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Messages - Dave Richards

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HF Beacons / Re: The Desert Whooper
« on: October 13, 2021, 0609 UTC »
Tonight DW reported the internal temp at 63 and the 30th whoop seems whole again.

That observation shows quite remarkable attention to detail, Teotwaki.

I hope your little beacon will be on the air for the next few weeks, at least. I am planning a campervan trip from South Lake Tahoe, down south on US395. If my cat behaves, we will continue our journey and come shockingly close to DM16 on US395. Will have a listen out for it. Receiving the groundwave should be a cinch.

I have a Part 15 beacon in my campervan, on 13557.89 10 or 20Hz. It sends the letters SPT at about 6WPM, as a tribute to my constant companion, my kitty Sprout. A very few mW to an unmatched 10-12 foot length of wire inside the fiberglass muffin top of the campervan. Not the best radiator, but I'm only doing it for fun.


HF Beacons / Re: New whooper beacon on 4095.65
« on: September 18, 2021, 2040 UTC »
First time hearing the Whooper this morning under a tremendous noise level.
Could hear the Whooper but copy wasn't good enough to copy the data string.

Sept 17th, 11:27 UTC, 4095.65.

To hear it from your location is quite an achievement.

North American MW Pirate Radio / Re: KHMB 1710 AM 1105 UTC 9 Oct 2020
« on: September 17, 2021, 2047 UTC »
Although I don't remember the source, I read that they have several Hamilton Rangemaster transmitters in close physical proximity. Even if they were operating within the 510 - 1705KHz band that is subject to FCC 15.219, that installation could very possibly fall outside the provisions of those rules. However, as you say, the fact that they are on 1710KHz immediately settles the question of their legality.

If they didn't have an FM license, I'd admire their swashbuckling bravado. Nevertheless, I wish them continued luck. Community radio is a great thing.

North American MW Pirate Radio / Re: KHMB 1710 AM 1105 UTC 9 Oct 2020
« on: September 17, 2021, 1615 UTC »
I'm listening to it right now (1615z), also via the Half Moon Bay Kiwi SDR, with the same SIO you were reporting. I took a trip down the California coast through Half Moon Bay a year or two ago, and was able to receive this station on a small portable (a CC Skywave SSB). With this little radio, I was able to receive a listenable signal approximately 3 miles north and south of the center of Half Moon Bay, along the coast. A signal was discernable for approximately 7 miles north and south. They are licensed under the callsign KHMV-LP, for an ERP of 100W on 100.9 FM. KHMB is actually a 3.2KW station in Hamburg, AK. Obviously, they are calling themselves KHMB for the acronym (Half Moon Bay).

This is what really puzzles me though. Given that they are radiating on 100.9FM with a licensed signal, why are they also radiating on 1710KHz, with what must surely be an unlicensed signal? Why would an operator jeopardize their license by doing that? It's a real head-scratcher for me, especially as far more people listen to FM than AM these days. If I had an FM license, I sure as heck wouldn't be radiating any unlicensed signals. However, they have been doing this for years, with apparently no problem, so I guess it has been working for them!

Please don't misinterpret this post as a disapproval of unlicensed operation. I'm quite a fan of the unlicensed HF beacons. As a kid who grew up listening to the Radio Caroline ship, the broadcast pirates have a special place in my heart. I just don't get why someone who already has a legal signal, would choose to also radiate a signal for which they have no license. Perhaps the AM signal covers some areas that the FM signal doesn't, and they don't want to leave some of their listeners in the dark?

This feller discovered them a few years ago, and was also puzzled - https://dsearls.medium.com/neighborhood-radio-in-half-moon-bay-dcee2ee9a2fc

HF Beacons / Re: New whooper beacon on 4095.65
« on: September 15, 2021, 0508 UTC »
I have a crummy antenna at home, though hope to listen for DW on a camping trip to the Eastern side of CA in a few weeks. In the meantime, I just had a listen on several online SDR's, and was excited to hear it over a wide area. In the period from about 0442 - 0446z on 9/15/2021, I heard it on Kiwi SDR's in the following locations -

Prescott Valley, AZ at Q5 with an S5 noise level.
Missoula, MT at Q5 with an S4 noise level.
Truth or Consequences, NM at Q1-Q2 with an S4 noise level (can hear whoops, but not copy telemetry).
Fort Collins, CO at Q1-Q2 with an S5 noise level (can hear whoops, but not copy telemetry).
and of course the following two -
Half Moon Bay, CA KFS at S7 with an S4 noise level (Q5 of course).
Point Reyes, CA KPH at S8 with an S4 noise level (Q5 of course).

Oh, and at 0503z, I could *just* hear the whooping under an S5 noise level from a Kiwi SDR in Booth Bay, British Columbia.

For 1 watt, this is really good!

Spy Numbers / Re: New Book n Spy Numbers Stations Published
« on: March 07, 2021, 2220 UTC »
Has anyone seen his QRZ listing? He has put his entire professional resume on it, including a list, beginning with PhD, of all the qualifications he supposedly has. It is a very long list. He seems oddly eager to "prove" himself. If he really is as accomplished as his QRZ page suggests, he would have no need to plagiarize. Something doesn't smell right. I don't like it when people take other's work and pass it off as their own.

Token, Graphite, and anyone else who has read it - I hope you'll seriously consider leaving an candid review.

HF Beacons / Re: 4094 Beacon
« on: December 22, 2020, 2217 UTC »
Interesting. I am hearing it on the KFS SDR now, sending the letter "S" every 65 seconds.

HF Beacons / Re: New whooper beacon on 4095.6
« on: December 09, 2020, 2108 UTC »
What a treat to hear a new beacon!

DW heard at 2107 UTC via the KFS SDR (no antenna set up at the home QTH any more)

BAT 13.2
TMP 70

As syfr said - nice work DW creator! I wonder where it is..........?

Not sure if there's anyone here who does production for their stations, but good old Aunty Beeb just released a huge archive of 16,000 sound effects for download. They are free for personal, educational or research purposes, and can be licensed for commercial use.


Part 15 AM and FM Station Operation / Re: Part 15 AM and FM
« on: July 24, 2020, 1936 UTC »
I do recommend the Schlockwood, which can be both loud and pleasant sounding.

+1 for the SW200. I've been using one with my Rangemaster continuously for over 2 years now, and it has performed flawlessly. Although the front panel controls might seem a little daunting to someone who hasn't used this type of broadcast processor before, it's pretty hard to get a bad sound from this unit - as long as you don't overmodulate the transmitter, of course.

I only had one concern when the SW200 was coming onto the market. Although, IMO, it's a good deal for genuine multi-band broadcast processing, Part 15 hobbyists tend to be budget limited. I was happy the initial production run sold out, and that sales were enough to justify a second run. I do hope the SW200 will remain on the market for quite a while. However, I am never going to give up mine, as I feel it's a classic. Same goes for my Rangemaster, and even my Behringer Eurocom SPL3220 which, for ~$100, delivers a very listenable sound. Other pieces of gear may come and go, but these ones will stay with me. If I sold them, I'd just end up trying to get them back at some point - and there are very few SW200's on the used market, as there are not that many in existence to begin with.

Great piece of kit. Buy one, and hang onto it!

Glad you were able to improve the bass response somewhat Chris. I suppose that, given the original intended purpose of these units, we shouldn't be expecting too much in the way of quality audio from them. I have never used one, but picking up a used TH seems like it might be a good way to dabble in Part 15 without breaking the bank. I nearly fell off my chair when I first discovered the price of a Rangemaster!

I was sad to see SSTRAN stop selling their AMT3000 transmitter kit. To my mind, it was a great option for someone wanting to get their feet wet in Part 15, or for anyone not wanting to spend the kind of money that a Procaster or Rangemaster cost. Although the onboard audio processing was a simple one-band affair, it actually did a pretty good job on most audio signals. All this for a little more than $100. The closest thing to one of these that is still available, is the fully-built Spitfire, out of the UK, for about the same price as the SSTRAN. The Spitfire doesn't have onboard processing, though that would free you up to provide your own, if you want something a little more sophisticated than the single-chip solution provided by SSTRAN and Procaster. (The Procaster uses the same chip as the SSTRAN did).

I'm tempted to buy one of these Spitfires, just to have it. I regret ever selling my AMT3000, and wouldn't mind having a Spitfire on hand. I just know that if I don't buy one, one day, I'll wish I had.  However, my other hobby pursuits are currently taking up all my spare cash.


HF Beacons / Re: The new "L" Beacon
« on: May 15, 2020, 2247 UTC »
L beacon coming through weak but Q5, at about the level of the S2 band noise, on the KFS SDR in Half Moon Bay, at 2240z.

It would be great if we could get some information on this beacon - power, approximate location, and any other details.

Both the beacons you reference are mentioned in this Wikipedia entry, and are referred to as cluster beacons -


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