In mid 1912 the Radio Division, Bureau of Navigation, U.S. Department of Commerce issued a wireless telegraph license to the Young Men's Christian Association of Portland Oreg. bearing the calls PSN. The wavelength is unknown. PSN's transmitter & telegraph key site was located at "The Y.M.C.A. Building" on 6th & Taylor Sts. (now: 831 S.W. 6th Ave.).
Spark-gap apparatus. The aerial, an inverted "L" connection was anchored on The Y.M.C.A. Building. As far back as December 1911 the Building had been used for meetings of "The Oregon State Wireless Association". It's believed the group inspired the Y.M.C.A. telegraph station. William M. Ladd, President; Harry W. Stone, General Secretary; Walter Haynes, Principal of The Electrical Dept. (Radio); Charles L. Austin, Morse Code Instructor (later owning & operating: KDP, 7ZI, 7XF, KGN & 7ZK).
By July 26, 1913 it was reported the Portland Y.M.C.A. apparatus was unequaled on the Pacific Coast, outside Government stations. The PSN aerial had been lengthened and changed to a "T" connection. It was now anchored on the "Orpheum Theater Building" at 7th & Taylor Sts. (now: 759 S.W. Broadway). Messages had been exchanged with Navy station NPL Port Loma, Calif. (San Diego) & KDU Juneau, Alaska.
By March 8, 1914 it was announced PSN was one of the first stations in the West to add an amplifying series of "bulb detectors" to it's apparatus according to Walter Haynes, Head of The Y.M.C.A. Electrical School which had 28 students enrolled. "It will increase the efficiency of the station. It's value lies in making it possible to pick up messages that are too weak to be detected by the apparatus previously in use. It amplifies all messages received and makes them much easier to read."
"This new equipment also makes messages readable that are now lost because of interference from other stations." The greatest trouble in wireless telegraphy, according to Mr. Haynes is interference from other stations, often from amateurs, who have no real business to transact but who cut in when important messages are being transmitted. Since the installation, PSN has received messages from as far away as Lima, Peru; Honolulu (Navy station NPM) & Cordova, Alaska (Navy Station NPA) heard nearly everyday.
On February 4, 1917 it was announced the Navy Dept. was expected to take over the Y.M.C.A. station. In times of war (World War I) or other emergencies, wireless stations in the "Class" of the Y.M.C.A. station are "Naval Auxiliary Plants" that may be taken over on a moments notice. Compensation for the use of the Plants is provided by law. Benjamin Wood, Inspector of The 7th Radio District, based in Seattle, would be placed in charge of the 15KW station, which now had a 400 foot aerial stretching from "The Y.M.C.A Building" to the "Heilig Theater Building" at 7th & Taylor Sts. (now: 833 S.W. Broadway).
On April 11, 1917 it was announced the Y.M.C.A. station was ordered dismantled by Captain, Robert E. Coontz, United States Navy, Bremerton, through Harry W. Stone, Portland Y.M.C.A. General Secretary. During World War I all wireless licenses expired.
In June 1920 the Radio Division, Bureau of Navigation, U.S. Department of Commerce granted the Young Men's Christian Association in Portland Oreg. a "Technical And Training School" license bearing the call sign 7YG for 200 meters (1498.9kc). 7YG was located in "The Y.M.C.A. Building" at 6th & Taylor Sts. (now: 831 S.W. 6th Ave.). William M. Ladd, President; Harry W. Stone, General Secretary & Walter Haynes, Electrical Dept. (Radio).
On November 27, 1921 7YG participated in Oregon's first mult-station broadcast schedule. This three night concert event was a first in Oregon broadcasting history to utilize live performers. All stations broadcast on 250 meters (1199kc). 7YG might have received a broadcast waver from the Radio Division, for this event. Only "Experimental" licensed stations were permitted to broadcast music. Legal or not, this made 7YG Oregon's 2nd broadcasting station, as we know radio today. This event was the only time known that 7YG broadcast voice and music.
In 1922 7YG moved it's transmitter & telegraph key site to "The Auto & Radio Building" at Taylor & Lownsdale Sts. (now: 1501 S.W. Taylor St.). 7YG's administration offices continued at The Y.M.C.A. Building. In January 1923 7YG's license was transferred to Oregon Institute of Technology which was located in "The Auto & Radio Building" with broadcasting station KDYQ. Oregon Institute of Technology was founded and owned by the Portland Y.M.C.A. as it's tech training division. O.I.T. administrative offices were at The Y.M.C.A. Building. Henry L. Corbett, Chairman; Harry W. Stone, General Secretary; Leon G. Nichols, Director; Walter Haynes, Dean - Engineering Schools; Lloyd H. Simpson, Principal - Radio School.
In 1927 Edward L. Clark became Director. In 1928 7YG calls were upgraded to W7YG. On February 7, 1929 W7YG's license was not renewed by O.I.T. and expired.
Sources for this history were: Tom Kneitel's Radio Station Treasury 1900 - 1946, The Oregonian, The Portland Telegram, Polk Directories, Radio Service Bulletins.