NPR’s “All Things Considered” Segment to Include Spark Gap Morse from ARRL
As part of its series of vignettes exploring a "counterfactual" history, “What if World War I had never happened?” NPR afternoon news magazine “All Things Considered” will air a segment, to explore "What if the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was not successful?"
“They needed a sound of a telegraph relaying the message of the failed assassination attempt,” said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. “They wanted it to be as authentic as possible, so we explained that in 1914, it would have been relayed via spark.”
The ARRL Lab has a working spark transmitter, so Kutzko got the desired text from NPR, which he sent by hand (yes, he’s a lefty) and recorded. “They said it was ‘perfect,’” he reported. “It was a real thrill being able to help NPR; I used to work at NPR affiliates in Illinois and Indiana in the 1990s, so being able to help the network was exciting.”
NPR’s “All Things Considered” typically airs at 4 PM Eastern Time (2000 UTC). ARRL Maryland-DC Section Manager Jim Cross, WI3N, believes the segment will air 35 minutes into the first hour of the show. The program segments are subsequently available on the NPR website. -- Thanks to Maryland-DC Section Manager Jim Cross, WI3N, and Sean Kutzko, KX9X