Friday, July 29, 2011

T.S. Don Public Advisory #6

000
WTNT34 KNHC 290232
TCPAT4

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DON ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042011
1000 PM CDT THU JUL 28 2011

...DON HEADING TOWARD THE TEXAS COAST...


SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...24.7N 92.5W
ABOUT 370 MI...600 KM SE OF CORPUS CHRISTI TEXAS
ABOUT 325 MI...520 KM ESE OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES


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

THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE TEXAS COAST SOUTH OF PORT MANSFIELD TO THE MOUTH OF THE RIO GRANDE IS CHANGED TO A TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* TEXAS COAST FROM THE MOUTH OF RIO GRANDE TO SAN LUIS PASS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.


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 THE 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 TROPICAL STORM DON WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 24.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 92.5 WEST. DON IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE UNTIL LANDFALL LATE FRIDAY OR EARLY SATURDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ONLY SLIGHT STRENGTHENING IS ANTICIPATED BEFORE THE CENTER REACHES THE TEXAS COAST. A GRADUAL WEAKENING SHOULD BEGIN THEREAFTER.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 100 MILES...160 KM MAINLY TO THE NORTH AND EAST OF THE CENTER.

LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED BY AN AIR FORCE PLANE WAS 998 MB...29.47 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA BY LATE FRIDAY.

STORM SURGE...A STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 1 TO 2 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL...MAINLY ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST NEAR AND TO THE NORTHEAST OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL. NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DAMAGING WAVES.

RAINFALL...DON IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES FROM THE CENTRAL TEXAS COAST WESTWARD INTO SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 7 INCHES.


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

$$
FORECASTER AVILA

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

STS-135 On Track for Early Thursday Landing

NASA:

MEDIA ADVISORY: M11-151

NASA'S SPACE SHUTTLE SCHEDULED TO RETURN TO EARTH FOR FINAL TIME THURSDAY

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The final flight of NASA's 30-year-old space shuttle program is scheduled to end on Thursday, July 21, when Atlantis and its STS-135 crew return to Earth. The landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida marks the completion of a 13-day mission to supply the International Space Station for the post-shuttle era.

Thursday's Kennedy landing opportunities are at 5:56 a.m. and 7:32 a.m. EDT. Atlantis' entry flight control team, led by Flight Director Tony Ceccacci, will evaluate weather conditions at the landing site before giving approval to Atlantis to return. If the shuttle is unable to come home Thursday, additional opportunities are available on Friday at Kennedy and at the backup landing site, Edwards Air Force Base in California. Recorded updates about landing are available at 321-867-2525.

Journalists are invited to cover news briefings and special events to commemorate the historic event. To cover landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) runway, reporters must sign up at Kennedy's press site for transportation. NASA will accommodate as many news media representatives as possible, but the number is limited because of safety requirements.

At about 7:45 a.m., NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson will make comments at the shuttle runway. The remarks will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

>From about 8 - 9 a.m. on Thursday, following the astronaut's departure from the shuttle runway, a limited number of journalists at the SLF will be allowed near Atlantis for a photo opportunity and comments from Bolden and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana. Interested journalists must e-mail Allard Beutel at allard.beutel@nasa.gov by 5 p.m. Wednesday. Space is limited.

At 10 a.m., NASA officials will hold a briefing at Kennedy's press site to discuss Atlantis' STS-135 mission. The event will be broadcast live on NASA TV and the agency's website. The participants will be:
- Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations, NASA Headquarters
- Bob Cabana, director, Kennedy Space Center
- Mike Moses, space shuttle launch integration manager
- Mike Leinbach, space shuttle launch director

Also at about 10 a.m., Atlantis will be towed from the runway and parked outside Orbiter Processing Facility-2 (OPF-2) for several hours to give employees an opportunity to walk around and photograph the shuttle. Reporters interested in covering the move must sign up at the press site for transportation to the photo opportunity locations. These events will not be carried live on NASA TV.

At 11:45 a.m., Bolden and Cabana will host an employee appreciation event outside OPF-2. Journalists can cover the event from a designated media area near the main stage. News media representatives interested in covering the event must sign up at the press site for transportation. The event will be broadcast live on NASA TV and the agency's website.

At about noon, following opening comments at the employee event, the STS-135 crew is expected to participate in a post-landing news conference from the press site. The astronauts' availability is subject to change. Immediately after a 20-minute media question-and-answer session, the astronauts will go to the employee appreciation event to talk briefly to the work force. The events will be broadcast live on NASA TV and the agency's website.

The Kennedy press site will open for shuttle Atlantis' landing at 8 a.m. Wednesday and remain open until 6:30 p.m. Thursday. News media representatives approved for STS-135 mission badges can pick them up at NASA's Pass and Identification Building on State Road 3 on Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Thursday from 2 - 4 a.m. The last bus will depart from the press site for the SLF about one hour before landing.

If the shuttle landing is diverted to Edwards after Thursday, reporters should call the public affairs office at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at 661-276-3449 for access. Dryden has limited facilities available for previously accredited journalists.

If Atlantis lands Thursday, it will have spent 307 days in space and traveled nearly 126 million miles during its 33 flights. Atlantis launched on its first mission on Oct. 3, 1985. For the latest information about the STS-135 mission and accomplishments, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
The NASA News Twitter feed is updated throughout the shuttle mission and landing. To follow, visit:

http://www.twitter.com/NASA

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For more information about the space station and its crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

-end-


And that is the final QRT for the Space Shuttle program. Many people in this aerospace-dependent region are distressed about the absence of a well-planned program to create and fly its replacement. We seem to be getting a lot of vague talk about decades-off exploration missions, while waiting for private industry to miraculously come up with a heavy-lifting solution that can be flown at a profit. The USA used to have bigger dreams than that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MT Editor Sends Message Via Night of Nights

The following traffic was passed over KPH/KFS/KSM last night:

qtc
nr21 cknc san francisco radio kph/kfs/ksm 0100gmt 13 july =
to all ships and stations=
greetings from the site of the former station vbh kingston ontario. i have been an active radio listener for 50 years, an amateur for 35 years and the son of a landline telegrapher. i am a licensed captain and have used hf and vhf marine radio=
capt ron walsh/ve3go marine columnist monitoring times magazine ar

Very cool.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Night of Nights XI 2011 Details

There are some changes. This info comes from the MRHS web site.

KPH:

Transmit: 426 500 4247.0 6477.5 8642.0 12808.5 17016.8 22477.5

QSX: All ships can call on 500 kHz and ITU Channel 3 all bands.
Channel 3 freqs: 4184.0 6276.0 8368.0 12552.0 16736.0 22280.5kc

The KPH/K6KPH receive/operation site is open to the public beginning at 3 PM Pacific (5 minutes ago). Tours to the transmitter site are available for true believers in the benevolent god RF. This building has plenty of that. The transmitter site is remote controlled and quite distant from the receive.

KFS:

Transmit: 12695.5 17026.0
QSX 500 and Channel 3, same as KPH

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 [commercial grade, and no slouch either].

KSM:

Transmit: 426 500 6474 8438.3 12993
QSX: 500 and Channel 3, same as KPH

(see KPH listing for frequencies).

QSL for KPH, KFS, and KSM:

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

Denice is an ace telegrapher who worked at KPH in its heyday.

WLO:

Transmit: 4343.0 8658.0 12992.0 16968.5
QSX: 500 and Channel 3 (same as KPH)

(No 2 MHz this year.)

WLO is the ShipCom station in Mobile, AL. It still handles HF commercial ship traffic, though not in CW.

WLO QSL:
WLO Radio
7700 RINLA AVENUE
MOBILE, ALABAMA 36619
USA

KLB:

Transmit: 488 500 (A1 & A2), 8582.5 (A1A)
QSX: 500 8368.0

KLB is the ShipCom station in the Seattle area. QSL is same address as WLO.

KKUI:

WWII Victory ship SS AMERICAN VICTORY will be on the air attempting contact will all the coast stations above. They'll use the best calling frequency for the prevailing propagation at the time but they usually call KSM on 12552.0.

K6KPH:

Amateur station K6KPH will transmit and listen on 3550, 7050 14050 and 21050 for KPH, KFS and KSM reception reports.

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

[They switch to usual amateur procedure if there's a pileup, which there often is. There's more on the web site.]

QSL: Same as KPH.

It's Night of Nights Time!

It seems like a long time ago that commercial Morse code vanished in the United States, but even so I can't believe that this is the 11th one of these. Yes, Night of Nights XI is here.

Night of Nights came from the original defiance of a group of skilled Morse telegraphers and maritime radio people who decided they'd be damned before the most perfect communication system ever invented was going to vanish with all the other forgotten technologies. And now it's #11.

It seems almost beyond belief that the grand-daddy of West Coast stations, RCA's KPH, is back on the air, even one night a year. It is now part of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, and the incredible dedication of these people have made its window-rattling Morse code audible again. (The rest of the year, the call belongs to Globe Wireless at another site, where the only on-air ID is a distinct hex code that can only be copied with special software.)

Every ham dreams of suddenly getting access to a rhombic farm and receive site with miles of antennas. Here is a group that actually did it.

MRHS:

Each year on 12 July the MRHS holds its Night of Nights event on the anniversary of the supposed last commercial Morse message sent in the US. On that night historic stations KPH and KFS return to the air along with our own KSM. Listen on the air or join us at the receive site in Point Reyes, CA.

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 will joined on the air by KLB, WLO and KKUI. See below [next post -Hugh] for details.

You can participate by listening or by visiting the ex-RCA receive site to see the action in person. If you'd like to operate K6KPH just bring your key. No license required!

Here are the details of the event:

Date: 12 July 2011 Pacific time, 13 July gmt
Doors open: 3:00pm Pacific time
On air time: 5:01pm Pacific time, 0001 gmt

Freqs & QSL info in the next post!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

NASA Evaluates Possible Lightning Strike Near STS-135 Pad

NASA Blog:

Thu, 07 Jul 2011 10:43:56 AM PDT

The space shuttle launch team is evaluating a possible lightning strike within one third of a mile from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Engineers will review data to determine if the lightning affected space shuttle Atlantis or any of the pad's ground support equipment. A continuing band of thunderstorms has prevented teams from conducting a detailed pad inspection, which must be performed before the Rotating Service Structure can be rolled back from the shuttle.

After the rollback, the teams will continue work that must be performed before fueling Atlantis' external tank early tomorrow morning. The rollback originally was planned for 2 p.m. EDT.

At this morning's briefing, Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported that the launch weather forecast remains unchanged, with a 30 percent chance of favorable weather for the 11:26 a.m. liftoff. The forecast is a more favorable 80 percent when the filling of the huge external fuel tank is set to begin.

At 5 a.m. this morning, the countdown entered a planned hold at the T-11 hour mark, and will resume at 7:01 p.m. tonight.

The astronauts had an early wakeup call as they continue to prepare for tomorrow's launch of Atlantis on the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

It's Alexanderson Alternator Time!

I'm a bit late with this. The 2011 Alexanderson Day is TODAY, July 3rd (UTC)!

From their web site:

SAQ will be on air on the Alexanderson Day on Sunday 3rd July 2011. We send a message at 09:00 UTC and 12:00 UTC and we start the transmitter about half an hour before each transmission for tuning. The frequency is as usual 17.2 kHz CW.

QSL-reports are kindly received:

QSL reports can be given via:

- E-mail to: info@alexander.n.se

- or fax to: +46-340-674195

- or via SM bureau

- or direct by mail to: Alexander - Grimeton Veteranradios Vaenner, Radiostationen, Grimeton 72, S-432 98 Grimeton, SWEDEN

Note: SAQ is now a member of the Swedish Amateur Association (SSA) and "QSL via bureau" is OK.


Those with VLF capability might want to try for this one. The low frequency can spread out around the world, though noise can be staggering. There is also a WebSDR in the Netherlands which tunes this range.

SAQ is the world's last functional Alexanderson RF alternator. This giant, generator-like machine creates a 200 kW signal into an antenna truly described as majestic. At one time, a network of these linked the world, as they briefly replaced "King Spark" in the era before vacuum tubes.

The well preserved station is now a World Heritage Site. More information is here.