Tag Archives: KPH

Radio Waves: Radio Afghanistan, Postal Delays, KPH Video, and the Software Defined Radio Academy

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Heath Hall, Tom Daly, and Alexander (DL4NO) for the following tips:


For Decades, This Radio Station Named the Dead. Few Still Listen. (NY Times)

[Note: this article may require login to read at the NY Times]

Afghans once tuned into Radio Afghanistan twice a day to hear the reading of death notices. But in an age of social media, the voice of the nation has lost much of its sway.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Through decades of coups, invasions and endless war, Afghans tuned their radios to Radio Afghanistan every morning at 7 and every afternoon at 4:05 to hear the names of the newly dead.

One of the voices they often heard reading those death notices belongs to Mohamad Agha Zaki, at the mic for the state broadcaster for more than 42 years now. For much of that stretch, his counterpart at the station has been Ziauddin Aziz, the clerk who rushes to Mr. Zaki with the messages the public brings to the station’s small “Death Advertisements” window.

“Ads today?” Mr. Zaki, half asleep, asked on a recent dawn after opening the door to Mr. Aziz’s knock. Outside, birds chirped and the new day’s soft light covered the peaks of the tall pine trees in the station’s compound in Kabul, the capital.

No, said Mr. Aziz, who had waited behind the door in the kind of deference saved for masters of a different era. They had gone weeks without anyone arriving at the little window — just four ads in 40 days, though certainly many more had died.[]

International Postal Service Disrupted (ARRL News)

The US Postal Service (USPS) has temporarily suspended international mail acceptance for items addressed to certain destinations due to service impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation could result in the return or loss of mail, such as QSL cards, addressed to affected parts of the world. The USPS has posted a list of affected countries, which is updated regularly. The Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail bearing a customs stamp that’s returned due to the suspension of service, or the sender may re-mail returned items with existing postage once service has been restored. When re-mailing under this option, customers should cross out the markings “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender.”[]

KPH Coastal Radio Station (Southgate ARC)

In this video Shannon Morse KM6FPP visits coastal radio station KPH which provided ship to shore communications using Morse code. Volunteers have preserved it and operate weekends

Watch The Last Active Morse Code Station in the US – KPH Radio Station

KPH http://www.radiomarine.org/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KPH_(radio_station)

More information about the Software Defined Radio Academy (Upper-Bavarian Bulletin)

Hamradio online

The Hamradio normally is the largest ham radio exhibition in Europe. But this year it cannot be held.

At the beginning of April, a team around the project manager Markus Heller, DL8RDS, started the project “Hamradio online”. This was only possible as DARC, the German hamradio society, started to introduce electronic collaboration tools long before Corona.

Within this virtual working environment a concept was developed of presentations, distinctions, and more. The program is being prerecorded and will partly be produced as live as possible. Especially the SDR Academy heavily depends on viewer feedback. There will also be videos from the Hamradio Convention that was held last March im Munich. These videos have not been published before.

The infrastructure is being maintained by the teams of the SDR Academy and “Facination Hamradio”. They produce the videos and streamline the installation so all action on the last weekend of June will happen smoothly. These transmissions will be transmitted through several Youtube cannels.

Obviously, personal meetings would be preferable. The advantage of this new solution are the possibly much more participants on both sides: audience and lecturers. The advantage is especially valid for the SDR Academy as most of it is done in English.

Nothing has been finalized. There is a preliminary program in German at https://www.darc.de/fileadmin/filemounts/gs/oeffentlichskeitsarbeit/Veranstaltungen/HAM_RADIO/HAMOnline_Sendeplan.pdf. Lectures held in English are announced in English. I hope an English version of the program will be created.


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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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KiwiSDRs now at the KPH receive site in Point Reyes

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Ruck, who writes:

Please be advised that the Martitime Radio Historical Society has made publicly available Kiwi SDR receivers at the KPH receive site in Point Reyes.  This site was selected for SW reception by Dr. Beverage for RCA around 1930.

You can access the receivers at  radiomarine.org

Bill Ruck
Maintenance
MRHS

Brilliant news, Bill!  Thank you for sharing!

Click here to visit the Point Reyes KiwiSDR optimized for HF reception and this one optimized for LW/MW reception.

Click here to visit the KPH Software Defined Receivers info page.

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Atlas Obscura features KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station

Cypress tree avenue towards KPH. Photo by Frank Schulenburg via Wikimedia Commons

(Source: Atlas Obscura via Eric McFadden)

One of the most stunning sights of the Bay Area is the historic KPH Radio Station, also known as Marine Coast Station KPH. To reach the station, you must first pass through a clerestory tunnel of cypress trees near the Point Reyes National Seashore.[…]

KPH began providing Morse Code telegram service to ships at sea in the early 20th century, broadcasting from the Palace Hotel in San Francisco (where the station gets its PH call sign). The 1906 earthquake forced the station to move until it was eventually acquired by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and found its home in Marin County. The Receiving Station is a classic white Art Deco structure built in 1920. The transmitters themselves, in nearby Bolinas, are a similar style.

At the time, there were dozens of stations like KPH around the United States, though KPH was one of the biggest, sometimes referred to as “the wireless giant of the Pacific.” When the station fell into disuse, land contractors were set to demolish it, including its antennas, to build condominiums. But Globe Wireless acquired the site in 1997 and it was left untouched.[…]

Read the full article at Atlas Obscura.

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