Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Radio Scene on an almost Canadian Island in the Caribbean


During the past century or more, there have been several calls on the part of the Canadian government, and at times by the Canadian populace, to accept a distant and isolated territory into the Canadian federation.  For example, at some time or another, consideration has been given to the political possibility of various island groups in the areas of the Americas joining with Canada in some form of union. 

Among the islands for which some form of union with Canada has been considered over the years are the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica and the West Indies Federation, all British territories.  However, the island cluster for which the most frequent consideration has been given for a union with Canada are the Turks and Caicos Islands on the edge of the Caribbean and the Atlantic.

The earliest consideration for the Turks and Caicos Islands joining Canada came from the Canadian Prime Minister Dr. Robert Borden in 1917.  Since then, serious consideration has been given to this matter on many occasions, including as recently as 2014 when Premier Rufus Ewing of the Turks and Caicos Islands made a visit to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. 

During his visit Premier Ewing stated that he was open to a possible marriage between his islands and Canada, sometime in the future.  During the 1990s, 90% of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands were in favor of a special relationship with Canada. 

Back during the year 2007, Dr. Kim Elliott with the Voice of America in Washington DC, observed that Canada has given consideration on several occasions to the possibility of annexing the Turks and Caicos Islands and that this would provide a suitable location for a shortwave relay station for RCI Radio Canada International.  Back then, RCI was still on the air worldwide.   

The Turks and Caicos Islands are sister archipelagoes lying side by side north of the island of Hispaniola (which contains Haiti and the Dominican Republic).  The Turks and Caicos are made up of 8 main islands with 299 small island cays, 40 of which are inhabited.  They are a British Overseas Territory and they are a holiday destination for North America and Europe.

The Turks were named after the Turk’s Cap Cactus, and the Caicos received its name from two words in the local language meaning string of islands.  The total population is 35,000; and the United States dollar is the official currency.   According to Trip Advisor Travelers Choice, the Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales Island received the best beach in the world award for 2016.

As with all of the islands in the chain of islands located along the edge of the Caribbean and the Atlantic, the original inhabitants were Amerindians who had migrated into the area.  It is thought that the first European to sight the Turks and Caicos was the famous Italian born Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, though the first historically recorded actual visit was made by the Spanish conquistador, Juan Ponce de León twenty years later, in 1512.

During the following year (1513), the Spanish captured all of the inhabitants of the Turks and Caicos and transported them for slave labor to Hispaniola and other nearby islands.  Thus, it is reported, the Turks and Caicos Islands lay uninhabited for more than a century.

Around 1680, salt collectors from Bermuda settled in the Turks and Caicos and slave labor was brought in from Africa.  The Spanish and French showed an interest in the islands and then in 1799 the English annexed the islands as part of the Bahamas.  The capital city for the Turks and Caicos is Cockburn Town on the quite small island known as Grand Turk Island.  Grand Turk is just 6½ miles long and 1½ miles wide.

The first wireless station in the Turks and Caicos Islands was installed in December 1939.  We would presume that the location was Grand Turk, and that this facility was a forerunner to Cable and Wireless C&W in this island cluster.  The operating frequency was 5975 kHz, and the power level was just 20 watts.

According to the Turks and Caicos entries in the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Handbooks, which were issued every second year back then, the usage of a low power C&W transmitter each evening for a brief news bulletin lasting ten minutes or so began in the mid 1950s.  The annual editions of the WRTVHB picked up the information regarding this rare country on shortwave in 1961.  At that time, these evening news bulletins were on the air with 200 watts on 4560 kHz under the callsign VSI8.
  
Six years later, Arthur Cushen at the tip of South New Zealand reported in the Australian monthly magazine Radio and Hobbies that the transmitter on Grand Turk was a Marconi
unit at 100 watts and the signal was fed into a half way center fed T type antenna system 50 feet high.  At that time, the brief daily transmissions were logged on exactly 8000 kHz.

The shortwave news broadcasts were gradually extended over a period of time but they came to an abrupt end in 1976 when a 1½ kW mediumwave transmitter was inaugurated on 1550 kHz under the callsign VSI.  Both the studios and transmitter were located at Governor’s Beach on Grand Turk Island.

 Four years later (1980), the transmitter power was increased to 2½ kW, the operating frequency was adjusted to 1460 kHz, and a new callsign was in vogue, VHT.  However, the mediumwave station was closed fourteen years later (1994) when a 1 kW FM transmitter was launched on 94.9 MHz.  These days, the capital city area Cockburn Town receives its FM coverage from the government operated radio broadcasting station on the adjusted channel 101.9 MHz.

More about the radio scene in the Turks and Caicos Islands next time, including: What happened to the projected VOA relay station in the Turks and Caicos Islands?
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 439)

Radio Erena: a beacon of hope for Eritrea





An interesting behind the scenes look of clandestine station, Radio Erena International.

"You have to understand: no information is available there at all, about the outside world or internally"

Ten  years ago, Biniam Simon, a journalist at Eri-TV, Eritrea's state television channel, was informed by his government overlords that he would, after all, be allowed to travel to Japan to attend a seminar on video production. This, to put it mildly, was surprising. Those whose leave Eritrea, a single party state with one of the worst human rights records in the world, usually do so only by clandestine and extremely risky means. But if Simon was astonished, he was also realistic. "They only allowed me to go because they thought there was no way to escape to Japan,: he says. "Japan had agreed I would be returned to Eritrea." Knowing this, he didn't allow himself even to toy with the idea of defection, He made no plans. He dreamed no dreams. He hoped only to enjoy a few peaceful days outside the prison of his homeland.

Additional story at:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/16/radio-erena-beacon-of-hope-for-eritrea-biniam-simon-paris

Station website with English link: http://erena.org/

Station summer schedule, all times UTC
1730-1800 mtwhf in Arabic on 11965 kHz
1700-1730 mtwhf in Tigninya on 11965 kHz
1700-1800 Sat/Sun in Tigrinya on 11965 kHz

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Jul 24 0308 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 17 - 23 July 2017

Solar activity was at low levels on 17-19 Jul and very low levels on 20-23 Jul. Region 2665 (S06, L=111, class/area Ekc/710 on 09 Jul) produced the strongest flare of the period, a C2 flare observed at 19/0007 UTC from around the west limb. Region 2666 (N13, L=103, class/area Cro/030 on 13 Jul) was mostly quiet as it decayed to plage before rotating around the west limb. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed in available coronagraph imagery.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at high levels throughout the summery period. A maximum flux of 13,630 pfu was observed at 19/1755 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to G2 (Moderate)  geomagnetic storm levels throughout the reporting period. On 17 Jul, the continuing influence of a CME caused quiet to active conditions
with an isolated period of G2 (Moderate) storm levels reported during the 1500-1800 UTC synoptic period. Waning CME effects led to quiet to unsettled conditions on 18 Jul. Conditions were quiet on 19 Jul through early on 20 Jul. Late on 20 Jul conditions reached unsettled as a solar sector boundary crossing (SSBC) became geoeffective. An isolated period of active was observed during the
0000-0300 UTC synoptic period on 21 July as total magnetic field strength (Bt) increased to near 10 nT. Following the SSBC was a co-rotating interaction region (CIR), causing solar wind speeds to
increase from around 450 km/s to a peak of 800 km/s observed at 21/1804 UTC. With the exception of G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm conditions observed during the 22/0900-1200 UTC synoptic period, quiet to active conditions were observed through the remainder of the period under the influence of positive polarity CH HSS.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 24 July - 19 August 2017

Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class flare activity (R1-R2/Minor-Moderate) on 30 Jul - 12 Aug due to the return of old Region 2665 (S06, L=115) as it rotates through the visible
disk. Very low activity is expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to range from normal to high levels. The influence of recurrent, positive polarity CH HSSs are expected to cause high
levels from 24-29 Jul and again on 18-19 Aug. Moderate levels are expected on 30-31 Jul and the remainder of the outlook period is likely to be at normal levels.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to range from quiet to G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels. Quiet to G1 (Minor) storm levels are likely on 05 Aug; quiet to active levels are likely on 24 Jul
and 17-18 Aug; quiet to unsettled levels are likely on 06-07 Aug and 19 Aug. All enhancements in geomagnetic activity are due to the influence of multiple, recurrent, positive polarity CH HSSs. The
remainder of the outlook period is expected to be quiet under a
nominal solar wind regime.


Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Jul 24 0308 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact  www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-07-24
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Jul 24      70           8          4
2017 Jul 25      70           5          2
2017 Jul 26      70           5          2
2017 Jul 27      70           5          2
2017 Jul 28      70           5          2
2017 Jul 29      70           5          2
2017 Jul 30      80           5          2
2017 Jul 31      82           5          2
2017 Aug 01      82           5          2
2017 Aug 02      82           5          2
2017 Aug 03      82           5          2
2017 Aug 04      82           5          2
2017 Aug 05      82          25          5
2017 Aug 06      82          10          3
2017 Aug 07      82           8          3
2017 Aug 08      82           5          2
2017 Aug 09      82           5          2
2017 Aug 10      82           5          2
2017 Aug 11      82           5          2
2017 Aug 12      80           5          2
2017 Aug 13      75           5          2
2017 Aug 14      70           5          2
2017 Aug 15      70           5          2
2017 Aug 16      70           5          2
2017 Aug 17      70          15          4
2017 Aug 18      70          15          4
2017 Aug 19      70          12          3
(NOAA)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

From the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules, July 23-29



From the Isle of Music, July 23-29
This week, to celebrate the nomination of Abracadabra in the Fusion category of Cubadisco 2017, we are rebroadcasting our interview (with music) with Oriente López. We will also taste a little of Daniel Martin’s new album Distintos.
Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
From the Isle of Music is not available for listening on demand but some broadcasts can be heard online during the time of the broadcast using Web SDRs or the WBCQ website (during their broadcast) if you are not receiving the radio signal.
Last week, there was fair to good reception of the signal on 9400 in Japan!


Episode 22 of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, a musical variety program that features a little bit of everything from around the planet, will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, July 27 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). This week some of our stops include Colombia, South Korea and Bosnia.  Lately the WBCQ signal has been punching well into Central Europe as well as the Americas. 
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer


Hello friends,
Sorry about the break in transmission during last weekend’s broadcast at 1600-1630 UTC on 9400 kHz. At least the disruption was fairly brief. I really start to worry when the transmitter goes off the air and does not return.

 The Olivia 64-2000 last weekend was successful in several instances where the MFSK32 struggled due to marginal reception.  You can see an example about 10 minutes into this YouTube video produced by TW in Japan, from his reception Sunday 0600-0630 UTC, 7730 kHz.


We will experiment further with the Olivia modes during future shows.

This weekend, however, MFSK32 will be our only mode, including four images.
 Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 5, 22-23 July 2017, all in MFSK32 centered on 1500 Hz:

  1:28  Program preview
 2:34  Navy vessels use signal lamps for text messaging*
  10:27  Hyperloop travel is coming to Europe*
19:56  Worries about radio spectrum interference in Europe*
24:05  Closing announcements*

* with image
Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net
And visit http://swradiogram.net
Twitter: @SWRadiogram (especially active during and after broadcasts)
Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/567099476753304


Shortwave Radiogram Transmission Schedule

Saturday
1600-1630 UTC
9400 kHz*
Space Line, Bulgaria
Sunday
0600-0630 UTC
7730 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2030-2100 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2330-2400 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida

* Reception in the Americas is unlikely, but you can tune in via http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901


 The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 9925 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/

 Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:

WEDNESDAY  18.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE
                          19.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
THURSDAY     02.55 UTC  1584 KHZ TO EUROPE
FRIDAY           01.25 UTC  9955 KHZ TO CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICA
SATURDAY     01.55 UTC 11580 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                       20.25 UTC  1584 KHZ TO SOUTH EUROPE
SUNDAY        00.55 UTC  7730 KHZ TO NORTH AMERICA
                       10.55 UTC  6070 KHZ TO EUROPE

 Thank you for your reports from last weekend.  I am now answering reports to Shortwave Radiogram program 3 and hope to send all of those before the weekend is over.

This reminder that Fldigi saves your decoded MFSK images as png files in the folder \fldigi.files\images\.  Please attach those files to your reception reports.
Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram

Monitoring Radio Kuwait


Radio Kuwait QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)
Temporary schedule of Radio Kuwait

All times UTC

Summer A-17 temporarily schedule of Radio Kuwait on July 20:
0500-0900 on 15515 KBD 250 kW / 059 deg to EaAs Arabic General Service
0800-1000 on  7250 KBD 250 kW / non-dir to WeAs Persian
1600-1800 on 15540 KBD 250 kW / 100 deg to SoAs Urdu
1700-2000 on 13650 KBD 250 kW / 350 deg to ENAm Arabic GSce DRM, ex AM
1800-2100 on 15540 KBD 250 kW / 310 deg to WeEu English DRM mode,ex AM

All other registered frequencies of Radio.Kuwait are inactive at present:
0200-0745 on  5960 KBD 250 kW / non-dir to N/ME Arabic General Service
1000-1200 on 21580 KBD 250 kW / 084 deg to SEAs Filipino
1015-1600 on 11630 KBD 250 kW / 230 deg to CeAf Arabic Holy Qur'an Sce
1100-1600 on  9750 KBD 250 kW / 286 deg to NEAf Arabic General Service
1215-1545 on 21540 KBD 250 kW / 310 deg to WeEu Arabic General Service
1615-2100 on  6050 KBD 250 kW / non-dir to N/ME Arabic General Service
2015-2400 on 17550 KBD 250 kW / 350 deg to ENAm Arabic General Service
(SWL DXng)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Australian Shortwave Callsigns VLM

(via shortwavearchive.com)
The Australian shortwave callsign VLM was initially applied to a passenger/cargo ship in service with the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand.  The ship was the Moeraki and it was launched in Scotland on July 9, 1902.
 The Moeraki plied across the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia, and it also served as a troop carrier for New Zealand army personnel who were taken to Samoa for their attack against the German colony there in 1914.  The ship was ultimately sold to Japan in 1932, and it was broken up in Osaka during the following year.
 A shipping list in 1914 shows the callsign VLM with the Moeraki, which call they retained until 1927 when the official radio prefix for New Zealand was changed from V to Z.  That was the first usage of the callsign VLM.
 The second usage of the callsign VLM began on July 5, 1931 when a new 20 kW shortwave transmitter at the AWA center near Pennant Hills in Sydney Australia was taken into service.  When Australia Calling, the forerunner for Radio Australia, was inaugurated on December 20, 1939, transmitter VLM was taken into service under a new callsign VLQ2.  However, when in use for international communication, the old call VLM was still retained.  That station was closed in 1956.
 When plans were laid for a major new shortwave station for Radio Australia at Shepparton in Victoria, three transmitters were envisaged, two at 100 kW and one at 50 kW.  It is suggested that originally the projected 50 kW transmitter would be designated as VLM.  However, when the lone RCA 50 kW transmitter from the United States was installed in 1944, the call was instead.VLC.
 Beginning in 1949 and over a period of almost 20 years, four different shortwave transmitters were installed at the Bald Hills radio station, a few miles north of Brisbane in Queensland.  The first transmitter installed was a temporary 200 watt and it was taken into service under the callsign VLM, the third usage of this call.  
 Subsequently, when the first of three additional STC transmitters at 10 kW each were installed, the 200 watt unit was removed and the new unit took the call VLM.  Ultimately, the three 10 kW transmitters were each on the air in rotation for the ABC’s VLQ and VLM regional shortwave service.  This station VLM, along with VLQ also, was closed on December 17, 1993.
 The next usage of the callsign VLM occurred down in the Antarctic.  The American base at Wilkes in Antarctica was abandoned in 1958 and some of the structures and equipment were taken over for a new Australian base at nearby Casey.  The Casey Base is directly south of Perth in Western Australia.
  A radio station hut at American Wilkes was completed three years later (1961)  and then it was transferred to Australian Casey three years later again (1964).  Subsequently, radio telex equipment was installed, and a communication service was opened with Sydney in Australia.
 However in the meantime, a new Casey Base was under construction less than a mile distant and a new 1 kW Dansk transmitter from Denmark was installed into a new building.  The allotted callsign for this communication transmitter was VLM, and again it was in use for telex communication with Sydney. 
 International radio monitors noted this VLM transmitter on 7470 kHz at night and on 11455 kHz during the day.  However, Casey Base was closed in 2006 and that was the end of the Antarctic usage of the callsign VLM.
 And finally regarding the Australian shortwave callsign VLM, we note that the Radio Australia shortwave station at Cox Peninsula, across the bay from Darwin, was officially opened on September 5, 1971.  Three program lines were opened between Melbourne and Darwin and these were designated with the line callsigns VLK VLL and VLM.
 However, as a back up for the relays to Darwin, three different transmitters at Lyndhurst carried the VLM program relay at various times, and these were: a 5 kW SSB single side band transmitter manufactured by STC, a regular 10 kW broadcast transmitter, and a 30 kW SSB transmitter that had previously been in use with the ABC at Wanneroo in Western Australia. 
 In addition, the VLM service was at times also conveyed to Darwin via a 100 kW transmitter located at Shepparton.  Then, when the Darwin station was disabled by Cyclone Tracy during the Christmas season in 1974, the VLM service was transferred to Shepparton.
 However, after the so-called temporary relay station at Carnarvon in Western Australia was opened, the VLM service was transferred again from Shepparton to Carnarvon beginning May 6, 1984.  Initially the 250 kW transmitter at Carnarvon carried the VLM service, though subsequently the VLM service was transferred to the 100 kW transmitter.  Backup for the VLM program service was continuously available via a 30 kW SSB transmitter located at Lyndhurst in Victoria. 
 When Carnarvon was closed in 1996, some of the VLM programming was returned back to a transmitter located at Shepparton.
 Unfortunately as we are all painfully aware, Radio Australia no longer exists and their last major shortwave station, at Shepparton in Victoria, is still up for sale.
(AWR-Wavescan/NWS 438)

California QSL Cards in Red White and Blue

(via WTFDA)
As our opening topic in Wavescan today, we examine a cluster of now historic and quite valuable QSL cards under the title, California QSL Cards in Red White and Blue. These QSL cards were issued by OWI, the Office of War Information, on behalf of the Voice of America from their office at 111 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California during the years stretching from 1942 to 1946. 
 The 25 storey Hunter-Dulin Building at 111 Sutter Street had previously housed the offices and studios for the NBC radio network beginning in 1927.  When NBC vacated their Sutter Street facility in San Francisco in favor of their new building in Hollywood (and elsewhere) in 1942, OWI took over the NBC suites on the 21st and 22nd floors. of the Hunter-Dulin Building.
 All of the famous California Red White and Blue QSL cards were issued from the OWI office in Sutter Street.  Each card contained the same QSL text in blue; a red colored block at the bottom of the lefthand side of the card presented the country name, United States of America; and a large blue colored block on the left side of the card provided a large white space for the station callsign.
 The well known California radio station KGEI with its 20 kW shortwave transmitter made its first broadcast from Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay on the first day of the Golden Gate World Fair, February 18, 1939.  Some time after the World Fair ended, the General Electric shortwave KGEI, was moved into new facilities at suburban Belmont, and together with some additional electronic equipment, the power output was raised to the newly mandated FCC requirement of 50 kW.
 At the direction of the federal government, all shortwave stations in the United States were taken over by OWI on February 24, 1942, for the broadcast of programming that grew into the international shortwave service of the Voice of America.  On earlier occasions before the Pacific War, KGEI had broadcast special programs that were beamed to South America, the Philippines and Asia.
 The  Red White and Blue QSL card issued by OWI-VOA on behalf of the GE station KGEI gave the callsign of the station, KGEI, in large letters, and the operating frequency of the station was written in by hand or typed in below the callsign.
 The GE sister station KGEX was taken into OWI-VOA service on July 1, 1944.  Station KGEX was also a General Electric transmitter, Model No G100C, and it was co-installed at Belmont alongside the earlier 50 kW KGEI Model No 4G881.  The QSL card for KGEX is exactly the same as the card for KGEI, except that the letter I in the KGEI callsign was changed to the letter X for the KGEX callsign.
 It was back in the year 1931, that the well known American telephone and radio company AT&T took into service their shortwave station some three miles southeast of downtown Dixon in California.  The original shortwave transmitter KMI was rated at a power of 80 kW, though as time went by, a bevy of transmitters and antennas were installed.  At the height of its usefulness, AT&T Dixon utilized 30 transmitters and 36 antenna systems.
 In the era prior to the beginning of World War 2, most of the shortwave transmissions from the AT&T station at Dixon in California carried point-to-point telephone conversations across the Pacific.  However, there were also many notable transmissions in which program material was relayed across the Pacific for rebroadcast in the Philippines, Asia and the South Pacific.
 Three of the Dixon transmitters that were logged in the United States, Australia and New Zealand with the transfer of radio programming in those days were 20 kW units that identified on air under the callsigns KWV KWU and KWY.  During the Pacific War, these three stations were also noted carrying a relay of programming from the studios of the United Nations Network in the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill, San Francisco. 
 Even though these three stations were, strictly speaking, communication stations, yet OWI issued QSL cards verifying the reception of all three stations, with a separate card for each, KWU KWV and KWY. 
 Now, another communication station that carried radio programming during the Pacific War was the RCA station located near Bolinas in California.  The OWI office verified three of these Bolinas callsigns each with a separate card, KES2 KES3 and KRCA.  Station KRCA was actually the communication station KEI when it was on the air with a program relay on 9490 kHz.
 Next we come to the enigmatic callsign KROJ.  There is unfortunately insufficient information regarding the World War 2 California callsign KROJ, and the three additional similar callsigns KROS KROU and KROZ.  International radio monitors in Australia were led to believe that these four callsigns were associated with Mackay Radio in San Francisco, but subsequently it became evident that international radio monitors in the United States understood that the KROJ callsign at least was associated with Press Wireless in Los Angeles.
  Reception reports for the KROJ callsign were verified with a specific Red White and Blue KROJ QSL card, but details about QSLs for the other three callsigns remain largely unknown.   
 Then the twin stations KWID and KWIX were co-installed at Islais Creek in suburban San Francisco.  They were operated by Associated Broadcasters and their signals were heard strongly throughout the Pacific.  Separate OWI QSL cards were issued for each, KWID and KWIX, though after the end of the war, Associated Broadcasters issued their own similar QSL card with both callsigns listed on the same card.
 Towards the end of the war, two large shortwave stations were constructed in California; NBC at Dixon and CBS at Delano.  Interestingly, the OWI QSL cards identifying these two stations showed a double callsign on each card; KNBA-KNBC and KNBI-KNBX for NBC Dixon and KCBA-KCBF for CBS Delano.  In these circumstances each pair of transmitters was tied together with parallel programming.  There was also a separate transmitter at Delano, KCBR, with its own separate QSL card.
 As far as is known, this above list contains all of the known California Red White and Blue QSL cards.  If any additional Red White and Blue QSL cards were to turn up unexpectedly with an additional shortwave callsign, that would indeed be a new revelation of interesting radio history.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 438)

BBC Far Eastern Relay Station - Part 3

(Arcane Radio Trivia)
Supplementary Relay Service in Japan
 
 On two previous occasions here in Wavescan, we have presented the story of the BBC Far East Relay Station; at its first location in Tsang Tsui Hong Kong and then at its subsequent location in Nakhon Sawan Thailand.  The Hong Kong station was on the air from 1987 - 1997, and the Thailand station was on the air from 1996 until the very end of last year (2016).
 However, during this same era, not so well known is the fact that the BBC was on the air also from a high powered shortwave relay station in Japan.  That is the story here in this edition of the international DX program, Wavescan.
 We go back in the pages of time to the year 1941, and that was when the Japanese government began the construction at Yamata of what was then a modern new shortwave station, almost adjacent to the older station at Nazaki.  These twin shortwave stations were installed in rolling countryside some 50 miles north of Tokyo that is these days heavily built up and intensively cultivated.  
 The first transmitter at Yamata was a 50 kW unit that was apparently manufactured in Japan and it was taken into service on January 1, 1941. This unit was in use to beam programming in Japanese and English to North America, Europe and China.  This new unit was identified on air under callsigns in the JL series, such as JLT on 6190 kHz and JLG3 on 11705 kHz.
 At the time when the Pacific War began (December 7, 1941), the programming of Radio Tokyo in Japanese and English was on the air from five shortwave transmitters located at Nazaki and Yamata, two at 20 kW and three at 50 kW.  At Yamata, it would appear that there was just the one transmitter at 50 kW with the JL callsigns, though there may possibly have been one additional transmitter at 20 kW also. 
 Towards the end of the Pacific War, probably early in the year 1945, some of the electronic equipment in each of the shortwave stations in Japan was removed and hidden for safety in a country location.  However, at both Nazaki and Yamata, there was still sufficient equipment remaining in service to keep the stations on the air.
 In August 1945, Yamata was taken over by Allied Military Forces and it was used for both international communication as well for the broadcast of programming in Japanese and English.  Initially, there was just one shortwave transmitter on the air at Yamata and this was a single 5 kW unit. 
  When the station was on the air on 7257.5 kHz with a relay of programming in Japanese from mediumwave JOAK, the shortwave callsign was JKC; but when it was on the air on 9605 kHz with a relay of English programming from the American AFRS station WVTR, the shortwave callsign was JKE.  In 1949, the callsign for the Japanese programming was adjusted from JKC to JKH, and the callsign for the English programming was adjusted from JKE to JKL.
 A new 50 kW shortwave transmitter was inaugurated at Yamata on February 1, 1952 under a new callsign series, JOA; and shortly afterwards another 50 kW was installed under the consecutive callsign JOB.  Both units could be combined into 100 kW output on the same channel as needed.
 Over the years, many additional transmitters have been installed at Yamata, and in 1990 for example the WRTVHB listing for Japan showed 2 @ 20 kW, 2 @ 50 kW, and 8 @ 100 kW.  Ten years later, the WRTVHB list showed 3 @ 100 kW and 7 @ 300 kW.  Incidentally, the official callsign for the Yamata shortwave station, which is owned these days by the commercial company KDD, is JOD, though this call is never used on air.
 It was during the year 1993 that the  BBC in London took out a supplementary relay from shortwave NHK-KDD at Yamata and this was in addition to the program output from the quite new 6 year old BBC relay station which was located at Tsang Tsui in the interior jungle area of Hong Kong.  Initially, the BBC relay via Japan was for around four hours daily, though this was soon increased to around seven and eight hours daily. The BBC programming from Japan was beamed to China in English and Mandarin via one of their 300 kW transmitters.
 When the BBC Far Eastern programming was transferred from their station in Hong Kong to their newer station at Nakhon Sawan in Thailand during the years 1996 and 1997, the BBC continued the usage of the supplementary relay service of programming from Japan.  In fact three years later, the BBC relay service via Japan was increased to ten hours daily, though still in English and Mandarin to China. 
 The supplementary BBC relay via Yamata in Japan was terminated during the year 2007, at the end of a fifteen year jaunt.  As far as is known, there are no QSL cards anywhere verifying the BBC relays via Yamata in Japan, not from the BBC nor from NHK Tokyo.
(AWR Wavescan/NWS 437)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monitoring Pakistan


Radio Pakistan QSL (Gayle Van Horn Collection)

Great to see the following log of Radio Pakistan being heard. For many months, it has been speculated the station had either left shortwave, or was operating sporadically

For the first time since many months, I heard Radio Pakistan from Islamabad again this morning. The signal was weak and tiny and also heavy NOISY quality, like Taiwanese Sound of Hope audio level on 13680.186, 15070.203 or 15339.853 kHz at same time slot.

15700 kHz, 0500-0700 UTC, Radio Pakistan, Islamabad in Urdu language, to Middle East, Iran, Turkey and north/west Africa. Signal noted in Eastern Thailand at 0500 UTC until suddenly OFF the air at 0548 UTC on July 17. Noisy S=5-6 signal, Pakistani music and typical drums singer.

Listen to the noisy tiny signal, taken at Uwe's remote SDR installation place. Access via the box recording file via URL
https://app.box.com/s/beerm2s4523ci5ok6j2qhgb5ft6kcyik

15700PAK_Islamabad_Urdu_0500_0548UT_20170717.mp3 _  by Box.html
[selected SDR options, span 12.5 kHz RBW 15.3 Hertz] (wb  df5sx, wwdxc BC-DX TopNews July 17)
(Wolfgang Bueschel/WWDXC/HCDX)

Weely Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Jul 17 0154 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 10 - 16 July 2017

Solar activity was at very low levels on 12 Jul, low levels on 10,  11, 13, 15 and 16 Jul and moderate (R1-Minor) levels on 14 Jul. Region 2665 (S06, L=111, class/area Ekc/710 on 09 Jul) produced a
majority of the flare activity. However, new Region 2667 (N12, L=155, class/area Axx/010 on 14 Jul) produced all of the C-class activity on 13 Jul including a C8 x-ray event with a Type II radio
emission (770 km/s). The largest event of the summary period was a long-duration M2/1n flare from Region 2665 observed at 14/0209 UTC.
Associated with this event was a Tenflare (130 sfu) and Type IV radio emission. At 14/0125 UTC, LASCO C2 imagery detected an asymmetric halo CME that was analyzed and modelled to reveal an
Earth-directed component with a likely arrival at Earth on 16 Jul.

A greater than 10 MeV at greater than or equal to 10 pfu proton event (S1-Minor) began at 14/0900 UTC, reached a maximum flux of 22 pfu at 14/2320 UTC and ended at 15/1115 UTC.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at moderate flux levels then entire summary period. A maximum flux of 942 pfu was observed at 14/1750 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to unsettled levels, with isolated active intervals, on 10-11 Jul due to waning effects from a positive polarity CH HSS. Solar wind speeds reached a peak of about
650 km/s early on 11 Jul and steadily decreased through the summary period to reach a low speed of 287 km/s at 16/0446 UTC. Quiet levels were recorded from mid-day 11 Jul through early on 16 Jul.

At 16/0515 UTC, an interplanetary shock associated with the arrival of the 14 Jul CME, was observed in DSCOVR solar wind data. Solar wind speeds sharply increased from around 320 km/s to 502 km/s. Solar wind speeds then slowly increased to a peak value of 643 km/s observed at 16/2037 UTC. Total field strength values reached 28 nT at 16/0836 UTC while the Bz component was sustained at around -23 nT for a prolonged period following the shock arrival. Solar wind density reached a peak of around 56 particles/cubic cm following the shock and the phi angle became highly variable after 16/0515 UTC. Phi angle settled into a mostly positive (away) solar sector after
16/1100 UTC. The geomagnetic field was quiet until 16/0601 UTC when  a geomagnetic sudden impulse was observed (40 nT at Hartland magnetometer) indicating the arrival of the 14 Jul CME. The geomagnetic field responded with active to G1 and G2 (Minor to Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels through the remainder of 16 Jul.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 17 July - 12 August 2017
Solar activity is expected to be low with a chance for M-class flare activity (R1-R2 / Minor-Moderate) through 19 Jul when Region 2665 exits the visible disk. Very low to low levels are expected from 20-28 Jul. A chance for R1-R2 activity is possible with the return of old Region 2665 from 29 Jul - 12 Aug.

There is a chance for an S1 (Minor) solar radiation storm through 19 Jul due to potential significant flare activity from Region 2665. No proton events are expected from 20-28 Jul. A chance for S1 (Minor) solar radiation storms is possible with the return of old Region 2665 from 29 Jul - 12 Aug.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be reach high levels on 19-20 Jul due to influence from the 14 Jul CME. Normal to moderate levels are expected for the
remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at G1-G2 (Minor-Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels on 17 Jul due to continued CME effects. Unsettled to active levels are expected on 21-22 Jul
and again on 05-06 Aug, with G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels likely on 05 Aug, due to positive polarity CH HSS influence. Quiet to unsettled levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook
period.


Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Jul 17 0154 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-07-17
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Jul 17      85          30          6
2017 Jul 18      80          12          4
2017 Jul 19      74           8          3
2017 Jul 20      74           8          3
2017 Jul 21      74          15          4
2017 Jul 22      74          12          4
2017 Jul 23      74           5          2
2017 Jul 24      75           5          2
2017 Jul 25      75           5          2
2017 Jul 26      75           5          2
2017 Jul 27      75           5          2
2017 Jul 28      75           5          2
2017 Jul 29      90           5          2
2017 Jul 30      90           5          2
2017 Jul 31      90           5          2
2017 Aug 01      90           5          2
2017 Aug 02      90           5          2
2017 Aug 03      90           5          2
2017 Aug 04      90           5          2
2017 Aug 05      90          25          5
2017 Aug 06      90          10          3
2017 Aug 07      90           8          3
2017 Aug 08      90           5          2
2017 Aug 09      90           5          2
2017 Aug 10      90           5          2
2017 Aug 11      90           5          2
2017 Aug 12      85           5          2
(NOAA)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

From the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules, July 16-22



From the Isle of Music, July 16-22
This week, our special guest is Juan Carlos Bonet, director of Leyendas.com, one of Cuba's most entertaining show bands and a nominee in Cubadisco 2017 for their album Sabroseando. Fans of groups like Rumbavana and artists like Juan Pablo Torres willespeciall y appreciate this group. As always, we'll have plenty of great music.


Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Episode 21 of
Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, a musical variety program that features everything from everywhere EXCEPT music that you are probably familiar with, will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, July 20 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). This week, we'll have some laughs, but we'll also wander through Switzerland, Haiti and Argentina.
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Monday, July 10, 2017

From the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules July 9-15


From the Isle of Music, July 9-15:
No interviews this week - rather, we wander through the Fusion category of Cubadisco 2017. The winner, Buena Fe, also won the Gran Premio (Grand Prize) and the technical category for Recording. The other nominees also recorded some excellent music.

Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in all directions with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EDT in the US)
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Episode 20 of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, a musical variety program that features everything from everywhere EXCEPT music that you are probably familiar with, will air on WBCQ the Planet, 7490 KHz, Thursday, July 13 from 2300-2330 UTC (7:00pm-7:30pm EDT in the Americas). This week, we'll stick our toes in Benin, Romania and the US (but definitely NOT Top 40)
William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Jul 10 0130 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 03 - 09 July 2017


Solar activity ranged from very low to moderate levels. The period began on 03 Jul with an M1 flare (R1-Minor) observed at 03/1615 UTC from an emerging region on the west limb. A CME was associated with the M1 flare, but was determined to be well off the Sun-Earth line. Low levels were observed on 04 Jul due to a single C1 flare observed at 04/0425 UTC from this same unnumbered region. Very low levels were recorded on 05-06 Jul. Activity increased to low levels on 07 and 08 Jul as new Region 2665 (S06, L=111, class/area Ekc/710 on 09 Jul) produced a C1 flare observed at 07/1349 UTC. This was followed by a C3/Sf flare observed at 08/2353 UTC from the same region. Activity levels increased to moderate as developing Region 2665 produced an impulsive M1/2n flare (R1-Minor) observed at 09/0318 UTC. Additional C-class flares were observed from Region 2665 throughout the remainder of 09 Jul.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels throughout the period.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to isolated unsettled levels from 03-08 Jul. During this time, the solar wind environment was at nominal levels with the phi angle in a steady negative orientation.
By early on 09 Jul, solar wind parameters reflected the onset of a CIR in advance of a recurrent, positive polarity CH HSS. The geomagnetic field responded with active to minor storm levels
(G1-Minor) throughout 09 Jul. Solar wind speed increased from near 365 km/s to a maximum of 602 km/s at 09/2103 UTC. Total field ranged from 4-14 nT while the Bz component varied between +/-11 nT. Phi angle rotated from a negative to a mostly positive sector after
09/0430 UTC.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 10 July - 05 August 2017

Solar activity is expected to be at low levels throughout the outlook period. A chance for additional M-class activity (R1-R2, Minor-Moderate) is possible from 10-30 Jul.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 10-15 Jul with normal to moderate levels expected throughout the remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at generally quiet to unsettled levels for a majority of the outlook period. Unsettled toactive conditions are likely on 10 Jul with active to minor storm
levels (G1-Minor) likely on 05 Aug due to the influence of arecurrent, positive polarity CH HSS.




Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Jul 10 0130 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-07-10
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Jul 10      92          18          4
2017 Jul 11      92          12          4
2017 Jul 12      92          15          4
2017 Jul 13      92          10          3
2017 Jul 14      92           5          2
2017 Jul 15      92           5          2
2017 Jul 16      92           5          2
2017 Jul 17      90           5          2
2017 Jul 18      85          12          4
2017 Jul 19      85          10          3
2017 Jul 20      85           5          2
2017 Jul 21      85          11          3
2017 Jul 22      85          11          3
2017 Jul 23      85           5          2
2017 Jul 24      85           5          2
2017 Jul 25      85           5          2
2017 Jul 26      85           5          2
2017 Jul 27      85           5          2
2017 Jul 28      85           5          2
2017 Jul 29      90           5          2
2017 Jul 30      90           5          2
2017 Jul 31      85           5          2
2017 Aug 01    85           5          2
2017 Aug 02    85           5          2
2017 Aug 03    85           5          2
2017 Aug 04    85           5          2
2017 Aug 05    85          25          5
(NOAA)