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Author Topic: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations  (Read 12826 times)

Offline Alpha Six Whiskey

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2012, 1954 UTC »
I hope I'm not repeating the valuable info provided previously.  That said:  Try actually unplugging everything, then check for the noise at each step.  It's important to remember that most modern plug-in devices, most especially those with a clock, timer, or remote control are never truly off as long at they are powered.  I had an electronics professor who explained to the class that he did a yearly "audit" of his own home where he would unplug everything and check the Watt-Hour meter.  If it was still turning, he'd go and search for what he missed, repeating the process three and four times until it stopped turning.  "You'd be surprised..." how many things we all have plugged in.  He was also a ham and concerned about noise as well as his monthly bill.

To sum:  you may find many noise sources in your home.  My computer monitor makes all kinds of noise on HF that varies with what's on the display.

Good luck and have fun. 
A6...
LA, CA
DM04tb
:-)

Offline weaksigs

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2012, 2119 UTC »
Welcome Aboard!
Its nice to see some new ones interested in the
great website HF Underground and its related topics.

If you can't or don't check anything else make sure
any lamp dimmers are off during reception periods.

Depending on the radio frequency our one lamp dimmer
is the worst noise culprit by far at my home.

Again its great to have you along for the ride!

Arrrr Arrr!

weaksigs
Central Florida
136' random wire for general HF,
Winradio Excalibur G31 & Kenwood TS-590

Peace!

Offline Beerus Maximus

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2012, 1451 UTC »
Upgrading to an R75 will be a big step up! But a radio like this really deserves an antenna outdoors. I know you said you can't put an antenna outside; I don't know if this is a property restriction, or a wife thing, or just plain logistics... but you may want to research stealth antennas and try to sneak something out there.
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2012, 1516 UTC »
What Beerus said is very important - an outside antenna of any sort will be a vast improvement over anything inside. You will get more signal from the stations, and less interference from electronic devices inside the house.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2012, 1631 UTC »
It's Christmas light season. See what happens when they're taken down next week.

Offline ff

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2012, 1730 UTC »
Its a 60 watt , I think the bulb is one of those energy savers that looks like a coil.

The PL series and compact flourescent bulbs are notorious noisemakers.  I lived in a mountain cabin for 14 years with only a small solar panel/storage battery system and had to use the aforementioned bulbs for all lighting, to keep the watt usage low.  When radio time came I would have to turn off all lights except one small halogen that I had at the radio desk.  Flourescent tube lighting and switching power supplies (including many wall cubes) are noisemakers also.  It seems as though the drive for efficiency creates all sorts of problems for the DXer.  Good luck in your "noise hunt" Cyberflexx...
Hailing from the upstate boondocks region of the progressive paradise which once was New York State

Offline cyberflexx

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2012, 1814 UTC »
Thanks for all the good suggestions.

I walked around with my DX350 and gound my LCD tv was not noisey neither was the DTV box or my computer.  I found a dimmer/timer switch for my front porch lights was rather noisey ad well as a clock radio in the bedroom.  I didnt venture downstairs to see what was going on with RFI.  Last night was a bad night at the house, the dishwasher running, washer/dryer going strong, and a random episode with the vaccum cleaner. I could barely hear audio in static last night.  After the kids go down for bed, the appliances start to be used since we have to do our cleaning and such after they are out of the way. 

I am going to figure out a way to do a long wire outside wire or that attic dipole.  It has to be something hidden out of site of the wife.

Could I run a wire to the water faucet outsite so it will use the whole piping and get good reception?

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2012, 1916 UTC »
Re: receivers: I live in the PNW and have heard pirates on my DX-390 with a 25 ft. indoor wire, so your DX-392 (a radio with very similar circuitry to the DX-390) should be capable of receiving them where you live.

Re: antennas: be very careful using your DX-392 with outdoor wire antennas, unless you have some sort of protection against static buildup, which can zap your DX-392's RF amp transistor.  Some guys use back to back diodes (between antenna and ground), others use resistors between antenna and ground.  The other guys here who are more into antennas than I am will have better thoughts on this than I do. I wired two protection diodes inside the back of my radio.

Re: RFI: ditto to the above mentions of devices that emit RFI when they are switched off.  I had all sorts of interference on 20 meters, and finally discovered it was my printer -- it was making all sorts of racket even though it was powered off.  I unplugged it -- instant quiet. 

It was the same thing with one of my DVD players, which was a regular RF generator even when switched off.
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The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline RCCI

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2012, 2259 UTC »
cyberflexx....

Welcome back to the shortwave fold!

My first radio was a Halicrafters S-119 Sky Buddy II three tuber, with a longwire, in 1964. I was 11 and hooked. I had in the 1980's a Yaesu FRG 8800 and a Antenna Supermarket Evesdropper antenna. The Pirate Station listening was plentifu!. I sold the Frog about 7 years ago and deeply regret it. I too am in the market for a new rig, probably a Kenwood R1000, or a FRG-7, or ICOM R-70. Patience and money (at least for me) is the watchword. Be patient for acquiring a rig. Go to EHAM and really study the the "Reviews" under the General Coverage Receivers section. Do try and get some type of antenna OUTSIDE. Getting the antenna outside, helped with my RFI problems and if you look on the WEB there are some novel ideas on how to go stealth, so that landlords are not even aware.

As far as not being able to hear any pirates:

My current setup is a KAITO KA1103 portable, with a 30' longwire up about 10 feet and slopes from an outside porch to a pine tree,8' at the end. That's it. No tuners, antenna Loops, Rhombics, etc. (at least for now hihi)

//////  I maintain the secret is "HOW" you listen.   /////

1)  Headphones are a must! I use ear-buds which double for my computer.

2)  GO SLOW. It's interesting to see You Tube videos of SWLer's with their equipment, and rotating the frequency dial like a pinwheel. Slow dialing has always helped me. Can't stress that enough.    S   L   O   W     D   I   A   L   I   N   G. I will usually put the radio on SSB to find the carrier, and switch to AM if needed. If you start off on AM you may miss the Pirate just barely above the noise level. So many factors play a part, finding a Pirate at an S8 -S9+ signal level is a gift. As you can see by the plentiful loggings, many times one can hear the broadcast as just a whisper above the noise floor.

Because Pirates have their own schedule, relax, read, play on the computer---but keep your radio ON. If you are constantly hunched over the radio, you're going to get frustrated, eventually getting up, turning off the radio and leaving. That's when the Pirate comes on---usually after you've left the room! As far as the hours are concerned---they arrive anytime! Don't just listen after 10:00pm. Many times I have come home from work during the weekday, after 5:00pm (CST) and have found new loggings while I was away.

3)   Look and review the message board and see whe some of the Pirate broadcasts occur. Sometimes the Pirate broadcaster is on for such a short time, if you sneezed, you'd miss them. :D

Patience  ---Good luck to you and Happy Listening!


...Steve - RCCI
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 2324 UTC by RCCI - Radio Comedy Club International »
+ Equipment: Yaesu FRG 100B, Kenwood R-1000, Yaesu FRG7,
+ Antenna: 75' dipole, height 21', running north and south.  Chicagoland area.
 *** QSLs welcomed at: gangwise1997@yahoo.com   Thanks!   ...Steve

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2012, 0116 UTC »
Head to Rat Shack and buy some magnet wire for the antenna. The stuff is tough to see if you don't know where it is.

Offline cyberflexx

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2012, 1645 UTC »
I do listen with sony studio headphones so I can hear everything. 

I'll look into that magnet wire. 

I scored me a good deal on a R75 this weekend..  I don't have it yet, but maybe by the end of the week.  $350 shipped for used.. not sure what filters or if it has a DSP.  I guess that was a good deal..

I think I can run a long wire from my deck to a tree about 12 feet away.  I have to be careful, there is a power line that runs behind my home.

Could hooking the receiver up to the cable TV coax work as a really long wire?  I just have a cable modem on it, and my other tv service is DirecTV, so I can't use that coax to the LMBs on the dish.

Radio Shack is not much of a place for radios.. its more of a Cellphone shop cheap RC toy store anymore.  I went over the weekend to look for an anteanna kit that I knew they had sold, and they have nothing like that anymore..




Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2012, 1706 UTC »
I scored me a good deal on a R75 this weekend..  I don't have it yet, but maybe by the end of the week.  $350 shipped for used.. not sure what filters or if it has a DSP.  I guess that was a good deal..

I know listeners with the R75 and they seem happy with it.

I think I can run a long wire from my deck to a tree about 12 feet away.  I have to be careful, there is a power line that runs behind my home.

Be sure to stay far away from power lines. Most importantly for safety, but also because you're more likely to get interference from them.

12 ft is not much of a "long wire" at these frequencies, unfortunately. You might want to consider some sort of an amplified loop antenna.

Could hooking the receiver up to the cable TV coax work as a really long wire?  I just have a cable modem on it, and my other tv service is DirecTV, so I can't use that coax to the LMBs on the dish.

That is not likely to work well at all.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline John Poet

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2012, 1818 UTC »
The worst noise-maker I have is a cellphone charger.  Nasty.


John Poet

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Offline moof

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2012, 2050 UTC »
Yes what Pigmeat says-magnet wire is great.  You can even transmit through a dipole made with it after you get your license.  The only person ever to notice mine was a foot or two under it on a sunny day all afternoon.
Rat shack should have it in an ok gauge.  Not hair thin, not mechanical pencil lead thick, just like sewing thread thick.  I can't remember the gauge number-maybe 28 or 30.  Toss it up over something at least head level and weigh it down with a nut or bolt on the far end and stay far away from the power or comm lines.  Count on it breaking once in a while or getting knocked down by birds.
Really you might want to try some wire around the top of a room.  I had decent reception with an R8 with 30 feet of wire running around the top of 3 walls when I was in a first floor apartment, but there was very low noise at that place.  Now I live in electronic hell subdivision.

Offline RCCI

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Re: Help pulling in Pirate radio stations
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2012, 2145 UTC »
The 30 foot antenna I use, is just simple heavier duty 18 gauge speaker wire. Home Depot is a great place for wire! The Depot near my home has an "odd and ends" bargain bin. Just bring your measure tape and have at it. With homemade painted wood insulators, about 4" of nylon cord, I paid about $5.00 for the entire sha-bang.

BTW.... Did you buy the R-75 from tibbspawn 12/30 on Ebay?

...Steve
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 2215 UTC by RCCI - Radio Comedy Club International »
+ Equipment: Yaesu FRG 100B, Kenwood R-1000, Yaesu FRG7,
+ Antenna: 75' dipole, height 21', running north and south.  Chicagoland area.
 *** QSLs welcomed at: gangwise1997@yahoo.com   Thanks!   ...Steve