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Messages - BoomboxDX

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General Radio Discussion / Re: Brother Stair in Europe!
« on: July 21, 2018, 1852 UTC »
I hope I am not getting too political, but many commercial radio stations (including the ones I work for) run shows like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc
these shows fit into the conservative talk radio format, and are not allowed to stray outside that format.
I am not saying that conservatism is necessarily wrong, nor am I saying Limbaugh or Hannity are pedophiles, but it seems to me like adhering to a format where only one side or one opinion is allowed, is a sell out, regardless of any criminal history of the host.

I understand your position, but unless a talk station is in a small market, they generally can't sell well unless they stick to the talk format, be it conservative talk, sports talk, or whatever. It's an actual format, and radio stations usually have to stick to the format or they find it difficult to market their airtime to advertisers.

In some smaller markets, a station can have a liberal, a conservative, and maybe something in between (Jim Bohannon at night, one of the all night news shows, etc.). A small AMer in another regional city here in the PNW does that. And I think it's cool they do so. A bit of variety in the talk programming.

As far as Brother Stair goes, the SW stations are having trouble staying on the air. Since Stair more or less left the airwaves, I hear very little from the US domestic broadcasters -- several of them seem to have reduced their airtime by a lot since his legal troubles began.

How does this work when there are more than one station on a frequency?

Like, since hams have been mentioned here, could they use this to pinpoint the guys who play music and cuss a lot?

Because those frequencies have other transmissions going on simultaneously.

Does this feature only work when there is a sole signal on a frequency?

Looks like it's off by about 30 miles. Enough to make a pirate a little less hesitant, but obviously the technology will probably improve.  ;D

Looks like a cool feature for stuff like finding locations of secret government transmissions, but by looking at these "maps" -- which actually are distorted in projection -- they really don't show locations well -- at least for pinpointing a pirate to more than a general area.

The maps have no cities, no roads, no state lines, no county boundaries, no grid squares... They look cool, but unless there is a way for an individual to correlate them to an actual map that has more than continental outlines I sort of doubt they would help any hobbyist or ham pinpoint anything.

Aside from the government transmission mentioned above, the other stations' locations are already known. If I hadn't known CFRX's location already, by looking at that map I'd have no idea if the transmission were in Ontario, western Quebec, Ohio, Indiana, western NY, or Michigan. It's a crummy map for pinpointing anything unless you already know where it is.

That is, unless you're satisfied knowing a transmission came from a certain state that is readily identifiable, as is the case with Florida above.

Equipment / Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« on: July 10, 2018, 0233 UTC »
Thanks gentlemen, swaying towards the IC-R75 at the moment, cannot work out why the transceiver version the IC-718 is cheaper though, around AUD$848.00 compared to AUD$900.00 for receiver.

Also been reading up on the AOR AR8600 Mark-2, lot of for and against.

Perhaps the price difference is because the IC-R75 has been discontinued?

I haven't noticed an uptick in RFI at my location since 2011 or so (when I started MW DXing again after a few years' break) but the conditions just aren't as good as they were back then.

It must be a regional thing.

When was Cycle 5?

And I wonder if this means there will be better MW conditions.

Over the past couple years they haven't been very good here, considering the low sunspot numbers.

Greece was in on 9420 khz, barely audible half the time. Two other stations on 31 meters, one I think might have been RNZI.

20 meters had two CW QSOs (both too fast to read), the JT65 channel was blasting away at S5, and maybe three SSB QSOs, only one that was above S3 in strength -- ironically, a guy from Texas talking to a guy in Hawaii. And I'm in the PNW.

Yet no other QSOs on an early holiday evening. This is why I think ham radio is slowly dying. Even the guys with rigs and antennas don't bother to get on the air when it's a holiday and conditions -- although a little mediocre overall -- are at least good enough that Texas and Hawaii can talk to each other. Obviously its wasn't the reception issue on my end -- if I could hear them, why couldn't I hear other guys from the 2nd most populous state talking to Hawaii or wherever?

Our hobby is taking strange turns this solar cycle.

Equipment / Re: Good CB radio?
« on: May 25, 2018, 0610 UTC »
Cobra 148 if you are considering SSB. I would save up the extra $80 or $90 and get one new (the list price seems to be around $189 at least at first search), unless you are certain that the used one you are looking at hasn't been tricked, which may or may not be a good thing.

For AM CB only, the others' suggestions are good. Cobra made a good product. Uniden made Cobra for a while (maybe still do?).

I don't know anything about the Superstar or Galaxy radios but I remember a lot of guys talking on them during the late 80's / early 90's.

My Uniden PC122 ran hot and didn't last long. The Cobra still works years later.

which is precisely what is happening.
the conglomerate media companies who own several FM/AM stations in captive market areas are trying to recoup their losses by offering and venturing to several other media platforms to keep the investors and lending firms happy in addition to acquiring competitive radio stations to eliminate competition and stomping out the "gnats" of low power pirates in order to keep captivity on that specific market and keep revenue loss from advertising on the decline.
now imagine if one media company owned all the FM radio stations in the NYC market.

I hate to sound cynical, but if only one radio company owned all the FM stations in the NYC market, would any of the listeners really notice?

I think the only people who would notice would be industry types, radio enthusiasts (like us here at HFU), and policy wonks.

The average listener? I'm not sure they would either notice or care. They just want to hear their favorite music. Not saying that's awesome, but just sayin'.

There's also the danger to power when the networks are bypassed, and by networks I mean fox, abc, cbs, nbc, msnbc, cnn, etc corporate/agenda media.

Cable TV is starting to see a dip, just as FM radio is.

Not as much news about it, but when ESPN cuts staff, you know that Cable is having a few issues.

From what I've read, it seems to be mostly people cutting back on their cable packages.

Where there is money..... etc.

I don't like being conspiratorially minded, but I see an industry (FM radio) that is worried. Worried about their future. Worried about loss of listeners. Worried about loss of revenue, including advertising revenue. Even though the numbers of radio listeners who have gravitated away to other forms of entertainment haven't yet been substantial, the writing is on the wall.

When you see massive businesses scrambling to wipe out gnats, you know that there is more to the picture than just whether someone was breaking the law.

Boombox, I agree with everything you wrote except: Art Bell did not invent late-night spooky radio. Long John Nebel (east coast, shows available on Ytube) did, or probably there was someone else before him, maybe. What Bell did invent was "coast to coast" late-night spooky radio. Indeed! And truly a pioneer.

There were times, on the crazier shows, where I thought I could hear Bell laughing. Maybe I was wrong. But I remember this guy who said, "and Art... they have even got recordings of the sounds of Pleadian [space-] ships!", where there was at least a chuckle, or a guffaw, or something.

He also promoted totally bogus stuff, a lot of the time (i.e. guests that he damn well knew were bogus) but that was in the Long John Nebel traditional late night entertainment modus operandi anyway.... i.e., the broadcasters viewed these kinds of shows as what they were: "Entertainment".

Godspeed to Mr. Bell.

FWIW, I had heard about Long John Nebel. He was on one of the big NYC AM stations, I think in the 1960's. I saw his pic in a UFO mag talking about him. It seems he was a pioneer, sort of when the whole idea of paranormal and UFOs was a completely fringe idea. From what I've read, Nebel was sort of like the Charles Fort of late night East Coast radio.

I hesitated to mention him as I didn't know much about his show, and never heard it, so I really couldn't say much about it... I'll have to check out the sound clips on YT. Wasn't aware of them. Was always curious about the NY and EC radio scene back in the earlier days.

I agree with you that Art probably knew some of the claims by guests were bogus. But it made great radio, didn't it. :-)

I used to work overnights during the 1990's and early 2000's. Art Bell was a big part of my life, as my Superadio was always there in the studio as I worked, invariably playing Art Bell's show.

Really sad that he's gone. He basically invented night time 'spooky' radio. Coast To Coast AM had a really nice tribute to him earlier this evening, with a few excerpts from Art Bell moments -- JC the wacky guy, the clip with the guy flying his private plane into Area 51, etc.

RIP Art Bell, now you probably know the answers to a lot of the mysteries your show explored.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Well this is Troubling...
« on: March 22, 2018, 2102 UTC »
Wow, those pirates must be really filling the FM band so much that ya can't hear your local CHR or NPR station.

I understand their dislike of unlicensed operators -- I mean, if someone is running a station that is putting out interference in the Air Band, I get that.

But the number of pirates I've heard about in my metro of around 4 million people are very, very small. And I've never heard one. Ever.

And the weird thing is the FCC is heavy duty about these FM pirates, but some ham can spew hate and filthy language in the middle of the 40 or 20 meter band flagrantly (and I've read it can happen on the 2 meter band in some cities) and they rarely, if ever, get investigated.

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