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 .

CLUB NEWS:

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:

W I R E S I G N A L S

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

Snips – News For Scotland – 1st Decemeber

The news headlines:

  • Falklands get 60m
  • EMC Committee Chair vacancy
  • WSJT-X 2.1.1 released

GB2RS – Script – HERE .

CLUB NEWS:

Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club has its Christmas lunch this Sunday. Thursday sees a club night. For details, email info@GM4RIV.org

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

On Tuesday Dundee Amateur Radio Club is taking part in the VHF contest. Contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933.

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

On Tuesday Moray Firth Amateur Radio Club meets at Linkwood View to watch the GB3SS video and have a fun quiz in the last meeting of 2019. For details, email mfars.secretary@gmail.com.

On Wednesday Glenrothes and DRC is meeting in Leven. Contact Tam, on 0775 352 6498.

On Wednesday Inverness and District Amateur Radio Society has its net from 8pm on 145.575MHz and GB7BI slot 1 475. Contact InvernessRadioSociety@gmail.com.

West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society has a Solder Group meeting on Wednesday. Friday sees a hands-on evening. For details, see wosars.club.

On Friday Cockenzie and Port Seton Amateur Radio Club is having a club night. More information from Bob, GM4UYZ, on 01875 811 723.

On Friday Mid-Lanarkshire Amateur Radio Society is having a club night with tuition and radio operations. For details, see mlars.co.uk.

Did Marconi Really Cross The Atlantic?

(The Guardian – December 2001)

“No one could comprehend how it could be done. If you stand on the Cornish coast, facing towards North America, because of the curvature of the earth, there is in front of you a wall of water 100 miles high

Faking The Waves

A hundred years ago this week, Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio signals across the Atlantic – or so he claimed. Laurie Margolis on the historic moment that may never have happened

It goes down as one of the great moments in science, along with Newton’s apple and Fleming’s mouldy dish of penicillin: and all it amounted to was three sounds – click-click-click.

MARCONI & KEMP (with Canadian helpers) KITE  – SIGNAL HILL – NEWFOUNDLAND

The time was 12.30pm on December 12 1901, at SIGNAL HILL, a gale-swept cliff on the Newfoundland coast. Some 2,200 miles away, at Poldhu in Cornwall, it was 4.30pm, dusk. There, on the southwest coast of England, was a radio transmitter, the most powerful then built, sending groups of three Morse code dots, repeated over and over – the letter S. There is nothing special about S, other than that it comprised only dots. There were fears that anything longer – a dash – might cause the transmitter to break down.

It is the scene in Newfoundland that requires analysis. It shouldn’t have been Newfoundland. The North American end of the experiment was to have been sited at Cape Cod, but dreadful weather had destroyed a huge aerial system built there. So at short notice, on that clifftop, in a hut, were two men – the Italian Guglielmo Marconi, and his assistant George Kemp. They had what passed in 1901 for a state-of-the-art radio receiver connected to a makeshift aerial – 500 feet of wire supported by kites.

Marconi and Kemp waited for three days, their ears battered by atmospheric noise. Picture the scene – Marconi, a 27-year-old Italian-Irishman, brilliant, handsome, well born, a bit flash, ambitious; and Kemp, an ex-petty officer, an assistant chosen for loyalty and workshop skills rather than for academic ability, one of life’s NCOs.

They knew what they hoped to receive: three clicks. And this is extremely important. At 12.30pm, Marconi became convinced he could hear the signal. According to a Science Museum specialist, Keith Geddes, Marconi handed his earphone to Kemp. “Can you hear anything, Mr Kemp?” he demanded. Kemp confirmed that weak but unmistakable signals could indeed be heard. Marconi’s notebook records simply: “Sigs at 12.30, 1.10 and 2.20.” Marconi and Kemp had successfully received the first radio signals ever to cross the Atlantic ocean. It was a massive moment; everything in telecommunications followed on from that click-click-click.

Except that it may never have happened?

It could have been imagination. It could have been made up. Or something may have taken place, but not what Marconi planned. It is one of science’s great unsolved mysteries. The controversy – did Marconi really hear that signal? – rumbled away from the start. Today’s centenary has resurrected all the doubts.

Pat Hawker, a writer for the Radio Society of Great Britain’s journal, Radio Communication, says: “Many radio-propagation experts are convinced that whatever clicks Marconi and Kemp heard on that windy Newfoundland cliff, they could not have originated from the three dots automatically transmitted from Poldhu.” The late Gerald Garratt, a top man at the Science Museum in the 1970s, wrote: “The story has been described by many, competent to judge, as ‘a hoary old myth’, and certainly, when one examines the undoubted facts, Marconi’s claim does seem to be quite incredible.” Dr John Belrose, of the Communications Research Centre in Canada, says: “There are those who say he misled himself and the world into believing that at mospheric noise crackling was in fact the Morse code letter S.”

So why the doubts? Guglielmo Marconi was the issue in 1874 of an Italian aristocrat and an Irishwoman, Annie Jameson, from the whiskey family. Marconi was a dilettante but also a fine craftsman who loved physics. In 1894 he sent a signal a few yards. A year later he managed more than a mile. He took his findings to the Italian authorities, who were supremely uninterested, arguing that the telegraph, using wires, could already send signals long distances.

Annie Marconi was ambitious for her boy and took him to England, figuring that the world’s premier maritime power would appreciate a communications system without wires. She was right. Marconi, barely in his 20s, thrived in England.

There are parallels between the internet explosion of the 1990s and the radio boom of the 1890s. Both were new technologies, little understood, but about to emerge with unpredictable force. Marconi realised that if he could make radio work, he could make a fortune. He progressed fast. In July 1896 he sent signals a mile over central London; by September, two miles across Salisbury Plain. By May 1897, Marconi was transmitting across the Bristol Channel; in December that year from the Isle of Wight to a ship in the English Channel. He registered a business, which became Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd. How poignant that commercial disaster should befall the Marconi company precisely 100 years on.

Marconi, by now enjoying celebrity, linked Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight home, Osborne House, and the royal yacht lying off Cowes, so that Victoria could monitor the health of the convalescent Prince of Wales. In 1899, he set up a circuit between the French resort of Wimereux and Dover. This worked well. The Wimereux signals were heard clearly in Chelmsford, 80 miles away. This was hugely important: for the first time, radio signals went way beyond a line-of-sight path.

The mechanism for this was unknown in 1899, and still has something of the magical about it. Just how does an ordinary short-wave signal, using the power of a light bulb, cross the globe? The answer is the ionosphere, a zone of the atmosphere 50 miles up. The ionosphere bounces short-wave radio energy across the world by bending signals back to earth.

By 1900 the new company was under financial pressure. In typically flamboyant style, Marconi went for the most dramatic gesture possible. He would transmit across the Atlantic. The scale of his ambition was fantastic. The longest radio contact so far had been 80 miles. Marconi was going for 2,000-plus miles. The scientific world, and his business associates, were stunned. No one could comprehend how it could be done. If you stand on the Cornish coast, facing towards North America, because of the curvature of the earth, there is in front of you a wall of water 100 miles high. How could anyone get a radio signal over that?

And so to December, 1901, and whatever did or didn’t happen. Marconi built a massive aerial at Poldhu. It was destroyed by gales and a more modest system was substituted.

The receiving aerial on Cape Cod was also blown down, and the site in Newfoundland had to be established. The transmitter in Cornwall was a beast of a thing, generating thousands of watts of power. The receiver in Newfoundland was crude in the extreme.

The major obstacle to accepting Marconi’s achievement lies in an understanding of radio propagation. Sure, the ionosphere can easily aid signals across the world on short wave. The problem is that, as far as can be judged, Marconi’s equipment was transmitting in what we now know as the medium wave, or the AM broadcast band, between about 500 and 850 kilohertz. Now, even medium-wave signals can go long distances – but only at night. On a daylight path – and it is absolutely crucial that the Cornwall-Newfoundland path was entirely in daylight – medium-wave signals fade quickly. It is defying credibility to suggest that Marconi could have got his signal from Cornwall to Newfoundland on the medium wave in daylight, however powerful his transmitter or huge his aerials. Mathematical analysis says it is impossible. The later reception reports, at 1.10pm and 2.20pm Newfoundland time, are slightly more believable, as the transatlantic path edges into darkness, but still implausible.

So what happened? No one has ever suggested that Marconi and Kemp lied, though certainly they had motive and opportunity to make it up. There were no independent witnesses. Marconi had good financial reason to hype his achievement. On occasion, people close to a major breakthrough have fabricated success. But Marconi’s honesty has never been impugned, and Kemp’s rather stolid NCO qualities make it unlikely that he would have gone along with a massive fib.

Could they have imagined it? Possibly. They knew what signal was coming. The experiment would have been so much more impressive if the message had been unknown or random, a double-blind test. There would have been atmospheric noise and electrical hash. Might Marconi, willing success, have hallucinated three clicks in all that racket? His reputation was on the line. And people who want to hear things sometimes hear them even if they aren’t really there.

But there is another explanation, a technical one that exonerates Marconi from fabrication or imagination. It lies in the simplicity of the equipment. Modern radios need three qualities; sensitivity, the ability to hear a signal; stability, the ability to stay on the required frequency; and selectivity, to sort out the wanted signal from all the other radio rubbish. Marconi’s gear had little of any of these. His receiver may well have been picking up a large chunk of the radio spectrum, not just the frequency he intended. Likewise, his transmitter, though theoretically broadcasting in the modern-day medium-wave band, may well have been blasting away across a wide range, generating harmonics and spurious transmissions on much higher frequencies.
It is possible that, entirely unknown to him, Marconi was using a short-wave frequency well above the medium wave. This part of the spectrum was terra incognita in 1901, but was soon found to allow easier long-distance coverage. So maybe Marconi and Kemp really did hear the Ss, but with their equipment transmitting and receiving on quite unexpected frequencies.

Even if Marconi wasn’t quite there in 1901, he was thereabouts. Within a year he had established reliable communication with ships over 2,000 miles away, albeit at night. By the 1920s the Marconi Company linked the entire British empire by radio.

Marconi’s later years were troubled. In 1923 he returned to Italy and joined the fascists, to the delight of Mussolini. He sought a messy marriage annulment and suffered heart trouble. In 1935 he was banned from the BBC by Sir John Reith – a bitter irony for the founder of broadcasting. When he died in Rome in 1937, radio stations the world over went silent for two minutes in tribute.

Original Article – https://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/dec/11/highereducation.news