We were delighted to watch this review by Troy & Pascale from Free Range Sailing who are currently exploring our beautiful country in a 30-foot yacht called Mirrool.
Whilst sailing through northern Australia as well as the west coast of Tasmania there are limited coastal stations broadcasting on VHF.
Using a shortwave radio like the Tecsun PL600 was really beneficial for Troy & Pascale to receive up to date weather forecasts, crucial when sailing.
Most meteorological bureaus will publish the times and frequencies ( these change, day/night) that you will be able to pick up the weather schedule via your shortwave radio.
The radio Pascale used was the Tecsun PL600 Worldband radio. At just $129 The Tecsun PL600 World Band Radio is the perfect entry product to the world of shortwave listening and an essential when traveling to isolated areas.
To view the full video click here.
To learn more about the Tecsun PL600 a fantastic entry-level shortwave radio priced at just $129 click here
If you would like to follow Troy and Pascale’s intrepid adventures ( highly recommended) click here
Q codes were developed by Morse Code operators as a method of communicating quickly and accurately. Rather than send a complete phrase, Q codes were developed to cover most operational situations. Q codes can be used to ask or answer a question, and can be used by operators who speak different languages.
Q codes are approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for use on worldwide radio networks.
For instance if an operator wants to change to another frequency, he can simply advise the party he is speaking with “QSY 7050” meaning “I will change my operating frequency to 7050Khz”. Similarly he could ask “should I change to 7050Khz” by simply saying “QSY 7050”.
So the next time you hear an operator using a Q code, spare a thought for those old-time morse code operators and the time saved by using Q codes.
How is your reception? Here at Tecsun Radios Australia, we have a range of shortwave and digital radios and antennas to suit your needs.
The Tecsun Radios Australia HF amateur radio dipole covers the popular 5/7/10/14/18/21/24/28 and 50Mhz bands. The antenna is rated at 100Watts PEP power handling capability and is supplied in a convenient canvas carry bag.
The antenna comprises a 1:1 balun and 2 bobbins containing the appropriate amount of wire to cover the specified bands. Get yours HERE
In 1843 the phenonema known as the Solar cycle was discovered by Samuel Schwabe a German astronomer who observed transitions of the Sun from periods of high activity to low activity every 11 years, over a period of nearly 20 years.
Put in simple terms, the Sun is composed of a huge ball of electrically charged hot gas. As this gas moves, it generates a powerful magnetic field. This magnetic field transitions through an 11 year cycle (known as the Solar Cycle) during which the magnetic poles of the Sun are transposed, ie the north and south poles change places.
This cycle affects activity on the surface of the Sun, such as sunspots and solar flares. The energy released by these events charges particles in the ionosphere, affecting radio propagation. More solar flares and sunspots occur at the peak of the cycle than at the bottom of the cycle. Typical values are 80-100 sunspots at the cycle peak and 15 or so at the cycle minimum.
When a strong flare occurs, the increased x-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation produces ionisation in the lower, D (absorption) layer of the ionosphere, disrupting HF radio broadcasts by absorbing rather than reflecting signals.
We are currently at the end of Solar Cycle 24 (calculated as mid 2020), and from this point we can expect an increase in solar activity and changed radio propagation as the maximum useable frequency (MUF) for shortwave communications increases with an increase in solar activity.
At the peak of the Solar Cycle, the higher frequencies of the shortwave spectrum are very good. Low power stations can be heard over remarkably long distances.
At the bottom of the cycle, the current position, those higher frequency signals will not usually support normal propagation via the ionosphere. So propagation at lower frequencies will be better whilst higher frequencies will suffer.
Article written by Tecsun Radios Australia
Image of sun via Nasa.