Harvard Wireless Club: “The Invisible Long Wire Caper”

HWC logoMike Manafo, K3UOC (trustee, W1AF) writes on hwc-list:

Of course, I can’t resist retelling this story. Harvard Wireless Club (HWC) old timers will remember. Back in 1989, under the questionable leadership of President Gunnar Trumbull, a plan was hatched to run an “invisible” long wire from 6 Linden to the bell tower at Lowell House. This mission was in quest of a better radiator for the HF bands since we had very little in the way of antennas back then.

Gunnar, Satish Vangal, Mario Inchosa and a handful of other plotters obtained several thousand feet of very fine gauge copper wire and early one morning before dawn, managed to string the wire from our roof, over the telephone wires on Mt. Auburn St., and all the way to the base of Lowell tower. Our boys then gained entrance to the bell tower (don’t ask) and Satish (known some years later for battling the French Navy who were attempting to board the Greenpeace Warrior upon which he was the chief radio operator) was sent up the bell tower to secure the Lowell end of the wire.
This caper almost succeeded except that the campus police showed up and put a screeching halt to the project. However, the police had not a clue what was going on with all of this monkey business. Satish pleaded that he had been depressed and despondent over his studies, which is why he climbed the tower. The other HWC guys picked up on that line and explained to the police how they had been trying to reason with their desperate classmate. The police apparently felt their anguish. All culprits were released from custody when Satish promised to seek counseling. And that put an end to the HWC-Lowell House long wire caper.

Those of us who were responsible adult members of the HWC at the time naturally distanced ourselves from this clandestine and risky project. Which is not to say that it does not make for a fine piece of HWC lore worth retelling some 16 years later.

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