Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Night of nights, 13th July 2010

Every year maritime stations in the USA commemorate (not celebrate!) the closing down of the use of Morse code for maritime traffic. This happens on 12th July each year, going on to 13th July in Europe and eastward.

Known as "Night of Nights" stations like KPH and KSM in California, plus WLO in Alabama transmit on the HF maritime bands, and some, like K6KPH, transmit on the amateur bands.

Being stupid, I thought I would set my alarm for 5am on the morning of the 13th July and see if I could hear anything - I wasn't very confident.

VOAProp suggested that 8MHz offered the best shot and as it turned out I heard KSM in Point Reyes, California on 8.438MHz, WLO in Mobile, Alabama on 8.658MHz and NMC in California on 8.574MHz.

I listened on 80m, 40m and 20m but heard nothing, other than a lone W station calling K6KPH on 40m.

KSM/ K6KPH broadcast regularly and can be heard in the UK, although they are always weak with me at this point in the solar cycle.

Its nice to hear CW being used on these bands again. You can find out more from the Maritime Historical Radio Society web site on http://www.radiomarine.org

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