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Topics - ThaDood

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MW Loggings / DX Test This Sat Night/Sun Morn WNJC 1360?
« on: October 23, 2020, 1910 UTC »
Ripped from The FRN:

Just got an email with the following info:

DX Test This Saturday Night/Sunday Morning-- WNJC 1360, Washington Township, NJ

Heard from several active and retired engineers who are interested in DX Tests. Thought you professionals might enjoy hearing about a DX Test coming up tomorrow night. Here are the details from WNJC 1360 in Washington Township, NJ. They will be conducting a DX Test tomorrow night into Sunday morning for our clubs:


"04:00 UTC-Midnight Eastern- WNJC will conduct the DX audio test using Morse Code and sweep tones continuing on our nighttime pattern.

At 0500 UTC- 1 AM Eastern I will be switching to our daytime pattern at 5kw using 4 towers directional to SSE with the DX audio test concluding at 0600 UTC. From 0600 - 1000 UTC I will be leaving the transmitter in daytime mode
but be playing a mix of 80s - 2010 pop, rock, dance, country and whatever else I grew up listening to and feel like playing.

Listen for the sweepers between songs of movie & tv show clips along with our voice-over guy."

WNJC has tested previously and been heard as far away as the West Coast of the United States and Canada. Their test signals have also been received in the UK, Norway, and Spain. Listen for their signal if you get the chance.

Les Rayburn, N1LF

Also another person added:

From what I found on the web, WNJC has been running DX tests quite often during September and October. They have even sent some FT-8.

I can remember when DX tests were quite common and well publicized by the radio clubs. It was quite common on a Sunday morning when a high power station would go off the air for transmitter maintenance and then the lower power stations on the same frequency could be heard and would have special dx tests.

Don't see this happening much anymore.


Amateur Radio / CQ World Wide DX Contest this weekend!
« on: October 22, 2020, 1849 UTC »
With that cold snap coming through this weekend in the northern states, this might be worth checking out,     https://www.cqww.com/rules.htm

The talk station that I wanted to listen too last night suddenly went off-air just after 4PM. So, pissed with sports radio, until dark. Then, tuned around on a cheap POS QFX portable that I have there. To my surprise, Chicago's WGN just boomed right in for the last 2hrs of work. And, that's inside a steel building, where my AM RX'ing is very limited. So is my FM. I've heard folks say that AM DX'ing seems to be much better now, and I guess so. However, Cleveland's 1100WTAM has been a hard catch at night, lately. Must be too close at 300 miles away, where as WGN is about 500 miles from me.

The stuff that Boomer has collected is now a really nice read, and info downloads! (And then some.)      http://boomerthedog.net/radio.html
Now, probably the best on-line source for Carrier-Current AM operations. Not to mention AM C-QUAM Stereo via Part #15. Another good source is this page about James R. Cunningham,  http://lowpowerradio.blogspot.com/2015/11/low-power-am-circuits-of-james-r.html   
However, what I need to do is to make a good .PDF copy of the Ernest Wilson book - Carrier Current Techniques: The Wired Wireless Broadcasting, from 1979's Panaxis Productions. He shows you how you can build it all from the ground up.   

Here's the full, unchopped, title:  Radio Survivor - Social Distancing Sparks Interest in Part 15 Unlicensed Broadcasting, but Caveat Emptor.  Here's the link,      http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2020/09/21/social-distancing-sparks-interest-in-part-15-unlicensed-broadcasting-but-caveat-emptor/

On Part #15 FM, there no actual RF power out limit, but just that limiting FS limit of 250uV measured at 3 Meters away. I do remember that someone in the 1990's Panaxis EBN (Experimental Broadcaster's Newsletter) calculating with the possible RF OUT would be to a 1/4-Wave GND Plane Antenna, and it was something like 600pW - 800pW. That's picowatts, 10 to the -12! That small!!! 

I did a spectrum test on that 4:1 DX ENG 5kW Balun.    https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/dxe-mc20-v4-1  I did a DC GND continuity test and measured 1.6 Ohms. Not bad, but I did look inside, and I didn't really like how they 1/2 soldered the connections inside, so I silver soldered them with the 140W gun. Passed DC GND tests at just .6 Ohms. Then, I took two 100 Ohm, 1/2W, resisters, (For 200 Ohms.), and tied them to the Dipole bolts. Then used my MFJ-269Pro ANT Analyzer and spanned from 1740kHz to 180MHz. WOW!!!! Solid, flat, 1:1 VSWR from MW to around 27MHz, but 11M and 10M were still a 1.1:1 match. Then, curved to 1.2:1 about 63MHz, and was still that all the way to 2M, which was a 1.3:1! Then, the curve raised about 1.5:1 around 158MHz. Damn!!!!! Now that's wide banded! Anyone ever put one of these Baluns up on a Dipole, or a Longwire? For over 25 Years, I've used the W2DU 4:1 Current Choke Balun, running barefoot power, with nice results. However, I believe that the power rating of that is 300W. The 5kW rating on the new Balun is certainly overkill, but at least 500W won't be a problem.

Well, this sucks...      https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/09/25/mystery-leak-investigation-continues-on-international-space-station/           This could also explain why I haven't heard the ISS Cross Band HAM Repeater on 437.800MHz FM in the last week.

UPDATE 9/26/2020: Huh... The night after I posted the preceding, before bed about 2AM EST, I programmed in 437.800MHz in to a Yaesu FT-70DR Fusion HT, and immediately, 9-landers were in there calling and making grid exchanges. So, that X-banding repeater is still rockin'.

Huh? / FCC site on domestic SW stations.
« on: September 23, 2020, 0710 UTC »
Yeah... I found this totally by accident,      https://www.fcc.gov/general/fcc-high-frequency-stations        Of course, I was looking for something else on WHRI's website, (Which really sucks!), but this is usually how I find things from the FCC, almost never from their own site search, but via off the wall and none related. Your Tax $$$$$$'s at work.

General Radio Discussion / Updated LPAM info site.
« on: September 22, 2020, 0543 UTC »
The sit that had a proposed LPAM station availability map on www.lpam.ws is now,       https://recnet.com/lpam

I doubt that anyone will actually try to move on this subject now, but we can dream, right?

MW Loggings / WNRP 1620 Pensacola, FL now heard over Cuba at night?
« on: September 18, 2020, 1833 UTC »
For at least the last week and a half now, I've heard 1620 WNRP in there at night, battling it out with Cuba. I've even heard their EAS tone-out for Hurricane Sally. So, has this station either changed power, or radiation patterns, at night? The only other time that I've heard this station is at sunrise.       https://radio-locator.com/info/WNRP-AM

Equipment / Radio Jay's AM & FM Mega Shootout 2020 Updates!
« on: September 07, 2020, 1741 UTC »
He does it again this year. Not techie with spec's, but decent 'layman's terms' to share with anyone wanting an AM / FM portable today,   https://radiojayallen.com/2020/09/07/am-fm-mega-shootout-2020-updates/

Huh? / FCC Chair: New LPFM & Noncomm License Opportunities Coming Soon?
« on: September 04, 2020, 2032 UTC »
From Radio Survivor,     https://www.radiosurvivor.com/2020/08/10/fcc-chair-new-lpfm-noncomm-license-opportunities-coming-soon/     As if the FM band isn't crowded enough.

Amateur Radio / ISS with Crossband repeater!
« on: September 03, 2020, 1910 UTC »
I wasn't too sure to either put this under Satellite, or here, in Amateur Radio. So, I tossed a coin, and here it is:

ARISS News Release No. 20-13

September 2, 2020—The ARISS team is pleased to announce that set up and installation of the first element of our next generation radio system was completed and amateur radio operations with it are now underway. This first element, dubbed the InterOperable Radio System (IORS), was installed in the International Space Station Columbus module. The IORS replaces the Ericsson radio system and packet module that were originally certified for spaceflight on July 26, 2000.

Initial operation of the new radio system is in FM cross band repeater mode using an uplink frequency of 145.99 MHz with an access tone of 67 Hz and a downlink frequency of 437.800 MHz. System activation was first observed at 01:02 UTC on September 2. Special operations will continue to be announced.

The IORS was launched from Kennedy Space Center on March 6, 2020 on board the SpaceX CRS-20 resupply mission. It consists of a special, space-modified JVC Kenwood D710GA transceiver, an ARISS developed multi-voltage power supply and interconnecting cables. The design, development, fabrication, testing, and launch of the first IORS was an incredible five-year engineering achievement accomplished by the ARISS hardware volunteer team. It will enable new, exciting capabilities for ham radio operators, students, and the general public. Capabilities include a higher power radio, voice repeater, digital packet radio (APRS) capabilities and a Kenwood VC-H1 slow scan television (SSTV) system.

A second IORS undergoes flight certification and will be launched later for installation in the Russian Service module. This second system enables dual, simultaneous operations, (e.g. voice repeater and APRS packet), providing diverse opportunities for radio amateurs. It also provides on-orbit redundancy to ensure continuous operations in the event of an IORS component failure.

Next-gen development efforts continue. For the IORS, parts are being procured and a total of ten systems are being fabricated to support flight, additional flight spares, ground testing and astronaut training. Follow-on next generation radio system elements include an L-band repeater uplink capability, currently in development, and a flight Raspberry-Pi, dubbed “ARISS-Pi,” that is just beginning the design phase. The ARISS-Pi promises operations autonomy and enhanced SSTV operations.

ARISS is run almost entirely by volunteers, and with the help of generous contributions from ARISS sponsors and individuals. Donations to the ARISS program for next generation hardware developments, operations, education, and administration are welcome -- please go to  www.ariss.org  to contribute to these efforts.
(Cool!!!! I have the same dual band rig. Happy ISS DX'ing!!!!)

The Chinese stuff is making more attractive head-ways. And for around $470.00, it's hard to turn something like this down. https://swling.com/blog/2020/09/a-review-of-the-xiegu-g90-general-coverage-transceiver/
Question is, how does it do to fight IMD and strong signal overload? I don't like that it doesn't really have a convenient RF Gain Control up front, but that's nit-pickin'. Even for under $500.00, I'd want to wait and find out if it can take the test of time.

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