Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #026 12/01/2001

NICARAGUA ELECTIONS - Daniel Ortega failed again in his bid for being elected President of Nicaragua. This was the third consecutive time he was on the short end of the vote count.

FAPSI AMERICAS LINK - Although I had my receivers set on the frequencies used on the link, there were many schedules I did not hear. I don't know if the schedules were held or if the signals were being obliterated by some severe QRM which is believed to be coming from the nearby power lines. I am going to again contact the power company regarding this problem. On 10 November there were no signals at the 1445 UTC schedule but at 1504 the Cuba relay transmitter came up in FSK Morse and sent the ETFNJX TKAGAS sequence over and over. After several minutes of calling, he went down. I did not log any activity until 30 November at about 1404 UTC when I heard a station on 13519 kHz send a string of dits. The signal sounded like the field transmitter. At 1412 Cuba began sending the ETFNJX TKAGAS callup and continued until about 1418. I left the receivers set up on the FAPSI frequencies of 16218 and 13519 kHz and at 1436 a station on 13519 sent one callup of WPC and nothing more. This latter transmission may not have been related to the FAPSI link but it sure sounded like the field transmitter.

RFE/RL - This web site had two interesting items pertaining to Russia. A Russian Airborne Troops veteran, Colonel General Valeril Vostrotin has been appointed by President Putin as the coordinator of Russian political, humanitarian, and organizational activities in Afghanistan. The second item was a denial by Moscow regarding the sending of two regiments of Paratroopers to Afghanistan. One could well I wonder why a man with Vostrotin's background would be assigned to Afghanistan if, as the denial claimed, there were no Paratroopers sent to that country??

EQUIPMENT/SOFTWARE INSTALLATIONS - Frequent visitors will perhaps recall me mentioning in Report #020 that I had picked up an IBM ThinkPad computer at the Dayton Hamvention flea market. This was followed by buying a Ten tec RX-320 from Universal Radio, Inc. I chose control software written by Tom Lackamp because it was more appropriate for Utility monitoring. SCAN320 is free and can be downloaded from
My thanks to Joe Pierce who saw to it that the software was correctly installed and he also installed the Ten tec software so I would have a choice if such became desirable. To prepare the laptop for the Code 3 Gold Professional, a PC-COM232 card was added to gain the required additional COM port. Some connector cords were needed and were available at Radio Shack. A radio buddy, John McColman, made a smooth installation of the Code 3 and then used his laptop to draw a connection diagram of the items. To gain a bit more speed a 64M module replaced the 32M module. This gave me the maximum allowable memory of 80M (64M + 16M resident memory). Space at the rear of my laptop is restricted. In order to plug in the printer connector I had to remove the retaining screw on the side of the plug next to the serial port. It was then possible to plug in the printer plug and then the Code 3 plug. I am working to become proficient in the use of the RX-320 and the Scan320 program. The next step will be to become well grounded in the Code 3 procedures and operation. Click here to view configuration.

NOVEMBER LOGGINGS (none for November).
End of Report

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2001 Don Schimmel.