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Topics - ThaDood

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As long as I was checking out radio documentary movies, I remember that another one was supposed to come out, if they got the funding to do so. 40W From Nowhere.   https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kblt/40-watts-from-nowhere-the-kblt-documentary   Well, that sucks. (Hey Andrew!!!! Do you see a potential Hobby Broadcasting podcast interview here?) Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm???

I've just gotten the link for this,   https://www.35000watts.com/35000-watts-download-available-now/   I'd rather get the tangible DVD, but this can work as well.

https://www.radiosurvivor.com/2017/12/podcast-120-tiny-radio-station/     Heard WTSQ-LP 88.1FM Charleston, WV,   www.wtsq.org , re-air this podcast, Saturday 7/6/2024, morning on Part 15 radio, with guest Bill DeFelice.  Always, a good listen.

In my new gig, I was able to dumpster-dive for one of those so-called Power Converters, from WFCO, used for RV Camping Trailers. And, easy enough to fix, since clearly seen are two blown 200VDC, 680uF, electrolytic CAP's. And, not hard to believe upon how that blew. These so-called converters are really cheaply-made switching power supplies. You go from 120VAC line, through a slow-blow 5A, MDL, fuse, then a multi-wound torroid. Then, a heat sink mounted, big-ass, bridge rectifier, that must have a pretty high PIV and current rating, and then those electrolytic CAP's. I, replaced those CAP's with ones rated at 250VDC, 220uF, but paralleled a bank of them. Also seen is a fist-sized transformer, and a banks of what maybe TO-3-AP heatsink-mounted MOSFET's. Then, there's a VERT mounted board, probably for regulation and protection adjustments, since there are, set & glued, trimmer POT's on there. So, I suspect that those are for either VDC OUT ADJ, current limits, or even an over-voltage Crowbar function. (Here, I'm speculating, but might make some logical sense.) And, as a test, at power-up, it didn't blow-up in my face. My test loads were one of those older GE 12VDC Emergency lights and a dialysis pump motor, maybe MAX'ing-Out around 7A, but still something to test. And??? Dead-nuts 13.72VDC Output, with only a 4mV ripple measured, if that. Then, came the RF test with an Eton E-10 HF portable, where from MW to the FM BC band, it's whiny, RF GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, crazy! I did add extra filtering by the output, with a .33uF, 310VDC, CAP. And??? MW and lower HF were worst! It did help in upper HF, 25MHz - 30MHz, but didn't really help FM BC Band either. There's no really GND on this supply, only one marked 'FG' for Floating Ground. So, Good for motors, battery charging, 12VDC refrigerators, and 12VDC lighting? Sure... Radio stuff??? Hell, NO!!!! BTW, how you have an idea of current rating is the 'WF-89??' number. This unit is a WFCO model # WF-8955. That '55' tells ya that the MAX current rating is 55A. Pretty ballsy, until you put it to radio use. Sure, it will power a 200W Kenwood TS-480 transceiver, and even a 100W Vertex Standard commercial UHF 460MHz radio, both drawing around at least 40A , on transmit, but for RX'ing??? D.E.A.E.D!!!! (Don't Expect Anything Except Disappointment). So, what seems good, is not necessarily good for us. Still, I now have a brute-force bench-side power supply for power hungry tests, but not for testing receivers. BTW, lots of Youtube VID's on these. And, ebay and Amazon, sell these from $100.00 - $300.00. Worth it??? Not to me, but seen in a dumpster, it's pretty hard to pass-up.

At work, I was setting up a used VIBE Camper for resale, and this unit, from 2018, it had a Weingard Rotatable TV / FM antenna, and was able to hear WCST on the camper stereo. https://radio-locator.com/info/WCST-FM?loc=38.48830%2C-81.80511&locn=25159%20%28Poca%2C%20WV%29  Yeah, less than 1kW, at 15 miles from the TX site. Around 10AM EST, (14:00UTC, I believe.), that station was getting trounced by several stations just popping in and out quickly. No DX ID's, but I heard Arkansas mentioned on one station. By 10:40AM, it was just back to hearing only WCST again. Well, always neat to hear FM DX at work. Oh BTW, those disc-like, King TV antennas, that the newer campers seem to come with? Those are 100% total garbage!

Uh-huh... This weekend, the Amateur Radio bands will go nuts with activity for a 24hrs period.   https://www.arrl.org/field-day  But, if you should want to avoid this, then the WARC bands, and the 5MHz (60M), Band, is a great escape. One thing about this heatwave going on is for some nice enhancement in the higher VHF and UHF bands, with Tropo Propagation, especially late night and early mornings. I believe that National Simplex 146.520MHz FM is forbidden to use for contesting, but all other Simplex FREQ's should be game. Happy contesting???

Equipment / Don't pass up those 1980's Radio Shack Mixers!
« on: May 23, 2024, 2019 UTC »
With the Vinyl Revival now in a full-swing, let's talk about gear to use with that vinyl. OK, you have a couple of turntables, that use magnet cartrige pick-ups, but no line-level preamps built-in. You could buy a Magnet Level to Line-Level extrnal preamp, but one tool that I've always found useful, from the 1980's, 1990's, and even more so now, are the cheap Radio Shack, Realistic Mixing boards, CAT # 32-1200 and #32-1100, as seen from this link.    https://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/flipbook/1986_radioshack_catalog.html?fb3d-page=53    Many of today's cheap and moderately priced mixers do not have an input for Magnet Cartrige Level turntables, but these mixers did, and are still widely available used. Yes, they will require clean-up, and some maintenance, like spraying contact cleaner in the slide POT's, RCA Phono Inputs / Outputs, switches, Cue buttons, and headphone jack. However, very doable. Want to add cassette decks, DVD audio, CD payer, Open Reel Deck, MiniDisc, 8-Track, MP3 audio, or something else? These mixers will still perform and be very valid to do so, today. I, have several of these mixers in my production A/V studios and On-Air Part 15 studio, and they are by no means obsolete. If, you see them for cheap, don't pass them up.

https://www.schlockwood.com/   Look under Products for the audio processor and AM Monitor. Then, check out under Projects.

The RF Workbench / Low-cost RF synthesizer uses generic ICs?
« on: May 10, 2024, 1757 UTC »
https://www.edn.com/low-cost-rf-synthesizer-uses-generic-ics/  Boomer and I were talking about what could you use a crystal, that was common in 1980's digital watches, for. Well, this was his answer. Neat!!!!

Certainly looks simple enough.    https://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=401204   (Thank you Boomer for FWD that!)

https://www.pointpark.edu/academics/schools/schoolofcommunication/studentmedia/wppj    and     https://wppjradio.com/   and     https://www.pointpark.edu/studentlife/features/wppjstudentradio     Unfortunately, none of the TX gear is seen, but from what I've been told, they are running old LPB, Inc., gear.  Any of y'all been there?

General Radio Discussion / Me??? Several radios...
« on: April 23, 2024, 1941 UTC »
I still have a Sangean ATS-803A portable at bedside to listen to MW and HF HAM's, usually connected to the W.O.G. antenna. And, also tried, and have kept, a cheap Yorek YK-901 DSP radio, mainly for FM. Then, I'll use transceivers for QSO'ing and DX'ing, Like a Kenwood TS-2000X, TS-50S, Xiegu G90 SDR rig, Icom IC-745, and even the O.E.M. stereo in the vehicle for AM / FM DX'ing, especially 1710kHz. Then, I'll still use as a portable an Eton E10.

Just when I thought that F2 was done for the night, around 03:00UTC, I was surprised to hear some weak activity on CB's 38LSB on at 01:30UTC. Not talking DX, to to each other, about 3 - 4 "S" unit. Tuned around and heard the Superbowl CH6 hopping, with several stations shouting-out from Illinois. However, it's AM CH28 that caught my interest. At first, thought that to be skip, but it was a couple of locals, one at S3 and the other at S5. Then, someone broke-in from Kansas City, MO. He, eventual came in at S10/9. Then, a couple of other Kansas stations joined-in, and there was a QSO from KS to WV for over 30min. Still going, even after 06:00UTC, but fading. So, they signed-off with each other soon afterwards. Well, that's why Sporadic "E" is call just that. You'll never really know when that just comes around.

From Radio World:   https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/headlines/wqvram-is-granted-cp-to-use-heba-antenna-at-night
Well, I think that at least it's intriguing.  (THANKS Boomer, for the link!)

Weather / 1670 AM TIS on-air for recent floods in Etna, PA?
« on: April 13, 2024, 1837 UTC »
News from Boomer:  "Believe it or not, the TIS on 1670 activated recently with real emergency info and not just the loop. It's up the river in Etna PA, far away, but my Kiwi can get it. First time I ever heard them with actual emergency info." Well, that's at least different.

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