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Messages - Token

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There are two stations on 6931 kHz.  One is an unknown, that has sent SSTV.  The other is Indy Radio, Spain.


FEB 19th

* It can be observed that RAILMAN was previous day's HFGCS callsign. While the 02:49 message by RAILMAN was not DISREGARDED, I note that it was shortly followed by a broadcast of the same message under the WOOD DUCK callsign.

I have seen this happen before.  A message after 0000z that uses the previous days callsign, no verbal indication of error, and the same message shortly after with the current days callsign.  My assumption is they just did not want to draw attention to the fact something was off.  I have also seen the same thing happen, with a "disregard" at some point in the error message.


Signal up to a bit over S9 here in the Mojave Desert of California.  Was a tad weak at the start of the show, but doing well now.


Group W Bench / Re: FCC Cancels W6WBJ License
« on: February 14, 2023, 1959 UTC »
Nothing but old men with ham licenses is going to be the death of ham radio. When they pass on, it will be gone. Young people aren't interested in old technology.

I hear that often from people who do absolutely nothing to share the hobby with others, young or old. There's a Young Amateur Radio Club Discord server out there. My teen aged niece has a shiny new license and handheld radio. There are kids out there who are using SDRs, building wireless linked microcontrollers and so on who don't yet realize there is a bigger community of radio hobbyists out there. All they need is some outreach. Europe has YOTA  (https://www.ham-yota.com/)

I have litterally been hearing such statements since my very first ham club meeting in the late 1960's.  Looking around at that meeting there were 2 of us under 20, and the vast majority were retirees.  And the same thing was said then, young people aren't interested in the hobby, and the hobby will die out because no new blood is coming in.

And yet, today, as a percentage of the US population, there are about twice as many hams as there were then, and as raw numbers there are over three times as many.

I'd like to find a version of this chart that has the last four years of data but the growth is something like 12% on this one. Maybe Covid killed all the old hams and made the plot nose dive.

That big dip from 2003 to 2007 was driven by the fact many people knew the code requirement was going to be dropped, and waited to test until after that.

Unfortunately, when presented such data (concerning the number of hams in the US) one of the frequent responses is "there may be more licensed hams today, but there are fewer active hams".  While I believe this sentiment is incorrect, that can be hard to prove one way or another.

There have always been a rather large segment of the licensed community that were inactive.  Prior to the 1990's I spent more years inactive than active, to the point I let my license laps in the 1970's, and did not get involved again until the early 1990's.

I believe that one of the ways to judge the approximate level of activity is to look at the ARRL membership and QST subscriptions.  I suspect that both today and in years past if you had an ARRL membership that you had renewed then you were probably a somewhat active ham.  In fact, I strongly suspect that today fewer active hams (as a percentage) are ARRL members than in the past.  Looking at the ARRL membership numbers as an indicator of active vs inactive hams you will find the ratios today very similar to those 45 years ago.


Utility / Re: 9310 USB 0538 continuous Russian national anthem
« on: February 10, 2023, 1606 UTC »
A strange one, for sure.  Continuous loop of the Russian NA heard last night, and again tonight, about the same time.  Last night went off about 06:00.  Improving over time.  Seems to be coming from Russia from what I can tell.  Wonder who might this be.  First noted a week or two ago.   73,  Walt (Masset, BC)

The Russians have been doing this for several months on known Russian mil frequencies.  At first they did not use the Anthem, and there was some question of if it was someone else jamming their freqs.  But over time it became apparent that it was probably the Russians themselves and that it was some kind of channel marker or something.

I have a video here of last year, and at that time they used Ride of the Valkyries.

Later they shifted over to what they are generally using now, the Russian Anthem, a rock version of the song done by Любэ (Lube).


Spy Numbers / Re: VC01 Chinese Robot 4978 USB 1547 UTC 11 JAN 2023
« on: January 27, 2023, 1946 UTC »
Other freqs you might try this month:

8049 kHz USB
6885 kHz LSB
4978 kHz USB
5771 kHz LSB


HF Mystery Signals / Re: UNID bird song 8392 usb 2130z KiwiSDR Wessex
« on: January 18, 2023, 1321 UTC »
Following up on this.  I have it tuned on the home receiver right now (1315 UTC, 18 Jan 2023) and it is indeed Chinese MC03.

Looking at my logs I have been seeing this signal, off and on, in this condition since at least 2013.  I have also seen it in clean Morse.


HF Mystery Signals / Re: UNID bird song 8392 usb 2130z KiwiSDR Wessex
« on: January 17, 2023, 1547 UTC »
We should dub it "The Chinese Birdman".

Unfortunately, this is not the only signal I see with a transmitter doing this, there is also a Russian signal that I see doing this occasionally.  The Chinese MC03 is just the one I see most often.  The fact that it has often, for years on end, done this makes me wonder if the techs / operators know and do not care.  Since the transmission is most likely machine received I wonder if the decoding hardware does not care, copies fine despite the chirp, and so the operators don't care either.


HF Mystery Signals / Re: UNID bird song 8392 usb 2130z KiwiSDR Wessex
« on: January 17, 2023, 1508 UTC »
This is a broken Morse code transmitter.  In this case it might be the Chinese station known as MC03, it often shows this failure.

See one of my old videos on this kind of signal here 



This is the Russian military AT3004D or AT3104D modem (the later is an updated version that supports more modes) in what hobbyist call the CIS-12 mode of operation.  The solid line to the right of the signal is part of it, a pilot or Doppler tone.  The frequency is 7012.0 kHz, USB mode.  When properly tuned the pilot tone is at 3300 Hz audio.


If you saw it with 20 QPSK channels it would be called CIS-20.

When idling the structure looks very different, and only the 3300 Hz tone remains the same.


Utility / Re: 8992 USB December 26 2022 16:45 Anomaly
« on: December 26, 2022, 1812 UTC »
Various OTHRs and sounders hit 8992 kHz, and frequencies around it, with great regularity.  I hear the 16x64 sounder and other related JORN sounders hitting this frequency pretty much every morning.


HF Mystery Signals / Re: UNID 10002 UNID Mode 2132 UTC 15 DEC 2022
« on: December 15, 2022, 2157 UTC »
Nothing seen / heard here 2154 UTC.


If you search this forum or my YouTube channel for "MFSK Oddity" you will find discussions on this signal.  This is a signal I call the MFSK Oddity in my logs, it has been active for a couple years+ on a variety of frequencies.  It has several different widths, speeds, and formats.

Short story is, I am almost certain it is HFT, specifically a company called 10Band LLC with a couple of different experimental callsigns / licenses.


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Item image   Vintage Weston 2531 Panel Meter 50 uA movement 0 to 100 Amp DC Scale