Monthly Archives: March 2018

Ampegon Group encourages use of shortwave for “secure data transmission and high-speed communications”

(Source: Ampegon)

(Source: Radio World via Mike Hansgen)

The author [Dr. Simon Keens] is head of sales and marketing for the Ampegon Group.

TURGI, SWITZERLAND — There are many innovative ways the industry can use shortwave broadcasting to provide secure data transmission and high-speed communications.

The modern world increasingly requires available real-time secure communications between centralized locations and often to many receivers in unknown locations thousands of kilometers away.

[…]Information transfer via the internet or via fiber optic cable was once the reference. However, the use of such technology means that the information is only delivered to fixed points. In addition, the use of third-party infrastructures provides a security risk and increases transport cost.

Today, near-instant communication to unknown, remote receivers using shortwave is being developed as a new secure means of communications without the need for external providers, delivering signals directly to multiple, or even mobile, destinations regardless of fixed infrastructure. Messages may be dispatched much faster, thus for situations where time is critical, each additional second could be profitable and even save lives.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

Colin’s review of the CC Skywave SSB

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Colin Newell of who shares part one of his review of the CC Skywave SSB.

Colin’s review is nothing short of glowing and he obviously has a first production unit that isn’t plagued with the DSP noises five of my review units had.

As I stated in my review, the Skywave SSB is an impressive little receiver when DSP noises and birdies aren’t an issue. My Beta unit is a lot of fun to put on the air and has become my go-to “Swiss Army Knife” travel radio.

I will be testing an early second production unit of the CC Skywave SSB later this year and will post my evaluation here on the Post.

Click here to read part one of Colin’s review.


Wading River: WWII FBI covert radio station listed on the National Register of Historic Places

(Photo: Camp De Wolfe)

(Source: Riverhead Local via Mike Hansgen)

A house on the bluffs at Camp DeWolfe in Wading River, covertly used as an FBI radio transmission station during World War II to gather military intelligence, has been added to the state and national registers of historic places.

FBI radio operators impersonating German agents used the Wading River Radio Station to communicate with the German intelligence service, according to the site’s registration form with the National Register of Historic Places.

Information covertly gathered by agents at the radio station was critical to inspiring the United States’ development of an atomic bomb.

The station was also involved in the Operation “Bodyguard,” which used counterintelligence to confuse and mislead the Nazi government about the upcoming Allied invasion of Europe.

The radio station operated from 1942 to 1945.

[…]In January 1942, FBI engineers installed radio equipment in the house, hid a large antenna in the woods, and built a diesel-powered generator using an automobile engine to avoid local suspicion about electricity consumption at the house, which was far greater than what was then the norm due to the radio operations. An FBI agent assigned to manage the operation moved in with his family — and two or three radio operators. The first floor was maintained as the agent’s family home, while the second and third floors were used for the FBI operation, according to the national register registration narrative. They remained there for the duration of the war.

[…]The FBI had been looking for a spot to locate the transmission station for the spying operation and were attracted by the home’s cliffside location and the site’s remoteness. According to the national register registration document:

“By January 1942 [an FBI radio engineer] had stumbled upon the Owen House located in the tiny fishing and farming hamlet of Wading River, New York. Located eighty miles east of New York on Long Island’s North Fork the spacious three story building sat on a cliff bordered on one side by Long Island Sound and acres of dense trees on the other three sides, and the only approach to the station was a bumpy, rutted quarter mile path. Even by today’s standards the house is not easy to find. In 1942 it would have been nearly impossible.”

An FBI agent’s inquiry took the Owen family by surprise. They were sworn to secrecy.[…]

Click here to read the full article at the Riverhead Local.

The Uniden SDS100 True I/Q Scanner

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), who shares information about the new flagship handheld scanner from Uniden: the SDS100.

Here are the details from Uniden’s press release:

SDS100 Coming Soon

Uniden creates another first with the SDS100 True I/Q Scanner, the first scanner to incorporate Software Defined Radio technology to provide incredible digital performance in even the most challenging RF environments. The SDS100’s digital performance is better than any other scanner in both simulcast and weak-signal environments.

The SDS100 is also the first scanner that allows you to decide what to display, where, and in what color. Custom fields put the information important to you right where you need it.

And, one more first, the SDS100 meets JIS4 (IPX4) standards for water resistance.

Slated for release in 2nd Quarter, 2018, the SDS100 carries an MSRP of $699*.

Of course, the SDS100 also includes all the advanced features you’ve come to expect from a Uniden scanner, including:

  • Customizable Color Display
  • Trunktracker X
  • APCO P25 Phase I and II
  • Motorola, EDACS, and LTR Trunking
  • MotoTRBO Capacity + and Connect +**
  • DMR Tier III**
  • Hytera XPT**
  • Single-Channel DMR**
  • NXDN 4800 and 9600**
  • EDACS ProVoice**
  • Location-Based Scanning
  • USA/Canada Radio Database
  • ZIP Code Selection for Easy Setup
  • Close Call™ RF Capture with Do Not Disturb
  • 8 GB microSD
  • Soft Keys for Intellegent UI
  • Recording, Playback, and Replay
  • Temporary Avoid
  • Fire Tone-Out Alert
  • System Analysis and Discovery
  • CTCSS/DCS/NAC/RAN/Color Code Decoding
  • S.A.M.E. Weather Alert
  • Enhanced Dynamic Memory
  • Preemptive Trunking Priority
  • Fully Customizable Scanning with your own Favorites Lists
  • Backlit Keypad
  • Channel Volume Offset
  • PC Programming and Control
  • USB Connectivity and Charging
  • Weekly Database Updates
  • Free Sentinel Software keeps the SDS100 database and memory up to date
  • Up to 8 Hours Operation on included LiIon Battery
  • Frequency Coverage:
    • 25-512 MHz
    • 758-824 MHz
    • 849-869 MHz
    • 894-960 MHz
    • 1240-1300 MHz

Dave shares this Uniden SDS100 Intro Video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Spec Sheet

Click here to download the Uniden SDS100 spec sheet (PDF).

Beta Owner’s Manual

Click here to download the Beta version of the Owner’s Manual (PDF).

Dave notes:

“[The SDS100] actually is bit smaller than the 436 and if the performance is like they say (see attached picture), then this could be a very exciting scanner indeed!!”

Yes indeed!  I have the Uniden BCD436HP and love it.  It’s such a simple handheld scanner to operate and there’s no real need to “program” it as it will automatically load relevant frequencies based on GPS coordinates or a postal/zip code. This looks like a significant upgrade and I love the fact it’s water resistant.  Of course, MSRP is projected to be $699 US–not a small investment.

Thanks for the tip and all of the links, Dave!

“Air Waves”: A WWII era film about the art of broadcasting at NBC

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Hansgen (K8RAT), who shares the following film by RKO Radio Pictures via YouTube.

Click here to watch on YouTube.

Here’s the film description:

Made during WWII by RKO Radio Pictures, AIR WAVES gives a brief history of the radio, and shows the development of the technology as it progressed from a crystal set novelty to an indispensable part of American life. Radio City Music Hall and the Rockefeller Center are seen at the 2:00 mark, with the largest radio studios in the world. At 2:30, the NBC studios are seen and at 3:10 a demonstration is made of how sound effects are made using cellophane, wooden blocks, and rubber spheres. At 4:10, a studio is seen with actors rehearsing their lines, and an engineer working with the actors to make sure everything is technically okay. At 5:41, announcers Milton Cross is seen with Jack Costello and Calvin Keach. “Twin gods of radio broadcasting are the clock and the conference…” says the narrator, and at 6:00 you’ll see the discussions that lead up to the broadcast of any network show on radio (and today, on TV). At 7:15, records are played on the air, scripts are produced on steno and mimeograph machines, and all sorted… The music library is seen at 7:48 with sheet music laid out. At 8:06, all stations are notified of the latest information with the new program and a dress rehearsal undertaken. The stopwatch commands the attention of everyone, and the program is finally on the air at the 9:10 mark.

At 10:00, the film dramatically shifts to show December 7th in Hawaii, and speaks about the work of NBC to sell war bonds and promote national defense and “do its share unflinchingly”. The war effort is shown with men and women working on the air to help people working “at war” and boosting their morale. Lowell Thomas is shown at the 11:30 mark, keeping the public informed of the latest developments.

Thanks for the tip, Mike! It’s truly amazing to see the amount of effort that went into live radio broadcasts.