Saturday, December 28, 2013

V. of Russia Will NOT Leave the Air January 1

ARRL again:

Voice of Russia to Continue Shortwave Broadcasting in 2014

 Earlier this year the Voice of Russia — the former Radio Moscow during the Soviet Era — appeared poised to cease shortwave broadcasts as of January 1, 2014. In the wake of a December decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin that merged the Voice of Russia with several other state-run news agencies, SWL Tom Witherspoon, K4SWL, contacted VOR. As he reports on his blog, the broadcaster told him, “We are glad to let you know that the Voice of Russia will stay on the air in 2014, however, considerable changes in our frequency schedule are expected.”

The posted VOR schedule, which runs through March, indicates 38 aggregate hours of shortwave broadcasts to all parts of the world, most beamed at the Middle East and Asia. Shortwave broadcasts to Europe, Latin America, Oceania, and Africa account for just 15 aggregate hours.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Popular Communications to Cease Print Publishing in 2014

There was no ARRL Letter this week, and probably not many people saw this item when it appeared on the League web site while we were all tracking Santa. Thus there's an excuse for missing the latest grim news from the radio publishing field.

This is the announcement that Popular Communications is phasing out its print edition, and being folded into the CQ digital product. This will ultimately end Pop Comm as a stand-alone magazine. Presumably, it will eventually vanish altogether.

From ARRL:

CQ to Realign Publications, Launch Digital Supplement


CQ Communications Inc has announced plans to realign its publications lineup and to launch a new online supplement to its flagship magazine, CQ Amateur Radio.

“The hobby radio market is changing,” said CQ Communications President and Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, “and we are changing what we do and how we do it in order to continue providing leadership to all segments of the radio hobby.”

Effective with the February 2014 issue of CQ, said Ross, content from the magazine’s three sister publications — Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Onlinewill be incorporated into CQ’s digital edition as a supplement to be called CQ Plus. The print editions of Popular Communications and CQ VHF will be phased out, and WorldRadio Online will no longer exist as a separate online publication. Current Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online subscribers will be converted to CQ subscribers and receive CQ Plus at no additional charge. Details will be posted on each magazine’s website.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Schedule for VOA Radiogram Starts Dec. 28-29

From Kim Andrew Elliott:

Note the revised schedule for VOA Radiogram.

Hello friends,

Thank you for your reports from the past weekend. Our experiment with shifting the center frequency of MFSK64 images from 1500 Hz to 1700 Hz resulted in improvements that were, at best, subtle.

This weekend, 28-29 December, begins our new broadcast Saturday at 0930-1000 UTC on 5745 kHz. The time is inconveniently early for listeners in the Americas [and downright goofy for California -Hugh], but it might be audible and decodable in the Asia-Pacific region and in northern Europe. Expecting that reception conditions might be marginal in these parts of the world, the program will include a VOA News item in the robust MFSK16 mode.

Because of the addition of the new transmission had to be budget-neutral, the VOA Radiogram broadcast Sunday at 1300-1330 UTC on 6095 kHz is, unfortunately, discontinued.

Here is the lineup for program 39 of VOA Radiogram, 28-29 December 2013:

  1:38  MFSK16: Program preview
  3:30  MFSK16: Supercomputer for bioresearch
  8:08  MFSK32: ESA Gaia satellite, with image
13:58  MFSK32: Scientists predicted earthquake
21:01  MFSK64/Flmsg: Novice farmers, followed by image
25:48  MFSK32: Closing announcements

Please send reception reports to

I hope to hear from you this weekend. Best wishes for the new year 2014.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5745 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Happy holidays/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa/ Solstice/ Festivus/ whatever you do at your house. May the new year bring you truly ace DX catches.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry VOA Radiogram for December 21-22

From Kim Elliott:

Hello friends,

Thanks for your reports from the past weekend. Because of travel earlier this week, I'm very much behind in responding, but I'll try to get that done before the end of the weekend.

We had good results last weekend, as illustrated by these images of the National Christmas Tree all received on 17860 kHz by listeners from Estonia to California.

Even though we are in the midst of the holiday season, our experiments continue.

Our MFSK64 mode centered on 1500 Hz has data from 1000 to 2000 Hz, with a second audio harmonic from 2000 to 4000 Hz.

Technically, there is no overlap, but there is also no "guard band" between the fundamental and the second harmonic. This can cause interference, especially with less selective, lower cost receivers.

To determine if a guard band would be helpful, we will first transmit an MFSK64 image on our usual center audio frequency of 1500 Hz.

Then we will move the center audio frequency up to 1700 Hz. The fundamental will be 1200 to 2200 Hz. The second harmonic from 2400 to 4400 Hz. The guard band will therefore be 200 Hz wide, between 2200 and 2400 Hz.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 38, 21-22 December 2013:

 1:33  MFSK16: Program preview (2:58)
 5:40  MFSK32: Introduction to experiment (1:21)
 7:36  MFSK64/1500 Hz: Image of Christmas tree (2:05)
10:17  MFSK64/1700 Hz: Same image of Christmas tree (2:05)
12:22  MFSK64/1700 Hz: Collapse of universe (3:39)
16:15  MFSK64/1700 Hz/Flmsg*: Electronic waste, with image (3:26)
19:41  MFSK64/1700 Hz: Converting algae to oil, with image (4:19)
24:41  MFSK64/1500 Hz: Same image (1:46)
26:38  MFSK32/1500 Hz: Closing announcements (:35)

*Use Flmsg with Fldigi. *To make Flmsg work with Fldigi (both can be downloaded from, in Fldigi: Configure > Misc > NBEMS -- Under Reception of flmsg files, check both boxes, and under that indicate where your Flmsg.exe file is located.

Please send reception reports to

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC)
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1300-1330 6095 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

VOA Radiogram schedule change 28 December

On 28 December 2013, VOA Radiogram will add a new transmission Saturday at 0930-1000 UTC on 5745 kHz.

To keep the VOA Radiogram schedule to its modest two hours per week, the transmission on Sunday at 1300-1330 UTC on 6095 kHz will be discontinued after the broadcast on 22 December 2013.

I hope to hear from you this weekend.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

U.S. Military Logs for Mid-December 2013

From MDMonitor:

Times UTC, Freqs KHz
All USB voice or ALE

7633.5       AFA5CW-USAF MARS, wkg Brick 22.   2128

8971.0       Cardfile 30-USN P-8 Poseidon (VP-5 NAS Jacksonville FL) calling Fiddle w/no response.   1342

8971.0       Fiddle-USN, wkg possible Lancer 710 (P-3C VP-10 NAS Jacksonville FL) in clear and ANDVT checks.   1354

8971.0       Fiddle-USN, Jacksonville FL w/Cardfile 14 (P-8 Poseidon, VP-5 NAS Jacksonville FL).   1412

8992.0       Reach 1030-USAF Air Mobility Command, pp w/Niagara Base Ops NY ANG, trying to figure out where to land due to wx. Reach 1030 will call back in 1 hour with further plans and info.   1233

9025.0       170036-USAF C-5B #87-0036  USB/ALE sounding.   1348

9025.0       277176-USAF C-17A #07-7176 ALE sounding.   1430

9025.0       190022-USAF C-5A #69-0022 (WV ANG Martinsburg MAP, WV) ALE sounding.   1449

9025.0       170033-USAF C-5 # 87-0033 (AFRC Westover ARB, MA) ALE sounding.   1536

9025.0       170036-USAF C-5B #87-0036 (60 AMW Travis AFB, CA) ALE sounding. 2013/12/09   1545

9025.0       190006-USAF C-5 # 69-0006, ALE sounding.   1940

9025.0       Andrews & Offutt-USAF HFGCS control and backup control, USB/ALE checks with NW1 (Nightwatch 1-E-4B NAOC, Offutt AFB NE).   2113

9025.0       277179-USAF C-17 #07-7179 "Spirit of Travis " ALE sounding. 2013/12/09   2348

11175.0      Offutt-USAF wkg Reach 1030 (self ID as C-130) in pp to Pittsburgh Control, advising a/c is diverting for weather and needs ground services. 2013/12/09   1315

11175.0      Offutt-USAF HFGCS, wkg Navy LL16, VP-30 NAS Jacksonville FL.   1411

11175.0      Peach 11-E-8C, 116th ACW, Robins AFB GA, unsuccessful patch via unheard grnd stn to commercial number. 2013/12/09   1412

11175.0      RD319 P-3C, VP-47 MCAS Kanaohe Bay HI, calling Mainsail 2013/12/09   1504

11175.0      Andrews-USAF HFGCS, checks with Reach 975.   1546

11175.0      Offutt in radio checks w/Reach 950.   1631

11175.0      Tame 14 (sounds like--prob B-52) calling Mainsail, no joy. Rogue 37, clg Mainsail. Tame 14 answers Rogue 37, then Tame 14 telling Red River that a/c is RTB for wx.   1945

11175.0      Offutt-USAF, patching Log Road to (sounds like Moose Tag) regarding frequency assignments; says he'll try Orderwire but is advised by Moose Tag that the Orderwire wasn't working earlier. 2013/12/09   1955

11232.0      Trenton Military-Canadian Forces, working Canforce 2519 for weather and patch regarding maintenance status.   2017

11232.0      Trenton Military-Wkg Canforce 2129 w/pp to 8 Wing Ops reporting various engine problems.   2139

11232.0      Trenton Military-Wkg Sentry 50, Sentry 60, and Sentry 30, all E-3B AWACS, Tinker AFB, OK.   2144

13927.0      AFA5CW-USAF MARS, wkg Brick 22 (C-21A, Tinker AFB, OK) went to 7633.5.   2127

14484.0      Desert Eagle-US Army MARS HQs, Ft Huachuca, AZ, in radio checks w/AAR4RG, not heard 2013/12/09   2130

Utility Monitoring from Maryland, USA (39.0747N 76.3711W)
Icom R75 & Sangean ATS 909
45-ft PAR EF-SWL

Maritime Logs for November 2013

From Mario Filippi in New Jersey:

2514.0             Unknown-Canadian Coast Guard, probably Killinek  0203  USB voice synthesized "male" with maritime weather in English for NW Labrador and other Canadian waters.  11/22/13

2595.0             Unknown-Canadian Coast Guard  0214  USB voice synthesized "female" with maritime weather in English for Canadian waters, then switched to "male" in French.  11/22/13

12365.0           VMC-Charleville Meteo, Queensland, Australia  1149  USB male voice with maritime weather for Montague Island, Lord Howe Island, Victoria, Sydney, etc.  11/19/13

12613.0           XSQ-Guangzho Radio, China  1145  CW ID in SITOR-A burst marker.  11/19/13

Monday, December 09, 2013

Early December Log (from Editor)

5738.5   WQAB 964-Sail Mail, SD, 0247 answered weak Pactor-I call from vessel (center frequency 5740), then long transmission in various Pactor submodes ending with CW ID at 0239.  (8-Dec-13) (HS)

6519.0   WLO-ShipCom, Mobile, AL, voice synth YL 1300 with tropical wx.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6559.0   UPS80-United Parcel Service freighter 1301 wkg San Francisco HFDL (weak squitters, uncopyable). UP0982, UPS freighter 1305 wkg San Francisco HFDL.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6577.0   Unid-Unknown CAR-A MWARA ground station 1307 USB selcal DP-HR to unheard a/c (probable Westjet B737 reg C-FWAF), then voice comm.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6604.0   New York-NewYork VOLMET 1316 USB aviation wx for Bermuda.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6666.6   ROJO DOS-Probable Mexican Army, SS/OM 1304 USB calling (sounds like PRESTO) ROJO, then (PRESTO?) ROJO 1307 SS/OM long exchange with ROJO SEIS, usual whistling and one 1K beep.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6679.0   Tokyo Volmet-Tokyo Radio, Japan, 1310 USB voice synthesized EE/YL sign-on and into VOLMET for West Pacific airports, cut at end of slot 1314.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6688.0   Unid-Unknown military, encrypted RTTY (75/850, center freq 6690) 1259, stopped 1301, then 2nd station EE/OM with strong JJ accent "Whiskey copy number 2 over."  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6715.0   AEDSPR-USAF Secure IP Routed Net entry point, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska 1308 ALE sounding.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

6715.0  DL0005-USAF SIPRNET 1324 ALE sounding.  (7-Dec-13) (HS)

30620.0  WPSD819-Millennium Taxi, Chattanooga, TN, southern accented EE/YL taxi dispatcher 2013 telephone ringing in background, PL 210.7. QRM from unid business comms by southern accented EE/OM's with PL 94.8.  (6-Dec-13) (HS)

WiNRADiO Excalibur Pro
Southern California

Friday, December 06, 2013

US Federal/ Military Logs for 5 Dec 13

From MDMonitor:

08971.0  1901Z  Fiddle (TOC, NAS Jacksonville FL) w/Cardfile 30 (P-8 Poseidon, VP-5 NAS Jacksonville FL) (2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11232.0  2019Z Trenton Military w/???6446 (didn't sound like Canforce) w/request for selcal check on CD-BP (listed as CL-600-2B16 Challenger 605, Bombardier Inc, Montreal PQ).(2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11232.0  2021Z  Trenton Military w/Canforce 2566 in pp to Wing Ops reporting they are unserviceable for FADEC (spelled) and ETA CFB Trenton is 2230Z.(2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11232.0  2027Z  Trenton Military w/Canforce 2569 requesting any traffic. Trenton advises no traffic for them. At 2118Z  Trenton Military w/Canforce 2569 w/wx for Halifax NS.(2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11484.0    Desert Eagle (US Army MARS HQs, Ft Huachuca AZ): 2034Z w/ (call missed--US Army MARS stn) chatting about antenna orientations and signal strengths.(2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11175.0  2056Z  Offutt in radio checks w/Reach 1580. (2013/12/05 RP-MD)

13927.0  2109Z  AFA5QW (USAF MARS stn) w/Raid 92 (KC-135R/T 319th Wing, Grand Forks AFB, ND) in pp to Scott AFB IL to get wx for Cannon AFB NM at 2345Z.(2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11175.0   2122Z  Offutt in radio check w/Reach 413. (2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11175.0  2135Z  Offutt w/Cargo 06 (unid--weak) w/request for pp.  Offutt advises to QSY to 11220.0 (2013/12/05 RP-MD)

11220.0  2136Z  Offutt w/Cargo 06 in pp (too weak to read). (2013/12/05 RP-MD)

09025.0   2201Z  100445 (C-5A #70-0445 433 AW – AFRC Kelly  AFB, TX) ALE sounding. (2013/12/05 RP-MD)

Maryland, USA ((390747N 763711W)
Icom R75 & Sangean ATS 909
45-ft  PAR EF-SWL

VOA Radiogram Dec. 7-8 (From Kim Elliott)

Hello friends,

This weekend on VOA Radiogram, we will conduct one more experiment. We determined from last weekend's program that text in the MFSK64 mode centered on 1000 Hz, thus 500 to 1500 Hz, was not affected by the overlapping second harmonic at 1000 to 3000 Hz. The MFSK64 image that was centered on 1000 Hz showed some horizontal interference lines. Did the harmonic cause those lines? We'll find out by transmitting that same picture in MFSK64 centered on 1500 Hz, then 1000 Hz.

I think the problem with slant in the MFSK images has been solved. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the program, we will transmit a vertical line. In Fldigi, have the Configure > Sound Card > Settings box open to make any necessary adjustments while that line is transmitted.

There will be two VOA News stories in the robust MFSK32 mode this weekend. This will help cope with difficult reception, such as European listeners experience last weekend on 15670 kHz.

Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 36, 7-8 December 2013:

 1:37  MFSK16: Program preview (2:32)
 4:10  MFSK32: Slant alignment (1:34)
 5:42  MFSK32: Capitol Christmas tree, with image (3:20)
 8:48  MFSK32: Water on exoplanets, with image (5:50)
15:06  MFSK64: Image at 1500 vs 1000 Hz center frequencies (4:51)
20:06  MFSK64/Flmsg: Radio signals and space debris, with image
25:09  MFSK32: Closing announcements (:43)    

Please send reception reports to

I will now get started answering your reports from last weekend's experiment-filled broadcast.

I hope to hear from you this weekend.


Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC)
Sat 1600-1630 17860 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1300-1330 6095 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Bear in Winter (Russian bear net winter freqs)

This bear doesn't hibernate.  It changes frequencies.

It did so in November.  8112 kHz has been reported as the CW (Morse code) ground frequency. Along with the usual terse aircraft communication, single-letter markers are heard.  The air frequency is unknown.

Voice is probably 8131.

This net is used by Russian military aircraft.

Monday, December 02, 2013

10899 kHz FEMA ALE

From Bruce (BruceB on #wunclub) N0NHP

10899.0 Various-US Federal Emergency Management Agcy, 2033 UTC, many ALE soundings. (25 Nov 13)

Bruce includes a list of FEMA IDs heard. They are all the usual ones. FC8FEM002 was copied here on 2 December at 2026 UTC. Definitely a FEMA ALE frequency, and it has been added to the list.