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Report #059 03/16/07

NON-DIRECTIONAL BEACONS
I again checked SYS on 209 kHz and it still suffers from negative keying on the low side of the frequency but is correctly heard on frequency. Also, BKL on 416 kHz continues to transmit VENU, negative keying of the correct ident. In the "Art of NDB DXing" by Sheldon Remington, he states that poor transmitter power supply regulation could be the cause of negative keying. Such idents can be converted to the correct ident by laying out the negative keying characters on graph paper and then inverting the elements. Michael Oexner who authored the "European NDB Handbook" explained the process as follows:
1. Add a "dah" before the first "dit" of the negative callsign.
2. In the negative callsign, the short period of silence between two adjacent (i.e. inside a single Morse code character) "dits" or "dahs or "dit-dahs" or "dahdits" becomes a "dit" of the positive keying.
3. The "dah" of a negative keying becomes a character separator in the positive keying.
4. In the negative callsign, the long period of silence (character separator) between two Morse code characters becomes a "dah" of the positive keying.
5. The very long silence between two consecutive IDs of the NDB becomes a very long dash.

INTRIGUE REVISITED
I recently went through numerous files of dated material. For the most part these were items I had found to be extremely interesting so I had saved them. I got a kick from reading these old monitoring logs and decided that from time to time I would include several of them with each report. It was about 25 years ago that I heard the following item. A message was being passed from the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa. The Embassy callsign was KNY44 but he sometimes also used NDL. The MFA callsign was ADL. The Embassy operator had an absolutely unreadable fist. Code sent by a swinging garden gate would have sounded better. The Addis operator had to constantly break the Embassy station and ask for repeats. The Embassy operator then started to vocalize the Morse code characters. It actually was very readable and certainly far superior to his fist. I noted that the Addis operator rarely had to ask for repeats and the message was successfully completed. I still chuckle every time think of that incident.

I used to frequently monitor the annual Inter-American War Games. During IAWG-86, there were a couple of humorous messages transmitted. A delegate at the Control Group at Newport invited other members of that group to "next engagement in Task Force club at shopping center", Navy language for a "cocktail party!" During that same IAWG a birth announcement was addressed to one of the Control Group delegates which notified him of the arrival of a "new destroyer with displacement of 8 lbs."

End of Report

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2007 Don Schimmel.