After Hurricane Maria left the majority of Puerto Rico without power and basic services, at ETOW we waited for the right opportunity (after food, water and medical supplies were rushed in) to send self-powered radios to those still living without power and in need of basic community information.
Once US Postal Service delivery was restored to the island, we turned to our amazing volunteer (and SWLing Post contributor) Robert Gulley (AK3Q) to coordinate the process.
Robert contacted the Lares Amateur Radio Emergency Service (LARES) in Puerto Rico and asked for their assistance. Nelson Santiago (WP3B) with LARES enthusiastically volunteered to venture out into the community and distribute radios to those who needed them the most–families still lacking mains power. The LARES club distributed the radios effectively and efficiently–they also photo-documented everything.
The whole process was simply amazing to watch unfold.
Many thanks to Universal Radio who helped us quickly procure 15 self-powered radios for our initial pilot shipment. As of December, we’ve now sent and distributed an additional 40 radios–totaling 55 units to 55 families.
This whole project became a reality through our network of radio enthusiasts. We’re so grateful to everyone involved. Thank you!
Like a few of us contributors here on the SWLing Post, Robert Gulley (AK3Q), writes features for The Spectrum Monitor magazine (TSM). Robert and I are both passionate supports of TSM–for a mere $24 per year, you get a monthly digital magazine that is simply chock-full of articles covering all aspects of our radio hobby. A phenomenal value indeed!
I’ve just discovered that Robert has published a number of his past TSM articles–reviews and how-tos–on his excellent blog All Things Radio. Each article can be downloaded as a PDF. Here are the topics:
Using Weak Signal Software to Reach for the Sky! (Part 1)
Using Weak Signal Modes for Propagation, RFI, and Antenna Analysis (Part 2)
There is a great article by Zaria Gorvett in the BBC Future online magazine concerning several transmitting stations which have baffled folks for decades.
Here is a brief introduction:
In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.
It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.
Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.
It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.