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Report #044 10/01/04

RETURN - As the cowboy said when he remounted his horse, "I am back in the saddle again". A lengthy bout with medication side effects kept me on the sick list for many months. My Doctor continued to tweak my RXs and that solved the problem. I was able to discontinue two RXs and another was cut in half. I hope I can now continue preparing frequent reports.

NAVIGATIONAL BEACONS - It had been a long time since I had monitored any beacons. On a recent trip to Ocean Pines, MD I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to search for beacon transmissions in the Atlantic Coast area. I check WWV frequencies and was not encourage because extremely bad conditions were indicated throughout the bands. I tried anyway and in over an hour I only heard two beacons. RNB, Millville NJ on 363 kHz and OX, Ocean City, MD on 407 kHz. Upon my return to West Virginia, I found reception conditions had vastly improved. In just 40 minutes of monitoring I found 37 beacons in the frequency span of 265 kHz to 514 kHz. A much more pleasing result.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE EQUIVALENTS - If you need to determine the foreign word for an English word check out the online dictionaries on www.majstro.com. There are some 37 languages available from Africans through Zulu.

NOTICE - The next running of the annual SWL Winter Festival is scheduled for 11-12 March 2005 in Kulpsville, PA.

CELL PHONE INTERFERENCE - Numerous Public Safety communications systems around the country are experiencing serious interference from adjacent Cell Phone frequencies. An AP item described the situation as very dangerous because police officers and firefighters are often unable to call for assistance due to the interference. An example given was if a radio contact is attempted on 850 MHz and is near a cell phone tower which is broadcasting on 851 MHz, the radio signal can be blocked and the message not received by the intended recipient(s). According to the article, Nextel Communications cell phone systems have cause a major part of such interference and steps were to be taken to correct the situation.

EMERGENCY ALERT CODES - Ever wonder what the abbreviations were that appear in Emergency Alert System broadcast messages? A list of the codes can be obtained from www.nws.noaa.gov/os/eas_codes.htm

End of Report

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2004 Don Schimmel.