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Topics - Seamus

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Shortwave Pirate / 6.925
« on: September 16, 2010, 2213 UTC »
Outhouse, is that you?

Hearing soul music, followed by a repeated synthesized ID, just barely peeking through the static.  6.925.005U @22:13

Shortwave Pirate / UNID 6925 USB(?)
« on: August 01, 2010, 1318 UTC »
13:15 UTC
6925 USB(?)
Just barely hearing music with female vocals peeking through the static here - maybe a 222.

I can't make anything out other than to tell that there's something there; maybe someone else will have a better read, though.
13:22 - Catching some thready wisps of "Sister Christian" from out of the hash
13:23 - Song sounds familiar, but can't ID it other than "that 'Oooh-ooh-ooh-ooh' song"
13:26 - ID - might possibly have been Ga-Ga?
13:27 - female vocals - "Slow Hand"?
13:43 - Still going - I'm pretty sure it's "Spill the Wine" in there
13:51 - SSTV - not enough there to get a lock on, even with manual start and some extra persuasion.

Shortwave Pirate / Voice of KAOS with another station 6.925
« on: July 31, 2010, 0023 UTC »
Voice of KAOS 6925
Mentioned Arlington Cemetary, played "I Love Rock and Roll", but hard to make out, as there is another station also on frequency at slightly lower strength obscuring most of it.
Signal sounds good, and I would probably be able to receive either of them individually, but with both on top of each other it's kind of a mess.

Location: upstate South Carolina
Radio: IC-718
Antenna: 400-foot wire @40 ft

HF Beacons / 5185 in Maryland
« on: June 06, 2010, 2241 UTC »
This weekend I happened to be at an event in Little Orleans in western Maryland.

I forgot the external antenna at home, but out in the sticks away from electrical noise I was still able to hear the 5185 dasher just using the built-in whip antenna, maybe 20 inches long.  Copy was pretty rough in among some heat lightning static on Friday night, but it was in there; probably would have been a lot better with a real antenna.

HF Beacons / 5185 further testing
« on: April 09, 2010, 0316 UTC »
For the next little while, the still-experimental 5185 dasher will be operating with a slightly different antenna configuration.  It's the same wire, in the same shape, but with a lot less stuff between the transmitter output and the "business end".  Lower line loss will hopefully yield a better signal.

Shortwave Pirate / NOEL Radio - 6.925 AM
« on: December 19, 2009, 2158 UTC »
19 Dec 2009 - 21:50 UTC
6.925 AM - my dial actually zeroes out at around 6.924.60

Great signal into upstate SC - S8 on the meter, SIO a good solid 444 - some slight fading, and maybe a weaker station in there underneath.

21:48 - Used sleigh dealership advertisement
21:50 - Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
21:56 - Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland
21:58 - North Pole Sports report
21:59 - It's a marshmallow world(?) - getting some fade now
22:01 - Off suddenly, no sign-off

Recording -- Don't think I got an ID in there, though:  http://www.rthtg.net/pr/audio/noel_radio_19-dec-2009_21-45.mp3

Location:  upstate SC
Radio:  IC-718
Antenna: 400-foot longwire @40 feet

Shortwave Pirate / This is a FAX
« on: December 16, 2009, 2125 UTC »
21:17 - 6.925 Fax

"HELLO 6925 This is a FAX"

Sent in FAX mode.

There were a few sync breaks during the transmission (either that or my machine dropped sync), and it took me a second to get the software dialed in, so I missed the "HELLO" in the screen grab, but...

21:20 - SSTV - sounded like 8- or 12-second B/W, but I was still set for FAX, so no copy.


Voice saying "Damn, I can't even do the Morse code right now" over top

HF Beacons / Does CO have a new friend?
« on: November 26, 2009, 1628 UTC »
I tuned to CO this morning, and saw another trace on the spectrogram, about 500 up from its frequency:

As you can see, it's quite weak here - just barely visible on the waterfall, and barely perceptible by ear.  It's weak and irregular enough that I can't tell if it's a regular recurring beacon, if it's half of a conversation, or if it's a steady carrier that I'm only getting sporadically.  Anyone else see this?

HF Beacons / Fooled myself this morning
« on: November 23, 2009, 1355 UTC »
Started running through my list at 13:24 UTC this morning:

OK - good and strong
might-have-been-PA - not enough to actually read, even on spectrogram; just a few suspect tones in the speaker, and a trace barely showing on the screen
Blinky - a bit weak and fading
Pike 78 - faint and on one of its "field trips" down to 8000.41
TS - heavy fading, but good when it's in

Also something at 8495 which looked to be slow code, but the fading was deep enough and sending slow as to make it unreadable - I was catching pieces of letters but nothing coherent.  After sitting on it for a while, I eventually realized that I was apparently hearing a single-letter beacon for "L", which the ionosphere was chopping up into random segments of dits and dahs.  (I need to make a note on my list that BC sits right next to a cluster of SLBs - they keep fooling me)

HF Beacons / Hearing PA...
« on: November 21, 2009, 0149 UTC »
As of 01:34 UTC, I'm hearing PA with some long, slow fade.  When it's out, it's just not there, but when it's in, it's a pretty easy copy by ear.

OK - Very strong
...and <something> just short of breaking through the noise floor around the low end of 4078 - got a faint line on the spectrogram, but not enough to make it out.

HF Beacons / Morning listening
« on: November 20, 2009, 1408 UTC »
This morning's run of my list at 13:45-14:00 UTC yielded:

OK - good, readable signal, some fade
Blinky - strong as usual
Pike 78 - on one of its excursions down to 8000.33
TS - somewhat weak and fade-y, but there enough for recognition by ear
CO - strong and clear when the fade is in, nonexistent when it's out
OR - just peeking through the noise floor; just enough to see that there's something there, catching an occasional O or R, or parts of them

No F here in South Carolina, but that's not surprising - I'm not sure I've ever heard that one.

I have a lot of memory slots with frequencies for beacons that I've never heard.  Some of them I know are out there but aren't making the trip or are falling into my antennas' nulls, and many of them I'm sure are defunct - I need to do some clean-up.

HF Beacons / Beacons and "discovery" of cluster
« on: November 14, 2009, 2309 UTC »
Just got back home tonight, and while waiting for the soldering iron to heat up <*ahem!*>, I did a quick scan of my list:

14 November 2009 - 22:30
TS - very weakly
"Rogue" ditter @12888 - just barely above the noise floor

Also, while listening for BC, I decided to spin the knob upwards to investigate the "breathing" noises that I keep hearing there.
Seems that I have "discovered" the cluster beacons around 8495.  "D" was particularly strong, blowing its way through the spread-spectrum, or data, or whatever was occupying more bandwidth than my radio could tune at once (and which is responsible for the 'breathing' that leaks into the upper frequencies when I'm tuning for BC):

HF Beacons / This morning
« on: November 08, 2009, 1405 UTC »
Scanned my list this morning, at around 13:30 UTC, and heard a few:

  • OK - weakly, but discernible by ear, with some QSB
  • BLINKY - fantastic signal, as usual
  • PIKE 78 - 78 dashes per minute, strong signal with clean keying and no chirp, but all the way down at 8000.75.  Had some fade, but when it was up, it sounded like it was in my back yard.
  • TS - weakly, in deep fades.

Location: upstate South Carolina
Radio: IC-718
Antenna: 400-foot longwire @ 40 feet (seems to have a strong north-south pattern)

I received some parts yesterday to put up a new antenna, but need to wait for the stores to open today for a couple of pieces that I forgot to order.  This will be a shortened dipole, rather than the "signal magnet" longwire, but it will be oriented in an east-west direction.  Hopefully, it will work to bring in the western beacons a little better.

I'm also expecting two orders of assorted RF and electronic components to arrive early in the week - I wonder what I could make with them.....?

HF Beacons / The sun came out...
« on: November 03, 2009, 1917 UTC »
I had parked the radio on CO's frequency, and had been listening to it earlier as it got weaker and weaker, presumably as the battery slid down its discharge slope.

Rather suddenly, I started hearing noises out of the speaker - a distinct beep, but wandering all over the place before finally settling down into a familiar rhythm:

I guess the sun finally came out in CO-land...

HF Beacons / Hearing some this afternoon
« on: November 02, 2009, 2238 UTC »
I finally got a chance to program some beacon frequencies into my radio, so I'll no longer have to punch them all in by hand.  I figure I'll be much more likely to scan my list if all I have to do is push a couple of buttons instead of doing a "data entry" chore on the keypad.

Beacons heard @ 22.30 UTC:
BLINKY (booming in as usual - I think I'm in the prime skip zome for this one)
Pike 78
TS (good, strong signal, there)
CO (with a message)

Location:  upstate South Carolina
Radio: IC-718
Antenna:  400-foot longwire @40 feet (appears to have a north-south orientation -- working on putting up an east-west antenna, too)

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