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Updated Jan 1, 2022

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   Christmas Eve Cheer at SAQ

      The annual Christmas greeting from the Alexanderson alternator at Grimeton, Sweden, on 17.2 kHz went out as scheduled early Friday morning, 24 December. Within 24 hours, over 450 reports had been received from around the world.
      Amateur station SK6SAQ also operated on HF. Visitors were not able to attend as originally planned, due to last minute Covid restrictions, but operators enjoyed a slightly snowy and festive morning at the World Heritage station.
      Additional information on the holiday transmission (including YouTube video) can be found at this new Alexander Association page.

    The LOWDOWN Latest Issue
In the Nov-Dec 2021 edition of the LWCA publication:
  • "Notes from Headquarters" by Kevin Carey.
  • "DX Downstairs" Peter Laws presents members' LF and VLF loggings.
  • "On The Air" Experimenters operating on the 160-190kHz and lower bands... and...
  • "The Top End" MedFER and HiFER beacon activity, and..
  • "Operator Contact List" ...and...
  • "The LF Notebook" Conducted by John Davis. The centennial of RCA's Radio Central on Long Island and the first transatlantic crossing by amateurs.
  • "News From the Old World" Alan Gale keeps us informed of latest LF news from the "other side of the pond."
  • "Natural Radio" by Rick Ferranti. The use of spectrograms in studying Natural Radio phenomena.
  • "Member News Spotlight"
  • "Ask Mr Answer Guy" by A. Guy. New words and the supply chain.
Interested in subscribing? Click here for contact information.
   LWCA Mentioned on WRMI Broadcast Dec. 4/5

      Radio Miami International carried a program from Texas Radio Shortwave on 5 December, UTC (Saturday evening the 4th in North America), highlighting very briefly each of the eight radio clubs that remain from the umbrella organization, ANARC, including LWCA.
      The LWCA segment, near the end of the hour, started out: "The Longwave Club of America is arguably the most interesting club, for experimenting with radio signals below the broadcast band..." They'll get no argument from us.
      You can hear all of the LWCA segment, plus an excerpt containing the WRMI station ID at 0200, in this MP3 audio clip that runs 2 minutes and 2 seconds: WRMI_2021-12-05Z_5950kHz.mp3

   Related Longwave Sites

    •William Hepburn's DX Information Centre has probably the best online list of aero and marine beacons based on official license information, plus lists of time signals and numerous resources for other types of DXing as well.
    •The searchable RNA database of LF beacons...not compiled from official sources, but a digest of signal reports from experienced listeners in North and Central America. It's a great tool for identifying those unknown signals. It won't always be up-to-date regarding decommissioned beacons, of course. This might somewhat limit its usefulness in targeting specific beacons to listen for, but it's still helpful if you pay attention to the most recent reported date for a given beacon.
    •Gunter Lorenz' VLF/LF Station List. More recently updated than some other VLF military/utility station lists; but as with any amateur band, the listings around 137 kHz are subject to frequent change and should be taken with a grain of salt.
    •LF/MF Amateur Radio Sites. Now that the 2200 and 630 meter bands are finally available in the US to amateurs, not just Part 5 licensees, there's even more interest in websites about ham operation. We'll be adding more links soon, but for now we'll begin with:
        - KA7OEI Blog Clint Turner has discussed many topics over past years of interest to hams and LWLs.
        - W1TAG.com John Andrews also has many resources for both hams and LW listeners.
        - 630 m QSO List by WØPRK, with link to N1BUG list as well.
        - John Langridge's Site, primarily 630m with some 2200m.
        - www.500kc.com Ralph M. Hartwell W5JGV documents (mainly the history of) the WD2XSH Part 5 license and its participants.
    If you know of more ham sites that should be included, or find broken links, please advise us at mb@lwca.org ASAP.
    •Radio Waves Below 22 kHz Renato Romero's eclectic collection of topics pertaining to both manmade and natural radio signals from near DC to the upper end of audibility. Includes the VLF Open Lab, and articles by many contributors...some fairly orthodox, and some not. Visit: www.vlf.it
    •NDB Handbooks Available to order with lots of features beyond plain lists, Michael Oexner's North American, European, and Global NDB Handbooks are now updated for 2021 (click this link for info in PDF form). All editions are available for download or as physical CDs, and the NA and EU versions can also be ordered in printed form.

   QRSS and WOLF Software

      Rik Strobbe's QRSS software (for transmitting extremely slow CW) and Rik's other useful software at the ON7YD download page.
      Continuing Development of Argo. Alberto di Bene posts the latest version of Argo, a receiving tool for displaying slow CW, that performs FFT spectral analysis and displays it in ways optimized for QRSS. Many of the transoceanic LF amateur records were set using Argo at the receiving end. Argo has somewhat similar performance to Spectran, but interacts better with the user's soundcard and is customized for QRSS modes.
      WOLF. Stewart Nelson originally devised this unique mode, a variant of BPSK, as an MS-DOS program. Now, a GUI-based version by Wolf Büscher continues to increase the mode's popularity. Find the new software at the DL4YHF WOLF page.
      Spectrum Lab, at the DL4YHF site, is another of Wolf's creations. In conjunction with your computer's sound card, not only is it an especially advanced spectrum analyzer, but it's also a filtering and sound processing tool, and can serve as the demodulator part of a software defined receiver.
      Slow CW for Linux. Claudio Girardi (IN3OTD) has released Slow CW software for users of the Linux operating system, currently v 0.42. The program (called glfer) contains both transmit and receive capability, the latter including an FFT-based spectrum analyzer somewhat similar to those found in popular Windows Slow CW programs. As with much open-source software in the X-world, you have to compile the C source code yourself. Users will also need additional code libraries. Links to those, plus downloadable source code, can be found at Claudio's glfer page.

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