Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station (BNJARS)


| BNJARS at Dayton Hamvention 2006| Commissioning Day & Memorial Day Weekend |
| Museum Ship Weekend 2006 | Balloon LaunchJOTA Oct 2006 |

BNJARS at Dayton Hamvention - May 19-21, 2006

     Well another year of Dayton Hamvention is behind us. Same as last year, we had a great time manning the BNJARS booth (#319). though we were not asked to put on a forum discussion this year, we still managed to get the word out about our restoration efforts on the Big "J", what a great museum She is, and our sponsorship of the Museum Ships Weekend Event. We didn't take a head count but the numbers may have been down a bit from last year. Not due to any decrease in interest in our work but the overall decreased attendance of hamfests everywhere. As I mentioned, we weren't asked to do a forum this year and several visitors to our booth were disappointed. We've already placed our name on the list for next year so hopefully we'll be asked to present at Hamvention 2007.

     One of the biggest draws to the booth this year was a special display promoting Museum Ships Weekend Event. A BIG thank you to Margaret for putting together the PowerPoint presentation of the ships and the poster of all the ship pictures. We were visited by several operators from the various ships and they all expressed their appreciation for our sponsorship of this event. I think we added one or two new ones to the list as a result of the display as well.
     Several veterans stopped by and talked about how BB-62 saved their lives while serving in Vietnam. It still amazes me how many people have either served on the ship or seen her in action. Guess that comes with nearly 50 years of active service. Also surprising was the number of people from the New Jersey area that stopped by who did not know the ship was in Camden and did not know it was now a museum! Nearly all promised to pay us a visit.
     Saturday morning we were visited by Ron W8RJL (President of Battleship Wisconsin Radio Club). Ron brought along his father Ned (W8BQJ). Ron was returning the favor his father did him some 52 years ago. Ron took and passed his Novice test at Dayton Hamvention in 1954! Dave had quite a long chat with Ned who was a Navy SeeBee (Construction Battalion) many many years ago.

Special thanks to our booth personnel - Dave WA2TVS, Margaret KB2BRR and Harry AA2WN.

Commissioning Day & Memorial Day Weekend Operations

     Although we didn't have any formal event scheduled for these days, several of our members got on the air on Saturday, May 21 to make a few contacts. In fact we even had a visit from members of the SCARA group who got us on the air on Sunday May 21. Thanks everyone for celebrating the ship's Commisioning Day.

     Over the Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, 2006, BNJARS had a special visitor to the shack. On Sunday May 28, Bill Edgar, N3LLR, visited the BNJARS shack with SNJ Section Manager Jean Priestley, KA2YKN and Lou Priestley, N2HQL. Bill seemed to be quite impressed with the station setup as well as with all the work BNJARS members had done on restoration of the Radio Room.

     On Memorial Day, Monday May 29, Dave, KC3AM and Mike, W2OF operated the station for several hours and talked to a lot of veterans who had either served on the ship or one of her sister ships. Several even mentioned they saw the booth at the Dayton Hamvention. Thanks guys for putting us on the air for a special weekend.

Museum Ship Weekend - June 3 - 4, 2006

     This was our first year as the sole sponsor of this event. There were 71 Museum Ships participating from around the world. Band conditions weren't the greatest but we still managed to get a few contacts. You can view the list of ships here.

      Thanks to the efforts of Gene "Ski" Furmanski and others we made over 100 contacts using "all Navy, all Battleship" gear including the remote Red Phones and the AN/URT-23E. These contacts were made from the Transmitter Room local handset, FACCON 1 Red Phone and the Red Phone located on the Nav Bridge at the Captain's Chair. Ski says for next year, he wants to get the Red Phone at the Admiral's chair wired for use as well. Now if we can just get him to take a microphone in hand and say something!

     Late Sunday afternoon the gang powered up the AN/URT-23 Navy transmitter, set for 300 watts, and operated Radio Teletype (RTTY) in the All Navy All Battleship style that has been worked towards for a long time. Two contacts were made using a Model 15 teleprinter and the Model 28 TD (tape reader) on the transmitter side while a Model 28 RO (receive only) printer took care of the incoming traffic. The Harris HF receiver and the '17E terminal unit covered the incoming signal.

     Just as the first contact was established, the ribbon in the 28 RO broke, meaning we would not be able to see what the other Ham was typing. Ed quickly decided that he could stretch his out going message until a new ribbon was installed in the 28 RO. Little did he know that it would take several minutes to travel to the TTY repair shop, return to FACCON 1 and install the ribbon. Gene H. was quite amused as Dave proceeded to install the new ribbon while the print head was bouncing around in unison with Ed's typing. Ed never missed a beat and the far away Ham was never the wiser of our Keystone Cop act onboard the BB-62.

     21 BNJARS members participated in one form or another over the 2 day period. They consumed lots of coffee, 5 cans of Dinty Moore stew and 2 loafs of bread/butter.

Thanks to the entire BNJARS crew for making this another very successful operation and keeping the voice of the Big "J" alive and well.


470 total contacts
43 States
11 different Countries
15 Ships
21 BNJARS members

     Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Wayne WA2LET and Jean KA2YKN operate in the shack

Ted N3OWM operates from the bridge

Using a "green-key" to do some TTY operations

Copying a TTY message


Alan filling the balloon as Ron, K3ZKO, Harry, AA2WN
and Yassar Antar look on

     We had success!!!!!!!! We did have a minor glitch with the set up of the TinyTrack TNC so it did not transmit altitude data.

     We were able to recover the payload and the parachute with the help of Union Fire Company #1 from Oxford PA. The payload landed in the top of a 70+ foot tree at the entrance to the Horseshoe Boy Scout Camp on Jubilee Road in Chester County PA. Total travel was about 30 miles line of site. We have 20 minutes of video from the 1st 20 minutes of the flight as well as still pictures taken every 5 minutes throughout the flight.

    The MCW beacon was on 146.565 and was how we actually determined we were in the correct area. Once we zeroed in on the MCW beacon we found we were able to hear the APRS beacon direct (thanks to the 70' tree) and that data was decoded and displayed on Ron K3ZKO's laptop computer.


Ladder on the way up to retrieve the payload

The team from left to right
Dave KC3AM, Harry AA2WN, Alan Hutto Teacher, Ron K3ZKO, Yassara Antar Teacher, and Wayne WA2LET


Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)- Oct 2006

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