Monday, December 15, 2008


KOMA in Oklahoma was always one of my favorites. In the aircheck posted to the far right you'll hear production music and news style very similar to KAAY. The tones before the dateline and after are well known to hams. Most newsrooms used these "bugs" in their newscast. It is a device used by hams to send code faster. It is a vertical key that when pushed to the left (I think) generated a solid tone. When pushed to the right generated short dots that trailed off. These tones were generated live. THere were lots of adjustments on the bugs and of course weekenders would get them out of adjustment.

This aircheck comes from Ron and here is his comment about the check:

I know the attached clip isn't fit for airplay either for that reason, but I cleaned it up the best I could with Cool Edit Pro. I thought you might get a kick out of hearing the newscast.

The attached recording was made by me on November 7, 1962 in Melrose Park, IL from a transistor radio.

Ron Henselman Melrose Park, IL

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A.J., the device is called an iambic paddle (or a semiautomatic key), versus a "straight key". I've also noticed that many of the newscasts archived here use the Morse Code character, "dit-dit-dit-dah", which is the letter "v". Wonder if that was intended, or did it just sound good?

For some more understanding on the letters versus "dit" and "dah" relationships, as well as more information about the above keys here's a nice website:

Have fun! Bud, KC4HGH, somewhere near Mobile, AL