NMO - Part 7 - A Typical Night


Copyright 1994 by Jeffrey Herman
All Rights Reserved.
 

500kc - Part 7: A Typical Night

This part differs from the previous in that what follows will be
an actual log of signals copied during a typical one hour. During
our training at Coast Guard Radioman School (Petaluma, CA) we
were advised to attempt to log *everything* we heard. Well, that
was an impossible task due to the volume of calls passing over
the seas nightly! (Keep in mind that only short calls were 
permitted on 500 - as soon as contact was made one was to quickly
move to a working frequency). What you'll see in the following log
consists of only about 10-25% of the signals transmitted.

   The log consisted of 3 columns: The actual signals copied,
the frequency, and the time. A slash: / was used to indicate a break
between two transmissions, *except* when it was actually sent over the 
air to indicate two frequencies - you'll see  ``454/440'' meaning ``you
send on 454 kc and I'll send on 440 kc'' (the -..-. is actually
sent). Ships had a choice of using 425, 454, 468, or 480 kc as
their working frequencies, while shore stations were only assigned one
working freq, usually near one of the above, so in order to
work duplex one of the above, which was closest to the shore's
freq, would be used by a ship.

   Everything you see will be actual transmissions except: 
1. When preceeded by OPNOTE (= operator's note)
2. The BEGIN or END SILENT PERIOD entry. 
3. The NO SIGS entry (meaning no signals heard in last 5 min.)

Notice the generous use of `dit dit' (and us hams probably
thought *we* invented it!). In the log it is indicated by `EE'.



                         RADIO LOG

            U.S. COAST GUARD COMMSTA HONOLULU: NMO

    RADIO DAY: 17 JULY 1979    POSITION: MF CW (500KC / 600M)



OPNOTE: RM3 J.D. HERMAN ON WATCH, OPS NML                   0800Z

OPNOTE: OBTAINED WWVH TIME TICK - CLOCK CORRECT             0801Z

VVV VVV TEST TEST DE NMO GE / GE / GE ...              500  0802Z

3WLM 3WLM 3WLM DE ZLW ZLW HW? / ZLW DE 3WLM QRU? /
R 480/488 / OK UP / UP / EE / EE                       500  0803Z

CQ CQ CQ DE VIA VIA VIA FOR TFC LIST QSW 446 AR        500  0804Z

KOK KOK KOK KOK KOK KOK KOK / DE / KOK KOK KOK
KOK KOK / LID / KOK KOK KOK / DE / KOK DE FJNB
FJNB DE KOK GE UP / R UP / EE / EE                     500  0806Z

JKPN JKPN DE JLRT JLRT / JLRT DE JKPN QTH? / NW AM
1500 KM SAILING 153 DEG OUT OF TOKYO / JLRT DE 
NMO PSE QSY / SRI NMO / JKPN DE JLRT UP 512 / UP       500  0807Z

OPNOTE: STATIC CRASHES ARE EAR-SPLITTING TONIGHT            0810Z

CLA CLA CLA DE 7XMC 7XMC K / 7XMC DE CLA GE / GE
OM DO U HV SOUTH PACIFIC WX BETWEEN 20 ES 30 S
W OF 180? / NOT YET - WILL HV IN 30 MIN - LSN FER
OUR CQ / OK TKS / SEEU / SU                            500  0814Z

BEGIN SILENT PERIOD                                    500  0815Z

VVV  / SP / SRI                     500  0816Z

TTT TTT TTT CQ DE VIM VIM VIM CYCLONE WRNG NR 17
QSW 428 UP / TTT TTT TTT CQ DE VIS VIS VIS CYCLONE
WRNG NR 17 QSW 460 AR                                  500  0817-18Z

END SILENT PERIOD                                      500  0818Z

FUM FUM FUM DE KNLW KNLW OBS K / KNLW DE XSU FUM
QRT TIL 0900 K / R HV OBS K / OK UP 480/488 K /
R UP / EE / EE                                         500  0820Z

CQ CQ CQ DE ZDLK ZDLK BT ANI ONE HV 0700 HYDROPAC
BCST? / ZDLK DE DJKV R UP 480 HW? / OK / EE / EE       500  0824Z

NMC NMC DE WRTY WRTY / WRTY DE NMC GE / GE I NEED
NTM NR 12-384 K / R UP 425/428 K / R UP / EE / EE      500  0827Z

TTT TTT TTT DE KNLH KNLH KNLH BT HAZARD TO SHIPPING
LOST CONTAINER OVERBOARD QSS 425 UP                    500  0830Z

OPNOTE: SHIFTED TO 425 KC TO COPY KNLH'S MSG                0830Z

OPNOTE: KNLH LOST CONTAINER IN POSN 43.48N 135.81W - INFO
PASSED TO RCC FOR DISTRICT 12 NTM                           0831-33Z

KNLH DE NMO QSL WILL PASS UR MSG TO SAN FRAN K / NMO
DE KNLH R TU OM NIL VA / DE NMO SU VA / EE / EE        500  0834Z

CQ CQ CQ DE CLA CLA CLA FOR SOUTH PAC WX ES NAV
WRNGS QSW 470 AR                                       500  0835Z

JNA JNA JNA DE JNTS JNTS NW ARR TOYKO K / JNTS DE
JNA QSL QRU K / QRU VA / EE / EE                       500  0837Z

CQ CQ CQ DE KPH KPH KPH TFC LIST ES WX 512 AR          500  0840Z

BEGIN SILENT PERIOD                                    500  0845Z

XXX XXX XXX DE 9FJT 9FJT 9FJT BT ENGINE ROOM FIRE
NOW EXTINGUISHED NO POWER DIW NEED ASSISTANCE 28.38S
28.38S 165.55W 165.55W / 9FJT 9FJT DE VIB VIB QSL
UP 425/430 K / VIB DE 9FJT R UP / EE / EE              500  0847-49Z

OPNOTE: SPVR NOTIFIED OF 9FJT'S XXX                         0849Z

SILENT PERIOD ENDED AT 0848Z                                0850Z

CQ CQ CQ DE NRV NRV NRV WX AND CG MARINE INFO BCST
QSW 435 KC AR                                          500  0850Z

NMO NMO DE KPDR OBS K / KPDR DE NMO UP 454/440 K / R
UP / EE / EE                                           500  0854Z

KPDR DE NMO GE K / NMO DE KPDR GE OBS QRV? / R 
AA 99                                              440/454  0855Z

OPNOTE: RCVD OBS FROM KPDR                             454  0856Z

KPDR DE NMO QSL QRU? K / NIL TU OM SU VA / SEEU VA /
EE / EE                                            440/454  0856Z

CQ CQ CQ DE XJA XJA XJA FOR WESTERN PACIFIC WX QS / CQ CQ 
CQ DE 5JA 5JA 5JA TFC LIST AND WX QSW 4 / CQ CQ
CQ DE KFS KFS KFS TFC LIST Q / CQ CQ CQ DE /    500  0900Z

 / LID / UR A LID / AM NOT  / ARE TOO           500  0902Z

XXX XXX XXX CQ DE 7JN 7JN 7JN OVER DUE FISHING VSL
QSW 441 AR                                             500  0905Z

5LVW 5LVW DE  / ? / 5LVW DE  / ? DE 5LVW
SRI OM NO COPY / UP 8361 KHZ  / R UP / EE / EE         500  0909Z

NPQM NPQM DE NOJ NOJ / NOJ DE NPQM 12 MHZ IS WASTED
QSY 8 MHZ RTTY / NPQM DE NOJ OK / EE / EE              500  0912Z

BEGIN SILENT PERIOD                                    500  0915Z

TTT TTT TTT CQ DE XSA XSA XSA UNMARKED SHOAL REPORTED 
QSW 448 KHZ AR                                         500  0917Z

XXX XXX XXX DE ONJK ONJK ONJK DH MEDICO CREWMAN WITH
APPENDICITIS K / ONJK DE VIB UP 454/441 K / VIB
DE ONJK R TKS UP / EE / EE                             500  0917-18Z

END SILENT PERIOD                                      500  0918Z



What you see above is a typical one hour period of evening Pacific
signals transcribed with, again, at most 25% of the transmissions logged.

You noticed the exchanges were short (with operators quickly moving off 
500 kHz to a working frequency) and informal with generous use of 
pleasantries such as TU = thank you, TKS = thanks, SU = SEEU = see you, 
OM = old man, GE = good evening and of course the ever present `dit dit'.

Note the prosign VA is the ham's SK.

The 0900 entry was typical for the top of the hour - a dozen
CQ's being sent at once!

The idea of 500 kHz being an international calling *and* distress 
frequency was finalized at the 1932 Madrid Radio Conference (see 
Schroeder 1964).  I find it a shame that amateurs never implemented the 
idea of a calling frequency on each band which everyone would monitor, 
in which short station-to-station calls and CQs could be made, with 
parties moving to another frequency for the QSO.  Two-meter repeaters 
come close to this idea but operators fail to QSY off the repeater to 
try to work simplex.

Oh well - something about Old Dogs, New Tricks...


Jeff KH2PZ / KH6
jeffreyh@hawaii.edu