Tag Archives: Jock Elliott (KB2GOM)

Jock explores “The Essential Listening Post”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jock Elliott, who shares the following guest post:


The Essential Listening Post

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

Listening to shortwave radio (or any radio, for that matter) is just plain fun.

So what do you need to get in on the fun?

A radio. With today’s crop of portable SW radios, many of which have search and store capabilities, a newbie SWL can get started quickly without a lot fuss and bother and no extra stuff. Just hit the search and store function (it has different names on different radios), let the search function do its thing, and step through the memories to see what’s out there. If your radio doesn’t have search and store, you can just tune around to see what’s currently broadcasting or, if you have a computer or smart phone, use it to explore one of the online directories like https://shortwaveschedule.com/

What follow next are some things that I’ve found increase my enjoyment of SWLing. Continue reading

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Jock reviews the BHI Compact In-Line Noise Eliminating Module

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jock Elliott, who shares the following guest post:


The noise, the neighbor, and the box

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

Imagine the annual meeting of an international corporation called SWLing Inc. (or SWLing LTD). The CEO, looking splendid in his custom-tailored suit, is addressing the assembled multitudes. On the giant screen is an equation showing signal-to-noise ratio. The CEO aims his laser pointer at the word “signal.” We want ALL of this, he says. Then he points at the word “noise,” and says, “and NONE of this.”

Then he looks at the audience and says, “Got it?” And he walks off the stage.

That, whether they want to admit it or not, is the mindset of every single SWL, international music fan, overseas program listener, and DXer. Period. They want as much signal as they can get, and as little noise as possible. That’s what drives radioheads to buy amplified loops, to string long wires, to build towers and yagi antenna arrays, to lay out beverage antennas hundreds of feet long, and to build ferrite sleeve loop antennas . . . it’s all about the signal to noise radio. More signal, less noise.

And it was noise that was bothering me . . . a kind of hiss, hash, eggs-frying sound. It was that noise that prompted me to create the horizontal room loop to try to boost the signal coming into my Grundig Satellit 800 over the noise normally received on the Satellit’s whip antenna.

And it worked; there was more signal on top of the noise . . . but that hiss, hash, whatever you want to call it, was still there. I could hit the attenuator, and some of the noise would go away, but it was still there. After a while, it was just plain tiring on the ears. Poking around the internet, the wisdom seemed to be that the source of the noise was likely electric/electronic gear in my radio room. So I killed the power to everything in my radio room, powered the Satellit 800 off internal batteries, and the noise was still there.

So I called my neighbor. He’s (a) a really good neighbor, (b) a ham with a serious station, and (c) technically knowledgeable. I explain the problem. He says, “Meet me outside.”

We meet between the yards, and he has a Sony 7600 portable shortwave radio in his hand. He switches it on. “Is this the noise you’re talking about?”

“Yup,” I say. “That’s the atmosphere,” he says. Well, nuts.

More poking around the internet reveals that an amplified receive-only magnetic loop antenna might be significantly quieter, and there are several manufacturers of them. I’m thinking about one of those loops when I run across a review of a relatively inexpensive ham transceiver that is reported to be excellent at pulling difficult signals out of the noise because of the superior “digital signal processing” (DSP) that is built into the transceiver.

Digital signal processing . . . that sounds promising . . . after all, if you take a step back and think about it, there are two ways to improve signal-to-noise ratio. One way is to improve the signal with better antennas and the like. The other way is to reduce the noise, and one way to achieve that might be through digital signal processing.

So, are there any companies that make external digital signal processors that could be used with an HF receiver? There are several, it turns out. Some of the units are large, studded with knobs and look complicated to operate, and almost all of the offerings require an external power supply.

But I wanted something that could be easily transferred between receivers and might even be used with a portable receiver when I was doing my horizontal DXing in bed. A big box that requires an external power supply was going to be awkward, cumbersome, and inconvenient. And that’s when I ran into a British company called BHI. They make noise cancellation products, gizmos that use digital processing to remove noise from an audio signal. They serve amateur radio, commercial, marine, medical, and even covert surveillance markets.

One of their products is the Compact In-line Noise Eliminating Module. It can be run off AA batteries and isn’t much bigger than a deck of cards (in fact, its footprint is almost exactly the same as my CCrane Skywave SSB). It has just two knobs and is easy to set up: you just plug it in between your HF receiver and your headphones or external speaker. It even comes with a cable to connect your receiver to the Noise Eliminating Module.

I order one from DX Engineering in Ohio. The cost, delivered to my door, including tax, is just over $260 American dollars. It arrives two days later, just in time for the bands to be sizzling with noise (apparently) produced by a solar coronal mass ejection (CME). The amount of noise is brutal, about as bad as I have ever heard in decades of hamming and SWLing.

Plugging the BHI in-line module into my Satellit 800 and clamping the headphones over my ears, I begin tuning the 20-meter ham band. Part way up the band, I run into a Canadian ham chatting with someone. His signal is barely above the noise and copyable, but the noise is really annoying. I punch the button for the BHI device, and . . . the noise disappears. Wow! I press the right-hand button (to bypass the BHI device), and the noise comes back full force.

Quickly, I grab my Tecsun PL-880, extend the whip antenna, tune to the same frequency, and plug the BHI in-line module into the 880. The noise sounds even worse on the 880 (the Canadian ham is barely copyable), probably because of the shorter antenna. But when I engage the BHI device, the result is even more dramatic; a very pleasant signal emerges as the BHI unit suppresses the noise, with just a bare hint of hiss still audible.

Then I take hold of my CCrane Skywave SSB to see how the BHI in-line module will behave with that. It doesn’t take long to realize that, apparently because of the solar activity, all the bands are noisy on the Skywave. Not just shortwave, but AM, FM, weather, and Air were all uncharacteristically affected by hiss or noise. The BHI Compact In-line Noise Eliminating Module reduced the noise and made each of them more pleasant to listen to, without exception. I am “officially” impressed.

As I experiment with the BHI device in following days, during which atmospheric conditions improve, I continue to be impressed. Why? Because the BHI Compact In-line Noise Eliminating Module is effective at substantially reducing noise without a lot of fuss and bother.

As good as the BHI module is, though, it is not a miracle device; it does have some limitations. Sometimes it will not eliminate all the noise, even though the noise will be reduced substantially. If you crank up the level of filtering/noise cancellation too high, it can distort speech and make tuning single sideband difficult. Further, you sometimes hear artifacts of the digital signal processing. These artifacts sound to me like trickling water, and, frankly, I don’t find these sounds objectionable (they sure beat the heck out of the atmospheric noise), but some people, I suppose, might not like them.

Image via DX Engineering

The module is easy to operate. There are two knobs. Press the left one in to power up the unit, then turn the knob to adjust the volume. Press the right knob to activate noise reduction and then turn the knob to adjust the level of noise reduction. Sometimes, I find, the sweet spot for listening is with the noise substantially reduced – perhaps 85-90 percent – but not completely gone. Press the right knob again to bypass noise reduction and hear what the signal sounds like without the BHI module online.

Because the two knobs on the face of the BHI module are also push-buttons, if you are going to pack the device in your luggage, remove the batteries to prevent the unit from inadvertently turning on and draining the batteries.

Bottom line

The BHI Compact In-line Noise Eliminating Module is highly effective at reducing or eliminating noise. It works on international broadcasters, ham single-sideband signals, and utility stations, as well as AM, FM, and even NOAA weather radio when conditions are horrible. It can make weak signals easier to hear and strong signals more pleasant for long-term listening. It reduces audio fatigue. It is not a cure-all for all signal-to-noise or audio problems, but it is a big help. Further, it can be readily moved from location to location and from radio to radio and adds a new capability to receivers that do not have built-in digital signal processing.

I think it is a worthwhile addition to any shortwave listening post.

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Guest Post: Why listen to shortwave radio?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jock Elliott, who shares the following guest post:


Why listen to shortwave radio?

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

Decades ago, an entrepreneur challenged his audience with a concept of critical importance: “Every once in a vhile, it is important to ask ourselves vhy are we in business?” He had a waaay cool Austrian accent, and his point was valid: every once in a while, we should examine our fundamentals.

So why, indeed, listen to shortwave radio?

For me, the short answer is: because there are treasures out there on the shortwave spectrum, that’s why. Further, with a relatively inexpensive shortwave receiver (even better if you have a receiver with single-sideband – SSB – capability), you hear them too. You can discover things that you are unlikely to find anywhere else, and not only are they fun to hear, they are also fun to find.

So let me present for your approval a shortwave journey that I took on October 24, 2021.

1115Z – It all starts when I am flipping through my old shortwave reference materials, and a copy of a page from Popular Communications magazine, April, 1986, catches my eye: “Handy Ute Finder by Hubble Gardiner, KNE0JX.” Utes are utility stations (as opposed to hams or international broadcasters), like ships at sea, planes in the air, and fixed commercial and military stations, and the like. The article presented places to look in the HF radio spectrum between 4000 kHz and 26960 kHz, for utility stations transmitting in SSB, CW, and RTTY/ARQ modes. Is this chart still valid? I don’t know, but since I enjoy hearing people doing their jobs on the air, why not start tuning from 4000 kHz in upper sideband and see what I can hear? Freeing the Tecsun PL-880 from its case, I extend the antenna, press the power button, punch in 4000 kHz, and start turning the dial. And while my initial impulse was to discover some “utes,” I am open to whatever comes through the headphones.

1128Z, 4426 kHz USB – a ute, super loud and clear, a weather forecast from the US Coast Guard Communications Command, including a forecast of tropical weather from the National Hurricane Center. If I were a mariner, I would be pleased to hear this forecast.

Duties call, and my cruise of the bands is interrupted, to be continued later in the day . . .

2130Z, 7490 kHz AM, — highly unusual music that sounds like a mash-up between 1930s movie music and oompah bands. It’s odd but pleasant and certainly not anything you are going to hear on the “regular” broadcast stations. Turns out it is a program called Marion’s Attic on WBCQ from Monticello, Maine. Two females, Marion (with a high squeaky voice) and Christine, play recordings from yesteryear (including wax cylinders, I think). Evidently, this program has been on the air for 22 years, and it made me smile.

2150Z, 8950 kHz USB, — a ute, European weather conditions for aviators from Shannon VOLMET, Ireland, very difficult to hear on the PL880’s whip antenna, but fully copyable on my Satellit 800 with wire antenna. How cool to hear weather from all the way across the pond!

2206Z, 9350 kHz AM, (back on the PL880) — USA Radio News on WWCR, then Owen Shroyer and a Dr. Bartlett discussing the problem of a hospital in Texas apparently putting plastic bags on the heads of covid patients. Unusual, I think, but I had heard enough about the virus of late and continue to rotate the tuning knob.

2215Z, 9395 kHz AM, — My ears are tickled by cool jazz, a very together group, laying it down with style. “This is cool jazz, jazz from the left coast,” the announcer intones as he cues up another group. It’s WRMI, transmitting from Okeechobee. Hearing it, I flashed back to “The Hawthorn Den, Jazz after Midnight” Saturday nights, listening under the covers when I was a kid.

2226Z, 9830 kHz, Voice of Turkey, in English — A professor presents an analysis of the United Nations, which he thinks needs to be reformed due to the shifting of the axes of power. This is followed by exotic music with nice female singer.

2239Z, 9955 kHz,WRMI, — Glen Hauser hosts The World of Radio, detailing the status of various shortwave stations around the world. Fascinating stuff and well worth the time.

2257Z, 10051 kHz USB, — a ute, weather for aviators again, but this time from Gander, Newfoundland. Makes me glad to be in a nice warm house.

So that’s what a little over an hour of turning the knob yielded, and that’s why to listen to shortwave radio: because you never know what you may encounter. Who knows what you might discover with a shortwave radio and a little wandering around?

Remember what Gandalf said: “Not all who wander are lost.

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Jock’s radio-related book recommendations

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jock Elliott, who shares the following guest post:


Some radio-related books you might want to read

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

Radio-related books – books in which radio is not the main subject but plays a significant role in the storyline or plot (whether it is fiction or non-fiction) – can inspire us. Whether we are shortwave listeners, HF utilities monitors, or VHF/UHF scanner fans, radio-related books can heighten our appreciation of what we do, I think.

With that in mind, below are some radio-related books that I have read and can heartily recommend.

This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together

In 1964, a 9.2 earthquake shook Anchorage, Alaska, with a ferocity not seen in North America before.

When the shaking stopped, night fell; the city went dark, and people began tuning their transistor radios to hear a familiar voice.

Genie Chance, a part-time reporter and working mother, would stay on the air almost continuously for the next three days as an eclectic group of officials and volunteers worked to begin picking up the pieces. This is a moving story about radio, ham radio (a bit), and people rallying together.

Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do

In 1978, in the midst of a blizzard, the tanker Global Hope floundered on the shoals in Salem Sound off the Massachusetts coast.

In response to Mayday calls, the Coast Guard dispatched a patrol boat. Within an hour, the Coast Guard boat lost its radar, depth finder, and engine power in horrendous seas.

Pilot boat Captain Frank Quirk was monitoring Coast Guard VHF radio and decided to act.

Read this book sitting by the fire, far from the sea. A chilling account.

The US Navy’s On-the-Roof Gang: Volume I – Prelude to War

Between WWI and WWII, the US Navy realized the need to intercept and decode Japanese military and diplomatic radio traffic.

Matt Zullo calls this book a novel because he had to fill in the blanks in some areas, but most of the book is based on official documentation and personal recollections.

It is a ripping good yarn, written in an engaging style, that spans the globe from Samoa to Greenland, and I found it fascinating and will soon be reading the second volume.

The Road Home

After an earthquake rips Seattle, Robbie and his father have to rely on their wits and some new-found skills to get home safely.

This fictional story includes many emergency preparedness and ham radio tips. Some are a bit dated, but many are still applicable today.

Well worth the reading.

The Day After

The sequel to The Road Home.

After learning that his neighbor Katy is injured, alone, and needs help, Robbie ventures out, and a short trip across the city will turn into a race for survival that cleverly illustrates useful emergency preparedness while emphasizing the importance of communication and thinking ahead.

Again, in my humble opinion well worth the time.

And now . . . it’s your turn!

What radio-related books – fiction or non-fiction — would you recommend? As a dyed-in-the-wool, unrepentant, not-on-the-12-step-program bookaholic, I’m always looking for a good read!

Please note that all SWLing Post Amazon links are auto-converted to affiliate links which support the site at no cost to you. Your purchase helps support the SWLing Post.

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Guest Post: Jock explores the Tecsun PL-880’s ATS system

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jock Elliott, who shares the following guest post:


Oh, no, it’s broken – NOT! And other observations on the PL-880

by Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

 

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it: I’m an oldster, currently enjoying well over 70 trips around that Big Orange Ball in the sky. Further, I’ve been out of SWLing for a while.

Coming back into the hobby after more than a decade’s absence, has been eye-opening. Back when I wrote for Passport To World Band Radio, my main interest, equipment-wise, was tabletop communications receivers hooked to serious outdoor antennas.

Today, however, tabletop communications receivers are hard to come by (there are few new offerings), and, in my situation, serious outdoor antennas present a series of logistical problems that aren’t going to get solved quickly.

So that has brought me to today’s crop of portable shortwave receivers, and – bottom line – they are pretty darn cool, offering worthy performance on a number of levels. My latest acquisition is the Tecsun PL-880.

Like many of the current SW portables, it offers a system for scanning the SW bands and automatically storing the stations it finds into memory. On the PL-880, it’s called ATS (for Auto Tuning Storage.) Oh, you knew that. Yeah, but did you know that the PL-880 has, essentially, two ATS systems?

The down arrow activates ATS Mode A, and the up arrow activates ATS Mode B.

Check it out: If you press the DOWN arrow button (in the SW-METER BAND rectangle), the ATS Mode A system searches the band you are in (FM, MW/LW or SW, including ALL the SW meter bands), automatically stores stations it finds, and “previously stored radio stations will be replaced automatically by the newly found stations.” Each band has its own set of memories, so that SW stations will be stored in SW memories, FM stations will be stored in FM memories, and so forth.

ATS Mode B, however, behaves differently. You can activate it by pressing the UP arrow (in the SW-METER BAND rectangle). If you are in SW frequencies, ATS Mode B will search and store stations only within the current SW meter band. Further, it will NOT overwrite memories, but will start storing stations it finds, starting with the first available unused memory. Pretty neat.

You can, however, fool yourself. I ran ATS Mode A on SW frequencies one night and found a station that was broadcasting unusual stuff (Kennedy assassination, UFOs, and the like). A couple of nights later, I wanted to see what the night’s topic was on that station, so I punched the button to access memories and found . . . nothing! Oh, no, it’s broken!

Then I realized I was in SSB mode, and, it turns out, the PL-880 has a separate set of memories for SSB. (And the manual says that explicitly.) I switched off the SSB mode, and – tah-dah! – the SW memories reappeared. Sometimes it really does pay handsome dividends to read the manual.

One of the slick things about the PL-880’s memory setup is that, when you are in memory mode for a particular band, you can easily scroll through the memories simply by turning the tuning knob.

Wire antenna reels come in different styles. PL-880 (left) and CCrane Skywave SSB. But both improve performance for their respective radios.

The PL-880 has a nice long whip antenna (nearly twice as long as the CCrane Skywave SSB’s antenna), and it seems to be quite sensitive operating off the whip. But if you take the time to deploy the external wire antenna that comes with the PL-880, there is a considerable gain in sensitivity. Tuning around the 40-meter ham band, with the external wire antenna plugged into its socket, I could hear two stations in conversation, one louder than the other, but both copyable. When I tried to listen to the same pair of stations with just the PL-880’s whip antenna, the fainter station disappeared entirely, and the louder station was “down in the mud” but copyable. So the external wire antenna is clearly worth using.

So far, I am well pleased with the PL-880.

PS: Here’s a link to a really good article on extending the wire length of the reel-up antenna that came with the PL-880: https://www.hamuniverse.com/shortwavereelantenna.html

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Guest Post: A “Horizontal DXer” explores the CC Skywave SSB and PL-880

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jock Elliott, who shares the following guest post:


Confessions of a horizontal DXer and some initial impressions of the Tecsun PL-880

by Jock Elliott

Back in the day when I wrote for Passport To World Band Radio, one of my favorite things to do, while my better half drifted off to sleep, was to clamp on a pair of headphones, lean back against the pillows, and mess around with a Sony 6800W shortwave receiver.

It wasn’t a radio that was built for band scanning: you had to rotate a dial to select the megahertz segment of the bands that you wanted, tune a built-in preselector to the appropriate area, and then dial in the frequency with a tuning knob. And memories? Ha! You want memories?!! There were no stinking memories . . . you had to remember what frequencies you wanted or at least what portions of the bands you wanted to tune. The memories were between your ears.

But it was a receiver with an extraordinarily low noise floor, and many a happy evening I enjoyed programming from half a world away. Drifting off to sleep with headphones piping in a signal from a distant land was not without its dangers, though. One night I fell asleep listening to the news from Radio Australia beamed, in English, to Papua, New Guinea. I woke a while later to the same newscast beamed to Papua, New Guinea, but this time in Pidgin English. I heard some English words, but the rest did not make sense. I panicked, thinking some neurologic event had scrambled my brain, but a crisp voice rescued me: “This has been the news in Pidgin English, from Radio Australia.” Thank God!

When Passport ceased publication, I neglected shortwave radio for over a decade, busy with freelance writing and running the Commuter Assistance Net on two meter ham radio.

Earlier this year, the SWLing bug bit me again, and I fired up a long-neglected Grundig Satellit 800 and started cruising around the HF frequencies. Many of the big-gun shortwave stations were gone, or they weren’t aiming programming at North America, but there was plenty to listen to, including shortwave stations, HF ham bands, and some utility stations.

Gee, I thought, it might be great to have a radio for a little horizontal in-bed DXing before shutting off the lights for the night . . . something I could hold in my lap, turn the tuning knob, and discover hidden treasures. The Satellit 800, emphatically, was not the answer. It is a large radio, roughly the size of the vaunted Zenith Transoceanic radios, and definitely not suited for laps.

So, based on a great reputation and excellent reviews, I bought a CCrane Skywave SSB. The Skywave SSB is a powerhouse, offering AM, FM, Weather, Air, SW, and SSB in a package roughly the size of a deck of cards and perhaps twice as thick. And it delivers the goods, offering worthy performance on every band, although SW performance is greatly enhanced by attaching the wire antenna that is included with the Skywave SSB.

Two factors, I discovered, reduced the suitability of the Skywave SSB for bedside DXing. First, the tuning knob is really small, so you can’t just twirl your finger to traverse the bands. It also has click-detents on the tuning knob and muting between tuning steps, so the tuning is non-continuous, which diminishes the pleasure for me. So the drill becomes: use the automatic tuning system (ATS) to search the bands and store stations in memory and then use the keypad buttons to jump from stored station to stored station. Further, each keypad key makes a distinct “click” sound when properly depressed. And that brings us to the second factor: one night, I am attempting to explore the stations stored by the ATS when my bride, who was trying to doze off, taps me. “What?” I say. “Too much clicky-clicky,” she says. Oh, I thought; now I need to find a radio that is quiet, so long as I am wearing headphones.

Now, just to be clear: I would highly recommend the CCrane Skywave SSB (except for use next to a spouse who is attempting to sleep), particularly for traveling because it is so small and performs so well. To underscore the value of a shortwave-capable travel radio, some years ago, I spoke with a journalist who was in Russia when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster took place. Russian media were not reporting on it at all; he found out about Chernobyl by listening to the BBC on a shortwave radio he had tucked into his luggage, and he rapidly made plans to leave Russia.

A bunch of research eventually led me to the Tecsun PL-880, which is about the size of a trade paperback book. According to some reviewers (including Dan Robinson), the 880 is a bit more sensitive and shortwave than the PL-990. The 880 offers a bunch of bandwidths on both AM and SSB, and the tuning is butter smooth with no muting or detents. The smallish tuning knob has a bit of knurling on the edge, which make it possible to twirl the knob with one finger; you can fine-tune SSB with another knob, and, with one button-press, use the tuning knob to select filter bandwidths or memory channels. In short, if you avoid the keypad, this is a radio that can be operated in near silence next to a better half who wishes to snooze.

The performance, so far, is exemplary; using the PL-880 whip antenna, I could readily hear Gander, Newfoundland, broadcasting aeronautical weather as well as Shannon, Ireland, air traffic controllers directing aircraft crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Yes! I haven’t yet begun to explore all that the PL-880 can do, but it promises to be a lot of fun.


Click here to read more posts by Jock Elliott.

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Jock satisfies his inner radio nerd with a deeper dive into NOAA weather radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jock Elliott, who shares the following guest post:


Perhaps the ultimate radio nerd story . . .

by Jock Elliott (KB2GOM)

Perhaps I am the only guy on planet earth with a “kinda” interest in DXing NOAA weather radio, but there you have it, and this led me down an interesting rabbit hole in the world of radio.

Earlier this year, I found myself in Sodus, NY, in the western part of the state, near the shores of Lake Ontario. I had with me the following: an Icom V80 2-meter handy-talkie with a sharply tuned commercial antenna that works great on my home repeater (146.94) in Troy, NY; a Uniden BC125AT scanner with a Diamond 77 antenna, and a CCrane Skywave SSB. All receive the NOAA weather channels.

In the early morning, I checked www.wunderground.com for weather in the Sodus area. Snow was expected overnight. So I grab the Uniden 125AT, activate the weather scan function, and found that it received NOAA weather radio channels 1, 2, and 3, and the audio sounded great through my headphones. I tried stepping through the weather radio channels on my Icom V80 and found that it received channels 1, 2, and 3, but with just a wee bit of static in the background. I tried switching the antennas between the 125AT and the V80, and there was no appreciable difference.

Now, here’s the interesting part: I tried the same trick on the CCrane Skywave SSB with its telescoping whip fully extended, and it received weather channel 1 just fine with excellent audio through the headphones. But channel 2 was way down in the soup, a hair above “barely audible.” I tried waving the Skywave around, point the whip antenna in different directions and orientations to see if I could improve the signal. I succeeded only in nulling it out. Weather radio channel 3 was not audible at all, but channel 4 was coming in well, and so was channel 7 . . . and the other two radios were not receiving channels 4 and 7 at all.

Frankly, I didn’t know what to make of this. To be clear, I was able to hear that forecast that I needed to hear — for Wayne County, NY — on all three radios. But why would there be such a stark difference between the CCrane Skywave SSB and the other two radios?

At this point, I was really curious what the answer might be.

The V80 and the 125AT “agreed” with each; both were receiving NOAA weather radio channels 1, 2, 3. The CCrane Skywave SSB appeared to be the anomaly, receiving channels 1, 2 (barely), and 4 and 7, which the V80 and 125AT did not receive.

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