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.

 

 

Ukrane russia shortwave radiom

The BBC World Service will use shortwave radio to deliver trustworthy news to Russians, now that the Kremlin is blocking Western media websites’ reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This was a propaganda tactic used in World War 2. The broadcaster stopped shortwave transmissions to Europe in 2008.

The broadcaster announced it is broadcasting four hours of English news daily on two shortwave frequencies, both of which “can be received clearly in Kyiv and parts of Russia,” said a BBC media release. The additional shortwave frequencies are on 15735 kHz operating from 1600 to 1800 UTC and on 5875 kHz from 2200 to 0000 UTC.

bbc radio in ukraine

On March 1, two Russian projectiles struck the main radio and television tower in Kyiv, killing two people. Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s defence minister, wrote on Twitter that Russia’s goal was “to break the resistance of the Ukrainian people and army,” starting with “a breakdown of connection” and “the spread of massive FAKE messages that the Ukrainian country leadership has agreed to give up.”

Russia bombs ukraine

As it is widely believed that Russia dismantled its shortwave jamming transmitters in the 1990’s, these new broadcasts should easily be received, even inside Russia.

Over the last week of February, viewership of BBC’s online Ukrainian language site more than doubled from a year earlier to 3.9 million visitors, the broadcaster said Wednesday. The BBC also provides news coverage in the country via its website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Viber, and Espreso TV.

The BBC’s coverage has led to complaints from Russian officials. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said during a briefing broadcast by RT, the Kremlin-backed Russian media outlet, that Russia was the victim of “unprecedented information terrorism” that was “devoted to discrediting Russian actions” and “creating hysteria around Ukrainian events.”

The BBC “plays a determined role in undermining Russian stability and security,” Zakharova said, without providing evidence.

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As the weather begins to cool, it is a great time to set up and organise your radio shack.
Crucial for wireless communication, the first radio shacks were aboard ships in the 1900s, several radio units were housed above the bridge in wooden structures.
Similar to a man cave the radio shack is essential for every shortwave listener, it is your place to get away from the hustle and bustle.

image via qsl.net

Many radio shacks are set up in basements, garages, or spare rooms.
Some important factors to consider are.

Location: Ensure your radio shack is as close to the ground as possible with accessibility for routing wires in and out of your space.
Comfort: Get yourself a large desk that can accommodate lots of radios and a comfortable chair so that the time you spend in your shack is enjoyable. Get yourself a good set of headphones that can plug right into your radio, preferably like our Tecsun communication headphones that feature an extra-long cord so it can reach even the higher up radios in your radio shack.
Ease of use. We mentioned the large desk earlier, it is important to have your units within close reach, at least within arm’s length. Buying some shelving for vertical storage is both a great use of space and helps accessibility.
The Extras, just for fun! Get yourself a big clock that shows Zulu or UTC time so you can always see what time it is overseas, plus these look pretty cool!
Get yourself a corkboard that you can pin your QSL cards, decoded images, and other notes.

For those of you who have a radio shack we would love to see your photos. Take a photo and either email it through to hello@tecsunradios.com.au or post your photo and tag us @TecsunAU and #TecsunAU.

Have you seen the latest edition of Silicon Chip magazine? Our latest product the Xiegu G90 has its own 2 page spread with a favourable review by ROSS TESTER.

 The most notable features are: transmit power of up to 20 watts adjustable in 1 watt increments so output power can be adjusted to suit band conditions, built in ATU, detachable control head for vehicle operations, and a superb general coverage receiver.

Operating frequencies can be directly-entered via the microphone keypad or “dialled up” using the 1.8 inch front panel with 25 push buttons for control.

ROSS TESTER noted that online reviews of the G90 world wide, rate the transceiver at least 4 stars, with many rating the radio 5 out of 5. The unit has been reviewed recently in QST magazine in the USA and Radcom, the monthly magazine of the Radio Society of Great Britain.

Here at Tecsun Radios Australia we heavily research and test new products and much consideration is put into what products we release to the market.

The Outstanding Features of the Xiegu G90 for us are the following.

** 20 watts output power

** Inbuilt ATU

** Detachable front panel

** Superb general coverage receiver

** Waterfall and spectrum display

In addition to these fantastic features the Xiegu G90 represents fantastic value retailing for around half the price of most transceivers on the market.

The Xiegu G90 transceiver is available for order in our webstore with same day shipping available for orders placed before 12pm Business days.

Are you looking to add the Xiegu G90 Transceiver to your collection? Get yours here.

See a preview of the article by clicking here.

Radio licence applications soars.

What you need to do to prepare for a natural disaster or emergency including what essentials you will need to pack in your emergency kit.

Its important to have a discussion with your family on what you would do in the event of a fire/ flood or other natural disaster event before the actual event takes place.

Its important to discuss the following.

How will you access emergency alerts and messages and monitor events? 

The best way of receiving event alerts and updates is via radio. ABC broadcasts hourly updates, more if needed in the local area to keep you informed. In many cases Emergency Services will call the radio station directly. Radio is also the failsafe method of receiving these reports when power is cut and networks are down which often happens during natural disasters

Make a list of radio frequencies of the local ABC and Community radio stations, so you know where to listen. You can find our guide here

In an emergency dial 000. Access to 000 is available on all mobile networks regardless of which network you use. Roaming arrangements are in place so you can use any available network.You can even dial 000 on a phone with no SIM.

Download the “Emergency +” app onto your phone. Do this before any emergency and take note of your GPS location. You might need this for emergency services if they have to find you. The Emergency + App wont work without mobile phone coverage.

Tune in to your local radio, local ABC/emergency broadcaster frequency. You may want to consider a solar powered or battery operated radio because power is often the first thing to go in emergency situations.

If you still have internet keep an eye on the BOM app and investigate your local Flood/ natural disaster and fire apps like the Rural Fire Service “Fires Near Me” App.

         

 If you are driving, keep updated on road conditions and closures by checking the NSW Transport “Live Traffic” App. There are similar Apps in most states.

At what point would you leave your home?What will be your sign to leave? It could be smoke or fire in your area, lightning and heavy rain or floodwater approaching your property.

Where will you go? Where is there a meeting place that’s safe and away from the disaster area? It might be a friend or relative’s place, or even a shopping centre. Most regional towns have a designated “safe place”. Most local council or community associations have a designated “Safe Place” for residents to go in an emergency.

Find out where your “Safe Place” is located.

What will you take? What would be your essentials you would like to take with you if you were forced to leave your home

Make sure you have an emergency kit prepared and ready to grab when needed. Unfortunately you don’t need an emergency kit until you really do.

 

PREPARE YOUR EMERGENCY KIT.

Pack a backpack with the following supplies and keep it somewhere safe that is easily accessed when needed.

Storing items in airtight plastic containers and sealer bags will help keep your belongings dry and in good condition both while in storage and during the emergency situation.

Here is a list of your essential items to pack.

  • Flashlight
  • Personal medication
  • Bottled water. Allow 2L per person per day minimum.
  • Food, non perishable, as required..
  • Manual can opener
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Candles
  • Cash- if the power is out then the ATMS wont work.
  • Phone “power bank”. Make sure it is changed at all times.
  • Extra batteries for your flashlight
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust masks to help filter contaminated air- P2 masks are best for dust and smoke.
  • Toilet paper, moist towelettes etc for personal sanitation
  • Local maps
  • Sharp knife (penknife)

Repack expired items as needed and re pack/ check your emergency kit every year.

Don’t have an emergency radio yet?

We reccomend the DE13 which features light, alarm, inbuilt Solar Panel and Dynamo hand crank charger that allow you to recharge the internal battery or charge any device by  USB or mini USB including your mobile phone. This is the perfect radio to keep for any emergencies

                                                                                 

To get yours, Click here to be directed to this product in our online store.

 

One of the oldest and trusted services.

In the modern age where internet technology, social media and informational apps reign supreme the Vanuatu Broadcasting Television Corporation (VBTC) is investing AUD$12 million in upgrading its national radio service through its shortwave and medium wave (AM) service.

VBTC chief executive officer, Francis Herman says In Vanuatu many of the villagers do not receive television transmissions and currently only 30% receive radio transmissions. 

Radio Vanuatu is the only viable means of reaching Vanuatu’s rural population.

With the new upgrade that coverage will increase to 100% right across the 80-plus Islands of Vanuatu, connecting the country.

As listed by the United Nations, Vanuatu is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world and regularly experiences earthquakes, cyclones and floods.

Information is crucial during these events.

Shortwave radio is an essential complement to Vanuatu’s national radio service due to its far reaching capabilities even when the power, internet or local networks are down.

Technology commentator Peter Marks said “Shortwave comes from over the horizon it will continue to work even when local conditions are difficult like extreme weather that might knock out local FM and AM stations and internet,” 

 

A cost effective way to reach the population of Vanuatu to deliver important messages.

VBTC chief executive officer, Francis Herman says “Radio as you know is cost effective, people can pick it up on their phone, in the villages where television can not reach, radio is the companion for people,” .

“We have general elections in March next year, we are about to head into the cyclone season beginning in November and so its important, it’s crucial that the people of Vanuatu can get access to a reliable and credible broadcaster,” Mr Herman said.

This is why investing in a national shortwave service is even more important than ever even in the modern age.

 

Radio Vanuatu can be found at. 

RADIO FREQUENCY 
MEDIUM WAVE1125KHZ
SHORTWAVE3945KHZ (NIGHT TIME)
7260 KHZ (DAY TIME)
FM100 MHZ (VILA & SANTO)
98 MHZ (TANNA & SANTO)

Radio Vanuatu features a morning show with Dorinda Mabon from 5:30am till 9am

Marie-Noelle Kaltak hosts the mid morning show and evenings are hosted by Florence Vanua.

Do you currently listen to Vanuatu radio? We would love to see your listeners report.

Comment on the post below or email to hello@tecsunradios.com.au

Images via Radio Vanuatu website.

Radio New Zealand have a new shortwave frequency for the Region.

RNZ Pacific (RNZI) provides comprehensive Pacific  news coverage with the very latest Pacific stories as well as a live audio feed, podcasts, and on-demand programmes.

RNZI broadcasts in digital and analogue short wave to radio stations and individual listeners across the Pacific region. The RNZ Pacific signal can sometimes be heard as far away as Japan, North America, the Middle East and Europe.

RNZI was named the International Radio Station of the Year 2007  by the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB). RNZ Pacific also won the Most Innovative Partnership category recognising the way it works with local Pacific media.

RNZ Pacific (RNZI) broadcasts at the following frequencies and times to different parts of the Pacific Region.

UTCKHZTARGETDAYS
00:00 - 05:5815720PacificDaily
05:59 - 07:5811725PacificDaily
07:59 - 09:589765PacificDaily
09:59 - 12:586115 from 15 JanSolomon Isl , PNGDaily
12:59 - 19:586115PacificSat
12:59 - 16:506115PacificSun - Fri
16:51 - 17:505975 DRMTonga Niue Samoa Cook IslandsSun - Fri
17:51 - 18:5011690 DRMTonga Niue Samoa Cook IslandsSun - Fri
18:51 - 19:5813840 DRMPacificDaily
19:59 - 20:5811725PacificSun-Fri
20:59 - 22:5813840PacificDaily
22:59 - 23:5815720Pacific Daily

MAINTENANCE DAY: Every month on the first Wednesday RNZ conducts Maintenance at their transmitter site from 2230 – 0600 UTC. ( Thursdays 1030 – 1800 NZST) During this period there may be interruptions to programming.

 

During this past week with the devastating fires that have occurred throughout Australia many people have been left cut off from loved ones with roads being blocked and widespread extreme fire danger.

During natural disasters, conditions can change in a second, a simple thing like a switch in the wind direction can change everything.

Remaining in contact with Safety officials about evacuation or weather updates is crucial

Holiday makers fleeing vast “tourist leave zones” have found themselves stranded without power and water. Whole communities have been forced to flee their homes. 

Here’s our guide on the best ways to communicate during times of emergency including if you have lost power and internet.

This guide relates to use around Australia but also to communicate with people/ family overseas.

By using communication methods both online and offline and educating yourself on options for all situations including loss of power. You can ensure you are prepared at a time you may need it most.

  1. Emergency Radios: We are starting here because unfortunately during major bush fires, people can be in very remote areas and experience power and network outages. Emergency Radio is the only way you will be able to hear crucial safety messages. These compact units are essential to any emergency kit. Battery operated Emergency Radios capable of receiving broadcasts in the AM, FM, and Shortwave frequency bands provide a long range and simple method of keeping up to date with the latest emergency information. Traditional radio broadcasts cover a much wider area than mobile phone towers allowing signals to be received from much further away mitigating against local power and mobile phone outages.
  2. Apps: Downloads of the “Fires near me “App surged to over 750,000 in November when NSW was declared a state of emergency. Being able to open an app and see in real time where the fires were burning and what category they were was extremely helpful to people in fire affected areas and for those with family and friends in fire effected areas.
  3. Text Messages and Text Alerts: During a fire you may receive warnings on your mobile phone. With warnings and instructions on what to do. You however will not receive the message if the network is down or if your phone is switched off.
  4. Phone Calls: Phone lines can become over run during times of emergency, so the advice given is to keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information. emergency services may contact you with a recorded warning for your area. In many emergencies power and communications can be interrupted so Try to conserve the power on your phone by doing the following. Disconnect the phone battery and only plug it in at intervals to avoid draining it. Close all web pages and unnecessary apps. This should ensure you get the most life out of your battery because you just don’t know how long you may be without power.
  5. Social Media: Using Facebook or Instagram allows users to tell their friends and family that they are safe and live report what is happening. Social media has proven to help improve people’s awareness and preparedness for natural disasters.

Additionally, radio is a broadcast medium of communication meaning that many people receive the same message simultaneously so if you miss an update your friends and neighbours in the local area can hear the same message and relay it to you. 

The ABC is the designated Emergency Broadcaster and will provide updates on local AM and FM stations in times of imminent danger. Additionally, the Bureau of Meteorology broadcast two weather services in the Shortwave Radio bands for Australia on the East and West Coasts. Both services broadcast bulletins and warnings on the hour.

In addition to this some radios on the market like the Tecsun DE13 Emergency AM/FM/SW Solar Radio includes some additional features like a Led torch. A red flashing distress Led light designed as a personal locator and distress siren. These compact hand held radios are built for situations where there is no power and utilise both solar and hand cranked power sources.

It’s important to make your own evacuation plan and be prepared for the worst. Natural disasters often occur without much warning so planning before hand will pay off when you need it most.

If you are interested in equipping yourself with an emergency radio, we have some great radios that are small enough to simply click on your belt, right through to larger versions with multiple capabilities. 

Here are some of our most popular emergency radios.

 

Image Via Northern Daily Leader.