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Messages - NQC

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MW Loggings / Re: Finally: WINS daytime !
« on: May 24, 2021, 1314 UTC »
Hey Pinto,

Nice sounding crystal set, with the
proof being in how many stations you can receive.

BZ claims to “ cover” ( at fair or better ? ) 38 out of the lower 48 states.

All my big litz sets are long gone , along with the big antennas.A few good tid bits left in my shop  for crystal set use, but I am pretty much starting from scratch again.

We’ll see.

I ran some bearings , a bit of a surprise. A rough line from Boston to  the Meadowlands area ( for WINS, WMCA and WBBR) does not run into the WALL of skyscrapers in mid or lower Manhattan. The path is more (if not much more)  in line with  Haarlem ,New Rochelle and MT Vernon.Maybe  there are still "enough" (?)   tall buildings Uptown and beyond. I just would expect  a more serious  "ground  screen " to be  from Mid Town or Southward though. Uptown is more "spread out" ,if I recall correctly.But  I guess what you hear is what you get .

WMCA should have , in theory, been in much  WORSE  trouble   at only FIVE Kw (at least five  into the feed line , again unknown of any  net gain from pattern) .Yet they did  a "good amount" better than WINS (which still wasn't much !). FWIW, their pattern is similar to INS, with full horsepower in my direction  but robbed  from the  W or SW.Is 570 really SO much better than 1010 ? It seems so.

I can't explain this one , except only to say perhaps ( perhaps) that this shielding phenomena (IF that is what is being encountered) might be a lot more "nuanced" than I would have expected. Maybe a  narrow slice of pie close in could  get quite wide at 200 + mi. "Transitional" medium wave (1010) and lower medium wave (570) RF  may be acting much more like light than I would have expected.

Obviously , "something" was up , especially with WINS. Now it's just harder to speculate.

WBBR daytime will be on the next attempt. :-X


MW Loggings / Re: Finally: WINS daytime !
« on: May 23, 2021, 1744 UTC »
Hey All

 Yankee -Most of my wife's family live in Kearny.

Pinto- my best crystal set Dx from Boston was Radio Vision Cristiana Turks and Caicos, Caribbean on 530. Lots more much  closer in (WWL, WSB,WSM,WBBM+ many Cubans ,etc) .

 From Springfield , MO on a giant loop crystal set  we heard a probable Brazilian- up quick to loud for around 45 seconds to one minute and then gone for good.   I have done shortwave crystal from both sides of the Atlantic- VOA copied while in Germany, Euros copied while in US , etc.

I am eventually going to get back into crystal /simple single or two transistor (or tube) rigs as much as my QTH /situation now allow.

Please describe your crystal set circuit- antenna /ground ,how many tuning stages, audio stage/matching /phones, etc.


MW Loggings / Re: Finally: WINS daytime !
« on: May 23, 2021, 0133 UTC »
Hey Guys,

Yankee- I will try for BBR daytime . They STORM in here at night. Gotta find their QTH and check pattern info.

INS is a bit of an odd station. They ever so slightly change pattern from day to night.Really just a bit of small change in the spurious lobes to the SW, etc.That's it.The "full"  power/ "Northeast" heading circle has a long circumference   before it takes  it's drop down to near zero ( using 4 tower interactive   phasing ). The "big" lobe essentially constant day or night, I am not  sure why they even mess with it   .The main lobe is very broad toward my direction. I am  not sure if there is any actual field gain toward me or if  it's just pattern shaping to have  a  roughly half circle at the same strength that  a 50 Kw single tower would have at 360 degrees . I'm interested in what the actual feed line level is.

The take away is that INS "should" have   most of  same punch as 50 Kw  WCBS, which I believe is a single tower. CBS may have a small or moderate edge being lower in the band. But  CBS's actual location seems to be the key. It is FAR more advantageous to Boston than INS - which is "Stuck in the mud , somewhere in the swamps of Jersey " (to quote Springsteen) AKA Lyndhurst.Still haven't made map lines, but I am going with the "blocked by a wall of skyscrapers" theory  for now.

CFRB 1010- is fully nulled to near zero toward me, probably not even a prayer of daytime copy. If the propagation   favors me ,it's  sometimes fair. I do hear it at times , but almost always crushed below INS, unless they drop audio for second.

WCNL 1010 NH  is running 10 kw into a near dummy load (62 ft single tower)  at around 100 mi. They "stop by" every now and then, but don't seem very dependable  unless you are in a REALLY good location in MA.

Stuff in the way seems to make a difference. My buddy was an USAF radio tech and    built the most of BPD voting system on 460 Mhz by himself. He noted that WBZ ( at around ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND BAKING WATTS in his direction at 10 miles ) was robbed "somewhat" by   the WPLM array which he was practically  next to , but on the far side from BZ.

Pinto - Yep , darkness means a LOT on AM everything , even to simple radios. My "Boy's" two transistor  pocket reflex radio pulled in ALL of the "Usual East Coast" suspects on Dxpedition in NH, but many at super low audio levels. The Select-A -Tenna brought nearly all of them out of the mud (ie WBT, etc) and the Radio Shack  "Pocket Mini Amp"   really pepped things up to LOUD.

I have always been interested in 49 Meter relays, ie CHNS  (CHNX now QRT), etc. They used to do this in Germany too. Many of the BMW's, etc had a small slice of 49 M on the car radio, but no other SW coverage.


MW Loggings / Finally: WINS daytime !
« on: May 21, 2021, 2309 UTC »
Hey All,

2030 UTC  log,  QTH park across the street, Super radio I with Select- A -Tenna. Sun at 45 deg in the West.

570 WMCA  A  very good   catch ,also a new one for daytime. Being so low in frequency  probably gave it a boost .Weak and  steady but beat up kind of badly  by local 590 WEZE QRM.

660 WFAN strong, Ho Hum , common daytime. Slapped around some w/ QRM from WSRO regional on 650 .

710 WOR, another "expected" daylight station, good signal.No QRM, strongest catch.

880 WCBS also a  daytime common and strong but  also had strong QRM from  local 890

1010 WINS Weak (!), only could be copied with S-A-T  (Others above were usually better with S-A-T, but could go it alone at times.). S-A-T and SR-1 geometry ,alignment and interplay had to be EXACT to 1/8 or 1/4 ". Super easy to  lose.Rapid and  serious flutter that also rose and fell in slow QSB.Yet  another study in propagation. I have wanted this one for many years and finally snagged it ! BOO YEAH !!!  :)

NO sign of 1010 WCNL in NH , even though I swung around and looked for them. During my previous attempt in the  park  CNL was fair or good and WINS was the one that was  missing. Go figure . I  copied  CNL at seaside  10 MI SE of here  maybe a year ago  , so it wasn't a new catch at the park.

For some reason I REALLY like working 1010 re CFRB  ( a bunch  of times , with my QTH in their full dead null. Also ,  had a recent CFRB /CFRX on 6070 Kc ),WCNL and of course "1010 WINS" ( which it DOES !).

Gotta figure out why some day time New Yorker  bang in here and others stink . Could it be transmitter location vs NYC Skyscraper alignment to me, causing a ground wave foul up ? Possible?  Any comments re this ?  I need to draw some  map lines when I get a chance.


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.


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

Completely understood, OK on all.


MW Free 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).


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