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Topics - ThaDood

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What is this dust cloud going to do to affect RF on various FREQ's?    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/abnormally-large-dust-cloud-making-5000-mile-trek-across-atlantic/761708
This does not answer that.

Amateur Radio / WV QSO Party, that is this weekend 6/20/2020.
« on: June 19, 2020, 2309 UTC »
I was recently told about this,     https://www.qsl.net/wvsarc/wvqp/wvqp.html

Amateur Radio / Anyone ready for Field Day 2020?
« on: June 19, 2020, 1934 UTC »
http://www.arrl.org/field-day        Glad that I looked, since I thought that it was the weekend after the ARRL VHF Sweepsteaks. But, for those that want to get away from that to just QSO, there's always the WARC Bands and 60M, as well as 146.520MHz FM Simplex.

Boomer forwarded that to me.    https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/readers-forum/letter-to-the-editor-am-stereo-is-still-an-option
      Well, I still think that it's an option, even if many of those AM stereo stations are not music formats. And, there are still a couple AM Stereo transmitter kits out there, as well as receiver MOD kits for that as well.

Good practice for the following weekend's Field Day,   https://contests.arrl.org/junvhf/   Now, can we hope for decent "E" and Tropo propagation for this? Rarely... Usually the Monday afterwards are when the VHF / UHF bands open up.

Equipment / Radio Jay's review on a new Sangean table radio.
« on: June 09, 2020, 1858 UTC »
Yeah, only AM / FM, but might be decent to chase AM night DX,    https://radiojayallen.com/sangean-wr16-wr16se-am-fm-table-radio/

My bro-in-law 2 years ago wanted to trash his Y2K Dell desktop computer. So, I did rip & tear for the components and came across the 25MHz, SG-615P, CPU clock OSC. So, around Christmas 2019, I've built a PS circuit around it using a 9VDC wallwart, filter CAP's, an LM7805 +5VDC REG, another filter CAP, a 250uH choke, and by the info on-line, added a .1uF CAP before that IC. On the RF OUT I've built a homebrew adjustable Butterfly Filter and terminated that with just a 1k-Ohm resistor. And??? Nice clean sinewave on the 'scope, and the FREQ starts up right at 25.00000MHz, then sags to 24.999986MHz. Not bad, but I want better tolerance. However, I'd put that OSC project to the side for other 'Must fix' projects. Then, went back to it, after the scrubbed SpaceX manned launch. That OSC project still sags down to 24.999986MHz. So, I then looked at the AC ripple on the output of the 7805 REG  = .058V. Not bad DC, but did a 'What if' and added another 2,200uF CAP on the output of that REG. Now AC ripple is .001V. NICE!!!! And RF = 24.99997MHz. I then loaded to a 50 Ohm dummy load and now get 25.00000MHz. Huh.... Now that looks better, and useful for receiver aligning. So, if folks trash computers, especially by the roadside, and you're super cheap, (Like me!), there's some clock OSC possibilities there for use. And, the price is right! (Minus the Bob Barker.) 

Huh... Looks like a new Part #15 AM TX is in development. https://parkinglotradio.com/    It will be neat to see what becomes of this.

Huh? / The Sun back in the news? Looks like it.
« on: April 28, 2020, 1716 UTC »
Looks like our tax $$$$$ are going into a probe to sun dive.       https://www.newsweek.com/sun-solar-cycle-this-month-1495930

Amateur Radio / A 6M rivival here locally? Maybe.
« on: April 25, 2020, 1947 UTC »
In the SW WV area, folks are trying to get some 6M activity going on both USB, (50.125MHz, 50.130MHz.), and FM, (52.525MHz.). Good!!!! With HF getting clogged with T-storm noise, 6M looks like a nice local alternative.

Amateur Radio / 20M AM? Sure... Why not?
« on: April 16, 2020, 1710 UTC »
Came home last night to tune-in to some of the big-gun AM'ers on 3880kHz around 06:00UTC. I heard them mention that there's folks trying 20M AM again on 14.330MHz. The last time that I heard anything there, and actually worked 'em, was during the AM Rally. Although last night 3880kHz AM was pretty much lightning crash free, 20M AM is a decent thing to try to get away from that, for sure. And, with Sporadic "E" mysteriously picking up in April, (Hey... I'll take it.), 29.000000MHz AM 10M might see some activity again. BTW, anyone doing AM on 17M?

10/11 meters / KP4's from Porta Rico 23:10UTC, 28.444.3USB.
« on: April 06, 2020, 0458 UTC »
10M to a KP4CQ just picking them from up and down the East Coast. Being that south is my terrible RF direction, signals MAX'ed out to an S3, and I wasn't able to work this one.

Boomer brought to my attention that someone on www.part15.org bitched that Part #15 ops are not required to have an Emergency Alert System (EAS). And no wonder... When I worked in TV broadcasting, that station owner picked up a used EAS for $3,000.00. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, that more than most Part #15 complete stations out there. Someone did come up with an idea there to use a Kenwood car stereo with an EAS feature for $100.00. Yeah, way better. Well, for years I've pondered on using a SAME Weather Alert Radio and came up with the following put-together project for around $50.00!   https://archive.org/details/yepoormanseasrev2.1/mode/2up    Works great! And the price is certainly right. And, you really don't need that much in electronics experience to build and put it all together. Might not be a bad idea to have something like this on our stations with the conditions that we are experiencing today.

Part 15 AM and FM Station Operation / Part #15 gear out there.
« on: April 04, 2020, 0616 UTC »
(Yeah, this was moved from RF Workbench.) Lots of home brew radiating gear, (For the 10ft FCC Part #5 compliant stuff.), but you have companies like, www.sstran.com , www.chezradio.com , www.am1000rangemaster.com , www.theradiosource.com , www.pll.gr , www.vectronics.com , www.iamradio.net , and there's others out there. Some companies even got-in on doing the 10ft Part #15 antenna like, www.isotronantennas.com , (Tell them that you want Part #15 compliant. Not cheap, but....) So, there's stuff out there. And, anything that's Carrier-Current, (Where you permissibly couple to the power lines.), from LPB, Inc., and Radio Systems, gets bought out almost immediately from ebay. So, somebody wants that gear.

10/11 meters / Sporadic "E" on 11M / 10M Sunday evening.
« on: March 30, 2020, 1708 UTC »
With the dull drums of the upper HF bands, and now lightning crashes plaguing the lower HF bands, some late March "E" Sunday evening, 23:00UTC, on 11M and even 10M, was welcome. On CB, the usual skip chatter on CH's LSB38 and 39, then the broadcaster wanna' bes on AM CH 28, then the mudducks on Superbowl CH 6, 11, and 15. Tried calling CQ on 10M 28.400MHz, but only heard one station try coming back to me. Too bad that I couldn't make that out. 11M from states MO, KS, OK, and IL. Well, that's why they call Sporadic "E" sporadic.

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