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Info Age Field Trip - November 2007


On Saturday November 10, 2007, nine club members (and two spouses) visited the historical Info Age site on the Shark River in Wall Township, just inland from Belmar NJ.

The historical significance of the site originates from 1914 when Guglielmo Marconi's Wireless Company build an operating station that included a one mile long antenna and many buildings, including a large "hotel" or dormitory for employees. Later the site was acquired by the U.S. Army and figured prominently in the development of radar and then early satellite communications and earth-moon-earth (moon bounce) radio experiments.  

The Township of Wall recently acquired the property from the Army and intends to develop the site into a multi-use campus devoted to historical preservation, education, and recreation. Although really just beginning, conversion of the site is moving along briskly. One of the buildings has become the Radio Technology Museum and Broadcasters Hall of Fame. And parts of the Marconi "hotel" are being used to display a variety of historical exhibits, many that feature radio communications, plus a ham radio station sponsored by the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA).

Also on the campus is  the huge "Project Diana" dish used for early satellite communication experiments. One of the buildings beside the dish is now the impressive club house of the Ocean Monmouth Amateur Radio Club (OMARC).

On our trip, NPARC got a guided tour of the Museum, the Marconi "hotel" exhibits, and the Project Diana site and the OMARC club house. And as with any good field trip, we capped it off with some great food, this time at Klein's seafood restaurant in Belmar (a KB2FCV recommendation)!

Note that Info Age is open to the public on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., in case you'd like to visit on your own. The OMARC club house may be open if club members are present.

Making the trip were: K2YG, K2EFB, KQ2E (and spouse), KB2FCV (and spouse), W2YEZ, KC2IZK, KC2RLM, WA2DKJ, and K2GLS

Special Thanks go to Dave Barr K2YG for setting up the visit with Info Age and OMARC!


Click on any "thumbnail" image below to see a larger image

West side of the Marconi "hotel".

The gang in front of the Radio Technology Museum behind the hotel, our first stop.

Our terrific guide, Info Age Chief Engineer, Steve Goulart, discussing early FM radios in the museum.

The National Broadcasters' Hall of Fame is incorporated into the Museum

TV and phonograph displays in the museum.

Explanation of the original Marconi operating site

Photo of the Marconi site circa 1914. Shown is the hotel and, to the right, some of the poles supporting a 1 mile long antenna

Illustrative spark gap transmitter

A De Forest Audion (amplifier) tube circa 1908

Early loop antenna

Early consumer "Cathedral" radio

Electricity experiment table in the kids's learning room.

Crystal set in the learning room

Regenerative receiver in the learning room

W2YEZ cranks a generator in the learning room

1937 experimental directional microphone with multiple receiving tubes

Guy K2EFB talking with Dave Sica of the NJ Antique Radio Club, contributors & custodians of the Museum

Andy WA2DKJ, James KB2FCV, Bruce KQ2E and Bob K2GLS listen to guide Steve Goulart (far left)

Moving into the "hotel", Bernie WB2EJT shows us the QCWA radio room where the public can learn about and operate ham radios

In the QCWA room we found a QSL card from our own W2ZKE

Also in the QCWA room we found a plaque commemorating Carl Felt N2XJ (SK), whose callsign NPARC has adopted

Another room in the hotel, this one illustrating World War II technology as part the site's living WWII memorial.

A WW II "handi-talkie" radio (laying on its side)

A WW II aircraft radio

Bob K2GLS gets a close look at an HF military receiver and transmitter. Radios of this type were later modified by hams for use in the ham bands.

WW II proximity fuses used RF to detect when targets were nearby -- useful in hitting aircraft since a direct hit was not required

More WW II era radios

Viet Nam War-era radar unit used to detect troop movements at night or in heavy foliage

Our next stop was the Project Diana satellitte dish. The OMARC club's 40 meter yagi on a crank-up tower is to the right

The OMARC club house near the dish. We're jealous!

Inside the OMARC club house front door

OMARC President Ron Olender WA2HZT welcomes the NPARC gang to the OMARC club house

Bob K2GLS looks over the equipment in the OMARC operating station room

The OMARC club house has lots of room for displays of ham publicity materials, as well as a workshop and a class room!

The OMARC classroom. There's a reference library in the back of the room

OMARC still has some historical radio gear from the Diana moon bounce and satellite communication days

The NPARC gang in front of the Diana Dish: K2EFB, KQ2E, KB2FCV, KC2RLM, K2YG, WA2DKJ, KC2IZK, W2YEZ, and K2GLS

After the tour: Lunch at Klein's seafood restaurant in Belmar