I recorded Radio Santa Cruz early this morning around 05:00 UTC on 6,135 kHz using the TitanSDR I currently have under review.
Radio Santa Cruz‘s 10 kW signal from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was very much audible here in North America, though RSC was competing with another station on-frequency at the time. Actually, Radio Santa Cruz was broadcasting slightly off-frequency–6134.8 kHz instead of 6,135 kHz. In this case, the fact that RSC was slightly below frequency helped me delineate the station’s audio from that of a competing station.
In the screen-grab of the narrowband channel from the Titan SDR (above–click to enlarge) you can see two distinct carriers spaced only .2 kHz apart (represented by the two peaks in the spectrum display and two parallel vertical lines in the waterfall display).
Here is what the audio sounds like in normal AM mode when we center on the Radio Santa Cruz frequency of 6,134.8 kHz:
You hear a hetrodyne and garbled noise from a competing station. Not pleasant audio.
If we change from the AM mode to eLSB mode (essentially, the TitanSDR’s version of synchronous detection on the lower sideband) we are ignoring all of the noise in the upper sideband, allowing the desired signal of RSC to pop out.
You can see in the screen-grab above that now only the lower sideband of the RSC signal is highlighted. Here’s a 21 minute recording:
Makes quite a difference!
It’s easy to see competing signals and interference on an SDR’s spectrum display, but if you hear something similar on your portable, try the techniques above to see if it clears up the signal.
If your receiver lacks a selectable synchronous detector, much of the same results can be gained by zero-beating (tuning in) the desired signal in lower sideband mode. Of course, if you have a receiver that lacks SSB mode, the best you can do is tune slightly below frequency in AM, in which case the results will not be as dramatic.
Conclusion? Listening in single-sideband or with a selectable sync detector might be all you need to dig a signal out of the interference.