Kostas releases the NR-1 Noise Blanker!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kostas (SV3ORA), for sharing the following product announcement which originally appeared on his website:

The NR-1, a revolutionary noise blanker that works directly on the antenna!

Tired of that HF noise that can’t be beaten otherwise?
Want to remove it before it gets into your transceiver?
Can’t install a separate “noise” antenna/coaxial for diversity?
Want to remove noise interference from any direction?

Then keep reading…

NR-1 is a revolutionary Noise Blanker which is the product of two-years of development and extensive testing by Kostas sv3ora.

NR-1 works directly at the antenna. This has significant advantages over the classic noise blankers which work at the intermediate stages of the receivers. It does not require a second “noise” antenna for its operation.

Furthermore, it is not based on cutting-off of amplifiers, unlike common noise blankers

Because of these, the NR-1 is superior, compared tocommon internal Noise blankers of radios:

    • NR-1 removes noise before it even reaches the receiver. Thus, the front-end RF
      stages of the receiver are unaffected by noise, unlike a common noise blanker
      which removes the noise after it has first passed through the internal circuits
      of the receiver.
    • NR-1 removes high-level, high-repetition-rate noises that common noise blankers
      usually cannot cope with.
    • NR-1 is not affected by strong near-by signals. Instead, common noise blankers
      perform poorly when there are strong near-by signals and they distort the signal of the station we want to listen.
    • NR-1 can be used by many radios. Because it is an external device, it can be
      connected to various radios/receivers without the need to modify them.
    • NR-1 has a built-in 8-band preselector and helps eliminate intermodulation (birdies)
      caused by strong local medium and shortwave stations, on RF direct sampling
      radios (eg IC-7300). The preselector is relatively wideband and does not affect
      the sensitivity or the waterfall spectrum in the amateur radio bands.
    • NR-1 has built-in variable gain preamplifier and variable attenuator. Preamplification is
      particularly useful in the high frequency bands, where some radios have limited
      sensitivity. Variable attenuation helps to reduce band noise for more
      comfortable listening to mid/high strength stations.

Comparison of the NR-1 with other noise removal systems (eg. QRM eliminator, X-phase etc):

    • NR-1 does not require a second (noise) antenna/coaxial-line to operate. Unlike QRM
      eliminators, NR-1 does not require an additional “noise” antenna and
      therefore no second coaxial cable out of the shack. The main transmit and
      receive antenna you are already using is sufficient.
    • NR-1 is easy to set up. In contrast, QRM eliminators require systematic testing of
      various noise antennas in different locations to perform satisfactorily.
    • NR-1 removes noise from every direction simultaneously. In contrast, QRM
      eliminators, depending on the noise antenna setup and their configuration,
      remove noise from one direction only each time. If the noise originates or
      “travels” through cables and reaches the antenna from different
      directions, QRM eliminators do not perform well.
    • NR-1 removes more than one noise source simultaneously because its principle of
      operation is not related to the phase of the noise.
    • NR-1 does not require constant adjustment. Once set for one band, it usually does not need to be reset. In contrast, QRM eliminators require resetting every few tens of KHz or so.

Have a look at the NR-1 page for more information on it and to download the manual of the NR-1,

You are still not convinced? Just watch the YOUTUBE channel of the NR-1 which has demonstrations of the operation and the effectiveness of this antenna noise blanker and judge yourself.

If you want to get one for your shack, please do not hesitate to email Kostas.

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Calling all radio enthusiasts, calling all radio enthusiasts

FastRadioBurst 23 letting you know of a forthcoming project from DJ Frederick called The Radio Enthusiast e-APA. It looks very interesting and will cover subjects we all love radio-wise! As the flyer above states the main purpose of the project is “for fun, to connect with other radio enthusiasts, to share information & creativity.” It’ll be available via email and a print edition and also a possible audio program. It will go out three times a year: Spring, Summer and Autumn starting Summer 2024. So please send you submissions to: [email protected] Send anywhere from 1 to 10 pages per mailing by email (Word docs) please!

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Photos from Hamvention 2024

I once again attended Four Days in May and the Dayton Hamvention this year–it was an amazing event and I believe attendance was at a record level (over 35,000 attendees!). 

I stayed quite busy speaking with readers of the SWLing Post and QRPer.com. I really appreciate all of the kind words and support–it was great meeting so many of you. I was so busy this year, I didn’t have quite the opportunity to take as many photos as I have in the past, but I still managed to snap quite a few.

The following photos were all taken at the 2024 Hamvention and the Four Days in May QRPARCI Conference.

Photo Gallery

Click to view the entire photo album–> Continue reading

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Radio Piko: A New Shortwave Radio Station in Finland Broadcasting with 10 Legal Watts of Power!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Kris Partidge, who notes that there’s a new shortwave radio station in: Radio Piko! The station is run by a hobbyist and transmits music, old time radio shows, and interviews. The station uses fixed frequencies and announces broadcasts on the website a day before.

Radio Piko even has a few test transmissions this weekend, per their website:

May 25 & 26, 2024 TEST TRANSMISSIONS:
1500-1600 UTC 9770 (Norway, Denmark)
1800-1900 UTC 5980 (Finland)
1900-2000 UTC 3990 (Finland, Sweden, Estonia)

Also, “Random tests on 3990, 5980 or 9770 [kHz]at random times.”

For more info about Radio Piko, including the summer schedule, check out their website: https://radiopiko.fi/ I recommend reading the FAQs.

At 10 watts, this will be seriously weak DX for those living outside of Finland. I, for one, love the format of pre-1950s music and shows. I may have to listen via a nearby KiwiSDR!

Note that this station only plans to be on the air until August 11, 2024.

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Still time to earn an Indy 500 Special Event Certificate!

Indy 500 Special Event Station: You Can Still Earn a Certificate!

by Brian D. Smith, W9IND

Not every Indianapolis 500 goes the full distance. Seven of the 107 races run since 1911 have been shortened by rain, notably the 1976 event that covered only 255 miles.
In the same spirit, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Amateur Radio Club has decided to amend its usual policy of awarding a certificate only to those who work or tune in W9IMS during all three of the year’s special events. For 2024 only, contacts with two separate W9IMS special events – and that includes reception reports – will be sufficient to qualify for the Checkered Flag Award.

Extenuating circumstances prompted the decision for the revision. The first special event of the year, commemorating the IndyCar Grand Prix, took place May 5-11, but that was also the week of the strongest geomagnetic storm in two decades. The hyperactive sun zapped HF amateur radio frequencies, often making it difficult to even hear, let alone work W9IMS.

So if you missed W9IMS during the first race of 2024, for whatever reason, you now have a second chance at a certificate if you act fast. Catch W9IMS between now and the end of Race Day – 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 26 (Indy time) or 0359 UTC Monday, May 27 – then repeat the feat during the Brickyard 200 NASCAR race during the week of July 15-21, and you’ll meet the new award criteria.

Of course, if you managed to bag W9IMS two weeks ago, you can clinch the Checkered Flag Award in the coming days. But you’ll still probably want to chase a Brickyard 200 contact in July, since W9IMS is offering unique and collectible QSL cards for each special event of 2024.

Tips on finding W9IMS:
Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) for spots listing the current frequency or frequencies of W9IMS. You can customize your search by typing “W9IMS” in the box at upper right.

Go to the W9IMS web page (www.w9ims.org) and look for the heading, “2024 Operating Schedule.” Click on the Indianapolis 500 link, which opens into a weeklong schedule of individual operators and their reserved time slots. Although operators frequently get on the air at unscheduled times, your odds of snaring the station improve significantly during hours with a listed op.

Prime time for weeknight operations is 6 to 10 p.m. in Indy (2200-0200 UTC) and sometimes at least 2 hours longer. That’s also your most likely shot at finding W9IMS activate on two bands – typically 20 and 40 meters. Preferred frequencies are 14.245 and 7.245 MHz, often varying by several kHz due to QRM. Other bands (especially 80 and 15 meters) are possible but rare.
Remember that the published schedule can be shortened by adverse circumstances, such as local thunderstorms, a lack of calling stations and, as we discovered earlier this month, solar flares! Don’t wait till the final hour to look for W9IMS.

But if you still haven’t worked W9IMS by Sunday night, you may find it more advantageous for stations like yours. Toward the end of the special event, W9IMS ops often call for “only stations that haven’t worked us this week” or switch to contest-style operations, exchanging only signal reports to put more contacts in the log.

Keep in mind that both hams and SWLs are eligible for QSL cards and the certificate. So if your ham station isn’t able to work the station by Sunday night, you can create an SWL report by copying down details of other W9IMS contacts – such as date, frequency, UTC, and a few of the stations you heard W9IMS working. SWL reports count as credits too, although the certificate may not feature your callsign.

The current weather forecast calls for thunderstorms on Sunday (Race Day). If the race is postponed, W9IMS will likely extend its operation through the new Race Day.

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Lounging around at WORK

FastRadioBurst 23 letting you know of our forthcoming shortwave transmissions this week. On Sunday 26th May 2024 at 0900/1300 hrs UTC on 6160 kHz and then at 2000 UTC on 6160 kHz and 3975 kHz we bring you The Imaginary Lounge beamed to Europe via Shortwave Gold.

Stick on your best Interview whistle and flute and swan about with a martini glass in your hand whilst tuning into our shortwave VIP cocktail special. We’ve got some exclusive artistes performing live including The Standing Wave Ratio Band plus two brand new numbers from The BFO Light Orchestra. Alongside these cabaret greats will be some fine chilled exotica and relaxing tunes. Tune in and enjoy the high life!

Our second show is WORK on our new day of Wednesday 29th May 2024 at 0200 UTC on 9395 kHz via WRMI. Enjoy some paid overtime via the airwaves with some job related classics, a rare CV training course record from 1973, the top 5 of what not to say in an interview situation and lots of lively tunes to get your through that night shift. Do remember that the foreman is watching even though it doesn’t look like he is. Clock in, tune in and then feet up until home time.

Here’s more info on The Imaginary Lounge:

For more information on all our shows please email [email protected] and check out our Mixcloud page here.

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Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot: May 18-19 Shows & Test Broadcast

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Tilford, who shares the following announcement:

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, May 2024

This month, our guests are

1. Clay Ross, leader of the American Patchwork Quartet, an excellent multiethnic fusion project (including Falu, a previous guest on this show) sharing some of their debut album by the same name.

2. Eugene Pao in Hong Kong, China’s foremost jazz guitarist, with some of his most recent release which includes guest trumpeter Randy Brecker.

Times and frequencies for May 18, 2024 are
0900-1000 UTC 9670 kHz with beam D (Eastern Europe and Eurasia)
1900-2000 UTC 3955 and 6070 kHz (omnidirectional)
All on Channel 292 from Rohrbach, Germany.

Additionally, On May 18, 2300-2400 UTC, we are doing a test broadcast of the last From the Isle of Music on 3955 and 9670

On May 19, 2300-2400 UTC, we are doing a test repeat broadcast of the Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot on 3955 and 9670

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