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N2EE        Tesla Radio Foundation, Inc.       NT1E

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Tesla House Project status

presented to Berkeley Township Committee meeting on Nov. 11, 2006

(see the Ocean County Observer newspaper article)

First, we would like to express our gratitude to the Berkeley Township for giving us the opportunity to restore and reactivate the old AT&T Ocean Gate WOO transmitting site and to develop proposed Tesla Radioclub and Museum.

When we took over the site we have found major problems due to absence of any maintenance over the past 5 years – leaking roofs, flooded basement, broken windows, pigeon droppings everywhere, peeling paint off the walls, damaged walls, peeling floor tiles, cannibalized equipment, rusted doors, dense vegetation overgrowth, damaged or collapsed antennas.

Some people expressed doubts that we can manage to achieve our goals of establishing new home for Tesla Radioclub and Museum. The task seem to be monumental, but the perspective of preserving part of local history and bringing the building to life and making it premiere competitive amateur station, museum, meeting and educational place gave us incentive to proceed with the project. After initial response of local radio amateurs and positive response from the township we have decided to proceed with cleanup and restoration.

We have broken the project into three phases:

Phase One is to restore the infrastructure, establish the Club station and repair antennas.

Phase Two is to set up the multimedia theater and meeting room.

Phase Three is to start furnishing the museum and setup of exhibits and collection of historical materials with publishing on the web site.

More detailed information and plans on dividing the building into areas for radio shack, meeting facilities and museum are shown on our web site http://www.teslaradio.org/floor_plans.htm

After the initial meetings with local radioclubs it was decided that we will invite members to join the Tesla Radioclub rather than trying to work out arrangements of having various clubs to participate in some kind of coalition. We have already experienced one individual trying to poison off and sabotage our efforts by spreading alarmist news among one of the club.

Over the past year we have grown our membership to 22 members, some outside of the local area and we invite anyone to join, who will contribute resources or sweat to the success of the project. We expect more rapid growth as we cleanup the place and make it less repelling. We are starting to publicize our project and are seeing already interest among Tesla admirers and prominent hams.

We have approached the previous AT&T Museum enthusiasts headed by Albert LaFrance, but have received no response, nor any offers of help or interest.

We have started the major cleanup.

Radio shack walls were scraped and prepared for the repair. Window has been repaired. Locks replaced. Roof leak still needs repair, door hinges replacement, walls to be repaired and painted.

Broken windows on the top floor were blocked to prevent pigeon return, floors were scraped and swept, scattered parts and refuse were sorted out and properly disposed off. Transmitter cabinet doors were fixed and tidied up. This area will serve as a ham radio and Tesla museum exhibits. Windows need glass replacement and floors need to be washed and polished.

Ground floor and stairs were cleaned, walls scraped. Parts in the storage rooms were sorted out, some stored for possible use, junk was scrapped together with metal shelving that has rusted out. Windows need replacement and walls need resurfacing and painting, roof leak has to be repaired. Rusted doors need cleanup and repair. Bathroom has been cleaned, walls scraped and is ready for painting and water hookup. Combination lock at the main entrance door has been repaired and is operational. Office room is prepared to serve as a library and study room with computer system. Lock has been replaced and room is secured.

Basement water has been pumped out with assistance of the fire department and it looks like any water seepage should be taken care of with the sump pump. Lat flood filled the basement again.

Some brush and weeds around the building were cleared and concrete area swept from debris and broken glass. Rest of the area has to be cleared.

We are slowly formalizing the "administration" of the club and foundation and looking for personnel to help with fundraising and museum operation. We have opened bank account and received first donations, opened PO Box 9 mailing address at the Bayville Post Office. Club station license N2EE was renewed with FCC at its new home.

The history was made, building and antennas came to life as we celebrated Nikola Tesla’s 150th birthday in July by operating the club station using special event callsign N2T and contacted close to 1000 stations during the International Amateur Radio Union Contest and World Radio Team Championship in Brasil, using generator power and two existing antennas.

New QSL cards are being designed and printed to confirm contacts made by the Tesla RC.

Antennas were given brief inspection and we found that one discone antenna has collapsed, one tower has fallen over, one of the towers supporting LP antennas has loose guy wires and many rhombic antennas have broken wires. They need attention in order to prevent collapse of more towers and to repair the antennas to make them operational.

We are ready to connect the electric power and water and to continue the phase one to complete the station setup and antenna repair and hookup and hoping for low tides in the bay.

Some members have expressed the concern if the township will continue with leasing the facilities to our Club and Foundation after we do the restoration and equipping the building. We would appreciate some assurances after we have demonstrated that our efforts are leading to the establishment of the Tesla Radioclub and Museum under the Tesla Radio Foundation.

As per our inquiry about the remaining equipment and fixtures inside the building and around it, we were promised to be able to utilize it or dispose of it as we find fit for the project. Official request is made to the township committee to approve this.

In order for competitive ham radio contest station to be able to utilize the efficient antenna systems, we plan to use the existing antennas or what is left of them, but we also need to install more antennas and towers within the fenced off area around the building. We are looking at installing few more towers (2 – 4) some retractable (from 60 down to 20 ft) and some fixed or self supporting tubular not higher than existing towers (about 100 ft). We request township approval or assurances that there will be no objection to this. This also to guarantee that in case of future deterioration beyond repairs of the existing antenna field, we are left with systems that are under our control and use. Station without antennas is useless. When equipped and operational, this station can be used as a major gateway in any emergency operations, defense and disaster assistance.

Any assistance in securing cooperation with Wildlife and Fisheries Dept. in clearing any obstacles for us to maintain the antenna field or designating it as a Historical Site would be appreciated.

We believe that we have demonstrated progress and seriousness about this project. We appreciate the assistance from the township to give us this magnificent opportunity to create something that community would benefit by preserving this historical site, building radioclub, meeting facilities and museum – monument to great engineering genius Nikola Tesla who gave us so much, but received so little recognition.

We are looking forward to our future cooperation and hope to add another jewel to Berkeley Township.

Yuri Blanarovich, President Tesla Radio Foundation

Tel 973 808 1970, cell 973 220 0087

 

Certificate presented to Berkeley Township Mayor Mr. Jason J. Varano
and Township Administrator Mr. Leonard W. Roeber

 

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Last modified: 03/07/12