Sunday, June 24, 2018

WRMI program schedule updates



Effective: 23 June 2018

WRMI changes - new program times: RAE and VORW Radio International

All times UTC

USA
2100-2200 on 11580 YFR 100 kW / 044 deg to WeEu English Sat tx#9 various WRMI programs

2200-2300 on 11580 YFR 100 kW / 044 deg to WeEu English Sat tx#9 VORW Radio International
2200-2300 on  7780 YFR 100 kW / 044 deg to WeEu English Sat tx#1 VORW Radio International

2100-2200 on  7780 YFR 100 kW / 044 deg to WeEu German  Mon-Fri tx#1 RAE Argentina
2200-2300 on  7780 YFR 100 kW / 044 deg to WeEu Italian Mon-Fri tx#1 RAE Argentina
1900-2000 on  9395 YFR 100 kW / 355 deg to ENAm German  Mon-Fri tx#6 RAE Argentina cancelled
2000-2100 on  9395 YFR 100 kW / 355 deg to ENAm Italian Mon-Fri tx#6 RAE Argentina cancelled
tx/transmitter
(DX Bulgaria)

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Radio New Zealand frequency update


Effective: 22 June, 2018

All times UTC

AM mode

2051-0358 on 13840 RAN 050 kW / 035 deg to All Pacific English, ex 2051-0458
0359-0558 on 11725 RAN 050 kW / 035 deg to All Pacific English, ex 0459-0658
0559-1058 on  7425 RAN 050 kW / 035 deg to All Pacific English, ex 0659-1058

Amateur Radio Field Day 2018


Field Day is ham radio's open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

Follow Field Day on Facebook! ARRL has created a Field Day event on Facebook, and you can also join the conversation by using the hash tag #ARRLFD. Share your plans, tips and tricks to a successful Field Day!

Field Day Special Event stations

All times listed as UTC

QSLing the following stations is opened to amateur radio and shortwave hobbyists. Check for QSL policy in each post or contact information.

June 22, 2018
ARRL Field Day 2018
2200-2200, K5S, Sachse, TX. Sachse Amateur Radio Association. 14.150. Certificate & QSL. Kerry Krueger, 7021 Park Hill Trail, Sachse, TX 75048. www.sachseradio.org 

June 22, 2018
Field Day 2018 Commemorating the Lives of President Ronald & Mrs. Nancy Reagan
1900-2359, N6R, Simi Valley, CA. Ventura County Amateur Radio Society (VCARS). 21.320 14.255 7.260 3.810. QSL. Peter S. Heins, 1559 Norwich Ave, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum, Simi Valley, CA; Ventura County Amateur Radio Society (VCARS), Simi Settlers Amateur Radio Club (SSARC), and other interested
Amateur Radio Operators. www.qrz.com/db/n6r 

June 23-24, 2018
Field Day 2018
1800-1800, W2GSB, Lindenhurst, NY. Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club. 14.258 7.245 3.925. Certificate. W2GSB, PO Box 1356, West Babylon, NY 11704. ALL MODES 6F STATION WITH A
GOTA STATION W2TOB W2GSB WILL HAVE 3 SSB STATIONS 3 CW STATIONS ALSO DIGITAL MODES VHF 6 METER STATION SATELLITE STATION GIVE THEM A CALL W2GSB 6F IF LIVE ON LONG ISLAND STOP BY OUR FIELD DAY SITE EVERYONE IS WELCOME BABYLON TOWN HALL PARK 200 EAST SUNRISE HIGHWAY LINDENHURST NY ANY QUESTIONS INFO@GSBARC.ORG CHECK US OUT AT WWW.GSBARC.ORG ALSO ON TWITTER FACEBOOK www.gsbarc.org 

June 23-24, 2018
Field Day 2018
1800-2059, K6A, Palmdale, CA. Antelope Valley Amateur Radio Club. 20 meters. QSL. AVARC, P.O. Box 1011, Lancaster, CA 93584-1011. No QSL or Certificate given. www.k6ox.club
(ARRL/GVH/W4GVH)

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules June 24-30


From the Isle of Music, June 24-30:

This week, our special guest is Joaquín Betancourt, whose many roles in music in Cuba include the direction of Joaquín Betancourt y su Joven Jazz Band, a big band that is an important ensemble for young Jazzistas in Cuba. We interviewed him in the Conservatorio Amadeo Roldan in La Habana about the new recording Mambazo, and we will listen to some of that.


1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)


2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This has been audible in parts of NW, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.


3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, Sun, June 24 & Tues, June 26, 2018
Episode 68 presents "Mexico in Chicago" with new releases by Mariachi Herencia de Mexico and Sones de Mexico, two award-winning groups in Chicago
1. Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on
WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe


2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe. If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach from Iceland to Western Russia, Scandinavia down to North Africa and the Middle East, AND a long bounce to parts of New Zealand. 

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

BBC Midwinter Antarctic broadcast, June 21


The BBC midwinter broadcast to the 38 British Antarctic Survey staff in Antarctica and South Georgia will be broadcast on Thursday 21 June from 2130-2200 UTC. 


Confirmed frequencies this year: 

5985 Woofferton 184°
7360 Ascension 207°
9890 Woofferton 182°

The program and additional details at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06blwrc
BBCWS Audience Relations) 

Arnie Coro’s DXers Unlimited program – June 19 edition



Radio Havana Cuba

Dxers Unlimited middle of the week program for Tuesday 19 June 2018
By Arnie Coro, radio amateur CO2KK

Hola amigos radioaficionados.... Yes, this is the middle of the week program of Dxers Unlimited, your favorite radio hobby program, reaching you when we went through a geomagnetic disturbance that sent the planetary disturbance indice are known as the A index above the 30 units mark.

Way back during the year 2015 we were keeping a close watch at an increase in solar activity , as we fallowed the development of solar cycle number 24, the one with the most unusual behavior in more than a century.

Let me warn you all...Be aware that some of those ways of playing with your radios may involve a lot of work on your part, studying complex technical problems and perhaps also requiring a significant investment ... like for example, if you ever decide to try amateur radio Earth Moon Earth communications ....even when using the new and really amazing digital communications programs like JT 65, JT9 and FT8., you will still need a nice and the bigger the better antenna system !

Fortunately, there are other ways of enjoying our radio hobbies that can provide low cost and easy to put in practice modes, like FM broadcast band DXing using just a radio receiver for the frequency range where those stations transmit connected to an external antenna.

I am a long-time fan of FM broadcast band DXing because it is quite different from the classic AM broadcast band hunt for long distance stations, this is due to the fact that the propagation of the FM band signals is dominated by both weather related events and not very frequently by highly ionized part of the ionosphere at the height of the E layer. By the way we are right now at the yearly peak of the Sporadic E season, that makes possible nice loggings on the FM broadcast band.

Let me add that another low cost way of enjoying the radio hobby has a connection with the preservation of our Planet Earth, because it is based on building radios and accessories using recycled electronic components that are desoldered from equipment that is no longer possible to repair.

Here at DXers Unlimited our regular listeners have already sent me several examples of radio sets built using recycled components that I then have attempted to duplicate with a high degree of success Si amigos, yes my friends, oui my Canadian francophone listeners, this past weekend I took some time to try to organize my big garage workshop, a quite challenging job, that led me to find the long time lost notebook where the hand written notes and diagrams of several of DXers Unlimited listeners circuit ideas where kept. Of course, that I tried to finish at least the organizing effort required by workbench number one, but the finding of the notebook cut short the rest of the planned job as an immediate start up to locate the parts to build one of the radios began.

To make a long story short, after spending a few hours on a breadboard version of the CFL radio, the audio module was finished and it was quite amazing to see how the NPN switched mode medium power transistors used by the Compact Florescent Lightbulbs amplified the low level audio tone fed to it from my workbench test.

This is Radio Havana Cuba, the name of the show is Dxers Unlimited, our middle of the week program is now on the air, and now the story about the CFL radio receiver circuit diagram continues. 

The original design came from radio amateur AA1TJ Michael Rainey, who built the receiver using mostly parts from broken compact florescent lightbulbs.

In the original circuit Michael used an audio amplifier following the direct conversion product detector. It was made using two stages of the BUL128A transistors that provided enough gain for producing enough audio output into a pair of headphones coupled by means of an impedance matching transformer. I decided to add a third NPN high gain transistor that was connected between the product detector and the two-stage original audio amplifier to increase the audio output.

This proved to be a very worthwhile modification because the audio output increased significantly. The prototype receiver used a very simply one transistor VFO, but again this was improved by building a replica of Wes Hayward W7ZOI three transistors Colpitts oscillator that was set to tune from three thousand five hundred to three thousand six hundred kilohertz so that it will cover the 40 meters band from seven thousand zero zero zero to seven thousand two hundred, where most of the amateur radio activity in our part of the world takes place. The Polyakov harmonic-mixer type of product detector requires a local oscillator injection frequency at half of the frequency to be received. 

By mid-afternoon Sunday the receiver was working quite well, picking up several Cuban single side band stations on the national calling frequency of seven thousand one hundred and ten kilohertz, and later during the early evening I was able to pick up South and Central American stations also, plus a station from Echo Alpha eight land, the Canary Islands.

The amazingly simple receiver uses a very small number of parts, that were mostly recycled from different sources, mainly from several defunct Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. The radio does not provide loudspeaker output, but the audio level on the headphones is quite adequate.

A similar project following the same design criteria was designed for making use of recycled parts to build a three-stage crystal controlled CW radiotelegraphy low power transmitter, but I sound found out that with CFL lightbulbs transistors type BUL128A the rig could only work up to the 80 meters band... All attempts to make the BUL128A transistors oscillate on the 40 meters band failed...

Now item three here at the middle of the week edition of DXers Unlimited, that is on the air just after the half hour newscast of our English language program.

Ask Arnie - is our second most popular section of the program, second only to our HF propagation updates and forecasts presented whenever possible at the end of the show. 

Ask Arnie today will be answering a question sent by several listeners that want to know about the Ionospheric Forward Scatter propagation mode, a very interesting source of DX signals from some of the world’s high power short wave stations transmitter sites.

Although during the past several years the number of high power transmitter sites has gone down because of the closing of many relay stations, and even primary sites like was the case of Radio Canada’s Sackville, New Brunswick site... avid short wave listeners equipped with very good receivers and antennas very often are able to pick up the Ionospheric Forward Scatter signals when the high power short wave stations operate on the higher bands...with high gain antennas, something seen mainly when very high power transmitters are operated on the frequency bands between 15. 1 and 21.8 megahertz.... that translated into short wave bands means from 19 meters to 13 meters.

At this phase of the solar cycle very few stations are using the 21 megahertz or 13 meters band, and I have not heard a single international short wave broadcaster using the 11 meters or 26 megahertz band where Ionospheric Forward Scatter would be most noticeable when running high power and large antenna arrays.

If you are able to pick such signals they will be coming from transmitter sites located between 500 and 1500 miles from you.

And now at the end of the show.... our HF propagation update and forecast...

Solar flux hovering around 75 units and solar activity continues to be low. Expect many Sporadic E skip propagation events during the last 10 days of the month of June and first two weeks of July.

Send your signal reports and comments about the show plus your radio hobby related questions to inforhc@enet.cu and via air mail to Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana, Cuba

Listen for the weekend edition of DXers Unlimited coming up Sunday and also early Monday UTC days.
(Arnie Coro/R Havana Cuba)


Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2018 Jun 18 0349 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 11 - 17 June 2018

Solar activity was very low with only low level B-class flare activity observed from Region 2713 (N06, L=285, class/area Bxo/060 on 13 Jun). No Earth-directed CMEs were observed in satellite
imagery.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels on 11-13 Jun and decreased to moderate levels on 14-17 Jun. The largest flux of the period was 1,840 pfu observed at
11/1945 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet levels under a nominal solar wind regime. Solar wind speed ranged from approximately 280 km/s to 340 km/s through the majority of the period with total field at or below 6 nT. At approximately 17/1250 UTC, a solar sector boundary crossing was observed from a negative to a positive orientation. A corresponding increase in total field to around 14 nT was observed at 17/2355 UTC along with an increase in solar wind speed to near  415 km/s. This indicated the arrival of a CIR preceding a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS).

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 18 June - 14 July 2018

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels with a slight chance for C-class flares from 18 Jun-01 Jul with the return of old Region 2712 (N15, L=176). Very low levels are expected for the rest
of the forecast period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at high levels on 28 Jun-10 Jul due to CH HSS influence.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 18-19, 24-25, and 27-30 Jun with G1 (Minor) storm levels expected on 18 Jun and 28-29 Jun due to recurrent CH HSS activity.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt :Issued: 2018 Jun 18 0349 UTC # Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center # Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html # 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table # Issued 2018-06-18 # # UTC Radio Flux Planetary Largest # Date 10.7 cm A Index Kp Index 2018 Jun 18 72 15 5 2018 Jun 19 74 8 3 2018 Jun 20 74 5 2 2018 Jun 21 74 5 2 2018 Jun 22 74 5 2 2018 Jun 23 74 5 2 2018 Jun 24 70 8 3 2018 Jun 25 70 8 3 2018 Jun 26 70 5 2 2018 Jun 27 70 15 4 2018 Jun 28 70 28 5 2018 Jun 29 70 18 5 2018 Jun 30 70 10 3 2018 Jul 01 68 5 2 2018 Jul 02 68 5 2 2018 Jul 03 68 5 2 2018 Jul 04 68 5 2 2018 Jul 05 68 5 2 2018 Jul 06 68 5 2 2018 Jul 07 72 5 2 2018 Jul 08 72 5 2 2018 Jul 09 72 5 2 2018 Jul 10 72 5 2 2018 Jul 11 72 5 2 2018 Jul 12 72 5 2 2018 Jul 13 72 5 2 2018 Jul 14 74 5 2 (NOAA)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Shortwave Radiogram schedule update



Hello friends,


Last weekend was a success in that our transmission of Japanese text was received and decoded in Japan. Audio of that reception (from an SDR) is available here. You can decode from that audio. It begins with some mostly unsuccessful MFSK32, then on to the much more robust Olivia 64-2000.

There were also many good image decodes, which you can peruse at https://twitter.com/swradiogram

Videos of the Saturday 1600 UTC show are available from radio no koe in Japan (using an SDR in New Zealand), Marco in Italy, and Ralf in Germany; and of the Sunday 2330 transmission from Scott in Ontario. Also available is the audio archive maintained by Mark in the UK, and analysis of the weekend's digital-via-analog broadcasts by Roger in Germany.

This weekend will include some text in Arabic. Be sure to use the UTF-8 character set, which is default in TIVAR and newer versions of Fldigi. Also eight images (two MFSK32 and six MFSK64).

And as it is program 52, that means we have completed one year of Shortwave Radiogram. Shortwave Radiogram is the successor to VOA Radiogram, which began on 2013. Thank you for your support!

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 52, 15-18 June 2018, in MFSK modes as noted:

 1:35  MFSK32: Program preview
 2:40  Excerpt of Arabic text
 3:52  Restoration of Prague's astronomical clock*
10:40  MFSK64: End of net neutrality in the USA*
16:49  Five images*
26:31  MFSK32: Closing announcements*

* with image(s)

Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net


Twitter: @SWRadiogram or https://twitter.com/swradiogram



Shortwave Radiogram Program 52
(15-18 June 2018)

Friday
2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
5950 kHz
MFSK32
MFSK64
WRMI Florida
Saturday
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday
2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
Monday
0800-0830 UTC

7730 kHz
5850 kHz
WRMI Florida

The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on new 9925 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama. For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  

Broad Spectrum Radio is transmitted by WRMI Florida Mondays at 0700-0800 UTC on 5850 and 7730 kHz. MFSK32 is broadcast during the second half hour of the show. Reports to broadspectrumradio@gmail.com.


Thanks for your reception reports! 

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Reporting on international broadcasting at https://twitter.com/kaedotcom

From the Isle Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules



From the Isle of Music, June 17-23:
This week, we present some wonderful new Son Cubano from Septeto Santiaguero and Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, some recent TIMBA from JG and some Charanga from Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco.

1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)

2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 kHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This has been audible in parts of NW, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.

3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany.


Uncle Bill's Melting Pot, Sun, June 17 & Tues, June 19, 2018
Episode 67 presents the music of Ghana, Guinea and Cameroon.

1. Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on
WBCQ The Planet 7490 kHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe

2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe. If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach from Iceland to Western Russia, Scandinavia down to North Africa and the Middle East, AND a long bounce to parts of New Zealand.
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Arnie's look at amateur radio's FT8


Radio Havana Cuba
Dxers Unlimited middle of the week edition for Tuesday 12 June 2018
By Arnie Coro radio amateur CO2KK


Yes amigos as always you are most welcome to another edition of Dxers Unlimited, our station's twice weekly radio hobby program... This is the middle of the week program that goes on the air just after the half hour news bulletin. I am Arnaldo, Arnie, Coro radio amateur CO2KK , and here is item one of the show.... the ever popular section of Dxers Unlimited.... ASK ARNIE

The question came from long time ... listener Edward from Vancouver, Canada sent an email telling me of the nice results he has achieved with his 14 meters long  version of the TTFD antenna... Edward says reception from 5 to 30 megaHertz is excellent, and he has already tested the antenna for transmitting on the 30 and 20 meters band, making comparative tests with half wave dipoles for both bands. Arnie, he writes, your version of the TTFD using the 800 ohms homebrew terminating resistor and a 9 to one balun feeding into 75 ohms coaxial cable works well on both 30 and 20 meters, and is usable for daytime short range contacts on 40 meters too... Edward added that he picks up our 6100 kilohertz transmission to the Pacific Coast of North America just like a local FM station, something that made our RHC's engineer, Argelio Rodriguez a very happy person indeed.

And now a  Dxers Unlimited special report about amateur radio The great FT8 debate: A  new automatic linking digital communications mode that goes by the short name of FT8 has become extremely popular on the amateur bands since last year ... As a matter of fact FT8 contacts have made possible never before seen achievements on the short wave amateur bands...

Opinions about the use of the FT8 communications protocol are been published at many amateur radio world wide web sites....  You will soon here what your friend, Arnie Coro,  CO2KK  thinks about it...but before here is how  British radio amateur Mark, callsign M Zero B LF voiced his points of view that I am now quoting here: Mark says in his lengthy essay: I’ve been pondering for a while about whether or not I should add my own opinions to the polemic about FT8, the now year-old digital mode that has taken the ham radio world by storm. A few things recently have convinced me that I should, which I’ll go into a little later in this short essay.

First off, a step back: What is FT8? It’s the latest in a line of digital modes developed by Joe Taylor K1JT, that permit two-way radio contacts to be made with incredibly weak signals, that are often below the noise floor.

Until last year, most of the modes in this family were used for specialised purposes such as EME (bouncing radio signals off the moon) or meteor scatter. This meant that they were adopted by a small subset of radio amateurs for their specific purpose.

About a year ago, FT8 came onto the scene.AND HERE IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE --- Mark explains that  Its main difference over the other modes in the lineage is the speed of an ‘over’: reduced from for example 50 seconds in JT65 to just 15 seconds. This made it much more suitable for generalized use, and very quickly FT8 was adopted for general contacts.

A post by Clublog author Michael G7VJR in January this year shows how exponential the popularity of this mode was in the second-half of 2017; a trend which seems to have continued. I was certainly part of this band-wagon of FT8 fans. I logged my first FT8 contact on 16th July 2017, and to date I’ve made 118 QSOs using the mode from home.

Some people have tried to argue that FT8 isn’t amateur radio. I disagree. For a hobby founded on experimentation, technical challenge and self-training in all forms of communication, FT8 is the very essence of what amateur radio advances should look like. It’s very clever technology with some seriously complex maths behind it, that represents (technically) a significant step forward from what we had before. Si amigos, I will like to read again that part of Mark's posting: listen carefully

Some people have tried to argue that FT8 isn’t amateur radio. I disagree. For a hobby founded on experimentation, technical challenge and self-training in all forms of communication, FT8 is the very essence of what amateur radio advances should look like. It’s very clever technology with some seriously complex maths behind it, that represents (technically) a significant step forward from what we had before.

Mark adds:
I also believe that FT8 has its place in our shacks. One of the biggest threats we have to the hobby is that, particularly in sub-urban environments, noise floors can be very high from consumer electronics. Furthermore, in a globalized world, national regulators appear generally impotent to enforce the regulations that are supposed to avoid pollution of the radio spectrum from poorly-designed equipment. This was one of the reasons for my speedy adoption of FT8. Frankly, from my location on the outskirts of Cambridge, I wouldn’t be able to work as far without the support of the weak-signal error correction that’s inherent in the mode.

This is all the more important during solar minimum, which I suspect plays a large part in the quick spread of FT8. For the next few years, the stage of the sunspot cycle means that radio wave propagation will be hard, especially on higher HF  bands. Having a mode available which allows low signal-to-noise ratio contacts is certainly a help to communication on those bands, which would otherwise be ‘dead’. And then, here is what I consider to be a very well thought analysis about one essential advantage of using the FT8 digital mode. Mark says: The other fantastic thing about FT8 is that it brings, for the first time, objective signal reports to the hobby. We all know that ’59’ is a nonsense, but in the more ‘manual’ modes, we don’t have anything better.

Using actual, genuine, signal-to-noise measurements for signal reports allows more meaningful comparisons of equipment, antenna performance and propagation research.

Si amigos, yes my friends , oui mes amis... Here is more to add fuel to the controversy about the now extensive and intensive use of the FT8 digital mode as expressed by Mark M0 Bravo Lima Fox....
Mark continues by writing: However, in recent months a few things have happened, which started to quell my enthusiasm for the mode.

First was one day when I was working from home, doing my day-job. Since the computer was on anyway, I left FT8 running, periodically clicking the ‘Log QSO’ button when I saw it on the screen. Operating like this, I managed to make about 25 QSOs during the day without even realising it. None of those contacts were memorable. The computer made them for me, while I worked on other things. Moreover, the nature of the FT8 exchange (the facts that you have only 13 characters per over, and that changing the text of an over from the defaults can confuse the other operator) means that I felt no connection with those people at all.

FINALLY, THERE IS NOW A VERY IMPORTANT POINT OF VIEW ABOUT THE EXTENSIVE WORLDWIDE USE OF THE FT8 MODE...Similarly, the focus in the community on monitoring the main FT8 spot frequency on each band, means that other contacts seem to be being missed. I know lots of people are pouring over the stats to see whether FT8 activity is ‘new’ activity, or to the detriment of other modes.

In an upcoming edition of Dxers Unlimited, I will continue dealing with the controversial FT8 digital communications mode... Now  please listen carefully  to my preliminary point of view.... As a soon to be 59 years on the air amateur radio operator.... I have learned to give a very high value to the human aspects of our wonderful hobby.... and sincerely , I believe that using FT8 does nothing to promote new friendships among the world's amateur radio operators...machines do not make friends with people !!!!

Amigos , I wrote the first part of the script of this show Sunday morning... while monitoring the 6 meters amateur band searching for possible sporadic E skip signals that could make possible skywave contacts during the ARRL June VHFcontest.... At just twelve noon local time ,  16 00 UTC , nothing heard in the form of CW or SSB stations, and , as expected, on 50313 the FT8 parking spot, several signals where picked up by Jose CO2XN who happens to have the best 6 meters station in Havana,
with his 7 elements YAGI antenna...

Your opinions about the use of the FT8 digital mode are most welcome.... send them to inforhc at enet dot cu and also to arnie@rhc.cu amigos
(Arnie Coro CO2KK)

(graphic-DX World)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Amateur Radio 'Special Event' stations

All times listed as UTC
QSLing the following stations is opened to amateur radio and shortwave hobbyists. Check for QSL policy in each post or contact information.


June 12-15, 2018
Grand Prix de Montreal - Racing 2018
0000-0000, VE2SPEED, St-Jerome, QC. VE2JCW. 14.030 3.525 14.340 7.020. QSL. Jean Charron, 17 Elisabeth, St-Jerome , QC J7Z 2S9, CANADA. All Bands, All Modes.

June 18 - June 24, 2018
NASA on the Air (NOTA), 35th Anniversary of the First American Woman to Fly in Space. 0000-2359, NN4SA, Huntsville, AL. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Amateur
Radio Club. 21.295 14.235 7.195. QSL. Marshall Amateur Radio Club, NN4SA, c/o Don Hediger, ES35, Huntsville, AL 35812. Send S.A.S.E. for NN4SA NOTA QSL card or login to nasaontheair.wordpress.com for details regarding an end of year downloadable certificate for NOTA. https://nasaontheair.wordpress.com


June 14 - July 15, 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia - Soccer
0001-2359, **18FWC, Various, RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Union of Radio Amateurs of Russia. All bands, all modes. QSL. upload information to, fwc18.hamlogs.net, NA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Special call sign in Russia **18FWC. Inviting others to participate; other countries are asked to use **18FIFA. For complete details contact Aliy at ua6yw@mail.ru

June 1- Sept 15, 2018
Lewis & Clark 1804 Expedition
0100-1500, N0HWJ, Orchard, NE. N0HWJ. 14.275 14.250 3.982 3.975. QSL. Don Lallier, N0HWJ, PO Box 303, Orchard, NE 68764. Please send self-addressed stamped business envelope
along with your QSL card and QSL information. My QSL information may be found on QRZ under my call.



June 27- July 10, 2018
155th Anniversary of "The Battle of Gettysburg" 
0300-0300, W1G, East Berlin, PA. WO4L. 18.158 14.288 7.227 3.830. Certificate & QSL. Robert J Hess, WO4L, 74 Curtis Dr, East Berlin, PA 17316. www.qrz.com/db/w1g

June 30 - July 1, 2018
5th Anniversary Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial 
2200-0000, N7GMH, Prescott, AZ. Yavapai Amateur Radio Club. 18.119 14.229 7.229 3.819. Certificate. Don Bauer, WB7TTPH, 7150 E Acre Way, Prescott Valley, AZ 86315. 5th anniversary of
the loss of 19 members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots Wild Land firefighting team in Yarnell, AZ. This Tragic event has been translated to a movie, 'Only The Brave' which we
commend to your interest yarc.org 
(ARRL/W4GVH)

Monday, June 11, 2018

June Specials - Airmail Postage & DX Supplies



Dear Customer,


Below are DX supply Offers and news for JUNE 2018.

BACK ON THE LIST!!!  $1.15 International rate in 4 stamps!!! SEE It Listed:   Below The Postage Grid.

DX Supplies 2018:  Sorry to say, but I do not plan to restock Euro envelopes once they sell out. Envelope sales for 2017 were half the envelope sales of 2016, and a dismal 20%  of what I sold in 2013.  2018's selling pace is much slower. Below are listed new envelope ordering options designed to maximize sales based on what I have on hand.  QSL Albums and pages will not be restocked either, once supply is exhausted. At this point, it just doesn't make sense to re-stock items that take so long to sell...or not to sell.   DX Postage: Some countries will be deleted over time, when supply is exhausted.  US Discount postage offers will continue, as this is the only area of my business that shows growth. It's something.  Fountain Pens:   I'll continue my pen selling efforts to customers via email and in person at local flea/craft fairs and hamfests.

DX SUPPLY INVENTORY:
I will keep you informed of supply stock in future emails.

!!!!!!!!!  SEVERAL HUGE ENVELOPE ORDERS in MAY  !!!!!!!!!!!

European AIR Mailers are ALMOST GONE!!

QSL albums: 15 good ones remain and only 1 slightly damaged QSL album remains.

QSLing Methods have changed greatly since I started this business about 35 yrs ago!!


DISCOUNT POSTAGE!!:  The Forever stamps I have listed below in the grid are mostly full sheets. Single Forever stamps:  Offered CHEAP!!  None on hand now....but I'm sure to acquire more in the future...Stay tuned!

HAMFESTS & Flea Markets/Craft Shows:
July 15th: Sussex Hamfest, Augusta, NJ with pen/pencil hoard.



NEW FOREIGN RATES:  
  
     
***IF you notice rate increases, let me know.***


IN STOCK AGAIN:  Mexico and Thailand

STAMPS ON BACK ORDER:  

STAMP PRICE LIST UPDATE:




U.S. DISCOUNT POSTAGE DEALS!!

Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster 
 your envelope with colorful vintage stamps!
HAPPY  MAILING!!
50c units
Forever

in  3 stamps
4 stamps  
 5 stamps
x 100
$46.00

$43.00
$42.00
$41.00 
x 200
$88.00

$65.00
$64.00 
$63.00 
x 500
$215.00

$160.00 
$159.00 
$158.00 
$1.15 International (1 oz.) Rate in 4 stamps
x 100 units =  $95.   -:- -:-   x 200 units = $165    
Sent to USA addresses only.

       JUNE 2018  DX  SUPPLY  OFFERS
NEW Envelope Options With NEW PRICING!!!
50/50 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $16.00
200/200 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $45.00
400/400 European Plain Mailers and Plain Returns - $85.00

200/200 European AIR Mailers and Plain Returns - $45.00
400/400 European AIR mailers and Plain Returns - $85.00
EURO AIR RETURNS ARE SOLD OUT.

Wanna Use Just the One larger Euro Mailer Envelope?
$ave on These Clearance Deal$!
400 European PLAIN Mailers only - $40.00
400 European AIR Mailers only - $40.00

STATESIDE ENVELOPES ARE SOLD OUT. 


Slightly Damaged QSL Binder Sale!
(slight cut or break in green vinyl)
Buy Now & $ave!!
1 Standard Album - $30.00

Priority Mail Shipping Rates: Orders up to $40.00 add $9.00, orders from $41.00 to $100.00 add $15.00. orders from $101.00 to $150.00 add $20.00, orders over $150.00 add 15%. When ordering supplies and stamps, the stamps ride free, just use supply total to figure shipping costs. Shipments to Canada and overseas ship at a greater cost. (07/2015 modified)


Stamps Only Orders: Just add $1.00 P&H for posting to USA, add $2.00 for posting to Canada.

73, bill

William Plum
12 Glenn Road
Flemington, NJ 08822
908 788 1020

Email: plumdx@msn.com

DXers Unlimited - June 10 edition



Radio Havana Cuba
Dxers Unlimited weekend edition for Sunday 10 June 2018 By  Arnie Coro radio amateur CO2KK

Hola amigos radioaficionados all around the world and orbiting planet Earth aboard the International Space Station where the crew members continue to enjoy sending back to Earth slow scan television signals on the 145.800 frequency with excellent results...

Yes amigos radio amateurs are in space and having a good time during the short periods when they can take a break from the demanding duties aboard the very complex space ship... I am Arnaldo, Arnie, Coro radio amateur CO2KK , your host here at the weekend edition of Dxers Unlimited, the one and only radio hobby show that receives and answers all your questions related to the wonderful way you and enjoy our free time...playing with our radio and their many accessories

Item two:
The summer sporadic E layer season, of the northern hemisphere is now in progress... I am now insisting on the short term forecast for the 2018 sporadic E season. I did sent a quick reply to a listener that wanted to know what was the forecast for this year's E skip season... Here is what I wrote to amigo Richard , in Florida, USA

Here is my forecast... expect above average 6 meters Sporadic E summer season for 2018...
There  seems to be an ever growing criteria among 6 meters band Dxers that sees a clear inverse correlation between periods of very low solar activity and the occurrence of sporadic E events.
Will be looking for you with my six meters QRP Five Watts and my simple sloping dipole antenna...
Yes I have worked many 6 meters stations using a 55 inches whip antenna with one ground radial 57 inches horizontal ground radial !!!

Now I will compile all the observations about the spring and summer 2018 sporadic E season and we will find out if my forecast was accurate or not...with results available by September of this year of minimum solar activity. During the year 2016  several good transatlantic band openings on six meters band were enjoyed by operators all along the East Coast of Canada and the USA and they were able to make many nice contacts using typical stations running not more than one hundred watts on single side band and a three four or five elements YAGI... Caribbean stations also enjoyed the openings to Europe and to North America too.

For TV Dxers in the USA this season brought the possibility of picking up many Mexican , Central American and Cuban analog TV stations that are still on the air using the NTSC-M 525 lines resolution transmission standard now in the process of being phased out in favor of digital TV over the air broadcasts.

Item three
Your attention please homebrewers that can read circuit diagrams, identify electronic parts and know how to solder... for those of you … It is perfectly possible to build a very simple amateur radio CW radiotelegraphy transmitter with a minimum of parts, and yet achieve reliable results... It does need very careful construction to make the home brew self oscillating Hartley rig stable enough to be able to use it on the amateur bands. Results so far show that on the 160, 80 and 40 meters bands, using just ten, yes, just ten parts, the rig built around a single vacuum tube may be used on the air with excellent results.

Now let me tell you that when I sent the original schematic of the Hartley single vacuum tube power oscillator to a friend of mine that is a senior telecommunications engineer at Havana's famous CUJAE technical university,  he came back immediately to tell me not to dare put that transmitter on the air.... because he said it will drift badly and produce an awful keying CW note... Then, my reply went back with an mp3 file of the sound of the Hartley power oscillator on the air.... a nice clean, stable signal free of frequency drift or keying chirp...


Courtesy of my long time  Italian friend Cristiano Greggio who has spend a lot of time experimenting with simple vacuum tubes receiving and transmitting equipment that are producing really amazing results.

Yes amigos you are listening to Radio Havana Cuba and here is more about low cost , simple equipment for enjoying the radio hobby without having to apply for bankruptcy....

There is no doubt that professional radio receivers designed and built by the German firm Rohde and Schwartz are among the best in the world. Then you may want to know that a very simple REGENERODYNE  home built vacuum tubes receiver is matching and even exceeding the sensitivity of one of the classic Rhode and SchwartZ HF radios...

Amazing as it may sound, it is fully documented with many actual comparative tests using the same antenna switched between the two radios... This information also comes from amigo Christiano Greggio of Italy... he tells us that using an ECH81 or ECH83 triode heptode tube frequency conversion stage, feeding another identical tube uses as regenerative detector and first audio amplifier stage, when operating on the 40 meters amateur band, reception is very good, making possible to detect very weak signals that are buried into the front end noise of the professional receiver.

My version of that radio built using Russian vaccum tubes is now in the works with the added feature of  a front end dual tuned bandpass input filter and a single pentode radio frequency amplifier stage just to compensate for the signal lost in the filter.

And my audio module will also contemplate the use of two audio filters... I have now almost all the parts needed for the project,  and ready to start testing each component one by one before the parts entry into the assembly line, something that I always do before starting to place the parts into circuit boards or chassis point to point wiring, in order to avoid the problems associated with using a defective part on a new radio.

Believe me, testing each and every part before assembly is a really sound practice...  Also follow my advice and never start the building process before you have at hand all the parts required for the project...I have two projects left at a standstill years ago when a missing part was never found...

And now talking about simple receivers and transmitters let me add that my favorite band for them to operate is 40 meters, because during the daytime it provides very nice local and semi-local coverage and at night it changes into a wonderful band for making DX contacts...40 meters will continue to be a very reliable band for night time Dxing for the next two years amigos.... that is why installing a nice seven megahertz antenna is also a worthwhile project, especially if you can add to it wire elements for the 30 and 20 meters bands too....

Now  a short form prediction of the solar flux levels for the near term, it will stand at near rock bottom values not to exceed 75 units for the next week or so.

The sun continues to show no sunspots for the past several days and solar cycle 24 continues its slow downward trend amigos !

Send your signal reports and comments to inforohc@enet.cu and via air mail to: Arnie Coro Radio Havana Cuba, Havana Cuba...

See you all at the middle of the week edition of Dxers Unlimited just after our half hour news bulletin ...
(Arnie Coro/Radio Havana Cuba)