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Messages - jFarley

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5806
Shortwave Pirate / UNID 6925 unid Mode
« on: October 24, 2011, 0052 UTC »
On and off intermittently, cannot tell if AM or otherwise.
Very weak amid static w/ OM talk and music
Freq varied 6924.52 to 6924.69
*2350 - 2353*
*0011 - 0015*
*0027 - 0036*

5807
Equipment / Re: Software Defined receivers (radios)
« on: October 22, 2011, 1413 UTC »
I've decided that I'd like to try an SDR, and I am looking seriously at the Lazy Dog Engineering LD-1B kit which for a couple hundred bucks might be a cost effective way to try one out before plunking down some serious cash.  Has anyone tried this?

Chris, I'm fascinated by the fact that one can record a given band segment unattended; incredible power there.  I'm still a bit mystified by the process.  I'm guessing that the host software records a stream of I and Q data which is seen by the soundcard, and that this can be reviewed in a playback mode.  Is this correct?  How does one convert a particular frequency bin to an audio file?

5808
One showed up here, also.  Thank you!

5809
Shortwave Pirate / Re: Northern Relay Service 6930.3 AM?
« on: October 19, 2011, 0310 UTC »
Tues 19 Oct 11

Hearing TCS via  presumed NRS (haven't heard the ID yet)

Better than last night, but still only abt S2 here, and has a nasty fluttery fade.

0243 Doors Crystal Ship, intro poetry, and other Doors titles
0253 Solid TCS ID with host John Poet, QSL info
0300 "Psycho Therapy" over classical music.
0317 NRS verbal and CW ID

Thanks!

A thousand girls, a thousand thrills, A million ways to spend your time...

5810
Shortwave Pirate / Northern Relay Service 6930.3 AM?
« on: October 18, 2011, 0133 UTC »
0122 Mission Impossible theme, ?RS CW ID
0129 solid NRS CW ID twice
right at the noise, but hanging in there
0145 pretty much gone in the noise
we tried...
0156 popped back up with Doors "Crystal Ship" and others
0207 OM talk, could not read it
0208 Parody commercial?
0220 Sounds like a couple of old show tunes?
0230 NRS CW ID, and back to apparent show tune

gotta go, NRS...Thanks!

5811
Shortwave Pirate / Re: UNID 6955 USB 2352 UTC October 16, 2011
« on: October 17, 2011, 2131 UTC »
Heard here in Chicago last evening also; at about S3 with the same signoff time.  
I never got audio captured; good to hear yours.
I can't make out what he's saying after "escuchas" @ 7:17; anybody fluent?

5812
Fishing Drift Net Beacons / Re: Fishing Beacon 1730 kHz
« on: October 11, 2011, 2203 UTC »
I've played around extensively in the past using small air loops and ferrite bar loops to DF at HF.  Both will work very well at these freqs with a couple caveats.  You will get the best results if the loop is outdoors; there's seems to be too much obfuscation of the null bearing when the loop in inside, possibly from re-radiation from metallic house structures and wiring.  If you are using an air loop, it is best that it has a balanced architecture with a balanced amp to get the deepest nulls.

The ferrite bar is the easiest way to go for a quick hack.  Throw 30 to 50 turns on it, find a variable cap that resonates it at the freq of interest.  Throw a second winding on the bar which has maybe 5 - 10 turns, and connect this to your receiver.  It's cheap and quick, and you can always optimize the turns in each coil by testing it against top-end MW stations.

I don't see sig strength as being an issue; you're going to hear it or not.  As I understand it, these beacons are pretty intermittent in nature.  It's probably going to take some patience to find the null.

If you're really serious about DF'ing these freqs, the amplified air loop is the way to go.  It will give generally reliable results up to around 2.5 MHz.  In fact, the only time I logged the Falkland Islands (2380kHz) was with a small air loop.  I had a rotor on it at the time.  I only got about twenty seconds of audio, but I was able to DF it to within about ten degrees.  They QSL'd it!  Not a brag; I just got damn lucky that night.  Rather, I think this is indicative of the enormous potential of small loops.

There are quite a few published articles about amplified air loops around.  Might I suggest looking at some of the impressive work that Mark Connelly has out there.  Most of it is geared towards MW, but should be easily modified to work just above the MW band.

Have fun!

BTW, what are the typical signal strengths you're seeing with your current antennas?

5813
Shortwave Broadcast / 4964.99 UNID 0146+
« on: October 02, 2011, 0220 UTC »
Consistent sig (little fading or peaking), just above noise level.

0146  Program of spiritual or Christian rock music, w/ occ announcements.  Poss English.
0200  Some official, thematic music, announcements
0202  Back to spiritual music till 0220 tune out.


5814
Shortwave Broadcast / 60M Bandscan 0055 - 0115
« on: October 02, 2011, 0144 UTC »
When I'm bored, I have been in the habit of doing bandscans, which is incredibly boring, and by comparison, the previous state of boredom I was in previously just doesn't seem that all that boring after all. 

Hope you don't mind if I share them here.  It makes it a lot easier to have target ideas handy on nights when there are good openings.

4716.65  Trace audio, poss Span
4746.90  Weak het only
4765.00  Trace audio
4774.89  Weak het only
4803.50  Swooshy beacony thingy
4814.91  Trace audio, poss Span
4835 - 4845  WWCR (pres) and all its slop @ S9+20
4885.00  Fair in Portuguese - Para?
4905.00  Weak het only
4925.18  Trace audio, poss Portuguese
4935.19  Weak het only
4949.68  Weak het only
4949.95  Weak het only
4964.99  Trace audio, poss English, CVC?
4974.91  Trace audio
4985.00  Trace audio
4989.92  Trace audio
5000.00  Beep - Ft Collins only
5009.95  Trace audio?
5015 - 5035 Rebelde and all its slop @ S9
5035.00  Good het in Rebelde splatter
5040.00  RHC @ S9+
5051.00 WWRB pres @ S8

5815
Shortwave Broadcast / 5010 R Madagasikara
« on: October 01, 2011, 0307 UTC »
Starting to peak @ 0255 from 0238 fade in.  Talk by YL/OM in Malagasy over instrumental valiha music.  Program of contemporary Mad music.  0301 two definite IDS, followed by possible news.  S3 in moderate to heavy static. 1 Nov 11
Still there @ 0320 recheck.

5816
Shortwave Pirate / Re: Radio Ronin Shortwave 6925 AM 0108 UTC
« on: October 01, 2011, 0116 UTC »
Still UNID here and very weak, with mod static
0108 EJ - "Benny & Jets" with break; ment "...taking it too far..." and back to "Benny & Jets"
0111 EJ - "I'm Still Standing"
0122 Bowie - "Ground Control"
0128 In brief fade up "...youngsters who drink and use drugs..."
0133 OM annoucements, seems gone @ 0134

Just not happenin' here tonight, but thanks RR!

5817
Shortwave Pirate / Re: UNID 6924.7am
« on: September 24, 2011, 2136 UTC »
Came in from combing a BA turd out of my dog's coat to hear final song and ID block.  Sounded like "WFMT" on a couple of plays of the tape.  Good sig and I got good audio here.

5818
Other / Re: That yucky Buzz tx
« on: September 23, 2011, 2219 UTC »
Ran across this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDnPS6U5JX4

I guess when I hear the term OTH Radar, I immediately think in terms of military use.  This piece of corpo-propaganda suggests civilian and scientific uses (e.g. tracking iceberg movement).  That certainly doesn't bode well for the future. 

Perhaps they can use it in the short term to track UARS...I've got Pakistan in the pool at work.

5819
Equipment / Re: DDS-60 Direct digital synthesizer
« on: September 22, 2011, 2131 UTC »
Chris;

A very timely post for me.  My R7 is plagued by 3 annoyances, 2 attributable to old age, and one by design.  I was looking at this a short time ago and decided that the DDS-60 accompanied by an Arduino SBC should be able to solve all three problems.  First, the R7 PTO gearing just reaches the far end of the bathtub curve at some point.  The plastic gears become worn, out of round, and prone to lockup.  Using a DDS to implement a digital VFO would be a nice replacement.  Most likely will just need a simple BPF to get to the spectral purity of a permeability tuned oscillator.  Secondly, the band Up/Down buttons at some point just get tired, and are prone to contact bounce.  No amount of contact cleaner seems to do the trick for very long.  Punch Up, and it can be a guess as to what frequency band you end up on.  Thirdly, the RIT control is difficult to use by design; +/- 2.5kHz in a single turn pot makes it very difficult to use in practice.

An Arduino has a lot of flexibility for $30.  14 IO lines to handle DDS loading, frequency increment/decrement buttons, etc.  One of the on board 10-bit ADCs could be easily used to implement the RIT function and possibly the Passband Tuning function (do I see a joystick here?).  It has EEPROM which can be accessed by the code (written in C) to handle last tuned frequency, memories, etc.  It does have a USB port which is used to download code from the compiler, but which can also be accessed programatically for control by a host program.

All in all, one should be able to put together a great PTO replacement for a lot cheaper than an RV75.

Thanks for the post!

5820
Shortwave Pirate / Re: Unid 6924.8 AM
« on: September 17, 2011, 0232 UTC »
S2 at best in Chicago, with only occasional readable audio.

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