Monthly Archives: December 2022

Alexander’s POV: Community disaster preparedness favors ham radio in Germany

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alexander (DL4NO), who writes:

A Message from Germany: Growing Disaster Preparedness favours Ham Radio

For a long time most radio amateurs in Germany found themselves in the defensive: Building regulations, combined with EMC standards, heavily restrict antenna possibilities. Neighbors fear “dangerous” radiation, often going to court without any legal reasons. Emergency services got a much improved digital communication systems (TETRA), removing many of the artificial borders where they sometimes used ham radio to build bridges.

This could be quite different, as you can see in Austria. If radio amateurs organize a congress about emergency traffic, even the federal government and the Austrian army send competent representatives.

But the political turmoil and the connected energy crisis change attitudes in quite some branches of administrations:

The county of Soest urges citizens to buy license-free PMR handheld radios so they can reach the “light houses” that the county of Soest is creating all over its area.

The county of Ebersberg, east of Munich, is well known for its initiatives. Recently they invited the regional chapter of DARC, our German ham radio society, to discuss the build-up of a resilient data net for the county. In normal times, this data net could be used as part of HAMNET, our part of 44net. The county and towns would help to get access to suitable positions, including power supply. Some of the stations, for example on town halls, might be dormant most of the time. But as soon as power goes out, local radio amateurs are to activate the emergency net. The first application is to be VoIP, i.e. a independent phone service.

The county of Freising, a few km to the north, is also interested in working together with radio amateurs. We are just building a task force for this.

These activities are quite different from traditional emergency traffic. The most important difference: We work as enablers, not as radio officers. Our task will be to maintain the system, make it operational in case of an emergency, and introduce the officials to its use.

This is critical as we do not have enough radio amateurs to get the messages, send them over our system, and hand them down to the respective officer: Multply 2 radio amateurs by 3 shifts per day by a new crew every second day by the number of sites.

And in normal times, we can enjoy a much improved HAMNET coverage. Until now, most radio amateurs only had to access 44net through VPNs over the Internet.

Please comment!

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HAARP to Ping Passing Asteroid with Shortwave Signals


“Researchers from NASA and the University of Alaska are about to perform an unusual radar experiment. They’re going to ping a near-Earth asteroid using shortwave radio. The target is a 500-ft-wide space rock named “2010 XC15.” When it passes by Earth on Tuesday, Dec. 27th, the HAARP array in Alaska will hit it with a pulse of 9.6 MHz radio waves.”

“Radio astronomers ping asteroids all the time. What’s unusual about this experiment is the frequency: 9.6 MHz is hundreds of times lower than typical S-band and X-band frequencies used by other asteroid radars. The goal is to probe the asteroid’s interior.”

This might be an interesting catch on our shortwave receivers?!

(Read the full article at

Robert Gulley, K4PKM, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.

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Dan notes an interesting development at the Japanese Buyee auction site

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who shares the following post:

Japan Buyee Site Halts Shipment of Amateur Equipment

by Dan Robinson

As readers of know, the Buyee website has provided a way for those who view it to see and purchase a range of equipment including premium receivers and items previously unseen on the global used market.

I discovered Buyee a few years ago and have used it to acquire some truly exotic communications receivers, along with rarely-seen shortwave antennas, spare parts for some of the most sought after JRC and other receivers, and other things.

Using the Buyee site required nothing more than establishing an account linked to a funding source. The site has a translation function that translates Japanese descriptions to English and other languages.

So, I was puzzled a few weeks ago when I noticed that many if not all items under my one of my primary search parameters (RECEIVERS, under AMATEUR RADIOS) began showing the following notice: “You cannot bid on because it contains a prohibited item.”

An example from the Receiver sub-category of Amateur Radio

This notice appears now on every single item on this search, ranging from classic older receivers such as a Yaesu FRG-7700, to an ICOM IC-R8600 or rare old JRC or Anritsu receivers. A JRC NRD-515 receiver listed as of the time of this writing is also on the banned list.

I sent a note into the Buyee system inquiring why this sudden block on bidding was imposed. The response I got was polite, asking me to “provide us with the item link and screenshot of the error you have encountered so that we can check and assist you accordingly and avoid misinformation and mistakes.”

Buyee responded to another followup, after I provided them with a screenshot of the banning statement, as follows:

“We understand the importance of this matter to you. In response to your concern about not being able to bid on the item . . .we apologize because amateur radios and other related items are prohibited from being shipped internationally. Please refer to the below link(s) and Thank you for your understanding.”

When I inquired yet another time, Buyee responded: “Regarding your concern, please be informed that we cannot ship transceiver-related items internationally anymore in the future in accordance with Japanese laws and regulations for exporting this kind of item. You are able to provide the link below to the user and ask them to confirm more details” and provided the same URL.

Following the first URL takes one to a Japan Export Control web page which states:

“The Security Export Control in Japan is implemented for the purpose of enabling proper development of foreign trade, and maintaining peace and safety in Japan as well as in the international community by exercising the minimum necessary control based on the FEFTA (Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act) under international export control regimes.”

And a pdf on that page takes one to a document containing a long list of prohibited end users with a fairly recent review date listed of November 2022. The list contains no fewer than 670 prohibited end users, located in Afghanistan, the UAE, the Republic of Yemen, Israel, Iran, India, Egypt, North Korea, Syria, China, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Lebanon, and the Russian Federation.

Wow. Why a blanket ban would be placed on export of amateur radio equipment from Japan and/or Japan sellers is puzzling. Items I have purchased included TEN-TEC receivers, a Drake SPR-4, two Anritsu receivers, several rare Japan Radio Company items, and some spare parts for Harris RF-590 receivers, along with other items.

Based on my reading of descriptions, items were sold by Japanese amateur operators, or longtime shortwave enthusiasts in Japan, or by shops specializing in used equipment in various locations in Japan.

Caught up in this blanket ban are such things as VHF/UHF Talkies, Tecsun receivers, an XHDATA D-808, R-390/A receivers, a Collins 75-A4, and a AOR 3030 and various SONY shortwave antennas such as AN-1 and other models, along with Kenwood RZ-1s and a Yaesu FRG-965.
This is indeed a strange development, and I have sent an additional inquiry to the Buyee site, the outcome of which I will update readers on. If this truly marks the end of the ability of overseas buyers to access the Japan used market, it will be a sad day.

Update–The following is the latest message received by Buyee Customer Service:

Dear Customer,

This is the Buyee Customer Support.
Please kindly understand that there is a part of items which have been restricted by Japanese laws and regulations (export trade management ordinances) (originally cannot be exported without the permission of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), are unable to export out from Japan.

We are afraid amateur radio-related items are restricted by export and trade management, and if shipping these items out to Japan may cause our service been restricted and ban by the law, we are afraid we are unable to take such risk thus we have stop our proxy purchase service for these items.
(*What are the items that are restricted by export and trade management?
Weapons related, items and technologies which may possible use for military purpose, which may threaten the safety of Japan and other countries, these kinds of item will be restricted by the law.)

Please kindly confirm the following link from Japan – Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website regarding the restricted item for more information:

We apologize for the inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.

Buyee Customer Support

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Video: BBC Global News Podcast features Aihkiniemi DXing cabin in Lapland, northern Finland

Absolutely brilliant to see Mika Mäkeläinen giving a tour of the Aihkiniemi DXing cabin in Lapland this morning via the BBC World Service website:

(Source: BBC World Service)

The radio man listening to the world from the Arctic

Mika Mäkeläinen is a radio enthusiast who listens to stations from around the world in a remote corner of Lapland, 400km north of the Arctic Circle.

He and a group of fellow hobbyists have set up 14 wire antennas in the forest to capture weak signals from low-power stations, thousands of kilometres away. Mika explains why Lapland is a perfect place for listening to distant radio stations and how his hobby continues to inspire him 40 years after first discovering it as a child.

Video by Erika Benke

Click here to view on the BBC website.

If you’d like to see a proper detailed tour of the cabin (with DXers in mind), check out this video Mika made a couple years ago.

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Don Moore’s Photo Album: Bolivia 1985

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Don Moore–noted author, traveler, and DXer–for the latest installment of his Photo Album guest post series:

Don Moore’s Photo Album: Bolivia 1985

by Don Moore

After finishing Peace Corps, my ex-wife and I spent six months traveling around South America in 1985. In mid-June we crossed the border to southern Bolivia from Argentina and took an overnight train to the mining center of Oruro. We also visited Cochabamba and the capital of La Paz before heading to Peru ten days later. We would have stayed longer but 1985 was the worst year ever for Bolivia’s typically unstable economy and the country was being wracked by labor strikes and food shortages. But I did manage to visit about a dozen Bolivian shortwave stations.


La Cruz del Sur was founded in 1949 by Canadian missionary Sydney H. Hillyer and the Canadian Baptist Mission. It broadcast on 4875 kHz shortwave for many years. My last log of it was in 2003.

La Cruz del Sur QSL from the 1980s.

La Cruz del Sur pennant from the 1980s. Continue reading

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