Friday, September 22, 2017

Shortwave Radiogram should make all skeds this weekend


Hello friends,


Last weekend, Shortwave Radiogram was transmitted during three of its four time slots, despite hurricane damage to the antennas at WRMI. Because WRMI’s ftp server was not working, we needed to use an alternative method to upload the show to the station. The broadcasts on 11580 kHz were successful, except for a short break in transmission during the Cassini Saturn image (see above).

On the WRMI Facebook page, Jeff White reports that all the station’s frequencies are back on the air except for 15770 kHz, the antenna for which suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Irma. Thanks to these quick repairs by the WRMI team, Shortwave Radio should be back to its full schedule this weekend.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 14, 23-24 September 2017, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz:

 1:31  Program preview
 2:44  Nanosat fleet proposed for voyage to 300 asteroids*
 9:33  Acorns: little nuts with big impact*
14:58  Smoke from western North America fires reaches Europe*
20:59  Rockwell Collins to be sold to United Technologies
23:27  Drawings recall Soviet era in Ukraine*
27:26  Closing announcements
* with image
Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net
Twitter: @SWRadiogram
Shortwave Radiogram Transmission Schedule
Saturday
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday
0600-0630 UTC
7730 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2030-2100 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2330-2400 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on new 5960 kHz, via Germany. (But also try 5960-5970, 6100, 6105, or 6125-6135 kHz, in case there are last minute changes.) The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:
WEDNESDAY  18.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
                        19.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
THURSDAY     02.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY           01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO SOUTH EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
Thanks for your reception reports!  I am still answering reports from program 6 during this weekend.
 
Kim
Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

HWN activates for Maria


HWN Alert Level 5:
Catastrophic Response Mode – A Major Hurricane (as defined by NHC) is threatening or currently affecting land within the HWN area of interest.  HWN will be operating on 14.325.00 MHz during the day, and, as warranted, operating on 7.268 MHz at night.
So far, nothing has been heard in California, or on the Florida remote SDR.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Correction of erroneous Russian location in September column

Last month's column contains an erroneous set of Google Earth coordinates for the Russian 69th Communications unit, one of several suspected UVB-76/Buzzer/S28 locations.

This one seemed to elude my proofreading.  It's a bit embarrassing, really. The correct location is 60.231100° N,  30.273928° E.  The one in the column, 60.231100° N by 60.231100° E,  actually is still in Russia, but it's way out in the Ural Mountains somewhere.  The correct location is north of St. Petersburg.

Sorry about that.  Appropriate corrections have been made in the local files here.

Bulgaria on for SW Radiogram -- WRMI is iffy -- Check Kim's links

From Kim Andrew Elliott:


Hello friends,


Shortwave is often marketed as providing the ability to “hear news as it happens.”

Last Sunday, Shortwave Radiogram listeners heard news as it happened. WRMI in Florida was able to stay on the air for much of Sunday, despite the approach of Hurricane Irma. Listeners tuned in to the 2030 UTC airplay of Shortwave Radiogram heard the opening waterfall ID, announcements, and a few seconds of MFSK32 before WRMI went off the air at about 2033 UTC. Presumably this is when WRMI lost its commercial electric power.

Power has been restored at the WRMI transmitting site near Okeechobee, but only some of the antennas have been repaired. As I type this, WRMI’s 7730 and 11580 kHz frequencies, which would be used for Shortwave Radiogram on Sunday, are not yet back on the air. WRMI’s Internet connection also has not be restored, so I am unable to upload the program.

It’s therefore possible that Shortwave Radiogram will not be available Sunday via WRMI. Please consult https://twitter.com/swradiogram and  https://www.facebook.com/wrmiradio/ for updates.

Listeners in the Americas can tune in to Shortwave Radiogram Saturday at 1600 UTC on 9400 kHz, via Bulgaria, using the University of Twente receiver in the Netherlands:   http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901

Audio of this weekend’s program 13 is also available here: https://soundcloud.com/voaradiogram/shortwave-radiogram-program-13-15-16-sept-2017

Even if Shortwave Radiogram is available on your favorite shortwave frequency, HF propagation might be poor. For that eventuality, one of the news items this weekend is in MFSK16.
Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 13, 16-17 September 2017, all in MFSK32 except where noted:

 1:29  Program preview
 2:41  Remnants of Hurricane Ivan*
 8:27  Letting nature assist urban flood control*
16:25  MFSK16: US chip company won't be acquired by Chinese
21:05  MFSK32: Images from Cassini mission to Saturn*
27:43  Closing announcements
* with image
Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net
Twitter: @SWRadiogram
Shortwave Radiogram Transmission Schedule
Saturday
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday
0600-0630 UTC
7730 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2030-2100 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2330-2400 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on new 5960 kHz, via Germany. (But also try 5960-5970, 6100, 6105, or 6125-6135 kHz, in case there are last minute changes.) The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:
WEDNESDAY  18.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
                        19.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
THURSDAY     02.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY           01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO SOUTH EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
Thanks for your reception reports!  I will be answering reports from program 6 during this weekend.
 
Kim
Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hurricane station ID list #5

All checked, and probably on hurricane related missions.

002    USCG HC-130J #2002, Elizabeth City
003    USCG HC-130J #2003, Elizabeth City
007    USCG HC-130J #2007, Elizabeth City
503    USCG HC-130H #1503, Clearwater
715    USCG HC-130H #1715, Clearwater
718    USCG HC-130H #1718, Clearwater
A63    CBP UH-60M tail #08-27172, N72763
A99    CBP UH-60 tail # 79-23299 "Omaha 299", Miami
AFA6BZ    SHARES Region 6 hurricane net
AFA6TG    SHARES Region 6 hurricane net
CAOFEFEM001    FEMA Caribbean Region, PR
CG6510    USCG MH-65D #6510, CGAS Miami
CG6525    USCG MH-65D #6525 , Jacksonville, FL
CG6540    USCG MH-65D #6540, Miami FL
CG6542    USCG MH-65D #6542, Miami FL
CG6543    USCG MH-65D #6543, Traverse City
CG6551    USCG MH-65D #6551, Florida
CG6553    USCG MH-65D #6553, Florida
CG6554    USCG MH-65D #6554, Corpus Christi, TX
CG6565    USCG MH-65D #6565, ATC Mobile, AL
CG6574    USCG MH-65D #6574, CGAS North Bend
CG6576    USCG MH-65D #6576, New Orleans ,LA
CG6582    USCG MH-65D #6582, Detroit
CG6584    USCG MH-65D #6584, ATC Mobile, AL
CG6591    USCG MH-65D #6591, ATC Mobile, AL
CGC04A    USACE Rapid Response Vehicle
COMMCOM    USCG Communications Command, VA
CONTROL222    Telco NS/EP
D23    CBP P-3B "Slick" #N423SK
DOJ    USCGC Benjamin Dailey (WPC 1123)
FC1FEM    FEMA Region 1 comm manager, voice WGY901
FCSFEM1    FEMA Emergency Support Ctr., Mt. Weather VA (WGY912)
FSH    USCGC Pelican (WPB 87327), seen in Tampa area
ICB    ALE    USCGC Forward (WMEC 911), off Key West
J01    USCG MH-60T #6001, ATC Mobile
J07    USCG MH-60T #6007, Clearwater
J09    USCG MH-60T #6009, Clearwater
J12    USCG MH-60T #6012, Clearwater
J14    USCG MH-60T #6014, Clearwater
J15    USCG MH-60T #6015, Elizabeth City
J25    USCG MH-60T #6025, ATC Mobile
J26    USCG MH-60T #6026, Clearwater
J30    USCG MH-60T #6030, Clearwater
J31    USCG MH-60T #6031, Clearwater or E-City
J34    USCG MH-60T #6034, should be Kodiak (?)
J36    USCG MH-60T #6036, Clearwater
J38    USCG MH-60T #6038, CGAS Elizabeth City
J42    USCG MH-60T #6042, CGAS Cape Cod
J44    USCG MH-60T #6044, Clearwater
J46    USCG MH-60T #6046, ATC Mobile
K11    USCG MH-65D #6511, Traverse City
K69    USCG MH-65D #6569, CGAS Borinquen, PR
K81    USCG MH-65D #6581, CGAS Houston
KGD34    SHARES
LNT    USCG COMMCOM, VA
MIAMFL182    Telco NS/EP
N02    USCG HC-144A #2302, CGAS Miami
N03    USCG HC-144A #2303, CGAS Miami
N05    USCG HC-144A #2305, CGAS Miami
N06    USCG HC-144A #2306, CGAS Miami
N09    USCG HC-144A #2309, CGAS Miami
N10    USCG HC-144A #2310, CGAS Miami
N13    USCG HC-144A #2313, Mobile, AL
N14    USCG HC-144A #2314, CGAS Corpus Christi
N15    USCG HC-144A #2315, CGAS Miami
NCS035    SHARES Region 6 hurricane net
NCS307    SHARES Region 6 hurricane net
NCS387    SHARES Region 6 hurricane net
P21    USCG COTHEN Remote Command Console, ATC Mobile, AL
PBG    USCGC Shrike (WPB 87342), Pt.Canavaral, FL
PR1    COTHEN remote transmitter, PR
PR2JOC    Puerto Rico Nat. Guard joint ops center
SC2FEM    FEMA, St. Croix, USVI, voice WGY952
Shark 25    USCGC Venturous (WMEC 625), St. Petersburg, FL
SJ2FEM    FEMA, San Juan, PR
ST2FEM    FEMA, St. Thomas, USVI
TGT    USCGC Sturgeon (WPB 87336), Grand Isle, LA
Tiburon 910    USCGC Thetis (WMEC 910), Key West, FL
TSC    COTHEN Technical Service Center, Orlando, FL
YWL    USCGC Thetis (WMEC 910), Key West, FL
Z10    USCG Sector Charleston, SC
Z11    USCG Sector Jacksonville, FL
Z12    USCG Sector Miami, FL
Z16    USCG Sector Mobile, AL
Z18    USCG Sector Houston-Galveston

WRMI takes Irma hit

WRMI, from the huge Okeechobee site in Florida, suffered damage from hurricane Irma.  At last word, all transmitters were off the air, Internet was down, and two towers had collapsed.

It is not known whether Shortwave Radiogram will air this weekend.  Watch this space.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hurricane Frequency List #2

Most of the difference from #1 is that someone finally heard all the primary FEMA ALE frequencies, so they have been added.  ALE soundings aren't the most exciting things ever heard on HF, but ALE is also often used to link up and initiate other comms. FEMA has some voice, and also uses a text mode that passes the messages as clear strings in the ALE exchanges.

[grump mode on]
In general, hurricane HF is not what it used to be, which is too bad.  Once upon a time, aircraft would fly over soon as it was safe and tell the ground in some unaffected area what things looked like.  Now, we just hear that Internet and cell phones stopped working and nobody knows what happened.  I realize that the ionosphere was in a similar state over North America yesterday afternoon (Eastern time), but really, how often does that occur, let alone the same day as a major hurricane?  Enough to get rid of HF?  Didn't think so.
[grump mode off]

Generally, if a call to a station on COTHEN is answered (usually with an LQA), there will be subsequent voice comm like we used to hear on 5696 and 8983.  PC-ALE loves to record these as soundings, so I use it to scan, and use MultiPSK to detect if it's something more interesting than that. MultiPSK will scan with an external program, but that program's radio library is mostly ham rigs.
 
Every frequency on this list was heard by somebody.  Not exactly Mike Bettes standing in the eye wall, but there have been a few good comms.

---

2658.0    (ALE) US National Guard Joint Operations Centers
3345.0    (ALE) USACE
3388.0    (ALE) FEMA
3873.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES
3910.0    (LSB) Central Texas Emergency
3935.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES Health & Welfare
3955.0    (LSB) South Texas Emergency
3975.0    (LSB) Texas RACES Alternate / H&W alternate
4458.0    SHARES night Irma voice/digital net
4490.0    (ALE) SHARES
4603.0    (ALE) FEMA
5015.0    (ALE) USACE
5158.0    MARS A4A Net, request for comm teams
5211.0    (ALE) USACE
5250.0    (ALE) COTHEN
5253.5    USCG Auxiliary Hurricane Net
5372.5    (ALE) USACE
5378.0    (ALE) FEMA
5394.5    Joint AF/Army MARS Region 5
5400.0    (ALE) USACE
5402.0    (ALE) FEMA
5732.0    (ALE) COTHEN
5760.0    (ALE) SHARES
5821.0    (ALE) FEMA
5896.5    SHARES night primary / Coordination Nets
5909.5    (ALE) COTHEN
6020.0    (ALE) USACE
6049.0    (ALE) FEMA
6106.0    (ALE) FEMA
6151.0    (ALE) FEMA
6785.0    (ALE) USACE
6809.0    (ALE) FEMA
6910.0    SHARES Region 6 Hurricane net
7184.0    (LSB) Amateurs on St. Thomas
7240.0    (LSB) Texas Emergency
7248.0    (LSB) Texas RACES Primary
7250.0    (LSB) Texas Emergency
7262.0    (LSB) SATERN
7268.0    (LSB) Hurricane Watch Net Alternate
7273.0    (LSB) Texas ARES Alternate
7285.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES Emergency Day
7290.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES Health & Welfare
7302.0    AF MARS Region 6
7348.0    (ALE) FEMA
7391.5    (ALE) SHARES
7428.0    (ALE) FEMA
7457.0    AF MARS Region 4
7527.0    (ALE) COTHEN
7697.1    (ALE) Telco NS/EP
7806.4    (ALE) FEMA
7991.0    (ALE) SHARES
8000.0    USCG, usually Pacific, but some activity
8050.0    (ALE) FEMA
8912.0    (ALE) COTHEN
8918.0    TEAL 75 wkg New York MWARA
9106.0    (ALE) SHARES
9122.5    (ALE) USACE
9426.0    (ALE) SHARES
10194.0    (ALE) FEMA, ALE and voice comms
10202.0    (ALE) FEMA
10242.0    (ALE) COTHEN
10493.0    (ALE) USACE / FEMA
10588.0    (ALE) FEMA
10899.0    (ALE) FEMA
11108.0    (ALE) FEMA
11175.0    USAF HFGCS, some hurricane related patches
11426.5    (ALE) SHARES
11448.0    (ALE) FEMA
11494.0    (ALE) COTHEN
11693.5    (ALE) USACE
11957.0    (ALE) FEMA
12070.0    (ALE) USACE
12112.0    (ALE) FEMA
12129.0    (ALE) FEMA
12216.0    (ALE) FEMA
12222.0    (ALE) COTHEN
12267.0    (ALE) USACE
12270.0    (ALE) FEMA
13312.0    (ALE) COTHEN
13446.0    (ALE) FEMA
13907.0    (ALE) COTHEN
13935.0    (ALE) FEMA
14265.0    SATERN
14325.0    Hurricane Watch Net
14396.5    SHARES national day primary / Coordination Nets
14402.0    SHARES West Region Weekly Net
14411.0    AF MARS Mission Support Net
14567.0    (ALE) FEMA
14582.0    (ALE) COTHEN
14776.0    (ALE) FEMA
14885.0    (ALE) FEMA
14928.5    (ALE) SHARES
15094.0    (ALE) FEMA
15708.0    (ALE) FEMA
15867.0    (ALE) COTHEN
16077.0    (ALE) USACE
16201.0    (ALE) FEMA
16382.0    (ALE) USACE
17458.5    (ALE) SHARES
17519.0    (ALE) FEMA
18594.0    (ALE) COTHEN
19969.0    (ALE) FEMA
20890.0    (ALE) COTHEN
21866.0    (ALE) FEMA
22983.0    (ALE) FEMA
23214.0    (ALE) COTHEN
24526.0    (ALE) FEMA
24838.5    (ALE) COTHEN


---

The following Florida nets are in the directories, but no one has reported hearing them yet:

3910.0    (LSB) Regional Emergency Primary Channel
3940.0    (LSB) South Florida ARES Net
3950.0    (LSB) Northern Florida ARES Net
7247.0    (LSB) N. Florida ARES



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Another major solar flare at 1606 UTC, with unusually long HF outage

As if we needed it on top of everything else, the active region responsible for the largest flare in Cycle 22 just produced the second largest (X8.2) around 1600 UTC, peaking at 1606.  HF has been dead here ever since.

KPH, also in California, also reports no WWV on any frequency.  This is obviously a major HF blackout.

The flare did produce a CME, but since the region was about to go off the west limb, most of it should miss Earth.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Severe geomagnetic storm as X9 flare CME arrives early

An early CME arrival is an energetic CME arrival, and this one didn't disappoint. A very pronounced sudden shock wave hit the magnetosphere yesterday (U.S. time). Boulder showed a classic sudden storm commencement. I have also read that Bz went as far south as -30 nT before moving back to the positive side.  Aurora was visible as far south as Arkansas. All this activity caused the K index to peak twice at 8. This is a severe storm (G4) condition.

HF propagation was pretty good at first, with 15 meter DX from this location until about 2000 local, but then conditions deteriorated considerably.  Currently, at 2100 UTC on the 8th, everything above 13 or so MHz seems pretty dead on this coast, though frequencies below that continue to propagate as well as can be expected.  HM01 (Cuban voice/digital numbers) is only down an S unit or so on 10715 kHz, and it is fading a only a little more than usual.

I wonder how close the hurricane is to the HM01 transmitting site, believed to be outside Havana.  It'll be interesting to see if HM01 stays up tomorrow.

Tonight may be decent for aurora again, in some locations, though the moon is still pretty bright.

Amateur radio prepares for Irma, Jose, Katia

 From ARRL Letter:

...

W1AW at ARRL HQ will be in monitoring mode through Saturday and will activate on Sunday. Ham Aid equipment has been deployed to the West Central Florida Section, where ARES teams in at least three counties are ready to support shelter communication.

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) activated on September 5, and by mid-week was watching three hurricanes -- Category 5 Irma; Category 1 José, following behind Irma, and Category 1 Katia in the Gulf of Mexico.

"It now looks like the Hurricane Watch Net will be working on two land-falling hurricanes," said HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV. "Over the next few days, Irma will affect Hispaniola, Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida."

"José could affect the northern Leeward Islands Saturday or Sunday as a Category 2 Hurricane. Katia is forecast to make landfall on the coast of Mexico as a Category 2 Hurricane late Friday evening or early Saturday morning.

The HWN's primary frequency is 14.325 MHz, and its nighttime frequency is 7.268 MHz, although the net could operate on both frequencies simultaneously. Graves said the net, which marks its 52nd anniversary this week, would remain in continuous operation until further notice.

The 5-day projected track of Hurricane Irma as of the morning of September 7. Click on graphic to update. [NOAA graphic]

The VoIP Hurricane Net activated on September 5 -- as did WX4NHC at the NHC. Both the HWN and the VoIP Hurricane Network relay hurricane "ground-truth" information via WX4NHC to the NHC to assist forecasters. Any Amateur Radio operators in the affected area of Irma or with relays into the affected area of Irma are asked to provide surface and damage reports into the VoIP Hurricane Net for relay into WX4NHC.

SKYWARN Nets active as Irma moves through the Caribbean can pass reports to the VoIP Hurricane Net for relay into WX4NHC and are asked to designate a net liaison or connect directly to the *WX_TALK* EchoLink conference node: 7203/IRLP 9219. Stations on AllStar can connect to the EchoLink side of the system by dialing *033007203.

IARU Region 2 Emergency Coordinator Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P, compiled a list of emergency frequencies, subject to change, for use in the Caribbean in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. Radio amateurs not involved with the emergency should avoid these frequencies.

    Puerto Rico: 3.803, 3.808, 7.188 MHz. Radio amateurs in Puerto Rico also will cooperate with the HWN on 7.268 and 14.325 MHz.

    Cuba: Days, 7.110 MHz (primary) and 7.120 MHz (secondary); Provincial Net -- 7.045, 7.080 MHz, and on other lower frequencies as necessary. Nights, 3.740 MHz (primary) and 3.720 MHz (secondary), and on other lower frequencies as necessary.

    Dominican Republic: 3.873 MHz (primary), 3.815 MHz (secondary), 7.182 MHz (primary), 7.255 MHz (secondary); 14.330 MHz (primary), 21.360 MHz (primary), 28.330 MHz (primary).

    Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net (CEWN): 3.815 MHz and 7.162 MHz (when necessary). The net has activated continuously until the hurricane passes through.

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) encouraged its operators to start monitoring the HWN. On Wednesday, September 6, the International SATERN SSB Net moved to a Delta II (extended monitoring) status from 1400 until 2300 UTC. SATERN National Liaison Bill Feist, WB8BZH, said that schedule could hold through the end of the week. Stations on the net will seek information on emergency, priority, or health-and-welfare traffic, situation and hurricane damage, and communication disruptions. SATERN will not accept health-and-welfare inquiries.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that several FEMA Regions would activate the 5 MHz/60-meter interoperability frequencies in support of a possible response to Hurricane Irma. Direct communication between federal and amateur stations is permitted. FEMA stations are:

    Region 1 -- KF1EMA

    Region 2 -- KF2EMA (includes Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands)

    Region 3 -- KF3EMA

    Region 4 -- KF4EMA

    Region 6 -- KF6EMA

    Maynard MERS -- NF1EMA

    Thomasville MERS -- NF4EMA

    Denton MERS -- NF6EMA

These suppressed-carrier reference frequencies -- also known as dial frequencies or window frequencies -- 5330.5 kHz (voice), 5346.5 kHz (data), 5357.0 kHz, 5371.5 kHz, and 5403.5 kHz, may be used as part of the event. The FEMA point of contact is Dave Adsit, KG4BIR, FEMA Spectrum Manager, (540) 272-4605.

The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) reminded licensees this week that FCC rules address operation during emergencies. "These rules allow licensees to provide emergency communications during a period of emergency in a manner or configuration not specified in the station authorization or in the rules governing such stations," the FCC said. The FCC contact for Part 97 (Amateur Service) rules is Mike Regiec, (717) 338-2603. During non-business hours, contact the FCC Operations Center, (202) 418-1122.

Updates on storm-related Amateur Radio activity are posted on the ARRL Hurricane Irma page.

Hurricane threatens Shortwave Radiogram transmissions

Irma is predicted to move right past the WRMI transmitter site.  This might have an effect on whether this weekend's shows air.  Also, HF propagation has been affected by the week's major solar events.

From Kim Andrew Elliott:


Hello friends,


The Mighty KBC will change its North America frequency this weekend. Please see details below.
This may be a difficult weekend for Shortwave Radiogram. Hurricane Irma is forecast to move up the middle of Florida, and will likely be a major hurricane as it passes near Okeechobee, site of WRMI’s transmitters. The outer bands will reach WRMI for the Sunday 0600 UTC broadcast, while the eye will be near Okeechobee during the 2030 and 2330 UTC transmissions.

If you don’t hear Shortwave Radiogram on its WRMI frequencies, that will probably be the reason. We wish Jeff and his colleagues the best of luck during this challenge. And our thoughts are with Shortwave Radiogram listeners in the affected regions, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Another reason you might not be able to hear Shortwave Radiogram this weekend is solar events, which are forecast to affect radio communications. See the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center for updates.

Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 12, 9-10 September 2017, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500:
 1:19  Program preview
 2:32  Huge solar flares could affect Earth*
 8:57  Eclipse may have affected HF propagation*
18:22  A look at TWA's terminal at JFK, closed since 2001*
22:06  The 2004 odyssey of Hurricane Ivan*
24:32  Wildfires bring haze to U.S. western skies*
27:05  Closing announcements
* with image
Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net
Twitter: @SWRadiogram
Shortwave Radiogram Transmission Schedule
Saturday
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz
Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday
0600-0630 UTC
7730 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2030-2100 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2330-2400 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on new 5960 kHz, via Germany. (But also try 5960-5970, 6100, 6105, or 6125-6135 kHz, in case there are last minute changes.) The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:
WEDNESDAY  18.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
                        19.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
THURSDAY     02.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY           01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO SOUTH EUROPE
SUNDAY          00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                        10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
Thanks for your reception reports!  I will be answering reports from program 6 during this weekend.
 
Kim
Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Hurricane frequency list #1

With the approach of Irma, the strongest Atlantic Basin hurricane ever measured, activity has picked up on many frequencies clear into UHF, if not microwave.  Emergency activity should greatly increase as the US prepares for the storm, and contact is made with hard-hit Caribbean islands. Major evacuations are already starting, especially in the Florida Keys.

All this has contributed to a pretty decent hurricane frequency list. It gets longer daily.  Keep in mind that every frequency on here has been heard and verified to have hurricane activity, or at least ALE soundings by relevant stations, in Harvey and/or Irma.  It's still not the longest list around, but it's probably one of the best.

Hopefully solar flares that have disrupted HF will abate in coming days, as the responsible sunspot region rotates off the visible disk and becomes some other planet's problem.

===========================

3345.0    (ALE) USACE
3592.5    Digital H&W
3873.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES
3910.0    (LSB) Central Texas Emergency
3935.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES Health & Welfare
3955.0    (LSB) South Texas Emergency
3975.0    (LSB) Texas RACES Alternate / H&W alternate
4490.0    (ALE) SHARES
5158.0    MARS A4A Net, request for comm teams
5400.0    (ALE) USACE
5732.0    (ALE) COTHEN
5760.0    (ALE) SHARES
5896.5    SHARES night primary / Coordination Nets
5909.5    (ALE) COTHEN
6020.0    (ALE) USACE
6785.0    (ALE) USACE
6910.0    SHARES Region 6 Hurricane net
7095.0    Digital H&W
7240.0    (LSB) Texas Emergency
7248.0    (LSB) Texas RACES Primary
7250.0    (LSB) Texas Emergency
7268.0    (LSB) Hurricane Watch Net Alternate
7273.0    (LSB) Texas ARES Alternate
7285.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES Emergency Day
7290.0    (LSB) South Texas ARES Health & Welfare
7290.0    (LSB) 0700-2100 local tfc net, night 3975
7302.0    AF MARS Region 6
7391.5    (ALE) SHARES
7457.0    AF MARS Region 4
7527.0    (ALE) COTHEN
7991.0    (ALE) SHARES
8912.0    (ALE) COTHEN
9106.0    (ALE) SHARES
9122.5    (ALE) USACE
10242.0    (ALE) COTHEN
10493.0    (ALE) USACE
10588.0    (ALE) FEMA
10821.0    Digital H&W
11108.0    (ALE) FEMA
11426.5    (ALE) SHARES
11494.0    (ALE) COTHEN
11693.5    (ALE) USACE
12222.0    (ALE) COTHEN
13312.0    (ALE) COTHEN
13907.0    (ALE) COTHEN
14325.0    Hurricane Watch Net
14396.5    SHARES day primary
14411.0    AF MARS Mission Support Net
14582.0    (ALE) COTHEN
14928.5    (ALE) SHARES
15867.0    (ALE) COTHEN
16077.0    (ALE) USACE
16382.0    (ALE) USACE
17458.5    (ALE) SHARES
18594.0    (ALE) COTHEN
20890.0    (ALE) COTHEN
23214.0    (ALE) COTHEN

Biggest solar flare in years causes short wave fadeouts

At 1200 UTC on 6 Sept 2017, an X9.3 solar flare took place in active region 2673. This is the biggest solar flare of Cycle 24, not to mention the biggest in at least ten years.  In the last few days, this region has also produced a smaller X class flare, and several of M class.  It has also been active enough to run the daily solar flux up to 140 yesterday, though it has declined to "only" 133 today.  15 meters has good propagation in the Western Hemisphere.

Today's major radio fadeout effects took place in Europe, which was on the sunlit side of the planet at the time.  The fadeout was severe, and long lasting.  It affected frequencies all the way up to low band VHF.

A number of highly geoeffective coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are in transit to this planet, and a significant magnetic storm is likely at any time.  This could cause some pretty impressive aurora, though the moon is rather bright at present.  Auroral propagation chasers should be ready.

This activity is more evidence that solar flares are not limited to the peaks of cycles.  The active region, which is huge, comes pretty close to the bottom (and end) of Cycle 24.


Saturday, September 02, 2017

Basic Harvey Frequency List #2

For a long time, my "official" hurricane list on the web site has been somewhat dated.  It's not so much due to space comm as to the fact that the cell phone system is becoming more robust.  It's not robust enough to replace emergency comms on the radio, but it's carried more of the load than most of us expected it to.

Harvey gives an opportunity to see what's still active.  So far, amateur and COTHEN have been busy at times. The following frequencies are confirmed as active at one time or another on Harvey:

3592.50      Digital H&W
3873.00      (LSB) South Texas ARES
3910.00      (LSB) Central Texas Emergency
3935.00      (LSB) South Texas ARES Health & Welfare
3955.00      (LSB) South Texas Emergency
3975.00      (LSB) Texas RACES Alternate / H&W alternate
5158.00      MARS A4A Net, request for comm teams
5732.00      (ALE) COTHEN
5896.50      SHARES night primary
5909.50      (ALE) COTHEN
6910.00      SHARES Region 6 Hurricane net
7095.00      Digital H&W
7240.00      (LSB) Texas Emergency
7248.00      (LSB) Texas RACES Primary
7250.00      (LSB) Texas Emergency
7268.00      (LSB) Hurricane Watch Net Alternate
7273.00      (LSB) Texas ARES Alternate
7285.00      (LSB) South Texas ARES Emergency Day
7290.00      (LSB) South Texas ARES Health & Welfare
7290.00      (LSB) 0700-2100 local tfc net, night 3975
7527.00      (ALE) COTHEN
8912.00      (ALE) COTHEN
10242.00    (ALE) COTHEN
11108.00    (ALE) FEMA
11494.00    (ALE) COTHEN
12222.00    (ALE) COTHEN
13312.00    (ALE) COTHEN
13907.00    (ALE) COTHEN
14325.00    Hurricane Watch Net
14396.50    SHARES day primary
14582.00    (ALE) COTHEN
15867.00    (ALE) COTHEN
17458.50    (ALE) SHARES
18594.00    (ALE) COTHEN
20890.00    (ALE) COTHEN
23214.00    (ALE) COTHEN

Thursday, August 31, 2017

USCG, etc., on COTHEN (and air tracking) #4

4-number calls were detected by a listener on Mode-S or ADS-B; I forget which.  The rest were heard on COTHEN. All are strongly believed to be involved in some kind of operations for Harvey. A number of those Rxxxxx National Guard helicopters are also involved, but tail numbers don't show up on TV well enough to match up with those heard on-air.

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

002    USCG HC-130J #2002, Elizabeth City
003    USCG HC-130J #2003, Elizabeth City
007    USCG HC-130J #2007, Elizabeth City
503    USCG HC-130H #1503, Clearwater
6510   USCG MH-65D #6510, CGAS Miami
6525   USCG MH-65D #6525, Jacksonville, FL
6540   USCG MH-65D #6540, Miami FL
6542   USCG MH-65D #6542, Miami FL
6543   USCG MH-65D #6543, Traverse City
6551   USCG MH-65D #6551, Florida
6553   USCG MH-65D #6553, Florida
6554   USCG MH-65D #6554, Corpus Christi, TX
6565   USCG MH-65D #6565, ATC Mobile, AL
6574   USCG MH-65D #6574, CGAS North Bend
6576   USCG MH-65D #6576, New Orleans ,LA
6582   USCG MH-65D #6582, Detroit
6584   USCG MH-65D #6584, ATC Mobile, AL
6591   USCG MH-65D #6591, ATC Mobile, AL

CNT    CBP US Central Communications Node
DOJ    USCGC Benjamin Dailey (WPC 1123), last posn is Galveston
J01    USCG MH-60T #6001, ATC Mobile
J09    USCG MH-60T #6009, Clearwater
J12    USCG MH-60T #6012, Clearwater
J15    USCG MH-60T #6015, Elizabeth City
J25    USCG MH-60T #6025, ATC Mobile
J26    USCG MH-60T #6026, Clearwater
J31    USCG MH-60T #6031, Clearwater or E-City
J36    USCG MH-60T #6036, Clearwater
J38    USCG MH-60T #6038, CGAS Elizabeth City
J42    USCG MH-60T #6042, CGAS Cape Cod
J46    USCG MH-60T #6046, ATC Mobile
K11    USCG MH-65D #6511, Traverse City
K81    USCG MH-65D #6581, CGAS Houston
LNT    USCG COMMCOM, VA
N02    USCG HC-144A #2302, CGAS Miami
N03    USCG HC-144A #2303, CGAS Miami
N05    USCG HC-144A #2305, CGAS Miami
N09    USCG HC-144A #2309, CGAS Miami
N10    USCG HC-144A #2310, CGAS Miami
N13    USCG HC-144A #2313, Mobile, AL
N14    USCG HC-144A #2314, CGAS Corpus Christi
N15    USCG HC-144A #2315, CGAS Miami
P21    USCG COTHEN Remote Command Console, ATC Mobile, AL
TGT    USCGC Sturgeon (WPB 87336), Grand Isle, LA
TSC    COTHEN Technical Service Center, Orlando, FL
Z18    USCG Sector Houston-Galveston

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

USCG Harvey activity on COTHEN #3



All heard on the air Tuesday

003                 USCG HC-130J #2003, Elizabeth City
503                 USCG C-130 #1503, Clearwater
DOJ                USCGC Benjamin Dailey (WPC 1123), Galveston
J01                  USCG MH-60T #6001, ATC Mobile
J09                  USCG MH-60T #6009, Clearwater
J26                  USCG MH-60T #6026, Clearwater
K11                 USCG MH-65D #6511, CGAS Miami
K81                 USCG MH-65D #6581, CGAS New Orleans
LNT                USCG COMMCOM, VA
N02                 USCG HC-144A #2302, CGAS Miami
N05                 USCG HC-144A #2305, CGAS Miami
N09                 USCG HC-144A #2309, CGAS Miami
N10                 USCG HC-144A #2310, CGAS Miami
N13                 USCG HC-144A #2313, Mobile, AL
N14                 USCG HC-144A #2314, CGAS Corpus Christi
N15                 USCG HC-144A #2315, CGAS Miami
P21                  USCG COTHEN Remote Command Console, ATC Mobile, AL
TSC                 COTHEN Technical Service Center, Orlando, FL
Z18                  USCG Sector Houston-Galveston