Tag Archives: VLF

Radio Waves: BBC radio reporters axed, Ham Radio on BBC Surrey, K6UDA on IC-705 features, and VLF balloon launched with request for detailed reception report

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

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Mark Hist, Kris Partridge, John Palmer, and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Radio reporters to be axed by BBC and told to reapply for new roles (The Guardian)

Radio reporters to be axed by BBC and told to reapply for new roles
Critics fear end of an era because of plans to make audio journalists work across media platforms

BBC radio voices have described and defined modern British history. Live reports from inside a British bomber over Germany during the second world war, or with the British troops invading Iraq in 2003, or more recently from the frontline of the parent boycott of a Birmingham school over LGBT lessons have also shaped the news agenda.

But now the BBC plans to axe all its national radio reporters and ask them to reapply for a smaller number of jobs as television, radio and digital reporters, rather than as dedicated audio journalists. Many fear it is not just the end of their careers but the premature end of an era for the BBC.

“Radio reporting is a different job. Of course, you can do both, but a report designed for television starts from a completely different place. Radio is also more agile and also a lot less expensive,” said one experienced broadcast journalist. “I am pretty sure most of us will not be given new TV roles. It seems sad to lose all that specific radio expertise.”

Among the well-known voices likely to be affected are Hugh Sykes, Andrew Bomford – who has just completed a long feature on the child protection process for Radio 4’s PM show – and the award-winning and idiosyncratic Becky Milligan, as well as a wider team of expert correspondents.[]

Amateur radio on BBC Radio Surrey (Southgate ARC)

RSGB report Board Director Stewart Bryant G3YSX and SOTA organiser Tim Price G4YBU were interviewed on BBC Radio Surrey on Friday, September 11

The interview starts just before 1:43:00 into the recording at
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08pkykw

RSGB https://twitter.com/theRSGB

What is Amateur Radio?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Free UK amateur radio Online Training course
https://essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

10 Things That Make The Icom IC 705 A Revolution in Ham Radio (K6UDA YouTube)

 

VLF Balloon with 210m long antenna launches Sept 12 (Southgate ARC)

A high-altitude balloon experiment, launched by Warsaw University of Technology, is planned to lift off September 12, carrying a VLF 210-m-long fully-airborne antenna system, transmitting on 14.2 kHz

14.2 kHz is the former frequency of the Babice Radio Station in Poland.

The project is delivering very important data for a doctoral dissertation – any and all feedback on the reception of the signal (reception location, SNR, bandwidth etc.) is extremely important; your help with the listening to the transmission would be invaluable!

The balloon will also be transmitting APRS on 144.800 MHz FM, callsign SP5AXL.

Full details at
https://alexander.n.se/grimetons-sister-station-shall-reappear-in-the-stratosphere/?lang=en


Kris also points out this article which provides more detail about the station and request for reception reports:

Invented for the first time in 2014, in 2020 it will finally be implemented – the idea of „restoring” the TRCN, but in the stratosphere, where there are no mechanical limitations at the height of the antennas, and the achieved range can be gigantic.

The launch of a stratospheric balloon from the Przasnysz-Sierakowo airport of the Warsaw University of Technology is planned for September 12, 2020, in order to perform atmospheric tests – measuring UV radiation, recording the cloudy surroundings with a high-speed camera and conducting an inductive experiment at 14.2 kHz using a special antenna system.

The inductive system uses a modified long-wave transmitter (A1 emission, unkeyed) from the GLACiER project of the Warsaw University of Technology, implemented as part of the IGLUNA – a Habitat in Ice programme (ESA_Lab / Swiss Space Center). The power of the transmitter, due to the emission limits for this type of inductive devices, shall not exceed a few watts. The antenna system is a centrally fed (35: 1) dipole with capacitive (Hertzian) elements and a vertical axial coil. The electrical length is between 400 and 500 m, with a total system length of 210 m. The antenna is equipped with metalized radar reflectors.

The entire balloon mission will use 144.8 MHz (as SP5AXL) and 868 MHz (as part of the LoVo system) for navigation. Flight information will be available in advance in NOTAM (EPWW).
Planned balloon launch (even if the sky is full of ‘lead’ clouds) at 12.00 UTC (14.00 CEST, local time). The 14.2kHz experiment will be switched on on the ground, with the antenna initially folded in harmony. The predicted total flight time is 3 hours – around 13.30-14.00 UTC / 15.30-16.00 CEST it is planned to reach the maximum altitude of 30 km above sea level.

Source: https://trcn.pl/do-stratosfery-to-the-stratosphere/

How can you help with the experiment? By recording as much as possible! Every parameter is valuable – from the spectrum / screenshot with the spectrum, to the EM field strengths, SNR and bandwidth, to the change of the EM field strength over time. The collected data can be sent to our e-mail address: stowarzyszenie@radiostacjababice.org. On the day of launch, we plan to post updates on the launch, flight and the experiment itself via our Facebook page: facebook.com/radiostacjababice.
Stay tuned!


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Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on Sunday, July 5, 2020

(Source: SAQ via Mike Terry)

The annual transmission on Alexanderson Day with the Alexanderson Alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz with the call sign SAQ will take place Sunday, July 5th, 2020.

Two transmissions are scheduled as follows:

Startup and tuning at 10:30 (08:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 11:00 (09:00 UTC).

Startup and tuning at 13:30 (11:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 14:00 (12:00 UTC)

Watch both transmission events live on our YouTube Channel.

QSL-reports to SAQ (please no E-mails) are kindly received via:

  • Reception report form
  • or via: SM bureau
  • or direct by postal mail to:

Alexander Association
Radiostationen
Grimeton 72
SE-432 98 GRIMETON
S W E D E N

The Amateur Radio Station with the call “SK6SAQ” will be QRV on the following frequencies:

  • 7.035 kHz CW or
  • 14.035 kHz CW or
  • 3.755 kHz SSB

QSL-reports to SK6SAQ are kindly received via:

  • Email to info@alexander.n.se
  • or via: SM bureau
  • or direct by postal mail (see address above)

Two stations will be on the air most of the time.

Due to the Corona pandemic, there will be no visitors to the radio station and there will be no visitor activities. Instead you can watch both transmission events live on our YouTube Channel. The association will try to carry out the two broadcasts to the world from the old Alexanderson alternator SAQ with minimal staffing in place.

World Heritage Grimeton Radio station and The Alexander Association

For further details, se grimeton.org or alexander.n.se

Alexanderson Day 2020

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Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on June 30th, 2019

(Source: The Alexander Association via Mike Hansgen)

Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on June 30th, 2019.

The annual transmission on “Alexanderson Day” with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz with the call SAQ will take place Sunday, June 30th, 2019.
Two transmissions are scheduled as follows:

  1. Startup of tuning at 10:30 (08:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 11:00 (09:00 UTC).
  2. Startup of tuning at 13:30 (11:30 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 14:00 (12:00 UTC)
    Both transmission events will be broadcasted live on our YouTube Channel.

NEW! ONLINE RECEPTION REPORT FORM TO REPLACE E-MAIL REPORTS
We are introducing a new online SAQ reception report form to be used by listeners to report reception of any SAQ transmissions. We are kindly asking listeners not to send SAQ reception reports via E-mail.

QSL-reports to SAQ are kindly received via:
– Reception report form at alexander.n.se/receptionreport
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by postal mail to:

Alexander Association
Radiostationen
Grimeton 72
SE-432 98 GRIMETON
S W E D E N

The Amateur Radio Station with the call “SK6SAQ” will be QRV on the following frequencies:
– 7.035 kHz CW or
– 14.035 kHz CW or
– 3.755 kHz SSB

QSL-reports to SK6SAQ are kindly received via:
– Email to info@alexander.n.se
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by postal mail (see address above)Two stations will be on the air most of the time.

The station will be open to visitors between 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

WELCOME!

World Heritage Grimeton Radio station and The Alexander Association

For further details, se grimeton.org or alexander.n.se

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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.

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Thai cave rescue employed ham-designed 87 kHz transceiver

(Source: Hackaday via bernieS)

Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard a little about the thirteen people — mostly children — trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand. What you may have missed, though, is the hacker/ham radio connection. The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) was asked for their expert help. [Rick Stanton], [John Volanthen] and [Rob Harper] answered the call. They were equipped with HeyPhones. The HeyPhone is a 17-year-old design from [John Hey, G3TDZ]. Sadly, [G3TDZ] is now a silent key (ham radio parlance for deceased) so he didn’t get to see his design play a role in this high-profile rescue, although it has apparently been a part of many others in the past.

The HeyPhone is actually considered obsolete but is still in service with some teams. The radio uses USB (upper sideband, not universal serial bus) at 87 kHz. The low frequency can penetrate deep into the ground using either induction loop antennas like the older Molephone, or — more commonly — with electrodes injecting RF energy directly into the ground.

You can find a very detailed article about the radio from 2001 if you want more details. The system is somewhat dated, but apparently works well and that’s what counts.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Hackaday.

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Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on July 1st, 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Evandro Stanger, who writes:

Good news. Grimeton Radio will be on air again on July, 1. See the link below:

(Source: The Alexander Association)

Grimeton Radio / SAQ Transmission on July 1st, 2018.

The annual transmission on “Alexanderson Day” with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz with the call SAQ will take place Sunday, July 1st, 2018.

This year, three transmissions are scheduled as follows:

1. Startup of tuning at 10:15 (08:15 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 10:45 (08:45 UTC).
2. Startup of tuning at 12:15 (10:15 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 12:45 (10:45 UTC)
3. Startup of tuning at 14:15 (12:15 UTC) with a transmission of a message at 14:45 (12:45 UTC)

All three transmission events will be broadcasted live on our YouTube Channel.

Amateur Radio Station with the call “SK6SAQ” will be QRV on the following frequencies:
– 7.035 kHz CW or
– 14.035 kHz CW or
– 3.755 kHz SSB

Two stations will be on the air most of the time.

QSL-reports to SAQ and SK6SAQ are kindly received via:
– E-mail to: info@alexander.n.se
– or via: SM bureau
– or direct by mail to:

Alexander – Grimeton Veteranradios Vaenner
Radiostationen
Grimeton 72
SE-432 98 GRIMETON
S W E D E N

The station will be open to visitors between 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

WELCOME!

World Heritage Grimeton Radio station and The Alexander Association

For further details, se grimeton.org or alexander.n.se

Excellent news!  Thanks for the tip, Evandro!

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Ron discovers a new VLF converter

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

A firm in the UK is now offering new VLF converters in built, ready to go form or in kit form.

Coverage is 10-500 khz full LW band or 0.1-100 kHz ELF band.

Your choice of stock or SO239, BNC or RCA connectors for antenna input and converter output.

Powered by a nine volt battery.

In addition a special 630m version is available tuned for max performance on 475 kHz in the middle of the 630m band.

Click here to view on eBay.

Thanks for the tip, Ron! Based on the photos, the construction looks to be of very good quality. There are so few VLF converters on the market–please share your review when you’ve had a chance to evaluate it!

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