Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Air Recon Taskings for Hurricane Alex 30 June

000
NOUS42 KNHC 291430 COR
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1030 AM EDT TUE 29 JUNE 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 30/1100Z JUNE TO 01/1100Z JULY 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-029..CORRECTION

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. FLIGHT ONE - TEAL 72
A. 30/1800,2100, 01/0000Z
B. AFXXX 1201A ALEX
C. 30/1445Z
D. 24.9N 96.2W
E. 30/1630Z TO 01/0000Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO - TEAL 70....CORRECTED
A. 01/0300,0600,0900Z
B. AFXXX 1301A ALEX
C. 30/2345Z
D. 25.3N 97.0W
E. 01/0130Z TO 01/0900Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

HURRICANE Alex Advisory #18

000
WTNT31 KNHC 300231
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
HURRICANE ALEX ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
1000 PM CDT TUE JUN 29 2010

...ALEX BECOMES THE FIRST HURRICANE OF THE 2010 SEASON AND THE FIRST JUNE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SINCE 1995...


SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.1N 94.8W
ABOUT 195 MI...315 KM ESE OF LA PESCA MEXICO
ABOUT 255 MI...415 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 9 MPH...15 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...973 MB...28.73 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF TEXAS SOUTH OF BAFFIN BAY TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE
* THE COAST OF MEXICO FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE TO LA CRUZ

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IN IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF TEXAS FROM BAFFIN BAY TO PORT OCONNOR
* THE COAST OF MEXICO SOUTH OF LA CRUZ TO CABO ROJO

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE ALEX WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 23.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 94.8 WEST. ALEX HAS MOVED MOSTLY WESTWARD NEAR 9 MPH...15 KM/HR...OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS BUT A GENERAL WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF ALEX WILL APPROACH THE COAST OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO OR SOUTHERN TEXAS ON WEDNESDAY AND MAKE LANDFALL IN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA LATE WEDNESDAY OR WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ALEX IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST PRIOR TO LANDFALL. ALEX WILL BEGIN TO WEAKEN AFTER ITS CENTER CROSSES THE COASTLINE.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 15 MILES...30 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER PLANE WAS 973 MB...28.73 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 20 INCHES. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES... ESPECIALLY IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. RAINBANDS ASSOCIATED WITH ALEX ARE SPREADING ONSHORE IN NORTHEASTERN MEXICO AND SOUTHERN TEXAS.

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE COAST WITHIN THE HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREAS BEGINNING LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY WEDNESDAY...MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

STORM SURGE...A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL. THE SURGE COULD PENETRATE INLAND AS FAR AS SEVERAL MILES FROM THE SHORE WITH DEPTH GENERALLY DECREASING AS THE WATER MOVES INLAND. NEAR THE COAST... THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

TORNADOES...ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF EXTREME SOUTHERN TEXAS ON WEDNESDAY.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...100 AM CDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...400 AM CDT.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/BERG

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Short Wave Radio Figures In Yet Another Spy Bust

From CBS News:

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, June 28, 2010

FBI: 10 Russian Spies Arrested in U.S.

Suspects, Arrested in Four States, Were Highly-Trained Spies Seeking Access to "Policy-Making Circles," FBI Says

[...]

Eight of the 10 arrested were "carrying out long-term, 'deep-cover' assignments" the FBI said, while two had lesser roles in the Russian intelligence program. The arrests took place Sunday in Montclair, N.J., Yonkers, N.Y., Manhattan, Boston, and Arlington, Va.

[...]

The court papers describe the defendants' communicating with purported Russian agents using a method not previously described in espionage cases here: by establishing a short-range wireless network between laptop computers of the agents and sending encrypted messages between the computers while they were near each other.

[...]

The complaint states that such agents - known as "illegals" - are highly trained in "foreign languages; agent-to-agent communications, including the use of brush-passes; short-wave radio operation and invisible writing; the use of codes and ciphers, including the use of encrypted Morse code messages; the creation and use of a cover profession; counter-surveillance measures" and more.

Here are the links to the full FBI criminal complaints (pdf):

Complaint 1
Complaint 2

Monday, June 28, 2010

Air Recon Taskings for T.S. Alex 28-29 June

000
NOUS42 KNHC 271500 COR
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1100 AM EDT SUN 27 JUNE 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z JUNE 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-027 CORRECTION

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL STORM ALEX
FLIGHT ONE - NOAA 49
A. 29/0000Z
B. NOAA9 0601A ALEX
C. 28/1730Z..........CORRECTED
D. NA
E. NA
F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO - TEAL 70
A. 29/0000, 0600Z
B. AFXXX 0701A ALEX
C. 28/2030Z
D. 21.1N 93.4W
E. 28/2300Z TO 29/0600Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT THREE - TEAL 71
A. 29/1200, 1800Z
B. AFXXX 0801A ALEX
C. 29/0845Z
D. 21.8N 94.2W
E. 29/1100Z TO 29/1800Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES.
POSSIBLE G-IV FLIGHT FOR 30/0000Z.

3. REMARKS: NOAA 42 WILL BE DOING RESEARCH FLIGHTS INTO
ALEX WITH TAKEOFFS EVERY 12 HRS FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS.
(28/0800Z, 28/2000Z ETC.) OPERATING ALTITUDE 12,000 FT.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP


000
NOUS42 KNHC 281430
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1030 AM EDT MON 28 JUNE 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 29/1100Z TO 30/1100Z JUNE 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-028

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL STORM ALEX
FLIGHT ONE - NOAA 49
A. 30/0000Z
B. NOAA9 0901A ALEX
C. 29/1730Z
D. NA
E. NA
F. 41,000 TO 45,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO - TEAL 70
A. 30/0000,0300,0600Z
B. AFXXX 1001A ALEX
C. 29/2200Z
D. 23.5N 94.2W
E. 29/2330Z TO 30/0600Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT THREE - TEAL 71
A. 30/0900,1200,1500Z
B. AFXXX 1101A ALEX
C. 30/0700Z
D. 24.1N 95.3W
E. 30/0830Z TO 30/1500Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 3-HRLY FIXES.
POSSIBLE G-IV MISSION FOR 01/0000Z.

3. REMARKS: NOAA 42 WILL BE DOING RESEARCH FLIGHTS INTO
ALEX WITH TAKEOFFS EVERY 12 HRS FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS.
(29/0800Z, 29/2000Z THROUGH 30/0800Z) OPERATING
ALTITUDE 12,000 FT.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

T.S. Alex Public Advisory #12A

000
WTNT31 KNHC 281736
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM ALEX INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 12A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012010
100 PM CDT MON JUN 28 2010

...ALEX MOVING SLOWLY NORTH-NORTHWEST WITH NO CHANGE IN STRENGTH...

SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...20.3N 91.7W
ABOUT 85 MI...135 KM WNW OF CAMPECHE MEXICO
ABOUT 535 MI...860 KM SE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...990 MB...29.23 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF TEXAS SOUTH OF BAFFIN BAY TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE
* THE COAST OF MEXICO FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE TO LA CRUZ

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED STATES...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE UNITED STATES...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ALEX WAS LOCATED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT NEAR LATITUDE 20.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 91.7 WEST. ALEX HAS MOVED LITTLE OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS...BUT IS EXPECTED TO RESUME MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST AT AROUND 5 MPH...7 KM/HR...LATER TODAY. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS FORECAST ON TUESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 60 MPH...95 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AND ALEX IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE ON TUESDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM FROM THE CENTER.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY THE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT WAS 990 MB...29.23 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...ALEX IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES OVER THE YUCATAN PENINSULA... SOUTHERN MEXICO...AND THE NORTHERN PORTIONS OF GUATEMALA THROUGH TUESDAY. ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER MOUNTAINOUS AREAS. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

HEAVY RAINS COULD REACH THE COASTAL AREAS OF TAMAULIPAS...NORTHERN VERACRUZ...AND SOUTH TEXAS TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY.

WIND...TROPICAL-STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO APPROACH THE COAST WITHIN THE HURRICANE WATCH AREA DURING THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY... MAKING OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...400 PM CDT.

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Air Recon Taskings for T.S. Alex 27-28 June

000
NOUS42 KNHC 251415
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1015 AM EDT FRI 25 JUNE 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 26/1100Z TO 27/1100Z JUNE 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-025

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (WESTERN CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE - TEAL 70
A. 26/1800Z
B. AFXXX 0301A CYCLONE
C. 26/1400Z
D. 18.5N 86.5W
E. 26/1630Z TO 26/2100Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: BEGIN 6-HRLY FIXES
AT 28/1200Z IF THE SYSTEM SURVIVES OVERLAND.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

000
NOUS42 KNHC 261430
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1030 AM EDT SAT 26 JUNE 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 27/1100Z TO 28/1100Z JUNE 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-026

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL STORM ALEX
FLIGHT ONE - TEAL 70
A. 28/0000, 0600Z
B. AFXXX 0401A ALEX
C. 27/2100Z
D. 20.5N 91.0W
E. 27/2300Z TO 28/0600Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO - TEAL 71
A. 28/1200, 1800Z
B. AFXXX 0501A ALEX
C. 28/0900Z
D. 22.0N 92.5W
E. 28/1100Z TO 28/1800Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES
IF ALEX REMAINS A THREAT.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

K6KPH to Transmit Field Day Bulletin

Anyone who's operated Field Day (currently in progress) knows the importance of copying the annual ARRL Field Day Message. This is broadcast in CW and digital modes. Field Day clubs and stations earn extra points for submitting an accurate copy with their contest entries.

K6KPH, the MRHS amateur station, will once again be the west coast outlet for the Field Day bulletin message.

The Maritime Radio Historical Society station K6KPH will transmit
the W1AW Field Day 2010 bulletin for the benefit of West Coast
stations on 3.5815, 7.0475, 14.0475, 18.0975 and 21.0675 MHz using
CW.

K6KPH will transmit the Field Day bulletin using Baudot, FEC AMTOR,
BPSK31 and MFSK16 on 7.095 and 14.095 MHz.

K6KPH Field Day Bulletin Schedule

Mode Pacific Mountain Central Eastern

CW 7:30 AM 8:30 AM 9:30 AM 10:30 AM
Digital 9:30 AM 10:30 AM 11:30 AM 12:30 AM

For full information about Field Day see the ARRL Web site at:

http://www.arrl.org/field-day

Richard Dillman
Chief Operator, Coast Station KSM
Maritime Radio Historical Society
http://www.radiomarine.org

Friday, June 25, 2010

RSGB Responds on PLT/PLC Report

The Radio Society of Great Britain has posted the following response to inquiries about its position on the recently published consulting report regarding the electromagnetic compatibility issues surrounding home power line communications in the UK.

This discussion is on the UK QRM group on Yahoo. From the start, this group has played a key role in the discussion of this issue among hams and SWLs in the United Kingdom. It was started by long time Utility World contributor Mike in West Sussex, who has hung in there despite personal tragedies which would have defeated lesser people.

Given the context, we should best regard this as a semi off the record statement. Here you go:
I have seen several requests here for a comment from someone in RSGB on all this.

In the GB2RS script for this week should be the following:

Ofcom has this week published its long-awaited report "The Likelihood and Extent of Radio Frequency Interference from In-Home PLT Devices" This 156 page report assesses the likelihood of interference to various users of the radio spectrum over the next decade. The main conclusion is that action is needed to reduce the interference footprint of PLT devices. This action could take various forms, and the Society is considering the report in detail prior to initiating discussions with Ofcom about the follow-on actions it intends to take. We expect the position to become clearer over the next few weeks and months.

As background, there are a number of issues to consider about the report's recommendations, not the least is whether Ofcom has accepted them! Beyond that there are questions about the effectiveness of the mitigation measures which PA recommend, and whether they go anywhere near meeting the essential requirements of the EMCD.

RSGB is considering all these matters, and will make its views known in due course.

Don, G3BJ

Thursday, June 24, 2010

UK Ofcom Publishes Key PLT/PLC Report

A long-awaited report from PA Consulting Group, as commissioned by the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom), has been released.

The report is entitled "The Likelihood and Extent of Radio Frequency Interference from In-Home PLT Devices." It carries a publication date of "21 June 2010."

This is a dense, highly detailed document with 156 pages. However, its conclusions are clearly written and easy to understand.

Basically, if nothing changes in the design of the home network adapters sold to the public, the UK can expect significant degradation of many radio systems and some hardwired services such as DSL, by 2020. Affected radio comm spectrum would include nearly all of HF outside amateur bands, and most of VHF.

PA, however, remains hopeful that design changes can reduce such interference.

Here are the most relevant parts from the conclusions in the summary at the beginning. Those wanting to read more and make their own conclusions can get the entire document at this link.

Page 1:

1 Executive summary

Power Line Telecommunications (PLT) devices are used for data distribution in the home

Power Line Telecommunications (PLT) is the collective term for various forms of communication over wiring used for supplying electricity (termed the 'mains' wiring throughout this report). The most recent developments in PLT devices address the consumer market for in home connectivity as an alternative to WiFi or data cabling. It is these in-home PLT devices that are the specific focus of this study. In-home PLT devices are growing in popularity and, in particular, their use in BT Vision installations in the UK has made the UK one of the biggest users of in-home PLT devices in Europe.

Ofcom has received complaints of interference caused by PLT devices and has requested this study The majority of PLT devices on the market today operate at HF frequencies and, while they are not intended to radiate, there is evidence of interference to other HF users which has resulted in a number of complaints to Ofcom. While most of these complaints have been resolved, Ofcom is concerned that the problem may grow as the number of PLT devices deployed increases over time. Higher data rate PLT devices operating up to 300MHz have also started to emerge in the UK market and so potential interference at VHF is also a concern.

Ofcom has asked PA to assess the likelihood and impact of RF interference from in-home PLT devices over the next 5 to 10 years.

Our results show that users of sensitive radio systems may increasingly suffer interference from PLT devices

In this study we have taken a statistical approach to quantifying the probability of interference occurring as PLT devices become more commonplace. We have concluded that if uptake increases in line with our market forecasts, there will be a high probability of interference to some existing spectrum users at both HF and VHF by 2020 if PLT device features do not change from those currently implemented.

However, within this timescale, in addition to the existing practice of notching International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) bands, interference mitigation features such as power control and smart notching are expected to have been implemented in PLT devices. Our results indicate that the introduction of these features will be enough to reduce interference to negligible levels in the majority of these cases. The exception to this is the safety critical aeronautical bands which we recommend are notched by default rather than by smart notching. [Smart notching only responds to very strong and persistent signals like SWBC, not weak USB comm. -Hugh]

And Page 3:

It is important that mitigating features are implemented in future PLT devices.

The majority of PLT devices in the UK to date have been issued as part of the BT Vision package; however, there is churn in this market, and it should not be assumed that the existing installed base is traceable or could be updated to incorporate these features. We do however assume that the current practice of PLT devices being upgraded in cases where they have been identified by Ofcom as sources of interference will continue and ensure that the existing installed base is gradually replaced where needed.

While power control and smart notching are already part of the product roadmaps of the PLT vendors that we consulted as part of this study, we recommend that where possible the introduction of these features is formalised to ensure that their introduction can be relied upon.

CAP Comm Exercise Postponed Until Fall

This post comes from Tom, DL8AAM, via the UDXF list:

Larry,

FYI, just got an email from Michael regarding the planned CAP ALE-exer mentioned on your blog on http://mt-milcom.blogspot.com

> > Actually, because of another major CAP Communications activity,
> > I have deferred that exercise to the fall. (...)

73, Tom

Meanwhile, here's what I have on CAP so far this month:

ALE address has two formats:
NNNN+SS+CAP
NNN+RRR+CAP
Where
N = figure 0-9
S = letter in US postal code for state
R = letter in abbreviation of CAP region
CAP = US Civil Air Patrol

Stations copied:

0004AZCAP
0004NVCAP
0008WICAP
0011ARCAP
0011CACAP
0011NVCAP
0100NDCAP
0112GACAP
0135ORCAP
0140NVCAP
0303WACAP
030PCRCAP
0323AZCAP
0327COCAP
043MERCAP
060PCRCAP
0708NVCAP
100SWRCAP
9101ORCAP

MER = Middle Eastern Region
PCR = Pacific Coast Region
SWR = Southwest Region

Frequencies heard (kHz; USB ALE):

4477, 5006, 6806, 7602, 8012, 9047, 10162, 11402, 12081, 13415, 14357, 15602, 17412, 19814, 29894

All transmissions were soundings.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Correction to Vietnamese Numbers Post

The information concerning language and translation in the previous post regarding the Vietnamese numbers station has been double and triple checked and is as accurate as I can get it.

I wish I could say the same for the frequency and time log. I copied some stuff off a file name I'd given the recording, and made a major boo-boo. [Red face.]

Yes, the frequency is 10255, same one they always use. And the time is around 1600 UTC, 9 AM PDT, same slot as always. Actually, Token out on the desert has a 1604 start for this one, and there's no reason not to believe him, since I don't believe I ever put a time in my log.

Sorry about that. Thanks to Original Token for pointing out this rather embarrassing mess up. It's been changed in the previous post.

Vietnamese Numbers Translated!

A native Vietnamese speaker, who has worked as a translator in the United States, has listened to my recording of the 10255 kHz ~1600 UTC "numbers" station.

This translation contains some new information. It also corroborates other details that were posted to the ENIGMA 2000 group.

Here's her report. Italicized numbers are for my own footnotes.

I just listened to the audio. It sounds like they were making an announcement using coding. And I don't know exactly where it comes from but it's a Northern Vietnamese voice. [1] Here's the translation:

Sơn Ca gọi Hải Đăng năm hai năm ba (x9)
"Son Ca [2] is calling Hai Dang [3] 5253"

Số điện sông năm tám hai hai (x3)
"Phone number: 05822" [4]

Số nhóm bảy một (x3)
"Number of groups: 71" [5]

Ngày [?] ba chín số một trong (once)
"Date: 3/9/2010" [6]

Nội dung của đầu (x3)
"Content's beginning:"

[message in 5F groups, no repeat] 05711 21249 05433 56985.....12289

Sơn Ca gọi Hải Đăng năm năm năm eigh
"Son Ca is calling Hai Dang 5558." [7]

[1] The translator used by an ENIGMA 2000 member also said the voice was in a Northern dialect.

[2] Possibilities:
Đảo Sơn Ca, an island in the South China Sea.
Generic for Cay or Key (small island in a group).
Popular Vietnamese record label.
Someone's name, perhaps a singer.

[3] Google translates Hải Đăng as "Lighthouse."

[4] She translated it as "phone number." A colloquialism? Or is it really a standard "numbers" callup signifying a group or message router?

[5] There are indeed 71 groups in the message. I counted. Twice.

[6] This transmission was recorded on March 18, 2010. This is a further indicator that recorded broadcasts are repeated on subsequent days until the message changes.

[7] You have to listen carefully, and the number at the end really is different than the one at the beginning. I wonder if this is true for other broadcasts.

US Civil Air Patrol Frequencies

Here's what I have for the CAP on ALE. A star (*) designates ones that I have heard as active in the past couple of months.

3204.0
4477.0 *
5711.0
6806.0 *
7602.0 *
8012.0 *
8294.0
9047.0 *
10162.0 *
11402.0 *
12081.0 *
13442.0
20107.0
25571.0

Most CAP ALE addresses are 4 figures + 2-letter state postal abbreviation + CAP. If the transmitter is a region station, the 3-letter abbreviation for the region is used instead of the state postal code. Ones copied here include MER (Middle Eastern Retion), PCR (Pacific Coast Region), and SWR (Southwest Region).

Civil Air Patrol Exercise Soon

The CAP is apparently going to have a radio communication exercise at a time to be announced immediately before it commences, sometime between now and July 4th.

See Larry Van Horn's excellent MT Milcom blog for the full story.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SAQ VLF Alternator Transmissions Are July 4

This year's "Alexanderson Day" transmissions will be Sunday, July 4, at 0900 and 1200 UTC. Transmitter tune-up will start a half hour sooner.

As always, the frequency is 17.2 kHz (not MHz), in CW, from Grimeton Radio in Sweden, callsign SAQ.

The transmitter is a vintage Alexanderson RF alternator. This is a type of AC generator once used around the world to replace "King Spark" right before vacuum tubes replaced everything. The 200 kW or so go to a truly majestic wire antenna on huge towers. The signal is audible worldwide with the right equipment (though that is saying a lot).

A WebSDR receiver that successfully receives other European signals (mostly military) in this low range is at: http://websdr.pa3weg.nl/. Its location gives an excellent chance of hearing SAQ.

The full announcement, with QSL information, is here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New E-Mail Address for Utility World **IMPORTANT**

TO ALL SHIPS AND STATIONS
FLASH OVERRIDE

In the previous week or so, my e-mail address has been barraged with hundreds of spam messages per day, all forwarding from my column's "official" mail drop at monitoringtimes.com. On any given day, 10-20 of these will have viruses attached. Most of the others are phishing or links to malware.

In order to keep Utility World functioning at all for the continued benefit of our hobby, it is now necessary for me to put in a hard block of the entire monitoringtimes.com domain. This means that, effective immediately, no e-mail sent to my "official" column address at the magazine will ever reach me.

I am working with MT to change the e-mail address shown on my column. Due to the nature of magazine lead times, however, the change will not appear until the August issue.

Therefore, I am using other means of getting word to people whose loggings and input I value. Anyone wanting to contact Utility World can do so at this address (broken up for anti-spam):

aetherwellen-utilityworld

(common ASCII symbol meaning "a t")

yahoo.com


(Obviously you would concatenate all this together to get a standard e-mail address format. You know, like person@name.tld. One of those.)

Sorry for the inconvenience, but it had gotten so bad that no other recourse was left. It is too bad that abuse of the Internet makes it so hard for honest users to get work done.

END FLASH TRAFFIC

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Maritime CW "Night of Nights" Coming July 12!

Night of Nights will be held on 12 July 2010.

Night of Nights is the annual event of the Maritime Radio Historical Society, commemorating that sad day on 12 July 1999 when what were thought to be the last commercial Morse messages in the US were sent. However the reports of the demise of commercial Morse were exaggerated. By the next year the MRHS had restored enough of ex-RCA station KPH to hold the first Night of Nights. Since then the event has expanded to include the return to the air of not only KPH but KFS and KSM, the station of the MRHS. Other coast stations typically join us on the air. In the past these have included WLO and KLB. This year we hope that at least two US Coast Guard stations will be on the air as well.

Night of Nights is a public event. You're invited to join us at the RCA receive site in Point Reyes, CA. Special visits to the transmitter site can be arranged for "true believers". Wherever you are you can tune in to the event at 5:01pm Pacific time/0001gmt as we pick up the thread and keep the faith with all the radiotelegraph operators who came before us.

More details will be posted as Night of Nights draws near.

If you would like to receive information about Night of Nights and other MRHS activities directly just send an email to radiomarine-subscribe@yahoogroups.com .

VY 73,

RD

NWS Proposal to Remove "All Caps" Format of Products

The US National Weather Service has announced its intention to distribute text products in caps-lower case format, rather than the traditional (and somewhat unreadable) "all caps." I don't know for sure, but I suspect the text has been in ITA2 since it used to go over teletypes.

Here's the text of the announcement (all caps, of course).

NOUS41 KWBC 281715 PNSWSH

SERVICE CHANGE NOTICE 10-28
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HEADQUARTERS
WASHINGTON DC
115 PM EDT FRI MAY 28 2010

TO:
SUBSCRIBERS:
-FAMILY OF SERVICES
-NOAA WEATHER WIRE SERVICE
-EMERGENCY MANAGERS WEATHER INFORMATION NETWORK
-NOAAPORT
OTHER NWS PARTNERS...USERS AND NWS EMPLOYEES

FROM:
JASON TUELL
ACTING CHIEF
...PERFORMANCE AND AWARENESS DIVISION

SUBJECT:
USE OF UPPER AND LOWERCASE LETTERS IN NATIONAL
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS...SERVICE CHANGE AND
TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION NOTICES EFFECTIVE
AUGUST 16 2010

REFERENCE: PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT ISSUED MAY 28 2010
SOLICITING PUBLIC COMMENTS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 15 2010
ON CHANGE TO ALL NWS TEXT PRODUCTS TO USE MIXED CASE
AND EXPANDED CHARACTER SET

EFFECTIVE AUGUST 16 2010 NWS WILL BEGIN PROVIDING ALL NOTICES SUCH AS THIS ONE IN UPPER AND LOWERCASE ALPHABETIC CHARACTERS RATHER THAN ALL UPPERCASE AS IS PRESENTLY DONE. ADDITIONAL PUNCTUATION AND OTHER CHARACTERS THAT ARE PART OF THE INTERNATIONAL REFERENCE ALPHABET NO. 5 WILL ALSO BE INCLUDED IN NOTICES AS NEEDED. THIS CHANGE WILL APPLY TO PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS... SERVICE CHANGE AND TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION NOTICES WITH THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION /WMO/ HEADING OF NOUS41 KWBC AND AWIPS IDENTIFIER OF PNSWSH. THIS CHANGE EXPANDS ON A SUCCESSFUL EXPERIMENT IN WHICH JUST THE EMAIL ATTACHMENT OF NOTICES WAS SENT IN MIXED CASE.

MANY NWS PARTNERS AND USERS HAVE IDENTIFIED THE NEED FOR ALL NWS TEXT PRODUCTS TO BE PROVIDED IN MIXED CASE AND TO INCLUDE AN EXPANDED PUNCTUATION AND CHARACTER SET. INTRODUCTION OF MIXED CASE AND EXPANDED PUNCTUATION CHARACTER SET IN NATIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND CHANGE NOTICE MESSAGES ALLOWS FOR A RISK REDUCTION EFFORT USING NON-OPERATIONAL PRODUCTS. USERS OF NWS TEXT PRODUCTS WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO IDENTIFY AND CORRECT ANY ANOMALOUS BEHAVIOR OF THEIR SYSTEMS AND THEIR CUSTOMER/S SYSTEMS THAT MAY BE CAUSED BY MIXED CASE AND EXPANDED CHARACTER SET. THIS CHANGE WILL MAKE TEXT PRODUCTS EASIER TO READ AND ALLOW USERS TO CLICK ON INTERNET LINKS DIRECTLY RATHER THAN CONVERTING THEM TO LOWERCASE OR MIXED CASE.

NWS IS SEEKING COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSAL TO CHANGE ALL NWS TEXT PRODUCTS TO INCLUDE USE OF MIXED CASE AND EXPANDED CHARACTER SET. PLEASE SEE THE REFERENCED PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT SOLICITING PUBLIC COMMENTS ON CHANGE TO ALL NWS TEXT PRODUCTS TO USE MIXED CASE AND EXPANDED CHARACTER SET.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS... PLEASE CONTACT:

HERB WHITE NWS DISSEMINATION SERVICES MANAGER
1325 EAST WEST HIGHWAY SILVER SPRING MD 20910
HERBERT.WHITE@NOAA.GOV
301-713-0090 EXT. 146

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

ITU to focus on emergency communications

Business Standard, India:

2010-06-05 01:00:00

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), which after 12 days of deliberations concluded here on Friday, adopted the Hyderabad Action Plan, outlining a road map to foster the global development of information and communication technology (ICT) networks and services over the next four years with more emphasis on emergency telecommunications.

Telecommunications and ICTs also play a critical role in disaster detection, early warning, preparedness, response and recovery. The Hyderabad declaration calls upon administrations to support polices and strategies that facilitate the use of telecommunications and ICTs for disaster management, in particular radiocommunications, said ITU secretary-general Hanadoun Toure.

"ICTs can save lives and help reduce the impact of natural disasters that could impede sustainable development. ITU has played a critical role in restoring telecommunications in disaster-hit areas around the world and was one of the early responders in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this year," he added.

...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Bletchley Park WWII archive to go online

From BBC News:

Bletchley Park WWII archive to go online

By Dhruti Shah
BBC News

Millions of documents stored at the World War II code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, are set to be digitised and made available online.

Electronics company Hewlett-Packard has donated a number of scanners to the centre in Milton Keynes so volunteers can begin the ground-breaking task.

...

The centre hopes that once the work starts, previously untold stories about the role Bletchley Park played in the war, will be revealed.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Power Line Communications on agenda at ITU

From Southgate Amateur Radio Club, UK:
Power Line Communications on agenda at ITU

ITU Working Parties 1A and 1B will meet in Geneva between June 21 and 28. A major item of discussion will be protection of radio services from interference from Power Line Communications (PLC) also known as PLT or BPL.

IARU has already contributed to the ITU-R report SM2158 “ Impact of power line telecommunication systems on radiocommunication systems operating in the LF, MF, HF and VHF bands below 80 MHz“ where the acceptable criteria for degradation of the HF radio noise floor caused by PLT is defined as being 0.5dB. Work in WP1A will concentrate on the protection of radio services from the effects of PLT in range from 80 to 200MHz.

The IARU delegate to SG1 and its working parties is Peter Chadwick G3RZP: three input contributions have been prepared for this meeting. One of these is a report on the effects of intermodulation in power supplies causing the amateur band frequency notches in the PLT spectrum to be degraded: this report has been prepared from the work by Richard Marshall, G3SBA published in the RSGB RadCom magazine, and also points out the difficulty such effects could have on the PLT system itself.

A further input establishes the protection criteria for amateur stations operating in the 2 metre band: Ian White, GM3SEK contributed to this input, and it is considered that the amateur and amateur satellite services require protection such that PLT interference does not exceed -45dB m V/m in the main lobe of the antenna, with a separation between antenna and the PLT installation being at least 10 metres.

The third input is of a more general character showing that there are a number of non-amateur services that could suffer interference from PLT or its harmonics, such applications including social alarms for the elderly, pagers, medical implant telemetry, as well as broadcast, and when aggregation of radiation is concerned, aircraft navigation and communications. When the differences in range between PLT and mains leads and the social alarms and medical implant ‘base’ stations etc., are taken into account, the acceptable levels of radiation to protect the amateur services are of the same order as those needed to protect these other services.

In another posting to this club's excellent web site, VK3PC notes that "Access BPL" is for all purposes extinct in Australia. He says that it never really reached a critical mass in the market down there, and it is rapidly being abandoned for other systems.

Thankfully, a similar process seems to be at work in the USA, with the infamous Manassas system being the latest victim.

"Access BPL" differs from PLC aka PLT aka In-Home BPL in that it uses the power company's wires, which have been demonstrated to be excellent (if inadvertent) transmitting antennas. Less is known about the real-world, non-laboratory-conditions RF emission from PLC/ PLT/ In-Home BPL. This completely different system uses the house wiring to distribute high-bandwidth applications such as video on demand. Originally, wi-fi was not up to this task, though the technology is evolving rapidly.

While a bad situation has existed for some years in the UK, compounded by regulatory abdication, the problems there may or may not ever actually happen in the United States. US house wiring differs considerably from the 200-volt loops with fused plugs that are still fairly common in the UK.

Introducing the Utility Nerd

L.A. Times has a long article about a blogger in Santa Barbara, CA, who goes by "Scanner Guy." He writes rambles about stuff he hears on his police scanner.

I decided HF utility deserved its own recognition. Enter The Utility Nerd. Most of this blog's readers look for information, frequencies, and numbers, and they will continue to get these. For the rest - it's The Utility Nerd.

---------

10255 kHz has been on all day. I do my Morning Viet Nam Check daily at 9:00 AM local, 1600 UTC. (Vietnamese "Lighthouse" numbers station, USB, somewhere in SE Asia.) Actually, I do it at 1555, because this guy is always early. 1557 or 1558 are typical. (REAL Utility Nerds are obsessive-compulsive about setting clocks to WWV. There is a BIG difference between 1557 and 1558!)

Lately it's been recordings of a really wired guy who sounds as if he's in an awful hurry to get through it. Shout-out to the agency responsible for these transmissions: Get a computer voice synthesizer, OK? There have to be cheap ports of DECTalk out there. Many of us miss Perfect Paul, and you can help us here. It would also force you to broadcast in English, and I'd have less trouble trying to get "Sung hai bos, hai dang, numnum numbai" translated.

(Don't laugh, several agencies have been known to follow what we're speculating about them. Really. I wouldn't lie to you.)

Now... this Viet Nam numbers guy. Shouldn't ENIGMA be giving this thing a designator, so I can stop calling it the Vietnamese Lighthouse Station, since that's probably wrong anyway? One native speaker seems to think "Lighthouse" is actually the station/ group/ whatever being called, not the caller.

The speculation over whether this was a shipping company started largely because there was a company, vessel, or something over there called Hai Dang (Lighthouse). Well, yeah. Viet Nam is a coastal nation. It's a little skinny thing sort of like a partially deflated California, with a lot of coast. It has MANY lighthouses. Something like 80 of them.

Their culture is as big on lighthouses as ours is. You know, we have a lot of references to lighthouses in our culture. They can mean beacons, guidance, leadership, enlightenment, divine grace, rallying places, protection from danger etc etc etc etc. Well, they have all these too.

It would be like saying that, since there has to be a Lighthouse Gospel Mission somewhere in the USA, that the Vietnamese numbers station is a religious broadcast. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Some cult in Westminster, CA might be frantically scribbling down numbers and looking for their one-time pads. But not likely.

Just saying.