Amateur Radio Operator to Honor Broadcast Engineers Lost on 9/11
A New England Amateur Radio Repeater will be dedicated to their memory
Posted: September 7, 2022
Six broadcast engineers killed in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center will be commemorated at a special ham radio dedication and memorial this Sunday.
Andrew Denoncour, an amateur radio enthusiast (call sign – N1MYY) who works in technical support at Comrex, plans to sign on the new amateur radio repeater at 1 p.m. (EDT) on September 11, to honor the six engineers broadcasters: Bob Pattison, Don DiFranco, Steve Jacobson, Bill Steckman, Rod Coppola and Isaias Rivera.
“I plan to read a brief statement and name the six broadcast engineers who died. And I want to dedicate the installation to them,” Denoncour said. “It just worked because the timing of it all.”
The new site dedicated as a memorial to the six broadcast engineers will be on 146.460 and will be part of the New England Emergency Communications Network (NEDECN), which is a digital network of approximately 90 amateur radio service repeaters covering the New England states.
The new repeater has its antenna mounted 300 feet on the WXRV (FM) tower in Haverhill, Mass., Denoncour told Radio World.
“For me at least, it’s something we should all remember. This community of radio amateurs shares a lot in common with the six broadcast engineers we lost. I always remembered them,” Denoncour said. “And it’s not just the six broadcast engineers we need to remember, but everyone who was taken away.”
Amateur radio resources were mobilized in New York and neighboring New Jersey on September 11 after commercial wired and wireless telecommunications systems were severely compromised, according to various media reports.
Denoncour can be reached at [email protected].
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Referring to the photo above, Denoncour provided the following detailed description: “This is located on the tower site in a building at the base of the tower. Important to note, this image is during construction. This is a simple aluminum relay rack that was being scrapped at another site customer. Power bars on both sides. Up top we have a simple 24 port cat5 patch panel, to give the finished product a neat and tidy appearance and to allow easy connection to our two ISPs. We have ports to 2 ISPs that allow us to connect to the NEDECN network as well as plug in equipment for configuration and diagnostics.
“Underneath we have a telemetry unit which was also pulled from another customer. It is not known if this will be used or not (probably not), but it contains a 10 MHz oscillator which could be useful. Below is a simple rack shelf that holds the Sonicwall network appliance This allows us to have failover between two ISPs and have VPN connections in case I need remote access to the one of the equipment. Next is the repeater itself, a Motorola XPR8400, acquired from eBay but found to be in excellent condition when it arrived. Capable of transmitting 50W but operated at a much lower power to meet the terms of my frequency co-ordination. The last one down is the 4-cavity duplexer. This type allows us to have separate transmit and receive connections to/from the repeater while only needing an antenna and of a power line on the tower.All items enough currents. Since this photo was taken, an entire rack UPS has been added. The finished build will have 2 (maybe 3) independent internet connections and can be powered by mains power, a whole-building generator, a whole-rack UPS, or an automotive battery. We have a lot of redundancy, which is essential in an emergency preparedness network like NEDECN. »