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Messages - R4002

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Virginia House Radio 107.7 FM in Richmond

1142 UTC / 0642 UTC hearing “Turn Turn Turn” by The Byrds with distorted audio underneath it that seems to be saying “6:42 A.M.” over and over.  At 1143 the background noise disappeared.  SIO 555 with nice sounding audio in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

Virginia House Radio 107.7 FM 107.7 MHz FM Richmond VA FM pirate heard on factory GM stock Chevrolet AM/FM car radio with factory antenna.

10/11 meters / Re: Man without a life....
« on: February 26, 2020, 2005 UTC »
  Just a simple update -  channel 38 LSB-
   The loud obnoxious turd here in Western NY has been exposed.   Another local station plastered his photo and address upon "11 meter box" Facebook and Twitter accounts.   
  A hornet nest is sturring, now the turd insists on upgrading his radio tower this spring.   
   I am happy to lay low and QSY if necessary. 

    Resigned- 45auto


Generally that will get the offender to stop transmitting - at least as often.  CBers can be a mean-spirited bunch.  Of course, the same can be said about ham operators!   I've heard more than a handful of threats over the CB channels, anything from outright death threats to "I'm going to stick a pin in your coax when you're running your amplifier" types of threats.

Kage, I used to have an AnyTone Smart CB.  Actually a pretty nice little radio, and it has the export frequencies and FM mode right out of the box.  Most CB equipment sounds at least okay with the stock radio settings and stock microphone.  Upgrading to an amplified mic or doing a mild "peak and tune" will make AM audio loud - as long as its not splattering or overmodulating.  I have a Galaxy 959 that has several mods done to it - the Galaxy rigs have so much AM audio to spare that running it with the mic gain past 60-70% causes overmodulation.  Sure it sounds loud as hell, but it sounds even better when the mic gain is backed down and modulation peaks are right at 100%.  One of the nice things about that particular radio is it actually has a modulation meter built-in (and the meter is accurate enough for adjusting mic gain). 

10/11 meters / Re: 10M FM repeater activity
« on: February 24, 2020, 1947 UTC »

I also remember listening to a 10m repeater out of NYC on 29.620 (I believe...)

W1OJ was on 29.620 up here in MA... that might be what you heard. It had a huge footprint.

I'm 99% sure W1OJ was the repeater I heard during those band openings.  It was loud for sure, just like the land mobile stuff in the 29.71-50 MHz range. 

10/11 meters / Re: 10M FM repeater activity
« on: February 21, 2020, 2041 UTC »
I also remember listening to a 10m repeater out of NYC on 29.620 (I believe...) I don’t remember the PL tone though.  I do remember hearing stations from all over the East Coast working each other on it and via simplex on 29.600 MHz.  The 29.71 MHz - 29.79 MHz, 30 MHz, 31 MHz, 33 MHz, 35 MHz and 43-45 MHz land mobile bands were also lit up with activity from New York that day.   I was hearing all of this on a RadioShack scanner with the stock rubber duck too!  That must have been in 2002? Something like that.

Apparently 11 meters is extremely popular in Russia and is used by all sorts of business and industrial users in addition to hobbyists.  From what I’ve read there are dozens upon dozens of simplex repeaters in Russia alone.  Also the 27.205 MHz FM repeater out of Sweden must have some insane coverage (just going by the number of videos on YouTube!).

Russia’s CB band is 26.510 to 27.860 with two sets of channels, the E channels aka the fives (27.185 MHz, for example, is channel 19) and the P channels aka the zeros (27.180 MHz is channel 19).  Cities did, or do, maintain traffic information broadcasts or services on specific CB frequencies.  I’ve read 27.135 MHz AM is popular as well as 27.635 MHz FM for traffic info service in St. Petersburg.  Wouldn’t surprise me if there were some 11m repeaters there too!

Found another video on how to build an 11 meter FM CB simplex repeater using the SureCom repeater controller.  Looks like this guy is using 27.295 MHz FM.


10/11 meters / Re: 10M FM repeater activity
« on: February 21, 2020, 1617 UTC »
The 10 meter FM frequencies are good indicators of a band opening on 10 meters/11 meters as well as a potential VHF low band (30-50 MHz) band opening. 

29.600 MHz is a good place to start for FM activity, then the repeater pairs

29.620 MHz
29.640 MHz
29.660 MHz
29.680 MHz

are good for scanning during a band opening.  I often include down to 29.5 MHz when I do a VHF low band scan for VHF low DX skip in FM mode. 

A few years ago there was actually a local logging company that used 29.625 MHz (also logged as 29.620 MHz) for truck-to-truck comms (they were using what they thought was a clear frequency on their export 11 meter CB rigs).  Whoops. 

I will also say, however, that I hear FM activity on 11 meters when the band is rolling too - and not just the UK FM CB frequencies with the 1.25 kHz offset (27.60125 MHz - 27.99125 MHz in 10 kHz steps).  I've heard FM freebander traffic on 27.505 MHz, 27.600 MHz and a couple other frequencies and the stations were US based.  27.600 MHz translates well from 29.600 MHz as a FM calling frequency. 

Speaking of FM repeaters - there used to be a linked FM repeater network of four 11m 27 MHz FM repeaters in the Caribbean on 27.620 MHz, 27.640 MHz, 27.660 MHz and 27.680 MHz.  They used a +200 kHz offset and even included a 88.5 Hz CTCSS or PL tone.  They were linked together (so keying up one would key up the other three and give you simulcast capability)...not sure how they were linked but I imagine it was VHF/UHF. 

Here's a video of the network being keyed up.


Unfortunately it appears that all of these repeaters are now off the air. 

There are others, however.  Apparently there is a German 11m FM repeater system - input frequency is 26.565 MHz FM and output is 27.405 MHz FM (26.565 MHz is German CB channel 41).  In other words, a -840 kHz offset  -  -    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpfFs4M_U1c

I'm sure there are plenty of other 11m repeaters out there.  I've seen evidence of cross-band setups in the USA using MURS or FRS / 11m crossband systems.  Here's one example of FRS channel 3 - 462.6125 MHz - patched to 11m frequency 26.935 MHz as a repeater system (at least as a proof of concept)


That being said, simplex repeater seems to be more popular, especially in Europe and Russia. They are easy to put together. There are dozens of 11m FM simplex repeaters operating in Russia and elsewhere in Europe.  There's apparently one on 27.205 MHz FM in Sweden that features DTMF-controlled playback and other options.  The 27.205 FM repeater has apparently been heard/hit in dozens of different countries...

Other known 11m FM simplex repeaters include:

26.965 MHz FM - Channel 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDI5T-_z7qQ

26.985 MHz FM - Channel 3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOWxgc9lRrk - this one has been noted by several other operators too

27.275 MHz FM - Channel 27 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgYlzLPH5Jk

27.305 MHz FM - Channel 30 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1QQlvwFAD0 - possibly more than one on this frequency?

27.415 MHz FM - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r82nX0QuIcw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcW1IFBGnsw - assuming this is the same repeater it was heard in Poland and Australia!

27.675 MHz FM - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6__XiVyTvk

Virginia House Radio continuing their usual programming on 107.7 FM in downtown Richmond Virginia.  Small bursts of QRM from 107.5 FM and 107.9 FM. 

WBQK on 107.9 MHz coming out of West Point, VA is doing 4 kW 328 feet HAAT / 305 feet AGL only 35 miles from downtown Richmond.   When the band is open, even marginally, I can hear another station or two mixing in on 107.9 MHz.   107.5 MHz has WNNT-FM (47 miles from Richmond at 6 kW, same height as WBQK) and WCHV-FM (65 miles away from the presumed Virginia House Radio transmitter site - only doing 210 watts ERP but their antenna is on top of a mountain, 259 feet above the mountain / AGL, 1109 feet (!!) AGL).

When it comes to 107.7 MHz itself, there are, unfortunately, three legal stations to contend with.  WWWT-FM (WTOP's 107.7 FM powerhouse, although their 44 kW transmitter on 103.5 FM out of Washington, D.C. also kills it....it's still a shame they got rid of the 1500 kHz facility and 1500 AM is now WFED - still, I can hear WFED on 1500 on a regular basis with factory Chevrolet and Toyota car radios into the sunrise hours during the winter without an issue.   

WETA on 90.9 FM gives WTOP on 103.5 FM / 107.7 FM a run for their money.  WETA 90.9 MHz FM is grandfathered in and does 75 kW from 456 feet AGL / 610 feet HAAT.  With my old sedan's "proper" FM antenna (a real 1/4 wave whip mounted on the fender - connected to a Pioneer receiver) I could hear WETA a solid 70 miles south of the transmitter location driving down I-95 towards Richmond. 

Anyway, WWWT-FM on 103.5 FM is doing 29 kW 80 miles almost due north, WMOV-FM out of Norfolk, VA doing 15 kW also 80 miles away, and WWDW-FM out of Alberta, VA, only 2.2 kW but around 55 miles to the south-south-west.  When the band is rolling, I can usually hear WTOP's audio mixing with WMOV and WWDW along with Virginia House Radio on 107.7 FM. 

Virginia House Radio's signal is excellent in the central business district (downtown downtown) area of downtown Richmond, I won't speculate as to their transmitter location but they must have at least some elevation.

FM Free Radio / Re: FM pirates in the Boston area.
« on: February 20, 2020, 1330 UTC »
Check the higher FM broadcast frequencies as well...frequency, I should say.  107.9 MHz FM is another one.  I do second 87.7 MHz FM and 87.9 MHz though. 

Unfortunately the proliferation of translators and repeaters for AM stations and/or HD Radio sub-channels means there are very few, if any, clear frequencies on the FM bands in larger urban areas. 

10/11 meters / Re: 18 Feb 2020 1915UTC - Big opening!
« on: February 20, 2020, 1327 UTC »
Seems like the band closed pretty quickly too.  I checked on one of my handheld CBs later in the day (with the telescopic antenna that actually resonates on 26-28 MHz)....and nothing as far as DX goes.  Only the locals yakking away on channels 14, 19 and 22. 

10/11 meters / Re: 18 Feb 2020 1915UTC - Big opening!
« on: February 19, 2020, 1646 UTC »
38 LSB is active in addition to numerous 26 MHz frequencies.  Maybe the 26.500 MHz USB and 27.515 MHz LSB crowds will make another appearance.

The DMR users on 151.625 have moved at least one of the other groups off 151.625 MHz and on to 151.505 MHz.  Strong analog FM voice on 151.5050 MHz

Utility / Re: CIS Navy on HF
« on: February 17, 2020, 2206 UTC »
Do the Rooskies make a habit of using 80 meters in USB mode?  Seems like it’s pretty common for marine purposes (military and otherwise). 

I’ve read numerous reports from hams in Europe of Irish fishing fleets, Finnish trawlers, Italian fishermen in the Med, etc. using 3500-4000 kHz in USB mode for ship to ship comms.  It’s a good place to hide a military net.  Same with 40 meters.

The split frequency operation seems pretty common too. 

Like standing on top of a several hundred (or thousand) foot tower with a HT.  Love it. 

It would be cool to go up in a balloon with a handheld CB with a halfway decent antenna. 

I’ve done some basic range testing on 2 meters and the 151 MHz / 154 MHz MURS frequencies (they have the same propagation characteristics) with another op in his mobile...I parked on top of a hill roughly 200 feet above the floodplain and low-laying area and alternated between 10 watts, 25 watts and 70 watts on with my mobile radio and 4 watts on my handheld.  Only when you get to the fringe of the 4 watt/10 watt range does having the high power capability make the difference.

Would love to do a side-by-side with 11 meter AM and VHF high band (2m or MURS) with the same power level range test. 

Of course these have been done in mostly urban areas with lots of obstructions...

In most areas, rural and urban, the proliferation of data link and telemetry systems on the MURS channels make fringe-range operation more annoying.

For Sale / Wanted / Barter / Re: Galaxy 959 blue
« on: February 17, 2020, 2146 UTC »
Which frequency / channel expansion mod does it have?  Does it do 26.695 MHz to 27.965 MHz coverage aka the P5 P6 or switch mod or the 26.515 to 26.955 MHz / 26.965 MHz to 27.405 MHz / 27.415 MHz to 27.855 MHz Lescomm or Viagra 120 channel board installed?

10/11 meters / Re: Quite a bit of activity 16 Feb 2020
« on: February 17, 2020, 2143 UTC »
Any out of band activity? On say, 26.915 MHz or any of the other freeband 27 MHz SSB freqs?

They’re probably getting some pretty insane range if they’re 400-500-600 feet above ground level. 

Assuming they’re using 4-watt or 5-watt handheld radios...it wouldn’t surprise me if their signals are making it 40-50+ miles from that high up (depending on the terrain of course).

I know there's a low power (~4 watts transmitter power, ERP is probably about 8 watts) simplex repeater installed in the downtown area of the city I live in...it's on MURS channel 2 - 151.880 MHz - and the antenna is maybe 30 feet above street level.   Even with that modest height and power level, it can be heard 5 miles away....and this is in an urban area with lots of obstructions.

I've monitored what sounded like either RF engineers or IT installation guys installing antennas of some sort in a high-rise building, they were talking about coax cable runs, antennas, filters and the like.  They weren't on VHF, they were on one of the UHF itinerant business band frequencies (specifically 469.500 MHz).  From their conversation it was obvious that they were either on the roof of the building or on the top floors.  They were very strong for several miles away from the downtown area, even with QRM from other business users on the same frequency.  Lucky for them they were running a DCS / DPL code and weren’t suffering any sort of QRM.

Height is key.  It wouldn't surprise me if the tower climbers on 151.625 MHz you're talking about cause at least minor amounts of QRM to all sorts of users dozens of miles away from them. 

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