Monday, November 20, 2017

Frm the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules



From the Isle of Music  episodes through December 2:

1. For the week of November 19-25, we will rebroadcast on of our favorite episodes from 2016, which includes award-winning Jazz piano virtuoso Harold López-Nussa and other good things.
2. For the week of November 26-December 2, we will feature some interpretations of part of Schubert’s Trout Quintet lead by Cuban pianist Frank Fernandez along with an part of an intriguing album from the 1980s, Leningrado, featuring moments by several of Cuba’s Jazz elite from the time.
Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0100-0200 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US) NOTE THAT UTC CHANGED FOR B17 BUT EASTERN US TIME IS STILL THE SAME.
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot episodes through November 26

Here is fair warning of the next 3 episodes of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot:
Episode 38 (November 26) : Bluegrass meets Hard Rock
Sundays 2300-2330 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on

WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz  from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe

William "Bill" Tilford, Owner/Producer

Abandoned Radio Stations



Surprisingly, there are numerous abandoned radio broadcasting stations that can be seen, and explored, in many different countries around the world.  The owners of these various abandoned radio broadcasting stations have simply closed their station and walked away from it, leaving it just as it was. These many abandoned radio stations are currently in various stages of decay and deterioration; you can see them on the internet, and if you live nearby, perhaps you can visit one or two of them, and explore them and photograph them.  From the internet, we list several of these abandoned radio stations in the United States, AM medium wave and FM, and we take them in alphabetic order of the state in which they are located.

            First up is Alabama, and we view an abandoned radio station somewhere in the vicinity of the large country town of Cullman, which is located approximately half way between Huntsville and Birmingham.  The visitor to this abandoned radio station, who does not seem to be identified, likewise asked that the callsign and location of this station not be identified either.

            The abandoned radio station in Vincent was a community radio station with compact studios, offices and transmitter all at the same two story site.  This station is in plain view of many commercial businesses though its surrounding land area is completely overgrown, so much so that it is difficult to gain access to the building itself.

            At the time of the visit, the front door was wide open, and the entryway revealed rotten wood and wet carpet, together with the stench of mold.  Apparently this building was a private house that had been converted into a radio station somewhere around the middle of last century.

            Old style music records were strewn around the floor, the station callsign could still be read on the wall, the interior corridor was unsafe to traverse, and it seemed like a fire had burned out the transmitter many years ago.  The date on the fire extinguisher inspection card showed September 25, 1992.

            At the back of the building was a spiraling staircase that led to the top floor wherein was a kitchenette.  The flooring above the fire damaged area below had collapsed long ago.  The view of the station property from this second floor location showed everything abandoned, overgrown and uncared for.

            We leave this unidentified site in Alabama, and we move on to Florida, to what was medium wave station WGGG with 100 watts on 1230 kHz in Gainesville, a university city in the northern  area of the state.  Radio station WGGG was built back in 1946, with the production studios in the center of the building, completely surrounded by a corridor in an endeavor to reduce unwanted noise from the railway line across the street, and from aircraft at the nearby airport. 

            Station WGGG, changed ownership many times, and it was sold in 1984 to new owners, who transferred the facility to another location, and abandoned the historic building at 1230 Waldo Road.  As would be expected, the building has been seriously vandalized over the years.

            The third state we visit in our program today is Illinois, and in the regional city of Clinton lies the abandoned facility that was at one time station WHOW with 1 kW on 1520 kHz.  The town of Clinton is located in the very center of the state of Illinois and it was named for a governor of the state of New York back in the early 1800s, not for a president of the United States in more recent time.

            In 1972, the studios for medium wave WHOW were transferred from their downtown location into what became known as the Old Red Barn on the outskirts of the small city.  As the years went by, the station was never modernized nor upgraded, and it was finally closed and abandoned as was in 2002.  As would be expected, the clock on the wall is no longer functioning. 

            The fourth state we visit is Montana, where station KPRK was inaugurated on January 9, 1947 with 1 kW on 1340 kHz.  This station was located in a very ornate building on the edge of Livingston that is to this day listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Surprisingly, recent photos of this abandoned medium wave station KPRK show that the building has not been vandalized and it appears to be still in its earlier pristine condition.

            Next we go to New York state.  In 1948, mediumwave station WIBX was transferred from its original location at the U-bend of the Mohawk River at the end of Schuyler Street Utica in to a new location on Clark Mills Road.  At the same time, the station underwent a frequency change from 1230 kHz to 950 kHz, and the studios were transferred from the downtown First National Bank Building into the newly constructed station building.

            As time went by, additional radio stations were incorporated into this same building until a total of five radio stations were squeezed into this overcrowded facility.  In 2003, all five stations were moved into a new facility on River Road Marcy, and the building on Clark Mills Road was abandoned.  However, to their credit, it should be stated that the interior of the building was cleaned out, and to this day, it still gives the same impression.

            In Tulsa Oklahoma, radio station KOME with 5 kW on 1300 kHz was abandoned towards the end of last century and likewise, this building was also cleaned out before the owners vacated it.  There is not much to be seen here, just empty rooms, and very little vandalism.

            Surprisingly, we could go on, and mention so many other abandoned radio broadcasting stations in the United States.  In Shamokin Pennsylvania, the transmitter facility for medium wave station WISL was installed in an out of town junk yard, and the four towers still stand to this day.  Junk in the transmitter building is piled high in cardboard boxes. 

            Also in Pennsylvania was FM station WCHR 94.5 MHz at Yardley, just across the Delaware River from Trenton New Jersey.  This isolated station building was abandoned some twenty years ago, and overgrowth now reaches to the side of the building.

            Then in Washington state, we visit in our program today another abandoned radio station, medium wave KXXR-KSVY at Opportunity.  The studios and offices were located at 44th Ave and South Havana St in Spokane, and the 1550 kHz transmitter was installed in a trailer at East Thorpe Road and Dishman Mica Road at Chester.  The radio station trailer in its swampy venue was abandoned in 1996 and for many years the electronic equipment was still visible in the dilapidated trailer, though the antenna towers were removed some time back. 

            The last abandoned radio station we visit in our program today is out of order alphabetically, and its story is a little different also.  The studios and offices for station WCOP AM-FM in Boston were previously located in a building in suburban Lexington, Massachusetts.  The studios have since gone, and that part of the building is empty.  However, the building still houses two active medium wave transmitters: Spanish language WWDJ Boston with 5 kW on 1150 kHz and ethnic station WAZN Watertown with 1400 watts day and 3400 watts at night on 1470 kHz. 
(AWR-Wavescan)
(photo/WGGG Gainesville, FL via Central Florida Radio)

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Nov 20 0558 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 13 - 19 November 2017


Solar activity was at very low levels throughout the period. Several  B-class flares were observed from Region 2687 (S08, L=180, class/area Cao/090 on 16 Nov). The largest was a B7 flare at 13/0648 UTC. No Earth-directed coronal mass ejections were observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached moderate levels on 16 Nov and high levels on 13-15 and 17-19 Nov. The largest flux of the period was 20,582 pfu observed at 13/1455 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to active levels. The period began with solar wind speed between 370-430 km/s and total field between 2-9 nT. A prolonged period of -Bz reaching -7 nT was observed between 14/1322-2256 UTC. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet levels on 13 Nov and quiet to unsettled levels on 14 Nov. By 15 Nov, total field increased to a maximum of 15 nT at 15/1858 UTC while the Bz component deflected southward to a maximum of -9 nT at 16/0100 UTC. Solar wind speed increased to around 520 km/s late on 15 Nov through 16 Nov as a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) became geoeffective. By 16/0900 UTC, total field decreased to 5 nT while solar wind speed began decreasing early on 17 Nov. The period ended at nominal levels with solar wind speed near 380 km/s. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet to active levels on 15-16 Nov, quiet to unsettled levels on 17 and 19 Nov, and quiet levels on 18 Nov.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 20 November - 16 December 2017

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels throughout the period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 22-25 Nov, 05-10 Dec and 12-16 Dec due to recurrent CH HSS influences.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 20-23 Nov, 29-30 Nov, 04-08 Dec and 11-14 Dec with G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels likely on 04-07 Dec and G2
(Moderate) levels likely on 04-05 Dec due to recurrent CH HSS effects.


Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Nov 20 0559 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-11-20
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Nov 20      75          18          4
2017 Nov 21      75          18          4
2017 Nov 22      75          15          4
2017 Nov 23      75           8          3
2017 Nov 24      75           5          2
2017 Nov 25      75           5          2
2017 Nov 26      75           5          2
2017 Nov 27      73           5          2
2017 Nov 28      72           5          2
2017 Nov 29      71           8          3
2017 Nov 30      70          10          3
2017 Dec 01      70           5          2
2017 Dec 02      70           5          2
2017 Dec 03      69           5          2
2017 Dec 04      68          35          6
2017 Dec 05      69          40          6
2017 Dec 06      70          28          5
2017 Dec 07      70          20          5
2017 Dec 08      71          10          3
2017 Dec 09      72           5          2
2017 Dec 10      72           5          2
2017 Dec 11      73          12          4
2017 Dec 12      73          15          4
2017 Dec 13      74          12          4
2017 Dec 14      75           8          3
2017 Dec 15      75           5          2
2017 Dec 16      75           5          2
(NOAA)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Nov 13 0513 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 06 - 12 November 2017

Solar activity was very low throughout the period under a spotless disk. The only activity was an eruptive filament observed in the NE quadrant beginning at 10/0630 UTC in SDO/AIA 304 imagery. An associated CME was observed off the eastern limb in SOHO/LASCO C2 imagery beginning at 10/0824 UTC, however subsequent analysis showed no Earth-directed component. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at normal levels on 06-07 Nov and reached high levels on 08-12 Nov. The
largest flux of the period was 25,349 pfu observed at 11/1435 UTC.  Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to G2 (Moderate) storm levels over the period. The period began with solar wind speeds
between 285-355 km/s and total field around 4 nT. At approximately 07/0300 UTC, phi angle switched from a negative solar sector to positive.

Additionally, an increase in solar wind speed and total field was observed due to the arrival of a co-rotating interaction region preceding a positive polarity, polar connected, coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). Total field reached a maximum of 23 nT at 07/1545 UTC while the Bz component reached a maximum southward deflection of -15 nT at 07/1508 UTC. Solar wind speed reached double peaks of 699 km/s at 08/0004 UTC and 719 km/s at 10/1257 UTC before slowly receding to end of period values near 430 km/s. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet levels on 06 Nov, reached G1-G2 (Minor-Moderate) levels on 07-08 Nov, reached unsettled to active levels on 09-10 Nov, and calmed to mostly quiet conditions on 11-12 Nov.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 13 November - 09 December 2017

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels. No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels on 13-14 Nov, 16-24 Nov, and 05-09 Dec due to recurrent CH HSS influence.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 14-23 Nov, 29-30 Nov, and 04-08 Dec with G1 (Minor) levels likely on 20-22 Nov, 04-07 Dec and G2 (Moderate) levels likely on 04-05 Dec due to recurrent CH HSS effects.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Nov 13 0513 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC contact on the Web
# http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-11-13
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Nov 13      70           5          2
2017 Nov 14      73          15          4
2017 Nov 15      73          18          4
2017 Nov 16      73          12          4
2017 Nov 17      73          15          4
2017 Nov 18      73          12          4
2017 Nov 19      73           8          3
2017 Nov 20      75          20          5
2017 Nov 21      75          20          5
2017 Nov 22      75          20          5
2017 Nov 23      75           8          3
2017 Nov 24      75           5          2
2017 Nov 25      75           5          2
2017 Nov 26      75           5          2
2017 Nov 27      75           5          2
2017 Nov 28      73           5          2
2017 Nov 29      72           8          3
2017 Nov 30      71          10          3
2017 Dec 01      70           5          2
2017 Dec 02      70           5          2
2017 Dec 03      69           5          2
2017 Dec 04      69          35          6
2017 Dec 05      68          40          6
2017 Dec 06      68          28          5
2017 Dec 07      68          20          5
2017 Dec 08      69          10          3
2017 Dec 09      69           5          2
(NOAA)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

From the Isle of Music & Uncle Bill's Melting Pot schedules



From the Isle of Music  episodes for November 12-December 2:
1. For the week of November 12-18, our special guests are from Manguare, one of the leading bands in Cuba’s Nueva Trova movement. We will be spending the hour with them with a lot of music.
2. For the week of November 19-25, we will rebroadcast on of our favorite episodes from 2016, which includes award-winning Jazz piano virtuoso Harold López-Nussa and other good things.
3. For the week of November 26-December 2, we will feature some interpretations of part of Schubert’s Trout Quintet lead by Cuban pianist Frank Fernandez along with an part of an intriguing album from the 1980s, Leningrado, featuring moments by several of Cuba’s Jazz elite from the time.
Four opportunities to listen on shortwave:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0100-0200 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US) NOTE THAT UTC CHANGED FOR B17 BUT EASTERN US TIME IS STILL THE SAME.
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.




Uncle Bill’s Melting Potepisodes for November 12-November 26
Here is fair warning of the next 3 episodes of Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot:
Episode 36 (November 12): Funky music from Benin
Episode 37 (November 19): German versions of hits from other countries
Episode 38 (November 26) : Bluegrass meets Hard Rock
Sundays 2300-2330 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on

WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz  from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
(Tilford Productions)

Shortwave Radiogram schedules


Hello friends,
As we approach the winter solstice, interesting opportunities for reception of Shortwave Radiogram emerge. The Sunday 0600-0630 UTC broadcast on 7730 kHz from WRMI in Florida is reaching Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, even though it is directed to western North America. 

This weekend the program will be all in MFSK32, with five images. The show will include some text in Dari, so your Fldigi character set should be UTF-8.

 Here is the lineup for Shortwave Radiogram, program 21, 11-12 November 2017, all in MFSK32:

 1:36  Program preview
 2:43  Dari or Farsi? Afghanistan's language dispute*
 8:31  Sample of text from BBC Dari Facebook page
10:19  Canada's C3 voyage concludes*
17:22  North Korea installs electric power meters*
24:06  Image* and closing announcements*
 * with image
Please send reception reports to radiogram@verizon.net
And visit http://swradiogram.net
Twitter: @SWRadiogram
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/567099476753304


Shortwave Radiogram Transmission Schedule


Sunday
0600-0630 UTC
7730 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2030-2100 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida
Sunday
2330-2400 UTC
11580 kHz
WRMI Florida



The Mighty KBC transmits to Europe Saturdays at 1500-1600 UTC on 9400 kHz (via Bulgaria), with the minute of MFSK at about 1530 UTC (if you are outside of Europe, listen via websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ ).  And to North America Sundays at 0000-0200 UTC (Saturday 8-10 pm EDT) on 5960 kHz, via Germany. The minute of MFSK is at about 0130 UTC.  Reports to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com . See also http://www.kbcradio.eu/ and https://www.facebook.com/TheMightyKbc/

Italian Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)  For the complete IBC transmission schedule visit  http://ibcradio.webs.com/  Five minutes of MFSK32 is at the end of the 30-minute English-language “Shortwave Panorama,” per the schedule below:

IBC MFSK32

To Europe
Wednesday
2025-2030 UTC
1584 kHz (MW)
Thursday
0325-0330 UTC
1584 kHz
Saturday
2125-2130 UTC
1584 kHz
Sunday
1155-1200 UTC
6070 kHz

To the Americas
Tuesday
0125-0130 UTC
11580 kHz

Friday
0225-0230 UTC
9955 kHz
Saturday
0155-0200 UTC
11580 kHz

Sunday
0055-0100 UTC
7730 kHz


 Thanks for your reception reports! 
Kim Andrew Elliott, KD9XB
Producer and Presenter
Shortwave Radiogram




Australian Shortwave Callsign VLP

The Australian shortwave callsign VLP was originally applied consecutively to two passenger/cargo ships belonging to the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand.  Back in those days, the two initial letters VL were applied to wireless stations New Zealand, though due to new international regulations in 1927, the first letter in wireless/radio callsigns for New Zealand was changed from V to Z.

            The first New Zealand ship to which the callsign VLP was allocated was the SS Manapouri.  This ship was built by Dumbarton in Scotland in 1882, and it was named in honor of Manapouri, a small town at the southern end of the South Island of New Zealand.

            The SS Manapouri was sold to the Moller Line in Shanghai China in 1925, though the callsign VLP was initially retained during that era in the change of ownership.  This ship went through a subsequent change of names, from Manapouri to Lindsay Moller to Fook Hong to Tai Poo Sek.  The ship was sunk during a United States  bombing air raid in the Mekong Delta towards the end of the Pacific War, in January 1945.

            The second ship belonging to the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand to receive the callsign VLP was the SS Kurow that was launched in England in 1910.  This ship was also named after a small town in the South Island of New Zealand.  The Kurow took over the callsign VLP in 1924 when the previous ship, the Manapouri relinquished the callsign under Chinese ownership.

            The SS Kurow was likewise sold in 1933 to the Moller Line in Shanghai and it was renamed the Mabel Moller.  Two years later, on September 18, 1935, this ship was wrecked off the coast of Sakhalin Island, north of Japan, while traveling under ballast.

            The SS Kurow also relinquished the callsign VLP under Chinese ownership, and it was then applied to an international wireless communication service at the AWA shortwave station located at Pennant Hills on the edge of suburban Sydney in Australia.  The callsign VLP was applied to the shortwave communication service with New Zealand which was licensed for transmission in the 35 or 36 metre bands (8 MHz) in 1931.  This usage of the callsign VLP was not applied to a specific transmitter, but rather it was applied to a specific frequency in the Australian communication service to  New Zealand.

            The next usage of the callsign VLP is a real enigma!  Over a period of seven years, the authoritative American radio publication known as the White Radio Log carried an entry in every issue in which VLP3 in Sydney Australia on 11850 kHz was listed.  The first listing of VLP3 11850 kHz in the White Radio Log is for November 1940, and the last listing is found in the issue for October 1946.

            This regular long term listing of a shortwave broadcasting service from Sydney Australia does not appear to be a misprint, though no other frequency is listed under this callsign.  It should also be noted that no other radio publication anywhere in the world carried a listing for a shortwave program service from Sydney Australia under the callsign VLP; and there are no monitoring comments in radio magazines of that era that draw attention to the callsign VLP3 on 11850 kHz; not as a misprint, nor as a legitimate callsign service.    

            There are two very different possibilities for the seven years of listings for VLP3 in the White Radio Log.  Back then, it was a common habit for some radio publications to borrow listings from another radio publication without giving due credit.  To counter this problem, an accepted authoritative publication would sometimes list a spurious entry so that if bulk entries were pirated without credit by another publication, the inadvertent inclusion of a spurious entry would reveal this dishonest practice.

            The only other possibility for the long term inclusion of VLP3 on 11850 kHz in the White Radio Log was that this was a genuine entry that the editors had obtained from their own legitimate sources.  If the callsign VLP3 was a genuine entry, then there was only one shortwave service in the Sydney area that could carry this programming, and that was of course the aforementioned AWA station in Pennant Hills.

            Many other radio publications during that same era did list VLR9 in Melbourne (Lyndhurst) on 11850 kHz.  At that stage, the original old low powered VK3LR-VLR transmitter was ailing.  It had been reworked two or three times, and its signal was raspy to say the least. 

            However back then, Australia desperately needed all of its few available shortwave transmitters, including the ailing 2 kW VLR.  If VLR should fail, what could take its place?

Perhaps the entry for VLP3 in Sydney on 11850 kHz provides us with a clue.  Maybe the Australian government (which owned a 51% share of AWA) had made a quiet arrangement with AWA to provide a fillin on behalf of the ABC if the unreliable VLR should fail.

            So, what is the real answer?  Was the seven year entry for VLP3 simply a pretense to prevent piracy of information?  Or was it an unannounced backup procedure for AWA to provide a fillin if VLR should fail?  I guess we will never know for sure, but we would suggest that the real hidden purpose for VLP3 was for any available AWA shortwave transmitter to take over from VLR9 should it fail.    

            During the 1990s, the VLP callsign was applied to the transmissions from Radio Australia Darwin out on lonely and isolated Cox Peninsula in the Northern Territory.  The  line callsign VLP, or at times just P, identified a program service from the Radio Australia studios in Melbourne up to a 250 kW transmitter at their Darwin relay station.  Many Form Letter QSLs were issued by Radio Australia verifying the callsign VLP, and likewise many QSL cards were issued verifying the transmitter callsign VLP during the 1990s. 
(AWR Wavescan)

Radio Station KDKA and the Famous 1920 Election Broadcasts

It was on the evening of Tuesday November 2, 1920 that the famous American mediumwave station KDKA made its historic inaugural broadcast; exactly 97 years ago, during this past week.  The content of that first radio broadcast from KDKA was a running commentary on the election figures for the presidential campaign between Governor James Cox, governor of Ohio, and Ohio newspaper owner Warren Harding.

            Right at 6:00 pm on that fateful stormy evening of Tuesday November 2, 1920, the new 100 watt transmitter signed on for its inaugural broadcast on 545 kHz from a temporary location in a wooden hut atop the eight storey Building K at the Westinghouse factory complex in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The official callsign for the occasion was the temporary special assignment 8ZZ, though the regular callsign KDKA had also come into use at the time. The progressive election figures were provided by telephone from the news room at the newspaper office of the Pittsburgh Gazette Times. 

            It is correctly understood that the inaugural broadcast from 8ZZ-KDKA, almost one hundred years ago, was for the broadcast of progressive statistics in association with election voting for the presidency of the United States, which incidentally was a landslide victory for Warren Harding.  However without additional information to the contrary, the generally accepted concept seems to be that the broadcast of presidential voting returns was a new and unique event presented by 8ZZ-KDKA.         However, that is not the case.  In the edition of Wavescan two weeks ago, we presented the story of wireless and radio in the broadcast of the November presidential election results in the years 1912 and 1916.

            Interestingly, the earliest known usage of wireless for the broadcast of election results occurred well over one hundred years ago, in November 1908.  This is what happened.     

            Around the middle of the year 1908, business tycoon and entertainment entrepreneur Frederic Thomson commissioned two playwrights, Paul Armstrong and Winchell Smith, to write a four act play under the title Via Wireless that could be produced and presented in a large entertainment theatre.

            The opening night for Via Wireless in the Liberty Theater was Monday November 2, the night before the voting for the 1908 presidential election between Secretary of War William Taft and lawyer William Bryan.  The plot line for Via Wireless was the story of a shipwreck, and a brave rescue as a result of emergency transmissions from the ship wireless.

             In order to enhance the effectiveness of the four act melodrama Via Wireless, a live wireless station was installed in the foyer of the Liberty Theatre at 42nd St in New York City.  This station received and transmitted electioneering information in Morse Code on Monday evening November 2, and also on November 3, (1908) when statistical results were transmitted.  We might add that William Taft obtained an easy victory.

            At the time, there were just four licensed wireless stations in New York City, as well as many licensed and unlicensed amateur stations, so it is not known which station was corresponding with the Liberty Theatre.  This is the list of officially licensed wireless stations in New York City at that time:-



                        PT       900 m  333 kH z          15 kW  Navy Yard                   Brooklyn

                        BW      450      666                    2        Waldorf Astoria           Manhattan

                        FS       450      666                    2        Hotel Plaza                  Manhattan

                        NY       Various                          2        42nd & Broadway         Manhattan



            Comes the year 1920 and Warren Harding and James Cox are fighting it out with the climactic voting taking place on Tuesday November 2.  In advance, ARRL the American Radio Relay League (of amateur radio stations) arranged with Frank Conrad that his amateur station 8XK should be the key station in the Pittsburgh area for the broadcast of the election results.

            However at the same time, Westinghouse began to plan for the launching of its own new radio broadcasting station in the evening of election day, and so recently married Burton Williams 8ZD at 3220 Orlean St in Pittsburgh agreed to act as the Pittsburgh control for amateur radio coverage of the election results.  This arrangement allowed Frank Conrad to work with the inauguration of the new Westinghouse radio broadcasting station.

            During the last week in October (1920), test transmissions were radiated by the new Westinghouse station at East Pittsburgh, 8ZZ with 100 watts on 550 metres (545 kHz).  These test transmissions were heard clearly in West Virginia and Ohio at a distance of 300 miles.  In anticipation of the inaugural broadcast during the evening of the next day, a final test transmission from 8ZZ was conducted on the evening of Monday November 1, (1920).

            The daily newspaper Cleveland Plain Dealer announced on the Thursday before election day that some 600 amateur radio operators in the greater Cleveland area would be listening to 8ZZ-KDKA for the inaugural election day broadcast.

            As is so well known, the inaugural broadcast from 8ZZ-KDKA at the Westinghouse factory in East Pittsburgh was a splendid success, and the broadcast of election results, music and announcements was heard quite widely.  As a standby in case of failure at 8ZZ-KDKA, Frank Conrad was at the controls of his own amateur station 8XK on the second floor of the family garage at the corner of Penn Avenue and Peebles Street in Wilkinsburg.  However as we know, the new Westinghouse station 8ZZ-KDKA did not fail, and the standby usage of amateur 8XK was not necessary.

            There was another radio broadcasting station that was also inaugurated on election day 1920 and this was station 9ZJ-WLK in Indianapolis Indiana.  Young Francis Hamilton installed amateur radio broadcasting station 9ZJ in the barn behind the family home at 2011 North Alabama Street Indianapolis and the opening broadcast was election day news. 

            Station 9ZJ transmigrated into mediumwave broadcaster WLK which folded in 1923.  The equipment was incorporated into KFGZ-WEMC at Andrews Adventist University in Berrien Springs Michigan, and that station eventually morphed into WKZO in Kalamazoo.

            Another historic mediumwave station that carried the 1920 election results was 8MK in Detroit Michigan.  This station began as 8MK in the Detroit News Building at 615 West Lafayette Boulevard with a series of test transmissions beginning on August 20, 1920, three months in advance of the first broadcasts from the more famous 8ZZ-KDKA. 

            The election day broadcast from 8MK on 200 metres (1500 kHz) was announced in advance in the Detroit News daily newspaper.  This station later became the more familiar WWJ, which is still on the air to this day.

            Another important mediumwave station that presented election news on election day in 1920 was 1XE which was on the air at Tufts College (University) at Medford just north of Boston.  This experimental station was inaugurated in 1917 as the first station in Massachusetts; it changed callsign to WGI one year after the election broadcasts; another callsign WARC was adopted in 1925; and it fell silent in bankruptcy in 1927.

            Interestingly in 1926, the noted Powell Crosley at WLW in Cincinnati Ohio announced that he planned to establish a shortwave transmitter in Cincinnati for the purpose of providing a relay of programming to WARC in suburban Boston.  But, nothing came of this matter.
(AWR WAvescan)

Monday, November 06, 2017

Weekly Propagation Forecast Bulletins


Product: Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
:Issued: 2017 Nov 06 0429 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly.html
#
#                Weekly Highlights and Forecasts
#
Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 30 October - 05 November 2017
Solar activity was at very low levels. There were no observable flares reported and no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections observed during the period.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels on 30 Oct - 01 Nov, moderate levels on 02 Nov, and
normal levels on 03-05 Nov. The largest flux of the period was 3,668 pfu observed at 30/1610 UTC.
Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to active levels.

The period began under nominal solar wind conditions with wind speeds ranging between 260 to 320 km/s and total field measurements between 1 and 4 nT. The geomagnetic field was at quiet levels on 30 Oct - 01 Nov. At approximately 02/0100 UTC, wind speeds began to increase and total field became enhanced due to the arrival of a weak, negative polarity, coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). Wind speed continued to increase to a period high of 458 km/s at 04/1701 UTC, total field achieved a max of 14 nT at 02/1115 UTC and the Bz  component of the interplanetary magnetic field dropped to a low of -7 nT at 02/1944 UTC as a result of this feature. The geomagnetic field responded with quiet to active conditions on 02-03 Nov.

The remainder of the period was indicative of waning CH HSS influence with decreasing wind speeds and less enhanced total field. Quiet conditions were observed on 04-05 Nov.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 06 November - 02 December 2017
Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels throughout the outlook period (06 Nov - 02 Dec) due to an absence of returning sunspots and a spotless solar disk. No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is likely to be at high levels on 08-15, 17-18, 21-28 Nov with very high levels on 11-14 Nov due to recurrent CH HSS influence.
Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels on 06-12, 15-17, 20-22, 29-30 Nov, with G1 (Minor) storm levels likely on 07-11, 20-22 Nov due to recurrent CH HSS effects.

Product: 27-day Space Weather Outlook Table 27DO.txt
:Issued: 2017 Nov 06 0429 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center
# Product description and SWPC web contact http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/wwire.html
#
#      27-day Space Weather Outlook Table
#                Issued 2017-11-06
#
#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2017 Nov 06      71          10          3
2017 Nov 07      70          27          5
2017 Nov 08      70          30          5
2017 Nov 09      70          30          5
2017 Nov 10      70          28          5
2017 Nov 11      70          25          5
2017 Nov 12      70          10          3
2017 Nov 13      70           5          2
2017 Nov 14      71           5          2
2017 Nov 15      72          10          3
2017 Nov 16      73          10          3
2017 Nov 17      75          10          3
2017 Nov 18      75           5          2
2017 Nov 19      75           5          2
2017 Nov 20      75          20          5
2017 Nov 21      75          20          5
2017 Nov 22      75          20          5
2017 Nov 23      75           5          2
2017 Nov 24      75           5          2
2017 Nov 25      75           5          2
2017 Nov 26      75           5          2
2017 Nov 27      75           5          2
2017 Nov 28      75           5          2
2017 Nov 29      75          10          3
2017 Nov 30      75          10          3
2017 Dec 01      72           5          2
2017 Dec 02      71           5          2
(NOAA)