[Lowfer] ARRL Letter, VLF
Tue, 23 Mar 1999 19:55:50 -0500
Flame means someone, somewhere is afraid your making a difference. H
Terry Fox wrote:
> I guess we had better just hang up our spurs.... It's all been done before.
> Maybe we should all turn in our ham licenses as well. AM, SSB, CW, RTTY, ATV,
> SSTV, Packet, etc have been done and there's nothing to learn that the "experts"
> can't just email to us if we dare to think up the appropriate question. Come to
> think of it, we might as well turn in our Internet and Email space as well,
> since it also no longer requires experimentation.
> And our LF experts say we're being elitist? We encouraged participation rather
> than saying there's nothing left to learn from 85 years ago. Thank goodness the
> creators of the above modulation schemes did not have the same limitations. I
> can just imagine watching a movie on HBO which is being sent by very fast CW
> using a spark gap transmitter on 136KHz! dit-dit-duh-duh-dit-dit.
> I'm sorry, this is the first flame I have sent in over 15 years (since the old
> AX.25/TCP days), so the LF experts on the CC list can understand the how
> "interesting" we thought their messages were.
> I also guess our experience in creating ATV repeaters, AX.25, AO-27, SS, DSP,
> etc don't count because there were too many waves per second. I'll talk
> sloooower now.
> Terry, WB4JFI
> Andre' Kesteloot wrote:
> > Hello Friends,
> > Since Bob sent me a cc. of his message to you, here is my interim
> > reply.
> > For a while, I believed there might have lingered a hint of sarcasm in
> > some
> > of your lines below, but after giving it some thought, I dismissed
> > this idea
> > as being totally against the radio-amateur spirit.
> > Hence let me answer, as well as I can, some of the points you have
> > raised.
> > AMRAD is a radio club consisting mainly of experimenters (as opposed
> > to
> > appliance operators). We can claim a few achievements, such as the
> > development of AX25 (used in amateur packet radio) and amateur
> > spread-spectrum (I am the Editor of the ARRL Spread Spectrum
> > Sourcebook, for
> > example) and the building and launching of AO-27. Most, if not all, of
> > us,
> > have soldering-iron burns on our fingertips (which we consider a badge
> > of
> > honor :-)
> > Although AMRAD has members all over the US, the "core group" resides
> > essentially in Northern Virginia, hence the reason why the 12 people
> > listed
> > on the FCC license are Northern Virginians.
> > Most of us "do radio" for a living, and also as an avocation. Many of
> > us are
> > either Government scientists, or employees of Government contractors.
> > Some
> > of us are former employees of the Navy, and have "done" LF in a
> > previous
> > incarnation.
> > As regards "taking seriously the LWCA", the Nov-Dec 1998 issue of the
> > AMRAD
> > Newsletter was entirely devoted to LF. It happens that I personally
> > wrote
> > to the Editor of The LowDown (enclosing a copy of that issue), and
> > offered
> > to mail, free-of-charge, a copy of that issue to every recipient of
> > the
> > LowDown, so that everyone would know what we had in mind. Alas, I
> > did not
> > get any reply to my offer.
> > Incidentally, had you read that issue, you would have seen that I was
> > one of
> > the invited speakers at the RSGB LF Forum in October '98 in Windsor,
> > UK. In
> > my short speech, I specifically gave credit to the US Lowfers for the
> > remarkable results they were able to achieve within the FCC
> > limitations
> > imposed upon them. (That speech was summarized by John Gould G3WKL and
> > was
> > made available on the rsgb_lf reflector. As I recall , I specifically
> > mentioned articles on the Texas beacon, and by Bill Bowers)
> > The same issue of the AMRAD Newsletter contained a summary of an
> > article
> > previously written by Bill Bowers (for the Lowdown) on LF antennas.
> > As far as schedules are concerned, now that the FCC license has
> > finally been
> > received (we originally applied to the FCC in June 1998) we are busy
> > building equipment, and will indeed publish schedules once we are
> > ready to
> > transmit.
> > We are interested in all inputs, wherever they come from, and
> > specifically
> > we are interested in inputs and constructive comments from experienced
> > LF
> > persons like you all. We recently spent some time at NSS (Annapolis,
> > Maryland) and connected our receiving equipment to some of these
> > beautiful
> > Navy antennas that are unfortunately scheduled to be destroyed later
> > this
> > year.
> > In January, we spent a whole week-end on the beaches of Nag's Head
> > (North
> > Carolina) and were able to receive European broadcasting stations, and
> > a few
> > Part 15 LF beacons from Pennsylvania. We QSLed them.
> > Each of us has his own specialty. Some of us have extensive knowledge
> > of
> > antennas, others are specialized in DSP, or in high-power
> > transmitters.
> > (Again, most of us do that, or have done that for a living).
> > I am not sure what was meant below by "... not like they're doing
> > anything
> > that wasn't done 85 years ago".
> > I personally would be proud to be able to recreate some of the
> > experiments
> > originally conducted some 85 years ago. Those were pioneer days, and
> > when I
> > read some of the writings of these pioneers, I am certainly amazed at
> > their
> > remarkable understanding of the principles they were discovering.
> > Experimentation is a personal thing, which allows some of us to grasp
> > a
> > better understanding of the physical phenomena that we create. I
> > happen to
> > be a Senior Member of the IEEE, and have been involved in radio
> > transmissions for most of my career. I can write Maxwell's equations
> > as
> > well as anyone else, but that does not mean I really _understand_
> > them as
> > they apply to very short antennas. This 136 kHz license and the
> > experiments
> > we will conduct with small loops may lead me to a better understanding
> > of
> > those phenomena. If I can achieve that, it will have been worth its
> > while.
> > (The above remarks are my own, and I do not claim to speak for the
> > rest of
> > AMRAD)
> > 73
> > Andre' Kesteloot N4ICK
> > ***************************************
> > Bob Foxworth wrote:
> > > > Interesting list of stations. I didn't even know they were looking
> > > > for > "volunteers". Anyway, I don't think any of them are on this
> > > > reflector, are they?
> > > >
> > > [Bob Foxworth]
> > > Why not e-mail n4ick and ask him? FYI - I am cc: ing him now
> > > this msg
> > >
> > > I am not saying this is the case here, but some hams don't
> > > acknowledge SWLs as having any tech expertise and may not take seriously
> > > the existence of groups such as LWCA, or even be aware of them. I
> > > suspect the latter is the case here, and these guys really think that
> > > since WSL went off the air, no one has even thought about LF. Rather
> > > than just say something simplistic like "others are invited to join the
> > > project by listening and sending results" [which _almost_ implies that
> > > they don't even care if they get reports from listeners outside their
> > > group or not] ... if these guys come to believe that Lowfers can
> > > contribute meaningful input to their test, they may invite you to
> > > participate, to the extent of advising when their testing is going on.
> > > This way you could emulate a coordinated monitoring event with
> > > coast-to-coast listeners tuned in. Right now it is almost as if they
> > > are saying, "we're gonna test when we're ready and if you happen to hear
> > > us, fine"
> > >
> > > The release says these operators are at "12 Northern Virginia
> > > sites". Do they feel they can't reach past that distance? Would they
> > > even welcome participation from listeners at distance?
> > >
> > > Lest it sound like I have an anti-ham bias ... I have been a ham
> > > since 1953 and extra since 1970...am not now active on ham bands
> > > however...my LF capability not good enough to participate meaningfully
> > > in receiving part of this test unfortunately.(the price of my living in
> > > a townhouse with no outside antennas allowed)....Bob
> > >
> > > > I made a cursory comparison of their calls and this list, and no one
> > > > looked familiar. Oh well, let's see if we can hear them ... during
> > > > spring
> > > > thunderstorm season ? Well, not as yet.
> > > > John Matz KB9II
> > > >
> > > > ----------
> > > > > From: William Cantrell <QA0057@email.mot.com>
> > > > > To: Dexter McIntyre W4DEX <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org
> > > > > Subject: Re: [Lowfer] ARRL Letter, VLF]
> > > > > Date: Tuesday, March 16, 1999 9:49 AM
> > > > >
> > > > > Yes, I got a chuckle out of it -- sounded rather "elitist" too. Its
> > > > not like they're doing anything that wasn't done 85 years ago. Oh
> > > well, I
> > > > guess the FCC is just being cautious...
> > > > >
> > > > > Regards,
> > > > > Bill Cantrell
> > > > > "TEXAS" & WD5CVG
> > > > >
> > > > > Dexter McIntyre W4DEX wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Do any of the station on the list below operate LF or have
> > > > extensive LF experience? This isn't some unknown territory is it? I
> > > know
> > > > several, and I'm sure there are many more, very experienced LF operators
> > >
> > > > that could tell us now what these tests will find.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Dex, W4DEX
> > > > > >