During the week of April 7 to the 14th, 2020, the Sangamon Valley Radio Club sponsored a special event amateur radio station. The station is issued a special call-sign by the FCC which is only good for the time of the event. World-wide, amateur stations enjoy making contacts with stations that are only on the air for short periods of time. This spring, K9L was formed and tasked with remembering the assassination of Abraham Lincoln 155 years ago. K9L was operated by a group of seven amateur radio operators – hams – who spent the week using various different short wave bands to make as many contacts as possible. Most of the conversations were kept short to maximize the number of contacts, but many times the other hams wanted to talk about Lincoln and the Lincoln legacy. We were only too glad to oblige them. After all, as Springfield area residents, we know Lincoln!
During the week-long event, the operators of K9L made contacts with over 600 other hams from here and abroad. We spoke with at least one person in 49 of the 50 states and Puerto Rico, as well as 19 other countries from Canada to Argentina and Hungary to New Zealand.
Beyond the amateur radio hobby experience, these events help demonstrate to the public amateur radios’ unique place in the emergency services realm. During events such as this, we hone our skills at being able to communicate during emergencies when all else has gone silent.
“This event allowed our members to stay safe at home and work as a team while building on their radio operations experience,” says Todd Johnson, President of the SVRC, “and the hook with our local home-town connection to Abe Lincoln just made the event more exciting for everyone.”
Operating the week-long station were Ben Kiningham (K9IDQ), Mitch Hopper (K9ZXO), Dennis Sloman (W9UXZ), Marc Brown (NZ9A), Jack Alspaugh (N9UFO), Larry Lichtenberger, KA9LBI, and Chuck Hopper (K9PLX).
By the way; ALL the new K9L SL cards have been scanned and moved on-line with ALL the rest of the clubs cards. See them here: http://svrc.org/qslimg/
Below are coverage maps and a sampling of QSL cards taken from the logs of K9L.