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Rally for ‘Retired’ Broadcast Transmitters Set for January

Rally for 'Retired' Broadcast Transmitters Set for January

Listeners throughout North America will be able to listen in on Jan. 8, 2005, to an annual “Heavy Metal Rally.”
It’s not slashing rock music or classic hot rods that give the event its name. This is an “on-air gathering” of retired broadcast transmitters, which this year will include a working station at the Radio History Society near Washington, operating under the special event call sign W3R.
“The vintage radio event, set for Saturday evening, Jan. 8, brings out a variety of ‘tall ships’ to sail the airwaves when overnight signals and propagation are strong,” said organizer Paul Courson, who has written in the pages of Radio World about the hobby of collecting and restoring old broadcast transmitters.
“Much of the activity is just above the Standard AM Broadcast band and can be monitored by the simplest portable world band receivers tuned around 1885 Kc.”
Additional gathering points are set for 3880 and 7290 Kc on the 75 and 40 meter shortwave bands.
“For a really authentic experience, listeners should note that all of these frequencies are also typically covered by old wooden floor consoles and tabletop vacuum tube radios.”
Courson said museum curator Brian Belanger plans special nighttime hours for visitors to see and hear a Collins 300-G that weights 1,400 pounds and was restored and retuned to shortwave ham bands. The transmitter was rescued from a waterfront site in St. Augustine, Fla., where WFOY had been located.
Other transmitters expected include a General Electric XT-1A from the 1940s.
Admission is free. A reception confirmation certificate will be available to visitors and those who hear or contact the station on the air.

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