September 17, 2020
When we set out in search of support in late 2019, the fate of our VHF/UHF and microwave contest and research station, W1XM, which has graced the roof of the Green Building since 1981 was far from certain. A renovation was soon to begin, and we were required to fundraise simply to preserve the space we occupied, let alone to rebuild.
Thanks to the outpouring of support from our alumni, we can now say with surety that W1XM will remain on the Green Building roof and will continue to be a resource to students for many years to come. With your support, the club raised over $230,000, and that is going farther then we had dared hope. MIT is now funding the physical infrastructure for our shack and the other spaces in the building we share, giving us the opportunity to direct our resources not only to rebuilding after the renovation, but to creating an even better station for the MIT community.
W1XM is not only a contest station, but a hub for student experiments and learning about RF and microwave communications and electronics. We now have the chance to try to fulfill that role better than we ever have, by providing a space designed to enable students to explore not just amateur radio but the whole spectrum of intersecting fields, from experimenting with radio propagation and learning about the ionosphere, to radio astronomy, signal processing, microwave electronics, and more. When the renovation is over and the station is rebuilt we plan to have a space tailored to these needs and easily adaptable to support new student experiments and new developments going forward.
Many of the precise details of the design remain in flux, but our priority remains the same as always, to expand access to and use of the station to as many students as possible to maximize the value we provide the MIT community.
Restoring the Green Building radomes
MIT has also begun a design study to develop plans to preserve the large radome: An iconic landmark on the cambridge skyline and a valuable scientific instrument used by the Radio Society and the Department of Physics. Check back for more updates soon!