Dedicated to True Believers World Wide 
18 December 2012  



  • Dick Flint - SK
  • Want to Work KSM?  Here's How! 
  • Maintenance Report - Box of Death & More  
  • Holiday Message from Denice 
  • Operations Report (Straight Key Night) 
Dick Flint - SK (Silent Key)

It is with profound sadness that we record the passing of Dick Flint, KPH and point to point operator and technician, Morse operator during WWII and a charter member of the MRHS.

Dick was one of those men that people invariably describe as a "great guy".  He was a strong supporter of the MRHS, always taking time to attend our Night of Nights events and our presentations at the Marconi receiving station in Marshall.  He provided photos and historic information that helped fill in important blanks in the history of the Bolinas, Marshall and Point Reyes stations.

As recently as Newsletter No.20 Dick was contributing information to our project.

Dick was one of the men we try to honor through our project by keeping their skills, traditions and culture alive.  We miss him terribly.

His beloved wife of 67 years, Coral, whom he always described as "my bride", passed away recently.

Word of his passing reached us via Jack Martini, last manager of KPH:

Regret to advise that Dick Flint passed this morning in his sleep per the attached email. Gina Turner is one of Dick's granddaughters  Dick and I were friends for 50 years, and I for one will miss him deeply. Dick was a kind and gentle man, and I will always be proud to remember him as my friend and one of my mentors.

Jack Martini..

Rick Wahl, ex-KPH operator and current KSM and K6KPH operator wrote:

Dick was a great guy - I never got to work with him, but he was a frequent visitor and I came to know him as one of the gang.  He always had a kind word for everybody, he will certainly be missed.  Please send my condolences to his family.


Rick Wahl

Want to Work KSM?  Here's How!


In Newsletter No.22 we encouraged all True Believers with a love of Morse to get their commercial radiotelegraph licenses while they still can.  But maybe just the prestige of holding the Great Credential and the possibility of sitting the circuit at KSM is not enough for some.  We understand.  So here's some information that might provide just that last bit of encouragement.  The catch?  You'll need a boat.


But first, a disclaimer and some advice: 


  1. We haven't done this ourselves.  We're depending here on the advice of others.  If you decide to license your boat for commercial Morse be sure to let us know how the process went for you so others can gain from the benefit of your experience.

  2. This ain't ham radio.  In commercial operations there's no time or inclination for the idle chit-chat common in an amateur exchange.  RST?  Commercial ops don't know what that means.  It's QSA and QRK if anything.  And you'll want to know the meaning of QSS.  The gear and antenna you're using are not germane.  Can we hear you?  Great!  That's all we need to know.  If you're unfamiliar with the fine points of commercial procedure, no worries.  We will be happy to provide the information you need to sound like an old sea dog on the air.

So... Do you have a radiotelegraph operator license but never exercise its privileges?  Thinking about getting a radiotelegraph license (while you still can!) but wonder what you'd use it for?


Well, if you have a boat you can license it to work KSM!   


Many pleasure boat owners may not be aware that you can easily add radiotelegraph authorization to you ship license!  With that authorization you'll be able to use any of the Morse calling and working frequencies to work any Morse coast station - including KSM.


KSM will be happy to copy your message traffic and forward it to any email address - at no cost, of course.


If we have traffic for you we'll include your vessel's call in our traffic list.


Here's the deal:


If you have a boat but don't have a ship station license you can apply for one including radiotelegraph authorization.  We've included information from a man who's done it below as a guide.


If you have a ship station license you can apply to add radiotelegraph authorization to it.


Two boat owners have already done this and are ready to work KSM.  You can too.


Operating Procedures:


Since this is a commercial operation, commercial practices and procedures should be followed.  In commercial operations it's all business with quick, professional exchanges.  There's no place for the type of chit-chat we're used to on the amateur bands.  The idea here is to bring everyone up to the standards of professional operators to carry on with the best traditions of the service.


The MRHS will be glad to provide on-line tutorials on everything from calling and working procedures to message format.  Don't worry about speed.  It's accuracy and proper, professional procedure that counts.


Getting Radiotelegraph Authorization:


Here's information from David "Tess" Tessitore, who provided the inspiration for this idea:


I initially applied for my ship station license in 1999, since then I have had to renew it once for about $140. It is good for 10 years.

I simply filed form 605 for a Radio Service SA - "Ship Recreational or Voluntarily Equipped". This form is now online via the FCC ULS website.  


[The FCC 605 Main Form may be found HERE ]


[The FCC Schedule B, Schedule for Additional Data for the Ship Radio Service, may be found  HERE ]  

One of the questions on that form was if I had HF radiotelegraph, SITOR or DSC equipment on my vessel and if I wanted a radiotelegraph working series frequency assignment. Of course I answered Yes.

In return I received WCZ4195 with full privileges for all modes plus my Station ID/MMSI and the Radiotelegraph Working Series W31 and W62. These assignments are for several Working frequencies in the 4/6/8/12/16/22 and 25Mc bands.

The specific frequencies for the Working Series can be found in Part 80, Subpart H - Frequencies, Section 80.357.  


[FCC Section 80.357 may be found  HERE ]

Note, however, as it states in paragraph (3)(i) "Two Channel Series will be assigned for routine use to each ship station. Frequencies from any other Channel Series may be used if the frequencies in the assigned Channel Series are not adequate for communications."

In paragraph (3)(ii) it continues with "If the frequencies listed in paragraph (3)(i) of this section are not adequate for communications, ship stations may use any of the non-paired narrow-band direct-printing frequencies listed in 80.361(b) of this part for A1A or J2A radiotelegraphy."

This basically authorizes the use of all the Working and Non-Paired NDDP frequencies, hundreds of them.

Of course all the ITU Calling frequencies are also authorized defined in 80.355 (2), as well as 152-158KHz and 410-518KHz (with some provisions.)

I recommend a full review of FCC Part 80 and suggest a copy be kept bunkside or in the head along with other appropriate reading materials.


Adding Radiotelegraph Authorization:


If you already have a ship station license it's easy (and apparently free!) to add an authorization for radiotelegraph.


Ray "Radio Ray" Tougas was inspired by Tess.  He sent the email below to the FCC asking for guidance on how to add radiotelegraph authorization to his existing ship license.  They didn't guide him.  They just did it!:




Hello F.C.C.,

I would like to add the Morse code endorsement to my existing maritime mobile license WDC5383. What do I need to do to make this happen?

I have been in correspondence  with KSM's station manager and have been welcomed to communicate with them using my ship's HF radio using CW/Morse as soon as I have my maritime radio license endorsed for Morse by the F.C.C. 

Can you help me?

Thank You,
Raymond E. Tougas   


Well, that's it.  Tess and Ray did it.  So can you.  And remember, radiograms filed via KSM will be delivered FREE to any email address.  How cool is that? 


Maintenance Department Report - The Box of Death & More

Faithful readers of these pages will recall our report in Newsletter No. 5  about the dreaded Box of Death at the Bolinas transmitter site.  As we mentioned in that article, when we began our project back in 1999 the last transmitter technician at Bolinas pointed a trembling finger at a piece of gear in the corner of the control room, whispered hoarsely, "Lads, whatever you do, don't turn that on!" and left immediately. 

Well of course, as any True Believers would, we took that to be a challenge and began to investigate what we came to call the Box of Death.  It turned out to be a very useful tube tester for the high voltage thyratrons and mercury vapor tubes used in the classic transmitters from the 1940s and 1950s we were about to begin restoring.  No longer did we have to test the tubes in the transmitters - standing back awaiting a tongue of green flame and cloud of black smoke when the tube failed.  We could test 'em first in the B of D.

Transmitter Supervisor Steve Hawes prepares to insert a tube into the maw of the Box of Death for testing.

Now comes Mr. Bill Ruck of the MRHS Maintenance Department to report on some recent work he did on the B of D.  As an extra bonus at no additional cost we have included Bill's report on some of the musings that go on during our Saturday morning Services of the Church of the Continuous Wave, conducted at the Bolinas site before we begin work.  (All True Believers are invited to join us for Services, by the way.)  This will give you an idea of the kind of planning we do to keep the project going.

Typical session of the Services of the Church of the Continuous Wave at which pastry and coffee are served.  Let us know if you're coming so we can be sure we have enough pastry for you.

And now, we give you our very own Mr. Bill Ruck:

Spent most of the day on the Box of Death. Had to set up an isolation transformer as the Box of Death has one side of the AC line connected to the chassis (I'd prefer to not let Siobhan collect on my life insurance prematurely). And I had to get the external connections right on a test jig that I made. The control circuit now works -- the thyratron flashes (problem was a 2.0 mFd capacitor that became a resistor).

Now all I need to do is to re-install the control circuit which requires folding myself into a knot to get into the chassis.

Transmitter Supervisor Hawes and I spent time discussing transmitter control and transmitter keying. It is clear that we've built ourselves into a corner. The new 18 Mc K6KPH transmitter puts us over the edge and we're also hoping to get the H set keying on line, too. So these are our thoughts:

1. We've run out of KPH keying lines at RS. But SH thinks there are more tone set audio channels that could be used. There are 16 tone set positions at RS. One has the monitor amplifier and one has the 902 receive for the TTY but that leaves 14. One of the 901's is used for the TTY, leaving 13 for TX keying. [See Newsletter No. 17 for the beginning of a three part series on the 901 and 902 tone sets - ed.] But there aren't 13 keying lines on the KPH panel. So our thought was to move all of the K6KPH keying to the WCC panels. [In the last years of operation sister station WCC on Cape Cod was controlled from KPH - ed.] That way the potential for putting the wheel on K6KPH is reduced and that gives us more keying lines than tone sets for both KSM and K6KPH.

So my plan is to spend Saturday Dec 22nd at RS. Since nobody will be at BL I'll skip services and head directly to RS. Work on the KPH keying side until operations start and then look into WCC keying. SH found documents for WCC that I had never seen and I will scan and copy them.

2. We also have run out of Monroe control positions at BL for transmitter ON/OFF. At one time two Monroe systems were connected to the telephone line. But we have not found any documentation on how the second Monroe worked. Also reading the manual doesn't hint how two could be used.

A very long time ago I was involved with those control boxes in another life but have no documentation on how we made it work. But I do remember that it took more than one attempt before we got the two boxes to behave. An alternate might be to double up some of the transmitter ON/OFF positions so each one turns on two transmitters. No matter what, the 18 Mc Henry needs to be modified for remote filament control.

Like the other vintage transmitters the H set will only operate with local ON/OFF control. There are more than a few details that need to be worked out and, as always, there will be "Welcome to KPH" moments.

RK, MRHS Maintenance a/k/a "The Department of Reverse Engineering"

As Bill's report illustrates, he and other True Believers working for The Cause at the MRHS are willing to throw themselves into the breach whenever the situation demands for the greater good of the project.  And we know you would too if only you lived close enough to join us in person.  But you can help in other ways.  It's your financial support that has allowed us to move ahead with the ongoing antenna restoration project, the activation of the new K6KPH 18Mc frequency, the restoration of the H set transmitter and so much more.


Make a Donation    
Are you in a position to help The Cause with a donation?  Even the smallest amount helps.  And it lets us know that the project means a lot to other folks, not just to ourselves. 





 Holiday Greetings from Denice


We have received the following message from our beloved Denice via OM Paul Shinn.  We share it with you here in case you'd like to send a card or letter to her.  It means a lot to her to hear from her fans worldwide. 




i was suffered a stroke in April. My newest mail is  


1524 Marquette St  

Saginaw MI 48602-1731  


could you pass everything?  


Happy Holidays  

Denice Stoops  




Operations Report


NOTEKSM and K6KPH will be unavailable on the weekend of 22 December to give MRHS staff a chance to enjoy the Christmas holiday.


Straight Key Night


Straight Key Night is an annual ARRL sponsored event that takes place each News Year's Eve.  Morse ops get on the air and send greetings using mechanical Morse keys.  No electronic keys allowed!  K6KPH has been a participant in the past and this year will be no exception.


It's a little unclear at this point how may ops will be available (you're invited to join us by the way!) but we'll be on the air on the usual frequencies (except 18Mc).


Operating Hours -  

Here are the current operating hours for both KSM and K6KPH two way operations.  KSM press and weather broadcasts begin at 1000pst (1800gmt).

Saturday - 1200 - 1600pst, 2000 - 0000gmt

Sunday - 1200 - 1600, 2000 - 0000gmt (No KSM RTTY)

Wednesday - 1900 - 2300, 0300 - 0700gmt (No KSM RTTY)

Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea... let's go to press with Mike Payne's operations report for KSM and K6KPH...

Mike decided to try something a little different for this issue of the Newsletter.  He scanned the actual logs we use for KSM and K6KPH so you can see how we enter contacts, messages and other information.  This is all patterned after standard commercial practice.

You'll see entries by guest operators too.  As always you're invited to sit the circuit at K6KPH.  No license required, just a knowledge of Morse.

As always, Mike says:


Please advise any c/s or data errors in this weeks report and I will attempt to correct same.


For the list of stations worked, go >>==> HERE <==<<


73 fm ZUT central, MP

MRHS Operating Department 

MRHS Merchandise!

T shirts, hoodies, mugs, belt buckles, bumper stickers - we've got them all for you at the MRHS on line store - each with the MRHS logo.

These are high quality items you'll use and enjoy for a long time.  And every purchase you make helps to support the MRHS.

Click on the image below or on the link below that to go to the MRHS True Believers on line store.



Until next time we wish you fair winds and following seas.

VY 73,


Newsletter Back Issues 

You want 'em, we got 'em! (Starting with Newsletter No. 3, the first that wasn't a plain email message.).  They're on line for your reading pleasure.  Just click on the link below.

Back Issues

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