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Topics - syfr

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HF Beacons / Central coast DXing
« on: February 02, 2023, 0141 UTC »
Got a chance to listen from a relatives house here in SB County.  Rig is a Belka DX hooked to a rain gutter downspout ... top drawer DXing!

0139 UTC and DW is in loud and clear,  and I was able to copy The Slider up the band a bit  with nice signals as well.

Will try again tomorrow from another location and will see what I can find

Congrats to the respective ops!

General Radio Discussion / All right, fess up! :-)
« on: January 05, 2023, 1829 UTC »

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / FL PIE/B
« on: July 09, 2022, 2342 UTC »
Nice copy with some QSB and lightning noise @ 2340 UTC 7/9/22

Pirate Radio History / Lost another Free Radio friend
« on: July 05, 2022, 1453 UTC »
For those of you who knew Ben Fuller, I just found an obit from 4 yrs ago. We kept in touch for many years after he moved from Cape Cod to live in Namibia, but I lost track of him some yrs ago after I moved out of New Mexico.

Ben was a very prolific logger of pirate radio in the 80's ... if you have occasion to glance through old issues of The Ace (doesn't everyone?) you'll be hard pressed to find any issues without his name in the reception reports.

73 Ben.


HF Beacons / The Mud Duck 4095.16
« on: July 05, 2022, 1312 UTC »
Logged via KFS Omni on 4095.16 at 1300z with nice signals.

Good work, whoever planted this.

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / RF
« on: July 02, 2022, 1534 UTC »
Beacon RF on 13.564.9 is Q5 here this morning.   It's odd that it's making about a 90 mile hop!

HF Beacons / The family on 4096
« on: June 30, 2022, 2354 UTC »

A nice family portrait from KFS including some of the "legacy beacons"  :-) I highlighted w/yellow for my own purpose, sorry.

Nice to hear the central coast beacon up the band a bit too... it's doing really well

Pirate Radio History / Radio Metallica history website
« on: October 03, 2021, 1924 UTC »
There used to be a website with some photos that described the history of R. Metallica along with the history of the operators of the station. I recall a story about the op blowing up a transformer or some such service equipment and having to bluff the repair people who were out to repair it.

At least...that's what I seem to recall.   RMWW used to run some huge power back in the late 90's and lived to tell about it, after some other high-ish  power SW stations (Hope R. ) had gotten the knock.   10 kW comes to mind as the output power IIRC.

Anyone recall where this might have been on the web?  Might have been a thread off a ham radio AM webpage (imagine that!) , but I've been looking without success.

The RF Workbench / Beacon Keyer hardware
« on: August 20, 2021, 1807 UTC »
I've been playing with a Tiny85 as a beacon controller, due to its efficiencies

 I  lowered the clock speed to 1Mhz from 8. Nothing about a keyer needs 8Mhz clock.

I built an external high side switch circuit (2n3904 /  3906 pair) keyed from a digital output from the tiny to turn the 12v to the transmitter OFF when it's not actually sending something.  There's no use burning up power in the bias circuit if it's idle.

Transmitter runs off 12V, of course the Tiny needs 5. A  2950 regulator is fine for supplying the 5V.

I put the Tiny into SLEEP mode (there's some libraries out there on the web to do this. Not so many for the Tiny, but there are some) when it's not doing anything useful (between transmissions, etc). This keeps the Tiny running but shuts down most other functionality (inputs/outputs/DAQ's etc)  to save power. The transmitter is a Pixie (with no RX circuitry) and output is about 550 mW into 50 ohms.  I'm pretty sure I can do better than this by replacing the lossy molded inductors in the LP filter with small toroid versions.

Anyway, here's some supply current numbers with the results.   These numbers include the current to the ATTiny and the transmitter

Vcc 12.5

Icc (Transmitting) = 92 mA
Icc (Transmitter biased but not being keyed) 16mA
Icc (Transmitter disconnected , Tiny in sleep mode)  0.45 mA

That last number (0.45 mA for the whole system in sleep mode) is a nice one if battery capacity is of value to you.

If I recall correctly, the Arduino Nano pulls about 24 mA doing nothing, which is why I spent the time looking at the Attiny.  This is just a hint of a way to go that might help if you're looking to run off a battery.


The RF Workbench / BCB Bandstop filter Chinese vs homebrew
« on: June 03, 2021, 1651 UTC »
I built a broadcast band bandstop filter to put in front of my Kiwis, and the results are pretty cool, as measured by the NanoVNA.  I got about 55dB attenuation at the frequency of interest and minimal loss at the rest of HF.

Hope some may find it interesting/useful. NanoVNA is awesome

SCROLL to the right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

HF Beacons / Beacon V5 (8006 ish)
« on: May 29, 2021, 1854 UTC »
Light copy on a very low rep rate station in CW just above HIKER...maybe 8005.5 or 8007 .   Sounds like various CW , bit only once every 30 sec or so.

Anyone else?

Propagation / E Season
« on: May 20, 2021, 2321 UTC »
Man, 10M was on fire today....   it's summer E-Time!

Equipment / T2FD results (58 ft)
« on: May 17, 2021, 1707 UTC »
Thanks to Chris, I built a 58 ft T2FD and got it hung in the back yard in test.   The high end is up at about 48 ft  with the antenna sloping at about 25 degrees with the low end up about 5 ft.  The antenna is at the end of about 175 ft of 52 ohm coax heading to my Kiwis though a homebrew active splitter.  I used a 900 ohm resistor and there's currently no balun.

Chris and I are only 120 miles apart or so, and it's interesting to compare results in our installations. While I'm super impressed with Chris's 120 ft T2, I'm not sure I could actually get that installed by myself.

My reference antenna (one that I left hooked up all the time to the Kiwis) was a trap dipole in the attic (30' up) that was only so so, and prone to lots of noise being emitted by all the junk in the house. 

There's some "industrialization" that needs to happen to keep this thing in the air, but I'm impressed so far.  S/N is MUCH improved over the noisy attic antenna.  I'm looking forward to the nighttime results on 40M as my benchmark.

Thanks to Chris for the inspiration.

HF Beacons / Is this slow ditter Hexy?
« on: May 03, 2021, 1512 UTC »

It's quite strong on KFS

Equipment / BELKA DX
« on: April 24, 2021, 2042 UTC »
Just ordered one of these , given the good reviews it's  been getting.  I got the one with the internal speaker(ette) though this may or may not turn out to be the choice I end up with

Pretty impressive little box, looks like:


Anyone have one?  Easy online transaction directly from Alex, received email conformation within minutes of the order.

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