I Just Don’t Have Time For All This

World Time

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.

Time Zones

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.

CLICK – To View

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].

Snips – News For Scotland – 30th August

The news headlines:

    • Could you join the RSGB Board?
    • Latest Online RSGB Convention news
    • 20,000 downloads for GB2RS Podcast

GB2RS Script – HERE .


During the COVID crisis a list of known club nets, and activities, is now being published on the West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society (WoSARS) web site. They have a table listing times and frequencies and this can be found at

With the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, we are now including meeting details where advised. However, this information should be regarded as optimistic, it is strongly advised that you to check with organisers well before travelling. Above all, please observe any national or local restrictions, including social distancing.

And, as noted in last Sunday’s GB2RS the following:

CANCELLATION – GMDX Convention – Bannockburn – 17th October. (On CALENDAR)

CANCELLATION – Galashiels  Rally – 25th October. (On CALENDAR)

CANCELLATION GMRT – Scotland’s Microwave Round Table & Dinner – 7th November. (On CALENDAR )

Reflections From An Old WoSARS Young-Yin!

By Hugh Cummings GM0HSC (WoSARS Past Member)

Dragging up some old memories:

Along with a number of the other younger amateurs around Glasgow, we set up a group specifically aimed at younger folks, and people new to the hobby, called YAGIS – the Young Amateurs Group In Scotland. One area of interest saw us partake in conversion of assorted PMR sets, to get cheap access to the bands, where commercial kit wasn’t available, including a batch of Pye Cambridges on 4m AM, then converting them (badly) to FM. We ended  with D3E – pretty much!

PYE Cambridge – Hybrid Mobile Tx/Rx (Valve Tx Transistor Rx)

A lesson was learned about shorting out valve grids with a screwdriver I remember, and simultaneously, that electric current flows from a person to another touching person – ouch!

I used to use aircraft scatter to make a 4m qso between David – then GM7BPA (who was a runner up in the young amateur of the year contest I think?) in Croftamie and myself in Mansewood Glasgow. 2m was fine but 4m needed an aircraft approaching the airport over Duntocher for the path to work 🙂

We also ran fox hunts, and many hill-top operations, with all sorts or mobile trips up hills in Ayrshire and the southern Highlands. I also remember a VHF field day above East Kilbride and special event station GB0BUS using a double decker bus I had at the time.

Hugh’s Current Bus – Fares Please! (COX)

I went on to become the senior novice licence instructor for Strathclyde and along with Tommy GM3VBT and Susan GM4SGB, we trained somewhere in the region of 30 mainly young people at novice level, with many going on to get Class B and Class A licences – including young folk from the High School of Glasgow and St Aloysius’ College – one of whom went on to be the lead guitarist in Indy band  MOGWAI  (Almost a callsign – COX).

Another memorable adventure was a mini dxpedition to ACHILL ISLAND in Co Mayo in Ireland IO43………..

View of Achill Island using NASA’s technology overhead

…………..where we got special permission from the Ministry to operate as EJ4VNX on 50MHz as well as on 70MHz, and the other bands. We picked a great week for it (as we had researched the likelihood) and from day 2, had almost constant day time E openings to mainland Europe.

Great times.

Best regards to all at WoSARS for your forthcoming 50th Celebrations.

Shug GM0HSC – a Old Young Yin!

Did Brazilian Priest Precede Fessenden & Marconi With Audio Tx ?

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.

For more information – HERE .

Dave GM3WIL – SK

Copied off GM13 Forum.  Also checkout QRZ.com.


It is with tears in my eys to report the my best mate Dave GM3WIL passed away last night due to a massive heart attack. RIP Pal.

Sad to hear that Roy. I didn’t know Dave very well but my thoughts go
out to his friends and family especially as a funeral will be so
different and difficult at these times.Andy

Oh no – this is tragic. I’ve known Dave from away back in the 70’s when we were both experimenting on 2M – specifically Auroral contacts.

My last chats with him seem to reassure me that he had made a good recovery for the previous underlying heart problems. It appears not to have been the case?

As I’ve said – tragic and sad, and we’ll miss his ‘quirky’ experimentation. A true amateur (:>(



In message <0a5w.1585997020047929611.qLF7@groups.io>, Roy – GM4VKI via
groups.io <rkavampsev=aol.com@groups.io> writes

It is with tears in my eys to report the my best mate Dave GM3WIL
passed away last night due to a massive heart attack. RIP Pal.

I’m sorry to hear that; I knew he had health problems. I’ve known him
since I lived in Troon some considerable time ago. I was chatting to him
at Galashiels in October. Worked him many times on 4m and 2m.

Brian GM4DIJ

Brian Howie

Shepparton & District ARC Use Radio Australia’s Curtain Array

Radio Australia Array

Over the weekend  of 14th and 15th of March, the Shepparton & District ARC will connect amateur transceivers to the curtain array and rhombic antennae at the Broadcast Australia site in Shepparton, which is located in North Central Victoria, Australia. This location was previously a short wave Radio Australia broadcast site. VI3RA will be on the air from 2300UTC next Saturday the 14th of March until 2300UTC on the 16th using the 7, 10, 14, 18 and 21MHz bands.

For further information go to QRZ.com and checkout VI3RA.

Where Did 73 Come From?

_ _ . . .  . . . _ _


The Telegraphist’s Office


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:

1 Wait a minute
4 Where shall I start in message?
5 Have you anything for me?
9 Attention or clear the wire
13 I do not understand
22 Love and kisses
25 Busy on another circuit
30 Finished, the end-used mainly by press telegraphers
73 My compliments, or Best Regards
92 Deliver

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:


WIRE Preference over everything except 95
1 Wait a moment
2 Important Business
3 What time is it?
4 Where shall I go ahead?
5 Have you business for me?
6 I am ready
7 Are you ready?
8 Close your key; circuit is busy
9 Close your key for priorit business (Wire chief, dispatcher, etc)
10 Keep this circuit closed
12 Do you understand?
13 I understand
14 What is the weather?
15 For you and other to copy
17 Lightning here
18 What is the trouble?
19 Form 19 train order
21 Stop for a meal
22 Wire test
23 All copy
24 Repeat this back
25 Busy on another wire
26 Put on ground wire
27 Priority, very important
28 Do you get my writing?
29 Private, deliver in sealed envelope
30 No more (end)
31 Form 31 train order
32 I understand that I am to …
33 Car report (Also, answer is paid for)
34 Message for all officers
35 You may use my signal to answer this
37 Diversion (Also, inform all interested)
39 Important, with priority on thru wire (Also, sleep-car report)
44 Answer promptly by wire
73 Best regards
88 Love and kisses
91 Superintendant’s signal
92 Deliver promptly
93 Vice President and General Manager’s signals
95 President’s signal
134 Who is at the key