There is an LF beacon operating in the Columbia area. It can be received out to about 200 miles via groundwave – much further with skywave. This station is operating as a proof of concept Low Frequency alerting station, as part of a DHS SHARES trial program.   Our Amateur HF community knows that long-range emergency communications  can become unusable when HF skywave propagation is disrupted by a disturbed ionosphere.  But groundwave communications independent of the ionosphere remain available.  Such LF stations can provide essentially omni-directional blanket Alerting and low-bit-rate information coverage, nearly independent of mountains or foliage, etc.

The local station is transmitting on a center frequency of 194 khz. The best way to receive it is to tune your receiver’s USB Mode to 192.500 kHz, and use FLDIG or an equivalent program set at ‘1500 Hz CENTER,’ with a very narrow filter – the signal is only 36 Hz wide, so I use a 50 Hz filter for best reception. 

The signal presently being transmitted is THOR-Micro, available free from fldigi. The signal is sent with a 50 second on, 60 second off duty cycle and runs 24/7.

We are very interested in getting signal reports, and prefer to get them taken near noon, when any skywave component is minimized.  Reports of just the observance of the signal in a waterfall display, even of just an audable signal strong enough for CW (here: on/off as above), or of course, copy of the brief Alert text in the message window of THOR-Micro. 

Send reports to Dan Goldston WD4NG@arrl.net

Permanent link to this article: http://w4cae.com/dhs-shares-lf-beacon/

MARS Members to Work with Radio Amateurs during SET and DOD COMEX 19-4

During October and corresponding with the ARRL Simulated Emergency Test
(SET), Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) members will be reaching
out to the amateur radio community to continue building working
relationships and improving interoperability. As part of this effort,
MARS will be promoting the use of a serial phase-shift keying protocol,
Military Standard 188-110 (M110), on the 60-meter interoperability
channels. Radio amateurs are authorized to use this digital mode on the
five 60-meter interop channels, although M110 exceeds the allowable
symbol rate that radio amateurs may use on all other HF bands.

Starting on November 2 and continuing until November 17, the MARS
community will be executing Department of Defense (DOD) Communications
Exercise (COMEX) 19-4. MARS members will use the exercise to continue
training and refining their operator skills to provide situational
awareness information, such as county status reports and weather

To announce the kickoff of the exercise, WWV and WWVH will broadcast
voice announcements starting on or about October 31. WWV will transmit
the announcements at 10 minutes past the hour, while WWVH will transmit
them at 10 minutes before the hour.

The communication exercise will culminate on the evening of November 16 (2200 to 2230 local time, 

0300-0330Z Nov17 zulu date)
with military stations sending M110 messages to the amateur community on
60-meter channel 1 (5330.5 kHz USB). All DOD communication exercises
simulate scenarios and do not affect any public or private

  The MS-DMT software for this task can be downloaded from the Army MARS software website, which provides this link:


Local help setting up the modem is available, contact WD4NG@arrl.net.

Dan Goldston WD4NG

Permanent link to this article: http://w4cae.com/mars-members-to-work-with-radio-amateurs-during-set-and-dod-comex-19-4/

Wednesday Night Net

The Columbia Amateur Radio Club has suspended the Wednesday night net effective 10/3/2019. We will start back up the net sometime in the near future so check back here often. Thanks

Permanent link to this article: http://w4cae.com/wednesday-night-net/

Harbison 50K

Permanent link to this article: http://w4cae.com/harbison-50k/