Tag Archives: Dan Van Hoy

Steve’s crusade to obtain KGAF license plate


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy, who shares the following item from WFAA:

GAINESVILLE, Texas — A North Texas radio station that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles determined had call letters that were too “vulgar” to put on a personalized license plate finally has those formerly vulgar letters proudly affixed to its one station vehicle.

It’s a victory thanks to a Gainesville-area lawmaker who decided a bit of common sense was in order.

Late last year KGAF station manager Steve Eberhart started the process, applying to have KGAF on a personalized license plate for their company van. The station has been a fixture in Gainesville since 1947. But in a modern world that sometimes communicates in OMGs, LOLs, IDKs and IMHOs, the state told him that KGAF might mean something, too.

“Well, I’ve been told that it’s an acronym or a slang for social media for ‘can’t give a (expletive),” Eberhart said. “But certainly we never intended that,” he told me several weeks ago. “I can assure you the people in 1947 did not intend for it to mean that!”[…]

Click here for the full story at WFAA.

That is a riot, Dan!  Thank you for sharing. I’m glad someone finally came to their senses and gave Steve his plate!

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Guy’s mind blown when he stumbles upon WBCQ’s Ampegon antenna

(Source: Ampegon)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy, who shares a link to this YouTuber who stumbled upon shortwave station, WBCQ, while driving through rural Maine in 2018. He obviously didn’t understand what the site was at the time–nor the fact that the owner loves collecting vintage equipment.

The video gives the impression of WBCQ being a place of mystery and intrigue. If he only knew that he would have likely been welcomed with open arms and gotten a detailed tour had he only contacted the station!

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Sky News: “BBC could be forced to sell radio stations in ‘massive pruning back'”

(Image source: BBC)

(Source: Sky News via Dan Van Hoy)

The number of TV channels could also be reduced, the website scaled back and stars banned from taking well-paid second jobs.

[…]The Sunday Times quoted a senior Downing Street source as saying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “really strident” on the need for serious reform at the national broadcaster.

The number of TV channels could be reduced, the website scaled back and stars banned from taking well-paid second jobs, the newspaper said.

There will also be a consultation on replacing the licence fee with a subscription model, the source said, adding: “We are not bluffing on the licence fee.

“We are having a consultation and we will whack it. It has got to be a subscription model.

“They’ve got hundreds of radio stations, they’ve got all these TV stations and a massive website. The whole thing needs massive pruning back.

“They should have a few TV stations, a couple of radio stations and massively curtailed online presence and put more money and effort into the World Service which is part of its core job.

Read the full article at Sky News.

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Dan shares memories of work at KGEI

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy (K7DAN), who shares the following comment in reply to our recent KGEI post.  Dan writes:

It was my privilege to work at KGEI as a broadcast engineer and antenna rigger with FEBC from 1981-85. After that we went off to serve FEBC in Davao City in the Philippines. Never had any problems with the 50KW GE transmitter except one night when a driver tube failed. Nice to have a transmitter you could walk into! It was back on the air in about 45 min with a new tube. Mario Barahona was the main announcer most nights faithfully bring the Good News from the Voice of Friendship in Spanish.

I also painted the building tan with a dark brown trim while I was there. As I recall, I painted the KGEI name in dark brown too. The biggest project for me was helping install the TCI 16 folded dipole slewable array with reflecting screen stretched between two 365 ft tall towers. I was the only antenna rigger on the project.

The 250KW transmitter was primarily used for Russian broadcasts over the North Pole using the TCI antenna. The ERP was somewhere between 15-20 million watts depending on how the antenna was slewed. We were often heard loud and clear in a variety of home devices in nearby Foster City. I called the 250KW transmitter the worlds biggest Heathkit. It was ably maintained by an amazing radio engineer named Loch Gordon. Jack Brooks, WA6DBT, was the station manager. Hiley Rainer was the jack of all trades do it all engineer. It was one of the most enjoyable periods of my life.

Wow, Dan…I had no idea! Thank you for sharing those wonderful memories.  I can’t imagine singlehandedly installing the antennas you did! I need to call you next time I have an antenna hanging party!

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KPH Article on TechCrunch and Bay Area Backroads

Cypress tree avenue towards KPH. Photo by Frank Schulenburg via Wikimedia Commons

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy, who writes:

“The Last Radio Station,” an article about maritime radio station, KPH, is up on TechCrunch ( https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/18/the-last-radio-station/ ).

KPH is silent on maritime frequencies, but through the hard work of volunteers continues operation 24/7 with a 3-30MHz KiwiSDR receiver (http://198.40.45.23:8073/) and various activities throughout the year. Full information on all things KPH can be found the excellent Maritime Radio Historical Society Website (http://www.radiomarine.org/).

Finally an excellent “Bay Area Backroads” episode about KPH is available on Youtube:

Can you copy the CW message at the end of the show?

Please comment if you can copy the CW message!

Thanks to much for sharing this, Dan!

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DRM30 on a Smartphone: KTWR Shows Us The Way

Image via the KTWR Blog

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy, who writes:

[Regarding the reception of DRM via smart phone,] I happened to find this KTWR Guam post about decoding DRM30 with a smart phone, app, and an RTL-SDR:

Convert Smart Phone to DRM 30 HF receiver!

We are pleased to report successful use of an SDR Dongle used to directly receive and Decode DRM 30 over HF today.

The SDR Dongle is an RTLSDR v3 type connected to an android smartphone using an OTG cable (phone or tablet must be OTG capable).

The Software used:
1. Android driver (free)
2. DRM+SDR Android App ($4.99)

The Frequency of the HF broadcast is directly assigned within the DRM+ SDR app with two settings
1. Frequency in Hertz
2. RF Gain (0-512)

Demonstration video showing Clean DRM decode of AAC Audio and Journaline data along with live metadata.  (our signal was very strong, so only a short wire used for Antenna, DX’rs will need an appropriate Antenna)

Now anyone with a smartphone and a $20 SDR can receive DRM 30 HF broadcasts…

Click here to read this post on the KTWR blog.

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Music of the Meteors via Dan’s live YouTube stream

(Image via NASA)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Van Hoy (VR2HF), who writes:

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC OF THE METEORS!

No matter what the skycover in the coming few days you can hear the Perseid Meteor Shower live via my receiver on 49.749 MHz USB. The hollow PINGS are brief bursts of signal from a TV station transmitter here in Asia enabled by meteors as they streak through the ionosphere. As with viewing the Perseids, patience pays rich rewards of hearing the amazing music of the meteors. Enjoy! Dan…VR2HF

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you for sharing this Dan. I have heard a number of pings over the past few hours. Amazing!

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