In CQ – January 2018 – Pete, N8PR (SK) wrote that you should set up your receiver to produce two tones 65 to 80 Hz apart to make copying weak CW signals more easily. The theory behind this is that the dissonance between the two tones makes copying a CW signal more copyable than just a single tone. I like this idea. I played around a little bit last night with this technique, and it did indeed seem to work better than using just a single tone.
Five thousand copies were printed of the first issue of Barton’s Boys’ Life, published on January 1, 1911. The more widely accepted first edition is the version published on March 1, 1911. With this issue, the magazine was expanded from eight to 48 pages, the page size was reduced, and a two-colour cover was added. In 1912, the Boy Scouts of America purchased the magazine, and made it an official BSA magazine. BSA paid $6,000, $1 per subscriber, for the magazine.
“Calling Mrs Boye on Vanikoro.” So began a message from Japanese forces to Ruby Boye in 1942. What followed was a terse and direct threat for Ruby to discontinue her operations. Over the course of World War II, Ruby Boye operated the radio at VANIKORO in the Solomon Islands as Australia’s only female coastwatcher. Her service warranted a personal visit to Vanikoro by Fleet Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey Jr, USN, and earned her a British Empire Medal (BEM).
Ruby was born Ruby Olive Jones on 29 July 1891 in Sydney, the fifth of eight children. She was working as a saleswoman when she married a laundry proprietor, Sydney Skov Boye who had previously lived in Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, in Sydney on 25 October 1919.
Skov returned to Tulagi, with Ruby and their son, Ken, in 1928 to take up his old position with Lever Brothers. Their second son, Don, was born shortly afterwards and the two boys would spend most of their school years in Sydney. In 1936 Skov accepted the position of Island Manager for the Kauri Timber Company’s logging operations on Vanikoro in the Santa Cruz group. Vanikoro is a mountainous island surrounded by a treacherous coral reef. There were no roads. The timber logged in the mountains was hauled to the harbour by rail tractors where they were rafted together to await shipping to Australia. Ships would arrive from Melbourne four times a year to collect the logs and at the same time delivered mail and supplies for the loggers. Around 20 Kauri employees, including a radio operator and a doctor, came to Vanikoro from Australia and New Zealand on two year contracts in addition to about 80 islander labourers.
The family lived in the island’s main village, Paeu, on the south-west coast of the island on the southern bank of the Lawrence River where crocodiles were common. A suspension bridge over the river led to the main part of the village as well as the company store, office, machine shop and living quarters for the company’s workforce.
An Island Paradise?
Upon the declaration of World War II, Lieutenant Commander (later Commander, OBE) Eric Feldt assumed responsibility for the naval coast-watching network in the South Pacific. Vanikoro formed part of the network; however, the operator wanted to return to Australia to join the RAAF. He suggested that Ruby could take over the operation of the radio until a replacement arrived. Ruby agreed and so learned how to operate the radio and compile weather reports using a panel of instruments and her own observations. She sent weather reports by voice four times a day, providing vital meteorological information for both ships and aircraft. No replacement was ever sent; there was no need as long as Ruby kept sending her reports. Ken and Don, meanwhile, returned to Australia to stay with relatives.
Timber production at Vanikoro ceased when the Japanese entered the war, and staff and their families left by ship. Skov decided to stay to look after the company’s interests while Ruby considered it her duty to continue operating the radio. With the departure of the doctor, Ruby also took on the responsibility of the health and welfare of the local islanders, many of whom travelled between the islands by canoe and brought Ruby information about Japanese movements and dispositions.
It was a courageous decision. Ruby was 50 and Skov was older, and they were the only non-Solomon Islanders left on the island. If the Japanese did invade the island, and Vanikoro was in a precarious position, they were defenceless. They received supplies infrequently and were often short of rations. No mail, newspapers or magazines were delivered, and the radio was strictly for intelligence use only. Ruby only ever received three personal messages over the radio; to advise her of the deaths of her father, mother and a sister.
Ruby initially directed her reports to Tulagi but when it fell to the Japanese in May 1942 she was directed to send her reports to Vila in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu). It was at this time in early 1942 that Ruby received the first of several threatening messages. One of her fellow coast-watchers, listening on the same frequency, responded to the Japanese operator “in language which they wouldn’t repeat to a lady.” For her part, Ruby remained unperturbed; “I felt just a little bit queer when I heard that voice but somehow I felt he was bragging… The mere fact that I was annoying them sufficiently to have them warn me off was somewhat gratifying.” Shortly afterwards Ruby’s radio was changed to a different frequency and she was instructed to transmit only in Morse Code, which she had taught herself.
Ruby ‘Operating’ Her Vanakoro Station
As civilians, coast-watchers were advised to cease their operations and evacuate as the Japanese advanced into their territory. The vast majority of them, like Ruby, chose to continue their activities in the knowledge that capture could result in their execution. In March 1942, following the execution of an elderly planter, the coast-watchers were given ranks or ratings, mostly in the Volunteer Reserve, in the hope that this would provide them some protection in the event of capture. From 27 July 1943 Ruby was officially appointed an honourary third officer in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Her uniform was later air-dropped to her. The US Army also offered Ruby’s little outpost official recognition as 3rd Army Outpost. Those appointments would, in reality, offer Ruby little protection if she ever were captured. She and Skov agreed that if the Japanese ever did land on Vanikoro they would head into the jungle and, if it came to it, take their own lives rather than be captured. Ruby also provided a vital intelligence link in the South Pacific and often relayed messages from other coast-watchers when they were unable to reach the US base at Vila. She is credited with passing on vital information during the Battle of the Coral Sea, as well as from Leyte and Guadalcanal.
Japanese reconnaissance planes were often heard overhead and on one occasion during the night, lights were seen and boat engines were heard around the reef lasting for around four hours. Ruby believed that the Japanese were trying to find the entrance to the harbour but abandoned their attempt to land when they were unable to do so. For safety reasons it was decided to move the radio equipment across the river away from the Boye’s home. After the suspension bridge across the Lawrence River collapsed, Ruby had to make the journey to the radio shack across the crocodile-infested river by punt and through ankle-deep mud four times a day.
In 1944 a Catalina flying boat refuelling station was established on the island. This meant an improvement in conditions for Ruby as supplies were delivered on a more regular basis; however, the station was also a target for Japanese air raids which occasionally damaged aircraft and tenders in the harbour.
Such was the appreciation for Ruby’s efforts that Admiral Halsey personally called on her at Vanikoro. He arrived in a flying boat and a small group of officers came ashore to be met by Skov. Halsey introduced himself; “Name’s Halsey. Not stopping for long, just thought I’d like to call in and meet that marvellous woman who runs the radio.” Halsey told Ruby that he was “playing hookey” by visiting.
It was around this time, in 1944, that Ruby developed shingles and Halsey arranged for a USN Catalina to fly her to Sydney for treatment. Four US servicemen were assigned to take over the operation of the radio during her convalescence; four men assigned to do the work that Ruby had been doing on her own. After three weeks in Australia, she re-joined Skov at Vanikoro and resumed her coast-watching duties.
As the Japanese were slowly pushed northwards, the Americans withdrew from Vanikoro in 1945 but Ruby diligently continued her work until until the news was received, via her tele-radio, that the war was over. The Kauri Timber Company resumed logging operations after the war and Ruby was officially employed as secretary to the manager while continuing to send weather reports to the Bureau of Meteorology. Ruby was presented with her BEM in 1946 in a ceremony in Suva.
In 1947 Skov fell ill and both he and Ruby returned to Sydney in August for diagnosis and treatment. Two weeks after being diagnosed with Leukemia, Skov passed away. Ruby briefly returned to Vanikoro to finalise affairs there before returning to Australia for good.
Ruby married Frank Jones in 1950 and took on the name Boye-Jones; but 11 years later, Frank too passed away. Ruby lived alone at her Penshurst home for the next thirty years before moving into a nursing home at the age of 96. She remained active and enjoyed the company of a vast network of friends and family. In her own words; “Age is a matter of mind and if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” The then Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Hudson, wrote to her on her 98th birthday saying; “Your name is synonymous with the finest traditions of service to the Navy and the nation. We have not, nor will not, forget your wonderful contribution.”Ruby passed away on 14 September 1990, aged 99. An accommodation block at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, is named in her honour, and the Ex-WRANS Association has dedicated a page to her in the Garden Island Chapel Remembrance Book.
Author: Petar Djokovic RAN Semaphore series. https://www.navy.gov.au/…/public…/semaphore-calling-mrs-boye
Since radio signals can cross multiple time zones and the international date line, some worldwide standard for time and date is needed. This standard is coordinated universal time, abbreviated UTC. Formerly known as Greenwich mean time (GMT). Other terms used to refer to it include “Zulu time”, “universal time,” and “world time.”
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the globally used time standard.
It’s a 24-hour clock that’s based on the 0° longitude meridian, known as the Greenwich Meridian.
Time Notation for Amateur Radio
Amateur Radio operators have two ways of showing time, and which method they use depends upon whether they are communicating with other operators within the same time zone (local), or with operators in different time zones (Dx). Because transmissions on some frequencies can be picked up in many time zones, Amateur radio operators often schedule their radio contacts in UTC.
The International Radio Consultative Committee formalized the concept of UTC. and Coordinated Universal Time was officially adopted in 1967. UTC is used by international shortwave broadcasters.
Local Mean Time is local
It depends at your location. This didn’t matter when travel and communication were slow but the problem grew more acute in the 19th century. The widespread use of telegraphs and railroads finally forced a change. How could you catch a train when every town and railroad company kept a slightly different time?
When people are in different time zones, local time becomes problematic.
Whose “local time” should be the standard?
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Was established in 1675, when the Royal Observatory (UK) was built, providing a standard reference time.
Local solar time became increasingly inconvenient as rail transport and telecommunications improved, and each city in England kept a different local time. The first adoption of a standard time was in November 1840, in Great Britain by railway companies using GMT.
In 1852, time signals were first transmitted by telegraph from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, UK.
US and Canadian railways inaugurated a time zone on Sunday, November 18, 1883, when each railroad station clock was reset as standard-time noon was reached within each time zone.
The “universal” time zone that was agreed upon (in 1884) is that of 0° longitude, Greenwich, England. Hence UTC is often called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
UTC – The World’s Time Standard
Commonly used across the world. UTC time is the same worldwide and does not vary regarding the time zone or daylight saving time.
Don’t forget that the day advances at midnight or retreats to the previous day, depending on where you are and the direction of the conversion! You can actually be talking to someone on the radio who is in your future or in your past, depending on your reference in time!
Time travel without a time machine, using RF and Skip.
24 hour Format
You will often see time expressed in the 24 hour format used by the military and many others.
The 24 hour system eliminates any confusion that could result from a failure to specify AM or PM.
UTC uses a 24-hour system of time notation. “1:00 a.m.” in UTC is expressed as 0100, pronounced “zero one hundred.” Fifteen minutes after 0100 is expressed as 0115; thirty-eight minutes after 0100 is 0138 (usually pronounced “zero one thirty-eight”). The time one minute after 0159 is 0200.
The time one minute after 1259 is 1300 (pronounced “thirteen hundred”). This continues until 2359. One minute later is 0000 (“zero hundred”), and the start of a new UTC day.
The world is divided up into about 24 time zones. By 1929, most major countries had adopted hourly time zones. It may be safe to assume local time when communicating in the same time zone, but it can be ambiguous when used in communicating across different time zones.
Time zones around the world are expressed using positive or negative offsets from UTC.
Local time is calculated by subtracting a specific number of hours from UTC, determined by the amount of time zones between you and the Greenwich Meridian.
To convert UTC to local time, you have to add or subtract hours from it.
For persons west of the zero meridian to the international date line [0 > 180 degrees W], hours are subtracted from UTC to convert to local time.
East of the zero meridian, hours are added. Pay attention to the correct date as the time crosses midnight or the International Date Line.
When converting zone time to or from UTC, dates must be properly taken into account.
For example, 10 March at 02 UTC is the same as 9 March at 21 EST (U.S.).
A world map can help you picture the International Date Line time and see when a date conversion is needed.
Who uses universal time?
Major users of highly precise universal time include astronomers, spacecraft tracking stations, science labs, military and civilian ships. UTC is the time standard used in aviation, e.g. for flight plans and air traffic control (remember how you need to change your watch on arrival?). Weather forecasts, radio and TV stations, maps, seismographers, geologists, power companies and ham radio operators. UTC is the basis for all time-signal radio broadcasts and other time services.
Orbiting spacecraft typically experience many sunrises and sunsets in a 24-hour period, or in the case of the Apollo program astronauts travelling to the moon, none. A common practice for space exploration is to use the Earth-based time zone of the launch site or mission control. The ISS (International Space Station) normally uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
UTC does not observe Daylight Saving Time
UTC does not change with the seasons, but we change our habits and adjust our local clocks accordingly.
So how do you figure out what time it is in UTC?
The old fashioned way to do this is to listen to a shortwave station that broadcasts time information, such as radio station WWV. A more modern way to find the UTC time is to check the internet. Enter “UTC time” into Google or Yahoo and the correct time will be displayed.
GPS receivers are an excellent source of accurate time information because the positioning system depends on having precise timing between all of the system’s satellites. Just set the time zone on your GPS to “UTC” or “GMT” and it will read out in universal time. There are a number of smart-phone apps that display time in UTC.
One of the tricky things to get right is the UTC date. Since UTC time is running ahead in North America, the UTC date will change many hours before the date changes in USA.
For example, when it is late Saturday evening March 3 in the US, UTC time will already be Sunday morning March 4th. This is a classic error on QSL cards: getting the UTC time right but listing the wrong date.
When the UTC clock rolls past 0000, you need to increment the day ahead (compared to your local date). See:: “ How To” March 27, 2014 by Bob Witte. K0NR https://hamradioschool.com/does-anybody-really-know-what-time-it-is/
If your radio supports it, you should consider setting your radio clock to UTC. Or keep a regular wall or alarm clock set to UTC near your radio.
Is a standard radio abbreviation for a scheduled contact at a specific time.
An international notation standard covering the exchange of date- and time-related data, provides an unambiguous and well-defined method of representing dates and times, so as to avoid mis-interpretation of numeric dates and times, date and time values are ordered from the largest to smallest unit of time, using the 24-hour clock system. The basic format is [hh][mm][ss].
Father Roberto Landell de Moura (January 21, 1861 – June 30, 1928), commonly known as Roberto Landell, was a Brazilian Roman Catholic priest and inventor. He is best known for his work developing long-distance audio transmissions, using a variety of technologies, including an improved megaphone device, photophone (using light beams) and radio signals.
It was reported in June 1899 that he had successfully transmitted audio over a distance of 7 kilometers (4.3 miles), which was followed by a second, public, demonstration on June 3, 1900. A lack of technical details makes it uncertain which sending technology was being used, however, if radio signals were employed, then these would be the earliest reported audio transmissions by radio. Landell received patents in Brazil and the United States during the first decade of the 1900s.
Ronan O’Rahilly, Radio Caroline founder who inspired UK pop and pirate radio, dies aged 79
Ronan O’Rahilly, the Irish founder of the notorious Radio Caroline that popularised pop music on British radio, has died aged 79.
His death was announced by the radio station that is still broadcasting, who said: “In a pastime populated by unusual people, Ronan was more unusual than all of them combined.” He had been diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2013.
O’Rahilly first became known as a player in the burgeoning “swinging London” scene of the 1960s, managing Alexis Korner (the blues-rocker who nurtured the career of the Rolling Stones) and Georgie Fame. Fame eventually had three UK No 1 singles, but O’Rahilly initially struggled to get his musicians noticed by BBC stations and the then-popular Radio Luxembourg, and so founded his own station, Radio Caroline, in 1964.
He circumvented licensing laws by acquiring a former Danish passenger ferry, anchoring it in the North Sea off Felixstowe, and broadcasting from there. With a much less diverse radio industry than today and the BBC only playing two hours of pop music a week, Radio Caroline quickly amassed a listenership of millions for its daytime pop-focused output.
Many DJs would become household names and enjoy successful post-Caroline careers, including Tony Blackburn, Johnnie Walker, Dave Lee Travis and Simon Dee. Walker paid tribute, calling him an “amazing man … who made the impossible possible and changed radio for ever”.
In 1967, an act of parliament outlawed offshore radio stations on the grounds that they were not paying royalties to artists, and that their broadcasts could interfere with emergency channels. A number of Radio Caroline’s DJs moved to the newly created Radio 1, which had been influenced by the success of the former and another offshore station, Radio London. Radio Caroline then moved to Dutch waters, and continued broadcasting at sea until 1991.
O’Rahilly used Radio Caroline to promote his own philosophy of “loving awareness”, which espoused peace and love over hate, and even set up a band, Loving Awareness, to further the cause.
He also continued his management career, including representing James Bond actor George Lazenby. Lazenby paid tribute to O’Rahilly on Instagram, saying “rest well, Ronan”.
Lazenby shared “bittersweet” reminiscences about how O’Rahilly convinced him not to take a contract for multiple Bond movies, with the franchise passing to Roger Moore. “He was very influential on me giving up the role of James Bond back in 1969,” Lazenby wrote. “Ronan convinced me Bond was all over … I’d be in danger of becoming part of the Establishment. Something he rebelled against. Easy Rider was supposed to be the way forward and I could do three or four of those type of movies for every Bond. I wanted to be a free spirit, make love, not war. Ronan wouldn’t let me sign the Bond contract – kept sending it back … Who knows what would have happened had Ronan not got a hold of my brain? But I don’t regret a day of my life.”
O’Rahilly also produced Lazenby’s film Universal Soldier, as well as the Alain Delon and Marianne Faithfull film The Girl on a Motorcycle. The Radio Caroline story became the basis for the 2009 Richard Curtis film The Boat That Rocked, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
I was working Andrew – G(M)4VFL on GM/SS-056 on 13cms (2.3GHz) FM last week and he happened to mention that earlier in the week he had worked VU (India) to activate G/LD-030. I was intrigued – of course via OCAR 100 – HERE . 13cms Up & 3cms down.
I asked him if he had a picture, and indeed he has forwarded a nice shot.
Now does anybody fancy working out the path distances? 🙂
How did Neil Armstrong communicate with Earth after stepping on the moon’s surface and say his famous words?
The PLSS life support backpack contained a VHF band radio which transmitted voice and biosensor data from the spacesuit to the LEM communications system, and voice signals from the LEM to the suited astronaut. The LEM communications system, then communicated voice and bio sensor signals with Earth using S-band, a UHF frequency range widely used in space because of its ability to pass through Earth’s ionosphere without distortion or reflection.
All voice communication was amplitude modulated, which is why it carried readily recognizable AM signal distortions and noise. The S-band transmitter that talked to Earth also acted as a transponder, responding to coded ranging signals from Earth which were used to accurately measure the distance from a ground station on Earth to the LEM. Voice and data could also be routed through the CSM in orbit, and there stored on the DSE recorder for later spooled delivery to Earth, though I don’t know that this was actually done with lunar EVA data.
The VHF transceivers had two channels, and communications between the LEM and suited crewmen were “duplex,” meaning each could transmit simultaneously to the other. Ground transmissions, on the other hand, were “simplex,” and the characteristic Quindar tones were used to simplify single-channel (you talk, then I talk) communication.
Communication between the LEM and astronauts performing EVA was facilitated by a small VHF antenna deployed by the first crewman down the ladder. On the surface, the crew deployed a large, umbrella like S-band antenna for beaming voice and data directly back to Earth without having to relay through the CSM and its high-gain antenna array.
On later missions, of course, a somewhat smaller deployable S-band antenna was carried by the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
Original Article Courtesy of FORBES.COM – HERE and QORA.COM .
Glen Zook, K9STH, posted this to the Heathkit mailing list:
Many amateurs already know that “73” is from what is known as the “Phillips Code”, a series of numeric messages conceived for the purpose of cutting down transmission time on the old land telegraph systems when sending text that is basically the same.In the April 1935 issue of QST on page 60 there is a short article on the origin of 73. This article was a summation of another article that appeared in the “December Bulletin from the Navy Department Office of the Chief of Naval Operations”. That would be December of 1934.
The quotation from the Navy is as follows: “It appears from a research of telegraph histories that in 1859 the telegraph people held a convention, and one of its features was a discussion as to the saving of ‘line time’. A committee was appointed to devise a code to reduce standard expressions to symbols or figures. This committee worked out a figure code, from figure 1 to 92. Most of these figure symbols became obsolescent, but a few remain to this date, such as 4, which means “Where shall I go ahead?’. Figure 9 means ‘wire’, the wire chief being on the wire and that everyone should close their keys. Symbol 13 means ‘I don’t understand’; 22 is ‘love and a kiss’; 30 means ‘good night’ or ‘the end’. The symbol most often used now is 73, which means ‘my compliments’ and 92 is for the word ‘deliver.’ The other figures in between the forgoing have fallen into almost complete disuse.”
One of the chief telegraphers of the Navy Department of Communications, a J. L. Bishop, quoted from memory the signals that were in effect in 1905:
Wait a minute
Where shall I start in message?
Have you anything for me?
Attention or clear the wire
I do not understand
Love and kisses
Busy on another circuit
Finished, the end-used mainly by press telegraphers
My compliments, or Best Regards
Now days, 22 has become 88 (love and kisses). I don’t know when this came about. 30 is still used in the newspaper and magazine business to indicate the end of a feature, story, or column. And, of course, 73 is still used by amateur radio operators to mean “best regards”.Making any of these numbers plural (73s, 88s, etc.) is incorrect since they are already plural. 73s would mean best regardses and 88s would mean love and kisseses. Those make no sense.
Anyway, the subject of where 73 came from comes up periodically and this article reinforces the “Phillips Code” origin.
Jim, N2EY, adds:
Some other related stuff:Phillips Code “19” and “31” refer to train orders. They were so well known that the terms “19 order” and “31 order” were still in RR use in the 1970s, long after the telegraph was gone.
The abbreviation “es” for “and” derives from the Morse character “&”. The prosign “SK” with the letters run together derives from the Morse “30”.
The numeric code is a small part of the abbreviations outlined in the Phillips Code (developed by telegrapher Walter P. Phillips). Here are the numbers as referenced:
W I R E S I G N A L S
Preference over everything except 95
Wait a moment
What time is it?
Where shall I go ahead?
Have you business for me?
I am ready
Are you ready?
Close your key; circuit is busy
Close your key for priorit business (Wire chief, dispatcher, etc)
Keep this circuit closed
Do you understand?
What is the weather?
For you and other to copy
What is the trouble?
Form 19 train order
Stop for a meal
Repeat this back
Busy on another wire
Put on ground wire
Priority, very important
Do you get my writing?
Private, deliver in sealed envelope
No more (end)
Form 31 train order
I understand that I am to …
Car report (Also, answer is paid for)
Message for all officers
You may use my signal to answer this
Diversion (Also, inform all interested)
Important, with priority on thru wire (Also, sleep-car report)