Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, of Forest, Virginia, will once again put his 600-meter experimental station on the air for a Christmas Eve commemorative transmission. The transmissions from WI2XLQ on 486 kHz will mark the 110th anniversary of Reginald Fessenden’s first audio broadcast on the airwaves.
Historic accounts say Fessenden played the violin — or a recording of violin music — and read a brief Bible verse. It’s been reported that other radio experimenters and shipboard operators who heard Fessenden’s broadcast were astounded.
Justin will use a MOPA-design transmitter built largely with vintage parts to replicate early vacuum-tube equipment; not a Fessenden-period transmitter, it uses a UV-202 tube for the power amplifier. He will conduct a run-up to the event starting at around mid-day Eastern Time on Friday, December 23. The “official” Christmas event will begin on Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, at 0001 UTC (the evening of December 23 in US time zones) and will continue for at least 24 hours. Justin plans to repeat the commemorative transmissions on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day.