Wednesday, January 16, 2019

DXers Unlimited program, 15 January 2019

Radio Havana Cuba

Dxers Unlimited program, 15 January 2019
By Arnie Coro, CO2KK

Hi my radio hobby fans all around the world.Hola amigos radioaficionados de  todo el mundo.

I am your host, Arnie Coro, radio amateur CO2KK and yes we are now on the air expecting a very low solar activity to continue and that will bring some nice DX on the long wave and medium wave broadcast bands. A quick scan done early Tuesday UTC day brought several nice signals on the 25 meters international broadcast band, spanning from eleven dot six to twelve dot one megahertz.

Si amigos this is your favorite radio hobby show reaching you when solar activity continues at very low levels. Be aware that 2019 is the year of the quiet sun.

Radio is a very challenging hobby. Almost every day we find out about one new way of playing with our radios. Take for example, the increase in use of the two low frequency amateur bands.

Yes, I am talking about the two thousand two hundred meters band, and the 630 meters band. A press release coming from Australia provides information about a new automatic beacon that has been granted a license by Australia's telecommunications authority.

Here are the details
A new Beacon on 2200

The Caboolture Radio Club in Australia reports the start of operation of a new beacon on the 2 200 meter band.

The ACMA has granted permission for continuous operation of a beacon on
137.444 kHz using the call sign VK4RBC in grid QG62LW, using WSPR2 plus a CW identifier.

The power is 1 W EIRP into a 500 m long wire at 40 m maximum height.
The new beacon uses a very special digital mode WSPR Two, known as Whisper that is very effective for long distance communication.

The other low frequencies band that is making headlines during the winter season of the northern hemisphere is located just below the AM broadcast band that starts on 530 kilohertz and spans up to 1700 kilohertz,

Cuban radio amateurs have received access to the two new low frequencies bands, following the specifications for its use by the International Telecommunications Union, the specialized United Nations agency that originated in 1865, making it the most ancient telecomms agency.

The 2200 meter or 136 kHz band is the lowest frequency band in which amateur radio operators are allowed to transmit. It was formally allocated to amateurs at the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07). The band is available on a secondary basis in all ITU regions with the limitation that amateur stations have maximum radiated power of
1 watt effective isotropic radiated power.

The 2200 meterband is in the low frequency (LF) region, just below the 153–279 kHz longwave broadcasting band.

The International Telecommunication Union's 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) in Geneva agreed a secondary allocation of 135.7–137.8 kHz to the Amateur Service on Friday, 9 November 2007. Prior to the ITU formal allocation some countries did have access or predecessors.
A number of European countries have already allocated the 135.7–137.8 kHz band to amateur radio use based on CEPT/ERC Recommendation 62-01 E ("Use of the band 135.7-137.8 kHz by the Amateur Service", Mainz 1997).

The allocation is on a secondary basis with a maximum ERP power of 1 W.Otherwise the band 130–148.5 is allocated on a primary base to the Maritime Mobile Service and the Fixed Service. The main users are naval one-way transmissions and radiolocation systems.

Now some relevant technical uses

Such low frequency transmissions require specialized equipment – usually custom made by radio amateur experimenters, but now slowly becoming available from professional radio equipment suppliers. In countries where it is allowed, maximum radiated power is usually limited to 1 Watt
(0 dBW or 30 dBm), but even this can be extremely difficult to achieve from practical equipment and antennas. Reception also poses problems due to considerable natural and man-made noise and interference (QRN and QRM).

Many users and experimenters have settled on extremely slow, computer-generated and displayed Morse code as the most common transmission mode. This mode is known as QRSS, where the doubling of the ‘S’ emphases the extreme slowness. (The international Q code QRS means “Please send more slowly”, or “slow Morse” in radio jargon.) Band plan

The 2005 IARU Region 1 Conference defined the band as follows
 135.7–136.0 kHz
     Station Tests and transatlantic reception window
136.0–137.4 kHz
  Radio Telegraphy using International Morse Code
137.4–137.6 kHz
     Non-Telegraphy digital modes
137.6–137.8 kHz
     Very slow telegraphy centered on 137.7 kHz

The other low frequencies amateur bands presently authorized is known as the 630 meters assignment. Here is now more information about it:

The 630 meter (or 600 meter) amateur radio band is a frequency band allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to amateur radio operators, and it ranges from 472 to 479 kHz, or equivalently 625.9 to 635.1 meters wavelength. It was formally allocated to amateurs at the 2012 World Radio Communication Conference (WRC-12).

The band is available on a secondary basis in all ITU regions with the limitation that amateur stations have maximum radiated power of 1 Watt effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP); however, stations more than 800 km from certain countries[1] may be permitted to use 5 Watts EIRP.

The new WRC-12 allocation did not take formal effect until 1 January 2013. However, several countries had previously allocated the WRC-12 band to amateurs domestically.

Previously, several other countries have authorized temporary allocations or experimental operations on nearby frequencies. The band is in the Medium Frequency (MF) region, within the greater 415–526.5 kHz maritime band.

HF propagation update and forecast.
Solar flux hovering around 70 units. More good news for low bands DXers. Typical winter time HF propagation conditions are bringing more activity to the 160, 80 and 60 meters amateur bands, while the tropical 60 meters band broadcasts from Cuba have been heard around the world.

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



Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Languages on QSL Cards

Radio Free Asia QSL card, 2008
Around the world today, it is estimated, there are 7,100 living languages. The same authorities state that the population in India alone speak 880 languages, and in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh there are 90 different languages.  

The international translation organization known as the United Bible Societies, states that all or part of the Holy Scriptures have been translated into more than 3,324 languages (and also dialects, we would suggest).  
         
The most widely spoken language on Earth is English, with a total of 1.121 billion people who speak this language as a primary or secondary language. The Guinness Book of World Records (1988) lists a Frenchman who was the world leader in the number of languages he spoke.  This polyglot was French born Georges Henri Schmidt, a United Nations official in the middle of last century, and he was fluent in 31 languages.

A perusal of any issue of the World Radio TV Handbook clearly indicates that radio programming is on the air throughout the world in a multitude of languages, though obviously not in all of the world’s total list of spoken languages. 

All India Radio speaks to its homeland listeners in 202 languages, and in its international shortwave services AIR speaks in 28 languages. The Voice of America, together with its subsidiary program broadcasts speaks to the world in about 50 languages; and currently, the BBC London is on the air in its shortwave services in 18 languages.  
         
Several of the Christian shortwave stations are also on the air in a multitude of languages.  For example, Trans World Radio (TWR) presents programming on shortwave in 230 languages; and Adventist World Radio (AWR) speaks around 120 languages.  The Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) in the Philippines, is on the air in 113 languages; and Vatican Radio presents programming in 20 languages.
         
With so many languages on the air from so many radio stations around the world, it is to be expected that QSL cards would also be printed in many different languages. Many shortwave stations around the globe issue QSL cards in their own national language.  For example, it is rather obvious that the Voice of America and Radio New Zealand International, issue their QSL cards for example in the English language.  So, did Radio Australia before it was abruptly closed two years ago.  

Interestingly, the shortwave stations in some countries have printed their QSL cards only in English, even though their people speak other languages. For example, the QSL cards from All India Radio and Radio Bangladesh are always in English.  QSL cards from Radio Canada International when they were on the air, were always printed in both of their official languages French and English.

Then too, the shortwave stations in many other countries also issue QSL cards in English as well as in their own national language. Germany’s Deutsche Welle has printed QSL cards in German, as well as in English.  Back in the mid 1990's, the German service of the BBC London also issued their own QSL card which was printed in German. Other stations that have issued QSL cards printed in the German language have been KBS South Korea, Radio Pyongyang North Korea, and the Voice of Vietnam in Hanoi.

China has issued separate QSL cards in Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and English; Radio Australia has issued QSL cards in Asian languages such as Japanese and Thai.  Radio New Zealand International has also issued cards in the Japanese language.  Vatican Radio has issued QSL cards in English and Latin; and Switzerland has issued QSL cards in four languages, German, French, Italian and English.  

In addition to internationally known languages on QSL cards, at least two of the artificially constructed auxiliary languages have also been presented on QSL cards. In 1957, amateur station SP8CK in Lublin Poland made a QSO contact with station CX1AK in Montevideo, Uruguay in South America.  The QSL card from Poland was printed in Esperanto, the most popular of all the constructed auxiliary languages.

A very rare language was used for the text on a QSL card in 1930. This card was issued by amateur spark station SKW in the city of Uman in the Ukraine, and it confirmed a QSO with an American amateur station, NU1BES in Providence Rhode Island.  

The holder of the callsign NU1BES was Lewis Bellem, an engineer with the Universal Winding Company that manufactured radio coils in Providence under the trade name Cotoco-Coils.  In 1938, both Bellem and Granville Lindley, a fellow engineer from the Universal Winding Company, went out to Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific and installed the amateur radio broadcasting station VR6AY.

The text on the QSL card from amateur station SKW in the Ukraine is printed in the Ido language, which is a modified dialect descendant from the better-known Esperanto language. These days there are no more than 200 people throughout the world who have learned to speak the Ido language.

Finally, in our perusal of languages on QSL cards, we come to the print language for the blind, which was named Braille in honor of its founder Frenchman Louis Braille who was blinded in childhood by an accident.  As a fifteen year-old teenager in 1824, Braille invented a system of six raised dots that enable blind people to read and understand the dots with their fingers.

In 1955, amateur radio station F9KX in France issued a QSL card to K6GW in the United States.  The QSL text on this card is printed in the French language, and a French Braille message composed with raised dots is also embossed onto the card.

In 1994, Arthur Cushen at Invercargill in South New Zealand received a QSL card and letter from the ABC station 2PB in Australia’s capital city, Canberra.  At the time, station 2PB was on the air as an ABC news station, and the transmitter was the old 2 kW 2CY that had been rejuvenated and returned to 1440 kHz. The QSL letter was four pages long, and it was prepared in Australian Braille.   

And finally, several years ago, Adventist World Radio in Indianapolis issued a limited number of QSL cards that were printed with an English text and with a brief message in American Braille. These cards were borrowed from the Adventist operated Christian Record Services in Lincoln Nebraska.
(Jeff White/AdrianPeterson)
AWR Wavescan/NWS 516)
The RFA QSL card, was part of a 3-part series in 2008, celebrating their anniversary. The  card was drawn by the children of RFA personnel, celebrating their languages and encouraging democracy and freedom.

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins



Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2019 Jan 14 0403 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact: www.swpc.noaa.gov/content/subscription-services
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 07 - 13 January 2019

Solar activity was very low. The solar disk was spotless during the reporting period. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels on 07-10 Jan and moderate levels on 11-13 Jan. The peak flux was 2,970 pfu observed at 07/2040 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to active levels. Solar wind parameters began the period under waning negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) effects. Solar wind speed began the period near 535 km/s, but diminished to near 345 km/s by 10/0720 UTC. Total field remained at 6 nT or less during this time. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet to unsettled levels on 07 Jan followed by quiet levels on 08-10 Jan. By late on 10 Jan, solar wind speed once again increased to near 515 km/s by 11/0435 UTC while total field only increased briefly to a maximum of 8 nT at 11/0635 UTC. The Bz component deflected southward for approximately 3 hours to near -6 nT. The geomagnetic field responded with an isolated active period on 11 Jan. By 12 and 13 Jan, solar wind speed had decreased to below 400 km/s. The geomagnetic field was once again quiet on 12-13 Jan.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 14 January - 09 February 2019

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels on 14-19 Jan and 03-09 Feb. A slight chance for C-class flares is expected on 20 Jan-02 Feb due to the return of old Region 2732 (N09, L=215).

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 25-27 Jan and 02-06 Feb due to recurrent CH HSS influence.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled levels on 15-16 Jan. Unsettled to active levels are expected on 24-26 Jan and 31 Jan - 03 Feb with G1 (Minor) storm levels likely on 24 Jan due to recurrent CH HSS effects.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2019 Jan 14 0403 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact: www.swpc.noaa.gov/content/subscription-services
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2019-01-14
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2019 Jan 14      69           5          2
2019 Jan 15      69           8          3
2019 Jan 16      69           8          3
2019 Jan 17      69           5          2
2019 Jan 18      70           5          2
2019 Jan 19      70           5          2
2019 Jan 20      71           5          2
2019 Jan 21      71           5          2
2019 Jan 22      71           5          2
2019 Jan 23      71           5          2
2019 Jan 24      71          20          5
2019 Jan 25      71          12          4
2019 Jan 26      71           8          3
2019 Jan 27      71           5          2
2019 Jan 28      71           5          2
2019 Jan 29      71           5          2
2019 Jan 30      71           5          2
2019 Jan 31      71          10          3
2019 Feb 01      71          15          4
2019 Feb 02      70          12          4
2019 Feb 03      70           8          3
2019 Feb 04      70           5          2
2019 Feb 05      69           5          2
2019 Feb 06      69           5          2
2019 Feb 07      69           5          2
2019 Feb 08      69           5          2
2019 Feb 09      69           5          2
(NOAA)

The Radio Scene in Portuguese Macau



Here in Wavescan last month, we presented Part 1 of the Radio Scene on Portuguese Macau and we covered the story of their early wireless and radio broadcasting stations during the prewar years.  The main radio transmitter back then was in use for both international communication as well as for the broadcast of radio programming under the consecutive callsigns CQN CRY9 and CR8AA. 

In our program today, we pick up the Macau story again at the time when the war in Asia, Japan versus China, was well under way, and it was soon to explode into the dramatic Pacific War running from 1941 to 1945.  On the same day, Sunday December 7 in Hawaii and Monday December 8 on the western side of the International Date Line, Japanese forces made a surprise attack on several strategic locations in the Pacific, including Honolulu in Hawaii, and the island of Luzon in the Philippines, and also the British colonial territory of Hong Kong on coastal China. 

Because Portugal over in Europe remained neutral during World War II, and because Macau was a Portuguese colony in coastal China, this small Asian territory was spared much of the devastation that overtook the Asia-Pacific arena.  However during this tragic war, Macau became a refugee center with an estimated half million refugees flowing in from other areas of Asia. 

The main influx of refugees came from mainland China, with an additional 9,000 flowing in from Hong Kong.  These large migrations produced drastic shortages of food and accommodation in Macau.

Initially the Japanese authorities accepted and respected Macau’s stance of neutrality during the Asia-Pacific War.  However in August 1943, Japanese troops seized a British cargo steamer at Macau, the Sian (X’ian), and this event led to the installation of Japanese advisors over the colony.

Towards the end of the Pacific War during the year 1945, American planes bombed Macau three times, for which the United States made a reparations payment of $20 million to Portugal five years later.  The first American air raid took place on Tuesday January 16 during the South China Sea Raids as part of Operation Gratitude. 

At the time, United States navy vessels were passing nearby during heavy stormy weather and their planes bombed the Naval Aviation Center on coastal Macau, and destroyed the reserve tanks of aviation fuel.  In addition, they also bombed a radio station on the main Macau Island.  Next day, Tokyo Rose announced in English on Radio Tokio shortwave: We don’t know how you got into the area; but now, how will you get out?

We turn now to the radio scene in Portuguese Macau beginning just before the middle of last century.  It was during the year 1941 that Radio Clube Macao was formed and they inherited all of the equipment and installations of the former radio station that had been on the air under the consecutive callsigns CQN and CRY9.  At this stage, their operating frequency was 6070 kHz, and they were then identified with a new callsign, CR8AA.

This new callsign CR8AA gives the appearance that it was an amateur radio callsign, though in actual reality, this call identified the station when it was on the air for the broadcast of news and entertainment programming.  Interestingly, the international prefix CR8 would identify another Portuguese colony, Goa in India rather than Macau in China.  However during that era, with Asian tensions rising high, we would suggest that the Portuguese government in Europe required their shortwave station in Macau China to identify with a callsign relevant to Goa India in order to add a touch of combined psychological strength to their distant colonies.

The studios for this pre-war shortwave station were always located on the top floor of the Post Office building in downtown Macau, and the transmitter was always located at Dona Maria Fort, Fortaleza da Dona Maria 2.  This fort was constructed by the Portuguese authorities in 1852 at an isolated location on a small peninsula jutting out into the bay from the main island of Macau.  The 500 watt shortwave transmitter was constructed in three separate units; the low power driver transmitter, a 500 watt amplifier, and a separate rectifier. 

A photograph in a radio magazine in 1935 shows three tall masts at Fort Dona Maria, two of which were identified as supporting the zeppelin antenna that was in use for the shortwave transmissions from station CR8AA.  A third mast in the photograph was not specifically identified, though we would suggest that it was in use as a receiving antenna for two way communication traffic.

There seems to be no indication that shortwave CR8AA was ever on the air with program broadcasting during the Pacific War.  After the bombing of Hong Kong on December 8, 1941 there are no known monitoring observations until the station was reactivated again with program broadcasting in August 1945.

The radio station that the American planes bombed on January 16, 1945 was this historic low powered shortwave station CR8AA at Fort Dona Maria.  However apparently the damage to the transmitter facility was not too great, because in August, the station was heard again, at good strength by Mr. R. Clack in Australia on 7530 kHz.  In a monitoring report published in the Australasian Radio World, DX Editor Lawrence J. Keast commented: Radio Club Macau has made a welcome re-appearance after its long silence.

An oversized QSL card issued to a listener in Sweden for reception in December (1945) shows an artistic representation of coastal scenery in Macau.  The English text on this QSL card verifies reception on 7505 kHz, though subsequently they moved again to 9300 kHz.
More about the radio scene in Macau another time.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 16)

Will ABC Shortwave Broadcast Really Be Restored ?


There is no sign the Australian broadcaster’s high frequency broadcasts will be back on anytime soon

Alan Hughes
PERTH, Australia — In response to the article Opposition Will Restore Shuttered ABC Shortwave Broadcasts, the CEO and board chairperson who made the decision to switch-off the last remaining domestic and international shortwave broadcasts are now no longer with the ABC.

They claimed a lack of listeners and use of obsolete technology. They did not promote the shortwave service, consult the listeners or try using the modern technology of Digital Radio Mondiale on the Tennant Creek transmitter.
Additional story at: https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/will-abc-shortwave-broadcasts-really-be-restored

Sunday, January 13, 2019

New Product Announcement from DXtreme

Product Announcement

DXtreme Station Log 14
DXtreme Software™ has released a new version of its popular logging program for Amateur Radio operators: DXtreme Station Log 14™.

New Features in DXtreme Station Log 14
§  DX Spot Checker Now Has Two Presentation Modes — Users can switch between Rich Site Feed and Grid Feed by clicking a tab on the window. The Rich Site Feed displays the actual, continuous feed from the Telnet server, and lets users interact with the server to set options like server-side filters and to perform queries. The new Grid Feed displays 10 to 50 rows (user’s choice) of DX spots in a structured, resizable, alternating-color grid. Grid-Feed spots can be displayed on a rotating basis (erase then continue) or by overwriting spots already displayed, as selected on the DX Spot Checker toolbar. Users can set fonts and colors for both feeds.
§  Suppress Verified Spots by Mode Per Band — When activated in DX Spot Checker Options, this client-side filter lets users suppress the display of spots for modes already verified within band plans defined on the Modes-Per-Band Plans tab.
§  JT Log Entry ProcessingUsers can have DXtreme Station Log 14 manage the pre- and post-log-entry population of the WSJT-X and JTDX log files, letting users perform all logging operations on the Station Log 14 window while keeping their eyes glued to the WSJT-X or JTDX interfaces for worked-before status indications. This feature is important when using quick modes like FT8.
§  Digital Application AssignmentWhen users add a JT log entry via JT Log Entry Processing, the Digital Application Used field is populated automatically with either WSJT-X or JTDX as appropriate. When using other applications, users can edit this field manually. And they can assign digital applications to pre-existing log entries by mode globally, filtered or unfiltered by date and band.
§  Club Log Record CreationUsers can create Club Log records in a special workfile automatically when adding or modifying log entries. The workfile can be viewed and edited, if needed, and uploaded via the Club Log web site. A Batch Upload to Club Log function is available when Club Log does not contain all log entries.

Standard Features in DXtreme Station Log 14
DXtreme Station Log 14 lets hams log their contacts and import ADIF files from other programs. It supports major call sign subscription services, and offers the following multimedia and advanced functions:
§  DX Spot Checker™ — Receives DX spots from Telnet-based servers and determines whether QSOs are needed for new or verified DXCC® entities, band-entities, mode-entities, or VUCC grids. Information displays on Rich Site Feed and Grid Feed tabs.
§  Automatic LoTW Upload — Users can set Station Log 14 so it uploads each log entry to LoTW automatically when added, capturing and saving QSO Record Status from the LoTW server as part of the process. Modified log entries can be uploaded as well. If desired, users can disable automatic uploading and can upload log entries to LoTW semiautomatically and manually in batches whenever they want to.
§  LoTW ReportingUsers can perform searches and run reports filtered by LoTW QSO Record Status, which indicates whether log entries are On, or Not On, the LoTW server following upload or QSL-updating. Users can also perform searches and run reports filtered by LoTW QSL Record Status, which indicates the date of each LoTW QSL record processed by DXtreme’s LoTW QSL Update Utility.
§  DX Atlas Integration — Performs Afreet DX Atlas azimuth plots from the user’s location to that of a spotted or logged station. Also creates maps for reports.
§  Rig Control — Tunes/retrieves frequencies and modes from supported rigs through integration with Afreet Omni-Rig.
§  QSL Processing — Creates QSL and address labels for physical QSLs, and supports the ARRL’s LoTW facility, including capturing LoTW QSL records as digital images.
§  QSL Imaging™ — Lets users scan and capture QSL cards and electronic QSLs into their log entries for browsing and viewing any time they want to.
§  Improv Imaging™ — Lets users associate adhoc images with their log entries separate from our popular QSL Imaging™ facility. Users can capture, scan, or paste any image and save it as a single-page .jpg, or single- or multi-page .tif. Improv images popular with users include signals on a spectrum analyzer or waterfall, QSOs conducted on ATV and data applications, and equipment used during contacts.
§  Audio Facility — Records and plays QSOs.
§  Reports — Provides a wide range of performance and station reports to let users see how well they’re doing. Reports can be filtered and sorted. Includes DXCC® and WAS Analytics™ tools for analyzing and enhancing DXCC and WAS standing.

Operating System and Requirements, Pricing and Support
DXtreme Station Log 14 runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Windows® 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista®, and Windows XP. It retails for $89.99 USD worldwide for Internet distribution. Reduced pricing is available for upgrading users. All prices include product support by Internet e-mail.
About DXtreme Software
Based in Nashua, NH, DXtreme Software produces powerful and easy-to-use logging applications for all kinds of radio enthusiasts — from short-wave and medium-wave listeners and DXers to Amateur Radio operators.  For more information about DXtreme Station Log 14, visit www.dxtreme.com or contact bobraymond@dxtreme.com.

DXCC® is a registered trademark of the American Radio Relay League, Inc.
Microsoft®, Windows®, and Vista® are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Band Master, DX Atlas, Ham CAP, and Omni-Rig are owned by Afreet Software, Inc. A purchased software license for Band Master and DX Atlas are required to use them.
JTDX by HF Community. © Igor UA3DJY and Arvo Jarve ES1JA.
WSJT-X is owned by Joe Taylor, K1JT.
Club Log: © Michael Wells, G7VJR.
(Bob Raymond/Dxtreme)

Friday, January 11, 2019

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules, January 13-19


From the Isle of Music, January 13-19:

This week, we feature the music of Ramon Valle, winner of the Instrumental Music category in Cubadisco 2018 as well as a nominee in the Jazz Soloist and Jazz Ensemble categories. All this with three different albums, and we will taste a little of each.
The broadcasts take place:

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 0100-0200 UTC (New UTC) on WBCQ, 7490 kHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US).


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

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, January 13 and 15:
Episode 96 features vocalese (sometimes called Scat) from around the world, from Bebop to Roma, from Cuban to Carnatic.

1.Sunday 2300-2330 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 kHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe

2. Tuesday 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 should reach Iceland AND Western Russia due to a long skip.

Also recommended:
Marion’s Attic, a unique program produced and hosted by Marion Webster featuring early 20th Century records, Edison cylinders etc played on the original equipment, comes on immediately before UBMP on Sundays from 2200-2300 UTC on WBCQ 7490 kHz.
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Voice of Vietnam wishes listener's Happy New Year


Special thanks to Larry Zamora, for sharing his Voice of Vietnam QSL card. He received it along with the station's Happy New Years greetings.

Your scanned QSLs are always welcome .... send to the above email address, with you QSL details, and yours can be a part of Shortwave Central.


Radio New Zealand schedule update


New Zealand

Updated schedule of RNZ Pacific, DRM mode 1651-1750 kHz on 5975 kHz.

All times UTC

Change in the schedule of RNZ Pacific
0000-0358 15720 Pacific                      Daily
0359-0658 13730 Pacific                      Daily
0659-1058  9765 Pacific                      Daily
1059-1258  9700 Solomon Islands PNG          Daily
1259-1650  6115 ex7390 Pacific               Sun - Fri from Jan 5
1259-1758  6115 ex7390 Pacific               Sat       from Jan 5
1651-1750  5975 DRM from 4 Jan Cook Islands Samoa Tonga     Sun - Fri
1751-1850  9780 DRM Cook Islands Samoa Tonga Sun - Fri
1759-1858  9700 Pacific                      Sat
1851-1950 11690 DRM Tonga Samoa Cook Islands Sun - Fri
1859-1958 11725 Pacific                      Sat
1951-2050 13840 DRM Pacific                  Sun - Fri
2051-0000 15720 Pacific                      Sun - Fri
2059-0000 15720 Pacific                      Sat

9765 and 9700 kHz continue to be audible in Europe.

https:\\www.radionz.co.nz/international/listen
(via Prof. Dr. Hansjoerg Biener-D, via wwdxc BC-DX Topnews Jan 5)
(Top News 31368/10 jan 2019)

Germany's Shortwave Service updates portion of winter schedule


Germany
Christian Milling's Shortwave Service, which brings many external services broadcasts back to shortwave, changed the schedule
for 3985 kHz on January 5, 2019

All times UTC

1500-2130: 3985 kHz (Kall 1 kW)

1500-1630 R. Tirana (Italian, 1530 German, 1600 French)
1630-1657 R. Slovakia International (French)
1657-1700 Mon-Fri Nordschleswiger (German)
1700-1800 Swiss Radio Echo der Zeit (German)
1800-1900 Mon-Fri R. Mi Amigo International (different languages),
          Sat Sun R. Canada International (Sat French, Sun English)
1900-1927 RSI (German)
1927-1930 Mon-Fri Nordschleswiger (German)
1930-2030 RSI (French, 2000 English)
2030-2110 R. Belarus (French, 2050 Spanish)
2110-2130 R. Vatican (German)

Listeners in French, Italian and Spanish will certainly feel challenged to check the new schedule and encourage the respective services by writing letters or e-mails.

The most interesting change for German speaking listeners is the addition of Radio Vatican.

http://www.shortwaveservice.com/images/SWS_B18_Freq.pdf
(via Bernd Seiser-D / Prof. Dr. Hansjoerg Biener-D,
via wwdxc BC-DX Topnews Jan 6)
(Top Nx 1368-10 Jan 2019)

Shortwave Radiogram schedules, January 11-13


Hello friends,

Sorry about the late start of the 1400-1430 UTC show last Saturday. Let's hope the transmitter in Bulgaria on 9400 kHz gives us the full half hour this weekend.

New this weekend is transmissions of Shortwave Radiogram from WINB in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. See the revised schedule below for the times and frequencies. One of the broadcasts is in DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale)! Most of us don't have a DRM-capable receiver. But most of the KiwiSDR receivers at https://sdr.hu/ can be used for DRM if you select the IQ mode.

You will also need the Dream DRM decoder in combination with the elusive audio codec that must be placed in the same directory as the Dream application. I don't have time before today's 1500 UTC DRM transmission show to recall and explain the best places to find the necessary software. If a Shortwave Radiogram listener can help (for next weekend), I would be grateful! 

When Dream is finally working, under Settings > Sound Card > Signal Input > Channel: select I/Q Pos Split. For most comfortable listening, use separate sound cards (device) for input and output.

Then there is the WINB DRM signal. It needs to be strong for DRM decoding to succeed. I have decoded WINB DRM a few times using receivers in Europe, North America, and even Hawaii. The signal may drop in and drop out. The bottom 5 kHz of its bandwidth is for some unspecified data. The voice part (and Shortwave Radiogram digital modes) will be on the upper 5  kHz.

As for WINB analog on 9265, I have no idea where that might be audible. We'll find out this weekend.  Consider it an adventure on shortwave.

NBEMS nets.  Most weekends, as KD9XB, I check in to the amateur radio NBEMS nets in New York and Pennsylvania. See the information below.

Chinese text. This weekend's Radio Free Asia story about the internet in China will be followed by an  excerpt the same RFA news item in Mandarin. For the characters to display correctly, you will need the UTF-8 character set. UTF-8 is now the default character set in Fldigi, and it's also default in TIVAR. If you need to change the character set in Fldigi: Configure > UI > Colors & Fonts > Rx/Tx.

Videos of last weekend's Shortwave Radiogram (program  81) are provided by Scott in Ontario (Friday 2030-2100 UTC) and Ralf in Germany (Sunday 2330-2400 UTC), with thanks to Ralf for recording late on Sunday because of the half-missing show Saturday at 1400 UTC. The audio archive is maintained by Mark in the UK. Analysis is prepared by Roger in Germany.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, Program 82, 11-13 January 2019, in MFSK modes as noted:

 1:39  MFSK32: Program preview
 3:05  MFSK64: China targets internet users seeking news**
 8:33  Astronomy from the far side of the moon*
15:33  This week's images*
24:06  Tecsun Radios International decoding competition*
27:49  MFSK32: Closing announcements
* with image(s)

** use UTF8 character set for the Chinese characters
Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net

And visit http://swradiogram.net
Twitter: @SWRadiogram or https://twitter.com/swradiogram (visit during the weekend to see listeners' results)
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/567099476753304

Shortwave Radiogram Transmission Schedule
Day UTC Time Frequency Transmitter
Fri 1500-1530 13690 DRM WINB Pennsylvania
Fri 2030-2100 7780  WRMI Florida
Sat 0330-0400 9265 WINB Pennsylvania
Sat. 1600-1630 9400 Space Line Bulgaria
Sat 1830-1900 9265 WINB Pennsylvania
Sun 0800-0830 5850, 7730 WRMI Florida
Sun 2330-2400 7780 WRMI Florida

Slow Scan Radio transmits SSTV images and text modes Saturdays at 1300-1330 UTC on 6070 kHz and 7440 kHz via Channel 292 in Germany -- according to the latest schedule information I have. The website is http://www.slowscanradio.com. Reception reports to x@xdv.me. Last weekend Slow Scan Radio transmitted some DRM Easypal images.

The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1300-1400 UTC on 11600 kHz from Bulgaria, with the minute of MFSK at about 1330 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ). And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 7-9 pm EST) on 5960 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/.

New York and Pennsylvania NBEMS nets. Most weekends, as KD9XB, I check in to the New York NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software) net Saturday at 1300 UTC on 3584 kHz USB, and the Pennsylvania NBEMS net Sunday at 1300 UTC on 3583 kHz USB. Check-ins are in Thor 22, and messages are in MFSK32. Messages usually use the Flmsg add-on to Fldigi. If you are a radio amateur in eastern North America, feel free to check in. Outside the region, use an SDR in the eastern USA to tune in and decode. You do not need Flmsg to check in, and most of the messages can be read without Flmsg. If you can decode the net, send me an email to radiogram@verizon.net , or tweet to @SWRadiogram , and I will let them know you are tuned in.
Thanks for your reception reports!
Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram
Reporting on international broadcasting at https://twitter.com/kaedotcom

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

DXers Unlimited edition, January 6


Radio Havana Cuba

Dxers Unlimited, weekend edition for Sunday 6 January 2019 By Arnie Coro CO2KK

Happy New Year 2019 amigos ! You are welcome to stay here for about nine minutes enjoying the weekend edition of Dxers Unlimited with yours truly Arnie Coro at the microphone.

Item One: HF propagation conditions for January will be poor due to the prevailing very low solar activity, typical of the tail end of the present cycle.

If you want to calculate your own HF point to point circuits, when asked about the number of sunspots, fill that blank with the number 2, and then  
proceed to the forecasts. Of the many HF propagation forecasting software, my favorite for fast results is to use the freeware W6EL program. It is simple to understand, and quite accurate. It can be downloaded from several Internet sites, and if you do not find it, send me an email message and I will be more than happy to send you the compacted dot zip computer file.

I am talking about the W6EL whisky six echo lima HF propagation forecasting software program. Send your request to coro@enet.cu

A recent newspaper article published in China describing a new antenna system for Extra Low Frequency communications and scientific experiments.

The ELF signals are used for the detecting earthquakes, studying the earth's magnetic field. The military use those kilometric wavelengths to provide communications with submarines.

China has built a giant experimental radio antenna on a piece of land almost five times the size of New York City, according to researchers involved in the highly controversial project.

The Wireless Electromagnetic Method (WEM) project took 13 years to build but researchers said that it was finally ready to emit extremely low frequency radio waves, also known as ELF waves. Those waves have been linked to cancer by the World Health Organization-affiliated International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Although the project has civilian applications – officially it will be used for earthquake and mineral detection and forms part of China’s 11th five-year plan – it could also play a crucial role in military communications.

Scientists said that its transmissions could be picked up by a submarines that are hundreds of metres under the sea, thus reducing the vessel’s risk of having to resurface to receive transmissions.


The project follows the construction of China’s first military-grade Super Low Frequency transmission station in 2009.

By the way, present worldwide regulations about the use of the radio frequency spectrum make possible for radio amateurs to transmit on extremely low frequencies from one kilohertz to nine kilohertz, and already a few experimenters have built and tested receivers and transmitters to operate on extremely low frequencies.

A preliminary fast scan analysis tells us that this year 2019 is the year of the solar cycle 24 minimum, and the good news is that if the forecasts are correct by the month of September the average number of sunspots should see a discrete upward trend, signaling the start of solar cycle 25.

Another interesting information:
Predictions of the monthly smoothed Sunspot Number using the last provisional value, calculated for June 2018: 7.3 (plus or minus +-5%)

SM CM
18 Jul 7 5
2018 Aug 7 4
2018 Sep 6 4
2018 Oct 5 3
2018 Nov 4 3
2019 Jan  3 4
2019 Feb  2 4
2019 Mar  2 5
2019 Jul  0 13
2019 Apr  1 7
2019 May  1 9
2019 Jun  1 11
2019 Jul  7 5
2019 Aug 0 16
2019 Sep 0 18
2019 Oct 0 21
2019 Nov 1 25
2019 Dec 1 28

Predictions of the monthly smoothed Sunspot Number using the last provisional value, calculated for June 2018: 7.3 (+-5%)

At the end of 2018, there were 221 days with an official daily sunspot number (DSSN) of 0.

Amateur radio operators that want to activate a DX location in order to participate on one of the leading worldwide contests need to do advanced planning, even a fairly common Caribbean location contest station implies moving equipment, finding accommodations and the installation of antennas.  
Here is now an example of a DX spot to be activated for the upcoming Worldwide RTTY WPX contest organized by CQ Radio Amateur magazine.
It will be on the air from Bonaire, using a PJ4 callsign. Operators Fred WW4LL and Mike NN9DD will be active as PJ4/WW4LL and PJ4/NN9DD, respectively, between February 4-10th.

Activity will be on FT8, RTTY and SSB, on all bands, and including the CQWW WPX RTTY Contest (February 9-10th) as PJ4Z.

For solid copy paper QSLs, please QSL via K4BAI, but LoTW is the preferred method for all QSLs (PJ4Z, PJ4/WW4LL and PJ4/NN9DD).
Log will be uploaded post contest.
It is interesting to follow the development of the FT8 digital communications mode that continues to generate a lot of activity on the bands despite the poor propagation conditions.

Although the 2019 Tropical Hurricane Season will not start officially until the first day of June, long range weather forecasts are calling the attention on the fact that the 2018 season brought a relevant sub-tropical event.

Several weather gurus are saying that the ongoing increase in sea water temperatures may be a contributing factor for the formation of powerful hurricanes this year.

The analysis of the 2017 season that produced hurricanes Harvey, India and Maria showed that they were clearly linked to abnormally high sea surface temperatures.

Cuban radio amateur operators are already planning a national emergency communications training drill, to be held during late May, a few days ahead of the start of the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico tropical hurricanes season.

A very practical, easy to use CW Morse Code training program that also decodes audio signals to on screen text is available for Android Operating System Smart Phones, whether to improve your CW speed or to maintain it, if you are the owner of an Android Phone, I recommend the application QSOSender3 to install on your Smartphone.

Under clear reception conditions, just placing the smart phone near your receiver's loudspeaker will produce a nice clear copy of the CW Morse Code signal.

If the transmission follows the adequate timing procedures, clear copy will be achieved. If sloppy sending is sent, the screen of your smart phone will be full of garbage.

By the way the application also serves as a primitive morse code training program, at least good to master the around 40 different characters required to make the best use of the CW signals on the air.

A more advanced training program is also available as freeware. It is known as the G4FON, yes GEE FOUR FOX OSCAR NOVEMBER trainer that can be downloaded from several Internet sites. Just go to the following URL from where you can pick it up free at www.g4fon.net/ again slowly and using the international phonetic alphabet… whisky whisky whisky, symbol for dot, gulf four fox oscar november, symbol for dot november echo tango. The URL of the site for downloading the G4FON CW morse code trainer program is www.g4fon.net.

Send your signal reports and comments via email to inforhc@enet.cu and via airmail to: Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana Cuba.


Monday, January 07, 2019

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2019 Jan 07 0558 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/content/subscription-services
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 31 December - 06 January 2019

Solar activity was at very low levels on 31 Dec - 05 Jan and increased to low levels on 06 Jan due to an isolated C1 flare at 06/1051 UTC from Region 2732 (N09, L=215, class/area Cao/090 on 03
Jan). No Earth-directed CMEs were observed during the period. 

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels on 05 Jan and normal to moderate levels on 01-04 Jan. High levels were observed on 31 Dec and 06 Jan due to enhancements associated with recurrent coronal hole high speed streams (CH HSS). The largest flux of the period was 2,020 pfu observed at 31/1930
UTC. 

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to G1 (Minor) storm levels. Solar wind parameters began the period under a waning positive polarity CH HSS. Solar wind speed decreased from
approximately 520 km/s on 31 Dec to 290 km/s by 03 Jan with total field at or below 6 nT. The geomagnetic field was at quiet to unsettled levels on 31 Dec - 01 Jan while quiet levels were observed on 02-03 Jan. At approximately 04/0420 UTC, total field began to increase to a maximum of 13 nT at 04/1705 UTC which was indicative of the arrival of a CIR preceding a negative polarity CH HSS. The Bz component reached a maximum southward deflection of -9 nT at 05/0200 UTC. Solar wind speed increased to a maximum of 565 km/s at 06/1350 UTC. The geomagnetic field responded with mostly unsettled periods late on 04 Jan, quiet to G1 (Minor) storm levels on 05 Jan, and quiet to unsettled levels on 06 Jan. 

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 07 January - 02 February 2019

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels on 07-19 Jan with a chance for C-flare activity on 20 Jan - 02 Feb due to the return of old Region 2732 (N09, L=215). 

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 07-12 Jan, 25-27 Jan and again on 02 Feb due to recurrent CH HSS influence. 

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach unsettled levels on 07, 26 and 31 Jan. Unsettled to active levels are expected on 16 Jan, 24-25 Jan and 01-02 Feb. G1 (Minor) levels are likely on 24
Jan. Levels of elevated geomagnetic activity are anticipated due to recurrent CH HSS effects. 

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2019 Jan 07 0558 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/content/subscription-services#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2019-01-07
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2019 Jan 07      72           8          3
2019 Jan 08      70           5          2
2019 Jan 09      70           5          2
2019 Jan 10      70           5          2
2019 Jan 11      70           5          2
2019 Jan 12      70           5          2
2019 Jan 13      70           5          2
2019 Jan 14      70           5          2
2019 Jan 15      70           5          2
2019 Jan 16      70          12          4
2019 Jan 17      70           5          2
2019 Jan 18      70           5          2
2019 Jan 19      70           5          2
2019 Jan 20      71           5          2
2019 Jan 21      71           5          2
2019 Jan 22      71           5          2
2019 Jan 23      71           5          2
2019 Jan 24      71          20          5
2019 Jan 25      71          12          4
2019 Jan 26      71           8          3
2019 Jan 27      71           5          2
2019 Jan 28      71           5          2
2019 Jan 29      71           5          2
2019 Jan 30      71           5          2
2019 Jan 31      71          10          3
2019 Feb 01      71          15          4
2019 Feb 02      71          12          4
(NOAA)

Saturday, January 05, 2019

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules January 6-12


From the Isle of Music, January 6-12
Happy 2019! This week, our special guest is Wilmer Ferrán Jimenez, leader of Rumbatá, whose album Gracias a la rumba was awarded a Cubadisco in 2018 in the Tradición Afrocubana category. Also, some live folkloric music by an Arara ensemble.
The broadcasts take place:

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 0100-0200 UTC (New 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 (New CETs) on Channel 292, 6070 kHz from Rohrbach, Germany.


Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, January 6 and 8
Happy 2019!  Episode 95 features folkloric and modern music from Malta, whose music and language (Maltese) are quite distinctive.

1.Sunday 2300-2330 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 kHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe

2. Tuesday 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe. If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach Iceland AND Western Russia due to a long skip.

Also recommended
Marion’s Attic, a unique program produced and hosted by Marion Webster featuring early 20th Century records, Edison cylinders etc played on the original equipment, comes on immediately before UBMP on Sundays from 2200-2300 UTC on WBCQ 7490 kHz.
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC