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Author Topic: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras  (Read 2498 times)

Offline Dave Richards

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Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« on: November 02, 2021, 1903 UTC »
I recently returned from a campervan trip in the Eastern Sierras in California. All following loggings were taken while standing outside with the set-top whip. Frequencies are approximate, though should be to within a few tens of Hz, due to the difficulty in zero-beating this receiver when in CW mode.

Desert Whooper on 4095.65. I almost didn't bother to include loggings for this beacon, as it was a given I was going to hear it. My only criticism of DW is that it is radiating so well, that it's not exactly that hard to hear. Not much of a challenge  ;D

Travertine Hot Springs - 10/20 0217z BAT 13.1 OTMP 65 ITMP 72 PV 0
                                    10/20 0226z BAT 13.0 OTMP 66 ITMP 71 PV 0
                                    10/20 0230z BAT 13.0 OTMP 64 ITMP 71 PV 0
All above loggings were an S unit or two above noise.

Mono Lake South Shore - 10/22 0025z BAT 13.2 OTMP 76 ITMP 82 PV 106 ~ 1 S unit above noise level.
                                     10/22 0030z BAT 13.1 OTMP 76 ITMP 82 PV 106 ~ 2 S units above noise level.
                                     10/22 0035z BAT 13.2 OTMP 77 ITMP 82 PV 68 ~ 2 S units above noise level.
                                     10/23 2156z BAT 13.7 OTMP 74 ITMP 84 PV 4 ~ 2 S units above noise level with QSB.
                                     10/23 2201z BAT 14.0 OTMP 73 ITMP 84 PV 4 ~ 2 S units above noise level with QSB.

Windy on 4102.85

Travertine Hot Springs - 10/20 0244z TMP 66 B 12.0 A few S units above the noise.
                                    10/20 1150z TMP 80 B 11.9 At noise level, with very slow QSB that occasionally brought it significantly above the noise level.

Mono Lake South Shore - 10/22 0020z TMP 81 B 11.7 A little above noise level with some QSB.

Madonna on 4097.23 Fast dasher

Travertine Hot Springs - 10/20 1120z At the noise level. Disappeared below it about 7 minutes later.
                                    10/25 2013z on 4097.21 (my best estimate) ~S1 but clear.

Undetermined Beacon(s)

Independence, CA - 10/23 2205z ~4095.95 slow dasher, about 3 seconds on and 3 seconds off. At 2225, it started coming in stronger.
                              At same time as above, a beacon on ~4095.86. Sounds like fairly long dashes. Very weak with QSB.
My guess is that the first beacon was Coxie, and the second one Buddha. It's possible my frequency measurement was off by a few tens of Hz.

Alabama Hills near Lone Pine - 10/25 2020z ~4095.85 ~3 or 4 second dashes, with ~ 2 seconds between each dash. Just above noise but clear. Am thinking this was Coxie.

I also logged the Part 15 beacon FJB from the Alabama Hills, and have reported it in the Part 15 forum.

For outings like these, I need a small and portable receiver, with accurate frequency readout, and a built-in spotting tone. As I see it, the only option is a KX2. I want something I can slip in my pocket and go on a walk with, but that also has the performance of a communications receiver. The Belka-DX is the closest I have been able to come to this so far, without incurring the cost of a KX2.





                                           
« Last Edit: November 02, 2021, 1907 UTC by Dave Richards »
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2021, 1042 UTC »
Nice report!  Thanks for sharing! 

I wonder if a small loop antenna would be useful on DXing trips like this?
Chris Smolinski
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Offline Dave Richards

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2021, 1603 UTC »
I wonder if a small loop antenna would be useful on DXing trips like this?

That's very possible. There was one time, in Independence, when I could really have used a good bandpass filter too. The Belka-DX has a BPF when in CW mode. Apparently, it has a 300Hz B/W, though I haven't measured it. I could use a tighter B/W for these types of listening sessions. The Desert Whooper was coming in much more strongly than the weak beacon I was trying to listen to on a nearby frequency, and effectively knocking it out. On a few of my listening sessions, DW was almost like the Woodpecker. Just when you find a signal you want to listen to, DW arrives and covers it up! Better bandpass filtering at my end would have helped a lot. A directional loop could help too.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2021, 1808 UTC by Dave Richards »
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Offline MojaveBeaconeer

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2021, 1724 UTC »
"Buddha-2" is the (refurbished 20 Oct.) 3-second dasher; formerly "Viking" - relocated to a hill/ridge a few km from former site - about 1/3 watt sun-only ~4095.9 +/- xtal drift and power-level-input drift.

"Coxie" is the longtime one with about 4 sec dash, now seemingly not as strong as once was (antenna damage/down, etc.?) - this one has considerable sunshine-level drift between 4095.8 up past 4096.0, and it sometimes zero-beats w/ Buddha-2.

Both in northern Mojave Desert above 5K feet. elevation.

Tnx for fine report! MB


Offline MojaveBeaconeer

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2021, 1735 UTC »
Correction: Coxie is down in JTNP since 2001...

Buddha-2 ~4095.9 3 sec. dasher/Madonna ~4097.23 rapid-dasher/Gendarme ~6626.5 chirper/whooper are the ones a mile high...

All three are sun-only and ~1/3 watt output to dipoles.  Pretty nearly all are identical circuits (4011 NAND gate IC to 2N4427 or 2N3866 NPN p.a.), with some slight alterations for chirp, frequency, and dash-rates.

OK... that is of today...

MB
« Last Edit: November 03, 2021, 1737 UTC by MojaveBeaconeer »

Offline Dave Richards

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2021, 1809 UTC »
Thanks for the info MB. That helps a lot!
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Offline Teotwaki

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2021, 0413 UTC »
I recently returned from a campervan trip in the Eastern Sierras in California. All following loggings were taken while standing outside with the set-top whip. Frequencies are approximate, though should be to within a few tens of Hz, due to the difficulty in zero-beating this receiver when in CW mode.

Desert Whooper on 4095.65. I almost didn't bother to include loggings for this beacon, as it was a given I was going to hear it. My only criticism of DW is that it is radiating so well, that it's not exactly that hard to hear. Not much of a challenge  ;D

Thanks for providing the detailed logs! It sounds like a really successful adventure.

I think DW was not built to be a low power Ditter or Dasher pirate beacon but instead was required to provide solid telemetry from whatever area it is hidden at.
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Offline MojaveBeaconeer

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2021, 1523 UTC »
DW and the dashers (and other beacons done on or near 4096 via enthusiasts) all present an interesting mixture of signals for enjoyment and propagation examine.  All of the dashers exhibit interesting effects (frequency wandering) during periods when (such as a "mackeral" sky) it is alternatively cloudy and sunny upon their panels... a kind of incidental "telemetry" of a Sun-photometry-to-transmit frequency exhibition. 

All the transmitters around 4096-7 (etc.) are COOL, in-essence. 

I certainly never thought way back in 1988 what this would become, but I find it as fascinating as hamming but without the edicts and chit-chit.  Same kind of social situation here as on the ham bands, though... ;-0.

I have come around on many things, and I should say I appreciate all of Jim's input here - this is what keeps the torch running... 73MB
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 1525 UTC by MojaveBeaconeer »

Offline Dave Richards

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2021, 0732 UTC »
Thanks for providing the detailed logs! It sounds like a really successful adventure.

I think DW was not built to be a low power Ditter or Dasher pirate beacon but instead was required to provide solid telemetry from whatever area it is hidden at.

It was great fun Jim. Based on comments made by Desert Whooper, that would certainly seem to be the case (the solid telemetry).




I certainly never thought way back in 1988 what this would become, but I find it as fascinating as hamming but without the edicts and chit-chit.  Same kind of social situation here as on the ham bands, though... ;-0.

I have come around on many things, and I should say I appreciate all of Jim's input here - this is what keeps the torch running... 73MB

It is rare for me to find a conversation on the amateur bands which I find engaging. Beaconing allows one to experience the interesting aspects of radio propagation in it's purest form, without having to suffer the tedium of the average ham QSO. That's my take on it anyway ;D  I have gradually changed from being a teenager who could barely stop talking on 2M FM and 80M DSB, to a late middle-aged feller who rarely, if ever, gets on the air, much preferring to listen.

And yes +100 to your comments about Jim. The regular participation and contributions from folks like Jim and Chris in these forums, act to keep interest alive in this idiosyncratic and somewhat engaging facet of the radio hobby.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2021, 0735 UTC by Dave Richards »
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Offline MojaveBeaconeer

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2021, 0829 UTC »
Amen Richard!  What more can I say - Ham radio is but 1% of my real radio love, and the kinds of radio experimentation and unusual listening here at HFU are (BY FAR) more fascinating than hamming and is without the off-putting vocal attitudes heard on the ham bands.  Yes I do enjoy ham radio but maybe only 1-2 hours/week compared to many 10s of hours spent LISTENING to 4096/etc.!

I used to live in San Rafael, BTW...

73ML

Offline Dave Richards

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2021, 2141 UTC »
I used to live in San Rafael, BTW...

73ML

I knew you used to live in Marin, but can't remember if I knew it was San Rafael. I pass through there fairly regularly, on my way to San Anselmo when visiting family. In fact, I'm heading there this coming week. Will take a small receiver to listen for the Marin Ditter (on both fundamental and second harmonic). Will be sure to report it here if I do.

73 for now
AA7EE
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Offline Teotwaki

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Re: Some Loggings From The Eastern Sierras
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2021, 1636 UTC »
-------snip-------

I used to live in San Rafael, BTW...

73ML

I saw your name and San Rafael address listed on an old copy of the "West Coast NDB DX'ers Checklist"  next to Sheldon's address.  ;D
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

 

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