Fessenden Special Event Operation Contacts Scotland

On Christmas Eve, 1906, instead of a Morse code message, Fessenden made the first voice radio broadcast heard by Navy ships and ships of the United Fruit Company that carried his radio equipment. Dave Riley, AA1A of Marshfield believes that Reginald Fessenden could truly lay claim to be the inventor of radio but never received his due recognition. Until last December, when an article appeared in the Patriot Ledger, I suspect very few Whitman ARC members, aside from John Coombs, WQ1L of Marshfield, had ever heard about Reginald Fessenden.

Friday, April 14, 2006 just happened to be the day a group of Air Cadets would be camping at the remains of the Fessenden tower/radio station site in Machrihanish, Scotland and the US Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was asked to set up a special event Station at the Brant Rock antenna site and make contact with the Air Cadets in Scotland. Pi Pugh, K1RV and the K1USN amateur radio crew were contacted and invited to participate by Dave Newman WB1EVP, the CAP Project Officer for this activity and a local ham who is part of the local K1USN/Marconi crew. Pi, K1RV and the K1USN crew supplied the amateur radio HF and VHF transceivers and antennas. Both a Cushcraft R-5 vertical and a long wire antenna were installed for HF. The CAP crew had no problem making their scheduled contact.

Fessenden Special Operation, April 14, 2006 Shown here (l. to r.): Bill O’Hara N1EY; Pi Pugh, K1RV; Walt Fitzgerald, W1WCF; Bruce Hayden, NI1X and George Glisham, W1YR. Also participating but not present when the picture was taken were: Dave Riley, AA1A; Ralph Butler, W1BT; Tom Wilson, KB1TOM and Dave Hill, N1GXV. It was interesting to note that several CAP member present had their amateur radio licenses.

—Thanks, Whitmn ARC The Spectrum, April 2006

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