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January 12, 2023 1:00 am  #1

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? The Voices Of WWV

You learn something new every day - even if that "something" is pretty useless. Which is how I felt on finding out the names of the "announcers" who give you the time check every single minute of every single day on shortwave stations WWV in Colorado and WWVH in Hawaii. 

Chances are pretty good that most here - if they bother with the station at all - get the one out of Ft. Collins, Colorado and not the one in Kauai, Hawaii. Both broadcast on the exact same frequencies, with the latter getting the signal far out to the western part of the world.

It turns out there are actually two different people giving the coordinated universal time checks. On the Colorado signal, it's a former radio guy named Lee Rodgers, who sets the "tone" every minute. 

The Hawaii station, on the other hand, is voiced by a woman and we rarely get to hear her on this side of the world. Jane Barbe not only announces the minute-by-minute broadcast, but she was once also the voice who asked you to "please hang up" if you left your phone off the hook too long. 

Ironically, both of these people ran out of time. Rodgers passed away in 2013, while Barbe's final beep came ten years before that. They're still being used on the stations to this day and according to the linked article, on a very good DX night, you may be able to hear both of them at almost the same time. WWV and its Hawaiian counterpart broadcast on the exact same frequencies (5, 10, 20, and 25,000) and it may be possible to hear them both - each is staggered so they don't "talk" over the other.

Believe it or not, the Hawaii outlet has a fulltime staff who man the place and take care of the grounds. Although I doubt any of them work 24 hours a day!

Time on the Beach: Working at WWVH Hawaii 

Radio Station WWV Celebrates a Century of Service