Radio Station WWV celebrates 100 years of service to the country October 1, 2019

By Dave Swartz, Fort Collins

swartzdave@comcast.net

WWV Centennial Committee

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In less than two weeks, on October 1, 2019, radio station WWV, one of the oldest radio stations in the world, will celebrate its 100th anniversary.  The radio station is best known for the broadcast of the national time standard, the “Atomic Clock”, which is closely synchronized with Universal Coordinated Time, or UTC.  WWV also provides frequency standards for radio communications as well as other services.

Amateur Radio operators have used WWV as a standard for radio and frequency calibration since its inception in 1919.  To recognize the historical, cultural, and scientific importance of radio communications and the critical role WWV plays, the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club and the WWV Amateur Radio Club are sponsoring a special event amateur radio station, call sign WW0WWV (that’s W -W – zero – W – W – V).

The station will make as many amateur radio contacts as possible over a 5-day, 120-hour operating period, starting at 6pm Friday, September 27, and going through 6pm on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.  The special event station will operate from the WWV site.  Hundreds of amateur radio operators from around the country are converging at radio station WWV for the event.  Additionally, amateurs and shortwave listeners can take part from their home QTH (location) in the Festival of Frequency Measurement, a citizen’s science effort to study ionospheric phenomena.  The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery will hold a public exhibit of Amateur Radio and displays about WWV on Sunday, September 29, 2019.  The site is half-way between Wellington and Fort Collins north of CO Hwy 1.  Just look for the towers!

The National Bureau of Standards will hold a special 100th anniversary recognition ceremony and reception on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, at radio station WWV, 2000 E. County Rd 58, Fort Collins, CO 80524, starting at 9am, with talks at 10am and tours of the station to follow.

The public is invited to participate, but space is very limited.  Please visit https://appam.certain.com/profile/54379 to register for the event before September 24, 2019.

WWV was licensed and broadcasting a full year before the first commercial radio station in the country, KDKA in Pittsburgh. Early broadcasts were experimental in nature, but also included the first announced broadcast of music to the citizens of Washington, DC.  As commercial radio emerged, there was a need for frequency standards across the radio spectrum, and WWV filled that roll.  In 1944, WWV added the national time standard and has provided that service for the past 75 years.

We take for granted the incredible world we live in, made of matter and energy.  It’s the energy that is continually spreading out throughout the Universe, moving away from its source via electromagnetic waves at the speed of light.  It was 1865 when these waves were first theorized, and radio one of the first waves to be studied and understood.  WWV ushered in electromagnetic waves for the people, and the start of the Mass Communication and Technology as we know it today.  There are only two things in the Universe:  matter and energy.  WWV is all about harnessing energy to communicate to the masses.

For more information about the special event amateur radio station, WW0WWV, and about WWV in general, please visit WWV100.com.  Please contact WWV@ncarc.net for more information or call/text 970-222-6993.