The history of the Comstock Memorial Station was to create a venue for new operators to hone their operating skills and to create a competitive contest station. We’ve accomplished both over the last nearly two decades.
We’ve hosted multioperator contests, including three times as W1AW/7. N6TV has won SS CW twice from W7RN, WX5S has won many Pacific Division plaques for SS Phone and WK6I has another wall of plaques for his dominance in RTTY contests.
In the last six years, the charter of W7RN has changed. The number of operators willing to travel to W7RN for contests has diminished. Recently, with the COVID epidemic, on-site multioperator contesting is not an option and remote contesting has become the new normal. In the 2020 IARU contest, the W7RN remote crew currently holds the #1 spot for USA in Multi-singe, low power, in the high claimed scores.
There is an ever increasing need for remote operating for hams living in restricted communities or retirement homes. W7RN now has two remote hosts and we are adding a third.
While W7RN was built mostly through donations by W5FU(SK), the remotes are funded and maintained through tax-deductible donations by the users. The Comstock Memorial Station is a Nevada not-for-profit with IRS 501c3 status as a charitable organization. The users are a small number of operators who have developed an informal operating scheduling procedure based on their fellowship and mutual respect. They also have agreed to black-out periods when an on-site operator is doing a serious effort.
Both remotes are K3’s with KPA-1500 amplifiers. The operators have control of the rotators and antenna switches via TeamViewer
Our most prolific user is W1YL operating from her retirement home in Florida. In the first four years, she hand-logged more than 10,000 QSO’s, mostly on 40 and 80 CW.
Remote 1 uses a K3 donated by K5VWW and a KPA-1500 on loan from AA6AA. This remote is the general-purpose one used by most of the operators. it is also currently the host for remote contesting.
Remote 2 uses a K3 owned by the Club and a KPA-1500 donated by K5XI. Sid also donated the EME array and a 10 element 6M Yagi. He has also installed his own computer for FT8 and WSJT. Remote 2 is used exclusively by K5XI
Remote 3 will be a K3 and an Acom 2000A, This will give the operators more flexibility in scheduling operating time.
We are often asked “how do I become a member?” The simple answer is that you have to be recommended by one of the existing operators. The recommendation includes how you would fit with the other operators and how respectful you would be of the equipment, which is unattended most of the time.
New users would be required to make a tax deductible contribution of at least $200 per month. Also,when major repairs are needed, you would be asked to contribute to a special assessment fund. We just completed rebuilding the 140′ 40M tower. That repair ran $23,000 that the users contributed based on their means and enthusiasm.
Until we get Remote 3 operational, we will not be inviting any new users.
For any other questions, contact K5RC at firstname.lastname@example.org