Thursday, June 30, 2011

WWV Geoalert Is Saved!

According to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center web site, the 18/45 minute "Geoalert" broadcast will not go away in September after all!

The original "WWV Replacement Instructions" at this link have been replaced by the following:

SWPC is no longer planning to discontinue the broadcast of its synoptic Geo-Alert products on the WWV and WWVH radio stations. SWPC plans to continue this service for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, updates to the content of this product are underway as a result of the feedback process. For example, in addition to providing the current, daily solar flux at 2800 MHz, we are evaluating adding more frequent observations at 2695MHz. Other improvements to the message content will also be evaluated. Stay tuned to this site for the latest status on these updates.

For additional comments or questions, please email us at swpc.wwv@noaa.gov.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Night of Nights 2011 Official Announcement

From R. Dillman, MRHS:

[Details are subject to change. Check our Web site at http://www.radiomarine.org for updates.]

Each year the MRHS commemorates 12 July 1999, the date on which the supposed last commercial message was sent in the US. On that date we pick up the thread, keep the faith and maintain the traditions of maritime radio communications so that the skills and traditions of all the radiotelegraphers who came before us will be maintained.

While MRHS station KSM is on the air every Saturday, on Night of Nights we originate stations KPH and KFS in addition to KSM. We hope that other stations will join us on the air this year including KLB and WLO.

You can participate by listening or by visiting the ex-RCA receive site (details below) to see the action in person. If you'd like to operate K6KPH just bring your key. No license required! If you have a commercial radiotelegraph license bring it along. You can sit the circuit at KSM and have your license endorsed for coast station service.

Here are the details of the event:

Date: 12 July 2010 Pacific time, 13 July gmt

Doors open: 3:00pm Pacific time

On air time: 5:01pm Pacific time, 0001 gmt

Station and frequency information (subject to change):

-----

KPH

KPH will transmit on 426, 500, 4247.0, 6477.5, 8642.0, 12808.5, 17016.8 and 22477.5kc.

MF and 22Mc will be on Henry transmitters, rest of KPH HF on 1950s vintage RCA K and L sets.

KPH operators will listen for calls from ships on ITU Channel 3 in all bands. The Channel 3 frequencies are 4184.0, 6276.0, 8368.0, 12552.0, 16736.0 and 22280.5kc on HF and 500kc on MF.

Reception reports may be sent to:

Ms. DA Stoops
P.O. Box 381
Bolinas CA 94924-0381
USA

-----

KFS

KFS will transmit on 12695.5 and 17026.0 -

12695.5 will be on a 1940s vintage Press Wireless PW-15, formerly at the KFS transmitter site in Palo Alto, CA and one of the transmitters on the air on 12 July 1999. 17026.0 will be on a Henry transmitter.

KFS will listen for calls from ships on HF Channel 3 (see KPH listing for frequencies).

Reception reports may be sent to:

Ms. DA Stoops
P.O. Box 381
Bolinas CA 94924-0381
USA

-----

KSM

KSM will transmit on 426, 500, 6474, 8438.3 and 12993kc.

We don't have enough antennas to accommodate the other KSM frequencies when KPH and KFS are on the air. A failure of any of the RCA transmitters may cause a KSM transmitter to be diverted to cover KPH.

KSM will listen for calls from ships on 500kc and HF Channel 3 (see KPH listing for frequencies).

Reception reports may be sent to:

Ms. DA Stoops
P.O. Box 381
Bolinas CA 94924-0381
USA

-----

To be confirmed

WLO

WLO will transmit on 2055.5, 4343.0, 8658.0, 12992.0 and 16968.5kc

WLO will listen for calls from HF Channel 3(see KPH listing for frequencies).

Reception reports may be sent to:

WLO Radio
7700 RINLA AVENUE
MOBILE, ALABAMA 36619
USA

-----

To be confirmed

KLB

KLB will transmit on 488, 500 (A1 & A2), 8582.5kc

KLB will listen for calls from ships on 500kc and 8368.0kc.

Reception reports may be sent to:

WLO Radio
7700 RINLA AVENUE
MOBILE, ALABAMA 36619
USA

-----

K6KPH

K6KPH, the MRHS amateur station, will transmit and listen on 3550, 7050 14050 and 21050kc for KPH, KFS and KSM reception reports.

Professional operators will be at the key and commercial procedures will be used. But please don't hesitate to call, no matter what your code speed or experience level may be.

K6KPH verification reports may be sent to:

Ms. DA Stoops
P.O. Box 381
Bolinas CA 94924-0381
USA

-----

Remember, this is a public event. If you are in the area you are invited to join us at the RCA receive site, 17000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd in the Point Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco. If using a computer mapping program add "Inverness" after the address above even though the station is well beyond that town.

Doors open at 3:00pm Pacific time. Snacks will be served. Tours of the transmitting station may be arranged for "true believers" by appointment only.

VY 73 de MRHS

NASA Announces Final Shuttle Schedule

NASA Press Release:

June 28, 2011

Candrea Thomas
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
candrea.k.thomas@nasa.gov

Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
stephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov

MEDIA ADVISORY: M11-133

NASA ANNOUNCES PRELAUNCH EVENTS AND COUNTDOWN DETAILS FOR FINAL SHUTTLE FLIGHT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- News conferences, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are set for the final space shuttle launch.

Atlantis is scheduled to liftoff at 11:26 a.m. EDT on July 8, to begin the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station.

A NASA blog will provide countdown updates beginning at 6:30 a.m. on July 8. Originating from Kennedy's Launch Control Center, the blog is the definitive Internet source for information leading up to liftoff.

During the mission, visitors to NASA's shuttle website can read about the crew's progress. As Atlantis' flight concludes, the NASA blog will detail the spacecraft's return to Earth. For NASA's launch blog and continuous mission updates, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

Detailed lists of countdown milestones, news briefing times and participants, and hours of operation for Kennedy's news center and media credentialing office are available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/news

The NASA News Twitter feed will be updated throughout the shuttle launch countdown, mission and landing. To follow, visit:

http://www.twitter.com/nasa

Free wireless Internet access is provided at the Kennedy Press Site news center and annex. Instructions for wireless access will be available at the news center. Due to the volume of users, accessibility may be limited. Reporters should bring a backup.

For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

-end-

NASA Sets Launch Date For Final Space Shuttle Mission

NASA Press Release:

June 28, 2011

Candrea Thomas
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-2468
candrea.k.thomas@nasa.gov

Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
stephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov

RELEASE: 11-193

NASA SETS LAUNCH DATE FOR FINAL SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Atlantis' Commander Chris Ferguson and his three crewmates are scheduled to begin a 12-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 11:26 a.m. EDT on July 8, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-135 mission is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.

The launch date was announced Tuesday at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle and station's equipment, support systems and personnel are ready.

Atlantis' STS-135 mission will deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain space station operations after the shuttles are retired.

The mission also will fly the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), an experiment designed to demonstrate and test the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically refuel satellites in space - even satellites not designed to be serviced. The crew also will return an ammonia pump that recently failed on the station. Engineers want to understand why the pump failed and improve designs for future spacecraft.

The crew consists of Commander Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. They are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy on Monday, July 4, for final launch preparations.

STS-135 is the 135th shuttle mission, Atlantis' 33rd flight and the 37th shuttle mission to the station.

For more information about the STS-135 mission, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
For more information about the space station, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/station

-end-

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Excalibur Pro Update

The new Winradio Excalibur Pro is now listed in the Grove catalog for a price of $1,649.95 US. The entry states that advance orders are being taken.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Details on Winradio Excalibur Pro

Well, it looks like the Winradio WR-G33DDC Excalibur Pro is considerably closer to market. As we know, it has been vapor for quite some time, but now one has been shown at the recent Dayton Hamvention.

Winradio has also updated the spec sheet. As promised, this is indeed the high-end version of its digital down-conversion design for a software defined radio (SDR).

The specs, though not verified by any independent testing yet, are quite remarkable. But, since it's a DDC design, so is the demand on computing resources. A 2 GHz dual-core processor is the absolute minimum, and a 2.4 gig quad-core is required for full features. I would also imagine that, when you're in full rock and roll processing the 4-MHz RF bandwidth in real time, that your desktop supercomputer is not good for much else.

The software appears to offer some powerful features. Winradio claims that its spectrum analyzer can display up to the radio's entire 9 kHz to 49.99 MHz bandwidth simultaneously in real time, while you also receive three simultaneous and completely independent signals.

No US prices or availability dates are known here. A price of 1800 Euros has been published by a foreign dealer. At the current exchange rate, that works out to a cool $2600 American.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Hurricane Hunter Season Begins

As of June 1, the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is in progress. The first TCPOD (Tropical Cyclone Plan Of the Day) was issued yesterday. In fact, it did order investigation of an area of interest in the Gulf of Mexico. This daily product is available from NOAA's NHC Aircraft Reconnaissance page, which is here:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/reconlist.shtml

.

Hurricane Hunters are US Air Force Reserve personnel who fly specially outfitted WC-130J aircraft on long missions which make repeated passes through tropical disturbances at 10,000 feet while returning weather and position data to the National Hurricane Center in Florida. The radio call sign is TEAL.

In hurricanes, they fly cross-shaped patterns that pass through the eye, where they drop a weather instrument called a dropsonde. This parachutes down to the sea, transmitting the whole time while the sonde operator records its data.

This mission began in 1944, but it still provides essential ground truth that has been shown to increase the accuracy of hurricane forecasting.

NOAA also flies some aircraft reconnaissance missions, in various types of aircraft depending on altitude.

Flights increase in large hurricanes that may threaten land, when more frequent fixes are needed.

NATO PSYOPS Are Back

Yesterday morning (around 1000 UTC), the usual NATO psychological operations messages were heard throughout Europe on 10125 kHz USB. This is in the middle of the 30 meter amateur band, but one should remember that existing utilities were grandfathered in when amateurs got to use this segment. It's said to be a Lybian government frequency.

This morning, same time frame, various voices and languages were heard on 9376 kHz USB, again throughout Europe. Signals were weak/readable in Norway.

Earlier transmissions of this nature have been aimed at Lybian military personnel, usually sailors, who are loyal to Ghadafi. These personnel are advised, on repeating voice loops, to stand down and go home, rather than face destruction.