Amateur Radio Station

DJ5IL

Transmitting on Shortwave since 1973 ...



MISSION

WELCOME TO MY RADIO SHACK !

THIS WEBSITE IS DEDICATED TO THE PHENOMENON, SCIENCE, ART, SPIRIT AND SOUL OF RADIO WITH A FOCUS ON THE AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE.

I am a passionate, genuine and outspoken "classic style" amateur radio operator. The design of this website aims to reflect my attitude and to spark some fascination and appreciation for the roots and virtues of the amateur radio hobby. It presents not only a substantial retrospective of radio history but also a wealth of applicable technical material and is meant to be not just entertaining but informative and educational ...

"Why has this discipline of radio - at one time the very heart of electronic technology - come to the point where people consider it an arcane science ? I have been forced to consider what first attracted me to radio during my formative years. I liked radio because it was aesthetically appealing. I was not nearly as impressed by the capabilities of radio as by the very nature of radio. Radio is great, not because of what it does, but because of what it is. Nobody buys an original Da Vinci painting to cover a hole in the wall. By the same token there are other means of communication that are more efficient than bouncing signals off the ionosphere; but the very fact that we can bounce signals off the ionosphere makes it worth the effort ... Maxwell's equations appeal to the body, soul and spirit. Sine waves are veritable works of art. Antenna radiation patterns are beautiful ... It is incumbent upon radio initiates to convey the mystique and aesthetic aspects of our hobby to newcomers. To fail to do so is to doom our hobby and the radio profession to the status of a lost art."

Eric Nicols, KL7AJ

"Somewhere on a lonely mountaintop on a starry night, or maybe in an apartment on a bustling city block, someone is channeling the whole world onto a mobile device. It's not a phone; it's a shortwave radio ...

Now that the Internet is a fixture in many homes in the United States and Canada, there are few practical reasons to buy a shortwave radio. Thousands of stations that once were available only on the shortwave band are online ...

The contrast is stark: iPods and satellite radios are slim and pocket-sized, while shortwaves are throwbacks, typically as square as a textbook and just as serious looking.

So why bother with shortwave?

It's easy and cheap -- and fun. You can hear and learn things that you would never find even if you work your search engine like a mule. From Swaziland to Paris to Havana, shortwave broadcasters can surprise an adventurous listener more than any MP3 playlist ...

It's also magic. Shortwave radio enthusiasts acknowledge the thrill -- the romance, in a way -- of going out at night and snaring news, music, odd bleeps, religious zealots and other broadcasts from the wild sea of frequencies in the sky.

In aural terms, the Internet wins. Shortwave by nature sounds dirty: Its signals whoosh from clouds of static and are subject to the whims of sunspots and atmospheric disturbances.

But when you hear voices over the noise and squeal, and realize you are hearing Mongolia, live, there is a warmth and a human connection that are hard to find on the Web.

Shortwave also can deliver news faster than you might find it online, and in places where your other devices don't work ..."


Excerpts from "Shortwave Radio Still Packs an Audible Thrill" by Robert MacMillan, New York (Reuters), Jan 14, 2009

"I don't believe in magic, but I do know that sitting in my car in the middle of Mississippi and listening to a signal that traveled more than a thousand miles, over nearly a dozen states, and came down into my car through a metal pole antenna and two paper-cone speakers, was as near to a magical experience as ever I'm likely to have."

Richard Rubin, "It's Radi-O! The Medium That Can Turn Anywhere into Somewhere"



PROFILE

STATION DATA

Callsign:
DJ5IL

Operator:
Karl Fischer, on Earth since 1956, on the airwaves since 1973, professional software engineer, self-employed.

Location:
Pforzheim (48° 54' N / 8° 42' E), Gateway to the Black Forest, Germany, Central Europe - 25 Km from the University of Karlsruhe, where in 1886 Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of electromagnetic waves as predicted by Maxwell. Learn what happened to my hometown Pforzheim on February 23, 1945 ...

Mail address:
Karl Fischer, Friedenstr. 42, 75173 Pforzheim, Germany

Transceivers:
Kenwood TS-590 / TS-50, Ten-Tec Corsair II, Elecraft KX2 and some homebrew QRP transceivers.

Receivers:
Drake 2-B (vintage 1960s, tubes)

Transmitters:
Drake T-4X (vintage 1960s, tubes)

Power Amplifier:
SPE Expert 1K-FA (MOSFETs, fully automatic, max. 1 KW output power, 1.8 - 50 MHz)

Antennas:
>> Tennadyne T6 LPDA (Log-Periodic Dipole Array), 6 Elements @ 15m above ground, operable continously from 14 to 30 MHz with SWR < 2
>> Vertical Dipole, 18m long, feedpoint @ 9m above ground + automatic tuner SGC SG-230, operable countinously from 3.5 to 30 MHz (one arm of the dipole is a "Titanex V40" 10m long vertical radiator made of aluminium / titanium alloy, the other arm is a 8m long vertical coax section going straight down towards ground)
>> Inverted-V Dipole for the 80m-Band

Morse Keyers and Keys:
>> Keyrama and CMOS Super Keyers II/III with homebrew Sensor-Paddles
>> Vibroplex "Original" Bug, left-handed model, Ser.# 234150 (built in 1963), read its story !
>> Vibroplex "Lightning" Bug left-handed model, Ser.# 219318 (built in 1961)
>> Vibroplex "Champion" Bug, Ser.# 260509 (built in 1969)
>> E.F. Johnson Co. "SpeedX" Bug, modell 114-520, converted for left-handed operation
>> various Cootie Keys ("Sideswipers") and Straight Keys

Memberships:
FOC # 1980, HSC # 842, DARC, RSGB, ARRL

Preferences:
radio telegraphy with bugs, sideswipers and electronic keyers --- DX-ing (DXCC entities confirmed: 315) --- rag-chewing in CW and SSB --- radio engineering --- antennas & transmission lines in theory and practice --- study and forecast of ionospheric radio propagation --- vintage radio equipment collection, restoration and operation --- exchange and collection of individually designed QSL cards --- good friends --- good food, beer and wines --- hiking --- running --- cycling --- travelling

Aversions:
crocodiles (radio operators with small ears and big mouths) --- contersters who ignore the band plans and legal power limits --- five-nine-nine QSOs --- promised QSLs which never arrive --- eQSL --- DX-cluster --- soft-drinks

Activity:


WHO I AM

I came on Earth on 15 December 1956 in the town of Pforzheim in Southwestern Germany, "Gateway to the Black Forest" and only 25 km away from the University of Karlsruhe where Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of electromagnetic waves in 1886. As a young boy my grandfather's radio fascinated me, with the glowing tubes inside bringing voices and music a long way from all these strange places printed on the dial. I discovered spooky number stations and heterodynes of CW signals and soon I was smitten by the magic, spirit and soul of RADIO.

In the early 1960s my father became an SWL and listening spellbound to amateur radio traffic I was hooked and decided to become a transmitting radio amateur myself one day. At 14 I got a two-tube regenerative receiver kit for Christmas, became a keen SWL, started to learn the Morse code and even built a semiautomatic key which looked very strange but worked. It seemed to me that the thumb would be best suited for keying dashes and that's why I key reversed to this day. About half a year later I was able to receive and send code at 20 wpm and fell in love with CW.


The QSL I received from LA3M for my first QSO ...

DJ5IL, opr. Karl, in February 1974 at the age of 17
Our local radio club met every Thursday evening. A licensed club member who went to Bolivia to make his fortune as a jungle pilot, flying his rickety Cessna between La Paz and Santa Cruz, used to come back home once a year to visit his parents and old friends. When he saw my "bug" key he laughed at me and doubted that I was able to send clean code at 20 wpm. He offered me a bet - I won and he allowed me to operate our club station DL0PH every Thursday evening during his stay. Then he showed me how to tune up the FL-200B transmitter and left me alone. On that 10 May 1973 at around 2030Z I sent out my first CQ on 20m and it was answered by Chris at the club station LA3M near the Arctic Circle in Norway. My first QSO, unlis - what a thrill ! During the following weeks I could hardly await those Thursday nights in the club, quite some pages in the logbook were filled and I still have the QSL card from LA3M for that memorable QSO.

At the age of 16, having been granted special permission to waive the then usual requirement of 18, I passed the license examination in Karlsruhe in August 1973 - 3 months after my first QSO - with flying colors and became one of the youngest radio amateurs in Germany with the old re-issued callsign DJ5IL. In the basement of our house I installed my radio shack and workshop and spent most of my spare time on the airwaves or constructing radio equipment. Most nights we had QRQ roundtables on 80m, and since we share the band with commercial users from time to time it was even possible to exchange 73s with "Interpol" operators. In 1977 I joined the "Radio Telegraphy High Speed Club" (HSC #842). Me and my local radio buddies were very active and did a lot of interesting and funny things, for example we eavesdropped the major press agencies in RTTY with homebrew decoders and got hot news before they appeared on Radio, TV or in newspapers.


Me and Jutta at the home of our driver near Siem Reap / Cambodia in December 2016
Me and my girlfriend Jutta studied computer science, finished in 1984 and married the same year. Until 2020 we travelled extensively through Asia, our main targets were India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Today we still live in Pforzheim, enjoy the outdoors, hiking and cycling in our beautiful countryside and having a ball with our friends savouring good local food, beer and wine. I work as a self-employed software engineer and luckily we were able to organize our life so that we have a lot of spare time. I am radio active almost daily, my main interests are CW operating, DXing, construction of radio equipment and treatment of radio engineering topics.


DJ5IL, opr. Karl, in 2012
My most memorable QSO was with Fritz Hauff, W3NZ (SK, FOC #1065). On 9 October 2001 at 2200Z he answered my CQ on 20m and during our QSO we found out that Fritz was a first cousin of my grandmother and so we are blood-related (see "IT'S A SMALL WORLD" by W3NZ below). For my cousin Fritz and for me amateur radio became not just a hobby but a life long passion. In 2012 I joined the ranks of the "First Class CW Operators' Club" (FOC #1980) with great pleasure and pride.


In memory of my late uncle Fritz Hauff, W3NZ, who was a true cousin of my grandmother and a passionate and exceptional radio amateur. This picture shows OM Fritz in his 1950 radio shack in Royersford / PA when he held his first callsign W3GHS.

IT'S A SMALL WORLD !

(by W3NZ, from the FOC News Sheet #666, April 2005)

At 2200z on 9 October 2001 I checked 20 meters. Signals from Europe were strong but not plentiful, and in my pet spectrum (14022 - 14030 KHz) the CQ from DJ5IL was outstanding and snappy. I gave my call once and he bounced back to me with flawless CW. "TNX OM for call, you are 599 and my name is Karl, the QTH is Pforzheim, at the north end of the Black Forest. BK".

I said, "Many TNX Karl, you are also solid 599, my name is Fritz. I know the Black Forest well, my mother came from Haiterbach and years ago I had some relatives in Pforzheim. I am not sure of their name, but believe it was Karl Fischer, he was married to my cousin Kaethe Klenk and he had a store selling watches and clocks. Would you know them or of them? BK".

Karl replied. "Solid copy Fritz. My name is Karl Fischer and the store is still in the family. We are related, I am 45 years old and I never knew my grandfather Karl Fischer, he had died before I was born. How about it?".

By that time my mind went almost blank. A good CW operator in the relationship was too much for me to contemplate. We exchanged e-mail addresses and signed.

After I told my wife Jean this story, her eyes opened wide and she said, "It's hard to believe, it is a small world !".

MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH RADIO !

(by W3NZ, from a personal letter)

I was ten years old - back in 1921 when I saw and heard my first radio. It was a home built 3 tube breadbord set.
I was hooked !
It was an adventure for me to build a little crystal set. The big expense was a pair of Siemens earfones and the cotton covered wire for the coil and the aerial. It took a few days before the miracle happened - I heard Stuttgart. Was I ever excited! " Mom, hurry up and listen! " She arrived, I put the earfones over her head. Her cheeks turned white and after a few seconds she hollered: "Get this thing out of this house, it is the work of the devil !" A week later she had a change of mind - after she found out that her preacher also had a
RADIO.
It was the beginning of my life long passion !



SPOTLIGHT

CLASSIC HAM SHACKS

Back in the early days of radio, the equipment was highly experimental and all home-built. Until the electron tube was invented, radio transmitters used a noisy and dangerous rotary spark-gap to generate radio waves and so they were often housed in a separate outbuilding or shed. At that time, wireless radio equipment aboard ships was generally housed above the bridge in a wooden structure which became known as the "radio shack". In amateur radio terminology, the radio room is often called "ham shack". This slideshow turns back the dial and puts the spotlight on classic ham shacks of a bygone era. Stop by from time to time for spotlights on other radio themes ...

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A classic post-war ham shack, on the desk in front of the operator a Hammarlund HQ-129X Receiver (which appeared on the the market in 1946) and a semi-automatic "bug" key for Morse code transmission ...

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Harold Johnson, W4CZB, at his operating position in 1955 ...

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Cecil C. Gregson, W9CNN, was born in 1906 in Iowa. In 1921 he decided to leave his parents' farm, jumped on his motorcycle and went to Chicago where he worked as a radio repair man and later opened a small machine shop in his garage. He worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and made his shop a successful company, specialized on precision machining for missile and aircraft components. After the war Cecil returned to his ham radio passion and with plenty of money to spend, he built this dream-station which was completed in 1955 ...

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In 1957/58 Ludvik Kloucek, OK1KW, was a radio operator at the Czechoslovak Embassy in Ulan Bator. Mongolia was in the most rare Zone 23 and so he got on the air with the self-assigned callsign JT1AA (which was later officially assigned by the government). With the Prague Spring and the Soviet invasion in 1968 Ludvik lost his job and also his radio license and never returned to amateur radio. He disappeared into obscurity and died in 2010, age 80. The picture shows him in his improvised Ulan Bator ham shack in 1958 ...

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Amateur radio was highly organized and institutionalized in the former Soviet Union and radio amateurs were viewed as servants of the state, although not without a certain degree of prestige, because hams were in touch with - or at least listened to broadcasts from - the outside world. All of them belonged to clubs and individual amateur radio stations did not exist in the USSR until the mid 1950s. This is the 1970s ham shack of the Ukrainian clubstation UB4FWX, ex-UK5FBT ...

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The late 1930s Georgia ham shack of Evelyn Sanford, W4DAI. Shortly after her 31st birthday she became a member of the prestigeous "A-1 Operator Club" of the American Radio Relay League ARRL. Note the small skull above the semi-automatic "bug" key ...

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Madeleine Pugh, VK4YL, the "youngest radio operator in the British Empire", pictured in her ham shack in Brisbane / Australia in 1934. She got her radio licence when she was about 12 years old ...

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The 1930s ham shack of J2IX, Mrs. C. S. Suzuki in Tokyo / Japan. "Suzy" operated 20m and 40m phone and CW, was well known to 40m DXers around the globe and acted as foreign QSL manager of the "Japan Amateur Radio League" JARL ...

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Mary Texanna Loomis, W3YA, radio operator and engineer and first female to run a mens electronic & wireless college, the "Loomis Radio College" in Washington D.C. in the 1920s and 1930s ...

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The ham shack of Hiram Percy Maxim, American radio pioneer and inventor. He invented and sold the first successful firearm silencer and developed mufflers for combustion engines. Maxim held the callsigns SNY, 1WH, 1ZM, 1AW (after WW I) and later W1AW. In 1914 he founded the "American Radio Relay League" ARRL as a response to the lack of an organized group of "relay" stations to pass messages via amateur radio. Relaying messages allows them to travel farther than any single station's reach ...

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Ham shack with a spark-gap transmitter - very noisy and dangerous, the big coil near the operator's head carries high voltage ! Spark-gap transmitters were the first type of radio transmitter and the main type used during the wireless telegraphy or "spark" era, the first three decades of radio from 1897 to the End of WW I. German physicist Heinrich Hertz built the first experimental spark-gap transmitter in 1897 and proved the existence of radio waves as predicted by Maxwell ...

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Barry Goldwater was an American politician, businessman and author who was a senator from Arizona and the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States in 1964. This picture shows Barry in 1921 operating his first amateur radio station 6BPI from his ham shack, a loft in the garage. He constructed it when he was only 12 years old. Amateur radio became his lifelong passion, later he held the callsigns K3UIG and K7UGA ...

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The typical 1920s ham shack of amateur radio station 2COW ...


Move the pointer (mobile devices: tap) into the above slideshow to pause and out of it to continue autoplay. While paused an info window for the current slide can be opened by clicking (tapping) on the blue "i"-square in the lower right corner and closed by clicking (tapping) into the window to pause further or by moving the pointer (tapping) out of the image to resume autoplay. Go to a particular slide by clicking (tapping) on its index number.




Move the pointer (tap) into an image to open a blue info-box.


RADIO TOPICS

This chapter presents articles, essays and features dealing with Technical, Operational, Historicaland Regulatory aspects of amateur radio. The layout of some of the available PDF files is my reminiscence of the "ham radio" (HR) magazine, which was founded by Skip Tenney, W1NLB, and Jim Fisk, W1HR / W1DTY and published from February 1968 to June 1990. In its time HR was the preeminent technical magazine for amateur radio, it had no peers and to this day published some of the most cutting edge articles in amateur radio history. Feel free to download and circulate any of the material presented here ...

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Many browsers include their own native PDF plug-ins which automatically replace the Acrobat and Reader plug-in from Adobe and which typically do not support all PDF capabilities or offer comparable features. If you experience for example poor quality when viewing or printing PDF documents you should change your browser preferences so that PDF files are opened with the Adobe Reader.

TECHNICAL


KEYRAMA

The suffix "-rama" stems from the Ancient Greek word "οραμα" which means "wide view". In order to complement my article "All about Squeeze-Keying" with a useful practical device I developed the unique PIC-based multi-mode Morse code keyer "Keyrama". It enables the operator to get a wide view of the different keying modes, to compare its correct emulation and timing of the original twin-lever modes with the behaviour of other keyers, to follow the visualized action of the dot/dash-memory and to find out to which extent his specific keying technique really makes use of it ...

Programmed PICs 16F684 are available from the author, the firmware hex-file can be downloaded for personal non-commercial use. The actual version is dated 11-10-2020, some minor bugs have been corrected and so if you are using an older version please update your "Keyrama" keyer.


CAPKEY+

An improved PIC-based capacitive sensor-paddle for electronic Morse code keyers. Early sensor-paddles used by radio amateurs worked with the skin resistance, which is a widely varying parameter and makes two electrodes necessary. They were notoriously unreliable and no pleasure to operate, and that's why they gained a bad reputation. Being a passionate high-speed CW operator, in the late 1990s I had the idea for a sensor-paddle based on the self capacitance of the human body to virtual ground ...


DIFONA HF-P1

(in German only)
Diese kleine zerlegbare Vertikalantenne erlaubt Amateurfunkbetrieb auf allen KW-Bändern mit maximal 150 Watt Sendeleistung und bietet sich mit einer Transportlänge von 37 cm insbesondere für den Portabelbetrieb an. Ein Vergleichstest ...


ENERGIEFLUSS AUF ÜBERTRAGUNGSLEITUNGEN

(in German only)
Wohin geht die Leistung, die von einer fehlangepassten Last am Ausgang einer Übertragungsleitung reflektiert wird ? Jahrelang war ich der Ansicht, daß sie am Generator total re-reflektiert wird, so wie es von Walt Maxwell, W2DU, ursprünglich propagiert wurde, und meine Darstellung dieses Modells war hier zu finden. Inzwischen bin ich zu einer anderen Überzeugung gelangt und warum das so ist, wird hier erklärt ...


ENERGIEFLUSS UND VERLUSTE AUF ÜBERTRAGUNGSLEITUNGEN

(in German only)
Kondensierte Form des Artikels "Energiefluss auf Übertragungsleitungen", ergänzt um die Begründung und Berechnung des Zusatzverlustes ...


THE CODEPHASER

Add a new dimension of CW perception to your receiver by incorporating this simple audio device for pseudo-stereo reception of radio telegraphy signals. The sound does not seem to originate from the earphones as usual, but from the inside of your head. Multiple CW signals in the receiver passband seem to be spreaded out holding specific positions, while static crashes appear randomly distributed throughout the entire space - a spatial sound sensation with depth and presence that makes CW copy unique ...

I recorded a few moments on the 40m band to demonstrate the effect of the CODEPHASER. Before you listen to the demo, please note that it is absolutely necessary to use stereo headphones - PC loudspeakers definitely don't work ! Don't expect astounding but rather subtle effects, since spatial sound sensations are the normal condition for our auditory system. Close your eyes while listening in order to focus exclusively on the sound. And certainly it will take some time and several listening sessions before you can fully appreciate this new dimension of CW reception. The demo consists of 9 radio clips:

Clip #1 (39 sec.):
Sweep across the 40m CW band. The clip starts monaural, after 15 sec. the CODEPHASER is switched in and the signals now appear on the right moving to the left with increasing pitch ...

During the following clips, the CODEPHASER is switched in and out alternately (the switching moment can be identified by a short popping noise):

Clip #2 (18 sec.), Clip #3 (30 sec.), Clip #4 (31 sec.):
CW pile-ups. A wide filter is used to enhance the spatial effect. Pay special attention to G3PHO in the first and F6COW in the last pile-up ...

Clip #5 (16 sec.), Clip #6 (19 sec.), Clip #7 (10 sec.):
FSK-signals. Though it makes no sense to listen to them, they sound quite interesting through the CODEPHASER ...

Clip #8 (18 sec.), Clip #9 (18 sec.):
SSB-signals.

Please listen now to the CODEPHASER sound demo


HOW THE MICROVERT REALLY WORKS

Extremely small and highly efficient - These two properties of a fictious superantenna sound very attractive, not only to us radio amateurs. Unfortunately, they are physically competing since the smaller the antenna copared to the wavelength, the smaller the radiation resistance. And because in real antenna systems the losses increase with decreasing radiation resistance, efficiency drops with reduction in size. See my detailed analysis of the DL7PE-MicroVert and it's derivatives and learn how the MicoVert really works (in English and in German).


A NEW EQUIVALENT CIRCUIT FOR THE IMPEDANCE OF SHORT RADIATORS

In 1973 the two scientists Friedrich Landstorfer and Hans Heinrich Meinke of the University Munich published a highly interesting article that explains the division of the total antenna capacitance into so-called space capacitance and dead capacitance very clearly both in quality and in quantity on the basis of the time-dependent course of wave detachment in the near field of antennas - a subject which has been intensively addressed by Prof. Dr. Landstorfer with many interesting publications. They show why and how the radiation resistance and as a result also the efficiency are decreasing with shortening of a radiator, why for a rod of uniform diameter that diameter has no influence on the radiation resistance and how constructive measures affect efficiency. Download the German original "Ein neues Ersatzbild für die Impedanz kurzer Strahler" (PDF, 1037 KB) or my English translation "A New Equivalent Circuit for the Impedance of Short Radiators" (PDF, 322 KB).


POYNTING VECTORS

Where on an antenna does radiation come from ? If you are one of those searching minds intrigued by this big question, read the explanation on the Poynting vector and energy flux in electromagnetic wave fields as part of my analysis how the MicoVert really works (in English and in German) and watch my little movies Poynting #1 and Poynting #2. They visualize the electromagnetic energy flow around a radiating dipole antenna in free space, represented by a Poynting vector field. The movies start to run with normal speed as soon as the picture is completely downloaded. Watch very carefully since it takes time before some most interesting details become obvious (Animated GIFs) ...


BALUNS UND TRAFOS MIT RINGKERNEN BERECHNEN

(Java-Script, in German only)


OPERATIONAL


ALL ABOUT SQUEEZE-KEYING

Radio amateurs invented and pioneered electronic Morse code keyers, but today their knowledge of the different twin-lever keying modes is sparse. Here is a review and thorough explanation ...


SQUEEZE-KEYING

This video demonstrates persistent iambic squeeze-keying without dot / dash memory at 40 wpm ...


THE COOTIE, SIDESWIPER OR DOUBLE SPEED KEY

Being a passionate CW operator, after 35 years of mainly high-speed operation with electronic keyers I felt more and more bored listening to the uniform and impersonal sound of CW signals on the amateur radio bands. That's why in March 2008 I found myself a new challenge: to build and learn to operate a Sideswiper or "Cootie" key. The picture shows my homebrew Cootie #1. Please note that this is neither a paddle for an electronic keyer nor a semi-automatic key or "Bug", but the dots and dashes are both made manually by horizontal movement of the blade. If properly operated, the resulting keying note sounds very distinct, melodic and a little bit corny ... My main key is still electronic ("CMOS Super Keyer II" with a homebrew Sensor-Paddle which works much better than common sensors by utilizing the capacity of the human body instead of the skin resistance). However, operating the Cootie makes a lot more fun, is a most natural way of sending morse code, and learning to master it is a true challenge which took me more than two years. So you can hear me on the air - not always but often - with a sweet sounding Cootie ...


MAGNETOSPHERIC DUCT ECHOES

Sometimes, at rare occasions in the night during the winter months and predominantly on the 80m-band, very few radio amateurs are lucky enough to observe a strange and most thrilling phenomenon: they can hear the echoes of their own transmitted signals, delayed by much more time than a trip around the globe would take. Please don't hesitate to download my simple computer program mde.exe which explains Magnetospheric Duct Echoes (MDEs), calculates path lengths and time delays specifically for your location and contains a short bibliography on that topic. This small self-explanatory program (95 KB) runs on any Windows platform and is absolutely save to use, it does neither generate nor touch any files on your system. Always keep a recording device attached to your transceiver and ready to go - who knows, maybe you are one of those few lucky radio operators who ever experience these rare echoes ...


HISTORICAL


A TRIBUTE TO RADIO LEGEND JEAN SHEPHERD (W9QWN, K2ORS)

The prolific radio raconteur, whose easy storytelling style earned comparisons to Mark Twain and who was described as "the first radio novelist", captivated a generation with his stories and inspired a new generation of spoken narrative artists. Shep was an American original, a radio and TV personality, humorist, writer, actor and musician. The art, wit and humour of Jean Shepherd which has entertained for so many years lives on in the recordings of many of his radio shows, which can be found on the web as public domain. Some of these recordings reflect his genuine an deep-rooted passion for the science, spirit and soul of Radio and especially for Amateur Radio and CW. It is my pleasure to present you a few of these recordings which I have compiled and remastered ...


CQ-DX

Let me take you on a time journey, back to the old days without mobile phones and internet, when worldwide communication was a real thrill pioneered by radio amateurs with their homebuilt equipment. In 1956 (my year of birth) the cinema film "TKX antwortet nicht" was released, the German version of the original French movie "Si Tous Les Gars du Monde", which is an entertaining tribute to the amateur radio operators of the world. The story begins when a French fishing trawler in the North Sea takes on an Arab passenger. While in the middle of a storm on the high seas, the Arab becomes seriously ill with a disease that threatens the lives of everyone on board. Unable to reach the proper medical authorities, the boat sends out a desperate SOS, whereupon several radio amateurs of different nationalities spring into action ...

The German short movie "CQ-DX", which I present here, was produced as a trailer for that film. Some scenes look funny nowadays - but this masterpiece is a realistic and competent documentary presentation of the amateur radio service in those days. And though technology has changed a lot since 1956, its presentation of amateur radio in principle remains valid to this day. There is no decorative accessory of a frame story and most of the shots were made at the locations of about 20 amateur radio stations in the area of Hamburg. Real DX QSOs were conducted which make up the background sound for some scenes, and even the discriminating radio amateur will hardly find any goofs. In May 2013 I added English subtitles to the original film to make it understandable for a broader audience.

The radio-technical supervisor for this film was Rudolf Rapcke, DL1WA, who rendered great service to the radio amateurs in Germany after WW II. He is the "Old Man" who gets up at 2:30 in the morning and who is obviously wearing a tie while sleeping ;>) Please pay special attention to his fantastic radio station ! Great knowledge and skill were necessary to build and operate a competitive station like that of DL1WA. I am sure this amazing short movie will put a smile on the face of every passionate radio amateur. Enjoy !


DIE ROTE KAPELLE

Die << Rote Kapelle >> war das wichtigste und erfolgreichste Nachrichtennetz im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Sie spannte ihre Fäden über das ganze besetzte Europa, ja sogar bis in das Machtzentrum des Dritten Reiches, und trug entscheidend zum Sieg der Alliierten bei - doch die meisten ihrer Mitglieder opferten dafür ihr Leben. Dieser von den besten Agenten des sowjetischen Geheimdienstes aufgebaute Spionagering wurde von einem Mann geleitet, dessen Deckname allein schon sein Format kennzeichnet: Le Grand Chef. Der Allgemeinheit fast unbekannt, gilt er unter den Spezialisten als ein Spion vom Range eines Sorge, Abel oder Philby, ja vielleicht als der größte von allen. Im Fachjargon der deutschen Geheimdienste bezeichnete man den Chef eines Spionagenetzes als << Kapellmeister >>. Er dirigiert das Spiel seiner Musiker, und unter ihnen ist ein besonders wichtiger Solist: der << Pianist >>, der Funker. Als Hitler von den Geheimsendern erfuhr, die in Berlin, Paris, Brüssel und Amsterdam unter dem Taktstock des großen Chefs konzertierten, setzte er ein Spezialkommando der Gestapo auf die Rote Kapelle an ...

1972 wurde von der ARD die vom WDR produzierte 7-teilige Fensehserie "Die Rote Kapelle" ausgestrahlt, die gelungene filmische Umsetzung der wahren Geschichte dieser legendären Spionageorganisation. Damals war ich gerade mal 15 Jahre jung - aber so fasziniert von dem Film und von seinen "Pianisten", dass ich schon ein Jahr später meine Lizenzprüfung als einer der jüngsten Funkamateure in Deutschland abgelegt habe. Vor einigen Jahren habe ich die Tonspur des Fernsehfilms überarbeitet, von mono in pseudo-stereo gewandelt, und aus Segmenten daraus zusammen mit anderen Tondokumenten diese Audio-Collage komponiert - Ich wünsche eine Stunde und zwanzig Minuten spannende Unterhaltung !


THE INVENTOR OF THE COMMON-MODE CHOKE

"common-mode choke", "current balun", "Guanella balun" or "1:1 Guanella" are different names for the same device which is widely used in electronic engineering to force balanced RF currents. It is generally claimed that it was invented in 1944 by the Swiss Gustav Guanella - Fact is, however, that this device has been already invented and patented in 1932 (patent #592184) by the German Felix Gerth for the company "C. Lorenz Aktien-Gesellschaft" in Berlin-Tempelhof. There is no doubt that it was an ingenious idea by Guanella to use that common-mode choke as the basic building block for his transmission line transformers in later patents, with ports connected in parallel on the low-impedance side and in series on the high-impedance side. But the common-mode choke itself is the true brainchild and invention of Felix Gerth. Here are some translated excerpts from Gerth's patent paper:

"High-frequency engineering utilizes energy transmission lines which are comprised of two parallel conductors carrying high frequency in anti-phase so that their external fields compensate and no radiation is present. If, however, the geometrical lenghts of these energy transmission lines are in the order of a wavelength with external fields being present, it is possible that the conductors also carry in-phase currents in addition to the anti-phase currents. This is the case, for example, in arrangements which are used to feed antennas ... These in-phase currents result in radiation of the energy transmission line ... In order to prevent these drawbacks, it is suggested to include means by which anti-phase currents are allowed to flow unhindered through the parallel conductors whereas in-phase currents are hindered ... an arrangement of coils is inserted which consists of two coils wound into each other in the same sense thus being tightly coupled. The inductivities of the coils cancel for the anti-phase currents from the transmitter so that energy flow in that wanted direction is unhindered. But for the in-phase currents which are induced by emission of the antenna the inductances sum up so that these currents encounter a high resistance and thus are hindered ..."


REGULATORY


PETITION ZUR VERFAHRENSANWEISUNG UND ARBEITSANWEISUNG DER BUNDESNETZAGENTUR FÜR DIE BEARBEITUNG ELEKTROMAGNETISCHER STÖRUNGEN

(in German only)
Das Gesetz über die elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln (EMVG) überträgt der Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) die Aufgabe, insbesondere Probleme mit der elektromagnetischen Verträglichkeit einschließlich Funkstörungen aufzuklären und Abhilfemaßnahmen zu veranlassen. Mit der Verfahrensanweisung VA soll sichergestellt werden, dass dabei "einheitlich, rechtmäßig, wirtschaftlich und technisch zweckmäßig" gehandelt wird. Im Sinne der VA regelt die Arbeitsanweisung AA die Vorgehensweise des Prüf- und Messdienstes bei der Bearbeitung von Störungen. Meine Petition zur Verfahrensanweisung und Arbeitsanweisung der Bundesnetzagentur für die Bearbeitung elektromagnetischer Störungen zeigt auf, weshalb VA und AA gegen die Vorgaben des EMVG verstoßen und damit eine rechtmäßige Bearbeitung von Störungen verhindern.

Petition zur Verfahrensanweisung und Arbeitsanweisung der Bundesnetzagentur für die Bearbeitung elektromagnetischer Störungen  (29. August 2017)

Bewertung des Ausschussdienstes mit Stellungnahme des BMWi  (13. Dezember 2017)

Einwendungen gegen die Bewertung des Ausschussdienstes und die Stellungnahme des BMWi  (16. Januar 2018)

Anfrage an Dr. Andreas Schwab MdEP und nachfolgende Korrespondenz mit Daniel Caspary MdEP  (4. April 2018)

Ursprüngliche Ausgabe des EMV-Leitfadens von 1998

Änderungsanträge 29 - 51 für eine Neufassung der EMV-Richtlinie  (7. Juni 2012)

VerfahrensAnweisung VA 09/STÖ  Version 4.1 (18. Januar 2017)

ArbeitsAnweisung AA 09/STÖ/01  Version 5 (12. Januar 2017)


SCHUTZANSPRUCH UND SCHUTZKRITERIEN DES RUNDFUNK- UND AMATEURFUNKDIENSTES

(in German only)
Während mit der weiten Verbreitung billig produzierter Geräte und physikalisch unvernünftiger Technologien - wie z.B. "Powerline Communication" PLC/PLT - der Elektrosmog stetig zunimmt, ignoriert die Bundesnetzagentur BNetzA ganz im Sinne von Industrie-Lobbys immer mehr ihren Gesetzesauftrag zum Schutz der Funkdienste vor elektromagnetischen Störungen. Es scheint notwendig, die Grundlagen dieses Schutzauftrags zu beleuchten ...


EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND CENELEC THREATEN RADIO SERVICES

The mains grid is neither intended nor suitable for broadband data transmission. Although PLC (Powerline Communication) is able to disturb radio services and to render a valuable natural resource useless, the PLC-Lobby and the European Commission try to push through this unfit-for-purpose and superfluous technology against technical reason and by circumventing sound standards ...

The Trojan Horse of the PLC-Lobby: FprEN 50561-1  (Part 1)

Doomed to Fail: FprEN 50561-1  (Part 2)

1st complaint about maladministration to the European ombudsman  (22 July 2014)

Letter from the European ombudsman Emily O'Reilly  (26 August 2014)

Reply letter to the European ombudsman  (18 September 2014)

2nd complaint about maladministration to the European ombudsman  (15 October 2014)

Letter from the European ombudsman Emily O'Reilly  (13 November 2014)

Reply letter to the European ombudsman  (8 December 2014)

3rd complaint about maladministration to the European ombudsman  (12 January 2015)

Letter from the European ombudsman Emily O'Reilly  (2 February 2015)

Reply Email to the European ombudsman  (11 February 2015)

Letter from the European ombudsman Emily O'Reilly  (10 March 2015)


EUROPÄISCHE KOMMISSION UND CENELEC BEDROHEN FUNKDIENSTE

Das Stromnetz ist für breitbandige Datenübertragung weder vorgesehen noch geeignet. Obwohl PLC (Powerline Communication) Funkdienste stören und eine wertvolle natürliche Ressource unbrauchbar machen kann, versuchen PLC-Lobby und Europäische Kommission diese untaugliche und unnötige Technologie gegen technische Vernunft und durch Umgehung fundierter Normen durchzusetzen ...

Das Trojanische Pferd der PLC-Lobby: FprEN 50561-1  (Teil 1)

Zum Scheitern verurteilt: FprEN 50561-1  (Teil 2)

Offener Brief an BMWi, BMVI und BNetzA: Lobbypolitik für untaugliche PLC-Technologie statt Sachverstand und technische Vernunft

Offener Brief an Viviane Reding: Europäische Kommission fördert illegitime Norm für untaugliche PLC-Technologie

Offener Brief an Annegret Kübler-Bork, Bundesnetzagentur Referat 416: Die illegitime Norm EN 50561-1 und ihre unzulässige Anwendung auf PLC-Netzwerke


IEC/CISPR THREATENS RADIO SERVICES

CISPR is the Special International Committee on Radio Interference of the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC with central office in Geneva, Switzerland. It is concerned with the development of standards regarding electromagnetic interference and most of these are adopted by the European Union and many other countries. Disturbance limits for Power Line Telecommunications (PLT) systems are defined by the standard CISPR 22 and its European equivalent EN 55022 entitled "Information technology equipment - Radio disturbance characteristics - Limits and methods of measurement". Read my report describing why and how CISPR and the PLT lobby threaten the Radio Services ...

IEC/CISPR Threatens Radio Services by a Planned 18 dB Relaxation of PLT Disturbance Limits (Part 1)

CISPR Project Team Dominated by PLT Lobby - Rationale Behind Proposed Approach Disproved (Part 2)


EMC

The European Commission considers the protection of radio services from harmful interference caused by electrical aparatus of any kind as embodied within the Constitution an Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which represents international law, to be an obstacle to trade and market. With her old directive 2004/108/EC on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) she grossly cut down the protection of radio services for the benefit of neoliberal political objectives. The German federal ministry for economy and technology (BMWi) even went one step further - and stepped the mark - with its bill for a national electromagnetic compatibility act (EMVG), which became national law and was a first attempt of the subordinate federal regulatory authority for telecommunications (BNetzA) to get rid of her liability for the protection of all radio services. Now the BNetzA tries to diminish the protection of radio services further with the latest amendment of the EMVG which transforms the EU directive 2014/30/EU into national law. The new EMVG infringes not only the ITU Radio Regulations and thus international law, but also the EMC-Directive of the European Council itself. Here are my comments and petitions on that bill for download (in German only)...

Die Europäische Kommission sieht im völkerrechtlich verankerten Schutz der Funkdienste vor schädlichen Störungen durch elektrische Geräte ein Hemmnis für Wirtschaft und freien Warenhandel. Mit ihrer EMV-Richtlinie will sie den Funkschutz zugunsten neoliberaler politischer Ziele stark einschränken. Das Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie geht mit dem EMVG (Gesetz zur magnetischen Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln) als Umsetzung der EMV-Richtlinie in nationales Recht noch einen Schritt weiter, indem die Bundesnetzagentur versucht, sich ihrer Verpflichtung zum Schutz aller Funkdienste zu entledigen. Hier sind meine Kommentare und Petitionen zum EMVG ...

Kommentar zum Entwurf des Gesetzes über die elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln (EMVG)

Petition zum Entwurf des Gesetzes über die elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln (EMVG)  (17. Juli 2006)

Petition zum Kabinettsentwurf des Gesetzes über die elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln (EMVG)  (9. Oktober 2006)

Annex zur Petition zum Entwurf / Kabinettsentwurf des Gesetzes über die elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln (EMVG)  (19. Oktober 2007)

Die Petitionen gingen dem Petitionsausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages zu.

Stellungnahme zur Mitteilung Nr. 359/2006 der BNetzA, Richtwerte für unerwünschte Aussendungen gemäß AFuV  (4. Dezember 2006)

Offener Brief an DARC und AGZ  (17. Juli 2007)

Petition zum Gesetz über die elektromagnetische Verträglichkeit von Betriebsmitteln (EMVG)  (12. September 2016)


QTC DL

(in German only)
Mitteilungsblatt für den Amateurfunkdienst, erscheint sporadisch zu aktuellen Themen.

QTC DL - 1. Ausgabe - 24. Oktober 2007



SURVEY

THE MEDIUMWAVE TRANSMITTER MÜHLACKER

Mühlacker is like Beromünster or Hilversum, on the scales of old radios the names of these unknown places can be found next to London, Paris or Moscow. And though such devices today can only be rarely found at places like attics or junk dealers, these names have burned themselves into the collective memory of radio enthusiasts. The small town of Mühlacker is located in the Southwest of Germany, almost exactly halfway between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart and only some 12 km away from my hometown Pforzheim. Here in the year 1930 the first high-power broadcasting transmitter in Germany and presumably in whole Europe came into existence, which aired a multitude of radio programs for more than 80 decades. The following slideshow turns back the dial and tells its fascinating history ...

Drag the slides to the left or right or click (mobile devices: tap) on the arrows to navigate through the slideshow.


RADIO CLIPS

This chapter presents audio clips of worldwide Amateur Radio, Broadcasting, Utility and Spy Number Stations. Stop by from time to time for new radio recordings ... Click on a station identifier to play the audio clip and listen to the MAGIC SOUNDS OF SHORTWAVE RADIO - Enjoy !

AMATEUR RADIO STATIONS

VU2DK  a well-known voice on the bands: op. Zal, QTH Poona near Bombay / India, here in QSO with DK5EC (op. Karl, QTH Bonn / Germany). 11-02-2011, 11:02 UTC, 21239 KHz, S9.

VK2GND  op. Mark, QTH Hornsby / Australia, pushing 1 KW into two stacked 3-element Yagi antennas, in QSO with VU2XO (op. Patel in India). 10-01-2011, 13:30 UTC, 14273 KHz, S9 (short path).

ZL2JBR - QRP test  John asks his QSO partner DL1DH in Germany to reduce power and copies his 1 Watt Signal still perfectly well with S3 in New Zealand, a distance of nearly 20.000 Km - really incredible ! 17-01-2011, 11:10 UTC, 14215 KHz, S9+10dB (short path).

ZL2JBR  op. John, QTH Wellington / New Zealand. 21-12-2010, 09:25 UTC, 14215 KHz, S9, (short path).

HB9QQ  calling "CQ DX" from Switzerland in CW on the 17m band, with echo signals due to multipath-propagation (... he worked many Japanese stations afterwards). 07-11-2004, 09:10 UTC, 18087 KHz.


BROADCASTING STATIONS

"Radio Kitaia"  the Russian program of "China Radio International" CRI. 13-02-2011, 09:00 UTC, 15340 KHz.

China Radio International (CRI)  with echoes caused by multi-path propagation. 20-12-2010, 10:20 UTC, 15440 KHz.

Deutsche Welle (DW)  with strong echoes caused by multi-path propagation. 07-09-2010, 15:30 UTC, 6075 KHz.

Voice of Russia  interval signal and anouncement "Hier ist Moskau ..." ("Here is Moscow ...") starting the German programme, 01-06-2004 15:00 UTC 7330 KHz.

AIR India  with a typical music program. 06-07-2004, 13:52 UTC, 11585 KHz.

Radio Tashkent  interval signal and announcement, exotic sounds from the capital of Uzbekistan on the Great Silk Road in Central Asia. 07-07-2004, 14:30 UTC, 17775 KHz.

BBC World Service  time signal and announcement. 07-07-2004, 15:00 UTC, 15565 KHz.


UTILITY & SPY NUMBER STATIONS

38702 77026 ...  yes, there are still spy number stations active in CW like this one ! After the automatic transmission of number groups, the operator seems to wait for confirmation by the target station and uses the straight key to ask "QRV ?" ("are you ready ?"). 27-03-2011, 08:17 UTC, 14937 KHz, S9+20dB !

846 846 ...  Russian spy number station. 12-01-2011, 10:15 UTC, 14280 KHz.

Echo Zulu India  spy number station (ENIGMA classification: E10). It is generally believed that MOSSAD (the Israel Intelligence Service) operates these stations, transmitter sites include Israel and their embassies and consulates. E10 is characterized by a female voice repeating a three letter phonetic phrase. This can go for hours before the message is sent, which consists of blocks of phonetic letters. 03-07-2004, 07:00 UTC, 11565 KHz.

39208 ...  another spy number station playing xylophone - spooky ! 05-07-2004, 15:10 UTC, 11545 KHz.



BITS & PIECES



"Only a harmless radio amateur ?
Nice try, madam, but the whole NATO fleet just left their ports !"




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