Tag Archives: shortwave

NSS Annapolis QSLs for SWLs

Front of the NSS QSL card–the back has contact info an excellent explanation of NSS with photos.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ulis Fleming (K3LU), who writes:

I wanted to pass along some information regarding the NSS Annapolis radio station.

Last year’s cards were sent out for Armed Forces day with one generic card with all the callsigns. This year the ops at NSS will be sending cards direct on their own to ALL amateur stations who worked NSS without solicitation via their address posted in QRZ.com.

SWLs can send a full SWL report with station worked, time to K3LU via the QRZ.com address or email me for my address at K3LU@hotmail.com. A SASE is helpful but not necessary.

Thanks so much, Ulis! What a great service to the SWL community!

Allen looks back at 50 years of DXing

Broom Point Fishing Premises, Gros Morne National Park (Source: Newfoundland Tourism, Flickr)

Many of you might remember Allen Willie’s story from our SWLing Post “Listener Posts” collection.

On Sunday, Allen shared the following note with his radio friends. He has kindly given me permission to post it here because, frankly, it’s a most impressive accomplishment from an amazing life-long radio listener:

Fifty years ago today ( June 17, 1968 )

My radio DXing journey began in my hometown of Lacombe, Alberta here in Canada .

Throughout the following years since that day I have been involved in a number of different modes of DXing. From Medium Wave (AM), Ultralight Radio DXing, Shortwave , FM radio , Ham Radio Listening and even TV DXing for a number of years,

They have all played a wonderful part in my DXing enjoyment over the past half century.

My first evening of DXing began on the AM (Medium Wave) radio dial as I logged 560 KMON Great Falls, Montana for my first DX catch. The rest as they say is history and was to remain a lifelong enjoyment in such a great hobby.

Here is a list of some of my DX totals I have been fortunate to achieve in certain categories of DXing from both Alberta and Newfoundland:

  • Heard all 7 Continents via radio overall
  • Heard all 195 countries on earth via radio overall
  • Heard all 50 USA States via radio overall
  • Heard all 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories via radio overall
  • Heard 1820 stations on AM (Medium Wave) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 787 stations on AM (Medium Wave) radio from within Alberta
  • Heard 5 Continents on AM (Medium Wave) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 123 Countries on AM (Medium Wave ) and Ultralight radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 48 / 50 USA States on AM (Medium Wave ) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard all 10 Canadian provinces and 2 Territories on AM (Medium Wave ) radio from within Newfoundland
  • Heard 1712 Medium Wave (AM) stations on Ultralight Radios
  • Heard 607 FM DX stations from within Alberta
  • Logged 109 DX Television Stations (non-local) from within Alberta

Countries heard on Shortwave: 179 from within Alberta

Logged 334 stations from within Newfoundland

  • DXCC Ham Radio Countries heard 338/340 from within Alberta and Newfoundland overall.
  • Heard All 50 US States on Ham radio from within Alberta and Newfoundland both.
  • Heard All 10 Canadian Provinces / 3 Territories on Ham radio from within Alberta and Newfoundland both

Looking forward to Year 51 ahead and many more in the hobby!!

Allen Willie VO1-001-SWL / VOPC1AA
Carbonear, Newfoundland

Bravo, Allen! Those are most impressive accomplishments! That took a lot of time, patience and radio fun. Here’s to 51 and onward!

Hospitals and RF noise: FM and HD radio’s strong suit

The Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD radio

For the past week, I’ve been away from home spending time with my mother at the hospital while she recovers from a surgery. I’ve got a number of reviews and evaluations in the pipeline, but thankfully no shortwave or HF radios on the table this week (although the ELAD FDM-S3 and CommRadio CTX-10 are just around the corner). Listening to shortwave (or even mediumwave) in a hospital room can be an exercise in futility–there are just too many devices emitting noise and the buildings are built like bunkers with incredibly thick walls to attenuate signals.

I’ve had the little Sangean HDR-14 with me, however, and have been very pleased with its ability to snag FM stations both analog and digital. I’ve also had fun discovering a surprisingly diverse FM landscape in this metro area. I haven’t snagged an AM HD station yet, but my hope is one evening I might DX one (fingers crossed and not holding my breath).

The Sangean HDR-14 (left) and CC Skywave SSB (right)

At the end of most days, I’ve been able to catch a little shortwave action with my CC Skywave SSB (pre-production) portable at the guest house where I’m staying. The evenings have been surprisingly peaceful here with only the occasional popup thunderstorm to insert a little QRN in my listening sessions.

Last night, while listening to jazz on FM, I finished reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (affiliate link).

We’ve mentioned this book before and I know of at least dozen SWLing Post contributors and friends who’ve personally recommended it to me.

It is a superb novel and will, no doubt, tug at the heart strings of any radio enthusiast or WWII history buff. Highly recommended!

Indeed, last night I couldn’t fall asleep until I finished the book around 12:30 AM!

And mom? She’s recovering quite well and we hope will be discharged from the hospital soon.

Shortwave Trading Part II

Last month, we posted a link to an article that explained why traders might use shortwave radio for high-speed, faster-than-optical-fiber communications. The article by Bob Van Valzah originally appeared on the blog, Sniper in Mahwah & Friends where they’ve just posted part two in the series:

I have previously claimed that trading over shortwave radio is real and presented the story of the first evidence I found of it. It was pleasantly surprising to see the story picked up by IEEE Spectrum, Hacker News, Hackaday, and others. But since I hadn’t anticipated such a diverse audience, I didn’t provide details needed to understand shortwave trading in context so a lot of questions were raised. I’ll provide some background here, answer the questions, and also document two other shortwave trading sites I’ve found around Chicago. Traders can skip ahead while I fill in the broader audience.

Why is there a latency race? Isn’t it just a waste of money?

Electronic trading technologist just take the latency race for granted, but it’s important to think about why it exists and what it means to the average person. When you want to fill your car with gasoline, you have the choice of going to the nearby gas station and accepting their price or perhaps comparing prices at stations a little farther away. We would all spend a lot more time comparison shopping if we didn’t have pretty good confidence that the prices at our local stations were competitive. But what keeps those prices competitive?

The analogy between your local gas station and electronic markets is admittedly imperfect, but I think it is helpful in understanding why latency matters and how you benefit. Nobody can buy a tanker of gasoline in New York and immediately sell it in Chicago. The laws of physics prevent us from economically moving such a heavy load over a long distance quickly. But a share of Apple stock weighs nothing. The Chicago price and the New York price can be compared and changed in an instant. Well, about 4 milliseconds is how long it takes for an updated price to make the trip. Prices can make about 250 one-way trips in a single second.

So when buying or selling Apple shares, you don’t have to shop around for the best price. Electronic trading companies have an incentive to build the fastest networks linking financial centers so that prices can move quickly between them. Buyers and sellers benefit because their local market has electronic traders who know the best prices on other markets and will be happy to do a local deal at the best global price (it’s market making). It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see the business opportunity in this type of trading, so high-speed traders have to be efficient because they’re competing against each other. The latency race has to happen for each market to have the best price. Competition between electronic traders limits their spend to the benefits that come with better pricing.

Why does radio help win the latency race?

Traders use radio because it can move prices faster than optical fiber.

I won’t bore you with the physics, but I will remind you of this elementary school experiment where a pencil appears to bend in a glass of water. This happens because light moves more quickly through air than it does through water. In the same way, radio waves move more quickly through air than light can move through an optical fiber. In trading parlance, radio is lower latency than fiber over a given distance.

But radio is also faster because it almost always covers a shorter distance. Fiber paths tend to follow roads and property lines that may not go exactly in the desired direction. Radio towers may be inconvenient, but they give the advantage that the signal can take the shortest-possible path allowed by physics, not the kinky path dictated by rights of way.[…]

Continue reading the full article on the blog, Sniper in Mahwah & Friends.

VORW Radio International updated schedule

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor John with TheReportOfTheWeek who writes:

Since our last update, a few additional time and frequency changes have been made to our shortwave airings of VORW Radio Int. Each broadcast features a fun hour of misc talk and commentary as well as a wide variety of listener requested music!

The full schedule is below, with changes being highlighted.

Thursday 1000 UTC – 5950 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Western North America
Thursday 2000 UTC – 7780 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America
Thursday 2100 UTC – 7490 kHz – WBCQ 50 kW – Eastern North America
Thursday 2200 UTC – 9955 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – South America
Friday 0000 UTC (Thu 8 PM Eastern) – 7730 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Western North America
Friday 0000 UTC – 5950 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Central America (ex. 9455 kHz)
Friday 0000 UTC – 9395 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America
Friday 0100 UTC – 7780 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Eastern North America & Europe
Friday 0100 UTC – 5850 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America
Friday 0400 UTC – 7730 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – Western North America (new. Test transmission for West Coast Listeners)
Sunday 2000 UTC – 9395 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America
Sunday 2100 UTC – 7780 kHz – WRMI 100 kW – North America

Questions, comments, reception reports and music requests may be sent to vorwinfo@gmail.com PayPal donations are also welcome at that email as this is a listener funded broadcast.

Reception reports will receive a QSL!

All the best,

John