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American Red Cross Asks ARRL’s Assistance with Puerto Rico Relief Effort

The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked the ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC, this is the first time such a request for assistance on this scale has been made. ARRL now is looking for radio amateurs who can step up and volunteer to help our friends in Puerto Rico.

There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this deployment.

Due to the nature of this deployment you will need to process in as ARC volunteers. This includes passing a background check. The ARC has indicated that it will cover all expenses for transportation, lodging, and feeding while on deployment. ARC will also provide liability coverage for volunteers. The only out-of-pocket expense to the volunteer would be personal items purchased during deployment.

ARRL and ARC will require training for volunteers being deployed. ARC will provide general deployment training and advanced training in working in austere environments. ARRL will provide to ARC training on Amateur Radio equipment and modes to be used, reporting guidelines, and operating guidelines.

Deployment will be for up to 3 weeks.

General class Amateur Radio license or higher
Familiarity with WinLink, HF voice, and VHF simplex communications
Strong technical skills
Ability to work under difficult conditions
Ability to deploy for up to 3 weeks
Ability to work as part of a team
Helpful Skills

Spanish language skills
Previous experience in disaster response
Previous or current work as a Red Cross volunteer
Previous experience with shelter operations
If you feel that you meet these qualifications and would like to be considered for this deployment, please contact ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U (860-594-0222), who will make the introduction of qualified volunteers to ARC.

Shortwave Pirate / Unid relay of KIPM 6925 AM 2350 UTC 12 Dec 2015
« on: December 13, 2015, 0028 UTC »
Unid relay of KIPM 6925 AM 2350 UTC 12 Dec 2015

Caught only bits and pieces of this outdoors on Sony 2010 portable in AM sync mode.  Elkhorn QSL contact address, so one of the later KIPM programs.  Title sounded like "Monsters of the Mind" episode, not sure.

Just barely audible during peaks, too much local QRN from storms to copy much.  Audio seemed clear during peaks.

Shortwave Pirate / Unid SSTV 6925 USB 0738 UTC 20 Sept 2015
« on: September 20, 2015, 1857 UTC »
Unattended reception of three SSTV images between 0738-0757 UTC on 6925 USB, in Scottie DX, Robot 72 and SC2 180 modes (might be inaccurate, sometimes MMSSTV auto-triggers incorrectly).

Unusually low audio modulation on XEPPM Radio Educación Mexico 6185 AM 8 Sept 2015 0438 UTC.  One of the few remaining great shortwave broadcasters with diverse programming, but for some reason XEPPM has had unusually low audio modulation this year despite a pretty strong carrier.  The S7-S9 carrier over very modest QRN has modulation comparable to only an S2-S3 signal.  Reminiscent of Radio Cairo several years ago, which also boasted a strong carrier but very weak modulation.

Video recording off-speaker audio, switching between Radio Shack Optimus cube and Palstar SP30 speakers.

Shortwave Pirate / Unid - Ozzy - 6925 USB 6 Sept 2015 0110 UTC
« on: September 06, 2015, 0136 UTC »
Unid - Ozzy - 6925 USB 6 Sept 2015 0110 UTC
Not much to log, heard one Ozzy or Black Sabbath song (familiar but can't recall the title) on 6925 USB, with carrier underneath around 6925.2 from another AM station.  Faded out or off after a few minutes.

Shortwave Pirate / The Crystal Ship 6850 4 Sept 2015 0130 UTC
« on: September 04, 2015, 0131 UTC »
0130z: Kansas "Carry On Wayward Son" - extremely heavy local RFI, tough copy
0139z: BTO "Let it Ride", signal a bit stronger
0142z: The Crystal Ship shortwave relay network ID, audio clip from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
0142z: Judas Priest "You got another thing coming"
0148z: Springsteen "No Surrender"
0153z: Autograph "Turnip the Radio"
0157z: TCS unchained ID, Jane's Addiction "Been Caught Stealing"

SINPO=32322, good signal peaks, just miserable conditions locally between fades and heavy local RFI.

0220z: Van Halen, one break, coming up.
0222z: The Who "I'm Free"
0233z: The Who "Magic Bus", Don Felder "Heavy Metal"
0238z: .38 Special "Rocking Into the Next Motel 8"
0241z: Springsteen "Born to Run". Yikes, 40 years this year?  Can't be.
0246z: Donner Pass Diner ad, Jackson Browne "Running on Empty"
0305z: Sounds like sign-off, Quint, Ramones

SINPO=33323, good signal peaks, a little less local RFI after 0230z.

Shortwave Pirate / Turtle Head Radio 6925 USB 3 Sept 2015 0230 UTC
« on: September 03, 2015, 0231 UTC »
6925 USB 3 Sept 2015 0230 UTC

0230z: Just tuned in, didn't catch ID, hearing Charlie Sexton "Beat's So Lonely" through heavy local RFI.  Haven't heard the Texas guitar slinger in many years.  Some audio or transmitter glitches.
0235z: ID, sounds like Turtlehead Radio, but not sure due to heavy local RFI
0236z: Gene Loves Jezebel "Desire"
0243z: Another ID, still buried under local RFI.  More classic '80s tunes, INXS "Original Sin"
0250z: Icicle Works "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)" - just barely audible but familiar
0251z: Loud and clear ID for Turtle Head Radio, audio clip from Tropic Thunder.  Never go full retard.  That's fer dang sure.
0252z: Nick Lowe "Cruel to be Kind".  Also fer dang sure.
0256z: Talking Heads "Take Me to the River"
0306z: Turtle Head Radio ID and Tropic Thunder audio clip.
0319z: Off or faded out.

Don't need Shazam or Firefly for these tunes, even through heavy RFI.

SINPO=32322, decent signal peaks but lots of roller coaster fading and heavy local RFI from parking lot and street lights.

Shortwave Pirate / OTR 6770 AM 28 Aug 2015 0145 UTC
« on: August 28, 2015, 0214 UTC »
Unusually strong signals (for my area) from stations that are normally barely audible, possibly gray line peak as the favorable conditions evaporated by 9 pm local time (0200 UTC).

0130-0145z: Heard Burns and Allen radio show, clear enough during peaks for AM tuning rather than sideband.

Carrier popped up around 0045z.  Just barely audible, hearing bits and pieces of '80s rock, Cure "Just Like Heaven", Tom Petty & HB "The Waiting".
0115z: The Crystal Ship Relay Network ID
0118z: Scorpions "No One Like You"
0124z: Donnie Iris "Ah Leah"
0135z: Peaking again after faded for several minutes, Belinda Carlisle "I Get Weak"

As of 0118z, SINPO=23332, just strong enough during peaks to copy familiar music and IDs.

Battling steady intermittent beeping tone that's nearly always audible around 6875 this year.

0207z: Just barely audible again after long fade-out.  Moody Blues "I know you're out there somewhere" and TCS ID.
0235z: Harry Nilsson "Without You"
0310z: Roxette "Fading Like a Flower" - never heard this one before, ID'd from a Google lyric search during a signal peak.
0325z: Meat Loaf, two outta three slices ain't bad.  One outta three = food poisoning.

Unusual conditions, I'm betting on gray line peak.  TCS and OTR stronger than usual, while local pesquitoes on 6900 LSB were barely audible.  Likewise the two aviation weather freqs I check daily for a rough gauge of conditions flip-flopped: 6754 Trenton was stronger than usual, while 6604 NY was weaker.  Then both resumed usual patterns after 0200 UTC.

TCS "Time Machine" on relay network
23 Aug 2015, 0345 UTC
6849.9 and some change...
0340z: Michael Jackson "Billie Jean", Dan Hartman "I Can Dream About You", Huey Lewis and the News "Power of Love".  Do you like Huey Lewis?  He's been compared to Patrick Bateman, but I find him much less bitter, cynical and likely to be an axe murderer.
0354z: Back to the Future clip.  Gotta get back to 1985.  I agree.
0356z: The Crystal Ship Relay Network ID.  And some Belinda for Fansome - Go Go's "Head Over Heels"
0400z: Kim Wilde "Kids in America"
0403z: Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian"
0406z: Madonna "Like a Virgin".  Mr. Blonde insists it's about a girl who's very vulnerable and sensitive.
0410z: TCS email address, "Back to the Future" audio clip, Genesis - Phil Collins "Land of Confusion"
0415z: Bananarama "Cruel Summer"
0420z: Quarterflash "Harden My Heart".  Okay, just don't play Nickleback "Harden My Ears"
0423z: Naaay-nah, "99 Lust Balloons".
0429z: Sammy Hagar can't drive fitty-five.
0432z: Little Eddie Mahoney, shakin' his leprechaun feet.
0434z: Rick Springfield, the only man in rock and roll history to find a point moot.
0440z: Prince "Little Red Corvette".  Without Sandra Bernhard's dance interpretation, I'm nothing.
0443z: 1.21 giggle whats. You must have them or no time travel, mister.
0443z: C'mon, Eileen.
0447z: Duran Duran "Hungry Like the Wolf".  Thirsty like the fish.  Sweaty like Trump's toupee.
0451z: Jackson Browne "Lawyers in Love" with your money.
0455z: 'Til Tuesday.  In the dark I'd like to tickle Aimee Mann's feet, 'til Tuesday.
0500z: Ratt "Round & Round" pounding ground
0508z: Van Halen "Panama", Def Leppard "Photograph"
0516z: Signal fading a bit now, rebounding every few minutes.  Honeymoon Suite "I Got a New Grill Now.  It's a Lot Like a Weber"
0519z: Tommy Tutone "Jenny"
0524z: ID, Quint-essential shark serenade, Ramones.
0527z: Off.

Good show, thanky mysterious stranger, whomever you are.

Equipment / I've added a few equipment videos
« on: August 10, 2015, 2011 UTC »
Well, dang me.  After a couplafew years of just using portables, I dug my Palstar and tabletop gear out of the closet intending only to photograph it for selling.  Then I made the mistake of hooking everything up just onnne laaasssttt time... now I'm hooked again.

So I made a few videos for one of my YouTube channels.  Nothing is monetized, no ads, Paypal begging or spam links.  I'm putting these up out of appreciation for the many freebie YouTube videos I've enjoyed by other folks.

Here they are:

And an antenna demo I hope to improve on later as time permits.  I want to build a larger version, and do a video illustrating the construction (which is really easy anyway):

Let me know if the videos don't address something you're interested in, or if you have other suggestions.  I'll try to squeeze those in.

QSLs Received / TCS "Bubblegum Express" eQSL for 7 AUG 2015
« on: August 07, 2015, 2252 UTC »
Received confirmation for "Bubblegum Express" show, Aug 7, 2015, right after the broadcast. I checked the colorful package, no bubblegum inside.  Darned emailman stole my gum.

Shortwave Pirate / The Crystal Ship 6875 USB 7 AUG 2015 0205 UTC
« on: August 07, 2015, 0208 UTC »
Unid 6875 USB 7 AUG 2015 0205 UTC
TCS Shortwave Relay Network, "Bubblegum Express" show

Just barely audible, but improving.  Some version of Let the Sunshine In, Live for Today, San Francisco.  Groovy.
0214z: Turn on, tune in, drop out, TCS Shortwave Network ID.
0215z: Itchy Kitschy Poo Park, Small Faces.  Beautiful.
0217z: Along Comes Mary.  Looks like she found some hair gel.
0220z: 8 Miles Hiiiggghhh, maaannn.
0225z: Journey to the Center of Ted Nugnut's Mind
0227z: "You are listening to the Crystal Ship ... drop out", occasionally audible. Flute intro to Fifth Dimension, Age of Aquarius, then Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit.  No copy on next song.
0233z: Incense, Hippie Scents.
0236z: She's got it.  Venus.  At least I hope it's Venus and not something that rhymes with Venus.
0250z: Green Tambourine, Hair (sounds like Cowsills version)
0254z: What's your name?  Who's your pimp daddy?  Is he rich like me?
0257z: I can't see me lovin' nobody but you, until the next pretty little hippie comes along, for all my life.
0300z: Fur Ur Luv.
0304z: Off or sudden fade, after mention of JTA?
0305z: Nope, back, though still rough copy here.  Juliana Montana ID, Donner Pass Diner ad.
0310z: Beatlejuice, All U Needs Is Luv
0314z: Wouldn't you agree, baby you and me got a gravy kinda glove.
0315z: 5th Dim/Aquarius flute again, Van Morrison's frown-eyed gal.
0327z: TCS ID after PPM couldn't find any flowers.
0330z: Love.  Get in my belly.
0336z: Archies.  Aww, sugar.  Diabeetus.
0339z: Monkeys.  I'm a believer.  I couldn't leave her.  Even if I found anything else that rhymes with believer.
0345z: My baby loves love.  She's got what it takes and she knows how to use it.  Because she's a professional.
0349z: TCS ID.  Truth.  Justice.  Freedom of the hairwaves.  Damn hippies.
0353z: I woke up in love this morning.  Went to bed with you on my mind.  That explains the wet spot.
0358z: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or more.  The number of shills at The Bloody Red Trumpkin's hair worship sessions.
0400z: TCS bubblegum special ID
0409z: The morning sun is shining like rub redder balls.
0412z: My love rose like Rosemary's nose.  Because she's a liar.
0422z: Riding the TCS shortwave bubblegum express.  Archies heart went "Bang-Shang-A-Lang".
0428z: This morning, he woke up, and right in the middle of a wet dream, he committed the classic adolescent mistake of confusing hormones with love.
0430z: Quote from The Caine Mutiny.  The right way, the wrong way, and the cool way.  Bogie's way.
0440z: Julie, Julie, Julie would you mug me?
0441z: TCS ID
0443z: Simple Simon sez put your hands on your head.  Drop to the ground.  Assume the position.  Do it double time.  Choke hold or shot in the head.
0445z: Monkees.  Take the last train to the Clarksville FEMA camp.  One way.
0453z: Off after TCS IDs, Quint quote, Ramones.

Fun show, and this USB relay was a bit easier for me to copy, at least in summertime.

So far, SINPO=24332, just audible enough to copy familiar songs. Conditions not bad though. Takes about an overall signal of 3 for song recognition apps to work, while I can copy familiar tunes at a 2 level.
After 0245z, SINPO=23332, due to steady beeping QRM.  I hear that signal a lot near 6875.
After 0400z, SINPO=33423, slightly stronger, less QRN, clearer peaks, deeper fades to inaudible.

Off-air recording from final hour and 15 minutes of broadcast.

Shortwave Pirate / XLR8 6925 USB 0240-0525 UTC 6 Aug 2015
« on: August 06, 2015, 0248 UTC »
Some instrumental jazz fusion stuff, followed by salsa.  Signal getting a bit stronger.  No ID yet.
0251z: Fred Astaire "The Carioca"
0300z: Don't need Shazam for this one, Curtis Mayfield "Freddy's Dead" from SUPERFLY!
0314z: Sonic Youth "Kool Thing".
0315z: Cream "Politician"
0319z: Had to Shazam this one, sez Dokkebi Q "Black Vomit"?  Then X "Inner Terrestrials"
0321z: XLR8 sorta whispered ID
0321z: Talking Heads "This Must Be the Place".  Don your big suits and grab your lamps, kids.
0412z: Firefly sez: Radio Birdman "Non-Stop Girls"
0414z: The Who "Naked Eye", didn't need Shazam or Firefly for this one.  The guitar riffs in Naked Eye first appeared in Live at Leeds, one of the great live rock concert albums and featured Townsend's best guitar work.
0419z: XLR8 ID, Alice Donut "Hang the Dog"
0422z: Stevie Wonder "Black Man"
0428z: Missing Persons "Destination Unknown".  Luv dat hiccuppy Dale Bozzio.
0432z: "Low Rider" version by Jodie Foster's Army
0435z: Hugh Cornwell "Totem and Taboo"
0438z: ODB "Brooklyn Zoo"
0443z: Legal Weapon "Don't Pretend"
0447z: XLR8 ID w/ echo fx.  Wishbone Ash "The King Will Come", some galloping QRM data noise.
0454z: Cabaret Voltaire "Why Kill Time"
0505z: Die Antwoord "Wat Pomp".  Dat Yolandi alien gal.
0509z: Peter Tosh "Crystal Ball".  Downpresser man, you are duppy and all that stuff.
0513z: SSTV, fingers crossed, just got MMSSTV hooked up again, see if it works.
0516z: Liliput "Die Matrosen"
0520z: Y Pants "Favorite Sweater"
0522z: Green Day sitting around, jerking around, etc. song
0525z: Off after XLR8

Signal up and down throughout broadcast, S1-S5, over moderate QRN.  Stronger peaks and milder QRN crashes after 0400z.
Fun show, and the signal got better as it went along. Thanky kindly, XLR8!

Off-air recording from 0414z-0525z.

Shortwave Pirate / OTR "Escape" 6770 AM 0428 UTC 4 Aug 2015
« on: August 04, 2015, 0431 UTC »
OTR "Escape" 6770 AM 0428 UTC 4 Aug 2015

Clearest peaks I've heard so far for Old Time Radio, with the familiar intro for one of my favorite classic radio anthologies, "Escape": "...want to get away from it all... we offer you ESCAPE!  Designed to free you from the four walls of today for a half hour of high adventure."

Alas, faded almost immediately after that peak, so I couldn't identify the specific episode.

Only pirate signal I've heard since Friday, including this weekend when I took a portable out to a rural area free of RFI.  Conditions pretty poor recently, something I've heard the 40m hamsters complain about too.

Palstar R30C via homebrewed passive loop mounted on wooden fence outside apartment window.

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