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Messages - R4002

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Have them right at the noise level at 2348 UTC on 6935 kHz USB.

[Scroll to the bottom to see current on-air status]

I'm working on this project with another operator, who wishes to remain anonymous.  So far, two versions have been built.  Mark I, on 27.500 MHz (crystal controlled), transmitting a continuous tone.  Power output is 80mW.  Mark II has a crystal holder provision built in so frequency can easily be changed by changing crystals.  Currently have 26.540 MHz, 26.995 MHz (CB channel 3A, an allocated R/C frequency), 27.090 MHz, 27.185 (CB channel 19) and 27.545 MHz crystals available.  Mark II power output is around 1W, which can be used to drive an amplifier (during testing this produced just under 50 watts).  Transmission is a continuous tone in AM mode.  The Mark II transmitter uses a modified 27MHz R/C controller transmitter.  Antenna is a dipole roughly directional to NE/SW.  

Testing with Mark I on 27.500 with 80mW on the dipole has produced a range of around 1 mile in an urban area during the daytime (band open and noisy).   27.500 is the unofficial "beacon" frequency for the 11-meter freeband.  Mark I is currently not on the air.

Frequency choice is likely to be 26.540/26.995/27.545 due to heavy use of 27.185 (CB channel 19 - the trucker/road channel), 27.090 being right next to CB channel 11 (27.085) which is another very active frequency during band openings.  26.540 is likely to be clear, as is 27.545.  26.995 has an advantage of being within the legal CB band, however there is risk of QRM from Part 15 and Part 95 users (remote control, other low-power data usage, etc).  I feel that 26.995 would attract the least amount of attention from the authorities.  

Transmitter is not under continuous operation at this time, however I am creating this thread to create awareness of this project - which is still on-going.  Version III will likely support a CW ID keyer instead of a continuous tone like Mark I and II.

Testing will begin on 27.545 01/09/2016, alternating between 1w and 50w power levels as I test the antenna system.  Signal is heard in AM mode but can be easily tuned in SSB/CW mode.  

As of 1950 UTC 03/20/2016 the beacon is on 27255 (CB channel 23) at 1w.  Antenna is attic-mounted, facing NE-SW.  Turning on the amplifier causes all sorts of issues - SWR on antenna system jumps from a 1.3:1 to 3:1!  The antenna is cut for 27000 but I'm seeing a SWR of 1.3:1 on the lowest (26540) and highest (27545) frequencies available to me at 1w power levels.  I'm guessing this could be due to the whole setup (transmitter + amplifier + tuner) all being right next to the antenna and RF getting into all or some of those components.  More testing is needed (or I need to get an amplifier that isn't as powerful).

As this is a work in progress, I will eventually be looking at the signal on a spectrograph display and seeing how wide this signal really is.  

EDIT 01/11/2016 2200ish UTC:

Beacon is back on the air, center frequency set at 27545 kHz, signal is roughly 10-15 kHz wide.  Power is 5 watts into a vertically polarized antenna (for this phase of testing 01/11/2016.)
 We're still not 100% sure if this is an AM or FM signal, because the tone is more "natural" sounding when tuned in FM mode, on both 27540 kHz and 27545 kHz.   Transmitter is now driving a Thunderbolt 50 amplifier producing 5w into a magnet mount CB antenna that is currently sitting on huge steel piece of HVAC ductwork in the attic.  Should be a sufficient ground plane (SWR reading is the same as the dipole).   For local testing, it makes more sense to use the same polarization the receiving antenna uses (vertical).  Will be switching back to horizontally polarized 1/2 wave dipole shortly..  Local tests using the mag-mount were very disappointing.  Signal lost around 2/3 of a mile away from TX location.  Switched back to dipole (what good is 4w more of power if the antenna sucks?).

EDIT 01/12/2016 1300 UTC:

Mark II is back on the air.  1w into a 1/2 wave dipole.  Tone-modulated signal roughly 10-15 kHz wide centered on 27540 kHz +/- 5 kHz for drift.  

10/11 meters / 11 meter DX Logs 7 January 2015 1900 UTC +
« on: January 07, 2016, 2050 UTC »
11 meters is waking up this afternoon.  Received with a Galaxy DX 959 (modified 26515-27855), Ranger Voyage VR 9000 (modified 25615-28305) and a dipole antenna tuned for the lower part of 26 MHz.  The VR 9000 has wider frequency range and FM but a noisier and less selective receiver compared to the Galaxy, which actually has excellent receive and AM audio quality. The Galaxy has had several modifications to the receive section done to improve SNR. I actually prefer using the channelized "export" equipment that's designed for use on this band compared to a "real" HF amateur radio or SWL setup.  

25625 AM - YL reading numbers in Spanish with roger beep.  S9 signal level at peaks
25635 AM - Music and other QRM (noise toys, etc)
25775 AM - YL taxicab dispatcher, just barely above noise level
25805 AM - Spanish language with echo/reverb
25875 AM - YL taxicab dispatcher with roger beep.  Can hear the taxis she's talking to as well
25970 FM - FM carrier on this frequency.  S3 signal level, no audio heard.  This is an FCC allocated STL freq
26005 AM - Spanish language, weak
26055 AM - YL and OM talking - Spanish language, weak signals, S4 at peaks
26105 AM - Spanish language.  This is a popular trucking frequency (Channel 4 down two bands from the legal CB band)
26375 AM - Roger beeps/noise toys and music heard, no actual voice traffic (???)
26465 AM - Spanish language, weak
26525 AM - Spanish language, with music in background and echo/reverb
26535 AM - Spanish language, possibly taxis
26540 LSB - Spanish language, similar to 26555 LSB w/QRM from 26535 AM
26555 LSB - Mexican freeband traffic, heavy QRM (this frequency is used as a "low band" SSB calling channel, see also 27455 USB)
26575 AM - Spanish language, likely from Mexico
26585 AM - Mexican AM "low channel" calling frequency, very busy, S9++ signal levels, music, etc
26595 AM - Spanish language with roger beep, bleedover from strong (overmodulated) signals on 26585 AM
26605 AM - Spanish language, weak but readable
26615 AM - "Hola! Hola! Hola!"
26625 AM - Spanish language, fading up to S9, crazy echo/reverb on OM voice with roger beeps
26665 AM - Music heard at noise floor, fading up to S3
26705 AM - Spanish language, weak
26725 AM - YL dispatcher with roger beep talking to OM (taxi) with different roger beeps
26765 AM - English language, handles "711", "Mr. 26 West Virginia" and "Bicycle" heard
26775 AM - "Unit 20 is 10-7"
26815 AM - English language, Atlanta, GA and other Southern US locations heard
26825 AM - YL Taxicab Dispatcher - Spanish language with roger beep
26885 AM - Station asking for a radio check, other voice traffic at noise level
26905 AM - YL Taxicab Dispatcher reading numbers.  Rapid fading up to S9 and down to S5.  Various roger beeps heard.
26915 AM - US AM CB DX calling frequency, busy, similar to 26815 AM
26955 AM - "Big Radio 549 Texas" working stations, hi-fi broadcast quality audio, S9+30db signal!
26985 AM - CB Ch. 3 - Several stations talking at once, English language heard.  
26995 AM - R/C Channel "3A" - voice traffic heard - Spanish language, with FM data burst QRM
27000 AM - Strong carrier right on 27000.0 kHz
27015 AM - CB Ch. 5 - English "Rush Hour Operator" and Spanish heard, S5 level noisy heterodyne, signals punching through are S9+++
27025 AM - CB Ch. 6 - The Superbowl.  "Georgia Drag queen" "Number 3" "125 in the mobile" "Doctor 45" dozens of other stations
27035 AM - CB Ch. 7 - Similar to 26585 and 27025.  Lots of high-power stations (Spanish language)
27045 AM - R/C Channel "7A" - Spanish language YL heard under bleedover from 27035
27065 AM - CB Ch. 9 - Latin American AM Calling Channel
27075 AM - CB Ch. 10 - "2068 in the Buckeye State"
27085 AM - CB Ch. 11 - Original AM Calling Channel, several stations heard at once.  "Rooster in Texas" "187 in the Carolinas"
27125 AM - CB Ch. 14 - "Hey Joe it's about time we head to the flea market" S9 signal levels, strong audio
27185 AM - CB Ch. 19 - Trucker Channel, several QSOs heard at the same time.  Noise level S4-S5
27195 AM - R/C Channel "19A" - Voice traffic heard down at noise level
27225 AM - CB Ch. 22 - Local stations working DX (or attempting to)
27265 AM - CB Ch. 26 - US AM DX Calling Channel, several stations heard - very strong signals
27285 AM - CB Ch. 28 - Supplementary to 27265.  "Ten-Roger Forrest Gump got a big wave coming your way"
27315 AM - CB Ch. 31 - Spanish language heard at noise level
27335 AM - CB Ch. 33 - Stations talking about locations in North Carolina
27345 AM - CB Ch. 34 - "Southwest Florida" - very strong signal S9+40db
27385 LSB -CB Ch. 38 - North American SSB DX Calling Channel, busy with AM carrier QRM
27405 AM - CB Ch. 40 - Spanish language heard with roger beeps at noise level (S3 on this freq)
27415 AM - Hearing YL reading numbers with roger beep at noise level, likely a taxicab dispatcher
27420 LSB - English language, Southern US accents
27430 USB - Spanish language, Mexican accents, talking about Veracruz and Chihuahua
27435 LSB - "Already have a good one buddy, hope the conditions stay with you, 73s", AM carrier het in the background
27445 LSB - English language, Southern US accents
27450 USB - Spanish language, mention of Guatemala - very strong signal
27455 USB - Latin American SSB DX Calling Frequency, busy with some sort of datamode underneath voice traffic
27465 LSB - English language, Midwestern US accents
27475 USB - Spanish language
27485 USB - Spanish language, with weak AM carrier het in the background, nothing heard in AM mode
27505 USB - Weak traffic heard at noise level with roger beeps
27515 AM - YL Taxicab Dispatcher - Spanish language with roger beep (the station usually heard on this freq during band openings)
27520 LSB - Spanish language, weak
27555 USB - International SSB DX Calling Frequency, hearing Spanish traffic language only
27625 AM - English voice QSO at noise level, presumed truckers due to frequency/mode
27655 AM - Spanish language, Mexican accents with elaborate roger beeps.  QRM from OTH Radar
27665 USB - Spanish language, excellent signal peaking at S9+30db
27685 LSB - Spanish language, OM talking about antennas
27695 USB - Spanish language, weak
27765 AM - Weak AM carrier heard in USB/LSB mode.  Unable to discern language/accent
27815 AM - YL Taxicab Dispatcher - Spanish language
27865 AM - Spanish language, OM talking with echo/reverb effects
27875 AM - Music, noise toys and roger beeps down in the noise
27905 AM - Truckers, English language

North American Shortwave Pirate / UNID 6925.1 AM 1700 UTC 01/06/2016
« on: January 06, 2016, 1710 UTC »
Have a carrier on the WebSDR and hearing it on my local RX setup as well.  Seems to be on 6925.09 kHz or thereabouts.  Liquid Radio perhaps?  going by closeness to 6925.1 kHz. S5 to S7 signal levels.  Solid AM carrier, very weak music heard down in the noise, there is something there.  

Carrier has been on since I checked at 1700 UTC.   Still on as of 1722.

Other / Re: UNID 6924.5 AM 0120 01/06/2016
« on: January 06, 2016, 1515 UTC »
Both were with the K2SDR WebSDR.  Since it seems like that was the only receiver that got these transmissions, it may have been an issue with that particular SDR

Shortwave Broadcast / Re: UNID 6870.1 AM 0000 UTC 01/06/2016
« on: January 06, 2016, 0237 UTC »
RHC is producing all sorts of spurs this evening. See this thread:  http://www.hfunderground.com/board/index.php/topic,25568.0.html

When the signal comes up, I can see/hear identical signals on several frequencies, 6924.5, 6890.5, 6894.5, 6885, 6840.5, etc.  It's all over the place.  The signal strength goes from nearly regular broadcast quality to way down in the noise.  Sometimes its distorted and sounds like its mixing with another station, other times not.

Somebody needs to take a look at their transmitter!   :o


Looks like there's spurs showing up inside the 40-meter ham band as well.  7000.5 kHz AM and 7004.5 kHz AM.  Not continuous, but short bursts of high power wide AM signals are going to get noticed in the CW section of 40 meters.

Unless the K2SDR is just being overwhelmed and generating the spurs on its own...

General Radio Discussion / Re: New to this please define
« on: January 06, 2016, 0137 UTC »
Spanish for "fishermen".  They're the two-way stations (generally marine mobile, I'm sure some of them are land-based, or at least marina-based...) chattering away on various frequencies on 43 meters (and in various other parts of HF, cf. 25-30 MHz when the band is open...).  They usually use LSB mode and 6925 kHz is one of their favorite frequencies.  You'll usually see them using 5 kHz steps but sometimes they'll pop up on a "split" frequency, for example 6919 kHz or 6868 kHz. 

You'll hear Spanish, Portuguese and sometimes other languages (including English).

They'll sometimes even play music to each other, and when they do, you'll see a thread on here for "Peskie Party Radio"

Other / UNID 6924.5 AM 0120 01/06/2016
« on: January 06, 2016, 0127 UTC »
Intermittent audio, mixing with the pescadores, but there is a carrier with this signal when its there.  Carrier on and off randomly.  When its working, hearing an OM talking with music in the background.  Now (0127 UTC) it sounds like two stations are there on AM (plus the pescadores on 6925.0 kHz

Signal came back on for roughly 5 seconds at 0129:55, dropped off for around 30 seconds, and is now back at 0130:45.  There's either two stations going at once or somebody is feeding audio from two sources into the same transmitter.  Very strange.  

Back at 0132:25, with distorted audio.  Gone again right before 0133:00, then back up for a few seconds....then gone again?  I don't think this is a fading issue, maybe a transmitter problem?  Or somebody is messing around/testing/tuning up?  

Back at 0215, same distorted audio, and what sounds like two different stations at once (although it could just be the pescadores on 6925 LSB mixing in).  Difficult to tell since the signal strength is strong enough to actually understand what is said for only a few seconds at a time and then it
disappears again.

0217: "World War II started..." "the various..."
0221: Spanish language heard (in AM mode this time).  Lots of OTH radar QRM in addition to the LSB voice traffic.  
0222: Severe OTHR QRM
0223: Hearing an OM and a YL talking at the same time.  Distorted/overdriven audio. 
0224: Pescadores seem to have quieted down.  The distorted AM station is still there though, way down in the noise.
0225: Spanish language (in AM) - then getting blasted by OTHR again

Frequency is pretty messy right now.

Other / Re: UNID 6926.9 AM 0055 UTC 01/06/2016
« on: January 06, 2016, 0101 UTC »
Came back up very rapidly right at 0100 and then disappeared just as quickly. 

Other / UNID 6926.9 AM 0055 UTC 01/06/2016
« on: January 06, 2016, 0058 UTC »
Hearing bits and pieces of music on 6926.9 AM, signal will pop up for a few seconds and then disappear. This has happened a couple times in the past few minutes. Perhaps somebody is doing some testing? 

Shortwave Broadcast / UNID 6870.1 AM 0000 UTC 01/06/2016
« on: January 06, 2016, 0001 UTC »
I'm seeing a carrier at 6870.1 kHz or thereabouts.  I can't hear any audio in AM mode but in USB mode I hear what sounds like it could be music at the noise floor.  There's lots of static crashes, hopefully somebody else can hear it better than I can (I'm listening on the K2SDR WebSDR remote).  There's another continuous signal on 6869.7 kHz that creates a heterodyne when tuning 6870.1 in AM mode.  Add the carrier on 6872 and its a mess.  There's something there though.

0003 - CW heard, another carrier pops up on 6872 kHz
0005 - 6872 carrier gone, there are several groups of pescadores around this frequency (namely 6868 kHz in LSB mode) and they're not helping either.  Maybe its just my imagination combined with the various signals mixing together  ???

Equipment / Re: "Legal power" in the world
« on: January 05, 2016, 1656 UTC »
It states that maximum power for amateurs in the USA is 2500 watts.  Per Part 97 of FCC rules, maximum PEP power is 1500 watts.

0131 - "Thank you everybody for tuning in" over Led Zeppelin
0131 - "There ya go.  Cold Country Canada, the weakest pirate station in the nation!" into music

North American Shortwave Pirate / Re: UNID 3440 kHz AM 01/05/16 0100Z
« on: January 05, 2016, 0109 UTC »
Got them on 3440 kHz AM at S8-S9 with some decent modulation at 0102 UTC.  Blues/rock music with a bit of fading and some noise.  Right next to whichever utility signal is on 3433.7 (er, 3433.0 if you're in USB mode).

0106 UTC - Signal has improved a bit, holding S9 nicely now, with some minor fades down to S8.  Sounding nicely!
0107 UTC - Queens of the Stone Age - I Wanna Make It Wit Chu - awesome track!   ;D
0111 UTC - Some more fading now, dipping down to S6, peaking at S9 still, however.  
0116 UTC - Weak het in the background, looks like there may be a carrier at 3442 kHz.  Music still sounding great though.  Blues tune.
0117 UTC - Went QRT rather abruptly - off the air with no ID

10/11 meters / Re: UNID Music 27285 AM 0656 UTC Jan 2 2016
« on: January 05, 2016, 0056 UTC »
27285 is CB channel 28, one of the high power "AM DX" channels, companion to channel 26 (27265).  Other high power AM CB frequencies include channel 6 - The Superbowl (27025), channel 11 - the original AM calling channel back when CB required licenses and was only 23 channels - channel 11 being 27085.  People will run high power on any of the 40 channels (and above and below the legal band, of course), but 6, 11, 26 and 28 are the big ones...which makes it that much more interesting that people are transmitting music over all the other signals on a heavily used frequency. 

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