Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Point Reyes Google Earth Coordinates

As promised, here's part two of our Google Earth tour of Point Reyes, CA:

38° 6'6.95"N 122°56'12.98"W

These will put you just north of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, and south of the bunkerlike headquarters and receiving facility for NMC. This is the US Coast Guard Communications Master Station, Pacific. Pictures of CAMSPAC can be found on the Internet. It's a relatively new and very impressive facility. Note the large tower and rotary antenna just to the building's north.

The large treeline north from that shows one edge of the fenced off antenna farm. Two right angle bends in the fence take you south and then east until you're back near where you started. The lighting isn't very good, but close examination of the area thus bounded will show a number of shadows that are obviously structures holding up wire antennas.

"But wait," you ask, "It sure looks like there are antennas south of the fence."

You are right. These are for:

38° 5'44.22"N 122°56'51.28"W

These put you bang on top of KPH's historic old receiver building. This is a neat old structure put up by RCA to serve originally as the point-to-point receive site for much of the Pacific Rim. This was a prestige operation (and a very lucrative one), and the building has a lot of details visible in ground photos that are again all over the Internet. Note the tree-lined access road going northwest from Sir Francis Drake.

KPH moved here after World War II. Between the two stations, RCA put up a LOT of antennas here, some of which are sort of visible on Google Earth. This farm goes clear northeast to the NMC fence line mentioned before. There's another access road, some undistinguishable structures, and an interesting trail leading almost due west to what sure looks like a tower base with a large ground radial system.

There are other buildings and antennas in this area. These were formerly used by KMI, San Francisco (Inverness) Radio. This was the big AT&T High Seas station that could be heard 24/7 running commercial ship-to-shore phone calls from cruise ships to the landline phone network. Along with WOO, New York (Ocean Gate) Radio, and WOM, Miami Radio, these fed into High Seas Operator positions in Pennsylvania where the calls were completed. All gone.

This entire area is also part of Point Reyes National Seashore. Here too, the Maritime Radio Historical Society seeks to preserve the radio heritage of skilled operators at sea, and the consummate professionals who served them ashore as operators, technicians, and workers.