Shortwave Radio Recordings: WWV changes announcement format,1971

WWV's transmitter building in Fort Collins, Colorado (2014)

WWV’s transmitter building in Fort Collins, Colorado (2014)

Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contributor, Brian D. Smith, recently contacted me; I was enthused when he described the recording he was sharing:

This recording captures the last 5 minutes of WWV’s old format (giving the time every 5 minutes) and the first 5 minutes of the new format (giving the time every 1 minute), which took place on July 1, 1971 UTC.

Apologies for the less-than-stellar audio quality, but I recorded this as a 15-year-old fledgling SWL with limited knowledge of audio recording techniques. So I simply placed the microphone from my cassette tape recorder next to the speaker on the receiver and hit the record button. The signal quality wasn’t the greatest, either — lots of QSB and QRM — but I still managed to get what I was going for.

The resulting recording has accompanied me everywhere since then, preserved only on its original cassette, until 2008, when I finally decided it was time to learn how to transfer it onto my hard drive, burn it onto a CD and stop having to rely on the integrity of 37-year-old audio tape.

Even as a teenager, I regarded the WWV changeover as historic, and felt I should attempt to record it for posterity. Consider yourself posterity!

Brian received this broadcast on 10 MHz care of a Hallicrafters S-108, with random length of wire attached to the back of the receiver serving as an antenna. Location was Franklin, Indiana.

As Brian mentions, the audio quality is a little rough, but this is still quite a treasure of a recording!

Click here to download as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Again, thanks so much for bringing us this recording, Brian! We look forward to any other archived recordings you–or any other readers–may have to share with us here at the Post.

History of WWV and the NIST Time Stations

WWV building in Fort Collins, Colorado (photo courtesy: NIST)

WWV building in Fort Collins, Colorado (photo courtesy: NIST)

Many readers know that I’m a bit of a WWV geek, so you can imagine how happy I was when my buddy, Mike, and the Southgate ARC made me aware of this 152 page history of the NIST time station family. At first glance, this looks to be an authoritative and thorough history indeed.

I have already sent this to my Kindle Fire and look forward to reading it (at least, starting it) tonight. Click here to download the NIST time station history as a PDF.

Incidentally, if you have an affinity for the NIST time stations, be sure to check out my previous post on Myke’s audio history of WWV, “At The Tone.”