Did You Know – 6 Famous Radio Amateurs?

Juri Gagarin

Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor and the person who first adapted radio waves into a functioning communication system. After the initial idea of interconnected telegraphic systems, many people began experimenting with possibility of making it wireless. At the break between 1800’s and 1900’s wireless was completely unregulated, as nobody really knew how it worked with all the transmitters and receivers, resulting in many people experimenting with their transmitters and receivers.

It’s hard to tell who was the world’s first radio amateur. Rumours are that it could have been M.J.C. Dennis from London, UK. Influenced by Marconi’s experiments, Dennis reportedly built first non-professional wireless station in the world in 1898?

1. Yuri Gagarin (UA1LO Used by another Russian Amateur?)

Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space in 1961. This historic flight brought him immediate worldwide recognition. However, only few people know that Russian cosmonaut was also a ham radio operator. Most of the members of today’s astronaut corps are licensed amateur radio operators.

2. Les Hamilton (GM3ITN)

[EDIT: Les is a Past Member of The Radio Club Of Scotland – HERE . Put his callsign in the Search Box ]

Les Hamilton was a Scottish ham radio operator who first alerted the British government that the Falkland Islands had been invaded by Argentina. During the occupation he was the only person in Britain to be in regular radio contact with the islanders.

3. John Sculley (K2HEP Not QRZ.com Listed?)

John Sculley, the former president of PepsiCo (1977–1983), became the CEO of Apple Inc. in 1983 and he is also a licensed radio amateur. The marketing genius remained on the position for ten years and even saw the great Steve Jobs resign from his position after the fight between the two of them.

4. Qaboos bin Said al Said (A41AA)

Qaboos bin Said al Said is the Sultan of Oman. And not just that. The country’s leader is a radio amateur as well! Qaboos bin Said al Said became the Sultan of the country of Oman in 1970 and has remained in the position till his death in January 2020.

5. Juan Carlos (EA0JC)

From one country leader to another. Well almost. Juan Carlos resigned as the King of Spain from 1975 to 2014. His amateur radio callsign is EA0JC.

6. Marlon Brando (FO5GJ)

Last Tango in Paris, The Godfather, Julius Caesar… Who hasn’t heard of these cult movies? They all have one thing in common. It’s Marlon Brando, one of the best actors in history. And there’s more. Marlon Brando was a licensed radio amateur, with the callsign FO5GJ.

Original Publication – 2016

Amateur Radio Takes Precedent

PILGRAMS & INDIANS – Other Pressing Business

In 1911, George S. Barton, of Somerville, Massachusetts, founded and published the first edition of Boys’ Life magazine. It was edited by 18-year old Joe Lane of Providence, Rhode Island. He called it Boys’ and Boy Scouts’ Magazine. At that time there were three major competing Scouting organizations: the American Boy ScoutsNew England Boy Scouts, and Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

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.

MORE Info: Wikipedia .

KDKA 100 Years Young

The 2nd of November marked the centennial of US radio station KDKA.

The station originally began operations in 1916 as an amateur radio station, callsign 8XK. After WW1, the operators reorganised the station as a commercial AM radio station.

To celebrate this historic milestone, Pittsburgh area amateur radio operators will take to the airwaves with a series of special event stations, K3A, K3D, K3K, and W8XK. These will be set up at several locations in Pennsylvania during November.

Checkout W8XK QRZ.com Page for more information.

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].

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 .

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.

How did Neil Armstrong communicate with Earth…………….?

Photo: FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images

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 .

Snips – News For Scotland – 19th January

The news headlines:

  • Volunteer as a Regional Representative
  • New member of Exam & Syllabus Review Group
  • Teams section launched on RSGB website

GB2RS Script – HERE .


Stirling and District Amateur Radio Society club has a meeting from 10am to 2pm this Sunday and next Sunday. Thursday sees a club night. For details, email secretary@gm6nx.com.

On Monday Edinburgh and District Amateur Radio Club has its net. Contact Norman, GM1CNH, on 0774 094 6192.

On Tuesday Dundee Amateur Radio Club is having a club night with training. Contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933.

On Tuesday Kilmarnock and Loudoun Amateur Radio Club has an activity and training night. Contact Len Paget, GM0ONX, via email to klarcinfo@gmail.com.

On Tuesday Livingston and District Amateur Radio Society has an operating evening. Details from Cathie, 2M0DIB, on 01506 433 846.

On Tuesday Moray Firth Amateur Radio Society is having a talk and demo on DMR by Andrew, GM0UDL. Contact Paul, GM8HWZ, on 0796 717 1189.

On Wednesday Inverness and District Amateur Radio Society has its AGM. For details, email InvernessRadioSociety@gmail.com.

On Wednesday Lothians Radio Society is having a talk Aircraft Scatter and Useful Test Equipment by Pete Bates, GM4BYF. For details, email secretary@lothiansradiosociety.com.

West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society has a Solder Group meeting on Wednesday. Friday sees a club night with a ‘virtual’ talk by Tommy, GM3EDZ (SK) on the history of the club, which is now in its 50th year. Details are at wosars.club.

On Thursday Aberdeen Amateur Radio Society is having a talk to promote the construction competition. Contact Fred Gordon, GM3ALZ, on 01975 651 365.

On Thursday Lomond Radio Club is having a club night. Details from Barrie, GM4HEL, via email to gm0kzx@googlemail.com.

Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club is having a club night on Thursday. Saturday sees a mobile meet. For details, email info@GM4RIV.org.

On Friday Mid-Lanarkshire Amateur Radio Society is having a club night, tuition and radio operations. Details at mlars.co.uk.

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