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Messages - BoomboxDX

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136
That mason jar "public radio" looks like a terrific way to compete with smart speakers. Hopefully it sounds as good.

137
Equipment / Re: Advice on Tecsun vs Sony
« on: March 19, 2019, 1632 UTC »
Maybe the problem wasn't the radio but it was the propagation. There are evenings SW is mostly dead in my location, except maybe Radio Havana. Since 2014-2015 SW has been mostly varying levels of thdddddt.

138
Sounds like daylight DX. It happens most Winters. Six or seven years ago I heard a station 800 miles away (CBK 540) at 1 p.m., coming in at around S3 on a portable radio.

The last couple years have been spotty, though. Where I live, usually the MW band DX fades out around 7-8 a.m. Sometimes after that there is nothing but static on DX channels.

On good DX seasons it will fade around 10-11 a.m. or so -- usually that's when the strong regionals disappear.

139
Propagation / Re: Solar Activity, or lack thereof
« on: March 19, 2019, 1624 UTC »
MW is not benefitting, unfortunately. Oh well.

I had better DX results in 2012.

140
General Radio Discussion / Re: DRM Handbook
« on: March 19, 2019, 1620 UTC »
I also never understood DRM's appeal. It would be different if a lot of SW radios had it as an option during the great SW radio boom of the 80's-00's, but that ship has sailed.

I understand DRM is being used fairly successfully in India, as they are slowly replacing their domestic MW network with DRM, and there are actually Indian-made DRM capable MW radios available as well.

141
Very sad for anyone who ever heard SW coming from South Africa because of those transmitters.

142
One emp and they'll wish they'd have kept that already paid for ndb infrastructure intact.



Or major war. GPS could conceivably be hacked or otherwise taken down in a major war.

Yep, in a big one the sats will be the first to go, and the debris from just a few select birds will end up taking out the rest of them up there I recon. US mil has the ability to fudge our gps system so only they get accurate readings. I suppose them rooskiis can fudge their system too.

The Europeans have their Galileo system, because they do not want to depend on GPS or the Russian's system.

The US apparently stated they would shoot down Galileo if it was used by foreign powers to attack the US.

All is apparently not lollipops and rainbows in the global positioning world.

143
His description of the Sangean PR-D5 is a bit misleading, because of the way he worded it.

The PR-D5 is not restricted to 10 khz tuning. It has a 9 khz / 10 khz 'switch' (done through a key sequence).

I think he meant that the PR-D5 doesn't fine tune in 1 khz increments -- which it doesn't. That may be a deal breaker to a lot of guys.

One thing that gets me about these 'shootouts' is that in any case it's always subjective. And like a lot of Panasonic RF-2200 owners, he has an almost maniacal attachment to the radio, which was an OK radio in the mid-1970's, but the build quality basically sucks -- mainly the switches.

It is a good info source for MW radios, though. His collection is also pretty impressive.

144
One emp and they'll wish they'd have kept that already paid for ndb infrastructure intact.

Or major war. GPS could conceivably be hacked or otherwise taken down in a major war.

145
General Radio Discussion / Re: A couple of newbie questions
« on: February 07, 2019, 0349 UTC »
The best thing one can do as a newbie is get a chart of the SW bands and ham bands, and tune them and listen away.

The most basic 'rule' is daytime the higher frequencies usually have more activity, nighttime you go lower.

Of course, being that we are at the bottom of the solar cycle, the higher bands have less activity than they did in 2011 and 2012 and such.

146
General Radio Discussion / Re: A couple of newbie questions
« on: January 25, 2019, 2231 UTC »
Maybe the best introduction is to check out the Wikis on Shortwave, whether here or at Wikipedia.

There are some SW sites like The SWLing Post that have a lot of information on various aspects of the hobby.

Overall, it's tough to learn a lot by doing right now because propagation is so poor. The best thing to do is to check the bands -- if you're into ham bands, 40 meters (day or night, although night is best), 80 meters (at night) and 20 meters (afternoon and daytime) are probably best, and if you're into SW broadcasts, the 49 meter band at night and 31 meter band during the evening are probably the best bets for hearing stuff.

When conditions improve in a couple years, the other bands (15 meter ham band, 10 meter ham band, 19 meter SW broadcast band, 17 meter SW broadcast band, etc.) will open up.

As for LSB and USB, it's 'sideband', which is a form of transmission that gets a signal out farther per watt. Hams use it mainly (along with a few other services), but on the 40 meter and 80 meter ham bands you will hear LSB, and 20 meters and higher the hams use USB. If you want to listen to the morse code sections of the ham bands (usually the lowest section of each band), either LSB or USB will decode it.

I'm not sure I understand meter bands correctly. Are they chunks of the 0-30,000 mHz spectrum?  Like, I listen to both my radio and SDRs people have kindly put up on SDR.hu. Most of them have a range of 0-30,000 mHZ, with dropdown options for different bands. I just assumed those options just took you to different ranges within the big range of 0-30,000 (in the common case).  Is that not right?

The SW spectrum is divided up into 'bands' by use. Yes, they are specific ranges within the 3-30 Mhz SW spectrum. There are ham radio 'bands' and SW broadcast 'bands', as well as other parts of the spectrum (which you may or may not call 'bands') used for military, aeronautical, marine, etc.

The ham 'bands' and the SW broadcast 'bands' are swaths of HF spectrum about as wide as the MW broadcast band. They usually are referred to as "meter bands", it's a leftover practice from the 1920's when radio people used wavelengths, in meters, to describe where they were on the dial, instead of the frequency.


The 49 meter band I mentioned is from roughly 5800-6300 khz.

The 31 meter band I mentioned is from roughly 9200-10000 khz.

The 41 meter SW broadcast band I referred to is from roughly 7200-7400 khz, although there are some stations overseas that broadcast as low as 7100 khz. Right below that band is the 40 meter ham band, where the hams talk, send digital signals, and morse code. The 40 meter ham band is from 7000-7200 khz (there is some overlap, obviously).

The 20 meter ham band (the most popular one) is from 14000-14350 khz. The lowest section is where morse code happens. Higher up, you'll hear digital signals and then Sideband (USB).

I hope this helps. I know it's a bit confusing to a newcomer, and it's not always the easiest to explain.

EDITED a typo: 40 meter ham band is 7000-7200 khz (roughly, depending on country and type of ham transmission) not 7000-2200 khz.

147
General Radio Discussion / Re: A couple of newbie questions
« on: January 22, 2019, 1729 UTC »
Maybe the best introduction is to check out the Wikis on Shortwave, whether here or at Wikipedia.

There are some SW sites like The SWLing Post that have a lot of information on various aspects of the hobby.

Overall, it's tough to learn a lot by doing right now because propagation is so poor. The best thing to do is to check the bands -- if you're into ham bands, 40 meters (day or night, although night is best), 80 meters (at night) and 20 meters (afternoon and daytime) are probably best, and if you're into SW broadcasts, the 49 meter band at night and 31 meter band during the evening are probably the best bets for hearing stuff.

When conditions improve in a couple years, the other bands (15 meter ham band, 10 meter ham band, 19 meter SW broadcast band, 17 meter SW broadcast band, etc.) will open up.

As for LSB and USB, it's 'sideband', which is a form of transmission that gets a signal out farther per watt. Hams use it mainly (along with a few other services), but on the 40 meter and 80 meter ham bands you will hear LSB, and 20 meters and higher the hams use USB. If you want to listen to the morse code sections of the ham bands (usually the lowest section of each band), either LSB or USB will decode it.

148
To be fair to the powers that be, 9-11 and everything that followed didn't help the scanning industry any.

"If you see something, say something" = "I saw this dude carrying a radio listening in on the cops, I think he's a terrorist..." Exaggeration, yeah, but I think 9-11 put the idea of monitoring police and other agencies in a new light.

I think a lot of enforcement agencies simply do not like the idea of being monitored, in any way, period. And now they have the tech available to prevent that. If I were in their shoes, maybe I'd feel the same way.

149
Scanning basically died when trunking took over. And it's further down the tube with encryption.... Scanner listeners got a bad rap in the 1980's with the analog cell phone thing, and it only went south when they began blocking chunks of spectrum because of that debacle.

Sad, really. I used to be able to hear the local police departments' dispatch feeds and it gave one a glimpse of how tough a job it is to be a cop -- in real time.

Oh well.


150
General Radio Discussion / Re: Quarrel Over DXing Ends In Killing
« on: November 29, 2018, 0629 UTC »
Wow. That's intense. Interesting bit of history.


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