WTB Auto Alarm Receiver for 500 kc

Jeffrey Herman jeffreyh at HAWAII.EDU
Sun Oct 19 17:30:26 EDT 1997

Wanted: Auto Alarm receiver for the (old) 500 kHz maritime CW calling/
distress freq'y.

The Auto Alarm signal consisted of twelve 4-second dashes (with one
second spaces) - it was to be sent prior to a SOS distress message.
After just four of the properly-sent dashes, Auto Alarm receivers
aboard other ships would clamp relays shut to ring bells in radio
rooms, on the bridges, and in the radio officers' staterooms, thus
alerting nearby ships that a distress message was about to be sent
on 500 kHz.

500, being over 90 years old, is moving a little slower these days and
will soon be resting quietly beside all the mariners whose last cries
for help flowed over that frequency...

Jeff KH2PZ (former CW op at NMO)

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