|Worldwide Utility News|
|PRESS RELEASE||January 2005|
It's hard to believe ten years have gone by since WUN was formed. Back in the 80's and early 90's utility station monitoring was mostly a solitary hobby. However, in the mid 90's, several radio hobby clubs, such as the old Speedx Club, the Benelux DX-Club and others worldwide, began to have regular utility related columns.
With access to the internet growing, and the continued loss of clubs such as Speedx, the idea was hatched that a "paperless" internet club dedicated to HF utility stations in all modes would promote the rapid exchange of information. The Worldwide UTE News Club "WUN" was born in January 1995 and we issued our first newsletter later that month. Originally WUN also produced a paper edition newsletter.
We took off with six editors; Rick "RD" Baker who edited the Logs Column; Tony Orr wrote the International Civil Aero column; Jim Navary edited the Nautical News and QSL Report columns; Mike Wolfson took care of Government & Other SSB News; Jim Pogue was editor of the WUN Military Column while Dutchman Ary Boender wrote the Digital Review and Numbers & Oddities. Jason Berri was and still is WUN's Webmaster while Tim Braun was responsible for the paper edition of the WUN newsletter. Our Canadian friend, Joel Bedard, became the first Listserver Administrator. During the past 10 years over 50(!) people have been active as editor or co-editor of the various columns.
WUN was the world's first in many cases. WUN was the first "electronic" club. It was also the first club devoted to utility monitoring. We were also the first to set up a list server where members could post logs and questions.
I am proud to tell you that WUN is very much alive and kicking after 10 years. With over 1300 members in 35+ countries and well over 3000 people who are reading our newsletter each month, we are still the number one Utility radio club in the world and we intend to continue for many years to come.......
Do you want to join WUN? Don’t hesitate; go to the following website and fill in the form. http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/wun
As part of the celebration, WUN has released its third CD-ROM in December 2004. The CD covers 10 years of utility station info from all over the world. Included are all the WUN newsletters and WUN’s special topics reports, many info files, sound samples and pictures as well as several radio related programs. Check the WUN website for order information: http://www.wunclub.com/cd3.html
The front page of the paper edition of the first WUN newsletter,
issued in January 1995
|10 YEARS WUN||RADIO NOSTALGIA|
It is a gray day in January 1995 when I receive the following note from SPEEDX Utility column editor Rick "RD" Baker:
"It is with great sadness I report that Speedx ceased publication with the January 1995 issue of Shortwave Radio Today."
After the melt down of SPEEDX, Rick and three other SPEEDX editors; Jason Berri, Mike Wolfson and Tim Braun, had plans to found a paperless internet club specialized in utility stations. Rick asked me to join the team as editor of a digital modes column, which I gladly did. Four other editors completed the original team. Let me introduce them to you. With the exception of Joel and Ary, all of them were Americans.
First of all Rick "RD" Baker who was our first President and Newsletter editor. Jason Berri was and still is WUN's Webmaster while Tim Braun was responsible for the paper edition of the WUN newsletter. The paper edition ceased to exist after a year. Our Canadian friend, Joel Bedard, became the first Listserver Administrator. We took off with six editors; Rick "RD" Baker who edited the Logs Column; Tony Orr wrote the International Civil Aero column; Jim Navary edited the Nautical News and QSL Report columns; Mike Wolfson took care of Government & Other SSB News; Jim Pogue was editor of the WUN Military Column while Dutchman Ary Boender wrote the Digital Review and Numbers & Oddites.
The first newsletter was issued in February 1995. I have included excerpts from all the columns in this edition of the newsletter. It's nice to see how we kicked off. Everyone was still searching for the right format. Reading all the introductions again, I realise that I belonged to a terrific team! Don't get me wrong, we still have a terrific team, but this was a new experience for me; the start of a brand new club; being an editor.....
WUN was the first Utility radio club in the world and we were the first club that used the internet to communicate with its members. Is it really 10 years ago? The internet was in it's infancy when we started. Look at it now! The internet and pc-world developed so rapidly that 1995 feels like ancient history. Time flies when you're having fun :-)
Besides excerpts of old columns we publish a number of items written by our members. Items that bring back memories. LOTS of memories. I still get chills thinking of all the great stuff I heard. I guess that you know what I mean. Most of us have had those special moments. Your first numbers station; a QSL card of MIR, the Russian space station; that far away beacon that you finally heard after months of trying; the smugglers that were caught by the Coast Guard; the aircraft in the eye of an hurricane; Antarctic bases; SOS messages from ships in distress. The list is endless and everyone has his/her special moments. Looking at an old log sheet that was sent to us by Bob, I realise that most of them do not exist anymore. They are history, Radio Nostalgia.
WUN’s STAFF 1995-2004
What would WUN be without its enthusiastic staff? During the past 10 years more than 50 people have devoted their time to provide our members with an excellent monthly newsletter, website and mailing list. We also published a number of very popular Special Topics Reports, info files and CD-ROMs.
Please, let me introduce WUN's staff over the years.
|WUN President||Rick "RD" Baker, David C. Wright, Stan Scalsky, Ary Boender|
|Listserver Administrator||Joel Bedard, Jason Berri, David C. Wright, Charlie Alexander|
|WWW Server Administrator||Jason Berri|
|FAQ Maintenance||Jason Berri|
|Membership Director||Mike Wolfson, Ary Boender|
|WUN Publisher||Tim Braun|
|CD-ROM Project||Rick "RD" Baker, David C. Wright, Ary Boender|
|Newsletter editors||Rick "RD" Baker, Stan Scalsky, David C. Wright, Day Watson, Bill Lawrie|
|Ask WUN!||Colin Goodall, Mark Schoonover|
|Digital Review||Ary Boender, Day Watson|
|Government & Other SSB
|Intl Civil Aero 2)||Tony Orr, Tony Orr & Peter Ivakitsch, John Svendsen, Todd Shoemake and David Pickard, David Pickard, Todd Shoemake, Chuck Yarbrough|
|Membership News||Mike Wolfson, Ary Boender|
|Graham Tanner, Larry Van Horn|
|Military Callsigns &
|Keith Elgin, Larry Van Horn|
|Military Column 2)||Jim Pogue, Paul Jones|
|Military Newsreel 2)||David C. Wright, Ary Boender|
|Nautical News||Jim Navary, Jim Pogue, Day Watson, Scott Havens, Robert Maskill|
|Numbers & Oddities||Ary Boender, Ary Boender & Jascha Ruesseler, Ary Boender & Patricia Johnston|
|Products and Books Reviews||Rick "RD" Baker, Bob Margolis|
|QSL Report||Jim Navary, Martin Barry, J.D. Stephens|
|Surfing The Longwaves 1)||George Karayannopoulos|
|Utility Round-up||Ary Boender, Ary Boender & Trond Jacobsen|
|Worldwide Bandscan||Tim Braun|
|Logs Column||Rick "RD" Baker, David C. Wright, Klaus D. Buschmeier-Stein, Donald E. Stidwell, Eddie Bellerby|
|Logs Column co-editors||Al Dudley, Andy Brill, Barun Gupta, Bill Bean, Bill Lawrie, Bob Yellen, Carl Quick, Chris Stroup, Doug Marsh, Eddie Bellerby, Graeme Bartlett, Jason Lillie, Jeff Chambers, Jim Dunnett, John Erwin, Klaus Betke, Patricia Johnston, Peter de Deugd, Peter Theriault, Roland Proesch, Simon Denneen, Stan Scalsky, Steve J. Walker, Tim Dobbins|
|Guest writers||Dave Gentile, Torbjörn "Toby" Andersson, Mike Chase-Ortiz, Alf Rosenstock, Alex Wellner|
|Special Topics Reports||Tim Tyler, Ary Boender, Karl-Arne Markstrom, Paolo Romani, Mike Chace, Stan Scalsky, Trond Jacobsen|
* WUN SPECIAL TOPICS REPORTS *
This newsletter is from the first dedicated electronic utility club in
the world; the Worldwide UTE News club. Portions of this newsletter may
be reprinted without prior approval so long as the WUN is credited as
Further, this newsletter may be freely distributed and posted so long as the file(s) remain(s) intact. To become a WUN member, send e-mail to the WUN listserver at email@example.com and in the BODY of the message type: subscribe wun
That's all it takes. There are no dues. A paper copy of the WUN Club newsletter can be obtained via our WUN publisher, Tim Braun, P.O. Box 4450 Youngstown, Ohio 44515, USA, for the cost of mailing and printing (not yet determined).
By way of introduction, I have been a shortwave DXer for some twenty years, until recently specializing in Tropical Band DXing. However, I recently merged my two great life interests into one: DXing civil aviation on shortwave! Contributions to this column are most welcome, as well as any comments, suggestions, and criticisms! Remember, your contributions make this column happen, so why not send yours now? 73, Tony
Recently spotted overnighting at IAD were 727-76 VR-BRR of Skyline International, Ltd. of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Gulfstream 2 C-FNCG of Sugra Ltd. of Toronto. A week earlier on 10 January I was able to spot World Airways DC10-30 OH-LHA in full Express One colors with a World logo superimposed on the vertical stabilizer. Rounding out the action on the ramp were Luftwaffe 707-307 10-21 and Royal Air Force VC10 reg. XV108 in from Brize Norton. Swissair will cut back its weekly ZRH-BOS-IAD flights from four to two weekly departures effective April 1995. That's when SR will begin code-sharing on Austrian Airlines new VIE-GVA-IAD A310 service. Flights operate five times weekly beginning April 5th.
Peter Ivakitsch, Weston, Ontario, CANADA checks in this month with a nice selection of addresses for VOLMET stations, and a few tips on how to reach Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International directly:
|Gander:||Transport Canada, Gander IFSS, Flight Service Area Supervisor 89 Edinburgh Ave, Box 400, Gander, NFLD, A1V 1W8 CANADA|
|Honolulu:||Honolulu Volmet, Facility Chief, FAA Honolulu IFSS, Honolulu Int'l Airport, Honolulu, Hawaii 96891 USA|
|Tokyo:||N.T.I.A. Aviation, Weather Service Centre Liaison Officer, JMA New Tokyo Int'l Airport, 133 Aza-Komomae-Furugome, Narita City, Japan|
|Singapore:||Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Director General of Civil Aviation, Frequency Management Engineer, PO Box 1, Changi Int'l Airport, Singapore 9181 REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE|
|Shannon:||Shannon Volmet, Wireless Supervisor, Ballygiree County Claire, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND|
|West Drayton:||RAF Volmet, Porters Way, Room 220, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 9AX England UNITED KINGDOM|
|New York:||New York Radio IFSS, Facility Chief, 150 Arrival Ave., Long Island McArthur Airport, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779, USA|
|Auckland:||Airway Corporation of New Zealand Inc., PO Box 294, Wellington 6000, NEW ZEALAND, Attn: Supervisor Flight Service|
|Sydney:||Civil Aviation Authority, FSC, PO Box 211, Mascot, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA 2020|
(=- DIGITAL REVIEW -=)
editor: Ary Boender
Welcome to the first edition of WUN's Digital Review. My name is Ary Boender, dx'er since the early eighties. I live in Spijkenisse, a town near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I started like most other dxers, as a BC SW-listener but switched to Utility after I bought a Panasonic portable receiver in 1982. About 8 years ago I bought my first decoder and since that moment I became completely addicted to utility dx. My equipment now includes a.o. a Plessey PR2250 receiver, Code3 and a Wavecom 4010 decoder. Editing a column is a new experience for me and I hope to receive plenty of feedback from you all. Please, send me your comments, news and info. Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask and please, let me know what you expect from me.
Alright, let's get digital.............
Very common on shortwave are the stations of the British Royal Navy and the Dutch Royal Navy (MTO, GYA, PBB, PBC). The 75bd RTTY availability messages are well-known to virtually every dxer. But what is the meaning of these messages? Let's take a closer look:
|02D 03B 04B MTO||This is a part of the normal string.|
|02D 03B 04Boo MTO||A ship requested traffic on channel 04B. MTO acknowledges by switching the channel to BUSY.|
|02D 03B 04Bae MTO||MTO asks for Crypto and RATT tests. The callsign of the ship is 'A'.|
|02D 03B 04Boo MTO||While the ship transmits the tests, MTO switches the channel to BUSY again.|
|02D 03B 04Bak MTO||MTO acknowledges receipt of the tests and tells the ship that traffic may be sent.|
|02D 03B 04Boo MTO||While the ship transmits its messages, the channel is BUSY.|
|02D 03B 04Bar MTO||MTO confirms receipt of the message.|
|02D 03B 04Boo MTO||Channel will be closed now.|
|02D 03B 04B MTO||Channel is free again.|
The Royal Navy in London transmits so-called Fleet Broadcasts to their ships by means of crypted RATT messages. These messages are used to relay up-to- date operational information to the fleet. Although the messages are crypted and the stations never id themselves, it is quite easy to identify the station. Just be patient. Traffic is transmitted continuously 24 hours a day in 7 1/2 bit 75 or 100bd crypted RATT on shortwave and 50bd on VLF. After each message a string of 16 RY's is transmitted followed by a synchronization string, both in plain language. The synchronization string is 'VMGTCNJ' and precedes each message. Try the following frequencies: 2816, 3436, 4246.5, 6435, 8493, 10275.5 and 17139.5 kHz.
_ _ ___ _ _ _____ ___ ___ ___ _ _ _ _____ _____ | \| |/ _ \| | | |_ _|_ _/ __|/ _ \| | | \| | __\ \ / / __| | .` | _ | |_| | | | | | (__| _ | |__ | .` | _| \ \/\/ /\__ \ |_|\_|_| |_|\___/ |_| |___\___|_| |_|____| |_|\_|___| \_/\_/ |___/Utility Monitoring in the Maritime Bands
I'm pleased to kick-off "Nautical News" as part of the first Worldwide UTE News newsletter. This will be the place for information of interest to utility monitors with an interest in the Maritime radio bands below 30 mHz. We'll be primarily concerned with the commercial side of things while Coast Guard and Navy matters will be within Jim Pogue's bailiwick. Of course there may be some cross-over from time to time as interaction between merchant and Coast Guard/Naval vessels is fairly common. We'll not be restricting information to only deep-sea vessels. Anything that floats (or communicates with things that float) and has transmitting capabilities on SW is fair game. So, if you have information about coastal tugs, inland waterways vessels or their base stations, lakers, sailing vessels, ferries, etc. consider this your open invitation to share it with the rest of the WUN gang through this forum. I'll certainly need your help to fill up this little piece of cyberspace!
And now....the news:
Rick Albright out on the west coast of the U.S. offers up the following hint:
# Do you ever listen to the German merchant ships position exchanges on
# 16,528? The best times now are 0001z and 0401z, although they do it
# every four hours. DAAD is general call, DAAP is for all Columbus ships
# and DAAQ for all Hapag-Lloyd ships. It's all USB German and English,
# and there are vessels reporting from both coasts and the Panama Canal.
Thanks Rick. I might add that I've heard a similar net of German merchant ships up 3 kHz from there, on 16531, starting at 1400 UTC. The time I heard them the following ships checked in with position reports: Maxhutte/Y5EA, Hiddensee/DQGK, Usedom/DQGM, Brandenburg/Y5EP, and DSR-Pacific/DQFW. This net appears to be for ships from DSR (Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GmbH).
Welcome to the first Government and Other SSB News column for WUN. Sorry for the sparse look to this month's column, but along with everything else about WUN the "look and feel" are still evolving. My name is Mike Wolfson and for about the last year and a half I edited the utility logs column for the late, lamented SPEEDX. As you can see from the subject of this column, I've changed hats somewhat. What hasn't changed is the need for input from you the reader. The best way to make this column better is to contribute to it. Having said that let's get down to business.
A couple of days ago Rick Baker sent out some e-mail about a DEA op on 7657 (DEA FOXTROT frequency) involving some assets with the c/s of SHARK. That traffic was later followed by more transmissions involving c/s of MIKE, STINGRAY, and PANTHER. Surprisingly, the traffic was in the clear. In one of RD's posts, he notes that they finally started to encrypt their transmissions. These days, its rare to hear them in the clear. The c/s SHARK is associated with USCG cutters on missions that involve DEA activities. From information included in RD's post, the c/s MIKE is used by a series of fast pursuit boats that are used by drug interdiction teams to catch smugglers. I've seen pictures of them and they look like updated cigarette boats. In fact they look like the boats that were used by the "rum-runners" during prohibition to bring loads across Lake Erie. Kind of coincidental how the past in repeating itself. STINGRAY is a c/s used by US Customs Service boats. PANTHER is the c/s given to the DEA Regional Headquarters in Nassau, Bahamas.
(=- NUMBERS & ODDITIES -=)
editor: Ary Boender
In this column I'd like to deal with the more obscure part of our hobby. Numbers stations, strange sounds, beeps, pips and items about intelligence organizations is what have in mind for the "Numbers & Oddities" (N&O;) column. It is both a difficult and a fascinating part of the hobby. There is little known of the stations I just mentioned and the main part of the information here comes from a bunch of dedicated N&O; monitors. It is the result of many, many hours of listening, comparing and discussing the loggings with fellow dxers.
Useful information can be found in Popular Communications, Monitoring Times, the Enigma Newsletter and of course DX-Club bulletins. The following books are also highly recommended: Underground Frequency Guide (Don Schimmel), Secret Signals (Simon Mason), Uno, Dos, Cuatro (Havana Moon) and Intercepting Numbers Stations (Langley Pierce). The most heard numbers stations are operated by the CIA, Mossad, KGB, MI6 and BND.
In many countries it is prohibited to listen to utility stations, particularly to government or military stations. Therefore I will omit the names of the people who send me their info, unless you want to be mentioned.
Believed to be operated by MI6 from sites including RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and aimed towards the Near East. Transmissions are often heavily jammed.
|6959||8302||7887||2000UTC - 0000UTC|
|6959||8464||9251||2000UTC - 0000UTC|
|11545||12603||13375||1600UTC - 2000UTC|
|13375||11545||14487||1200UTC - 1400UTC|
|14487||15682||16084||1400UTC - 1600UTC|
Oddities: lots of strange noises, pips and beeps can be heard throughout the shortwave spectrum. Many of them are simply hets, natural noises or originate from navigational systems like Omega, Loran and Decca. Other transmissions however, are more difficult to pin-point. Why would someone transmit the time in CW without any form of identification, or what about the stations who transmit the pips and beeps ?
On 4081,3 kHz there is a beep with a duration of 2 seconds which is transmitted every 4 seconds. No id has ever been heard. Another one can be found on 3757,1 kHz. A pip is transmitted every second. No id so far.
The WUN Military Column
Jim Pogue, editor
Welcome to the first edition of the WUN Military Column. This seems like a
good time to introduce myself, and to tell you a little about my objectives
for this column.
I am 44 years old, and work as a Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Memphis. Prior to that, I spent 10 years (1979-89) in the U.S. Coast Guard as a Radioman. I was stationed at the Coast Guard's Radio School in Petaluma, Calif.; at Radsta Guam/NRV; and here in Memphis at Group Lower Mississippi River/NML7. I also spent 4 years in the U.S. Navy as a Communications Technician-R Branch (Morse Intercept Operator). There, I was stationed at Naval Security Group Activity Northwest, Chesapeake, Va.; Commsta San Miguel, Philippines; and aboard USS Josephus Daniels, USS Mahan and USS Kitty Hawk in the Gulf of Tonkin (1972). I have authored two books, both published by Gerry Dexter's Tiare Publications. They are "Coast Guard Radio," and "The Warships Directory, Vol. I." For those interested, more publishing projects are in the works, so stay tuned. I've also had several articles published in MT and PopComm over the years, mostly dealing with military communications issues.
In this column, I hope to cover a wide variety of topics concerning military communications. Although my area of greatest knowledge and expertise is in maritime military comms, I will do my best to address all areas; in other words, whatever flies, floats or fires, and whoever communicates with them. I also intend to take a very global approach to coverage. Those of us who are at the heart of making the WUN a reality, hope to cater to and involve a very international group of hobbyists in this information exchange project. Please share your feelings about these objectives with me. I will do my best to meet the wants and needs of you who read and hopefully use the information in this column. And perhaps most important of all, please share your knowledge and experiences as we travel in and through this exciting hobby.
U.S. ARMED FORCES:
* Tim Tyler tells us a very large joint military exercise involving Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Special Operations forces, etc. is scheduled to begin Feb. 18. No specific frequencies were mentioned, but we can probably keep our receivers and ears tuned to the usual military frequencies and expect to hear a lot in the coming days.
PRC NAVY (Jen-min Haichun):
* A Russian spokesman confirmed Feb. 10 that Russia has agreed to deliver 3 or 4 Kilo class diesel attack submarines to the PRC Navy. Plans also call for more Kilos to be built in Chinese shipyards with Russian assistance.
_____ _ _ ___ ___ ___ _ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ _____ |_ _| |_| | __| / _ \/ __| | | _ \ __| _ \/ _ \| _ \_ _| | | | _ | _| | (_) \__ \ |__ | / _|| _/ (_) | / | | |_| |_| |_|___| \__\_\___/____| |_|_\___|_| \___/|_|_\ |_|
Welcome to the premiere edition of the Worldwide UTE News QSL Report. In this
column I will be consolidating reports from WUN members that show the goodies
the postal services of the world have been bringing us. But beyond that it's
my intent to include QSLing tips and tidbits, including those elusive utility
station addresses that can be so difficult to find. This first attempt is an
eclectic collection without any real attempt on my part to establish a
reporting format for QSLs received. I would sincerely appreciate the members'
input as to what you'd like to see in this column. Please send me your
feedback on the following issues:
1. Should we establish a "standard" format for QSL reporting in WUN?
2. If the answer to #1. is "yes", what items of information do you find the most useful? Keeping in mind the fact that space (in the form of the number of bytes consumed by this column) is always a concern, I would appreciate your ranking of the following items in order of importance to you:
Number of Days for the reply to be received
Format of QSL received (e.g., PFC, QSL card, letter)
Other "goodies" received (e.g., photos, info sheets, accompanying letters)
Type of station/aircraft/vessel (e.g., Coastal Station, LDOC, B747, C-130, Bulk Carrier, Frigate, etc.)
Anything else we should be including? Station name/callsign is of course of prime importance and need not be included in the rankings.
Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated!
Now, on with the listings: First, Jim Pogue checks in with an impressive list!Fixed Stations:
|NMF44||USCG Group SW Harbor, ME||: 2670.0||USB||PFC||11 ds||*JP|
|NMP9||USCG Group Milwaukee, WI||: 5320.0||USB||PFC||11 ds||*JP|
|NOB||USCG Airsta SFran, CA||: 5696.0||USB||PFC||16 ds||*JP|
|NMC17||USCG Group SFran, CA||: 5696.0||USB||PFC||23 ds||*JP|
|NMY42||USCG Group Moriches, NY||: 2670.0||USB||PFC||19 ds||*JP|
|NMN37||USCG Froup Ft. Macon, NC||: 2182.0||USB||PFC||12 ds||*JP|
|VCN||CCG Cap-Aux-Meules, PQ||: 2749.0||USB||PFC||21 ds||*JP|
|VCK||CCG Sept-Iles, PQ||: 2598.0||USB||PFC||21 ds||*JP|
|VOK||CCG Goose Bay, Labrador||: 2598.0||USB||PFC||30 ds||*JP|
|WUH5||USACE Kansas City, MO||: 9122.5||USB||PFC||8 ds||*JP|
|WUE6||USACE Nashville, TN||: 9122.5||USB||PFC||8 ds||*JP|
|WUJ4||USACE Walla Walla, WA||: 9122.5||USB||PFC||27 ds||*JP|
|WUP||USACE WES Vicksburg, MS||: 9122.5||USB||PFC||29 ds||*JP|
|WUN||USACE CRREL Hanover, NH||: 9122.5||USB||PFC||28 ds||*JP|
|WUE4||USACE Huntington, WV||: 9122.5||USB||PFC||10 ds||*JP|
|WUG||USACE Vicksburg, MS||: 9122.5||USB||PFC||10 ds||*JP|
|NOG||USCG Gru Sault Ste Marie, MI||: 5320.0||USB||PFC||14 ds||*JP|
|VOJ||CCG Stephenville, NF||: 2598.0||USB||PFC||34 ds||*JP|
|VOO||CCG Comfort Cove, NF||: 2598.0||USB||PFC||34 ds||*JP|
|NMD47||USCG Group Buffalo, NY||: 5320.0||USB||PFC+||17 ds||*JP|
The WUN Logs Column: Lotsalogs
Rick "RD" Baker, editor: P.O. Box 4450,
Youngstown, Ohio 44515, USA
I tried to squeeze as much info in as I could and used every log that was sent! Standard abbreviations used. List will follow. A great turn out for issue #1 with 17 contributors. Thanks! I hope to have a standard format next time. Quick resume: Heard my first "mayday" in 1969. Took 10 years off from the hobby to get married/raise kids and jumped back in with both feet in 1992. I now use an Icom R-71A, Icom R-72 and a Universal M-1000 decoder card in a 386/25 clone. Until recent loss of Speedx, I did the Utility Notes column in Shortwave Radio Today and the Speedx World of Utilities Electronic Edition. If your an astute observer you may have read my free lance work. Most enduring question: What is this button marked "AM" on my radios for? :-)
All times are UTC, and all frequencies in Khz. ARQ is also Sitor-A, FEC is also Sitor-B, and RTTY is used for baudot.
|2869||San Francisco ARINC, US: 0909 USB wkg NZ1 w/ARP. (AO)|
|2887||NY ARINC USB 0105 wkg VA919 (CK-DH) w/ARP. NY 0556 wkg V8-ALI, SU342, AY134 w/ARPs (Both AO)|
|2899||Gander Radio, (IFSS), CANADA 0246 USB wkg FEDEX3 enrt IAD w/amended level clr. (AO)|
|3413||Honolulu ARINC, HI, US 0918 USB wkg UA44 w/ARP. San Francisco ARINC 0916 USB wkg AA102 w/ARP (Both AO)|
|4654||BERNA RADIO: 0447 USB wkg Lufthansa 8539 w/pp. (JN)|
|5493||Brazzaville Radio (ATC) CONGO 0256 USB wkg SA251, SA235 w/ARPs (AO)|
|5530||MEXICO Cancun Aeradio 1200 USB clg Flores, but no joy. Flores Peten in northern Guatemala, perhaps? Fair. (DM-Ven)|
|5532||KLM AMS LDOC Holland USB 0110 wkg PH-BUM ETA AMS 0545. Same, USB 0150 wkg PH-AGH A310 w/maint. msg ETA AMS 0610. At 0622 wkg B747-300 PH-BUU w/maint. msg. Abu Dhabi LDOC UAE 0112 USB wkg u/i a/c in AR, ID hrd (All-AO)|
|73.25||Probably RAF Crimond in 75 baud at 1808 w/RATT crypto msgs. (AB)|
|82.2||MKL:RAF Edinburgh, 'VVV de MKL' 1712 CW followed by RATT. (AB)|
|134.2||DCF 54:Offenbach Meteo at 2021, w/FAX Meteosat 05 IR picture. (MR)|
|518||UNID: 0319 w/offshore marine forecast via NWS New Orleans, LA (SS) [This is NMG, USCG New Orleans, La, w/0300 Navtex-RD] 1707 GCC: Cullercoats Radio, UK, nav wng at 1707 & 2050. 1848 OST: Oostende Radio, Belgium, nav wngs. 1904 PBK: Netherlands CG, gale wngs, also at 2124 UTC. 2025 GNI: Niton Radio, UK, gale wng. 2148 LGB: Rogaland Radio, Norway, relayed from Blaavand Radio, gale wng. (All-AB). 1551 PBK: Netherlands Coast Guard, Texel, Netherlands nav warnings in progress. 1601 GCC: Cullercoats Radio, UK, test transmission, "please ignore". (All-SS). 0110 VBC: Wiarton CG Radio, Ont, Canada w/ice condx for the Great Lakes. 0230 VBA: Thunder Bay CG Radio, Canada, Great Lakes marine forecast. (All-JN) All in FEC for International Navtex transmissions.|
In this part of our anniversary newsletter we are looking back. WUN members tell their stories about the hobby; about the great logs; about the stations that are long gone now; about……whatever! It’s all Radio Nostalgia, that’s for sure!
The first story comes from Bob
"My most nostalgic moment with SWL'ing was in 1974 on the day after Christmas when I listened to a broadcast from Radio Tahiti on a Radio Shack DX-150 using a long wire antenna. It was late at night 0400 hours GMT on 11825 KHz. Several weeks later I received a QSL confirming my reception. I then decided to upgrade my equipment go for my General Amateur Radio license and get involved with Utility hunting and chatting around the world with fellow Hams!
I'm 65 and still enjoy the hobby.... I now have a top of the line Icom transceiver and a tower, with a 20 meter dipole attached at the top to a tree 50 feet away. The tower has several verticals for other bands. The internet has made it much more fun as you can track down the stations people report and keep an interest in what's new on the bands!
My biggest gripe is that Radio Tahiti has long gone silent on the short- wave bands.Bob KB2JRD
Tim Braun, one of WUN’s founding
I can't believe it's been 10 years since WUN was started. I was lucky enough to have been included in the initial WUN conversations and volunteered to take over the printing of a 'paper' version of the WUN newsletter. This wasn't bad at first, but as the club grew, and the subscribers grew, it got to be too big a task. However, I am very happy every time I see one of our former 'paper' subscribers actually submitting logs! I also ran a column for some time actually attempting to list every utility station in a certain frequency range - both digital and voice.
A ton of changes have occurred obviously in the utility radio listening business in the last 10 years. I swore that I would never act like an 'old-timer' but here I go breaking my own rule. I can still remember feeling the chills of hearing the President aboard Air Force 1, hearing an explosion on a United States Navy ship off of Norfolk, or countless other fascinating communications taking place 10 years ago. Fortunately or unfortunately, many of those opportunities will never occur again - due to satellite communications and scrambled speech. But I still listen to the static some nights on 6756 Khz or 11267 Khz - just waiting for those voices to appear again.
The man who was the inspirator behind project "WUN". Our
first Editor in Chief and WUN’s first President: Rick
It's hard to believe ten years has gone by since WUN was formed. Back in the 80's an early 90's utility station monitoring was mostly a solitary hobby. Several radio hobby clubs, such as the old Speedx Club, and others worldwide, began to have regular utility related columns. Popular Communications magazine had Don Schimmel's "Communications Confidential" column. Starting in the early 90's, Monitoring Times came along providing a column that also covered our hobby. All information and questions flowed through editors of these columns.
I, and many of the founding members of WUN, belonged to the Speedx Club (and other hobby clubs worldwide). The utility column editor for Speedx at that time was Chuck Yarbrough. I'm sure that I drove both Chuck and Don Schimmel crazy with my questions. In 1992, I was able to get an internet account through our local university, which opened up many new doors. I was able to actually send email to Ary Boender, Jason berri and many others involved in the hobby around the world. I later took over the Speedx column from Chuck up until the time Speedx ceased to exist.
With access to the internet growing, and the continued loss of clubs such as Speedx, the idea was hatched that a "paperless" internet club dedicated to HF utility stations in all modes would promote the rapid exchange of information. The Worldwide UTE News Club -WUN, was born. Originally WUN also produced a paper edition newsletter, handled by Tim Braun.
WUN was the worlds first in many cases. WUN was the first "electronic" club. It was also the first club devoted to utility monitoring. We were also the first to set up a list server where members could post logs and questions.
The following was submitted by David Knight via Bob Hall.
FF Antarctic Bases
I really have little to add to a message which appeared in the RTTY Listener of Jan. 1993, and subsequently in SPEEDX and in one of Ary B's columns. The four stations still seem to be operating but not at the same high frequencies noted below!! I don't hear them so often these days and I guess that their signals traffic is much reduced compared to 1993 with the introduction of Wx SATCOMMS. Hope the following is of Interest…. Cheers…..Bob
LOOKING AT THE MAP OF THE SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN ONE CAN SEE THREE SMALL ISLANDS - KERGUELEN, CROZET AND AMSTERDAM AND ST PAUL. AND ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ICE CAP IS ADELIE LAND, DISCOVERED IN 1840 BY THE FRENCH EXPLORER - DUMONT D'URVILLE. THE THREE ISLANDS CAN ALSO BE SPOTTED ON THE DAILY FAX SENT OUT BY PRETORIA METEO. EACH OF THE FOUR LOCATIONS HAVE SMALL FRENCH COMMUNITIES WHICH KEET IN TOUCH WITH ONE ANOTHER AND WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD BY HF RADIO., OFTEN USING A LINK WITH PARIS VIA REUNION ISLAND. THE OVERALL CONTROL IS BY THE 'DIRECTION DES TELECOMMUNICATIONS DES RESEAUX EXTERIEURS "(DTRE), WITH THE ARQ-E3 MODE BEING HEARD AT THIS QTH.
THERE ARE SEVERAL FREQUENCIES IN USE, THE BEST KNOWN BEING 24457.8 AND 24458.8 KHZ, BOTH LISTED IN KLINGENFUSS AS "DTRE DUMONT D URVILLE" USING "VFT/ARQ-E/96" (ARQ-E3 ACCORDING TO ALL MY LOGS!). THE CALLSIGNS ARE FJY2 FOR KERGUELEN, FJY3 FOR DUMONT D'URVILLE, FJY4 FOR MARTIN DE VIVIES METEO ON AMSTERDAM I., AND FJY5 FOR CROZET I.
AT 1018GMT 18/6/93, I PICKED UP PARIS AND ALL FOUR ANTARCTIC BASES, ALL CHATTING AWAY ON 23191.9 KHZ USING ARQ-E3 96/600, THE TRAFFIC BEING FRENCH "EN CLAIR" AND CONSISTING MAINLY OF PERSONAL MESSAGES. PARIS USED THE CALLSIGN RFGW AND MAKING USE OF THE REUNION RELAY (RFVIC) ADDRESSED THE FOUR DISTANT BASES AS "DISAMS" (AMSTERDAM), "DISCRO" (CROZET), "DISKER" (KERGUELEN), AND "DISTA" (ADELIE LAND).THE 23191.9 FREQUENCY IS NOT LISTED IN KLINGENFUSS OR CFL. RFGW IS AN FF WAR OFFICE CALLSIGN, AND ARQ-E3 IS A FF MILITARY MODE.
(Update at August 2004. All the FF bases have stopped using digi Tx, the last heard here was FJY/5, Crozet I, in Sept. 2003.. using Arq-M2/200/400, and directing personal E-mails to France via Reunion Relay.)
WUN’s webmaster and co-founder, Jason Berri tells his
Well, for me, I was one of the founding members of WUN. I became an active member of SPEEDX back in the 1980's after discovering that there were other signals on the HF spectrum besides international broadcast stations. I was very active with Russian merchant ships, but also listened to other RTTY and CW stations.
With the birth of the internet in the early 90's, some of us saw the utility in being able to exchange messages via email in near-realtime. At the same time, the membership of SPEEDX was declining, and rising costs of printing the SPEEDX bulletin were eating into the clubs funds. A group of the core Utility dxers from SPEEDX decided to create an electronic club the utilized the internet to continue on as the demise of SPEEDX become imminent.
Thus WUN was born. Soon after a web site was created for the club, which I continue to maintain to this day. As time went on that slowly became my sole contribution to the hobby, as marriage and kids have taken over the remaining free time I have. Once in a while I still tune my Kenwood R-2000 and decode some digital signals though. I also still maintain my Russian Merchant Ship List, which has also gone through lots of updates since 1995.
Many things have changed in the hobby since WUN started. Lots of utilities have left HF, while others have joined it. There continues to be many signals out there to listen to, report, analyze, etc. Even though the world and technology have changed around us, I'm glad there is still the opportunity to fire up the radio and hunt down those utility signals that are just waiting for us to catch.-Jason
My first experience on SW was in 1980. I bought myself a Sony ST-313L tuner and tried to find Radio Nederland on SW. Much to my surprise I heard a wealth of stations there. I never knew that there were so many SW broadcasting stations. Stations like Radio RSA, HCJB, AIR, Radio Australia, Radio Canada, and Radio Japan were on the daily menu. There were many dx-programs in those days and I think I listened to most of them. The best by far was Radio Netherlands' Media Network. The Voice of Peace and Radio Caroline were still on SW. All the other offshore stations were gone and much to my regret VoP and Caroline also had to stop. But hey, there was always Pyongyang to listen to when times were grimm ? Hmmm, when I come to think of it, I never managed to listen to this station for more than 15 minutes, except when they played oriental music. AFRTS became one of my favorites because of their good music programs. Except for Radio Budapest, I did not listen to the Eastern European stations, except for QSL reasons. They were far too serious and there was too much propaganda. The same goes for Beijing, but the worst were of course Radio Tirana and Radio Pyongyang. Most of the African and Asian stations however were really interesting. I remember the night of the coup d'etat in Chad. The rebels took over the SW radio station and I had the news of the coup more than a day earlier than most other people on Earth. The newspapers and tv news covered the coup some 30 hours after I had heard it. That's SW radio at its best. Besides that, it was great to hear the music and news from so many countries all over the world.
I logged the stations in a way many beginners do; just the name of the station and the language, but that was it. Unfortunately I did not write down essential info as date, time and frequency. After a few months, I started to see that a little more info could be handy, so I noted the frequency. In those days the Benelux DX-Club here in the Netherlands presented a monthly item in HCJB's DX-Partyline. So I jotted down their address and joined the club. That was a good move because I now got a club bulletin with lots of info about all those far away stations that I copied day after day. From that day on, I started to write down all relevant log info. Soon after I joined the BDXC, I became a member of the German SW-listeners club ADDX (also via the DX-Partyline) and a now defunct club, KDKC, specialised in pirates and utility, an interesting combination. Other clubs followed: DX-Antwerp, Radio Budapest listeners club, BRT listeners club, Andex, Utility Newsletter (now European Utility Newsletter), SPEEDX and of course WUN, the Worldwide Utility News Club. When I moved from BC to Ute dx, I said goodbye to most of these clubs.
Two years after I discovered the world of SW radio, I bought my first "real" receiver, and I was able to tune in to the wonders of maritime and aero radio. Wow... nights in a row I was glued to my new toy. I collected QSL cards back then and found hundreds of new stations that I could QSL. The postman had a busy time when I started to write to all those utility stations. Sometimes the response was real nice, like that time that a female operator of one of the Algerian coastal stations sent me a parfumed and hot QSL letter and phoned me a couple of days later :-) Another "special" QSL arrived from a meteo station in Thailand. The veri-signer included a couple of nude pictures of beautiful Thai girls. I have scanned a number of my old ute QSL’s for the WUN CD. It took me a couple of days to wade through the pile of historic DX-mail. It sure brought back a LOT of good memories. We have a fantastic hobby, folks!
I still can remember my first encounter with the Roumanian numbers station 'the Skylark' with its typical gypsy music and 'Terminat' messages; or the first time that I heard a space shuttle. The Columbia circled the earth in 1983 and could be heard on VHF. Cool!!! Even cooler was the QSL from the shuttle. Another very nice QSL came from King Husain of Jordan, who was a radio amateur.
I entered a new era when I attached my first decoder to my Commodore 64. Later other, more sophisticated decoders followed and ute dx completely replaced my interest in the SW broadcasting stations. I was thrilled when the first morse stations from Poland and the Ukraine appeared on the printer and a couple of days later I even caught the US Navy in Thurso. When I browse through my old logs I see long gone stations like KUNA and ATA but also a print-out of the still active numbers station VDE, dated 17 February 1986. But hey, what's that? What's all that black paper? Ah, yes! I had a thermic printer attached to the Commodore 64. Unfortunately the paper is now either completely black or the text has faded and became unreadable.
Many of the stations from that time are gone now. All the press agencies are gone. Most of the coastal stations are history. Diplo stations either moved to satellite or are using fancy digital modes that we cannot decode. The Cold War was a golden era for the numbers stations. Dozens of them were daily on the air. I loved it!!! Do you remember the German press agencies on LF? They sent news and weather reports by fax and ASCII rtty. I tuned daily to these stations. If memory serves me well there were five such stations: DPA, EPD, SID, VWD and PIAB. Oh, another nice one: do you remember the German station that broadcasted horse racing results? Many people think that these were actually coded espionage messages. Who knows!!!
Shortwave radio still attracts many people. Just look at the number of radio clubs, websites and mailing lists devoted to the hobby. When we started WUN in 1995, I never expected that it would be so successful. It's the greatest ute club in the world. Believe me!
I am 42 years old, with 30 or more years of that playing with radios. If I remember my first radio, it was a multiband portable (the ones with AM/FM/SW1/SW2/etc) at age 8 or 10. I can remember hearing counting stations then, but I'm pretty sure I had no idea just what they were at age 10. :-)
Started keeping logs and tape recordings in my early teens. Wish I knew where they were now.
Started monitoring RTTY in my teens with an old model 15 connected to an R-390 and a homebrew TU. This was my primary interest other than numbers stations up until most of the Baudot HF stuff went away. Of all the stations I logged, I miss Cuba's Prensa Latina the most. It was always very entertaining.Who’s next? It’s Jim Dunnett !! Jim is one of the co-editors of the Logs Column.
Worldwide Utility News, 10th Anniversary Year, 2005.
I came into utility listening, formally in 1999. That is when I joined WUN after a year as an informal "lurker". I had only an amateur transceiver, an IC-736, which I still have and a Racal RA17, which I no longer have. My decoders then were much as they are now: Hoka Code30, Radio Raft and JVComm, not forgetting the ubiquitous Hamcomm.
I now listen with very much improved equipment. I have since, of necessity added PC-ALE, PC-HFDL and recently Skysweeper to my armoury. I had at one time hoped to buy one of Hoka's 32-bit Windows decoders, but couldn't get it past my wife.
The acquisition of ALE and HFDL decoders, for example, illustrates somewhat the changes which have taken place since 1999 with the unfortunate but inevitable decline in RTTY and other "easily decodeable" systems and the rise of ALE and its associated fast and complex modems.
What was there to hear in 1998 which is no longer on the air?
Where oh where has everything gone? No use worrying, as passive listeners there is little or nothing we can do about it, and nostalic whining for what used to be won't fill the logbook.
Many new modes have come on the air, admittedly many of them encrypted or of such complexity that the average listener does not have much hope of making much sense of them.
However, it seems that the challenge with these smart modems is finding out who who the users are and who they are communicating with. This can only be done by sharing our observations with others, and the World Utility News with it's list server and Newsletter is the only realistic platform for such a venture. The chat-rooms aside, it is the only truly international platform!
In this, WUN’s tenth anniversary year, to keep up the momentum of the last ten years, I would urge everyone to submit a log whenever possible. Even if it's late and even if it isn't in the recommended WUN format as long as the essential information is there, it will be appreciated by subscribers to the list-server even if it may not get into Eddy's Logs Column in the monthly Newsletter.
If you have knowledge of some special or even un-special topic which you think may interest WUN-ers, why not write about it? We don't really mind if your English isn't perfect (who's is?). If you like I will proof-read it for you before publication. You can even write annonymously if you prefer!
I write this in August 2004, looking forward with anticipation to another ten years (at least) of the Worldwide Utility News. I hope all of you who read these words will agree with me that while we have lost much in the way of easily decodeable modes, there will always be new ones we can perhaps approach in new ways over the next decade.
73 to all WUN-ers, (active and passive).
Jim Dunnett WUN (RGA) 23 August 2004. Team Logger. mail @sideband.fsnet.co.uk
Bob Hall sent us a log file from 1991. No less than 99% of the stations that he
logged back then are gone now!!!
Bob, the floor is yours……
My UTE interest started in 1989 with the purchase of a CWR-685 Telereader married to an R71E., with rather poor results! The interest enlarged the next year with the acquisition of a Universal M.7000 and this really opened up digi loggings in a big way. From 1990-91 records I have selected some 250 logs (attached) which might bring back nostalgic memories to my more ancient Wun colleagues. I used only a 25m long wire in a north/South direction.
In following years and throughout the 90's my UTE hobby intensified with the addition of a Hoka C3 Gold a Wavecom W40PC. The simple basic Hoka worked well and far better than the vastly more expensive Wavecom, which was difficult and slow to tune, and did not decode some of the modes it claimed. However the stand alone M7000 remained the quickest and easiest to tune and did not, of course, suffer from PC system changes and failures.
In the late 90's the R71E was replaced by an ICOM-R8500, and the Hoka 1.5 was upgraded to Vs1.6, which had two additional and interesting modes; Crowd36 and RS- Arq. I never managed any interesting decodes with the former but RS-Arq between Rome and the many Italian Embassies and Consulates in Africa came in daily and mostly en clair.
With advent of Internet and Satcomms the many diverse logs of the 90's reduced to a trickle and at time of writing (2004) there is little left to monitor at this QTH (Cape Town). Transmissions from South America, Asia and the Indian sub- Continent are still heard, along with some of the French circuits, fax from all over the world and, of course, our local stuff from ZSC and ZSJ (SAN Silvermine, which is now also throwing out it's own special MFSK brand as the SA Navy re- equips with frigates and submarines).
And so the interest moves to PC-Ale and PC-HFDL and, very recently, I have acquired the Airnav Systems Suite 4 and ACARS decoder 2.1 to keep the brain alive.
|6941,5||RFTJF:||FF Port Bouet||0535||Arq-M2||96/850||Idling|
|6989,0||8Q9:||Male Air||0450||rtty||50/215||Aero tfc|
|7255,3||TZH:||ASECNA Bamako||0418||rtty||50/400||Test tape|
|7428,5||Unid:||TELAM Bueons Aires||0313||rtty||50/850||Nx\SS|
|7508,0||ZRO2:||Pretoria Meteo||0428||fax||120/576||Wx chart|
|7520,0||Unid:||Radio Free America||0320||USB||Nx\EE|
|7524,1||TYE;||ASECNA Cotonou||0434||Arq-M2||96/389||Aero tfc|
|7626,1||TZH:||ASECNA Bamako||0438||rtty||50/400||Test tape|
|8045,1||FSB:||Interpol Paris||2115||CW||ID Marker|
|8051,5||WOO:||Ocean Gate R||0432||fec||Wx|
|8080,0||NAM:||USN Norfolk||0345||fax||120/576||Fair chart|
|8087,0||KMI:||Dixon R||0440||fec||Tfc List|
|8118,5||9JZ:||Lusaka Air||0515||rtty||50/400||Tfc & Wx codes|
WUN member Jason Kovatch shares an early hobby experience with us:
In 1963 I was 10, lived in cattle country far from the city lights, and I learned morse code for the Boy Scouts with a telegraph key made of sheet metal strap, dry cells, and flashlight bulbs. One evening, I noticed for the first time an imposing Hammarlund covered with knobs on the back porch of an old rancher neighbor. He only used it to get MW AM. In the summer, it was out on the porch to keep the house cool. Pointing a crooked finger, he said, "You can listen to the World with that thing". When it fired up, the smell of the dust burning off the hot tubes combined with the yellow light of the tuning dials and the crickets chirping outside the screen porch, and when I started twisting knobs, the wealth of sounds that poured from the summer sky nailed that astounded little boy to Radio like a harpoon. The crystal sets grew into home brew tube rigs and ARC boat anchors. After 40 years of radio equipment mania, today my whole shack sits next to my armchair:
Universal M-8000 w/Flat Panel display (to read like a book)
Dentron Jr. Monitor Tuner and Random Long Wire
Radio Shack Diamond Discone clone
Two images of the
Some years back, the content of local radio stations seemed to go from bad to worse so I tried shortwave, listened to the international broadcasters, collected QSL cards, found it too easy and turned to monitoring shipping and aircraft on USB, just for the challenge and that is about all I listen to now.
My first Utility reception report was to Gdynia marine radio and I was really pleased with their comment that mine was the first report they had from New Zealand.
On 1st September 1995 NZ time, I heard the "Rainbow Warrior" working Keri Radio in NZ on 4445 from Mururoa Atoll where a fleet of yachts was protesting the French nuclear testing in the Pacific. The "Warrior" was a sort of guardian to the fleet and kept in radio contact with everyone. Their message to Keri radio was "We are about 15 miles northwest of Mururoa...steaming along on our nightly round around Mururoa...."
As it happened, it was only a few short hours after that when French commandos boarded and seized the "Rainbow Warrior"
I had sent a reception report to the radio man and in his reply which arrived about six weeks later, he said "It was a very busy and sometimes confusing day/evening/night, as you may understand. I was late checking the roll call that evening due to various preparations I had to make onboard, as our "nightly round around Mururoa" turned out to be much more than just that".
Because the ship's stamp "was not available" (I can understand why!) the radio man drew one for me on the report that he signed and returned making it an interesting little document.
The reply to my report to the captain of an Alitalia flight calling Calcutta and then Rangoon.
Work this one out.... A reply to my report to the captain of an Air India flight Bombay to Dar-es-Salaam and working Nairobi.
I really dont think the reply was from the captain but it is interesting, sort of!!
I monitored an Air France Concorde that was Christchurch to Sydney in the course of a round-the-world flight. When the captain replied to my reception report, he answered a couple of questions I had asked and went on to say "watch 8879 on Tuesday 18 October at 1200z. I'll try to salute you in blind transmission, callsign A F C (Air France Concorde). I listened but reception that night was terrible. That would have been the catch of a lifetime.
I always found the British and French Concorde Atlantic flights pretty easy to pick up in the evenings, NZ time and I sent off reception reports to some of the captains. When I read that a British Airways Concorde was to visit Christchurch, I wondered if perhaps it would be piloted by one of the captains who had written back to me. If so, perhaps there would be a chance to meet him. I put the question to the Concorde Flight Crew Manager but the answer was no but he hoped that I would be able to make it over to Christchurch and see the aircraft anyway. I did go but the Concorde was behind security fences and only a few tourist operators were being allowed on board. I had taken with me, the letter from the Concorde flight crew manager saying that he hoped I would be able to see the plane and I flashed this to a guard on the inside of the fence. He took it to a group of BA staff near the plane. He pointed back to me as they read the letter and the next I knew, the gate was opened and I was told to go on board, take my time and have a good look around. There was only one other person on the aircraft and I can tell you that it was a great experience trying out the rather cramped seats, looking out of the very small windows and standing right up on the flight deck and all because of my hobby.
I have been monitoring the Antarctic flights since about 1993. The U.S. Navy Antarctic Development Squadron Six (VXE-6), were responsible from 1955 to 1999 and in the later years when I became interested, I was able to go to Christchurch many times and actually meet some of the crew I had been listening to and once, I got some reception reports signed on the spot by the officers in command of the flights I had heard. Believe it or not, they all said that it was nice to know that someone was monitoring them and I have many similar comments from commercial pilots as well. At the end of VXE-6 operations, I was given a booklet of photos of their aircraft operating in the Antarctic, signed by one of the officers and saying "thank you for following and looking after VXE-6". So you see, if you go about it the right way, us monitors can be appreciated.
Of all the things that WUN did for me (apart from making me feel very welcome in that other people had the same interests...) was to get me into monitoring the RTTY news bulletins. I did enjoy the dying flings from N Korea and the Balkan conflict but now the equivalent is to be found through the Internet.
I also used to pick up flight plans and NOTAMS from Nairobi which was of note as I flew to Nairobi not long afterwards so had an idea of the route.
I dabbled in the maritime system eavesdripping on the ship to shore (ARQ or SITOR?) and the FEC navigation signals. One can't forget the endless encoded 5LGs of course from the diplomats.
Meteo charts from HF fax were of great interest but again the Internet has superceded the medium. There was also a German service that broadcast news pictures and I recall watching football on TV and half an hour later seeing a still from the match appearing on the fax broadcast.
My first real interest in RTTY was when I was in the Royal Navy in the mid 1960s when it was possible to pick up the Chinese news agency reports. These were stuck up on the landing under the heading of "wall posters".
Nowadays, aircraft HF transmissions are what I mostly monitor as I work from home (5649 KHz is on now). With CPDLC in the ascendant, I turn more to the African continent for the traffic. Again the Internet helps here as a US site is publishing in pdf the 'airways' charts around the world which means that waypoints which were otherwise unintelligible in poor reception conditions become 'crystal clear' once the name has been gleaned from a bit of 'Sherlock Holmes' detective work. A mini disc recorder makes life much easier for saving the gems I hear - both audio and digital (was able to record quite a few of the utterances from Concorde flight crew).
Although my moniotiring is mainly from a fixed location in SE UK, I took my trusty Sony 2001D to Namibia in the summer and listened to 8879 KHz chatter from Shanwick, Iceland and Gander and (surprisingly to me) San Francisco (which doesn't really ever reach the UK) talking to traffic arriving in the Japanese area.
Flew back from J'burg, I picked up both the HF transmissions and the VHF area 'reports' that pilots make. Before everyone writes to tell me that radios are banned in cabins, BA recently announced that in their view, small radios etc. "have negligible effect on aircraft systems and may be used during flight". For more details, look at Answer ID 2372 dated 06/09/2004 on their web site.
Best wishes to you and to WUN...
ZCZC08 ATA ATA0008 A INT ALBANIA-RUSSIA THE RUSSIAN MINISTER OF CULTURE MEETS WITH ALBANIAN INTELLECTUALS TIRANA, NOVEMBER 15 (ATA) - I AM VERY IMPRESSED THAT I AM SPEAKING TOWARDS THE ALBANIAN INTELLECTUAL BY THE REASON OF THE FACT FOR MANY YEARS OUR RELATIONS WERE CUT BECAUSE OF STUPID REASONS. I APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT NOW WE CAN AGAIN SPEAK AND TALK TOGETHER, SAID EVGJENI SCFOROV, RUSSIAN MINISTER OF CULTURE IN HIS MEETING WITH ALBANIAN INTELLECTUAL ON NOVEMBER 14 WHO IS ON AN OFFICIAL VISIT IN ALBANIA. THEN MR. SIBOROV PRESENTED TO THOSE PRESENT A DRAFT AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION WHICH IS OF MUTUAL INTEREST BOOTH FOR ALBANIA AND RUSSIA. ATTENDING THE MEETING WAS ALSO THE MINISTER OF CULTURE, YOUTH AND SPORTS, BHIMITER ANAGNOSTI AND THE AMBASSAJOR OF THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN TIRANA, VIKTOR NARUBALLO. THEN, THE RUSSIAN MINISTER VISITED THE MUSEUM OF NATIONAL HISTORY AND HAD A MEETING WITH MEMBERS AND SYMPATHIZERS OF THE ALBANIA-RUSSIA FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION. NNNN
Albanian press agency ATA was a daily guest in the early 1980’s.