Category Archives: Videos

Catching coastal shortwaves with the CC Skywave SSB

After Thanksgiving Day (here in the States) my family took a little camping trip on the coast of North Carolina. We spent a few nights near Holden Beach and Oak Island–some of my favorite parts of the NC coast.

Weather was splendid on Sunday, so we took a long walk on the beach and, of course, I packed a portable radio–this time, the CC Skywave SSB.

The Skywave SSB is a pricey portable, but it has certainly become my choice travel radio as it covers so many radio bands (AM/MW, FM, SW, AIR and WX). It’s also incredibly portable and can hang with the best in terms of sensitivity and selectivity.

I didn’t check propagations conditions on Sunday, but there were signals booming in from everywhere. I took a few short sample videos:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Being away from sources of radio interference and standing next to (and occasionally in—!) the Atlantic Ocean certainly helped a great deal with reception.

I had planned to put my Elecraft KX2 on the air while here, but simply didn’t have the time to fit it in with family activities.

Post readers: Do you have any radio vacations on the horizon?

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SDRplay Video: More Panadapter Tips & Tricks

Many thanks to Jon Hudson with SDRplay who shares the following on the SDRplay Facebook page:

We have released a new YouTube video which covers some items that have been asked about by our users. First up we talk about synchronizing VFO A and VFO B between SDRuno and the rig. This leads into a discussion of using the band switches in SDRuno and use of the LO LOCK button.

Then we cover how to use an RSPduo as a panadapter and a couple of configurations that can be used to expand ease of use and flexibility.

See the video here:

Click here to view on YouTube.

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Bill tunes to WWFD in AM HD

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Mead, who writes:

Thomas, I’m sending you a short clip from WWFD 820 kHz in Frederick, MD. It’s America’s only all-digital station, apparently. They are HD only with a relatively eclectic music format. I’m hearing them at my QTH in Harrisburg, PA, about 80 miles or so north of their transmitter which is 4.3 Kw daytime. I sort of doubt they’ll come in at night when they drop down to 430 watts, but who knows.

My experience with HD on MW is that it can be heard at pretty decent distances under ideal conditions but the slightest bit of interference, a lightning strike or someone switching on the lights for example, and it’ll lose the HD lock.

My HD receiver is a Sony XDR-F1HD. It’s well-known as an excellent FM DX machine. What’s not as well-publicized is that it’s a very decent MW receiver as well. All it needs is a good MW loop antenna directly connected to the AM ANT terminals on the back of the radio.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Excellent!  Thanks for sharing, Bill. I’m passing by Frederick, MD in a couple of weeks and plan to tune to WWFD in both my car and with the Sangean HDR-14.

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Aeronautical RDS: Ivan’s impressive collection of in-flight FM stations

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ivan Cholakov (NO2CW), who writes:

Last week I took an Eton Satellit with me on a flight from Tampa, Florida to Washington DC. The radio is very light, portable and packed with features. I have used an SDR radio before for inlight FM reception where I recorded audio, but this time I decided to only count stations with an RDS lock. With so many signals battling RDS is tricky to catch as every 10 seconds or so one station comes on top of another. The flight was just short of 2 hours and I divided my logs into three 30 minute segments. Not suprisingly looking into the technicalities I noticed RDS is commonly received from stations 50 -100 kW of power and tall towers.

Interestingly signals seem to be stronger a lower altitudes. My theory is that FM broadcast antennas heavily favor gain on the horizontal plane parallel to the terrain and send as little signal as possible out into space. I overlaid my logs onto three maps and also a video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Impressive Ivan! I’m taking a flight later this month and might even try this with the FM radio built into my Moto G6 smart phone which also includes RDS (although I doubt reception can match that of the Satellit.

This is fascinating, Ivan! Thank you for sharing.

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