Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who shares the following announcement from Les Rayburn (N1LF):
DX Test This Saturday Night/Sunday Morning– WNJC 1360, Washington Township, NJ
WNJC 1360 DX TEST– SATURDAY OCTOBER 17 INTO SUNDAY MORNING OCTOBER 18
“04:00 UTC-Midnight Eastern- WNJC will conduct the DX audio test using Morse
Code and sweep tones continuing on our nighttime pattern.
At 0500 UTC- 1 AM Eastern I will be switching to our daytime pattern at 5kw
using 4 towers directional to SSE with the DX audio test concluding at 0600
UTC. From 0600 – 1000 UTC I will be leaving the transmitter in daytime mode
but be playing a mix of 80s – 2010 pop, rock, dance, country and whatever
else I grew up listening to and feel like playing.
Listen for the sweepers between songs of movie & tv show clips along with
our voice-over guy.”
WNJC has tested previously and been heard as far away as the West Coast of
the United States and Canada. Their test signals have also been received in
the UK, Norway, and Spain. Listen for their signal if you get the chance.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who shares the following guest post:
My First DX Contest
by Bill Hemphill, WD9EQD
Being a recent new member of NJARC, this is my first time competing in this contest. I have always been a big fan of BCB DXing and have recently got back into it – especially with the amateur radio bands being in such poor conditions. The acquisition of a couple of Loop antennas plus two Panasonic RF-2200 radios have just enhanced my enjoyment.
For the contest, I used two completely different radios. First was the RF-2200 and second was a spur of the moment creation.
The RF-2200 was its usual good performer. While the RF-2200 has a beautiful built-in rotating bar antenna, I enhanced it with the 27” Torus-Tuner Loop Antenna as made by K3FDY, Edmund Wawzinski. I think I had picked this antenna up at one of NJARC’s swap meets. So I wish to thank whoever it was that was nice enough to bring it and sell it at the meet. I have really enjoyed using it. With this setup, I was hoping that I might be able to pull in Denver, Salt Lake City and maybe even a Mexican station, but it was a complete bust on them. But I did have a nice surprise in receiving the Cuban station Radio Enciclopedia on 530 in addition to the usual Radio Reloj time signal station. Following is photo of it in operation:
Originally, I had thought that my second contest entry would be done with a 1962 Sony TR-910T three-band transistor radio. This radio has a fairly wide dial along with a second fine-tuning knob which would be a big help. I would have again used the 27” hula-hoop antenna.
But I made the nice mistake of running across Dave Schmarder’s Makearadio website:
Dave’s site is a wonderful resource for creating your own Crystal, Tube, and Solid State radios as well as Audio Amplifiers and Loop Antennas. While going down the rabbit hole of his site, I ran across his Loop Crystal Set, #19 Crystal Radio:
It was a really nicely constructed, nice swivel base.
I replaced the tuning capacitor with one that has a 6:1 ratio.
At this point I started thinking that I could create something similar with my loop.
I randomly grabbed a diode from my parts box. Not sure what the exact model is. (I later found out that it was an IN-34 which is what I was hoping it was.) Then quickly soldered the diode, a resistor and capacitor to a RCA plug:
I then proceeded to use some jumper cables and just clip it to the tuning capacitor on the antenna base:
The RCA plug was then the audio out (I hope) from the radio.
I quickly realized that I did not have a crystal headset or any headset that would reproduce any audio. So I used an old Marantz cassette recorder to act as an amplifier. Fed it into the mic jack and then tried to listen to the monitor out. Bingo – I could pick up or local station on 1340 really weak.
So I then fed the audio from the Marantz into a Edirol digital recorder. Now I was getting enough audio for the headphones plus could make a recording of the audio.
At last I was receiving some signals. To boost the audio some more I removed the resistor from the circuit.
I found out the I could only tune from about 530 to 1350. I probably needed to clip the lead on one of the loop turns, but I really wanted to see how it would do at night. I spent several hours and was just totally amazed at how well it performed and how good the audio was. The hardest part was when there were very strong signals on the adjacent frequency. What I found really interesting was that it was not linear in its tuning. At the low end of the band the stations were more spread out than at the higher end. This made tuning fairy easy at the low end and very touchy at the high end. I was able to hear a couple of Chicago stations along with Atlanta and St. Louis.
Here’s photo of it in action:
I have created an audio file of the station ID’s heard with the diode/loop radio. The audio file is on the Internet Archive at:
I had a lot of fun in the contest and especially enjoyed trying something really different with the diode/loop radio. Now I have a whole year to try to think up something really creative for next year’s contest.
Absolutely brilliant, Bill! I’m so happy to see that your ham fest homebrew loop has served you so very well in a contest. I love how you pulled audio from your homebrew, make-shift diode radio as well–using your audio gear in a chain for amplification obviously worked very well.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who shares the following guest post:
Benefits to Social Distancing
I have discovered that there is a positive side effect of social distancing. With so many organizations using Zoom and other video methods for their meeting, the volume of great videos to watch has drastically increased, with most of it residing on YouTube. Also everyone is sharing video links that they have found with other.
For example, the New Jersey Antique Radio Club (NJARC) has, for some time, posted their monthly meetings on their YouTube channel. They have very enjoyable presentations. Last night was their virtual monthly meeting for June and they had a great talk by Prof. Joe Jesson on “What You Did Not Know About the RCA AR88.”
I am a fairly new member to NJARC and must recommend them to others. They are a very active group and are currently having Zoom conferences weekly between the members. They also host the RADIO TECHNOLOGY MUSEUM at the InfoAge Technology Center.
Last week, I received an email from Mark Erdle (AE2EA) referring to some videos by the Antique Wireless Museum which is hosted by the Antique Wireless Association (AWA). From his email:
The Radios (and Filming) of “Across the Pacific” presented by AWA member Brian Harrison. Brian served as the radio consultant for the 3-hour PBS documentary “Across the Pacific”, which tells the story of the early days of Pan American Airways and of Hugo C. Leuteritz, a RCA radio engineer who helped make Pan Am’s expansion across the oceans possible with radio communication and navigation systems. Brian explains how he worked to insure that this documentary portrayed the pioneering work of Hugo Leuteritz as accurately as possible. Much of the early radio equipment that Pan American used was custom made for Pan Am, and is quite rare today, but Brian hunted it down.
In addition to Brian’s video, you can also see Tom Perera’s updated presentation of “Phil Weingarten’s Fabulous Fakes” which was originally presented at the 2007 AWA conference:
Usually, I am not a fan of digital magazines. They either are in special formats requiring special programs or even special versions of Acrobat. Like you, I was happy to see that it is in standard PDF format.
But that still brought up a problem. With my eyesight, I need to zoom in on the page to read it, even when using a 10” tablet and definitely if using a smaller screen such as my phone. Normally it means panning around the page, reading column one down and then going back to the top of the page to read the second or third column.
But there is some good news that many people may not be aware of. The Acrobat Reader app on the Android system allows for a mode called “Reading Mode”. What reading mode does is stack the columns up into a single column thus allowing for reading straight down – no more scrolling back to the top of the next column. And you can tap on the screen to enlarge the text and the text will reformat in a larger font to fit the margins of the screen.
I took some screen shots of TSM using Adobe Reader on my Android phone.
On the left is the complete page, on the right I have tapped on the page and while it enlarged it, I now need to scroll around to read it:
Following screen shot shows the “View Setting” Settings and “Page-by-Page” is the default setting.
What you want do is change this to “Reading Mode”:
Once you have selected “Reading Mode” you will find that the columns are now stacked vertically and you can read my just scrolling down. No more going back to the top for the next column. Also, taping on the text will enlarge it and reflow it to fit the device screen.
Left screen shot is after selecting “Reading Mode” and right is after tapping the screen to enlarge the text:
With Reading Mode, I find I can even read TSM on my Cell Phone Screen as well as my tablets.
Note: Reading Mode only works with PDF’s that have been created with this is mind. It obviously won’t work with PDF’s created from scans.
Unfortunately, while there is a “Read Mode” in Acrobat Reader DC for Windows, it does not stack the columns like the Android version does. I’m not sure if the Acrobat Reader for iPhone works the same way as Android.
Hope this is of help to others.
Thank you so much, Bill, for sharing your tip! You make a really good point, too, that PDF publications give you the flexibility to change text size and adjust layout through Adobe Reader so that it’s quite easy to read even on a small device. I’m also a huge fan of PDF documents and wish other radio publications would consider adopting the PDF format instead of replying on proprietary readers and apps.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who shares a PDF copy of the Panasonic RD-9820 Antenna Coupler we recently mentioned in a post. He notes that he can’t remember how he found this manual, but thought he’d share it.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who writes:
You probably have already seen this, but from The ARRL Letter, November 21, 2019:
Art Donahue, W1AWX, of Franklin, Massachusetts, has posted his “Tribute to a Century of Broadcasting” video in recognition of the centennial of formal radio broadcasts. The video features a complete scan of the AM broadcast band (530 – 1700 kHz), with station IDs for all 118 AM radio channels.
It was a lot of fun to watch the video, hear the on-air id checks, and compare what he heard to the list of stations that I have heard.
Thanks for sharing this, Bill–I missed reading about this in the newsletter. This goes to show you that the AM dial is chock-full of stations here in North America. Those who complain that it’s “dead” simply aren’t listening.
Spread the radio love
Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! Thank you!