WKR Nome

[See the Incredible Radio Tales section for the story of how it was at WKR in the final years]

Ed "Lake" Trump kindly provided the photo below and the description of what is shows...

The photo is of the WKR operating position circa 1982, and is as it was at close of operations in 1984. This was located in the station building on Front Street, Nome, right on the seawall at the location of the large 10 meter dish satellite antenna.

The public Telegraph counter and public street access to the building had been recently closed. After the move, the operating position was located in a small glassed in room at the rear of the station building on the main floor.

The photo shows the cord-style switchboard at the left with which we controlled the VHF and SSB transmitters and receivers associated with the Nome Marine voice operations on VHF Ch 16 calling/distress, and VHF Ch 26 VHF working, plus Working HF USB 2240/3385/5167.5 kHz receiving and 2400 kHz transmitting as well as 2182 kHz HF Distress transmitting/receiving.  This switchboard also contained the calling and answering jacks for local and long distance calling that we used to run the phonepatch connections to/from the radios.

Cubbyholes above the switchboard for logbooks and forms, etc.

Center bay was a 7 foot relay rack containing (top to bottom)monitor speakers for all the above voice receivers out at the receiving site,  VU meter panel, pads & miscellaneous control switches, 500kc CW receiver controls and frequency readout (the large square meter), the CW transmitter control switches, and monitor speakers for the two SP600 monitor receivers racked in the left bay.

Left bay was also a 7 foot relay rack that mounted the station Chelsea 8-day deck clock with silent periods marked on it, two SP-600 general coverage monitoring receivers, and the speaker panel for the remoted 500 kc receiver out at the receiving site.

The operating desk was mounted across the two 7 foot relay racks and contained the "all cap" mill and the telegraph keys, a bug and a straight key.

Just at the left of the mill on the desk, you can see the stopwatches we used to time the toll radio patch calls to the "outside" with and an electronic keyer that we played with a little...(I never did like that thing, and preferred to use the bug or the straight key all the time).

Licenses and certificates were on the wall to the left. The Telex machine (a cheap Model 32 TTY machine) was out of sight to the right.

 

MORE....

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[In decembewr 2011 OM Larry Laitinen contributed several additions photos of WKR.  Lake Trump comments on these:]

Yes.  All those photos were taken while I was working there at Nome.
 
The one of the Marine console (with the op with his feet up on the desk) is how the Marine console looked when I got there in 1975...The photo is maybe a year or two later than that, 1976-1977, as we bought the bug key on the desk shortly after I got there (prior to that, there was only an old beat up J-38). 
 
The photo shows one of the two Bu-Ships RBA-6 receivers we had sitting
atop the cord switchboard.  We subsequently moved it out to the receiving site when we moved the console.  The old SP-600 was what we used to listen to stuff on HF with.  I still have the large clock..It keeps time here at AL7N these days.
 
The operator on duty is Richard Kinney.  I lost track of him after he left Nome. 
 
The other photos are of the Nome station interior, showing the rest of the
telegraph office, Testboard, the Teletype monitoring machines, and the Earth
station equipment bays as they were in about 1976-1977. The Telegraph Office Public Counter was to the left of the photo showing the TTY macines in the telegraph office on the opposite wall from the Marine console.
 
The photo of the dish antenna is looking west along the Nome seawall which was built to help protect Nome's Front street buildings during the hellacious storms. It was not uncommon for waves coming over the seawall to hit the face of that antenna. It was not heated at the time, and we would sometimes have to call the Fire Department to come with a pumper truck and a two inch firehose to squirt the Ice and snow off that antenna dish to restore the station to operation. 
 
That antenna was not motor -driven, but used huge jack screws with hex nuts on them  to point it. (It was of course pointed at a Geo-stationary satellite over the equator,  but when tweaking the Azimuth and Elevation adjustments, we had to use a huge six-foot long  wrench to turn those nuts. What a Job THAT was!)  We had to repoint it on to two different
"birds" during my time working there.  We ultimately devised some chain drives and gears that were fitted to those large nuts so they could be driven by electric motors.

Since I left Nome in 1987, The entire antenna has been replaced with a modernized heated and fully motor driven one.
 
The photo I originally sent in is how the marine operating console looked after we moved it all into another room, circa 1978, when the battery plant was brought up from the basement and installed in the room where the marine console and telegraph office originally was. This was done to avoid flooding during storms that had happened to the basement in the past. The area around the station building was filled in between the building and the sea-wall to the street level, so water coming over the wall during the severe storms (like happened last month this year) would drain off and not
flood the basement of the building.  An addition on the east side of the building for a garage/shop,  spares & equipment storage and the standby generator (formerly also in the basement) was added at the same time we moved the Marine operating area. This photo was taken prior to the constuction of that east side addition.  A large above-ground diesel fuel tank
was installed behind the addition between it and the sea-wall.



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