Saturday, June 30, 2007

RCA areal ride

Rocky Point, New York 11778 -- a little about the History

Rocky Point is located on the north shore of Long Island, New York along the Long Island Sound, 7 miles east of the harbor of Port Jefferson. In the year 1874, it had a small store, a district school and 20 dwellings. A post office had just been established.

Further reading:

History was made at Rocky Point in 1921, when RCA Radio Central transmitted its first transatlantic message. President Warren G. Harding pressed a button in his office at the White House, which started the generators at "Radio Central" in Rocky Point, which was a milestone in wireless progress His message was transmitted from Rocky Point by the General Manager of RCA, David Sarnoff.Mr. Sarnoff entered the service of the Mrconi Wireless and Telegraph company in 1906 and became President of RCA in 1930, then the Chairman of the Board of NBC. RCA Radio Central at Rocky Point was considered the world's largest and most powerful wireless transmitting station, and after World War I, Radio Central was established at the suggestion of Navy officials to acquire the American Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company. This was encouraged by the government because of the importance of an American-owned and operated overseas communications system. Because short waves for international point-to-point communications were unknown at this time, long waves were used and 412 feet high steel towers were constructed. Radio Central - Rocky Point consisted of 6400 acres spread over a 10 square mile area. The first twelve antenna towers, which were 1250' apart, had cross arms 150 feet long. 8,000 tonsof concrete were poured for the tower foundations, which were sunk nine feet below the ground. In total, 1800 tons of steel was used in constructing these towers. stretched over a 6400 acre area, took 1,800 tons of structural steel. Each antenna consisted of 16 silicon bronze cables stretch horizontally from tower to tower. Fifty miles of this cable was used for the first two antenna systems, The ground system consisted of 450 miles of copper wire buried in the ground. The first transmitter building covered a space 60' x 130' and housed two 200 kilowatt high frequency transmitting alternators and equipment.

Radio Central became obsolete with advanced technology and satellite communication. The buildings were eventually dismantled by the State because of years of neglect and vandalism. Eleven of the towers were demolished in the early 1950's and 1960's and Tower #1 remained until December 13, 1977. There are now two steel towers, rusted with age on the forest floor, along the bike trail on the land now known as the DEC Rocky Point Natural Management Area.

The field of Rhombics, most of which still stood until recently, were each designed to communicate with a different country. All radiograms destined for the United States were received in Riverhead. The traffic center of this system was established in New York City, where all the actual telegraph operating took place and was sent to Rocky Point over telephone cables.

In November 1982, disguised as WA2UEC, "Radio Central" was back on the air. A group of RCARC members armed with an HF transceiver were out testing the Rhombics on the Amateur bands. The members of Radio Central Amateur Radio Club invite you to look for them. Listen for WA2UEC at special event stations and mini DXpeditions.

Rocky Point is proud to be part of wireless history. The Marconi Wireless Building still stands in front of the Frank J. Carasiti School. The building, which originaly operated in Babylon in 1902, was presented to Rocky Point's RCS Radio Central by another radio pioneer, Major Edwin Howard Armstrong. Communications history was made again recently in Rocky Point when MCI brought its fiber optic cable up from Hallock Landing Beach, passing the site of the historic Marconi Wireless Building, and the land of RCA Radio Cetral. The table, which originated in Italy, was brought along the Atlantic ocean floor, across New England and Long Island Sound to join through Rocky Point and connect to the station in Mastic.

Rocky Point's main business district is along Route 25A and along Broadway. Its Fire Department covers an area of approximately 25 square miles, including the hamlets of Rocky Point and Shoreham, the Incorporated Village of Shoreham and parts of Miller Place and Ridge. The Rocky Point School system consists of Frank J. Carasiti Elementrary School for grades K-3, Joseph A. Edgar Elementary School for grades 4-6 and the Rocky Point Junior-Senior High School for grades 7-12.

More interesting history of this town can be read on the Rocky Point Historical Society web site.

Rocky Point is one of the four north shore towns represented in the Council of Dedicated Merchants (CDM - Chamber of Commerce) whose members work together to promote local business.

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So, now we know all about it, this is how it looks like from ground level:

And this is how the birds can see it:

Link to activity on map

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