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SYNCOM/SYNCOM 48

 



Syncom 40, named after a communications satellite, conducted its first regular transmissions in February, 1980. The name chosen was somewhat symbolic, as from the start the stations’ main intent was to provide as wide a range of programming as possible through concentrating on relaying programs of many other free radio stations from Europe and North America. Program relays constituted a majority of all the programs transmitted during the first four months of operation whe
n the station operated several hours virtually every weekend, sometimes both Saturday and Sunday mornings UTC, frequently changing frequencies among several 4
8 and 41 meter channels to avoid detection by the police-state authorities sworn to defend the stagnant, colorless system of US commercial radio. Shortwave listeners didn’t seem to have many problems finding the signal, however; listener response via both written reports and phone lines provided by the FRC-USA was rather amazing, considering the stations’ maximum output power was less than 50 watts; more often than not, it was less than 20.

For a variety of reasons, including fear of a “bust” and equipment difficulties, Syncom changed to an irregular once-or-twice-monthly schedule during the summer and fall of 1980, mostly on 41 meters. Output power was increased slightly, and tests were conducted on various other bands with varying degrees of success. The station publicized a 19 meter band test late in November which resulted in its first European reception with only eight watts. A month later the station received two more reports from Europe for a 41 meter broadcast. Relays of other stations continued into 1981.

 However, FCC interest in Syncom and its schedule greatly increased during this period, so the decision was made to suspend operations in April of 1981.

After some staff and technical changes, which provided additional security for continued operations, the Voice of Syncom returned to the air in March, 1982, on five frequencies simultaneously. For its return broadcast, Syncom received reception reports coast-to-coast and from Europe. After re-activation, the station operated only on an irregular
schedule.

Syncom used the long-closed Battle Creek, MI, maildrop.
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