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Historic coast stations KPH, KFS and KSM will return to the air

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by stg58, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

    I had the great pleasure to visit this station in 1998 before it was brought back to life and even in its abandoned state I had a huge grin on my face. The transmitter is 20 miles south.

    I was going to Point Reyes light house when I saw this old station and drove back. There was a guy there with a regulation haircut who let me in after a brief discussion, he claimed it was one of the first stations on the mainland that received word of the Pearl Harbor attack.


    The receiving station and control point now occupy a classic white 1920s Art Deco building on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the Point Reyes National Seashore whereas the transmitter site is about 20 miles south at 37°54′52.32″N 122°43′30.26″W[3]Coordinates: 17px-WMA_button2b. 37°54′52.32″N 122°43′30.26″W[3], near the town of Bolinas. The reason for siting the transmitters so far away from the receivers is that their powerful outgoing signals would make it difficult to hear weak incoming signals from faraway ships on the same frequency (or channel). Operators at the receiving site remotely control and key the transmitters by means of landlines connecting the two sites.

    Maritime Radio Historical Society

    Next to it is :

    Revisiting these sites is on my bucket list.

    Main page:
    Maritime Radio Historical Society
    Night of Nights 2013 - Event Information

    Historic coast stations KPH, KFS and KSM will return to the air

    RCA "H Set" Transmitter 298 to be on the air

    USCG Coast Stations NMC and NMQ will be on the air

    Historic Stations WLO and KLB may join the event

    K6KPH will be listening for calls and signal reports

    Join us in person or on the air

    Morse code.

    It's just beeps in the air. Yet on 12 July 1999 some very tough looking grizzled old radio pioneers had tears in their eyes as the last commercial Morse code radiogram was sent. It was the end of an era. And as the last beeps faded away into the static they witnessed the end of the career to which they had devoted their lives.

    These men - and some women - had stood watch over the airwaves on shore and at sea. Theirs was mostly the business of maritime commerce. But when their ship was in peril they were called upon to send the most electrifying three letters in radio, S O S, knowing that all their fellow radio operators would press their earphones close to get every scrap of information and bring aid to their stricken ship.

    Once, our coasts were dotted with great Morse code radio stations, all communicating with ships at sea. They're all gone now... all except one, the one they called the Wireless Giant of the Pacific, located at Point Reyes.

    On that sad day in 1999 another event took place. The Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS) was formed. We made it our life's work to honor the men and women of wireless by restoring that wireless giant. One year and one minute later the giant's voice once again spanned the oceas as we picked up the thread and kept the faith with our colleagues of the air.

    Every year since, in an event that became known as the Night of Nights, Morse code station KPH has returned to the air, joined by KFS and the station of the MRHS, KSM.

    This year our friends and colleagues at USCG station NMC have labored mightily to bring that storied call sign back to life on Morse code for the evening along with NMQ in Cambria, CA.

    We hope that stations WLO and KLB will join us again as hey have in years past.

    This is a global and local event. Hundreds of listeners around the world will be waiting with their earphones on, waiting for the signals of the great station to once again arc over the dome of the Earth to their receivers.

    You can be with us in person!

    Dozens of people will join us at the RCA receiving station in the Point Reyes National Seashore to watch as the signals are transmitted by hand using vintage telegraph keys.

    A guest operating position will be available so bring your key and 'phones or use ours and operate K6KPH. No license required! So if you're an ex-commercial op who never became a ham here's your chance to sling some Morse again. Or if you hold a current commercial radiotelegraph ticket you can operate KPH, KFS and/or KSM and have your license endorse to that effect.

    Date: Friday 12 July 2013 Pacific Daylight Time

    Location: RCA receiving station, 17400 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Point Reyes National Seashore
    Tully Mars likes this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    What frequency?
  3. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

    Frequency Transmitter Antenna

    500/426 Henry MF-5000D Marconi T
    4247.0 RCA K Set Double Extended Zepp
    6477.5 RCA K Set Double Extended Zepp
    8642.0 RCA L Set Double Extended Zepp
    12808.5 RCA L Set H over 2
    17016.8 RCA L Set H over 2

    22477.5 RCA H Set H over 2
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Why....once per year.:D
  5. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+ Founding Member

    It is a true relic, as are the folks that know CW.
    We are lucky it is still there at all.

    Check out the photos.

    Maritime Radio Historical Society

    Each 4-wire line transitioned into a balanced line that was then routed into the station.

    The tension on the 4-wire lines was maintained by a system of pulleys and weights. Each wire in each feed line thus had to be free to slide through each insulator from the frame all the way out to the antenna.

  6. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have worked most of those stations, back in the day... as well as the Phone versions like KMI, WOM, & WOO.... Guess I should fire up the telegraph key and see if I can get a RST Report.... Are you going to send out a Station List, on the hour, like the good Old Days?
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