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Topics - jFarley

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North American Shortwave Pirate / MYLQ 6930 LSB 0053 UTC 26Nov14
« on: November 26, 2014, 0057 UTC »
0053 Close Encounters IS
0056 ID over IS, and into Boogie Woogie
0100 ID, "Messin' With the Kid"
0103 T/C, ID, and more blues
0107 ID over blues track
0112 CE IS, ID, and off at 0113

S7 here, and thanks MYLQ!
Very punchy bass!

2204 noted carrier on ~6925.27
2207 Noting thumpage?
2213 some OM talk; no comprende, and into dreamy vocal
2218 again OM tx
2227 Signal really on the decline here
2229 solid ID opportunity obliterated by a het which came up at the worst possible moment, Association - "Windy"
2241 longer block of OM talk
2256 caught a tent FTR ID

Very tough copy, but thanks for the show!
Thanks FTR!  Thanks relay?

0144 unid music; poss GI Joe song
0147 "It Must Be Love"; nice audio
0152 "Party Till the Lights Go Out"
0157 Thought I heard a Captain Morgan ID in there over music, another R&B track "Come On Dance With Me"?
0200 "...little Oscar (the dog) ate all the Viagra..."
0202 CMS ID
0204 Kinks - "You Really Got Me", Stones - "JJ Flash"
0209 Deep fade here then off...and back; carrier visible but no audio

S6 w/ lotsa fade
Thanks Captain!

Just starting up?

0021 Period song
0022 "This is London Calling", Big Ben
0025 Swing mx
0028 ID given twice
0029 "...here's one coming down in flames...", Churchill oratory
0034 song by OM; very operatic
0036 ID, address by the Princess?
0039 moved to 6935, song "Run Rabbit Run"; signal is deep in QRM now
0043 back to ~6930
0045 IDs, addy, Scottie 1 SSTV - very noisy capture here
0048 off

S4 with QRM in the USB; must listen in LSB
Good to hear you again, and thanks for the show!

Equipment / Prototyping a LF Ferrite Rod Antenna
« on: November 17, 2014, 2047 UTC »
Using the Standard Loop amp (with Tuning Diodes) to hear NAVTEX transmissions did not appear to be a viable option, so I have been doing some prototyping to see what would work.  It's antenna building time, and away we go!

I have come to use the following methodology to design resonant loops:

1) Define the frequency coverage and Q required across the band.
2) Define the Tuning Means (diodes?  air-variable cap?) to be used and get a firm handle on the capacitance range available
3) Define the winding (air coil?  ferrite rod?) and the required inductance.

I decided that I wanted a ferrite rod loop which would cover the LF range from ~150 kHz to ~530 kHz.  I decided on ultimately using a dual section 365 pF variable cap; nice units are available as new construction and cheap.  This would require a winding inductance of around 1500 uH.  I had four R33-050-750 rods in the junk box (well, 3 and 1/2 and 1/2, since I dropped one), and one of these would be great for the project.

Capacitor Q would most likely not be an issue down at these frequencies; strong evidence for this comes from the crystal radio guys, in particular, from a guy named Ben Tongue, who has published a number of detailed studies on the components typically used in a crystal radio build.  Incidentally, Ben Tongue was a founding partner of Blonder-Tongue (remember them?)  With regards to cap Q, this is a must read:


Q of the inductor is very much an issue, and again I turned to Mr. Tongue for some insight:


If anything is gleaned from this, Mr. Tongue dispels the prevailing myth that "for best Q, the winding should cover the entire length of the rod".  I have verified that at least in my winding best Q is attained at 40-50% rod coverage.

I built several prototype coils, and am currently using the following for this loop:

The ferrite bar is fitted with a length of 1/2" PEX pipe as a coil form which has been slitted down its length to fit over the rod.  On this was wound a balanced winding of 105 + 105 turns of 7/44 Litz (that's all I had other than 660/46 which is a tad too big).  The final winding will be either 40/44 or 60/44, both on order.  The net inductance is around 2900 uH because at this time I have only a 250 pF air variable under motor control out in the Antenna Farm.

Here is an image of the prototype on the bench:

To be noted: many published designs use the full extent of the winding to feed the following amp.  In my RF environment, this was unmitigated disaster!  The strong MW locals (local WMVP 1000 in particular) were causing all sorts of problems for the amp.  Instead, I took the amp feeds from +/- 5 turn taps on the winding, and this has cleared up the problem nicely.  It's probably too conservative, and this will be revisited when the real Litz comes in and new coils are wound.

The amp is just a balanced U310 push-pull amplifier running drain currents of around 10 mA.

I got the entire schmear mounted outside yesterday and patched in to the motor driven cap, and have begun testing.  Results shortly!

1300 On with an off-schedule tx
1302 24146
1314 ID given twice so slowly you could have timed it with a sundial
1315 off

333 to 444 here and thanks for the cool number groups!

Other / Link-11 6928ish 0132 UTC 15Nov14
« on: November 15, 2014, 0133 UTC »
Noting Link-11 very weakly here and now.

Huh? / The cure for the pescadore problem
« on: November 12, 2014, 2225 UTC »

Big ute with a 5 min on / 5 min off cycle for a while this afternoon

North American Shortwave Pirate / UNID 6925 USB 0355 UTC 10Nov14
« on: November 10, 2014, 2148 UTC »
Recorder Catch on 6925 USB; mode unknown

Just popped up here with a single song which I could not ID.

Weak near the floor.

North American Shortwave Pirate / Channel Z 6925.1 AM *2353 UTC 9Nov14
« on: November 09, 2014, 2356 UTC »
2353 B52s - Channel Z
0000 "Happy Anniversary"
0001 ID and into Pretenders
0006 Z talking abt 10 yrs on SW - congrats!

S9 here
Thanks Z!

QSLs Received / SS Edmund Fitzgerald Radio eQSL
« on: November 09, 2014, 2012 UTC »
Very surprised to just find this:

Captain McSorley reports that email service from a sunken freighter can be slow.
Thank You!

North American Shortwave Pirate / KCPR 6925 USB 0234 UTC 9Nov14
« on: November 09, 2014, 0240 UTC »
0234 Reggae tune
0236 ID by OM; couldn't get this due to a fade, "Another Saturday Night"
0240 CW ID, "If You Could Read My Mind"
0244 CW ID, "Whiter Shade Of Pale"
0252 ID as "KCPR Radio"
0306 off; signal was fading badly at the time; poss an SSTV prior to s/off?

S5 with fading here
Thanks for the show!

North American Shortwave Pirate / UNID 6935 LSB 0229 UTC 9Nov14
« on: November 09, 2014, 0233 UTC »
Heard some music which I cannot ID.  Sounded a lot like a soundtrack from some Disney movie at times. 

0230 off

S5 here

QSLs Received / TCS Halloween Playhouse eQSL
« on: November 08, 2014, 1829 UTC »

Thank you, Poet!

Shortwave Broadcast / R Tanzania Zanzibar 11735 AM 1749 UTC 8Nov14
« on: November 08, 2014, 1751 UTC »
Very nice signal here early.  The sked EE news should be quite audible today at 1800z.

1745 Musical mix of Dansi and reggae
1759 Drums
1800 5+1 pips, followed by EE International nx read by OM.  The country name was stated prior to each item.
1810 Om talk in lang; many ment of Dar
1817 back to the music; it must be Reggae Saturday
1839 gorgeous track by YL vocalist with a creamy and dreamy voice

About the best I have ever heard this news in EE.

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