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Topics - ThaDood

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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.

Ya know... I can tell that I'm getting old, since now I'm bitching more about things that might possibly make sense, but won't happen. Case in point? When the Sony Walkman's were introduced in 1979, they were pretty damned expensive. However, radio stations did walkman give-aways in the early 1980's. And, I remember in 1982 a station doing a "$1,000 Stereo Component System Give-Away!". I also remember car stereo system give-aways. Then, when CD Players came out, there were stations that did give-aways of CD players and CD's themselves. They actually did the CD thing until the early 2000's as well as DVD's and Blue Ray. But, does anyone ever remember an AM Stereo station promoting AM Stereo capable receivers to gave away? Yeah... Neither do I. Fast Forward to +30 years later. There are several stations that are IBOC for HD Radio. Most of them are struggling, and most listeners are either listening on-line, or to that station's analog counter part. But, just how many of these stations are actually promoting the HD Radio receivers that can receive the HD Radio signal? (Uh-huh... Crickets.) Station managers!!! Have a clue!!! If stations are willing to do the expense to push a digital medium, then go all the way. Promote and do contest give-aways of HD Radios. There... That's my latest bitch and passing thoughts on the subjects.     

General Radio Discussion / All Digital AM??? An ENG's perspective.
« on: August 26, 2020, 1755 UTC »
Has this been posted and linked here already?   http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/2020/04/all-digital-am/
Not a bad read.

Too bad that they didn't mention RF tech, other than IC's and wireless headsets.

After doing rip-down for Field Day 2017, a friend of mine asked if I wanted abandoned, ground run, RG-11 coax. Mind you, it's pretty much useless as actually coax, due to years of water contamination, but I see the potential in that solid, outer, aluminum, conductor, that has a heavy PVC coating. The potential is using that for various antenna construct projects, or even as a great GND conductor, at better than 1/2" diameter. Thus far??? I've made an experimental 2M Delta Loop for 144MHz SSB, and that hears stations during the ARRL VHF contests. (I need way better coax to that than RG-59 for TX'ing, but still a nice RX test.) Together, the friend and myself, ripped out more than 1/8 of a mile of that old RG-11. Plans??? Make a LW / MW W.O.G., (Wire On Ground.), O.C.F. Dipole, and various Loop Antennas. Has anyone else done this with trashed RG-11? Hey, the price was right.

Equipment / Mystery 1960's B&W Balun?
« on: August 21, 2020, 1924 UTC »
Well, can anyone ID and give spec's to this Balun? It's a B&W model # RC-781, all solid metal construction, with female N-connector feed point, galvanized steel 5/8" wire rings, ceramic insulators, and the body shape resembles what was drawn in Sex Edu for the female anatomy. If I remember right, the toroid was was 1.5". This Balun was held together with 17 screw points. Definitely, constructed from a different era. I've actually e-mailed B&W about this, and they even said that it was too old for them to ID and give spec's on. However, they did suspect that this Balun was for RX only. So, does anyone else have a clue? How did I get this? The B.O.C.E.S. electrical instructor, (At the school that I was attending too in 1985.), gave it to me, as well as his collection of late 1970's 73 and CQ magazines. (Yeah!!! I still have them.) 

Amateur Radio / HAM Talk Live with Neil Rapp, WB9VPG?
« on: August 19, 2020, 1901 UTC »
Scott & Jill, from Tower Electronics,   http://www.pl-259.com/    ,   included a flier with my latest order about this new talk show / podcast HAM Talk Live,    https://www.spreaker.com/show/ham-talk-live     Anyone every check it out? What do you think? Good, bad, indifferent??? Looks like Tower Electronics is one of the main sponsors.

Propagation / Solar cycle 25 . Very interesting? I have my doubts.
« on: August 19, 2020, 1806 UTC »
Ya know... After the let-down from the last Solar Cycle 24, and all the predictions for at least the last decade that say that Cycle 25 will just suck, I'll believe this prediction when Type O Negative does a cover of Madonna's, Like A Virgin. https://www.onallbands.com/%ef%bb%bfscientists-forecast-that-solar-cycle-25-could-actually-be-epic-for-ham-radio-operators/     (I would have to admit that the preceding Type O Negative feat would, at the very least, be amusing.)

Huh? / Is Bomar Crystal the last one in USA?
« on: August 18, 2020, 0606 UTC »
Yeah, is this the last domestic crystal manufacturer left. And do they actually make crystals here?     http://bomarcrystal.com/

I've told Ray Jay about this portable for years, and apparently I'm not the only one,    https://radiojayallen.com/realistic-dx-440-sangean-ats-803a-am-lw-sw-fm-radio/

I still use mine daily, or should I say nightly, as a bedside radio. Radio Jay did knock the selectivity on the FM portion of this portable. In the mid-1990's, I did the Bruce Elving IF TOKO filter swap, from 200kHz to 110kHz, and after that it was, and still is, an FM DX machine. Necessary today with all of those FM translators littered, (And yes, I mean littered.), all over the FM dial. My big gripes are the same as with other portables. When either the memory AA batteries, or the "D" batteries, leaked, that acid would run into the main board. I run my portable off of a transformered wallwart. No battery acid, and no RF hash from a switching power supply. Of coarse, when I loose power at the house, I have to reset the clock and the 9 Memories on it. (B.F.D...) The other pitfall is that ribbon cable that loosely plugs-in to a terminal strip are dissimiliar metals, thus corrosion always seems to happen on the pins of that cable. I've repaired several ATS-803A's / DX-440's by hard soldering those ribbon cable pins to the board. Problem solved, and mine still working +27 years later of having that done. Anyway, +30 years later, my Sangean ATS-803A still rocks on.   

Quick searches for USA FM / AM / TV / LPFM / TIS Stations from the FCC:

 FM Query     https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/fm-query

 AM Query     https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/am-query

 TV Query      https://www.fcc.gov/media/television/tv-query

 LPFM Search      https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/lpfm

 TIS Search          https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/travelers-information-stations-search 

Then, this commercial site is also very useful:        https://radio-locator.com/

There. Bookmark these, and thar' ya is.

Is this something to commemorate, really? Radio Survivor did,    http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2020/08/04/podcast-257-marking-a-quarter-century-of-mp3/     Now, why did I post this here? I didn't see the NEW TOPIC icon appear in the HUH category. Anyway, pirate stations have certainly taken advantage of the convenience of using .MP3 audio since about 1997. Which leads me to ask this, what pirate station was the first to try using .MP3 audio, and when? One way that you've noticed was when pirate relays stopped being 45min and 30min in lengths, or 1/2 the time of one cassette tape side. I still remember the September 1990 Radio Wolf Int. mentioning that the brief dead-air pause was them flipping over the tape. Ahhhhhhhh, memories.... 

Amateur Radio / DX The perseids Meteor Scatter!
« on: August 06, 2020, 0607 UTC »
While I was at it on the FM Meteor Scatter DX'ing kick, might as well mention that Meteor Scatter is, or was, popular to do on the Amateur Bands, like 12M, 10M, and especially 6M, USB and CW. I've heard a lot of very late-night scatter happen on the 11M CB band as well. Empty FREQ, then a strong station just pops in there for a brief moment in a quick fade, then gone. https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower
Happy DX'ing!!!!!

Anyone ever try to catch and ID FM stations by Meteor Scatter? I've done it several times in the 1990's. Once from the vehicle, and the other time from a Bose Acoustic Wave Music System's tuner. You set to an empty FM FREQ, (Yeah... Good luck with that today. Thus, why this was better to do in the 1990's.) Then, during a meteor burn, the ionized trail will bounce FREQ's from 25MHz to about the 2M VHF band. Ever spin the tuning knob of a high end FM tuner with the heavy aluminum knob and hear stations just race in and out at fractions of a second? That's what it sounded like to me from the 1/4-wave FM VERT antenna on that Bose. On the vehicle stereo, I could hear one, or several, stations pop in and out fast. Some DX'ers use to use those 4hr super slow cassette recorders and let them record for their full time length listening to a locally empty FM FREQ. Then, play that tape back and see if an ID comes from any scatters. I never did this, but I believe that I've read that Mr. FM, Bruce Elving, did.   https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower   

Huh? / More sunspots? Loks like it.
« on: August 04, 2020, 1840 UTC »
A friend of mine alerted to spot from this site,   https://spaceweather.com/       I kind of dig-it. Almost, if not, layman's tern here.

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