C. Crane loves radio and are here to make sure you’re informed when something might impact radio in a negative way. The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) has proposed cutting their radio stations (WWV, WWVH, and WWVB) from their budget next year. This is the only reliable source of shortwave to see how band conditions are. This would equate to all three stations being closed down. We’ve heard from our friends in the field that shortwave radio listeners are gutted by the idea of losing WWV and WWVH–both stations are staple references for listeners and hams alike. The loss of WWVB would mean that all of the atomic clock-synchronized time pieces out there in North America (clocks, watches, weather stations, etc.) would stop synchronizing and automatically changing from DST to standard time. We’ve heard conflicting reports as to whether WWVB would be impacted or not.
Our good friend and radio advocate Thomas Witherspoon was recently interviewed by NPR as to what impact this would have and why it matters. You can listen to the full interview here: https://www.npr.org/2018/08/25/641835302/what-closing-a-government-radio-station-would-mean-for-your-clocks.
He also provides some in depth information about how it could impact synchronizing atomic clocks https://swling.com/blog/2018/08/synchronizing-atomic-clocks-final-tock-time-may-no-longer-be-synchronous/.
This is the information we received from CQ Amateur Radio, re-posted with their blessing.
From the CQ Newsroom:
Petition Drive to Save WWV/WWVH – Sept. 15 Deadline
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has eliminated funding for the continued operation of time/frequency standard stations WWV and WWVH in its Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
Tens of thousands of radio amateurs and other users of the shortwave spectrum rely on these stations as sources of accurate time and precise frequency measurement, as well as a wealth of propagation data. (WWVB, on 60 kHz, which provides time data for so-called “atomic clocks,” would continue to be funded.)
Two petitions have been started on the White House’s “We the People” petition site calling for restoration of funding for these two essential radio stations. Each needs at least 100,000 electronic signatures by mid-September to generate a response from the White House.
C. Crane urges you to sign one or both petitions and to contact your representatives in Congress to explain the need for these stations to continue to operate. Let’s make sure our voices are heard. Please share this with anyone who might be able to help.
This really sucks! The government has had these running for how many years now? Maybe they need to cut other stuff first! These were important! Not having g a to e standard is kind of putting the country rather backwards isn’t it? On top of it, how may automatically setting clocks will now not work? Millions? That’s truly total BS! I remember setting clocks to WWV CLEAR back in the late 50s and 60s.
Don’t forget to sign the petitions and let your opinion count.
I totally agree. I signed both petitions and told my radio-listening friends. I also posted the link to one petition on Facebook and posted about the petition in an amateur radio group. Additionally, I posted to WRMI about this. I hope somebody there spreads the word.
I get so upset with governments. They seem to cut the stuff that shouldn’t be cut and keep what shouldn’t be kept. Because governments aren’t accountable except at election time, they get the impression that they can do whatever they want. This is why we need to keep reminding those over-paid bureaucrats that we pay them and we should have a say in whatever the government does.
I’m in Canada but I find WWV and WWVH very helpful in many ways. I don’t have an atomic clock so it helps to have the shortwave outlets to hear the exact time. I also listen to the propagation forecast to know what shortwave conditions will be like. It would aso be a shame to close the station down since it’ll be 100 years old in 2020. And being a fan of trailing edge technology, I use WWV to time the length of non standard cassette tapes. I recycle those. Shortwave is also valuable during power outages. A person needs no wi-fi hot spot or ISP to pick up stations from around the world. I find it thrilling to receive stations like Radio New Zealand International wherever I am and without having to run an app. There’s something wondrous about picking up a signal that has traveled half way around the world without technological aid. I’d sure miss WWV and WWVH if they went off the air.
We agree. Thank you for your comment.
I wonder how many other countries’ citizens rely on WWV and especially WWVH. Asians still use short wave since it reaches places where the Internet can’t.
So a military parade is more important than these?
To the government, anything which benefits them is more important than anything else. That’s why we need statespeople, not politicians, in leadership.
Bunch of bureaucratic idiots at it again they don’t care for anyone or anything except their own wallets
Worse than that, they only care about their own pet projects. Too bad we don’t have a DXer high up in the bureaucracy or even in the president’s office.
We need all the radio stations.
I hate to think that the government doesn’t care about the needs and wants of the people that pay them.
We need to know the names of the people that don’t care about us so we can remember them at election time, and believe me with all that’s going on, a lot of people don’t forget.
I totally agree. We should note who’s against funding WWV, WWVB, and WWVH. Then we must bug them relentlessly to keep the funding for these highly useful radio stations.
This is a real blow to all Ham radio operators and shortwave listeners!
Of all the stupid nit wittery wasteful government spending, and they can’t find it in the budget to support a very useful service like WWV!
SHAME ON THEM!
Having worked in Canada’s federal government, I can easily see the idiocy of bureaucracy. Managers get the vaguest idea of what’s going on and then make monumental decisions which effect thousands or millions of people. They ignore the bottom ranks who know what’s going on.
As a blind person trying to keep up with life and making sure I am on time for minor things like work, this is really important to me that we keep the NIST time services. Thank you.
How interesting. I’m almost blind but WWV or WWVH helps me as well to realize if I’m running late. I need no phone app for it and I can pick up the station most anywhere.
Just learned about this. It is now December. Is there anything we can still do to stop this senseless shutdown? Let’s find real waste (there’s plenty) and cut that instead.
I totally agree. Each year, a report is published about government waste. I forget who publishes it but it’s at times hilarious and other times enraging. And having worked in the Canadian federal government for 14 years, I can attest to the done-headed waste going on in the civil service.
Maybe if Trump didn’t go golfing ONE time it would completely pay for the budget for WWV, WWVH, AND WWVB FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR!!!
Having worked in the Canadian civil service, I know there’s tons of waste going on, in some cases quite literally. Because of frugality, I saved my department more than a thousand dollars one year. Of course it put the noses of many bureaucrats out of joint when I insisted they use Bic pens instead of gold-plated pen and pencil sets. No wonder I never rose through the ranks. I had a severe case of common sense.
If they shut down WWV and WWVH, it will cause total pandemonium in the radio world, alas!!!
Let’s all get on President Trump’s Twitter account and bug him to keep WWV, WWVH, and WWVB on the air. It’s @RealDonaldTrump where we should send our objections. Maybe that will get pressure put on the bean counters who don’t know what those stations are.
Fine. Start your own frequency standard station. 5, 10 and 15 megahertz are available. License application is way too easy. Anyone want to form the not for profit corporation? I will be a forming member, but I don’t want to write the articles.
Maybe CHU Canada could take those frequencies and start a new station on the west coast with CBU’s old transmitter.
seems like we are losing the listeners as well as the station. so sad. decades of rock solid broadcasting going to the fields of death!
Well, that may be your opinion, I use WWV, and WWVB both. WWV almost daily, and WWVB on a daily basis for some 10 devices in my house! Many more being so!d daily! People may THINK their phone is exact, but it’s Not! WWV is to almost a Billionth of a second. I have seen my phone off as much as 50 seconds already. I finally just set the phone to manual time and set it to WWV! It may sound annual, but I collect watches and repair them so I tend to try to be as exact as possible. Plus, it’s nice to know just when to turn on the shortwave to listen to a broadcast! I guess I get a bit of a sadistic laugh out of telling a friend his $500 I watch is not as accurate as my 75 year old pocket watch! (He uses the phones network time, of course) The point of it all is that looking our national time standard to the average consumer especially for the comparatively small budget they run under, is totally STUPID!!! Maybe Trump can just not go golfing ONE time!
There are millions of wasteful expenditures which ought to be cut. Having worked in the Canadian federal government, I saw first hand the bone-headed blunders made by middle managers. It’s time the government cleans up its own back yard before cutting services to the public.
I so very much agree! It’s totally insane to think of eliminating a service that will then obsolete millions of clocks and watches in one’s country! Not too smart, huh?