Monthly Archives: December 2019

LRA36 to broadcast coverage of Alberto Fernandez inauguration

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adrian Korol, who writes:

On December 10 [today], a new President will assume office in Argentina. The ceremony will be re-broadcast from LRA36 at 1200 UTC on 15476 still with the emergency Collins transmitter, less than 1 kw but with better antenna conditions.

Many thanks for the tip, Adrian!

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DXtreme Monitor Log 12

(Source: DXtreme)

DXtreme Software™ has released a new version of its popular logging program for radio monitoring enthusiasts – DXtreme Monitor Log 12 – which lets listeners and DXers log the stations they’ve heard using features that enhance their monitoring experiences.

User’s Choice of Country Formats

When starting Monitor Log 12 the first time as a new user – or when creating a new secondary database – users can select the country format they want to use: NASWA Countries or ARRL Entities. Country information is fully editable when changes occur.

Finding Broadcast Stations to Monitor

The Schedule Checker lets users import schedules from Aoki, EiBi, and FCC AM web sites and display schedule data according to the filter criteria they specify. A list box lets users switch between schedule types. And users can filter schedule information by band, frequency, station, country, time of day, language, and more.

When the What’s On Now? function is activated, the schedule refreshes automatically at the top of each hour for Aoki and EiBi schedules.

For each schedule item, Schedule Checker queries the Monitor Log 12 database to let users know – through user-defined, foreground and background display colors – whether they need to monitor a station for a brand-new or verified country. Schedule Checker also displays bearing and distance, runs optional Afreet Ham CAP propagation predictions, draws optional Afreet DX Atlas azimuth plots, tunes supported radios to schedule frequencies when users double-click schedule items, and starts log entries for scheduled stations monitored.

Finding Amateur Radio Stations to Monitor

Monitor Log 12 integrates with optional Afreet Band Master to let users see, on its graphical interface, where hams are operating. Monitor Log 12 supplies Band Master with an Entity Needed List based on the user’s Monitor Log database, making it possible for Band Master to indicate the stations whose entities (countries) users need to monitor.

Finding Utility Stations to Monitor

A Links menu provides convenient access to user-specified blogs and web sites that can inform users as to where utility and other stations may be operating.

Logging Stations

Monitor Log 12 lets users log all kinds of stations – radio, television, broadcast, Amateur Radio, utility, military, and more! And it lets users log stations across the radio spectrum – from long wave, to medium wave, to short wave, and beyond. Users can also select the display of kHz or MHz frequencies.

The Last Log Entries Grid on the Monitor Log window shows up to 5000 of the most recent log entries added. Its records can be sorted, and double-clicking records displays detailed data on the Monitor Log window. Users can resize the grid columns and scroll horizontally to columns that do not appear initially. Users can also display a larger, resizable Last Log Entries window. A Properties window lets users change the order of columns, the number of log entries to display, and the font and color attributes of grids and other program components, such as: Content Tabs for describing the content monitored, Script Editor for creating and editing scripts, Direct Tune interface for tuning radios, and Comments for typing ad hoc comments.

Reporting Reception

Users can create customized paper and e-mail reception reports for sending to stations plus club report entries for reporting catches to clubs and magazines.

When users add or display a log entry, Monitor Log 12 prepares a post announcing their DX catch and displays it on the Social Media Post tab. From there, users can drag the post to their favorite social media web sites to share their catch with others.

Using the Script Editor window, users can create and edit scripts that format reception reports, eReports, and social media posts to their liking. The software prompts users to select the script they want to use. Dozens of scripts come with Monitor Log 12.

Users can also print SWL and Address labels on industry-standard label stock, and send eQSL requests to hams automatically via the popular https://www.eqsl.cc site.

Imaging

Improv Imaging lets users associate ad hoc images with log entries using Capture,Scan, and Clipboard functions. Captures of stations received on digital applications, waterfall displays, facsimile and Amateur TV pictures are popular. The Improv Imaging tab and Application let users view images anytime, and an Improv Image Explorer lets them peruse their entire collection and display associated log entries. A QSL Imaging facility functions the same as Improv Imaging for associating QSLs.

Other Features

Rig Control – Retrieves the frequency and mode from supported radios and permits tuning from the Schedule Checker and Direct Tune interface. Rig control is provided through integration with Afreet Omni-Rig and SDR applications like HDSDR, SDR Console, and SDRuno.

Audio Archiving – Lets users maintain an audio archive of stations heard.

Reporting and Searching – Produces Performance, Stations, and Log Entry reports that track the performance and progress of the user’s monitoring station in its entirety. The software lets users tailor the appearance of reports plus FTP them to user-provided Web space for remote access and sharing. Reports can integrate with Afreet DX Atlas to create pin maps. Searches allow access to all monitoring data in a variety of formats.

ADIF Import – Lets users import ADIF-formatted log entries into their database.

eQSL.cc Inbox Update – Updates user’s database with eQSL.cc Inbox verifications.

Documentation – Context-sensitive Procedural Help, Field Help, and Microhelp are accessible per window to provide instructions quickly. A web-based Information Center is accessible from the Help menu for late-breaking assistance, and Installation Instructions and a Getting Started Guide are delivered in PDF format with the software.

Operating Systems, Pricing, Contact Information DXtreme Monitor Log 12 runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista®, and XP. It retails for $94.99 USD worldwide for electronic distribution.

Pricing for CD versions and upgrading users is available on our Web site. All prices include product support by Internet e-mail. For more information, visit https://www.dxtreme.com or contact Bob Raymond at bobraymond@dxtreme.com.

SWLing Post readers should note that DXtreme was one of our first company supporters. Their ad revenue helps bring the SWLing Post to you daily. Thanks, DXtreme!

Click here to check out DXtreme Monitor Log 12.

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RRI: Tiganesti shortwave transmitter back on the air

Photo: Radio Romania International

(Source: Radio Romania International)

Broadcasting of RRI short wave programs is back on track – Dear friends, the short wave transmitter in ?ig?ne?ti, BD 300-1 near Bucharest is up and running. It has been out of order for several months and it’s now broadcasting RRI’s programs again. The transmitter has been repaired by RADIOCOM. We are looking forward to receiving your feedback related to the quality of reception. Thank you!

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The Sony ICF-7600A continues to impress

I mentioned in a previous post that SWLing Post contributor, Ed Earps, recently gifted me his Sony ICF-7600A.

I’ve been having a field day with this radio!

Well, many field days, in fact. Early on, I packed the ‘7600A in my Red Oxx Hound EDC pack–it fits in the Hound’s interior pocket perfectly and is well-protected on all sides. The radio has pretty much lived in my car and truck since then, thus has gotten a lot of air time when I take short breaks throughout the day.

In November, I took the ‘7600A to Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet/2,037 meters above sea level) and to coastal South Carolina (sea level). It’s been a great radio companion and has given me an excuse to go “old school” and do a little analog band-scanning.

The ICF-7600A certainly has some strengths.

For one thing, although I’ve let this radio on for extended listening sessions, I’ve yet to deplete the eneloop rechargeable batteries (Amazon affiliate link) I originally installed in October. Obviously, this radio will run for days on batteries–a serious plus if DXing off-grid.

The ‘7600A is a fantastic portable for mediumwave DXing. Although it’s also a very sensitive and selective shortwave receiver–especially in this class and era of analog portable–I think mediumwave may be its strong suit.

On the negative side, some of the shortwave band selections are truncated and for some reason, it doesn’t have a back stand (quite an odd omission). Still, these are pretty minor cons.

Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons on this brilliant vintage portable that seems to have held up very well over the years.

To ensure its longevity–and as a precaution–I do think I’ll take it to Dr. Vlado to have all of the caps replaced soon.

My thoughts? If you ever stumble across an ICF-7600A at a hamfest or on eBay, I say grab it!

Post readers: Anyone else love the ICF-7600A? Did I miss any major pros or cons? Please comment!


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Spotless sun about to set record

Above: The blank sun on Dec. 8, 2019. Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

(Source: SpaceWeather.com via Michael Bird)

ONE WEEK FROM A SPACE AGE RECORD: 2019 is about to set a Space Age record. So far this year, the sun has been blank (no sunspots) for 261 days, including the last 24 days in a row. If the streak continues for only 7 more days, 2019 will break the Space Age record for spotless suns.

The previous record-holder is the year 2008, when the sun was blank for 268 out of 365 days, making the Solar Minimum of 2008-2009 the deepest of the Space Age. Next weekend, barring a sudden profusion of sunspots, 2019 will move into first place.

Solar Minimum is a normal part of the 11-year sunspot cycle. The past two (2008-2009 and 2018-2019) have been long and deep, making them “century-class” Minima. To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days.
What are the side-effects of Solar Minimum? On one hand, solar flares and geomagnetic storms subside, making it harder to catch Northern Lights at mid-latitudes. Space weather grows “quiet.” On the other hand, cosmic rays intensify. The sun’s weakening magnetic field allows more particles from deep space into the solar system, boosting radiation levels in Earth’s atmosphere. Indeed, this is happening right now with cosmic rays nearing a Space Age record.
Stay tuned for updates this week!

www.spaceweather.com

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Ongoing DRM tests in Hungary: Could DRM be decoded via a KiwiSDR–?

Budapest, Hungary (Photo by @DNovac)

Several readers have written recently asking about the DRM tests we mentioned in a previous post. These tests are being sponsored by the Budapest University of Technology from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020–thus, they’ve been on the air for several months already. 

The programming, which was produced by Radio Maria, is being played in a loop–repeated over and over again. The signal is a modest 100 watts and is being transmitted via a 5/8 wavelength vertical on 26,060 kHz.

This is a low-power DRM broadcast using a very modest antenna, so I suppose it goes without saying that expectations should be in check. It’s a very long-shot for those of us living outside of Europe, of course. With that said, there are a number of KiwiSDR sites nearby Budapest:

You could certainly see the distinctive DRM signal on a KiwiSDR waterfall display, but I’m not sure how you’d decode it.

KiwiSDRs do have an IQ mode, however. I am very curious if anyone has ever used a KiwiSDR to decode DRM, perhaps, using Dream? Could the KiwiSDR IQ be fed into DREAM with a virtual audio cable?

Please comment–have you ever decoded DRM via a KiwiSDR site?


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WRTH 2020 now available for order

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Thomas Ally, who writes:

The new World Radio TV Handbook is on Amazon.

Click here to view on Amazon (affiliate link).

Or the WRTH shop: http://www.wrth.com/_shop/

Thanks for the heads-up, Thomas. Also, I see that both Universal Radio and the Book Depository has posted the new addition on their websites.

I can’t wait to check out WRTH 2020!

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