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Topics - Kage

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Huh? / Christmas time
« on: July 31, 2019, 0504 UTC »
Sometimes when I put my step button to 1kHz intervals and tune across the AM MW band it sounds like slay bells and steel drums between stations. Sometimes it sounds like Charlie Browns adult. Good way to fall to sleep if the static and blips on longwave doesn't work or Radio Havana Cuba isn't enough fun on acid. To each their own.

Huh? / I love you all
« on: July 11, 2019, 1746 UTC »
Feeling pretty, might delete later.
God bless the pirate radio community!  :D

Propagation / Is my radio dead though?
« on: July 05, 2019, 0401 UTC »
I've never heard it this bad before. The last week has been a clustersuck of thunderstorms and local stations only. I'm not talking just SW either but even the MW band that I trust in has been getting weak in the X-band range.

I seriously thought for a bit that it was my radio or antenna or a lightning storm that deafened my radio because I have never heard it get this quiet. Doesn't help that this data station on LW around 300Kc I use as a test station to make sure everything is fine that usually gives me a full signal strength reading is now gone quiet but I think it finally went off air.
The only station that helped me confirm things are still working somewhat was the pirate X-FM with his booming signal and WBCQ, but even those were below the norm I am used to (outside of the superstation).

It's not my radio though, I tested a few radios, then really thought either I am losing my mind or my antenna broke connection somewhere. I have an inverted L up 35' with about 100' horizontal that I also use for AM pirating when the itch hits. Well just for shits I ran a low power TX test through my usual untouched tuning unit and sure enough my SWR was fine through the old wire, so it's not my antenna or ground system.
It is REALLY THIS QUIET! Time to toss the radios and go to stringed can communication? :'(

Found this topic from 2015 on bandwidth but few replies and I never hear people discuss emphasis usage.

With mediumwave broadcasting it's almost necessary as listeners radios will have 75 microsecond de-emphasis built in, so the old standard NRSC mask 10db up near 10kHz with the sharp cut gets the job done like the big stations. Most audio processors will take care of this so no reason not to use it and I've noticed when not used the broadcast sounds muddy on AM radios able to pass the highs.

On shortwave I'm guessing there is no real need for it since standard audio bandwidth is out to 5kHz or so. What about some of you running higher bandwidth? I'd imagine most of the standard multi-band radios use de-emphasis on all the AM bands including shortwave since it's easier in circuit, and leave the FM broadcast section to do its own thing. Maybe some pre-emphasis on the shortwave transmission would help? Boosting up to 7.5dB at 5kHz and then brick walling it at that point to accommodate peoples average analog receivers using the mask on all AM bands internally?

Also wondering if anyone here has tried any practical bandwidth tests to see if lower/higher on both transmit/receive being equal made a difference in long distance listening?
I'd think that technically speaking lower bandwidths would conserve transmit power thus increase broadcast range slightly but the difference between 5kHz and 10kHz audio bandwidth is so small compared to something like FM upwards of 200kHz to AMs 10-20kHz occupied space that it probably doesn't matter so why not use higher fidelity audio on AM to make everyone happy from cheap radios to SDRs set wide open? We're talking pirating anyways, so no need to follow strict bandwidth rules unless the pirate band gets congested.

Just some caffeinated thoughts ;D

Edit: Discussion of SSB bandwidth welcome too! I'm so used to AM mode that I forgot this applies to SSB as well.

10/11 meters / What is with 11m lately?
« on: May 24, 2018, 1157 UTC »
Anyone else notice that even though we are on the low end of the 11 year cycle the CB band is picking up big at times I never recall? Yet lower frequencies are completely dead. It seems 10+MHz is doing swell but anything lower is worse than ever! I tuned in 80m last night and heard two hams and that was it, yet at the same time I heard hundreds of people on CB 11m.
Right now as I post this, 6:55AM EST I am hearing skip from all over, that's not normal. Even at night lately and last night I heard people talking skip into the moon hours.
What is up with the sun? I thought when we are on the cycle low we are working local only but I am hearing stuff that reminds me of years ago when the solar cycle was high.
What gives? Am I going nuts?
Meanwhile I can't even tune in coast to coast am at night, how will I sleep w/o george snoory telling me bedtime stories?

The RF Workbench / Noticeable drift to listeners
« on: November 25, 2015, 1730 UTC »
Just curious if one was to use a VFO for frequency generation how much it would take until it becomes obvious that the station is using a free running VFO?

Is 50hz drift over an hour varying +-25hz occasionally even notable on AM? (currently where I have my circuit zeroed in at, improving a tiny bit each time I try different capacitors)
I realize with SSB this could be an issue fine tuning on the listeners end but with AM I can't imagine this would be of issue correct?
I know there are a few people here who log stations down to 100hz, like 6925.5 for example, but as long as the signal is within a few 10s of hz would that many people even notice?
I worry because I damn near have this VFO built but worry that it will become blatantly obvious that I am using one to some people who are anal about logging frequency and I don't want to be that broadcaster that "drifts".

I know for a fact that pirates of the past used transmitters using VFOs, and it makes me wonder just how much they drifted over an hour or two of broadcasting after a basic warm up. Hell there are even pirates here still using tube based VFOs that broadcast. Those suckers have to drift a ton even when running to specification right?
Can anyone here that did that speak up and admit how much it drifted so?

General Radio Discussion / cmradio?
« on: September 25, 2015, 1436 UTC »
Just wondering if anyone knows where he went or if he just moved on to other hobbies or something?
Always was one of the most helpful people I knew when it came to RF electronics. Hope he is okay.

MW Loggings / 1720AM Show Tonight
« on: January 03, 2012, 0608 UTC »
Going to be running a small show tonight starting at 0600UTC.
Not sure how well it will propagate but worth a shot in the dark.
Will move back to 1710Kc later on tonight where I normally am at.
Lemme know if you pick up anything.

Spy Numbers / Spanish number station question
« on: October 22, 2009, 2028 UTC »
Been hearing this station on 8096khz from time to time. Just curious why it sounds like there is a telephone ringing
constantly in the background. Anyone else notice this?
It sounds exactly like an old telephone ringer and it rings in a weird pattern behind the spanish lady.
Also noted that a few days ago the signal sounded horrible like the transmitter was dying or something.

Spy Numbers / Decoding number stations
« on: April 29, 2009, 0246 UTC »
Has anyone here ever decoded number stations and uncovered something
really important that should be kept secret or the like?
I am new to listening to number stations and don't know much on how
to decode them.
Is there software to help decode them?

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