Chief Operator Richard Dillman at Position 1 (Source: Maritime Radio Historical Society)
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian Smith (W9IND), who shares the following guest post:
“Night of Nights” 2017
by Brian D. Smith, W9IND
“Night of Nights XVIII” – radio’s answer to “Night of the Living Dead” – will again unfold on July 12 (July 13 UTC) with the return of maritime Morse code transmissions that were thought to have died in 1999, but now haunt the shortwave and medium wave bands one night a year. The announced 2017 lineup brings both good and bad news, with venerable Coast Guard station NMN joining the active list while ship-to-shore heavyweight WLO stays on the sidelines.
For CW aficionados, the event offers not only an audio nostalgia trip, but a chance to obtain QSL cards and – for those in the San Francisco area – witness the event in person at the former KPH facility, located at Point Reyes National Seashore near San Francisco.
Amateur radio operators can get in on the fun by working the Maritime Radio Historical Society club station, K6KPH (via CW, of course) – and even operating it if they’re close enough to visit. The event organizers endorse amateur radio licenses with special stamps and “the Great MRHS Seal,” says Chief Operator Richard Dillman.
“Night of Nights” takes place annually on July 12 to mark the date in 1999 when commercial Morse code operations ceased in the United States. The six participating stations will take to the airwaves on multiple frequencies at 8:01 p.m. Eastern time on July 12 (0001 UTC July 13) and continue for several hours. Two MRHS stations, KPH and KFS, will beam signals from the original KPH transmitter site in nearby Bolinas, California, with a quartet of Coast Guard stations checking in from both coasts – NMC (California), NMN (Virginia), NMQ (California) and NMW (Oregon). The latter two will operate on medium wave frequencies only.
Follow this Maritime Radio Historical Society link for a complete list of participating stations, frequencies and other details: http://radiomarine.org/gallery/show?keyword=nonxi&panel=pab1_5#pab1_5
For the backstory on the KPH comeback and the tireless volunteer efforts that went into it, read “Who We Are” on the MRHS home page: http://www.radiomarine.org
This Point Reyes National Seashore page gives a historical perspective on the event: https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/events_nightofnights.htm
This YouTube video from a 2012 visit provides an inside look at the MHRS operations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj-IwYPrtTM
QSL requests for KPH, KFS and K6KPH go to:
Maritime Radio Historical Society
P.O. Box 392
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
QSL requests for NMC, NMN, NMQ and NMW go to:
ET1 Mike Leska
ESD Ketchikan – QSL
1300 Steadman St.
Ketchikan, AK 99901
QSL requests to all stations should include an SASE – but no “green stamps” (dollar bills).
Here’s a sample K6KPH “Radiogram” QSL:
Here’s a sample Coast Guard QSL for NMC and NMQ: