Monday, June 21, 2021

Awards: Hudson River Radio Relay 2021


Hudson River Radio Relay

Bringing together so many amateur radio clubs focused on a single goal was actually a pretty special experience

Lets talk about the event and highlight some amazing achievements by our local amateur radio community who took part in the first annual Hudson River Radio Relay event, this year featuring Bannerman's Island.

HR3:2021 Top Op Award

Our goal as a collective group of 8 stations was to make 2,000 radio contacts in 4 hours.  

While we fell short of this goal and only managed to generate 526 contacts, this was still amazing since that works out to more than 2 contacts per minute!

This year, the N2O station which was operated by the Orange County Amateur Radio Club made the most contacts at 194 in total.

Brian N2BTD, John KD2PTX, James KD2VTM and Dane KD2SSS were the ones who did most of the heavy lifting that day. 

They will have a lot to do next year to beat the score and fend off all other participants. Nicely done N2O OCARC Team!  

From left to right, only a small part of team N2O
John KD2PTX, Bruce KD2PSP, Erica N2TUC, Dane KD2SSS, & Stephen KD2JJY

HR3:2021 Individual Top Op Awards

With the N2O team logging the most collective contacts, it was Brian N2BTD (87) who just narrowly beat out Lloyd K2JVX (83) as part of the N2B team organized by HVDN for the most contacts overall.  Third place goes to John KD2PTX with 59 total contacts.   

What seemed to be the trend for Brian, Lloyd and John was to keep things simple. All only focused on voice modes and spent the majority of the time on 20m, but both John and Brian jumped to other bands and added even more contacts which helped them do so much amazing work.

While Brian and John both operated from fixed position mobile stations talked more about in the upcoming N2O article, Lloyd was stationary on Bannerman's Island  also known as USIAP NY-047, POTA K-2079 and COTA K-00047 which will be talked about in a N2B specific article. 

K2JVX, N2B, Bannerman's Island
Lloyd K2JVX operating as N2B from Bannerman's Island - USIAP NY047's 1st activation! 

HR3:2021  Grid Iron Gang Awards

A major focus of the Hudson River Radio Relay (HR3) event during the ARRL VHF Contest which overlapped our special event on June 12th was to see how many grids we could work as a group not only on VHF, but also on HF.

Steve K2GOG, the main organizer of the HR3, faced some disbelief that HF operators would share a grid locator, since that is normally something only done on VHF, satellite and some SOTA or POTA activations. As it turns out, this was not as big an issue as many had said it would be when making contacts on HF.

For the collective group of eight special event stations, a total of 134 grid squares were contacted in four hours and the N2O powerhouse team notched 77 grids.  

The HVDN N2B team reached 61 grids and a third place tie of 44 went to both the N2N station run by the Peekskill & Cortlandt Amateur Radio Association (PCARA)  and the N2S station jointly operated by the QSY Society and the Mt. Beacon Amateur Radio Club. A more detailed breakdown will follow.

Grid squares, FN31, FN21, HVDN, VHF contest 2021,  K2GOG
Visualization of some of the grids worked per station
as part of the first Hudson River Radio Relay 

HR3:2021 Continental Distance Award

Possibly a surprise to those who were part of the Overlook Mountain Amateur Radio Club who worked very hard to reach a total of 19 contacts was the fact that they had one of the few contacts across North America to reach the furthest.   

All the way on the opposite side of the country in grid CN87 was KB7THX at 2,455 miles away and Al is who to thank for pulling in two of our special event stations in out on the west coast.

While the N2S station also happened to make contact with KB7THX twice and on 20m and 40m, it was the OMARC team who did it first according to our time stamped log and is why they are crowned the champion for the HR3:2021 Continental Distance Award thanks to this effort on 17m from Kingston Point Park in Ulster County.

They grew an antenna!  The N2H OMAR team getting ready.
Photo foreground of David KD2MQE and Sarah.  Background Jeff KJ2DOC.
Visit the OMARC Facebook page for more details.

HR3:2021 Global Distance Award

The overall global distance award proved to be hotly contested between the N2O, N2B and N2D stations each reaching more than 4,000 miles away.

Beaming towards the east from FN31 was a nice 4,318 mile contact by N2B on 20m CW to Elemer HA9RE in KN08 and on 20m SSB to Matt SP2IST in JO94 for 4,033 miles.  

Just to the south of N2B was the United States Military Academy at West Point station on Constitution Island (USIAP NY073) operating as N2D. They managed to reach Tibi HA7TM using 20m FT8 in JN97 for a total of  4,277 miles.

It seemed we needed to possibly get into a six digit grid square locator to try and see who was the winner since it appeared as less than 41 miles separated N2D and N2B, but it seems that an error in the log that was later found showed that N2O in FN21 magically worked a 10m band opening 4,943 miles away into Brazil in grid GG43 thanks to PU5JVA on the other end.

The Orange County ARC team behind N2O seems like the team to beat next year! 

The N2D team led by N2WU on USIAP NY073 as its first official activation
along with other cadets looking on

Hudson Valley Heart Award

One of the major goals of the Hudson River Radio Relay event is to promote collaboration between our local community. In this case for 2021, the QSY Society and Mt. Beacon ARC worked together to make the N2S station at College Hill Park a success.  

For the future, it is our hope that other pairings of amateur radio clubs or other organizations like local schools, emergency response or other groups can work together to win the next Hudson Valley Heart Award in 2022. 

Here is a nice drone video taken by Sebastian KI2D who helped Scott W2NTV, Frank W2GIO, Adam AE2AN, Shirley N2SKP and so many others make N2S an example for our region.

HR3:2021 Squeaky Clean Award

The exchange for this special event was call sign,  first name and grid square. Many participating clubs have a lot to work on when it comes to accuracy and completeness when it comes to information exchange. 

Having these skills is important should amateur radio ever be needed for realistic emergency communications.  

Details such as a first name and location could be extremely useful for difficult situations, especially if a club callsign was used and its not clear who the operator on the other end was.  

Same goes for approximate location which is possibly even more valuable compared to exchanging ARRL sections as is done during the annual ARRL Field Day event coming up on June 26th and 27th 2021.

Of a total of 72 contacts, the N2N station operated by the Peekskill & Cortland Amateur Radio Association required almost no in depth analysis  based on very complete logs. Random fact checking also proved a high level of accuracy by the PCARA team.  

Team N2N showing how a well organized operating position
helped them possibly win the squeaky clean log award in 2021.
Indian Point Nuclear Power Station is in the distance.

HR3:2021 Digital Achievement Award

Our four hour long special event focused on promoting four different types of amateur radio technology.  

Analog voice and Morse code have been around for a very long time, but newer counterparts such as digital voice modes like DMR or digital data modes like FT8 are growing in popularity and relevance to the modern amateur radio enthusiast.

The Crystal Radio Club who operated as N2V for the event should not fool anyone with its name since all but one of its contacts came on FT8 and split between 6m, 20m and 40m bands.

For the future, we will look at any special event station that is part of HR3 with the highest percentage of  both any digital voice or digital data mode contacts made compared to the overall total they are able to log. Hopefully Paul K2PH and team can share the secrets of operating digital modes from the field so effectively. 

HR3:2021 Hudson Valley Tough Award

Surely, having to deal with loading all the gear on a boat and operate from an island plus having to bring it all up and down more than 70 wooden steps would make for an easy award for N2B, but the Putnam Emergency Amateur Radio League (PEARL)  seemingly had much tougher conditions to deal with as part of the N2U contingent located at Castle Rock Unique area as part of  POTA K-5161 and K-2079 plus COTA K-00825 in grid FN31.

According to Diana KD2AEG, there was nearly 5 foot tall grass that needed to be flattened out to make a clearing for the antenna and operating tent.

After making quasi crop circles with repurposed 4 foot military mast and a length of paracord, they needed to also do some emergency Power Pole repairs to power up the radios.

While they managed only four contacts and three of those coming via Morse code, much was learned and they are deserving of this year's Hudson Valley Tough Award.

HR3, N2U, PEARL,  Garrison ham radio, hiking ham radio, 146.58
Those scary clouds and tall grass were just a few more things which  did not prevent
PEARL's N2U station  from operating as part of Hudson River Radio Relay

HR3:2021 Awards Summary

  • HR3:2021 Top Op Award - N2O - OCARC
  • HR3:2021 Individual Top Op Award - N2O -N2BTD
  • HR3:2021 Continental Distance Award - N2H - OMARC
  • HR3:2021 Global Distance Award - N2O - OCARC
  • HR3:2021 Grid Iron Gang Award - N2O - OCARC 
  • HR3:2021 Hudson Valley Heart Award - N2S - QSY Society & MBARC
  • HR3:2021 Squeaky Clean Award - N2N - PCARA
  • HR3:2021 Digital Achievement Award - N2V - CRC
  • HR3:2021 Hudson Valley Tough Award - N2U - PEARL

Since this is the first year of the Hudson River Radio Relay, we are going to allow each winner to create an award in the form of some sort of novelty that can be passed on to next year's winner, likely at some sort of official awards lunch for all those who participated in the 2022 event, for which we already have reserved the same special event callsigns.

Stay tuned for more details from each of our 2021 participants in an upcoming series of articles. The map below shows where all eight stations were located and direction of all contacts made.


Steve Bossert K2GOG
Co-Founder, HVDN
Organizer, Hudson River Radio Relay 

Putting the Hudson Valley on the map, N2H, N2U, N2D, N2S, N2O, N2N, N2V, N2B
Putting the HV on the map with HR3 and HVDN

No comments:

Post a Comment

We really do not want to moderate comments, so lets keep it easy to use until it becomes an issue.