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The LOWDOWN Latest Issue In the Nov-Dec 2020 edition of the LWCA publication:
"Notes from Headquarters" by Kevin Carey.
"DX Downstairs" We welcome Peter Laws N5UWY as the new editor of this column, which 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 poor, misunderstood C Layer. Most have never heard of it, but it does exist long enough each sunrise to affect VLF propagation along gray-line paths.
"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. Schumann resonance detectors and the wind; rare pure-tone whistlers; direction finding and distance determination for whistlers.
Member News Spotlight
"Ask Mr Answer Guy" by A. Guy. The risks of holiday greetings.
"HRO 500 Receiver Project, Part 1" by John Reed.
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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:
- 630 m QSO List by WØPRK, with link to N1BUG list as well.
- John Langridge's Site, primarily 630m with some 2200m.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 in print form or as physical or downloadable CDs with lots of features beyond plain lists, Michael Oexner's North American and European NDB Handbooks, are now updated for 2020 (click this link for info in PDF form). In addition to the two regional versions, Michael now offers a combined Global edition (CD & download only).
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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