Yesterday evening, maxp tweeted:
Engineers refer to measurements in dB all the time. Here’s a refresher on decibel basics. edn.com/design/test-an…
Radio World: Shortwave Efficacy to Be Pondered at BBG radioworld.com/article/shortw…
- The Numbers Station. Released earlier this year, this movie starts John Cusack. Here is the IMDB description: A disgraced black ops agent is dispatched to a remote CIA broadcast station to protect a code operator. Soon, they find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to stop a deadly plot before it’s too late.
It’s currently available for streaming on Netflix, and I watched it tonight. It’s kind of violent (lots of people get shot), but it’s a decent thriller.
- ENIGMA 2000. This group’s website describes the group as “a UK based online group, whose aims are to bring together listeners and enthusiasts who monitor and gather information on ‘Number Stations’ and other related radio transmissions. Through our Yahoo Group monitors can share their logs, discuss frequencies, thoughts and opinions on this most emotive subject.”
Jim, K6FWT, notes, “These folks are SERIOUS enthusiasts. I have heard that they surpass many intelligence services with their thoroughness. You can get in up to your eyeballs if you don’t watch it.”
Your life work series: radio and television (1940). If this was 1940, this video would show you how to get into the radio and television business.
One-transisitor regen receiver. This video shows you how to make a simple one-transistor AM radio.
WWV: All the time, all the time. What more is there to say? (Courtesy Brad, AA1IP and the Glowbugs mailing list)
The sound of Heil. He saved tours of the Grateful Dead and The Who, and is credited with the birth of modern live sound by revolutionizing the equipment that bands used, starting in the 1960s. In fact, Bob Heil, ham radio operator, sound equipment inventor, and founder of Heil Sound, is the only manufacturer to have equipment on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Ham ops win iAEM-Global technology & innovation award. Broadband HamnetTM, developed by amateur radio operators to provide a high speed digital wireless communications mesh network, has won the IAEM-Global Technology & Innovation Award, Division 2.. The firmware is available at no charge via the project website at www.hsmm-mesh.org.
The teenage radio enthusiasts who helped win World War II. There were about 1,500 so-called voluntary interceptors during WWII – civilians helping to intercept secret Nazi code. To mark the centenary of the Radio Society of Great Britain, one of its members recalls how the amateur organisation played a key role in a covert operation to safeguard the country’s independence.
UNESCO’s World Radio Day was yesterday, February 13. I know I’m a day late with this one, but there’s still some interesting information to be communicated. The World Radio Day website notes,
13 February is World Radio Day — a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves.
While it’s mostly about radio broadcasting, amateur radio does get a mention. In the article, “Shortwave Broadcasting – Challenges and Opportunities,” the author, Oldrich Cip, says,
Amateur radio enthusiasts have traditionally used shortwave communications to share information during emergencies when other communications systems fail. This practice is recognised and appreciated both by the public and the regulating bodies responsible for managing radio frequency spectrum. In contrast, professional broadcast facilities, whose transmitters are 10 to 100 times more powerful than those of amateur operators, are rarely used in emergencies.
As an aside, Cip is the director of the High-Frequency Coordinating Committee (HFCC). The goal of the HFCC is to coordinate shortwave frequency use and minimize broadcaster interference. Their website has some interesting information, and is worth a look for those of you into SWLing.
Here are three interesting items that I found out about by reading my e-mail:
- Morse Code Chart, including Phillips Punctuation. At right is a chart, showing the American Morse Code with Phillips punctuation. According to the book, A treatise on telegraphy, published in 1901, “The Phillips punctuation has superseded the Morse for punctuations, and and is much more complete and systematic. Except for submarine telegraphy, the Morse code for letters and numerals and the Phillips code for punctuation are used throughout the United States and Canada.” Click on the image for a larger, more readable chart.
- At The Tone is the first comprehensive audio survey of NIST Radio Stations WWV and WWVH: two legendary shortwave radio broadcasters whose primary purpose is the dissemination of scientifically precise time and frequency. Offered here publicly for the first time, the set represents a huge cross-section of the stations’ “life and times,” including recordings of obsolete formats, original voices and identifications, special announcements, format changes, “leap seconds,” and other aural oddities from 1955 to 2005. Produced, compiled, and edited by Myke over a 20-year period (1992-2012), At The Tone is alternately strange and mundane, monotonous and compelling, erudite and obscure. Recommended for fans of The Conet Project, The Ghost Orchid, and other radio-related ephemera.
- Raspberry Pi 4 Ham Radio. This mailing is for amateur radio operators using the Raspberry Pi in ham radio applications. Looks interesting, but am not sure I want to subscribe to yet another ham radio mailing list.
WITCH gets a reboot. The world’s oldest digital computer was brought back to life by engineers at The National Museum of Computing in Buckinghamshire, England. The computer was first turned on in 1951 and uses 480 relays and 828 vacuum tubes called Dekatrons, which store ten discreet values. EETimes also ran a story on this computer.
First Visible LED Demoed 50 Years Ago. Since we’re doing history today, here’s a link to a Wired article marking the first demonstration of an LED that emitted visible light. The article notes, “In the February 1963 issue of Reader’s Digest, Holonyak predicted that the LED would eventually replace incandescent bulbs. Bold words from a man who worked for GE, a company founded by Thomas Edison.” We’re finally getting around to this 50 years later.
How to Listen to Real Spy Broadcasts Now. Lifehacker shows you how to dial in to numbers stations and the like. The article says, “The behavior of shortwave radio in the atmosphere makes it ideal for long range radio transmission. You can send messages on a given frequency all over the world, and most people who use shortwave radio use it to communicate with ships at sea and people in locations all over the world.”
The Twittersphere is kind of like the ionosphere. It helps you make contact with other hams and brings you news from far and wide. Here are a few interesting links that I found on Twitter in the last day or so:
Global Pirate HF Weekend 14-15.1.2012. This station lists pirate SW radio stations that it expects to be on the air this weekend. They include one using the callsign WEMP. Look for it between 15.005 – 15.095 MHz. They’ll be broadcasting with 100 W to Europe: 12.00 – 16.00 UTC – (check 15.010 or 15.040 or 15.090 MHz).
The Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Zener Diode Tutorial. Confused about zener diodes and how they work? Read this.
Monitor your Ham Radio transmitter with an oscilloscope. In this video, Alan, W2AEW builds a little adapter that lets you connect your transmitter output to a scope input so that you can see how clean its output is.