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Alexanderson Day at SAQ, 5 July
Two transmissions by the Alexanderson alternator transmitter are scheduled from SAQ on 17.2 kHz for Sunday morning, July 5. The first is set for 0900 UTC, or 5:00 AM EDT, 4:00 AM CDT, 2:00 AM PDT, etc. The second is set for three hours later (1200 UTC, 7:00 AM CDT, etc.). Startup and tuning commence approximately half an hour before each message transmission.
The date is the Sunday that falls closest to the July 2 birthday of Ernst Alexanderson, the Swedish-born inventor and enginner for General Electric who designed the station, which is now a World Heritage site.
Amateur station SK6SAQ will also be active on the following frequencies: 7035 kHz CW, 14035 kHz CW, and/or 3755 kHz SSB. This time there will be no visitors or public events, due to the coronavirus.
Additional SAQ information can be found at the Alexander Association pages. There is also a link their YouTube channel, on which the transmissions will be streamed live.
Site Search Feature Improved
It was brought to our attention recently that our Site Search button was overlooking some popular articles that are still archived in our Library section, such as Lyle Koehler's famous Epson oscillator LowFER and HiFER transmitter circuits. It turned out that the directory structure of our Library had grown deeper than our simple internal search engine was programmed to search. We have now corrected that shortcoming, and hope you will enjoy the greater range of material now available in our file tree.
The LOWDOWN Latest Issue In the May-June 2020 edition of the LWCA publication:
"Notes from Headquarters"
"DX Downstairs" Kevin Carey 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. Longwave & radioactive lizards; LNV princples and active whips.
"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. Tweeking the ionosphere, part two.
"Ask Mr Answer Guy" by A. Guy.
Member News Spotlight
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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 the past 8 or so years of interest to hams and LWLs.
- W1TAG.com John Andrews also has many resources for both hams and LWLs.
- 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 devised this unique mode, a variant of BPSK. See his announcement of the MS-DOS version for more details. Now, a GUI-based version by Wolf Büscher continues to increase the mode's popularity. Find the new software at the DL4YHF site.
Spectrum Lab, at that same link, 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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