A scottish shower by Athens digisonde

This morning I discovered that the Digisonde of the National Observatory of Athens is once again accessible on-line at its usual URL: http://www.iono.noa.gr/  . Let's hope that it remains active in the future, as it is essential for local NVIS communications, and for tests on the new 60 m (5 MHz) allocation.


Special Event Station SX90IARU

The Radio Amateur Association of Greece (RAAG), the national IARU member society for SV, SV5 and SV9, organizes a special call operation, SX90IARU, for 1-31 December 2015. They shall also issue special operating awards for multiple contacts with this callsign.

For more details visit the official announcement page on the RAAG website, and the callsign lookup page on QRZ.COM.

See also the "Logbook of special stations IARU 90" on hamlogs.net.


Λευκός καπνός: New Band at 5 MHz

Απόψε η IARU εξέδωσε την ακόλουθη σημαντική ανακοίνωση, για την οποία είμαστε σε αναμονή από την έναρξη της WRC-2015:

During todays (November 18th) afternoon plenary session of WRC-15 in Geneva a new amateur service allocation at 5 MHz was approved. Although only a small allocation of 15 kHz between 5351.5 - 5366.5 kHz was eventually agreed it is the first new allocation at HF since the WARC of 1979. After intense pressure from the Fixed service primary user, power limits have been set at 15 Watts eirp in Regions 1 and 3, 20 Watts eirp in Mexico and 25 Watts eirp in Central America, South America and most of the Caribbean area. 

Region 1 Member Societies not having an allocation under Article 4.4 of the Radio Regulations are urged to contact their administration to have this narrow segment included in their licence, although the new Radio Regulations will not come into force until the 1st January 2017.

Όπως έχει γραφτεί σε διάφορα sites, η απόφαση αφήνει όλους εξ ίσου δυσαρεστημένους. Προφανώς αναφέρεται στους τυχερούς, οι οποίοι είχαν ήδη εθνικές κατανομές στην ζώνη 5.2-5.4 MHz με μεγαλύτερη επιτρεπόμενη ισχύ. Συγκεντρωτικές πληροφορίες για τις υφιστάμενες κατανομές στις διάφορες χώρες θα δείτε στο άρθρο "60-meter band" στην αγγλική Wikipedia.

Στην Ελλάδα οι ραδιοερασιτέχνες ζουν εξ αρχής μια ιδιάζουσα κατάσταση, με έντονη εχθρότητα και καχυποψία εκ μέρους των κρατικών αρχών,(*) με εξαίρεση την περίοδο μετά τον σεισμό του 1999 και την υπουργία του κ. Μαντέλη. Μέχρι στιγμής κάθε νέα εκχώρηση και παραχώρηση προς την Υπηρεσία Ερασιτέχνου εφαρμόσθηκε με τον πιο "τσιγκούνικο" τρόπο και αφού εξήντλησε τα χρονικά όρια, πρόσφατο παράδειγμα η ζώνη 7100-7200 kHz. Μπορούμε να είμαστε αισιόδοξοι ότι αυτή τη φορά η νέα κατανομή συχνοτήτων θα εισαχθεί σύντομα και χωρίς "αστερίσκους" ? Θα μπορέσει η διασπασμένη σε πολυάριθμους συλλόγους ελληνική ραδιοερασιτεχνική κοινότητα να εμφανίσει ένα συμπαγές μέτωπο προς τις αρμόδιες αρχές ?

(*) Όσοι το αμφισβητείτε, διαβάστε πρώτα το βιβλίο "Από την αναμονή προς την αναγνώριση" του SV1AIA.

UPDATE 2015-12-15: Σήμερα ελήφθη και η σχετική επιβεβαίωση μέσω LoTW από τον επετειακό σταθμό 4U1WRC που λειτουργούσε παράλληλα με την WRC-2105 από το club station του 4U1ITU.


28 MHz beacons today

A few ten-meter (28 MHz) beacons received today:

-----  -------  ---------- ------------------------------
12:25  28267.3  OH9TEN     "OH9TEN KP36OI
12:32  28215.0  GB3RAL     "GB3RAL IO91IN"
12:40  28235.0  OY6BEC     "OY6BEC IP62"


More 5 MHz beacons

More reception reports of 5 MHz (60 m) beacons tonight:

1. Good morse code (A1A) signals every 5 min from beacon HB9AW (JN43) on 5291.0 kHz during local evenings.

2. The three UK beacons are always very weak. I managed to receive GB3WES (IO84) at 01:15 UTC and 01:30 UTC and GB3ORK (IO89) at 01:15 UTC, using the special program by G3PLX, version 4.10. I could not log GB3RAL.

Here is a list of current 5 MHz amateur radio beacons, based on the official G3USF list, with somewhat better formating and links to web pages:

5195.0DRA5ScheggerottJO44VQ30dipole A1, psk, rtty06-24
5289.5OV1BCN10k S SoroeJO55SI30
(4 EIRP)
32m F.Dip@1mUSB/MT63H+4,19,34,49
5290.0ZS6KTSJohannesburgKG43CW15Inv. Veepsk,WSPR24
5290.0ZS6SRLJohannesburgKG43CW15Inv. VeeA124
5290.5OV1BCN10k S SoroeJO55SI30
(4 EIRP)
32m F.Dip@1mA1AH+4,19,34,49
5290.0GB3RALNr DidcotIO91IN
Inv. VeeA1+pskH+0,15,30,45
Inv. VeeA1+pskH+1,16,31,46
Inv. VeeA1+pskH+2,17,32,47
5291.0HB9AWSurseeJN43BA10/5/1/.1/.001 1/2 DipA1+psk5m cycle
5357.0HG7BHBRackeveJN97LE506.5m LW @4mA124


Beacon HG7BHB on 5357 kHz


Tonight at 21:45 UTC I noticed a new beacon on 5357 kHz with callsign HG7BHB repeating the following text in A1A CW: 


The beacon is not listed in the G3USF worldwide list of HF beacons. It is located inside the proposed worldwide 60 m amateur radio allocation.

Also earlier at 21:10 I heard DRA5 from Germany on 5195 kHz. However I could not hear any of the three British beacons on 5290 kHz.


World War II radio & radar history (3)

More YouTube videos related to World War II radio, SIGINT and radar:

The AN/UPN-1&2: S-band Ultra Portable Microwave Radar Beacons (1944) 

Radio Set SCR-545, anti-aircraft radar. US Army film bulletin No. 87  (1943)

Under the Radar - Radar Technological Evolution. See  an armo(u)red military vehicle with an NVIS antenna at 09:26.


World War II radio & radar history (2)

More YouTube videos related to World War II radio, SIGINT and radar:

The Secret War 1: The Battle of the Beams (50 min)

The Secret War 2: To See for a Hundred Miles (50 min)

Development of the Hallicrafters SCR299 military shortwave radio (27 min)

 How it works: World War II Radar, part 1 (40 min)

 German Radar detection & signals jamming in World War II (25.5 min)


World War II radio & radar history (1)

I have located on YouTube a few interesting videos about radio & communications intelliegence,  and radar history. 

History Channel: The Bruneval Raid (51 min). Also covers the so called "Battle of the Beams".

Heroes and Weapons of WWII: The Men Who Invented Radar (23.5 min)

Heroes and Weapons of WWII: The Men Who Cracked Enigma (24 min)

I have always been interested in the history of Signals Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and related areas, so I really enjoyed these fine videos.

Intruder on 14240 kHz

20151109-0621-14240-0005 20151109-0631-14240-0006

This morning around 0620 UTC, 14240 kHz was occupied by a continuous FSK (F1B) transmission with 250 Hz shift. Possibly the same Russian military station which shows up on 14192 kHz. 

At 0630 UTC the station switched to F1A (frequnecy shift morse code) and exchanged short messages like "QRJ2  QRJ? K" with unid stations on another frequency. After that it went off-air, at about 0632 UTC.

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System reports on this frequency a Russian Military station from Irkutsk in CIS-50-250 mode (September 2015 bulletin).


Hellenic Air Force mini air show

Today there was a mini air show staged by the Hellenic Air Force over Phaleron Bay:

20151107-Floisvos (DSC 9038)
T-6A Texan demo

F-16C demo

20151107-Floisvos (DSC 9184)
Super Puma SAR demo


OY6BEC beacon 28235 kHz

Today at 1300 I heard a new beacon on 10 m. It transmits "OY6BEC IP62" in F1A mode (FSK morse 250 Hz shift) on 28235 kHz. Locator IP62 corresponds to the northern part of Faroe Islands. A search in QRZ.COM shows that the beacon is operated by the Faroese Radio Amateurs Union.

Intruder on 14135 kHz

This morning around 07:45 UTC, a strong, 15 kHz wide digital transmission, centered on 14135 kHz obliterates part of the 20m band. Waterfall and spectrum recorded on my Perseus SDR show that the part affected is 14125 to 14145 kHz .


IARU 90 awards

Many amateur radio societies operated within 2015 special event stations for  the 90th anniversary of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Contacts with these stations count towards a number of awards:

The official IARU award for contact with special event stations related to the 90th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (MIXED).
The official IARU award for contact with special event stations related to the 90th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (SSB).

Russian award for contact with special event stations related to the 90th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union.

For more information and to claim your award, visit http://iaru90.hamlogs.net/ .