Tuesday, November 28, 2006

HFDL Winter Frequencies

ARINC (Aeronautical Radio, Inc.) is changing some of its HFDL frequencies for the winter propagation season. We have reports that a new system table was broadcast last weekend, but we don't have it yet. PC-HFDL has been updating itself. The Barrow station has been reported on 8936 kHz.

More when the table becomes available.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's Antarctica Time!

This is a good time of year to listen for Antarctica, because it's spring down there, and various people and agencies are setting up for summer, or doing yearly maintenance of equipment.

Here's a cool, in fact probably downright cold, Antarctica blog. It's by David Ruth, a sculptor who has received an NSF grant to study ice textures and forms. He's a good writer/photographer, and this should be an outstanding blog all season.

A relatively up-to-date list of Antarctic HF frequencies is on the Utility World Web site.

Those who like to copy Chilean Navy FAX charts of the Antarctic zone just south of their country will recognize this one in the November 20 blog entry. The copy is sure better than what I get up here in California, but then they're a heck of a lot closer.

When I get them, they look like this, if I'm lucky:



Playa Ancha Radio broadcasts the weather faxes on 4228, 8677, and 17146.4 kHz. Here's the schedule as of 2003. Some times have shifted slightly:

1115 SURFACE ANALYSIS
1130 SATELLITE IMAGE
1630 SURFACE ANALYSIS
1645 SATELLITE IMAGE
1915 SIGNIFICANT WAVE MAP (MTS)
1930 SATELLITE IMAGE
2200 SURFACE ANALYSIS
2215 ICE REPORT
2230 12HR WINDS BARB ISOTACHS FORECAST
2310 12HR SURFACE FORECAST
2325 SATELLITE IMAGE

More info here (in Spanish)

Yes, one of the transmission periods has QRM from USCG COMMSTA New Orleans.

You can also download the Chilean Navy surface chart and satellite image here. The page is in Spanish, but it's intuitive. It's not as much fun as copying them off the air, but at least you'll finally see what's in all those itty bitty letters that never show up.

You know you're a utility monitor if...

I've been adding to Tom Sevart's hilarious list, which is here.

So far I have:

You not only know what WUN stood for, but why it became UDXF.
You actually look for stations sending 9th-pulse LORAN-C.
You can identify particular Cuban numbers transmitters by their respective technical flaws.
You miss those voice loops that began "This is a test transmission for circuit adjustment purposes..."
You know that General Pacheco was not a character in an old western movie.
You've tried to track chirpsounders with the sweep function on the NRD-545.
You added the solar flux extension to Firefox within 24 hours of learning it existed.
You have an old audio cassette around somewhere from the last solar maximum.
You can tell the difference between military RF feedback and Globe Wireless spurs.
You know who to e-mail to get either of these fixed.
You routinely attract the interest of DX-Tuner site operators.
You remember when the WWV Geoalerts were in Morse code.
Your Google Earth placemarks are mostly antenna farms.
Your own antennas are visible on Google Earth.
You walk around gambling casinos looking for the slot machine that sounds most like XSL.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Old Stuff - Remember These?

I was going through some old logs, and found some real Deep Vault Favorites from old utes which are now long gone. Does anyone remember some of these?

(Freqs kHz, dates/times UTC)

83.5: MKL, UK Royal Air Force, Scotland, CW weather codes 5/20/88 at 0625
139.5: TBA, Turkish Navy, CW marker (T13A) 9/8/85 at 1915
464.0: SVD, Athens Radio, Greece, CW marker, 1/12/86 at 1720
484.0: 4XO, Haifa Radio, Israel, CW traffic list, 1/16/86 at 0227
500.0: EAS, Cabo Penas Radio, Spain, CW CQ and XXX (Securite), 1/16/85 at 0148
500.0: SVA, Athens Radio, CW Navarea warnings, 1/25/86 at 1986
1620.0: WKND, "Weekend Radio," pirate AM broadcast, 5/7/89 at 0400
2310.0: Stn identifying "VL8A, Alice Springs, Australia" in USB, 4/9/89 at 1010
2325.0: 72JKL, Spanish Navy (13RG), calling 78EAL in CW, 12/4/85 at 1840
2614.0: DAM, Nordeich Radio, Germany, CW time signals, 3/14/85 at 2355
3000.0: Unid, Mexican Army AM traffic in Radiogramma format, 2/1/88 at 0433
3081.0: CUW, USAF Lajes Tower, working 8-L-F and J-9-0, 1/20/88 at 0750
3109.0: USN? Raspberry Pensacola working Spartan, 3/3/87 at 0038
3186.0: KWS78, US Embassy, Greece, CW markers, 7/4/85 at 2130
3191.0: CIA Counting Station (E5), callup 133 and 4F message, 6/27/85 at 1901
3287.0: CKN, Canadian Forces (C13E), NAWS marker, 7/14/87 at 0416
3366.0: "PUMA," Mexican Army radiogrammas, whistle roger, 2/1/88 at 0500
3379.0: WGY912, FEMA, VA, nightly coded msg in slow CW //4780.5, 7/14/87 at 0420
3977.3: RAN, Moscow, point-to-point USB circuit adjustment loop, 12/14/85 at 1044
4063.0: "Fairsea" cruise ship patching to KMI High Seas on 4357.4, 12/31/87 at 0649
4131.2: "Fairsea," patching to WOM High Seas, 11/10/87 at 0448
4268.0: CKN, Canadian Forces (C13E), CW marker, 11/10/87 at 0517
4623.0: NGR, CW NUKO DE NAR/NGR/NRK/GXH/AOK bcst, 6/30/85 at 1400
4765.0: Unid-Cuban AM "R. Mayak" relay in Russian, 1/5/88 at 0638
4902.7: KKN44, US State Dept/CIA, Liberia, CW marker, 8/19/88 at 0543
4910.0: Clandestine "V. of the People of Kampuchea," s/on, 5/14/89 at 1100
4956.5: KKN39, US State Dept, CW marker, 1/22/87 at 0711
5560.0: "R. Venceremos," FMLN clandestine, 4/11/85 at 0500
5565.0: "R. Quince de Septiembre," CIA clandestine, 4/24/85 0500
5744.0: VOA B8E feeder, Greenville, separate programs, 5/3/88 at 0345
6509.5: "Kamchatskiy" Phone patch operator 1/22/87 at 0646
6510.0: Unid Russian AM, lots of shouting, possible USSR railroad, 3/6/87 at 0602
6802.0: Lowest of old Russian cluster (MX), C, F, slow K, O, L
6890.0: USB Russian broadcast feeder, 2/11/89 at 0421
6925.4: KKN50, US State Dept, CW marker, 10/27/87 at 0711
6995.0: VOA B8E feeder, 5/3/88 at 0325
8989.0: Old GCCS, USN Goldeagle patch to USAF McClellan, 7/31/89 at 2232
9070.0: Australian School of the Air law lecture, USB, 10/28/87 at 0625
9940.0: "La Voz del CID," CIA clandestine, harmonic on 29820, 4/23/88 at 0000
10235.0: VOA B8E feeder, Greenville, 6/2/88 at 0020
10400.0: R. Free Europe B8E feeder, 4/16/88 0724
13267.0: "2V," Russian MI CW net, coded messages, probably Afghanistan, 3/9/89 0656
13372.5: NGR, CW "NUKO DE NMN/NAM/NRK/NGR/NAR/GXH/" 1/7/86 at 0900
13900.0: USAF Abnormal 10, working aircraft, 4/17/87 at 1721
14526.0: VOA B8E feeder, Dixon, 7/15/88 at 2121
14638.0: VOA daily RTTY NX "American Republic File," 1/8/88
14850.0: Russian B8E R. Orbita feeder, 5/11/88 at 0314
15623.5: Pago Pago, Samoa, point-to-point, 11/12/77 at 1810
18756.0: JPA24, INTERPOL, Tokyo, working HSG, Thailand, CW, 11/8/87 at 0023
29745.0: Mexican hotel private FM telephone circuit, whistle-idle, 7/4/88
29790.0: Mexican hotel private FM telephone circuit, whistle-idle, 7/4/88
29835.0: Mexican hotel private FM telephone circuit, whistle-idle, 7/4/88

Friday, November 10, 2006

Auroral Storm in Progress 11/10

Enhanced solar wind and a southward Bz have caused aurora and attendant K indices of 6. Aurora has been bright in the Northern US. Pictures of this and the recent Transit of Mercury are at SpaceWeather.com.

Pacific Joint Task Force Exercise Begins

Two US Navy carrier strike groups are joining a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) that began November 8 off Southern California. For a real good description of the exercise, with participating units, go to our MT Milcom Blog.