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The LOWDOWN Latest Issue In the July-August 2023 edition of the LWCA publication:
"Notes from Headquarters" by Kevin Carey.
"DX Downstairs" Peter Laws presents members' LF and VLF loggings.
"On The Air" Experimenters operating on 160-190kHz and lower bands... and...
"The Top End" MedFER and HiFER beacon activity, by John Davis.
(No "LF Notebook" this issue. Our series on the closure of R. Luxembourg concludes next time.)
"News From the Old World" Alan Gale with latest LF news from the "other side of the pond."
"Natural Radio" by Rick Ferranti. Comparisons of real-world performance of shielded and unshielded loops versus active whips. Results may surprise you! Also, preparing to do radio science during the October solar eclipse.
"Member News Spotlight"
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Alexanderson Day 2023 at SAQ
Two transmissions from that historic station's 17.2 kHz alternator were scheduled for the great inventor's actual birthday (Sunday, July 2) this year. See a recorded video of the 1200 UTC broadcast on YouTube, and check the schedule of the day's other events from the site in this posting at the LW Message Board.
Obtain additional SAQ information at the Alexander Association pages, and consider joining the Association to help them continue their work at the World Heritage station.
New NDB Handbook Editions Available
Michael Oexner announces that "the 2022 editions of my NDB handbooks and CDs are ready now and have once again been updated extensively to reflect the latest changes and monitoring results."
The new Global NDB Handbook contains the details of more than 17300 NDBs worldwide. It is the perfect listening companion for radio listeners who use the extensive and ever-growing network of WebSDRs. The updated EuroNDBH shows the data of more than 8300 NDBs, and the new NANDBH (actually, North, Central, and South American) features more than 5900 NDBs. Each volume or CD is customized at time of production to display correct azimuth and distance from the listener's location.
You can find all relevant details at: https://ndblist.info/index_htm_files/NDBpublications2023.pdf
Related Longwave Sites
William Hepburn's DX Information Centre has probably the best online list of aero and marine beacons based on official license information, plus lists of time signals and numerous resources for other types of DXing as well.
The searchable RNA database* of LF beacons...not compiled from official sources, but a digest of actual signal reports from experienced listeners in North and Central America. It's a great tool for identifying those unknown signals. It won't always be up-to-date regarding decommissioned beacons, of course, but it's still helpful if you pay attention to the most recent reported date for a given beacon.
Gunter Lorenz' VLF/LF Station List. More recently updated than some other VLF military/utility station lists; but as with any amateur band, the listings around 137 kHz are subject to frequent change and should be taken with a grain of salt.
LF/MF Amateur Radio Sites. Now that the 2200 and 630 meter bands are finally available in the US to amateurs, not just Part 5 licensees, there's even more interest in websites about ham operation. We'll be adding more links soon, but for now we'll begin with:
- KA7OEI Blog Clint Turner has discussed many topics over past years of interest to hams and LWLs.
- W1TAG.com John Andrews also has many resources for both hams and LW listeners.
- 472kHz.org A project created by Rik Strobbe with a goal "to provide information about the 472 kHz (or 630 m) ham band, for newcomers as well as for advanced users."
Pages formerly located at John Langridge's NJD Technologies.net site are, unfortunately, no longer available. Thanks to Bob KB7AQD for helping us correct our links section!
If you know of more ham sites that should be included, or find broken links, please advise us at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP.
Radio Waves Below 22 kHz Renato Romero's eclectic collection of topics pertaining to both manmade and natural radio signals from near DC to the upper end of audibility. Includes the VLF Open Lab, and articles by many contributors...some fairly orthodox, and some not. Visit: www.vlf.it NDB Handbooks Available to order with lots of features beyond plain lists, Michael Oexner's North American, European, and Global NDB Handbooks are updated annually (click this link for 2023 info in PDF form). All editions are available for download or as physical CDs, and the NA and EU versions can also be ordered in printed form.
QRSS and WOLF Software
Rik Strobbe's QRSS software (for transmitting extremely slow CW) and Rik's other useful software at the ON7YD download page.
Continuing Development of Argo. Alberto di Bene posts the latest version of Argo, a receiving tool for displaying slow CW, that performs FFT spectral analysis and displays it in ways optimized for QRSS. Many of the transoceanic LF amateur records were set using Argo at the receiving end. Argo has somewhat similar performance to Spectran, but interacts better with the user's soundcard and is customized for QRSS modes.
WOLF. Stewart Nelson originally devised this unique mode, a variant of BPSK, as an MS-DOS program. Now, a GUI-based version by Wolf Büscher continues to increase the mode's popularity. Find the new software at the DL4YHF WOLF page.
Spectrum Lab, at the DL4YHF site, is another of Wolf's creations. In conjunction with your computer's sound card, not only is it an especially advanced spectrum analyzer, but it's also a filtering and sound processing tool, and can serve as the demodulator part of a software defined receiver.
Slow CW for Linux. Claudio Girardi (IN3OTD) has released Slow CW software for users of the Linux operating system, currently v 0.42. The program (called glfer) contains both transmit and receive capability, the latter including an FFT-based spectrum analyzer somewhat similar to those found in popular Windows Slow CW programs.
As with much open-source software in the X-world, you have to compile the C source code yourself. Users will also need additional code libraries. Links to those, plus downloadable source code, can be found at Claudio's glfer page.
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