Costa Rica is one of the most visited countries in Latin America. I only visited there once, for three weeks in May-June 1990 when the country was just beginning to become a major international eco-tourism destination. Visitors were few and prices very affordable. Except for a short trip to the Monteverde cloud forest, we spent all our time in the central valley, staying in San José and nearby Heredia. Rather than nature, our visit focused on cultural and historical sites … and a lot of radio stations.
Since the 19th century, Costa Rica has been one of the most literate and educated countries in Latin America. That quality is reflected in its radio broadcasting industry, which has always been very professional. Curiously that’s even reflected in station verifications. Almost every Costa Rican shortwave station that I’ve verified had a professionally printed QSL card.
Despite being one of the smallest countries in Latin America, Costa Rica had a lot of shortwave radio stations. I have fifteen in my logbooks and some of the most famous ones were already off the air when I started DXing. Unfortunately, shortwave broadcasting from Costa Rica ended almost twenty years ago so there’s no more to be had. It is still possible to log Costa Rica on medium wave but it’s not as easy as it once was. When I started DXing in the early 1970s, stations in the San José were spaced twenty-five kilohertz apart. That meant that every other station, such as Radio Sonora on 675 kHz and Radio Columbia on 725 kHz, was on a split frequency that fell between the normally assigned 10 kHz channels. I logged nine Tico stations on medium wave while DXing from Pennsylvania in 1972-1981 and only one of those, Radio Reloj on 700 kHz, was on an even channel. Those split channels were eliminated in the 1980s so logging Costa Rica on medium wave is no longer a slam-dunk.
I visited a lot of radio stations and took a lot of photos on my one long-ago trip to Costa Rica. I’m going to focus on just five shortwave broadcasters in this first look at Costa Rica. The others will be featured in two or three future columns.
In the 1970s the first Costa Rican station most shortwave DXers heard was Faro del Caribe, or Lighthouse of the Caribbean. This religious station used two kilowatts on 9645 and 6175 kHz and got out surprisingly well as long as there wasn’t a more powerful international broadcaster also using the same frequency. In the late 1970s they added 5055 kHz in the sixty-meter band.
When I visited in 1990 the antennas were located right next to the studio building. The site was outside the city of San José when the station was founded but gradually a residential area built up around it.
Engineer checking one of Faro Del Caribe’s shortwave transmitters.
Fortieth Anniversary pennant from 1988. When Faro del Caribe began broadcasting on February 23, 1948, it was the first Evangelical Protestant radio station in Central America.
For DXers, Radio Reloj was one of Costa Rica’s best known radio voices for several decades. The station was founded as Radio Cristal by Roger Barahona in 1945. The shortwave frequency of 6006 kHz was added in the early 1950s. In 1958 the station was renamed to Radio Reloj when the format changed to focus on news and community announcements with very frequent time checks. (Radio Reloj means Radio Clock.) Roger’s brothers Isaac and Francisco had joined the broadcasting company and Radio Reloj was assigned the callsign TIHB for Hermanos Barahona (Barahona Brothers). Continue reading →
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TomL, who shares the following guest post. Click here to check out all of the posts in this Audio Plugin series:
Audio Plugins For Radios, Part 2 – SDR Recording
I started investigating using the old Kenwood transceiver to send audio to my laptop and process the receive audio using VST Host for a number of functions: Noise reduction, Equalization, reduce Sibilances and fading distortion, increase presence of vocals without sounding boxy, etc. It was a qualified success depending on what VST apps I used, in what order they were used, and what settings each of them were set to. In this episode of ongoing discovery, I will attempt to show how easy it is to OVER-process the shortwave broadcast audio plus comparisons to my regular Audacity post-recording treatment.
I noticed for the first time that the SDR creates a somewhat compressed file which can be seen when comparing the Waveforms of SDR vs. VST Host output files. This means that the unprocessed SDR file will always appear to sound louder because of this compression. This loss of Dynamic Range makes it harder to do the comparison. Therefore, the Audacity-only examples below are reduced 3dB or 5dB to maintain apparent loudness.
Example 1: KBS Weekend Playlist – S6-S9 signal, somewhat severe fading and moderate polar flutter.
SDR Console 3.2 using my usual NR4 set to 2dB Reduction, 30% Smoothing, and 3dB Rescale plus a Blackman-Harris-7, 5.3 kHz filter.
AUDACITY file is using my usual Audacity noise reduction:
VST version 2: Used my first set of VST apps. Sounds harsh with hash-noise and overdriven:
VST version 3: Used way too much bass, too much grunge, attenuated highs, still overdriven:
VST version 4: Using a different order to the Denoiser apps, added in Modern Exciter app, cut back on some bass but still too much, and overly forward sounding midrange:
VST version 5: My current Baseline setup. Adjusted the Denoiser apps, less extreme bass & treble, adjusted the De-Esser app, set the midrange to be less forward with just a single setting:
To my ears, Audacity processing is nice but as discovered before, sounds compressed and does not reduce some of the other problems inherent in shortwave signal fading and loss of musicality. It sounds utilitarian. Also, the noise is a bit more gnarly.
Versions 2-5 go through iterations of listening to the exact same segment over and over (and over) and trying different VST apps and settings. I think my comments are mostly accurate next to each version. However, you may think differently and perhaps prefer the sound of one of the other versions?
Example 2: Encore Classical Music, WRMI (fading S9 signal) – Audacity vs. Version 5 VST settings. VST is quieter and sounds less harsh than the Audacity version. A generally more smooth sound.
Example 3: RCI in Russian, S7-S9 with moderate polar flutter – 7kHz filter in SDR Console but VST Host is using BritPre, an analog preamp using a 6 kHz low pass filter to try to reduce DSP filter “ringing”. It shows some interesting possibilities.
Example 4: RCI in Russian – Music from the same broadcast and VST Host setup in Example 3. The screeching flute is under more control and strings more defined in the VST version.
I like the results of the audio processing that eventually ended up with “version 5” (plus the possibilities at 7kHz, too). It is not Earth-shattering but is an incremental improvement in my opinion (there is always room for improvement). I can use it in a simple Workflow anytime I want to record something off of the SDR. Also, I had already been using Voicemeeter Pro, a software audio mixer. It is setup with different profiles to do SDR, Ham, FM Broadcast, and now, VST Host audio routing. This process took a long time but seems satisfactory to use as a Baseline setup, which then can be tweaked slightly depending on various types of audio coming from the SDR. These changes in VST Host can be stored as their own unique profiles for audio processing.
However, a word of warning! Messing with Windows audio Sound settings and mixer software is potentially a confusing process and one can easily end up with a spaghetti-pile of conflicting connections, no audio output, doubled echo output, distortion, way too loud, way too soft, etc. If you start this experimentation, make sure to write down your current Windows Sound settings, both the Playback and the Recording settings for each item listed.
Having an SDR radio + Voicemeeter + VST Host is a very flexible setup. I can now safely say that the only thing I need Audacity for is to Normalize the peak audio to the -1 dB broadcast standard volume, which is a HUGE time saver. The SDR Console IQ files can be scheduled and processed from there at a later time. Also, the use of Voicemeeter Pro allows me to switch when to use VST Host anytime I feel like it, and Voicemeeter Pro comes with its own (manually engaged) Recorder.
Part 3 of this series will discuss Technical details for my setup. Your setup may need different settings or you may find a better way than I did. This will take some dedicated time.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Nick Hall-Patch who shares the following announcement:
IRCA Reprints open to public
The International Radio Club’s Reprints collection of over 1100 articles about antennas, radio propagation, receivers, accessories, plus items of general interest to MW DXers, continues to grow. We’ve published an update to the index, at DXer.ca [PDF] , so that everyone can get access to these latest additions. (also accessible at https://www.ircaonline.org/ “Free IRCA Reprints” button)
The latest update includes items from DX Monitor up the end of June 2022. as well as many items of interest from elsewhere, used with permission.
Added items in this update are marked “(NEW)”, plus there are a few updated articles as well.
Please pass on this information to others as you see fit.
(if you’ve used the index before, you may need to refresh your browser page to see the latest update, dated December 2022)
Don Moore’s Photo Album: Cuenca, Ecuador (Part One)
by Don Moore
For me travel is all about seeing new places and having new experiences. When I retired in 2017 my plan was to spend the next fifteen years visiting new countries and new places in countries I already knew. Is that a viable goal? Three years ago while crossing the border from Ecuador to Colombia I shared a taxi with Dutch man who, like me, was traveling overland by bus with just a knapsack and a suitcase. And two weeks earlier he had celebrated his eightieth birthday. I don’t remember his name but he’s my hero.
The pandemic put a pause on travel but I’m happy to be back on the road. I’m currently in Ecuador, the country where I’ve spent more time than anywhere except the United States and Honduras. After landing in Quito at the beginning of December I visited four provinces I hadn’t been to before, including spending three nights at the bohemian beach town of Montañita where I had some good DX. I like seeing new places but there is also something to be said for returning to a familiar place that holds a special meaning. For me that place is where I am now – Cuenca, Ecuador.
My ex-wife and I finished our Peace Corps service in 1984, flew home to get married, and then in January 1985 flew to Quito, Ecuador to begin a long journey that would take us overland all the way to Buenos Aires and back. On our way to Peru in late February we stopped for a few days in Cuenca and fell in love with the little city. We visited Cuenca again in July at the end of our travels. When we left I knew we would be back but I never could have imagined the circumstances that would lead to that next visit. In 1997 we returned with our seven-year-old daughter to adopt a six-year-old son. We spent almost three weeks in Cuenca doing all the required paperwork but we had no complaints as we enjoyed being there so much. I clearly remember sitting in a park one day and commenting that Cuenca would be a perfect place to retire in someday. I was only ten years ahead of my time.
La Voz del Río Tarqui
Cuenca was home to several shortwave broadcasters over the decades but La Voz del Río Tarqui was probably the best known to my generation of DXers. The station was founded in 1960 by Manuel Pulla but didn’t begin its shortwave service on 3285 kHz until 1982. My loggings of the station run from July 1982 through 1997 but I believe they were on shortwave for a few more years after that. (Don’t confuse La Voz del Río Tarqui with Radio Tarqui, a sometimes broadcaster from Quito on 4970 kHz.)
La Voz del Río Tarqui in 1985. The facilities inside were no more impressive than the outside of the building was.
La Voz del Río Tarqui takes its name from the famous Battle of the River Tarqui. After the new countries of South America gained their independence from Spain there was often disagreement over just where the boundaries were that they had inherited from Spanish rule. Ecuador was in a union with present-day Colombia and Venezuela until 1830 and during this time Peru claimed much of present-day southern Ecuador, including Cuenca and Guayaquil. In 1828 a large Peruvian army occupied Loja, to the south, and a few months later marched north to complete their conquest. In February 1829 General Antonio de Sucre, a hero of the war of independence, met the Peruvians on the banks of the Tarqui, twenty-five kilometers south of Cuenca. Both sides suffered heavy losses but Sucre’s army routed the Peruvians. Cuenca, Guayaquil, and Loja remained a part of Ecuador. Continue reading →
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Zoltan Azary, who has written an extensive theoretical analysis of ferrite sleeve loop antennas. This article has a very academic flavor and for those who are interested in antenna design, he welcomes your comments!
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Walter Salmaniw, who shares the following guest post:
10 Meter Beacon DXing
by Walter Salmaniw, Masset, BC
My hobby of radio listening has evolved over the years. Beginning with crystal radios as a child in the 60s, I’ve migrated through SWLing with numerous rigs including the kings of valve technology, like the Collins R390A and Racal RA17, and then on to high end mil-spec solid state rigs: Racals, Harris, Ten-Tec, and my all-time favourite, the Rockwell-Collins HF-2050 receiver. Unfortunately, broadcast band stations, especially transmitting to North America, have dwindled over the years, and my favourite Pacific stations also disappeared: 120 and 90 meter Indonesians, the 60 meter AIR network, and the numerous PNG stations. Well, what’s one to do?
About 10 years ago, I switched over to MW DXing, and especially trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic DX. My cottage near Masset, BC is the ideal location for such DXing, as I have an ocean beach location, the room for some great antennas, and very low noise in the area. This has produced some incredible DX, and I’ve been honoured with visits by some pretty eminent DXers, including Victor Goonetilleke from Sri Lanka, Mauno Ritola from Norway, Vlad Titarev from Ukraine, as well as our own experts in DXing from Victoria and the Pacific North-West of the US.
MW DXing is great, but that involves DXing primarily during the night time and early morning hours. What to do with the rest of the day? Well, with the rising sunspot counts and heading toward the peak of the next solar cycle, why not look at 10 meters? About 2 years ago, with a lot of help from the local DX geniuses, I was able to remote my set-up in Masset, and DX even when at home in Victoria, BC. 10 meters has consistently remained open almost every afternoon. Now, I’m not a ham, and at this point, have no interest in obtaining my ham license. However, I noted a lot of beacon activity on 10 meters.
I’ve dabbled in LW NDB DX, which can be a lot of fun. Why not do something similar on the higher frequencies? Not being a ham, I needed some help with decoding the beacons. Thankfully, one can often see the CW and it’s slow enough to read in many cases. Being a bit too lazy for that exercise, though, I’ve tried several software solutions to use with my KiwiSDR and Perseus SDR in Masset. Fldigi is probably best known, and works fairly well. Another program I use is MixW, which I’ve always liked for SSTV reception. Another is CW Decoder. None, however, get anywhere close to how well CW Skimmer works. It’s an awesome program, albeit a pricey one. I’m still in the test phase, but will likely go ahead and fork over the $75 to purchase this. It will even take control of my Perseus receiver and decode 192 kHz worth of spectrum. Wow!
Here’s an example of what the band looked like last weekend:
There happened to have been a world-wide CW DX competition, but nonetheless, there were literally hundreds of CW signals to be decoded! Now, for me, however, I was more interested in the Beacon region of 10 M which is roughly between 28150 and 28300 kHz. I’ve found CW Skimmer to be a perfect tool to decode the beacons. Not only is it very accurate, but one can also easily see the CW signal with the dahs and dits on the screen and a continual readout of the messages. Most of these beacons run 5 or 10 W, and all are run by amateurs. Where to find information about who they belong to? That’s easy as well. WI5V.net has a great 10 M beacon list at https://wi5v.net/beacon-list-table-version/ . That’s my go to, but I also have DL8WX.de’s beacon list on my laptop, giving even more information, like contact e-mails, etc. He’s found at: http://www.dl8wx.de/BAKE_KW.HTM
What type of antenna do I use? Well, none of mine are 10 M antennas at all. Most are, in fact, for DXing trans-oceanic MW DX! Still, they seem to work quite well. My go-to has been a DKAZ antenna aimed 290 degrees. Now, that’s 180 deg to where most of my Beacon activity comes from. How come? Well, Nick Hall-Patch, MW DXer extraordinaire, used his ENZEC antenna prediction program to see how the DKAZ works on 28 MHz, and sure enough, it’s opposite to MW DX. On the lower band, it’s best aimed 290 deg, but 180 deg opposite on 28 MHz! Who would have guessed that one? In any case, the next time I’m in Masset, I plan on putting up a simple vertical for 10 meters, seeing that solar max is still a year or two away, so there’s plenty of time for some fun DX!
Here’s what I’ve heard with a few afternoons of listening. My best catch has been Darwin, Australia!
28207 N4XRO 1924 CW 5 watt beacon heard with a bit of a buzzy signal best deciphered on my 110 deg DKAZ…. 17/Oct/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28236.5 W0KIZ 1933 CW Another well heard beacon this morning giving ID in CW along with location. Also very strong at 23:11 recheck. Almost a barn burner! Not bad for 5 watts! 17/Oct/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28244 WA6APQ 1934 CW Much stronger, and it shows with their 30 watts output, with slow CW giving callsign, then location. Very strong when rechecking at 23:05 UTC. Frequency is actually a little lower than listed. Actually measuring 28243.942 kHz. 17/Oct/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28287 WI6J 1949 CW Poor reception, but with same format giving ID and location. 17/Oct/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28250 K0HTF 2248 CW Fairly good copy of this beacon away from the coast now in Iowa. Only giving callsign/B. Tom ‘Doc’ Gruis
replyed to my email confirming he’s feeding 20 Watts from an Old President radio and feeding an AR-10 antenna. Thanks, Doc! 17/Oct/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28248.3 NJ5T 2258 CW A relatively difficult catch, but I decoded the J5 part of his call, as well as ‘dipole’. 17/Oct/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28215 KA9SZX 1954 CW Beacon quite well heard from Masset. Most of my 10 meter beacon loggings have been a more N/S axis, but this one is coming in nicely in our early afternoon. Callsign and power listed as 3 W, along with his email address. 5/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28218 AC0KC 2035 CW Despite being listed as on 28218.5, he’s actually on the even channel at fair level into Masset. Solar powered and only 3W, into a Bazooka antenna (what’s that?). Call sign repeated. 5/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28220 AA8HS 2123 CW Despite listed as 30 Hz higher, I’m hearing them on the even channel with repeated IDs. Fair level. Antenna listed is a vertical J-Pole. 5/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28230.3 W2MQO 2125 CW Strong reception with call sign as W2MQ0/B repeated twice, then tones, and cycle repeats. Into a Bazooka Antenna. 5/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28203 KG8C0 2132 CW Another strong beacon with call sign, and prolonged tone, and repeat. 5/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28203.5 K6LL 2134 CW Strong signal also from California, ID’ing as K6LLL/BCN, and giving location and QSL info. 5/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28193 VE4ARM 1827 CW Excellent reception of my first 10 meter Canadian Beacon. Run by the Austin, MD Amateur Radio Museum, as outlined in their beacon text. 6/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28284.8 N9TNY 2226 CW Another new one for me from Illinois. Not a particularly great afternoon, but nonetheless, a number of CW Beacons on 10 meters are visible/audible. Callsign is given, then PSE RST. Not sure what that means? Wiki tells me that this is like SIO or SINPO code. Stands for Readability-Signal Strength-Tone. Hmm. 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28297 NS9RC 2237 CW Another Illinois Beacon audible. This one is weak, but fiddling with the KiwiSDR AGC settings, makes for a much better decode (mostly raising the CW Threshold (marked Thresh CW in the AGC section). Near 100% correct decode now. Chicago is sent along with call sign. 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28287 WI6J 2240 CW Strong signal from this Californian, and heard before. VVV VI6J/B Bakersfield CA DM 5 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28254.5 K4JEE 2243 CW Good copy with VVV DE K4JEE/B K4JEE/B K4JEE/B LOUISVILLE, KY 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28236.5 W0KIZ 2300 CW Always one of the strongest beacons on 10 meters, and not disappointing this afternoon. VVV W0KIZ/B DENVER, COLORADO . 5 WATTS, So does he mean 5 or 0.5 Watts? Presumably 5 Watts. 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28206.5 KA7TXS/B 2303 CW Nice reception with VVV DE KA7TXS/B DM22 Listed in dl8wx.de website, but not the primary one I use (wi5v.net Beacon Website). 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28209 N5TIT/B 2315 CW Fair reception with VVV DE N5TIT/B EM1UPX, or something similar. 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28211.8 AC7GZ 2321 CW Good reception for only 3 W with VVV DE AC7GZ AC7GZ AC7GZ DM3BI. The latter is the ham grid square, near Mesa, AZ. 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28232.3 W7SWL 2323 CW I like the callsign! Fair reception with VV DE W7SWL TUCSON AZ DM42 The band is fading fast. Fascinating that the best antenna for 10 m Beacon reception today is my 290 deg DKAZ (and not the 110 deg DKAZ). Not sure why! 28/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28206.5 N4SO 2231 CW Very weak, but really picked up just now. DE N4SO/B repeated. A fine catch! 30/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28212.8 AC7GZ 2253 CW Very strong reception with VVV DE AC7GZ AC7GZ AC7GZ DM43BI 30/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28209.5 N2UHC 2300 CW Tough copy, but bits of STPAUL decoded. as well as N2UHC/B. 30/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28254.5 K4JEE 2308 CW Strong reception with ID and location. Deep fades, as well, though. 30/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28255.8 WI5V 2310 CW Fair reception with occasional good fade-ups with WI5V/B repeated. 30/Nov/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28175.5 VE3BKM 2034 CW Hearing an unlisted beacon. VE3BKM/BCN repeated, often at strong level. A new one for me! 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28168 VA3KAH 2040 CW I have no idea where this island is located, so had to look it up. Fair reception with VV DE VA3DAH/B It’s located to the north of Lake Simcoe in southern Ontario. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28145 DL2WB 2048 CW A highly tentative logging. All I hear is the occasional tone for several seconds, then off. Nothing else listed on this frequency, so no idea! 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28203 KG8CO 2055 CW Very strong signal with repeated KG8CO/BT 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28203.5 K6LLL 2058 CW Weak reception with VVV K6LLL/BC Grid Square coordinates, and PSE QSL TNX DE K6LL/BCN. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28206.3 KA7TXS 2100 CW Strong reception, although a bit of a congested part of the band making decodes a tad difficult. Not listed on my main source (WI5V Beacon website), but it is on the dl8wx.de website. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28208 WD5GLO 2126 CW Fair copy with WD5GLO/B repeated 3 times and OK OK 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28209.1 N5TIT 2130 CW Poor reception this afternoon, but making out the call-sign. VVV DE N5TIT/B. 100 Hz higher than listed. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28209.5 N2UHC 2133 CW Poor reception, but seeing his callsign. Fades up to quite good at times. N2UHC/B EM27JM N2UHC/B ST PAUL KS. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28212.1 AC7GZ 2140 CW A regular visitor to Masset. Fair to good this afternoon with VVV DE AC7GZ DM43BI 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28215 KA9SZX 2142 CW A slower rate beacon at good reception: VVVV KA9SZX KA9SZX KA9SZX BCN MACOMB IL PWR 3W GRID EN40PK EMAIL KA9SZXWAYAHOO.COM Now that’s a full information beacon! 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28217.7 K4PAR 2152 CW Very weak, but fully decodable with VV DE K4PAR/B. Listed as from the Piedmont ARC and 25 W. Just barely audible. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28220.15 AA8HS 2155 CW Measuring below their listed 28.2203 frequency. Weak but in the clear. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28232.3 W7SWL 2206 CW Now that’s a call-sign! He wasn’t there a few minutes ago, but noticed a very powerful beacon. VVV DE W7SWL W7SWL TUCSON AZ DM42 and repeated. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28254.5 K4JEE 2220 CW Another beacon I recognize from previous sessions. Fair to good reception this afternoon with VVV DE K4JEE/B K4JEE/B K4JEE/B LOUISVILLE, KU EM78. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28255.8 WI5V 2226 CW Weak reception, with some AM QRM. VVV DE WI5V/B 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28278.5 WA4OTD 2228 CW Weak, but in the clear with callsign and location. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28280 K5AB 2231 CW Strong reception with DE K5AB EM01BEACON, repeated, then CENTRAL TEXAS 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28281.1 W8EH 2234 CW 100 Hz above their listed frequency at fair level with callsign and grid square reference. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28284.8 N9TNY 2237 CW Strong reception with callsign and grid square reference. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28236.5 W0KIZ 2243 CW Again, a beacon not there a few minutes ago, but really burning up the receiver with repeated VVV DE W0KIZ/B DENVER COLORADO 5 WATTS. 5/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28240 W8EDU/B 2223 CW Weak, but readable. For only a watt, I’m impressed! Giving callsign and grid square location. Found them on the dl8wx.de beacon website. Location and operator is the Case Western Reserve University amateur radio club. 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28252.5 WD8INF 2227 CW Good reception with callsign and grid square locatioon (EM79). 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28258.5 AC5JM 2229 CW Good copy with callsign and OK repeated. 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28277.56 WA4OTD 2232 CW Fair copy. Listed in the WI5V beacon website on 28.2788, so a bit lower in reality. Giving callsign, grid square, and CARMEL 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28281.1 W8EH 2235 CW Good reception with callsign and grid square (EM79). Clearly, Ohio is coming in well this afternoon. Normally I’m hearing AC7AV on or near this channel (Green Acres, WA). 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28284.8 N9TNY 2237 CW Strong signal with VVV DE N9TNY/B EN51 PSE RST. 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28271 W4ZZK 2245 CW A very weak signal heard while monitoring another very adjacent signal. , giving the callsign/B. CW Skimmer comes through again! 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28290.8 K5TLJ 2302 CW Weak reception, but able to copy AR AR AR DE K5TLJ/B K5TLJ/B K5TLJ/B AR Band is quickly fading, so looks like this is the top frequency beacon I can hear now. 8/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28250 K5AB 2341 CW A this late hour, very little propagating in the 10M Beacon band. Nonetheless, good reception from this high power beacon with DE D5AB EM01BEACON DE D5AB CENTRAL TEXAS. 14/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28268.334 VK8VF 2344 CW My first Australian beacon! Very weak, but the call sign is being decoded by CW Skimmer. Not even visible on the waterfall. 334 Hz high compared to the listed 28.268 on the WI5V Beacon website. 14/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28189 VE4TEN 2100 CW Great reception this afternoon. The band had many 10 M beacons, but unfortunately, I had other family matters today. Still, nabbed this one, with an interesting call, and flea powered as well. 18/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
28193 LU2DT 2355 CW My surprise for the afternoon, and my first Argentinian beacon. Fair reception. Long, somewhat garbled tone, followed by VV DE LU2DT LU2DT GF12FA. Distance approximately 12,432 kM with bearing 125 degrees! 19/Dec/2022 (Salmaniw, Masset, BC)
I hope that I’ve wetted your appetite into trying something, “completely different” in our radio monitoring hobby. Who knows next what I’ll want to try!
Watching Shortwave Broadcast Stations on the TinySA Spectrum Analyser
by Bill Meara
November 18, 2022 1244 UTC. I was using a TinySA spectrum analyzer to look at noise levels on the 40 meter ham radio band. I also wanted to take a look slightly above the band (in frequency) to see Radio Marti at 7355 kHz. As I was doing this I remembered that Vatican Radio was on the air at 7305 kHz from 1230 UTC to 1245 UTC. So was just going to catch the last moments of that day’s transmissions. Sure enough, I caught it, and watched it disappear from the TinySA screen. See the video below:
Radio Marti continued on. In the morning we can hear the rooster recordings from that station. We are using it to test how well our homebrew Direct Conversion receivers avoid AM detection. In the video I mistakenly said these two transmitters were on the air with 250 megawatts. The correct power is 250 kilowatts. Both transmit from Greenville NC. I think the signal from Vatican Radio is stronger here because they are using a different antenna pattern — Radio Marti is aimed at Cuba.