Coast Station KSM
The call letters KSM were originally assigned to a station of the Robert Dollar Company. The station was located near Los Angeles. It operated on 500kc and eight frequencies in the HF band. When the MRHS was granted its own commercial coast station license we were very pleased to find that we had been assigned this historic call sign.
Note: KSM 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.
KSM is a commercial, common carrier coast station in the grand tradition of KPH and the dozens of other such stations that once existed in the USA. When the license for KPH was sold to Globe Wireless the MRHS felt it needed its own coast station to carry on the traditions and preserve the skills of the art of maritime radio through actual use.
KSM uses the original transmitters, receivers and antennas of KPH. The station is licensed for communications with ships at sea using both CW and RTTY modes in the MF and HF marine bands. KSM accepts traffic from ships at sea for onward transmission to addressees ashore. No charge is made for this service.
KSM Frequencies (in kc)
KSM uses two modes of "RTTY": Baudot and FEC. Baudot transmissions are at 170cps shift, 45 baud. FEC transmissions are at 170cps shift, 100 baud.
On CW, KSM broadcasts its "wheel" (a repeating message inviting ships to call and giving the frequencies being used). When working ships, the KSM operator will key all frequencies so listeners will be able to hear the shore side of the contact no matter what frequency they are monitoring. All maritime radio operations are duplex. Once the ship makes contact with KSM it will shift from the calling to a working frequency. The KSM operator will repeat this frequency so listeners can attempt to hear the ship. KSM sends high seas weather for the Pacific at 2130gmt at 25wpm.
On RTTY, KSM broadcasts marine weather and press information alternating between the two modes listed above.
Ship Calling Frequencies (in kc)
KSM operators monitor 500kc and ITU calling channel 3 in all HF bands. Listeners who wish to monitor both sides of an exchange between KSM and a ship may wish to tune to the ship frequency as well as KSM.
The ITU channel 3 frequencies used by ships are:
Hours of Operation
KSM is normally on the air each Saturday from 1700GMT to 2300GMT.
Press and Weather
KSM transmits free press and weather every Saturday on all HF Morse and RTTY frequencies and on 426kc MF. Morse begin at 1700gmt, RTTY transmissions begin at 1800gmt. KSM teleprinter broadcasts (press and then weather) are sent first on Baudot and then repeated using FEC (usually in the order weather and then press). Pacific high seas weather is repeated on Morse only at 2130gmt.
Traffic List/Message Service
The KSM traffic list is broadcast each Saturday at 2100gmt on all HF Morse frequencies and on 426kc MF. KSM will deliver your message to any email address free of charge.
Guest Operators/License Endorsement
Visitors holding a commercial radiotelegraph operator license of any class are welcome to "sit the circuit" at KSM. You'll have the opportunity to send messages and announcements and work ships if you wish. You can also have your license endorsed for having served as a radiotelegraph operator at a commercial coast station. KSM is the last station in the US where this experience can be gained. While current radiotelegraph licenses no longer have a space for endorsements on the reverse side, the MRHS Chief Operator will type your endorsement on the station mill and sign it.
Updated schedule and frequency information is distributed via the MRHS mailing list. To join the list send an email message to Radiomarinefirstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact KSM directly by email at: KSM@radiomarine.org
Send your KSM reception reports to:
PO Box 392
Point Reyes Station, California 94956
Normal Transmitting Equipment List
STATION FREQ. TRANSMITTER ANTENNA
KSM 426/500 A7 Henry MF-5000D Marconi-T
KSM 4350.5 B1 Henry HF-5000D EDZ*
KSM 6474 B2 Henry HF-5000D EDZ
KSM 8438.3 B3 Henry HF-5000D EDZ
KSM 12993 B4 Henry HF-5000D H/2
KSM 16914 B6 Henry HF-5000D H/2
KSM 22445.8 D3 Henry HF-5000D H/2
For Special Occasions, Visitor Demo, as noted
KSM 6474 251 RCA ET-18A EDZ
KSM 12993 KFS 12B PW-15 H/2
K6KPH 7050 271 RCA ET-18A EDZ
KSM Teleprinter Transmissions
KSM 6328.0 A2 Henry HF-5000D EDZ
KSM 8433.0 A3 Henry HF-5000D EDZ
KSM 12631.0 A4 Henry HF-5000D H/2
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). All transmitter output power is 3-4kW, except PW-15 5kW and
ALL TRANSMITTING AND RECEIVING GEAR IS ORIGINAL KPH OR KFS STATION EQUIPMENT LOVINGLY RESTORED AND MAINTAINED BY THE MRHS