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Messages - ButchKidd

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I'm late to the party.  Sounds great though.  SIO 444.

0032 B52s - Rock Lobster
0037 ID into 80's rock tune
0040 Paul Young - Come back and Stay
Stepped out and missed at least one song
0048 Tom Tom Club - The Genius of Love
0054 dance tune I should recognize, but I don't..
0059 Starting to fade below the noise off and on
Thanks for the show..

Listening via the Westminster, MD KiwiSDR.  Nice wide USB signal at S7 with very little noise.  Unfortunately, I don't have any signal at all for them locally.  Using Shazam to identify the songs, since I'm not familiar with any of them.

1804 Fourplay - Sunnymoon
1807 Concorde - Shadowland
1810 ID - Thank you for tuning in to mix
1810 Atlantis Music Project - Timo&Soia
1814 Google Assistant says: Sorry, I wasn't able to recognize this song.  No prob, Google lady, neither was I.
1817 Dario Carli - New Landscapes (with fades to around S3)
1819 funky synth bass, still can't identify it... Google says it's Menny Fasano - Susan (Love Mix)
1826 Jjos - Fantasy (Terrace Mix)

1830-ish Had to step away from the computer, but it still sounds great playing around the office.  I really enjoyed some of the more upbeat stuff.

1858 ID - Mix - Still going strong.  Signal up to S9 now on the Westminster, MD KiwiSDR.
1858 Night Flyte - Square Root
1901 Chris Standrig - Static in the Attic
1907 ID - Mix Radio International
1907 Chuck Loeb - Happy Hour

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)

Shortwave Pirate / Re: UNID 6930 USB 2047 UTC 10 Aug 2019
« on: August 10, 2019, 2051 UTC »
S6 into GA with lots of static crashes from a nearby storm

2049 Tuned in to find The Motels - Only the Lonely
2050 The Go-Go's - Get Up and Go
2053 ID - Lukewarm Radio w/ email
2054 The Go-Go's - Our Lips are Sealed
2058 Adam Ant - Goody Two Shoes
2102 ID - Lukewarm Radio w/email
2102 deep fading now, can hear music, but can't make it out
2104 Wall of Voodoo - Mexican Radio
2106 The Go-Go's Vacation - still fading pretty badly
2109 sounds like the music is still going, but can't hear it over atmospheric noise
2110 ID - Lukewarm Radio w/ email
2112 Til Tuesday - Voices Carry

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]

Shortwave Pirate / Re: UNID 6950 USB 0306 20 July 2019
« on: July 20, 2019, 0316 UTC »
S7 into GA

0315 The Archie's - Sugar, Sugar (remixed)
0317 Johnboy and Billy - Carl Childers sketch
0320 Crazy Train
0325 SSTV ID
0327 Gnarled Barkley - Crazy
0330 SSTV

0322 Music below the noise
0324 Sounds like Johnny Cash
0327 SSTV stronger than the music
0329 Music fading.  Too weak to make out.

Didn't catch the other SSTVs, too slow to start the decode.  Will post the SSTV image if I can figure out how to attach it to the post.

Shortwave Pirate / Re: KDOG 6925 USB 0110 UTC 15 July 2019
« on: July 15, 2019, 0202 UTC »
Was driving for most of it so couldn't log the songs, but got a solid S6 on my FT-857 with 102 inch whip while vacationing in Florida.

Utility / Re: 4.022 usb 01:30 utc
« on: April 24, 2019, 0447 UTC »
This sounds like it could be US Army MARS.  The data mode would have been MIL-STD-188-110 serial waveform.  I often hear MARS ops on the 4 MHZ simplex maritime mobile frequencies in the morning.

In general, operating in a controlled net suggests military or other organized users, but informally chatting in SSB voice prior passing data traffic has MARS written all over it.

Shortwave Pirate / Re: Relay Station 6880 AM 1554 UTC 11 Sep 2018
« on: September 11, 2018, 1648 UTC »
Wish I had more time to listen, but I have to run. This is all via:

1634 The Beatles - Norwegian Wood
1636 Credence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
1638 Elvis Presley - If I Can Dream
1642 Several seconds of unmodulated carrier ... sounded like the opening to Ray Charles - Georgia on My Mind - Cut Off
1642 Elton John - Bennie and the Jets
1647 Bob Seger - Old Time Rock and Roll

Now S6-S8 but propagation must be getting worse, because the overall sound quality is worse than when I started listening.

Shortwave Pirate / Re: Relay Station 6880 AM 1554 UTC 11 Sep 2018
« on: September 11, 2018, 1632 UTC »
Can't pick it up locally, but getting a nice low-noise S6 on a KiwiSDR in PA.

1628 Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want, SIO 343

FM Free Radio / Re: Antenna Height vs Gain
« on: July 31, 2018, 2158 UTC »
An end-fire helical for the FM broadcast band would be a beast. The ones I've seen for MIL SATCOM are impressive, and this would be at least three times as large.  I might have to save that particular design for when I retire.

FM Free Radio / Re: Antenna Height vs Gain
« on: July 31, 2018, 1431 UTC »
I put up the second turnstile antenna Friday, and fed both of them in phase with two 3/4 wave lengths of RG-11 mounted a whole wavelength apart.   I did several tests, for both range of the detectable signal and how well it covered the local area as far as signal strength, reliability while driving, fading, picket-fencing/multipath, etc. at 1, 2, 5, 10, and 15 watts before and after adding the second bay.

For my calculations, I assumed I'm getting somewhere close to the theoretical 3 db gain from the 2 bays,  which brings the total gain of the array up to 0 db, since a single CP dipole is -3 db.  In reality, I know it's not that high with four additional mechanical connections for the tee and second antenna as well.  The additional cable loss is probably negligible.

As you would expect, on hilltops with a clear-ish line of sight to the antenna, I got a little more range with the 2-bay array for each power level.  In fact, with 15 watts I was able to "hear" the station on extremely distant hilltops, although it certainly wasn't what I would call "listenable".  Using a communications receiver (fancy scanner) with a mag mount antenna I got the expected rise in signal strength of around half an S-unit (3 db) for a given power with a reasonably clear line of sight.

But the surprising part was, as OgreVorbis suggested, in town I actually got worse performance between brick/stone buildings using the 2-bay array.  I don't usually think of a 3 db difference as very big, but I understand that gain has to come from somewhere.  I just didn't expect a 3 db difference at the horizon to result in a 1-2 S-unit (6-12 db) difference in some places in town.

One other thing I wasn't taking into account was RF horizon.  At 100 ft the curvature of the earth limits line of sight to 12 miles with an RF horizon of about 14 miles without any obstructions like trees or hills.  So without help from favorable propagation, not matter how much power I use, I won't get further than that without finding a new transmitter site.

It's been a fun experiment, and I'll probably leave the 2-bay array in place for a while, but it looks like I'm just going to go back to a single CP crossed dipole, as that seems to be the best performer for me.  And now that I have a second antenna, I might be able to set up another transmitter on my side of town for my own "translator".

The beam idea JimIO suggested is a good one, and I might experiment with some kind of reflector behind the existing CP antenna.  For the time being, I want to stick to circular polarization, because I understand cross-polarization losses when using linear polarization.  That's why I started experimenting with circular polarization in the first place.

Thanks for all your help and ideas.  If I decide to take on a CP beam, I will start a new thread focused on the build.

FM Free Radio / Re: Antenna Height vs Gain
« on: July 24, 2018, 0132 UTC »
I put the turnstile antenna up yesterday, and even with the -3dB from the CP antenna, I'm already getting better results.  It's not vastly different, but certainly better.  That makes me think it is at least partly multipath issues.  Since the parts for the turnstile weren't expensive, I'm thinking of stacking two again.  If it doesn't help, I can always take the second one back down.

My wife's car has one of those horizontal trace antennas on the glass, and I can pick my station up all over town with it now.  I realize that's cross-polarization for the old ground plane, but that seems to be what many cars have like it or  not.  I notice much less picket fencing when I drive around town between steel and masonry buildings, even with a vertical receive antenna.

And I can receive it at home if I use my attic mounted TV log periodic. It's too weak for stereo and RDS, but I can hear it.  Certainly not strong enough for a casual listener to stop on it, though.

I agree that I think I should be getting way more range for any given power level.  Do you think I could be under-modulating?  I don't have an accurate way to check the deviation like an oscilloscope or FM analyzer, so I've tried to look at the bandwidth on an SDR dongle and keep it about as wide as the other stations.  The nearby stations sure seem to take up more than 150 KHz on my waterfall, so maybe I've been too conservative.

FM Free Radio / Re: Antenna Height vs Gain
« on: July 20, 2018, 0014 UTC »
Thanks for the help, JimIO.

I record my shows at home and upload them to the computer at the transmitter site via WiFi when I'm nearby.  There's no internet service at the transmitter site or I'd stream it.

A second transmitter is probably the most practical solution.  I've been reluctant to set up a pirate transmitter at my house, since I thought all the existing antennas would give it away.  I still have the cheap Chinese transmitter I started with years ago.  I could probably find a friend who would be willing to host it as long as I keep the power really low.  I'd like to find a way to get the two broadcasts in sync, but I guess that's more complicated than it's worth.

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