A shortwave radio story of hope

We recently became aware of a truly amazing story about the perseverance of shortwave listeners.

During World War II in Europe, many allied airmen were listed as Missing In Action. German shortwave broadcaster DJB, located in Berlin would regularly broadcast the names of airmen captured as Prisoners of War. This amazing story highlights the part that shortwave radio played in keeping hope alive for those distant relatives and the part that shortwave listeners played.

The story is told by the son of the lieutenant we are about to tell you about.

“On July 25, 1943  American Lieutenant, John Chapman Elliot who was tailgunner on a Royal Canadian Air Force Wellington bomber, took off from England to fly a mission over Nazi-held territory in Europe, this flight never returned to base and was named Missing In Action.”

Months later and after receiving no further news and fearing the worst, shortwave listeners in America began sending letters to Lt Chapman’s wife advising her that they had heard his name mentioned in a shortwave broadcast from Berlin.

“On July 30, a letter was sent to his wife. It began:

“Before receiving this letter you will have had a telegram informing you that your husband, Lieutenant John Chapman Elliott, is missing as a result of air operations. I regret to have to confirm this distressing news.

John and the air crew took off on an operational sortie over enemy territory on the evening of the 25th July and we have heard nothing of them since. However, it is decidedly possible that they are prisoners of war or are among friends who are helping them to make their way back to this country . . .

Status unknown . . . “we have heard nothing of them since.” A place that leaves you in limbo without much room for hope.

During September a number of things happen.

A telegram arrived:

Mrs. J C Elliott =

Report received through the International Red Cross states your husband First Lieutenant John C Elliott is a prisoner of war of the German Government . . .

Notation in the scrapbook above the telegram (in my Mother’s hand) reads:

The finest Telegram and the loudest words in the life of Phyllis Nancy Elliott

letters of hope shortwave WWii

Around the same time, Mrs Elliot began to receive more letters and postcards with similar reports and kind words. These letters come from a cherished scrapbook.

 

Quite extraordinarily these postcards hailed from shortwave listeners from all over the country including Boston, Massachusetts ; Chicago, Illinois; Northville, Michigan; Green County, New York; Grand Rapids Michigan; Auburn, Maine; Burlington, Iowa, who had heard the Berlin broadcast that–  First Lieutenant John Elliott is a prisoner of war, and offering words of comfort or explanation:

Wishing you best of luck in his safe return to you,

WW2 shortwave letter

Hoping this may comfort you in knowing that he is alive and alright,

ww2 shortwave anzac day

Hope this cheers you up.

letters of hope to war wife shortwave

Hope this will relieve your worries . . .

shortwave letters from ww2

Jock Elliot (Kb2GOM) recounts his father’s story:

“My Dad later told me what happened. Their Wellington bomber was badly shot up, and the pilot informed the crew that it was time to bail out.

My Dad cranked his tail turret around so that the door opened into the air. He flipped backward out of the aircraft. For a little while, one of his electrically-heated flying boots caught on the door frame. Hanging upside-down, he kicked the boot off, pulled the ripcord on his parachute, and landed with green stick fractures in both legs. He hobbled around Holland for three days while trying to avoid the Germans. He was captured and spent two and one-half years as prisoner of war.”

shortwvae radio story from war

When the war ended, he was repatriated, and in 1946, your humble correspondent showed up. The photos are of actual postcards and letters in an 80-year-old scrapbook kept by my Mother and passed down to me.

And so, dear reader, never belittle your hobby of listening to the airwaves, because you never know when something you heard may be able to offer comfort in times of trouble. I know it certainly did for my Mother.”

This is the most amazing and emotional story about the perseverance of those shortwave listeners in locating Lt Chapman’s family address and taking the trouble to write to his family, doing their bit to support the war effort.

Thank you to  Jock Elliott, KB2GOM for this incredible story published on swling.com

Mayham 2022

 

The event will be held 1st of May, with a large portion of the event undercover.

Entry Ticket Presales Begin at 8:00 AM

General Entry Opens at 8:30 AM

Tecsun Radios Australia are proud to attend this event that features educational lectures, car boot sales, new product releases, opportunities to attain or extend or upgrade your radio licence, topics by keynote speakers include Collins T-195  transmitter restoration (100 watts output, 2-18 Mhz, 26 valves !), WINLINK HF email system, and Club Owned Remote Stations and integrating the Flex 6000 into such stations (Zoom presentation).

Tune in to the event broadcast while you find a bargain at the car boot sale.

As always, the Tecsun team will be there exhibiting our best sellers and will be available for a chat about all things shortwave. Pick up your free copy of our latest Shortwave Radio Listening Guide. Come and say hi!

One of the most exciting events as part of Mayham happens on the Saturday.

The FOX HUNT!

What is a Fox Hunt, you say?

                                                 Mayham 2022

Fox hunting is one of the many side quests of amateur radio. Fox Hunting or Amateur radio direction finding (ARDF) is an interactive amateur radio sport where individuals use the two meter amateur radio band whilst navigating through varying terrain and locations, searching for hidden radio transmitters. 

All competitors must carry equipment capable of receiving the signal being transmitted by multiple transmitters. You may see quite the array of specialised equipment, including a radio receiver, signal attenuator, and directional antenna. Most equipment designs integrate all three components into one handheld device.

For this year the CCARC is promising to really mix things up!! 

The details!!!

 There will be three hunts operating sequentially.

  1. Short Pedestrian of approximately 30 minutes
  2. Mobile / Pedestrian hunt of approximately 45mins – 1 hour
  3. Long Mobile hunt to last approx. 1½ hours

Participants will be required to assemble on the footpath Wyong Commuter Carpark, Located at Rose Street Wyong. This is due to current access restrictions to the site.

 

Proposed timeline of events: (Allow additional time for any changes and transitions between hunts)

12:45 – Pedestrian footpath, Rose Street, Wyong.

This is for initial gathering, registration, and discussion of rules

13:00 First Fox Transmitter activated on low power. Good luck!

13:45 First hunt to finish, regroup for start of the first Mobile / Pedestrian hunt.

This fox will be on High power for first 15-20 Minutes, then reverts to LOW POWER

14:45 Second hunt ends, reassemble for start of longer Mobile “hunt”

17:00 – End of Mayham Fox Hunt for 2022.

 

Important Information:

1st Prize winner will receive Deluxe hotspot kit and Clear acrylic case courtesy of VK Direct and VK4NGA Amateur Radio to the value of $200

2nd Prize winner will receive $100 Westfield gift card

3rd Prize winner will receive a $50 Westfield gift card.

 

For the full rules of the event and further information click here

 

There will be a great selection of food available on the day. To see the full menu click here.

General Entry Gate Opening Times

 

Entry via Rose Street

Pre-Sales begins at 8:00AM

Entry Gates open at 8:30AM

Cash and Eftpos Facilities available on the day

 

Address

 

69 – 73 Howarth St,

Wyong NSW 2259

Car park entry is located in Rose Street

By Rail

Only a short walk from Wyong Railway Station

For the full details on this event including information about the lectures click here

The International Amateur Radio union (IARU) was formed on this day in 1925.

 A celebration of how amateur radio has been serving people for over 100 years.

With over 3 million radio amateurs worldwide this day is the perfect time to tune in and connect with fellow hobbyists.

Date: Monday April 18, 2022

Time : All Day

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society” 

Every year on April 18, Radio Amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of Amateur Radio.

The theme of World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) is celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society which is incredibly relevant given the isolation and need for communication as we enter a 2nd year living with the global pandemic.

As we have mentioned previously the increase in interest in amateur radio during the pandemic was significant with many amateurs supporting each other by creating nets or on line meet ups.

The team at Tecsun radios Australia have been humbled to see a rise in interest and participation in shortwave radio.

We celebrate how shortwave began. Here is a brief history:

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.

Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum. From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

(information courtesy of Iaru.org)

Radio is a fantastic way to discover radio programs from different regions both music and news from unfiltered sources, in addition, a fantastic way to receive crucial weather, aviation, and safety broadcasts whilst out of many standard network zones.
Take some time on Amateur Radio Day to explore the world of Amateur Radio and discover what new friends and communities exist all over the world.
 We have compiled our list below of some fantastic products for World Amateur Radio Day.
Eorlf amateur radio day 2022 shortwave
  1. The TRA Self Powered Communications Speaker 
  2. The TRA HF Portable Dipole antenna 
  3.  The 76th  of the famous World Radio and Television Handbook

A fantastic radio to use on World amateur radio day is the Xiegu G90 transceiver.

To celebrate World Amateur Radio Day, with every G90 purchase we will include a free CE-19 expansion interface worth $80. Use the Expansion interface to connect your G-90 transceiver to a PC, data terminal, or modem for operation in digital modes.

Limited time offer only available until midnight Tuesday the 19th April.

There is a fantastic radio competition this weekend brought to you by the VKQRP CLUB.

QRP HOURS CONTEST – 80m –  is on 9th April 2022 

shortwave radio competition

Image and information via the VKQRP CLUB: The VK QRP Club exists for those who enjoy low power amateur radio.

What is it?

the AIM of this contest is to make as many contacts as possible on the 80 metre amateur band only and only during 2 separate time intervals: 1000-1059 UTC – for CW and digital modes, and  1100-1159 UTC – for SSB and digital voice.

Who can enter? The competition is open to Both QRP Club Members and all licensed amateurs.

What gear do I need?  The Xiegu G-90 is ideal for this contest because it covers the 80 metre amateur band and the power can be adjusted to the 10 watt SSB or 5 watt CW limits.

Our TRA HF Portable Dipole antenna would also be perfectly suited to this comp.

The Contest Rules

Output Power Limit: 5 watts CW/Digital, 10 watts peak on SSB. Modes: First Hour – CW/Digital Second Hour – SSB/Digital voice Frequencies: CW 3.500-3.535 MHz Digital 3.570-3.600 MHz – 3570 Dial freq suggested SSB/Digital voice 3.535-3.570 and 3.600-3.700 MHz Exchange a three-digit serial number starting at 001 and incrementing by 1 for each new contact.

Those continuing from the first hour to the second (in a new mode) can optionally continue to increment exchange numbers.

There is no need to restart from 001 in the 2nd block. Score one point per contact.

Digital: Any digital mode may be used subject to the power being limited to 5 W and the mode being allowed by the operator’s licence. Modes such as FT8, FT4, PSK31, RTTY are the most likely to be used.

Every digital contact must be initiated and controlled by the operator, no auto-sequencing is to be used.

Logging Software: 1. VKCL Logger now has an option for this contest. It outputs in Cabrillo V3 format and is compatible with the VK Log Checker. After completing the contest, navigate the menu to export the Cabrillo file as that is the only file accepted by the log checker. Details below

2. N1MM logger: go to Alan VK4SN’s website for his instructions on how to use N1MM+ with a user defined contest file, at https://www.vk4sn.com/Contests/N1MMVK and download the UDC file at https://vk4sn.com/downloads/QRPHRSRTTY-N1MM-UDC.zip 3. Another log capture option is to use Fast Log Entry (FLE) in contest mode so it will capture numbers sent and received. Read the user manual. Save log as Cabrillo. Can be used live or after the contest. You may need to edit the output file to be sure it has selected all the options you want.

You can edit with any plain text editor – not Word! ADIF output available for upload to your station log.

Logs produced via VKCL and N1MM (in Cabrillo format only) should be uploaded directly to https://www.vklogchecker.com where you will find a “log upload” option under QRP Hours contest. An automated receipt for the log will be emailed to you.

If uploading the Cabrillo file fails, please email your Cabrillo file to contests@vkqrpclub.org.

If you cannot use one of those loggers, please send your log by email as a text file, or excel spreadsheet. No PDFs please. Log deadline is 8 days after the contest.

Certificates will be awarded to the highest scorers in each Mode.

 

 

Unbeknown to many, MIAMI based broadcaster WRMI, one of the largest shortwave radio operations in the world, has a huge shortwave antenna array in a paddock north of Lake Okeechobee in Central Florida. This shortwave broadcaster is able to beam high power signals to Europe, when it is needed most!!

As we know, shortwave was mostly used during the world wars as a means of communication and propaganda distribution. Many countries including U.S. Services like the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe have scaled back shortwave services due to the rise in TV and internet services. However, since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has shut down journalism as we know it, meaning those sources have been either blocked or heavily filtered. Shortwave radio is now the only way the Russian population can access unbiased reporting of the current conflict.

 As the crisis unfolds in Russia and Ukraine you will see more and more people tune in once again to their shortwave radios to access unfiltered news and events.

Russia is “attempting to pass a law making journalism essentially illegal, imposing a 15-year criminal penalty” according to Kate Neiswender, one of the teams organising funding for news programming for Russian audiences.

Neiswender and fellow former journalists formed a fundraiser to beam news into Russia, where state-controlled media, at best, does not tell the true story of the invasion and many Russian citizens have no clue about the severity of the invasion.

Link below to donate.

Funding for shortwave to Ukraine

So, back to this massive shortwave radio antenna in a Florida paddock… The general manager of Miami-based WRMI, Jeff White says “We have 14, 100,000-watt transmitters and 23 antennas beaming to all parts of the world,”

Why is it important? Thanks to funding it is currently providing much needed unfiltered information and news of the invasion, beamed over in Russian, Ukrainian and even in English with no censorship.

There is also no shortage of shortwave radios and radio listeners in Russia so this can be accessed fairly easily.

This highlights the importance of shortwave radio in the modern age.

Click here if you are interested in contributing to the fundraising efforts to keep uncensored news flowing into Russia and Ukraine.

Information source thanks to https://miami.cbslocal.com/ WRMI

World radio day 2022

This Annual event dedicated to radio was created by *UNESCO in 2011.

*UNESCO stands for The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation which is a specialised agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences, and culture.

The first-ever world radio day commenced in 2011 on the anniversary of the founding of United Nations Radio.

This year 2022 theme is devoted “Radio and Trust”

Reporting of radio use around the world indicates that radio continues to be one of the most trusted and used media in the world. In more recent times, even during the most connected era, the isolating nature of word pandemics, natural disasters, and weather events, radio has continued to be a trusted source of communications,  not only to those in more isolated regions but also when power is out and connectivity is severed.

Radio is a powerful medium for celebrating humanity in all its diversity and constitutes a platform for democratic discourse. At the global level, radio remains the most widely consumed medium. This unique ability to reach out to the widest audience means radio can shape a society and serves as an arena for all voices to speak out, be represented, and heard. 

Radio stations serve diverse communities, offering a wide variety of programs, viewpoints, and content, and reflect the diversity of audiences in their organizations and operations.

What will you do to celebrate World Radio Day? Turn on your radio, tune the shortwave bands and see what countries you can hear. There is always something happening on the shortwave bands, someone to listen to and learn from.

 

THE FAMOUS WORLD RADIO TV HANDBOOK-76TH EDITION

Tecsun Radios Australia is proud to offer you the opportunity to own this piece of history in the making! 

This is 76th edition is the last printed edition of the famous World Radio and Television Handbook, used by shortwave enthusiasts around the world since 1947.

Do not miss the opportunity to acquire the last printed version of the valuable radio resource, often promoted as the most comprehensive guide to broadcasting on the planet.

A must-have for all short wave enthusiasts, This regularly updated handbook is the culmination of an international network of contributors to provide the most up-to-date information on mediumwave, shortwave, and FM broadcasts and broadcasters available in any publication.

This 670-page book contains the includes articles on the further development of HF transmitters, the history of Radio, technical monitoring at VOA, the history of KTWR on Guam as well as the following.

An A-Z country by the country directory of national radio stations with SW, MW, and FM frequencies and contact details, websites and more.

International Radio – full details of the broadcasters and their winter (B20) shortwave frequency schedules, with an expanded Clandestine section.

Frequency Lists – MW by frequency within the region, SW by frequency including DRM broadcasts.

Technical Articles

Reviews of the latest receivers & equipment, including many Tecsun models.

Alphabetical listing of TV broadcasters by country

Colour Maps showing SW transmitter sites

Reference pages including domestic and International Shortwave transmitters, DX Clubs, Standard Time & Frequency transmissions, Internet resources etc

reviews of wrth

Get your copy here

 

 

 

australia day shortwave contest

Got plans for Australia Day? You may want to change them and test your shortwave operating skills!

aussie day shortwave contest

This Australia Day why not enter the Amateur Radio Australia Day contest?

This is the first time this contest has been held to promote community participation and to improve operating skills and will no doubt become an institution every Australia Day!

The aim of the contest: Amateurs in Australia, New Zealand or Papua New Guinea and their external territories, will endeavor to contact other stations in the region. Points are awarded for valid contacts between VK, ZL, and P2 stations based on the number of contacts made.

HF SSB Voice transmissions should be within:

1843-1875, 3535-3570 and 3600-3700, 7080-7300, 14112-14300, 21150-21450, 28300-29100KHz

Who can enter? Only licensed amateur radio operators can enter, however shortwave listeners can listen to contestants making contacts.

A contest like this, where there are likely to be many amateurs on air, is a good opportunity for shortwave listeners to improve their antenna systems.

What equipment would be suitable to enter? The Xiegu G-90 and the HF Dipole antenna would be a highly suitable combination to both receive and transmit.

shortwave radio competition australia

How can you listen?

Listeners could use PL-330, PL365 and PL368, PL-880, PL-990x or H501x receivers.

Want the best sound possible when listening to the contest or in fact shortwave radio in general?? We highly recommend listening on your TRA Self-powered  Communication Speaker which is ideal for use in amateur radio contests as it makes listening to weak stations much easier!

For more information including the contest rules and how to log your results read the detailed events page on the Wireless Institute of Australia HERE

 

shortwave radio in the NT

A controversial decision in 2017 lead to the ABC turning off its domestic shortwave radio service, much to the disappointment and anger of remote listeners. It’s reasoning for turning off the shortwave broadcasts was that it would only affect a small number of listeners and in fact save operating costs of $1.9M, which could be re-invested in providing infrastructure of digital services located in populated regional areas.

Many industry groups were outraged, particularly in remote areas of the Northern Territory where residents had come to rely on the service as their only regular source of news and entertainment.

In February 2011, cyclone Yasi crossed the Australian east coast between Cairns and Townsville, causing enormous damage and knocking out all local communications. 

Radio Australia carried ABC Queensland coverage of the storm, which was extraordinary. 

The ABC shortwave transmitter at Shepparton Victoria was activated on 9710 and 6080 kHz, and the giant curtain array antenna pointed to Far North Queensland. This broadcast provided emergency information, sheltering information, updates, and calls from listeners in the midst of the storm.

The enormous signal could easily be heard in Sydney and Brisbane on any shortwave radio.

“The ABC expansion of its digital platforms in capital cities provides no benefits to those Australians living in remote areas, and the withdrawal of domestic shortwave services has been seen as a real kick in the guts”. 

“What people take for granted in the cities is a luxury for those living in the bush, who rely on the HF shortwave radio services as a reliable source of news, weather information, and entertainment, There are numerous examples where ABC domestic shortwave has been the only source of information to remote area residents during a weather-related emergencies,” said Garry Cratt owner of Tecsun Radios Australia, who made a submission to government at the time.

Cyclone Yasi approaching the east coast of Australia, Feb 2 2011.

Photo source: Bureau of Meteorology

The federal Labor party has announced that if elected next year, they will provide the ABC with $2M in funding to re-establish the shortwave funding across the territory.

Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling mentioned that he was approached by community groups who were angry at the axing of ABC shortwave and said” when shortwave was cut there was a lot of angst, so it will be a good thing to bring it back to keep people on the land and waters connected. Many thousands will benefit from this [bringing back shortwave]”

Article source: NT Country hour, ABC News, Bureau of Meteorology.

 

sydney to hobart radio frequencies

For the last 76 years, the Sydney to Hobart yacht race has been run on Boxing Day December 26.  Sadly last year due to COVID, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia announced that the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race would not be proceeding in 2020. The great news is it will be recommencing in 2021
The race covers 628 nautical miles from Sydney to Hobart. Installation of an operational HF transceiver is mandatory for all vessels entered in the race.
HF and shortwave radio enthusiasts can listen in to position and weather reports during the race by monitoring the following frequencies:
Primary HF frequency: 4483 kHz USB
Secondary frequency: 6516 kHz USB
6516 kHz USB is constantly monitored by relay vessel “JBW” owned and donated for use during the race by Mr John Winning, owner of Appliances Online. JBW is a 70 foot motor cruiser.
Weather forecasts:
4426 kHz, 8176 kHz, 12365 kHz and 16546 kHz, USB at 1030, 1430 and 1830 AEST daily, 2201 kHz, 6507 kHz, 8176 kHz and 12365 kHz USB at 0230, 0630 and 2230 AEST daily.
Tasmanian weather forecasts on the above frequencies at: 1130 and 1530 AEST
Tasmanian maritime radio:
2524 kHz, 4146 kHz, and 6627 khz USB at 0745, 1345, 1633 and 1903 AEST
Position reports:
4483 kHz USB at 1935, 2035 and 0635AEST daily