Ham radio operators check in to the Battleship in New Hanover Co - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Ham radio operators check in to the Battleship

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Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club member Allan Pellnat communicates using Morse code. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club member Allan Pellnat communicates using Morse code.
For those who don't use Morse code, reaching the Battleship through voice was also an option. For those who don't use Morse code, reaching the Battleship through voice was also an option.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Battleship North Carolina is used to getting visitors from all over the world. But today, some of those visitors visited the ship through the airwaves.

Sunday was North Carolina's QSO Party. QSO is code that amateur radio operators use when they've made contact with someone else.

The battleship is one of four locations across the state where people who successfully QSO them can get extra points.

Each week a different state has a QSO party and this weekend, ham radio operators from every North Carolina county participated.

"The possibility of potential is worldwide," said Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club member Allan Pellnat.

That he said is part because sunspot activity helps to increase the ability for radios to communicate with each other across the globe. He said they may hear from people from as far away as Europe and Africa.

"It makes us particularly attractive to other stations around the world because we're operating vintage equipment," he said.

He's communicating using Morse code from equipment that was originally part of the battleship and is more than 60 years old.

"These pieces of equipment take a lot of little tweaking and adjusting and this and that," he said. "There's as much art in making it work as there is science."

He said he does it because he likes being able to talk to all kinds of people across the world.

"It's casual, there are no political agendas, there's nothing like that involved," he said. "Most of the conversation is something you would have if you met a stranger in a bus station and struck up a conversation."

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