Special to The Gardner News
The Olathe residence of former Gardner businessman Del Sawyer provided the setting Saturday for a special event celebrating Kansas Day organized by the Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club.
Starting at 10 a.m., members of the club attempted to make contact with as many amateur radio operators, or hams, as possible before 3 p.m. using the club’s official call
sign KS0KS. They worked in groups of four inside a storage shed in Sawyer’s back yard, two members manning each of the two stations set up for the occasion. Of the pair, one member functioned as the transmitter, sending out a general call (i.e., a CQ) inviting possible listeners to respond to it, while the other served as the logger, recording the information received from other hams once contact with them was made.
By the time the five-hour event was over, Sawyer reported somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 contacts had been made. According to him, members heard from hams in about 20 of the states, including California, North Carolina and Florida, and most of the provinces in Canada.
“We were all over,” he said. “We had a good time.”
About 10 members of the club participated in the event, taking turns manning either the 20-meter side band station where a ham used his voice to make the CQ or the 30-meter Morse code station just a few feet away. The Morse code station also doubled as a voice station from time to time, giving the club some additional flexibility in its efforts to reach as many hams as possible in observing the state’s 155th “birthday,”
For close to 30 years, Sawyer owned and operated an insurance agency in Gardner, Sawyer Insurance.
“CQ, CQ … this is Kansas calling”