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Messages - BoomboxDX

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Tecsun, XHDATA, and the Sangean 909X2 are most of what I see being mentioned. Having two of the small XHDATA's (the D-219 and D-328) and a Tecsun PL-398, I understand why these portables with DSP chips are so popular. Relatively inexpensive, and good performance as well.

Much better than the equivalent that was available in the 1970's and 80s (often Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese made transistor multibanders that had varying performance. The modern DSP portables are terrific comparatively, especially when considering the price point. DSP really sounds good, for the most part. Although if the AGC is tight, yeah, it can get pumpy. But then, so is my DX-398.

When i first heard Radio Australia in the very late 1970s it was on a three band portable, using a 60 ft wire. It was heterodyne city. If I'd had a Tecsun, or the digitally tuned XHDATA back then, I would have heard so much more.

So even though there are less stations, varying propagation, etc., the receivers available are really good for the hobby.

The other receivers getting a lot of mention are the various SDRs, and small radios that seem to resemble SDRs, like the Malahit and Belka-DX ones. I see them being mentioned a lot. There's a relatively new radio based on an NXP 'TEF' chip that is getting popular, the Qodosen something or other.

There really are no affordable tabletop / portatops anymore. That ship seems to have sailed. But I would stack my XHDATA D-328 against my FRG-7 for raw, SWBC receive performance any day -- especially when one looks at the cost of each one, accounting for inflation.

General Radio Discussion / Re: AM Radio and Eclipse
« on: April 06, 2024, 0928 UTC »
Also, if you live a couple hundred miles to either side of the path of totality, switch your radio on and tune around anyway. I was a couple hundred miles north of the path of totality of the last one, and heard DX from a couple hundred miles south of the path.

No harm in switching it on, seeing what's there.

Looks like a great kitchen radio, or one you'd leave on in the house when gone for a few hours.... Would fill the place with the sound of voices. The radio's 25 watt audio amp transistor looks like it's quite capable of driving the speaker at a decent volume.

Cool they made this... a bit pricey, but looks well made from the photos RadioJayAllen took.

Amateur Radio / Re: Waterfall Pirate 7197
« on: November 12, 2023, 0646 UTC »
That's the best quality waterfall image I've seen.

On another forum there was a guy who posted a pic of a waterfall image sent by Ukrainians (? -- that's a guess) in the Ukrainian-Ruassian radio war. It was a series of Cyrillic characters.

I am amazed that even as late as the 2010s (when I think the PL-880 was introduced), back to back protection diodes were not included.

Glad to see you being able to fix your radio.

Looks like I'll probably be working all day that day. Drats.

Although the last North American Eclipse in 2017 was pretty cool. Nothing like being in the PNW and  hearing California and a snippet of Utah on MW on a PR-D5 at 10 in the morning during the summer.

Amateur Radio / Re: CQ WW RTTY Contest 9/23/2023 to 9/24/2023
« on: September 26, 2023, 1225 UTC »
Was hearing a LOT of RTTY this past weekend. On 20 Meters, mainly.

I always wonder about all the holes in your roof that need to happen when the panels are installed. Do they ever leak?

I have neighbors who had a small solar panel installation installed. No RFI except during late night hours, and I'm not sure if it's the panels, or their large TV. It started after the panels were installed, but no noise during the day when panels are supposed to be blasting HF with noise. It stops early morning, so for the time being it's an irritant but not debilitating. 30-31 meters has a few frequencies affected.

Still, not happy that this is the new trend. More RFI, everywhere. Sucks.

Shortwave Broadcast / Re: XEPPM R.Educacion 6185 AM 0903 UTC 18 SEP 2023
« on: September 19, 2023, 0119 UTC »
I heard them a couple nights ago -- Saturday night, Pacific time, around 0621 UTC, as SIO354 signal levels, on my Tecsun PL-398 -- playing some symphonic music, and then two electronic meditative pieces, stronger than I'd ever heard them previously. Very cool to listen to on headphones while reading disaster novels.

Usually I hear them very weak and barely readable, in the mud, but Saturday night they were quite listenable. Love the music they play. Seems to range from experimental to old-school ranchero.

Propagation / Re: Solar Cycle Sunspot Number Progression
« on: September 07, 2023, 0037 UTC »
Looks like the high HF ham bands, I.e., the 15, 12, 11 and 10 meters bands are finally seeing activity of note. A bit of CW on 15 and 12, 17 has a bit of CW and SSB activity, and 10 is waking up. 

The activity level is almost reaching what it was during the Solar minimums in the 1990s. We must be nearing the peak.

Of course, if you're in the higher latitudes, as I am, you notice less overall activity than one does further south.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Logbooks
« on: September 07, 2023, 0033 UTC »
I use the spiral ring notebooks you get at box stores and supermarkets. I don't use software anymore. Too much time to maintain a computer log I never look at. During the last MW DX peak in 2012-2014 I had a 'best of' MW DX log on Excel spreadsheet, but then I lost interest.

I just did a short search, and there are YT and other vids and sound clips of the Caribbean Beacon as late as 2017 or 2018 online.

But Hurricane Irma hit Anguilla fairly hard in late 2017. I would think that might have helped do the Beacon in. Although that's just a guess. And listening to Melissa Scott lately, she talks a lot about money. I've heard her talking about it maybe 9 out of the last 10 times I've heard her sermons. So I'm guessing that they really aren't all that flush with money.

I haven't heard them for months, if not years. Mediocre SW conditions over the past 4-5 years hasn't helped. Even the new solar cycle 'peak' predicted to happen later this year doesn't seem to be helping as much as previous cycles.

The only thing I hear on 6090 is China, but that's early in the morning.

And I don't think the University Network is as flush with money as it was in the 1990s and 2000s when Gene Scott was still alive.

10/11 meters / Re: 11m Band Activity 21 AUG 2023
« on: August 22, 2023, 0917 UTC »
I've been monitoring, off and on, what appears to be the Latin American outband calling frequency (same as in the early 2010s when the last cycle peaked), 27455 USB, several times a week.

And the activity is nowhere near what it was in 2011-2014 or so. Some afternoons it's mostly static/hiss with a few Latin American outbanders peaking up and fading back, other afternoons there may be 4-5. A lot of afternoons it's dead.

Either way, so far it's nothing like 11 years ago, when I would regularly hear Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and various countries in South America, and 27455 would sound more like Channel 38 than 160 Meters. :-)

Even Channel 38, the main US sideband channel, is touch and go this year. In 2012 it was slammed.

I'm hoping the promised 'peak' of the present cycle that is set for this Fall and Winter turn out better.


Yeah....I had no reception of the Romanian service in the 1300 UTC hour on 15340 AM today and that had always been a very strong signal, frequently a music program.   :(

Try 11740 khz around 0400 UTC. They come in well at that time, at least here in the NW US, on most nights. Also a music program. It's beamed at Southern Europe, presumably for Romanian expats.

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