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Annual Christmas Eve Fessenden Commemorative Transmission Set


Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, will put his 600 meter Experimental Station WG2XFQ on the air for his annual Christmas Eve transmission. WG2XFQ will transmit on 486 kHz from Forest, Virginia, to mark the 108th anniversary of Reginald Fessenden’s first audio transmission. Historic accounts say Fessenden played the violin and read a brief Bible verse. It’s been reported that other radio experimenters and shipboard operators who heard Fessenden’s broadcast were astounded.

This year’s Christmas event with begin on December 24 at 0001 UTC (the evening of December 23 in US time zones) and will continue for 48 hours.

Fessenden’s transmitter was an ac alternator, modulated by placing carbon microphones in series with the antenna feed line. Justin’s homebuilt station is slightly more modern, based on a 1921 vacuum tube master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) design. The transmitter also uses Heising AM modulation, developed by Raymond Heising during World War I.

All WG2XFQ on-air operations are made to coincide with dates in early radio history as a way to recognize and honor some of the earliest wireless pioneers and their achievements. Listener reports are appreciated and may be sent directly to Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, at his address.





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