Tag Archives: CW

Hamvention Special: Begali offers free shipping to US

My Begali Simplex paddles have served me so well and perform flawlessly.

If you planned to pick up a Begali key at Hamvention this year, you’re in luck.

I just found out through SWLing Post contributor, Grayhat, that in honor of Hamvention, Begali is offering free shipping to the US and 50% off shipping to the rest of the world. This promotion ends tomorrow.

Since Begali keys are heavy by design, this is a great deal on shipping!

The Begali family not only makes the best keys, but they are amazing friends to so many in the radio community.

I purchased my Begali Simplex paddles, pictured the top of this post, at the 2008 Hamvention. I absolutely love them. While they’re one of the least expensive hand-crafted precision keys in the Begali line-up, I think you would find they perform better than any other paddles on the market anywhere close to this price point. I never miss a visit to the Begali booth to try out all of Piero’s latest designs. Begali is always one of the busiest vendors at Hamvention.

Click here to check out the full line of Begali keys.

Spread the radio love

“The Spy” dramatizes careless use of covert QRP HF CW transmissions

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

The new 6-part Netflix series ‘The Spy’ about the Mossad agent Eli Cohen (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) who infiltrated Syrian military intelligence from 1962-1965 dramatizes his careless use of QRP HF CW transmissions in Damascus, which were DF’d to track him down.

SWLing Post readers might find the series interesting, especially segments depicting Mossad’s use of covert QRP HF CW transmissions.

Radio-savvy viewers will find unintended humor in the use of a transistor AM radio circuit board, tiny batteries, and no antenna(!) to send CW messages from Damascus to Israel–and in the comical depiction of a Soviet/Syrian radio HF DF van. You’d think a TV series with star power could’ve found a willing ham or film crew member to lend some basic technical expertise.

Links:

Thanks for sharing, Ed! I’m sure this is a great series. And, yes, I suppose this wouldn’t be the first time the movie industry made an attempt at authenticity but fell just a little short! Since that’s such a key part of the film (no pun intended!), you would think they could have consulted an expert to make the setup authentic while preserving the integrity of the scene.

Spread the radio love

CQ Serenade – Very Cool!

This link was forwarded to our Amateur Radio Club by a member (who is quite proficient in Morse code, unlike me!) and I just had to share it with Thomas and the SWLing gang!

https://www.on6zq.be/w/index.php/Audio/CqSerenadeFr

There is both a French version and an English version of the song, so enjoy them both!

Robert Gulley, K4PKM (formerly AK3Q), is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post.       Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

Spread the radio love

“Night of Nights” CW Event Returns Tonight!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian Smith (W9IND), who shares the following announcement:

“Night of Nights” CW Event Returns Friday (U.S. Time) 

“It was 20 years ago today,” say members of the Maritime Radio Historical Society, but they’re not covering a famous Beatles song.

They’ll certainly be on key, however, when they fire up two maritime CW stations, KPH and KFS, and their amateur radio club station, K6KPH, for the 20th annual “Night of Nights” at 8:01 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, July 12/0001 UTC Saturday, July 13. (Alas, several previously participating stations will be absent again this year, including ship-to-shore stalwart WLO of Mobile, Alabama, and a quartet of Coast Guard stations.)

This weekend’s event marks the date in 1999 when commercial Morse code operations ceased in the United States. One year later, the preservation-minded MRHS staged its first “Night of Nights,” treating shortwave radio enthusiasts to the dits and dahs of historic maritime station KPH and other callsigns that were once presumed dead on shortwave CW frequencies.

This year, the society has put out a special appeal to anyone (licensed or not) with CW proficiency to help operate K6KPH. While KPH and KFS transmit “code wheels” (repeating messages), personal messages, and tributes to long-gone maritime stations and operators, K6KPH will make CW contacts with other amateur stations on 3550, 7050, 14050 and 21050 kHz.

Whether reporting for CW duty or not, the public is welcome to observe today’s event and tour the facility, located at 17400 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Doors open at 3 p.m. local (Pacific) time.

And if you’re not within driving distance, you can tune in the Morse signals on the following medium wave and shortwave frequencies:

KPH:  426, 500, 4742.0, 6477.5, 8642.0, 12808.5, 17016.8, 22477.5 kHz

KFS:  12695.5 kHz

Reception reports go to P.O. Box 392, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956. Please include an SASE if you’d like a QSL.

The following links provide additional information:

Maritime Radio Historical Society: 

http://www.radiomarine.org

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1109843077277&ca=156b371f-da9f-4fed-8819-4bb55bd7bd44

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1109843077277&ca=b54f353c-4692-4564-b79a-0059721f9206

National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/events_nightofnights.htm

Okay, Brian…that “being on key” bit? Clever! 🙂

Looking forward to some sweet CW music on the Night of Nights! Thank you for sharing!

Spread the radio love

Tips on receiving Lightsail 2 telemetry and CW ID

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Grayhat, who shares the following update to our post regarding the Lightsail 2:

Some updates about the micro-satellite; first of all, sounds like it may be possible to receive the satellite CW beacon and FSK telemetry data using an SDR and a 70cm Yagi antenna, at least according to what is reported at the RTL-SDR website:

Solar Sail Satellite Lightsail-2 Now Transmitting Morse Code Beacon

Click here to read.

By the way, one will also need to be between 42° and -42° latitude to have some hope to pick up the satellite signal; also, the satellite now got a different NORAD ID (44339) so the N2YO tracking URL is now:

https://www.n2yo.com/?s=44339

The above may be useful to track the satellite and know when to attempt receiving its signals, other than that, the mission is proceeding well and the “mission dashboard” is now active:

http://www.planetary.org/explore/projects/lightsail-solar-sailing/lightsail-mission-control.html

The only missing bit for hams willing to track the satellite status is a piece of software to decode the telemetry data, whose format is publicly available:

https://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/projects/lightsail/manuals/ls2-beacon-info-v01.txt

Also, given that, once the satellite will deploy the solar sail, its orbit will change, I think that it would be a good idea attempting to receive it now, since later on, it may become more difficult.

Thank you sharing these tips, Grayhat. I will attempt to receive the CW signal from Lightsail 2. I do miss one crucial element: the 70cm yagi. I’m willing to bet I know a local radio friend that has one, though!

If you successfully receive the CW ID or telemetry data from Lightsail 2, please comment and share your results here. A video or audio recording would be wonderful!

Spread the radio love

CW used to prove song lyrics had been lifted

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who shares this article from Mashable:

Genius is, well, genius. The company recently accused Google of lifting song lyrics from its site, reports the Wall Street Journal.

How did Genius know Google was stealing? In 2016, Genius made a few changes to the punctuation in its song lyrics. Sometimes, it used a straight apostrophe. Other times, a curly one.

Genius did this in a very specific sequence because (are you ready for this?) when “the two types of apostrophes were converted to the dots and dashes used in Morse code, they spelled out the words ‘Red Handed.'”[…]

Click here to read the full article at Mashable.

Spread the radio love

Smithsonian: Morse Code Celebrates 175 Years and Counting

The U.S. military J-41-A straight key (Photo by WD8RIF)

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post readers who shared the following article from the Smithsonian Magazine:

The first message sent by Morse code’s dots and dashes across a long distance traveled from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore on Friday, May 24, 1844 – 175 years ago. It signaled the first time in human history that complex thoughts could be communicated at long distances almost instantaneously. Until then, people had to have face-to-face conversations; send coded messages through drums, smoke signals and semaphore systems; or read printed words.

Thanks to Samuel F.B. Morse, communication changed rapidly, and has been changing ever faster since. He invented the electric telegraph in 1832. It took six more years for him to standardize a code for communicating over telegraph wires. In 1843, Congress gave him US$30,000 to string wires between the nation’s capital and nearby Baltimore. When the line was completed, he conducted a public demonstration of long-distance communication.

Morse wasn’t the only one working to develop a means of communicating over the telegraph, but his is the one that has survived. The wires, magnets and keys used in the initial demonstration have given way to smartphones’ on-screen keyboards, but Morse code has remained fundamentally the same, and is still – perhaps surprisingly – relevant in the 21st century. Although I have learned, and relearned, it many times as a Boy Scout, an amateur radio operator and a pilot, I continue to admire it and strive to master it.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article at the Smithsonian online.

Spread the radio love