Siple Station

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    There have been a number of stations set up where folks expected to find a good conjugate point for the sites in and around Roberval, Quebec. The first was the summer Ski-Hi station set up in 1961-62 not that far away from where Siple would be. And then there was Eights where folks wintered for 3 seasons 1963-65, to be immediately supplanted by Byrd Longwire Station. A 21-mile antenna had been constructed near Byrd in 1963-64, and Longwire (which was only 15 miles from Byrd) used this antenna plus a second 10-mile dipole.

    The VLF hut at Pole was put in in 1962-63. I don’t know when VLF stuff started at Byrd but it was there for most of the life of the new station. And I think there was some VLF listening done at Delta One, otherwise known as Byrd Auroral Substation 40 miles NE of Byrd, where 3 men wintered in 1962 and 1963. Sir Charles Wright, the physicist on Scott’s expedition, was involved in some of the VLF studies at Byrd and Pole and visited both sites (thanks Mike Trimpi for info).

    All of the above research predates the Palmer VLF stuff in question. I do have it documented that the first VLF equipment was set up at Palmer Station in 1978 (not sure which austral summer) according to an old Stanford web site. At some point in the late 80s the original equipment at Pole (which had been put in the new CUSP lab–first floor of Skylab in 1980-81) was shipped to Palmer.

    Siple Station was first established as a summer station in 1969-70 with a 1-1/2 mile antenna. And the rest is history. I do have lots of historical info and pictures of the various Siple Stations which I haven’t gotten around to dealing with yet, but here is a picture I took of Bill Trabucco sitting in front of the Jupiter transmitter in January 1988.

    The Pole VLF project (housed in a hut west of DSL, at least partly a Dartmouth (Mike Trimpi) project, and operated by the CUSP tech) went unfunded after the 2005 winter. Glenn, do you have a more current status of this project?


    Variations of the Stanford VLF and Dartmouth projects are still maintained by the Cusp Tech at the Pole. I’m not sure about funding this year, but in recent years VLF, at least, has been fully funded.

    The electronics for both projects are housed in the B2 science lab and the antennas are out in the clean air/quiet sector. VLF still has a transmission antenna out beyond the dark sector, intended for conjugate studies, but as far as I know the transmitter crapped out a few years ago (after working for only a short time) and hasn’t been fixed.


    I recently scanned about 200 slides spanning 1986 related to Siple Stations I & II. I wintered-over in 1986 and was there the summers before and after. I tried to post a link to my slides on Facebook now in this forum just now, and it didn’t work (I think), so I am trying again. If you have a Facebook account, you should be able to see them, since they are shared to “Everyone”

    Admittedly, the slides are mostly about me (and my wife), but you get what you pay for:

    Siple II:

    Siple I:

    If the links don’t work for some reason, you can email me.

    3 April 2010 – I changed the above links from Facebook member accessible links, to links available to all. Thanks to whoever advised me on the change.

    Jim Logan
    Pittsburgh PA


    Nice photos Jim.


    Wow nice,

    It must be exciting.

    The best Wartrol review is on you can still read it.


    Does anyone have the ham radio logs and/or QSL cards for Siple Station (KC4AAD)? I operated KC4AAD from October 1968 to February 1970 when it was assigned to Byrd VLF Substation, aka Longwire. I have the logs and blank cards for KC4AAD from 1965 to 1970 and occasionally get requests for confirmation for Siple.
    The building in the photos of Siple 1 was ny residence for a year when it was at Longwire.
    Alan Chandler K6RFK

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