Tag Archives: Richard Langley

HFCC A17 schedules now available

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who notes that  HFCC A17 schedules for all stations are now available at http://www.hfcc.org/data/a17/index.phtml.

Thanks again, Richard!

Video: VL8A Alice Springs’ parting message in CW

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley who shares the following video of VL8A Alice Springs signing off for the final time on January 31, 2017:

This video was originally posted to Twitter by Tom Maddocks. You might have also noticed this clip in a previous ABC video we posted.

Thanks for the tip, Richard!

How power outage “load shedding” is affecting Zambia ZNBC-1 and Voice of Hope

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares the following message he recently received from Ray Robinson, VP of Global Operations with The Voice of Hope. This message is being relayed with Robinson’s permission:

I have seen a few messages lately, regarding the non-appearance of ZNBC-1 on 5915 kHz in their early mornings. You may be aware of the rolling power outages called ‘load shedding’ the electricity utility in Zambia, ZESCO, continues to impose daily throughout the country. The outages are at different times in different areas, but at the Voice of Hope transmitter site, the outages have been effect from 6-10am local (0400-0800 UTC) since September. The ZNBC shortwave site is only a few miles from ours, and it would be logical they are on the same outage schedule. I know from when our staff visited their site a few months ago to buy some distilled water for our transmitter cooling systems before our own still was up and running, that ZNBC’s genset is not currently operational, and I don’t believe they have the budget either to repair it, or to buy diesel for it, if it was repaired and functional.

My guess is they have decided it is not really worth the effort to broadcast for the hour or so from 0245 UTC until whenever the power goes out. (This is just my speculation.) They do use 5915 later in the day after the much cheaper hydro power returns, but of course by then, the propagation conditions do not favor inter-continental reception.

As for Voice of Hope – Africa, we had expected the load shedding to end by December (two months into the Zambian rainy season), but alas the outages are continuing, with no sign of any change soon. Our own weekday morning broadcasts on 9680 and 11680 kHz have been entirely powered from our genset since September. This is expensive, and unsustainable. We have therefore decided to make a schedule change from next Monday. Instead of broadcasting weekday mornings from 0500-0800 UTC, we will switch to weekday evenings from 1700-2200 UTC, extending the duration of the broadcast from three hours to five. The last two hours will be ‘Night Light’ presented by Stephen Mdoma, reprising a program he used to present late nights years ago when the station was known as Christian Voice We will be using the frequencies 4965 kHz (omni) and 6065 kHz (to West Africa), which may also afford better opportunities for reception in ECNA after local dusk. The program schedule on our website will be updated this weekend. We plan to re-launch the morning broadcasts once the load shedding ends. I thought you might like to know.

Ray Robinson
Vice President, Global Operations
Strategic Communications Group – Voice of Hope
Los Angeles and Lusaka
http://www.voiceofhope.com

Richard adds that Ray Robinson has also confirmed the weekend schedule is unaffected.

Many thanks for sharing this news, Richard!

Arecibo: Legendary radio telescope hangs in the balance

The Arecibo Radio Telescope, at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. At 1000 feet (305 m) across, it is the second largest dish antenna in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares the following story from Nature:

“Some of the observatories targeted in the review have found potential partners: New Mexico State University in Las Cruces is leading an effort to take over the Dunn Solar Telescope in Sunspot, New Mexico. Others remain in limbo, including the 100-metre radio telescope in Green Bank, West [Virgina], where university partners have offered limited help.”

Click here to read the full article on Nature’s website.

Tecsun PL-880: Richard shares winter DXing notes

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who lives in New Brunswick, Canada, and sent the following update earlier this month:

I often go outdoors to escape the RFI generated in and around the house, which can be even worse during the holidays with all the LED Christmas displays.

Trouble is, the snow is getting a bit deep for the trek to the back of the cleared part of my yard.

The attached photos show my setup on New Year’s Day to record Stephen Cooper’s DigiDX program over WRMI.

One thing about DXing and SWLing outside in the winter is that the knobs on the Tecsun PL-880 can become stiff to turn if it’s too cold and the battery doesn’t last as long as when it’s warm outside. Best approach is to go out with a fully charged battery, tune to a particular frequency and record the audio for later playback.

[…]I’ve also noted on a couple of occasions that the Tecsun will shut itself off after a few hours in really cold weather (around -20°C). And it’s not that the battery power is exhausted. I can turn it back on manually and it shows plenty of battery capacity remaining.

Thanks for sharing your notes, Richard! It certainly looks like a winter wonderland at your home. I like how you’ve made such a lightweight, portable station that protects the PL-880 from moisture.

Paul Walker also uses the PL-880 extensively in Galena, Alaska–in some very cold temps as well. Perhaps we can compare notes.

Post readers: What radios do you use outdoors in winter conditions? Please feel free to share your experiences!

By the way: I should offer my sincere apologies for sharing beautiful winter wonderland scenes while many of our dear readers in Australia are coping with a sweltering heatwave! 🙂 Perhaps we should also be sharing notes about high temp outdoor DXing!?