Radio amateurs in Ukraine appear to be diligently maintaining radio silence as the state of emergency declared there just prior to the Russian military invasion remains in effect. A February 24 decree from President Volodymyr Zelensky included “a ban on the operation of amateur radio transmitters for personal and collective use.” The Ukraine Amateur Radio League (UARL/LRU) reported this past week that it has received many messages of encouragement from the worldwide amateur radio community……Read MORE …
Ukraine has declared that the enormous Duga-1 radar array is a protected cultural monument.
Almost 2,300 feet long and more than 450 feet high, the steel beams of the radar tower over the surrounding forest. From a distance, it appears to be a massive wall or the start of a cage.
Extract from Wikipedia:
“………………….Jamming the Woodpecker
To combat this interference, amateur radio operators attempted to jam the signal by transmitting synchronized unmodulated continuous wave signals at the same pulse rate as the offending signal. They formed a club called The Russian Woodpecker Hunting Club. Core group members would frame the “Official Practice Target” in their radio shacks……………………”
A team of operators from the (KL7RA) will activate W1AW/KL7 from Alaska between July 9-13th.
Wigi, KL0R, Station Manager of the North Pole Contest Group, reports that are currently planning to have four station locations in Alaska, including KL7RA in Kenai, KL2R in Fairbanks/Two Rivers, KL7AA in Anchorage, and one more station, most likely in Homer.
Activity will be on various HF bands (as many bands and modes as possible, plus EME), including activity in
the IARU HF Championship (July 10-11th) as HQ Station.
A listing of all known nets in Scotland, collated by RSGB Regional Rep Tony, MM0TMZ in association with Jack, GM4COX and the West of Scotland ARS and published at www.wosars.club/radio-nets.
TAGS: (Within GB2RS Script)
EMF from Ofcom; M0IBG; Contesting and DX Halls of Fame; Bletchley Park will re-open; 50MHz awards; GB7LA; thousands of new people gained their Foundation licence; 3A/IW1RBI from Monaco; 5R8RP; F5TRO; FR8UA and FR8TZ; SM7/OZ3ACB; GB1SCW as part of SOS radio week; another wild week with Sporadic-E; Transatlantic multi-hop sporadic Es brought contacts in the USA
DARC reports 35 Electrical Noise Area Monitoring Systems (ENAMS) have been delivered and another 20 locations are sought as part of the effort to monitor the interference from human-made noise on the HF bands
ENAMS is based on nationwide installed measuring stations that work as a network. With their help, the DARC can make scientifically reliable statements about interference levels on the frequencies. As is well known, the interference has increased in recent years, as various consumer devices drive up the noise level.
The ENAMS project was funded by the DARC Membership Pro in 2018.
2020 was a strange year for everyone in the world with COVID arriving .
Fortunately New Zealand has so far managed to avoid the worst of it and our lives here were not affected as badly as other countries. This was due to many factors, one being that we are a very isolated country in the Pacific ocean and the other is we closed our borders and went into complete lock down earlier than most. Thank goodness our country of 4 million complied and we were able to keep the disease at bay.
Lock down here for us personally was not a problem as we live close to a beach and part of our “Bubble” included a walk past the cliff overlooking the beach which was so relaxing. Also it gave us time to spend relaxing at home instead of going to meetings of the many clubs we belong to, and also the many lunches out with friends, which in turn saved us heaps of money.
This was a time that Amateur radio excelled and people came on the air and chatted. All our radio nets were busy and people used the airways as never before. Interesting events like the backyard Summit on the Air, the ZL2AL activity event with trying to maintain 4 contacts per day and the upper HF bands starting to open up made for interesting and fun Ham Radio days. On top of that we had fabulous weather.
Unfortunately during this time WARO our women’s amateur radio organisation went into recess, as many of our members were unable to go on the air any more due to their Om’s passing away, old age, or developing other hobbies with members being reluctant to form an active and dynamic committee.
In general we seem to have new young male recruits coming on board but hardly any females.
Our local club a few years ago had 15 active female Amateurs, now there are only two who come to the branch meetings while the male activity is growing and the enthusiasm from the new members has not diminished with time. On the bright side our female activity is high and recognized by the local branch members who proposed me for the Jumbo Godfrey award which I was honoured to receive.
We have our AGM due mid year so hoping that members will front up and join the committee and we can continue this great group. We have not capitulated and still hold a ladies net on Monday nights on our national system and also sometimes an HF 80 metre net on Thursday evenings. With propagation slowly improving on the bands above 80 metres with the upcoming sunspot cycle, we are hoping that we can do more Dxing.
There seems to be an upsurge of women doing their CW which is a new trend so hopefully this will encourage people to participate on the air more.
WOTRA 2020 (Women On The Radio Award) – Ángeles M.T (EC1YL)
A large number of radio amateurs from around the world, participated in the 2020 annual event.. More Awards for YL’s stations were delivered this year, thereby fulfilling the group mission of encouraging more YL participation.
In 2019 when the Award was launched, the event was more of a practice session, but one year on (2020) it can be considered a success thanks to the increased interest and participation of YLs.
This year, WOTRA has focused more on the work of the Special-Event-Stations and their regular attendance on the bands, rather than on the individual making a certain number of QSO’s.
Becoming involved required commitment and the responsibility of regular participation.
Much effort and determination was needed in an event at this level. Not always an easy task and for this reason, several of the participants who started at the beginning of November, found themselves unable to continue through to the end.
Special thanks to the Operators that participated throughout, they displayed great team-work and coordination amongst everyone. In alphabetical order they are:
Ana – EI / EA7KMA
Angels – EC1YL
Carmen – DM4EAX
Cath – MW7CVT
Laila – OE3LZA
Ydorca (Mariela) – YV5EVA
Zulema – CO8MGY
In particular I would like to recognise Zulema Gonzalez Ochoa CO8MGY from Cuba. To reward and recognize her work, as the operator that made the most QSO’s, especially as it was her first year in this great event, She participated with enthusiasm and dedication.
Laila OE3LZA, also had the privilege of being able to get her beautiful Award for her contact with my special station on November 25 (EH1YL), on the occasion of the ‘International Day against Gender Violence’.
Special thanks of course to all the Operators of the Wotra Award 2020 and for their effort to contact their WOTRA colleagues and in obtaining their beautiful Awards. (2 Dec, 2020)
“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].