Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2019 Apr 29 1721 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 22 - 28 April 2019 Solar activity was very low and throughout the reporting period. No spotted regions were observed on the solar disk. No Earth directed CMEs were observed in available coronagraph imagery.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at moderate levels on 22-23 Apr and decreased to normal levels for the remainder of the reporting period. Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to unsettled. A solar sector boundary crossing was observed late on 23 Apr which caused several periods of unsettled early into 24 Apr. No other significant signatures were observed in the solar wind data. Quiet conditions were observed for the remainder of the reporting period.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 29 April - 25 May 2019

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels over the outlook period.  No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to range from normal to the high levels. High levels are expected on 02-12 May; moderate levels are expected on 29 April - 01 May and 13-23 May. The remainder of the outlook period is expected to be at normal levels.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to range from quiet to active levels. Active levels are expected on 01-02 May and 07 May. Unsettled levels are expected to be on 30 Apr, 03 May, 05-06 May, May  8-10 and on 19 May. The remainder of the outlook period is expected to be at quiet levels. All of the enhancements in geomagnetic activity are due to the anticipation of multiple, recurrent CH HSSs.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2019 Apr 29 1721 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 2019-04-29
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2019 Apr 29      68           5          2
2019 Apr 30      68          10          3
2019 May 01      68          14          3
2019 May 02      70          12          3
2019 May 03      72           8          3
2019 May 04      72           5          2
2019 May 05      72          10          3
2019 May 06      72          12          3
2019 May 07      72          14          4
2019 May 08      72           8          3
2019 May 09      72           8          3
2019 May 10      72           8          3
2019 May 11      72           5          2
2019 May 12      72           5          2
2019 May 13      72           5          2
2019 May 14      72           5          2
2019 May 15      72           5          2
2019 May 16      72           5          2
2019 May 17      70           5          2
2019 May 18      68           5          2
2019 May 19      68           5          2
2019 May 20      68           8          3
2019 May 21      68           5          2
2019 May 22      68           5          2
2019 May 23      68           5          2
2019 May 24      68           5          2
2019 May 25      68           5          2

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Upcoming shortwave programming, April 27 & 28

All times UTC

April 27
Studio 52 via Nauen, Germany relay via on 15620 kHz to Eastern North America in Dutch/English

April 28
Radio Menschen & Geschichten relay via Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 7595 kHz in German
Radio Menschen & Geschichten relay via Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 7595 kHz DRM in German

Monday, April 22, 2019

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2019 Apr 22 0049 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 15 - 21 April 2019

Solar activity was very low throughout the period. Region 2738 (N06, L=301, class/area-Hhx/400 on 17 Apr) produced several B-class events including a B8 flare at 20/0050 UTC. Region 2739 (N05, L=258, class/area-Cro/20 on 18 Apr) was inactive and stable during its migration across the solar disk. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections (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 15 April with moderate levels observed throughout the remainder of the reporting period.

Geomagnetic field activity reached unsettled levels on 15-16 April due to coronal hole high-speed stream (CH HSS) influence. Quiet conditions were observed throughout the remainder of the reporting period.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 22 April - 18 May 2019

Solar activity is expected to be very low 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 reach high levels on 02-12 May with normal to moderate levels expected throughout the remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach active levels on 27 April and 01-02, 07 May in response to several recurrent, negative-polarity CH HSSs. Quiet to unsettled levels are expected to be throughout the remainder of the outlook period.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2019 Apr 22 0049 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 2019-04-22
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2019 Apr 22      69           5          2
2019 Apr 23      69           8          3
2019 Apr 24      69           8          3
2019 Apr 25      69           8          3
2019 Apr 26      69           5          2
2019 Apr 27      69          12          4
2019 Apr 28      69           8          3
2019 Apr 29      69           5          2
2019 Apr 30      69          10          3
2019 May 01      69          14          4
2019 May 02      69          12          4
2019 May 03      72           8          3
2019 May 04      76           5          2
2019 May 05      76          10          3
2019 May 06      77          12          3
2019 May 07      78          14          4
2019 May 08      78           8          3
2019 May 09      78           8          3
2019 May 10      78           8          3
2019 May 11      78           5          2
2019 May 12      78           5          2
2019 May 13      78           5          2
2019 May 14      78           5          2
2019 May 15      78           5          2
2019 May 16      78           5          2
2019 May 17      76           5          2
2019 May 18      72           5          2

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Vatican Radio easter programming

Special programs from Vatican R over the Easter period https://www.vaticannews.va/it/epg.html#events

Special programmes from Vatican R over the Easter period https://www.vaticannews.va/it/epg.html#events

Friday 19 April: 1900-2030 UTC
 From the Colosseum, Via Crucis presided over by Pope Francisdal Colosseo
  * 7360 English commentary
  * 9705 French commentary
  * 9800 Arabic commentary
  * 11630 Portuguese commentary

Saturday 20 April: 1820-2110 UTC
 From the Vatican Basilica, the Easter Vigil presided over by Pope Francis.
  * 7315 Chinese commentary
  * 7360 English commentary
  * 9705 French commentary
  * 9800 Arabic commentary
  * 11630 Portuguese commentary

Sunday 21 April: 0750-0940 UTC
 From St. Peter's Square, Holy Mass on Easter Sunday presided by Pope Francis
  * 13815 English commentary
  * 15430 Arabic commentary
  * 15490 Portuguese commentary
  * 15575 French commentary

Sunday 21 April: 0957-1020UTC
 From the Central Loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, Urbi et Orbi Blessing imparted by Pope Francis.
  * 13815 English commentary
  * 15430 Arabic commentary
  * 15490 Portuguese commentary
  * 15575 French commentary
 (Alan Roe, Teddington, UK/BDXC)

The Saipan Shortwave Station under Christian Science

On this occasion here in Wavescan, we pick up once again the story of shortwave station KYOI on the island of Saipan at the time when it was transferred from the commercial company Marcom on Saipan to Christian Science in Boston Massachusetts.  Negotiations between Marcom and Christian Science began in August 1986, and at the time, Christian Science announced that they intended to install a second 100 kW shortwave transmitter and two additional antenna systems. 
The effective date for the transfer from Marcom to Christian Science, Herald Broadcasting, was the last day of the year, December 31, 1986, though Christian Science did not announce this transition until March 15 of the following year (1987).  However, a few days before the transfer took place, would you know it, a typhoon swept through the area, though damage to the station was minimal.
Then a few months later, in October (1987), another typhoon swept through the area and this time the damage was sufficient to knock the station off the air.  When the station did return to the air, one international monitor stated that the poor audio quality was “shocking”.     
Initially, programming from the new KYOI under Herald Broadcasting was a continuation of the same programming as before; that is Rock Music and information in English and Japanese as produced by the Drake Chenault Company in Los Angeles California. 
Then in December (1987), Herald Broadcasting announced that a change in format would soon be introduced, a mixture of the original KYOI style, interspersed with Christian Science programming from Boston.
The new style double format was introduced a few weeks later on January 4 (1988), and the Christian Science programming was fed direct from their studios in Boston, in parallel with the broadcasts from shortwave WCSN in Maine.  However, there were difficulties for a while with the satellite feed, and when this was worked out a month later, the entire programming over KYOI on Saipan became a tandem relay in parallel with WCSN. 
In May of the following year (1989), there was a reduction in the level of on air programming from KYOI as preliminary work began for the installation of an additional new transmitter and the erection of two additional antenna systems.  However, on July 3 of the same year (1989), station KYOI was closed down for an estimated four months so that the work could be completed satisfactorily. 
However, as things turned out that was in fact that was the last day that the Saipan station was on the air under the old callsign KYOI, Monday July 3, 1989.  Herald Broadcasting announced that when the time came for the station to return to the air with its additional transmitter and antennas, it would be under a new callsign KHBI, standing for Herald Broadcasting International. 
Yes, this Saipan shortwave station did indeed return to the air as planned and it was reopened again on November 6, 1989, under the proposed new callsign KHBI.  The additional new transmitter was the same model as the three year old original transmitter, a 100 kW Continental 418D-2E.  The station coverage area was considerably augmented with now the two transmitters and three antenna systems.
Give four more years, and two more typhoons rolled through the Northern Marianas, in the Autumn of 1994.  In a letter from Engineer Ed Evans, who was Senior Station Manager for the Herald Broadcasting Network at the time, he stated that in spite of the two blasts from the two typhoons, shortwave station KHBI withstood the onslaught particularly well. 
The station was off the air for one day only, Ed Evans stated, due to antenna damage.  He also said that KHBI provided several antenna parts to enable the other shortwave station on the island, the Christian KFBS, to make a similar quick recovery.   
However, change was on the way once again.  On September 29, 1996, a newly organized shortwave broadcasting unit of the United States government called Radio Free Asia RFA, with its headquarters offices and studios in Washington DC, began a series of broadcasts from station KHBI on Saipan.   
Initially, these broadcasts that were beamed to Asia were described as experimental.  However, a few months later, in early 1998, this experimental series of broadcasts became a regular and permanent feature, therefore seeming to indicate once again a new direction for this important shortwave station. 
Yes, there was indeed a new direction for KHBI.  On July 6 of that same year 1998, RFA took over the operation of the station; then Herald Broadcasting announced that they had reached an agreement with RFA for the sale of the station which became effective on August 31 (1998).  However, as part of the sales agreement, station KHBI would continue a part time relay of Christian Science programming. 
According to a publication of the British DX Club, Christian Science programming was still on the air over their erstwhile station RFA Saipan, one year later.  That date though, August 31, 1999, turned out to be the final day for the relay of Christian Science programming from the Saipan station which was now under the ownership of Radio Free Asia.
During the twelve years under Herald Broadcasting, station (KYOI)-KHBI was a reliable verifier of listener reception reports, though they ever only printed one QSL card.  The KHBI QSL card in full color presented a photograph of the KHBI building and an antenna tower. 
Blank QSL cards were sent out to listeners by the hundreds.  Listeners filled in the usual reception report details and returned the completed cards in an envelope to the station in Saipan.  Station personnel then checked the details, rubber stamped it as verified, and posted the self addressed QSL card back to the listener.
On the next occasion, we will present the story of this strategically located shortwave station under its current ownership, Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America. 
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 526)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Year of the Pig QSL from Radio Free Asia

A reminder to our followers - year of the pig qsls will end on the last day of april

Radio Free Asia (RFA) announces its 2019 Year of the Pig QSL. Those born in a Pig years are considered energetic, positive thinkers and gentle. They are also focused and when they make up their minds to do something, there is evidently little you can do to stop them.  Pigs lead very busy lives and must remember to take breaks in order to rest. Pig years are celebrated every twelfth year. The other Chinese zodiac animals and associated years are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster and Dog. This is RFA’s 69th QSL design and is used to confirm all valid RFA reception reports from January – April 2019.

RFA’s 2019 Year of the Pig QSL  

Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean to North Korea, Lao, Mandarin (including the Wu dialect), Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. RFA strives for accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content. As a ‘surrogate’ broadcaster, RFA provides news and commentary specific to each of its target countries, acting as the free press these countries lack. RFA broadcasts only in local languages and dialects, and most of its broadcasts comprise news of specific local interest.  More information about Radio Free Asia, including our current broadcast frequency schedule, is available at www.rfa.org.

RFA encourages listeners to submit reception reports.  Reception reports are valuable to RFA as they help us evaluate the signal strength and quality of our transmissions.  RFA confirms all accurate reception reports by mailing a QSL card to the listener.  RFA welcomes all reception report submissions at http://techweb.rfa.org (follow the QSL REPORTS link) not only from DX’ers, but also from its general listening audience.

Reception reports are also accepted by email at qsl@rfa.org and by mail to:

          Reception Reports
          Radio Free Asia
          2025 M. Street NW, Suite 300
          Washington DC 20036
          United States of America
(A.J. Janitschek/RFA)

Andrew Janitschek of Radio Free Asia includes, "RFA's mail server will not except attachments file types, like ZIP, EXE, RAR, ISO, CHM, and more. If you go more than one-two months without hearing from us about your reception reports, please do a follow-up and write us at qsl@rfa.org. We are happy to confirm your reception reports, but we all have to work within the limits our system. Thank you for your patience and understanding. "

Ancient DX Report 1918

The year 1918 was a very decisive and concentrated year in the history of human events upon planet Earth.  The deadliest war in the entire history of civilization up until that time came to an end; one of the very worst contagious plagues the world has ever experienced had its earliest beginning during this era; and rapid electronic communication began to explode around the globe during this same epoch. 
It is estimated that up to 100 million people worldwide died from the plague that is known somewhat inaccurately as the Spanish Flu.  Some reports state that it had its earliest origin with a single case in the American state of Kansas in January (1918). 
The first oceangoing concrete steamer SS Faith was launched at Redwood City California on March 14.  Its first voyage was to Honolulu, though subsequently it carried cargo to various destinations in the Pacific and the Atlantic. 
Seven days later, the German Big Gun began shelling Paris, 71 miles distant, with shells that traveled at a speed of 3681 miles per hour, reached a height of 25 miles, and then landed on Paris 3 minutes later.  By this time, Paris had moved 50 miles due to the rotation of the Earth.
Exactly one month later on April 21, the famous German aviator Captain Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, the Red Baron, was killed in action over France.  At the age of just 25, he had been credited with the confirmed shooting down of 80 enemy planes, and possibly another 20 that were not officially confirmed.
On May 20 (1918), the small town of Codell in Kansas was hit by a third tornado, each of which struck the town on the exact same day three years in a row.  On July 17, all seven members of the Russian royal family were executed in Ekaterinburg. 
On July 22, a lightning strike in Utah’s Wasatch National Park killed 504 sheep.  On October 21, Miss Margaret Owen of New York City set a world typing speed of 170 words per minute for one minute on a manual typewriter. 
News reports state that more than 1,000 Pilot Whales were stranded on Long Beach in the Chatham Islands, 500 miles east of New Zealand.  This was the largest ever mass strandings of whales anywhere in the world.
On the wireless scene, two high powered American longwave stations were under construction during the year 1918, one at Annapolis Maryland and the other at Bordeaux in France.  The major electrical equipment at NSS the Annapolis station consisted of two arc transmitters at 500 kW each, and an antenna system suspended on four towers standing 600 feet tall. 
The receiver facility for navy station NSS was located at Cheltenham, also in Maryland.  This new high powered station made its first transmission on August 6, though work on the corresponding station in France was suspended for a year or two due to the subsequent Armistice in Europe.
According to a historical bulletin from the United States navy, a submarine submerged at a depth of 21 feet in 1918 was able to hear radio messages from land based stations in Europe and the United States. The American Major Edwin Armstrong developed the circuitry for a new radio receiver with superheterodyne tuning as a result of his experimental radio research while in France.
On September 22, wireless traffic from station MUU, the Marconi station in Carnarvon in Wales was first heard in Australia at station AWY in the Sydney suburb of Wahroonga.  On December 19, the trans Pacific radio service from San Francisco to Hawaii and Japan was reopened; and likewise, the radio service between San Diego in California and Peking (Beijing) in China was inaugurated.
A new high powered wireless communication station LCM was opened at Stavenger in Norway in April.  Test transmissions from a Dutch wireless station in Indonesia were heard in Holland; and on December 3, the trans Atlantic communication service between Clifden in Ireland and Glace Bay in Canada was also reopened.
It was observed that military personnel at many different locations in what had been war zones began firing up radio transmitters for the broadcast of entertainment programming after the November 11 (1918) Armistice at the end of World War 1.
At 7 pm on Christmas Day, an American submarine chaser in the central Atlantic presented an hour long recorded music concert over its wireless transmitter for the benefit of other ships in the squadron.  Then, the wireless operator aboard the USS Algonquin in the same fleet received approval to broadcast a live concert from his ship, provided by the ship’s brass band. 
This information about radio broadcasting from ships was contained in a letter that Ensign Sanford Lawton wrote to his parents.  Ensign Lawton was the commander of a submarine chaser in that fleet.  Lawton’s parents passed the letter on to the Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican and they printed the letter in its entirety in their edition dated January 10 (1919).
More about the radio scene at the end of World War 1, coming up soon here in Wavescan.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Saipan Shortwave Station Under Radio Free Asia

The strategically located shortwave station at Agingan Point on the southwest coast of the small Pacific Island of Saipan has been on the air for the past third of a century.  The original concept for the station was the brain child of the Pacific radio entrepreneur Lawrence Berger who initially proposed to co-site a commercial shortwave station with his mediumwave station KUAM on the island of Guam.
The concept of establishing a commercial shortwave station in the Marianas Islands was subsequently transferred from Guam to the island of Saipan, and in December 1982, a new station KYOI was inaugurated with programming in Japanese and English beamed to Japan.  The enthusiastic shortwave boom in Japan during the era of the 1980s began to subside, and thus the commercial venture KYOI was not a financial success.
The station was then sold to Herald Broadcasting of Christian Science in Boston Massachusetts who installed a second shortwave transmitter and a second antenna system, and they operated it under a new callsign KHBI.  This was now the third callsign in this sequence, KUAM KYOI and KHBI. 
A newly organized radio unit in Washington DC, Radio Free Asia RFA, developed an interest in the Saipan radio station for shortwave coverage into several of the countries in Far Eastern Asia. Initially they took out an experimental relay of programming over the Herald Broadcasting station KHBI on the island of Saipan.  That was on September 29, 1996.
Experimental RFA transmissions over KHBI gave way to regular scheduling early the next year (1997).  Then in the middle of the following year (1998), Christian Science in Boston announced that they had reached an agreement with RFA for the sale of the station, and that was ultimately finalized a year later on August 31, 1999. 
At the time of the transfer of ownership from Herald Broadcasting to RFA Radio Free Asia, plans were already underway for the installation of a third transmitter and a third antenna.  The first two transmitters, both at 100 kW, were manufactured by Continental (Model 418D-2), and under Herald Broadcasting they were upgraded to the Model No 418E. 
The new Radio Free Asia installed an additional 100 kW Continental which was designated as Model 418F.  All three of the antennas are slewable curtains (Model 611) with passive reflectors manufactured and installed by TCI in California.
The electrical power supply for the Saipan radio station comes from the commercial island grid, and any need up to 5 megawatt is available.  However, a back up Caterpillar power generator can provide 800 kW during offages of the commercial grid.
Radio Free Asia also indicated that they wished to retain the services of the previous staff who had maintained the operation of the station.  In addition, they agreed also to continue the broadcast of Christian Science programming over the station for a period of 1 year under its new ownership, and ultimately this came to an end one year later. 
On April 13, 2000, Radio Free Asia transferred the lease of the land in Saipan upon which the station had been built to IBB, a legal holding body for other American shortwave stations, including the Voice of America.  However, the operation of both shortwave stations, Saipan and Tinian, was sublet to a commercial company, Rome Research Corporation, in 2006.
Up until its destruction by Supertyphoon Yutu at the end of October last year (2018), the Saipan shortwave station was operated conjointly with the shortwave station on nearby Tinian Island as the  Robert E. Kamosa Transmitting Station.  Robert E. Kamosa, after whom the double station was named, had served in the engineering section of the Voice of America.  He died from disease in 1999 at the age of only 56.
The combined stations on Tinian and Saipan have been operated as a single unit with the main office at the Saipan station.  This total station is operated without callsign as are all other similar stations, such as VOA and Radio Free Europe.
QSL cards for the broadcast of programming from both Tinian and Saipan have been readily available in times past from both Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America.  In fact, Radio Free Asia does not maintain a panel of international radio monitors to provide propagation reports on its shortwave coverage.  Instead, they depend entirely upon listener reception reports within their target areas for this collective information. 
In an endeavor to encourage widespread listener reception reports, RFA offers a new QSL card for each quarter of the year.  And yes, there are indeed some international radio monitors who have collected each of the 69 QSL cards that RFA has so far offered.
As mentioned here in Wavescan previously, the strongest wind storm to ever strike an American territory hit the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday October 24 last year (2018).  This massive storm, Typhoon Yutu, with wind gusts up to 219 miles per hour and sustained winds at 180 miles per hour, was also described as Earth’s strongest storm during the past year 2018. 
As a result of this horrendous impact, the twin Voice of America shortwave stations on both islands, Saipan and Tinian, sustained such massive damage that they were rendered inoperable, for a considerable period of time.  In fact, the damage was so great that the entire future of these two huge shortwave stations has been in jeopardy.
However, we now know that on February 22, (2019) one of the Saipan antennas came back on the air for 11 hours daily, carrying RFA Korean for 5 hours and Mandarin for 6 hours.  And we understand that engineers are continuing to reconstruct the other Saipan antennas as well as those on Tinian.
At the beginning of this mini-series of topics on the story of the Agagingan Point shortwave station on the island of Saipan, we mentioned that this station had been identified with three or four different callsigns.  Yes, and that statement was almost accurate! 
The original location for this projected shortwave station had been on the island of Guam under the callsign KUAM.  The concept for the installation of that projected commercial station was then transferred to the island of Saipan, and when it was erected, it was given the callsign KYOI.  When it was sold to Christian Science, they changed the callsign to KHBI.  The three callsigns that we referred to initially were KUAM KYOI and KHBI.
And what was the possible fourth callsign that we alluded to?  Well, it was not exactly a callsign, it was more of an identification for the station.  When the American government bought the station, it was under the ownership of Radio Free Asia RFA, and it was then frequently identified as RFA Saipan.
(AWR-Wavescan NWS 528)

Anniversary of Titanic Sinking: The Wanamaker Radio Stations

It was at 11:40 pm on Sunday night April 14, 1912, now 117 years ago, that the new passenger liner, Titanic, on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic struck a large iceberg and sank south of Newfoundland, just two and a half hours later.  More than 1,500 people lost their lives in the freezing water in this tragic event that has stirred the compassion of people all around our world ever since.
The first ship to reach the devastated scene was another passenger liner, the Carpathia, which arrived three and half hours later and rescued more than 700 people, most of whom had been fortunate enough to find space in one of the lifeboats.  The wireless operator aboard the Carpathia at station MPA was Harold Cottam, and he was completely involved for almost five full days in the transmission of Titanic news and information to the United States. 
Assisting Harold Cottam at MPA on the Carpathia was Harold Bride who was the Junior Wireless Operator at MGY on the Titanic.  Bride had been washed off the Titanic as it began to sink, and he found safety, first on an upturned lifeboat, and then with others in a righted lifeboat.
One of the main wireless stations in the United States that received the Morse Code information  from the Carpathia was station WHI on top of the Wanamaker Store in New York City.  There were three experienced wireless operators at this station at the time; the now well known David Sarnoff as
a Marconi Executive, Jack Binns who was Station Manager and just on his third day of employment at the station, and J. H. Hughes, already an experienced Marconi operator.
The very successful American entrepreneur, John Wanamaker, opened his first store at Oak Hill, on the corner of 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, in 1861.  Fourteen years later, he purchased an abandoned railway station on Chestnut Street in the center of the same city, Philadelphia, and there he opened his second departmental store. 
Then 35 years later again (1910), John Wanamaker demolished this railway building stage by stage, and and he had a new super departmental store constructed on the same site, and all the while his store remained open for regular business.  This new building was quite extravagant, with its own Post Office, child size monorail, Dairy Bar, and a Medical Office with a doctor and nurses on duty. 
As a major item of public appeal, Wanamaker bought a huge pipe organ for installation in his Philadelphia store, the largest ever made some say, that had been on display in the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.  It took 13 railway freight carriages to convey this massive organ with all of its parts to Philadelphia. 
When installed, the organ occupied its space 7 storeys high, with 6 key boards, 729 stops, and also a massive 28,750 pipes ranging in size from ¼ inch to 32 feet long.  The pipes alone weighed 287 tons.  The Wanamaker Organ was first played on June 22, 1911, at the exact time when King George 5 was crowned in Westminster Abbey in London.
At the same time as the organ was being installed, so also was a powerful communication wireless station.  The transmitter and operating desk were enclosed in a special room with double walls for sound proofing, and with a glass window for public observation. 
When in operation, there was a huge blue flash from the rotary spark gap, together with  earsplitting thunder that sounded like the loud shot from a large gun.  The 1,000 feet long antenna was installed on the roof and it stretched from Market Street to Chestnut Street.  The callsign for this Wanamaker communication station was originally HE, though subsequently it became WHE when the initial letter was granted to officially identify an American wireless station.
On April 24, 1922, the studio for a radio broadcasting station was installed on the 2nd floor of this same building, next to the Egypt Hall.  The transmitter for this station was installed on the 11th floor and it was on the air initially on 833 kHz with 500 watts under the call WOO.  Again, the antenna was on the roof of the building.
Over a period of time, station WOO occupied several different channels in what became the standard mediumwave band, though 590 kHz was its best known and longest occupied frequency.  There were many occasions when radio station WOO broadcast the music from the Grand Organ to their many listeners.
Radio station WOO was on the air for a period of 6 years, and it signed off for the last time just before midyear 1928.  By that time, the electronic equipment needed to be renewed; and in any case, there was already a host of other mediumwave stations on the air in the area.  The Wanamaker station had thus outlasted its usefulness as an advertising mediumwave for the Wanamaker Store in Philadelphia.
The callsign WOO was subsequently re-issued to an AT&T shortwave communication station at Deal Beach in New Jersey, during the following year (1929); and soon afterwards, AT&T transferred the usage of that callsign to their subsequently better known station at Ocean Gate, also in New Jersey.
The Wireless Engineer who installed the Marconi equipment for the longwave communication station HE-WHE in the Wanamaker Store in Philadelphia was the 26 year old Thomas Appleby.  He tells the story that there was a pretty young store employee whose daily duty was to bring up to the wireless office, messages requesting certain goods to be sent over from the Wanamaker Store in New York.
After a while, young Thomas Appleby requested a date with this girl, and a friendship developed.  For some time, Thomas’ mother had been trying to get her son to visit the home of one of her friends, who had a daughter she wanted her son to meet.  One evening, young Thomas mentioned to his family at home that he now had a new girl friend.  “Who is she?”, his mother plied.  “Laura Graves”, Thomas replied.  “Why“, said his mother, “That’s the girl I have been wanting you to meet!”  Yes, they married.
This has been Part 1 in the two part story of the Wanamakers radio stations, and when we present part 2 next week, we will tell the story of the other Wanamaker store in New York, and subsequently its participation in the wireless events associated with the tragic sinking of the Titanic.
(photo via WIkipedia)

Monday, April 15, 2019

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins

Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2019 Apr 15 0125 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 08 - 14 April 2019

Solar activity was very low throughout the period. Region 2738 (N06, L=297, class/area Cho/300 on 12 Apr) produced numerous B-class flare activity and low frequency radio burst activity. 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 thoughout the period.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to unsettled levels on 08-13 April due to negative polarity CH HSS influence. Isolated active levels were observed early on 08-10 April. Quiet levels were observed on 14 April.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 15 April - 11 May 2019

Solar activity is expected to be at predominately very low levels throughout the outlook period. A slight chance for low level activity is possible through 24 April from Region 2738 and again from 04-11 May upon the return of old Region 2738 (N06, L=297).

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels from 15-18 April and again from 02-11 May due to CH HSS influence. Normal to moderate levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach unsettled levels on 24-25, 27-28 and 30 April and 01-02 and 05-07 May, all due to negative polarity CH HSS influence. Quiet conditions are expected to be throughout the remainder of the outlook period.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2019 Apr 15 0125 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 2019-04-15
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2019 Apr 15      75           5          2
2019 Apr 16      75           5          2
2019 Apr 17      75           5          2
2019 Apr 18      75           5          2
2019 Apr 19      75           5          2
2019 Apr 20      75           5          2
2019 Apr 21      71           5          2
2019 Apr 22      71           5          2
2019 Apr 23      69           5          2
2019 Apr 24      68          10          3
2019 Apr 25      69           8          3
2019 Apr 26      69           5          2
2019 Apr 27      70          10          3
2019 Apr 28      69           8          3
2019 Apr 29      71           5          2
2019 Apr 30      71          10          3
2019 May 01      70          10          3
2019 May 02      72          10          3
2019 May 03      72           7          2
2019 May 04      77           5          2
2019 May 05      79          13          4
2019 May 06      79          10          3
2019 May 07      78          14          4
2019 May 08      79           7          2
2019 May 09      77           8          3
2019 May 10      78           8          3
2019 May 11      78           5          2

Friday, April 05, 2019

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules, April 7-13

From the Isle of Music, April 7-13, 2019:
In honor of their current tour of the United States, we are rebroadcasting our interview (plus music) with Cimafunk, the new Funk sensation from Cuba. In the second half of the episode, we listen to music from some of the entries in the Fusion category of Cubadisco 2018.
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 Sofia, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK) Station website: www.spaceline.bg
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC (New UTC) on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US).
Station website: www.wbcq.com
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
Station website: www.channel292.de

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, April 7 and 9, 2019:
Música dominicana
Episode 107 is dedicated to the music of the Dominican Republic, including José Fermin Ceballos, Las Chicas del Can and Milly y Jocelyn & Los Vecinos.
The transmissions take place:
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.
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 2100-2200 UTC on WBCQ 7490 Khz.
 William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer 

SW Radiogram weekend schedules

Hello friends,

Apologies for the missing transmission last weekend on 9400 kHz. I hope the Saturday's 1400 UTC broadcast is heard this without mishap.

During the broadcasts that were heard, our experiment with simultaneous English and Spanish text, using side-by-side MFSK32 streams, worked well. The dual audio caused mixing products that made the signal look somewhat messy on spectrum displays, but this did not seem to affect the decoding of the text. You can see an example of the decoded dual at the bottom of this email. 

Videos of last weekend's Shortwave Radiogram (program 93) are provided by Scott in Ontario (Friday 2030 UTC) and Ralf in Germany (Sunday 2330 UTC). MDK2 in Colorado produced a video of the dual MFSK32 transmission and Hoya Boya2015 in Japan the opening segment battling QRM (both Sunday 0800 UTC). And radio no koe in Japan provided a video of the dual MFSK32 transmission from the SoundCloud audio that I posted because of the absence of the Saturday 1400 UTC transmission.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 94, 5-7 April 2019, in MFSK modes as noted:

 1:45  MFSK32: Program preview
 2:58  Department of Defense information on WWV/WWVH
 6:31  MFSK64: Petition re "Amateur digital mode transparency"
 9:12  Comment: The US' 'five-year' moon plan is dangerous*
14:03  This week's images*
28:32  MFSK32: Closing announcements

* with images(s)

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
UTC Day UTC Time Frequency Transmitter
Saturday 0230-0300 UTC 9265 kHz  WINB Pennsylvania
Saturday 1400-1430 UTC 9400 kHz  Space Line Bulgaria
Sunday 0800-0830 UTC 5850 kHz 7730 kHz  WRMI Florida
Sunday 2330-2400 UTC 7780 kHz  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. And Saturday 1730-1800 UTC on 9265 from WINB Pennsylvania. The website is http://www.slowscanradio.com. Reception reports to x@xdv.me.

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 8-10 pm EDT) 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/.

“This is a Music Show” is the newest addition to digital modes via analog shortwave. Most of the show is a music show, but the host transmits some MFSK text and image near the end of the broadcast. It’s transmitted on WRMI, 5850 kHz, Thursday 0100-0200 UTC (Wednesday evening in the Americas). Also look for a waterfall ID at the beginning of the show.

Franco, HB9OAB, is transmitting digital SSTV in the KG-STV format via WINB (Pennsylvania) analog, Saturdays 2200-2215 UTC, 9265 kHz. Best reception will be via receivers in the western USA.

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 1200 UTC on 3584 kHz USB, and the Pennsylvania NBEMS net Sunday at 1200 UTC on 3583 kHz USB (with out-of-state check-ins now starting at 1130 UTC). Check-ins are in Thor 22 or IFKP, and messages are in MFSK32 (PA NBEMS is experimenting with Thor 50x1 for messages). 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

South Africa's voice on shortwave goes silent

by Hans van de Groenendaal, features editor, EngineerIT

Shortwave is where radio communication began. Once a powerful voice to tell the story of South Africa to the world, this voice has gone silent as Sentech closed down its shortwave broadcasting facility at Bloemendal near Meyerton on 30 March 2019.

Sentech inherited South Africa’s Bloemendal shortwave radio station near Meyerton when Radio RSA was closed down. Radio RSA started its broadcast on 1 May 1966 and by 1976 the station transmitted for 36 hours a week in twelve languages including English, French, Portuguese, and Afrikaans. The service was discontinued in 1992. The only transmission that survived the close down was a broadcast into Africa, renamed Channel Africa which has daily programmes in Chinyanja, Silozi, Portuguese, Swahili, and English. The SABC also transmits Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) on shortwave to the Northern Cape.

Additional story at: https://www.ee.co.za/article/south-africas-voice-on-shortwave-goes-silent.html

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

April Specials From Airmail Postage & DX Supplies

Stamps of Mali - Timbuktu (1961)
Dear DX Customer,

Below are DX supply Offers and news for April 2019 

Please NOTE!!! sold out stamps are deleted AND mentioned in each monthly DX emailing.  

***Request the current DX stamp list so you'll know what remains and what's gone.**

SEE! The DX Postage Deals BELOW!!  Buy 'em while I got 'em!!!!!!

 Check out the new discount US postage Deals! AND>>>>
The NEW!! 

BUY NOW!  And $AVE  $$$$$ NOW!!!!


DX Supplies 2019:  The ONLY international envelopes in stock are European sized PLAIN WHITE MAILERS that are inside tinted!  QSL Albums will not be restocked when sold out. 

At this point, it just doesn't make sense to re-stock items that take so long to sell...or do not sell quick enuf.   

DX Postage News!! ::::: Countries will be deleted when sold out. (Hint: Stock up on countries that have international forever stamps...)

are the ONLY envelopes still available.
Less Than 10,000 remain. Not to be restocked....

European Plain Returns are SOLD OUT
ALL airmail version envelopes are SOLD OUT
ALL Stateside Mailers and Stateside Returns are SOLD OUT

About 10 QSL Albums in stock. Each has 50 2 pocket pages.

DX Stamp April Inventory Reduction: 
Antiqua is sold out.
Cook island sold out
Denmark is sold out
Nicaragua is sold out
El Salvador is sold out
Cyprus is sold out.
Greece is sold out.
Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia sold out!!
Kiribati is sold out
Marshall Islands and Micronesia are sold out
Portugal, Azores, and Madeira are sold out.
Swaziland is out
Turkey is sold out!
ALL the above stamps have been DELETED from DX stamp list.
THEY will not be restocked. STOCK UP! On the DX postage listed below: these are
countries with International Forever stamps! That are ALWAYS valid for international
use from those countries....

COME SEE US! Upcoming events:

Old York Rd, (Rt 179), Ringoes, NJ
Hours: 9am - 3pm

Branchburg Central Middle School
Baird Road, Branchburg
Hours: 10am - 2pm

At these events, I will have Vintage fountain pens
& mechanical pencils ONLY!!!

Request Your 2019 Pen
& Pencil List!!

Ya gotta do the write thing!


Save Big on your domestic mailings when you plaster 
 your envelope with colorful vintage stamps!
55c units
2 stamps 
in  3 stamps
4 stamps  
 5 stamps
x 100
x 200
x 500
Forevers: 100 & 200 qty will be sheets/booklets, 500 qty: booklets

1000 Forever Stamps for $462 plus $5.00 shipping
2000 Forever Stamps for $915. plus $5.00 shipping
5,000 Forever Stamps ??  Please inquire!!
Available in rolls of 100 (while in stock) or booklets of 10 
+++ Please Note! +++ 
Discount postage orders of 500 units or more
ADD $5.00 Shipping charge.

APRIL 2019 DX STAMP (close out) DEALS!
10 Austria: $20  -:-  10 Belgium: $15  -:-  10 Ukraine: $20  -:-  10 South Africa: $10
10 Netherlands: $15  -:-  10 Luxembourg: $15
These are that country's global forever stamp-they will always cover their int. rate!
    MORE Envelopes For the SAME PRICE!!!

300 European PLAIN Mailers - $25.00 !

500 European PLAIN Mailers - $35.00 !!

1200 European PLAIN Mailers - $70.00 !!!!!

Buy Now! These will not be restocked.

QSL Albums Still Available!
These Will Not Be Restocked!!

1 Standard Album - $35.00

SPECIAL!!   2 QSL Albums - $65.00  SPECIAL!!!!

100 #6-3/4 Forever Stamped Envelopes - $45.00


Shipped via Priority Mail: Payment via check. DX Supply 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