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Messages - Seamus

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Actually, after listening to the "Signal One" recording, this one definitely sounds to me like "Signal Two" ("sig-i-nal two"), particularly in the first couple of repetitions on the second link up above.  6940 and 6844 on the dial... 

"General Tso".  Someone's ordering Chinese take-out, and trying to make themselves understood over the crappy drive-thru intercom.   :D

Equipment / Re: What Radio Did you start your listening hobby with?
« on: February 13, 2012, 1537 UTC »
Radio Shack DX-350 portable multi-band receiver.
The thing was deaf as a freaking post, and it's a wonder that it didn't kill my interest in radio altogether.  On an exceptionally good night, it might have received one of the religious super-stations, possibly an international news broadcast, and maybe a single-letter beacon or two.

I guess I'm a slow learner or something, because I kept reading stories and reports of what was out there to be heard, despite not actually being able to hear them on that little plastic brick, and I eventually got a better radio (which actually _could_ receive signals).  The Yaesu FRG-100 was my next foray into radio, and it heard a pretty good assortment of things.  Its biggest failing was in the design; lacking a keypad, or anything other than the knob and a couple of buttons for frequency selection, traversing the bands took a while.  There was software out there that could control it, but I could never find/afford it, and my computer at the time threw off so much RFI that I'd never be able to use the two of them together anyway.

It wasn't until I upgraded to an actual HF transceiver that I really became able to listen to the bands with any real ease.  My IC-718 remains my rig of choice for listening, and if I want to transmit, I just punch in a frequency, tune it up, and go.

EDIT to add:  Oh, RIGHT!  Now I remember what kept my interest going...
In between the DX-350 and the FRG-100, I read an article on modifying a Radio Shack AM Flavoradio for shortwave reception, by replacing the ferrite loopstick with a multi-tapped coil.  That little flavoradio conversion had exceptionally touchy tuning, but by cranking the switch and finessing the tuning knob, it actually picked up a better selection than the DX-350 ever did. 

Equipment / Re: Changing Freq of Xmitter?
« on: May 23, 2011, 1228 UTC »
It would certainly give a station a "unique" sound that would be unmatched by anything else on the air, that's for sure.

...just not in a good way.

General Radio Discussion / Re: A Fun Read
« on: April 22, 2011, 1301 UTC »
Waitaminnit - I lost track - whose sock puppet am I, again?  ???

Other / Re: 6718kHz - Space Monster Feedback
« on: January 05, 2011, 2325 UTC »
Post that recording that you mentioned, and we might be able to help figure it out.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Question: What's that sound?
« on: December 29, 2010, 1704 UTC »
If I am thinking of the sound you are describing, then I believe it is either OTH radar or ionosonde transmissions. 

The sweeps last for a few seconds each, jump around the band, and vary in speeds, right?  If you hear them strong and clear, you'll usually get three beeps just before the sweeping starts, right? 

Sometimes you'll hear just one speed, sometimes you'll get two or three, and occasionally you'll get what I think of as a "full diagnostic sweep" with every flavor from the fastest burr to the slowest "whoop-whoop" that they generate.

Not sure where you're getting your screen shots and program info from, but the FOX website shows all references to the episode as being "6955 kHz", not "6995 kHz" as in your images above.   ???

Other / Re: WHAT IS IT ?? !!
« on: October 09, 2010, 0309 UTC »
I don't know, but it sounds somewhat reminiscent of a "sweeper" type of mystery signal that I've heard recordings of before. 
If you speed it up to several hundred times normal, you can see a definite set of multiple downward-sweeping tones that overlap each other, repeating over and over.

In that case, no idea.
It's some place with a tall tower.

Anyone KNOW where this tower is?

Just curious...

It's quoted in the video as being 1768 feet tall. 
Crossing that with a list of commercial guyed masts, the most likely candidate (off by a couple of feet) looks like it would be American Towers' "Eglin" tower in Eglin, South Carolina - used by WOLO-TV in Columbia.
I made the assumption that it was within the US, due to the video's mention of OSHA regulations, which wouldn't apply elsewhere.  It was a close match in altitude on a couple of lists online, and the scenery looks about right for central South Carolina (not mountainous terrain, etc.).

Equipment / Re: Small PCB Orders
« on: September 25, 2010, 1243 UTC »
I have not used them, but I have heard good things about them, and know people are generally happy with their service (haven't heard of anyone decrying how horrible they were or anything like that).

I would also be very interested in seeing a transmitter PCB made available.  For educational purposes only, of course. ;)

Shortwave Pirate / Re: Vanishing Hot Dog Radio - 6925U 9/17/2010 2317Z
« on: September 17, 2010, 2345 UTC »
AMAZING signal into upstate South Carolina - SINPO  55454. 
6.925.000U on the dial.
Sounds like it's right next door, with static and noise mostly only evident during quiet moments.

Various hot dog themed songs, interviews, and other audio clips.  Hot Dog Radio IDs, and email address.

23:48 - hot dog trick-or-treat
23:51 - noise picking up a little bit with changing conditions, but still great.
23:51 - doo-wop
23:53 - "yum yum yum, hot dogs are good" into another song
00:01 - foot-long hot dog salute, ID, more tunes
00:16 - talk of wrapping it up.  Another signal in underneath now, but you're still the primary.

Recording pending...

Shortwave Pirate / 6.925
« on: September 16, 2010, 2213 UTC »
Outhouse, is that you?

Hearing soul music, followed by a repeated synthesized ID, just barely peeking through the static.  6.925.005U @22:13

HF Beacons / Re: Morse Beacon Keyer
« on: September 03, 2010, 0541 UTC »
The BASIC Stamp line is a good inroads into microcontrollers, and you can do plenty with them.  I find them to be fairly expensive for what you get, though. 
I transitioned from the Parallax products to PIC micros several years back, and am now in the process of swinging to AVR micros instead.  There are whole families of microcontrollers that outperform the BASIC Stamps for much lower prices ($5 a pop in single-unit quantities), and it's possible to pick and choose from scaled-down micros that include just the features you want at correspondingly lower price points and current consumption.

It's great building simple machines using little 8-pin low-power microcontrollers that you can throw around like tic-tacs though - and even in small quantities, their price is amazingly low  (less than $2 unit price).

The other day, I was marveling once again at the fact that I could purchase a tube of chips, each one more than 20 times faster than my first computer, with over 30 times the memory, and far more capable with built-in support for several different communication protocols, multi-channel analog-to-digital conversion, and many other features and functions that were never even approximated in that old machine -- all for less than $5 each.  I think we paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 for that computer in 1978.

Admittedly, the Stamp series is very easy to get into, and I've made many projects based on the platform.  I just prefer to use my micros bare, instead of packaged as Stamps.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.  I just find price to be a pretty big motivator, especially in my current situation.

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