Tag Archives: Southgate ARC

First online ham radio exam in the USA

(Source: Southgate ARC)

The first remote all-online amateur radio Technician license exam was carried out in the United States on March 26, 2020

Marcel Stieber @AI6MS Tweeted:

Yesterday [March 26], our working group ran an “all-virtual” amateur radio technician license exam for the first time in history! Thanks to @W5YI for being supportive of this effort. Stay tuned, we hope to have a scalable solution available for broader use soon!
https://twitter.com/AI6MS/status/1243772831415988225

Joseph Talbot sat the exam and his FCC Technician license callsign KJ7NNU was granted on March 27. His entry in the FCC database can be seen at
https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=4267101

Since 2010 there have been other exams sessions carried out remotely but they have had an in-person proctor present at the exam session. This was the first remote online Technician exam session carried out with everybody online.

On March 15 Sam Hulick had tweeted Ajit Pai, Chairman of the USA’s communications regulator FCC, asking:

Please open up amateur radio exams/licensing remotely. People should not be attending physical classes to be able to obtain a license.
https://twitter.com/SamHulick/status/1239259361932906497

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai speedily tweeted his reply just 14 minutes later
Thanks for the suggestion. Let me look into this—stay tuned
https://twitter.com/AjitPaiFCC/status/1239262974939971585

On March 24 Stirling Mann @N0SSC reported Remote Testing Working Group Underway
http://n0ssc.com/posts/1044-anchorage-vec-remote-testing-results-in-a-new-extra-remote-testing-working-group-underway

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: QSL delays, Radio’s Chance to Matter, Radio Listening Booms, and Experimental Radio News

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’sRadio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Roseanna, the International Radio Report, Bennett, and Eric McFadden for the following tips:


QSL news for March 2020: Radio Taiwan International and Radio Slovakia International (The Girl with the Radio)

I have some news, first from Radio Taiwan International:
Due to COVID-19, RTI has decided to suspend posting QSL cards to the countries listed in the image [attached].

If you live in any of these countries I would advise you to expect significant delays in receiving a physical QSL card from RTI.

Secondly, Radio Slovakia International have announced on their show that they currently don’t expect to be able to have QSL cards made and/or sent out in a timely manner for quite some time, again due to COVID-19.[]

Radio, Don’t Blow Your Chance to Matter Again (Guest Column — Variety)

Radio, I’ve just about had enough of you and your abandonment of your defining purpose as broadcasters. With the coronavirus pandemic now ravaging everyday life and suspending every reliable comfort from work routines to sports and entertainment or actual human contact, we’re looking for steadiness somewhere — an echo of the familiar, a kindred connection. Anything to tether us to something recognizable. A service the radio dial used to provide — and public radio still does.

Corporate radio is missing its biggest opportunity in a generation right at this moment.

Based on the events of the last few days in Los Angeles, market No. 2 with a 60-plus year history of rich and vibrant local broadcasting excellence, it appears there is little wisdom or vision left. Case in point: the vast audience disconnect in Entercom’s abrupt and confusing decision at KROQ-FM to fire morning show personality Kevin Ryder on Wednesday, someone who is a heritage voice in L.A. with a long local history as half of the “Kevin & Bean Show,” a well-loved talent who had just launched the freshly-formed team “Kevin in the Morning With Allie & Jensen” this past January (in the wake of longtime partner Gene “Bean” Baxter’s retirement last year). But instead of capitalizing on that position of strength, using this particular anchor as a steady ship for the approaching tidal wave of pandemic upheavals, KROQ chooses to obliterate a main source of humor and comfort from its airwaves right at a moment when the attending audience needs stability more than ever.[]

Coronavirus: Radio listening booms while music streaming stalls (Southgate ARC)

BBC News report that people staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic appear to be listening to more radio rather than music apps, figures suggest.

Global, which owns Capital FM and talk station LBC, said online radio listening had risen by 15%.

The BBC said streaming of its radio stations had risen 18% since last week.

Meanwhile, data from two US analytics companies suggested use of music-streaming apps such as Spotify had dipped by about 8%.

“These figures indicate that the public are turning to radio in times of crisis,” a Global spokeswoman said.

BBC Radio and Education director James Purnell said: “People turn to us during significant events for our news and analysis but also for music, entertainment and companionship.

Article continues here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52037461

Experimental Radio News 2

Experimental Radio licenses from the files of the Federal Communications Commission

On February 24, 2020, Lynk’s experimental satellite licensed as WQ9XDP was received on an unmodified mobile phone in the Falklands. The test apparently was in “cell broadcast” mode — as in Wireless Emergency Alerts and Amber Alerts — and not an individualized call to a specific handset. (The video below contains an expletive.)

[…]WJ2XUG was issued to PointView Tech, reportedly a unit of Facebook, for the Athena satellite project in the 70 and 80 GHz bands. At this writing, the public record for this experiment was incomplete as the FCC had asked PointView for additional ground station information.

[…]Viziv Technologies, licensee of WJ2XGB, a giant experimental station in Texas, has proposed additional uses for its technology beyond wireless power transmission.

[…]Another wireless power venture is Guru Wireless, which was issued WK2XRN for tests at 10, 24 and 62 GHz. “Radio wave energy is generated in the GU [generating unit], and then it is refracted and channeled into highly focused beams, which reach and power your devices,” according to the Guru website.

[…]Rohde & Schwarz USA was issued WP9XZP for Special Temporary Authority in association with Microsoft, which is evaluating security scanners apparently for its own use. The Rohde & Schwartz product is a “millimeter wave security scanner that automatically detects potentially dangerous items carried on the body or in clothing. It consists of a flat panel with 3,008 transmitter/receiver pairs that emit extremely low-power millimeter waves in very short succession,” the company said.[…]

These are clippings from Experimental Radio News–click here to read the full items.


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Ham Radio interest “soaring” in wake of Covid-19 pandemic

(Source: Southgate ARC)

The number of Americans obtaining their ham radio licenses is soaring as the country comes to grips with the coronavirus pandemic.

Just as shoppers are hoarding necessities and food in panic buying, more people have quickly studied to become amateur radio operators to ensure they can maintain communications with others in emergency situations and disasters.

More than 765,000 in the United States already have their amateur radio licenses from the Federal Communications Commission, however, data from the FCC indicates a recent uptick in the number of new hams, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide. In addition, HamRadioPrep.com, a website that teaches prospective hams what they need to know to pass the FCC tests, also has experienced a huge surge in new students in the past two weeks as news continues to evolve about the pandemic.

In a comparison of the time period from March 5-13, 2020, to the same days in 2019, the number of persons signing up for amateur radio license courses on HamRadioPrep.com has soared more than 700% since news of the coronavirus outbreak dominated headlines. At the same time, the FCC shows a 7.1% percent uptick in new amateur licensees in the first week of March in 2020 vs the same week in 2019

Read more at:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/4623310#
ixzz6GyaDCCSz

Click here to read at the Southgate ARC.

Spread the radio love

“German Archaeologists came across a Russian spy radio”

Photo: Jürgen Vogel / LandesMuseum Bonn via the Southgate ARC

(Source: Southgate ARC via Jake Brodsky, AB3A)

Not an everyday find: Archaeologists from the Rhineland Regional Council were amazed when they came across a Russian spy radio instead of Roman traces in the Hambach open-cast mine during excavations. Hidden in a large metal box.

“When the box was opened, it hissed,” Dr. Erich Claßen, head of the LVR Office for the Preservation of Archaeological Monuments in the Rhineland, told journalists. In the container: a Soviet radio type R-394KM, code name Strizh, a digital HF spy radio.

It was developed in the early 1980s in the Soviet Union (USSR) and used by the countries of the Warsaw Pact in the final phase of the Cold War. It was the last model before the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992.

The device has a digital news system and a digital frequency display. It was used by agents abroad as well as by special units and was available with Russian or English text on the front. The spy version is known by the Russian code name “Strizh” (English: Swift).

In the LVR-Landesmuseum in Bonn there is currently not only the mysterious radio to see. Under the title “Gods, Graves and Agents”, spectacular finds from the year 2019 are on display until 29 March:

https://bodendenk
malpflege.lvr.de//de/aktuelles/veranstaltungen/AusstellungAiR2019.html

73

Tom DF5JL

Click here to read the full article at the Southgate ARC.

Spread the radio love

The secret role of Beaumanor Hall

(Source: Southgate ARC)

The Leicester Mercury reports on the top secret wartime listening station role of a Leicestershire mansion

As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day in May, a Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteer (LLLSV) tells the fascinating story of Beaumanor Hall’s crucial role in the Second World War.

Many readers may not know, but Beaumanor Hall was the site of a vital wartime intelligence service, namely the War Office “Y” (wireless) Group or W.O.Y.G.

The top secret “Y” Group was part of M18 Wireless Intelligence and Beaumanor was a highly-strategic “Intercept Station”, concerned with monitoring the enemy’s main channels of wireless traffic and communications.

The “Y” Intercept Listening Service operated from 1941 to 1945 and its wartime activities were as top secret as those at the Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.

Click here to read the full story at The Leicester Mercury.

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: New BBC Ham, Russian Propaganda, Rotators, USB Continuity, and a Moment of Silence

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’sRadio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors, Marty, Mike Terry, and Tracy Wood for the following tips:


BBC World Service presenter is a radio amateur (Southgate ARC)

Gareth Mitchell M7GJM is well known as presenter of the BBC World Service show Digital Planet. He got his amateur licence in 2019 thanks to help from members of Essex Ham

Since getting his licence, Gareth M7GJM has been mentioning amateur radio in his BBC World Service show, most recently, featuring how radio hams in Australia have been helping with emergency comms.

Read the Essex Ham story at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/news/online-learning-and-exam.html

Information on the free Foundation Online course that Gareth took is at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/


Russian ‘Propaganda Machine’ Selects Kansas City As Its Second Radio Broadcast Site (KCUR)

Commuters interested in conspiracy theories about George Soros, Hillary Clinton and the Republican National Committee have a new option, courtesy of the Russian government.

Early this month, a radio station based in Liberty, Missouri, signed a three-year deal to broadcast Radio Sputnik across Kansas City.

The English-language programming airs for three hours each morning and again in the evening on three frequencies controlled by KCXL: 1140 AM, 102.9 FM and 104.7 FM.

It’s produced by the U.S.-based branch of an organization created in 2013 by Russian President Vladimir Putin to promote Russian interests abroad.

The organization, Rossiya Segodnya, hopes to restore a “fair attitude to Russia in every country in the world,” according to court records.

For now, Radio Sputnik only broadcasts in two American cities: Kansas City and Washington D.C., where its programming has aired since 2017.

“We’d love to broadcast in all major U.S. markets,” a Radio Sputnik spokesperson told KCUR via email. “But unfortunately, U.S. authorities are working really hard to prevent us from doing so.”[…]


Rotators – How do you turn that thing? (Nuts and Volts)

We’ve had a few columns on antennas and propagation, and there sure is a lot of variation in the types of antennas! All the different ways signals propagate require different antenna directions and types. Hams use dinky finger-sized “rubber ducks” on handheld radios but also some ridiculously big antennas it seems. Hams can’t use as much power as some of the other communication services, so they use antennas to get through by focusing radiated power.

If the antennas can focus a signal, then they need to be able to focus it in the desired direction, right? A few antennas can do that electrically by controlling the signal’s phase or switching antenna elements on and off. Most of the “pointable” ham antennas, though, need to be pointed mechanically and held in place during a contact or to keep a communications link working. The thing that hams use to point their antennas — large and small — is called a rotator.

There are a wide range of rotators, just like antennas. You may have used a TV antenna rotator with its “chunk-chunk-chunk” stepping. At the other end of the scale, whole towers turn! We’ll cover some of the most common types and give you an idea of how they work. (If you want detailed information, including guidelines and illustrations for how to work with these unsung heroes of the antenna farm, see the sidebar, “Rotator and Tower Know-How.”)


Build a USB continuity jig (Nuts and Volts)

If you’re like me, you likely have a drawer or shoebox stuffed with assorted USB cables that are used to either charge or program a USB device. The problem often is that some cables may only be useful for charging, and which only have the +Vcc and ground wires intact with one or both data wires either broken or not connected in the first place.


Every Radio Station in Los Angeles Holds Moment of Silence for Kobe Bryant (Billboard)

Los Angeles has been rendered speechless by the shocking death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday morning. And for one minute and eight seconds — the extra time nodding to Bryant’s original No. 8 Lakers jersey — radio stations across the city held a moment of silence Monday (Jan. 27) at noon.

The Southern California Broadcasters Association asked its members to synchronize their moment of silence, as well as continuously airing reminders about the upcoming tribute.

Before noon, the SCBA requested all local area radio stations to repeat this core introductory message for grieving Angelenos listening in: “Right now All LA radio stations are now broadcasting 1:08 minute silence for LA Sports Legend Kobe Bryant,” according to an announcement posted on the association’s website.[…]


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Latest issue of Hackspace magazine features Ham Radio

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Issue 27 of Hackspace magazine features the Scottish Consulate Amateur Radio Club MS0SCZ, the free magazine PDF is now available for download

The Scottish Consulate ARC is part of the 57North Hacklab in Aberdeen, the article by Tom Jones MM6IRQ is on pages 28-31.

Also featured in the magazine:
• Interview with Mitch Altman WB9IQQ
• Long-range radio with Raspberry Pi by PJ Evans of the Milton Keynes Raspberry Jam.

Download the Free magazine PDF at
https://hackspace.raspberrypi.org/issues/27/pdf

Back issues can be downloaded from
https://hackspace.raspberrypi.org/issues/

Scottish Consulate
https://consulate.scot/
https://twitter.com/scotconsulate

Click here to read this article at the Southgate ARC.

Spread the radio love