Category Archives: Radio History

Covert shortwave transmitters smuggled into trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

I ran across this fascinating historical article about how the Associated Press and the New York Daily News each smuggled a covert shortwave radio transmitter into the 1935 courtroom trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was charged with kidnapping and murdering the young son of Charles Lindbergh.

http://www.rfcafe.com/references/short-wave-craft/short-waves-hauptmann-trial-short-wave-craft-june-1935.htm

Neither news organization knew of the other’s covert transmitter, and crossed signals led to erroneous news of the verdict being reported.

Wow! What a fascinating bit of history, Ed! I bet those briefcase transmitters were heavy!

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“Night of Nights” CW Event Returns Tonight!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian Smith (W9IND), who shares the following announcement:

“Night of Nights” CW Event Returns Friday (U.S. Time) 

“It was 20 years ago today,” say members of the Maritime Radio Historical Society, but they’re not covering a famous Beatles song.

They’ll certainly be on key, however, when they fire up two maritime CW stations, KPH and KFS, and their amateur radio club station, K6KPH, for the 20th annual “Night of Nights” at 8:01 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, July 12/0001 UTC Saturday, July 13. (Alas, several previously participating stations will be absent again this year, including ship-to-shore stalwart WLO of Mobile, Alabama, and a quartet of Coast Guard stations.)

This weekend’s event marks the date in 1999 when commercial Morse code operations ceased in the United States. One year later, the preservation-minded MRHS staged its first “Night of Nights,” treating shortwave radio enthusiasts to the dits and dahs of historic maritime station KPH and other callsigns that were once presumed dead on shortwave CW frequencies.

This year, the society has put out a special appeal to anyone (licensed or not) with CW proficiency to help operate K6KPH. While KPH and KFS transmit “code wheels” (repeating messages), personal messages, and tributes to long-gone maritime stations and operators, K6KPH will make CW contacts with other amateur stations on 3550, 7050, 14050 and 21050 kHz.

Whether reporting for CW duty or not, the public is welcome to observe today’s event and tour the facility, located at 17400 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Doors open at 3 p.m. local (Pacific) time.

And if you’re not within driving distance, you can tune in the Morse signals on the following medium wave and shortwave frequencies:

KPH:  426, 500, 4742.0, 6477.5, 8642.0, 12808.5, 17016.8, 22477.5 kHz

KFS:  12695.5 kHz

Reception reports go to P.O. Box 392, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956. Please include an SASE if you’d like a QSL.

The following links provide additional information:

Maritime Radio Historical Society: 

http://www.radiomarine.org

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1109843077277&ca=156b371f-da9f-4fed-8819-4bb55bd7bd44

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1109843077277&ca=b54f353c-4692-4564-b79a-0059721f9206

National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/events_nightofnights.htm

Okay, Brian…that “being on key” bit? Clever! 🙂

Looking forward to some sweet CW music on the Night of Nights! Thank you for sharing!

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What’s your favorite shortwave listening story?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Zack Schindler (N8FNR), who writes:

Back in the 1980’s I was tuning around and came across two guys talking back and forth in a non-ham portion of the HF spectrum. They were not using any callsigns which I found weird so I kept listening. It became obvious that one guy was on the ground and the other was in a plane. The guy on the ground was trying to give the other guy instructions on where to land. The pilot kept saying that he was not seeing any of the landmarks that the other guy told him to look for. The man on land then gave the pilot a beacon callsign to navigate by so I looked it up and it was in the Yucatan. The pilot said that he was not receiving the beacon but after a bit said that he could see a water tower in a town. He flew near the tower and read off the name and it was a town in the panhandle of Florida.

So it appears to me that they were probably drug smugglers and the pilot was so bad that he was off course by 700 miles or so. I always wondered how this story played out.

Please reply with your favorite SWLing story here. I look forward to reading yours.

What a great idea, Zack!

In fact, I’ll sweeten the pot…

Next Sunday (July 14t, 2019) I will pick a commenter at random from this post and send them a copy of Joe Carr’s Loop Antenna Book which has been graciously donated by Universal Radio.

This is open to anyone, anywhere–I’ll ship it globally.

Please comment with you favorite shortwave listening story!

[Note: Please include a valid email in the email address field of the comment form, else I will not be able to contact you to get your shipping address. We never share your email or use it for any other purpose.]


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Can you identify this Hallicrafters model onboard the Columbine III?

The Lockheed VC-121E “Columbine III” (Image Source: USAF Museum)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Robert Yowell, who writes:

I was visiting the US Air Force Museum [Friday] and walked through “Columbine III” which was the Lockheed Constellation used as Air Force One by President Eisenhower from 1954 until he left office. In the back of the cabin was a nice cozy area where this Hallicrafters receiver was installed – ostensibly for the passengers to listen to news or other events while in flight.

I am sure one of your readers will be able to identify which model it is.

Can you imagine flying in this gorgeous Lockheed VC-121E four prop aircraft and listening to HF radio from a built-in Hallicrafters set? Wow…

Thank you, Robert, for sharing these photos. The National Museum of the US Air Force is one of my favorite museums in the world. I bet I’ve visited it more than a dozen times over the past decade–always a treat and always something new to discover!

Post readers: Can you identify this Hallicrafters model?  Please comment!

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Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on June 30th, 2019

(Source: The Alexander Association via Mike Hansgen)

Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on June 30th, 2019.

The annual transmission on “Alexanderson Day” with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz with the call SAQ will take place Sunday, June 30th, 2019.
Two transmissions are scheduled as follows:

  1. Startup of tuning at 10:30 (08:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 11:00 (09:00 UTC).
  2. Startup of tuning at 13:30 (11:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 14:00 (12:00 UTC)
    Both transmission events will be broadcasted live on our YouTube Channel.

NEW! ONLINE RECEPTION REPORT FORM TO REPLACE E-MAIL REPORTS
We are introducing a new online SAQ reception report form to be used by listeners to report reception of any SAQ transmissions. We are kindly asking listeners not to send SAQ reception reports via E-mail.

QSL-reports to SAQ are kindly received via:
– Reception report form at alexander.n.se/receptionreport
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by postal mail to:

Alexander Association
Radiostationen
Grimeton 72
SE-432 98 GRIMETON
S W E D E N

The Amateur Radio Station with the call “SK6SAQ” will be QRV on the following frequencies:
– 7.035 kHz CW or
– 14.035 kHz CW or
– 3.755 kHz SSB

QSL-reports to SK6SAQ are kindly received via:
– Email to info@alexander.n.se
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by postal mail (see address above)Two stations will be on the air most of the time.

The station will be open to visitors between 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

WELCOME!

World Heritage Grimeton Radio station and The Alexander Association

For further details, se grimeton.org or alexander.n.se

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