Radio Deal: Eton Field BT for $79.99 shipped

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Christian, who writes:

Hi Thomas. Amazon have dropped the price of the Field BT once again. This time to $79.00 shipped! This is the lowest price I’ve ever seen for this model. I already have one now but thought I’d “share the love.” This is Amazon, so who knows how long the price will remain.

Thanks for the tip, Christian!

Click here to check out on Amazon.com (affiliate link).

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Dave sheds a little light on wireless electric transmission

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave (NM0S), who left the following comment on our previous post regarding wireless electric transmission:

This company [Viziv] had been known as Texzon until recently, and must have apparently had a recent change of name.

Their main published paper is found here:

Click here to download PDF.

Basically they claim to be exciting a ‘Zenneck Surface Wave’ by using an electrically small antenna, which by virtue of its very small radiation resistance, requires very large currents to radiate power. Their supposition is that these high RF currents injected into the ground propagate with low loss, and can be harvested at some remote location. Presumably, by exploiting the reciprocal nature of antennas, a similar device would be employed to receive this RF power. It is not clear that they will be able to do something beyond what every crystal radio hobbyist has been doing for the past century.

Thank you, Dave! I love the crystal radio analogy.

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Scientists studying wireless electric transmission in Central Texas

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Taniwha, who shares the following story from  KWTX (my comments follow the article excerpt):

CARL’S CORNER, Texas (KWTX) An oddly shaped, but prominent, roadside construction project along Interstate 35-East just north of Carl’s Corner is actually a high-tech study into the feasibility of transmitting electricity from place to place without wires.

Driving toward Dallas on Interstate 35 East, just past Carl’s Corner on the right, there’s a unique tower. It has a large circular base, a smaller round structure jutting from the top, and on top of the pole sits a large, round, metal-looking ball.

One of the broadcast engineers at KWTX noticed the thing while coming back from Dallas, took a picture and brought it to the newsroom so a reporter could figure out what it is.

Guesses ranged from some kind of electric-powered car charging port, or a radar for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport or Love Field, maybe something to do with the Internet and even a suggestion that it might be a prop on a new Star Trek movie set.

Turns out the first guess was closest.

It’s part of an experiment to study the feasibility of transmission of electric energy from source to user without using wires.

It’s being undertaken by a Waxahachie company named Viziv and it uses a technology they call a surface wave system.[…]

Click here to view the full article at KWTX.

Thanks for the tip, Mike!  I have read about wireless electrical transmission before, but was curious how Viziv might describe how it works.  The following was taken from their website:

WHAT IT IS
Our Viziv surface wave system allows the Earth itself to be used for clean, safe and efficient transfer of power between any two points on the globe, wirelessly. The system represents a paradigm shift in the science of electromagnetics.

Today’s power distribution system of wired grids is fragile and aging. The transition to a global wireless system utilizing the Zenneck surface wave is a breakthrough that will effectively “cut the cord” between power generation facilities and the local distribution grids. This breakthrough will significantly enhance energy surety, reliability, and resiliency of the world’s electrical distribution systems.

HOW IT WORKS
Viziv Technologies has developed a system of patent-pending processes and equipment to efficiently launch the Zenneck surface wave. Currently, our research and commercialization efforts are focused on energy transfer and communications, but we recognize that this technology has the potential to impact numerous sectors of the economy.

A Zenneck Surface Wave is an electromagnetic wave that uses the surface of the earth as a waveguide enabling it to carry communications signals or electrical power efficiently over long distances.

This wireless power system will employ a “transmitter probe,” located near a power generation plant, to launch a Zenneck carrier wave. Receiver antennae will be positioned appropriately around the world to receive the signal and download the power into a local microgrid or conventional grid architecture.

The wave is impervious to weather effects such as lightning or geomagnetic disturbance or electromagnetic pulses (EMP), including those associated with a nuclear detonation. Unlike a wired grid, the Zenneck wave cannot be physically attacked and cyber attacks would be challenged to target or cause cascading failures to a wireless system.

When launched, the Zenneck Surface Wave literally envelops the planet like a balloon, enabling transmitter probes to be placed anywhere power can be generated and receivers to be placed anywhere power is needed.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t quite wrap my head around this sort of transmission technology.  I suppose I understand some of the underlying theory, but it’s hard for me to believe this would actually be an efficient means of transmitting electricity.  It also seems there would need to be extensive environmental impact studies in terms of this sort of loaded RF exposure, although Viziv adresses this:

“When the power industry looks at safety, they focus on two key factors: the potential for shock, and the local RF field strengths. Viziv surface wave systems meet the most stringent standards for both.”

Post Readers: Anyone familiar with this technology? Have any readers in Texas noticed this tower near Carl’s Corner? Please comment!

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The CommRadio CTX-10 has landed

Yesterday, UPS delivered a much-anticipated package: the CTX-10 QRP transceiver from CommRadio.

CommRadio dispatched this loaner CTX-10 for evaluation and I’m excited to get my hands on it since it’s not everyday I get to evaluate a transceiver designed around field portability (my favorite category of gear).

Yesterday, I took a few shots of the CTX-10 as I unpacked it:

I’ll need to build a fused power cable with the supplied pigtail and also sort out an 8 conductor (Yaesu compatible) modular plug microphone. Of course, I’ll give this radio a thorough review testing it on SSB, CW and digital modes (especially FT8).

Since the CTX-10 is built on the CommRadio CR-1 and CR-1A I anticipate a capable receiver section (in other words, expectations are high). Of course, I’ll test the CTX-10’s ability as a broadcast receiver as well.

Follow my progress by following the tag: CTX-10

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FTIOM & UBMP, October 14-20, 2018


From the Isle of Music, October 14-20:

Our special guest this week is Gastón Joya, whose album Mama Ina won the Jazz Soloists category of Cubadisco 2018. We’ll speak with him about the album, listen to some of it, and we will also hear music from some of the other nominees.
The transmissions take place:
1. For Eastern Europe but audible well beyond the target area in most of the Eastern Hemisphere (including parts of East Asia and Oceania) with 100Kw, Sunday 1500-1600 UTC on SpaceLine, 9400 KHz, from Kostinbrod, Bulgaria (1800-1900 MSK)
2. For the Americas and parts of Europe, Tuesday 0000-0100 UTC on WBCQ, 7490 KHz from Monticello, ME, USA (Monday 8-9PM EST in the US). This has been audible in parts of NW, Central and Southern Europe with an excellent skip to Italy recently.
3 & 4. For Europe and sometimes beyond, Tuesday 1900-2000 UTC and Saturday 1200-1300 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany.
Also recommended:
Jetzt geht’s los! (Here We Go!), an excellent program of early German Jazz produced by Radio Ohne Nahmen, comes on right before FTIOM on Tuesdays from 1800-1900 UTC on Channel 292.

Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot, October 14 and 16, 2018
Episode 84 will feature some different types of recent music from the United States
The transmissions take place:
1. Sundays 2200-2230 UTC (6:00PM -6:30PM Eastern US) on
WBCQ The Planet 7490 KHz from the US to the Americas and parts of Europe
2. Tuesdays 2000-2030 UTC on Channel 292, 6070 KHz from Rohrbach, Germany for Europe. If current propagation conditions hold, the broadcast should reach from Iceland to Western Russia, Scandinavia down to North Africa and the Middle East, AND a long bounce to parts of New Zealand.
Also recommended:
Marion’s Attic, a unique program produced and hosted by Marion Webster featuring early 20th Century records, Edison cylinders etc played on the original equipment, comes on immediately before UBMP on Sundays from 2100-2200 UTC on WBCQ 7490 Khz.

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