The Geratol Net

75 Meter Extra Class WAS Net

History

GERATOL NET HISTORY

From the Net Information Packet

“The FCC is going to open up the 75 meter Extra Class sub-band to Advanced Class
operators !!!” That was the topic of conversation between John/WØNL and
Hank/K2DS on the evening of 28 September 1971. The lack of activity by U.S.
Extra Class operators in the exclusive 3 800-3825 kHz Extra Class sub-band was the
problem. John and Hank decided that working all the 50 states within that sub-
band only, would provide the needed incentive to increase the activity, and the
GERATOL NET was born.

Harry/W3ZM and others developed guidelines, adding sport to the already difficult
feat. One idea was to restrict contacts toward a “WAS”, to a 2-letter suffix callsign
format. U.S., Canadian, and Caribbean operators who were authorized those
frequencies were welcomed to join the group. The word spread quickly and the
growing fraternal group could always be found somewhere within the Extra Class
75 meter sub-band.

The ARRL communications department was asked to assist with the development
of the unique serialized 2-letter “WAS”, in addition to the ARRL family of worked-all-states awards. Rules for obtaining the serialized “WAS” were published on
page 88 of the February 1972 issue of QST.

During the fall of 1972, the FCC did allow Advanced Class operators to expand into
the 3800-3825 kHz sub-band. However………the FCC’s band usage review had
shown a LARGE increase in Extra Class operator usage within that sub-band.
Consequently, the FCC rewarded Extra Class operators with a NEW exclusive 3775-3800 kHz sub-band.

On November 22, 1972 at 0000 UTC, the group moved in the newly acquired
frequencies and were met with opposition from northern neighbors who had
enjoyed exclusive use of that sub-band. On November 1, 1972 the Metro Amateur
Radio Club of Toronto established their 2/80 award. With both U.S. and Canadian
amateurs working toward a common interest, a warm friendship evolved from
these two across-the-border award programs.

At about this same time, some unnamed wise-acre suggested that since most of
those working toward the 2-letter “WAS” were (at that time) senior citizens, the
sobriquet of GERITOL NET might be appropriate. That name has followed this
group to this day. The spelling of “GERITOL” was changed to reflect the acronym
“GERATOL”, standing for Greetings Extra Radio Amateurs Tired of Operating Lately.

It is noteworthy that John/WØNL achieved the special 2-letter “WAS” with Number
1 serial number. After Tony/KL7AF received number 391, the group had at least
one operator with a GERATOL number in each of the 50 states. From the DX
station standpoint, Bob/ZL2BT received number 140 and a total of 36 Canadian
amateurs received the coveted ARRL 2-letter Award.

During the winter season of 1977-1978, Vern/WØVV # 190, developed and
furnished the separate “Unbelievable Operating Achievement Award for the NET.
John/N4BA #41, Leo/WØGX #184, Lloyd/W7RQ #181, and Harold/K5BG #174
devised provocative endorsements to th e basic award. On March 10, 1978, the
GERATOL NET was formally opened. During the winter season of 1978,
Jack/W1OA #239 suggested, and it was adopted, that no QSL cards be required
for the GERATOL endorsements.

John, Leo, and Lloyd, operating as Net Control Stations, along with Harold as the
Awards Manager, devoted considerable time building the NET over the years.

Since the migration to the new 3750-3775 kHz Extra Class sub-band on September
1, 1984, the NET enjoys a more tranquil environment away from the DX window.
Cooperation with our Canadian neighbors has helped us to share the new
frequencies without conflict, and we continue to have a friendly relationship.

From those early days to today, the GERATOL NET has grown with each passing
season into a group of courteous, friendly, and intellectual individuals who enjoy
the challenge of working toward all the goals that the NET offers. Refinements are
constantly being made to make our operations more efficient and enjoyable.
Don/N2NBC #777 and Jim/KT5F #586, handcrafted a new full-color
UNBELIEVABLE OPERATING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD and endorsement stickers, that
are a proud addition to any wallpaper collection.

On December 15, 2006 at 0501 UTC, the Extra class band on 75 meters by FCC rule
changed to 3.600 to 3.700 Mhz. At this date we moved the net to 3.668 Mhz.
We move the net plus or minus depending on band conditions and or interference.

The only requirement for membership in the NET is your interest. No membership
forms are required and no dues are levied. The NET future lies in your cooperation
and participation.

WELCOME TO THE NET AND ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!! 73 and 88

Comments are closed.