Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monitoring Times Square on New Years Eve

One of the more interesting activities that you can do is listen to a major event on a scanner. The big event tonight is the ball drop in Times Square in NYC. Obviously we can't listen to that activity unless we live in NYC, or can we?

My good friend Phil on the will be streaming some stuff for us to listen to on our computers or on our iPod Touch/iPhones. From Phil:

No, I will not be streaming PD.. I will be streaming some other interesting activity from Times Square..And it is as follows::

Due to last year's feedback, and that requests are already coming in for this year, I'm pleased to announce that a new tradition has been born. "Listen to the Ball Drop - From Behind the scenes" returns for another year, and will continue to do so each and every year!

That's right - Listen to Dick Clark's Rock'in New Years from the Director's Chair.

True, you won't be hearing it "as it happens" due to streaming delays - but the sync should be close enough with Satellite delays for you to enjoy hearing the action while watching the live event! The feed will start mid-day, and run well past midnight.

There was plenty of action on the feed after the sun went down. Camera crews and the director were hunting for "filler shots" to record and use during the live broadcast of the night's events.

This is not a "Public Safety" type of feed. Feedback is always welcome. Catch the feed on my "/special" stream.

73 and Happy New Years
Phil - w2lie
Long Island Live Scanner Feeds and Forums.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hmm… Israel Calls ALL Ambassadors Home For Special Meeting in Jerusalem

For the first time ever, Israel has called ALL of its ambassadors and consuls home for meetings this week in Jerusalem. The meetings opened Sunday December 27.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman, will host a conference next week (27-31 December) for Israeli Heads of Missions. At the conference, Israel’s ambassadors and consuls general serving throughout the world will discuss broad diplomatic and strategic issues.

This is the first time a conference for all of Israel’s Heads of Missions has been held. The idea is to facilitate direct dialogue with the country’s leaders, mutual updates on major diplomatic issues, and a discussion of action plans to deal with the challenges awaiting the State of Israel in the international arena in the coming year, including the Iranian threat.

Israel recalls all ambassadors. Probably nothing, but I wouldn’t buy real estate in Tehran anytime soon.

Time to keep a closer watch on Enigma E10 and Israeli AF HF freqs. Those freqs have been posted on this blog at and

Friday, December 04, 2009

7th Annual Antarctic Activity Week in February

The 7th Annual Antarctic Activity Week, the International event to celebrate Antarctica will be held from February 22-28, 2010. You can get additional details including stations that plan on operating during the event at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yet Another New Solar Cycle 24 Sunspot Group

Posted Sunday November 15, 2009 at

Yesterday yet another solar cycle 24 sunspot group emerged, this time in the NE quadrant of the Sun near N29E35. As of yet it has not received a number by SIDC Belgium or NOAA/SWPC. If numbered by NOAA/SWPC it would receive #11031.

This new sunspot group pushed the solar flux index (SFI) to 75.9 yesterday and could push the SFI above 80 in coming days. This would raise the maximum usable frequency (MUF) of the F layer high enough to improve propagation conditions on 20, 17 and 15 meters.

Under the very old method of counting sunspots SIDC Belgium gave the sunspot group a number of 11. But in reality only one simple sunspot actually emerged.

The solar cycle 24 sunspot group that emerged on Friday November 13, 2009 that received SIDC Belgium Catania #25 and located in the SW quadrant of the Sun has faded, with it's remnant Plage currently setting around the west limb of the Sun. It did not receive #11031 by NOAA/SWPC.

Also yesterday old solar cycle 24 sunspot group #11029 rose above the east limb of the Sun but is only a large Plage with no sunspots. Last month #11029 made it's debut as the largest and most active sunspot group in fledgling solar cycle 24.

73 & GUD DX,
Thomas F. Giella, NZ4O
Lakeland, FL, USA
eList Owner/Moderator

COL LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF Frequency Radiowave Propagation Email Reflector:
NZ4O Daily Solar Space Weather & Geomagnetic Data Archive:
NZ4O Solar Space Weather & Geomagnetic Data In Graphic & Image Format:
NZ4O Daily LF/MF/HF/6M Frequency Radiowave Propagation Forecast & Archive:
NZ4O Solar Cycle 24 Forecast Discussion & Archive:
NZ4O 160 Meter Radio Propagation Theory Notes:
NZ4O Solar Space Weather & Geomagnetic Raw Forecast Data Links:
Florida & U.S. Raw Weather Forecasting Resource Links:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Exercise Vigilant Guard in NY State Starts Nov 1

For milcom monitors in the Empire State -- Vigilant Guard will begin November 1!

Vigilant Guard is an annual joint civilian and military response exercise which allows civilian and military first-responders to practice life-saving skills.

The scenario this year is a national earthquake and the week-long exercise will be held at the Spaulding Fiber Plant in Tonawanda, NY November 1-6.

It gets a bit hectic, so it will not be open directly to the public but civilian media are invited and encouraged to come.

More details at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10.7-cm flux - highest yet in current Sunspot Cycle 24

It just keeps getting better! During the CQ WW Contest weekend, the solar flux climbed into the upper 70's. But, as this week unfolds, the flux climbs, with a current flux of 81! This is the highest recording yet since the first observed "new cycle sunspot" in January 2008, the "official" visual start of Sunspot Cycle 24. (We'll see where the statistical averaged solar minimum actually occurs).

Speaking of... the monthly observed smoothed count of zero, recorded in August, does not make that the statistical lowest point in the moving average, because the months prior, and the months since, have higher numbers. And, these numbers, except for August, are all increasing, each month. The current sunspot activity is further confirmation that this cycle is, albeit slow, alive and increasing in activity.

DX was great over the weekend. Even 15 meters was hot with activity. This week is one to enjoy - the CME and Flare activity continues to be low to at most moderate, leaving the geomagnetic field mostly stable. This results in fairly normal (non-depressed) ionospheric conditions.

Please feel free to post your observations of conditions on HF, this week. It would be very enlightening to hear how conditions really are, in your location. Please post your grid square / location, along with the report of working conditions and results of your activity.

This is an exciting start to the Autumn DX season!

73 de NW7US, Tomas David Hood - Bitterroot Valley of Montana

Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist :

Contributing editor: CQ Magazine, CQ VHF, Popular Communications, Monitoring Times magazine

Pentagon Radio Volunteers Move to New Office

Gary Sessums, left, Navy Capt. Rick Low and John Grimes discuss communications capabilities at the new Military Affiliate Radio System office in the Pentagon, Oct. 21, 2009. DoD photo by Sally Sobsey

By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON - A military institution designed to provide emergency communications has moved to new quarters in the Pentagon.

John G. Grimes, the former assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration, cut the ribbon on the new Military Affiliate Radio System (AAN3PNT-LVH) office on the fifth floor of the Pentagon on October 21.

The facility is packed with shortwave radios, radio-telephone patches, computers and data links. It is manned by the Pentagon Amateur Radio Club. "This is a great facility, manned totally by volunteers," Grimes said. "It's a crucial capability for our country."

The system - known by the acronym MARS - began in the early 1950s. It was a worldwide network of shortwave radio enthusiasts who would spring into action in the event of a nuclear war or natural disaster. Thousands of civilian and military ham radio volunteers manned the system.

"In the years before the Internet, deployed servicemembers kept in touch with families and friends using MARS," said Gary Sessums, a contractor in the Pentagon and one of the stalwarts of the radio club.

From the Korean War to the Gulf War, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines used "Marsgrams" to keep in touch. Ham radio operators called these "health and welfare" messages.

The shortwave broadcasts have been superseded by the Internet, and servicemembers in many parts of the U.S. Central Command area can use cell phones and voice over Internet protocol to speak with those back home. Still, in the event of an emergency, high-frequency communication is generally the first to recover, and even the most modern technology can get overloaded.

Allan Hubbert, a volunteer in the Pentagon, noted communication problems during President Barack Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration as an example. "During the inauguration, there were so many people on cell phones that it overloaded the system," he said. "We could still operate, and helped back up the system down on the [National] Mall."

More than 60 volunteers help to man the Pentagon node of the system. They will turn out in force to help with communications for the Marine Corps Marathon, which will be held in the area this weekend. "In that case, we can help act as a bridge between the military and various local and regional agencies," said Navy Capt. Rich Low.

With more than 6,000 volunteers worldwide, the system now also backs up the Department of Homeland Security. "There have been many crises or disasters that have struck where the first word out of an area is via [shortwave radio], and someone has their little gas generator going," Grimes said. "That's not likely to change any time soon."

You can learn more about this new Pentagon Radio Station (Amateur and MARS) on the PARC website at

A volunteer mans his radio at the new Military Affiliate Radio System in the Pentagon, Oct. 21, 2009. DoD photo by Sally Sobsey

Monday, October 26, 2009

Best Solar Prop Shop on the Net

If you are looking for the latest and greatest propagation and solar information I highly recommend the website. VE3EN has put together some of the best web solar and propagation information sources onto one webpage for use by the radio hobby community.

If you are involved in the radio hobby and are advanced enough to know, use and understand how propagation works, then this site is a must visit and bookmark. I use it everyday. Go to

Global Tuner Node Operator Lost in Ham Aircraft Crash

Just an additional note to our earlier story on this blog regarding the four hams who passed away in the South Carolina plane crash enroute C6APR and the CQWW contest operation (4 Hams En Route to Contest Station Killed inPlane Crash

Randy Hargenrader, K4QO, was the operator of the Charleston SC receiver nodes on the popular Global Tuners ( website. He was one of the four hams who died last week in that tragic private aircraft crash. They were going to their ham radio contest station C6APR in the Bahamas with 3 other hams. His plane, a twin-engine, six-seat Piper Aztec — burst into flames after it crashed into a densely-wooded area shortly after taking off from Runway 24 in Dorchester County SC.

Veterans Day Special Event Station K0V

The Emporia Amateur Radio Society will be on the air with a special event station on November 7th and on Veterans Day, November 11, to honor our Veterans. We will be using the special event callsign KØV, and the station will be located adjacent to the Emporia All Veterans Memorial. You can get more information at:

Friday, October 23, 2009

VK9 Callsign Changes

VK9 C, L, M, N, W & X deleted from DX equation

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has decided to discontinue the use of a VK9 callsign suffix letter to denote each of the six Australian external territories, each a DX entity.

The long-standing prefixes included VK9C for Cocos (Keeling) Island, VK9L Lord Howe Island, VK9M Mellish Reef, VK9N Norfolk Island, VK9W Willis Island and VK9X Christmas Island.

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), under its role of providing ham radio licence examinations and issuing amateur certificates of proficiency, also recommends each and every amateur radio callsign issued by the ACMA.

On taking on new roles earlier this year it began to query the practices in relation to VK9 callsigns, then consulted the amateur radio community and came to the view that it could not support having a suffix letter as a geographic identifier in VK9 callsigns.

The ACMA itself has not stuck with the VK9 callsign tradition over the years when issuing licences and some DXers requested a callsign contrary to the historic or DXCC list suffix block.

VK9Y has also been used for Cocos and VK9Z for Mellish, and often, particularly recently, if a VK9 callsign was requested it would be issued.

The ACMA having not rigidly applied its own VK9 callsign policy, and wanting to eliminate where-ever possible administrative tasks related to the amateur radio service, decided that the historic VK9 callsigns are a thing of the past.

From 1 November, callsigns for the VK9 DX entities will fall in line with the practice for issuing callsigns for all other VK call areas, with the suffix only to denoting the class of licence issued - Advanced, Standard or Foundation.

Licences with a VK9 callsign issued to visiting overseas radio amateurs will only be for a short-term if requested or for a maximum 12 months period, and not be automatically renewed.

A VK ham or visiting radio amateur does not necessarily require a VK9 callsign, although most do for DXing, contesting or QSLing purposes.

Under the provisions of the Amateur Licence Conditions Determination, portable operation is permitted with a radio amateur using their home callsign /VK9 and stating their location.

Jim Linton VK3PC

Thursday, October 22, 2009

4 Hams En Route to Contest Station Killed inPlane Crash

Tragic late breaking news from the CQ/WorldRadio Online Newsroom...

Four well-known contesters en route to operate the CQ World Wide DX Contest this weekend from Bahamas were killed yesterday when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff from South Carolina. The four, all regular operators of the C6APR contest station, were identified as Peter Radding, W2GJ/C6APR, the pilot; and passengers Ed Steeble, K3IXD/C6AXD; Randy Hargenrader, K4QO/C6AQO, and Dallas Carter, W3PP.

According to the local Summerville Journal Scene newspaper, the plane crashed 250 yards east of the runway at Summerville Airport in Jedburg, South Carolina. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, but Radding was a very experienced pilot. County Coroner Chris Nesbit told the newspaper that it appears the four were killed by the severity of the crash itself rather than the fire that followed. Autopsies are scheduled for today.

CQ WW Contest Director Bob Cox, K3EST, called the crash, "a real tragedy," adding that "devoted hams and contesters were lost." The C6APR team was featured in the cover story of April's WorldRadio Online, and Steeble wrote an article in the April, 2007 issue of CQ about his experiences as QSL manager for C6APR and for a special Islands on the Air expedition, W2GJ/C6A, in 2006. As of this morning, comments from hams around the world had been posted on the Journal Scene's website.

Additional details on this story available on the ARRL website at

This is a tremendous loss to the amateur radio community and our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to Peter, Ed, Randy and Dallas' families who were lost in the crash.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Comments Sought for Draft Channel Naming Standards

Here is the APCO pdf document with a complete list of interop freqs and the proposed new desigs. This is a must download for active public safety scanner monitors.

2009 Oct 20

Alexandria, Va. - The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) released for comments a candidate American National Standard (ANS) to ensure national consistency of interoperability on related radio channels. The proposed Standard Channel Nomenclature for Public Safety Interoperability Channels provides a standardized naming format for each Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated Interoperability Channel in Public Safety Radio Services.

“The public safety community uses 700 MHz spectrum allocated by the FCC that is replete with interoperability channels,” APCO International Executive Director George Rice said. “It is necessary to develop and employ a common set of channel names. It is crucial that all responders to an incident know which channel to tune their radios to, as well as the band and primary use for the channel.”

NPSTC Chair Ralph A. Haller said that he was pleased to see such a positive step forward in interoperability saying, “Common interoperability channel names will help to assure that any organization responding to an emergency will be able to establish contact immediately when arriving on scene. Although the specific channel names were initially controversial, the proposed standard represents the collective efforts of public safety agencies across the country to reach consensus. NPSTC is pleased to have been instrumental in this process."

The issue of common channel naming has been on the forefront since the mid-1980s and was again highlighted during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, NPSTC reviewed and updated the Standard Channel Nomenclature recommended in the 700 MHz National Coordination Committee’s Final Report. This new protocol has been widely adopted across the country in the intervening period, and requests to the federal government resulted in finalizing standard names for similar channels in federal agency spectrum earlier this year.

APCO International is the recognized American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Standards Developer for public safety communications standards and was selected to facilitate the most recent version of the Standard Channel Nomenclature document through the ANSI standardization process, moving one step closer to completion of National Emergency Communications Plan milestone 3.1.33.

There is a 45-day public review and comment period for this standard that ends on November 30. The Candidate ANS can be downloaded at . To submit comments or questions prior to the deadline, e-mail .

Monday, October 19, 2009

SAQ October Transmissions Cancelled

Grimeton Radio/SAQ transmission CW on VLF 17.2 kHz

We deeply regret we have to cancel the previously announced transmission on United Nations Day, October 24th 2009. Next planned transmission will be on Christmas Eve, December 24th 2009, at 08:00 UTC.

Lars, SM6NM

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NASA retires 'queen' of tracking satellite fleet


More than a quarter-century after a hard-luck launch aboard the shuttle Challenger, the pioneer of NASA's constellation of tracking and communications satellites is being retired from service.

Named TDRS 1, the satellite's last traveling wave tube amplifier recently failed, rendering the craft unable to support most of its users' Ku-band data relay and telemetry needs, according to Roger Flaherty, the Space Network project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

"We are going to relocate TDRS 1 and that relocation process will start on or about the 21st of October," Flaherty said.

TDRS 1 is currently located in a geosynchronous orbit more than 22,000 miles above Earth. At that altitude, satellites' orbits match the speed of Earth's rotation, causing spacecraft to hover over a specific geographic region.

Now positioned at 49 degrees west longitude, TDRS 1 will soon be moved to a nearby temporary slot for final decommissioning activities, according to NASA.

Read the rest of the whole copyrighted story at

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Yellowstone National Park Freqs

Here is a list of Yellowstone National Park freqs courtesy of Peter Sz

North District
166.3750/166.9750 Henderson repeater (192.8 Hz pl tone) (Lamar District)
166.3250/166.9350 Washburn repeater (167.9 Hz pl tone)
166.3750 Lamar direct (simplex)(192.8 Hz pl tone) (Lamar District)
166.3250 Washburn direct (simplex) (167.9 Hz pl tone)

South District
165.5875/164.8000 Sheridan repeater (110.9 Hz pl tone)
165.5875/164.8000 Top Notch repeater (118.8 Hz pl tone)
165.5875/164.8000 Bechler repeater (127.3 Hz pl tone)
165.5875 South Direct (simplex) (110.9 Hz pl tone)

West District
166.8750/169.4000 West repeater (136.5 Hz pl tone)
166.8750/169.4000 Holmes repeater (146.2 Hz pl tone)
166.8500 West Direct (simplex) (136.5 Hz pl tone)

Parkwide Freqs

167.1500/163.1250 SOA (Portable) repeaters (SOA 1 206.5 Hz pl tone, SOA 2 218.1 Hz pl tone, SOA 3 229.1 Hz pl tone)
168.6125 NPS Common (136.5 Hz pl tone)
172.5000 Fire Cache (wildfire) (103.5 Hz pl tone)

163.100 Usage unknown, maybe MTNCE
168.350 Usage unknown, maybe MTNCE

Chicago Area Federal Freqs from CARMA list

Here are some Chicago IL area federal freqs courtesy of the CARMA list. If you have some freqs to share, please pass them along to the email address in the masthead and I will post them up here or if they are military to my Milcom blog. You can remain anonymous if you so desire, just let me know your wishes.

162.7875 P25 U.S. MARSHALS (encryped most times but some clear)
162.9000 P25 Unknown
163.4750 P25 ICE OHARE
163.6250 P25 ICE OHARE
163.7500 P25 ICE OHARE
165.2875 P25 ATF NET 1
165.8500 P25 ICE OHARE
169.1625 P25 TSA OHARE
172.9000 P25 TSA OHARE
403.3375 P25 US POSTAL INSP
403.8375 P25 JB VA POLICE
406.7000 P25 DHS/FPS POLICE
409.5250 P25 U.S.STATE DEPT
411.3500 P25 HINES VA POLICE

Fermi Large Area Telescope Reveals Pulsing Gamma-Ray Sources

By Daniel Parry, Naval Research Laboratory, Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNS) -- Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory-Space Science Division and a team of international researchers have positively identified cosmic sources of gamma-ray emissions through the discovery of 16 pulsating neutron stars.

Using the Large Area Telescope (LAT), the primary instrument on NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope satellite, the discoveries were made by conducting blind frequency searches on the sparse photon data provided by the LAT. The photons had energies between 20 Mega-electron-volts (MeVs) and 300 Giga-electron-volts (GeVs)— tens of millions to hundreds of billions of times more energetic than the photons we see with the human eye.

A second study, published at the same time, announced the detection of gamma-ray pulsations from eight Galactic millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Millisecond pulsars spin hundreds of times per second, but have magnetic fields 10,000 times lower than normal pulsars. These discoveries confirm that they, too, can produce powerful gamma-ray emissions.

"Fermi has truly unprecedented power for discovering and studying gamma ray pulsars," said Paul Ray, astrophysicist, Naval Research Laboratory. "Since the demise of the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory a decade ago, we've wondered about the nature of unidentified gamma-ray sources it detected in our galaxy. These studies from Fermi lift the veil on many of them."

Pulsars are rapidly rotating, highly magnetized neutron stars that can emit radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum. Prior to the launch of Fermi, gamma-ray pulsations were only detected from pulsars previously discovered using radio or X-ray telescopes. Radio telescopes can detect pulsars only if one of the narrow radio beams is directly aimed at the telescope; otherwise the pulsar can remain hidden. The much broader gamma-ray beams allowed the new pulsars to be discovered as part of a comprehensive search for periodic gamma-ray emission using five months of Fermi LAT data and new computational techniques.

The newly discovered pulsars, with rotation periods that range from 48 to 444 milliseconds, help reveal the geometry of emission from rotation-powered pulsars and provide valuable information on population statistics, the energetics of pulsar wind nebulae and supernova remnants. A wide variety of astrophysical phenomena, such as pulsars, active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts and some binary star systems are known to produce photons exceeding many MeVs.

"The Fermi LAT makes it possible for us to pinpoint neutron stars," said Eric Grove, astrophysicist and LAT Commissioner, NRL Space Science Division. "The combination of a very large collecting area, large field of view, and precision timing from an on-board Global Positioning System receiver enables the LAT to see sources that were far beyond the reach of previous gamma-ray telescopes."

Results of the two studies: "Detection of 16 gamma-ray pulsars through blind frequency searches using the Fermi LAT;" and "A population of gamma-ray millisecond pulsars seen with the Fermi Large Area Telescope" were published on July 2, 2009 in Science Express and may be found on the Internet at

The LAT project is funded in the United States by NASA and developed in collaboration with the Department of Energy and by academic institutions and government agencies in France, Italy, Japan, and Sweden.

The Naval Research Laboratory is the Department of the Navy's corporate laboratory. NRL conducts a broad program of scientific research, technology, and advanced development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, DC, with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, MS; and Monterey, CA.

Friday, September 25, 2009

iPhone Scanner App Very Popular

Andrew Clegg on the Scan-DC reported the following to the list:

Amazingly, Police Radio, an iPhone app that provides access to streaming scanner feeds from all over the U.S., has reached the #5 spot in popularity among the 80,000+ paid iPhone apps. It seems the broader universe has suddenly discovered the fun of tuning into public safety radio transmissions. Police Radio lags only AppBox Pro (a general-utlilty app), Frogger, ESPN Radio, and Sketchbook Mobile.The list of top iPhone apps is accessible in the App Store on the iPhone, and the following link also lists them:

Turku Radio QRT


Coastal radio HF tranceivers up for scrapping in Finland

FMA (Finnish Maritime Administration in c/o with the Finnish Communication Authorithy) is closing down the coastal radio station OFK (Turku Radio) HF/MF services at 010110 00:00 UTC. (VHF service still as usual, new transmitters located at Järsö, Hammarland and Geta, ASL +150m).

In OH0 country Mariehamn and Geta HF/MF remote controlled stations will be closed at this time.

This means that all of the (3x)5 kW transmitters located at the former Mariehamn Radio QTH is up for scrapping whith a swift timetable.

This includes all the towers and antennas. The transmitters are old school, modified Standard
Radio Company 1220 or 1610 with a capacity of more than 10 kW. Also a lot of 50 ohm 2'' forced air cable with compressors is up for scrapping..

The former coastal radio network infrastructure provider Erillisverkot Oy has terminated the contract with FMA as from 010110 00:00 UTC

Due to this, the whole commercial ship-shore and safety network on VHF & MF/HF has been completely rebuilt whith a new service provider.. (Navielektro)

All HF/MF stations along the Finnish coast will be terminated and scrapped!!!

This is a shame. Good working equipment scrapped...

Good huntings....


Pittsburgh G20 Summit Comms on IBN TeamSpeak

For September 24 and 25, 2009, IBN will be providing a dedicated live scanner feed channel with exclusive 24/7 coverage of public service radio communications related to the G20 Summit Conference taking place in downtown Pittsburgh for these two days. International dignitaries will begin arriving this date along with President Obama, and the downtown area has been placed under extreme security lockdown by local and federal law enforcement. The US Secret Service has command of this special security event with support from all city, county, state and some out of state agencies.

Log on to IBN TeamSpeak and join the "PA - Pittsburgh G20 Comms" channel located in the 'In Progress/Special Events' section up top.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Russian Fax Meteo Stations

From my good friend and colleague Hugh Stegman -- he is working on a new project and needs your help.

"I'm involved in a major project bringing Marius Rentsen's 1998 "HF-FAX" list into the 21st century. This is the standard list you find all over the Internet, and it hasn't been updated in 11 years. I've hit a dead end on the Russian fax stations. They don't update to the international bodies, so they've fallen off the NOAA and IMO lists, but people still report them. The old list shows stations in Moscow, Irkutsk, Kiev (Ukraine), Khabarovsk, and Arkangelsk that I can't verify as to on or off-air status. (Murmansk and Petropavlovsk-Kamkatchatskiy have been verified by recent listener reports). Anyone know anything about this? Also, is the Chuo Gyogyo fishery station in Japan kaput?"

You can reach Hugh via utilityworld at

Friday, September 18, 2009

South African Amateur Radio Payload Reaches Orbit

ARLS007 South African Amateur Radio Payload Reaches Orbit

Space Bulletin 007 ARLS007
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT September 18, 2009
To all radio amateurs

ARLS007 South African Amateur Radio Payload Reaches Orbit

After several delays, South Africa's SumbandilaSat satellite finally
blasted to orbit aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome
in Kazakhstan on September 16. The main payload is a multi-spectral
imager, but the satellite also carries an Amateur Radio component
consisting of a 2 meter/70 cm FM repeater.

After SumbandilaSat is fully commissioned, the repeater will be
activated with an uplink at 145.880 MHz and a downlink at 435.350
MHz; there will also be a voice beacon at 435.300 MHz. The
transponder mode will be controlled by a CTCSS tone on the uplink
frequency. The CTCSS tone frequencies have yet to be announced.

SumbandilaSat was sponsored by the Department of Science and
Technology and was built at SunSpace in cooperation with the
Stellenbosch University.

In addition to the SA-AMSAT amateur module, the satellite carries
Stellenbosch University's radiation experiment and software defined
radio (SDR) project, an experiment from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan
University and a VLF radio module from the University of


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kansas City Region TICP

I have located an interesting pdf from the Mid-America Regional Council for PS scanner buffs.

At you will find a document titled the Kansas City Region Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan dated April 25, 2006.

It is loaded with interesting background info on interoperability and frequencies.

Kansas City is part of a bi-state metropolitan area straddling the Missouri-Kansas state line. This Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP) has been created for the Kansas City Urban Area, an 8 county region including over 100 cities. The 8 counties include Leavenworth, Wyandotte, and Johnson Counties in Kansas and Platte, Clay, Ray, Jackson, and Cass Counties in Missouri.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cass County Minnesota Public Safety Freqs

If you live in Cass County Minnesota and need some scanner freqs check out the link below.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Federal Itinerent Freqs

From Peter Sz per the 2008 red book from NTIA

Federal channels for shared use / common use - none of these channels are assigned to any one specific agency - the freqs can be used when there is no need for a specific authorized channel - (whatever that means in actual practice)

Countywide or statewide - repeater ops - transient use
163.1000R/168.3500 in
409.0500R/418.0500 in
409.3375R/418.3375 in

Countywide or statewide - simplex ops - bases and mobiles - no repeaters - wide area - transient
412.8250 412.8375 412.8500 412.8625 MHz

Local ops - common use - all federal users - repeaters
173.6250R/167.1375 in
407.5250R/416.5250 in
409.0750R/418.0750 in

Local ops - common use - all federal agencies - simplex - bases and
mobiles - no repeaters
168.6125 163.7125 412.8750 412.8875 412.9000 412.9125

I guess these freqs would be used for special short term operations -
maybe like county sharks in Chatham - or taking the census - or maybe
even for disaster teams - but since any fed agency could use them, I
am guessing that only low priority uses would prevail - possibly
nothing life or death - but who knows

Friday, September 11, 2009

Norwegian Offshore Vessel to Test Tonight

Tonight there will be a transmission test from a Norwegian offshore vessel. Interesting possibility to test your gear.

From the NDB list;

Offshore vessel Transocean Searcher V7DO3 has responded positively to do a DX test. The radio op. has not confirmed the schedule, but the request called for Friday Sept 11th at 2030 UTC. The vessel is at sea on the West Norway coast between Bergen Florø (= quite far south).

Older lists had this vessels beacon ident as LF5W and frq 598 kHz. Radio op now indicates 570 kHz, there might also have been a change of ident.

Requested transmission duration around ten minutes.

Geir Stokkeland, Vestnes, Norway

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Radio issues reported nationwide - Communications problems might be endemic to digital systems.

On the Evening Sun website, Joseph Denilein has a story on public safety communications problems might be endemic to digital systems.

York County isn't the only place that has been having problems with a digital radio system.

Such systems have been failing from Virginia, to California to Canada, according to a weblog compiled by a California telecommunications entrepreneur that lists 79 links to different news reports and other documents concerning problems with digital radio systems. The reports, listed by Daryl Jones on his site, date back to 2002.

"There are a sufficient number of stories to establish reasonable doubt as to the suitability of these systems," Jones writes. "In fact, there is a clear pattern that would cause a reasonable and prudent person to entertain a strong and honest suspicion as to the suitability of this technology for mission-critical public safety radio communication."

See the rest of the copyrighted story at

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Newcom Group PS Interoperability Bandplan

For my scanner friends in the north, here is the link to the Newcom Group Wisconsin interoperability bandplan, dated 6/16/2006.

Are Sunspots Disappearing?

Another day with a spotless sun.

Author: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA

The sun is in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. Weeks and sometimes whole months go by without even a single tiny sunspot. The quiet has dragged out for more than two years, prompting some observers to wonder, are sunspots disappearing?

"Personally, I'm betting that sunspots are coming back," says researcher Matt Penn of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona. But, he allows, "there is some evidence that they won't."

Penn's colleague Bill Livingston of the NSO has been measuring the magnetic fields of sunspots for the past 17 years, and he has found a remarkable trend. Sunspot magnetism is on the decline.

"Sunspot magnetic fields are dropping by about 50 gauss per year," says Penn. "If we extrapolate this trend into the future, sunspots could completely vanish around the year 2015."

This disappearing act is possible because sunspots are made of magnetism. The "firmament" of a sunspot is not matter but rather a strong magnetic field that appears dark because it blocks the upflow of heat from the sun's interior. If Earth lost its magnetic field, the solid planet would remain intact, but if a sunspot loses its magnetism, it ceases to exist.

"According to our measurements, sunspots seem to form only if the magnetic field is stronger than about 1500 gauss," says Livingston. "If the current trend continues, we'll hit that threshold in the near future, and solar magnetic fields would become too weak to form sunspots."

"This work has caused a sensation in the field of solar physics," comments NASA sunspot expert David Hathaway, who is not directly involved in the research. "It's controversial stuff."

The controversy is not about the data. "We know Livingston and Penn are excellent observers," says Hathaway. "The trend that they have discovered appears to be real." The part colleagues have trouble believing is the extrapolation. Hathaway notes that most of their data were taken after the maximum of Solar Cycle 23 (2000-2002) when sunspot activity naturally began to decline. "The drop in magnetic fields could be a normal aspect of the solar cycle and not a sign that sunspots are permanently vanishing."

Penn himself wonders about these points. "Our technique is relatively new and the data stretches back in time only 17 years. We could be observing a temporary downturn that will reverse itself."

The technique they're using was pioneered by Livingston at the McMath-Pierce solar telescope near Tucson. He looks at a spectral line emitted by iron atoms in the sun's atmosphere. Sunspot magnetic fields cause the line to split in two—an effect called "Zeeman splitting" after Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman who discovered the phenomenon in the 19th century. The size of the split reveals the intensity of the magnetism.

Astronomers have been measuring sunspot magnetic fields in this general way for nearly a century, but Livingston added a twist. While most researchers measure the splitting of spectral lines in the visible part of the sun's spectrum, Livingston decided to try an infra-red spectral line. Infrared lines are much more sensitive to the Zeeman effect and provide more accurate answers. Also, he dedicated himself to measuring a large number of sunspots—more than 900 between 1998 and 2005 alone. The combination of accuracy and numbers revealed the downturn.

If sunspots do go away, it wouldn't be the first time. In the 17th century, the sun plunged into a 70-year period of spotlessness known as the Maunder Minimum that still baffles scientists. The sunspot drought began in 1645 and lasted until 1715; during that time, some of the best astronomers in history (e.g., Cassini) monitored the sun and failed to count more than a few dozen sunspots per year, compared to the usual thousands.

"Whether [the current downturn] is an omen of long-term sunspot decline, analogous to the Maunder Minimum, remains to be seen," Livingston and Penn caution in a recent issue of EOS. "Other indications of solar activity suggest that sunspots must return in earnest within the next year."

Whatever happens, notes Hathaway, "the sun is behaving in an interesting way and I believe we're about to learn something new."

Thursday, September 03, 2009

HBG Swiss VLF Time Station to Close in 2011

Andrea Borgnino is reporting on the UDXF newsgroup, that the Swiss VLF time station HBG on 75-khz time will close down operation in the 2011.

HBG has been in continuous operation since 1966, providing free VLF time signals. The station was originally under the control of the Swiss postal and telecommunications authorities until 1997. From that year until May 2000 the station was operated by Swisscom. In June 2000 HBG has been operated by the Swiss Federal Office of Metrology (METAS).

During recent inspections of the station's antenna mast, tangible signs of aging was noted by the inspection teams. Due the cost of restoration, the Swiss federal council recommeded that the station be closed. The decision to close HBG is being announced well ahead of the shutdown so that users can switch their systems that use the signals to the German time station DCF77, which is well received in Switzerland.

According to the METAS officials, the clocks of some 3600 institutional users (clocks of bell-towers and school clocks school) can be adapted to the signal of the German VLF transmitter with an acceptable investment. In addition to the institutional users noted above, there are other apparatuses that receive signals from HBG (radio controlled alarm clocks, weather receivers, etc). Many of them are also compatible with the time signals from DCF77 and will be able use the German time signals.

Official Swiss time signals from METAS will be available after HBG shuts down via the Internet at

The news article announcing this is located on the web at
Some photos of HBG are located at

The official announcements are published below in French and German (sorry no English).

L'émetteur de signaux horaires HBG de Prangins (VD) cessera son activité fin

Berne, 26.08.2009 - Le Conseil fédéral a décidé aujourd'hui que l'émetteur de signaux horaires HBG de Prangins (VD) cessera son activité fin 2011. L'émetteur est exploité par l'Office fédéral de métrologie (METAS), l'autorité de la confédération compétente en métrologie.

Depuis 1966, l'émetteur HBG de Prangins (VD) diffuse, sur une fréquence de 75 kHz, des signaux horaires officiels qui sont raccordés au temps universel coordonné. Les informations horaires, parfaitement synchronisées avec une horloge atomique, peuvent être utilisées pour des horloges radiocommandées ou des appareils techniques. L`émetteur est en service 24h sur 24h et la diffusion des signaux horaires par HBG est un service public gratuit. Jusqu'en 1997, l'émetteur était sous la responsabilité de PTT, puis sous celle de Swisscom jusqu'en mai 2000. Depuis le 1er juin 2000, l'émetteur HBG relève de l'Office fédéral de métrologie METAS.

A l'occasion des travaux d'entretien périodiques effectués sur l'installation émettrice, des signes de vieillissement tangibles ont été observés à plusieurs endroits sur les mâts des antennes. Il est ressorti d'expertises confiées à des spécialistes indépendants que, à moins de procéder à un assainissement complet, l'installation devrait être fermée car elle présentait des risques non négligeables.

Maintenir l'exploitation de l'émetteur HBG de Prangins serait très onéreux : le signal horaire HBG est trop peu utilisé pour justifier les coûts élevés d'une révision, selon une étude réalisée par des experts extérieurs. La possibilité de développer les activités du site, de lui trouver une fonction annexe ou un éventuel repreneur a été examinée, sans succès. Le Conseil fédéral a donc décidé de fermer l'installation pranginoise à fin 2011.

La décision d'arrêter l'émetteur a été prise assez tôt, pour laisser le temps aux utilisateurs d'adapter leurs horloges au signal de l'émetteur allemand DCF77, qui est capté en Suisse dans une qualité comparable à celle de l'émetteur suisse HBG. Les horloges des quelque 3600 utilisateurs institutionnels (horloges de clochers et horloges scolaires) peuvent être adaptés au signal de l'émetteur allemand avec un investissement acceptable. Outre ces utilisateurs institutionnels, il existe un marché d'appareils qui reçoivent les signaux HBG (réveils radiocommandés, récepteurs météorologiques). Beaucoup d'entre eux sont compatibles avec l'émetteur allemand DCF77 et pourront donc continuer à fonctionner parfaitement. La
majorité des appareils mis sur le marché sont configurés uniquement pour l'émetteur allemand ; c'est le cas de presque toutes les montres-bracelets radiocommandées.

L'heure officielle suisse continuera à être diffusée par METAS. Un serveur de temps, entre autres, est disponible sur internet (, qui permet de synchroniser les horloges des ordinateurs avec l'échelle de temps suisse. METAS est chargé de la réalisation et de la diffusion des unités en Suisse, dont l'unité de temps, la seconde. Il a également pour tâche de réaliser l'heure officielle suisse et de la diffuser. METAS continuera à assurer l'exploitation de l'émetteur de Prangins (VD) jusqu'à fin 2011.


Zeitzeichensender HBG in Prangins (VD) auf Ende 2011 eingestellt Bern, 26.08.2009 - Der Bundesrat hat heute beschlossen, den Betrieb des Zeitzeichensenders HBG in Prangins (VD) auf Ende 2011 einzustellen. Der Sender wird vom Bundesamt für Metrologie (METAS), der Fachbehörde des Bundes für das Messwesen, betrieben.

Der Langwellensender HBG in Prangins (VD) verbreitet seit 1966 auf einer Frequenz von 75 kHz offizielle, auf die koordinierte Weltzeit abgestimmte Zeitzeichen. Die exakt mit einer Atomuhr synchronisierten Zeitinformationen können für die Steuerung von Funkuhren und für technische Zeitsteuerungen verwendet werden. Der Sender arbeitet im 24-Stunden-Betrieb. Die Zeitzeichen stehen gratis zur Verfügung und können von jedermann genutzt werden. Der
Sender wurde zunächst von der PTT und dann bis Mai 2000 von der Swisscom betrieben. Seitdem betreibt ihn das Bundesamt für Metrologie (METAS).

Im Rahmen der regelmässigen Unterhaltsarbeiten an der Sendeanlage wurden bei den Antennenmasten an verschiedenen Stellen erhebliche Alterungserscheinungen festgestellt. Expertisen unabhängiger Stellen haben gezeigt, dass ohne eine umfassende Sanierung ein nicht zu verantwortendes Sicherheitsrisiko besteht und der Betrieb des Zeitzeichensenders eingestellt werden muss.

Ein Weiterbetrieb des Zeitzeichensenders HBG in Prangins (VD) würde hohe Sanierungskosten verursachen. Die Nutzung des HBG-Zeitzeichens ist zu gering, um die Kosten für eine Sanierung rechtfertigen zu können. Das hat eine externe Studie ergeben. Abgeklärt wurde auch, ob Zusatznutzungen des Langwellensenders oder die Übernahme des Betriebs durch andere Interessenten möglich wären, was nicht der Fall ist. Aus diesen Gründen wurde beschlossen,
den Betrieb des Senders auf Ende 2011 einzustellen.

Der Entscheid zur Einstellung wurde frühzeitig gefällt, damit Nutzer des Zeitzeichensignals rechtzeitig geeignete Massnahmen treffen können. Es gibt rund 3600 institutionelle Nutzer (Betreiber von Kirchturm- und Schulhausuhren). Deren Uhren können mit vertretbarem Aufwand auf das Signal des deutschen Zeitzeichensenders DCF77 umgestellt werden, das in der Schweiz mit vergleichbarer Qualität wie dasjenige des Senders HBG empfangen werden kann. Weiter existiert ein gewisser HGB-Konsumgütermarkt (Funkwecker, deren Empfänger auf die Frequenz des Senders HBG ausgelegt sind; Empfänger für aktuelle Wetterinformationen). Viele dieser Geräte sind mit Empfängern ausgerüstet, die sowohl auf den Sender HBG wie auch auf den deutschen Sender DCF77 ausgelegt sind und werden somit weiterhin einwandfrei funktionieren. Der grösste Teil solcher Geräte auf dem Markt ist ohnehin nur auf diesen
deutschen Zeitzeichensender ausgelegt; das gilt etwa für alle Funkarmbanduhren.

Die offizielle Schweizer Zeit wird weiterhin durch METAS verbreitet werden. Unter anderem steht ein Zeitserver im Internet ( zur Verfügung, mit dessen Hilfe Computeruhren mit der offiziellen Schweizer Zeitskala synchronisiert werden können. METAS ist verantwortlich für die Realisierung und Bereitstellung der Einheiten in der Schweiz, und damit auch der Einheit
der Zeit, der Sekunde. Zu seinen Aufgaben gehört ebenfalls die Ermittlung und Verbreitung der offiziellen Schweizer Zeit. METAS wird auch den Zeitzeichensender HBG in Prangins (VD) weiter betreiben bis zum Zeitpunkt der Einstellung des Betriebs, Ende 2011.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Next-gen spacecraft stops at Holloman

NASA's next generation of manned spacecraft leaves Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Aug. 21 enroute to White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The module was escorted on base by 49th Security Forces Squadron Airmen and off base by officers from the New Mexico State Police and the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Motor Transportation Division along with deputies from the Otero County Sheriff's Department. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael Means)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- NASA's next generation of a manned-spacecraft made a stop at Holloman AFB on its way to White Sands Missile Range, N.M. where launch abort tests will be performed.

The Orion Program's Pad Abort One Crew Module arrived here Aug. 19 via a C-17 Globemaster III and left aboard a tractor-trailer Aug. 21 for WSMR. The crew module has a launch abort system used to for the crew to escape from the launch rocket should something go wrong on the pad or during the ascent to orbit.

Holloman AFB was a vital stop because of the base's close proximity to WSMR and its ability to receive aircraft with heavy cargo.

"It would have been pretty much impossible to get this capsule out here if we were unable to land at Holloman," said Jeff Doughty, the Pad Abort One Flight Test Vehicle crew chief.

The base's reliable support also helped in the decision to bring the module through here.

"We've received excellent support from (Holloman)," said David McAllister, the Dryden Flight Research Center lead of operations for the abort flight test. "We feel like we're at home when we're here."

Holloman AFB was just one leg in the spacecraft's journey to WSMR. It was built at NASA Langley, Va., and flown to Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., to have the avionics and instrumentation installed. When installation was complete, the spacecraft was flown to Holloman AFB, then driven to to its final destination at a launch site on WSMR for testing.

Mr. Doughty said the module is going to WSMR to demonstrate that it can be taken away from the launch pad, ensuring astronauts can get away from the pad in the event of an emergency.

Billed as the shuttle replacement program for NASA, the Orion Program is designed to take the next generation of astronauts to space.

NASA is expecting the Orion to be sent into orbit toward the end of 2014 or early 2015.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Russian Domestic Networks - Update

Per a recent thread on the UDXF group here is a profile of one of the Russian Aero HF networks from my Grove Shortwave Directory, v2 ©2009 by Teak Publishing, Brasstown North Carolina. This list may NOT be reprinted in any form on any newsgroups, or on other info sources, but may be linked freely. For private use only.

Russian Domestic Networks

RF Commission for Airspace Use and Air Traffic Control (RosAeroNavigatsia)
RosAeroNavigatsia Airport Radio Domestic Network (airport names are coded). This is a point-to-point network between airports.

Nightime Nets 2770.0 3245.0 3255.0 3520.0 3595.0 3658.0 3815.0 4045.0 4405.0 4728.0 4755.0 4765.0 5025.0 5085.0 kHz.

Daytime Nets 6405.0 6820.0 6895.0 6945.0 7545.0 7870.0 8095.0 kHz.

According to some sources these RosAeroNavigatsia networks are suppose to be organized by geographic areas, but some main airports are heard on several or even all four networks at various times. The geographic areas for the RosAeroNavigatsia networks are:

Net 1 North, Net 2 Central European, Net 3 South, and Net 4 East.

Call City (Airport) Network
ADULIAR Ukhta, Russia 1
AGURCHIK Moscow (Sheremetyevo), Russia 1, 2, 3, 4
ALENKI Yekaterinburg (Koltsovo), Russia 1, 4
AMBA Samara (Kurumoch), Russia 2, 3, 4
AMBARCHIK Aktyubinsk, Kazakhstan 4
AMPIR Ufa , Russia 3, 4
ARBAT Moscow (Vnukovo), Russia 1, 2, 3, 4
ARIM Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 4
ASSISTENT, Mosdok, Russia
ATLANT Lugansk, Ukraine 2
ATRAPIN Yerevan, Armenia 2, 3
AVRORA Volgograd, Russia 2
AZARIN Nukus, Uzbekistan 3
BEREZHNY Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia 4
BRASHKA Chelyabinsk, Russia 1, 4
DRABILKA Tbilisi, Georgia 2, 3
DRUZHINNIK Batumi, Georgia 2
DUNIS Kustanay, Kazakhstan 4
ELEKTRICHKA Donetsk, Ukraine 3
EMBA Kirov, Russia 1
FABRIKAT Salekhard, Russia 1
FANERKA Minsk-1, Belarus 1, 2
FASSIMETR-DVA Nizhnevartovsk, Russia 4
GERCEG-DVA Novy Vasyugan , Russia 4
GNEDOY Vorkuta, Russia 1
IZBRANNY Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan 4
KAPEL Omsk, Russia 2 ,4
KARSAK Almaty, Kazakhstan 3, 4
KASTIANKA Uralsk (Podstepnyy), Kazakhstan 4
KATIUSHA Novosibirsk (Tolmachevo), Russia 4
KAVRIGA Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan 4
KAYOMKA Syktyvkar, Russia 1
KAZACHOK Nizhni Novgorod, Russia 2
KHRIZANTEMA Minsk-2, Belarus 2
KIPAZH Odessa, Ukraine 2
LAPATOK-DVA Aktau, ex-Shevchenko (Akshukyr), Kazakhstan 3
LATYSHKA Akmola (ex-Tselinograd), Kazakhstan 4
MAKHAVIK Kurgan, Russia 4
MEKHANIKA Kishinev, Moldavia 2
MELODIYA-DVA Kazan, Russia 2, 4
OKISEL Ulyanovsk, Russia 1, 3
PAYEDINOK Guryev, Kazakhstan 3
POYMA Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 3
PRALIF Tashkent, Uzbekistan 4
RADAN St Petersburg (Pulkovo), Russia 1
RIDAN Makhachkala, Russia 3
SANTIM Pechora, Russia 1
SARDINA Baku, Azerbaijan 3
SERIOZHKA Astrakhan, Russia 3
SHPORA Rostov-na-Donu, Russia 2, 3
SHTAT Sochi-Adler, Russia 2
SHTEPSIL Tobolsk, Russia 4
SISINA Simferopol, Ukraine 2
TAKHTA Orenburg, Russia 3 ,4
TIURIK Krasnodar, Russia 1 ,3
TORBA Saratov, Russia 2
TRENOGA Kharkov, Ukraine 2 ,3
TSADIK-DVA Surgut, Russia 4
TURKMENBASHI Turkmenbashi (ex-Krasnovodsk/ex-POLZA), Turkmenistan 3
TVARETS Penza, Russia 2
UBEZHISHCHE Mineralnye Vody, Russia 3, 4
UCHTIVY Lvov, Ukraine 2
UKLAT Sukhumi, Georgia 2
UVERTIURA Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad 1
VYEROCHEK Beloyarski, Russia 1
YAROK Kiev (Borispol), Ukraine 1, 2, 3
YELOVY Karaganda, Kazakhstan 4
ZADORNY Voronezh, Russia 1, 2
ZOOTEKHNIK Tyumen (Roshchino), Russia 4

As always, any additions or corrections are always appreciated to the eqmail address in the masthead.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New! MTXtra - All Languages All The Time

FREE to MTXPRESS Subscribers - Complete Shortwave Broadcast Schedules

Starting with the September issue of MTXpress, your full-color, faster-than-print electronic edition of Monitoring Times magazine will contain, in addition to its comprehensive listings of English language broadcasts, an expanded 24 hour listing of foreign and English language broadcasts in one convenient electronic file.

This exclusive MTXtra Shortwave Broadcast Guide is available only to MTXpress subscribers - it’s not in the print edition. The new grid is a fully searchable, Adobe Acrobat portable document file (pdf), allowing instant access to shortwave stations’ times, languages, frequencies and target areas!

Broken down by hour then station and frequency, this is the only listing of shortwave radio stations in this format available anywhere. Foreign language students and teachers, expatriates, and radio hobbyist outside of the United States and Canada will especially appreciate our new expanded foreign language format. If you are interested in shortwave programming, then our exclusive MTXtra Shortwave Broadcast Guide is your ticket to the world of shortwave broadcast listening.

Our downloadable, printable, and searchable pdf is FREE each month with your paid subscription to MTXpress. The September edition of the MTXtra Shortwave Broadcast Guide has 114 pages of 24-hour listings for hundreds of broadcasters in all languages.

And what will you get with an electronic subscription to MTXpress? You get more with our digital magazine than is possible with print. The entire magazine is full color. All of the web links are clickable, so if you see a link to a website that you want to visit, just click on it! Want to email an author? Just click on their email address at the top of their column, and MTXpress opens your email program, drops in their address, and is ready for your input! Print out any pages you need for handy access. MTXpress is the perfect delivery and cost effective magazine format for subscribers outside the United States.

All of this, and it’s even CHEAPER than the regular print version! Plus, you’ll get it faster than you would your print copy, no matter where you are in the world. Now is the time to make the switch to digital. Sure, it’s saving a tree and saving some gas, but it’s also getting you what you need, when you want it.

So if you want the latest shortwave schedule information updated monthly, and a great radio hobby magazine delivered to you at light speed, click here to subscribe to MTXpress and get the new MTXtra Shortwave Broadcast Guide for free. Make that switch today to the world's finest radio hobby magazine in a electronic format - MTXpress. Use offer code "BLOG" when you order your subscription to MTXpress/MTXtra. This offer begins with September 2009 issue of MTExpress.

Sample page of the new MTXtra Shortwave Broadcast Guide.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

30 Meter AR Band Digital Activity Weekend

It has been announced by several digital mode speciality groups that there is going to be a 30 meter multimode weekend August 22-23, 2009. This ham activity is designed to promote experimentation and the use of different amateur radio digital modes on the 30 meter band. A number of digital mode groups will be participating during this weekend event, so if you wanted to try out an ham digital mode, here is your chance to get on the 30 meter band and have a go at it. This is not a contest, there are no set times, no rules, no set exchanges and no winners.

During this special event you will have a chance to try out the 30 meter ham band and maybe a new mode or two; experiment with and chat with hams who are already using the band; and have some fun. For more details of this event and other 30 meter activity, check out

You can get more information on operating digital modes on the 30 meter ham bands by downloading this free pdf courtesy of the 30MDG at[1].pdf

You can get specific information on this August weekend event in a free pdf download at

This is one of my favorite bands to work in and I will probably be hanging around that weekend. So if you need North Carolina or Clay County on a digital mode in the 30 meter ham band, drop me a note and let's see if we can schedule something, I QSL in all forms (conventional, LOTW and eqsl (AG)), and will be glad to help those that need NC or Clay Co for their logbooks.
So plan ahead and if you have a computer with a soundcard, download some free software and give the ham digi world a shot. I hope to see some of my readers of this blog in two weeks during this special weekend activity on the 30 meter digi bands.

73 de Larry, N5FPW

Friday, August 07, 2009

New HiFer Beacon

From HF beacon Newsgroup via UDXF Newsgroup

Hi All:

I wanted to announce that I have placed on the air a new HiFer beacon on 13.563 MHz. I do have some issues with RF properly coupling to the antenna as I am not seeing the results I would expect so I will be working to improve what little RF is coming out reaches the antenna.

Since a HiFer beacon is a part 15 transmitter and call signs are not intended for this operation the beacon is identifiing itself as "SZX" and will operate 24/7 unless it is down for work.

Mark Garrett, KA9SZX
9885 E 950 th ST
Macomb, IL 61455

Latitude: 40.425008 (40° 25' 30'' N)
Longitude: -90.723732 (90° 43' 25'' W)
Grid Square: EN40pk

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09)

For our readers who are HF Government monioring enthusiasts:

National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09) is scheduled for July 27 through July 31, 2009. NLE 09 will be the first major exercise conducted by the United States government that will focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery.

NLE 09 is designated as a Tier I National Level Exercise. Tier I exercises (formerly known as the Top Officials exercise series or TOPOFF) are conducted annually in accordance with the National Exercise Program (NEP), which serves as the nation's overarching exercise program for planning, organizing, conducting and evaluating national level exercises. The NEP was established to provide the U.S. government, at all levels, exercise opportunities to prepare for catastrophic crises ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.

NLE 09 is a White House directed, Congressionally- mandated exercise that includes the participation of all appropriate federal department and agency senior officials, their deputies, staff and key operational elements. In addition, broad regional participation of state, tribal, local, and private sector is anticipated. This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09.


NLE 09 will focus on intelligence and information sharing among intelligence and law enforcement communities, and between international, federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector participants.

The NLE 09 scenario will begin in the aftermath of a notional terrorist event outside of the United States, and exercise play will center on preventing subsequent efforts by the terrorists to enter the United States and carry out additional attacks. This scenario enables participating senior officials to focus on issues related to preventing terrorist events domestically and protecting U.S. critical infrastructure.

NLE 09 will allow terrorism prevention efforts to proceed to a logical end (successful or not), with no requirement for response or recovery activities.

NLE 09 will be an operations-based exercise to include: activities taking place at command posts, emergency operation centers, intelligence centers and potential field locations to include federal headquarters facilities in the Washington D.C. area, and in federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector facilities in FEMA Region VI, which includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and California.


Through a comprehensive evaluation process, the exercise will assess prevention and protection capabilities both nationally and regionally. Although NLE 09 is still in the planning stages, the exercise is currently designed to validate the following capabilities:

•Intelligence/Information Sharing and Dissemination
•Counter-Terrorism Investigation and Law Enforcement
•Air, Border and Maritime Security
•Critical Infrastructure Protection
•Public and Private Sector Alert/Notification and Security Advisories
•International Coordination


Exercises such as NLE 09 are an important component of national preparedness, helping to build an integrated federal, state, tribal, local and private sector capability to prevent terrorist attacks, and rapidly and effectively respond to, and recover from, any terrorist attack or major disaster that occurs.

The full-scale exercise offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to test their plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and to gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide. Participants will exercise prevention and information sharing functions that are critical to preventing terrorist attacks. Lessons learned from the exercise will provide valuable insights to guide future planning for securing the nation against terrorist attacks, disasters, and other emergencies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ham Radio Hurricane Emergency Operations

With hurricane season underway, all amateur radio operators be aware of the major emergency net frequencies. These nets can be activated on short notice, and if in session, should be avoided during contests, other nets, and regular operations. From the July 15th edition of the ARRL's ARES E-Letter, here are links to the primary HF emcomm Web pages:

Major HF Nets:

WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Watch Net
Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Net (SATERN)
The Waterway Net
VoIP SKYWARN/Hurricane Net. (The latter is an Internet-based operation, but of interest.)

Major National-Level Served Agencies:

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Red Cross
National Weather Service
Citizen Corps
Salvation Army

More on all this as the hurricane season proceeds.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shuttle to launch Bevo-1 into orbit on July 30

On flight day 16 (7/30) the space shuttle Endeavor crew will be launching several payloads into low earth orbit. See my story on the ANDE-2 payloads at


Another payload will be the Dragonsat-1 Paradigm aka BEVO-1 developed by the University of Texas. The primary objective of PARADIGM is to collect GPS data from a NASA-designed receiver and downlink it to a ground station at UT-Austin. The data will then be delivered to NASA JSC for post-processing. AFSK and FSK Telemetry on UHF will be transmitted until end of life. A five inch cubesat of less than 3.5kg. For more information see

Here are the downlink particulars:

Beacon Mode
Downlink Freq: 437.325 MHz
Modulation: FM, 200mW
Morse Code, ~20 WPM

Data Mode
Downlink Freq: 437.325 MHz
Modulation: FM, 1W
GMSK, 9600 baud, AX.25 (High-speed, default)
Bell 202, AX.25 (Low-speed)

And let me give a shout out to the UT gang who got this satellite built and into orbit "Hook'em Horns!"

The other payload associated with this mission is Aggiesat 2 (devloped by students at Texas A&M). I am still waiting confirmation on the downlink info from the project and will pass it along as soon as I get it.

Navy's ANDE-2 Launched Aboard Endeavour Downlink on 2 Meters

Blog Editor's Note: Want a shot at monitoring an orbiting spacecraft? Hams, Scanner Enthusiast and other radio hobbyist have a chance to monitor these two Navy satellites on their amateur band downlinks at 145.825 MHz. See AMSAT notice at the end of this post.

By Donna McKinney, Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) satellite suite, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment 2 (ANDE-2), launched aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour July 15.

The ANDE-2 satellite suite consists of two nearly perfectly spherical micro-satellites with instrumentation to perform two interrelated mission objectives. The first objective is to monitor the total atmospheric density along the orbit for improved orbit determination of resident space objects. The second objective is to provide a test object for both radar and optical U.S. Space Surveillance Network sensors.

ANDE-2 is a low-cost mission designed to study the atmosphere of the Earth from low-Earth orbit by monitoring total atmospheric density between 300 and 400 kilometer altitude. ANDE-2 data will be used to improve methods for the precision orbit determination of space objects and to calibrate the Space Fence, a radar space surveillance system belonging to the Air Force 20th Space Control Squadron, a principal resource for tracking low-Earth orbiting space satellites.

Because of ANDE-2's particular design requirements, a new deployment technique was developed by the Air Force Space Test Program and tested with the ANDE Risk Reduction (ANDERR) flight in December 2006. The primary ANDERR mission objective, a test of the Shuttle deployment mechanism, was successful.

The ANDE project was conceived and developed at NRL, by Andrew Nicholas of NRL's Space Science Division. The mission consists of two microsatellites with the same size but different masses sent into orbit at the same time: the lighter satellite, known as Pollux, and the heavier satellite, Castor.

The Castor spacecraft carries active instruments: a miniature wind and temperature spectrometer to measure atmospheric composition, cross-track winds and neutral temperature; a Global Positioning Sensor; a thermal monitoring system to monitor the temperature of the satellite; an electrostatic analyzer to monitor plasma density spacecraft charging.

Each satellite contains a small lightweight payload designed to determine the spin rate and orientation of the satellite from on-orbit measurements and from ground-based observations. The two microsatellites will slowly separate into lead-trail orbit to provide researchers an opportunity to study small-scale, spatial and temporal variations in drag associated with geomagnetic activity.

Both satellites will be fitted with an array of 30 retro reflectors and will be observed by the U.S. Space Surveillance Network and domestic and international satellite laser ranging sites. The variation in observed position will be used to determine in-track total density. Scientists will determine its position in relation to the passive satellite to compute total density and validate drag coefficient models. In addition, instrumentation on board Castor will measure density and composition.

A joint effort between the Space Science Division and the Naval Center for Space Technology to routinely process and analyze the ANDERR data has led to improved orbit determination and prediction using an atmospheric model correction method. The ANDE data provide a valuable tool for correcting deficiencies in atmospheric models and have led to advancements in miniature sensor technology. These advancements are pivotal for multi-point in-situ space weather sensing. The DoD Space Test Program will provide launch services for the ANDE-2 mission.

Experiment/Payload Description

Research Summary

Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment - 2 (ANDE-2) objectives are to measure atmospheric density and composition in low Earth orbit (LEO) and to better characterize the parameters used to calculate a satellite's drag coefficient.

This experiment consists of two microsatellites, called ANDE Active (AA) spacecraft (Castor) and the ANDE Passive (AP) spacecraft (Pollux), that are launched from the Space Shuttle cargo bay.

These spherical satellites are 19 inches in diameter and will be tracked by the Satellite Laser Ranging systems and the Space Surveillance Network.


The main objective of Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment - 2 (ANDE-2) is to measure the total atmospheric density between 100 and 400 km. The density data that is gathered will be used to improve orbit determination calculations of the orbits of resident space objects.

ANDE-2 consists of two spherical micro satellites. These satellites are launched from the Space Shuttle cargo bay into a circular orbit just below the International Space Station altitude.

Both satellites will be tracked by the Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) system and the U.S. Space Surveillance Network (SSN). These satellites have the same dimensions, but have different masses. Because of the difference in mass, the satellites will drift apart over time. Observing the satellites' position will provide a study on spatial and temporal variations in atmospheric drag associated with geomagnetic activity.

Operational Requirements

ANDE-2 uses two spherical microsatellites which are launched from the Space Shuttle cargo bay. Both satellites are 19 inch diameter spheres, have a mass of 50 and 25 kg, and are constructed of aluminum. The surface of both spheres contains an embedded array of sensors including 30 retro reflectors, six laser diodes for tracking, and six photovoltaic cells for determining orientation and spin rate. Both spheres also have thermal monitor systems. The ANDE spacecraft are located inside the Internal Cargo Unit (ICU). The ICU is made of three aluminum sections. Each section is separated by a light band separation system. Once ejected from the cargo bay, the ICU will separate and deploy the ANDE spheres at a safe distance from the shuttle.

Operational Protocols

ANDE will be launched from the Space Shuttle cargo bay. The two microsatellites will be contained inside the ICU canister. Once the ICU canister is a safe distance from the Space Shuttle, two micro satellites will be released at an altitude of approximately 350 km.

And from AMSAT

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 193.06
July 12, 2009
BID: $ANS-193.06

Castor and Pollox, two satellites in the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment (ANDE) program are ready to fly with the launch of STS-127 from Kennedy Space Center. The ANDE mission consists of two spherical spacecraft fitted with retro-reflectors for satellite laser ranging (SLR). The constant and well-determined cross section and surface properties of the ANDE spacecraft provide an ideal set of objects for monitoring atmospheric drag and the calibration of space surveillance network (SSN) assets both radar and optical.

Castor is a 19 inch diameter aluminum sphere with a mass of 63 kg. It is as near perfect sphere as possible given the constraints of cost and manufacturability. The sphere is split in half with e delrin disc. The hemispheres are also the satellite antenna. For power, the satellite has 112 19AH lithium primary cells. This provides about 7000 watt-hours of power which has to last for the one year mission.

The satellite has several different types of sensors. There are two main sensors, a Neutral particle wind and temperature spectrometer and an ion mass spectrometer.

A group of college students designed and built a MEMS sensor payload to test some commercial gyroscopes and a magnetometer. There are also six light sensors and six temperature sensors mounted in the satellite hemispheres.

The Pollux satellite was originally to be a passive satellite with retroreflectors for laser ranging. It has been turned into a high school student project involving several schools in the Fairfax County, Virginia area.

The satellite is powered by twenty-eight 19AH Lithium-ion cells configured to provide 14 volts. The battery configuration uses the spare ANDE satellite hardware.

The electronics is based on cubesat hardware developed at the Naval Research Laboratory and Stensat Group LLC.

The communications board contains the transmitter and receiver. The transmitter operates at 2 meters and can put out up to 1 watt of signal. Power level is adjustable. The transmitter can operate at 1200 baud AFSK and 9600 baud FSK. The transmitter uses the AX.25 protocol. An experimental FX.25 protocol will be tested that adds forward error correction capability to the AX.25 protocol and still allows typical TNCs to decode the packets.

Both satellites will transmit on 145.825 MHz. Additional details about the telemetry format, as well as the FX.25 and GMSK experiments can be found at

Attention European Radio Readers

Patrick Lindecker, the developer of the Multipsk digital decoding software package, has pasted along the following interesting info.


Hello to all European testers,

I have had the information that an helicopter or airplane of the Tour de France could use "1382" frames with GPS ($GPRMC) positions inside.

So I have issued a test version of Multipsk, in which I have added a function to display GPS positions carried in the "1382" frames either on a local map or GoogleEarth. The "1382" professional mode is only available for licencied users.

The frequency is 164,6875 MHz. The Tour de France is tomorrow (Sunday) between France and Switzeland. It could be fun to follow their positions.

The test version contains the Multipsk test version and the help files:

Paste this adress in your Internet Explorer or equivalent. Download the file. Create a tempory folder (C:\TEST, for example), unzip the file in it and start C:\TEST\Multipsk.exe (the auxiliary files will be created automatically). Add your user key and the Maps sub-directory in this temporary folder.

TKS for reports.


Here are the modifications done in this test version:

* TCP/IP command "SDR_HF_FR" of the SdR central frequency (commande TCP/IP "SDR_HF_FR" de la fréquence SdR)

* improvement of the SdR mode and frequency management (amélioration de la gestion de la fréquence et du mode SdR)

* possibility of a wide vertical dash on the waterfall (possibilité d'une barre verticale épaisse sur la chute d'eau)

* Addition of the number of Acars positions on the map (ajout du nombre de positions Acars sur la carte)

* modification of the sound generation from the PC (modification de la génération de son du PC)

* ARQ FAE: extension to callsigns containing the "/" character (ARQ FAE: extension aux indicatifs contenant "/")

* ARQ FAE mail: extension of the delay before abandon (courrier ARQ FAE: extension du délai avant abandon)

* ARQ FAE: slight modification of the progression display (ARQ FAE: légère modification de l'affichage de la progression)

* ARQ FAE: bug on 'End of mail transfer' not displayed (ARQ FAE: "bug" sur 'End of mail transfer' non affiché)

* ARQ FAE: bug on addressee on mail transfer (ARQ FAE: "bug" sur le destinataire en transmission de courrier)

* ARQ FAE: bug on display of control messages (ARQ FAE: "bug" sur l'affichage des messages de contrôle)

* JT65: DF with "Ø" considered, if callsign is clicked (JT65: DF avec "Ø" considéré, si l'indicatif est cliqué)

* JT65: on a CQ, the report in dB will fill the dB fields (JT65: sur un CQ, le report en dB sera chargé dans les champs dB)

* JT65: "synchro-1270" display (JT65: affichage "synchro-1270")

* JT65: frequency adjustment with left and right buttons (JT65: réglage de la fréquence avec les boutons gauche et droit)

* 1382: display of GPS positions on local map or Googlearth (182: affichage des positions GPS sur carte ou sur GoogleEarth)

* updating of the internal prefixes list (mise à jour de la liste interne des préfixes)

* bug on Panoramics started from the Configuration screen ("bug" sur les panoramiques lancés depuis l'écran Configuration)