Sunday, March 25, 2018

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

Here is a quick synopsis of our programs for the next three weeks:

From the Isle of Music, March 25--April 7

March 25-31: Ruly Herrera Sr. leader of Los Dan, one of Cuba’s most prominent Rock/Pop groups, is our special guest. We also listen to some current Cuban Rock.

April 1-7: Changüi and Folkloric Music. Our special guest is Changüi group Son del Guaso. We will listen to some of their music plus some other folkloric Cuban music.

Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
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 Ireland, the UK, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.

3 and  4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.  UTC stays the same after the time change.

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, Sunday, March 25, April 1

March 25: Episode 55, Serbian Kolo Party, is, well, lots of great Serbian Kolos. Dance if you can.

April 1: Episode 56, Silly Music for a Very Silly Day, is music to make you laugh on April Fools’ Day.
Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz shortwave from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe

Note the UTC time change for A18, same local US time.
In recent weeks the signal has had a nice bounce to Spain, Italy and Switzerland as well as Iceland, Ireland and parts of the UK. Also audible in Brasil, Paraguay and points North. 

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
5713 N. St. Louis Av

Friday, March 23, 2018

Shortwave Radiogram schedule, March 24-25

@Hal_Fi in California produced this short video of the simultaneous decoding of MFSK32 text and an image.

Hello friends,

Most of Europe shifts to summer time on Sunday. The transmission schedule for Shortwave Radiogram remains at the same UTC times, so the broadcast will be one hour later by local time for most listeners in Europe. I am not aware of any frequency changes. However, The Mighty KBC transmission to North America Sunday 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) will be on new 5960 kHz starting this weekend. The usual minute of MFSK32 will be at about 0130 UTC. IBC will also have some schedule changes (see below).

Last weekend's experiment transmitting MFSK32 text and an image simultaneously went very well. So well, in fact, we will try it again this weekend. This time, I will not reduce the amplitude as much as last week. This might improve the text decode if you are receiving a poor signal. I hope it does not break a transmitter.

The picture and link at the top of this email illustrate the concept of concurrent text and image transmission. A very useful news consumption app, for PCs or for mobile devices, could be MFSK-only, simultaneously decoding text and images, showing one left and the other right, or one top and the other bottom. The app could be used on shortwave or any other radio band.

Also this weekend, we will transmit one news item in MFSK64. This is a faster mode (240 wpm) than our usual MFSK32. The MFSK64 image should exhibit higher resolution.  Both the MFSK64 text and image might be subject to errors if the signal is less than good. If you are unable to decode the text, the original RFA story is here.
Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 40, 24-25 March 2018, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:35  Program preview
 3:05  MFSK64: New "Voice of China" international media group*
10:53  MFSK32: Turkish Media Group to be sold to Erdogan ally**
15:26  SW transmitters for "secure digital communications"*
21:12  Start of spring brings winter weather to Washington DC*
26:39  Closing announcements

* with image(s)

** Image, centered on 2200 Hz, will be transmitted simultaneously with text. Run two instances of Fldigi, or record the broadcast and decode the image later. Another image will follow the text on 1500 Hz.

Please send reception reports to
And visit
Twitter: @SWRadiogram
Facebook group:

Shortwave Radiogram Program 40
(24-25 March 2018)

1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
9455 kHz?
WRMI Florida
2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
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 ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 5960 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: . See also and

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)
Broadcasts in English with MFSK32 during the last five minutes of each
0100-0230 UTC
5950, 7730 kHz
2000-2030 UTC
5845, 6070 kHz
Europe/Middle East/Asia
0100-0130 UTC
9955 kHz
0230-0300 UTC
5985 kHz
0030-0100 UTC
9395 kHz
0130-0200 UTC
5850, 5950, 7780, 9455 kHz
0030-0100 UTC
7730 kHz
1130-1200 UTC
6070 kHz
Europe (25 March only)

Thanks for your reception reports! 


 Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB

Producer and Presenter

Reporting on international broadcasting at

Shortwave Supports Secure Digital Communications

Taking advantage of its long-distance capabilities, the established technology has a new mission
Dr. Simon KeensMar 20, 2018

URGI, SWITZERLAND — There are many innovative ways the industry can use shortwave broadcasting to provide secure data transmission and high-speed communications.
The modern world increasingly requires available real-time secure communications between centralized locations and often to many receivers in unknown locations thousands of kilometers away.

The reasons for this are endless. It might be to allow for critical software updates, transfer sensitive business information, or to disseminate warnings or instructions as quickly as possible.
Information transfer via the internet or via fiber optic cable was once the reference. However, the use of such technology means that the information is only delivered to fixed points. In addition, the use of third-party infrastructures provides a security risk and increases transport cost.

Additional article at Radio World:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In The IHeartMedia Bankruptcy, Expect A Major Selloff Of Radio Stations

Gene Ely, Contributor
20 March 2018

The deal was struck in just the nick of time, hours before the radio giant was set to be shut down by its creditors, and it could well save iHeartMedia, allowing it to be reborn and thrive again.
But be assured, the iHeartMedia that emerges from the prearranged bankruptcy worked out last week with creditors will be a very different company—and a lot leaner.

Expect to see a dramatic shedding of radio stations, likely hundreds, many at rock-bottom prices.
Never mind statements put out by the company that stations will not be sold off. That’s intended to quell fears among employees and stem any flood of talent.

A station selloff is all but assured for a variety of reasons.

Additional story at:

Radio is Dead Claims Futurist at Radiodays

The talking points from Radiodays Europe includes smart speakers taking over the world, the death of DAB and even the end of radio as we know it.
But away from the sensational headlines, are a number of important points about the direction radio will go in the next decade.

Smart Speakers – namely Alexa – is the fastest growing technology to hit our industry, and was mentioned in most sessions. Alexa is even part of the imaging on Z100 New York. Creative Director Staxx (()) has all his celebrity guests talk to Alexa asking to play Z100. Getting the command in listeners minds first will help them win the smart speaker space.

Additional story at Radio Today:
(graphic via Urban Buzz)

China's Propaganda Department Takes Over Regulation of All Media

The ruling Chinese Communist Party is strengthening its hold on all forms of public expression, enlarging its powerful propaganda department to absorb agencies responsible for regulating the mass media, and exporting its ideology to the rest of the world via a new mega-broadcaster.

As President Xi Jinping embarks on a second, unlimited term in office following the annual National People's Congress (NPC) last week, he is presiding over a massive restructuring in which the ruling party will take over key government agencies and ministries.

"In order to strengthen the party’s centralized and unified leadership in public opinion work by the media, strengthen the management of publishing activities and develop a prosperous, socialist publishing industry with Chinese characteristics, the responsibilities of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) will be reassigned to the Central Propaganda Department," the party's central committee said in a directive published in state media this week.

"After this adjustment, the main responsibility of the Central Propaganda Department will be to implement the party’s propaganda guidelines," it said, adding that the department will also formulate and implement media and publication policy and manage the sectors.

Additional story at Radio Free Asia website:
(graphic via RFA)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Georgia's Secret Radio Station: Jamming for the USSR


Transmitter Station Number 5 was one of many secret, radio-jamming facilities throughout the USSR. Today, nearly 26 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, its past employees, still living in their original residences, are trapped in a time warp 24/07/2017 -  Thoma Sukhashvili

(Originally published by  )
Fifty kilometers north of Tbilisi lies a mysterious settlement without a name or place on an official map. Locals simply refer to it as Transmitter Station Number 5.

In the early 1950s, over 100 people were reportedly moved here secretly from all over the Soviet Union with the sole purpose of preventing radio broadcasts considered anti-Soviet from reaching the Caucasus. These included the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Voice of Israel, Deutsche Welle, Vatican Radio, as well as those socialist outlets that were critical of the USSR, such as Albania’s Radio Tirana and China’s Radio Beijing.

Transmitter Station Number 5 was one of many secret, radio-jamming facilities throughout the USSR. Today, nearly 26 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, its past employees, still living in their original residences, are trapped in a time warp; their role as stalwart “guardians” against enemy propaganda now a thing of the past.

Additional story at:

Thanks to Kim Elliott for his original Twitter post

Monday, March 19, 2018

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2018 Mar 19 0555 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 12 - 18 March 2018
Solar activity was very low throughout the period. The only numbered regions were 2701 (S12, L=99, class/area=Axx/10 on 15 March) and 2702 (N22, L=109, class/area=Bxo/5 on 17 March). Neither region managed any flare activity. 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 high levels on 16-18 March. Normal levels were observed on 12-15 March. Geomagnetic field activity reached G2-Moderate storm levels on 18 March and active levels on 14-17 March due to the influence of a negative polarity CH HSS. Quiet to unsettled levels were observed throughout the rest of the week.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 19 March - 14 April 2018
Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels throughout the outlook period.  No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be high levels on 19-20, 22-26 March, and 12-14 April. Normal to moderate levels are expected for the rest of the period.
Geomagnetic field activity is likely to be at G1 (Minor) storm levels on 19 March and 12 April with active periods likely on 20-24 March and 11, 13-14 April, due to effects of multiple recurrent CH
HSSs. Quiet to unsettled levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2018 Mar 19 0555 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2018-03-19
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2018 Mar 19      69          21          6
2018 Mar 20      68          12          3
2018 Mar 21      68          18          4
2018 Mar 22      68          18          4
2018 Mar 23      68          18          4
2018 Mar 24      68          15          4
2018 Mar 25      68           8          3
2018 Mar 26      68           5          2
2018 Mar 27      68           5          2
2018 Mar 28      68           5          2
2018 Mar 29      68           5          2
2018 Mar 30      68           8          3
2018 Mar 31      68           8          3
2018 Apr 01      68           5          2
2018 Apr 02      68           5          2
2018 Apr 03      69           5          2
2018 Apr 04      69           5          2
2018 Apr 05      70           5          2
2018 Apr 06      70           5          2
2018 Apr 07      70           5          2
2018 Apr 08      70           5          2
2018 Apr 09      70           5          2
2018 Apr 10      70           8          3
2018 Apr 11      70          15          4
2018 Apr 12      70          20          5
2018 Apr 13      70          15          4
2018 Apr 14      70          15          4

Saturday, March 17, 2018

U.S. government's media agency targets Russian disinformation and Iranian censorship

BBG at the forefront of National Security Strategy implementation
March 16, 2018                                                                                                   

WASHINGTON - The Broadcasting Board of Governors this week recognized the accomplishments and progress made by U.S. international media. The BBG--the federal agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media--prioritizes advancing the President's National Security Strategy, promotes democracy and freedom around the world, and pushes back on state-sponsored disinformation and extremism. CEO and Director John F. Lansing, who was hired by the board in September 2015, to maximize impact, also presented agency achievements and discussed a roadmap for the future.

By providing objective, accurate and reliable news and information to some of the world's most information-starved places, the BBG and its five networks--Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) and Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN)--are leading efforts across the U.S. government to counter Russian disinformation, as well as extremist rhetoric.

Data-Driven Approach to Targeting Key Audiences: CEO Lansing's first decisions included prioritizing resources to advance U.S. national security priorities and developing an impact model to measure effectiveness beyond reach. Target audiences include Russia and the Russian periphery, North Korea, China, Iran, and Cuba, as well as those facing violent extremism. The BBG's 2018-2022 Strategic Plan details steps the agency and its five networks are taking to advance these objectives, expand its reach to 500 million in global audiences and build partnerships in the private sector.

Countering Russia Disinformation: CEO Lansing and the Board directed VOA and RFE/RL to create the agency's signature accomplishment--Current Time, a 24/7 Russian-language news channel, and to add or expand more than 35 new programs to reach Russian speakers worldwide with balanced, accurate, topical, and trustworthy information. Within 12 months Current Time has reached more than 400 million digital views, with half coming from within Russia.

Enabling New Voices in Iran: Building upon the success of Current Time and credibility of the VOA and RFE/RL Persian brands, BBG leadership is months away from launching a 24/7 cross-platform Farsi-language channel, capitalizing on the overwhelming engagement with BBG networks during their coverage of the recent Iran protests.

Spotlight on North Korea: Reflecting President Trump's priority on bringing stability to the Korean Peninsula, BBG leadership has increased production and distribution of content to North Korea, one of the most media-restrictive countries in the world.

Countering Violent Extremist Rhetoric: Since its launch in 2015, MBN's Raise Your Voice campaign has become a popular platform for citizens to discuss and engage on topics that underlie the appeal of ISIS and extremist ideology. In addition, MBN continues to transform into a world-class leader in

Innovative + World Class Editorials: VOA has kicked off a weekly interview show hosted by globally recognized Greta van Susteren and continues to augment the number of editorials and interviews provided by senior Administration officials to the BBG networks.
Ensuring Internet Freedom and Combating Censorship: CEO Lansing solidified BBG as a leader in internet freedom by recognizing it as a priority and creating the Office of Internet Freedom (OIF). As governments from Turkey to Iran and China try to shut down media outlets, OIF is allowing citizens to consume accurate, fact-based reporting.

Management Reforms and Modernization: BBG leadership is aggressively implementing the President's management priorities of effectiveness, efficiency and accountability. This includes strategically decreasing the number of federal employees, pursuing a reorganization to increase effectiveness, evaluating possible efficiencies that could be gained through consolidating certain functions across the networks, and exploring a headquarters move that would save taxpayer money and modernize production facilities for improved operations.

Guam's Emergency Communications Capabilities Expand

Release date: 
March 13, 2018
Release Number: 
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were on Guam from February 26 through March 2, to install the FEMA National Radio System (FNARS) at the Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) and train key staff how to use the system.
FNARS is a nationwide High Frequency (HF) radio network that provides backup communications when other systems are compromised.  The system provides robust emergency communications that were previously unavailable in Guam and with its key partners, and allows FEMA to maintain close communication with Guam’s leaders during emergencies. FNARS allows real-time communication from disaster areas to support coordination and decision making.
The system supports voice, chat, phone patch, and email and serves as the primary unclassified continuity communication solution for national security and weather events for federal, state, and territorial governments across the country. The system is considered highly survivable during emergencies and provides back-up capabilities if all other systems fail.
FNARS has operated since the 1960s, succeeding previous radio systems that supported all-hazard responses. FNARS operates at over 80 sites, including FEMA offices, state and territorial emergency operation centers (EOCs), to now include the GHS/OCD.  FEMA paid for all FNARS installation and training costs at GHS/OCD.
The previous radio system on Guam used a single frequency with 80 watts of transmission power. The newly installed FNARS uses 60 frequencies with 1000 watts of power, providing emergency managers the ability to talk with other Pacific islands, the West Coast, and other parts of the Continental United States with a greater degree of consistency and reliability. 
FEMA provided key managers and the GHS/OCD 24/7 watch desk personnel with an equipment overview and training after the system installation was complete. The installation concluded with test calls to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI) EOC as well as the mainland United States. After the installation on Guam was complete, FEMA representatives completed the same FNARS installation in CNMI, expanding their capabilities for robust emergency communications.
For more information, contact GHS/OCD Public Information Officer, Jenna G. Blas at 671-478-0208 or via email at or FEMA Public Information Officer, Veronica Verde at 626- 646-6813 or via email at (Kim Elliott)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Shortwave Radiogram weekend schedules

Two examples of an improved MFSK32 image transmitted at half-speed then decoded at full speed. Image transmitted at full speed are on left, at half speed on right. All are from the 1600-1630 UTC broadcast Saturday, 10 March, on 9400 kHz from Bulgaria. Top from @radio_no_koe in Japan, using an SDR in India. Bottom is from Merkouris in Greece (too close to the Bulgaria transmitter).

Hello friends,

For the summer, Shortwave Radiogram remains at the same UTC times. In North America, where daylight time is observed, the broadcasts are one hour ahead by local time, e.g. Sunday 4:30 and 7:30 pm and Monday 4:00 am EDT. (Summer time begins 25 March in Europe.)

Last week's experiment with MFSK32 images transmitted at half speed, designed by Mark Braunstein WA4KFZ, produced  interesting results. There were several examples of the half-speed images, decoded at full speed, providing higher quality images, as predicted. (See, hear, and decode one example.) In some cases, usually when the full speed image was good to begin with, any differences were not detectable.

The results could be biased by the signal improving or deteriorating from the time of the full-speed transmission to that of the half-speed transmission. We can correct for that (and probably will in a future broadcast) by transmitting both at the same time but at different center frequencies.

This weekend we will try something similar: text and an image transmitted concurrently but at different center audio frequencies. The text will be broadcast at the usual 1500 Hz. The image will be transmitted centered on 2200 Hz.

(The text transmission is on your spectrum from about 1250 to 1750 Hz. On the waterfall, sometimes you will see the second harmonic of the text transmission, which is from 2500 to 3500 Hz. The frequency of 2200 Hz is used for the image because its trace from 1950 to 2450 Hz completely escapes any interference from that second harmonic.)

You can decode the text and image simultaneously by running two instances of Fldigi. Or record the broadcast and decode the image later.

There will be no RSID transmitted at the beginning of the image on 2200 Hz. However, there will be a 15-second tuning signal to help you set Fldigi to the correct center frequency. The tuning signal begins at 12 minutes, 44 seconds into the broadcast.

Because transmitting both text and an image increases the amplitude of the audio, I reduce it during the dual transmission to reduce the chance of breaking a transmitter. If your text decode is not as good during the dual transmission, please let me know.

The image will also be transmitted as usual on the usual 1500 Hz center frequency after the text of the news item about (appropriately enough) noise pollution.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 39, 17-18 March 2018, all in MFSK32:

 1:32  Program preview
 3:26  Urban mining to reuse materials*
12:14  Polluting the world with noise**
20:39  Chinese lunar satellites will include amateur radio*
27:04  Closing announcements

* with image

** with the image at 2200 Hz and again after the text at 1500 Hz
Please send reception reports to
And visit
Twitter: @SWRadiogram

Shortwave Radiogram Program 39
(17-18 March  2018)

1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
2030-2100 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
2330-2400 UTC
7780 kHz
WRMI Florida
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 ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 7-9 pm EST) on 6150 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: . See also and

 Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:

2025-2030 UTC
5845 kHz
Europe, Middle East, Asia
0125-0130 UTC
5950, 11580 kHz
0225-0230 UTC
9955 kHz
0255-0300 UTC
5985 kHz
0155-0200 UTC
5850, 5950, 9395, 9455 kHz
0055-0100 UTC
7730 kHz
1155-1200 UTC
6070 kHz

 Thanks for your reception reports! 

Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram
Reporting on international broadcasting at

NHK Japan slated for expansions

NHK WORLD, the international broadcasting service of NHK, makes a fresh start as NHK WORLD-JAPAN in April. The new name is intended to establish wider global recognition for the service's Japanese roots in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. NHK WORLD-JAPAN will provide a Japanese perspective in trustworthy news coverage and programming in this part of the world. Closer coordination with NHK's domestic services will supply even more content to satisfy the interests of the global audience.

Additional story and New Programs for 2018, go to:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

DXers Unlimited, March 13, 2018

Radio Havana Cuba

Dxers Unlimited's middle of the week program for Tuesday 13 March 2018 By Arnie Coro radio amateur CO2KK

Hola amigos radioaficionados... hi my radio hobby friends all around the world... YES, it is time, right for you to enjoy  about ten minutes of all radio hobby related information coming to you from Havana, Cuba. I am your host, Arnaldo, Arnie , Coro and here is item one of today's

High frequency HF bands propagation will show a slight improvement only if solar activity increases during the next several days .... at this moment no new sunspot active region in sight , and the low solar flux is hovering at rock bottom levels around 70 units and even less..

By the way let me tell you that the sudden upsurge in the daily sunspot count and solar flux levels  is something that may happen at anytime during the bottom of the solar cycle ...

Yes,  This is typical of the tail end of a solar cycle, nothing abnormal at all... but it is certainly quite disgusting, due to the long prevailing minimum solar activity  to tune around the short wave spectrum and hear nothing or just very weak signals !!!

According to the most recent forecasts, next year, 2019 is going to be worse  with extended periods of much lower solar activity, that may combine with solar events that will further disrupt propagation conditions. 

Now, as we move into the  spring equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn equinox below the Equator,the beginning of summer, the propagation conditions on the HF bands from 10 to 20 megaHertz will  improve as soon as more energy reaches the ionosphere from the Sun. 

For those of us that live North of the Equator, one of the most interesting effects of late spring and summer propagation is a consequence of the daytime expansion of  the ionosphere... that causes an increase at night  of the maximum usable frequency for any given path after local sunset...

At times during solar minimum years, during the winter season  the maximum usable frequency at night may drop even below the six megaHertz band amigos !!!

 Now here is item two at the middle of the week edition of Dxers

Unlimited: I continue to enjoy very much the use of the very original software application that runs on practically any computer and  makes possible to see the results of the REVERSE BEACON NETWORK...this is certainly  an amazing achievement accomplished by volunteer amateur radio operators from many countries around the world. 

I would not attempt to describe here how the receiving stations that are known as quote skimmers unquote, automatically pick up amateur CW Morse radiotelegraphy signals that are calling CQ, and then also by means of an automated subroutine measure the CW transmission speed and the signal to noise ratio...

If it sounds to you as science fiction, but it is certainly not, and the now very reliable Reverse Beacon Network is adding yet another tool to learn more about the extremely complex phenomena that make possible ionospheric short wave propagation...

Yes amigos , I continue to run my QRP very low power amateur radio station within the power range of one to five watts, with my favorite setting at the three watts level. On Sunday's afternoons I spend some of my leisure time operating on CW , on , twenty and my CQ calls at speeds between 13 and 16 words per minute and see how my signals are picked up by several skimmers and posted at the Reverse Beacon Network site so that they could be seen by just typing CO2KK, the call sign of my amateur radio station...

Again, I want to repeat this valuable information for those of you interested in knowing more about short wave propagation You may want to visit the home page of the Reverse Beacon Network after calling CQ on CW if you already are an amateur radio station operator, and just learn , for example, what is happening when your friend Arnie Coro called CQ on the ham bands the last time he was on the air.... Just type the following URL on your Internet browser search line:

Then when the site opens and asks for whom you are looking for, type co2kk and you will see the latest spots on each of the ham bands where I called CQ...

Here is now ASK ARNIE, la numero uno, the most popular section of the show... answering today a question sent by listeners from the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, and South Africa, ... they all wanted to know what is the most economical type of antenna that can be used to optimize long distance amateur radio communications on the HF bands.......

That is a really challenging question amigos... but I will try to provide you with information about one of my favorite low cost DX capable antennas for the 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meter bands... It is not a multi-band antenna, it must be made for the specific band you want to operate... Results achieved with it are really good, if you are able to install the antenna in the clear...

It is made using locally available and low cost materials... The one third of a wavelength vertical antenna , using four quarter wave elevated radials produces a low take off angle vertical radiation pattern, and is a perfect match for 50 ohms coaxial cables feed line...

I used the 20 meters band version for many years, and my signal was many times as good or even better as the signal delivered by a local amateur operator that used a three elements multi band YAGI... Not to say that he was very upset when we compared signals with a distant station...

He even made a surprise visit to my home because he thought I had installed a three element YAGI ... I took my friend to the rooftop ands showed him the very simple vertical and the elevated ground radials. Then we went down to the station and measured the standing wave ratio , that indicated a 1 point one to one ratio...

That is of course an almost perfect match !!! I had to explain to him that there was no secret linear amplifier feeding the antenna,so what was actually happening was that the 120 electrical degrees height of the vertical monopole was concentrating the signal at low take off angles...

Needless to say that two weeks later he had improved his station by raising the Tribander YAGI to about 15 meters above his roof, and had also installed a perfect copy of my 20 meters band one third of a wavelength high 20 meters antenna. Now more valuable radio hobby related information to keep in mind when you decide to go on the air...

 AGAIN, BE ASSURED THAT I AM A FULL TIME ADVOCATE OF QRP or low power amateur radio operation although it is  quite a challenge, and that is why so many ham radio operators around the world are becoming more and more involved in building or buying CW rigs that are within the power range from 1 Watt all the way up to 5 Watt.... and some of us have installed calibrated signal attenuators that can turn a one watt rig into a one hundred milli watt transmitter at the flip of a switch that places a 50 ohms 10 decibels  attenuator between the rig and the antenna , cutting the power output to just one hundred milli watts...

The most popular CW operating frequencies for QRP or very low power amateur stations are 7030 and 7040 on the 40 meters band, 10 dot 106 on the 30 meters band14060 on 20 meters, 21060 0n 15 meters and 28060 on the 10 meters band....

 Calling CQ on those frequencies will, in many instances, bring back stations that regularly monitor them for QRP signals. You can always go and check if any of the skimmers at the Reverse Beacon Network is picking up your CQ call And by the way before I forget... QRP transmitters running no more than

5 Watts into a half wave dipole fed with coaxial cable by means of a one to one balun and installed at a good height will provide really amazing results.

Send your signal reports and comments to inforhc at enet dot cu or via Air Mail to Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana Cuba
(Arnei Coro/R Havana Cuba)