Total posts : 45366
To see why the United States never had a Long Wave
broadcast band, we’d have to really dig back into
the history back then. I’m not sure what happened,
I’ll have to dig into the books.
There is one little known story that comes from 1921.
The Jack Dempsey-Georges Carpentier heavy weight
championship fight was going to be held in Jersey City,
New Jersey. People were calling it “The Fight Of The Century.”
Ham radio operators put together the first ever sports radio
network, and it was on Long Wave!
This seems unbelievable, but 300,000 people heard the broadcast
up to 400 miles from the championship fight! The were all in
auditoriums and arenas. Hundreds of hams built Long Wave receivers
for 187 kHz. They also built PA systems. One arena was so big it
held 8000 people, and the PA system covered the whole arena without
any trouble. So here were all these people listening to this championship
heavy weight match, and most of them had never even heard radiotelephony
The transmitter was a 3 kW job built by General Electric that transmitted the
announcers audio on 187 kHz. The transmitting antenna was 680 feet long.
It consisted of 6 wires on 30 foot spreaders. One end of the wire array was
attached to the top of a 400 foot tower. the other end was hooked to
a clock tower at a railroad terminal. The antenna current was about 25 amps!
The 187 kHz frequency was a Navy frequency. Special permission to use it for
the broadcast was requested and granted.
J.O. Smith, ham radio callsign 2ZL, handled the installation of the transmitting
equipment and the audio feed. That 3 kW GE transmitter was considered to
be state of the art at the time.
I think I have a few other Long Wave stories to tell, I just have to think about
them for a little while.
Maybe there was no Long Wave broadcast band because the U.S.
military had the spectrum first.
bruce, Dog Radio Studio 2