Amateur Radio at Michigan State University has a history that dates back to the dawn of the technology. The MSU Amateur Radio Club’s first licence was first granted in 1919 with the call letters 8YG. Not only is MSUARC 15 years older than the Federal Radio Commission, but was also in operation a full year before the 1st commercial broadcast!
In 1925 the ham station became 8XBU, then in 1927 to 8SH. This was also the year that colleges were given their own licence category by the FCC. We were licensed as an experimental station, receiving the club call we still have today, W8SH.
Ours is a rich history of operators and achievements. On Feb. 22, 1969, W8SH was on the North American end of the 1st Transatlantic Slow Scan TV experiments, grabbing the first Slow Scan contact (what we hams call a QSO) with European stateion SM0BUO on 10 meters.
Our distinguished alumni include Dave Sumner K1ZZ, CEO Emeritus of the American Radio Relay League. Club members are heavily involved in “radiosport”, the plethora of contests that take place across the bands every year. We have earned honors in the School Club Round-up, The ARRL Sweepstakes and the Michigan QSO Party. Having been first licenced in 1919 we are the only “check 19” on the planet, making W8SH a desired contact during sweeps.
Today, our club sponsors the W8MSU 70cm Repeater, is involved in the Maker Movement, satellite communications and the ever increasing variety of digital modes. Our club meetings explore the edges of the technological envelope, even as we celebrate the legacy of invention that turned the earliest spark-gap contacts into today’s breakthrough inventions that continue to enhance and transform our “essential avocation”.
Reece Cole KD8VNY – President