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Messages - NQC

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Propagation / Re: E Season
« on: May 21, 2021, 2243 UTC »
Hey All,

 No Es dice here but got something lower down that I've tried to get for YEARS. Please see my post in  the MW section.

Tried ATS 803a with 20 vertical in park across from apt. Highest frq copied was loud data in QSB on 17085. That is were I maxed out. Not a PEEP above that.One E skip map showed a weak opening from NC over my QTH to Nova Scotia. Later on I saw Dx maps seeming to show a better situation with some fairly long  openings on 10 and 6. Maybe they were weak signals   but to well equipped  stations.My set up was kind of crumby, but if opening was big, I would THINK I would have copied something .Not a biggie though. I got some HF time in, something I haven't done in a LONG time.Overall, a "good" session on HF and  awesome on MW. 

Quick log :2030 UTC -Nothing in 16 MB B'cast. No signal on  15 WWV, 15035 Gander Radio Wx good, but  only 3 broadcasts in 19 M. 20 M copied NE US only.40 M  CW was HOT, copied only NE US on voice. QSO's complain of noise and QSB on what I would think should have been more stable possibly NVIS paths. Overall things good but short and wobbly.


Propagation / Re: E Season
« on: May 21, 2021, 1011 UTC »
Maybe I will slap a short wire up in the quiet park across the street tomorrow.


Equipment / Re: Dueling Selecta- A Tennas (NOT Banjos)
« on: May 21, 2021, 1008 UTC »
Hey Syrf,

Yes, it was fun to mess around with.

I am really liking the SR-1. I bought it recently as a package deal along with a Select-A Tenna for fifty clams , which was a very good deal. I had one many many years ago , can’t recall whether it broke or if I sold it.

I know some people who have been on air at JIB. A few “ interesting “ things have happened over there.The owner, Bob , is an absolute sweetheart. He ran several stations commercial free out of his own pocket ($$$$! !!!) for many years but now does a fund raiser to cover his cost.He has also saved a number of small AM stations from going off the air, one recently on Cape Cod. In total he has maybe 8 AM and some FM translators around our region, mostly in more Northern New England.

The master control for the network is at WJTO 730 in Bath , Maine. The 223 ft JTO / FM translator tower is located behind his home.


Hey All.

I figured I’d chime in.

IMHO , when most people think “Solar Cycle “ it seems that the emphasis is on HF.

To me HF in 2021 seems to require a better home station than what you could “ get away with “ 25 or 35 years ago.

There has been a reduction of stations, especially outside of the ham bands and overall, the past cycles have been just “OK “.

At least for me , with all roof top antennas long gone AND all the RF noise in the apt.I am pretty much toast re weak HF. FWIW , AM BCB ain’t such a big bargain either and also requires a decent signal to work .But at least it’s  easier to null noise.Plus if I give up BCB (or occasional stronger HF ) in the apt., I’ve pretty much given up on “in home”radio ,which I refuse to do.

The only way I can really hear anything weak ,on any frequency ,is to set up away from my apt.As I grow older and times have changed, I am somewhat less inclined to attract attention to myself by setting up remotely.Especially late at night .

All this being said, even IF a cycle is overall mediocre, it STILL can have some real “ up” times as well . You just really have to be on top of your game more.

There are modes that are not fully (or at all) cycle dependent ie trans equatorial, gray line, E ,sporadic E cloud, tropo for VHF and up,etc.One could research these as a way around the long haul F modes (F1, F1.5? F2, F3 ?)

But I still will drift out at times , especially  to work AM BCB which is a lot more "subtle" than a big HF antenna and might not be as much “ cycle affected” either .On vacation, at a location that I PAY for , HF would be  more in the mix.


Equipment / Dueling Selecta- A Tennas (NOT Banjos)
« on: May 19, 2021, 1259 UTC »
Hey All,

Last night I decided to try out something that I had seen that originally used two  stand alone large/outboard  home brew ferrite bar/ tank "antennas" for Co Channel "pest control" application .

The idea was to  fully null the pest with the receiver's ferrite first.Then place one outboard  bar to boost the desired station  coupling it  along SIDE of the  rig's internal  ferrite and the other outboard bar off the END of the rig's ferrite to deepen the pest's null.

Since I don't have any  big  ferrite, I decided to try two basic/no jack  model Select- A -Tennas instead. The results  were intriguing.

I tuned into "My favorite Co Channel " (starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby :))) 740 for  CFZM  vs very  local  WJIB which was still huge at 5 watts night power.

The expected orientation did not pan out at all, at least on the Super Radio I and these air core loops.. Trying to deepen JIB's attenuation by aligning one of the loops null to the rig ferrite null did nada, at least for me in this case. Changing the distance , etc, didn't work at all. All  action was  attained  by coupling both loops peaks "broadside" to the ferrite.

Odd, since  loop peaks are  much more "vague" than the "black hole "  of the  null  (after fifty years of playing around I am STILL amazed by radio !).

The best configuration seemed to be having one loop at one end of the ferrite and the other at the opposite end and on the opposite side of the radio cabinet. That way both loops "boosted" the SR-1 for Zoomer but had as much physical separation as possible.The only null action was in the  radio's  ferrite.

Even MORE wacky was that loop closer to JIB loop "liked"  a more  "conventional" 90 degree coupling angle, yet the other one ""needed" to be at 45 degrees in order for the entire set up to work. And of course like  previous single loop  experiments, all placements (rig, loop 1 and loop 2) HAD to be exact to within 1/8 to 1/4 ". If any parameter was off, even a tiny bit, you heard zilch (except a slight or moderate JIB artifact depending on what they were playing).

Zoomer rolled up and down (as usual), but never really came up to much  beyond weak or a bit better , even after a while of being parked on frequency. Zoomer's transmitter  antenna  null is in my direction (not   "optimal"), and also  propagation  seemed kind of  crumby as well.

I  repeatedly tried it "barefoot" , going over to  only the JIB closer loop  during these marginal conditions. No dice.Every time I tried.But when the second loop was brought back in, Zoomer came back in (WHEN the  QSB "cooperated").

So the takeaway ,at least to me under these conditions and set up , is that the second loop  WAS useful, even in this situation of two stations nearly 180 off from each other (which is a "challenge").

The next target is 650 with regional WSRO vs THE LEGEND (WSM). Both are  ALMOST in the SAME direction from me. If I can tame SRO even a tiny bit and  bring SM up a TAD , I'll call it a big victory. "We'll see".

BTW, I  really miss my MFJ 1026 :-[.

Your mileage may vary on all of this  and no warranty is implied :).


Hey All,

Thanks  for the responses.

NJQA: I had heard about vertically buried / explosive charge activated  "Pop Up " antennas  underneath pineapple field(s) in Hawaii used at "certain facilities "  . Details unknown.


Hey Dood,

VERY interesting re TIS and part 15 installations.

I too have heard some of these at amazing distances.The X band especially can be very kind at times.

But you don’t hear much ( or anything) about commercial music/talk stations that are really limited on what they are allowed to build.

Just curious about what those guys have
run into.


Hey All,

Just ran a few of these for grins :

WCNL ,1010 Newport ,NH :1/4 wave would be  231 ft. They run 10 Kw day on   63 ft (!!) of guyed tower with a Zillion panel antennas (cell/ 800/900Mhz ??) attached . AM almost looks like an "afterthought"  and that it seems most of the  dough is coming in  from repeater rentals. LOTS of   juice lost  on this  antenna  , but I still   hear them daytime ( fair to weak )
 through hilly  terrain / poor ground  conductivity at around 113 miles away.

WZBR , 1410 Dedham, MA : 1/4 wave would be 165 ft. They run 2Kw day into free standing 75 ft fiberglass whip (helical wound inside). I'd love to see this one in 75 MPH winds ! Fair signal at 9 mi ,  terrain path  maybe not too bad.

WJIB 740 Cambridge MA : 1/4 wave would be 316 ft. They run a 285 ft free standing tower, so it would be  thrown into our "not too bad department" at  31 ft short of 1/4 wave.Line of sight "Band Bully", even at 5 W night time  power at around 4 miles out.

Can anyone else give  any examples that you know of, the shorter the better. Maybe 1/8 wave or less ?   I am just curious how LOW some of these guys limbo and STILL make it "work", but obviously WITH a serious  electric bill as a "penalty".

FWIW /  a bit OT, I have worked out to 27 miles using  a high mast mounted 50 ohm resistor with very short leads soldered on   75 ft of 9913 (a "sort of"  "near isotropic " radiator :)  ?? ?)  on 440 Mhz FM. Rig output hyper low ,  got around  2 to 4 mW output  at radiator ?? QRPpppp- THAT was fun ! I also ran ridiculously low  outputs on 2 M SSB/FM as well.


North American MW Pirate Radio / Re: 1620 New Pirate
« on: May 18, 2021, 0931 UTC »
Hey Chris,

Completely understood, OK on all.


North American MW Pirate Radio / Re: 1620 New Pirate
« on: May 17, 2021, 1951 UTC »
Hey Chris.

What type of music does WEDG play- anything like I described ?

If approximate it’s QTH can be given that would be helpful.

If that QTH info is “not available”, that’s fine as well. Just narrowing things down to see if it there is even a remote chance it was  WEDG.


MW Loggings / Hodge Podge
« on: May 17, 2021, 1145 UTC »
Hey All.

 From 5/16 and 5/17 -A mix and match of day and night, in NOISY apt  or in park across the street, using  Super Radio I and  basic Select-A-Tenna. Sorry about the sloppy report , but a wild weekend .I went to  BIG radio flea market,  much unpacking/testing goodies, etc, etc.

Day/  QTH : QRN quiet park - solid WFAN 660, WCBS 880 (etc)  and also 1620 pirate ( in full QSB). Tried for WINS 1010 but it copied WCNL on 1010 in NH instead (  I really want NYC daytime on 1010, so maybe a bigger loop next time). Broke off  as rain/ occasional  lightning approached.

Night /apt  my BEST CFZM 740 Zoomer reception to date. I had the  usual 740 Khz 1/2 second consistent  "beat flutter" and roller coaster propagation, but this time when Zoomer Zoomed, it REALLY Zoomed UP - VERY  BIG ! But as per usual , at times, it would completely collapse for extended periods. It's always very "moody" here with their null in my direction .  It's a  real study in night time BCB propagation.  Extremely touchy and exacting placement of rcvr and loop required ( ie down to around  1/8 to 1/4 " !!). The Zoomster is up  against monster local Co channel WJIB . Even when  the JIBer is  at night power (5 W), it "lights up the room" being  line of sight at a just a few miles.

KDKA 1020, WSB 750 ,CMLA /R. Progresso 640 all MIA.

Other misc goodies logged, but frankly, lost in the "blur".

Also just for giggles I did a bit of lightning "DFing" on 530 khz  comparing to IPhone lighting map.

I also found out my kitchen seem a BIT less noisy (FWIW).


Hey All.

5/16/21 ,1900 UTC, 1620 Khz (?), GE Super Radio I , Basic Select -A -Tenna (no jack)   tried for grins, but mostly not needed. QTH park across the street from my  (NOISY !!!) apt. Just 150 ft makes a HUGE difference, electrically much more  quiet there !

Some  loud Goth / very heavy screaming guitar ,  but also some really  soft stuff ( ex : a cover of   "Scarborough Fair" by a female singer).  Young/ Caucasian sounding announcer. At times full QSB ( in blasting full daylight) , so maybe a"short" NVIS skywave (??) at less than 200 mi (??). Who knows, could be "closer".  But rains/ with  occasional lightning began to approach  , so without a good ID I abandoned the "Dxpedition" (Hi).

I just bought this radio, so not sure how high it tops out, gotta run a sig gen  check when I get a chance . But it definitely  does have some "head room" - CHRN 1610 was an easy catch the night  before  ( up against local flame thrower WUNR on 1600) and it still  squeaked a bit higher than them. I think I had a TINY bit of play above the pirate as well, so I am going with 1620.Some say SR-1's top at 1630, but again , gotta check.

Web address sounded something like heardonradio.com (??) but it was no  good on Google.

WEDG ? Unsure of probability.


  Hey Chris ,

Thanks for the  info.


Hey All,

LONG shot on this one- but :

I am wondering about   pics  I saw MANY,MANY  years ago of an antenna in Israel. (If we could , please leave politics and "current events" out of  any replies- strictly  a technical discussion -thanks).

I believe that the Israelis had a "hardened" antenna  (if I recall correctly)  for AM broadcast. It consisted of  heavy steel I  beams welded in series  stood off on large insulators , very close to the ground (6' up ?) .There may have been protective earthen dikes around it as well.

Probably a miserable  pattern for local ground wave but maybe via NVIS- MAYBE ??  . But if one really cranked up the juice then tuned  and loaded it properly, I suppose it COULD  ground  wave  "radiate" MAYBE enough to cover a limited area ( ie maybe just  around Tel Aviv ?). If nothing else, a fascinating technical concept (re being bomb "resistant"), even if it was a real dog re power in vs. power out.  Transmitter was likely in a bunker.

I can't find a THING about this online and I can only imagine it may be long gone by now.

It also seems that Israel in general  is now completely off of the AM broadcast band for ALL (ALL) outlets and that Kol Yisrael is also long gone off shortwave (  anyone ,any info  ?).

Israeli Army Radio / Galgalatz now seems to be on FM only as well. Not sure if the I beam antenna was theirs or not for civil defense purposes. Also WAY, WAY back in the day, I THINK they were also  on shortwave, maybe using  SSB (anyone, any info,  frequencies used /mode ?).

I have personally seen "a sort of" "hardened" antenna  on the Maginot Line Fortifications near Bitche, France. Large steel brackets on a vertical wall held a  large gauge   long wire antenna on heavy insulators. Certainly  not  nearly as beefy as an I beam antenna, but "tough enough" against small arms fire ( I guess) .

de K

MW Loggings / Re: 1710 AM, TIS WQFG689, Hackensack NJ
« on: May 10, 2021, 1803 UTC »
Hey Poacher,

This one has been fairly often by folks.

 See my X band report below.

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