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HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
No SAQ Transmission on Alexanderson Day 2022
The World Heritage radio station at Grimeton, Sweden, will be fully open to visitors on Sunday 3 July for this year's celebration, the first time since the Covid pandemic began. The historic alternator transmitter will be started up as usual, but will not actually be able to transmit on-air due to antenna difficulties.
Additional information (including YouTube video links and schedule) can be found at this new Alexander Association page. (Times on that page are given in Central European Summer Time, which is two hours ahead of GMT. Example: 10.00 CEST => 0800 UTC
=> 4:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time.)
The LOWDOWN Latest Issue In the May-June 2022 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. Radio cartoons from 1922 by a multi-talented artist; and a first look at things one might do with a Tecsun AN-100 loop.
"News From the Old World" Alan Gale with latest LF news from the "other side of the pond."
"Natural Radio" by Rick Ferranti. Monitoring for Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances.
"Sparks Across the Atlantic" Article by Ian Baines, examining Marconi's transoceanic efforts in 1901.
"Member News Spotlight"
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LWCA Switches to Calendar Year Membership Term
Kevin Carey, LWCA Publisher, announced in the Jan-Feb 2022 issue of The LOWDOWN that henceforth memberships will run from January 1 through December 31 of each calendar year. The change is expected to greatly reduce the time currently required each month to update the member database and send out renewal notices at different times of the year. There will be no increase in dues.
Existing members will have their renewals pro-rated to accomodate the new expiration date. New members will be welcome to join at any time, but their terms will be based on the current calendar year. Kevin explains that "(they) will receive all back issues of The LOWDOWN which have already been released since (the start of the year). Back issues are processed as PDF deliveries, as our print runs are limited to members of record at the time of production. Should you need to have a printed copy of your back issues, HQ can provide guidance on how to print the PDF file into a 'booklet' format using any printer capable of double-sided printing."
"With the limited staff at HQ (me, and some occasional volunteers), we want to focus on what we do best; getting the longwave news out to you!"
"To be clear, this change will be seamless to our members, and there is no increase to the cost of your membership."
New NDB Handbook Editions Available
Michael Oexner announces: "The 2022 editions of my NDB handbooks and CDs are ready now and have once again been updated extensively to reflect the latest changes and monitoring results."
"The new GNDBH contains the details of more than 17100 NDBs worldwide. It is the perfect listening companion for radio listeners who use the extensive and ever-growing network of WebSDRs. The updated ENDBH shows the data of more than 8300 NDBs, and the new NANDBH features more than 5900 NDBs."
You can find all relevant details at: ndblist.info/beacons/NDBpublications2022.pdf
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 UTC, in this MP3 audio clip (2 minutes and 2 seconds total):
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.
If you know of more ham sites that should be included, or find broken links, please advise us at email@example.com 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 2022 (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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