Tag Archives: Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD)

Bill’s NJARC swap meet deal and some tailgate photos

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who writes:

This morning (Saturday July 20), I went to the New Jersey Antique Radio Club (NJARC) Summer Swap Meet.

They typically hold three Swap Meets each year at various locations This time it was at the InfoAge Science

History Learning Center in Wall, NJ. The InfoAge Center has many exhibits including:

  • InfoAge Space Exploration Center
  • World War II Radar
  • Marconi Wireless Room
  • Radio and Television Museum
  • Vintage Computers
  • plus much more

Check out this link.

If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit to it.

The Swap Meet was held outdoors and it was a hot humid morning – 80 degrees at 6 am with 90 percent humidity. By 9 am it was 90 degrees. But it was worth the hour trip.

I acquired one new radio – the Nova-Tech Pilot II Direction Finding 4 Band transistor radio. It’s in great condition and is working. It’s an interesting radio.

The four bands are Beacon (190-400 kHz), Broadcast (550-1600 kHz), Marine (1.6-4.5 MHz) and VHF (108-136 MHz).

There is a rotatable antenna on the top that is used to get your bearing. The top of the radio has the Bearing in degrees. It includes Squelch and DF Level controls; both can be switched off. The DF Level is the RF Gain and I read somewhere that when it is activated the AGC is switched off.

I was very fortunate in that the radio came with the three telescoping antennas – all in perfect condition. It also included the original AC Power Adapter.

All for only $25. A great bargain.

The radio seems very sensitive on the Broadcast Band.

I tuned it to my standard test weak station – WALK, 1370, in Patchogue, NY. This station is a 500 watt repeater station to WHLI, 1100 in Hamstead, NY. With most of my radios, I can barely hear a station in the noise. The exception is the Panasonic RF-2200 which can pick it up the best. The Pilot II could pick up a readable signal of WALK.

Very impressive.

Below are some photos of the radio.

Bill also included the following photos from the New Jersey Antique Radio Club (NJARC) swap meet:

Thanks for sharing this, Bill! No doubt, you snagged a fantastic deal on the Nova Tech Pilot II. My dear friend Michael Pool (who passed away earlier this year) acquired one and loved it. Here’s a link to his guest post about this cool DF receiver.

Thanks for sharing the photos and links to the NJARC swap meet. Looks like an event I’d certainly love to attend!

Post readers: Have you attended any swap meets recently?  Any good finds?  Please comment!


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Bill recommends Slow Scan Radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who writes:

I have enjoyed listening to Scow Scan Radio SWL Program.

I used a WebSDR to receive it.

http://www.slowscanradio.com/

But it has been off the air for the past weeks due to some minor health issues. The program was interesting in that besides Slow Scan photos, he also did other digital modes using FLDigi.

Some of the test included multiple digital signals in the same waterfall.

When I went to website today to check to see if there were any updates on when it might return to the air, I discovered that he is doing a podcast: Daily Minutes Podcast. Following is podcast feed:

https://dmpodcast.net/feed/

This podcast is a combination of new items as well as some re-runs of earlier Show Scan Radio programs. They also are a combination of English & Dutch. The June 13 & 14 podcasts are about off-shore radio. Very interesting and enjoyable.

The Jun 12 & 14 podcasts include a re-run of an earlier Slow Scan Radio Show in the last thirty minutes of the podcast.

[The screen shot at the top of the page is a] sample of the start of the digital portion.

Very cool! Thank you for sharing this, Bill!

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“CBC President Catherine Tait on trust, raising money and attracting a younger audience”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who notes:

[Recently] the Radio Canada program Sunday Edition had an interview with CBC President Catherine Tait. Very interesting on the challenges facing CBC and radio/tv in general:

(Source: CBC Radio)

It is the job of the CBC to build social cohesion in Canada, according to CBC/Radio-Canada president and CEO Catherine Tait, but “we also have an obligation to run a business.”

The longtime Canadian television and film executive told Michael Enright, host of The Sunday Edition, that her experience will help with that goal.

“I don’t think it was a surprise that I was selected as an entrepreneur to run this corporation, to try and find ways to uncover revenue that we might not have considered as possible for the public broadcaster,” she said.

The CBC depends on the government for about 70 per cent of its budget. It has never had stable, long-term funding. Budgets ebb and flow because they’re decided by the government of the day.

When it comes to financial support for public broadcasting, Canada ranks third-lowest among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The average per capita funding is $90 — in Canada, it’s $34.

About a year into her mandate, Tait revealed a new strategic plan to guide the CBC through a period of unparalleled media competition, over the next three years.[…]

Click here to listen to the full interview on Sunday Edition.

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2019 Marks the 100th Anniversary of Radio in the Netherlands

Former RNW headquarters in Hilversum, Netherlands (photo coutesty: RNW)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who shares the following:

Hi Thomas,

You probably already know this, but 2019 is the 100 anniversary of radio in the Netherlands

Jonathan Marks of the Media Networks programs has a nice article about some of the history of radio Netherlands:

View at Medium.com

Click here to view.

There’s also the Media Networks Vault where you can listen to many of the original Media Networks programs:

https://jonathanmarks.libsyn.com/

For real Radio Netherland Fans, from the archives, there is an eight part audio series on the 50th anniversary:

Click here to read.

The Internet Archive is probably an easier place to down load the eight part series [we’ve also embedded each audio file below]:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Part 7:

Part 8:

Click here to listen via the Internet Archive.

Fascinating Listening.

Thanks so much for sharing this, Bill! Indeed-these are some amazing resources to explore the rich history of radio in the Netherlands!

 

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Bill discovers a number of Tecsun S-8800 Hidden Features

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who writes:

I’ve owned a Tecsun S-8800 for about eight months and have come to enjoy it more all the time. It, along with my PL-880, have become my main work horses for shortwave listening.

The S-8800 is perfect on the desk connected to a wire antenna and the PL-880 is perfect for carrying around.

Since I knew of the hidden features of the PL-880, it got me thinking on whether the S-8800 had any hidden features.

A quick Google search turned up the following Web Page:

http://swli-05940-mi.blogspot.com/2017/03/tecsun-s-8800-hidden-features.html

I used Google Translate to get a rough translation and then spent some time testing the features out and also just pressing and holding buttons to see if anything else showed up.

Following is what I have come up with:

(Note: some of these are in the manual)

With the radio off

Toggle Longwave on/off: With the Radio OFF, Press & Hold 2

Toggle backlight permanently on/off: With the Radio OFF, Press & Hold 3  – Note that this means the light will be on even when radio is off. While the light does go out when radio is turned off, any operation of a control will turn the backlight on and it will then stay on. Too bad they just didn’t install a slide on/off switch. Plus I know of no way to turn the backlight on permanently without the remote.

Toggle Seconds display on/off: With the Radio OFF,  Press & Hold 8

Displays “0888”: Maybe this is version?: With the Radio OFF,  Press & Hold “Back”

Displays all segments of display: With the Radio OFF, Press & Hold “AM NORM” – Displays all segments of display. Press & Hold again to display “H802”

With the radio on in FM mode

Displays “75US”: With the radio ON, Press & Hold 5

Squelch Setting: With the radio ON, Press & Hold 9 – Range 0-5. Use Tuning Knob to set. Press 9 again to set.

With the radio on in SW/AM mode

Toggles Extended functions on/off: With the radio ON, Press & Hold 4

With extended functions on:

Press & Hold 6 – Toggles DNR (Dynamic Noise Reduction) on/off.

Press & Hold 9 – Squelch Setting. Use Tunng Know to Set. Press 9 again to set.

Squelch ranges:

MW: 0-40

MW with USB/LSB: 0-30

SW: 0-25

SW with USB/LSB: 0-30

So far that’s all I’ve been able to find. Has anyone else found any others?

Post readers: please comment if you’ve discovered other hidden features on the Tecsun S-8800! I’ll compile a complete list and post it separately.

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Bill tweaks his AM loop antenna for optimal mediumwave performance

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Hemphill (WD9EQD), who writes with the following update to his previous post:

As you may remember, back in May, I picked up a beautiful home-made loop antenna. It was 25 inches on a side with 23 turns of wire. My initial testing showed that it would tune from 280 kHz to 880 kHz. While I was familiar with loop antennas, I had never tried using one.

My initial tests were disappointing. So I spent some time on the internet reviewing AM loop antenna designs. I came across a reference to an AM Loop Antenna Calculator by Bruce Carter:

http://www.earmark.net/gesr/loop/umr_emc_calc.htm

I first measured the tuning capacitor and found that it tuned from 25 to 400 pF. Entering the data into the calculator:

This matches closely to what I was experiencing.

I then proceeded to calculate various Number of Turns to see the effect on tuning range. My goal was to tune the entire AM broadcast band.

I settled on ten turns which gives the following from the calculator:

Perfect. I removed 13 turns (which left ten turns) and then added a two turn secondary loop which would be connected to the radio. The results were fantastic.

I have created three short videos showing the difference between using the Tecsun S-8800 without the loop on a weak station and then using it with the loop.

[Note: If you’re viewing this post via our email newsletter you might need to view this post via a web browser to see the following embedded videos.]

Without the loop

With Loop

As you can hear, a very noticeable difference.

[After making these videos] I tested the of reception of 1510 kHz on the Panasonic RF-2200:

The results are amazing.

I have logged three stations on one frequency. Just peak the one station, then tune the loop and peak the second, then turn the loop some more and peak a third station.

I’m having a lot of fun with the loop. When it gets a little cooler, I plan to take it to the park where there is zero noise and really put it through its paces.

Excellent job, Bill! You’ve proven that doing a little research and making small adjustments to an antenna design can yield impressive results! Thank you for sharing!

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Shortwave station WTWW promotes Field Day on the air

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill (WD9EQD), who writes:

Shortwave Station WTWW is promoting Field Day with a special shortwave broadcast. From their Web Page:

http://wtww.us/

Call in toll free at:

833-390-5085

Promote The Ham Radio Hobby To The Entire World On A Powerful International Shortwave Radio Station – WTWW BY Calling In From Your Field Location and Tell The World about it. Put the members of your Field Day group on the air by passing the phone around. Include special guests and your local city officials. Let’s catch the excitement from the young kids and teens that are visiting your Field Day site. Let’s talk to prospective Hams that have gotten excited by watching your field day activities.

If you can’t get through on the first try to this number – you can leave a message and we WILL call you during the live show. You are welcome to leave a message by calling ahead of time as well!

Let’s give the world a shout from Field Day 2018!

Thank you, Bill and a number of other SWLing Post readers who shared this tip!

 

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