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  #1  
Old 06-11-2014
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NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

WLO and KLB: Marine HF/SSB Services Now Restored

I am pleased to announce that marine operator services through station WLO in Mobile Alabama and station KLB in the Pacific NW are now both operating at nearly full steam.

New technical and operational personnel have been hired and training is almost complete.

The parent company, Shipcom, operates two coastal HF stations: WLO and KLB. A full frequency list, and schedules for weather and traffic lists can be found here: http://shipcom.com/frequencies.html

Station WLO is operating daily until 10PM. Beginning this weekend, WLO will resume 24-hour operation. Station KLB is operating on 8mHz and 12mHz at the moment, with plans to resume on other marine bands soon.

WLO uses multiple 5KW transmitters and a large antenna farm to communicate with ships at sea. Services include voice (marine operator) via SSB radio, telex, and Pactor email. High seas weather and traffic lists are read several times a day.

Coverage areas by WLO include the North and South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and often into Europe and the Mediterranean. Station KLM covers much of the North and South Pacific Oceans.

Registration for use of these services is very easy via the shipcom.com website. Prices are amazingly low (e.g., $0.99 per minute) and service quality is high.

For newbies to HF/SSB communications....

Why should you be interested?

There are several reasons, including medical and safety. If you’re on the high seas and have an emergency at 0200, a marine operator at WLO or KLB might well be your best bet for establishing solid communications with whomever you wish to contact: family member, Coast Guard, etc., etc. Likewise, someone ashore or on another boat wishing to contact you can book a call with one of these shore stations. Several times a day they read traffic lists, i.e., ships/boats for whom they are holding traffic.

This is a proven system which works like a charm, even when other means of communication don’t.

On behalf of the cruising community, a hearty thanks to Rene Stiegler K4EDX/W4WLO and to the good folks at ShipCom for revitalizing these important radio services for mariners.

Bill
WA6CCA

Last edited by btrayfors; 06-11-2014 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 06-12-2014
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Re: NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

Very good news. I was sad when Shipcom dropped voice services. I've used Shipcom for ship-to-shore a few times. All you have to do is keep a current credit card on file - no charge unless you use the service. How can you go wrong?
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Old 06-12-2014
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Re: NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

Good info Bill

Any word on the Toms River,NJ facility coming back on line again or was that property sold?

Thanks again,

Clay AA3JY
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Re: NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
Good info Bill

Any word on the Toms River,NJ facility coming back on line again or was that property sold?

Thanks again,

Clay AA3JY
s/v Tango
Clay,

AT&T operated three stations in the marine high seas service: WOO in New Jersey (two sites); WOM in Miami; and KMI in Point Reyes, California. All of these were closed in November 1999.

As far as I know, there are no plans to restore these services. That leaves Shipcom -- WLO and KLB -- as the only high seas marine operator stations operating in the U.S.

Bill
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Re: NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

Thanks Bill

I drove by the old Toms River(Ocean Gate) NJ facility a couple of years ago and the antenna arrays where still in place. So wasn't sure on who owns that site..

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattblaze/4141766569/

But I guess that would be a story in its self....

Clay

Update:

To answer my own question..

"In 1999, the Federal Communications Commission authorized AT&T to discontinue high-seas service from Ocean Gate and its sister stations at Dixon, CA and Pennsuco, FL. The land containing the antenna field is now a wildlife refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The building is owned by the local government, Berkeley Township."

Last edited by aa3jy; 06-12-2014 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 06-12-2014
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Re: NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

Thanks for the news.

That old AT&T site has interesting antennas!



Regards,
Brad
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Old 06-13-2014
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Re: NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

I used to sail by that "farm" of interesting antannaes when I kept my first sailboat ( an Islander 28) in Toms River

One eveing we were anchored during an intense thunderstorm in the river on the other side outside Dillons Creek and watched numerous lightening strikes cause mystical arcing back and forth between the arrays. We swore we saw some glowing.

Never knew what the antanneas were for until now.

Dave
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Re: NEW: Now You Can Call the Marine Operator on SSB

yes sir!!!
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