Tag Archives: Alexander von Obert DL4NO

Radio Waves: Deep ABC Cuts, Ham Radio Saves a Life, SDR Academy Updates, and a new free e-magazine from RASA

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!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Michael Bird, Alexander von Obert, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Up to 250 ABC jobs to go, ABC Life brand scrapped, flagship radio news bulletin dumped to tackle $84 million budget cut (ABC News)

The ABC will axe up to 250 jobs and cut programming as it deals with budget cuts of $84 million.

Managing director David Anderson said a flagship radio news bulletin would go, the ABC Life lifestyle portal would be rebranded, and programs would be reviewed as part of a major overhaul of the national broadcaster.

There will also be cuts to travel and to spending on television productions, as the organisation moves to become more relevant to more Australians and better reflect community diversity, he said.

Mr Anderson said the redundancies and savings would affect every division across the ABC.

“We anticipate we may farewell as many as 250 colleagues through this process,” he told staff in a briefing.

The News division is set to lose about 70 staff, the Entertainment and Specialist division 53 staff and the Regional and Local division 19.

Mr Anderson said there would be changes to executive staffing, but did not offer any details.

And he said the organisation would aim to have 75 per cent of its content-makers based outside its Sydney headquarters by 2025.

The ABC had already flagged that it would shed about 250 jobs due to a three-year funding indexation pause announced by the Federal Government in 2018.

Mr Anderson said the flagship 7:45am radio news bulletins would end, and be replaced by a five-minute bulletin at 8:00am. A 10-minute bulletin at 7:00am will remain.

The changes include:

  • ABC Life will become ABC Local and have a “broader editorial direction”
  • The travel budget will be cut by 25 per cent
  • Spending on external and independent television productions will be cut by $5 million a year
  • The ABC Comedy television channel will be rebranded to cater for a broader array of programs and content
  • Leasing of space at the ABC’s Sydney headquarters will be explored
  • TV and radio broadcast channels will remain, but transmission cuts have been flagged for future years[]

Ham Radio Saving A Life Locally! (Western Massachusetts ARRL)

On Tuesday, June 15, Alden Sumner Jones IV, KC1JWR, was hiking on the southern part of the Appalachian trail in Vermont (it’s also been reported as being on the Long Trail) with his cousins at around 12:30 PM. Alden started feeling light headed, his pulse was racing and the next thing he remembers is waking up with an EMT named Dave, from AMR out of Springfield, MA, who was hiking and saw Alden go down. Alden had suffered seizures. It was later determined that this was caused by low blood sugar. Dave attempted to call 911 on his cell phone. He could connect, but the 911 operator couldn’t understand him. At this point, Alden pulled out his HT ham radio, a BaoFeng.

He made contact through the K1FFK repeater. This repeater is located on Mt. Greylock on 146.91. The repeater is owned and maintained by the Northern Berkshire Amateur Radio Club. The initial call went out just before the Cycle 1 of the Western Massachusetts Traffic Net. Ron Wonderlick, AG1W, took the call. Alden initially asked if the 911 call went through. Ron began an eight hour process of acting as a relay between Alden, the emergency crews and various others.

The Traffic Net was truncated and the frequency was cleared by Peter Mattice, KD2JKV, who also stood by as a backup for Ron. KC1JPU, Matthew Sacco, was also monitoring and after a short consultation with Ron & Peter, proceeded to head to the staging area where the Fire and EMS crews were going to come from.[]

Software Defined Radio Academy 2020 Update (Markus Heller)

Dear ARRL recipients,

this year’s Software Defined Radio Academy is going to take place during the next weekend on June 27 / 28. We have now finalized the programme.

Since we decided very early in March that we’d organize an online strategy, we were not grounded by Corona. Using YouTube and our video conferencing system, we were able to organize a rich SDRA conference with speakers from all over the world.

Since this year’s European GNURadio Days conference in Besancon, France, could not take place either, we were asked to give their speakers a stage. This is the reason why we have a specially strong GNURadio focus.

With such a rich programme, we decided to span the talks over two days and start in the European afternoon, so that we could give our overseas audience a chance to participate live.

The mode is this: Even though all the talks are pre-recorded, the speakers will attend in the video conferencing system and respond to questions that come in through the YouTube channel. This way we can maintain a certain degree of interaction, which is important for any kind of scientific conference.

Here is the programme:
https://2020.sdra.io/pages/programme.html
and here is our YouTube stream URL:
https://youtube.sdra.io

We will start on Saturday 27 at 12:30 UTC+2
and on Sunday June 28 at 13:00 UTC+2.

For those of you who understand German, please note that this year’s HAMRADIO conference will also go online. We have worked hard in the past two months to record 65 hours of talks and discussions. Here is the HAMRADIO programme, which the SDRA is part of:

https://www.darc.de/fileadmin/filemounts/gs/oeffentlichskeitsarbeit/Veranstaltungen/HAMRADIOnline/HAMOnline_Sendeplan.pdf

QTC e-magazine (RASA via the Southgate ARC)

RASA is pleased to announce the release of a new E-magazine for Amateur Radio in Australia.  The magazine, QTC, named after the Q-code “I have a message for you” will be published every two months.

We’ll be renaming our regular email bulletins QTC-Lite and they’ll be aligned with the release of our fortnightly Podcast.

In this first issue of QTC, we have news and updates about regulations, and information on our 60m submission in response to the ACMA’s Consultation paper.  There’s a “Getting started” regular column, with this issue covering HF DX-ing.  There’s also a regular column on how you can deal with QRM and RFI in your shack.  This month we have a feature technical article on 3-Phase Power Converters.

Click here to download the first issue of QTC.


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Radio Waves: Radio Afghanistan, Postal Delays, KPH Video, and the Software Defined Radio Academy

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!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Heath Hall, Tom Daly, and Alexander (DL4NO) for the following tips:


For Decades, This Radio Station Named the Dead. Few Still Listen. (NY Times)

[Note: this article may require login to read at the NY Times]

Afghans once tuned into Radio Afghanistan twice a day to hear the reading of death notices. But in an age of social media, the voice of the nation has lost much of its sway.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Through decades of coups, invasions and endless war, Afghans tuned their radios to Radio Afghanistan every morning at 7 and every afternoon at 4:05 to hear the names of the newly dead.

One of the voices they often heard reading those death notices belongs to Mohamad Agha Zaki, at the mic for the state broadcaster for more than 42 years now. For much of that stretch, his counterpart at the station has been Ziauddin Aziz, the clerk who rushes to Mr. Zaki with the messages the public brings to the station’s small “Death Advertisements” window.

“Ads today?” Mr. Zaki, half asleep, asked on a recent dawn after opening the door to Mr. Aziz’s knock. Outside, birds chirped and the new day’s soft light covered the peaks of the tall pine trees in the station’s compound in Kabul, the capital.

No, said Mr. Aziz, who had waited behind the door in the kind of deference saved for masters of a different era. They had gone weeks without anyone arriving at the little window — just four ads in 40 days, though certainly many more had died.[]

International Postal Service Disrupted (ARRL News)

The US Postal Service (USPS) has temporarily suspended international mail acceptance for items addressed to certain destinations due to service impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation could result in the return or loss of mail, such as QSL cards, addressed to affected parts of the world. The USPS has posted a list of affected countries, which is updated regularly. The Postal Service will, upon request, refund postage and fees on mail bearing a customs stamp that’s returned due to the suspension of service, or the sender may re-mail returned items with existing postage once service has been restored. When re-mailing under this option, customers should cross out the markings “Mail Service Suspended — Return to Sender.”[]

KPH Coastal Radio Station (Southgate ARC)

In this video Shannon Morse KM6FPP visits coastal radio station KPH which provided ship to shore communications using Morse code. Volunteers have preserved it and operate weekends

Watch The Last Active Morse Code Station in the US – KPH Radio Station

KPH http://www.radiomarine.org/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KPH_(radio_station)

More information about the Software Defined Radio Academy (Upper-Bavarian Bulletin)

Hamradio online

The Hamradio normally is the largest ham radio exhibition in Europe. But this year it cannot be held.

At the beginning of April, a team around the project manager Markus Heller, DL8RDS, started the project “Hamradio online”. This was only possible as DARC, the German hamradio society, started to introduce electronic collaboration tools long before Corona.

Within this virtual working environment a concept was developed of presentations, distinctions, and more. The program is being prerecorded and will partly be produced as live as possible. Especially the SDR Academy heavily depends on viewer feedback. There will also be videos from the Hamradio Convention that was held last March im Munich. These videos have not been published before.

The infrastructure is being maintained by the teams of the SDR Academy and “Facination Hamradio”. They produce the videos and streamline the installation so all action on the last weekend of June will happen smoothly. These transmissions will be transmitted through several Youtube cannels.

Obviously, personal meetings would be preferable. The advantage of this new solution are the possibly much more participants on both sides: audience and lecturers. The advantage is especially valid for the SDR Academy as most of it is done in English.

Nothing has been finalized. There is a preliminary program in German at https://www.darc.de/fileadmin/filemounts/gs/oeffentlichskeitsarbeit/Veranstaltungen/HAM_RADIO/HAMOnline_Sendeplan.pdf. Lectures held in English are announced in English. I hope an English version of the program will be created.


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The 2020 Software Defined Radio Academy will be held online

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alexander (DL4NO), who shares the following announcement from Markus (DL8RDS):

This year’s Software Defined Radio Academy is taking place as an online conference. Because of the great number of contributions, we are spanning the conference over two days: Saturday June 27 and Sunday June 28 2020.

We also decided to start the stream in the afternoon in order to give our overseas audience a fair chance to participate.

We have pre-recorded the talks, so there is no back-channel or interruption during the talks, but the speakers will be available in our video conferencing system and we will closely observe all the comments that will be submitted into the channel. At the end of the according slots, there is always a little time left for the speakers to respond. So there is a certain degree of interaction and we do encourage you to make use of it.

Our mother organisation, the German Amateur Radio Club DARC also decided to provide a decent online substitute to the HAMRADIO hamvention that was called off by the authorities and I’m proud to say that our team was giving the ideas and helped this really large event to take place. Alltogether our video team, the other video team from Faszination Amateurfunk and the DARC permanent staff managed to provide more than 60 hours of talks, discussions and fantastic content, which will be streamed at this weekend. For those of you who understand German, here is the streaming plan:

https://www.darc.de/fileadmin/filemounts/gs/oeffentlichskeitsarbeit/Veranstaltungen/HAM_RADIO/HAMOnline_Sendeplan.pdf

Back to the Software Defined Radio Academy:

I wrote that the programme is ready. Please check it out here:

https://2020.sdra.io/pages/programme.html

We’re looking forward to welcome all of you on our YouTube stream.
Please enjoy!

And please feel free to redistribute this information.

BR / VY73
Markus
DL8RDS

Thank you for the tip, Alexander!  Looks like an amazing lineup!

Click here to view the SDR Academy YouTube channel.

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Mark your calendars! Christmas on-air event to honor Radio Luxembourg

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

For a very long time Radio Luxembourg was *the* pop music radio in Europe, especially in Germany and GB. At a time when Germany only had its public radio system, the Radio Luxembourg was the one and only. But this is history.

At Christmas, several German shortwave broadcasters, organized by Radio DARC, will transmit on 6070 kHz in memoriam of Radio Luxembourg from Vienna. See the attached flyer [above]. BTW, radio amateurs play important roles: Head of Radio DARC is Rainer, DF2NU. Moderator of “Hit AM” is Christian, DO8CN. And for “Goldrausch 6070” Eckard, DD9NF, sits in front of the microphone.

I could imagine that quite some ham spirit was used in this project.

Excellent! Thank you for the heads-up, Alexander! I’ll post a reminder closer to Christmas.

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SDR Academy presentation videos

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

Parallel to the Hamradio fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, there are talks and whole conferences. Over the last years, the “Software-Definded Radio Academy” (SDRA) was one of them.

You find the presentations on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6D0CPBQoIVpMflpSZFqbkmr2Xt_10D_Z

At least most of them are in English.

Thank you for the tip, Alexander! These videos are amazing! Wow–now I just need to find the time to watch them all.

I’ve embedded the videos and links below, for your convenience:

Markus Heller, DL8RDS: SDR-Academy @ HAM-Radio 2019 – A Summary

 

Dr. Carles Fernandez: An Open Source Global Navigation Satellite Systems Software-Defined Receiver

Mario Lorenz, DL5MLO: The AMSAT-DL/QARS Ground Stations for Qatar-Oscar 100

Mack McCormick, W4AX: FlexRadio: SDR Technology that Will Change How you Operate HF

Christoph Mayer, DL1CH: KiwiSDR as a new GNURadio Source

Manolis Surligas, SV9SFC: SDR Makerspace, Exploid SDR technology for space communications

Michael Hartje, DK5HH: Digital signal processing for the detection of noise disturbances

Prof Dr Joe Taylor, K1JT: Welcome Address and Questions & Answers

DL1FY, DC9OE, DG8MG, DL8GM: Charly25 SDR Transceiver

Alex Csete, OZ9AEC: SDR-Makerspace: Evaluation of SDR boards and toolchains

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DARC’s initiative to track the state of radio interference

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Alexender (DL4NO), who shares the following comment in response to our recent post about LED bulb QRM:

The DARC does even more: It is planning a long-term project with some 50 automatic monitoring stations with standardized, calibrated antennas and according to standardized methods to document the changes.

Every monitoring station will scan the bands for free frequencies and measure the background noise there. Every 15 min it will send its findings to a central database where the data will be collected and evaluated.

This way the DARC wants to document the ever increasing interferences in a way that is valid according to the relevant standards. Most monitoring stations are planned to be placed at fixed locations all over Germany. But a few are planned to be placed for a limited time in especially interesting locations.

Presently relevant findings are collected. If you live in Germany see https://www.darc.de/der-club/referate/emv/emv-abhilfemassnahmen/. Also see the DARC magazine cqDL 12-2017, p. 15.

To emphasize it again: Informal reports to your radio club are good. But if you wish to communicate with the legislative bodies you must do your measurements according to the standardized rules using calibrated equipment. Otherwise the authorities will not accept your findings.

See:
https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/rec/p/R-REC-P.372-13-201609-I!!PDF-E.pdf
https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/rec/bs/R-REC-BS.560-4-199710-I!!PDF-E.pdf

Most impressive, Alexander! I love the fact that DARC is using objective observations to support their initiative. The concept is a fascinating one that I should hope other national radio clubs could copy. I will certainly send this to the ARRL.

Thanks again, Alexander!

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75 years ago today, VOA started German broadcasts

Voice of America Bethany Relay Station, May 2015

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

Hello Thomas,

I just heard a short feature on Deutschlandfunk: 75 years ago today VoA started transmitting – in German.

vy 73
Alexander
DL4NO

Many thanks for the tip, Alexander!

The Deutschlandfunk article, of course, is in German. I found, that Google Translate did an acceptable job translating it into English.

 

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