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WWV’s 25 MHz Signal Still Going Strong After 1 Year Back on the Air

04/08/2015

Time and frequency standard station WWV silenced its 25 MHz signal in 1977, but it returned to the air on an “experimental basis” a year ago, and it’s still up and running. Resurrecting the long-dormant standard time outlet operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was Matt Deutch, N0RGT, WWV’s Lead Electrical Engineer

 

“We have been at 1 kW for the past year,” Deutch told ARRL. “We have had a few hiccups, but nothing serious.” Deutch said he was pleased to see the 25 MHz signal included in a recent QST article, “just like the good ol’ days” (see “Measuring Frequencies at VE3GSO,” in the April 2015 QST, p 37).

“Here at the site we have even been discussing giving the 25 MHz signal its own antenna again,” Deutch said. “The ham in me wants to give it something more exotic than a plain ol’ boring dipole. But what antenna could it be?” Deutch said he was inspired by the article “Amateur Radio Science” by Eric Nichols, KL7AJ, in the February 2013 QST, which asked hams to do more to advance and contribute to the radio art, “but the gears in my brain are still turning,” Deutch said.

The return of WWV’s 25 MHz outlet came about after Dean Lewis, W9WGV, lamented its loss last year in an e-mail to Deutch, who surprised him by putting the signal back on the air, initially temporarily. The 25 MHz signal not only provides another option to check your frequency calibration or the exact time, it also can serve to indicate the state of propagation on 12 and 10 meters. Deutch said the WWV 25 MHz signal still gets signal reports from across the Atlantic.

According to NIST, the 25 MHz broadcast includes the normal WWV information transmitted on all other WWV frequencies and at the same level of accuracy. The transmitter in Fort Collins, Colorado, can put out 2500 W into what Deutch has called a “broadband monopole,” although he keeps the transmitter running at about 1200 W. WWV has invited listeners’ comments and signal reports.

 



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