Thursday, June 29, 2006

STS-121 Orbital Elements Released

Image above: In the early dawn of Wednesday morning, STS-121 Pilot Mark Kelly prepares to takeoff in the Shuttle Training Aircraft at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility. The modified Grumman Gulfstream II jet simulates the flight characteristics of an orbiter when practicing landing approaches or other maneuvers. Photo courtesy of NASA/Kim Shiflett.

Courtesy of Gerhard Holtkamp and the SEESAT-L newsgroup. NASA has now posted orbit elements for STS-121 on their Orbital Elements webpage.

Launch is indicated at 1-JUL-2006, 19:48:38 UT.

The first coasting arc is valid from 19:59:06 UT until 20:38:03 UT (1-JUL-06). The state vector given for this arc is in good agreement with the TLEs posted by Ted Molzcan two weeks ago. However the also given (NASA) TLEs for this arc show a discrepancy with the numeric state vector. I get the following TLEs out of the given state vector:

1 0 06182.83270833 0.00000000 00000-0 95600-4 0 1
2 0 51.6328 112.1460 0128427 347.8366 69.9206 16.48997100 1

The ISS entries are listed with the remark that no orbital maneuvers are planned (until at least 9-JUL-2006). However, I found the following remark in the STS 121 press kit about mission objectives:

* Reboost ISS with the orbiter to no more than 186.7 nautical miles average orbital altitude, if propulsive consumables are available. *

I wonder whether we will also see the small unexpected increases that happened during last year's Discovery docking to the ISS. It will be interesting to keep an eye on the ISS orbit over the next two weeks.

Darmstadt, Germany

New NASA and Space Comm List

The countdown started at 2100 UTC yesterday for the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery on Saturday (July 1) at 1948 UTC (3:48 p.m. EDT) for the STS-121 mission. There is a 60 percent chance of bad weather at launch which could postpone the mission. The Discovery and its seven member crew are heading for a rendevous with the International Space Station.

Radio monitors should note that this will be a 51 degree inclined launch and this will afford you an excellent opportunity to monitor Discovery UHF air-to-ground comms during the ascent phase. Be sure to plug in both of their UHF frequencies: A/G-1 259.7 MHz and A/G-2 on 296.8 MHz.

Please note: Radio hobbyists and webmasters that have linked to our popular NASA frequency list on the Monitoring Times website will now find a new, updated list in Adobe PDF format, now posted to the site. The old html list has been removed so please reset your links to the new URL for the new list. The link on the left hand side of this blog page has been reset to the new address and you can now reach the list via that link or on the main page of the MT website.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Russians Launched Progress Spacecraft

The Russians have launched and successfully docked a Progress resupply spacecraft at the International Space Station. Designated Progress M-57 (2006-025A/NORAD SSC 29245), the spacecraft was launched from the Russian Baikonur spaceport on Saturday, June 24 at 1508 UTC. It docked with the ISS, yesterday (June 27) at 1625 UTC. The Prograss carried propellant, oxygen, water, and other cargo for the crew onboard the ISS.

Frequencies for this spacecraft are covered on our Monitoring NASA Communications page located in the Monitoring Times Reference Library.

New M/A-COM Provoice Radio System Putting FHP In Danger

Anyone who has followed my writings in Monitoring Times the last few years know that I am an ardent opponent of ANY radio system that is non-APCO-25 compliant regardless of manufacture. I hear the constant bitching about interop by Congress and public safety yet they continue to go out and buy non-P25 compliant equipment such as the M/A-COM Provoice and Open Sky systems.

Now that it is hurricane season what state is under the gun bigtime? Florida. And what trunk radio system do they use statewide? M/A-COM Provoice.

I can't imagine for the life of me how that state with its fine EMA organization in Tallahassee could be so incredibly stupid and backward to have installed one of these retrograde system throughout the entire state.

New Orleans learned the hard way and they have scrapped their system in favor of P25 so now they can talk to the outside world.

Is it going to take getting people killed in the state of Florida due to this system before someone will wake up? We have already had one article in a Central Florida newspaper about this incompatiable situation. Now read the latest installment of how bad things really are at the website.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

VHF Low Band Skip, Tuesday 20 June 2006

Caught what looks like the tail end of a VHF Low Band E-skip opening during the afternoon of 20 June 2006. Saw a maximum MUF of 39.2 MHz.

Receiver: Uniden BCD996T, BC-790T, BC-895. BC-898, Icom R-7100 Wideband 30-960 MHz preamp.
Antennas: Grove Scantenna, Discone

Here are the intercepts.

Freq PL Time EDT Notes
30580.0 114.8 14:32 Unknown user/usage, unid foreign language
30600.0 91.5 14:17 WPKM358 Central Car Service & Limo Elmhurst NY SS taxi dispatch
30740.0 107.2 15:14 SS dispatch
30880.0 225.7 14:16 SS taxi dispatch
30960.0 173.8 14:40 SS taxi dispatch
31000.0 173.8 14:36 SS dispatch
31020.0 123 14:14 EE Biz dispatch
31040.0 177.3 14:41 EE YL noted
31080.0 74.4 14:17 SS taxi dispatch
31080.0 94.8 14:34 EE Unknown user
31080.0 100 14:51 EE YL dispatch, sounds like a transportation outfit
31120.0 100 15:24 School bus dispatch
31240.0 136.5 14:51 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (NY?)
31400.0 91.5 14:41 SS OM dispatch
31480.0 127.3 14:54 SS dispatch
31720.0 103.5 14:18 SS dispatch
31940.0 118.9 15:18 EE OM
31960.0 DCS606 14:55 EE YL dispatch accented
33100.0 100 14:18 Base to 716, larry
33240.0 107.2 14:12 SS dispatch
33680.0 127.3 15:02 Fire Dispatch
33740.0 192.8 14:07 YL Fire Dispatch
33780.0 110.9 14:13 Fire Dispatch: Charleston Township
33820.0 179.9 15:06 EE OM dispatcher
33860.0 114.8 14:45 Fire Dispatch
33900.0 No PL 14:15 KGC755 Lancaster County PA Fire Dispatch EDT two tones distorted
33940.0 114.8 14:37 Fire Dispatch
33940.0 179.9 14:57 Fire Dispatch EDT time zone
33940.0 77 14:58 KNBX247 Berks County PA Fire Dispatch
33960.0 167.9 15:19 Fire Dispatch EDT
35080.0 146.2 14:46 SS taxi dispatch
35100.0 141.3 14:38 SS taxi dispatch
35110.0 186.2 14:43 SS dispatch
35140.0 97.4 14:52 EE OM dispatcher, no hot water, possible electric
35180.0 82.5 14:53 SS YL dispatch, echo effect
35740.0 203.5 14:15 SS Taxi dispatch to 7 Eleven
35820.0 179.9 15:03 SS YL dispatcher
35860.0 156.7 14:22 SS YL dispatcher
35860.0 123 14:59 Unknown dispatch
35880.0 131.8 14:48 SS Taxi dispatch
35900.0 203.5 14:16 SS OM dispatcher
35900.0 162.2 15:28 EE OM dispatcher
35980.0 141.3 14:38 EE YL dispatcher
37260.0 146.2 13:53 KBK833 Lebanon County PA PD dispatch, OM Dispatcher EDT time zone
37580.0 94.8 15:21 Brief keyup, lots of white noise
37880.0 88.5 14:24 SS OM dispatcher
37940.0 No PL 15:16 EE YL asking if she heard Beverly
37980.0 DCS047 13:43 OM Dispatcher
37980.0 173.8 14:35 Hrd OM/YL dispatcher (Mary) talking abt something at High School right now, probable school bus dispatch
38500.0 14:09 Possible KY-57 encryption
39020.0 173.8 15:31 LE dispatch, officer giving mileage
39100.0 85.4 15:13 EMS dispatch
39160.0 141.3 15:22 LE dispatch, mentioned Northfield
39180.0 114.8 15:05 EE dispatch

Nice opening, hopefully this will translate into a higher MUF opening during ARRL Field Day this weekend. We will be up looking for new 6-meter grids/states.

Hams Radio Operator player in World Cup Games

Radio Amateur operator UT5UDX/M0SDX Serge Rebrov, is one of the players active in the FIFA World Cup Soccer matches going on right now in Germany. Serge is a midfielder on the Ukraine team.

You can read more about him at the ARRL website.

And there is an online article that describes some of Serge's play at
Ukraine Tops Saudis 4-0 in World Cup

According to one report, Serge scored the first goal by a ham at a world cup
soccer match. It was a DX (long distance) shot he made from 30 meters.

Thanks to Jim AD1C, P. Buijserd, Andre Nevis, and the ARRL for the heads up.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

I want to take this opportunity to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father's Day.
If you aren't familiar with the celebration point your browser to Father's Day on the Net.

73 de Larry (aka The Chief)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

There is Still Hope

One of the things that I have tried desperately to accomplish in my ham DX career is to work Antarctica. On many levels I need to get this one out of the way (its holding up my IOTA award). Now I may have another neat shot at them. For those who haven't seen it, this from the ARRL website (thank you HQ for the heads up).

Antarctica's KC4AAA to be on the air for Field Day (Jun 16, 2006) -- KC4AAA at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica, has announced plans to participate in ARRL Field Day 2006. The station's Satellite Communications Technician Robert Reynolds, N0QFQ, will head up the effort. Operations from KC4AAA will commence at 1800 UTC on June 24 and continue through 2100 UTC on June 25. Experience has shown that best opportunity for North and South American stations to contact KC4AAA appears around 2300 UTC on the Eastern Seaboard, moving westward with time until the window closes around 0400 UTC. Given South Pole's location right under the auroral oval, propagation can make South Pole intercontinental HF radio communications a challenge, so listen carefully! The primary operating frequency will be on or about 14.243 MHz. KC4AAA operators will monitor and exploit other bands, but 20 meter SSB will be the primary operating mode. South Pole will operate as a "home" station with supplied power (Class 1D). Reynolds plans to have a team of up to 10 operators staffing the station, most of whom are in a ham radio licensing class at the station. KC4AAA will be running 1 kW and will mainly use a pair of log-periodic antennas aimed toward the US. KC4AAA plans to upload its Field Day log to Logbook of The World (LoTW). QSL cards will be sent later in the year.

A Special Offer for MT Blog Readers

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What is Monitoring Times magazine?
MT is a full-spectrum monthly magazine for the radio listener, Monitoring Times covers scanning, shortwave, military and federal comms, and other radio topics from below 500 kHz to 900 MHz and above. Presented in an easy-to-understand style by an experienced writing staff, MT helps you get the most out of your time and your equipment with practical listening tips and frequencies.

What is MT Express?
MT Express is the same magazine as our printed version but it is presented in Adobe Acrobat portable document file (pdf) format, including full color photography and active links to URLs and email addresses. It is the fastest and easiest way to get the information and frequencies you need on the radio hobby.

You can see what is in current issue of MT, including sample pages on the MT current issue webpage.

This special offer is for first-time subscribers and renewals. This offer is available for a limited time only (must be used by the close of business July 31, 2006) and can only be used one time per customer.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

6-meter Tech Page

I am always on the prowl for some solid info on the internet (so much of what is out there is just plain junk). So if you are interested in 6-meters and looking for some tech stuff be sure to check out the links at

German Amateur Radio Callbook Online

Deutscher Amateur-Radio Club e.V. (DARC), the national German amateur radio organization, announced on their website at that the German Radio licensing authority has released an online German callbook. You can view/use it at Online German Amateur Radio Callbook.

DXCC Rule Change

June 14, 2006
For Further Information Contact: Wayne Mills, N7NG

DXCC Rule Change

Upon request of the Programs and Services Committee (PSC), the DXAC has studied the impact of a change to the DXCC Rules. The DXAC, the Awards Committee and the PSC have concurred in this rule change, which will become effective June 15, 2006 at 0001Z. New text replaces the previously removed DXCC Rule, Section II, 1. Political Entities, Paragraph c). The new text shall read:

c) The Entity contains a permanent population, is administered by a local government, and is located at least 800 km from its parent. To satisfy the "permanent population" and "administered by a local government" criteria of this sub-section, an Entity must be listed on either (a) the U.S. Department of State's list of "Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty" as having a local "Administrative Center," or (b) the United Nationslist of "Non-Self-Governing Territories."

Rule 1c) is intended to recognize entities that are sufficiently separate from their parent for DXCC purposes but do not qualify under Rule 1a) or 1b). The new rule will cause a change to Point 1 status for certain entities. This in turn will reduce the mileage for a first separation for these entities from 800 km to 350 km.

The lists referenced in the text of the rule can be viewed at the following Web sites: the DOS list of Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty at, and the U.N. list of Non-Self-Governing Territories at

QSOs with any new entity resulting from this rule change will count for credit for the new entity only if the QSOs are made on or after the Start Date for the entity. In no case will QSOs made prior to the date of this notice be considered for credit for any new entity created under this rule. Applications for DXCC award credits resulting from this change will be accepted on or after October 1, 2006.

ARRL DXCC Desk, 225 Main Street, Newington CT USA 06111
Telephone: 860-594-0291/Fax: 860-594-0346/Email:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

VHF Low Band DX, Monday June 12, 2006

More Eskip DX from Brasstown (times are EDT):

30600.0 10:21 Unknown user/EE OM Biz dispatcher 162.2 Hz PL
33820.0 10:22 Possible EMS dispatch 110.9 Hz PL
33860.0 10:23 Fire Dispatch, 318 Black Oak Drive No PL
30600.0 10:25 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch 91.5 Hz PL
31240.0 10:26 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (NY?) 136.5 Hz PL
35820.0 10:28 EE YL dispatch 136.5 Hz PL
31540.0 10:29 EE YL dispatcher DCS 032
37580.0 11:20 EE YL dispatcher 114.8 Hz PL
33940.0 14:02 Fire Dispatch 186.2 Hz PL
37220.0 14:02 CW ID No PL
37900.0 14:04 Unknown user/usage 186.2 Hz PL
40150.0 14:11 Brief transmission, missed PL EE OM
33760.0 14:12 Fire Dispatch 100 Hz PL
31480.0 14:13 Unknown user/SS dispatch 127.3 Hz PL
30740.0 14:14 Unknown user/SS dispatch 107.2 Hz PL
35760.0 14:18 SS OM dispatcher 173.8 Hz PL
37980.0 14:23 Hrd OM/YL dispatcher (Mary) talking abt something at High School right now, probable school bus dispatch 173.8 Hz PL
31080.0 14:25 EE YL dispatch, sounds like a transportation outfit 100.0 Hz PL
31040.0 14:30 EE YL noted 177.3 Hz PL
31020.0 14:35 Brief keyup 123.0 Hz PL
40820.0 14:35 Very short data burst 136.5 Hz PL
31040.0 14:38 EE YL dispatcher 71.9 Hz PL
37980.0 14:44 Iroquis Base to 981, maybe mil? 141.3 Hz PL
39180.0 15:15 EE LE dispatch 114.8 Hz PL
33840.0 15:29 Fire Dispatch YL, EDT time zone 127.3 Hz PL
42560.0 15:39 KGJ637 Highway Patrol Dispatch Knoxville TN THP dispatch 107.2 Hz PL
42640.0 16:37 NC DMV Car-Car 173.8 Hz PL
34500.0 16:46 To brief to monitor
30450.0 17:23 USA Range Control Fort Hood TX, Range Control Status, CDT time zone 151.4 Hz PL
41750.0 17:23 Unknown user/usage 151.4 Hz PL
35120.0 17:37 Unknown user/EE YL talking about loads for the next morning 91.5 Hz PL

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wild Weekend on VHF Low Band

After I strolled up to the radio room Friday afternoon about 1400 local the VHF low band came alive with DX thanks to a sporadic E skip opening. I haven't seen anything that intense in years. The band held up to well past midnight EDT. About 2100 local I moved to 6 meters and worked some new grids and one new state.

Saturday morning 6 meters opened at 0830 sharp and it was a great thing to work. All of us held our breath to see if the band would hold up until the 1400 local start of the annual ARRL VHF QSO party. I got about 1 1/2 hours deep into the contest and the band died here. It opened up a bit about 2 1/2 hours later at 1800 local into the Candian maritimes and parts of New England, but no where else. Sunday morning I had a weak opening into Texas and Minnesota, but that was about it for me (knocked off at 12:30 local for family time).

All in all the weekend was most excellent and the topper was working DN27 western Montana on 6 meters double hop E-Skip with 100 watts into a wire antenna. That is one I won't soon forget.

Now for the VHF low band scanner logs. The following freqs were active and the BCD-996T performed flawlessly.
30.580 Unknown user/Foreign lang (114.8 Hz PL)
30.600 Unknown user/SS dispatch (91.5 Hz PL)
30.620 Unknown user/SS dispatch (114.8 Hz PL)
30.660 Unknown user/SS dispatch (77.0 Hz PL)
30.740 Unknown user/SS dispatch (107.2 Hz PL)
30.820 Unknown user/SS dispatch (118.8 Hz PL)
30.880 Unknown user/SS dispatch (225.7 Hz PL)
30.960 Unknown user/SS dispatch (173.8 Hz PL)
31.000 Unknown user/SS dispatch (173.8 Hz PL)
31.080 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (74.4 Hz PL)
31.120 Unknown user/usage (167.9 Hz PL)
31.240 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch simplex (136.5 Hz PL),Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (127.3 Hz PL)
31.320 Unknown user/usage
31.400 Unknown user/SS males (91.5 Hz PL)
31.440 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (100.0 Hz PL)
31.450 DoD User/Range (146.2 Hz PL), asked if ready to negotiate the course.
31.480 Unknown user/SS dispatch (127.3 Hz PL)
31.560 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (156.7 Hz PL)
31.720 Unknown user/SS dispatch (103.5 Hz PL)
31.920 Unknown user/SS dispatch (192.8 Hz PL)
33.160 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (77.0 Hz PL)
33.240 Unknown user/SS dispatch (107.2 Hz PL)
33.280 Unknown user/usage
33.440 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (179.9 Hz PL)
33.520 Unknown user/Fire dispatch
33.600 Unknown user/Fire dispatch
33.640 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (no PL)
33.700 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (187.2 Hz PL)/Unknown user/Fire dispatch (No PL) 33.720 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (No PL)
33.780 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (136.5 Hz PL)
33.800 Unknown user/Fire dispatch
33.860 Unknown user/Fire dispatch
33.880 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (186.2 Hz PL)/Unknown user/Fire dispatch (no PL)
33.900 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (131.8 Hz PL)/Unknown user/Fire dispatch, EDT time zone (no PL) two tones distorted.
33.940 Unknown user/Fire Dispatch (77.0 Hz PL)
33.960 Unknown user/Fire Dispatch, EDT time zone (167.9 Hz PL)/Unknown user/Fire Dispatch (114.8 Hz PL)
33.980 Unknown user/dispatch (no PL)
34.100 Unknown user/usage, mentioned Command Post
34.300 Unknown user/usage
34.840 Unknown user/usage, carrier keyups (No PL)
35.040 Unknown user/SS dispatch (118.9 Hz PL)
35.080 Unknown user/usage
35.100 Unknown user/SS-EE taxi dispatch (82.5 Hz PL)/Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (100.0 Hz PL)/Unknown user/SS dispatch (141.3 Hz PL)
35.110 Unknown user/SS dispatch
35.130 Unknown user/usage (missed PL tone)
35.180 Unknown user/business dispatch (186.2 Hz PL)/Unknown user/SS dispatch (82.5 Hz PL)
35.720 Unknown NY/EE YL accented taxi dispatch (151.4 Hz PL)
35.740 Unknown user/SS dispatch taxi simplex (203.5 Hz PL)
35.780 Unknown user/SS dispatch taxi simplex (192.8 Hz PL)/Unknown user/usage (179.9 Hz PL)
35.820 Unknown user/SS dispatch (114.8 Hz PL)
35.920 Unknown/SS dispatch
36.000 Unknown user/SS dispatch simplex (85.4 Hz PL)
37.180 Unknown user/Fire dispatch (No PL)
37.220 Unknown user/usage (CW ID), data burst signal here. (No PL)
37.440 Unknown user/SS dispatch (141.3 Hz PL)
37.560 PA KGH244/KA5727 PPL Electric Utilities Corp – Unknown power company (146.2 Hz PL)
38.500 NY Fort Drum Range Control (151.4 Hz PL)
39.020 Unknown user/LE dispatch (110.9 Hz PL)
39.060 Unknown user/usage (118.9 Hz PL)
39.160 Unknown user/LE dispatch (141.3 Hz PL), mentioned Northfield.
39.200 Unknown user/LE dispatch (100.0 Hz PL)
39.240 Unknown user/LE dispatch (127.3 Hz PL)
39.280 Unknown user/LE dispatch (110.9 Hz)
39.320 Unknown user/LE Car-Car, mentioned WV & VA (110.9 Hz PL)
39.340 Unknown user/LE (127.3 Hz PL)
39.360 Unknown user, digital burst signal
39.380 Unknown user/LE dispatch simplex (118.9 Hz PL)
39.400 Unknown user/LE dispatch
39.480 Unknown user/LE dispatch (103.5 Hz PL)
39.500 Unknown user/dispatch
39.520 Unknown user/LE dispatch (110.9 Hz PL)
39.640 Unknown user/LE dispatch (156.7 Hz PL)
39.900 Unknown user/LE dispatch (no PL), Maybe NY
39.940 Unknown user/LE dispatch (94.8 Hz PL)
39.960 Unknown user/LE dispatch (82.5 Hz PL)
41.750 Unknown user/usage
42.060 Unknown HP dispatch (203.5 Hz PL)
42.100 Unknown HP dispatch
42.140 Unknown midwest HP dispatch
42.260 Unknown HP mobile (192.8 Hz PL)
42.300 Unknown HP (151.4 Hz PL)
42.340 Unknown HP dispatch (no PL)
42.400 MO KAA204 Missouri HP dispatch – St. Joseph (173.8 Hz PL)
42.460 Unknown HP
42.480 Unknown HP dispatch (DCS 131)
42.900 IL SHP (141.3 Hz PL)
42.940 Unknown HP mobile (203.5 Hz PL)
42.960 Unknown users/usage (94.8/210.7 Hz PL)

30.620 EE dispatch, man said his was trying to find a place to dump, he found one and no one was around. Sounds a little shady to me. (94.8 Hz PL)
30.660 Unknown user/SS-EE dispatch taxi simplex (77.0 Hz PL)
30.760 EE dispatcher (71.9 Hz PL)
30.880 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (225.7 Hz PL)
30.960 Unknown user/usage (141.3 Hz PL), dispatch to 1301 ditch bank road/508 lake shore drive.
31.880 Unknown user/SS dispatch, missed PL
33.800 Fire Dispatch (179.9 Hz PL)
33.900 Fire Dispatch (179.9 Hz PL)
33.960 Fire Dispatch (179.9 Hz PL)
33.960 Fire Dispatch EDT (167.9 Hz PL)
35.060 Unknown user/dispatch (DCS271), Mentioned checking balance from Wayne County feeders/L&L Lawn Chairs
35.100 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (141.3 Hz PL)
35.160 Unknown user/SS taxi dispatch (118.9 Hz PL)
35.700 EE Taxi dispatcher (179.9 Hz PL)
37.440 SS taxi dispatcher (141.3 Hz PL)
37.440 EE dispatcher (131.8 Hz PL)
37.460 EE OM electrical dispatcher (186.2 Hz PL)
37.860 Electric Utility (186.2 Hz PL)
38.500 NY Fort Drum Range Control (151.4 Hz PL)
42.660 HP LE dispatch (173.8 Hz PL)
44.200 Continous unid data transmission
46.100 EMS Dispatch EDT (No PL)
47.320 Highway Maint Dispatch (192.8 Hz PL) CW ID, definite northeast US possible MA
47.340 Highway Maint Dispatch (146.8 Hz PL) CW ID, definite northeast, possible MA, mentioned Gloucester.

And as I type this blog entry this morning the VHF low band frequencies are hopping again. Time to log somemore stuff.

73 de Larry

Monitoring TS Alberto

I am keeping a sharp eye out for activity related to Alberto. Nothing much on the HF but I have come to expect that with most tropical storms. Most activity will be handled on a local basis VHF/UHF. They just do not have a need to communicate at distance with HF. Common sense.

Watching the USAF MARS PP freqs listed on this blog for possible Teal activity on these freqs as we have a recon in Alberto as I type.

More to follow...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Big VHF QSO Party This Weekend

For those so inclined (like me) the ARRL VHF QSO Party is on for this weekend. The object of this contest is to work as many amateur stations in as many different 2 degrees by 1 degree grid squares as possible using authorized frequencies above 50 MHz. Foreign stations work W/VE amateurs only. The contest period is the second full weekend in June. Begins 1800 UTC Saturday, ends 0300 UTC Monday (June 10-12, 2006). You can get complete rules and other details at 2006 ARRL June VHF QSO Party Rules.

73 all and CU on the air from EM85ab, mainly on 6 meters (2 meters/70cm by request).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Spratly Islands operation reported imminent

Spratly Islands operation reported imminent (Jun 6, 2006) -- The Daily/ quotes Toshi Kusano, JA1ELY, who provides details of an imminent--and brief--operation from the Spratly Islands. According to the report, Tex Izumo, 9M2TO, will commence operation from Layang Layang Island, Spratly Islands (AS-051) starting at about 1200 UTC, Friday, June 9, through 2200 UTC on Monday, June 12. He is said to have all necessary documentation in order and will be on the air as 9M0/9M2TO on CW only. The one-person operation will cover all bands from 80 through 6 meters at 100 W. QSL via JA0DMV, via the bureau (JARL) or direct to Tex Izumo, 9M2TO, 2C-10-03 Mutiara Apt, Jalan Sungai Emas, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang Is, Malaysia. (Courtesy of DX Daily and the ARRL website)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Spectrum Survey: Clay County, North Carolina

Clay County, North Carolina Spectrum Survey
County Seat: Hayesville

33.400 Hardees Kiosk
47.020 KYB873 NC Division of Highways repeater talkaround/output (input 45.22)
47.260 KYB873 NC Division of Highways (possible base-base net)
151.6250 Clay County Schools walkie-talkies (itinerant)
152.4050 WPFS213 Lowes Body Shop simplex (licensed no longer in FCC ULS system)
153.8300 WPDA658 Clay County FD/Rescue Fireground/tactical (127.3 Hz)
154.3100 WPDA658 Clay County Fire and Rescue repeater output (110.9 Hz PL), input on 159.060 as follows: Clay County Central input PL (127.3 Hz) , East: Wine Springs Bald, Nantahala input PL (100.0 Hz) , and West: Brasstown Bald input PL (192.8 Hz)
154.5700 Wide variety of users including: Clay County Rescue, Hardees Restaurant Kiosk, Hayesville High School football coaches.
154.6000 Wide variety of users including: Clay County Board of Education, John C. Campbell Folk School and Tri-County Raceway track workers.
154.8750 WPXW642 Clay County Sheriff simpex (151.4 Hz PL)
155.2650 WPOY417 Clay County EMS simplex
155.2800 KYY914 Clay County EMS Dispatch simplex (110.9 Hz PL)
155.3400 Clay County EMS ambulance to hospital (151.4 Hz PL)
155.5500 WPXW642 Clay County Sheriff simpex (licensed but usage unknown)
159.5550 WQCU462 Bryant, Kenneth L. repeater outpt (FB6C) (input 151.580)
462.8750 WPQG682 Blue Ridge Mountain paging
855.2375 WPQY488 North Carolina CJIN Mobile Data Network repeater output (input 810.2375) located atop Eagle View Mountain.
858.7375 WPQY486 North Carolina CJIN Mobile Data Network repeater output (input 813.7375) located atop courthouse on square.
959.4500 WNTT523 NC Division of Forestry Resources Point-to-Point Fixed

Additions and corrections are always welcomed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Free Shortwave Spectrum Guide

Are you looking for the frequencies for a particular services in the shortwave spectrum? Can't remember what the frequencies are for the 60 meter SW broadcast band?

Time to go over to the MT Reference Library and grap our free

Shortwave Spectrum Guide. Here is a one page handy reference you can use in your shack for prowling the shortwave bands. Oh yes, did I mention it is free!

Rebanding Coming Soon to the Metroplex

800 MHz Rebanding is comming soon to the DFW Metroplex.

More in this Star article Cellphones intering with public safety radios by Dan X. McGraw.

Friday, June 02, 2006

NOAA NHOP 2006 Available

NOAA has made available in Acrobat PDF format its 2006 National Hurricane Operations Plan (NHOP06). This is the bible for all the agencies involved in the tropical cyclone forecasting and warning system. Everything is covered from satellite imagery to message formats and frequencies used by the hurricane hunter aircraft.

If you plan on monitoring the hurricane season this year drop by the link below and get your copy of the invaluable publication. And you can't beat the price - free.


Propagation Forecast Published

Tom Giella (KN4LF) has posted his latest propagation forecast at KN4LF Daily LF/MF/HF Radio Propagation Outlook #2006-005. If you are really interested in HF props, then this is a must visit.

Three other prop websites worthy of mention:

William Hepburn's VHF/UHF Tropospheric Ducting Forecast A definite five star site for sure for the VHF/UHF/TV/FM DX enthuiast.

A place to keep an eye out for VHF/UHF openings in a variety of modes:
V-UHF QSO Real Time Maps

And last but not least, Monitoring Times Prop expert, Tomas Hood (NW7US) website at:
Propagation Resource Center :: NW7US ::

73 and good hunting,

Numbers Stations Move From Shortwave to VoIP?

Author Michael Hampton on posted an interesting article on May 31, 2006 about possible spy numbers broadcast over a VoIP setup from a small provider yet to be identified. You can read the entire story at The 212-796-0735 Phone Numbers Mystery/.

Mike is now reporting on June 1, 2006, a second telephone number, see A New Phone Numbers Station 415-704-0402.

Should be interesting to see where all this will evidently lead. Hoax or the real deal. Thanks to Phil Stripling and MT Editor Rachel Baughn for the heads up. Graphic used with permission from Monitoring Times magazine.

You can listen to an interesting NPR broadcast on numbers stations at
Lost And Found Sound: Numbers

Also check out Brett Sokol's piece Espionage is in the air.

800 MHz Rebanding and Uniden Scanners

Just a reminder that the rebanding of the 800 MHz is now underway. Not every scanner will be able to follow an analog Motorola trunk system after it has been rebanded. So what scanner is in your pocket and how will it handle rebanding?

For those who own a Uniden trunk tracker here is the last official word from the good folks at Uniden. So far NO word from the Radio Shack/GRE crowd. This is all I have on hand right now. So please, no emails asking me about your specific scanner. You have what I have.

800 MHz Rebanding Impact on Uniden Scanners
March 21, 2005 (Updated by author on Jun 1, 2006 with the latest two scanners released by Uniden.)

Background Information
Beginning in the late 1990’s, the FCC and industry began studying interference problems on public safety communications systems in the 800 MHz band. The root cause of most of the reported issues was interference from high-powered business radio systems on channels adjacent to relatively low-powered public safety radio systems.

In early February 2005, the FCC issued a Report and Order directing that certain actions be taken to reduce or eliminate the conditions that have resulted in this interference. These actions include:

· Moving current non-public safety licensees out of the 806-809/851-854 MHz band.

· Moving public safety licensees into the 806-809/851-854 MHz band.

· Changing the current 800 MHz channel plan.

The relocation of licensees should help to isolate critical public safety bands away from interference-creating services, but will require that users reprogram their scanner with the new frequencies.

The change to the 800 MHz channel plan will have the greatest effect on scanner operation. Most scanners use this channel plan to determine the voice channel frequency for Motorola Analog or mixed systems. Users with scanners that rely on this channel plan will need to reflash their scanner in order for it to continue to properly track Motorola Analog or mixed systems. Scanners that cannot be reflashed will need to be replaced.

These two changes (relocating licensees and changing the channel plan) are together referred to as “Rebanding.”

More information on Rebanding can be found at and from the links on that site.

Impact on Scanning Receivers
Rebanding is a mixed blessing for scanner users. The same interference sources that have affected public safety users have also affected the use of scanners, sometimes to a greater degree. Rebanding should greatly improve scanner operation for the same reason that public safety radio operation will improve: less interference from unwanted sources.

However, as rebanding occurs on a system, scanners will need to be replaced, reflashed, or reprogrammed in order to continue to track the trunked systems in the 800 MHz band. The following table summarizes this impact on Uniden’s current product line.

Model Motorola APCO 25 Motorola Analog/Mixed EDACS LTR
BCD996T Reprogrammed Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
BCD396D Reprogrammed Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
BC330T Reprogrammed Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
BC246T N/A Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
BC296D Reprogrammed Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
BC796D Reprogrammed Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
BC898T N/A Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
BCT8 N/A Reflashed Reprogrammed Reprogrammed
Older Uniden
Models N/A Replaced Reprogrammed Reprogrammed

End users will be able to reflash the indicated models using a PC cable and a software download from Uniden’s web site. All future Uniden trunktracking models are expected to either incorporate the Rebanding requirements or be flash upgradeable to do so.

The first public safety systems could be rebanded as early as April 2006. Uniden’s goal is to have a firmware update available for each compatible model by this time, but final testing and release of the update will depend on the actual implementation of these changes. Uniden plans to announce firmware updates for each model as they become available.

This statement is based on the current rebanding plan, as accepted by FCC and industry. Future changes to this plan could affect Uniden’s response or its ability to respond. Nothing in this statement should be construed as any type of promise or warranty. Uniden reserves the right to make changes to its rebanding response policy at any time.

The Secrets of Chemtrails Revealed!

The following is a letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle that appeared on their website yesterday June 1, 2006.

"What's up in the sky?
"Editor -- On Memorial Day, I was watching the local parade (in Mill Valley) and noticed a perfectly blue sky turn white and overcast by a series of huge artificial clouds (about 10) laid down in rows coming from the west. These "chem trails," as they are called by many, beg for an explanation of why they are here and what their consequence are.

"I've heard several theories, from weather control to dulling the aggressive edge of the populous. Whatever the real reason(s), we as citizens should get a full explanation as to exactly what has invaded our sky. Any jet contrail that lasts for more than 15 minutes and spreads out to form a "cloud" is part of this controlled government program. Who is really in charge of this and why don't we know about it? We all deserve answers. Duane Van Dieman, Mill Valley."

Well for Duane and all those others who want to real truth on this mystery that has been explored in many venues, including the overnight Coast2Coast radio show, point your web browser to The Making of a Chemtrail for the truth about what is really going on.

The truth will set you free, but this webpage is truly priceless.


P.S. - And thanks to Jordan and PDX Milcom gang for passing this along, and Matt Cawby for the insight (and website).