A few logs from the last few days

I’m getting a bit more listening in, although for the most part, conditions have been very poor. I was pleased to finall log R Mali after having tried for this many times over the years. Everything else is pretty standard fair, but these stations do provide a wealth of interesting programs at various times of the day. R Thailand’s English service is always well worth a listen, despite the verbal genuflection to their King!

7280 Khz Vietnam V O Vietnam 18:18 UTC Spanish service SINPO: 43333 2019-04-13

7465 Khz Singapore BBCWS 18:25 UTC Pashto service SINPO: 44444 2019-04-13

7485 Khz Singapore BBCWS 18:32 UTC English service. World news, followed by ‘World Questions’ program from Brussels. SINPO: 43344 2019-04-13

5840 Khz Denmark World Music Radio 18:40 UTC Reggae music SINPO: 33323 2019-04-13

5995 Khz Mali R Mali 19:11 UTC Music and chat. Had to listen for nearly an hour to try to get the language as not being Korean as VOH is on this frequency SINPO: 21111 2019-04-13

6130 Khz Swaziland TWR 19:27 UTC Music and chat SINPO: 33223 2019-04-13

3985 Khz Germany R Slovakia 18:39 UTC French service. News of Notre Dame tragedy followed by ID and schedules SINPO: 43333 2019-04-16

9740 Khz South Korea KBS World Radio 18:20 UTC Spanish service. YL announcer SINPO: 33323 2019-04-17

9920 Khz Thailand R Thailand 19:00 UTC English service. Magazine program SINPO: 54444 2019-04-17

9570 Khz Egypt R Cairo 19:50 UTC Arabic music. Remarkably, not much distortion. Announcers voice a bit distorted but readable SINPO: 43333 2019-04-17


Ham radio loses some of its appeal

Although I hold an amateur radio call sign (M5RFD), I mostly listen to the broadcast bands on HF. 20 years ago, I was very active on HF, and before that, VHF. For various reasons I had to sell all my radio gear a few years ago, and only got back to listening about 6 years ago. My first port of call was HF, not transmitting, just listening. I was quite shocked to hear what I would call ‘Contest exchanges’ on most of the transmissions I tuned in, i.e. the ‘5,9 thanks for the QSO, 73’s’. No-one seemed to be chatting and exchanging info about their station equipment, antenna, location etc. If any information was requested, a lot stations would inform the enquirer to ‘look me up on QRZ.com’. And nothing seems to have improved over the intervening years. Very rarely do I hear a proper rag-chew, with 2 stations exchanging info and ideas, and very little technical discussion. If I was coming into the hobby and listening to find out what it was all about, I wouldn’t bother pursuing it! Exceptions to the above are parts of 80m and certainly top band, where locals can chat for hours! But these tend to be exchanges between people who have know each other for years, so old friends having a natter.

So now, I spend most of my time listening to the SW BC bands, where there are, even now, a wealth of interesting programs to be hear. And its interesting to see that some stations, even the big guns, are realising that shortwave gives the opportunity to get the message across without the listeners being prevented from hearing, as can happen on the internet. The BBC and VOA is putting money into expanding some of their output. Strangely, DW is cutting back severely  on theirs. But smaller stations are popping up around Africa, or previous dedicated stations are renting air time on other transmitters, removing the infrastructure costs.

So in a sense, I think the future looks good for commercial shortwave, but I do wonder how long amateur radio can sustain, unless amateurs themselves get back to the original idea, which was to educate, experiment and involve self training in a technical discipline. Obviously, one is supposed to have fun too!

So any hams reading this, can I appeal to making QSO’s more than just an exchange of (very) basic information. If more do this, then it will inject interest back into those QSO’s and therefore the hobby as a whole.

Special broadcasts by AIR for Republic Day 2019

with thanks to Radioactivity.com:

Special broadcasts by AIR for Republic Day 2019

India is celebrating its 70th Republic Day on 26 Jan 2019 (Saturday). All India Radio will broadcast special programs in connection with the Republic Day celebrations as follows:
25th January 2019 (Friday) : Eve of Republic Day
1330 UTC (1900 IST) onwards Hon’ble President’s address to the nation in Hindi &  English. This will be broadcast by all stations of AIR on MW, SW, FM. Shortly after this broadcast, the local stations will broadcast its translations in local languages.
SW frequencies:
kHz     kW       Station
4760    7          Leh
4760    8          Port Blair
4800    50        Hyderabad
4810    50        Bhopal
4835    10        Gangtok
4895    50        Kurseong
4910    50        Jaipur
4920    50        Chennai
4950    30        Srinagar
4970    50        Shillong  (Off Air)
5010    50        Thiruvananthapuram
5040    50        Jeypore
5050    10        Aizawl (Off Air)
6030    250      Delhi
9380    250      Aligarh
9865    500      Bengaluru
26 January 2019 (Saturday) : Republic Day
Live running commentary of Republic Day parade & cultural pageant from 0345 UTC (0915 IST) onwards :
Hindi : 7520 (Delhi 250 kW)  (Cancelling External Service in Urdu normally broadcast at this time on these frequency), 9950 (Delhi 100 kW), 13695 (Bengaluru 500 kW)
English : 6030 (Delhi 250 kW); 15185 (Bengaluru 500 kW)
Also MW/FM frequencies as per above mentioned links.
The following regional stations will change from their Morning frequencies  on 60 Meters (4 & 5 MHz frequencies) to their day time frequencies between  0335-0350 UTC (ie much earlier than usual) as follows :
 6000 Leh (Off Air)
 6085 Gangtok
 7315 Shillong (Off Air)
 7325 Jaipur
 The following stations are already scheduled to be on air daily at this time and will also relay the running commentary.
 5040 Jeypore
 6110 Srinagar
 7270  Chennai
 7290 Thiruvanthapuram
 7380 Chennai
 7390 Port Blair
 7420 Hyderabad
 7430 Bhopal
 9865 Bengaluru
Please send your reception reports on line at: http://pbinfo.air.org.in/feedback/
Live streaming of the above programs is available in:
Those who would like to watch the programs on Doordarshan TV  can check in:
DD National Channel:

Broadcast Bands Contest during December

I think I probably mentioned this last year and indeed, I was going to take part and then forgot all about it! Anyhoo, from the 1st December to the 31st, there is the TOP DX Radioclub contest. Essentially, receive 10 different stations from 10 different countries. Scoring is based on distance from RX QTH to TX QTH (in Km) divided by the TX power.

For more details see: TOP DX Radioclub

And this year, I’m going to attempt it!


From SpaceWeather.com

When a stream of solar wind hits Earth, magnetometers around the Arctic Circle normally go haywire, their needles swinging chaotically as local magnetic fields react to the buffeting of the solar wind. On Nov. 18th, however, something quite different happened. Solar wind hit Earth and produced … a pure, almost-musical sine wave:

Rob Stammes recorded the event from the Polarlightcenter, a magnetic observatory in the Lofoten Islands of Norway. “A very stable ~15 second magnetic oscillation commenced and persisted for several hours,” he says. “The magnetic field was swinging back and forth by 0.06 degrees, peak to peak, with the regularity of a metronome.”

Imagine blowing across a piece of paper, making it flutter with your breath. The solar wind can have a similar effect on magnetic fields. The waves Stammes recorded are essentially flutters propagating down the flanks of Earth’s magnetosphere excited by the breath of the sun. Researchers call them “pulsations continuous” — or “Pc” for short.

“A very sensitive magnetometer is required to record these delicate waves,” says Stammes. “I use a mechanical magnetometer with bar magnets suspended from a special wire. LEDs and light detectors in an isolated dark box record the motion of the magnets, while vanes in oil damp out non-magnetic interference.”

Pc waves are classified into 5 types depending on their period. The waves Stammes recorded fall into the range 15 to 45 seconds–that is, Pc3. Researchers have found that Pc3 waves sometimes flow around Earth’s magnetic field and cause a “tearing instability” in our planet’s magnetic tail. This, in turn, can set the stage for an explosion as magnetic fields in the tail reconnect.

A quartet of NASA spacecraft recently flew through just such an explosion. Last week, researchers from the University of New Hampshire reported that four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft spent several seconds inside a magnetic reconnection event as they were orbiting through Earth’s magnetic tail. Sensors on the spacecraft recorded jets of high energy particles emerging from the blast site. One jet was aimed squarely at Earth and probably sparked auroras when it hit the upper atmosphere.

Stammes has recorded many Pc waves in the past, “but this is the first time I have detected category Pc3,” he says. “This was a very rare episode indeed.”

Its that time of the year again, new B18 schedules

With thanks to Radioactivity
Language   UTC       Days     Frequency Program (earliest to latest)
Cantonese 1400-1430 Mon – Fri   9975  Thru the Bible
Mandarin  1030-1100 Mon – Fri   12120 Thru the Bible
Mandarin  1030-1100 Saturday    12120 The Word Today
Mandarin  1030-1100 Saturday    12120 Hope for Today, Macedonian Call
Mandarin  1315-1345 Mon – Fri   9975  Thru the Bible
Mandarin  1030-1100 Sunday      12120 The Word Today, Hope for Today
Mandarin  1130-1200 Sunday      9910  The Lord’s Challenge,Macedonian Call
Mandarin  1100-1200 Mon – Fri   9910  Self Confrontation, DTA
Mongolian 1100-1115 Sun – Sat   9975  Son-Lift-Do You Know
Cantonese 1350-1400 Mon – Fri   9975  Son-Lift-Do You Know
Cantonese 1115-1130 Mon – Sun   9975  Son-Lift-Do You Know
Hakka     1130-1145 Mon – Sun   9975  Son-Lift-Do You Know
Mandarin  1145-1200 Mon – Sun   9975  Son-Lift-Do You Know
Nosu Yi   1200-1215 Sun – Sat   9975  Son-Lift-Do You Know
Mandarin  1200-1215 Sun – Fri   9910  God Remembers Them
Mandarin  1315-1330 Saturday    9975  The Word Today
Mandarin  1315-1345 Mon – Fri   9975  Thru the Bible, A Word with You
Mandarin  1345-1350 Mon – Fri   9975  A Word with You
English   1100-1130 Sunday      9910  Unlimited Grace
Korean    1345-1500 Mon – Fri   7510  YQFG,BR,TWR Seminary(LTS-Thu,WOH-Friday)
Korean    1500-1515 Wed – Fri   7510  Light and Life
Korean    1315-1345 Mon – Fri   7510  With You
Korean    1345-1515 Saturday    7510  Teachers Institute,Pray school,BSB & TTT
Korean    1345-1515 Sunday      7510  Sunday Service,TGT, HOD & CF
English   1315-1345 Saturday    7510  Unlimited Grace
Japanese  1215-1245 Sunday      7500  B Japan-Friendship Radio
Japanese  1130-1200 Saturday    9900  Leading the Way
South East Asia
English    1100-1105 Mon-Fri    11965 Reachng Your World
English    1105-1120 Mon-Fri    11965 Running to Win
English    1120-1135 Tues-Fri   11965 Grace Notes-Tue,SFT-Wed,BOL-Thur,HFT-Fri,RYW,RTW
English    1030-1100 Sunday     11965 Heart of Harvest
English    1100-1130 Sunday     11965 Unlimited Grace
South Pacific
English    1000-1015 Saturday   11995 Bread of Life
English    1000-1025 Mon – Fri  11995 Running to Win, RYW
English    1015-1045 Saturday   11995 Unlimited Grace
Madurese   1000-1030 Mon – Fri  11965 Thru the Bible
Sundanese  1030-1100 Mon – Fri  11965 Thru the Bible
English    1000-1030 Sunday     11965 Unlimited Grace
Indonesian 1030-1100 Sunday     11965 Women of Hope
Indonesian 1045-1100 Saturay    11965 News of Truth
Burmese     1145-1215 Mon – Fri 12040 Thru the Bible
Burmese     1145-1215 Saturday  12040 Macedonian Call,The Word Today
Burmese     1200-1215 Sunday    12040 Lifeword
S’gaw Karen 1215-1245 Mon-Fri   12040 Thru the Bible
S’gaw Karen 1215-1230 Sunday    12040 The Word Today
Vietnamese 1245-1315 Mon-Fri    9975 Thru the Bible
Vietnamese 1245-1300 Sunday     9975 The Word Today
South Asia
Kok Borok  1245-1315 Mon-Fri    9910  Thru the Bible
Kok Borok  1245-1300 Sunday     9910  Discipleship Hour *ending 5 Jan,2019
Dzongkha   1230-1245 Sat-Sun    11580 Words of Hope
Manipuri   1300-1315 Sunday     9910  The Word Today
Nepali     1300-1315 Saturday   9910  Jiwan ko Roti
Assamese   1215-1245 Mon-Fri    9910  Thru the Bible
English    1230-1300 Saturday   9910  Heart of Harvest
Progs :
YQFG = Your Quest for God
DTA  = Discipleship Training on the Air
TLC  = The Lords Challenge
RYW  = Reaching Your World
SFT  = Search for Truth
BOL  = Bread of Life
HFT  = Hope for Tomorrow
WWL  = Wonderful Words of Life
LTS  = Lets talk about something
WOH  = Women of Hope
RTW  = Running to Win
DTA  = Discipleship Training on the Air
BSB  = Bible School Basics
TTT  = Truth in a Test Tube
TGT  = The Gospel Train
HOD  = History of Doctrine
CF   = Christian Faith
BR   = Bible Reading

Vatican Radio B18 to South Asia/Asia

Vatican Radio B18

To South Asia

1130 1200 UTC MASS IN ENGLISH – 15595,17590 kHz (Fri)
1430 1450 UTC HINDI – 7250, 9505 kHz
1450 1510 UTC TAMIL – 7250, 9505 kHz
1510 1530 UTC MALAYALAM – 7250, 9505 kHz

To Asia

1230 1315 UTC MASS IN CHINESE – 6115,7485,9560 kHz (Sat)

1230 1315 UTC RUSSIAN – 6145, 7435 kHz
2200 2230 UTC CHINESE – 6185, 7410, 9580 kHz
2315 2359 UTC VIETNAMESE – 9580, 11900 kHz


28 Oct 2018 – 31 Mar 2019

0000-0358 15720 Pacific Daily
0359-0558 13730 Pacific Daily
0559-1058 9765  Pacific Daily
1059-1258 9700  Solomon Islands PNG Daily
1259-1650 7390  Pacific Sun-Fri
1259-1758 7390  Pacific Sat
1651-1750 5975  Cook Islands Samoa Tonga Sun-Fri DRM
1751-1834 7285  Cook Islands Samoa Tonga Sun-Fri DRM
1759-1858 9780  Pacific Sat
1835-1950 9780  Cook Islands Samoa Tonga Sun-Fri DRM
1859-1958 11725 Pacific Sat
1951-2050 13840 Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands Sun-Fri DRM
1958-2058 13840 Pacific Sat
2051-0000 15720 Pacific Sun-Fri
2059-0000 15720 Pacific Sat

RNZI is available on Satellite, courtesy of TVNZ Pacific Service.
The coverage area extends from Singapore, and eastward to the Cook Islands, which includes Fiji, Tonga, Niue and Samoa.
IS19/23 C Slot A
DL 4146.5 V
FEC 3/4
SR 5.6320

Going back to HF for digital comms

I came across this via a link from the Extreme Shortwave Listening group and posted from the blog of nw7us.

There is an ITU paper which discusses the problems of reliable ship-to-shore comms using only satellites, and a design for moving them back to HF. The paper includes architectural design for the system, along with explanations of the type of transmission, in this case, OFDM or Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. No, me neither.

A few quotes from the paper:

The NAVDAT HF system can use a simple time-slot allocation similar to the NAVTEX system which could be coordinated by IMO.

That NAVDAT HF system can also work on single frequency network (SFN) as described in Annex 4. In this case, the transmitters are frequency synchronized and the transmit data must be the same for all transmitters.

The NAVDAT HF digital system offers a free broadcast transmission of any kind of message from shore‑to‑ships with possibility of encryption.

That last one is telling “a free broadcast transmission”. That reads to me that one of the reasons to return to HF is the cost of renting satellite time, whereas HF is “free to air” with no ongoing costs other than maintenance.

Its not a large paper, but worth the read. The link to the pdf file is here: NAVDAT