Thursday, August 27, 2009
Station on Fort Worden's Artillery Hill Refurbished; Hams Have Celebration:: "The radio station atop Artillery Hill at Fort Worden State Park is the site of a special event celebrating the 100th anniversary of this communications site. The celebration takes place from 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. The public is invited to stop by during the park's open hours: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Using call sign W7R, members of the local Jefferson County and Port Ludlow Amateur Radio clubs will be on the air for the full 32 hours in the original brick building, completed in 1909, which is located on the fort's Artillery Hill, surrounded by the original gun batteries. In the early 1900s, this station, using call sign FX, was used by the U.S. Army to communicate with Alaska, supporting the Klondike Gold Rush, using a spark-gap transmitter. In the early 1930s, communication was by voice, code and Teletype, using an SCR radio set with a 300-foot wire antenna with a center tap supported by two 150-foot fir poles. During this weekend's event, radio "hams" will be operating off-grid, on single side band, CW (Morse code), and digital PSK & RTTY modes. Radio frequencies include 14.265 and 7.255 MHz. Volunteers from the radio clubs have been working to clean up the station, which has been victimized over the years by nature and by vandals. Alfred Chiswell of the Coast Artillery Museum at Fort Worden has provided much appreciated assistance during this project."