Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy, who shares a link to this YouTuber who stumbled upon shortwave station, WBCQ, while driving through rural Maine in 2018. He obviously didn’t understand what the site was at the time–nor the fact that the owner loves collecting vintage equipment.
The video gives the impression of WBCQ being a place of mystery and intrigue. If he only knew that he would have likely been welcomed with open arms and gotten a detailed tour had he only contacted the station!
It was my privilege to work at KGEI as a broadcast engineer and antenna rigger with FEBC from 1981-85. After that we went off to serve FEBC in Davao City in the Philippines. Never had any problems with the 50KW GE transmitter except one night when a driver tube failed. Nice to have a transmitter you could walk into! It was back on the air in about 45 min with a new tube. Mario Barahona was the main announcer most nights faithfully bring the Good News from the Voice of Friendship in Spanish.
I also painted the building tan with a dark brown trim while I was there. As I recall, I painted the KGEI name in dark brown too. The biggest project for me was helping install the TCI 16 folded dipole slewable array with reflecting screen stretched between two 365 ft tall towers. I was the only antenna rigger on the project.
The 250KW transmitter was primarily used for Russian broadcasts over the North Pole using the TCI antenna. The ERP was somewhere between 15-20 million watts depending on how the antenna was slewed. We were often heard loud and clear in a variety of home devices in nearby Foster City. I called the 250KW transmitter the worlds biggest Heathkit. It was ably maintained by an amazing radio engineer named Loch Gordon. Jack Brooks, WA6DBT, was the station manager. Hiley Rainer was the jack of all trades do it all engineer. It was one of the most enjoyable periods of my life.
Wow, Dan…I had no idea! Thank you for sharing those wonderful memories. I can’t imagine singlehandedly installing the antennas you did! I need to call you next time I have an antenna hanging party!
KPH is silent on maritime frequencies, but through the hard work of volunteers continues operation 24/7 with a 3-30MHz KiwiSDR receiver (http://188.8.131.52:8073/) and various activities throughout the year. Full information on all things KPH can be found the excellent Maritime Radio Historical Society Website (http://www.radiomarine.org/).
Finally an excellent “Bay Area Backroads” episode about KPH is available on Youtube:
Can you copy the CW message at the end of the show?
The Frequency of the HF broadcast is directly assigned within the DRM+ SDR app with two settings
1. Frequency in Hertz
2. RF Gain (0-512)
Demonstration video showing Clean DRM decode of AAC Audio and Journaline data along with live metadata. (our signal was very strong, so only a short wire used for Antenna, DX’rs will need an appropriate Antenna)
Now anyone with a smartphone and a $20 SDR can receive DRM 30 HF broadcasts…
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy (VR2HF), who writes:
LISTEN TO THE MUSIC OF THE METEORS!
No matter what the skycover in the coming few days you can hear the Perseid Meteor Shower live via my receiver on 49.749 MHz USB. The hollow PINGS are brief bursts of signal from a TV station transmitter here in Asia enabled by meteors as they streak through the ionosphere. As with viewing the Perseids, patience pays rich rewards of hearing the amazing music of the meteors. Enjoy! Dan…VR2HF
The orbits of Venus, Earth and Jupiter may explain the sun’s regular 11-year cycle, a new study suggests.
A team of researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), a research institute in Dresden, Germany, showed that the magnetic fields of those three planets influence the cycle of solar activity, resolving one of the bigger questions in solar physics.
“Everything points to a clocked process,” Frank Stefani, a researcher at HZDR and lead author of the new study, said in a statement. “What we see is complete parallelism with the planets over the course of 90 cycles.”
The researchers compared observations of solar activity — like sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections — from the last thousand years with planetary alignments in order to show that there was in fact a correlation, according to the statement.[…]