Topband: That vaguely familiar water tank on a cliff....

Gene Smar ersmar at
Tue May 2 22:14:47 EDT 2017


     The story of how Stew came to get access to the water tank (and bunches
of other anecdotes regarding Topband throughout the years) is in Jeff's
K1ZM's book DXing on the Edge - The Thrill of 160 Meters."  

73 de
Gene Smar  AD3F

-----Original Message-----
From: Topband [mailto:topband-bounces at] On Behalf Of Radio
Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 12:04 PM
To: topband <topband at>
Subject: Topband: That vaguely familiar water tank on a cliff....


My government job takes me on quite a bit of travel. On a recent flight from
Washington, DC to Boston, I was sitting in a starboard window seat.
This was my first flight into Boston so I was enjoying all the sights. Then
I saw it. An unusually shaped water storage tank* on a cliff above the
ocean. My jaw dropped. I'd seen that water tank on that cliff before, but
where? Again, this was my first flight into Boston.  I twisted my neck
staring at it until it was out of sight. Then for the next eight hours
(layover in Boston, then return flight to Los Angeles), I racked my memory
as to where I'd seen that tank and cliff.

Upon arriving home at midnight, I immediately ran into my shack and pulled a
book off the shelf, titled, "The Challenge of 160!" by Si Dunn, and there on
Page 18 was a photograph of Stew Perry's (W1BB) twin inverted Vs with their
apex afixed to THAT water tank on the cliff! It had been years since I'd
paged through this book, but the image of that photo must have remained in
my mind.

The three attachments show the cover of the book; Page 18; and W1BB at his
operating position.

Note the cover has a wall clock with the red shipboard markings: Minutes
15-18 and minutes 45-48 show the 500 kHz CW silent periods, and the outer
perimeter shows the distress auto-alarm timing sequence: key-down four
seconds, key-up one second, repeated twelve times. I can only guess that
W1BB must have been a maritime radio operator at one time, for no one else
would have a clock like that.

Now, can someone tell me how W1BB gained access to the top of that tower?

* West coast mountain-top water storage tanks have a diameter to height
ratio of about 3:1 (short and fat) but this Boston tank had about the
opposite ratio (tall and skinny).

Jeff KH6O
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