Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Information for Night of Nights XIX

Is it really 19 years?

Be that as it may, here is full information on the annual triumph of the human spirit also known as MRHS Night of Nights. Notice the absence of the US Coast Guard, not to mention WLO, which has left the air. Be that as it may, the fun continues.



Yes, of course there will be a Night of Nights this year.  And of course, as usual, you are invited to join us on the air or in person for this dramatic and moving event.

What - On 12 July 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.  But 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.

Why - 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.  Hard bitten grizzled old buzzards who had spent their life at sea as radio officers were weeping.  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.

Richard Dillman, later to become MRHS Chief Operator, sends one of the last messages on 12 July 1999
Where - Join us at the RCA receiving station, 17400 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in the Point Reyes National Seashore at the foot of the Cypress tree tunnel.

Cypress tree tunnel
When - 12 July 2018.  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.  Doors open at 3:00pm PDT.  The opening message will be broadcast at 5:01pm PDT (0001gmt).

Join us 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 of you around the world who will be listening for KPH and KFS or calling K6KPH, here are our 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.

Key: EDZ = Extended Double Zepp.  H/2 = H over 2

KPH (5kW):

426          Henry MF5000D  Marconi T

500          Henry MF5000D  Marconi T
4247.0     RCA 252K            EDZ
6477.5     RCA 251K            EDZ
8642.0     RCA 303L            EDZ
12808.5   RCA 304L            H/2
17016.8   RCA 305L            H/2
22477.5   RCA 298H           H/2

KFS (5kW):

12695.5   PW-15                 H/2
17026.0   Henry HF5000D  H/2

KPH and KFS operators will listen for calls from ships on 500kc MF and ITU Ch 3 HF.  Listen on these frequencies if you want to hear the ship side of the QSO.


K6KPH (1.5kW):

3550.0     Henry HF5000D  End-fed wire
7050.0     Henry HF5000D  EDZ
14050.0   Henry HF5000D   H/2
21050.0   Henry HF5000D   H/2

Reception reports and QSLs may be sent to:

Maritime Radio Historical Society
PO Box 392
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956