As 160Μ CQ WW CW begins tonight…
I’m posting a few photos and nostalgic thoughts about the decommissioned high-power (KW) Non-Direction-Beacon “KVR” at Kavouri, in Vouliagmeni, Athens, Greece. In the photos, you can see the 200 meter tall tower which used to transmit on 357kHz.
Once upon a time, it was once a key tool for air navigation, and this radio beacon was the last way-point before the “ATH” NDB of old Athens International Airport, at Hellenikon.
You can read more about Non-Directional (radio) Beacons at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-directional_beacon.
For me, this NDB is of great sentimental value, as I grew up listening to the characteristic MORSE “notes” of KVR (-.- …- .-.) which was its callsign ID.
Some odd 30 years ago, I lived relatively close by, in a neighbouring town. Before I had bought my first shortwave radio, I would tune into KVR on a small transistor radio in my room and would sleep at night listening to its sounds, dreaming of when I would get on-air with my HF first station.
Also whenever I was sitting in a car I would turn on the AM radio and tune the receiver to 714kHz, which was the first harmonic of the fundamental KVR frequency (357kHz), and I imagined that I was piloting an aeroplane or was a captain of a ship, and I was using it for navigation (as a kid I had a lot of imagination! hi hi 🙂 )
Why am I writing this?
Because, today is the 160M CQ WW CW Contest.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been dreaming of running this particular contest from the KVR NDB site for years now. That is, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority would temporarily grant us access to the tower and to the transmitter shack, both of which have been out of service for years, so we can run the contest. The tower is ideal, it is 200m high and just above the sea on an elevated hill, with a perfect take-off angle – it just doesn’t get any better than that!.
I don’t know if there is a colleague who works for the Hellenic CAA who could help with this project (or someone who could “pull a few strings“). It would be good PR for the Authority, and there already is precedent. For example, the Hellenic National Broadcasting Corporation “ERT” temporarily granted access to its decommissioned AM station & tower in Rhodes Island for the SX5R team to run in the 2017 CQ 160M WW SSB Contest (https://cq160.com/sx5r_2017_ssb.htm). All thanks to the efforts of our dear friend and respected colleague Stathis Maliakis SV5DKL.
I don’t know if this project will become a reality before the tower is demolished.
It would be a shame, however, for the tower to be demolished, and the plot of land sold (which is in a luxury villa area), without “KVR” being heard on-air at least one last time….
73 de SV1DKD