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Messages - Dave Richards

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Well, I was always under the impression that we don't get to hear many pirates here on the West Coast, but XFM is peaking S9 into the SF East Bay right now, on my Belka DX and 70 foot wire at 30-50 feet.

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / Re: TSN
« on: September 25, 2022, 1739 UTC »
TSN coming through nice and clear on 13555.98 at about S3 on the KFS SDR, at 1730z. I sure wish there was a brief pause each time, before it sends the callsign. To the uninitiated, it sounds more like SNT than TSN.

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / Re: AMA 13566.780 1629 10-SEP-2022
« on: September 13, 2022, 2347 UTC »
Not sure why someone would go to the trouble to put a beacon on the air and not provide any information about it.

Does kind of seem to defeat the point, doesn't it?

Oh, I don't know about that. I can see the appeal in putting a QRPp HiFER beacon on the air, with no publicity or fanfare at all, sitting back, and seeing whether anyone ever finds it. Sounds like fun, to be honest!

HF Beacons / Re: Cry Baby Beacon
« on: September 12, 2022, 1601 UTC »
Thanks HQ180. Just heard Cry Baby very faintly on the NUT SDR, on 7956, at 1600z on 9-12-2022.

HF Beacons / Re: Madonna
« on: September 03, 2022, 0602 UTC »
So Madonna is/was a dasher beacon in the Inyo mountains area and sun only. The Marin Ditter is AC line powered in the attic of an apartment building

Thanks for that Teotwaki.

I have not been actively listening out for HF beacons for long, so cannot tell the difference between some of these "legacy" beacons by listening to them, otherwise I might recognize subtle differences in the speed of the ditting, or even the sound of the keying waveform. I heard what I think was Madonna during daylight hours so, by that metric, it could have been either beacon. However, the beacon I heard was on 4097.27, which is only 40hz from the frequency that MB reported Madonna as being on. For it to be the Marin Ditter, it would have had to have drifted 420Hz from it's earlier reported frequency. Though not impossible, it's quite a lot, for what I assume is a crystal-controlled oscillator - even if there's a fair amount of inductance and/or capacitance in series with the crystal (unless the frequency was altered by human intervention).

HF Beacons / Re: Madonna
« on: August 31, 2022, 2349 UTC »
I'm not sure. I just heard it on the KPH SDR, on 4097.27 again, just above the noise. I tried the second harmonic, at 8194.54, and it was coming through a bit stronger. The fact that the second harmonic was a bit stronger does make one wonder whether it is the Marin Ditter.

Do we know for a fact that Madonna is/was a distinctly different beacon, or was there always the possibility that it was simply the Marin Ditter?

HF Beacons / Re: New whooper beacon on 4095.65
« on: August 31, 2022, 2339 UTC »
The battery is about 22 months old but has done very well so far. It is oversized in terms of the Amp Hours needed and so is the solar panel.

That was a good design decision. Top marks, and thank you for giving us such a great signal to listen out for, even though I know that wasn't the primary intent!

PCO coming into the KPH SDR, barely copyable above an S3 band noise level RST 239, with wideband QRM/QRN across the whole HiFER band. 2330z (1630 PDT) on 8-31-2022. No other HiFERs copyable on the band though. PCO is a regular signal here.

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / Re: TSN
« on: August 31, 2022, 0001 UTC »
TSN heard on the KFS Omni SDR at 2355z on 8-30-2022 RST 539.

HF Beacons / Madonna
« on: August 30, 2022, 0001 UTC »
I didn't see a thread for Madonna, so am starting a new one. I'm guessing it has been included in the posts that some of our members make when they post all their loggings for the day.

Madonna at 4097.27 ~240 dits/minute at 4:40pm PDT (2340z) on 8-29-2022 Copyable above the S1 band noise most of the time, though occasionally dips under.
Heard on the KFS SDR. Also on KPH, with a similar report.

HF Beacons / Re: Another New Dasher? 4095.92, 2212Z, KPH SDR
« on: August 29, 2022, 1646 UTC »
I heard it this morning, on 4095.2 on the KFS SDR, at 0915 PDT (1615z). 3 seconds on and 3 seconds off. Good signal, but gone the next time I checked, 20 minutes later. No key clicks.

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / 22M Beacons Log 8-19-2022
« on: August 20, 2022, 0006 UTC »
The following heard on the KFS SDR in Half Moon Bay, CA -

TSN (Tucson, AZ) 13555.96 0154z S5 on a band with S3 noise. However, although the signal was easily discerniable, the spacing between the letters made copying the callsign a bit challenging. There is virtually no delay before the callsign repeats, and the spacing between the letters is such that it sounds like SNT. If it weren't for the listing on LWCA, I wouldn't have realized I was listening to TSN. Increasing the delay before the callsign repeats, by a second or two, would solve this issue.

PCO (Pine, CO) 13563.48 0206z S3-S4 (just copyable above noise)

EDIT - I heard TSN again this morning (8-20-2022), and the delay has been increased. It is easy to copy now.

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / Re: NDB2
« on: August 18, 2022, 0723 UTC »
NDB2 just copyable above the noise on 13554 at 0721z on 8-18-2022 on the KFS SDR in Half Moon Bay, CA.

PCO coming into the KFS SDR in Half Moon Bay, CA on 8-18-2022 at 0224z (7:24pm PDT). Noise is S3-S4. PCO is about an S unit above the noise, but perfectly copyable. According to the KFS SDR, it is on 13563.48. I'm not sure how accurately these Kiwi SDR's are calibrated, but it seems to be within a few 10's of Hz. My second HiFER copy (TON was the first). Encouraging!

Also being received on the KPH SDR with about the same report.

22 Meter Band HiFER Beacons / Re: 'TON' 13358.5 KHz
« on: August 17, 2022, 0829 UTC »
TON is the first ever HiFER beacon I have copied. Just heard it, at 0822z on 8-17-2022 on the KFS SDR. Had been listening on the frequency for a while. I could tell there was a signal there but couldn't get a copy. Then, for a magical 30 seconds or so, propagation lifted the signal out of the noise, and I got a solid copy. As I write this, it is back under the noise. Thank goodness for waterfall displays, and online SDR's!

Now I'm hooked. Who needs those high power 100 and 200mW beacons, when a few milliwatts will do the job?

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