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Author Topic: New GKA website  (Read 2025 times)
ZL1BBW
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Posts: 1223




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« on: November 19, 2017, 12:36:40 PM »

A lot of work has been done by Larry G4HLN on the new GKA website, its worth a look at.

https://portisheadradio.godaddysites.com/
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
VK5EEE
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Posts: 1155




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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2017, 05:35:45 PM »

Nice web site and content. Now to buy an easy-to-remember domain name, and not from Godaddy (they may steal it if you let it lapse?) but from Gandi.net for example, an ethical provider. It is not a good idea to have CONTENT *AND* DOMAIN *AND* WEB SPACE/SERVER from the same company. Perhaps you can pass on this advice? Webmaster likely already knows, perhaps is still looking for suitable domain?
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
BG2US
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2017, 07:41:49 PM »

THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS MARITIME RADIO STATION
A website celebrating the history, influence and importance of the UK's long-range maritime communications centre.

Nice web site
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VK5EEE
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2017, 08:24:55 PM »

THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS MARITIME RADIO STATION
A website celebrating the history, influence and importance of the UK's long-range maritime communications centre.

Nice web site
DR OM Wen Xie,

Thank you for your post! It is so good to hear from other native languages because most posts are from native English speakers.
Also VERY famous station was (and still is!) XSG and also XSQ and others such as XSV etc.

It would be very interesting if you have any information about those stations, for example, officially it seems that some of the China coastal radio stations still have 500 kHz operation, but, maybe only the equipment and license, but not using 500 kHz?

I and many other former ship Radio Officers would love to know about this question. Also some of us used to listen and QSO many times with XSG, Shanghai Radio! I even mention XSG in my experience as young Apprentice R/O here: http://www.vkcw.net/vk5eee and you can see the photo and other information at https://qrz.com/db/VK5EEE or https://qrz.ru/db/VK5EEE

I hope to hear from you more on this forum, thank you again.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
BG2US
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 10:57:19 PM »

coastal radio stations ,shanghai,

https://news.hsdhw.com/332122
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ZL1BBW
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2017, 11:26:29 PM »

coastal radio stations ,shanghai,

https://news.hsdhw.com/332122

Thanks makes a good read, never did a run out that part of the world.   Cheers  Gavin
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
VK5EEE
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Posts: 1155




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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2017, 12:39:43 AM »

coastal radio stations ,shanghai,

https://news.hsdhw.com/332122
DR OM WEN XIE,

Thank you, however this does not talk about CW (Morse Code) being used? Nor about MF frequencies (around 500 kHz).

I wrote about Chinese coastal stations here: https://www.trafficlist.net/chinese-coast-radio-stations/

But especially please see this document from China government: http://en.msa.gov.cn/uploadfile/2012/0511/20120511114303700.doc

There we can see that 500 kHz seems to still be in use in CW, please can you try to confirm this is still true in 2017?

Some excerpts from my investigation published at https://www.trafficlist.net/chinese-coast-radio-stations/ are:

XSG STILL ON 500kHz?!

From a Chinese government website at http://en.msa.gov.cn/uploadfile/2012/0511/20120511114303700.doc is a word document you can download, which reveals, certainly as of 2012, that XSG still operates a 24hour watch on 500kHz:

WT (MF)
Transmits Receives Hours of Watch
500 500 H24
522,5 H24
TRAFFIC LISTS: 522,5 kHz: 0030 0230 0430 0630 0830 1030 1230 1430 1630 1830 2030 2230

WT (HF)
Transmits Receives Hours of Watch
4259 4184 1000-2200
6436 6276 2200-1000
8502 8368-8369 H24
8665 8369,5
12856 12552-12553,5
TRAFFIC LISTS: On 4259 8665 12856 kHz :0030 0230 0430 0630 0830 1030 1230 1430 1630 1830 2030 2230

And sure enough there is mentioned the TFC list which I heard. It’s just that XSG doesn’t seem to broadcast any wheel any more. So you just need to be monitoring the frequency or listening at the right time.

It would be great if someone in Asia could tune to 522.5 kHz at the above mentioned times and see if XSG is sending the traffic list there still. And even if possible to listen on 500kHz prior to the traffic list, to see if it is announced on 500kHz at all.

And that’s not all!

Dalian Radio (XSZ) is listed in this same official document as having not only a 24h watch on 2182 but also W/T on 500kHz 24h watch and QSS of 462 and 512 !!!

Traffic list EVERY HOUR + 5 mins on 462 kHz. Can anyone please listen?

XSZ is shown as listening 24H on 8 and 4MHz bands: 8368-8369 and TX on 8694 with TFC list there also at each H+05, as well as on 4305 with listen 4184.

But I listened on 8694 at 1505Z, nothing.

And More!

Tianjin (XSV) is shown as 500kHz 24H listening watch, with traffic lists every H+00 on 4283 (QSX 4184, 4184.5), 8600 (QSX 8368-8369), 12969 (QSX 12552-12553.5)


But I listened on 8600 at 1500Z, nothing.

GUANGZHOU (XSQ)

Also shown listening 500kHz 24H and QSS 445kHz. Traffic lists on 445 every H+30 as well as on 8514, 12700

Please see for more, including photograph: https://www.trafficlist.net/chinese-coast-radio-stations/

And the official document from China: http://en.msa.gov.cn/uploadfile/2012/0511/20120511114303700.doc
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
BG2US
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2017, 05:57:18 PM »

It is 2014ver.

http://www.srrc.org.cn/2013/jieduhuafenguiding/20.htm

495-505kHz band "ship and port security" new division

The band was classified as dedicated to maritime mobile services (distress and call) until WRC-07.
With the full implementation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and the transition of the non-convention ship's distress safety operations to the GMDSS, WRC-07 officially canceled the distress duty requirement of the 500-kHz Morse telegram and removed the 495-505 kHz The band is temporarily allocated to the mobile service.
The old "division" in line with the requirements of the Union, the mainland of China has also been divided into changes
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VK5EEE
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Posts: 1155




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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2017, 07:43:27 PM »

So, sadly, PRC has also given up on the fail-safe 500kHz -- not even held in reserve?
What will happen when any possible scenario of nuclear war occurs "not if but WHEN" as I believe President Putin has confirmed, for EXAMPLE (any number of variations possible):

USA attacks DPRK with small nuclear force, PRC has to defend DPRK so fires one missile at Adelaide in Australia (Australian Defense industry HQ) to send a strong signal to USA and at the same time maybe only VK5EEE survives with a QCX in a Faraday Cage, because PRC won't first fire missile at USA (nor Guam) to try to send strong message that "enough is enough, stop now" and the targets for PRC military are then only few: they cannot fire at Japan and put Japan-China relations another 1,000 years behind, already it took long time to try to repair, same with the U.S. colonial outpost (until Duterte came to the rescue) of Philippines (where Santa Claws etc is more American than American), same with Taiwan (this is not any message to USA, it would be against fellow Chinese), nor any of the 10 friendly ASEAN, so this leaves ONLY realistic option is to fire at least one nuclear missile at Australia, in this scenario, purely from a military strategic analysis.

Then what happens, if USA fires in response some missiles toward China, and even Russia, because Russia had said if USA fires any more nuclear missiles, then the GLOVES ARE OFF. China and Russia will not wait for those missiles to come close enough to see if they are going to hit all of Beijing, GZ, and enough of the Chinese missile sites, so, PRC will have no other option but to fire back ALL its missiles, the same with Russia, and as predicted, the nuclear war will have escalated very quickly and also end very quickly, with a lot of MAD "Mutually Assured Destruction" -- at least, maybe not the elites in their bunker cities under ground, but certainly the event that USA recently trained for with amateur radio MARS operators, will have become a reality: NO GMDSS, NO INTERNET, NO ELECTRIC GRID.

Then SOME of the Chinese, Russian, American, South Korean ships and fishing vessels, will still have CW communications if their HF radios survive, as well as some of the Russian, Indian, Pakistan and Chinese military, but those from countless other countries, will be without any communications. UNLESS of course they kept VALVE radios with MF such as 500 kHz still operational. THEN they would have no problems with communications. SO, my question is, are Russia and China, who are some of the last to still keep CW for maritime radio communications, REALLY so short sighted to scrap all their MF CW stations, as the West did (motivated by saving SALARIES for radio officers, NOT really by safety)? If so, then the entire world, and not just the West, is making a big mistake.

For the sake of American readers, if it makes you feel bad that in the above scenario USA started it by violating the sovereignty of China or Russia or Korea or whatever, and/or firing the first shot, simply create any number of other scenarios such as Kim suddenly deciding that HE wants to send a strong message FIRST and fired a test missile which reached to Los Angeles, with a dummy load on board, and thus started the Big War. For my hypothesis, it matters not who STARTS it but the fact that almost all experts agree it is not IF but WHEN, and that it will A) be quick and B) there will be survivors and C) The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) ie. the wonderful world so familiar to the indiginous peoples of the world:

No Car
No Phone
No Computer
No Tell Lie Vision
No Electricity
No Fakebook
No Twittser
No Internet
No Satellites
No Communications

EXCEPT of course for valve CW radios and other valve set ups or those few that may have been protected from (Nuclear) Electro-Magnetic Pulse.

For those at sea, this would have been all no problem -- (well certainly the FISH would be happy as they would be able to BREATHE again in the Pacific Ocean and may even SURVIVE) -- if MF 500 kHz was retained.

Australia will have no problem because it has at least 200 CW operators of which maybe 20 will be able to handle formal messages at high speed, of which 2 will have surviving equipment, so those 2 operators can handle the 200,000 urgent messages with great ease at 20 WPM. The navy will also be able to put out a N0N carrier on 7000, 14000, 21000, 28000 and 29700 kHz with 200W and this signal exactly zero information, so again no problems here.

Britain will also have no problem because it has closed GKA but if the valve survives at Radio 4 they could find hundreds of capable CW operators to key the 198 kHz TX on and off, and clever hams to creat harmonics at every 198 kHz upwards, thus signalling that all is well, even if the ionosphere is still kaputt.

Russia and China and South Korea will have too many problems, because they still use Morse, and thus will be happily sending messages around the country even without satellites and Internet and mobile phones nor even land line phones.

North Korea we don't know, because if they were not "ALL Wiped Out" as Promised by Don at the UN, it appears they have no CW Ops, but, maybe their computers and digital modes that they invented and made themselves, run on strong components that are (N)EMP proof.

So in short, I think CW and 500 kHz have a very BRIGHT future once Don and/or Kim et al, press their Buttons. Y'all know I don't like button pushers: "5NN" "TU" "UP" but hand crafted CW. Oh, and the keyers will mostly be all kaputt too :-( but not the old bugs, new cooties, and the straight keys. Only we're not sure if they will be connected to anything that works, let alone anything still living!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 07:50:37 PM by VK5EEE » Logged

Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
G4HLN
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2017, 07:39:45 AM »

Hi,

I'm G4HLN - webmaster of the new GKA website. Glad to read that the site is proving popular - over 1,100 'hits' in the first few weeks and over 50 countries represented. All feedback will be very helpful indeed.

I do have a registered domain at www.portisheadradio.co.uk which is the preferred URL.

In the process of adding sound files and videos to the site at the moment as well as more articles and photographs. 2018 will be 90 years since the HF service was opened at the Highbridge/Portishead site so there will be some celebratory events planned - including a special amateur station, provisionally GB90GKA.

Happy to answer any queries about GKA - happy to keep the station alive, on the internet at least!

73

Larry +
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GKA R/O 1980-2000 - BT Satellite Services 2000-2002 - UK Admiralty List of Radio Signals (ALRS) Manager 2002-now
ZL1BBW
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2017, 02:09:09 PM »

Hi Larry, all I can say is thank god we did not have to deal with 500 as well back in those heady days.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
BG2US
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 04:34:12 PM »

 Considerate
 Loyal
 Progressive
 Friendly
 Balanced
 Patriotic

Today is Thanksgiving
Tolerant, not controversial
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VK5EEE
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Posts: 1155




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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2017, 04:57:22 PM »

Dear OM Larry,

You have done a wonderful job, highly professional, just like we all knew (even if we sometimes swore at it) GKA to be, in many ways unparalleled in the world of Coastal Stations.

Swearing occurred sometimes at getting a QRY 36 or being sent to the back of the queue again Grin or at having to call GKB in the "right manner" although the upside to that was we knew you guys were actually listening where you said you were, and not asleep or absent!

The web site layout and content is just super, a great tribute to Portisheadradio, hopefully former Sparks will lend support in building up even more content such as recordings.

The one traffic list there, sadly cuts off before the end, would have been nice to hear the QSX at the end, but that's a great start. The personal farewell from John Hocking, he says "KRS and 73s" what is KRS?

The GKB call wheel, is different from when I remembered it from the 70s and 80s. Back then, as far as I remember, it was much simpler and much loved, individual to each band, rather than one for all bands as in the 90s recording on the web site. I remember it as DE GKB 5 6 DE GKB 5 6 DE GKB 5 6 etc with suitable pauses between, where e.g. 5 6 would mean listening on Channels 5 and 6 on that same band. Does my memory serve me well or have I got that a bit wrong?

Meanwhile we had to send GKB GKB GKB DE SWXX SWXX SWXX QTC3 QSS 343 K (as far I remember) which was not as fun as just endlessly calling SVA, but pity the poor sod who had to send GKB GKB GKB DE WQY9009 WQY9009 WQY9009 QSS 567 K  Grin
Indeed I know one G Spark who had an awful long G call because it was full of letters like GQYQ or something, he hated those months!

What stands out when seeing photos of coastal stations, is we always build up an involuntary image in our minds of some sort, and then seeing photos is almost always surprising to see how different that is from the image. E.g. how neat and clean the rooms are, and how minimalist the visible equipment can be. In the old ships' Radio Room we had so much huge equipment surrounding us, but loved it!

Another question, it would be nice (perhaps it is there, but did not find it) in future to have a list of all the C/S used e.g. GKA, GKB, GKC, GKD, GKE, (was there a GKF?), GKG, and there was the long distance higher MF CW station for fishing vessels?) along with frequencies, if such a list is known or exists, and over the years it would have changed slightly. And to explain to readers the method e.g. GKA for broadcasts, GKB for calling, GKC etc for working.

Listening to the traffic list, I noticed how much toward the end, these had become full of "RTT" as Radio Tele Type was more frequent than CW (QTC), along with the QRJ. Due to historic reasons where it started with ONLY CW, there would be only the callsign of the ship for which there were telegrams. Then, we would have RT or QRJ to signify a phone call was on hand. I noticed one entry where it said QTC/RTT meaning there was both Telegram (via CW) and Telex. What if there was also a phone call, were there occasionally toward the end "ESAB QTC/RTT/QRJ"? It sure was getting long, but then, the number of calllsigns in the traffic list was much shorter than old days!

Shame on the local council, indeed unbelievable but typical of the modern day pathocracies, where important history is not acknowledged. We're alive today because of the blood, sweat, tears and ultimate sacrifices of those who went before us and stood up for our rights, this is never acknowledged in today's west. Let alone the role of radio amateurs, of telegraphy, or 500 kHz, or of stations such as GKA and their staff. Bulldoze, throw into the skip, nothing to see here, move on.

Had we ever imagined it would be like this in the really not so far distant future, a great many of us would have made recordings of what we held as common place, but which now cannot be found anywhere, even for some famous and world busiest coastal stations such as GKA, let alone OFJ (slowest CQ wheel I ever heard I think it was like 5 WPM but short) or those exotic irregular ones from Africa and other distant places, or the 24/7 ones with professional regular wheels but little traffic such as 5AB and 5AT in the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya -- even entire nations and systems are wiped out with little left of what back then everyone thought would be around forever.

Again, thanks for keeping GKA alive and hopefully there will be a great many contributions. I cannot contribute anything really as I was only 5 weeks at sea though I did spend a great many years afterwards listening, but I made no recordings.

TU SU

PS: Thanks BG2US yes that is Amateur Radio excellent code!!! Sadly these days it is largely forgotten, but ON AIR we at least try to live by it, if not on forums where often there are personal attacks, for some strange reasons, maybe because on air, we are happy to give RST, QTH, Name, RIG, 73 without caring if the person is fat, thin, old, young, male, female, anarchist, professor, housewife, because all we value is the common language of CW which, there, unites us all and is very unique privileged group we belong to as radiotelegraphists! I wish more from China and other non-English speaking countries will brave this forum, and persist to share here and build up understanding and friendship.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,
ZENKI
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Posts: 1439




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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2017, 07:49:16 PM »

Maybe hams can start adopting  some maritime procedures by using our initials for our names in CW QSO's rather than "adopted" names. These adopted names  just seek to westernize or anglosaxon-nise their names like many Japanese  hams do.

This change will at least have a respect for the many cultures around the world. It will also preserve this important maritime CW tradition. At least I wont be automatically assume Toshi when  I hear my name is T and its from Japan. Or  that the first letter I is automatically Igor or A for Alex. People talk about digital modes been robotic and canned, many CW QSO's  have become robotic and including the use of common pseudo names name that are very predictable.
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G4HLN
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2017, 01:45:25 AM »

VK5EEE de G4HLN…
Thank you for your kind and useful comments on the GKA website. The site is constantly evolving and new information being added on a regular basis. All suggestions are always welcome.
To your questions:
1.   The traffic list audio file was found in a box of cassette tapes I have had for many years. Unfortunately the tape ran out just before 5BVC so we didn’t quite get to the end. I will see if I have other traffic list recordings which will have the QSX at the end.
2.   John Hocking’s personal broadcast – KRS means “Kind Regards”. I still use this in personal emails, much to the consternation of the various recipients.
3.   The GKB callband in the 1970s was produced by a mechanical system using a “spool to morse” converter mechanism. The one used after 1982 was electronically produced and at a different speed. Hence the difference in what you remember.
4.   Your suggestion of a description of the GK? Series is a good one and I will get something sorted. There was indeed a GKF – a cw working frequency on 12 MHz only, and not often used.
5.   The RTT/QRJ/QTC indicators were indeed as you summised – so if a vessel had a telegram, R/T booking and telex message it would indeed be broadcast as QTC/RTT/QRJ in the w/t traffic list.
6.   I am attending a local council meeting on December 6th with a view to funding a permanent memorial to GKA. Initial soundings are positive so something may be happening at long last.
7.   Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If only I had kept a lot of the equipment which went in the skip when GKA closed we may not be in the situation we are today. I was more involved in keeping a lot of the historical paperwork, most of which is now held in the BT archives in London. Sadly it does appear that the vast majority of the hardware was scrapped.
Hopefully this will clarify most of what you asked – please feel free to contact me again at portishead.radio@btinternet.com if you need any further info. I’ll be more than happy to help.
73
Larry
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GKA R/O 1980-2000 - BT Satellite Services 2000-2002 - UK Admiralty List of Radio Signals (ALRS) Manager 2002-now
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