The Radio Central Photo Album

The face of the WA2UEC club QSL card depicts the original site of the RCA facility in Rocky Point, here on Long Island's north shore.


On 5 November 1921, President Warren G. Harding, sitting at his desk in the White House, pressed a button which started the generators at "Radio Central", Rocky Point, the World's Largest and most powerful wireless transmitting station.

His message "to be able to transmit a message by radio in expectations that it may reach every radio station in the world is so marvelous a scientific and technical achievement as to justify special recognition. That this happy situation may ever continue and that the peace which blesses our own land may presently become the fortune of all lands and peoples is the hope of the American Nation", transmitted at a rate of about 45 wpm, by David Sarnoff, General Manager at RCA, was received in less than 10 minutes in every European, Asiatic, and South American Country.

Radio Central - Rocky Point consisting of 6400 acres spread over a 10 square mile area was
"on the air".

Construction began in July, 1920 and the first test signals were sent in October 1921.

The first 12 Antenna Towers were each 412 feet high with cross arms 150 feet long, 8,000 tons of concrete were poured for the tower foundations which were sunk nine feet below the ground. In total, some 1800 tons of steel was used in constructing these towers.

Each antenna consisted of 16 silicon bronze cables stretched 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 feet by 130 feet and housed two 200 kilowatt high frequency transmitting alternators and equipment.

In the 1950's and early 1960's, when vacuum tubes, short wave, and satellite communications outpaced long wave, eleven of these towers were demolished.

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.

The last of the original 12 antenna towers at Radio Central was "blown away" on December 13, 1977 by a demolition expert ending an era of radio communication history at Rocky Point. But only temporarily.

In November of 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. This QSL card was used to commemorate the contacts resulting from that testing.

The members of Radio Central Amateur Radio Club invite you to look for us again. Listen for WA2UEC at special event stations such as the one commemorated here, and from mini DXpeditions. So til then... 73 de RCARC.


The towers erected each Field Day are one of the fun reasons
RCARC members flock to Field Day each year.


RCARC members operating in one of our Field Day operations.

Some typical views of the mobs that turn out each year for HamExpo.
Check out our Ham Expo page.

We hope you have enjoyed our little trip through our club history.
Please come back again and take another stroll down Memory Lane.