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The LOWDOWN Latest Issue In the Nov-Dec 2023 edition of the LWCA publication:
"Notes from Headquarters" by Kevin Carey. Wrapping up half a century of publication.
"DX Downstairs" Peter Laws presents members' LF and VLF loggings.
"On The Air" Experimenters operating on 160-190kHz and lower bands... and...
"The Top End" MedFER and HiFER beacon activity... and...
"LF Notebook", compiled by John Davis. Our series on the closure of R. Luxembourg takes an undexpected turn!
"News From the Old World" Alan Gale with latest LF news from the "other side of the pond."
"Natural Radio" by Rick Ferranti. Results of radio science done during the October solar eclipse.
"The WD4PLI Nova Antenna" David Curry takes a new approach to passive vertical antennas, in a challenging RF rnvironment.
"Member News Spotlight"
"Find It Online" featuring radio-related websites that may be of interest to lonwavers.
"Ask Mister Answer Guy" by A. Guy. AG recalls past courtroom rxperiences in preparation for moot court.
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Annual Christmas Message from SAQ
Another transmission from that historic station's 17.2 kHz alternator is scheduled for 0800 UTC (3 AM Eastern Standard in North America) on Sunday, December 24, this year. Details will be posted here on 3 December.
Meanwhile, obtain additional SAQ information at the Alexander Association pages, and consider joining the Association to help them continue their work at the World Heritage station.
LWCA Has A New Name: LWCA!
Kevin Carey, LWCA Publisher, announced in the Jan-Feb 2023 issue of The LOWDOWN that the club has changed its name--slightly. The "Longwave Club of America" is now the Longwave Club of the Americas, reflecting the increased interest in LF activity in Canada and other nations of the Western Hemisphere. We also wish to recognize our other overseas members and co-workers elsewhere as well, by making the name a little less restrictive sounding in its scope. No modification in our acronym or logo is required this way.
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New NDB Handbook Editions Available
Michael Oexner announces that "the 2023 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 Global NDB Handbook contains the details of more than 17300 NDBs worldwide. It is the perfect listening companion for radio listeners who use the extensive and ever-growing network of WebSDRs. The updated EuroNDBH shows the data of more than 8300 NDBs, and the new NANDBH (actually, North, Central, and South American) features more than 5900 NDBs. Each volume or CD is customized at time of production to display correct azimuth and distance from the listener's location.
You can find all relevant details at: https://ndblist.info/index_htm_files/NDBpublications2023.pdf
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 actual 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, 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.
- 472kHz.org A project created by Rik Strobbe with a goal "to provide information about the 472 kHz (or 630 m) ham band, for newcomers as well as for advanced users."
Pages formerly located at John Langridge's NJD Technologies.net site are, unfortunately, no longer available. Thanks to Bob KB7AQD for helping us correct our links section!
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 with lots of features beyond plain lists, Michael Oexner's North American, European, and Global NDB Handbooks are updated annually (click this link for 2023 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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