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Topics - ButchKidd

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Utility / UNID 5 Character ALE net 2113 UTC 03 FEB 2020
« on: February 04, 2020, 0245 UTC »
I'm not sure how reliable this website is, but according to
http://www.ominous-valve.com/ale-list.txt, this ALE net is believed to be run by FEMA or other elements of the US government.  The frequencies ("dial" freq USB mode) are said to be:


I left MARS ALE scanning this afternoon and evening, and logged these soundings.  To me, it looks like a controlled net where only the NCS sounds.

[21:13:50][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 27 SN 13
[21:44:00][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 29 SN 12
[21:42:38][FRQ 12109000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 05
[21:48:20][FRQ 04979000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 29 SN 09
[22:14:17][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 28 SN 12
[22:18:33][FRQ 04979000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 12
[22:44:33][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 13
[22:48:53][FRQ 04979000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 29 SN 12
[23:00:39][FRQ 04610000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 10
[23:14:41][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 16
[23:44:57][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 13

[00:31:20][FRQ 04610000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 17 SN 13
[00:45:32][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 15
[01:20:03][FRQ 04979000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 16
[01:31:44][FRQ 04610000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 16
[01:50:13][FRQ 04979000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 14
[01:52:35][FRQ 04979000][SND][               ][TWS][ZG7D8          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 15
[02:46:20][FRQ 05837000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 08
[02:50:32][FRQ 04979000][SND][               ][TWS][6Y8M5          ][AL0] BER 30 SN 10

Shortwave Pirate / PeeWee Radio 6955 USB 0256 UTC 27 JAN 2020
« on: January 27, 2020, 0259 UTC »
0256 Rock music
0258 SSTV
0259 More rock guitar

Despite the dog-centric SSTVs, I'm assuming this was Skippy (meant to write) PeeWee Radio, since he sent the sock image earlier and tends to send SSTVs of images posted on the HFU chat.

Just tuned in via the Jumonville, PA SDR.  - SIO 454 - Playing Spanish translations of American rock songs.  YL with Spanish-language voice IDs.  It may be worth noting that websites and emails mentioned seem to use "dot com" which I associate with Spanish-speakers who grew up in the US, rather "puntocom" which I associate with Latin-American Spanish.

2105 - OM ID as Radio Humperdoo.  Guess it was a relay.

Shortwave Pirate / UNID 5100 AM 1648 UTC 24 SEP 2019
« on: September 24, 2019, 1656 UTC »
Another relay of Mix Radio International who's currently on 5125 KHz USB.
SIO 222 on the Westminster, MD Kiwi.  Can't pick it up locally.

1704 - Sign-Off?
1705 - Carrier is back.  There was audio for a second, then back to dead carrier.
1714 - Still on.  Every once in a while I get a little audio, right at the noise level.

Equipment / Test Equipment for First Time Build
« on: September 09, 2019, 1903 UTC »
TLDR: What hobby-level test equipment would you recommend for a first build project, a 100mW medium wave AM transmitter?

Up until now, Iíve just been a user of radios, but never understood at a fundamental level how the parts worked together.  Iíve built crystal receiver kits and arduino-powered robots with the kids, but always following someone elseís instructions.  At present, my troubleshooting ability is mostly limited to making sure I followed directions or a schematic correctly and checking for bad connections/solder joints.  I look at RF circuits with a DC short, and it blows my mind that it works.  But, Iím working on correcting that.

I figure thereís only so much I can learn from reading forum posts and watching YouTube videos.  I want to build something, if not from scratch, then at least with an understanding of why the designer chose the components he did.  My plan is to build several iterations, starting with something super-simple, like using an op-amp to generate a carrier, and modulate it directly with a line-level audio source.  Then Iíd like to improve the design step-by-step to get better quality audio, low-pass filtering, and a usable range with a matched antenna.

Aside from the actual components and tools to assemble them, what am I going to need for this journey?  Iíve got a breadboard, soldering station, multi-meter, etc. as well as the ďend userĒ stuff like a dummy load and SWR meter, but I donít expect to need those until much later.  Iíve been thinking of getting an old analog oscilloscope on eBay or Craigslist since they seem to be available around $50 if youíre patient.  I guess at some point Iíll need to prototype a PCB or order it from China.  Can some of you more experienced guys tell me if thereís something important that Iím missing here?

I realize Iím probably not really giving enough information to get a good answer, but Iíd at least like to get some ideas on what to start thinking about from those who have done it before.

Shortwave Pirate / UNID 6880 USB 0425 UTC 9 SEP 2019
« on: September 09, 2019, 0427 UTC »
SIO 444 S7 in GA
Don't think this is the same operator that was switching freqs before.  This signal is 3khz wide as opposed to 5khz.

0425 Pink Floyd - Hey You
0427 Pink Floyd - Brain Damage

Peskies / English Speaking Maritime 6212 USB 1203 23AUG2019
« on: August 23, 2019, 1214 UTC »
Hearing one half of a conversation.  This frequency is allocated for simplex use on the Mississippi River, but with that small an area, I would expect to hear both sides.

1203 OM - "Yeah, I didn't realize I left mine at home."
1204 OM "No big deal.  I found another one."

Utility / Red Thunder calling First Sealord 4028 USB
« on: August 12, 2019, 1250 UTC »
1240 Red Thunder calling First Sealord several times with nothing heard.
1243 Sealord answers.  Red Thunder acknowledges and out.

The frequency doesn't match up with any of the MARS nets I've heard, and both Red Thunder (male) and First Sealord (female) sounded much younger than the typical MARS op, so I assume it's active or reserve military.

Edit: I found this doc that lists First Sealord as USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) and Red Thunder as possibly USS Ramage (DDG 61)

Utility / 9940.5 kHz USB ALE Soundings
« on: July 30, 2019, 1845 UTC »
At about 1700 hearing strong ALE soundings.  By the time I managed to start up the computer, I was only able to catch:
[Sounding THIS WAS] [from HCM] [his BER=30 + SINAD=03]
[Sounding THIS WAS] [from HSM] [his BER=27 + SINAD=05]

FM Free Radio / Antenna Height vs Gain
« on: July 19, 2018, 0200 UTC »
Can you guys give me your general thoughts on this?  I know there is no right answer.

I've finally built a circular polarized antenna to try to get a more consistent signal no matter what type of receiver.  My original idea was to build a second CP antenna and feed it in phase a wavelength below the first.  Now I'm having second thoughts on the two-bay idea.

I'm in a rural area and my existing ground plane antenna is nearly 100 feet above the terrain.  It doesn't quite clear the treeline, but it's as high as I'm likely to get without a real tower, which isn't going to happen.  It's a good transmitter site, but despite some pretty cavalier power levels, I just can't get the signal to my house.  I think I'm terrain-limited rather than power limited.

Here's my thought.  I'm not really comfortable using high power long-term.  It seems like asking for trouble.  I'd like to get the most out of a lower output power, but if adding another CP antenna will just lower the center of radiation by one half wavelength, would you expect to get any additional range out of the higher gain?

All things considered, I can just run more power to a single antenna at the same height.

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