Thursday, March 29, 2012

With Fond Remembrance - Fred Maia - W5YI / SK

The 376th article at Shortwave America is a sad one that we wish did not have to be published under such tragic circumstances.

The W5YI Amateur Radio and Commercial Licensing Resources website has announced that Fred Maia - W5YI has passed away after fighting a long battle with cancer. Fred left the world behind on Wednesday evening, March 28, 2012.

Memorial service will be held, 3:00pm, Saturday March 31, 2012 at Moore Funeral Home 1219 North Davis Dr., Arlington, TX 76012

The W5YI Group website states the following information:
In Honor of Fred Maia - Founder of W5YI Group, W5YI-VEC, National Radio Examiners, our offices will be closed for business Friday, March 30th and will re-open Monday, April 2nd. 

Fred has left behind an amazing history in the world of radio and will be missed by many. The staff of Shortwave America, and PCJ Media wish to pass on our deepest sympathies and condolences to Fred's family and friends. 

Happy Birthday To Our Very Own Paulette MacQuarrie

Happy Birthday to our own Paulette "Pawlina" Demchuck MacQuarrie!!! 

Paulette turns another year wiser today, as we celebrate her presence on our planet by wishing her all the best of everything for today and the year to come! Paulette is a real contributor to the world of radio communications, as well as a great friend to all who have the opportunity and privilege to know her and work with her. 

In her years of living amongst all of us, Paulette has truly done her part to make the world around her a better place than whence she found it. May all of your work in the professional and personal areas of life give you the very wonderful gifts you have always given us, Paulette! 

Radio Netherlands Says Good-Bye

At 5:42PM, on March 23rd, 2012, our good friend, Andy Sennitt, said this about the changes to take place at RNW:

"There will still be an English website, but there will no longer be any news or articles specifically about the Netherlands, unless they are related to our only remaining core task, which is to serve countries where press freedom is restricted. Our prime minister Mark Rutte said that carrying information about the Netherlands "is a nice thing to do, but not with government money." The exact details haven't yet been finalised, but will be announced on this site as soon as they are."

What was Andy talking about? Well, as most everyone knows by now, RNW has been the victim of state mandated cuts and closures of services. This means that RNW will essentially be "re-invented" as a media source catering to countries of the world who suffer from state imposed media freedom restrictions. Most people can agree that this is indeed, a noble and heroic task to undertake. One can only question though, why this would be done at the expense of those who need and want news about the Netherlands, Dutch culture and events, etc. Did Mark Rutte ever think about how this may impact tourism? Segments of international relations that will now be left out?

Further research into the origins of these rash decisions brings us to this:  The Dutch Government is almost ready to fall due to failures of their political parties to work out a realistic budget.

Quote: "Diederik Samsom wants to call general elections immediately if the cabinet falls. He also says he would not do business with an outgoing Rutte cabinet before new elections."

Here is the exact text of Andy's new article. We are posting this here VERBATIM because we honestly cannot imagine ever saying it better than Andy can! 

As the clocks in Europe go forward to summertime, Radio Netherlands Worldwide is entering a period of drastic change which will see the closure of many services and the relaunch of the organisation with a much smaller staff. RNW will in future be specialising in producing material for audiences in countries with limited press freedom.

RNW will no longer be broadcasting to Dutch expatriates. The Dutch radio service will hold a 24-hour marathon broadcast on 10/11 May to mark the end of its 65 years of service. Other services will be affected too - plans are still to be finalised, but Radio Netherlands Worldwide will cease to operate in a number of languages and other services, including this website, will be adapted to meet the new focus of promoting free speech.

All these changes have been forced on RNW by the Dutch government’s decision to slash our budget by 70 percent with effect from 1 January 2013. The budget will come from the Foreign Ministry rather than the Ministry of Education and Culture as at present. The editorial independence of RNW will remain sacrosanct.

More information about the changes will be published as soon as these are official.

On February 7th, 2012, Andy Sennitt also disclosed information about an upcoming RNW Marathon event on the now defunct Media Network Weblog:  (Andy is quoted from the weblog exactly as it was published)

On Friday, 11 May we will have a marathon [Dutch] radio broadcast in which we look back with pride at 65 years of Dutch radio for expatriates, and which will also serve as the ‘farewell’ broadcast. Activities in other languages, especially those for the Dutch Caribbean and Indonesia, will also be discussed in detail. The choice of date has to do with the preparation time required to produce the radio marathon.

The activities of the Dutch department will be phased out, but the timetable will depend on the progress of the reorganization and the available manpower needed to guarantee the quality of the programmes. No formal decision has yet been made about the date of the final Dutch radio broadcast. However it is extremely unlikely that Dutch language radio broadcasts will continue through the summer.

(Source: RNW Editor-in-Chief)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BBG Commits Perjury In Front of United States Congress

This entire article is a re-print and complete credit is given to the BBG Watch.

BBG Watch has learned that Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) executives were on Capitol Hill last week trying to convince Congressional staffers that Voice of America shortwave radio broadcasts to China are a waste of money. As it is usual for these BBG bureaucrats, they presented incomplete and misleading evidence, a well-informed source told us.

When talking to Congressional staffers about shortwave radio reception in China, BBG executives put together about ten random samples of Voice of America Mandarin shortwave transmissions which showed that between the Chinese government’s jamming and co-channel interference about 95% or more of what VOA broadcasts can’t be heard.

These BBG executives could have just as well do a demonstration for Congressional staffers of Internet access in China to Voice of America Mandarin and Cantonese websites. It would have shown that the Chinese government’s blocking and censorship of VOA Chinese websites is about 99% effective unless one is a computer whiz kid who can access proxy servers before the Chinese cyber police discovers and blocks them.

The truth of the matter is that these BBG executives want to eliminate the Voice of America as a U.S. broadcaster in China and to fire dozens of VOA journalists specializing in human rights reporting. Their argument about developing new media program delivery is a hoax, since using new media is by and large free or inexpensive and the Voice of America Chinese Branch already makes a good use of it. What these BBG bureaucrats want is to take money and resources from serious Voice of America journalism and to use them for themselves and their private contractors.

The demonstration put together by these BBG executives for Congressional staffers was purposely incomplete and misleading. Voice of America shortwave radio broadcasts in Mandarin and Cantonese can in fact be heard outside of the main metropolitan areas in China and even in some big cities at certain times. National Public Radio (NPR) correspondent reported recently that Tibetan Buddhist monks in Tibet secretly listen every night to VOA Tibetan shortwave radio programs. BBG executives should be asked how these Tibetan monks manage to listen to these shortwave broadcasts if jamming is 95% effective.

Recently, a group of Voice of America radio listeners in China put together a video to show how important these VOA broadcasts are to them and to many disenfranchised and oppressed political, social, religious, and ethnic groups. The Broadcasting Board of Governors wants to pretend that groups like these do not exist and that VOA would be better off producing noncontroversial programs, such as English lessons, that would appeal to a mass audience and be approved by the Chinese censors.

BBG executives are so obsessed with faulty audience research that they don’t see the big picture. English lessons are designed to attract listeners to substantive news on VOA. They are not an end in themselves. These bureaucrats have no idea why Tibetan monks and others in China want Voice of America radio.

Women’s Rights in China (WRIC) NGO has produced a short video showing that both very young and older persons in China continue to rely on Voice of America (VOA) radio broadcasts for uncensored news and information. Their comments, recorded in China, point to the censorship of the Internet by the Chinese authorities and the fact that hundreds of millions of Chinese cannot use the Internet to access VOA websites, which are being blocked in China, or can’t afford to have Internet access of any kind because they are too poor.

The Voice of America celebrated last year the 70th anniversary of broadcasting to China. Its supporters in China seen in this video wish VOA happy birthday, which almost could not have been celebrated as the U.S. agency responsible for these broadcasts wanted to stop them shortly before the 70th anniversary date.

Thanks to numerous protests in China and in the United States, members of Congress from both parties prevented the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) from implementing its plan to end VOA radio and TV programs to China on October 1, 2011, which happened to be the anniversary of the founding of communist China. The BBG again wants to end VOA radio and television in Cantonese. BBG executives also want to terminate VOA Tibetan radio programs.

Women’s Rights in China Video was recorded in China by WRIC volunteers. Those appearing in this video have shown a lot of courage by admitting on camera that they are listeners to VOA radio broadcasts, but please note that their names are not used. They know that listening to VOA radio is safer than using the Internet.

Link to the Women’s Rights in China video on the 70th anniversary of Voice of America broadcasting
to China.

The BBG staff’s presentation on Capitol Hill was highly misleading. Here are some counter-arguments:

1. Since the samples are all from urban or built-up areas, what about samples from the countryside? What anecdotal evidence do they have regarding jamming from Chinese individuals who have listened to VOA from rural areas that have either escaped or emigrated to the U.S.?

2. What active measures have the IBB taken to overcome jamming? Have they shifted frequencies or bands on a random or radical basis? Have they transmitted from various transmitter sites to change the incoming angle (i.e., North – South, East – West, over the Eural mountains, etc) in order to make jamming more difficult? By not attempting to overcome jamming, isn’t this a form of “surrender” in the War of Ideas? Does the BBG believe we are involved in a War of Ideas with China or that they have a role to play in its prosecution?

3. Have they experimented with “twilight” transmission (within an hour before and an hour after sunrise and sunset) when propagation patterns change and make jamming more difficult?

4. Do they see any potential with digital transmission in the shortwave (DRM)? Have they conducted any experimentation whatsoever with DRM in China?

5. If shortwave transmission to China is so poor, why is the BBG intent on continuing – if not upgrading – RFA shortwave transmission while eliminating VOA transmission?

6. Is the BBG in agreement that VOA and surrogate programming have entirely different purposes and that neither should be “homogenized” nor turned into a hybrid service or not?

7. Have they distributed or proliferated shortwave radio receivers, particularly to individuals in these disenfranchised communities? Do they see any value in giving poor populations more shortwave access?

8. Shortwave is the only way to communicate with the economic and politically disenfranchised desparate individuals in China. These are people that suffer the most from human rights abuses and the ones that are most in need of VOA programming. As Dr. Lenczowski so eloquently states, it is VOA programming that helps reduce the “atomization” of politically disenfranchised individuals that are separated from each other by the totalitarian regime and they cannot coalese political power. Most of these individuals continue to live in poor areas where there are no electrical infrastructures in their communities. Therefore, it is impossible to communicate with them on the Internet or via social media since they have no electrical access whatsoever let alone the economic wherewithal to purchase Internet products. Does the BBG still consider this demographic group as a target population for VOA programming or are they only interested in reaching the “movers and shakers” and youth populations that have Internet access in the urban areas?

If the BBG is not interested in continuing an appeal to this particular demographic group, there is a serious disconnect between the BBG leadership and the journalists in the various language services. From my observation, the disenfranchised demographic in our target areas is the one that most of the journalists in most of the language services are most interested in reaching. If this is not the same concern of the BBG then there needs to be a serious re-education of either the BBG leadership or the journalists. If this is the case, this disparity between the preferred target audience of the BBG leadership and the target audience of the majority of the VOA journalists is a contributing factor to the low morale in our building. There is no wonder the BBG ends up at the bottom of the list of Federal government agencies in the Human Capital survey of employees.

This is how Jing Zhang, a former political prisoner in China who now lives in the United States and runs Women’s Rights in China, explained the importance of Voice of America radio broadcasts for the audiences that the Broadcasting Board of Governors wants to forget about:
The Internet offers undeniable advantages. However, it cannot replace radio broadcasting. In today’s China, foreign radio broadcasts in Chinese are still a crucial source of outside information for the majority of the population who lack access to the Internet. Voice of America not only provides indispensable and truthful news reporting, it also upholds the image of the United States and is a valuable antidote to the Great Foreign Propaganda Plan of the Chinese regime. Not only would the elimination of VOA’s Chinese language service be contrary to the spirit and values of America’s Founding Fathers, it would inflict irreparable harm on generations of dissidents and advocates of freedom and democracy, and silence the most vulnerable groups in Chinese society—the women and children.
READ MORE: Former Chinese political prisoner says VOA must not retreat from China of Ms. Zhang’s appeal.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Class 95 FM Special Event - Corrinne May

Shortwave America has recently learned about a new artist who has been around for the last few years, and has actually been officially called Singapore's MOST SUCCESSFUL! As it happens, there is a radio connection, we're covering it. Class 95 is sponsoring the "Crooked Lines" album launch tomorrow, March 27th 2012 at the Hard rock Cafe' in Singapore (at Cuscaden Road). LISTEN TO CLASS 95FM HERE

Corrinne May has watched her last 3 albums sell over 30,000 copies in Singapore alone. From Corrine's bio page at her Official Website: "Born in Singapore, but now based in Los Angeles, Corrinne May didn’t always think she was going to be a musician. It wasn’t exactly looked upon as an ideal career to most practical-minded Singaporeans." "She trained in classical piano from the age of 5 and won her first songwriting competition at 15. Thankfully, that soon gave way to more artistic pursuits. She honed her love for Shakespeare with an honours degree in English Literature at the National University of Singapore, and pursued her passion for songwriting and film-scoring at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating with a Bachelor of Music. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her musical aspirations."

National Recognition: "In recognition of her contributions to the Singapore and regional music scenes, Corrinne received the Young Composer of the Year award and Wings of Excellence award from COMPASS, the performing rights society of Singapore, in 2007. She was also honoured by her alumni, the National University of Singapore who presented her with the ‘Outstanding Young Alumni Award’, and she represented Singapore at the MIDEM conference showcase in Cannes, France in 2008. In 2010, Corrinne May was commissioned to write the National Day Theme Song for Singapore’s National Day. She sang her composition ‘Song For Singapore’ at the Padang in front of a 40,ooo strong crowd and the song was also telecast in a live broadcast to the whole nation."

Here is the newest Singapore radio hit by Corrine May:


NEW! Shortwave America Weekly Episode - Hot Out of The Studio!

Shortwave America for March 26th, 2012 is here now! Enjoy AR Newsline#1805, Keith Perron brings us international radio news, The RAIN Report talks about Field Day, and we'll hear an episode of Flash Frisbone! This week's episode closes out after we take a virtual visit to the 38th parallel where we'll hear about radio freedom in North Korea, and how South Korea is helping their fellow human beings to the north. 
Time: 1:38:10

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shortwave and HF Log For 25 March 2012

This whole weekend has been a mess for listening AND operating anywhere in the world due to a combination of factors, the worst of which happened to be a bunch of idiot contesters from 160 meters on up to daylight. Contesters are the lowest form of life taking up space on this planet, and just ONCE, it would be nice if someone would find some of these worthless band hogs and make their stations inoperable.

For those contesters who didn't get the memo on authorized band and frequency allocations, you MUST stay away from the WARC bands and you MUST stay IN the amateur bands, not where ever you feel like operating!!! Many of you contesters were heard on the HF Aviation bands, shortwave broadcast bands, and some of the braver souls even wandered well into certain portions of the FM spectrum well outside of the amateur FM bands including public safety frequencies!! Neither YOU nor your CLUB are going to points by being obnoxious and calling "CQ Contest" outside of the amateur bands or by stepping all over other operators simply because you are running at or beyond the full gallon and a half. 

The worst violators were in the following call areas:  9, 8, 4, 3, 2, and 1. 

Enough said! Now, on to the log:

2300 - 2334UTC: 6925Khz / A.M. Mode, Radio Ronan
During the broadcast, Radio Ronan said comments on the show to the HF Underground or the FRN Vine are acceptable, but said you can also e-mail them at Ronan had a wonderful show today with lots of classic greats for his music selections.

0000UTC: 7200KHZ / USB (40 Meter Phone)
A couple of old men talking about things that would have been better left for a phone call instead of wasting spectrum. This is another issue the amateur radio community needs to work on. Amateur radio is not to be used for conversations you can easily have otherwise on the phone or in an e-mail. Our own regulations and our own code of conduct are very clear on that.

0015UTC  7223Khz / USB (40 Meter Phone)
Two guys talking about LOTW and the countries they have logged. LOTW sent both of these guys e-mails informing them that they had worked so many hundred countries but the LOTW numbers didn't match their logs.  Moral of this story...never trust a log that isn't hand written and verified by YOUR OWN records and then verified by a qualified DX Card Checker. Both of these guys eventually revealed that they are we can connect the dots properly.

0027UTC 7235.50Khz / USB (40 Meter Phone)
DX ragchew between the UK and Canada. G4GCK/VE3 - Simon, with VE3KWM.

0035 to 0048: spun back through the frequencies to see what else was happening since this log started at 6925Khz. In short, nothing good was missed...just the usual religious hateful right wing broadcasters. 

0048 - 0145: Complete band sweep continued. Nothing of any interest.

Have a good night, everyone!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shorwave A-12 Schedules Are Here!

The PTSW list gets credit for compiling this list of updated A-12 shortwave international broadcast station schedules. More will be posted as the A-12 schedules worldwide become available. Please be reminded that stations can and sometimes do change their times and frequencies without much notice.Below this list are the links to our friends in Japan who work so hard to put together both a txt file AND a zipped SW schedule list each season.

BIBLE VOICE  - (BC-DX #1057) (BVB by wb, wwdxc BC-DX TopNews)
VOIRI  -  (BC-DX #1057) (BC-DX TopNews)
TWR AFRICA  -   (via Alokesh Gupta, New Delhi, March 14, dxldyg via DXLD)

Complete Shortwave Schedule TXT file from the Bi Newsletter For DXer's

A-12 Shortwave Broadcast Season ZIPPED file from the same source as above


April 6th 2012

EiBi finally has their A-12 Shortwave Schedules up. Here are the links:

EiBi A-12 Shortwave Schedules by Time

Text File

PDF File

Word File (ZIPPED File)

EiBi A-12 Shortwave Schedules by Frequency

Text File

PDF File

Word File (ZIPPED File)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shortwave America Parts Ways With "The Look"

Fans and followers of Shortwave America,  

Effective immediately, the program will no longer be heard on The Look 24/7. In resigning from The Look 24/7, they have been extended an open door to them for other professional pursuits if they so wish. Shortwave America's parting from The Look 24/7 was done for the interest of both parties and done without any hard feelings. The station management at The Look 24/7 are truly good people and they will remain good friends.

The Look 24/7 offers some very high quality, unique programming. Shortwave America fans and followers who may have listened to the program there should continue to offer your listenership to them for the well presented material they offer. 

Shortwave America will continue to offer weekly and monthly programming as an independent, grassroots venture.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

LIVE Ariane 5 Launch Coverage - International Space Station (ISS) Re-Supply Mission

Shortwave America is proud to cover yet ANOTHER space communications event TONIGHT in the form of the launch of Ariane 5! Here are the launch window times:

Also see the Arianespace Mission Update. Space Flight Now will also have live streaming coverage of this launch.

From ArianeSpace: "Named after Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi, Europe’s third ATV will carry "dry cargo" (including experiments, food, clothing, tools and spare parts), along with water, gas and propellant for delivery to the crewed orbital facility. The Ariane 5 mission has a total lift performance of over 20,000 kg., which includes the ATV’s mass of more than 19,700 kg. – representing the heaviest payload ever to be orbited by Ariane 5."

LIVE Launch Event Detail Log
Unfortunately, there was no pre-launch coverage and the live launch was in French, so providing coverage of this event was not possible. However, you may enjoy this video of the launch from early this morning.You'll see that there was very little commentary, and weather conditions made for horrible launch coverage. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shortwave America Returns To Weekly Episodes and First Member Welcome!

Just recently, Shortwave America received the very first paid member of all time. Shortwave America members are never identified without permission, so, we will say a warm thank you to a person we will only call Shortwave America Member One!

When you pay for a membership, Shortwave America becomes empowered and enabled to bring you MORE than what those who simply view Shortwave America for free are receiving. Note that our readers and listeners who are not paying members are also important, and we want you here. We understand that some of you simply cannot afford to purchase a membership or live in places where PayPal is simply not available for you to use.

For more about Shortwave America memberships, please see the MEMBERSHIP FAQ

On March 16th, 2012, Shortwave America returned to broadcasting weekly episodes on The Look 24/7

A new program schedule is in place as follows: Programs at The Look 24/7 will only be heard on FRIDAY evenings from 0400UTC to 0800UTC (9PM Pacific, 11PM Central, and 12AM Eastern to 1AM Pacific, until 3AM Central, and 4AM Eastern)

Saturday shows have been canceled due to operational constraints.  


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Andy Sennitt Has Left The Building!

Well, not quite yet...ten business days from now will be the final day of the Media Network Weblog serving Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Andy is without a doubt, the most skilled and well known radio journalism professional to have ever walked the planet. No one could even attempt to fill his shoes and do it the way Andy did things. Shortwave America knew as early as last year that Andy had made solid, confirmed plans to retire but chose to let Andy make the announcement himself before commenting on Andy and his career. 

This was a simple act of respect towards Andy, who had earned his respect amongst all of us by way of his hard work, dedication, integrity, and his outgoing personality. You can read the full story announcing Andy's retirement here. 

As much as Andy will be missed, the fact is that radio and the world of tracking radio media are in a state of change. The sad part of this is that the business Andy loved so much was the same business that forced Andy's hand in choosing his early retirement as evidenced by his own statement " Due to the new mandate of RNW effective on 1 January 2013, it will no longer be possible for the organisation to provide coverage of international media news." 

Keith Perron of PCJ Media made a statement at the 2012 SWL Fest on the new frame of mind of radio management in that they are younger, they are inexperienced, and have never worked in a studio, never produced a show, and have never been in the shoes of those who have performed field work. What this statement says in its spirit and meaning is that these younger managers of the corporate world have absolutely no clue what radio is, how powerful radio is, and how they are affecting radio for the worse. 

Radio is the original "social network", be it amateur radio and other two-way HF / AM / FM radio services, or the shortwave broadcast service. This author was interviewed by Ted Randall back in February on his "QSO Show" airing on WTWW.

Ted made a very true statement in that conversation..."You know who's making these decisions, don't you?" "Governments! and we all know what happens when governments make the decisions". Ted also pointed out that the Tecsun Corporation makes 30,000 shortwave receivers a day, and the audience is out here. 

People WANT to know what is happening on an international basis with shortwave broadcast services, and really, shortwave is one of the last places that you can find international news items that the main stream media does not or will not cover. If you listen to shortwave and then compare what you hear to what is found in the MSM, very little of that shortwave news you heard is ever covered and when it does get covered, the spin that is applied to it is absolute rubbish! 

Andy Sennitt has always been a genuine person, and this business has no idea as to the gem they have thrown away. Andy started on the Media Network Radio Show in 1981 and quickly became a leader in his field, gaining the respect of his peers and anyone else he worked with. Andy says this in his retirement press release: "In April I shall be writing a series of articles reflecting on the changes in international broadcasting since I started appearing on the Media Network radio show in 1981, and looking ahead to the coming decade. The articles will be published on the RNW English website."

Andy asks only one thing of his audience at this time: "If you have any memories of RNW or other international broadcasters that you would like to share, I will be pleased to hear from you at and I’ll try to include them in the articles." Andy also says it will take him some time, but he will get back to those who have written in to him.

At least RNW has agreed to allow the Media Network Weblog to remain on their own site as a searchable archive going all the way back to 2003. Andy states that his last day at RNW is April 26th, 2012. 

Thank you, Andy, for all the decades of hard work, for how you have paved the way for all of those who have come up in your shadow with the proper attitude, focus, and love of radio. You will always be among the greats in the radio world, and I consider myself privileged to have been one of the people who were influenced by you. 

All of us wish you big returns for all of the great things you have done. May you have the best of life, always!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fred Pampel - KC9MJY - American Red Cross Emergency Communications Response Van Leader

Word has been received that a well loved and respected member of our community has passed away. Fred Pampel - KC9MJY, of the Chicago Suburbs, and leader of the American Red Cross ECRV Unit 4711, died on March 7th, 2012.

Fred Pampel was more than just another amateur radio operator, more than just a leader at the American Red Cross. Fred was known by all of us to have been a kind, caring, friend of all people who had a sense of humor and a big heart with a sense of compassion larger than could be described. Fred's first priorities were always his family and the community around him.

I remember Fred as a person who loved people. As a teacher of Red Cross Protocol and procedure, he was very focused and professional. Fred was intelligent and knew what he was doing.  Fred was patient with everyone, he had the kind of public relations skills that would likely have allowed him to sell a BBQ sandwich with extra BBQ sauce to a man wearing an all white suit. Perhaps in a time like this, it would seem that a statement like this doesn't belong, but it's true and I think it characterizes Fred as the person we all knew.

Above all, Fred was a well grounded person. He knew what was real, and what was important. Fred knew that life is short, talk is cheap, and if it wasn't real we didn't need to waste our time on it. I think that is what drew people to him. To be in Fred's company was always a privilege because you always had a complete experience filled with friendship, camaraderie, and learning. Listening to Fred talk was something I loved. Fred also knew when to listen, he was well balanced like that.

Fred Pampel will not be forgotten by any of us. He is missed, and always will be.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...

(Author Unknown) 

Further information about Fred's passing and plans for services will be posted here when it's available.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Major Solar Flare and Gemomagnetic Storm Underway

Solar flares have erupted on the sun in the last 24 hours, making way for heavy geomagnetic storms that could cause massive radio blackouts if they haven't happened already.  Yahoo News has photos and video.

All of the following information was taken from

GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning's X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT (+/- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME's forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras. Aurora alerts: text, phone.

A mild geomagnetic storm is already underway, following a lesser CME impact on March 7th around 0400 UT. Shortly after the cloud arrived, a burst of Northern Lights appeared over the US-Canadian border. Shawn Malone photographed the display from the shores of Lake Superior:

Big sunspot 1429 poses a continued threat for X-class solar flares. Credit: SDO/HMI

"I was lucky to catch this brilliant outburst of aurora activity that was very active for close to an hour," says Malone, who has also made a time-lapse video of the display. "The aurora had no problem shining through the moonlit skies."

more images: from Eric Frigon of Banff National Park , Alberta, Canada; from John Welling of Ashland,Wisconsin; from Justin Phillips of New Auburn, Wisconsin; from Truls Tiller of Tromsø, Norway; from Stephen Voss of Sandy Point, New Zealand; from Olivier Du Tré of Cochrane, Alberta; from Manu Keggenhoff of Jake's Corner, Yukon, Canada; from Ed Stockard of Sun Mt Lodge, Methow Valley, Washington

MAJOR SOLAR FLARE (UPDATED): Big sunspot AR1429 has unleashed another major flare. This one is the strongest yet, an X5-class eruption on March 7th at 00:28 UT. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme UV flash.

This eruption hurled a bright CME into space, shown here in a movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab estimate that the CME will reach Earth on March 8th at 0625 UT (+/- 7 hr), possibly triggering a strong-to-extreme geomagnetic storm. An animated forecast track shows the progression of the fast-moving cloud.

The flare also accelerated energetic protons toward Earth, triggering an S3-class solar radiation storm, in progress. Such a storm is mainly a nuisance to satellites, causing occasional reboots of onboard computers and adding noise to imaging systems.  
Solar flare alerts: text, phone.

Solar wind
speed: 287.1 km/sec
density: 1.7 protons/cm3
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 1448 UT
X-ray Solar Flares
6-hr max: C2
1735 UT Mar07
24-hr: X5
0028 UT Mar07
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at: 2200 UT

Planetary K-index
Now: Kp= 4 unsettled
24-hr max: Kp= 6
explanation | more data
Interplanetary Mag. Field
Btotal: 10.7 nT
Bz: 6.2 nT north
explanation | more data
Updated: Today at 2245 UT 

 Coronal Holes: 07 Mar 12

A solar wind stream flowing from this coronal hole could reach Earth as early as March 8-9. Credit: SDO/AIA.

Shortwave Station Anniversaries and Other Radio News

Shortwave Central reports WINB in Red Lion, Pennsylvania has a new QSL card out for their 50th anniversary in 2012.

The SWLing Post carries a story about the 70th anniversary of Voice of America

The BBC celebrates their 80th anniversary.

Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC Global News, said: "The 80th birthday and departure from Bush House means these are historic and changing times for the BBC World Service. We want our audiences to be at the heart of both the commemoration of the past and conversation about the future."

Back on February 8th, 2012, in Australia, the 100th anniversary of government owned and operated wireless  communications stations was celebrated. Wavescan has the report on this big anniversary.
Here is a quote from the Wavescan article:

"As we note, the famed Marconi had been very active in the experimental development of wireless as a tool for distant communication, beginning in 1894. Ten years later, the Marconi company in Australia established two temporary wireless stations, one in coastal Victoria and the other on the northern edge of Tasmania, as a public demonstration of the usefulness of wireless communication between the Australian mainland and islandic Tasmania.

During the years 1910 and 1911, four temporary interim wireless stations were established in Australia, and these were on the air as ATY and AAA in Sydney, AAM in Melbourne, and VZE on the small King Island close to Tasmania."

Adventist World Radio has celebrated their 40th anniversary. Shortwave Central has that story.

Back in 2008, RNZI (Radio New Zealand) celebrated their 60th anniversary. 2012 marks their 64th year on the air. Here is a link to their 60th anniversary page. RNZI published an audio documentary on their 60th anniversary. It has been embedded here for your convenience.

The Dxer's Guide has a scan of their 60th anniversary QSL.

TOMORROW, March 8th, marks the 51st year of Swedish offshore radio station, Radio Nord. Last year, Andy Sennitt at Radio Netherlands Worldwide wrote a piece about the 50th anniversary of this station.

On November 16th, 2011, the Wheatstone blog reported that the Voice of Russia had turned 82. Here is a quote from that story: "Three years before the BBC began beaming programs around the world, and long before many other shortwave broadcasters came into existence, the Voice of Russia signed on for the first time. Originally known as Radio Moscow, its first broadcasts came in 1922, as transmitting station RV-1 in the Moscow region"

Shortwave Central is reporting about something called the DX Stamp Service run by William J. Plumb. Apparently, William offers specials on stamps and other DX supplies. This service has a March special on stamps as quoted from Shortwave Central

"We are dropping Armenia, less than 10 sold last year. Their new rate is in the $3.00+ range as well.

Costa Rica now 385c up from 350c
Sri Lanka now 85r up from 50r. New selling price is $2.00
Colombia new selling price $3.75
Honduras new selling price $1.75

See the rest of the March specials here

Contact information for The DX Stamp and Supply Service:
12 Glenn Road
Flemington, NJ 08822-3322
Tel. (908) 788-1020
Fax (908) 782-2612

Shortwave Central has conducted a review of the WRTH (World Radio and TV Handbook)

Items from Amateur Radio Newsline:

Australian radio amateurs are participating in a trial to see if they will be able to increase their transmit power limit to a full kilowatt.

Radio amateurs in Senegal will be getting access to the 6 meter band

ARISS has celebrated their 700th International Space Station contact in a school room

Tim Burrows has published a piece about social media and its role in emergency situation reporting

The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting  
In their "Emerging Technology" report, AR Newsline says that Panasonic is 
planning to release televisions with text to speech technology. 
You can hear it all here.