Friday, February 05, 2016

31.3 baud VOA Radiogram for February 6-7

Hello friends,

This weekend, the only departure from our usual MFSK32 is one news item in MFSK31.  Both MFSK31 and MFSK32 have a symbol rate of 31.3 baud, but MFSK31 is only half the speed: 55 wpm. MFSK31 also has half the bandwidth, 330 Hz. Its modulation is 8-FSK, meaning 8 tones, rather than the 16 tones of MFSK32. (This table of modes may be helpful.) We’ll see if the performance of MFSK31 is better or worse than that of MFSK32, especially if reception conditions are difficult. (MFSK31 does not do images, hence the MFSK32 image following the MFSK news story.)

During the past several weeks, you have seen VOA RADIO GRAM transmitted as “video text” in the waterfall.  To see all three lines of the video text, make this adjustment in Fldigi: Configure >  Waterfall > FFT Processing > change Waterfall height in pixels to a higher value – try 185 and adjust from there. And note that the change does not take effect until Fldigi is started again.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 149, 6-7 February 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:34  Program preview
 2:52  2018 NASA space launch will carry 13 cubesats*
 9:24  MFSK31: Russian spacewalk (MFSK32 image)*
16:16  MFSK32: Afghan IS radio station destroyed*
22:34  Coming events* and closing announcements*

* with image  

Due to last minute edits, the times listed above may vary somewhat from the actual broadcast times.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at about 0225 UTC (Saturday 9:25 pm EST) on 6040 kHz, via Germany. Please send reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

A reminder that the TIVAR app is available for decoding the modes on an Android device.

Thanks for the reception reports sent for last weekend’s VOA Radiogram. I am now answering reports to Program 145, then will start on an older program this weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @voaradiogram

Friday, January 29, 2016

VOA Radiogram for January 30-31

Hello friends,

We will test slow modes again this weekend, so let’s hope for some bad reception. In addition to the Olivia 64-2000 that we have tried the past few weeks, we will transmit  the same news item in MFSK8, which is slightly faster, about 30 words per minute. MFSK8 does require very precise tuning, so a 15-second tuning signal will be transmitted before the news content begins. The 15-second signal will also be transmitted before the Olivia 64-2000.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 148, 30-31 January 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted …

 1:35  Program preview (now)
 2:56  Very wide solar system found*
 7:25  ISIS radio in Afghanistan*
13:56  Olivia 64-2000: New satellite tracks sea level**
19:40  MFSK8: Same news item**
24:44  MFSK32: Image, closing announcements, image*

* with image

** preceded by 15-second tuning signal

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at  about 0223 UTC (Saturday 9:23 pm EST) on 6040 kHz, via Germany. Reports for KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

Shoveling snow and other recovery from last weekend’s big snow in the eastern USA has put me another week behind in answering your emails, but I will work on them this weekend.  Your reception reports are very much appreciated, even if I’m not able to answer them promptly.

I hope you can tune in this weekend.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
Twitter: @voaradiogram  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Planetary VOA Radiogram for January 23-24

Hello friends,


Last weekend's long transmission of Olivia 64-2000 was very interesting. It did result in some successful decodes under difficult conditions. You can see some examples here ...


http://voaradiogram.net/post/137804494562/olivia-64-2000-noise-prevails-over-local-noise


http://voaradiogram.net/post/137594112122/olivia-64-2000-from-north-carolina-decodes-in


One thing I discovered is that, when receiving and decoding Olivia 64-2000, it is important that the receiver bandwidth be wide enough to include all of the data, which extends to 2500 Hz above and below the carrier frequency. Otherwise, you cannot take advantage of all the redundancy built in to the Olivia 64-2000 mode.
Those of you who can record the audio using an SDR receiver can experiment with various bandwidths, shape factors, AM versus SSB, etc.


Anyway, last weekend's Olivia 64-2000 was so much fun that we'll include one news item in that mode this weekend, in addition to our usual MFSK32.


Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 147, 23-24 January 2016, all in MFSK32 except where noted:


 1:32  Program preview
 2:49  Evidence of "Planet Nine."*
 8:15  Plastic in oceans*
12:51  Olivia 64-2000: Papal Fiat to be auctioned
23:02  MFSK32: Image, closing announcements, and snow*

* with image


Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .


VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.



The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0220 UTC (Saturday 9:20 pm EST) on 6040 kHz, via Germany. Please send reports for KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .


I will use this weekend of snow in Washington to catch up on your reception reports. I'm now alternating between the oldest and newest reports, gradually working my way to the middle. If you haven't seen the gallery of MFSK32 images I send in response to reports, a recent example is posted here ...



http://voaradiogram.net/post/137590152087/pictures-in-color-no-less-via-shortwave


If you have an Android device, try TIVAR to decode the modes on VOA Radiogram. For computers, Fldigi.



I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net
twitter.com/voaradiogram (see examples of decoded MFSK images here)


Friday, January 15, 2016

Slow VOA Radiogram for January 16-17

From Kim Andrew Elliott:


Hello friends,


A reminder that this weekend's VOA Radiogram will be mostly Olivia 64-2000. If reception conditions are poor (as they were in Europe on 15670 kHz last weekend), this could be interesting, because the Olivia 64-2000 might be able to overcome the difficult reception. If reception is good, it could be boring, because Olivia 64-2000 is very slow: about 25 words per minute.


Program 146, 16-17 January 2016 (modes as noted)

  1:34  MFSK32: Program preview
  2:51  Olivia 64-2000: Blog post from Antarctica
23:36  MFSK32: Image from Antarctica
26:32  Closing announcements


Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .


VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.



The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0220 UTC (Saturday 9:20 pm EST) on 6040 kHz. This is part of the KBC broadcast to North America at its new time of 0000 to 0300 UTC Sunday, on the new frequency of 6040 kHz. Reports for KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .



I've returned from my Asian travels and will resume answering reception reports during the weekend.


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry VOA Radiogram for December 26-27

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,


This weekend's VOA Radiogram will be another all MFSK32 show to get us through the holidays.  It includes some interesting news about broadcasting.



Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 143, 26-27 December 2016, all in MFSK32:

 1:30  Program preview
 2:49  Russian cargo craft docks with ISS*
 6:01  Castro urges end of Martí broadcasts*
11:41  Afghan journalist heard on IS radio
17:20  Tiny FM transmitters for Syria*
24:25  Closing announcements*

* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .



VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz **
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz (Europe reception is possible)
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.


** To the Americas, but Asia-Pacific and European reception is possible

***To the Americas, but European reception is possible



The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0158 UTC (Saturday 8:58 pm EST) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. The Radio Radio Romania International interval signal, ahead of its French broadcast at 0200 UTC, will be co-channel. Reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .


Thanks for your reception reports last weekend. I will be answering reports this weekend. Enjoy the holidays!


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Friday, November 27, 2015

VOA Radiogram for November 28-29

Hello friends,


Last week's experiments on VOA Radiogram were largely successful.

A good demonstration of the simultaneous decoding of text and an image can be seen in this video prepared by Oscar in Italy ....

http://voaradiogram.net/post/133719604758/oscar-in-italy-provided-this-video-of-the-voa

The simultaneous text/image transmission could be very useful for a news organization, especially if one future software application can decode both.

The QR codes were successfully scanned even if the image was not completely crisp. Beyond a certain level of fuzziness, however, the QR codes would not decode.  See some examples here ...

http://voaradiogram.net/post/134055005357/qr-codes-transmitted-via-shortwave-then-scanned

The only advantage of the QR codes that I can think of is that scanning the QR code is a slightly quicker way of accessing a web page than copying and pasting the URL. The plain-text URL, however, enjoys the advantage of error correction. Maybe future software can open a selected URL in a browser.

If you tuned in last Sunday at 1930-2000 UTC on 15670 kHz, trans-Atlantic shortwave propagation to Europe was generally very poor. It was much better to western North America and surprisingly good in New Zealand. See these examples ...

http://voaradiogram.net/post/134028333147/program-138-on-15670-khz-images-tell-the-story-of

Last Saturday's transmission at 0930-1000 UTC on 5865 did not reach Europe, but it will, at least occasionally, around the winter solstice, so keep trying. The 5865 kHz transmission did reach Western Australia, as seen in these images sent by Frank in Perth ...

http://voaradiogram.net/post/134027418152/frank-in-perth-western-australia-sent-this

This weekend on VOA Radiogram, we will transmit two more QR codes, smaller than the ones sent last week. Also, a VOA Turkish news story, so have your Fldigi set for UTF-8.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 139, 28-29 November 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:


 1:31  Program preview
 3:10  New Shepard reusable rocket lands after launch*
 7:55  Lasers used to cool water*
14:09  El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish to California*
19:30  News item from VOA Turkish Service**
22:45  Closing announcements*
26:05  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule

* with image

** Requires UTF-8 for proper display of diacritics. In Fldigi:

Configure > Colors &Fonts > Rx/Tx Character set to UTF-8


Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.


The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. Reports for this KBC reception to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .


I am now preparing the MFSK image gallery from program 131 and will be responding to those reports this weekend.

I hope you can tune in and write in this weekend.


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Friday, November 20, 2015

Experimental VOA Radiogram for November 21-22

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will include some experiments.

Simultaneous text and image. One experiment will be the simultaneous transmission of text and an image. The text of the VOA News story about men overeating will be transmitted in MFSK32 at the usual center audio frequency of 1500 Hz. The MFSK32 image accompanying this story will be transmitted simultaneously at a center audio frequency of 2200 Hz. You will need two instances of Fldigi; that is, start Fldigi once, then start it again. If you cannot run two instances of Fldigi (some operating systems don’t allow it), you can decode the image at 2200 Hz later from a recording. (You could also run Fldigi and MultiPSK simultaneously.)

At 15 seconds after the text begins, a tuning signal will help you find the exact center frequency near 2200 Hz. The image itself will start 20 seconds after the tone begins. 






I had to reduce the audio level of both the text and image by 3 dB so that the combined audio of the text and image would not overload the transmitter and your receiver. This simultaneous transmission will be followed by the image only, at 1500 Hz, and at full audio level. 

QR codes. The broadcast will include two QR codes.  They look like this …



You scan the QR code, usually with your mobile device, to obtain information.

The first QR code will follow the VOA News Story about Middle East hackers. It will provide the link to the full text of the story. The second QR code will be at the end of the show, with the VOA Radiogram transmission schedule.

I don’t know much about QR codes, so your advice would be appreciated. Are the transmitted QR codes too big? Unnecessarily big? How small can I make them? (The smaller they are, the less time required to transmit them.)

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 138, 21-22November 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:
    
 1:32  Program preview
 2:44  Earth-like exoplanet may not be habitable*
 7:29  New tool to search for extraterrestrial life*
11:13  Analysts warn of Middle East hackers*
20:43  Men overeat to show off to women (simultaneous image)*
23:45  Closing announcements*
28:41  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule

* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. This is part of the KBC broadcast to North America Saturday 2300  UTC to Sunday 0200 UTC on 7395 kHz. Reception reports for KBC reception and decoding to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

Thanks for your reception reports. Today I hope to answer the last of the reports from program 130, then I’ll put together the MFSK image gallery from program 131.

I hope you can tune in and write in.  Have fun with the experiments.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Saturday, November 14, 2015

MRHS Mini Night of Nights in Progress

KSM has again this year stayed on the air for its "Mini Night of Nights," in which it broadcasts various special things, and takes commercial traffic from any vessel with the equipment and inclination to come up and pass it.

Big signal in L.A., as always.  Report at 0003Z:



6474.0
MRHS, hand sent CQ and intro to mini Night of Nights, very loud (S9+40), then
into usual QSX wheel: "VVV VVV VVV CQ DE KSM KSM KSM QSX 500/
4/6/8/12/16/22 OBS? AMVER? QRU? PSE ANS 500/HF CH3 AR K;" //4350.5,
louder, //8438.3, same strength, //12993.0,weaker, //16914, like 12, //21445.8, low.
 

Partial text of the intro copied here:

... ANNIVERSARY OF THE BERLIN CONVENTION WHICH ESTABLISHED 600 METERS AS THE DISTRESS AND CALLING FREQUENCY MRHS SAN FRANCISCO RADIO/ KSM WILL OFFER EXTENDED SERVICE HOURS THIS EVENING WITH MEMORIAL MESSAGES AND PRESS STOP ALSO PLEASE LISTEN FOR SS RED OAK VICTORY/KYVM ON 500 AND 425 KC STOP BEST REGARDS + DE MRHS SANFRANCISCO RADIO / KSM

No low band capability here, so no check on 426/500.

As always, thank you, MRHS!

Friday, November 13, 2015

VOA Radiogram (with a QSY) for November 14-15

Note: Saturday 0930 has moved again, this time to AM frequency 5865 kHz. This move is to get off a channel also used by a broadcaster in Colombia.

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

A few reminders …

1)     I should have mentioned last week (or before) that with the recent time changes, VOA Radiogram is now one hour earlier by local time in most parts of Europe and North America. This is because VOA Radiogram is at the same UTC times year round. See the schedule below.

2)     If you have an Android phone or tablet, the TIVAR (Text and Images Via Analog Radio) app is available at  http://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/AndFlmsg/TIVAR/  It’s the receive-only, decode-only version of AndFlmsg.

3)     If you use Fldigi to decode VOA Radiogram, Fldigi saves decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\ . The easiest way for you to send images with your reception reports, and for me to put them in the weekly gallery, is to attach those png files.  Thanks!

This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will consist mostly of the usual MFSK32, but it will also include some Olivia 32-2000 in case we have anything near the poor shortwave propagation that we experienced last weekend.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 137, 14-15 November 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

  1:31  Program preview
 2:43  Ice volcanoes on Pluto*
 9:03  New giant telescope in Chile*
15:26  Mealworms eat plastics* (followed by some music)
21:00  Olivia 32-2000: Bright light in California sky
25:59  MFSK32: Closing announcements*
28:30  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule under closing music

* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz         (4:30 am EST)
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz       (11:00 am EST)
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz        (Saturday 9:30 pm EST)
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz      (2:30 pm EST)
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC transmitter site in Germany repeated (on shortwave, at least) The Giant Jukebox show from 1 November on 8 November. Because of this, the Olivia 64-2000 promised for last Sunday will be repeated this weekend, at 0130 UTC  Sunday (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7395 kHz. Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

Thanks for your reports from last weekend, difficult reception notwithstanding.  Please tune in and write this weekend, as we hope for better shortwave conditions.

I’m now preparing the gallery of MFSK images from program 129 and will begin this weekend to respond to your reports from that program. 

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram




Thursday, November 12, 2015

MRHS Mini Night of Nights this Saturday (US Time)!

From Maritime Radio Historical Society:

Many True Believers will recall that last year around this time we conducted a mini-Night of Nights which was declared to be great fun.  So we're doing it again this year on 14 November.  That's coming right up so put that date in your calendar right now so you won't forget.

The mini-Night of Nights is an event centered around MF transmissions.  KSM will extend is normal operating hours well into the evening and will make a special effort to keep 500kc and our MF working frequency (426kc) active to give listeners the best chance of hearing us.  Our HF channels will be active as well.  And the MRHS amateur station, K6KPH, will be guarding its usual channels for signal reports and regular contacts.

KSM will continue operations past 0000Z on these frequencies (in kc):
426
500
4350.5
6474.0
8438.3
12993.0
16914.0
22445.8
K6KPH will guard:
3550.0
7050.0
14050.0
18097.5
21050.0
Numerous medium frequency experimental stations will also be active for this event. Our ops will tune the MF band to see which of these we can monitor. Dr. Fritz Raab has taken the lead on this part of the event.
Why not join us a KSM to share the fun? You're invited to visit with us at the receive site, 17400 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in the Point Reyes National Seashore. See this:
The station telephone number is +1 415-669-9646 (answered only when the station is staffed).
Got a commercial radiotelegraph ticket? Sit the circuit at KSM and get your license endorsed as a coast station operator with our special endorsement stamp. Want to sit the circuit at K6KPH? No problem, no license required, just a working knowledge of Morse. If you have an amateur license bring that along and we'll endorse it for operation at K6KPH.
 
 
---------------------------------------
 
 
> SS RED OAK VICTORY/KYVM Will Be Active

We have just received word that SS RED OAK VICTORY/KYVM will be on the air for the mini Night of Nights!  There's more to this than may immediately meet the eye.  The RO at KYVM is Steve Hawes, our transmitter supervisor.  Here's what OM Hawes is prepared to do to provide listening thrills to all.

KYVM

He'll depart his home at around 0730pst for the 1+ hour trip to Bolinas where he will start press and weather service at 1000pst, then turn the station over to manual control from Point Reyes.  He'll remain until about 1500pst when he will board his vehicle for the 1+ hour trip to SS RED OAK VICTORY where he has received special permission to be aboard in the evening.  There he will bring the WWII vintage equipment of KTVM on the air on 500kc and his working channel of 425kc.  He will steadfastly remain at the key until as late as 2300pst, then head home to bed.  That, my friends, is dedication to The Cause.

So warm up those MF receivers and listen out for both KSM and KYVM on mini Night of Nights!

> Clarification of Operating Hours

A fed TBs have written asking for clarification of exactly what hours we will be operating for mNoN.  We're sorry this was not made clear.  Here's the scoop: operating hours will be the same as for a normal Saturday except that operations will extend well into the evening hours.  Here's the list of relevant times:

0900pst, 1700gmt - Services of the Church of the Continuous Wave, Bolinas site
1000pst, 1800gmt - KSM CW press, 426kc/HF
1100pst, 1900gmt - KSM RTTY press, HF
1200pst, 2000gmt - KSM and K6KPH manual operations begin from Point Reyes
1300pst, 2100gmt - KSM CW traffic list, 426kc/HF
1330pst, 2130gmt - KSM CW Pacific high seas weather 426kc/HF

We usually close operations at around 0000gmt.  But that's when mNoN will begin.  We'll continue on all frequencies with press, weather, communications with ships and of course signal reports via K6KPH.  See Newsletter No. 52 for complete frequency information.

You're invited to join us.  All you have to do is show up at the receive site, 17400 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Point Reyes National Seashore.  See the location on this... 

MAP  
The station telephone number is +1 415-669-9646 (answered only when the station is staffed).
Got a commercial radiotelegraph ticket? Sit the circuit at KSM and get your license endorsed as a coast station operator with our special endorsement stamp. Want to sit the circuit at K6KPH? No problem, no license required, just a working knowledge of Morse. If you have an amateur license bring that along and we'll endorse it for operation at K6KPH.
If you've read this far here's your reward: visit us and whisper the words "True Believer" to be granted access to our special equipment storage area. We call it the Treasure Room. 

 
> Where to Send Those Reception Reports
 
Another thing we didn't mention is where to send your reception reports.  As always, send 'em to:

Maritime Radio Historical Society
PO Box 392
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
USA

Our verification card is particularly attractive if we do say so ourselvees so send in your report to get yours.  We ask only that you have patience as it can sometimes take a while to get out the cards for all who request them.  Oh, and a SASE would be deeply appreciated.  
 
 

Friday, November 06, 2015

Illustrated VOA Radiogram for November 7-8

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,


VOA Radiogram this weekend will be all MFSK32, except for the transmission schedule in Olivia 64-2000 at the end of the show. During the Chinese radio story, you will hear "actuality" in the form of a voice ID for radio station WCRW in Leesburg, Virginia, mentioned in this news item. 


Many of you noticed the waterfall video text ID just before the program preview last weekend. This is a feature of Fldigi that I finally tried.  I'll do it again this weekend just before the program preview. The screen capture below is from Roger in Germany ...







Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 136, 7-8 November 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:



 1:34  Program preview
 2:46  Whisky byproducts as car fuel*
 8:28  Water with tiny bubbles is an effective cleaner*
14:04  Reuters report about Chinese radio in the USA*
22:24  Mysterious crack develops in Wyoming*
27:15  Closing announcements
28:16  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule

* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):

Sat 0930-1000 5910 kHz  (often audible in Asia-Pacific and maybe now in Europe)

Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.


The Mighty KBC digital transmission this weekend will be different. Instead of the usual image with some text in MFSK32, the minute will be text in Olivia 64-2000, mixed with music. This will be Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. Last weekend's KBC transmission was on 7350 kHz, but Eric tells me that was an error at the transmitter site.  This weekend, if you don't hear the KBC broadcast to North America Saturday 2300 to Sunday 0200 on 7395, tune around the 41 meter band!


Thank you for your very interesting reports last weekend. I'm now preparing the gallery of MFSK images from program 128, and I'll respond to reports this weekend.  I hope you can tune in and write in.


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net


Friday, October 30, 2015

Spooky VOA Radiogram for Halloween/ November 1

Don't forget the new frequencies effective 10/31 (UTC)!

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,


We start with three announcements ...


1) A reminder of our new frequencies starting this weekend: Saturday 0930-1000 UTC on 5910 kHz. And Saturday 1600-1630 UTC on 17580 kHz. The complete schedule is below.


2) It's beginning to be that time of the year when the Saturday 0930-1000 UTC broadcast on 5910 kHz may be audible in Europe. I've already had a report from Italy for the old 5745 kHz frequency during that broadcast. Reception will improve as we approach the winter solstice.


3) If you have an Android device, the new receive-only, decode-only version of the AndFlmsg app, called TIVAR (Text and Images Via Analog Radio), is available here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/AndFlmsg/TIVAR/



AndFlmsg and Fldigi are available here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/


Music appropriate for Halloween will sneak up on you towards of the end of this weekend's VOA Radiogram.



Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 135, 31 October and 1 November 2015, oday's program, all in MFSK32:

 1:33  Program preview
 2:43  New frequencies
 3:08  Russia Internet update*
 7:33  Freedom of the Net Report*
15:03  US military blimp breaks loose*
20:02  Pumpkins more popular in USA*
26:36  Closing announcements*

* with image

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.


VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):

Sat 0930-1000 5910 kHz (new frequency)

Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz (new frequency)

Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 (with a Halloween theme)  Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. Reports for this 7395 kHz reception and decode to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .


Some of you have asked about the CW (Morse code) at the end of each VOA Radiogram. It's GRV -- the three-letter abbreviation for the Greenville, North Carolina, transmitter site. Abbreviations for other sites can be found in the 2015 World Radio TV Handbook, pp. 660-662.


Thank you for your reports from last weekend. I'm compiling the gallery from program 128 (12-13 Sept) and will try to send out the responses this weekend.


I hope you can tune in, decode, and wrote in this weekend.


Kim


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram
voaradiogram.net

Friday, October 23, 2015

VOA Radiogram for October 24-25

Don't forget the frequency changes next week!

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Hello friends,

Most shortwave broadcast stations change many of their frequencies twice a year to correspond with seasonal changes in propagation. The B15 frequency season begins Sunday, 25 October. Because the two frequency changes for VOA Radiogram occur during Saturday broadcasts, these will not be effective until 31 October. See the old and new frequencies below.

VOA Radiogram this weekend will mostly be in our usual MFSK32 mode, but if reception is difficult, there will be one item on Olivia 32-2000.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 134, 24-25 October 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:33  Program preview (now)
 2:43  New VOA Radiogram and VOA English frequencies*
 6:43  Press freedom in Turkey*
 8:52  Cassini images of Saturn moon Enceladus*
14:52  Olivia 32-2000: Heavy rainfall favors grass**
19:17  MFSK32: Closing announcements*
28:13  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule

* with image

**  If your RxID is on (green), the RSID should automatically change the mode to Olivia 32-2000. If it does not, in Fldigi: Op Mode > Olivia > Custom > Bandwith:2000, Tones:32.

Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com.

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule  
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz  (changing to 5910 kHz effective 31 October)
Sat 1600-1630 17870 kHz (changing to 17580 kHz effective 31 October)
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 9:30 pm EDT) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. This is part of KBC’s broadcast to North America, now Saturday 2300 to Sunday 0200 UTC on the new 7395 kHz. Please send reports for KBC reception and decoding to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .

Thanks for your reports from last weekend.  I’m now putting together the gallery from program 127 and will respond to reports from that weekend (many weeks ago) during this weekend.

Please tune in and write in tomorrow and/or Sunday.

Kim

Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

Patricia TCPOD for 23 October

00
NOUS42 KNHC 221259
REPRPD
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0900 AM EDT THU 22 OCTOBER 2015
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
         VALID 23/1100Z TO 24/1100Z OCTOBER 2015
         TCPOD NUMBER.....15-149

I.  ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
    1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
    2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
    1. HURRICANE PATRICIA
       FLIGHT ONE -- NOAA 43      
       A. 23/1800Z                
       B. NOAA3 0420E PATRICIA    
       C. 23/1430Z                
       D. 18.0N 105.5W            
       E. 23/1730Z TO 22/2030Z    
       F. SFC TO 10,000 FT.       

    2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
    3. REMARKS: NOAA WB-57 IS FLYING A 5.5 HOUR RESEARCH MISSION
       AROUND PATRICIA TODAY [now yesterday -hugh] WITH A 22/1600Z TAKEOFF FROM
       HARLINGEN. FLIGHT LEVELS 55,000 TO 65,000FT. DROPS: 80
       ANTICIPATED. TOMORROW'S [now today's -hugh] TAKEOFF 23/1500Z FOR PATRICIA
       WITH 84 DROPS ANTICIPATED.       

$$
JWP

Mexican emergency comms for massive Hurricane Patricia

From ARRL:

[UPDATED 2015-10-23 @ 1600 UTC] An emergency net has been established on 7060 kHz (LSB) from Manzanillo in the Mexican state of Colima, in anticipation of the powerful Hurricane Patricia, which is threatening Mexico’s Pacific Coast. According to Zian Aguirre, XE1ATZ, the emergency net will also be using 14,120 and 21,120 kHz, and he asked the Amateur Radio community to keep all three frequencies clear for emergency traffic. States of emergency are in effect for three Mexican states.

Omar Alvarez, XE1AO, a faculty member at the University of Colima, initially activated the net on 7060 kHz from the University, which has its own amateur station. He said other stations had checked in from the capital city of Colima.

“We don’t have any damage at the moment, just rain since yesterday evening,” Alvarez told ARRL.

“We are expecting the first effects at 1500 local time. Now I am at home. In the last hour I have had nine stations report in on HF and three on VHF, but without any emergency reports.”

He further reported that major grocery outlets in Manzanillo were closing this morning, although they would remain open in Colima, where other economic activity has been shut down. After 1300 local time, the water supply in Manzanillo would shut down as well. “Most of the tourists were evacuated from all the coastal hotels,” he said.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami is calling the Category 5 storm “potentially catastrophic,” as it heads toward landfall in southwestern Mexico. As of 1500 UTC, the storm was located about 125 miles southwest of Manzanillo and 195 miles south of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico. Evacuation of some 60,000 residents in the storm’s path is under way.

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Area C Emergency Coordinator Arnie Coro, CO2KK, has alerted emergency coordinators within Amateur Radio range of Mexico that Hurricane Patricia is packing winds of up to 200 MPH. “Preparations to deal with the huge storm should be completed by now,” he said. “I expect Mexican radio amateurs to be operating in the area of 40 meters used for emergency traffic. Please be on the alert in the frequency range between 7050 and 7100 kHz for possible emergency related traffic from Mexico.”

The National Hurricane Center said in its 1500 UTC summary, “On the forecast track, the center of Patricia should cross the coast in the hurricane warning area late this afternoon or early this evening. After landfall, the center of Patricia is expected to move quickly north-northeastward across western and northern Mexico.”

Hurricane Patricia is the most powerful storm ever recorded by the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to generate torrential rains and flooding. The storm is moving to the north at about 10 MPH. The National Hurricane Center has reported that the minimum central barometric pressure is at an extraordinary 25.99 inches.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Some NOBLE SKYWAVE frequencies/ calls heard today

Most of these come from Jack Metcalfe, though I have heard some activity out here on 13584 ALE.

5205.0 ZOMBIE, 8ACCS, 4ACCS, CSOR6 & 35SRS all in comms.  ZOMBIE has
 8ACCS loud & clear, but 8ACCS can't hear ZOMBIE.  finally hears him
 at 0049 UTC (JLM)
 
6811.5 VEH637 calling any station: 2316 UTC in USB voice (21/OCT/2015) (JLM)

9900.0 34TRANS with another call to "unknown station":  2343 UTC in USB 
voice (21/OCT/2015) (JLM)


11103.5 12WING to FIRESTAR 22 at 2234 UTC, SIGNALS 1 to 1S10B at 2235 
UTC, CHN763, GANDER 1, FIRESTAR 27 & QGET1 at 2237 UTC.  VAF787 calling 
VANDOO1 at 2242 UTC, 26 with radio check & GLACE BAY 1 calling 34TRANS 
at 2300 UTC.  CIW601 & CIW660 with radio checks: 2309 UTC in USB voice 
(21/OCT/2015) (JLM)

11539.5 34TRANS with radio check: 2339 UTC in USB voice (21/OCT/2015) (JLM)
14461.5, HALIFAX MILITARY (perfect signal), QGET1, SIGNALS1, CIW444, VEH637, TANGO11, GLADIATOR & FIRESTAR 8 (US Army MARS station) all in comms or attempting same: 1825 UTC+ in USB voice (21/OCT/2015) (JLM) 

----------------

Thanks for posting these, Jack!
 

Exercise NOBLE SKYWAVE 2015 in progress

This is an exercise done yearly by Canadian Forces, CFARS, and other organizations as a test of HF interoperability. It's run kind of like a contest, and it brings out a lot of military stations using special call signs.

While the announced dates are October 22-23, many stations were sounding in ALE and working each other in voice from the morning of October 21 (U.S. time) on.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the official announcement made last August:



EXERCISE INSTRUCTION FOR
EXERCISE NOBLE SKYWAVE 2015

1.                SITUATION. The Communications and Electronics (C&E) Branch is holding its annual Professional Development week at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment (21 EW Regt) on behalf of the C&E Branch will use this opportunity in order to conduct Ex NOBLE SKYWAVE (Ex NS). The exercise will see voice and data links between domestic and international teams via High Frequency (HF) sky-wave propagation. Invited to participate are all Regular, Reserve, or Auxiliary Force units with HF radio communications from Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, and New Zealand. Members of the Canadian Forces Affiliate Radio System (CFARS) and the US Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) are also invited to participate.
2.                MISSION. 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment will organize and facilitate Ex NOBLE SKYWAVE 21-22 October 2015 in order to provide a venue to confirm HF interoperability amongst the international community.
3.                EXECUTION
a.                Concept of Operations
(1)             Intent. Building on the success of previous iterations of Ex NS and the US led QPNX, I intend to leverage the training opportunity provided by C&E week to conduct a Radio Frequency (RF) training exercise that emphasizes HF sky-wave propagation to domestic and international teams;
(2)             Scheme of Maneuver. Within a competition construct, participating teams will earn points for successful contacts with other participants. Teams are responsible for their own respective broadcast detachments, stations, sites, and personnel. The Officer in Charge (OIC) will retain responsibility for the overall coordination and conduct of the competition. Throughout the entire exercise, individual units are responsible for the setup, tear-down, and manning of their detachments.