A year ago this month, my friend Doug Kaye and I spent a Saturday touring the old KPH radio sites at Bolinas and Point Reyes, California courtesy of the Maritime Historical Radio Society.
During our visit last year, we had a great tour of both the old transmitting site in Bolinas and the receive site at Point Reyes. The station continued to operate until June 30, 1997.
One of the treats for me during our visit was seeing a Vibroplex Blue Racer “bug” used for sending Morse code. These “bugs” were mechanical – with a long vibrating piece of metal that vibrated back and forth to generate the dots while you used your thumb to generate the dashes. There’s a small adjustable weight on the metal rod that you could adjust back and forth to adjust the speed of the dots you were sending.
Back in my younger days when I was just starting out in amateur radio, one of my big purchases was a Blue Racer – and it was my pride and joy until I eventually moved on to a keyer and, ultimately, built my own keyboard keyed. Ah, those were the days. Sadly, after many moves and many packed boxes of old gear, I have no idea where my old original Blue Racer has ended up! But seeing that Blue Racer still in action at KPH was a special treat for me!
See my post from years before about looking down Radio Road at Point Reyes.