Tag Archives: Ham Radio

Reminder: 2017 Eclipse Experiment

A map of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. (Source: NASA)

The 2017 eclipse is quickly approaching (August 21)–!!

If you would like to participate in a fascinating radio experiment coinciding with the event, check out this undertaking outlined on the website HamSCI. Note that you do not need to be in the path of totality in order to participate.

Here’s the summary:

On 21 August 2017, a total solar eclipse will traverse the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina in a period of just over 90 minutes.

Previous research shows that the shadow of the eclipse will impact the ionospheric state, but has not adequately characterized or explained the temporal and spatial extent of the resulting ionospheric effects.

HamSCI is inviting the amateur radio community to contribute to a large scale experiment by participating in an Eclipse QSO party and further developing automatic observation networks such as the Reverse Beacon Network.

Data resulting from these activities will be combined with observations from existing ionospheric monitoring networks in an effort to characterize and understand the ionospheric temporal and spatial effects caused by a total solar eclipse.

Click here to read the full detailed experiment at HamSCI online.

The Zastone ZT-D9000 dual band mobile includes HF and LW coverage

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Cap Tux, who writes:

The Zastone ZT-D9000 radio has actually been out for a while and is a Dual Band Mobile (Triband with option), nothing fancy there and bears a striking resemblance to the Icom IC-2820H (clone?). Options include GPS, Bluetooth, 220Mhz and LW (The latter is really weird!).

What caught my eye is the 2.3-30 MHz Shortwave coverage, a quick search on YouTube turns up a video showing Shortwave working!

Yes, probably as wide as a barn door with no filtering except the 12kHz default but an extremely useful feature if you did need a dual band mobile in your jeep/car.

Two other noteworthy features are a dedicated RX BNC antenna socket and a built in FM Transmitter so you can listen to it on the FM Radio in your car/jeep, very cool. A bit like a pimped IC-2820H. Also has all the bells and whistles a Dual Bander should have,

This is the OEM site:
http://zastonetech.com/2-7-mobile-transceiver/291931

This site has the spec:
http://radioaficion.com/cms/zastone-d9000/

YouTube video showing Shortwave in use:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Click here for eBay UK.

Click here for eBay US.

Some Specs:

A/B Band RX:
136-174MHz
200-260MHz (OPTION)
400-470MHz
470-520MHz

B Band RX:
153-279kHz (AM) (OPTION)
0.5MHz-1.8MHz (AM)
2.3-30MHz (AM)
64-108MHz (WFM)
113-137MHz (Airband – AM)

TX:
136MHz-174MHz
222-225MHz (Type USA 200-260MHz) (OPTION)
400-520MHz

Channel Steps: 1.5, 6, 6.25, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 50, 100kHz
Frequency Stability: +-2.5ppm
Repeater Shift: +-600kHz(144MHz), +-5MHz (430MHz)
Emission Type: F1D, F2D, F3E
Antenna Impedance: 50 ohms
Supply Voltage: Nominal: 13.8VDC, Neg Gnd, Operating: 12-24V Neg Gnd
Operating Temp: -40F to +-1400F(-20C to +-60C)
RF power Output: UHF: 40W/25W/5W VHF:50W/25W/5W
Case Size: (WxHxD) 6″ x 2.3″ x 1.3″ (Panel w/o knobs and connectors)
6″x6″x 1.8″ (Rear chassis w/o connectors)
Weight: 3.7 lbs

Transmitter:
RF Power Output: UHF: 40W/25W/5W, VHF: 50W/25W/5W
Modulation Type: Variable Reactance F1 D, F2D, F3E
Maximum Deviation: +- 5KHz
Spurious Emission: at least 60 dB below
Microphone Impedance: 2 k ohms

Receiver:
Sensitivity Radio Band:
B Band:
5uV TYP for 10db SN (153-279 KHz, AM)
5UV TYP for 10 db SN (0.5-1.7 MHz, AM)
2uV TYP for 10db SN (203-30 MHz, AM)
2Uv TYP for 12db SINAD (64-108 MHz, WFM)
0.8 uV TYP for 10 db SN 9113-134 MHz, AM)

A&B Band:
0.2 uV for 12db SINAD (136-174 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV TYP for 12db SINAD (200-260 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV for 12 db SINAD (400-470 MHz, FM)
0.2 uV TYP for 12 db SINAD (470-520 MHz, FM)
Squelch Sensitivity: 0.16 uV (144/430 MHz Band)
Selectivity: NFM, AM 12 KHz/30KHz(-6dB/-60dB)

AF Output:
6W@4 ohm for 10% THD (@13.8V) EXP SP
3W@ 8 ohm for 10% THD (@13.8V) Normal EXP SP/CH
AF Output Impedance: 4-16 ohm
3 Speakers

Included in Purchase:
– Radio
– Microphone
– Power Cables
– Remote Install Kit
– Software CD
– Programming Cable
– All Mounting Hardware
– 1 Year Warranty

Options:
– Bluetooth
– GPS
– Barometric altimeter and thermometer
– 220MHz
– LW Band

Very interesting, Cap! Thank you for sharing.  Honestly, I have a very difficult time keeping up with the radio equipment being produced and sold out of China.

And you’re right: what a surprise to find HF coverage on a dual-band mobile radio and especially longwave coverage! Like you, I wouldn’t anticipate stellar performance. The price is certainly “bargain basement” at $210 US shipped.

SWLing Post readers: Has anyone purchased and tested the ZT-D9000?  Please comment!

Radio Caroline Special Event, August 3 – 7, 2017

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Harald Kuhl, who shares the following:

(Sources: QRZ.com and http://www.martellotowergroup.com/gb5rc.html)

Celebrating five decades of offshore radio broadcasting GB5RC

For the full report of GB5RC in 2016, click here

Thursday 3rd – Monday 7th August 2017

Following our successful activation of MV Ross Revenge in August 2016 we are very excited to be able to run the special event station again in 2017. The Ross Revenge has been the home of the world famous Radio Caroline since 1983. To find out more about our 2016 activation, please click here.

Our plan is similar to last year, however we will be on the Ross a day early, heading out and setting up on Thursday 3rd August with plans to start operating either on the evening of the 3rd or the morning of Friday the 4th. We will operate two stations throughout the weekend, closing down in the early hours of Monday morning, grabbing a few hours sleep and then dismantling everything after a leisurely breakfast before leaving around lunchtime.

We will have two stations operating for as much as possible and this year we will be concentrating on 80m, 40m and 20m with the option to retune the 20m vertical for 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m if conditions are favourable. These bands weren’t very successful in 2016 so we’d rather stick where there’s the most activity. We will have dipoles for 80m and 40m and verticals for 40m and 20m. We may have something for VHF/UHF but we struggled on there last year due to interference from the solar panels whenever the sun shone!

For more details on GB5RC in 2017, please click here ((http://www.martellotowergroup.com/gb5rc.html))

QSL Policy

The QSL card for our 2017 special event station will be a different design to that used in 2016.
Please read this carefully. Failure to follow the procedure will mean your QSL card will either be delayed or you won’t receive it.

Please send cards either direct to G6NHU or via the Bureau addressed to GB5RC.
If sending direct from within the UK, please include an SASE.

From anywhere outside the UK, please include an SAE and $2.

Do not send stamps or any currency other than US$. Direct cards received without envelopes or the correct postage will be returned via the bureau. No exceptions.

If you’d like to add a few extra dollars to go towards supporting Radio Caroline, they will be gratefully received and passed on to the Support Group.

Remember – If you don’t manage to work us but would still like a QSL card, you can send an SWL report as detailed below. These are best sent direct and not via the bureau.

Please do NOT send IRCs.

Direct QSLs to Keith Maton, 41 Bemerton Gardens, Kirby Cross, Essex. CO13 0LQ, United Kingdom.

SWL reports

We appreciate this will be a busy station and due to the nature of the event, we encourage SWL reports. If you send an SWL report, please make sure you list the exact frequency we were working on, the time you heard us and list the callsigns of two stations or more that we were talking to. It would also be nice to know what radio and aerial you’re using.

For more information about Radio Caroline, including how to join the support group and help keep the station on the air and Ross Revenge afloat, please see the website. Radio Caroline’s main running costs are covered by Support Group subscriptions and donations.

Ham Radio: 2017 Eclipse Experiment

A map of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. (Source: NASA)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Colin Newell, who shares a fascinating 2017 eclipse experiment outlined on the website HamSCI.

Here’s the summary of the experiment:

On 21 August 2017, a total solar eclipse will traverse the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina in a period of just over 90 minutes.

Previous research shows that the shadow of the eclipse will impact the ionospheric state, but has not adequately characterized or explained the temporal and spatial extent of the resulting ionospheric effects.

HamSCI is inviting the amateur radio community to contribute to a large scale experiment by participating in an Eclipse QSO party and further developing automatic observation networks such as the Reverse Beacon Network.

Data resulting from these activities will be combined with observations from existing ionospheric monitoring networks in an effort to characterize and understand the ionospheric temporal and spatial effects caused by a total solar eclipse.

Click here to read the full detailed experiment at HamSCI online.

Video: TX Factor Episode 17

(Source: TX Factor)

TX Factor goes digital as Mike Marsh gives Bob McCreadie an introduction to operating on DMR, Yaesu Fusion and D Star as part of his digital fun. In part one of a three-part series, they take a trip to a local farm to see how an amateur has set up his own Fusion Gateway.

Ever wonder why QSL cards take a long time to complete their journey? Bob finds out what we can do to help speed up he process.

Pete visits Norwich to spend a day with the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club at their annual field day event, Radio Active to discover why they won the coveted prize of RSGB Large Club of The Year.

Click here to view Episode 17 on TX Factor’s website, or click here to watch on YouTube.

This is another excellent TX Factor episode well worth your time. I was especially impressed with the in-depth feature about the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club–truly a case study for other amateur radio clubs who struggle with outreach.