29/12. More bad weather. Severe storms in Europe have put a few
of the regulars off the band over Christmas. Marzio I5MXX and Toni HB9ASB have
lost their antennas and many French listeners report problems. I hope the
damage is not too serious and that we hear you all in the new year.
29/12. GM report. I returned from GM today after a fairly quiet
Christmas period. The antenna was put back up on Christmas eve and withstood a
gale for the next two days! I worked a couple of new ones including DJ6FU,
Dieter, whom I haven't heard before. No luck with the QRS although I put out a
few calls, at least Alan G3NYK heard me!
29/12. New 136kHz CW record. I5MXX worked OH1TN on 19th December
using conventional CW both ways. The previous I/OH record QSO was between OH1TN
using QRSS and IK5ZPV on normal CW. The record for a 2-way CW QSO now stands at
2138km. Well done Marzio and Reino.
20/12. New version of QRS released. Rik Strobbe has incorporated
many new features and this version supports Rik's DFCW mode using frequency
shift keying to speed up QSOs. See the "LF software" section further
down this page to download it.
18/12. New Amrad beacon. The WA2XTF/12 beacon is now on the air
on 136.745 from Northern Virginia using 175W to a 500m LW. The callsign is sent
at 5wpm. Reports to N4ICK firstname.lastname@example.org.
16/12. SAQ transmission. Information from SM6FJB.. "The
radio station in Grimeton will be active on the following times: Jan 01 2000:
12.00, 12.30 and 13.00 UTC. Jan 02 2000: 06.00 UTC. Each transmission will last
for approx. 10 minutes. The frequency is 17.2 kHz and the call sign is SAQ.
Listener reports will be confirmed with QSL card."
13/12. SM6PXJ back. Christer has re-erected his antenna with
bigger diameter tubing but slightly less height. He would be interested in
11/12. Historic LF station demolished. Station NSS at Annapolis
USA has had its antennas demolished. This is the LF station that Amrad used for
listening tests earlier this year. There are some pictures on their website at
9/12. Bad weather. Strong winds and rain have been affecting much
of Northern Europe making high-Q LF aerials difficult to keep on tune. One of
many to suffer is SM6PXJ who has lost his vertical but is ready with some new,
thicker, tubes as soon as the wind drops.
8/12. 73k report. The Rugby tx was off the air when I listened on
Tuesday 7th at 0830z. I put out a few calls but no reply. As there were no
reports of any activity I think the strong winds and rain must have put people
6/12. French update. There is great interest in LF in France and
the French LFers are just waiting for the announcement in the "Journal
Officiel" to allow them to commence operation. This has been rather a long
time coming, but it is rumoured that the year 2000 will be the year it happens.
Let's hope it's January!
6/12. Canadian update. The Canadian
"RAC" has had an
application before the Canadian administration for approximately a year now,
for a band at 136kHz. So far there is little progress to report, other than
that they keep saying it should be a routine matter, and they do not forsee
complications. As we know, the Canadian armed forces have a large transmitter
on 137.0 kHz. This is currently being upgraded, and very unlikely to move, but
it doesn't operate all the time.
5/12. First DFCW QSOs. This weekend Rik ON7YD, worked DF6NM and
DF8ZR in 2-way DFCW. The QSO with Marcus DF6NM, over a 480km distance, was
probably the first ever 2-way DFCW QSO. These first QSO's have proven what was
expected : .a. DFCW is as easy to read on the screen as QRSS .b.
QSO speed is increased by 200 to 300% depending on the DFCW parameters
First Tuesday, 73kHz anyone? This Tuesday (7th) will be the first
in December and there's a good chance the Rugby tx will be off the air for
maintenance, at least in the morning. Maybe a good time to try a 73k sked?
5/12. M0BMU. A new call to the band was heard today working John
G4GVC (who else?). Look out for Jim on 136.
5/12. Good conditions. Very strong (579) signals into G from
OH1TN last night. This morning DK5PT and IK5ZPV were both working into the UK.
This afternoon OH3LYG was heard in broad daylight.
29/11. DFCW tests. Rik ON7YD will be putting out some
frequency-shift slow cw tonight between 2000-2100 on 137.700 with dashes hf and
dots 8Hz lower in frequency.
29/11. First G/OK, SM/OK, OH/OK and OK/GM on normal CW. John
G4GVC worked OK1FIG on Saturday morning for the first normal speed QSO between
OK and G (first QRSS was to GB4RS). Petr then worked several other G stations
including his best DX, MM0ALM at 1424km. His receiver mods are certainly paying
off. On Friday 26th Christer SM6PXJ worked Petr for the first SM/OK QSO and
OH1TN for first OH/OK. OK1FIG on QRS.
26/11. SM "big signal" postponed. The Karlsborg
expedition has been cancelled and will be re-scheduled as soon as possible.
26/11. G3OLB returns. Tom has put up an 1100ft long wire at his
Devon QTH (that's 330mtrs) he is putting out a good signal and has already
25/11. OK activity. Petr, OK1FIG will be at his LF QTH from
Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. He will be QRV for normal CW contacts
for the first 15 minutes of each hour, the rest of the hour being devoted to
25/11. SM activity. The special SM station at the transmitter
site in Karlsborg has permission to use 1kW erp! If all goes well they may
achieve about half that. They will be on the air on Saturday 27th, I'm sure we
will hear them... Also from Sweden, SM5EUF/5 will be on the air on Saturday
from his summer QTH. He will have QRS facilities if all goes well.
23/11. GD report. Back home exhausted after an excellent weekend.
We worked 12 countries: OH, SM, G, DL, ON, PA, I, GM, GW, GD! GI, EI on 136kHz
band and had 2 QSOs on 73kHz. The QRSS QSO with G3LDO at 480km is the new two
way record on 73 and the one with G3XDV wasn't far behind. The best results
were obtained when flying the kite on the beach although we did work a few from
the lighthouse-keeper's cottage that we were staying in. Unfortunately, in the
nice warm cottage, all the electronics in the lighthouse caused interference
and we had to receive on a loop orientated for minimum noise. You can read a
full report here!
18/11. GD News. We should arrive in GD on Friday evening (19th)
around 1800gmt. It may be possible to get on the air that evening but we will
certainly be operational on Saturday morning, through until Monday morning. We
will have a mobile phone with us, the number is +44 976 833 839 (0976 833 839
from UK). We will have QRSS and QSX facilities. Calls will be, GD0MRF/P,
GD3XTZ/P and GD3YXM/P. Please call us if you hear us!
16/11. First GI and EI/SM. EI/HB9SM6PXJ worked GI3KEV (Cookstown)
and EI0CF tonight. Good conditions on the band also saw HB9ASB with a strong
signal into G and EI. He worked EI0CF at2140.
16/11. Special station from Sweden.SM6PXJ, SM0AOM and SM6LKM are
planning a 137 kHz dxpedition to an LF transmitting site in Karlsborg on
Saturday November 27. They are going to use an old "T" antenna which
is about 210 meters high, with the special callsign 7S6SAJ. They will have
equipment for QRSS. Should be a good signal, especially if they are permitted
to run high power!
16/11. GD, all systems go. Arrangements for the GD expedition on
20th, 21st and 22nd November are well advanced. More details towards the end of
15/11. Report from GI. Finbar EI0CF and Ray GI3PDN met up at
Mal's QTH on Sunday to get the system tuned up. Things were going quite well
until a "tweak" took out the fets in Finbar's rig and they had to
revert to Ray's Ropex. Some RX noise was apparent from a PSU but the signal was
good and a few stations were worked. GI3KEV should be on the air for another
couple of days on 136.53 with the Ropex.
14/11. Millenium LF. On Jan 1st 2000 the radio station SAQ in
Grimeton will be active on 17,2 kHz. Time: 13-1400 (probably local time).
Further information will be given in the transmission and on the Grimeton home
from Dec 1st. Thanks to Christer SM6PXJ for the info.
13/11. Try the matrix! A new feature on this site is the matrix.
Using Java Script, it enables you to find all the "firsts" on 136kHz.
Try it and let me know what I've missed off! Try the
10/11. First PSK31 G/OH QSO. I finally managed to work Reino
OH1TN, two-way on PSK31 tonight after a week of abortive skeds. He called me on
CW and we changed to PSK. To be honest the performance was a little
disappointing in the presence of noise but we made it. This must set the LF
distance record for PSK31.
9/11. First GI/GM, GI/OH Ray GI3PDN has been enjoying his first
few days on the band. He has worked MM0ALM for the first GI to GM (or MM!) QSO
and OH1TN for the first Finland / Northern Ireland.
8/11. First G/GI.John G4GVC worked Ray GI3PDN on Monday at noon.
Ray was putting a good signal into the East Midlands so should be heard much
GD on 136.G0MRF, G3XTZ and myself will be travelling to the Isle
of Man on Friday 19th Nov. We will be on 136kHz (and poss 73kHz) on Saturday,
Sunday and some of Monday morning. We are hoping to have a good signal on tx
and want to make as many QSOs as possible over the weekend. Receive performance
will be the limiting factor and we won't know about that until we get there. We
will try our best on both normal CW, QRSS and even PSK31 if required. More
details will follow.
GI update. G13KEV has erected an LF aerial, 200mtrs at 40mtrs max
height! Mal hopes to borrow GI3PDN's Ropex TX on Thursday and possibly an EI0CF
TX at the weekend. Operation will be under several calls, G13KEV, G13PDN and
Report from ZB2. David G0MRF has just returned from Gibraltar and
nearby Spain. On the morning of 1st Nov, in ZB2 he listened on LF for IK5ZPV
(1500km mainly sea-path) and saw traces of a signal on the arranged frequency.
2 days later in Nerja he identified a trace on Spectrogram at the freq and time
of a transmission from G3WSC (2000km mainly land). Although neither was a true
copy, it looks as though the area is reachable on 136 at this time of year. It
is hoped that some ZB2 stations will come on the band after David's efforts.
GI on 136. Look out for GI3KEV from 6th - 20th of November. If
the weather is good Mal should be able to put up an excellent antenna as he has
a 120ft tower at his GI QTH. This will be the first GI station to transmit on
New OH station. OH3LYG is now active on 136kHz with a good
antenna system. The QTH is Tampere. Look out for him.
GB2CPM. Peter G3LDO was operating from the Amberley Industrial
Museum (Chalk Pits Museum) near Arundel today Sunday 31st. Using a 100m top
above a 35m vertical section strung across a chasm formed by the chalk mining
process. Peter had QSOs into G, PA, SM and DL. He hopes to operate from the
museum again soon.
137.0kHz, CFH confirmed. We have long suspected that the data
signal which sometimes appeared in the early hours was from Nova Scotia and
this has now been confirmed. The station belongs to the Canadian Navy and is at
Newport Corner (near Halifax). ERP is thought to be a few kiloWatts. It is off
the air for maintenance at present but the strength that it was received when
it was operational gives us hope for transatlantic LF QSOs.
First I/GM. I5MXX worked MM0ALM this weekend for another first on
136kHz. Dave seeems to be working all over the place these days.
GM Report. Back from Ullapool and I can report three new ones
from NW GM. I took both the mains-powered 800W tx and the 300W 12V tx plus the
TS850 up to GM. At the holiday chalet I put up a 200ft LW at about 30ft (a
story in itself!) but couldn't use it before 2100utc due to bad local QRM. With
this and the 880W rig I worked MM0ALM and EI0CF. The weather was so calm that
the first opportunity to go out with the kite was on Wednesday 27th. I worked
EI0CF at 599, G3KEV and G6RO. Bad weather made operating difficult but it was
worth it to work some new ones. The QSO with G6RO was from Ledmore which is
about 15 miles North of Ullapool and must be the most Northerly QTH in the UK,
used on LF .
GM3YXM/P heads North. I shall be operating from the North
West of GM (Ullapool area) during the week 24th-30th October. If you would like
a sked please e-mail me, times may be difficult to arrange as it will be a kite
aerial and It'll probably snow!
G3XDV "seen" in OK. OK1FIG spotted Mike, who was
calling on QRSS, on the DX cluster at 0756 on 16th. The spot appeared in the
160 section due to Petr's local packet cluster node not recognising 137 as a
First I/SM QSO. Christer SM6PXJ and Valerio IK5ZPV got up
early on Wednesday morning and had a good normal speed QSO at 04:10 with
signals from Chris peaking 559.
Have a look at the pictures
of Christer's antenna.
First GW/SM QSO. Early mornings proved successful for
Steve GW4ALG and Christer on Tuesday 12th at 04:02utc when they exchanged good
reports. This is the best DX from Sweden so far at 1294km. Steve reports that
signals dropped quite significantly over the next hour. Looks like we have to
get up early to catch the DX!
International pile-up on 136. Good signals tonight (11th)
from Italy saw many stations calling IK5ZPV around 2030. The pileup shown in
this Spectrogram plot shows stations from four
First OK/G, OK/ON, OK/I, OK/PA OK1FIG had a good weekend
from his cottage. He worked IK5ZPV and IK1ODO, ON7YD, PA2NJN and GB4RS using
QRSS. He also worked several German stations. It was worth braving the bad
Convention news.. The LF section of the RSGB HF convention
was well attended and there were several interesting sessions. G4GVC collected
the first operators award and Dave G3YXM was presented with the Nevada cup. The
LF station, set up by David G0MRF and Graham G3XTZ ran as GB4RS on 136 and
G0MRF on 73kHz. They worked several Gs plus PA0SE, DF3LP, DK8KW and
OK1FIG! on 136 plus G3LDO on 73kHz after a double-quick rebuild of the
TX by David. Well done all and thankyou to those who nominated me for the
Nevada cup.Pictures from the convention. Mike, G3XDV's (better)
First GM/SM...The SM firsts come thick and fast now, Dave
MM0ALM worked Christer on October 7th.
First ON/SM...Lars clocked up another one last night (Oct
7th) when he worked Rik ON7YD. The best times seem to be between 2000 and 2100
for working SM. It would be interesting to see if any of us can hear the SMs in
First DL/SM! The SM's have certainly been active recently.
Lars SM4DHN has now worked Peter DF3LP for a first. He has also worked into G,
working Mal G3KEV.
First G/SM QSOs. Christer SM6PXJ worked G3YXM and G4GVC on
Oct. 5th at around 2030utc. His signal was peaking about strength 6 here with
high QRN. The distance to G3YXM was 1193km, not bad for Christer's 100W. OH1TN
was also on the band with a strong signal. This was not a "one-off"
as he worked G3KEV the next evening. Great to have the good conditions back!
1999 convention, LF programme. The 1999 convention at the
Beaumont Convention Centre, Old Windsor, this weekend has a full
programme of LF events. Saturday has several sessions for the LF enthusiast
including the LF Forum. My introduction to LF operating is on Sunday. Full
details at http://www.g3wkl.freeserve.co.uk/conv/prog.htm
73 KHz tests spoiled by QRM. G3XDV, G3LDO and G3YXM
attempted to make contact around 72kHz this morning (Oct 5th) but the QRM from
the Rugby tx on 73.3 was appalling! Mike managed to hear Peter with the aid of
a directional loop, previously he was able to get an easy copy. Here, the noise
level in 500Hz was S9+10dB compared to about S3 on 136. If this transmission is
on 24hrs a day, which it appears to be, then 73kHz is dead before its
SM heard in DL. DF3LP heard SM4DHN CQ'ing at 0758 this
morning (2nd Oct). The signal was 519 but no QSO was heard.
QRSS beacon. Graham G3XTZ is running a QRSS beacon on
136.0 over the weekend. He would be interested in reports (direct or via me).
Later note: stopped transmitting about 1000 on Sunday.
Activity info from OK1FIG. Petr will not be active this
coming weekend (2/3 Oct) but will be listening (watching?) for QRSS from his
home QTH. He is planning an expedition to his LF QTH later in the year with all
the QRSS gear.
Leicester show time. The Leicester show at Donnington Park
had some LF interest this year. John G4GVC presented an introduction to LF
operation on Friday 24th. As he is one of the most experienced LF operators, it
was a most interesting session. Pictures from Leicester
I5MXX back on. Another station back for the winter season
is Marzio I5MXX who has already had crossband QSOs with Paul F6EGV and Jeff
F6BWO. We hope that the French stations will get their permits soon!
Server problems I apologise for the lack of this page over
the last few days, it was due to server problems at the ISP. I have been unable
to update this page until now. A temporary service was available at
http://www.wireless.org.uk so check that URL if this one doesn't work in
Big signal from IK5ZPV Valerio has been putting an
excellent signal into the UK around 2100 this evening (27th). If only the
static wasn't S9!
Rising SM activity SM6PXJ reports working SM4DHN in
Hagfors. He was running 400W to a T aerial so we may hear one of them in the UK
OK1FIG back on band OK1FIG has been heard in G by G3KEV
and G4GVC, in Holland by PA0SE and in Belgium by ON7YD. It can't be long before
some more countries work OK!
OH1TN back on. Look out for Reino OH1TN in the evenings.
He was putting an S7 signal into the UK on Monday night ( 13th ) around
2000gmt. His usual frequency is about 136.5kHz.
LF net restarted Anyone interested in an LF net please
come on 3646kHz at 1900gmt on Sunday evenings and we'll
see how it goes. The first week saw G3YXM, CT1DRP/1, G4GVC and EI0CF on the
frequency ( or thereabouts! ).
1999 convention, LF programme. The 1999 convention at the
Beaumont Convention Centre, Old Windsor, has a full programme of LF events.
Saturday 9th of October has several sessions for the LF enthusiast including
the LF Forum. My introduction to LF operating is on Sunday. Full details at
OK activity. Petr, OK1FIG has been having a good weekend.
He worked OZ1KMR Sat and Sun ( 11/12 ), OE5EEP/5 (both new countries) and
DK8KW. His signals were just detectable on Spectrogram here so a QRSS QSO to G
may be possible.
LF award. The RSGB Committee have just announced the
Nevada cup (sponsored by Nevada of Portsmouth). This annual award is for the
most significant contribution, by any RSGB member, towards scientific or
engineering development of receiver and / or transmitter design, modulation
technique, aerial design or propagation on the 73kHz or 136kHz UK amateur
allocations. The Cup will be presented at the LF Forum at the RSGB
International HF & IOTA Convention in October. Nominations to
OE contacts. In addition to OK1FIG the Austrian group
worked HB9DCE and DL1SAN.
PSK31 tests. We made it! DK8KW and G3YXM worked using
PSK31 at 0630utc, Saturday. Copy was difficult, pretty similar to the results
obtained on normal CW but with about 3dB less power at both ends. Geri also put
out some tests between 0900 and 1000utc. Freq. 137.45kHz.
See a screenshot of the QSO.
OE activity. OE5PGL, OE5ODL and OE5EEP will be on the air
on Sunday, September 12, from about 0600Z to 0900Z in normal CW, QRG
136.4+/-0.3kHz. Antenna is 450m wire (still up!), power 70 watts.
1999 convention, LF programme. The 1999 convention at the
Beaumont Convention Centre, Old Windsor, has a full programme of LF events:-
Saturday 9th: 1015 - 1045 The LF scene in the US, One Year of AMRAD
Experiments, Andre Kesteloot, N4ICK
1045 - 1115 Direct Digital Synthesis de-mystified, Johan Bodin, SM6LKM &
Dave Bowman, G0MRF (Dave will do the presentation as Johan will not be
1445 - 1545 LF Forum (73 and 136kHz bands), John Gould, G3WKL - Presentation
of the Nevada Cup, the RSGB Experimenters Award.
1600 - 1630 Internet and the "Reverse Beacon", Stewart Bryant,
DX Dinner at which some of the LF enthusiasts attending will be spending a
convivial evening together.
Sunday 10th: 1100 - 1200 A practical guide to operating on 136kHz,
Dave Pick, G3YXM
Both days: 73kHz and 136kHz demonstration station (generously
masterminded by G0MRF and G3XTZ?) - hoping to make the Basic 136kHz operating
award this year! We are also hoping that John G0AKN will find the energy to
bring his earth-transmitting equipment for a live demo! Display area for LF
equipment, photographs, awards, etc
Full details at http://www.g3wkl.freeserve.co.uk/conv/prog.htm
73kHz tests. G2AJV will run some beacon tests on 0700-0830 on
Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th on 72.0 +/- 100Hz. He will also run the beacon on
Tuesday 7th if the Rugby transmitter on 73.3 is off the air. Any reports would
Quiet holiday period. The long weekend of 28/29/30 August was a
holiday here in the UK and the activity seems to have suffered as a result.
Very few reports of QSOs have been received. A few stalwarts are still on the
band so lets hope for some more activity next weekend!
Rad Com LF News.The first LF column written by me is in the new
RadCom which has just come out. If you have any LF news you feel would be
suitable for the next one in two months, please let me have it ASAP.
Good conditions. This weekend (21st/22nd) a quiet background with
a lack of atmospheric noise in Northern parts of Europe allowed some good
propagation. HB9ASB reported excellent signals from the UK and DJ5BV was a good
signal into G.
Lighthouse on the air. Look out for DF2BC/P from the 65m high
Campen Lighthouse over the weekend 21/22nd. Alfred is using a Ropex tx on
136.53 and is putting out an excellent signal. Later note: Many stations
were worked over the weekend using the calls DF2BC/P and DL9BDM/P. The station
was heard by EI0CF but I don't think they made a QSO. They did work G, GW, PA,
OZ, DL and possibly others.
Eclipse tests. Various measurements were made of different LF
signals over the eclipse period. The consensus seems to be that short-lived
ionospheric effcts were noticeable at the time of the eclipse. Check out Renato
Romero's site for some test results at
Earth-base tests from Devon. G0AKN and G3HMO conducted some more
"earth-base" tests on 73 and 136kHz on 8th. From Start Point in South
Devon they used earths in the sea and on land with QRSS on 73 and QRSS and 5wpm
tests on 136kHz. A lot of effort went into these tests but reports have been
sparse (I know how it feels!) however the 136 signal certainly got out as far
as the London area. Some tests were also done on 1kHz and received over a mile
away. Now that really is "low frequency"!
New calls on 136. A few callsigns to look out for: DL3FDO, DF8ZR
and G0VXG have all been worked recently.
More OE activity. Also on 8th the OE gang were active again.
Despite the TX blowing up they managed to work DJ2EY, DJ1ZB, DF2PY and DL1SAN.
IK5ZPV was heard in the early morning but not worked as the TX was still broken
at the time.
EI QRSS beacon. Finbar EI0CF's beacon test on 137.192 using slow
CW at about 4 second dot-length yielded a number of reports. The beacon ran
from Saturday afternoon (31st) until Sunday (1st) at approx 1300hrs. Look out
for further tests.
First OE contact. OE5ODL/5 worked DJ1ZB on Saturday 31st at about
1400z. the station was operated by Peter OE5PGL using a TX built by Heinz
OE5EEP and a 450m Marconi antenna! Bad QRN built up later in the afternoon.
Details will appear on Heinz's site
OE activity. OE5ODL and OE5PGL hope to be operating a portable
station on 136kHz on Saturday July31st from 1100hrs UTC. They will be using
about 100W to a wire antenna. I will add any further information as I get it.
First DL/GM. Not much activity over the weekend in GM but I did
manage a normal-speed QSO with Manfred DJ5DI on Friday. Later I had a nice QSO
with G3BDQ in Sussex for another new one. It was good to work PA0SE and ON7YD
again but DF2PY and OZ1KMR were "the ones that got away"!
GM3YXM/P again. I'll be active from SW Scotland again over the
coming weekend. Still no QRSS I'm afraid, I still haven't found a cheap laptop
with a soundcard!
OK activity. OK1FIG will be active on 136 from 21st to 25th of
July. Petr now has 250W of RF and is hoping to have some normal speed CW QSOs.
He will make a point of being QRV "on the hour" in the early mornings
and evenings over the period.
EA on 136 soon. It is reported that Spanish amateurs will soon be
able to apply for special permits to operate on the 135.7 - 137.8kHz band. No
news yet of any activity.
Sarejevo worked crossband to 136. T99S replied to a CQ call by
Valerio IK5ZPV on Monday evening (13th). Valerio was listening on 80m for the
QSO. Samir and he then QSYd to 20m for a chat. It appears that Samir and his
colleagues have no TXs but are interested in building them.
First OK/DJ and OK/HB9. Petr, OK1FIG is now operational on the
band with about 50W. On Friday 9th he worked DJ5BV and on Saturday he worked
HB9ASB, both on slow CW. It's early days yet for Petr who hopes to increase his
ERP enough to make normal speed CW QSOs soon.
Field strength measuring set for LF. Dick Rollema, PA0SE, has
been working for some time on a simple field strength measuring set which will
allow operators to measure their radiated power. This is very useful when doing
aerial comparisons and for calculating ERP to satisfy various licencing
requirements. Read Dick's excellent article.
Band plan for 136? Do we need a bandplan on 136? It has been
suggested that the bottom of the band, below 136.0kHz, should be allocated to
beacons and tests and the top of the band, above 137.6kHz, for slow CW. The
rest of the band could be used for normal CW with perhaps another small section
for digital modes such as PSK31. Any comments?
Up with the lark... It seems that the early bird catches the DX
at present! Good long-distance QSOs are still being made from G-I and G-HB9
around 0630gmt before the local noises get too strong. Toni, HB9ASB reports
that before 0700gmt is best.
First HB/OZ. A bit late this one! Toni HB9ASB reports that Bert,
HB9DCE has worked not only OH1TN but also OZ1KMR for a first QSO between the
two countries. The QSO was made in late May.
LF aerials investigated. As an alternative to the computer
modelling systems I built a 15th scale model of my LF antenna and tested it on
topband. I found that (a) vertical bits tacked on the end of the T increase the
capacitance but reduce the efficiency, (b) pure verticals benefit greatly from
"umbrella" type top loading, even if the top loading wires seem to
"shield" the aerial. If you would like me to compare two possible
antenna configurations let me know.
Blacksheep back on line. Those who subscribe to the RSGB LF
e-mail reflector (details at the bottom of this page) may have noticed a lack
of traffic since the weekend. This was due to a rogue address creeping onto the
list which has now been fixed. Thanks to the operators for the very useful
Friedrichshafen report. John G3WKL attended the LF forum at the
recent Friedrichshafen hamfest which was a most successful event. He reports
that there are apparently now around 40 German stations on 136kHz and efforts
are being made to get the power limit increased from its current 20W. Tributes
were paid to the pioneering work of Peter Bobek DJ8WL and an award for the
first transatlantic QSO on LF is to be considered in his memory.
PA0LQ forced to QRT. Harry, PA0LQ has been told by his lanlord to
stop using his long-wire antenna suspended from his 12th floor balcony.
Evidently some residents of the block suffer from "radiation hazard
syndrome"... a change from the usual TVI. This is a great shame as Harry
has been doing really well recently and has much enjoyed his LF operation.
Noise blankers. Every LF operator suffers from noise.
Unfortunately, for various reasons the noise-blankers in most HF rigs don't
work very well on the noise at LF . Harry PA0LQ has devised a system based on
the assumption that most noise is mains derived. Read
MM0ALM. Look out for MM0ALM on 136.53, Dave has recently improved
his aerial system and is now a big signal from near Aberdeen in NE Scotland.
Recently he has worked OZ1KMR and OZ5N (First GM/OZ). He is also
interested in crossband QSOs, receiving on 73 kHz. He has no e-mail so contact
him direct for skeds or via me.
New version of Spectrogram. Richard Horne has released a new
version of his very useful free spectrum analysis program, 5.0. It has some
more features useful for amateur radio use and is available from
Activity times. There has been much discussion on the reflector
about activity periods on LF. Should there be particular times when LF stations
make a point of being on the band? If you have any suggestions
OZ / PA0 Both PA0SE and PA0LQ worked OZ1KMR on Saturday morning
(12th). Although it is not a vast distance this has been a difficult one as the
OZs suffer from QRM.
LW internet chat facility. DK8KW has set up a chat room
exclusively for LW enthusiasts (that's us!). It may be useful for keeping in
contact with DX stations when tests are in progress. Its at
Poor conditions. DX signals (over 300km) seem to have been well
down recently. At my QTH DF2PY and HB9ASB were at least 6dB worse than usual
this weekend, Rik ON7YD reported similar findings. This, coupled with NFD, made
for an uneventful weekend on LF!
PA0NJN kite not portable again! Due to interference at the
portable site Nico was unable to receive any LF signals and has given up for
Noisy noise annoys... The summer static is well and truly with us
again with last weekend (29/30th) being a total wipeout here in the UK. During
daylight hours the static is fairly localised so it's still worth putting out
crossband calls in the hope that someone in a quiet location replies!
OK1FIG listening on 136. Petr Maly OK1FIG is still doing well
with his receiving setup having copied IK5ZPV, HB9ASB, I5MXX, DF2PY, DJ1ZB and
LX1PD this last weekend. Petr is now concentrating on the TX side and hopes to
have 100W soon.
The mystery station on 137.0 is most likely CFH in Halifax, Nova
Scotia. We suspected that this was a transatlantic signal by its QSB pattern
and it looks as though it will be a useful indicator of propagation. It is only
audible in the early hours of the morning at present. Geri DK8KW has a
plot of the signal at
Cheap RX for 136. Geri DK8KW recommends the "MV-61"
selective level meter by Praecitronic which is available on the German surplus
market for about £30! This superbly made device covers 200Hz to 2.1Mhz and
has an IF output at 200kHz which is useful to feed your usual RX. I wish they
were available in the UK! Link to Geri's info.
Other similar devices are on the market so keep a look-out at rallies.
UA2FF / RN2FA on 136. Spotted on the 21st on the
DX cluster site was UA2FF,
Vlad who is getting going on the band along with Alex RN2FA. At present they
have about 50W RF on 136.8 into a 50mtr wire but are improving things all the
time. Situated in KO04, they have heard and called IK5ZPV with no results so
far. Update... On Wednesday 26th at 2140, UA2FF (transmitting on 80) had
a crossband QSO with I5MXX (on 136.8). Vlad was receiving Marzio at 559.
Unfortunately Marzio could not hear Vlad on 136.
LF articles. .1. Walter G3JKV points out that the April edition
of the US magazine "RF Design" has an article on LF transmission
which may have some useful pointers. .2. There is a review of the Ropex
"First" TX by yours truly, in this month's "Radio Today"
(formerly Ham Radio Today).
French experimental activity. F6CNI has been carrying out antenna
experiments on 136kHz with a special temporary permit from the French
authorities. With only 6mW erp he has exchanged reports with G4GVC, ON7YD,
LX1PD, G3GRO/P, PA0LQ, G3KEV, G3XDV, GW4ALG and err.. G3YXM! Andy may be able
to do further experiments sometime in the future but at least it's a positive
sign that France is near to getting full access to the band.
OE heard. Andy F6CNI reports hearing OE1MI on Sunday morning
(16th) with a good signal. No QSO took place as far as we know, so look out for
Report from RK2. RK2FWA in Kaliningrad reports hearing GW4ALG,
IK5ZPV and OH1TN between 2030 and 2330 on 15th. Nice to know the East Europeans
are hearing some signals, no news yet of any transmissions.
OH/I at last! IK5ZPV and OH1TN have been attempting to make a two
way on 136kHz for the last week or so. Although Reino has been copying Valerio
quite well, things haven't been so easy down in Italy. For the QSO last night
(12th) Reino used slow CW whilst Valerio used normal CW. After exchanging
reports like this, Reino sent normal CW and Valerio gave 339. At over 2100km
this must be the new distance record for 136kHz.
Late night activity on 136. IK5ZPV, OH1TN, OZ1KMR and ON7YD have
all been heard around 2200z recently, some evenings signals have been very good
(IK5ZPV 579 here on Tuesday!) so have a listen before you go to bed...
First I/LX Marzio I5MXX worked LX1PD on Sunday evening (8th May)
for another first.
73kHz The Rugby TX is off and there has been some activity. G2AJV
has been heard beaconing and others are available for skeds.
W beacon. For those who like a challenge.... The AMRAD guys have
set up WA2XTF/6 in Vienna Virginia on 136.75kHz sending a series of Vs,
callsign, a 5sec dash, a 5sec space and a 5sec dash. Although it only runs 25W
the 5sec dashes may be something to look for on Spectrogram around dawn?
French experimental permits. There have been reports of some
experimental LF permits being issued in France. These allow low-power aerial
tests as a prelude to the full permits being issued later in the year... we
East European activity. Szigy YO2IS in KN05PS reports that he is
now listening on the 136kHz band with a 2m rotatable loop. He has heard some
QRS but is unable to decode it at the moment and hopes to hear some normal CW
soon. He also tells us that at least 3 Hungarian stations are hoping to be on
the air soon.
73kHz Dave G3YMC reports that the Rugby TX on 73.3kHz is off the
air for maintenance during the day at present. Perhaps 73k enthusiasts should
arrange some tests for the weekend?
Operating times. Now that the summer static has started to appear
on LF it is worth noting that the noise sometimes abates later in the evening,
OH1TN and OZ1KMR have both been active around 2200z recently. Remember also the
early mornings, 0600-0700z are worth a try.
Weekend portable activity. The DL0UL/P gang suffered severe
interference problems due to other equipment on site and only worked some local
stations, they promise to return! G2BBC/P appeared sporadically from Market
Bosworth in Leicestershire. Using a kite antenna John G4GVC operated whilst
Dave G3YXM tried to keep the kite in the air. 4 countries were worked in 9
contacts, LX1PD was the one that got away!
DJ8WL. I have received the sad news via Wolf DF2PY, that Peter
DJ8WL, died recently. He was one of the gentlemen of ham radio and a keen LF
operator who carried out some of the early pioneering work with his DA0LF call.
He will be sadly missed.
Austria on 136! With immediate effect all class 1 Austrian
amateurs are allowed to transmit on the 135.7 - 137.8 kHz band using A1A or A1B
with an erp of less than 1W. No OE stations have been reported as active on the
German portable expedition. Another group of German amateurs will
be active on Sunday May 2nd with a big antenna from JN48UO. Frequency
will be around 137.3 between 0500 and 1100z. The callsign will be DL0UL/P.
Good conditions on 136. Conditions on 136 were good last weekend
with the Italian stations IK5ZPV, I5MXX and IK1ODO being heard around Europe.
I5MXX was heard by EI0CF, and all three by several G stations. IK5ZPV has
worked several Gs and DF2PY has been working into the UK for the first time.
New Pictures. Thanks to those who have sent in pictures for
the LF picture gallery. Some are already
there and I will be adding more over the next few days. More are always
Signals measured. Dick, PA0SE has made some definitive
measurements of signal strengths on 136kHz . Read his
New calls. New stations reported on 136 over the last week or
so.. DJ1ZB, G8PX, PA0DKM, DL3KS, DL1SAN, DJ5AO.
Receive systems. There has been much discussion recently about
receive system performance on LF. Now that many stations have a good TX signal
it is obvious that some just cannot hear the DX calling them. If you have any
tips and tricks for good LF reception please let me know and I'll pass them on.
Perhaps someone can tell me how to get rid of my local noise!
News from OH1TN. Reino has been regularly working during the
evenings and has recently added PA0AWN and OZ5N to his tally of firsts. He has
also had crossbands with I5MXX and IK5ZPV a two way I/OH can't be long now!
RealMedia file of I5MXX recorded in Finland.
Check out the full Amrad report (with good pictures) on their trip to
the NSS VLF site at Anapolis.http://www.amrad.org/projects/lf/March1999NSS/
Appeal for pictures... If you have any pictures of your antenna
system, rig or shack I'd be happy to put them in the LF picture gallery. E-mail them to me or
post a copy to the address given here Thanks.
DJ portable expedition a success. Guenter DJ8CY and Walter DJ2LF
operated the /P station as planned over the weekend. The 30m high triple-top T
antenna which Walter constructed seemed to be performing well. Unfortunately,
Peter DJ8WL (DA0LF) was unable to attend. Despite some QRM they managed QSOs to
DJ, ON, G, LX, PA from the disused beacon site in JO40BP. They were also heard
in Italy and Wales.
GW on 73kHz not such a success..... Mike GW3XDV/P was plagued
with problems, and the weather, when out portable this week. He did have some
joy on 136 though. Read
First SM two-way on 136. Johan, SM6LKM was heard by Christer
SM6PXJ whilst testing his QRP TX. Christer contacted him and they had a 2-way
QSO. A distance of 120km with only 4Watts RF!
First I/OZ on 136. Marzio, I5MXX worked OZ1KMR on Tuesday 6th. He
also had a crossband QSO with SM6PXJ who was on 80mtrs. Two records in one day!
GM/HB9 When in Scotland over Easter I worked Toni HB9ASB with
reasonable copy both ways. Toni was a nice 559 peaking 569 and I got 449. I
also worked PA0LQ, PA0AWN and G6NB for the first time. Also I took part in
the... First 2-way GM QSO on LF when I worked MM0ALM!
DA0LF returns... Peter DJ8WL and others will be operating on 136
from a disused aeronautical beacon site on April 10/11th. The station has a
30mtr top loaded antenna and is located in JO40BP. With Peter, who will be
using his DA0LF call, will be DJ2LF and DJ8CY who may use their own calls when
operating. Expect most activity on the Sunday when they've had a chance to get
it tuned up; normal CW between 136.5 and 137 and QRS around 137.7 as usual.
Intruder watch... The mysterious signal on 137kHz which was first
heard last year has reappeared and is causing much interest. It peaks in the
early hours of the morning in Europe and fades away after dawn. It usually
carries an RTTY type signal. Does anyone know where it's from?
GW on 73kHz. Mike GW3XDV/P will be operational from 4th-10th
April with a special effort to be active on Saturday 10th around 10:00hrs. He
will be using 71.9kHz. Tuesday 6th is the first Tuesday in April and the Rugby
TX on 73.3 may be QRT so this could be a good day for 73kHz tests. Mike will
also be on 136kHz, including QRS mode, during the week.
Crossband to GJ, twice! On sunday morning (28th) I had a phone
call from Phil GJ4CBQ who had taken a listen on 136 and heard G4GVC and LX1PD.
The Loran QRM is usually so bad there that no signals get through (Phil can
see the Lessay mast!). We arranged a sked and had a crossband QSO to
80mtrs. Later that afternoon I put out a crossband CQ call to 40m and was
called by Dennis GJ3YHU! Dennis may get on 136 TX later in the year if the
noise stays at this lower level.
Kite info from the PA2NJN crew. Jaap PA3GUC was one of the team
who put on the experimental stations using large kite-supported aerials. He
posted this message on the reflector. See also the
link to their site, lots of good pictures.
First EI/I QSO. Finbar EI0CF was operating from his alternative
site on Sunday 21st between 2130 and 2330gmt. He had a QSO with Marzio I5MXX,
cross-bands with DJ1ZB and OH1TN amongst others, and had various reports from
around Europe. It made exciting listening!
Possible French activity. Andy F6CNI is hoping to receive a
special permit soon which will enable him to radiate low powered tests on 136.
Watch this space.
New calls heard or noted on the reflector over the last week or so.
G3BDQ, OZ8NJ, DJ5AO, HB9DLQ, PA0KDM, PA0AWN, I5OXT, I5TGC and a returnee G6NB.
G to Italy on normal CW. On Sunday 21st John G4GVC had a sked
with Marzio I5MXX and had a good copy of his signals. Unfortunately Marzio did
not quite copy John but he did manage to work Mal G3KEV. Marzio is in central
Italy and Mal is in Northern England, I work it out as 1420km.
More US tests. Andre N4ICK and the Amrad gang did some more
listening tests from a disused LF transmitting station at Annapolis near
Washington last weekend. The large antennas (one cut for 134kHz!) proved to be
very good at picking up static and signal-noise on weak signals appeared no
better than on small antennas. No amateur signals were heard due to the static.
G/HB9 on 73kHz! Peter G3LDO had a crossband QSO with Toni HB9ASB
recently, Peter on 73kHz and Toni on 136 a distance of 721km!
Earthbase tests. John G0AKN conducted more earth-base tests today
(14th) using earths 920mtrs apart on 73 and 136 bands. Reports have been
received from G have but none of the DX listeners have reported signals.
All SMs to get 136 band. From April 1st 1999 the 135.7 - 137.8
band will be available to all Swedish HF operators, Johan Bodin reports. The
preliminary information gives 1W output power as the limit, we hope thay mean
First G/OZ QSO. Mal G3KEV worked OZ1KMR this afternoon (Saturday
13th) for yet another first on 136kHz.
First EI/PA QSO. Dick PA0SE worked EI0CF today (Friday 12th at
1339hrs). Looks as if Finbar's "QRM free site" is working well as he
also worked Harry PA0LQ...
First OH/SM QSO. Christer SM6PXJ worked OH1TN tonight (Tuesday
USA on 136! Follow this link for full text
of the announcement.
I5MXX heard in Finland! Reino, OHITN copied Marzio on Saturday
6th at 2030 hrs over a distance of 2080km. Let's hope they can make a QSO.
New stations heard. Look out for Bob G8RW from Bromley in Kent
and Howard G3RXH from Skipton who have both recently appeared on the band.
First GW/DL QSO. Steve GW4ALG picked up another first when he
worked DF0WD early on Saturday 6th. Well done steve and Wolf.
2 new countries for DF3LP. Peter has had a good week! On Friday
5th he worked EI0CF for the first EI/DL QSO and on Sunday 7th he worked OZ5N
for another first. Congratulations to all three.
Italian activity. Both I5MXX and IK5ZPV (Tuscany region) worked
HB9ASB on Tuesday 2nd March around 2000gmt using normal CW. They reported lots
of QSB on the path but as the Alps are in the way it's probably not surprising!
Also active from Tuscany are IK5BLQ and I5TGC, look out for them. Update 7/3/99. I5MXX was heard calling CQ this
morning at 0916 by G4GVC. John was receiving Marzio at 559 but no QSO took
place due to QRM.
73kHz update. Not much to report. First Tuesday shutdown of
Rugby's 73.3kHz tx took place as usual but no activity noted. Unfortunately the
tx seems to be on all the time now, except for these maintenance days. First
Tuesday in April may be Easter holidays for some, perhaps skeds could be
New version of QRS available. Rik's new version of the Windows
slow CW transmitting program is now available for free download. It now
incorporates a new QSO mode, very useful. See link on main
Commercial 136 rig available! Nevada now have stock of the "Ropex" 136 TX. It is
crystal controlled, runs on 12V and produces 30 or 130Watts of RF. It costs
less than £200.
OZ worked x-band. Mal, G3KEV has worked OZ5N who was transmitting
on 40m as well as some new PA and F stations. Well worth putting out those QSX
GM activity. Look out for MM0ALM . He has a Ropex TX (136.5kHz)
and is using a 120ft tower as a vertical radiator. He plans to erect a
big antenna soon..... Dave's QTH is near Aberdeen in NE Scotland.
High flying kites.. Nico, PA2NJN and friends were on 136 on
Saturday 20th with a 599 signal into England and 559 into Italy (heard by I5MXX
and IK5ZPV) from their 300mtr wire suspended by a kite.
GM report. I have recently returned from another GM trip. New
ones this time: F6CNI crossband, G3XDV, G3YMC, PA0CC. Just missed HB9ASB and I
called DF2PY and LX1PD but no results. The band was lovely and quiet most of
the time, I wish it was like that at home! Diary of
Cross-band contacts. Both Mal, G3KEV and Finbar, EI0CF are
looking for cross-band QSOs usually listening on 80mtrs. Recently Mal has
worked: F6CNI, F8DB, F3EL, F6BWO and EA1QX who is near the Portuguese border,
good DX! Looks like there will be plenty of stations on when France gets the
First I/DL QSO. IK1ODO and DF3LP had a slow CW QSO on Sunday 8th
Feb for another first. Conditions seemed generally good with excellent slow CW
QSOs between G3YXM and DJ8WL and IK1ODO, OH1TN still
being audible throughout the day and news of another OH station: Mal G3KEV had
a crossband with OH1XX who hasn't heard any other dx, there's a challenge!
First LX/DL and ON/I QSOs Both LX1PD and DF2PY have been having
trouble hearing stations but they worked eachother on Sunday morning (31st) for
another first. LX1PD also worked G3KEV later that day.
Rik ON7YD made the first QSO between Belgium and Italy when he worked Marco
IK1ODO using slow CW, also on Sunday morning.
First OH/DL QSO Peter DF3LP and Reino OH1TN had a QSO on Friday
evening (29th) with Peter using QRS and Reino normal CW. Congratulations to
First G/DL QSO G3YXM and DF3LP made a slow-CW QSO on Saturday
23rd at 1800hrs. Signals faded out after that and noise took over.
German activity takes off.. Two new calls (to LF) were heard in
the UK on Sunday 24th. DF2PY and DF0WD were both heard around mainland Europe
and in the UK on normal CW. No two-way normal speed QSO had yet taken place
betwen Germany and the UK. DJ8WL, DF3LP and DK8KW were all active on slow-CW.
HB9ASB worked DJ8WL this morning, another first! Other German stations
heard/worked since, DJ5DI, DK9DX, DJ5BV and DL2KCL in slow CW.
SM on 136? F on 136??rumour has it that SM may be the next
country to get on 136. Let's hope that this will generate some LA and OZ
activity too! It is also thought that France is quite close to issuing the
band, only the French military have to give consent and they're on....
Daylight DX / First DL-G CW QSO Mal, G3KEV and DJ5DI had a QSO
using normal CW on 29th at 1400gmt. He has also had several QSOs with OH1TN
this week at about 1000 hrs GMT. This time of day seems very good for
long-distance QSOs at the moment.
21/1/99 German stations back on 136! Peter DJ8WL and Peter DF3LP
have been putting out test transmissions now that German class 1 amateurs can
use the 136kHz band. They have waited a long time for this, let's hope many
more get on soon.
More 73kHz news On Sunday 24th I set up on 72.6 in an attempt to
work F6CNI crossband but poor conditions on 80 and noise on 73 conspired
against us. I did work G2AJV again and had cross-band QSOs with G0MRF and
G3UNT. I also got a report from G0UPU so it was worthwhile. I'll be on again
next Sunday morning at 0900.
Surprise surprise! On Sat 16th Marzio, I5MXX (near Florence)
thought he was having a cross-band QSO with a weak I0 station on 137kHz about
300km away. In fact the weak signal (419) was from Finbar, EI0CF! Marzio got
all the information correctly, including the frequency Finbar was listening on
80m, but had not read the "E" at the start of his call. To say that
he was surprised when he found out was an understatement! Marzio will be ready
to transmit on 136 soon and will obviously be able to hear the DX....
73 kHz news.. On Sunday 10th I noticed that the band was quiet
and got the 73kHz system tuned up. With 3A aerial current I worked G3XDV at
130km and G3LDO at 205km 569 both ways! I believe this set a new 73kHz 2-way
conventional CW record. Later in the week I just managed a QSO with G2AJV in
Canterbury at 235km, a new 2-way normal CW record. The 73kHz band was clear
again Jan 16/17 but not much activity due to the transatlantic tests on 136.
Harry, PA0LQ has improved his TX (using good old valves!) and is
now a good signal into England, listen out for him.
Transatlantic Tests Lots of European stations took part in the
tests giving rise to a number of listener reports from around Europe.. we must
do this more often! Unfortunately the weather and atmospheric conditions made
copy of any amateur signals stateside all but impossible. The recordings they
do have, made on Sunday, will be processed soon. Well done to all concerned, a
lot of effort went into this both sides of the pond and we knew it wouldn't be
GM3YXM/P was active from SW Scotland from Dec. 28th to Jan. 3rd.
First GM-ON, GM-PA and GM-OH QSOs were made. Info on the trip.
First HB9-OH QSO. Toni, HB9ASB worked Reino OH1TN over the
holiday period, it's not only a first but also a new 136kHz distance record!
Andre', N4ICK and others will be listening out for 136kHz
signals across the Atlantic on Jan 15-18th and Feb 13-15th. They will be at a
sea-side resort located just below the Virginia / North-Carolina border. Many
European stations will be beaconing near the top of the band from 2200 on Jan
15th. Here's an excerpt from Andre's e-mail.... "Several of us are
definitely planning on being in the LF receiving mode in Nags Head starting
Friday 15 January circa 2200 GMT, and we intend to stay there through Monday
18; 2400 GMT (or maybe even later that that). The precise location will be at
Oregon Inlet, N35 degrees 47.616 seconds, W75 degrees 32.211"More info.
First ON/OH QSO. Rik, ON7YD worked OH1TN on Friday 11th Dec '98
at about 1930. Although it was a bit of a struggle, the QSO was completed OK.
Congratulations Rik and Reino!
Another first for GW4ALG! Steve worked HB9ASB on Sunday 6th Dec
'98 at 0850 whilst using his balloon supported 20mtr vertical. That's the first
GW/HB9 on 136
More slow CW tests from Marco IKIODO on Tuesday 8th and Thursday
10th Dec '98. Transmitting on 137.77 he was received here very well but with
severe QSB. The signals were particularly clear at 2000 when this
screenshot was taken. He didn't hear me call though!
Kites Ahoy...PA2NJN made it onto 136 at last on Saturday 21st
Nov. with a good strong signal and many stations calling. The kite was at
150mtrs but they were using an "active aerial" to receive and had
problems hearing people. Despite this they worked G, ON and PA and had reports
from G, GW, GM, F, DJ, SM and from IK5ZPV at 1095km!