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Thread: KDKA

  1. #1
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    Default KDKA

    Cleaned out the picture file and found this familiar call-sign...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	KDKA.jpg 
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    ... KDKA 25/2 Pittsburg, PA. 521 mi. From Nov 3rd abt 10:30 p.m. CDT

    73, Ed NN2E
    Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
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    Jeff Foxworthy

  2. #2
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    Ed,

    I thought all the "K" callsigns, were west of the Mississippi ? But, for years we had WKY -TV ch. 4, in Okla. City !

    Gary Hickerson

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Hickerson View Post
    Ed,

    I thought all the "K" callsigns, were west of the Mississippi ? But, for years we had WKY -TV ch. 4, in Okla. City !

    Gary Hickerson
    Aren't old-time exceptions fun? KDKA and KYW had their radio calls before W was used in the eastern US, so they got to keep them.

    As for the Ws, some stations in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa etc. were originally in W territory before the K-W line was moved. That's how we got WDAF, WHB, WIBW, WOW (and WOWT), and WHO, among others.
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Semi OT....

    Not only those exceptions above, but in the early 80s, there was a project to activate a shortwave station called NDXE. You can Google for info ..... but basically they were already selling NDXE items like mugs and maybe T-shirts, when it never ever got off the ground, ambitious as the project was.

    On top of that, as "N" is used for mainly military signals, there would have been quite the struggle, to let FCC allow such a callsign.

    The station was to be based in Opelika AL, "iN DiXiE."

    cd

  5. #5
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    There is some question as to whether NDXE ever asked the FCC for those call letters.

    The K/W dividing line was initially the eastern borders of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Reason being, when it was established, nearly all radio stations (except hams) were either on ships -- or used to communicate with ships. So operators could easily tell which was which, West Coast shore stations got 3-letter K calls & ships based at West Coast ports got 4-letter W calls. The opposite was the case in the East -- 3 letter W calls on shore, 4-letter K calls on shipboard. And because it's a LOT easier to sail around Florida than it is to sail through the Panama Canal.. Gulf Coast shore stations also got W.

    When broadcasting came along, it became apparent there weren't enough W calls to go around. Moving the border east to the Mississippi bought them some time.

    KDKA happened to be assigned during a one-week period when the government decided to assign four-letter K calls to everyone. Only three broadcast stations were authorized during this week, and the other two never renewed their licenses. (which at the time were only valid for 90 days)

    I'm not entirely sure how KYW came along. It was NOT originally in Philadelphia.

    (Trivia question: Besides Philadelphia, which other two cities were once home to the KYW calls?)
    Doug Smith W9WI
    Pleasant View, TN EM66
    http://www.w9wi.com

  6. #6
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    I think KYW was in Chicago and Cleveland before Philly... I've got a book, around here, somewhere, that tells the story. Now, where did I put it?...

    I do remember all the 'stir' about NDXE but never did hear it OTA.

    When I got my current Ham call, one of the local Hams (he was a bit of a schmuck) gave me a hard time about my, "funny new call-sign." I'd done a bit of research and discovered the 'NN' prefix had been used by the Navy back in the 1930s. I enjoyed telling 'Schmucko' that his was the, "funny new call-sign," not mine.

    73, Ed NN2E
    Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
    Your TV is on 24/7.
    Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
    The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
    Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
    Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
    Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
    Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
    Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
    Jeff Foxworthy

  7. #7
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    Location
    Springfield, Missouri
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    K, W, N & A were originally assigned to telegraph communications, early 1900's (1912?). N & A were military operations, K & W covered everything else. Here's a webpage with a map that show's how it all started...

    http://www.oldradio.com/current/bc_k&w.htm
    Jim Thomas
    Springfield, MO

    Making FM Dxing more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

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