Amateur Station K6KPH
Note: K6KPH may be contacted directly by phone when the station is in operation to file radiograms, provide signal reports or coordinate schedules. Or to just say howdy! The phone number is +1 415-669-9646.
When we began the project of restoring KPH we thought the best we might be able to do was put an amateur station on the air using some of the KPH transmitters and antennas and signing a call associated with the original station. See Incredible Radio Tales for the story "In the Beginning" for how things looked to us in those days.
[The photo at right shows MRHS Chief Operator Richard Dillman keying K6KPH from Position 1 at Point Reyes.]
Even though K6KPH is an amateur station we operate it as close as possible to a commercial coast station, using fixed frequency transmitters and commercial procedures. The idea is to give amateur stations the experience of working a commercial coast station. We've found this is especially meaningful to former professional operators who seem to immediately revert to the practices and procedures they remember from their days at sea or ashore.
K6KPH uses the original KPH transmitters, receivers and antennas. Operators are at the receive station in Point Reyes keying the transmitters in Bolinas remotely just as was done when KPH was in service.
The transmitters are usually the Henry 5kW commercial units installed at KPH in 1990, throttled back to 1.5kW TPO. But several of the restored 1950s vintage RCA transmitters are also on K6KPH frequencies. We use these for special historic occasions.
The transmitting antennas are double extended Zepps for 4Mc and 7Mc. H over 2 antennas are used for 14Mc and 21Mc.
Antennas at the receive site in Point Reyes include TCI omnis, rhombics and V beams, all switchable from the operating positions.
The transmitters in Bolinas are keyed from Point Reyes over a land line link as was done for KPH and as is currently done for MRHS coast station KSM.
Hours of Operation
K6KPH is usually on the air every Saturday from about 1700gmt to 2300gmt. The station is on the air at other times for events such as Straight Key Night and International Marconi Day.
Visitors are welcome to operate K6KPH. No license is required, just a knowledge of Morse and a willingness to adhere to good operating practices. See below for a photo of Position 6 at the receive site, the guest operating position.
In additional to normal operations K6KPH is the west coast outlet for several ARRL broadcasts including the Field Day message and code proficiency runs. The Field Day message is sent via RTTY as well as CW. For these broadcasts we shift the K6KPH transmitters to the official ARRL frequencies.
Frequencies (Note the addition of 18Mc)
K6KPH transmits on these frequencies (in kc):
K6KPH is always ready to accept traffic for local delivery or for onward relay through the National Traffic System.
In keeping with the objective of operating K6KPH as close to a commercial coast station as can be managed the frequencies above are part of the normal scan that includes the commercial ship calling frequencies. The best way to contact K6KPH is to use commercial calling procedure. Tune to one of the above frequencies and call K6KPH repeatedly (within the bounds of FCC identification requirements of course) until the operator responds with DE. Then send your call sign and any traffic you may have. Don't worry about high speed. K6KPH operators will respond at the speed of the calling station.
Amateurs who want to more fully replicate the experience of working a coast station may call K6KPH using the procedure above. When they hear a DE they can send their call and UP followed by the last four digits of the working frequency they are going to (QSS), just as ship stations do. The K6KPH op will respond with UP and possibly QSV. Give it a try!
QSLs and Reception Reports
Send QSLs and reception reports to:
PO Box 392
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
K6KPH Transmitting Equipment and Antennas
CW on Amateur frequencies
K6KPH 3550 A1 Henry HF-5000D EDZ
K6KPH 7050 D2 Henry HF-5000D EDZ
K6KPH 14050 D1 Henry HF-5000D H/2
K6KPH 18097.5 B5 Henry HF-5000D H/2
K6KPH 21050 D4 Henry HF-5000D H/2
(Note- for Code Proficiency and Field Day Bulletin transmissions, K6KPH operates on the W1AW CW frequencies of: 3581.5, 7047.5, 14047.5, 18097.5 and 21067.5.)
Teleprinter on Amateur Frequencies
K6KPH 7095.0 A2 Henry HF-5000D EDZ
K6KPH 14095.0 A4 Henry HF-5000D H/2
*(EDZ = Extended Double Zepp). When used for K6KPH the transmitter output is reduced to 1.5kW.
ALL TRANSMITTING AND RECEIVING GEAR IS ORIGINAL KPH STATION EQUIPMENT LOVINGLY RESTORED AND MAINTAINED BY THE MRHS