Monthly Archives: June 2016

Radio Vanuatu reduces broadcast time due to budget

Vanuatu-Map

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Walker, who noted that Radio Vanuatu has reduced broadcast hours.

Friday night, Paul received a rare opening that allowed him to hear Vanuatu on both 7260 kHz and 3945 kHz. Paul noted that it’s very rare to hear Vanuatu’s 75 meter band broadcast from his listening post in Alaska.  As he was setting up his receiver for a recording, they signed off early.

Paul discovered the following notice on Radio Vanuatu’s Facebook page:

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Radio Vanuatu i wantem infomem olgeta gudfala lisna blong hem se Radio Vanuatu i jenisem ol hour blong brodkas blong hem folem high cost blong operation blong hem.
Timing blong brodkas i ko olsem: 05:30am- 9:15pm evridei
Jenis ia hemi blong smol taem nomo.
Endorsed by VBTC Board & Management

Courtney Gordon, via Facebook, provided Paul with a simple translation:

Radio Vanuatu wants to inform its good listeners that the hours of broadcast are being changed due to the high cost of operation. Broadcast times are now 5:30 am to 9:30 pm every day.

So, broadcast times are now 18:30 UTC to 10:15 UTC. Thanks, Paul and Courtney, for sharing the news!

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Some scientists believe sun may be crossing into “magnetic middle age”

 (SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels)

(SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels)

I just received the following link to a Forbes article from my buddy Charlie (W4MEC).

If this research turns out to be correct–and time will only tell–it could mean very low solar activity from here on out (let’s hope not!):

(Source: Forbes Magazine via Charlie W4MEC)

The Sun has likely already entered into a new unpredicted long-term phase of its evolution as a hydrogen-burning main sequence star — one characterized by magnetic sputtering indicative of a more quiescent middle-age. Or so say the authors of a new paper submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Using observations of other sunlike stars made by NASA ’s Kepler Space Telescope, the team found that the Sun is currently in a special phase of its magnetic evolution.

At time of posting, the Sun has no Sun spots at all. The sun is blank--no sunspots, which means very low solar activity. Credit: SDO/HMI (Click to enlarge)

At time of posting (June 28, 2016) the Sun has no Sun spots at all, which means very low solar activity. Credit: SDO/HMI (Click to enlarge)

Heretofore, the Sun was thought to have been just a more slowly rotating version of a normal yellow dwarf (G-spectral type) star. These results offer the first real confirmation that the Sun is in the process of crossing into its magnetic middle age, where its 11-year Sunspot cycles are likely to slowly disappear entirely. That is, from here on out, the Sun is likely to have fewer sunspots than during the first half of its estimated 10 billion year life as a hydrogen-burning star.

“The Sun’s 11-year sunspot cycle is likely to disappear entirely, not just get less pronounced; [since] other stars with similar rotation rates show no sunspot cycles,” Travis Metcalfe, the paper’s lead author and an astronomer at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., told me.[…]

Continue reading the full article at Forbes online.

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13 Colonies Special Event

13-colonies

13 Colonies operating event runs from 1300Z July 1 – 0400Z July 7

Once again, the 13 Colonies Special Event will take place between 1300z, July 1st and 0400z July 7th. The certificate is printed on heavy card stock. Stations working one state or, as many as all 15, will be eligible for the certificate. A “Clean Sweep” indicator will be affixed, for those lucky enough to “Q” all 15.

A special endorsement will be attached for stations contacting their sister operation, WM3PEN, in Philadelphia, PA, where independence was declared. New since 2015, the 13 Colonies have added a second sister event station GB13COL will operate from Durham, England. The 13 Colonies certificate will have a Liberty Bell added for a contact with WM3PEN. They will also offer a special QSL card printed just for this event.

There should be at least two stations from each on the 13 colonies on the air, as well as Super contest stations, multi-operator Club stations and OM and XYL teams. The thirteen orginal U.S. colonies are CT-DE- GA-MA-MD-NC-NH-NJ-NY-PA-RI-SC-VA. Special events stations mentioned are: K2A (NY), K2B (VA), K2C (RI), K2D (CT), K2E (DE), K2F (MD), K2G (GA), K2H (MA), K2I (NJ), K2J (NC), K2K (NH), K2L (SC), and K2M (PA).

All HF bands will be in play, including the WARC bands, with the exception of 60 meters. 2 meters and 6 meter simplex are encouraged. All modes of operation should be represented – SSB, CW, RTTY, Digital, and the Satellites. The mode of operation is up to the individual colony state station. For more details on the stations, suggested frequencies, QSL info and on how to obtain the special certificate, see: http://www.13colonies.info

Thanks to the Southgate Amateur radio News for this information


This is one of my favorite events each year – and it also represents some of the best of the traditions of amateur operation. I have always found the operators to be kind and helpful and patient, and they really seem to enjoy the event. Why not give it a go  this year?!

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

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Video: Luke demonstrates the Panasonic RF-9000

Panasonic-RF-9000

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Luke Perry, who recently purchased a Panasonic RF-9000 and writes:

Hello Thomas. I did a YouYube video demonstrating my ‘new’ Panasonic RF-9000 SW receiver.

I already submitted a review to the blog which you posted (thank you). There are a few videos out there of the RF-9000 but most are short and not that descriptive.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Keep up the good work on the site. It is something that I look at on a near daily basis.
thanks!

Thank you, Luke, for sharing your video! I’m glad you’re pleased with the RF-9000–it’s certainly a rare receiver that performs beautifully. Enjoy!

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Reserve your copy of the 2015-2016 Pirate Radio Annual

2015-16_PRA_cover1

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Tom Ally, who shares the following announcement from Andrew Yoder’s Hobby Broadcasting blog:

The 2015-16 Pirate Radio Annual is now nearly finished and I’m taking advance orders for copies of the book. I’ve had the CD ready for a while now (although I need to start burning copies). I started laying out the PRA about a month ago, then realized last week that my column margins were too narrow, so I re-set it. Just finished the cover tonight and the files are going to the printer tomorrow. From there, the finished books should be ready in 4-6 weeks.

In case you are wondering what the Pirate Radio Annual is, it’s a paperback book with an 5.5″ x 8.5″ trim size. This is the 6th edition. Each are divided into two parts: the first is pirate radio “articles” and the second part of the book is a listing of entries on North American shortwave pirate stations that were reported in the past year (and also European pirates that were reported in a large portion of North America). The book contains images from dozens of stations + contact information, URLs of websites, etc. Because this year’s edition is running long, I cut back on the “articles” in this year’s edition . . . WGM: World’s Greatest Mistake and the updates for next two Global HF Pirate weekends.
This year’s edition is 230 pages (34 pages longer than the last edition) and contains an audio CD-R with sample tracks of audio from pirates from the past year. 92 different stations (up 20 from last year) are represented on the CD….although the recording is on a CD-R, it is an audio CD that can be played in standard CD players, computers, etc. BTW, after creating hundreds of these CDs, I heard from one reader that the CD wouldn’t fit properly in his slot-loading Mac computer. If you want to use it in one of these computers or device with a narrow slot, let me know and I can send your CD without a label.

If you want an advance copy, the price until August 7 is $16 + $3 shipping ($19) to the United States. I’m not yet sure if the extra 34 pages will affect the shipping cost to the rest of the world. I should probably wait until the copies arrive so that I can check the shipping cost/weight to Europe/Australia/Canada/etc., rather than guessing and posting an amount that’s totally inaccurate, so I appreciate your patience while I get it figured out.
Also, I found a less-expensive printer for this edition. When I was offering advance copies at the Winterfest, I thought it’d be more expensive than it wound up being. So, if you advance ordered at the Winterfest, I’ll be returning $1 with your copy.

You can either send a check or money order in US funds to:

Cabinet Communications
PO Box 109
Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214

or you can send the $ via PayPal to info /at/ hobbybroadcasting.com

I buy each issue of the Pirate Radio Annual, so I’ll order my copy ASAP. Thanks again for the tip, Tom!

What is the Pirate Radio Annual? Check out on of my reviews.

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From the Isle of Music for June 27/28

PromoFTIOMjune06272016small
For the next several months, From the Isle of Music will be featuring the nominees and winners of Cubadisco 2016, Cuba’s equivalent of the GRAMMY.

Our June 28 (June 27 in the Americas on WBCQ) program includes special guest María Felicia Pérez, director of Coro Exaudi, winner of the Choral Music category in Cubadisco 2016. We’ll also play some Popular Dance Music by Jesús Cutiño, nominated in the Popular Dance Music – New Talents category and some of Live in Cuba by Wynton Marsalis, which was awarded an International Prize at Cubadisco. Also, some vintage Irakere.

Two listening options on shortwave:
WBCQ, 7490 KHz, Tuesdays 0000 UTC (8pm EDT Mondays)
Channel 292, 6070 KHz, Tuesdays 1900 UTC (2100 CEST)
See the NOTES section of our Facebook page for more information

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Colin’s Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration

Hammarlund-HQ120X

Many thanks to Colin Snow for sharing the following photos and commenting on his Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration. I originally noticed his photos in the Extreme Shortwave Listening group on Facebook and he kindly wrote up descriptions for each image to be published here on the SWLing Post:


Hammarlund HQ-120X restoration

by Colin Snow

Hammarlund HQ-120X

Purchased on eBay March, 2016. Hammarlund HQ-120X (1939 restored) and PSC/10 speaker (1939 original). The radio was frist restored by KE7RD, the collector who owned this unit for years. This was a late production version. It has 6K7’s instead of 6S7’s (good). The O/P TRANS has been replaced and an SO-239 added. It was recapped and aligned both IF + RF and works well on all bands.”

Hammarlund-HQ120X-2

I had the cabinet repainted locally at NRI Sandblasting and Coating with a black semi-gloss crinkle powder coat paint. I cleaned the chrome part of the handles with Quick Glo and stripped and painted the two shoulders with black gloss enamel.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-3

I had the speaker enclosure stripped and painted at the same time as the cabinet with the same black semi-gloss crinkle powder coat.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-5

The original 1939 speaker was a 10″ Jensen. It worked, but I wanted the best possible sound. This current production model Jensen fit exactly.

HAmmarlund-HQ120X 6

White lines for the knobs were done using white out. The lines are grooved so I just gobbed it on and wiped off the excess.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-Faceplate

I had the faceplate rescreened by Adam’s Precision Screen Printing, Inc. San Leandro, CA. They created a film positive first, then a negative screen.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-9

It was a perfect job. The color and sheen matched original. This should last longer because it is an epoxy ink that has been baked to harden.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-knobs

The lettering came out clean. Even though they made a 1.5X negative they still had to create artwork for the fonts. The original letters were just etched into to aluminum. It looked like it was done by hand.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-8

Funny how words change. We now say “megahertz”, not “megacycles.”

Hammarlund-HQ-120X-DialLight

I refurbished the dial windows myself. They were easy to strip and I used a flat black enamel spray. The S-meter glass was dirty so I disassembled it and cleaned with Quick Glo.

Hammarlund-HQ120X-10

Still works after all that!

Hammarlund-HQ120X-12

Its final resting place is my office and looks pretty good next to an original Tiffany’s lamp. I have a second listening post.


Colin, I can see that you spared no expense to restore this Hammarlund HQ-120X and it has paid off–an absolutely gorgeous job! I love how its “final resting place” is in a part of your office that gives it an appropriate amount of space–a place to be admired and, more importantly, enjoyed.  I bet the 120 sounds simply amazing!

Thanks again for sharing these photos and your commentary, Colin!

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