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Contact: Richard Dillman, 415-990-7090
Contact: John A. Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Point Reyes Station, CA -- On July 12, 1999, a ceremony was held at the receive site for coast station KFS at which the last commercial Morse message in the US was sent. Or so it was thought. That was also the date on which the Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS) was founded, with the mission to assure that commercial Morse would not perish from the Earth.
Morse code is clearly obsolete, nobody uses it, it's just beeps in the air. So who cares if it perishes? The people at that ceremony at KFS cared. They cared deeply. They were seeing their profession, their passion and, in a way, their life passing away before their eyes. So it became the mission of the MRHS to make sure that the skills, the culture and the traditions of these men and women would be remembered and preserved through the restoration and operation of one of the greatest of all coast stations: KPH.
Each year on the anniversary of that supposed last message, plus one minute, KPH comes roaring back to the air with all the full-throated majesty that mariners around the world heard for decades. Station KFS will also be on the air as well as amateur station K6KPH which will be standing by for your comments and signal reports. Location: RCA receiving station, 17400 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Point Reyes National Seashore. (directions from Bear Valley Visitor Center to Historic RCA Coast Station KPH) Doors open at 3 pm. The opening message will be broadcast at 5:01 pm PDT (0001 GMT).
Join MRHS volunteers for a complete tour of the station. Enjoy complimentary radio sandwiches and all the trimmings. Photograph everything. Whisper the magic words "True Believer" and be granted access to the fabled Treasure Room where the gems of maritime radio history are kept.
For those around the world who will be listening for KPH and KFS or calling K6KPH, here are the frequencies along with the transmitters and antennas that will be used. The RCA transmitters are 1950s vintage. The Press Wireless PW15 is from 1942. The Henry transmitters are 1990s vintage.