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Messages - Lex

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1
You're the Squidmeister?!? Cool. Clever idea. One Impedance Transformer to Rule Them All.  :o

2
General Radio Discussion / Re: "Preacher Teacher" Alert
« on: September 28, 2017, 2048 UTC »
"Disinfo wars"! Heh. I'd forgotten about Alex Jones. He used to be entertaining about 10 years ago. But he's jumped the shark, curb stomped the shark, chopped up the shark, mixed that shark with street grade PCP, distilled that shark/PCP and drinks it for breakfast. Bill Cooper accurately pegged Jones as a hysterical disinformation fabulist and carnival sideshow operator almost 20 years ago.

I'm trying to remember the name of another fellow cut from the Peter J. Peters cloth. Similar programming, but with short 5-10 minute segments, calmly laying out his theories about the CIA, Illuminati and gummint being behind pop culture icons like Leonard Bernstein and Erica Jong whose goal was to undermine America. That fellow was about one click away from Jack D. Ripper rants about precious bodily fluids.

Ah, those were good times when the fringe was still fringey on shortwave and not mainstream running the party boat toward the shoals.

3
General Radio Discussion / Re: X-FM is headed for dry dock
« on: September 28, 2017, 0423 UTC »
I understand, haven't had much time for listening the past couple of years. Sometimes life stuff gets in the way of the things we'd rather be doing. Always enjoyed your expertly produced shows and excellent signal.

4
American Red Cross Asks ARRL’s Assistance with Puerto Rico Relief Effort

09/24/2017
The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked the ARRL for assistance with relief efforts in Puerto Rico. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the ARC Safe and Well system. In the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and ARC, this is the first time such a request for assistance on this scale has been made. ARRL now is looking for radio amateurs who can step up and volunteer to help our friends in Puerto Rico.

Requirements
There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this deployment.

Due to the nature of this deployment you will need to process in as ARC volunteers. This includes passing a background check. The ARC has indicated that it will cover all expenses for transportation, lodging, and feeding while on deployment. ARC will also provide liability coverage for volunteers. The only out-of-pocket expense to the volunteer would be personal items purchased during deployment.

ARRL and ARC will require training for volunteers being deployed. ARC will provide general deployment training and advanced training in working in austere environments. ARRL will provide to ARC training on Amateur Radio equipment and modes to be used, reporting guidelines, and operating guidelines.

Deployment will be for up to 3 weeks.

Qualifications
General class Amateur Radio license or higher
Familiarity with WinLink, HF voice, and VHF simplex communications
Strong technical skills
Ability to work under difficult conditions
Ability to deploy for up to 3 weeks
Ability to work as part of a team
Helpful Skills

Spanish language skills
Previous experience in disaster response
Previous or current work as a Red Cross volunteer
Previous experience with shelter operations
If you feel that you meet these qualifications and would like to be considered for this deployment, please contact ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U (860-594-0222), who will make the introduction of qualified volunteers to ARC.

5
General Radio Discussion / Re: "Preacher Teacher" Alert
« on: September 28, 2017, 0000 UTC »
You missed the Gilded Age of lunatic fringe shortwave radio, Matt. The 1980s-early 2000s were a nonstop turdfest of religious and radical fringe radio.

Brother Scare is the last of his kind. He's actually pretty harmless compared with some of his ilk. The next closest thing to Bro Scare was Brother Sominex, Harold Camping, longtime Family Radio broadcaster. Brother Sominex died in 2013 after a couple of failed end times predictions, which he admitted was a mistake. Camping was actually entertaining in a low key way. Good bedtime listening. Brother Scare's frantic delivery wears thin pretty quickly.

But those fellows mostly emphasized good ol' hellfire and damnation gospel, not paranoid conspiracy theories, anti-government or race baiting stuff. WWCR, WRMI, WBCQ and others were febrile outlets for fringe radio programmers. Good fun before we realized they were serious.

Also gone are Peter J. Peters (presumably died of excessive bile), Hal Tuner (imprisoned for chronic jerkitude), Bill Cooper (lost a gunfight with cops), Chuck Harder,  and many others who died or simply faded away. Actually, I shouldn't lump Cooper  into that clot. Cooper was brilliant at true dialectics, the synthesis of seemingly disparate and apparently unrelated issues and weaving fascinating stories. Worth a listen -- you can find his old Hour of the Time broadcasts online. I never missed a show back in the day.

Anyway, the lunatic fringe message didn't fade out. It just went mainstream and found a more vigorous and cost effective home on the internuts.

6
Shortwave Pirate / Re: UNID 6925 USB 2229 UTC 27 Sep 2017
« on: September 27, 2017, 2233 UTC »
2232z: Amphetamine Radio ID. Some tech problems.
2247z: Dexy's Midnight Runners "Come On Eileen" -- good signal since coming back on.
2300z: Kenny went to the danger zone. His log ins were unprotected.

Good  signal via Virginia and Penisylvania SDRs.

7
Huh? / Re: Can't sleep...
« on: September 27, 2017, 2224 UTC »
That Squid seems unbalanced. Probably another Captain Nemo invention.

8
Shortwave Pirate / Re: Space Bunny Radio 6880 AM 1505 UTC 27 Sept 2017
« on: September 27, 2017, 2201 UTC »
6800 AM
2200 UTC, been listening for awhile via Penisylvania SDR. Booming 10 kHz wide signal. Nifty remixes of Sabbath, Led Zep and, atm, Martha and the Motels "Only the Lonely". Nary a peep via the home receivers in Texas.
2217z: Off after 2001 Space Odd theme

9
Between approx 0100-0130 UTC, several Jimi Hendrix songs (Hey Joe, Watchtower, Stone Free) followed by a Joe Satriani instrumental (Summer Song, I think, been awhile since I listened to Satriani), a song I couldn't identify. Station ID around 0128z, female and male computer voices, with the male voice clearer, with "clevernameradio" email address. Another Hendrix song.

SINPO = 24322

Via Sony 2010 portable on the whip. Signal just barely strong enough to copy familiar songs and part of station ID (male voice). Lots of fading. Some chuffing atmospheric noise. Not too much local RFI interference. Audio seemed good, hard to tell without stronger copy. Probably would have been a 3 overall with a better antenna.

10
0200z, 6940 USB, sitting outdoors with the portable, heard Radio Free Whatever with DW chattering about mediocre hamburgers and an unfortunate absence of beer. Good signal, just too crashy from regional t-storms to copy much clearly. My Sony 2010 crystal is way off freq, had to tune to around 6939.8 to copy anything, couldn't ID any of the songs -- heard lyrics that sounded like "no wind, no rain" or something, but it didn't sound like either Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell or Supremes version of Ain't No Mountain High Enough, so I dunno. Had to scurry back inside as t-storm hit around 0205z here.

11
Heard AM station switching from 6949 to 6950, faint music, not enough to copy any song or station IDs.

Outside with Panasonic portable, taking a rest during bicycle ride.

12
4/18/17
approx 0100z
6880 AM

Caught some of this while out riding my bicycle. Stopped to rest for awhile and heard something radio network partial ID. Only song I could ID was older pitch-shifted remix of Sir Mix-A-Lot "Square Dance" and/or "Buttermilk Biscuits".

Outside with Panasonic portable. Down in the river valley, not great for reception. West of town at higher elevation was better.


13
Equipment / Re: Portable with good ssb?
« on: April 16, 2017, 1823 UTC »
...The RF-B65... I want to get one.
Good solid little portable. Here's a video of it, receiving Northwoods Radio's J Geils show on Friday, here in Texas.

Northwoods Radio on Panasonic RF B-65: https://youtu.be/VF4--i3DuH8

I might get something a little smaller and lighter, though, for bicycling. It's heavily made, with an aluminum grille, etc.

14
Equipment / Re: Portable with good ssb?
« on: April 16, 2017, 0955 UTC »
I've had several portables with BFO (beat frequency oscillator) and one without -- the Sony ICF-2010. Both have pros and cons for pirate radio listening.

While the Sony is a better radio overall the lack of a BFO is a disadvantage for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it needs occasional tweaking to adjust to crystal drift and it's not easy to do with the Sony. And the Sony's VFO doesn't tune in fine enough increments to compensate. The Palstar needs the same occasional tweaking but it's really simple to do and the adjustment screw is easy to access. Without that occasional tweaking the pitch will be off on sideband broadcasters that are dead center on the frequency, or whichever fraction the radio can tune to.

With a BFO it's less critical. Just twiddle the knob until the pitch sounds right. You can tune off-frequency to minimize QRM from an adjacent station, then twiddle the BFO to compensate. I had to do that Friday to catch Northwoods Radio on my older Panasonic portable, while there was interference from an adjacent utility station. I just tuned down to 6934 and twiddled the BFO.

Problem is, BFOs tend to be drifty so I need to retune them every few minutes. Same problem with my old Magnavox D-2935. Great sounding large portable but the BFO is drifty.

Right now my Sony ICF-2010 is off pitch on sideband so nothing sounds quite right. It's great in AM though, especially with the sync detector.

So I mostly use the little Panasonic or the Magnavox for pirates, even though I have to babysit the BFO knob.

The Palstar doesn't have a BFO, but can tune in fine enough increments with the VFO tuning knob to get an acceptable pitch, even with sideband broadcasts that aren't dead center on frequency or even drifty. Chris probably remembers that Rocky Mountain pirate station that we literally had to chase with the tuning knobs as the frequency drifted around wildly. Fun challenge, though, not a criticism. You couldn't automate the reception of that station!

The Palstar is a great radio, semi-portable with AA batteries or an outboard battery pack. But it really needs a good external antenna to be at peak performance. Otherwise you'll do just as well with a good portable on a whip. I've hardly used the Palstar the past couple of years since our apartment complex maintenance crews kept zeroing in on my stealth antennas and tearing them down. They were just cheap magnet wire loops fed with cable TV cable as feedline, but it was a hassle to keep putting 'em back up on weekends and holidays.

I've had many other portables with BFO tuning and they're all about the same, including all the popular Sangean or Uniden made Radio Shack models. All were good enough.

15
Huh? / Re: Banner Thomas of Molly Hatchet died at age 63
« on: April 16, 2017, 0936 UTC »
Molly Hatchet was one of those odd bands whose musicianship I respected yet couldn't think of a reason why they just didn't grab me. I like the southern rock vein they mined. But there were many talented groups in that same vein.

Original vocalist Danny Joe Brown had a powerful and distinctive voice, but he sounded like he was swallowing his tongue. It was an odd vocal quirk that just put me off a bit.

And their interpretation of the Allman's "Dreams" transmogrified it from a subtle, satisfyingly morose dirge with nuanced musical touches into a military marching song. It was just... odd. Not bad, but a bit like listening to Slovenian martial performance art band Laibach's cover of Jesus Christ, Superstar, minus the sense of irony.

But when I watch YouTube concert videos of Molly Hatchet from their peak I think, dang... they were good. Why don't I like their music?

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