Tag Archives: Armed Forces Day Crossband Test

Radio Waves: Crossband Test Postponed, VI3RA Event Videos, WWII Radio, and Look Inside a Panasonic RF-4900

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 Harald Kuhl, Michael Bird, and Carel Kuijer for the following tips:


Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Postponed (ARRL News)

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 response and mitigation actions, the 2020 Armed Forces Day (AFD) Crossband Test scheduled for Saturday, May 9, has been postponed. Because it’s uncertain just when stay-at-home orders will be lifted across the US, AFD planners chose to postpone this year’s event, because the government stations that typically support this event may not be available. Armed Forces Day Crossband Test planners are considering scheduling a November event in honor of Veteran’s Day, depending on COVID-19 mitigation actions. During the AFD Crossband Test, military stations in various locations transmit on selected military frequencies and announce the specific ham frequencies they are monitoring to work radio amateurs. — Thanks to US Army MARS Program Chief Paul English, WD8DBY

Radio Australia Event – Antenna Overview (Mount Evelyn DX Report)

Thanks to Lee VK3GK for this short video of the antennas used for the recent Radio Australia event using the call sign VI3RA. Take what will possibly be a final look at the feeders, switching boxes and antennas before they are pulled down and junked!

Also here is the final transmission of the event weekend with, of course, the famous Radio Australia music box interval signal.

Click here to view both videos at the Mt Evelyn DX Report.

World War II and Radio (All Things Radio)

I have added an article I wrote some years back on the code breaking efforts of the Allies during WWII. While certainly not exhaustive, I found many of the connections between countries and equipment rather fascinating, and new things continue to pop up regarding Bletchley Park’s role in training officers and decoding texts. While most famously known for breaking the Enigma code, also significant was the breaking of the Lorenz Cipher.

Click Here to download the article in PDF format.

73, Robert K4PKM

Look Inside This Radio Receiver! The Collectible Panasonic RF 4900 (Mr. Carlson’s Lab – YouTube)

Let’s look inside this Panasonic RF-4900 radio receiver, and see what we have to restore.


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This weekend: Historic NSS Call Sign reactivated during Armed Forces Day Crossband Test

100th Anniversary QSL card for NSS

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian Smith (W9IND), who shares the following press release regarding the historic U.S. Navy callsign NSS that will be reactivated during the 100th anniversary of the former Naval Radio Station in Annapolis, Maryland:

Historic NSS Call Sign to be Reactivated During its 100th Anniversary

Historic U.S. Navy callsign NSS will be reactivated during the 100th anniversary of the former Naval Radio Station in Annapolis, Maryland.  The U.S. Naval Academy Radio Club (W3ADO) and the Potomac Valley Radio Club (W3GRF) will reactivate the historic callsign during the upcoming Armed Forces Day Crossband Military/Amateur Radio Communications Test.

NSS operations from the location of the former Naval Radio Station on Greenbury Point will be from 1300Z Saturday May 12 to 0200Z May 13.  CW and SSB transmissions will be on 4038.5, 5330.5, 7533.5, 9447, 14487 and 17545 kHz.  NSS will listen for callers on announced frequencies in adjacent amateur bands.  Commemorative QSLs will be sent for all QSOs.

NSS began operations in 1918 as the Annapolis High Power Radio Station using a pair of Federal Telegraph Company 500 kilowatt Poulson Arc transmitters and four 600 foot towers operating in the Very Low Frequency (VLF) band.  At that time VLF provided the only known capability for trans-oceanic radio communications. NSS began continuous operations in the HF bands about ten years later until 1976 when its HF mission was transferred to Naval Radio Station NAM in Norfolk, Virginia.  The 1200 foot central tower and dozens of other towers and masts were demolished in 1999, except for three iconic 600 foot Eiffel towers that remain at the southern tip of Greenbury Point.

A brief video history of NSS is here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWuJ6DB9drw

A virtual tour of NSS is here:

http://j-hawkins.com/nss.shtml

Important: Click here for details about the Armed Forces Day Crossband Test this Saturday May 12, 2018.

Many thanks for sharing this item, Brian!  I will do my best to snag a few stations during the crossband test tomorrow!

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Armed Forces Day Crossband Test on May 12, 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian (W9IND), who shares the following announcement regarding the next Armed Forces Day Crossband Test:

The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System will host this year’s Armed Forces Day Crossband Test, scheduled for May 12, 2018. This annual event is open to all radio operators, and will not impact any public or private communications. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is only an exercise scenario, designed to include hobbyist and government radio operators alike.

The AFD Crossband Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly-controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications.

Military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and will announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All times are ZULU (Z), and all frequencies are Upper Side Band (USB) unless otherwise noted. The frequencies used for the test will not impact any public or private communications, and will not stray outside the confines of the exercise.

The following stations will be making two way radiotelephone contacts with stations in the ARS between the time periods listed on the frequencies listed in kilohertz below. WAR, WUG-2 and NSS will also make CW contacts.

AAZ / FT HUACHUCA, AZ

1500Z – 2359Z 5,330.5 14,438.5 18,211.0

AAC / BARROW ARMY RESERVE CENTER, KY

1300Z – 0100Z 5,346.5 7,542.0 13,963.5 20,920.0

ABH / SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI

1600Z – 2300Z 5,357.0 14,438.5 18,272.0 20,997.0

ABM1 / CAMP ZAMA, JAPAN

1500Z – 0100Z 14,487.0 20,994.0

ADB / CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA

1500Z – 0100Z 14,487.0 20,994.0

WAR / PENTAGON WASHINGTON, DC

1200Z – 2400Z 5,357.0 13,963.5 18,211.0 24,760.0 USB + CW

WUG-2 / ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, TN

1300Z – 0200Z 5,403.5 13,910.5 18,293.0 20,973.5 USB + CW

AIR / ANDREWS AFB

1200Z – 2400Z 4,517.0 7,305.0 15,807.0 20,740.0

AGA2SY / HANCOCK FIELD, NY

1200Z – 2400Z 4,575.0 7,540.0 13,993.0

AGA5SC / SCOTT AFB, IL

1600Z – 2300Z 3,308.0 4,872.0 7,545.0

AGA9TR / TRAVIS AFB, CA

1600Z – 0100Z 5,346.5 7,329.0 13,996.0 14,411.0

AFM4AF / NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY MID-SOUTH MILLINTON, TN

1200Z – 0300Z 7,375.5 13,498.0

NMC1 / COAST GUARD ISLAND, ALAMEDA, CA

1700Z – 2359Z 7,542.0 15,740.5 22,924.5

NIIW / USS MIDWAY CV-41 SAN DIEGO, CA

1400Z – 0400Z 4,013.5 5371.5 7,493.5 14,383.5 18,211.0

NWKJ / USS YORKTOWN CV-10 CHARLESTON, SC

1200Z – 2200Z 4,000.0 7,360.0 14,663.5

NEPM / USS IOWA BB 61 LOS ANGELES, CA

1500Z – 2359Z 4,043.5 6,903.5 14,463.5 18,293.0

NWVC / LST-325 EVANSVILLE, IN

1200Z – 0400Z 4,007.0 6,913.0 9988.5 13,974.0

NSS / US NAVAL ACADEMY ANNAPOLIS, MD

1300Z – 0200Z 4,038.5 5,330.5 7,533.5 9,447.0 14,487.0 17,545.0 USB + CW

An AFD test message will be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) Serial PSK waveform (M110) followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY) as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B.

Technical information regarding these waveforms is provided at:

http://www.n2ckh.com/MARS_ALE_FORUM/MSDMT.html.

The AFD test message will also be sent at 0300Z in Continuous Wave (CW) mode (refer to the far right column in the table below). The message will be transmitted on the following frequencies in kilohertz and at the listed times:

1400Z AGA2SY 13,506.5 kHz ACC 17,443.0 kHz

1420Z WAR 13,506.5 kHz AGA2SY 17,443.0 kHz

1440Z ACC 13,506.5 kHz WAR 17,443.0 kHz

1500Z AAZ 13,506.5 kHz AAZ 17,443.0 kHz

2200Z ADB 13,506.5 kHz AGA2SY 17,443.0 kHz

0300Z NWVC 5,346.5 kHz

For those who wish to document their contacts with a QSL card, go to

http://www.usarmymars.org/events and complete the request form.

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