I must have first heard WWV shortly after putting together the Knight-Kit Span Master I received for Christmas 1963. I still have my log books from my high school days, which include an entry for Radio Habana on 29 December 1963 for which I subsequently received a QSL card. But I guess I didn’t log all my receptions. The first entry for WWV is dated 3 June 1966 in the last year of WWV’s operation from Greenbelt, Maryland (on government land that subsequently became the site of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center).
I have a QSL card for the reception of the 5 MHz signal featuring a drawing (in pink) of the Jefferson Memorial [see above].
The next entry is dated 1 December 1966, the first day of WWV’s operation from Fort Collins, Colorado.
I have one of the special QSL cards issued for confirmation of first-day reception for my report on the 20 and 25 MHz signals [see above].
I’m sure I heard WWVH early on too but my first log entry is dated 29 March 1967. I never did QSL them.
Richard: Thanks so much for sharing these special QSL cards. Wow! I had never seen the first day card from WWV Fort Collins before–what a treasure you have there!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who writes:
Yesterday, 4 October, was the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik I, the first artificial Earth satellite. The launch heralded the beginning of the space age. Sputnik I’s Doppler-shifted radio transmissions on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz led to the development of the U.S. Navy Navigation Satellite System (Transit) and the equivalent Soviet system (Tsikada) and, eventually, to GPS and GLONASS and the other modern global navigation satellite systems.
The Sputnik I radio signals were picked up by many shortwave listeners. The 20 MHz signal was close to that of WWV and so was easy to find. And, apparently, WWV turned off its 20 MHz transmitter during some of Sputnik I’s passes over the U.S. so as not to interfere with reception.
There are several good sites on the Web with information about Sputnik I and its radio signals including:
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Timm Breyel, who writes:
While browsing your site I noticed the QSL Gallery page. Interesting. I have many old QSLs from the 1960s and 1970s, all of which are stored away in the States, all except one. It’s a 40 year QSL from Radio Malaysia via Penang Island. The station was received in Denver, Colorado in 1975.
It’s not the most attractive of QSLs, but it certainly is quite rare.
Timm, I love this QSL card and I have never seen one like it before. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!