Tag Archives: Longwave

Hamcrafters VLF Converter to be produced in Fall 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ron, who notes that Hamcrafters appears to be planning a replacement for the Palomar VLF converter.

Here’s the product description:

The Hamcrafters VLF Converter is based on the original Palomar design and converts 10 KHz – 500 KHz to 4.010 to 4.5 MHz. This allows use of your HF Receiver or Transceiver and all its filters, noise blankers, DSP, and memories while tuning the VLF band. Modern HF radios have poor sensitivity in the VLF range (by design). Using this converter with a simple wire antenna will allow receiving of navigational beacons, time signals, and other VLF signals.

The Palomar is well-known among longwave DXers but hasn’t been in production for some time. Indeed, Ron adds, “The last two original Palomars went for $343 and $260 on eBay. Is there a demand? You bet!”

Thanks for the tip, Ron.

Click here to check out the Hamcrafters VLF Converter product page.

Grimeton Radio / SAQ LF transmitter on the air May 1, 2018

Alexanderson alternator in the SAQ Grimeton VLF transmitter.

(Source: ARRL via Mike Hansgen)

Low-frequency World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station, SAQ, will transmit from Sweden on May 1 as participation in the European Route of Industrial Heritage’s “Work It Out” observance.

“As part of the event, we plan for the first SAQ transmission since 2016,” said Lars Kalland, SM6NM. The transmitter start-up will begin at 0930 UTC, with the transmission to follow on 17.2 kHz CW at 1000 UTC.

A live video stream of the event will be available. Kalland said no QSL cards will sent, nor will SAQ post a list of reports, but SAQ does invite brief listener reports via e-mail.

“We sincerely hope that all the SAQ transmission on 17.2 kHz will go as planned,” Kalland said. “But, as always, there is a reservation that the transmission [may be] cancelled on short notice.”

Click here to read on the ARRL website.

Indian Standard Time via new longwave site

"India (orthographic projection)" by Ssolbergj (talk) - Own work,This vector image was created with Inkscape.Aquarius.geomar.deThe map has been created with the Generic Mapping Tools: http://gmt.soest.hawaii.edu/ using one or more of these public domain datasets for the relief:ETOPO2 (topography/bathymetry): http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/global/global.htmlGLOBE (topography): http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/topo/gltiles.htmlSRTM (topography): http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/English | italiano | ?????????? | ??? | +/?Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:India_(orthographic_projection).svg#mediaviewer/File:India_(orthographic_projection).svg

(Source: Southgate ARC)

India to employ long wave radio technology

Two towers, about three times the height of the Qutab Minar, are likely to be erected at as-yet-undecided locations in the country for disseminating Indian Standard Time.

The National Physical Laboratory, an organisation charged with ensuring that Indian time stays accurate, has signed an agreement with IFR Information Dissemination Services (IFR) Ltd., which will set up the towers and employ long wave radio (LWR) technology to purvey this time to a range of users, from phone companies to railway stations. Customers will need a microchip that can be embedded into everything, from wall-clocks to servers.

“Long range radiowaves from the towers can be reliably transmitted even during major disasters. Other than time, information such as a tsunami warning or weather warnings can also be sent,” Pawan Kumar Kasera, director, IFR, said at a press conference. IFR is affiliated to the Germany-based EFR GmbH, which is in the business of providing similar services in Germany.

The company now requires a plethora of permissions from other government departments to host these towers, each with a range of 1,000 km, and an investment of about Rs. 600 crore, which it will raise privately.

The NPL would help IFR keep their caesium clocks (located in the tower) calibrated but wouldn’t be involved in setting up the infrastructure related to time dissemination. Last year, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-body had tied up with the Indian Space Research Organisation to provide time-related services for its satellites. “The advantage of LWR is that the waves travel close to the ground and so can reach out to far-flung locations, even to submarines. We’d advertised through newspapers asking private players to help us disseminate NPL-time to the public. Five companies approached us and we’ve selected IFR,” Dinesh Aswal, director, NPL, told The Hindu .


Click here to view this article at the Southgate ARC.

The XHDATA D-808 and longwave: how to build an effective antenna

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mad Radio DXer, who writes:

I said I would share my results for attempting to receive LW signals on the XHDATA D-808, & if I can use a longwire to improve reception on this radio. This was after posting videos when I used around 50 metres of longwire connected to the D-808 for improved Medium Wave reception & to prove it works.

This first video shows that it is not possible for LW, no matter if I connect the 50 metres longwire to the 3.5mm input or the whip antenna. I also compare reception of the same station with the Degen DE1103 PLL using the 3.5mm input. The Degen DE1103 still had better reception even when I used the whip antenna extended at the very minimum when using the LW/MW external antenna trick. I know I should have used the internal ferrite antenna of the Degen compared to the D-808, but in any case I did try off camera & reception was about the same. So unfortunately the D-808 was never going to win this round.

However, there is a solution.

The answer? Build yourself a Long Wave induction antenna as shown in the second video [below]. I made one some time ago, as I grew frustrated at how poor the Tecsun radios were on this part of the band & that there were no LW induction antennas available to buy. I tried a signal on 207 kHz which is RÚV Rás 2 from Iceland. Either a radio with a very good internal antenna or a good external antenna is needed to receive this station at my QTH in southern England.

Placing the D-808 on the induction antenna resulted in a very pleasing result, which was it did get reception of Iceland on 207 kHz. So this shows that it is possible to DX on the LW bands with the D-808 with some “external help”.

For anyone interested making a LW induction antenna as shown above, here is a link to a video that has basic instructions & further results. It may be a very simple build & finish what I did, but for me the most important thing is that it works.

I hope my comments & videos will be a great help to all. Happy DXing.


Mad Radio DXer.

Excellent–your comments and videos are most welcome! There are quite a number of SWLing Post readers who are avid longwave DXers. I love the simplicity and efficacy of your longwave antenna–something anyone could build.  A clever upgrade to the affordable D-808. Thank you for sharing!