Radio Mi Amigo International presents a very special live broadcast remembering those days ‘the music almost died’. We remember Aug. 1967 (UK) and Aug. 1974 (Netherland) when the MOA (‘Anti-Pirate-Law’) became law in those countries and stopped most of the offshore stations. We remember with the songs from that time and some original recordings.
The show will be aired on August, 27 from 19 – 21 hr CET (17 – 19 hr UTC) on 11845 kHz in the 25m SW-band with 100 kw of power all over Europe and also online on our webstreams.
Man-made RF noise levels have increased dramatically at my place in the past six months. It has become much harder to hear weaker shortwave signals. Even the stronger stations are getting covered in all types of hash from all manner of electrical appliances.
So, I have been looking at ways to reduce the noise problem. I’m currently researching a few possible solutions, including trying a different antenna.
The HF horizontal loop has been around for many years now, but it’s a new antenna for me. I’ve never had a need to try one…..until now! There is some documentation out there praising this antenna’s low noise capabilities. So, it was time to find out for myself and start building an experimental version. So far, the results have been really quite pleasing!
I have prepared a YouTube video (below) in which I discuss the reasons for looking at this antenna, its design, and its installation. I also do some on-air comparisons of my experimental rectangular (!) version of the horizontal loop against my three regular double bazooka (coax) dipoles and the Par SWL End-Fed antenna.
Have you tried this antenna before? Your thoughts and feedback would be most appreciated.
73 and good DX to you all,
Rob Wagner, VK3BVW, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. He also blogs at the Mount Evelyn DX Report.
With travels, solar eclipse events and family activities this week, I’ve had very little time to play radio.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day though, so I took the family to the Blue Ridge Parkway and (of course) packed a couple portable radios.
While we all enjoyed a picnic, I pulled out the AR-1780 with the intention of exploring its SSB performance and audio fidelity. I found an Islands On The Air (IOTA) activation with a decent pileup on 14,250 kHz.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the AR-1780 on SSB. The noise floor is pretty low, the filter selections are handy and the overall audio is comparable to slightly larger portable radios.
The dedicated fine tune control is quite handy, even though it’s oddly located on the right side of the radio (where one typically finds a volume control).
I’m putting together a short review of the AR-1780, but will need more air and comp time before I form any firm opinions.
For readers that have made it this far down the post, you might recognize a yet-to-be-released portable next to the AR-1780. Of course, I’m comparing it with the AR-1780 and its predecessor, but it’s not a production run unit (yet!), so I can’t comment on performance. Stay tuned, though, as I will be posting more in the coming days!
As Hurricane Harvey makes its slow trek through toward Corpus Christi, we’re watching what might become one of the most damaging storms this decade in the States.
Each hurricane season, I receive emails from readers asking about frequencies to monitor as the storm approaches.
Hurricane Watch Net (HWN)
The Hurricane Watch Net is a group of amateur radio operators who are trained and organized “to provide essential communications support to the National Hurricane Center during times of Hurricane emergencies.” The HWN focuses on “ground truth” observations (much like SkyWarn nets).
The Hurricane Watch Net is activated when a hurricane is within 300 statute miles of expected land-fall. The HWN covers the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Mexico, Eastern Canada, and all US Coastal States.
The HWN operates in both English and Spanish, and is active on 14.325 MHz (upper sideband) during the day and 7.268 MHz (lower sideband) at night.The HWN is known to operate on both frequencies if propagation allows.
Please keep HWN frequencies clear
If you’re an amateur radio operator, please avoid using 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz anytime the HWN has been activated.
Monitoring hurricane frequencies
If you have a shortwave radio with a BFO/SSB mode–and you live within the propagation footprint–you can monitor the Hurricane Watch Net.
Note that you’ll need to use upper sideband on 14.325 MHz and lower sideband on 7.268 MHz.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:
There’s been a new flurry of these posts on eBay, always the WJ 8711A. These items have prohibited listing practices, and should be ignored — definitely not something to bid on. I have reported these on numerous occasions to Ebay, which has expressed appreciation, but they keep coming back. Location is often listed as Pennsylvania, and other states.
Example of item title
And they can’t even get the spelling right!
Thank you for the heads-up and warning, Dan!
It’s frustrating and I assume it’s a scammer who has hijacked valid eBay seller accounts. The seller above, for example, has 16,000+ feedbacks 99.7% positive. TIn every way, the top of the listing appears to be valid.
But if you scroll down the page, you’ll find this message:
Let’s be clear: If you ever see the message above, you are viewing a fraudulent eBay listing!
The scammer actually embeds the convoluted BuyItNow message above as a graphic in the eBay listing. This makes it difficult for eBay to automatically find the scammers and delete the postings.
Many thanks, Dan, for apprising us of the situation.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TomL, for sharing the following guest post:
August 21, 2017: Individual Recordings of MW During Totality
I setup flimsy “Backpack Shack” loop antenna and preselector to my Sony ICF-2010 to listen to any propagation of MW signals as each transmitter experienced Totality. My location was a picnic area facing southwest with only a small hill to the east at Ferne Clyffe State Park near Goreville, IL.
I did not bring a DSP radio and computer which would have been better in hindsight. My observations were generally as follows:
Anything west of my location, except for local St. Louis stations were not identifiable.
Noise levels were somewhat elevated because of thunderstorms that had just moved through the area during the evening.
Anything east of my location experienced dramatic increases in signal along the path of totality.
Since large signal increases were seen with the Umbra moving AWAY from me, it would be more beneficial to use a DSP receiver with good outdoor antenna than a single frequency radio and preselector like my setup. The loop antenna sitting on a picnic table acted great and was usable to get strongest signal for each station.
It is still unknown why I could not identify any stations west of me with the Umbra moving TOWARDS my location and needs further study. I thought I heard KTWO in Casper WY, but upon listening to the recording, it was a male announcer buried in the noise and unintelligible.
A transmitter being IN the path of Totality has a better chance of lasting longer with a strong signal than one that is just outside of Totality. Compare behavior of WSB vs. WBT.
If this happens again, make sure to make multiple hotel reservations and cancel the ones not needed. Traffic was horrible and had to stay in a hotel half way from home and I aggravated an achillies heel problem in the stop and go traffic (YUK).
So, it was quite disappointing to not hear anything special west of my location. As Totality neared my site, I just left the radio tuned to KNOX for the people around me to hear. Its signal did become about 25% stronger and near the end of the recording you can hear other weaker stations trying to break in.
As soon as totality was over, and my picture taking was done, I returned to the radio and found 1510 khz WLAC Nashville, TN was moderately strong! And this was seconds after their Totality had already ended. A baseline reading beforehand showed this station coming in very very faintly. Subjective SINPO rating beforehand=15452, just after Totality=34433.
The next surprise was tuning to 750 WSB Atlanta GA was BOOMING in! They were very clever and had no announcers. Instead they were playing snippets of songs about sun, moon, dark themes. Very entertaining! Baseline beforehand was just moderate noise, no signals. During recording, SINPO=55444 with propagation getting slightly worse near the end of the recording.
Final surprise was 1110 WBT Charlotte, NC, which was not in the path of Totality but just north of it also booming in but not as strongly. Also, near the end of the recording, the signal dropped off very sharply, unlike the WSB signal which stayed strong throughout the 5+ minute recording. Baseline beforehand was low noise and no signals. During recording, SINPO=43434 at 14:40 ET, then approximately 1½ minutes after their maximum eclipse (14:43 ET), SINPO=33423, then at 14:46 ET a SINPO=22422 with another unidentified station breaking through playing a Johnny Cash song.
Tom, thank you for taking the time to share your recordings and listening experiences with us! Snagging a daytime MW broadcast from the Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC regions is most impressive. I reckon they were about 400-500 miles (as the crow flies) from your Ferne Clyffe, IL location.
Sounds like you had an amazing experience, despite the stop-and-go traffic!
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