• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Historic Morse Code Radio Station Returns to the Air on July 12th: Former RCA Station KPH Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: July 5, 2005
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135

In the sixth annual event that has become known as the "Night of Nights", historic Morse code radio station KPH will return to the air in commemoration of the last commercial Morse message sent in the United States.

This year’s Night of Nights is special: it’s the 100th anniversary of KPH, KSM will appear on the air for the first time and four other US coast stations will be on the air, several of them on MF in addition to HF. Frequencies and reception report information for all stations appear below.

KPH, the ex-RCA coast station located north of San Francisco, will return to the air for commemorative broadcasts on 12 July at 1701 PDT (13 July at 0001 GMT), 6 years and one minute after the last commercial Morse transmission in the US. These on-the-air events are intended to honor the men and women who followed the radiotelegraph trade on ships and at coast stations around the world and made it one of honor and skill.

Transmissions are expected to continue until at least midnight PDT (0700GMT).

Veteran Morse operators, including former KPH staff members, will be on duty at the receiving station at Point Reyes, CA listening for calls from ships and sending messages just as they did for so many years before Morse operations were shut down.

The transmitters are located 18 miles south of Point Reyes in Bolinas at the transmitting station established in 1913 by the American Marconi Company. The original KPH transmitters, receivers and antennas will be used to activate frequencies in all the commercial maritime HF bands and on MF as well.

Many of the KPH transmitters will be 50s vintage RCA sets. KSM will use a 1940s vintage Press Wireless PW-15 transmitter on 12Mc. Power output will be 4 to 5kW. The transmitting antennas include a Marconi T for MF, double extended Zepps for 4, 6 and 8Mc and H over 2s for 12, 16 and 22Mc.

KPH will send traffic lists, weather and press broadcasts as well as special commemorative messages, many of which will be sent by hand. At other times the KPH and KSM "wheel" will be sent to mark the transmitting frequencies.

Members of the public are invited to visit the receiving station for this event. The station will be open to visitors beginning at 1500PDT (3:00pm). The station is located at 17400 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and is on the route to the Point Reyes lighthouse. Watch for a cypress lined driveway on the right about a mile past the entry to Coast Guard station NMC.

KPH is operated by the Maritime Radio Historical Society in cooperation with the Point Reyes National Seashore, part of the National Park Service.

Further information may be found on the Maritime Radio Historical Society Web site at http://www.radiomarine.org or by contacting Richard Dillman at +1 415-990-7090 (email: rd@radiomarine.org) or Tom Horsfall at +1 510-237-9535 (email: wa6ope@hotmail.com).

-NPS-

KPH

KPH will transmit on 4247.0, 6477.5, 8642.0, 12808.5, 17016.8 and 22477.5kc on HF and 500 and 426kc on MF.

These frequencies have been made available through the generous cooperation of Globe Wireless, the current owner of the KPH and KFS licenses.

KPH operators will listen for calls from ships on ITU Channel 3 in all bands. The Channel 3 frequencies are 4184.0, 6276.0, 8368.0, 12552.0, 16736.0 and 22280.5kc on HF and 500kc on MF.

KSM

KSM will transmit on 426, 500, 6474 and 12993kc

KSM will listen for calls from ships on 500kc and HF Channel 3 (see KPH listing for frequencies).

Reception reports may be sent to:

Ms. Denice Stoops
P.O. Box 381
Bolinas, California 94924-0381, USA

Denice is a former KPH operator and was the first female telegrapher hired at the station.

WLO

WLO will transmit on 438, 500, 8514.0 and 12660.0kc

WLO will listen for calls from ships on 500kc and HF Channel 3 (see KPH listing for frequencies).

KLB

KLB will transmit on 6411.0

KLB will listen for calls from ships on 6276kc

Reception reports for WLO and KLB may be sent to:

WLO/KLB
700 Rinla Avenue
Mobile, Alabama 36619, USA

Or via email.

NMC

NMC will transmit on 448, 472, 500, 6383.0, 8574.0 and 17220.5kc

NMC will listen for calls from ships on 500kc and HF Channel 3 (see KPH listing for frequencies).

Reception reports may be sent to:

Commanding Officer
Attn: ITC Eric Simmons
Communications Area Master Station Pacific
17000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Point Reyes Station, California 94956-0560, USA

NOJ

NOJ will transmit on 8650.0, 12889.5 and 16909.7

NOJ will listen for calls from ships on Channel 3 (see KPH listing for frequencies).

Reception reports may be sent to:

Commanding Officer
Attn: OSCM William Keckler
US Coast Guard Communications Station Kodiak
PO Box 190017
Kodiak, Alaska 99619, USA

Did You Know?