Radio Waves: Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio
Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!
New Book: QSL? (Do You Confirm Receipt of My Transmission?) (Standards Manual)
A collection of over 150 “QSL cards”, QSL? chronicles a moment in time before the Internet age, when global communication was thriving via amateur, or “ham”, radio operators.
Discovered by designer Roger Bova, the distinctly designed cards follow the international correspondence of one ham, station W2RP, who turned out to be the longest-standing licensed operator in The United States.
If China declares war, these ham radio enthusiasts could be crucial (LA Times)
TAIPEI, Taiwan — On Tuesday nights, BX2AN sits near the Xindian River, motionless but for his thumb and middle finger, rhythmically tapping against two small metal paddles. They emit a sound each time his hand makes contact — from the right, a dit, or dot; from the left, a dah, or dash, the building blocks of the Morse code alphabet.
“Is anyone there?” he taps.
The replies come back in fits and starts: from Japan, then Greece, then Bulgaria. Each time, BX2AN, as he is known on the radio waves, jots down a series of numbers and letters: call signs, names, dates, locations. Then he adjusts a black round knob on his transceiver box, its screens glowing yellow in the dark.
There can be no doubt that this is his setup. That unique call sign is stamped across the front of his black radio set, scrawled in faded Sharpie on his travel mug and engraved in a plaque on his car dashboard. On the edge of his notepad, he’s absent-mindedly doodled it again, BX2AN.
In the corporeal world he is Lee Jiann-shing, a 71-year-old retired bakery owner, husband, father of five, grandfather of eight and a ham radio enthusiast for 30 years. Every week, he is the first to arrive at this regular meeting for Taipei’s amateur radio hobbyists.
[…]The self-governing island, about 100 miles east of China, is weighing wartime scenarios in the face of growing military aggression from its vastly more powerful neighbor. If cell towers are down and internet cables have been cut, the ability of shortwave radio frequencies to transmit long-distance messages could become crucial for civilians and officials alike. [Continue reading…]
Radio silence grows in Venezuela as government shutters dozens of stations (Reuters)
CARACAS, Oct 26 (Reuters) – In July officials from Venezuela’s telecommunications regulator entered the Moda 105.1 FM radio station, in the northwestern state of Cojedes, accompanied by members of the national guard and demanding to see all the station’s licensing.
Hours later they stopped it broadcasting – making Moda one of at least 50 stations in Venezuela’s interior which have been closed so far this year by the Conatel regulator because it says they lack valid licenses.
The accelerated closures are a new step in efforts by the government of President Nicolas Maduro to control information and give state media hegemony over communications, journalist guilds and non-governmental organizations say, continuing a policy begun under his predecessor Hugo Chavez. [Continue reading…]
The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications100th Edition (ARRL)
We have arrived at a milestone. The 100th edition of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is here: Handbook 100. How do you celebrate the most widely used one-stop reference and guide to radio technology principles and practices? By continuing to fill the pages of another edition with the progress and achievement of radio amateurs. Handbook 100 is written for everyone with a desire to advance the pursuit of wireless technology. Here is your guide to radio experimentation, discovery, and innovation.
Each chapter is filled with the most up-to-date knowledge representative of the wide and ever-expanding range of interests among radio amateurs. There are practical, hands-on projects for all skill levels — from simple accessories and small power supplies to legal-limit amplifiers and high-gain antennas.
- Radio electronics theory and principles
- Circuit design and equipment
- Signal transmission and propagation
- Digital modulation and protocols
- Antennas and transmission lines
- Construction practices
Updated with new projects and content, including:
- An all-new chapter on radio propagation covering a wide range of bands and modes
- New and updated sections on electronic circuit simulation
- New cavity filter and high-power HF filter projects
- New coverage on digital protocols and modes
- New material on RFI from low-voltage lighting and other sources
- Revised sections covering new RF exposure limits
- New content on portable station equipment, antennas, power, and assembly
- New material on ferrite uses and types
- New section on how to use portable SDR to locate sources of RFI …and more.
Click here for more information and to place an order.
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From the few preview pages in the QSL’s book it’s disappointing.
It could be copyright issues but most of the cards do not tell a story,
why to show a blank side of the card?
In the real LA times article it is a pity that all but one picture was of 2 metre (144 – 148 MHz antennas) which do not travel the long distances to which the article refers. The one antenna which is not was a loop antenna, but it is unknown if it was tuned to the HF band or the MF band.
Really enjoyed the LA Times article. The number of US licensed operators was a surprise – is it correct? 846,000 since 1912? There seem to be about 80,000 in the UK, so maybe it’s 846,000 current licenses rather than since 1912.
Anyway – definitely worth a read! And thanks as always for these roundups of links. There’s always something interesting to find.
I read the QSL article with interest as I just discovered I still have many of my QSL cards from SWL’ing from the 1950’s. China, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Australia are just a few. My special ones are VQO2 Solomon Islands with 50 watts of power and Radio Brazzaville, French Equatorial Africa, which is no longer a country. The “Happy Station” from The Netherlands was great to listen to as was the BBC. They all bring back great memories. I did all the listening with a long wire and a Hallicrafters S-38D receiver I got for my birthday. I believe it cost my mother $49.95 back then from Sears & Roebuck.
Re: the TAIPEI, Taiwan artical in the LA Times
Considering this article was aimed at non-technical readers, it makes an interesting read.
BTW I like the “Go-Box” BX2AN has constructed. An idea..?
Regards es 73 de SO6AUU/9 aka G8AUU
If China declares war, hams in Taiwan are likely to be shut down.
I think this “100 anniversary” is a bit off. It’s been 51 years since I got my first Handbook, 1971. But I’m not sure it was 49 years then. The Handbook came later than QST, and wasn’t every year for awhile. I notice the ARRL has problems remembering, the oldtimers replaced by people withnlittle history with the organization.
The technical level of the Handbook has improved in recent decades. But it’s become very unuseable. In 1971, it was easy to leaf through, and fit on the bench easily. Once itwent to the larger format, around 1979, it became harxer to use. And then it became thicker. I bought the 2019 edition, and virtually no projects in there, they’ve been moved to the CDROM. Got to keep that technical stuff out of view so it won’t scare people.