Ham radio Dave Fulk, Mike Zumbaugh

Special event station operators work in two-hour shifts. Each spends one hour as announcer and one hour as call-logger. At the microphone is K9A announcer Dave Fulk, KB9PT, of Kendallville and on the right is Mike Zumbaugh, KD9MSD, of Garrett logging calls on the computer.

AUBURN — Living up to its mantra — “When all else fails, amateur radio works” — the Northeastern Indiana Amateur Radio Association operated special-event station K9A during the usual time period of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival celebration over Labor Day weekend.

This year’s festival was canceled due to COVID-19.

Jeff DeLucenay-KB9QG, project chairman explained: “Although amateur radio stations are not permitted to advertise, the FCC allows special-event stations to recognize and promote activities, services or events of a historical or uniquely appealing nature. A special call sign is issued for a limited duration to identify the station.”

Seventeen NIARA members promoted the 64th anniversary of the festival and the 120th anniversary of the Auburn Automobile Co. to 1,707 fellow amateurs. Those answering the calls were located in 30 countries plus all 50 states of the United States and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guantanamo Bay.

“It is estimated that respondents represent approximately 10 percent of the total that hear our station. On that basis, we are pleased to have introduced the annual ACD Festival to some 17,000 radio amateurs worldwide,” said Jack Dold–W9OWO, the NIARA’s public information officer.

This is the fourth year of operation for amateur station K9A. Successful radio contacts are eligible to receive a special QSL (confirmation) card and an inscribed certificate bearing the full-color rendition of the official ACD Festival poster.

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