking a centennial this year, and a special on-air event is noting the occasion through mid-December.
Station “W1Q” will commemorate the founding of QST Magazine, the monthly journal of the American Radio Relay League, which published its first issue in December, 1915 – not long after the founding of the ARRL in West Hartford, CT.
The W1Q special event is managed by Cheshire (Connecticut) resident Harold Kramer, who is ARRL’s chief operating officer and publisher of QST, as well as supervisor of the agency’s publication division. Kramer, whose call sign is WJ1B, and a handful of other volunteers will make commemorative radio contacts through December 15.
Notably, W1Q will be heard in the 160 meter contest during the weekend of December 4-6, with ARRL staffer Joe Carcia handling the honors. Three other hams will operate W1Q from locations in Connecticut, and at least one will be on the air from Florida during the two week period.
Further operating details and frequencies will be posted on Kramer’s website, WJ1B.com and real-time activity will be spotted on the ham website dxwatch.com. Hams who make contact with W1Q can receive unique collectible QSL cards by mailing directly to Kramer, through the QSL bureau system or via the Logbook of the World (LoTW), where contacts are processed electronically.
Kramer said the event is designed to honor QST and its visionary founder, Hiram Percy Maxim. “One hundred years ago, in December 1915, a middle-aged Hiram Percy Maxim and a teenage Clarence Tuska, working only a few miles away from the ARRL’s current headquarters, literally cranked out the first issue of QST on a mimeograph machine.”
“Remarkably, much of QST’s editorial content – in the form of articles, reports and event notifications, still comes directly from ARRL members,” Kramer wrote in his monthly QST column, “Inside HQ.” The first issue of QST was only 24 pages long and contained one technical article on how “Hertzian waves” are generated by an antenna and travel through the “ether”. It also discussed how a radio relay system could serve the national defense in World War I, as affairs in Europe soured and the United States was pulled into the conflict.
Today, QST has a circulation of more than 150,000 and is distributed to ARRL members, both in print and online. The publication contains technical and operating information for hams, plus radio and electronics related advertising. A 100-year collectible commemorative can be purchased directly online by following this link.