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  

                Click HERE for a map of the location from Google Maps 

 

Time: Doors open at 3:00pm pdt, first transmission 5:01pm pdt (0001gmt 13 July)

 

Refreshments: Served

 

Photographs: Encouraged

 

Tours: Given

 

None of this would have been possible without the trust and vision of the Point Reyes National Seashore.  The only reason these facilities were spared the bulldozer that visited all the others is that they are on park land.  And the only reason they have been restored to operation is that the PRNS staff understood their importance and trusted the MRHS to restore them to life. 

 

THIS IS THE MOST ACCURATE AND COMPLETE NIGHT OF NIGHTS 2013 INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT PRESS TIME BUT LAST MINUTE CHANGES MAY TAKE PLACE

This year we will send last minute changes and signal reports by Twitter.  You can join Twitter free at:

https://www.twitter.com

and follow us at @Radiomarine

MRHS Stations


Sixteen transmitters will be on the air from the MRHS transmitter site in Bolinas.  That doesn't include transmitters held in ready reserve in case of failure.  Members of the crack MRHS Transmitter Department and the H Set Team will be on hand to assure that all goes well.

> KPH:

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

The restoration of the H set has been chronicled in past issues of the Newsletter.  It will return to revenue service for the first time in decades for Night of Nights.  See Newsletter No. 38 for information about and photos of this magnificent transmitter.

FLASH!  We have just confirmed that Point Reyes National Seashore superintendent Cicely Muldoon will press the button to formally dedicate H Set Transmitter 298 and put it on the air for Night of Nights!

> KFS

Frequency            Transmitter                     Antenna

12695.5                Press Wireless PW15    H over 2
17026.0                Henry HF-5000D            H over 2

> KSM

Frequency           Transmitter                     Antenna

500/426               Henry MF-5000D            Marconi T
6474.0                 Henry HF-5000D            Double Extended Zepp
8438.3                 Henry HF-5000D            Double Extended Zepp
12993.0               Henry HF-5000D            H over 2
16914.0               Henry HF-5000D            H over 2

> K6KPH

Frequency           Transmitter                    Antenna

3550.0                 Henry HF-5000D           Double Extended Zepp
7050.0                 RCA L Set                     Double Extended Zepp
14050.0               Henry HF-5000D           H over 2
21050.0               Henry HF-5000D           H over 2

> Reception Reports

Reception reports and verification requests for the MRHS stations listed above may be sent to:

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

> Station Telephone

The receive site may be contacted by phone on +1 415-669-9646

USCG Stations

> NMC
(Transmit Bolinas, Receive Pt. Reyes)

Frequency            Transmitter                  Antenna

448.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    173' monopole tower
472.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    173' monopole tower
500.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    173' monopole tower
6383.0                  Harris RT-2200            Conical omni-directional
8574.0                  Harris RT-2200            Conical omni-directional
17220.5*               Harris RT-2200            Conical omni-directional

> NMQ (Transmit Cambria, Receive and Control Pt. Reyes)

Frequency            Transmitter                  Antenna

448.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Inverted L
472.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Inverted L
500.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6    Inverted L


> Reception Reports

Reception reports and verification requests for the USCG stations listed above may be sent to:

Attn: OSCS Phil Marsh
USCG CAMSPAC Point Reyes
17000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
USA

Shipcom LLC Stations

The participation of Shipcpm LLC stations WLO and KLB was unconfirmed at press time but the stations used these frequencies for previous Night of Nights events.  We list them so you can make them part of your listening scan - just in case!

But Wait!  Just before pressing the Send button we received word that WLO and KLB will be on the air for Night of Nights 2013!

> WLO 

2055.5
4343.0
8658.0
12992.0
16968.5

> KLB

488.0
500.0
8582.5


> Reception Reports

No information is available for the Shipcom LLC stations
 

> Calling Channels

All commercial and USCG stations listed above will listen for calls from ships on 500kc and on ITU Channel 3 HF:

4184.0
6276.0
8368.0
12552.0
16736.0
22280.5

Listen on these frequencies if you want to copy both sides of ship to shore contacts.


> Commemorative Messages

Was your father, uncle or grand dad a commercial op or amateur operator?  Would you like to send a commemorative message in their honor over KPH, KFS and KSM?  We have sent several of these messages in past events and they were all very moving.  If you would like us to send such a message this year please send it to us no later than Thursday 11 July pdt so we can be sure to include it.  Sent it to info@radiomarine.org

GL de MRHS

 

 


View all images as a slideshow

The first Night of Nights. L to R:Steve Hawes, Tom Horsfall, Rod Deakin, Denice Stoops, Richard Dillman

Transmitter Supervisor Steve Hawes making antenna adjustments in preparation for Night of Nights.

ex-KPH op Rick Wahl at the key at an earlier Night of Nights

Chief Operator Richard Dillman explains the workings of a maritime Morse code coast station to the visitors on an earlier Night of Nights.

Heads are bowed as Denice Stoops sends the traditional benediction at midnight (Pcific time) from the control room in Bolinas