An interesting link to the past - the Maritime Radio Historical Society

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While tracking my contacts through WSPR, I noticed that one station was far and above the others when it came to picking my small signal. It was in the central California coastline and had an unusual call sign: KPH. Most receiving stations had three to ten contacts but KPH has 63 so far.

I exercised my Google-fu and came up with this place: The Maritime Radio Historical Society

KPH History
KPH provided reliable service to ships at sea from the early days of radio. This service is what most people think of today when recalling the great radio installations at Bolinas, Point Reyes and Marshall, California. But in fact KPH was the poor cousin to the point-to-point service that operated mainly under the call KET. From the beginning until its last days KPH was always struggling for funding and facilities, often relegated to using transmitters and antennas no longer needed by the point-to-point service. But the KPH maritime service outlasted not only the point-to-point service but the satellite service that replaced it!

As well as:

Who We Are
Let's be honest... We're a bunch of radio squirrels. And very lucky radio squirrels at that. We inhereted the last remaining Morse code coast station in North America. It was off the air but it was an intact time capsule.

We made the restoration of KPH to operational status our life's work. That was back in 1999 - the year the last commercial Morse code message in the U.S. was supposedly sent.

Through the trust and vision of the Point Reyes National Seashore we were given permission to begin our project of restoration, documentation and operation. And we've never looked back.

As True Believers in the importance of our maritime radio heritage we have tried to research and document every aspect of the field. Our area of specialization is the coast stations, ships and companies of the west coast of the United States. But anything to do with maritime radio anywhere in the world is of interest to us.

Dedicated MRHS volunteers are busy with the preservation, restoration and repair of the historic artifacts with which we have been entrusted. That work is the foundation on which the real goal of our project rests. That goal is to assure that the culture, techniques and traditions of the men and women who came before us are not forgotten. We feel that the best way to achieve that goal is through actual on the air operations.

A very fun project and an awesome fortune that they would be able to step in and take this historic site over. Their antenna farm is unreal in its scope. No wonder they pick me up with such reliability. They could pick up a gnat fart on the East Coast. The transmitting power of the early ship-board stations was very low so it makes sense that they put their money into the shore stations. If you have the misfortune to need to call SOS, you really want to be heard.

They also have a regular ham radio station and have scheduled operating hours - I will have to try to reach them when I have my big station set up down here.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on June 10, 2019 8:32 PM.

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