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Messages - BoomboxDX

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the remaining hams are generally well-heeled

Gotta beg to differ; well, maybe half of them, the guys with 200 ft towers and $5K SDR's and the latest, always, from Icom/Yaesu/Kenwood...

The remaining hams are _cheap_... cheap, worn as a badge of honor. A truly great American tradition that represents the true hacker spirit. If you buy an antenna, to these guys you are a loser. If you think there are arguments here, you should see Eham and qrz.
In this tradition, I've been enjoying a 1974 copy of the ARRL antenna book, which cost me $3 (too much I'm sure), and the glories of copper wire in spools from HDepot.

Speaking of cheap, that Recent transceiver looks amazing, hell, Baofengs are amazing for the price -- Shenzhen attitude in action.

I beg to differ with you, but your points are well taken. Yes, there are hams who are cheap. But if one can afford a new, or relatively new, working ham rig, you're talking over $1000. And in my world's view, the only people with the cash available to drop a grand on a radio they're going to use once or twice a week is 'well heeled'. Then you have the cost of the linear amplifier to consider. And then some guys need extra electrical wiring to accommodate that.

Wire for antennas is cheap enough. It's the other equipment that's expensive.

I can relate to the cheap guys, the ones who try to make do with less. I once built a wire yagi for my CB hobby, and talked to Mexico with it. It worked rather well. But the guys I hear on the 20 meter band aren't talking cheap. They have money to spend.

73, and peace.

I read the article, but the one thing that wasn't really mentioned was the poor CB sales overall, especially when compared to 15 or 20 years ago. A couple hundred thousand truckers just isn't enough to overcome a spike in pricing and keep a company afloat. It's sad, but it's the overall state of the industry right now. I would wager that some of the ham and SWL radio companies are going to be following suit. The ham radio companies will last a bit longer than the others perhaps, only because the remaining hams are generally well-heeled, but the industry overall is probably going to tank.

Speaking of tanks, I still have my Cobra 148. Made in Taiwan. Built like a tank.

I guess part of my point is that technically we still have diplomatic relations now, although the openness between the countries has soured for various reasons.

I still don't get why Cuba jams Marti. From what I understand, no one in Cuba even tries to listen to Marti.

Which is kind of sad, in a way, because some of their programming seems pretty sharp and entertaining -- including baseball games.

Wouldn't surprise me, in a way.

I mean, look at the US and Cuba. They still jam Marti.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Get ready for atomic radio
« on: September 12, 2018, 0942 UTC »
The antenna is apparently a 'vapor cell' 2 cm in size, according to a PDF I read somewhere.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Do they...
« on: September 09, 2018, 1135 UTC »
^^^^fascinating take on it, ElectriCat.

I am not a tech or even hobbyist by any stretch, but I remember talking to and watching the broadcast engineer that used to fix the tape machines, CD players, etc. where I used to work back in the 1990's. He could troubleshoot stuff, solder, tinker, and probably even rebuilt some stuff.

That was when things started getting more computer-centric and modular, and surface mount by then was becoming the norm.

I think a lot of the problem is the technology itself. It lends itself a bit less to repair, and more to replacing boards, modules, or entire devices. A lot of broadcast companies are on a budget, and I'm sure it's more cost effective to order new parts, modules, devices, than it is to pay some guy to fix something -- a task which could take a few hours to troubleshoot, etc.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Do they...
« on: September 02, 2018, 1857 UTC »
What are they going to solder? Most modern electronics now are throwaway. And the call for radio, stereo and TV repair people is pretty limited.

At colleges they prefer to teach people other stuff they'll never use in real life, especially in retraining. A lot of retraining is a merry-go-round. Retrain and retrain and retrain. It's not always that way but it happens more than people think.

General Radio Discussion / Re: What In The Actual Hell?
« on: September 02, 2018, 1044 UTC »
You don't say what radio your using, or what sort of antenna (if any external one). You don't mention if you tried a different radio.

Could be auroral conditions or just crappy ones in your neck of the woods.

A few nights ago they were mediocre here in the PNW. Last night was mediocre also. A Canadian station that usually bombs in (about 180 miles away) was extremely weak for a few hours. It's also north of me.

Perhaps you were experiencing the same sort of conditions.

The last few mornings MW has dropped off quickly instead of sticking through til 9 a.m. as it often does, even in Spring and parts of the Summer.

Tonight the Canadian station in question I mentioned earlier (CKOR 800 Penticton BC) is coming in much better. It's usually one of the barometers for auroral conditions for me -- that one and CKMX 1060 Calgary.

I also listen to CKOR because they play a decent selection of pop music.

General Radio Discussion / Re: expanded FM band in Americas
« on: August 30, 2018, 0439 UTC »
here's an I/Q file of 71.66-74.0 mhz recorded on an ELAD FDM S2 during the excellent 2017 dx season

i don't know if theres any ids, i could upload more if anyone had webspace  i have a file at midnight Moscow time  you can hear the national anthems

do you want me to tell you whats here or do you want a surprise? :-)
there was intense auroral E's at the time so its all northern stuff

here is southerly conditions from this years disappointing season but at least theres lots of talking


What is an I/Q file? I see it is zipped. But is it mp4 or something that plays on media players? Or is it merely for SDRs.

Part 15 AM and FM Station Operation / Re: part 15 distance records
« on: August 26, 2018, 0443 UTC »
I had an ersatz Part 15 in the 80s (an AM broadcast RAdio Shack P-box), and I ran higher power than the transistor was designed for (18V instead of 9V), and it was clearly audible on my portable radio over two blocks away. I had it tuned to an empty spot in the 1400's.

General Radio Discussion / Re: expanded FM band in Americas
« on: August 25, 2018, 1346 UTC »
Tim in the UK,
Do you ever get any of the OIRT 66-74 Mhz stations from the former Communist bloc countries of Eastern Europe?

General Radio Discussion / Re: WWV Petition
« on: August 23, 2018, 0012 UTC »
I signed it, for what it's worth. It's only $6 million dollars and it's a national treasure, of sorts.

A beacon of normalcy in an uncertain world.

Last night whilst doing some creative writing I had my Sangean PR-D5 on 1180 KOFI, listening to Coast To Coast. Behind it was the usual weak local station KLAY with Jim Bohannon's show, and then there was some music.

The only real music station I've heard on 1180 is Rebelde, which sometimes used to come in strong enough to be heard on a Walkman, even unaided.

I took out a SW radio and tuned to 5025 -- same music.

I haven't heard Rebelde on 1180 since probably 2015 or 2016. Perhaps this DX season will pick up a bit. Hopefully so.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Brother Stair in Europe!
« on: July 26, 2018, 0135 UTC »
I don't think most people have a problem with the broadcasts per se*, but it's very tiresome when all you can hear on the broadcast bands is religious stuff, or RHC, or maybe CRI or the CRN1 jammer. Even on a good day, those stations can account for half of the decent, copyable signals. It gets old, unless RHC is playing some good music.

* Stair is the exception for reasons much discussed in the past. No need to rehash them now.

That's all I hear on SW also: RHC, a couple religious bcasters, Rebelde on 5025, and CRI and the CNR1 jammers. On good nights Nikkei's two stations come in well. Maybe NHK to Russia or Asia. BBC from Singapore during early mornings. RNZI.

Definitely a far cry from the waning days of the Cold War when a lot more could be heard. If propagation was better I'm sure more Asian and Mideast stations would be audible, but propagation is the great eraser there. By the time it gets better those stations will undoubtedly be gone.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Brother Stair in Europe!
« on: July 26, 2018, 0131 UTC »
To be honest, the most frustrating part is not even the content, but the fact that it is the same content on every station.  When I tune from 530 to 1600 KHz, it dosent seem to matter how good the dx is, I dont hear anything within the US worth listening to (unfortunately, my RX stops at 1600)

Then again, an optimist would probably  say that the difficult stations  between the numerous syndicated satellite repeaters  are the real reward for listening, but that dosent mean hearing the same show on several frequencies isnt a little disheartening.

I hear a wide range of programming on the MW band. Daytime, I hear conservative talk, religion, sports, news, South Asian music, Korean programming, Variety talk (new age, in some cases), Russian religion, Mexican ranchero music, Spanish language religion, one classic hits station, one Country station, a fringe-signal business talker and a classic country station. At night you can add several CBC outlets and a rock station to the mix, along with one pop station, a couple stations with classic hits, and a couple more classic country stations (I'm talking dependable signals, not just intermittently received ones).

On FM, if you're talking commercial radio you're talking maybe five formats, in different flavors (pop, hip-hop, AC, rock and country). Seven formats if you add the classic rock and old school urban station. There is a local smooth jazz station but it will go away as soon as it is sold. There is a classical station that is in the commercial part of the FM band, but technically, it's not really commercial per se. Nine or ten formats on FM vs. more like thirteen or more on MW.

I understand your frustration with MW but I've been hearing the same complaints since the 80's when DXers complained about satellite and automated music networks.

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