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Messages - NQC

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Hey Thadood,

I have seen folks going around and around re Part 15 "specs" for years. I knew of a local community station that tried to "play it straight"  by trying to engineer to Part 15 as best they could.The coverage area was dismal. Then they spread out THREE transmitters linked to microwave .It still stunk.

Finally they "threw in the towel " and  seriously pumped up the power from a single  main site.Yet it still stunk,not so much re coverage area but simply by the fact it was in the AM  X band .I am not sure how many folks around here even listen to the big 50 Kw blab  outlets , let alone way up in the X.

When they were at big power they actually interviewed the mayor of Boston, who didn't know ( or care ) that they were sailing the Seven Seas of Piracy.

I did a few "cameo walk ons' and was interviewed by the station Op.

Eventually they fizzled  after around two years . This despite being in  a very densely populated urban area.They were never approached by the FCC before their self imposed  shut down .

My own "efforts"  at my QTH also fizzled , despite having "coverage " :).

IMHO, a "compliant" Part 15  AM is just for the fun of the operator.  FM is also just for  very short range grins, at least to me.Unless you TELL a friend to listen, the chances of ANYONE listening are extremely LOW. I wish it was otherwise, but this conclusion is from experience.

 "Standard disclaimer" :    While I do not condone it , they only way folks seem to get ANY type of audience  is to :

Run on FM with BIG power. Probably would  get shut down fairly quickly.

 Run on X band with BIG power . FWIW, MANY Haitians have come and gone here over the   last 25 years . Some busted, others left alone for YEARS , some just fizzled. OR the X band hobby pirates that get little attention outside of HFU ( Who else would listen on 1720 KC ? :) ).

Run on HF pirate frequencies. Again, largely an HFU thing.

Right now I have no transmitter up. The last one  ( single transistor ) had GREAT audio and covered a whopping THREE FEET ! Only good to pipe old music into old radios in the same rack  :P.

It might be fun to put something up to cover the park ( maybe 200 to 300 away ). I have NO desire to cover ANY further re past experiences that are most likely worse now.It would be strictly for MY  fun to go  outside and listen . The Op would be the "audience"  :) :).   

But other projects on the bench right now.

Re being told what to do  : Again , with my "disclaimer "  : if you are reasonable re power and  don't jam an active /occupied  frequency, then it's YOUR affair, just the same as doing 30 in a 25 zone. If ANY  chips DO  fall ( which is extremely unlikely ), it's simply  ON YOU- and between   YOU  and "them".

They  would  just  likely   tell you to shut it down ( especially if you weren't running CRAZY power )   , especially in the X band ,at least the first time around anyways .

One last note : I had "heard" that you cannot use a US format call sign on a Part 15 station . So this guy using "WEFR" may "technically"  be a no- no.Although I doubt anything will happen  about  it.

de NQC

Part 15 AM and FM Station Operation / W266DQ 101.1 Mhz
« on: April 01, 2024, 1727 UTC »
Hey All,

This past Saturday I went on a mini Dxpedition to Quincy, MA.

  WMEX 1510 Quincy is also carried  by WMEX /W266DQ on 101.1, but the QTH listing   online was bit uncertain . I am pretty sure I found it on a BIG  hilltop two way comms tower- I took the car antenna off and still got it very well. I think I also  made out the antenna way up the  tower. Overall 80% + sure on my results.

A fun little trip.

I LOVE 'MEX at night ( ME TV FM radio programming ) and it would be GREAT to be able to copy the FM side. 1510 (at 100 watts night  ,maybe 9 miles, omni   using 1 tower of  a 3 tower array on a salt marsh) is "pretty good",despite my BIG CLOSE  hill smack in the way.. Some occasional  QRM from WFED on 1500 ( I am  building a trap ) and  also  some "slight" power line noise .

But 'DQ is directional ,  there is not even a PRAYER of copying it at my home QTH :-[.I tried on my local  hill, which in "theory"  is line  of sight- but  NO DICE, 2 others on frq, but  sadly, not them.

de NQC

Hey Pinto,

Interesting note re ZIZ, It wouldn't surprise me at all if St. Kitts is  off AM now.

I am kind of amazed that ANY Caribbeans are still active on AM (!). If I recall correctly, more than one AM antenna system has been trashed by hurricanes.

 I am also curious as to what  coverage range  these island stations are really looking for. "Generally", I believe that any serious  Dx coverage  may be  viewed by management  ( and maybe even the engineers) as kind of a "waste".

As much as I LOVED Dxing the Caribbean AM'ers, I never really understood why they couldn't just use a 200 Ft multi bay FM tower , which would mostly be  operating over a generally   flat     environment.

A beefy 200 ft tower would seem to be  "harder " take down  compared to a similarly heavily guyed  300 to 400 ft one .

I am not sure re making a comparison of a tall AM vs a shorter FM  and their expected field strengths with respect to any mountainous area coverage.

Perhaps ( way back when) , some of the leadership of the island wanted a local station that also had  an element of an "external" service or presence, so that the island would be able to "make itself known " outside the local area   ("prestige "? ). 

 Since SO few folks now listen to AM, such a concept today wouldn't seem to be worth  the trouble on AM  re big electricity  bills,tall tower "vulnerability" and low listenership.

 Frankly I can't even see how most of the tin can AM'ers here in the US manage to stay on the air (re making a  profit), even without as much of  severe weather threat  to the towers.10 or 15% of the AMer's here make 90% of the money.

I may be full of beans, but just spitballing.


Hey All,

ZNS-1 was one that I have been wondering about over the last year or so re whether they were still on the air. Didn't ever log them though.   I was going to do a dedicated DXpedition to the South coast of MA to try and grab them, but "life " got in the way :(.

WAY (WAY!) back in the day from MA ( some on my  crystal set ) I was able to log  "some " Caribbeans - from  really  fuzzy memory : Caymans,Jamaica, Turks/Caicos,  St Kitts , LOTS of  Cubans and maybe one or two others.

Apparently ZIZ 555 Kc St. Kitts put in a good  split frequency signal to NYC. Folks back in the stone age (using analog car radios) used to be able to cruise around the Big Apple and blast ZIZ . I am not sure if they have now QSY'ed to a 10 Kc allocation.

Due to local sometimes severe QRM/QRN  from  recently  apt. building electronic systems (and also  other factors), my days of LONG AM Dx from my local QTH  may be pretty   much done. I can still copy "some" (SOME)  of the  Eastern  US big guns ( big whoop ). Working on  reducing or "solving "  some of these  technical issues ,as time allows.

Thankfully my favorite music station  (WMEX  1510 , 100 watts night , omni, around 6-8 mi ) is pretty good ,but I am working on some outboard audio tweeking to bring it up  a bit better.

My # 2 music station ,   MA regional WCRN 830, is also "OK" , but not fantastic either .
I USED to do awesome  here , but not so much  now. I suppose  I can now  look at it as a "challenge" :o


Hey All,

Off suddenly after Fibber MCGee
Got in late, anybody get an ID  ?


MW Loggings / NYC- Boston- NH Daytime "Study"
« on: April 29, 2023, 1524 UTC »
Hey All,

Yesterday I took  a road trip to NH to the big ham radio flea.

I left MY Boston QTH (Bos -NYC  215 Mi) at around 0700 local .

Notes :

Stayed with 880/WCBS  on car radio the entire way up. Initially  I encountered a good deal of 1st adjacent QRM from local WAMG 890.The car radio seems to play kind of broad. This QRM    gradually went away as I proceeded North away from Boston,as expected .CBS's occasional ( sometimes deep) QSB also pretty much went away while  traveling North- ODD .

AT Deerfield ,NH (277 Mi to NYC ) 0900 local  in huge RF quiet open field :

660 WFAN fair to good.
710 WOR fair.
770 WABC fair to poor.
880 WCBS  VERY GOOD.FWIW Their "fringe" pattern contour is "depicted"  as being on the MA/RI border.So QUITE a ways beyond that !
1010 WINS - nothing heard.   WCNL  NH 10 Kw from a "short" tower  copied instead.
1130 WBBR poor.

Kind of cool to receive and compare  day time signals over some of the least conductive ground in the US (although admittedly , all @ 50 Kw). I am sure it's not  an overly spectacular distance record  , but was fun.

I wonder how much further North before before these (especially WCBS ) start to get into trouble.


Hey All,

I also copied WTF on short indoor wire and an ATS 803a in a sometimes noisy apt.

Storming in at times , even to my very “ humble “ receiving set up.

“ I Went Back to Ohio” song absolutely  came bombing in.

Other times up and down in QSB.

Music set at a good level, but a tiny bit more punch on the live mic would have helped.

Must have used a SERIOUS amount of juice on a great antenna.

FWIW, another  pirate also copied a few weeks ago, but no ID, too weak/ noisy.


Huh? / Re: Bizarre Russian Message: Swan Lake / Swan Song
« on: March 11, 2022, 1500 UTC »
Hey Chris,

I understand.


Yes, I got the reference.Several times on each Thanksgiving local WZLX-FM would play the entire song.I know it by heart  .


Huh? / Bizarre Russian Message: Swan Lake / Swan Song
« on: March 10, 2022, 1657 UTC »
Hey All,

Group W seemed to be unavailable, so I hope this is OK here.

Recently independent  Dozhd / TV Rain Russia signed off under intense pressure from Putin.

After the staff walked off the set, the station began to play an old short video loop from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Ballet.

Apparently, this was an old signal that the Soviets used to prepare the masses for big news, re instability or leadership change.

The loop was of ballerinas dancing for around a minute. It would be played over and over and over again for hours  and hours and hours on Soviet state TV and radio.

This was done during the 1991 Russian coup attempt, and the deaths of Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko.

Obviously, TV Rain co-opted the old Soviet warning as their notice to the Russian people that the country was in BIG trouble.
Swan Lake represents a “mourning for broken dreams, sadness  for opportunities lost or regrets for unfulfilled plans”.

Who thought of using Swan , KGB psyops?

For Russians, it’s a kind of EAS/ EBS warning tone played on flutes and violins.Everyone knows what this video means.

I find this procedure almost bizarre, and there certainly is no counterpart to in in the West.

When JFK was shot , TV just broke right in. We didn’t need to prepare ( or warn certain people in the country) that something big was happening. We just did it.

Again , strange.


Other / Re: Rurik R. UA 7050 LSB 1415 UTC 04 Feb 2022
« on: March 10, 2022, 1423 UTC »
Psyops ?

Other / Re: UNID 7615 kHz USB 1513 UTC 14 Feb. 2017
« on: March 10, 2022, 1420 UTC »

Been around them when I was in the military .We used to razz them by calling them the “Jr. Chipmunks”.

An interesting outfit, not sure how much actual SAR work they do anymore.

Maybe now just a civilian air cadet group more than anything else.

But that’s cool.

Other / Re: UA info war direct 7061 LSB 1935 UTC 03 Mar 2022
« on: March 10, 2022, 1412 UTC »
 Very interesting.

Other / Re: Rurik Radio UA 7050/7060/7065 LSB 1428 UTC 04 Mar 2022
« on: March 10, 2022, 1410 UTC »
Wild !

Other / Re: Ru freebanders 3153 AM 2020 UTC 09 Mar 2022
« on: March 10, 2022, 1405 UTC »
Hey Kris,

Freebanding in Russia right now may be a risky prospect.

Even if one does not talk about the war.

I hope they are out in a deep rural area and mobile.

But a possible “ foot print” left by a specific radio may eventually let them find you, IF they are looking that hard.

Longwave Loggings / Re: Receiving LWBC in North America
« on: February 28, 2022, 0132 UTC »
Hey All ,   

2030 EST 2/27/22  VERY  GOOD Morocco  in full wide AM  on 171 Kc

Fair BBC 198 Kc in USB Narrow, beat up a bit by DIW / Dixon NC beacon



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