A 12,000-Mile Message Relay

On July 31, three RRI operators, using radiotelegraphy, relayed a radiogram over a 12,000-mile circuit from Germany to New Zealand.

At 2030Z, Amateur Station DL4FN, operated by Peter Dintelmann in Erbach, Germany, originated a radiogram message addressed to VK5EEE in Australia, which was transmitted on schedule to WB8WKQ, operated by Jeff Miller, in Dryden, Michigan. WB8WKQ, then relayed the message several hours later at 0345Z to ZL1NZ, Neil Sanderson, located in Auckland, New Zealand via CW, along with another piece of traffic received via the RRI Digital Traffic Network (also from DL4FN). .

ZL1NZ and VK5EEE are members of the “Communicators Without Borders” Network consisting of former maritime radio operators and others located in Oceania and Asia. CWB is affiliated with Radio Relay International.

This 12,000-mile relay may be the first of its kind in Amateur Radio Service history and it was done by steadfast volunteers who have been hard at work developing a robust, reliable traffic system serving not just north America, but many locations overseas in conjunction with affiliated organizations and individuals.

Radio Amateurs are reminded that maintaining a traffic-quality HF radio circuit with distant overseas locations is a challenging test of operator skill and station design.One must communicate on schedule and convey network management data and unpredictable message content in standard radiogram format. This increased complexity does much to improve operator proficiency, which can yield benefits for a variety of operating activities ranging from public service communications to contesting.

In recent months, considerable work has gone into the development of a reliable High Frequency digital circuit to Australia, which serves as a “hub” for network operations in the region. However, experiments with operating a CW circuit between Australia and the Continental United States have also proven practical.

With affiliated radio operators and networks in North America, Europe, Oceania and Asia, Radio Relay International genuinely lives up to its name.

Our congratulations to DL4FN, WB8WKQ and ZL1NZ on their historic achievement. Visit the Radio Relay International web page to learn more at: www.radio-relay.org

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