It's very short notice, but I wanted to share this recently discovered news item from the ARRL, giving my fellow Antarctica enthusiasts the opportunity to tune in to some very special, festive signals from "The Great White Continent" this Christmas Season! Thanks to my friend Alan Gale G4TMV for notifying me!
Each year, the “residents” of McMurdo Station, Antarctica, celebrate Christmas by singing and sharing Christmas Carols via HF — using a non-Amateur Radio frequency just above 40 meters — for those at remote Antarctic field camps. They’ll be doing it again in 2017, on Saturday, December 23, at 2300 UTC.
“Multiple stations are involved, each with different equipment,” explained Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, an assistant research professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology who has been part of the chorus in the past. “McMurdo Station and South Pole Station probably have the most powerful equipment. Field camps and remote stations could be calling in with systems that put out as little as 20 W.”
Frissell said McMurdo Station would serve as a net control of sorts to coordinate the various broadcasts, which will include a small choir and vibraphonist John Piper at McMurdo. Other camps and South Pole Station each will have a chance to chime in.
“This year, we are asking ham radio operators around the world to listen in and e-mail short-wave listening reports telling us how far away the carols are heard,” Frissell said. “Last time I did this, almost all of the positive QSL reports were from South Pole Station.”
The broadcast will take place on December 23 on 7995 kHz USB at 2300 UTC, which will be Christmas Eve in some parts of the world. Frissell requests reports via e-mail. For a Christmas in Antarctica SWL QSL card, send an SASE to his home address. A YouTube recording offers a sample of last year’s transmission.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, Frissell started HamSCI, Ham Radio Science Investigation, which sponsored the Solar Eclipse QSO Party this past year. At NJIT, he works in the Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research.