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- Since 1958 -

QTH : JN18bv

Six solar-cycles enjoying the ionospheric

radio-communications world


Cycles n° 5, 6, 7 : "Maunder period"

 Cycle 23 (2002)  SSN: 120 - Cycle 24 (2014)  SSN: 80

 Cycle 25 : 2026 (?)


Warning !

This pages are not a relation

of precious "do anything black-boxes" or magics dipoles.

Nor historics "fivenine" battles.

Nor fabulous "DX hit-parades"

They are a simple evocation of years tied to

ionospheric propagation mysteries, electronic systems,

travelling here and there, photography...

and more, off course !

Old-timer wandering ? 

Quizás, quizás ...


My teenager (radio!) dreams 

 WW2 "old warriors" hamradio classics during "fifties"

The BC-348 "old warrior"

A BC-348-J brand-new receiver "french refurbished" (1955)

(I added a 0-100 dial)

One of its operational partners ...


- from US Air Force Museum -

(with a J-37 key at side)

Hat down Sirs, all this airplanes and equipments were essentially

results of women's work during more than five years.


Shortwaves listener, I discovered some E & F layers mysteries.   Also reading QST and George W3ASK in CQ Magazine.

That was at dawn of the today mythical "cycle 19"...

   All that has been later a precious background knowledge

in my professional life. Thanks for all George.


The precious "Critical Frequency F2"  map, can be consulted on:

http:// solar.spacew.com

(renewed each 5')

We can see iso MUF curves and "grey line" all over the world

and others important values. (SSN, A index, etc.)

Basic to evaluate the various MUFs over a determinate radio path and

obtain the higher usable frequency over it.


Another teenager dream: fly !...

During year 1955, the historic "Morane-Saulnier" aircraft-company

which was financing my studies, also gived me credit for 15h

aircraft-driving lessons on a Jodel D-11 like this one.

(Saint-Cyr l'Ecole aerodrome, near Versailles)

No radio on board !

But two blue broomsticks, one for the teacher one for the pupil .


I learned to pull and push a broomstick

first to turn a steering wheel !

Unfortunately, my glorious pilot story ended with the military service ...


Late "fifties" - military service

- French "Armée de l'Air" -

I don't learned to be a fighter-pilot but to turn a Jeep steering wheel !

(and modern "radio" technology)



Tuning S.F.R transmitters                                             Ready to fly !

(S.F.R : Thomson-Houston ancestor)



Flying !...

Aboard a Nord-2501 "twin-tails" transport airplane over North Africa.

A BC-348 and a SCR-522 (VHF) were installed below the right corner of the pict.

(Thanks to pretty Sgt. Claudia F. who shooted this Rolleiflex picture with a precious...  YL touch)


Return from a long and hard mission.

Going directly to a barber-shop !

3 actuals "warriors" and a provisional one. (3d from left)

That was some months before my return to civil life

and my entry in the high tech. electronic industry.

(missiles radio-telemetry/telecontrol systems)



Avec une pensée pour les 25.000 gars de mon âge,

qui n'ont pas eu ma chance et ne sont pas revenus.


Late "fifties" and "sixties" - 20m band only.

with my call F2RS

using 25W AM and G.P. then, 500W SSB and a monoband "quad".

(home made equipments)



I'm mostly a CW listener but I like keys

Some glorious, serious, exotics, romantics, funnies, unusables,

prehistoric bronze, rag-time "woodized", gold or silver plated (?),

and more !...



( 1965 - 1970 )

Several professional missions in French Polynesia

I was in France leading the study and production of a strategic

telemetry system covering Tuamotu and Gambier archipelagos.

The operational center being on Tahiti Island.

It was an automatic and numeric "call/answer" system using 

180° PSK modulation on a 1KHz sub-carrier (1 Kbit/s)

and decametric-waves  carriers. (3 to 20 MHz)

. . . 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 . . .

or, obviously :

. . . 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 . . .

parity digits and "key"codes permited to cancel the 180° ambiguity.

Note : "spliting" the signal gived double of the exact instant clock

of the received signal and permited simple phase-locked detectors.

No Cmos at that time ! The 2N706 was king of the circuit-board.


1965 : The first transistor truly able to deliver 100W at 20MHz

This one is brand new. Souvenirs ...


This network worked during 8 years giving thousands of precious infos

concerning 25 sites on a territory larger than western Europe.

I think it was the first one. It can seem today technicaly "archaic".

That was well before the optical-fiber, satellites and internet era.

The telecommunications stone-age !

But that was also well before some recents "flying" disasters,

it was forty years before able to immediately detect and localize.


 NASA was also using a similar PSK digital transmission system

in his "Mariner"  program. (see 1962/3 "Proceedings of IRE / IEE")

Few months later Amstrong walked on the Moon...



- Tahiti Island -


- Mahina -

- 1965 -

- Baie de Matavaï -

(Pointe Vénus)

(17° 29' 50'' S / 149° 29' 40'' W)

James COOK was here aboard  HMS ENDEAVOUR  on June 3-1769.

He observed the predicted Venus hiding the Sun.

(A woman dream ?)


On October 1788, the famous  HMS BOUNTY also anchored here

prior to his tragic trip to Pitcairn Island ...

 VR6TC, Tom Christian ( P.O.Box n°1 ! ),

is a proud descendant of famous Fletcher Christian.

In 1970, I planed to visit Tom starting from Manga-Reva in Gambier,

but it existed only a mensual boat which moored only few hours at Pitcairn.

The anchoring site was near the submerged BOUNTY wreck...

No quay at that time, and the coast was very rocky and dangerous.

My dream, install a beacon at Pitcairn. Diplomatically impossible !


Pointe Vénus

By W.Hodges during Cook's 2d expedition (1776)


The today lighthouse is positioned just behind the tent of the expedition.

I knew the site, named "Pointe Vénus", as a "jardin des délices".

It was a delight when the sun was downing over Moorea Island.

Later, it became a Papeete "chic" suburb ...

The peak in the background is about 1.500m high.


- Tautira -

Far from Papeete, it was the most remote and genuine district in Tahiti island.

The dugout is a "racing" one. The Tautira team was frequently the winner

in the July-14 traditionals races at Papeete.


- Faaone -

Vahinés fishing along a black-sand beach.


- Hitiaa -


 during 1968 / 70

FO8CA - Tahiti QTH

The lagoon, Pacific Ocean and  radio short-pass

to California, Quebec and Europe are just behind you ...

A "bamboo" ground-plane antenna, a valiant HW 32-A,

and an old 250VA (?) electrogenerating set were doing the job.

The call-sign  was magicly "adding" more than 10db gain !

We ware very far of the today  " OK FIVENINE QRZ "...


- Moorea -

(Tahiti sister-island)

Kodachrome, Ektachrome ?  

Why ?

- 1966 -

- Baie de Pao Pao -

also named "Baie de Cook"


moored here several weeks during his 3d expedition.

That was few months before his tragic death on Sandwitch Islands.


The va'a (dugout) on the picture, was the same as the one Hodges

painted 2 centuries ago ... This point can be seen on Google Earth :

17° 29' 60'' S - 149° 49' 03'' W

Today, at this place, exist a tourist resort ...

" Gone with the wind "


The true polynesian smile ...

 Myrna paé miti Pao Pao


mahi mahi

The  mahi mahi  is the most appreciated fish in the

Polynesian cooking

( it can also be found in the caribean sea )


- Pao Pao again (Instamatic so-so picture !)                        Hitiaa : aíta pea pea  -

Pao Pao, return from deep-sea with a beautiful "mahi-mahi".

Seated and straped at the rear of a little boat, fighting near half an hour.

I was Ernest H. in Cuba !

Prepared by Myrna,  "Chez Chapiteau"  in Papeete,

the mahi-mahi was the finest fish I ever eat !

( with a fine New Zealand wine !

maúrúurú roa Myrna



Tuamotu atolls, another world ...



( using Google Earth picture )

Two ways to come or leave a "closed" atoll :

 from a boat on deep-sea ?

waiting a tall "good wave" to surf over the coral-reef

with a local polynesian dugout (see Moorea pict.) 

Wandering sharks much more than 10' long

are always waiting along the ocean side of the reef !

Banzaï !


  from the sky ? 

aíta péa péa

(no problem)

Directly to the lagoon with a seaplane. Carefully, many tall

coral-candles in some lagoons as the Tureia one (see picture).


A rare and beautifull PBY "Catalina " taking-off "

(summer 2004 - Meeting at Biscarosse lake - France)

The "mine" was crude dural and was an ex. Pacific-War "old-warrior".

The pilot was a canadian-lakes old-timer - What else ?

Fly in this historic marvel was another "teenager-dream" for me.




 July 1970

Really the blues ... Be "fiú " in tahitian language.

Last departure from a lost paradise ...

With songs and all the polynesian kindness around the neck.

(Cabin luggage, so some problems with LA customs when stopover !)

Polynesian symbols

Famous Hinano beer - Uru devouring a Tupapahu

Coral flower found anywhere

and a nana (goodbye) shells necklace ..


ma'hina is the Goddess of the Moon

She sing some nights with a chorus of giants tall ears eels, emerging

from the deep and mysterious lake Vahiria high in the mountains.

That's probably true ...

In France, few years later, I gived the name of this singing divinity

to my little sailing boat...

aíta ha'mo'é té fénua ...


my son "play-boying" and the captain hardly working

I stayed faithfully in love with MAHINA during 35 years. A day, a sad day,

She said me  "man, you are too old, you can't go alone at sea with me ".

Whoooaff !

As you know, I hope, some women are Goddess,

but some Goddess can sometime also be... women !

Así va la vida ...


Then ?

I traveled professionally during 26 years

from home to Latino America.

(Defense and railways automatic-systems)

Going here and there across the olds and mysterious

Aztec, Maya and Inca Empires

 Del Río Grande al Río de la Plata, cruzando las Amazonas ...

Usando el idioma que recibí con mi sangre.


mujeres de un  pueblito del altiplano peruano cerca del Cuzco

- Lago Titicaca -

(costa S.E. boliviana)

(alt. 3.900 m)

- en el fondo, a la izquierda, el Illimany y sus nieves eternas -

(alt. 6.500 m)


- La  Paz  -  

- Mercado del Alto - alt. 3.800m -

( 1975 )

Con compras y niños cargados a las espaldas . 

Les tengo mucho cariño ...


 Pero tampoco puedo olvidar

Mi querida Caracas y sus amaneceres encantadores en el valle,

desde Prados del Este, paseando por la Castellana, luego siguiendo

el Libertador hasta las torres del Silencio y las faldas del monte Avila.

macanudo !


Antigua en Guatemala, con su historia y sus volcanes Fuego y Agua.

Cartagena de Indias, con sus murallas, callejones y gente alegre.


Con mucha tristeza,

Buenos Aíres y Montevideo en los años setenta,

con calles desiertas  y  tangos lentos en noches tristes ...


 Desgraciadamente, y aunque me fuese posible, nunca viajé a Cuba.

No  fui a la Habana pasear al Malecón, a escuchar cantar "Siboney" o

"Dos gardenias" por las antiguas calles donde murió uno de mis antepasados.

No fui a tomar un ron al "Floridita", allí buscar huellas del grán Ernest H.

Me suena como la balada de Alberti, la de "El que nunca fue a Granada".

Y tantos recuerdos más !

Pero eso sería otra historia ...


Siempre fui aficionado de fotografía

(y coleccionista de cámaras: Leica, Rollei, Hasselblad)

Mi primera foto en el maravilloso Paris de los años "50"

- Quai de Montebello -

(Sept. 1954)

Mona, 20 años, en la hermosura de un fin de verano




(by Google)


Classic. Only a stopover of the running technology. Boff !

(Al muro, la capilla de mis antepasados aragoneses tiene siglos y por lo tanto sigue hermosa...)

Antennas ?

Pieces of wire under the roof, in the attic.

I became essentially a short-waves listener, CW mostly.

Dedicated to propagation mysteries... and surprises !


Far, far away ...

By the window of my shack, seeing to N.W along the short-pass to Polynesia,

I can imagine friends in Quebec, Great-Lakes, Rocky-Mountains, California,

Pacific Ocean, Tahiti ... Far, far away from my cedar.

With an indoor Yagi antenna I can hear FO-29 satellite flying over Iceland.

Dreaming a repeater droped on the Moon, an endless satellite.

Maybe in another life...


   A una amiga lejana,

   a sus sueños, alegrías y tristezas ...


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