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Messages - R4002

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10/11 meters / Re: The taxis are back (26-28 MHz)
« on: October 21, 2015, 1709 UTC »
I appreciate it Chris :)

I run a dipole antenna cut for 26.000 as well as my usual wire antenna setup.  Most of my logs are heard with the dipole (or my various mobile antennas). 

I've heard tons of US and Latin American AM and SSB activity in the past 20 minutes or so of scanning the band, as well as a faint STL signal on 25950 FM and some UK FM activity on 27781 FM (UK FM channel 19).

Hopefully these openings will continue.  11 meters is always a thrill!

10/11 meters / Re: Some 10/11 meters activity
« on: October 21, 2015, 1647 UTC »
The "ham call signs" you're hearing below 28000 aren't actually ham callsigns.  They're 11 meter DX callsigns (the first character(s) should always be a number).  Check out this list of 11-meter "callsign" prefixes http://dxprefixes.blogspot.com/.  These stations are all freebanders, but there's quite a lot of order to it considering its all illegal DXing below 28000.

Glad to see the band is opening up again.  27025 is CB channel 6, used by operators running at least several kW.

99.99% of stations will be on frequencies ending on either 0 or 5 since most operators are using channelized radios.  The UK FM CB allocation is 27601.25 to 27991.25 in 10 kHz steps, so if you're hearing something in FM with a weird offset, chances are its UK based (or somebody using a radio set for the UK channels). 

Here's some quick logs starting at 1650 UTC

25000 AM - WWV loud and clear
25875 AM - Spanish language taxi dispatch
25950 FM - STL (weak)
26225 USB - Spanish language, strong signals
26305 AM - Truckers
26475 AM - Spanish language, heavy fading, possibly taxis
26495 AM - Spanish language, similar to 26475 AM
26555 LSB - Spanish language, very strong signals
26585 AM - Spanish language, heavy QRM
26655 AM - Spanish language, Mexican accents, OTH Radar QRM
26715 AM - Puerto Rico (very loud signals)
26805 AM - Spanish language activity - likey taxi dispatch
26835 AM - "Mister 155 Puerto Rico" very strong signals
26965 - 27405 - legal 40 channel US/European CB band
27415 LSB - US stations, Kentucky heard
27425 LSB - "you take care and have a good one now"
27425 AM - Spanish language taxi dispatch
27435 LSB - "73s 522, this is 001" "yeah 35 Indiana, how are you, over?"
27455 USB - Spanish language
27480 USB - Spanish language
27485 USB - Spanish language, S9+ signals
27515 AM - Spanish language taxi dispatch
27555 USB - International 11-meter calling frequency - 26 India Sierra 002 Scotland calling CQ DX (lots of other stations on frequency)
27625 USB - French language
27700 USB - SSTV (weak)
27715 USB - Spanish language
27781 FM - UK FM channel 19, heavy fading
27785 USB - Spanish language

10/11 meters / Re: Lots of UK CB Activity 21 Oct 2015 1615 UTC
« on: October 21, 2015, 1643 UTC »
Hearing 27781 FM traffic fading up and down at 1643 UTC

10/11 meters / Re: The taxis are back (26-28 MHz)
« on: October 20, 2015, 2350 UTC »
No problem Chris :)

The 26805 one is a new catch for me - the others (namely 27425, 27445 and 27515) are heard quite often.  My assumption is that these taxi companies are using export radios with vertical antennas (so anywhere from 20w to 100w AM power).  The dispatchers are usually YLs and have elaborate roger beeps or even music playing under their voices as they transmit.  I'm listening to the 26805 AM station right now (2335 UTC).  The other usual Mexican AM frequencies are also active: 26555 LSB, 26575 AM and 26585 AM.  Nice audio from a station on 26575 AM pushing the needle to the wall.  These Mexican high power stations run several kilowatts.  

Other frequencies I've logged this evening (band appears to still be open!) Notice the pattern with the band (alpha) designation + the channel number:

26105 AM - Band B channel 4 - English and Spanish language traffic, appears to be truckers
26135 AM - Band B channel 7 - Spanish language traffic, possibly taxi dispatch
26555 LSB - Band C channel 4 - Spanish language traffic, heavy QRM
26585 AM - Band C channel 7 - Very busy calling "shootout" channel.  High powered stations
26615 AM - Band C channel 9 - Spanish language traffic
27065 AM - Band D (legal CB band) channel 9 - Spanish language traffic
27455 USB - Band E channel 4 - Latin American calling frequency
27515 AM - Band E channel 9 - Taxi Dispatch

Channels 4, 7 and 9 appear several times here.  I believe the common practice for many of these operators is to simply pick a channel and then move the band switch up and down until a clear frequency is found.  A large number of export radios are NOT equipped with frequency displays.  Just a channel display plus a bandswitch.  Some radios complicate things further by having a 3 or 4 position bandswitch plus a "high band/low band" toggle switch that turns those 3 or 4 bands into 6 or 8 bands.  Very easy for somebody to find themselves in the middle of the 10 meter CW portion without realizing it (or caring).  Interesting that 26555 LSB is the "lowers" sideband frequency and 27455 USB is the "uppers" sideband frequency.  There is a method to the madness that is 11 meters.  

For the most part I have noticed that Spanish language traffic, especially on the "uppers" side (that is, 27405 to 28000) is usually in USB, and English language traffic is mostly in LSB.  The notable exception being stations working on 27555 USB and those that have QSYed from 27555 USB.  This afternoon I heard a lengthy QSO on 27550 USB between several US stations and a Brazilian station (IDed as 3 Radio Charlie 014).  They had QSYed from 27555 USB.

On top of this, the vast majority of traffic heard on the "lowers" (that is, below CB channel 1 so 26965 and down to 25000 or so) is in AM mode.  The exceptions being 26225, 26235, 26240, 26500, 26540 and 26555.  Everything else is in AM.  This includes US based stations (26915, 26885, 26835, 26815 and 26775 are the common ones I've heard truckers/American freebanders using - all in AM) as well.

I don't know if I'd call it a "gentleman's agreement" but considering the illicit nature of 11 meter freeband it is an interesting thing to note.  Given that 11 meters is effectively abandoned by other services (save for OTH radar) and there is effectively no enforcement of laws on this frequency band - the 25-30 MHz range will remain a fascinating, albeit lawless, corner of HF.  

10/11 meters / The taxis are back (26-28 MHz)
« on: October 20, 2015, 2146 UTC »
With the band opening up today, and the UK coming in nicely earlier (around 1600-1700 UTC), I decided to do some loggings:

Now that its around 2130 UTC, the European stations have disappeared and the Latin Americans dominate the 25-30 world.  I am fascinated by the heavy use the taxicab/trucking industries make use of these frequencies, especially in Spanish-speaking countries.

Here's some logs.  I must note that I can hear WWV on 25000 nearly 30dB over S9 :D

All are in Spanish unless noted otherwise.

25615 AM - Taxi Dispatch (this is channel 1 on band A on most export radios)
25645 AM - Taxi Dispatch
25775 AM - Taxi Dispatch, other AM voice traffic, noise toys
25915 AM - Taxi Dispatch - unfortunately right next to 25910 FM (when I can hear it, which I can't today)
26305 AM - Voice traffic, likely truckers (lots of noise toys, heavy QSB)
26375 AM - Same as above
26515 AM - Taxi Dispatch
26805 AM - Taxi Dispatch with roger beeps, noise toys
27045 AM - Taxi Dispatch (this is within the legal CB band, but is not a legal CB channel.  It is, in fact, a RC frequency!)
27425 AM - Taxi Dispatch, with QRM from SSB activity on the same freq and 27420 USB
27445 AM - Taxi Dispatch
27515 AM - Taxi Dispatch (I hear this one the most often and usually with the strongest signal)
27775 AM - AM voice traffic, likely taxis
27905 AM - Taxi Dispatch

The high 25 to low 26 range seems to be the most active when the band is open, followed by just below 28.  All in AM mode. 

10/11 meters / 27781 FM Very Active 1630 UTC 20 Oct 2015
« on: October 20, 2015, 1633 UTC »
Hearing a very loud (S8-S9) station working other UK stations on 27781.25 FM (UK CB channel 19) as well 27901.25 (UK CB channel 31).  Lots of Latin American stations on AM/SSB mixing in, especially around the 27600-27700 region.  Getting a video of the 27781 FM activity right now.

1635 - Now hearing 27841 FM as well as 27781 and 27901.  Other European stations heard on 27385 LSB and 27555 USB calling CQ.  Station on 27841 fading up to S9 and back down to S3 but very clear on peaks.  Nice Sporadic-E opening!

Wolverine Radio seems to be one of the most enigmatic pirate stations out there.  I don't know any of email or maildrop physical address or QSL cards in existence (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong here - as I'd like one too!)

The closest thing Wolverine Radio seems to do to a QSL card is their SSTV transmissions, which some could consider a form of "eQSL" ;)

Rock Lobster! (at 0000 UTC)

Nice clean S9 signal, a little (likely local) noise but nice copy nonetheless.  

0002 - some sort of buzzzzzzzzz ute QRM, signal still S9 but a bit noiser.
0003 - QRM is still there but not nearly as strong.  I know there are several ute stations that use the 6940 to 6950 kHz section.  

Edit at 0008 UTC:

I pulled this up on the K2SDR NJ based WebSDR and played with the passband a bit.  Wolverine Radio is running nice and wide audio.  Cranked the @ -60dB filter bandwidth from the default of 2.95 kHz wide up to 4.01 kHz wide and the audio is now armchair AM-level quality.  Even nicer at 5.05 kHz wide.  Wolverine Radio makes SSB sound like AM with a bit of tweaking on the passband control.  

0010 - Stray Cat Strut  ;D
0013 - ID (mellow) "Wolverine...Radio"  The ute QRM is now completely gone (even with the bandwidth cranked wide open)
0017 - signal dropping down quickly - music almost at the floor now at both my local RX location and on the WebSDR.  Pescadore QRM from 6950 LSB now overpowering the Wolverine Radio signal on 6945 USB.  Dropped the bandwidth back down to 2.95 kHz which helped a bit but I can still hear the peskies in there.  Condx must be changing
0019 - Signal now right at noise level on the SDR.  
0020 - Moving up a bit.  I can hear music there but can't ID it through the peskie QRM (on the SDR).  
0021 - Still a S9 (but with QRM) on my local QTH RX, music, "...cat"
0022 - signal improving a bit "no, no, nooo, you're not the one for me"
0024 - Wolverine Radio ID (with echo FX)
0024 - SSTV
0027 - more SSTV (slightly weaker than the previous one...)

10/11 meters / Re: 11m waking up?
« on: October 17, 2015, 1930 UTC »
More logs - starting at 1845 UTC:

25705 AM - Weak, possibly a taxi dispatcher (most traffic in the high 25 to low 26 range seems to be taxi/business radio stuff)
25775 AM - Same as above
26025 AM - Weak carrier
26240 USB - SS stations
26355 AM - SS stations
26375 AM - SS stations, with sound FX and music playing underneath the operator's voices
26395 AM - Similar to above.  Stations playing music at each other
26495 AM - YL voice, possibly taxi dispatcher
26515 AM - "Buenas tardes!" S9 signal
26540 LSB - SS stations, see also 26555 LSB
26575 AM - SS stations with sound FX, noise toys, echo, basically one huge heterodyne at points
26585 AM - SS stations, Mexican calling/shootout channel.  Sometimes this frequency gets really messy.
26595 AM - SS stations, likely from Mexico
26605 AM - Similar to 26575, 26585, etc
26715 AM - Very loud Spanish language shootout channel, some stations are 40db over S9
26735 AM - Stations moved from 26715, similar "traffic" (really just guys yelling over each other)
26905 AM - Truckers
-skipping the legal 26965 to 27405 band this time-
27415 AM - SS traffic, several stations talking to each other, different roger beeps.  Not sure if taxis or not (YL voice heard as well)
27430 AM/FM ?? Carrier (hearing on multiple radios) could be local
27445 LSB - US stations, Southern US accents heard
27455 USB - "Hola Puerto Rico!" - Spanish language calling channel
27460 USB - SS traffic
27465 USB - SS traffic
27470 LSB - "you're better off"
27475 USB - Similar to 27455U.  Spanish language
27515 LSB - Jamaican/Caribbean calling channel, quite busy strong signals (S9 ++)
27515 AM - Taxicab dispatcher underneath the loud Jamaican SSB signals
27665 USB - Latin American calling channel, several QSOs at once
27695 LSB - SS traffic with AM carrier in the background (or local QRN not sure...)
27705 USB - SS traffic.  Nice audio easy to tune in on the Galaxy 959.  QSO between two stations, one is peaking at S9 +20
27745 LSB - SS traffic
27755 AM - Taxicab dispatcher, Spanish language (likely from Mexico)
27775 LSB - SS traffic, weak carrier whine in the background
27915 AM - YL voice heard (Spanish language).  Possible taxi dispatch

10/11 meters / 27635 USB 1830-1845 + UTC
« on: October 17, 2015, 1853 UTC »
Hearing some sort of polytone "jingle" on 27635 USB.  Usually when the band is open, this frequency is occupied by truckers operating freeband (since it is CB channel 19 with the flick of the bandswitch on export/"10-meter" radios).  Today, however, I've been hearing this weird polytone transmission every few minutes.  Great variation in signal strength as well.  Right now its around S3 but it was a clear S7 about 10 minutes ago (1640 UTC).  

I can hear some USB voice traffic underneath it from time to time.  Anybody know what this is?  I'm thinking its just some sort of elaborate noise toy that somebody is running with high power and/or an awesome antenna but wanted to get a second opinion by more experienced ops (or somebody who can look at it on a SDR waterfall/spectrograph ;)

Edit:  Now at 1654 UTC it has shot up to S9.

10/11 meters / Re: 11m waking up?
« on: October 17, 2015, 1610 UTC »
More logs:

Lots and lots of Spanish language traffic.  OTH radar seems to be hanging around the 27.7 region.  Checked 25910 FM, 25950 FM, 25990 FM and 26010 FM and heard nothing :(

26225 USB - SS traffic, quality audio
26375 AM - SS traffic, possible taxicab dispatcher, heavy QSB
26425 AM - SS traffic
26540 LSB - SS traffic
26555 LSB - SS traffic
26585 AM - SS traffic, very loud as usual.  Echo, noise toys.  I like to think of this frequency as the Mexican version of 27025
26605 AM - SS traffic with music in the background, heterodyne, QRM, etc
26665 AM - SS traffic, Mexican accents, noise toys
26705 AM - Spanish language signals, with heavy bleedover from stations on 26715
26715 AM - Very loud Spanish language signals - as per usual on 26705-26725
26915 AM - more Southern US "skip shooter" traffic, QSB
27015 AM - CB channel 5 - serious heterodyne (Spanish language)
27025 AM - CB channel 6 - see above (only in English this time ;))
27345 AM - CB channel 34 - Spanish language with noise toys and roger beeps, QSB (perhaps condx are changing?)
27375 AM and LSB CB channel 37 - Spanish language traffic with 26 Foxtrot (something something).  UK stations calling CQ under the QRM
27425 AM - SS traffic, with roger beeps.  YL giving out numbers, likely a taxi dispatcher
27425 LSB - EE Southern US operator QSOs
27435 USB - SS traffic
27455 USB - Spanish language calling frequency
27500 AM/CW (CW!!!)
27525 USB - "Spoke to Canada earlier and that's another first for me so another country on the map" - UK accent
27565 USB - SS traffic, weak
27615 LSB - SS traffic, peaking to S9+20
27695 LSB - SS traffic, not moving the S-meter but mostly copyable
27700 USB - Nearly constant SSTV  ;D
27710 OTH Radar (to around 27750 or so)
27725 USB - "Hola Que Tal?" - Spanish language traffic

10/11 meters / Re: 11m waking up?
« on: October 17, 2015, 1505 UTC »
Hearing Irish and English (26CT115 requesting QSY to 27405) stations on 27385 LSB as well as 27395 LSB.  

Other logs (1450-1505 UTC).  Receiving equipment is: Galaxy DX959 with indoor dipole (random wire is antenna #2)

26585 AM - very busy, constant S7-S9 signal heterodyne, music, roger beeps, feedback, very messy
26625 AM - "Hola Hola Hola Hola Hola!"
26775 AM - Southern US accents
27385 LSB - very busy (US and Western European stations)
27405 LSB - South Carolina station working UK
27415 AM - SS taxicab dispatch (with roger beeps!)
27455 USB - Latin America calling frequency active, heavy QSB
27505 USB - SS operators, one is down in the noise, the other a solid S9 +20.  
27555 USB - Hearing stations down in the noise, roger beeps, somebody calling CQ DX but they faded away before I heard an ID
27705 USB - SS operators, very loud (all over S9 on both antennas)

1507 UTC: Swapped out the Galaxy with the Voyager VR9000 (better known as the Superstar 3900F), backup radio is IC707.  Did this because the Voyager has FM.

26585 AM - More of the same.  Even noiser on the Voyager (this is to be expected with the radio in question)
26915 AM - "Mister Shoeshine is back quiet"
26955 AM - very strong carrier somebody keyed down for a second and didn't say anything (was S9 +40db!!!)
27405 LSB - 26CT115 (or maybe 26CT1115) working Kentucky station, heavy QRM
27470 USB - SS traffic, nice audio and strong signals
27555 USB - "all the best boys good morning" (British accent)
27590 USB - British accent "I'd lose my mind and I don't want to do that"
27601 FM - Heard UK CB traffic, but was then obliterated by 27605 LSB :(
27605 LSB - SS traffic, strong
27620 USB - Caught the tail end of an ID "Charlie Alpha"
27635 USB - polytones, stations down in the noise, weak AM carrier whine
27665 USB - "Buenas tardes" "Saludos a la frecuencia!" - active with roger beeps
27700 USB - weak SSTV (!!!!)
27775 AM - EE traffic, US accents

Nice and loud (Happy Monday) bouncing between S9 and S9+30.  A solid S9 with the attenuator on.

DJ Dickweed the propagation gods are with you tonight - hearing you nicely on the portable Grundig G3 with just the standard telescopic whip antenna (indoors with the local QRN and everything!)

Thanks for the show.  Always enjoy hearing RFW.

10/11 meters / 11 meters 26-28 MHz Open and Active 6 October 2015
« on: October 06, 2015, 2150 UTC »
Did a quick band scan from 26-28MHz:

26215 kHz USB - Spanish language
26225 kHz USB - Spanish language - much louder and more active than 26215, S9+ signals
26405 kHz AM - Spanish language - sounds like a taxicab dispatcher
26535 kHz AM - Spanish language, heavy QSB
26555 kHz LSB - Spanish language - mention of Dominican Republic
26585 kHz AM - Very busy, likely Mexican calling channel (activity on this freq is usually indicative of some sort of opening I've noticed)
26605 kHz AM - Spanish language with roger beeps and noise toys, music, etc
26705 kHz AM - Puerto Rico very loud S9 +++ with splatter from 26715
26715 kHz AM - Puerto Rico mentioned, very strong signals
26885 kHz AM - English language, Southern US accents
27015 kHz AM - CB channel 5 - Spanish language
27025 kHz AM - CB channel 6 - you know what's on this frequency when the band is open
27045 kHz AM - CB channel 7A (not a legal CB freq) - Spanish language QSO,
27065 kHz AM - CB channel 9 - similar to 26705 and 26715, strong signals
27265 kHz AM - CB channel 26 - English language, Southern US accents
27285 kHz AM - CB channel 28 - Same as channel 26
27385 kHz LSB - CB channel 38 - Very busy, heard Mississippi, Indiana, several QSOs at once
27395 kHz LSB - CB channel 39 - SSB activity, likely stations QSYed from 27385
27455 kHz USB - Spanish language calling channel, active with several stations at once
27465 kHz USB - QSO in Spanish between two stations, one is S9 +30, good quality audio
27470 kHz USB - Similar to 27465, strong signals, roger beeps
27665 kHz USB - Busy, S2-S4 signals, Spanish and possibly Portuguese QSOs
27715 kHz LSB - Spanish language QSO
Given that most of the traffic heard was in Spanish and the STL frequencies of 25910 and 25990 were quiet, best bet is another Latin American opening.  When these things get really crazy I can hear taxicab dispatchers every 10 kHz from 25615 up to 27995 and sometimes activity up into the CW portion of the bottom of 10 meters!

Update at 2240 UTC 10/06/2015:

26565 AM - Similar traffic to 26585
26665 AM - Spanish language, heavy QSB
26675 AM - Puerto Rico mentioned, roger beeps, music
26735 AM - Sounds like Truckers (this is CB channel 19 "down one band" on export radios so that makes sense)
26915 AM - Southern US QSOs, loud radios, some QSB
27255 AM - CB channel 23 - Data Bursts/Paging (paging is legal on this frequency under Part 95, up to 25w allowed!)
27445 AM - Taxicab Dispatch (Spanish language)
27515 LSB - Jamaican station very loud, some well over S9
27555 USB - voice traffic way down in the noise
27695 LSB - Spanish language traffic, Cali mentioned (possible Columbia traffic??)
27705 LSB - Similar to 27695 LSB
27765 LSB - Spanish language QSO, with OTH radar QRM

Other / UNID CW 6920 2300 UTC 16 Sept 2015
« on: September 16, 2015, 2302 UTC »
Hearing a "dot" beep every 3 seconds or so on 6920.00 kHz (in CW mode).  Originally tuned it in on 6919 kHz USB. 

Confirmed the same on the WebSDR (http://k2sdr.dyndns.org:8902/) so this isn't local.

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