FY 2019 NIST budget looks good for time stations

WWV Chief Engineer Matt Deutch. (Photo: Thomas Witherspoon)

Many thanks to the number of SWLing Post readers who have forwarded this article from the ARRL News that notes the WWV Special Event Station, planned for later this year, is a go. This is great news indeed.

With regards to the FY2019 budget uncertainty surrounding NIST radio stations WWV, WWVH and WWVB, the ARRL notes:

“The NIST budget for WWV, WWVH, and WWVB will remain level for FY 2019.”

As I mentioned in a recent post, this is the feedback I’ve received as well–that the portion of the budget that includes NIST radios station will remain the same as it was last year. Last year, the NIST internally-allocated funds for the stations and it appears it will this will happen again! Brilliant news, indeed.

With that said, I do wonder if the next budget request (which is only a few months away) will include all of the NIST radio stations.

Time will tell…

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International Space Station SSTV Event Feb 15-17

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Space Station Slow Scan TV Event Feb 15-17

ARISS is planning another of their popular Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment events from the International Space Station on February 15-17

Transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM are scheduled to begin Friday, Feb. 15 at 08:45 UT and run through Sunday, Feb. 17 at 17:25 UT.

SSTV operations is a process by which images are sent from the International Space Station (ISS) via ham radio and received by ham operators, shortwave listeners and other radio enthusiasts on Earth, similar to pictures shared on cell phones using Twitter or Instagram.

When this event becomes active, SSTV images will be transmitted from the ISS at the frequency of 145.800 MHz using the SSTV mode of PD120 and can be received using ham radio equipment as simple as a 2 meter handheld radio or a common shortwave or scanner receiver the covers the 2 meter ham band. After connecting the audio output of the radio receiver to the audio input of a computer running free software such as MMSSTV, the SSTV images can be displayed.

Transmissions will consist of eight NASA On The Air (NOTA) images (see https://nasaontheair.
wordpress.com/
). In additional, four ARISS commemorative images will also be included.

Once received, Images can be posted and viewed by the public at
http://www.spaceflight
software.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php

In addition, you can receive a special SSTV ARISS Award for posting your image. Once the event begins, see details at https://ariss.pzk.org.pl/sstv/

Please note that the event is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and are subject to change at any time. Please check for news and the most current information on the ARISS Twitter feed @ARISS_status or the AMSAT Bulletin Board

The SSTV images will be transmitted in PD-120 on 145.800 MHz FM using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver located in the Russian ISS Service module.

Note the ISS transmissions use the 5 kHz deviation FM standard rather than the narrow 2.5 kHz used in Europe. If your transceiver has selectable FM filters try using the wider filter. Handheld transceivers generally have a single wide filter fitted as standard and you should get good results outdoors using just a 1/4 wave whip antenna.

ISS SSTV links for tracking and decoding Apps
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

You can receive the SSTV transmissions by using an Online Radio (WebSDR) and the MMSSTV software:
• Listen to the ISS when it is in range of London with the SUWS WebSDR http://farnham-sdr.com/
• Listen to the ISS when it is over Russia with the R4UAB WebSDR http://websdr.r4uab.ru/

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Eton/Grundig Satellit: Michael seeks advice on enabling DAB reception

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Meyer, who writes:

Hi Thomas.

I have a question regarding the Eton Grundig Satellit’s DAB function – or rather: It’s missing DAB function.

The Eton Grundig Satellit was reviewed in WRTH 2016 by John Nelson, demonstrating its capability of receiving DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast in Europe – some politicians want to shut down FM-band and replace it with DAB only). Since I live in Denmark, where DAB+ is widely implemented as a supplement of FM broadcasts, I do find this function unique, since it must be the only shortwave radio with DAB on the marked.

The SWLing Post have had some reviews as well as a link to Amazon.com, which tempted me to buy the “Executive Edition” at an attractive price. It arrived in early December 2018, and I am happy with most of the features of this radio. Good audio, sensitive and a nice size for a portable. I do agree with other reviewers regarding the mediocre sync-function, but I got truly surprised regarding the selectivity on shortwave, which on my model is poor! Strong broadcasters can easily be tuned 5 kHz away from their “true” frequency – even when putting bandwith to 3 kHz, there is not much difference in audio on VOA on 15580 kHz tuning to 15575 nor 15585 kHz. But when tuned, reception is stable and audio is good. Another very weird issue is the “double-click” feature, where first press on any button activates the light only – and the user has to press again to actually activate button function!

But now to the main reason for me writing this: How does the user activate DAB? I wrote to WRTH to get their opinion on this – I paste in my correspondence with them (I have got their permission to do so in writing you):

Dear Mr Meyer,

The version we were sent for review had a DAB+ function. Several readers
have since written to say they could not find the function despite the fact
that it is shown in the display. We have raised this matter with Eton but
have not received an answer. We may be wrong but our impression is that the
company did not apply for CE approval and as a result never implemented the
DAB function in the production models. The FCC approved versions of the
receiver of course would not require DAB.

It might be worth putting the question on the DX chat groups and see if
someone has found a solution.

Kind regards,

WRTHdx

Very good question, Michael. Frankly, I had forgotten that the EU version of the Satellit had a DAB function although I do recall the WRTH review.

Post Readers: Do you have any insight? Have you successfully used the EU version of the Satellit to listen to DAB broadcasts? Please comment!

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Adam spots a Racal RA17 in Johnny Mnemonic

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adam Sampson, who writes:

One for your “radios in movies” collection: in “Johnny Mnemonic” (1995),
there’s a Racal RA17 in one of the racks in the Lo-Teks’ headquarters.

There’s also a Rohde and Schwarz SMDF/SMDA RF signal generator in the
next rack which plays a pivotal role in the final scene…

Great catch, Adam! Thank you for sharing!

I’ll add this post to our archive of radios in film.

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