Posts Tagged ‘amateur radio’

The July-August 2024 SARC Communicator

Hello summer...

With another big Summer issue. The July-August 2024 Communicator, digital periodical of Surrey Amateur Radio Communications is now available for viewing or download.

Read in over 150 countries, we bring you 120+ pages of Amateur Radio content from the Southwest corner of Canada and elsewhere. With less fluff and ads than other Amateur Radio publications, you will find Amateur Radio related articles, projects, profiles, news, tips and how-to's for all levels of the hobby.

You can view or download it as a .PDF file:  

Download the July-August 2024 Communicato
or read it on-line like a magazine

Previous Communicator issues:

Search for past Communicator issues

and a full index is HERE.  

As always, thank you to our contributors, and your feedback is always welcome. 

The deadline for the next edition is August 15th.

If you have news or events from your club or photos, stories, projects or other items of interest from BC or elsewhere, please contact us at [email protected]


John VE7TI
'The Communicator' Editor

Go Back In Time – Vintage Film

Turning back time to virtually witness a critical historic method of shortwave communication using the fundamental mode of continuous wave modulation. This is a film from 1944, teaching the basics of Morse code, for military comms.

What is the proper (and most efficient) technique for creating Morse code by hand, using a manual Morse code key? Ham radio operators find Morse code (and the ‘CW’ mode, or ‘Continuous Wave’ keying mode) very useful, even though Morse code is no longer required as part of the licensing process. Morse code is highly effective in weak-signal radio work. And, preppers love Morse code because it is the most efficient way to communicate when there is a major disaster that could wipe out the communications infrastructure.

While this military film is antique, the vintage information is timeless, as the material is applicable to Morse code, even today.

Credits: National Archives and Records Administration

Department of Defense. Department of the Army. Office of the Chief Signal Officer. (09/18/1947 – 02/28/1964)


Made possible by a donation from Mary Neff.

German Teletype (RTTY) Weather on HF (Shortwave) Radio

This is a video of the German Weather Broadcast from DWD, Hamburg, on shortwave (HF), using teletype (RTTY). I demonstrate two decoding software options: JWcomm32 (older), and, FLdigi. Note the in FLdigi, the “Reverse” feather is selected to properly decode the signal (in either USB or LSB, you still need to select, “Reverse”).

The radio used to receive these weather bulletins is an Icom IC-7610, using an antenna designed for 160 Meters.

RTTY is a system for broadcasting text over radio. The technology dates back to the late 1950s and seems somewhat anachronistic. Speeds are slow, even slower than NAVTEX. A similar service is the USCG service, SITOR (Simplex Teletype Over Radio) providing offshore and coastal forecasts over very wide and remote areas from the tropics to the polar regions.

There is dedicated equipment to receive RTTY and SITOR but we can receive both using a standard HF/SSB receiver with software packages such as TRUETTY and SEATTY to decode the signals.

The main advantage of RTTY/SITOR is the reception of information over an entire ocean area. The USCG also shares frequencies across multiple transmitters according to a schedule, rather like NAVTEX. The system is available over the Atlantic and Pacific including polar regions not served. For more about SITOR see the Monitoring Times link or the USCG site.

Around Western Europe and the Mediterranean, the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) , the German Weather Service has accepted the responsibility to broadcast weather information for mariners on RTTY. Frequencies are in the table on the webpage at:

This video captures the RTTY transmission on 14467.3 kHz (with adjustment in the passband to center on Mark and Space as seen in the video).

DWD (Hamburg) Broadcast Content:

Some broadcasts are of raw weather observations in a WMO coded form. Otherwise, for the broadcasts include,

  • Strong wind, gale and storm warnings for German Bight, Western and Southern Baltic Sea, German North Sea and Baltic Sea coast
  • Weather forecast for the North Sea and Baltic Sea, Weather situation, forecast valid for 12 hours and outlook valid for another 12 hours
  • Weather report German North Sea and Baltic Sea coast, Weather situation and forecast valid for 12 hours.
  • Navigational warnings for North Sea, Baltic Sea and German coast
  • Weather report Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea Route North Cape – Shetlands, The Quark – Gulf of Finland. Weather situation and time series forecast for 2 days
  • Weather report North Atlantic. Route Pentlands – Southwest Greenland. Weather situation and time series forecast for 2 days
  • Station reports North Sea and Baltic Sea
  • Weather report Western European Sea. Route Southern Ireland – Area Canarias. Weather situation and time series forecast for 2 days
  • Medium range weather report North Sea, Weather situation and time series forecast for 5 days
  • For the Mediterranean there are Station reports Mediterranean Sea
  • Weather report Mediterranean Sea (in German), Weather situation and forecast valid for 24 hours.
  • Alborán – Tunis. Weather situation and time series forecast for 2 days
  • Weather report Eastern Mediterranean Sea (in German). Route Eastern Tunis – Rhodes/Cyprus. Weather situation and time series forecast for 2 days
  • Medium range weather report Mediterranean Sea (in English), Weather situation and time series forecast for 5 days
  • Around the North Sea and the Baltic this service is a useful supplement to NAVTEX. Particularly so are the 5 day outlooks, These give wind forecast every 12 hours for the 5 day period. The values are straight from the DWD NWP model at a few grid points although these are sufficient to give an overall view and much quicker to receive than synoptic charts on radio fax.

In the Mediterranean, most valuable is the 5 day forecast which seems to be used and very highly regarded by the majority of serious cruising yachtsmen. It is a most valuable service for predicting the major strong wind systems such as Mistrals, Libeccios, Tramontanes, etc. Such winds are usually well predicted 4 and often 5 days ahead. Conversely, I have never found the 24 hour forecast to be much use. For this period, the French, Spanish and even the Italian NAVTEX broadcasts are to be preferred.

Modern Amateur Radio Hobby – An Introduction

This video is an introduction to an international public-service and technology hobby known as ‘amateur radio’ (or ‘ham radio’).

Amateur radio (also called ham radio) describes the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term “amateur” is used to specify “a duly-authorized person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;” (either direct monetary or other similar rewards) and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).

The amateur radio service (amateur service and amateur-satellite service) is established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) through the Radio Regulations. National governments regulate technical and operational characteristics of transmissions and issue individual stations licenses with an identifying call sign. Prospective amateur operators are tested for their understanding of key concepts in electronics and the host government’s radio regulations. Radio amateurs use a variety of voice, text, image, and data communications modes and have access to frequency allocations throughout the RF spectrum to enable communication across a city, region, country, continent, the world, or even into space.

Amateur radio is officially represented and coordinated by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), which is organized in three regions and has as its members the national amateur radio societies which exist in most countries. According to an estimate made in 2011 by the American Radio Relay League, two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. About 830,000 amateur radio stations are located in IARU Region 2 (the Americas) followed by IARU Region 3 (South and East Asia and the Pacific Ocean) with about 750,000 stations. A significantly smaller number, about 400,000, are located in IARU Region 1 (Europe, Middle East, CIS, Africa).

Activities and practices

The expansive diversity found in the amateur radio hobby attracts practitioners who have a wide range of interests. Many hams begin with a fascination of radio communication and then combine other personal interests to make the pursuit of the hobby rewarding. Some of the focal areas amateurs pursue include radio contesting, radio propagation study, public service communication, technical experimentation, and computer networking. But, that is just a sampling of interest areas found in the hobby.

Amateur radio operators use various modes of transmission to communicate. The two most common modes for voice transmissions are frequency modulation (FM) and single sideband (SSB). The FM mode offers high-quality audio signals, while SSB is better at long distance communication when bandwidth is restricted.

Modern personal computers have encouraged the use of digital modes such as radioteletype (RTTY) which previously required cumbersome mechanical equipment. Hams led the development of packet radio in the 1970s, which has employed protocols such as AX.25 and TCP/IP. Specialized digital modes such as PSK31 allow real-time, low-power communications on the shortwave bands. More robust digital modes have been invented and improved, including such modes as Olivia, JT65, and WSPR.

NASA astronaut Col. Doug Wheelock, KF5BOC, Expedition 24 flight engineer, operates the NA1SS ham radio station in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station. Equipment is a Kenwood TM-D700E transceiver.

Amateur radio operators, using battery- or generator-powered equipment, often provide essential communications services when regular channels are unavailable due to natural disasters or other disruptive events.

This video comes to us via Canada, and is used by permission from Bernard Bouchard – / ve2sms – The original video was published on Feb 28, 2013.- Website is

Voici maintenant, la version complète du documentaire «La radioamateur» d’une durée de 11 minutes. On y aborde toutes les activités sur le monde de la radioamateur. Ce vidéo a été produit par le Club Radioamateur VE2CWQ / Canwarn-Québec. Pour information:

Connect with me at

USA Amateur Radio information:

New to Amateur Radio? What is a Repeater?

If you have not yet explored ham radio repeaters, this might be interesting to you.

What is an amateur radio repeater and how do they work?

In this video, with a non-amateur-radio viewer in mind, I chat about the very basic concepts of a repeater.

It is filmed in a relaxed, “ride along with me,” format.

Want to learn more about ham radio (amateur radio)?


In the realm of IT, there are best practices for managing system outages, and then there are examples of what not to do. The recent actions of the ARRL exemplify the latter. Today, HQ released an update stating that they were “the victim of a sophisticated network attack by a malicious international cyber group” and that they “quickly established an incident response team.” However, it took them 21 days to provide this detailed update.

As an IT professional, I have encountered numerous challenges and learned valuable lessons over the years. One of the most critical aspects of managing an outage is communication—clear, frequent, and transparent communication. It is essential to over-communicate during such times. Additionally, having a visible leader who represents the response effort is crucial. An effective “incident response team” should not only consist of technical experts working behind the scenes but also include individuals who manage communications, reassure stakeholders, and provide key information such as estimated restoration times.

ARRL has often been subjected to unwarranted criticism, but this situation is a result of their own missteps. I question whether the attack was all that sophisticated, sensing that it was a common ransomware attack. We await the final report for details, assuming it is made public. While technical shortcomings can be understandable and even forgivable, the poor communication and lack of transparency in this instance are not. The recurring sentiment from ARRL, echoing past incidents, seems to be, “You don’t need to know.”

This article was originally posted on Radio Artisan.

Special Event Station TM80DDAY

Commemorating the 80th anniversary of
the Allied assault on Normandy beaches

From June 4 to 9, 2024, a number of crew members of the Plusscouts PA3EFR/J and other Radio Scouters will be traveling to Normandy (Omaha Beach) to support the international activities of the commemoration services around 80 years of D-DAY. 

Operators of this call are the operators of the PA3EFR/J-crew, a specialist group of Scouters, members of Scouting Netherlands through the national Fellowship called Plusscouts. In addition, we have invited some distinguished guests to join our team. This crew primarily brings TDOTA and JOTA to Scouting groups that are eager to get involved in the annual global Radio Scouting activities. Additional information on this years crew can be found on the Plusscouts Website. The station is valid for 2 points in the Dutch Radio Scouting Award scheme.

The good news is that we will be hosted again by the D-Day Museum at Omaha Beach. A radio shack in the backyard of the museum will be part of our radio station and associated radio scouting activities.

QSL cards will be sent out after the event. 

Some specific Radio details:

Radio waves (+- QRM)

1.882 MHz LSB

3.682 MHz LSB

7.182 MHz LSB

14.182 MHz USB

21.182 MHz USB

28.482 MHz USB

DMR TalkGroup 907 - JOTA

We join our fellow Amateur Radio Operators in remembering the brave souls who fought for the liberation of Europe. 

Please help to commemorate this historic event by attempting a contact during the period indicated.

~ Sander PD9HIX
   John VE7TI

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