Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Car Parks On The Air

As the instigator of the Wainwrights On The Air scheme I hope this does not come across as a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I think the mania for "Things On The Air" is getting a bit out of hand.

Courtesy of Dan KB6NU's Blog I have just learned about Railroad Depots on the Air, a group whose aim is to set up radio stations at railroad depots and so that people can collect points by making contacts with them. Where will it all end? I suppose the road transport enthusiasts will set up a competing activity Bus Stations On The Air, if they haven't already.

I wonder if the people who dreamed up Islands On The Air knew what they were starting? Islands tend to be a long way away and expensive to get to, so Richard G3CWI came up with Summits On The Air (SOTA) which offered activators a large number of entities to activate without having to leave the country. Wainwrights On The Air is really just a local, junior SOTA. But both of those schemes have the disadvantage for the average ham unfit from too many hours slouched in front of the radio that you need to hike to the top of the mountain with your gear before you can activate it. So some awards for working easier to reach entities might be welcome.

Pubs On The Air would be extremely popular, especially with me. Certainly the lounge bar of the Bitter End in Cockermouth would make a more pleasant operating location than the top of Helvellyn in a hailstorm. But activators would be wise to get all the CW contacts over and done with at the start of the activation, with PSK31 reserved for just before closing time.

You could also have some programmes of a more topical nature. In Recession Victims On The Air you could earn points from contacting stations operating from closed-down Woolworths and MFI stores.

Car Parks On The Air would be the one for real couch-potato activators. All you would need to do is drive there, park up, turn on the mobile rig and start making contacts. You could even ask people wanting a paper QSL to make a donation to cover the cost of your Pay and Display ticket.

I'm sure you can think of plenty of others...
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