Friday, July 2, 2010

Did KAAY Have Radioteletype Under It's Carrier Signal?

I just read in a 1997 QST Magazine article how WSM, Nashville, TN (650 AM) cooperated with the Department of Defense and allowed a radioteletype (RTTY) signal at 50 baud to be inserted under it's 50,000 watt carrier signal, to pass information during the early 1960's.  There was an initiative to do this with all 50,000 watt clear-channel stations.  The gentleman who wrote the article was a Ham radio operator and was currently the Chief Engineer for a Demopolis, AL radio station; one of his "higher-ups" came by one day and told him that if he showed him something, he could NEVER tell anyone.

This C.E./Ham had a lot of radio gear, along with some that would decode RTTY.  The visitor told him to tune to 650 AM and run it through the RTTY decoder.  "WAR WAR WAR TEST TEST TEST WAR WAR WAR TEST TEST TEST" was constantly streaming off the paper, to his amazement!

The article stated that this C.E. never found out if other 50,000 watt stations were outfitted with this; however, there are many things we may never know, due to the sensitive nature of war and near-war.  Some things are better left alone and, in my opinion, never broadcast, since the enemy can and does listen....

My question is, was KAAY ever outfitted with this capability?

If anyone wants a copy of this article (for fun or verification), please e-mail me with your address or FAX number...I may, in the near future, be able to scan and insert this into an e-mail as a file....

Bud S. (

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