Saturday, May 30, 2009

WebSDR Temporarily Has More Bands

The Web Software Defined Radio site that I have written about before is running a special wideband setup in which a lot more bands are available. Especially fun for listeners on the US West Coast is the VLF/LF/MF band, from essentially DC to 600 kHz. Along with some utilities that I've never heard personally, it's also a chance to hear the European longwave broadcast band.

Other bands usually not available are amateur 160, 30, 20, 18, and 15 meters. Some weak CW was coming through on 15, despite the non-resonant antenna for this band. 160 was hopping due to the contest. 30 is wide enough to hear some adjacent utilities, notably New York VOLMET, which comes blasting in.

This will end soon. It was supposed to go back to normal on May 27, but this was extended due probably to a major ham radio contest this weekend.

As we've mentioned before, the SDR is at a university campus in the Netherlands, and maintained by a student amateur radio club.

Here are some catches I made this morning (local time):

60.0 kHz CW
MSF, Anthorn, UK; standard time signals and codes. The CW timing deviates slightly from the expected 1 interruption per second in such a way as to send a time code that can be decoded for time and date. A successful decode was made here at 1845 UTC. 05/30/09 1826

77.0 AM/PM
DCF77, Mainflingen, Germany;, time signals and codes. This is a more complex encoding scheme than MSF, and decode was not achieved due to SDR link latency/instability. 05/30/09 1904

100.00 Pulse Unk Loran-C. 05/30/09 1850

DCF49-European power grid control, Mainflingen, Germany. Continuous idle on mark with ASCII bursts. I've never heard this here via the air. Usually only Ary Boender reports it. 05/30/09 1930

Here's some more details from the web:

Agcy : EFR Berlin
Callsign : DCF49
Transmission site: LW-facility Mainflingen
Radiated Power : 60 kW
Frequencies : 129.1 and 139.0 kHz
Transmission mode: 200 bps ASCII
Modulation : FSK
Control protocol : DIN 19244
Message format : FT 1.2
Service : Long wave Teleswitching

HGA22-European power grid control, Lahihegy, Hungary. 05/30/09 1930

DCF39-European power grid control, Burg, Germany, 300-baud ASCII. Carrier w/data bursts. Not synced to others. Possible FSK. 05/30/09 1930