For anyone not caught up in this weekend's madness and who would like to
hear a little "commercial" CW, I just got word that Coast Guard station KSM
north of San Francisco is on the air sending press and weather on 6474kc and
They're also on the MF band at 426 kc/s for anyone with a suitable receiver.
They're pounding in here in N.W. Oregon on 6474. Now for a listen on 426.
That's a bit of a long haul in mid-day for that frequency.
Thanks Mike. They're just a few miles away from KPH but I don't think I've
ever worked them. I've worked KPH when they were active commercially when I
was servicing and doing SOLAS certification on shipboard installations.
It's good to see them being kept alive for future operators to hear. One of
these days I must build an HF converter so I can tune 'em in on the old 500
kc/s "Marine Band" using my K2.
For anyone who'd like to get a "head's up" on activities of either KPH, KSM
or, on the Ham bands, K6KPH, send an email message to:
You can often get a QSL for a listening report for an SASE to the address on
the web site. I've got one printed on a genuine Radiogram form (such as
shown in the opening pages below). I don't know if they still have those
left. They were using up the left-over blanks after the stations shut down.
In any case, I'm sure they'd appreciate reception reports from anyone who
can hear them. It's good to let them know there are still SWL's out there
who know a 'dit' from a 'dah', Hi!
I've visited KPH both before they stopped commercial CW ops and during their
last special on-air activity for the "Night of Nights" last July. It's a
great experience for any CW buff within range whenever they do one of their
regular on-air activities.
For more historical photos of KPH (that's not the station on the air today,
but it's often activated) go to:
That's my old friend, LR at the key. He passed away in the early 90's and
his widow passed that key on to me. Note the weight! Some of those Vibroplex
bugs were tough to slow down <G>. Yep, it's a real old "bug". No logic
circuits. One makes the dashes and inserts the proper spaces by 'ear' <G>.
That's the recently licensed station operated by the Maritime Radio
Historical Society. Station details at:
http://www.radiomarine.org/ksm-proj.html . The rest of the web site is
darned interesting too. Wouldn't you love to have one of those Radiomarine
4U communications consoles off the WWII Victory ships, like they've restored
(all I have is a 4U installation/operation manual).
They're coming in strong in Arkansas right now (2100Z) on 12 mc, weak on 6
The U.S. Coast Guard gave up Morse operation (and monitoring 500 kc) several
years before the last US commercial Maritime Morse stations shut down in
I really miss the days (only about 10 years ago) when interesting Morse
traffic could still be copied on the HF maritime bands. I dropped my
telegraph license about then too...didn't see much point in the expense of