The World of LF/MF G3YXM

.1. LF News
.3. LF links
.4. Getting On
.6. Build a TX
.7. Circuits
.8. Features
.9. The Matrix
.10. The Gallery
.11. /P Diary
.12. LF/M!
.13. Logbook
.14. Topband.

-LF news past....2006.

  • December

    • 21/12. New firmware for the ZL1BPU exciter. Murray has added a number of new features to version D6b which is now available from his website. The DDS can now reference to the 1pps o/p from GPS, has 32 bit resolution and sends new modes.

    • 20/12. LF operator detects Gamma Ray Burst? Markus Vester DF6NM has set up a GPS referenced Loran monitoring grabber which is proving to be a very sensitive indicator of conditions. Recently markus noticed a "glitch" on the Scandanavian chain on 17th which was unexplained by any solar event on NOAA. Alan Melia posted a note to the Brit Astronomical Association Radio Astromomy Group who immediately responded with news of a Gamma Ray Burst near that time. Although the times don't correlate there may be some connection, these events are very rare and quite difficult for amateur radio astronomers to detect. Read about Markus' "LoranView" system.

    • 12/12. Swedish station on 505kHz. From LWCA: Dr Frederick Raab W1FR reported on 11 December: "Gus, SM6BHZ, (Bernt Gustafson) called me today and said that Sweden's Posts and Telecomms has given him permission to operate on 500 kHz!" Parameters include a frequency range of 505.0 - 505.2 kHz with a whopping 20 W ERP. The authorisation runs until November 30, 2007. SM6BHZ is in Gothenberg, on the west coast of Sweden.

    • 11/12. SAQ on Christmas eve. SAQ will transmit on Christmas Eve, Sunday 24th December 2006 at 08:00 UTC on 17.2kHz. More info at http://www.alexander.n.se. SM6LKM has written a sound-card receiver program for SAQ (or any VLF station up to 22kHz), download it here.

    • 4/12. Wavs for SD radio tests. For anyone that needs to generate or analyse audio files for testing Software Defined Radios and similar, G4JNT has placed a number of wav file synthesis and analysis progs here. The file: WAVDSP.ZIP contains; a programme to up-convert multiple source files into one large wide-bandwidth stereo I/Q (complex) file, a PSK31 generation utility, CW message to audio generation, FSK and QPSK, tone generation, parallel tone testing plus .wav file and I/Q file analysis. Further details are given in WAVDSP.TXT, included in the archive.

  • November

    • 22/11. VY1JA received in Germany. Hartmut Wolf in northern Germany received part of VY1JA's beacon at 0600 on 21st. This is the first time J's signal has made it to Europe, it's a long way from Whitehorse Yukon to Germany!

  • October

    • 4/10. PA6Z/LX report. Dick worked about 17 stations from Luxembourg, the best QSO being with RU6LA at over 2,400km. Read his diary here.

    • 3/10. MB2HFC. The RSGB "HF" Convention is taking place this coming weekend in Crawley, West Sussex (IO91VC). The LF station will be active at various times from late afternoon on Friday 6th October 2006 through to around 12.00 UTC on Sunday 8th October. They may use a new design of TX by Jim M0BMU or an old Decca TX. The signal is usually very good and they will be active in CW and QRS.

  • September

    • 28/9. LX/PA6Z This week. All is on course for the PA6Z contest group trip to Luxembourg this weekend. Dick hopes to be active from Saturday evening and will listen for QRS or DFCW around 137.72 and CW around 136.5kHz. Callsign on slow modes will be given as LXPA6Z to save time. More info at http://www.pa6z.nl

    • 22/9. First amateur 500kHz contact. The QSO was between Conard, WD2XSH/11 in TN (EM76ge) and Dex, WD2XSH/10 in NC (EM95tg) a distance of 293 miles. Conard's signal was 339 at first with QRN/M but improved during the 10 min QSO to 459 with QRN. It would have been good Q5 copy with lower QRN. Dex's signal peaked 549 at the end of QSO. Conard was using 100W into a 160m dipole fed as a vertical and Dex was running only 5W into an inverted L.

    • 15/9. U.S. 500kHz permit issued. Warren, K2ORS, currently holder of 136kHz permit WD2XGJ, is now one of the holders of a WD2XSH permit which allows him to use 505 to 510kHz at 20W ERP. Each station signs WD2XSH/xx where "xx" is their unique identification number. Warren's is /23, Dex (WD2XKO on 136) is /10. Check the 600 metre group web-site at http://www.500kc.com/ for more info. We still await the UK equivalent..

    • 12/9. New utility TX on-air. The new transmitter near Budapest is currently on-air with tests. Some modulation schemes cause strong sidebands in the lower part of the 136kHz band. Today the station is radiating a plain carrier on 135.43kHz. Hopefully it will settle down to be like the Burg transmission with only occasional data-bursts.

    • 12/9. LX-pedition scheduled. Dick PA4VHF and the PA6Z contest group will be in LX from September 30th to October 7th. Callsign will be LX/PA6Z in normal CW & LXPA6Z in QRSS and DFCW. Normal CW freq 136.5kHz +/-QRM, QRSS/DFCW (3-5 sec/dot) on around 137.720kHz. Dick will try to be QRV around noon (10-11utc) and in the evenings after 17utc or so. Updates at http://www.pa6z.nl

  • August

    • 10/8. Portable pole. Spiderbeam have just released a 60ft telescopic fibreglass pole. It packs away to under 6ft long and weighs 15lbs. They claim it will support wire aerials and can be "walked up" by one person. Ideal for a bit of LF portable work!

    • 8/8. Coil calculator. Jim M0BMU has written an Excel coil calculator to help you design a loading / matching coil for your LF aerial. Find it on the features page.

    • 4/8. Lighthouse activity soon. During the ILHW weekend on 19th and 20th August there will be CW activity by members of the radio club Voorne Putten around136.540 from 08.00 to 10.00 UTC with the call sign PI4VPO/LT. They will run 120 watts into a 50m toploaded vertical from the lighthouse NET 074 in Ouddorp on the isle of Flakkee abt 40Klm SW of Rotterdam. Reports are very welcome via e-mail; pa0akn@amsat.org

  • July

    • 7/7. New LF utility TX near band. The German EFR (Europäische Funk-Rundsteuerung) are to broadcast control signals for utility companies on 135.6kHz from a site near Budapest. Although this looks like a potential cause of QRM in the band, the present sites at Mainflingen (129.1kHz) and Burg (139.0) are mostly plain carrier with occcasional bursts of data and are fairly benign. The English PDF, linked to above, shows the new TX service area but gives no other information. The German version quotes it as 100kW with a 280m mast, similar to Mainflingen in erp. Info from HA6PX.

  • June

    • 29/6. SAQ this weekend. SAQ, the vintage Alexanderson alternator transmitter will be on 17.2kHz again this Sunday. Listen at 0830 and 1230 utc.

    • 26/6. MF allocation for UK? Discussions are progressing on an RSGB proposal sent to Ofcom in 2004. It is hoped that the RSGB's first choice of 501 to 504kHz may be granted. There is also the possibility of 500kHz itself being designated a maritime memorial frequency, but this would be dependent on the length of time certain countries continued to use 500kHz as an emergency maritime frequency.

    • 2/6. 440kHz "Beacon on-demand" Geri DK8KW has connected his 440.040kHz beacon DI2BO to a telephone line. If you have a spare moment and want to see if you can hear it, just give it a call and it will transmit for you. Details on Geri's web-site at http://www.qru.de/di2bo

    • 2/6. PA0 expedition tests. Dick PA4VHF will be testing his 136kHz poratble set up at the club field-day site over the weekend of June 10/11. This is in preparation for the LX expedition later this year. Look out for PA4VHF or PI4ZUT that weekend on 136kHz, all reports welcome.

    • 2/6. SAQ this weekend. The last of the recent series of SAQ transmissions takes place this weekend. Transmissions start at 1000 on June 5th on 17.2kHz.

  • May

    • 25/5. First amateur LF QSO from Yukon. "J", VY1JA worked Steve VE7SL this morning. They started on QRS60 but signals were so good they ended at 12wpm. J was only running about 30W RF. He plans to increase this considerably over the next few months.

    • 21/5. RSGB reflector back on-line. The RSGB LF reflector at blacksheep.org wasn't working yeaterday but it came back on line this afternoon. Thanks to the guys at blacksheep for sorting it out.

    • 17/5. SAQ in CT. Jay Rusgrove W1VD had a good copy of SAQ this morning despite static. Hear SAQ at W1VD

    • 10/5. SAQ Schedule.
      There will be transmissions from the Grimeton Radio/SAQ alternator on VLF 17.2 kHz on the following dates:
      1. May 16th at about 09:30-10:30 UTC
      2. May 17th at about 09:30-10:30 UTC
      3. May 18th at about 09:30-10:30 UTC
      4. June 5th at 10:00 UTC 5.
      July 2nd is "Alexanderson Day", more details later.

      Info from Lars Kalland SM6NM.

    • 5/5. New 440kHz station. Joining Walter and his "DI2AG" experimental station is Holger ( Geri ) Kinzel, DK8KW near Peine, North Germany. He has been granted callsign DI2BO to test propagation from his more northerly location. No QSOs are allowed but no doubt reports will be welcome. More news of times and exact frequencies soon.

    • 4/5. "MP" back on 137kHz. Mitch has his 137k station back on air after the delay in issuing the permit meant he had to QRT. His loop is working well. QRG 137.7767

  • April

    • 29/4. SP0TPAX was active again over the holiday weekend. The station was activated this time to celebrate the 80th anniversary of an amateur QSO with the USA (U1AAO) from Poland, by Tadeusz Heftman in April, 1925. He was using callsign TPAX.

    • 27/4. Digital modes for Russia. Ed Lenichy RU6LA informs us of a change in the regs for Russian LF operators. From today they can use digital modes such as PSK and Wolf in addition to CW and QRSS. They still have the 100W TX limit.

    • 24/4. Clicklock! After Peter G3PLX laid down the guantlet, two programs using his "clicklock" technique for receiver/soundcard GPS synchronisation have become available. One is "Phase Scope" by Scott VE7TIL available here and the other is " Clicklock2" here from Con, ZL2AFP. For the transmit end, Murray ZL1BPU has incorporated a GPS lock facility into his DDS design, look near the bottom of the page.

    • 22/4. ON7YD Aerials page. Whilst looking for design info on 136khz loops I used Rik's excellent aerials page for info. Unfortunately the QSL.net servers are so slow that it took five minutes to download! I asked Rik if I could host a mirror of the page here on our shiny new servers and he said OK. So here it is. If anyone else would like LF info hosted on wireless.org.uk I'd be happy to do it.

    • 19/4. TX loop trials in GM. During my recent visit to New Galloway I tried an "Ashlock loop" and worked 7 countries. Read all about it!

    • 9/4. News from Spain. Manolo, EA4BVZ has been beaconing in QRSS30 on 137.250 recently and has been received around Eu. See info on his station here. If you want to find out what's going on in the Spanish LF scene there is a Yahoo group which you can read here. To subscribe, mail ondalarga-subscribe@yahoogroups.com - it's in Spanish but most members can read English. Lastly there is Spanish LF news site here and a grabber here.
      Thanks to Eduardo, EA3GHS for the information.

    • 8/4. LF allocation for Greece. Costas Kralis reports that the Greek Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of Defence published the new frequency allocation tables for Greece last week. As well as positive changes to 80m and 23cm allocations there is reference to amateur use in the zone 130-148.5 kHz.

    • 6/4. No ZL QSO this time. Conditions took a dive today so the last chance for VA7LF and RU6LA to make a trans-Pacific QSO passed without success. A lot of effort was put in by the 3 teams in ZL, UA6 and VE but it all comes down to conditions on the day. ZM2E was copied by VA7LF and VY1JA in SW Canada yesterday morning and at last VA7LF's signal was seen in ZL but no QSO was made.

    • 4/4. ZL tests in progress. Signals from the VE7 end of the tests have been seen around the US and Canada. We wish them luck. Update 5th. VA7LF will be trying for crossband CW QSOs outside ZL test times so listen 137.780 from 2000 to 2230 PDST (0300-0530UTC) and reply on 3536 or 7077kHz CW. Daylight tests will take place today (Wednesday) from 1400 hours through 1600 hours PDST, same frequencies.

    • 3/4. EW6GB QSOs. The first LF QSOs with Belarus took place recently when EW6GB came on from KO45CN. So far he was worked by G3KEV, RA3YO, OH1TN, RU6LA, OK2BVG and DL2HRE. I have updated The Matrix. If you have any "firsts" that are not recorded please let me know.

    • 2/4. "MP" shut down. Mitch, VE3OT has been operating experimental 137kHz station "MP" from his Ontario QTH for the past five years. Unfortunately his permit hasn't been renewed for another year, probably held up in layers of beaurocracy. It may surface eventually but until it does MP is silent on 137.

    • 2/4. ZM2E's last chance QSO? The team is being readied at Quartz Hill near Wellington for the QSO attempts with VE7LF and R6L starting on Monday. If you want to eavesdrop, frequencies for VE are 137.7890/137.7886kHz and for RU 137.7886/137.7882kHz. ZM2E's days could be numbered however, as a huge wind farm with 70 3MW turbines is planned for the area and the aerials will have to go.

  • March

    • 29/3. W5JGV.com updated. Ralph informs us that his web-site has been updated with new downloads including more equipment manuals, valve data and surplus equipment info. Link: http://w5jgv.com

    • 27/3. Trans-Pacific tests next week. VE7MM, VE7TIL, VE7BDQ and VE7SL will regroup at South Pender Island from 3rd. They promise a bigger and better antenna and plenty of RF from a new TX. They will use a different calling sequence this time, consisting of short (15 minute) calling sequences from both ends, until some propagation is seen then they will try for a QSO. Frequencies will be the same as last time. (info from Steve VE7SL)

    • 26/3. We're back. On a new server. Sorry about the delay but normal service is now resumed and we will have more space to play with. If you find any dead links or things that were there before but aren't now, please let me know!

    • 24/3. Wolf in"stereo". WD2XES radiated two simulaneous Wolf signals tonight, one at 5b/s and one at 10b/s. Both were copied by VE2IQ.

    • 19/3. Disruption of service. I am changing hosting company for wireless.org.uk so this site may be unavailable from time to time over the next few days. If you are accessing this via picks.force9.co.uk it will cease to work altogether. Please re-bookmark http://www.wireless.org.uk

    • 11/3. Asia test success. UA0AET in NO66la was copied in QRSS20 by Hartmut Wolf in Northern Germany last night. This is a land path of over 5000km. UA0AGC also took part but only traces were seen.

    • 3/3. Mercury rising. Mike Staines WM1KE has just released the latest version of his "Mercury" software. For those who may not know, Mercury is a program that allows you to monitor other people's Argo sessions over the Internet. It includes many controls to manipulate/enhance the data.
      Link: http://www.freewebs.com/mercuryservers

  • February

    • 19/2. SAQ on air. SAQ came on-air as promised on 17.2kHz between 0845 and 0945utc this morning. Signals here were 40dB above the noise using Spectrum Lab's "SAQ receiver" preset mode and an E-field probe fed into the sound card. Further session at 1300. Reports of good reception from Jay Rusgrove in Connecticut and from W2AMI. W4DEX in North Carolina could see the signal but not read the CW . Link: http://www.alexander.n.se/

    • 17/2. WD2XNS trans-Atlantic. Jay's new station made it across the pond last night with good signals into G3YXM and to Hartmut Wolf in North Germany.

    • 12/2. Good conditions continue. Trans-Atlantic conditions have been excellent for the past few weeks with T/A signals being seen every night. Conditions were so good on Saturday that Hartmut Wolf copied VO1NA's 5wpm CW by ear.

    • 1/2. RU6LA this weekend. Ed will be active from Machta (KN97LN) over the weekend, Feb 3rd to 5th on QRSS and, after 2100, CW on 136.6kHz. Between 1300 and 1900 utc on 4th (sunrise in KN87LN is 1425z) Ed will TX on two HF frequencies, 14.350 and14.212295, beaming to central Europe in the hope of creating a kind of "Luxembourg effect" difference signal to be generated at 137.705kHz. Mode will be QRSS 30 - "RU RU RU RU ..."

  • January

    • 27/1. SAQ on-air again. The historic station at Grimeton in Sweden will transmit again on 17.2KHz at 0900 & 1300 UTC on Sunday 19th February. Each transmission will be about half an hour in length. SAQ is the world's only remaining operational Alexanderson Alternator Transmitter and has a distinctive note which is well worth listening for. Link: http://www.alexander.n.se/

    • 24/1. G3XDV makes it to the states. Mike got his first US report from Jay Rusgrove W1VD last night. Mike was running 500W RF and estimates his erp is now up to 200mW or more after recent aerial work. The distance is 5433km. Link: http://lf.apersonalguide.co.uk

    • 23/1. 7S6SAJ, the story. Christer Andersson SM6PXJ and others, have put up a web-site detailing the story of 7S6SAJ in 2000. They used the big old long wave antenna in Kraak, near Karlsborg and had 58 QSOs with 13 countries. Link: http://www.qsl.net/sm6pxj/7s6saj/7s6saj.htm

    • 21/1. G/VO1 QSO. VO1NA worked M0BMU (and nearly G3YXM!) last night. VO1NA was using QRSS30 and M0BMU using DFCW30.

    • 13/1. QRP Canadian crosses the pond. Station "MP" from London Ontario was received by Hartmut Wolf in Germany tonight. MP is operated by Mitch VE3OT and it only runs 80W to a 50ft tree-supported vertical. The mode was QRSS60 on 137.777, the distance is 6465km.

    • 10/1. WD2XDW closes down. Laurence KL1X is moving again, this time just across town but it means that he will have to get WD2XDW's Part 5 licence modified (which often takes months). Another problem will be radiating such a good signal from the new QTH, WD2XDW has been received from DL to ZL.

    • 9/1. WD2XKO T/A on QRSS3. Hartmut Wolf has done it again. This time he copied WD2XKO on 3 second QRSS. He couldn't hear the CW ID though...

    • 4/1. WD2XNS. Jay Rusgrove, W1VD has at last been granted his Part 5 permit to operate on the 137kHz band. Jay already has a "Lowfer" beacon (VD) and is a keen listener on LF. We hope to be seeing signals from him soon. His QTH is Burlington CT, FN31IS.

On to 2007---Back to 2005.