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Messages - zackers

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General Radio Discussion / Re: Recordings
« on: October 06, 2014, 2137 UTC »
Several years ago I sent a reception report to Dr. Benway of Undercoverradio and he sent me a CD with the entire program plus a part that didn't get to be aired. I think he was transmitting from Jamaica at the time. I could make a copy of it, if that's OK with Dr. Benway.  8)

General Radio Discussion / Re: Long-Range direction finding
« on: September 16, 2014, 1541 UTC »
My Master's degree work was in using HFDF to locate transmitters using a single receiving site. By using the angle of arrival of signals from known transmitters with known exact locations, the unknown transmitter location could be determined within a few miles. That was in 1975. This is 2014. I have not followed up on technology advances in this area recently, but I imagine equipment has advanced considerably. Also, the FCC has multiple receiving sites, which would increase the accuracy. They would either have to guess the transmitting station's identity from their license records beyond that, or send a mobile unit to verify if they wanted to pursue the violation.

As was discussed in another thread here, the FCC doesn't seem to be too interested in going after SW pirates unless someone complains, and I am guessing that doesn't happen too often.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Avoiding the FCC
« on: September 16, 2014, 1530 UTC »
I agree with John Poet. It appears from my observations that the FCC, lacking manpower, doesn't go after the shortwave pirates unless someone complains about them. The SW pirates are generally not interfering with anyone else and not disrupting anything. They are not encroaching on anyone else's turf (except maybe another pirate occasionally, but mostly everyone seems to get along well).

Not so on FM. The licensed FM stations get pretty up in arms about pirates drawing listeners and they are quick to complain to the FCC. There is money involved there, so the FCC will possibly act on the complaint.

Equipment / Re: I finally put up a Beverage antenna
« on: September 16, 2014, 1519 UTC »
Beverages are pretty amazing when installed properly. Several hams in this area use them on 160 in the winter. The farmers who own adjoining fields let them put the Beverages up in their fields. One ham uses as many as seven, aimed in different directions. In a contest a couple years ago I was hearing stations on the Beverages that I couldn't hear a peep from on a gamma-matched tower being used as a vertical on 160.

Other / Re: 7.238 lsb california
« on: March 07, 2014, 0520 UTC »
This year is the 100th Anniversary of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). There are a lot of commemorative activities planned. One is that the W1AW callsign will be used portable by stations in each of the 50 states. A special certificate is planned for those who work W1AW/portable in all 50 states.

Other / Re: Nonsense on 14313 USB
« on: March 07, 2014, 0515 UTC »
I don't even bother listening to 14313 kHz. In fact, I avoid it. Been trying to work some DX on 40 CW tonight.  :)

Zack W9SZ

HF Beacons / Re: L was it dead, removed or just what
« on: March 07, 2014, 0502 UTC »
I'm hearing it now, too, at 0500Z/Mar 7. Not extremely strong but it's definitely copyable by ear.

Switched back to USB and hear really weak SSTV at 0217Z. Probably end of transmission of whoever it was. Not strong enough here to copy it.

I'm hearing something at 0210Z. I hear a carrier but only hear voices on LSB only. Might be some pescadores. Speaking a non-English language I can't identify.

HF Beacons / Re: long dasher
« on: February 22, 2014, 1833 UTC »
Was hearing the one on 8500.3 kHz last night. It was just out of the noise most of the time with a couple S1 peaks. It was the only beacon I was hearing. Nothing in the 4 or 6 MHz range. Is the "L" on 6668 kHz still active?

SDR - Software Defined Radio / Re: $100 SDR
« on: February 19, 2014, 2125 UTC »
Ths Softrock Ensemble II SDR receiver kits are also a very good deal at $68. You just have to be able to assemble them yourself. They cover the same frequency range. This may be one of the best entry-level SDR units available.

SDR - Software Defined Radio / Re: SDR-IQ Alternative?
« on: February 19, 2014, 2122 UTC »
I have been playing with an RTL2832 USB stick SDR. These things are cheap and plentiful on eBay now. They do not use a soundcard for I/Q processing and will cover up to a 3 MHz bandwidth. The frequency range is given as 26 to 1700+ MHz. They do work great at 26 MHz but performance drops off fast below that frequency. I've been using mine with HDSDR and SDR# software.

I haven't tried this yet, but an upconverter may be a way to record a couple MHz worth of shortwave spectrum. Maybe convert shortwave up to to 40 to 50 MHz or even higher.

HF Beacons / OK beacon?
« on: February 19, 2014, 2048 UTC »
A couple years ago I was routinely hearing this beacon on 3449.8 kHz. Then it went away, came back for a while and went away again. Is this beacon now defunct for good? I suspect it was a lot closer to me than the 4 MHz beacons.

I haven't been able to hear much this winter for some reason. I thought I heard about a second of the TMP beacon on 4079.6 kHz the other night but it never came back again over several hours.

The HAARP facility did some EME tests on 7 MHz on 19-20 Jan, 2008. I think just about all of us who tuned in were able to hear the echoes. But they were running 3.7 megawatts to their massive antenna array. That's the only successful attempt at EME in that frequency range that I know of.

It's fairly easy to hear EME on 50 MHz and above. There is a French GRAVES radar site running on 143.050 MHz that is easy to hear off the moon even with small Yagis when the timing is right.

HF Beacons / Ditter(s) on 13560.75 MHz
« on: January 12, 2014, 1912 UTC »
I've been sitting here listening to some sort of ditters on 13560.75 MHz on Sunday January 12 from about 1845Z to 1910Z (so far). In general there will be a string of 9 or 10 fast dits followed by a dit approximately every 1.3 seconds for several minutes, then two rapid dits and a long pause, then starting up again. There have been variations where seemingly random groups of fast dits in groups of 4 to 16 were sent. For a while there was another ditter about 50 Hz lower in frequency than the main one, which was only active for a couple minutes. It seemed to follow a similar pattern.

The frequency of the ditter seemed to slowly drift up and down over a few Hz range.

Right now (1910Z) it's been silent for several minutes.

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