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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Why Ham Radio Fans Want to Spend Next Summer on an Island Full of Bird Poop News - BAKER ISLAND, A SMALL, UNINHABITED atoll about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, boasts a few claims to fame. As we wrote last year, it's one of just two named spots in the world that fall within time zone UTC-12:00, which means it's the last place on Earth to ring out the old year. Despite these charms, unlike most places, it had a fairly quiet 2017: as usual, it spent its time hosting hermit crabs, lizards, and a heck of a lot of quality bird poop. But in 2018, things will be different. Baker Island will welcome a group of people who have (actually!) always wanted to go there: fourteen extremely excited ham radio operators, who call themselves the Dateline DX Association, will be journeying to the island in June. There, they plan to spend 12 straight days fielding approximately 75,000 radio calls from Baker Island fans all over the world. Amateur or "ham" radio had its heyday in the early 20th century, when interested hobbyists began putting together their own wireless communication systems and taking to the airwaves to beam messages to their friends. "We were the original Facebook," says Don Greenbaum, one of the leaders of the Baker Island team, who has been involved with the ham radio community for about 50 years.

from rssfeed10

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