This morning, before heading out the door, I tuned around the 31 meter broadcast band. I’ve actually been recording 640 kHz of the 31 meter band for almost 24 hours, trying to capitalize on the fact that propagation conditions have been the best I’ve seen in several months. At some point in the future, I’ll load this recording, tune through it and remind myself what’s possible when propagation is favorable! Check out the waterfall screenshot above.
Asian stations had a strong showing on the band in eastern North America this morning.
Here are the stations I logged starting around 12:30 UTC today:
9395 WRMI English
9410 China National Radio 5 Chinese
9420 China National Radio 13 Uyghur
9430 FEBC Radio Chinese
9440 China Radio International Cambodian
9460 China Radio International English
9470 UNID (weak)
9490 Voice of America Korean
9500 China National Radio 1 Chinese
9515 China National Radio 2 Chinese
9540 China Radio International Chinese
9550 Radio Havana Cuba Spanish
9570 China Radio International Cantonese
9575 All India Radio Tibetan
9580 Radio Australia English
9600 China Radio International English
9620 All India Radio Sindhi
9635 Voice of Vietnam 1 Vietnamese
9640 Radio Havana Cuba Spanish
9645 China Radio International English
9650 Radio Sonder Grense Afrikaans (with QRM)
9660 Radio Taiwan International Chinese
9665 KCBS Pyongyang Korean (weak)
9680 Radio Taiwan International Chinese
9700 Radio New Zealand International English
9710 China National Radio 1 Chinese
9720 Reach Beyond Australia (HCJB) Indonesian
9730 China Radio International English
9735 Radio Taiwan International Indonesian
9740 BBC English
9750 NHK World Radio Japan (?) Japanese
9760 China Radio International English
9785 China Radio International Laotian (?)
9805 Radio Marti Spanish (w/accompanying Cuban jammer)
9820 Radio Habana Cuba Spanish
9830 China National Radio 1 Chinese (with RTTY QRM)
9835 RTM Sarawak FM Malaysian (very weak)
9840 Voice of Vietnam English
9845 China National Radio 1 Chinese (weak)
9855 China Radio International Chinese
9870 AIR New Delhi Hindi
9880 KSDA-AWR Guam Korean
9920 FEBC Radio Hre
9955 WRMI English
9980 WWCR English
10000 WWV Ft. Collins
That’s 46 signals in a space of 640 kHz–not bad!
I dare say: these excellent band conditions will not last forever.
Though I’ve spent the entire day sawing and splitting firewood, I’ve been actively recording spectrum on the 31, 25, 19 and 16 meter bands with the WinRadio Excalibur, Elad FDM-S2 and the SDRplay RSP. Why? Propagation–especially on the higher bands–has been the best it’s been in several weeks.
As I discovered at the recent SWLing Post DXpedition, my shack PC can handle making multiple spectrum recordings simultaneously as long as I limit each recording to the width of a broadcast band. (I’ve never tried pushing the limit very hard.) Someday in the future–perhaps when we’re having terrible propagation–I’ll play those spectrum recordings back and tune through them as if they were live.
Radio time travel at its best.
When I decided to throw in the towel with all of the firewood processing, I fired up the Sony ICF-SW100 (above) and tuned in a game on 17,855 kHz: Radio Exterior de España.
The REE signal was simply booming into eastern North America!
Hard to break away from the radio on days like this.
My advice? Take advantage of these conditions and make time to listen!
For me, SWLing a great excuse to relax and let me back heal after a long day of splitting wood. For some, perhaps it’s a good excuse to take the radio outdoors and away from urban interference. Whatever the excuse, don’t hesitate to fire up your radio!
There are some interesting stations on the bands this evening. Feel free to comment with some you’ve logged.
Bill Meara, producer of the popular SolderSmoke Podcast, recently recorded audio echoes on a couple of his home brew regenerative receivers. Bill posted the following video, of his regen receiver tuned to China Radio International:
The fact that Bill measured a .133 second delay (the amount of time it would take for a signal to circle the globe), makes me believe he’s hearing an echo similar to Lyle. But I must admit, I’m a bit amazed that a faint AM echo could penetrate blowtorch signals like CRI and Brother Stair’s relay generate State side.
Readers:What’s going on here? Is Bill catching rare propagation openings–or perhaps ducting in the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere–or is there another explanation?
Two weeks ago, at the W4DXCC conference in Tennessee, I met Lyle Juroff (K9FIK). Not only did I find that Lyle and I had many radio interests in common, but he also told me a story about hearing, recording and analyzing a double echo on the HF bands. I asked if he would explain in an email and include the recording so that I could share it on the SWLing Post. He kindly agreed!
I worked a DX station [9A1A] on 10 meters this past spring. As the band improved, I heard an echo develop on his signal and guessed it might be long path so I began recording the audio. I then began to hear a double echo and looked at the waveform on AUDACITY. The timing marks on AUDACITY indicated 140 milliseconds between echos.
I went to Wolfram Alfa, one of my go-to sights for things I can’t remember, and looked up the earth circumference. It not only gave me the distance but also the time to travel it at the speed of light, 133 milliseconds. Not sure if everyone working DX has heard this sort of thing, I played the recording at the next East Tennessee DX Association meeting. Nobody said they had heard that kind of double echo.
News sources are publishing information regarding new scientific research which puts our sunspot cycle into question. How does this affect the average shortwave listener? Periods of high sunspot numbers generally produce excellent DX conditions. In other words, with modest equipment, listeners can hear even weak signals around the world. Amateur radio operators find that they can communicate around the world with very low power.
Our current cycle (cycle 24) has been relatively uneventful compared to the past–but the prediction for Cycle 25 is scary. Indeed, it may not even happen on schedule. The news sources below explain in detail.
A missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles say that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years, according to scientists at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
As the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, begins to ramp up toward maximum, independent studies of the solar interior, visible surface, and the corona indicate that the next 11-year solar sunspot cycle, Cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.
For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite.
According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.
Things may be about to get very dull on the sun. Three different measurements of solar activity, reported by scientists at a press conference today, suggest that the next 11-year-long solar cycle will be far quieter than the current one. In fact, it may not happen at all: Sunspots, the enormous magnetic storms that erupt on the sun’s surface as the cycle builds, might disappear entirely for the first time in approximately 400 years.