Radio Waves: 8 Meter Experimental Station, Forgotten Music Festival Found, Press Freedom Fear in Poland, and JA1TOKYO

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!


8-Meter Experimental Station on the Air from the US (ARRL News)

WL2XUP is an FCC Part 5 Experimental station operated by Lin Holcomb, NI4Y, in Georgia. It’s licensed to operate with up to 400 W effective radiated power (ERP) between 40.660 MHz to 40.700 MHz.

John Desmond, EI7GL, reports that as of mid-July, WL2XUP was intermittently transmitting on Weak-Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) on 40.662 MHz (1500 Hz) for 2 minutes out of every 10, with an output power of 20 W ERP into an omnidirectional antenna. For FT8 check-ins and tests, an ERP of 100 W may be used. The band is affected by several propagation modes, including tropospheric ducting, sporadic E, transequatorial propagation (TEP), and F2 propagation. As Desmond notes, the 40 MHz band will open a lot earlier than 50 MHz and could be a useful resource for stations monitoring the transatlantic path.

A 2019 Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11843) asked the FCC to create a new 8-meter amateur radio allocation on a secondary basis. The Petition suggests the new band could be centered on an industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) segment somewhere between 40.51 and 40.70 MHz. The spectrum between 40 and 41 MHz is currently allocated to the federal government and, as such, within the purview of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

ARRL member Michelle Bradley, KU3N, of Maryland, filed the petition on behalf of REC Networks, which she founded and described in the Petition as “a leading advocate for a citizen’s access to spectrum,” including amateur radio spectrum.[]

An Indiana radio host found the last recording of a forgotten Evansville music festival (Evansville Courier & Press)

Inside a little shed in southwest Indianapolis, Kyle Long found something almost “too amazing to be true.”

It was some time in the early 2000s. Like he often did during his teenage and 20-something years, Long was trolling a garage sale for old music. He mainly worked as a club DJ back then, and he loved to pepper his sets with songs miles away from the top 40. If they had a connection to Indiana musical history, even better.

What he held his hands that day definitely did. It was a reel-to-reel tape. “61 jazz fest” was scrawled in the cover’s top-left corner, and Long noticed names like “Duke Ellington” written on the packaging.

He kept the tape at home for years before finally getting it digitized. That’s when he discovered he owned what is perhaps the last known recording of a star-studded – and ultimately doomed – Evansville music festival.

Thanks to a brash promoter, unlikely sponsors, and fallout from the actions of drunk teenagers 1,000 miles away, Evansville hosted what became known as the Indiana Jazz Festival in 1960 and ’61. Stars such as Ellington, Benny Goodman, the Staples Singers, Dave Brubeck and the future Lando Calrissian himself, Billy Dee Williams, whipped Roberts Stadium into a froth on hot summer weekends that attracted local residents and college kids from around the country.

CBS recorded snippets of the 1960 show. And in ’61, promoter Hal Lobree claimed the U.S. State Department planned to film the festival and turn it into a documentary called “Americana Indiana” that would be broadcast on the government-owned Voice of America.

Lobree dreamed it would become our version of the Newport Jazz Festival: the legendary yearly concert that, like its folk-singing cousin, still generates mountains of tourist cash for the small Rhode Island city.

But by 1962, the Indiana Jazz Festival was gone.[Continue reading…]

Poland: Media freedom fears as TVN24’s licence extension is suspended (Euro News)

Poland’s National Broadcasting Council has suspended the extension of the licence of the independent TVN24 television channel, which is owned and financed by an American company.

Negotiations are also underway in parliament on a new bill that would limit the ability of media to operate in Poland if they have large foreign investment.

If the bill goes through, TVN would fall into that bracket since it’s part of the American Discovery franchise.

Press Club Polska, an independent association of journalists, said the decision is an attempt to strangle media.

“In our opinion, the move to not extend TVN’s licence seems to be an attempt to put pressure on independent media,” explained Wojciech Tumidalski. “When it comes to this “lex TVN” bill, as they call it, it is unacceptable to pass a law against a single economic entity that plays an important role in the media market and is simply an independent medium that challenges the government.”[]

Olympic Games – JA1TOKYO is on the air (Southgate ARC)

On July 16 JARL opened the special commemorative station ‘JA1 TOKYO‘ in Nishitokyo City, Tokyo, to commemorate the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games being held from July 23

After the opening ceremony of “JA1TOKYO”, an operator in charge was assigned to each band for active operation.

In the evening, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives Hirohiko Izumida 7K1KJK, who is an amateur radio operator and a member of JARL, attended the venue and operated the station in the 7 MHz band.

The station will be active until September 5.

Source JARL https://tinyurl.com/IARU-Japan


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8 thoughts on “Radio Waves: 8 Meter Experimental Station, Forgotten Music Festival Found, Press Freedom Fear in Poland, and JA1TOKYO

  1. Greg J.

    As for the situation in Poland. “Independent” TVN television is in the hands of the Americans and represents and imposes foreign standards in Poland! The takeover of most of the shares by a company from outside Poland and the European Union took place thanks to a leaky law and corruption. When the Polish government wants to repair the law, it is reported that it is an attack on “independent” media! Unfortunately, in Poland, real independent media do not have a license. And those media that have licenses in this TVN do not have the right to call themselves independent!

    Reply
    1. Real Poland Situation

      Polish government is both destroying law and putting Poland in gigantic debts, counting now in billbions of USD. An attempt to silence down TVN is just a way to hide all injustice that is going on now in Poland. All other media outlets are already directly or indirectly controlled by government.

      Reply
    2. Astar

      They can’t call themselves independent because you said so? This channel is fully independent from the government and it is the only TV station which does investigative journalism on scandals involving govt officials. There is no need to “repair” any law. Licenses for other TVN group stations (mostly entertainment&lifestyle) have been prolonged recently without any issues. Only when it came to the news channel, which shows what they’d like to hide, a bunch of made-up “issues” magically appeared. We do not want other media here to become like the state-owned TV, which was transformed into DPRK-like propaganda outlet (this is not an exaggeration – google “przedwyborcza mobilizacja”), which is attacking anyone who opposes any govt policy. Literally doxxing people who go to protests, calling them barbarians. Trust in the public media has fallen to historically low levels because of that so no wonder they want to influence other broadcasters. US gov should stand still and act to defend TVN.

      Reply
      1. Greg J.

        Hi Astar.
        I would like to point out that the situation in which one of the largest news stations in Poland is in the hands of a foreign country is at least not normal. And the fact that it criticizes the Polish government does not mean that it is independent. Can you imagine a situation where, for example, CNN is in the hands of Russia and criticizes the US government, and you would also say that there is an independent station? No American government (Democratic or Republican) would ever allow this to happen!
        Best Regards 73.

        Reply
        1. Astar

          Greg,
          If you ask me, frankly I do not see any problem with that. We’re on SWLing Post after all so most stations we’re hearing are foreign-based. And if I look at the history of my country, I can only say it was a blessing to have RFE, BBC, VOA, etc that could bring unfiltered news to the people. The communist gov was denouncing these stations basically the same way – “they’re foreign, so they’re lying/acting against our interests/etc”. We know how it turned out.

          But coming back to the facts, again this is a project which is “solving” a non-existent issue. The PL gov is using rule-by-law tactics (this project affects only TVN, not any other TV network) to force the American owner either to sell their shares with reduced price or just kowtow to them. We watched it unfold in Hungary in the same way. The effect is that all TV and radio stations there are directly or indirectly influenced by the government. So it’s obvious we don’t want to repeat it here.

          The sale of TVN to American company (I think it was like 5 years ago or so) was approved by our media authorities. As I stated, licenses for their other channels have been also renewed recently. So their operation is perfectly legal. An application for TVN 24 license renewal has been filed 1,5 YEARS ago and still no decision has been made (license expires in September). Now the gov wants to change the law and use it as an excuse to deny the renewal but it is obvious that if you make an application within an existing legal framework, it is not acceptable if this framework changes while your application is being processed and you’re suddenly subordinate to some new rules which you didn’t know about when making the application.

          I don’t think there is a threat of foreign “enemies” taking over the media in any country. It’s simply not worthwhile – if they decide to operate ‘troll farms’ instead, they get far better reach, no responsibility within the local law and they can influence the public opinion ‘incognito’ – if you are reading, let’s say, comments on Twitter, (esp on political affairs) you don’t really know if they’re written by a real person (but if you’re listening to, let’s say China Radio Int. on SW, you know perfectly that this is a state-run media presenting Chinese viewpoint). That’s a great advantage and it has already been tested and proved to be working great.

          But anyways, even if I’m wrong with this supposition, the fact is that the existing PL law allows to revoke any license if a particular broadcaster is deemed a threat to national security and to block any takeover of media, telecomms etc companies by non-OECD entities. The second law I’m mentioning here has been in fact recommended by the EU and implemented in Jun 2020. It means the “new” project we’re discussing here is not needed and justification given by the gov is simply not true. We’re perfectly protected from such threats.

          In fact, the issue of media ownership is just an excuse here. We’re talking about a government which is, at the same time, blocking the sale of 2nd largest radio network (Radio Zet) to an entirely Polish-owned company (!!!) citing anti-competition laws. But this company is at the same time owner of the largest gov-critical newspaper and a network of some local radio stations. So in that case it is not a matter of media ownership, but media control. Any company which cannot be influenced by the government, regardless if foreign of not, will be blocked from operating on the market.

          Reply
          1. Real Poland Situation

            Astar, great post and explaination, with Radio Zet as a great example of what it is really about – media control and ownership & shutting down any criticism.

            Unfortunately today at late evening this law was passed (despite fact that in first voting government had lost, they just breaked the law and voted again, bribing some deputies in the meantime, that if they will vote in support of this law, they will receive some position). This law will have to be accepted at Senate, where it won’t pass (opposition has got there a majority of votes), but then it will go back to parliament, where it surely will be passed and signed by President, which is also from the governing party.

            Government announced that some changes will be proposed to keep satellite channels intact, but this means that TVN will have to leave terrestrial broadcast (and maybe in cable networks), which will cut out any informations about government corruption and injustice, which is now in common in Poland, on a scale which happened never before. Allowing only satellite broadcasting will effectively leave most of poorer viewers outside access to informations not controlled by government.

            A black day for media freedom in Poland. And a very bad change introduced in very bad way, now every next government will be able to take ownership and control over informations. It takes us back to the communism era.

  2. John AE5X

    Hello Thomas,

    I have also applied for an experimental license to operate on the 8m band with 100 watts. According to Lin NI4Y, his approval took “about a month”.

    Before 630m was made an official band, there were at least a dozen US stations with experimental licenses operating WSPR and JT9/65 (pre-FT8).

    73,
    John AE5X

    Reply
    1. Samuel Rhine

      Probably be easier to just get a commercial itinerant license. Every summer I like to scan vhf lowband for commercial ops on the East coast. Lots of great listening to be had. No real need for ham beacons.

      Reply

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