It’s again time for historic maritime CW stations to return to the air, as they do each July. Night of Nights XVIII takes place on July 13 at 0001 UTC (Wednesday, July 12, in US time zones). The event commemorates the day — July 12, 1999 — when coast and shipboard station operators ceased to transmit message traffic via Morse code. The annual event is sponsored by the Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS). The RCA receiving station in Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) in California will hold an open house and tours of the facility, starting at 3 PM PDT. Some US Coast Guard stations also will be on the air.
“None of this would have been possible without the trust and vision of the Point Reyes National Seashore,” an MRHS announcement said. “The only reason these facilities were spared the bulldozer that visited all the others is that they are on park land. And the only reason they have been restored to operation is that the PRNS staff understood their importance and trusted the MRHS to restore them to life.”
Eighteen transmitters will be on the air from the MRHS site in Bolinas, California — not counting transmitters held in ready reserve in case of failure. At KPH, transmissions are scheduled on 500/426 kHz; 4,247 kHz; 6,477.5 kHz; 8,642 kHz; 12,808.5 kHz, 17,016.8 kHz, and 22,477.5 kHz. Commemorative messages, weather, traffic lists, and the like will be sent via KPH. Station KFS will send the station identification “wheel” on all HF channels when not working ships. Its frequencies are 500 kHz; 6,365.6 kHz; 12,695.5 kHz, 17,026 kHz, and 22,581.5 kHz.
Operators at K6KPH, the MRHS Amateur Radio club station, will monitor frequencies on 80, 40, 20, 17, and 15 meters, as propagation and operator availability permit. K6KPH will be open for signal reports, traffic, or general contacts. Its frequencies are 3,550 kHz; 7,050 kHz; 14,050 kHz, 18,097.5 kHz, and 21,050.0 kHz.
Send reception reports and QSL requests for MRHS stations to Maritime Radio Historical Society, PO Box 392, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956. Include an S.A.S.E.
Coast Guard Stations
Four US Coast Guard call signs will be active for the event, using MF and HF frequencies. They are NMC (transmitter in Bolinas, receiver in Point Reyes), NMN in Chesapeake, Virginia; NMQ (transmitter in Cambria, California, receiver and control point in Point Reyes), and NMW (transmitter in Astoria, Oregon, receiver and control point in Point Reyes). NMN will be remotely controlled from NMC. Only one MF transmitter will be in service at each station. Morse transmissions will be made on an as-available basis from each station as USCG operators must also accommodate scheduled NAVTEX transmissions.
Send USCG station reception reports and QSL requests to ET1 Mike Leska, ESD Ketchikan-QSL, 1300 Steadman St, Ketchikan, AK 99901. Include an S.A.S.E. — Thanks to Brian Smith, W9IND, MRHS>