- Commercial Radiotelegraphy KKUI in the ships radio Room,
- Amateur Radio in Amateur Radio Station W4AVM also located on board the ship,
- SS AMERICAN VICTORY, a Victory class freighter built in California prior to the end of World War II.
This past Saturday was typical. Dean Sever, one of our licensed Commercial and Amateur licensed Radiotelegraphers was on board for the weekly system tests. First, he went to the Amateur Radio room (W4AVM) and contacted K6KPH in California and sent one message, then answered another ham in Arizona. These contacts were made direct, no satellites nor repeaters, using Morse code on high frequency. Then he went to the ship’s commercial Radio Room (KKUI), made our scheduled call to San Francisco Radio (KSM), sent two messages, and received one from KSM.
Dean tested the ship’s Main and Reserve transmitters and both full-coverage receivers for sensitivity checks. All of these contacts were transmitted and received using Morse code, as was done during the vessels active years. In the meantime, Dean visited with guests who were fascinated by the “magic” of Radiotelegraphy as it had been for many years.
Our group is also active with other shipboard activities and maintenance. Five of us assisted with the fundraising activity associated with Gasparilla Day in Tampa. Some also help with Safety Watches as required by the U. S. Coast Guard, docenting, simple maintenance and janitorial duties, and recently getting the materials together for the vessel’s new signboards.
We have more than an interest in the vessel – we are proud of her and glad to have the opportunity to help keep Morse Code alive on the airways. During our harbor cruises we offer, free of charge, messages that anyone onboard can send to any address in the U.S.A. These freebie messages are transmitted by Morse Code from W4AVM to Amateur stations ashore using Morse Code, then phoned to the addressee from the shoreside Amateur operator or, if they have an e-mail address, sent direct to KSM San Francisco Radio on commercial frequencies for relay via the internet.