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Topics - NQC

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MW Loggings / CMLA
« on: September 09, 2021, 0233 UTC »
Hey All,

8 Sep 21 0210 UTC 640 KC:

CMLA /Radio Progresso Cuba -poor to fair in QSB/ slight Co channel QRM, slight  beat note,  QRN lightning at 100 mi.

One of my favorite Dx targets.

Played Guantanamera and other vocal songs.

Straight audio ( no processing) from recently acquired Trans Oceanic / Select-A-Tenna.

First audible copy of the season.

Dust off the headphones boys, AM season seems to be on the way.


MW Loggings / New Transoceanic Shootout w/Sangean 803A
« on: September 06, 2021, 0126 UTC »
Hey All,

Compared my recently acquired T/O 3000-1 (please see HFU General Radio Discussion) with the venerable and sensitive Sangean 803A.

9/5/21 2330 UTC

560 WGAN weak.                   Tie T/O  vs 803.
570 WMCA fair/weak.            Tie T/O vs 803.
580 WTAG QRM from 590.      Advantage 803 in narrow mode.
610 WGIR fair.                        Advantage 803 in wide mode.
770 WABC strong.                 Tie. Good music on  Joe Piscopo show.
1610 CHHA weak.                   Advantage T/O

0100 UTC :
1020 KDKA fair in QSB.           Tie. NO QRM from 1010  and a tiny bit from  1030.

(FWIW, KDKA is often  a tough  catch at this QTH. If a rig here has good 1020 Kc separation from local flamethrower WBZ on 1030 and  night time biggie WINS on 1010, it's considered pretty good).

Overall : Fairly close in performance. The T/O has  bright and crisp audio, a real pleasure to listen to. Mechanically it has a rock solid  and bullet resistant feel to it. A really nice addition to the collection and a  great keep sake from Cuttyhunk  Island.


General Radio Discussion / DXpedition to Cuttyhunk Island, MA
« on: September 05, 2021, 0109 UTC »
Hey All,

I just returned  from a Dxpedtion  in the town of Gosonold on Cuttyhunk Island , Buzzard's Bay , MA.

Since Island life is really laid back , so was the  logging .  Highlights  from 9/1/21 through 9/3/21, no particular order.

Gear:  Sangean ATS 803 A ,  single tuned crystal set ( R.S. 28-177 coil  but  with air variable) , hand held scanners, home brew  ferrite tuner /coupler,  misc small  goodies, 400 ft "D.O.G" antenna ( "Dipole - On- Ground "), 40 ft HF end fed, , etc, etc.

640 CMLA /R. Progresso Cuba   copied   before full  darkness, but beat up by local /regional WPRO 630.
8503 NMG /New Orleans Wefax

6095 USB bootleg maritime net, OM swearing   like a sailor (hi).

10, 15  WWV

11780 R Amazonas/ R Nacional Brazil

5025 R. Rebelde Cuba
6000 R. Havana  (in  full daylight ! )

US MW kind of  a mess. Pile ups on  the long DX frequencies . Open to  Eastern  of US half (or a bit  less) ie only  GA to TN to IL arc.

Only one HF broadcast each  on 16, 19 or 22 M. Beyond dead any higher in frequency.

Ham :20 M.  40 M (even in daylight). Both   open to Eastern  1/2 half  of    US , especially on CW.

NO audio off any Transatlantic Broadcast Dx, but  copied a few aligned beat notes (FWIW) :

198 BBC, 639 Senegal, 837 Senegal, 954  Spain, 1044 Morocco,1107 Spain. Basically - LW b'cast was dead (or gone !) and MW b'cast was extremely poor (near dead)  to the Afroeuro .Also US MW opened up MUCH sooner than expected ,crushing what little Afro Euro action that could have been had . I have had trans Atlantic  MW and LW very good at times in years past, but not on this round :'(.

Crystal set DX : the usual 50 Kw suspects from around the NE 1/3 or so of the U.S.

7 KC lightning / "Tweeks" / "Natural Radio" copied ( confirmed at 700 miles and maybe a out  LOT further to thousands of miles) by a pair of NICE  Hi Z "crystal " earphones in series ,shorted by 1 M bleed pot. RF input  by  one leg of D.O.G. antenna onto each side of pot .

Notice to Mariners  on VHF marine channel 22A. Not heard this one in 15 or 20 years !

Also the owner of the Bed and Breakfast were I stayed (who I've known for  many years ) gave me a Trans Oceanic Royal 300-1. It didn't work on the island , but  I cleaned up battery holder  at home  and VIOLA  -  a working T/O !  So I went down there with one HF rig and came home with TWO !

Very late Wednesday /  Thursday  ( 9/1, 9/2) impacts from Ida : TORRENTS of rain - around 5 " in 5 hours . Gusts 45 to 55 (estimated). Waterspout 3 miles to our East  over ocean  .2nd water spout 12 miles East over ocean. Tornado  at Falmouth , Cape Cod MA 6 or 10 mi  Northeast. Vicious  cloud to ground white lightning on Island and Northward  into Buzzard's Bay.Yet ALL three day light hours were nice -  cloudy/dry -or- sunny /dry.

Ate lots of  seafood , fairly warm water  ocean swimming , relaxing , long walks with wife, etc. Took night trip on boat  going back to New Bedford.

GREAT trip, REALLY needed it !


Weather / Hurricane Coming for New England
« on: August 20, 2021, 1017 UTC »
Hey All.

Interesting storm.

I expect gust 75 here (??).Floods?

Tonight I put together 2000 uH giant cotton basket weave onto the big var caps for LW / VLF storm work.

Also may break out the really big # 28 oat coil as well.


Propagation / HF Collapse
« on: August 12, 2021, 1001 UTC »
Hey All.

A worldwide all frequency blackout yesterday ( Wednesday).

Per different live propagation sites “nearly” everything ( except 6 M !) is shut off.Charts say “ no path” ( on anything.).

Did I miss a big solar event ?


Weather / Bad Smoke Today
« on: July 26, 2021, 1852 UTC »
Hey All.

Quick post from train.Visibility got worse after blood red sunrise.

Now vis 1.5 to 3 Mi in smoke.Smell of burnt plastic.

Local visibility down a lot, buildings hazy.


MW Loggings / Going Long
« on: July 26, 2021, 1120 UTC »
Hey All,

During last night's session I decided to "go long", checking out  the "toughies".

7/25/21 0200 UTC. Receiver: ATS-803A on Select- A- Tenna, in RF  noisy apt , bedside Op position.

750 WSB GA. barely up at times in slow QSB
840 WHAS KY. Weak in fluttery QSB
1020 KDKA PA. Fair
1110 WBT NC weak to fair

A "decent enough" haul for fairly early on a summer night, again noise was  a  factor but that's the way it rolls on AM sometimes.

Also parked on local  1510 WMEX for quite a while , listened to oldies , my wife enjoyed it.They have cleaned up their act considerably.They used to  run HUGE amounts of ME TV promos, inter spaced with only a  little music.Now it's the opposite, much/mostly music  with  very little distraction.  An "interesting"  signal : 100 watts at maybe 12 miles South. On ferrite bar only they are really quite crumby. But I've never seen the S-A-T bring something so far out of the mud into a very good copy. Not perfect, but very good.


MW Loggings / WFED : Tubey Or Not Tubey
« on: July 21, 2021, 1121 UTC »
Hey All,

Lately I've been fooling around with a 1950's era Motorola 19F1 HS 230C nine tubey chassis pulled from a floor  console radio phono.

It's a nice rig, with great audio. Currently only using an indoor 25 ft ant and 120 VAC ground. The antenna is wound on a ferrite  tank    with only 3 turns. Cold end of antenna is left ungrounded. Peaking the tank brings things up a good bit. Band opened up kind  of  late , but once it  did things rolled in  nicely.

I really enjoy the nostalgia of seeing and using tubes - NICE orange glow !

Back up /spotter was my ATS 803A solid state ("non tubey") digital portable. Used to line up FED and others- no scale on Moto.

7/20/21 0100 UTC

630 WPRO RI, weak
650 WSRO MA good
660 WFAN NY fair
710 WOR NY fair to good
880 WCBS NY fair to good
1010 WINS NY good  ( I parked there for  a while)
1500 WFED DC good
1510 WMEX MA ( Also parked there for a while -MUCH better format now !)

Also copied a LOT of regionals /locals /graveyards and unid DX.

A few days ago I had KDKA 1020 on the Moto up against a crushing WBZ  on 1030. 'DKA never really puts in a good signal here and is a bit of a tough catch at times.Even my best rigs are often only fair or worse .

A nice long session on BCB.
I am going to improve antenna and design it for eventual Part 15 transmit and BCB /LW receive.

Indoor antennas are obviously not ideal, but I just have to look at it as "involuntary QRP" :).

I also have a 60 ft run of unused telephone pair available. So far it only  grabs a lot of noise, but  it might be  OK to use   as a counterpoise later.

TONS of stuff on bench, but only so much time. Five foot Octoloop nearing completion.It will initially use 660/46 and a wiperless 4 gang  ceramic , 6:1 ball driven.

Yesterday I also refurbished and painted a second set of book shelves and will soon  double my  bedside operating position.


Weather / Elsa
« on: July 10, 2021, 1134 UTC »
Hey All,

Elsa summary here : Not too bad-Gust 67 Cape Cod, almost NO wind at Boston, gust 25 (maybe). Some isolated boats pulled  off moorings /run  aground.

Rain : Only 2" here in the city, but nearby Wellesly had  4.47".

Boston from   the 1st to the 10th July had 7.9 " of rain.

Still "taking on" water here , but not "disappointed" by Elsa's low rainfall total either. We  now need Sun    and more water later (which we may get this week).

At end of storm , vivid deep blue  clearing line pushed up from the SW. Low clouds cruising right along, mid / high clouds had  little movement.Interesting.

 Entire storm edge visible when started to clear- Dark precipitation clouds to North, deep blue to SW.Nice.


MW Loggings / BCB Black Out
« on: July 08, 2021, 1659 UTC »
Hey All.

 During last night's  severe storms,  the AM BCB was wiped out here.

And I don't mean by static crashes, even though there were zillions of those.

The afternoon and evening  BC  band was just simply wiped dead. NO "expected" day time New Yorkers copied.  ALL  of  the normally  "definite" big night time  NYC stations either  didn't show or were still  terrible, LONG after dark.

 ALL Regional stations  evaporated.

Again many crashes, but you could still tell  that there was almost NO propagation from anyone.Also  my local noise didn't help.


The good thing about a completely indoor system is that you notice band changes more .My system    is more "marginalized" .Therefore it is somewhat more  "on the edge" and will crash down  sooner than   a nice  outdoor antenna would. I work  deal with captures much less than 10% of  what   an outdoor antenna would grab. But I do get an easy directional  null of some noise sources. Sometimes , the strongest loop orientation isn't necessarily the best . I swing the rig's direction first and bring in loop to least noise / but still with some signal.Cleaner but quieter.

Didn't try Zoomer 740 but  line  of  sight  local WJIB 740 was excellent on it's loop heading.I also copied Big signal /Big band WSRO 650 which also had no bad signal effects from poor band  conditions. Both are honkin' ground waves and stayed ultra clean , no real static  crashes heard on carrier  when audio went  quiet.


Longwave Loggings / VLF Lighting Direction Finding
« on: July 07, 2021, 1916 UTC »
Hey All,

DF of Dx storms 90 to 120 Mi to my West yesterday PM.

150 Kc somewhat weaker than higher up checks.Kind of a surprise.

Best was around 230 or 250 Kc , also ripping loud  at 520 Kc.

Things seemed to have rolled up or down in signal strength as one rolled 250 to 520 Kc.

Nice to near zero nulls on S  803a rig, gave a decent bearing to storm cluster.

I am working on other LF projects too.

de K

MW Loggings / South Boston , MA Dxpedition
« on: June 27, 2021, 1452 UTC »
Hey All,

6/27/21 1400 UTC -South Boston , MA. Open salt water  for around 2 miles to the SW , then land and eventually to  hilly terrain ( 300 to 600 ASL) at around 10 mi to  SW.

570 WMCA weak, but sort of usable

1010 WINS absolutely nothing, a big surprise since 'INS "usually" does better than 'MCA

1620 pirate , good copy ( see Free Radio section)

 OT, FWIW, this is a KILLER spot for 10 M mobile dx.


Weather / Lightning Strikes
« on: June 23, 2021, 0041 UTC »
Hey All.

4 strikes today within 300 to 400 ft.
Very wild.Heavy rain / lightning tapers down to gentle long duration soaking rains .

We really needed the water.
I am thankful for this rain event and so is my garden.


MW Loggings / Ferrite Coupled Wire Antenna Test
« on: June 22, 2021, 0051 UTC »
Hey All,

I wound a quickie 280 uH ferrite bar with #24 DSC . I went with the big inductance to accommodate my "ultra light"  var cap box , which is kind of on  the low side value wise. A better/bigger var cap might do better , today was  just a quick check of a lash up.

Antenna was 40 ft run out , with another 40 or 60 ft wound on a large oat meal box  for base loading.

Taps on ferrite didn't seem to do too much so far , it seemed to like being fully at the hot end.

Also it liked being horizontal, vertical was much worse. 

The idea of doubling  it back to make it a loop put it into full short and killed everything.

2000 UTC, Sun at 45 degrees West-  so D layer most likely still in full effect.Low to moderate back round  noise, also QRN dx thunder storms ( at 200 + mi)
Receiver ATS 803A- sensitive and digital, but a small Fe bar inside.Narrow AM works really nice.

Test of known hyper weak New Yorkers :

570 WMCA noisy but there, slow QSB weak to sometimes fair, sort of usable.

1010 WINS  slow QSB, , mostly weak , but up to fairly usable at times.

No trace of either station barefoot.

Strong  New Yorkers :

660 WFAN weak audible on Fe, good on wire.
710 WOR   same.
880 WCBS fair on Fe , quite good on wire
1130 WBBR quite strong on wire but pretty bad QRM from a first adjacent local .

Ferrite also brought in a number of fair or stronger overloaded images from locals, WAY off of the   locals true frequency. But there were enough holes to squeak through, the DX frequencies were all clear .

Ferrite positioning kind of fussy ,but manageable.  To sum , some bugs but overall not too  bad.

Might still try long folded "feed line " scheme- maybe 40 or 60 ft top shorted , spaced at 1" . But so far , shorting back killed everything , as mentioned above. We'll see.

Also BIG progress today on 5 ft Octoloop.


MW Loggings / Anyone Else Have Signals Down, Noise Up ?
« on: June 20, 2021, 0004 UTC »
Hey All,

Maybe just the  MW "Summertime Blues", but it's been kind of slow on BCB lately.

Normally BIG New Yorkers 1010 WINS, 880 WCBS , et al, are not "delivering" like they "should". Still quite usable but not at expected  signal levels.Noise is up too.

CFZM 740 has been "missing in action" for quite a while now. They are always dicey (at best) since I am in their null.The QSB on them is also usually fierce, but they did rise up to "decent" levels , "at  times". But not lately .
The best they can muster is the usual "non synchronized flutter " up against WJIB . This always used to happen WELL  before Zoomer  ever became audible. But they haven't been getting past that point. Even the flutter itself is kind of rare now.

How are you guys doing re loggings ? Is your QTH also in the mud lately as well   ?

OT, but Good progress on Octo Loop. Arms are attached onto the gusset plate. Forks done , but need attaching to arms. No base board yet. A few bugs and "evolution" along the way, but getting there.

Kind of a shame, when in the early "raw" state,   I had enough wood for a 7 ft diameter. But it NEVER would have fit into the shop, which has a low ceiling at it's entrance. As is at 5'1", it will only clear by about 3 "or 4" - tight.


Additionally, last night things  (6/20) were still rough.

Tony Orlando's  music  show (on normally rock steady and strong )770 WABC was punctuated by a good amount of  QSB , distortion and noise.
Yet Again , only a bit of  weak flutter from 740  CFZM , mostly zero indication of signal.

Regionals 640 WWNZ, 560 WGAN/WHYN missing.

I love  a challenge :)


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