Monthly Archives: April 2015

Nepal disaster

The earthquake in Nepal is a terrible disaster to befall it’s people. It has been so uplifting to learn of the contribution by Radio Hams around the world, and in Nepal, who are providing communications and control at this time. I listened to CT7ACG and 4X4TT on 14205 this afternoon acting as Emergency Net Controllers. They were doing a fantastic job in co-ordinating offers of help and information from other hams around the world. These included, during the time I was listening, Germany, UK, US, Italy, Poland and many more.

It shows just how radio can be used in these sort of situations, when other communications structures are hit or non-existent. No good trying to coordinate this with mobile phones or the internet, as both these systems probably don’t exist in Nepal or have very limited coverage.

It is also a testament to the skills of the Amateur Radio Community, who can rapidly set up these communications networks and really make a difference to peoples lives. This whole episode needs to be shouted about to the rest of the world, and show that ham radio is not just a hobby practised by strange old men, with too much money, in funny rooms called ‘shacks’.

One sour note during my listening period was the presence of idiots tuning-up on the frequency with either tones or ‘Hola,Hola’. A tenet of the amateur radio operating procedure is ‘listen before transmitting’. I have to hand it to the net controllers, they were extremely patient and politely informed the offending stations that it was an emergency network frequency. But the actions of the lids was unbelievable.

I think post-disaster, we all should show our appreciation to these guys, in whatever way, for  the tremendous job and service they are performing.

International Marconi Day – April 25th

From Southgate ARC news:

International Marconi Day at Sandford Mill

The extensive collection of historic radio exhibits at theSandford Mill Museum in Chelmsford will be open to the public on Saturday, April 25

Chelmsford’s former waterworks at Sandford Mill is primarily a museum collections store and science education resource however it is open to the public for special events during the year.

Sandford Mill has featured in TV programmes such Great British Railway Journeys and The Wave Messengers. The building houses an extensive radio collection, with some equipment dating back to the 1890’s. There is a series of five ship’s radio room displays representing different decades including some very rare Marconi equipment from ships contemporary with the Titanic.

On Saturday, April 25 from 10am to 5pm the collection will be open to the general public to celebrate the birthday of Guglielmo Marconi who was born on that date in 1874.

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) will be operating a demonstration station, call sign GX0MWT, in the historic Marconi 2MT Writtle broadcast hut which is now housed inside the museum.

On the first floor Colin Page, G0TRM and his team will be demonstrating the impressive Mechanical Morse and Morse Key display with the opportunity for the youngsters to try their hand at sending Morse. The Morse punched paper tape sending and decoding process always proves to be a big hit with potential junior CW operators.

During the day there will be several presentations in the Barn on the museum site. At 2:15 pm Dr Elizabeth Bruton, well known for her presentations at the RSGB Convention, will give a talk on Marconi. This includes details about the vital wartime contribution made by the Marconi Company and Marconi Company Engineers and staff employed by the British military during World War One. It will include a local element: the establishment of a signals interception station located in the Hall Street works in Chelmsford.

CARS Vice President John Bowen, G8DET will be giving three presentations titled “Saving Lives at Sea – up to and including the RMS Lusitania” at 11am, 1pm and 3.30pm.

Sandford Mill is run with the help of the Friends of Chelmsford Museums and other ex-industry volunteers. It relies on the support of several voluntary bodies including Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society, the Radio Officers Association, the Marconi Veterans Association and the Susan Trust. Susan is the last wooden Chelmer Barge and is undergoing restoration (financed by funds devotedly raised by the Susan Trust), before returning to her moorings at Sandford Mill.

The Museum is located in Sandford Mill Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6NY, admittance and parking are free.

Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society – Sandford Mill
http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/sandfordmill/

Radio 6 International

From the Radio 6 International website:

Shortwave transmissions will return for an experiment on Saturday. From transmitters in Sweden, and on a couple of frequencies in different bands, we offer an afternoon of programming from 14:00 to 16:00 GMT on Saturday, 25th April, aimed at listeners in Europe. (3 – 5pm UK time, 4 – 6pm Europe) details on the Schedule pages. Hear us in the UK, Ireland and most of Western Europe on 9,405kHz (31.87m); and Scandanavia and Northern Europe on 3,975kHz (75.47m).

The Tony Currie Show returns in May for a new series, featuring old ones, new ones, loved ones, neglected ones and the occasional star guest. Hear it on Saturdays at 07:00 GMT (8am UK, 9am Europe, 3pm Taiwan, 7pm New Zealand); Sundays at 05:00 GMT (6am UK, 7am Europe) and 20:00 GMT (9pm UK, 10pm Europe); and Tuesdays at 19:00 GMT (8pm UK, 9pm Europe).

There’s a General Election in the United Kingdom on Thursday, 7th May. We’ll be prodiving live coverage as the results come in, hosted from Edinburgh by Ewan Spencewith a team of experts. The programme begins on Thursday 7th May at 21:30 GMT (10.30pm UK, 11.30pm Europe) and continues through the night until 07:00 GMT on Friday morning.

Happy World Amateur Radio Day!

World Amateur Radio Day 2015

World Amateur Radio Day

Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.

Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters.  Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.  From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators!

World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide.

Special event stations will be on the air over the 18 and 19 April weekend to highlight World Amateur Radio Day and the IARU’s 90th anniversary.

Special event stations will include A43WARD in Oman, KP4FD in Puerto Rico, AU2ARD and VU2MQT in India, W4SNC in the US and CS2015WARD in Portugal.

April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide and the fun we have.

We hope you will join in the fun and education that is World Amateur Radio Day!

PY0F/PP1CZ Fernando de Noronha Island 2015

From DXNews.com:

Leo, PP1CZ will be active again from Fernando de Noronha Island 20 – 27 April 2015 as PY0F/PP1CZ.
He will be active on 80 – 10m CW, RTTY, SSB.
QSL via home call, OQRS.

Fernando de Noronha Island PY0F/PP1CZ 2014

Fernando de Noronha Island PY0F/PP1CZ 2014 DX News

Fernando de Noronha Island PY0F/PP1CZ 2014 Beach

Fernando de Noronha Island PY0F/PP1CZ DX News 2014

The island was covered in forest until the 19th century, when it was cleared to prevent prisoners on the island from building rafts and escaping. The islands are now predominantly covered by shrubs, with some areas of recently planted secondary forest. Many of the plants on the island today were introduced by people.

The United Nations Environment Programme lists 15 possible endemic plant species, including species of the genera Capparis (2 species), Ceratosanthes (3 species), Cayaponias (2 species), Moriordica, Cereus, Palicourea,Guettarda, Bumelia, Physalis, and Ficus noronhae.Combretum rupicola is also a likely endemic.

The islands have two endemic birds — the Noronha Elaenia (Elaenia ridleyana) and the Noronha Vireo (Vireo gracilirostris). Both are present on the main island; Noronha Vireo is also present on Ilha Rata. In addition there is an endemic race of eared dove Zenaida auriculata noronha. An endemic sigmodontine rodent, Noronhomys vespuccii, mentioned by Amerigo Vespucci, is now extinct. The islands have two endemic reptiles, Amphisbaena ridleyi and Trachylepis atlantica.
The life above and below sea is the main attraction of the island. Sea turtles, dolphins, albatrosses and many other species are frequently observed.

Some interesting logs from this evening (15/04)

A couple of interesting catches on 49m this evening. I was unaware that RTE (Radio Tele Eireaan) had a relay via both Madagascar and South African. According to Dan Ferguson’s lists (SWSKEDS), RTE is relayed from Madagascar and RTE Radio 1 from Meyerton in South Africa. Other lists (shortwave_am.com) have it just as RTE from Madagascar. So a bit confusing.

V.O. Tigray Revolution is another new one. I have seen this in the lists but never been able to copy. A rather poor signal to the UK this evening, but strong enough to copy. This one is only listed on Dan Ferguson’s lists and shortwave.am.

Other news this week is a QSL card from a reception report I submitted to AWR for there English broadcast from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. 8 days turn-round on that, by post from Florida. Very impressive!

12015 Khz North Korea V.O. Korea 16:36 UTC German. female announcer. Poor modulation SINPO: 43344 2015-04-15

5820 Khz South Africa RTE Radio 1 19:43 UTC English. Discussion program about domestic violence. Meyerton relay. ID at 19:45 SINPO: 32233 2015-04-15

5900 Khz Bulgaria KBS World Radio 19:51 UTC German. Male announcer with discussion followed by music at 20:52. Sofia relay SINPO: 44444 2015-04-15

5950 Khz Ethiopia V.O. Tigray Rev. 19:54 UTC Pounding African-style music. Sudden dead air at 19:59. SINPO: 32222 2015-04-15