Tag Archives: Robert Gulley (AK3Q)

ETOW distributes radios to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico through amateur radio network

In November, we posted an update on the Ears To Our World website with information about our most recent work in Puerto Rico.

After Hurricane Maria left the majority of Puerto Rico without power and basic services, at ETOW we waited for the right opportunity (after food, water and medical supplies were rushed in) to send self-powered radios to those still living without power and in need of basic community information.

Once US Postal Service delivery was restored to the island, we turned to our amazing volunteer (and SWLing Post contributor) Robert Gulley (AK3Q) to coordinate the process.

Robert contacted the Lares Amateur Radio Emergency Service (LARES) in Puerto Rico and asked for their assistance. Nelson Santiago (WP3B) with LARES enthusiastically volunteered to venture out into the community and distribute radios to those who needed them the most–families still lacking mains power. The LARES club distributed the radios effectively and efficiently–they also photo-documented everything.

The whole process was simply amazing to watch unfold.

Many thanks to Universal Radio who helped us quickly procure 15 self-powered radios for our initial pilot shipment. As of December, we’ve now sent and distributed an additional 40 radios–totaling 55 units to 55 families.

This whole project became a reality through our network of radio enthusiasts. We’re so grateful to everyone involved.  Thank you!

Click here to view photos and read about this project at Ears To Our World.

Robert’s reviews and how-tos


Like a few of us contributors here on the SWLing Post, Robert Gulley (AK3Q), writes features for The Spectrum Monitor magazine (TSM).  Robert and I are both passionate supports of TSM–for a mere $24 per year, you get a monthly digital magazine that is simply chock-full of articles covering all aspects of our radio hobby. A phenomenal value indeed!

I’ve just discovered that Robert has published a number of his past TSM articles–reviews and how-tos–on his excellent blog All Things Radio.  Each article can be downloaded as a PDF. Here are the topics:

  • Using Weak Signal Software to Reach for the Sky! (Part 1)
  • Using Weak Signal Modes for Propagation, RFI, and Antenna Analysis (Part 2)
  • Putting My Handheld Antennas to the Test
  • Going Mobile with Software Defined Radio
  • Multipsk Software – A Review
  • TEN-TEC 1253 Build Review

Click here to view and download these articles at All Things Radio.

Thank you, Robert, for sharing these excellent articles with everyone! And many thanks to TSM for allowing its writers second publication rights. Click here to subscribe to The Spectrum Monitor.

The Ghostly Radio Station that No One Claims to Run

There is a great article by Zaria Gorvett in the BBC Future online magazine concerning several transmitting stations which have baffled folks for decades.

Here is a brief introduction:

In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.

It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.

Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.

It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.

The whole article is a highly enjoyable read – check it out! 73, Robert AK3Q

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

Holiday Deals: SDRplay RSP1 and Icom IC-7300 at HRO

The SDRplay RSP software defined radio

The SDRplay RSP software defined radio

Yesterday, after SDRplay announced the new RSP2 software defined receiver, HRO included the original RSP (the RSP1) in their holiday “Pre-Sale Specials” and lowered the price to $119.95.

An excellent bargain in my opinion! Many thanks to intrepid SWLing Post contributor, Robert Gulley, for the excellent tip!

Click here to view the SDRplay RSP1 at HRO.

Click here to read our review of the SDRplay RSP.

Icom-IC-7300-Front

The Icom IC-7300

Also, many thanks to Dave Zantow who notes that HRO has also included the Icom IC-7300 in the same sale.  The IC-7300 price is now $1299.95. Also an excellent price for such a full-featured general coverage transceiver.

Click here to view the Icom IC-7300 at HRO.

Update: Dave also noted two other vendors offering the IC-7300 at a discount:

Click here to read our review of the Icom IC-7300.

HRO has a number of other items on sale, so you might consider searching their site for other goodies.

Post readers: Notice any other radio deals? Please comment or contact me!

The Como Audio Solo and Duetto radios on Kickstarter

ComoAudio-Solo

The Como Audio Solo

Alas, I find that I’m frequently blamed by SWLing Post readers who cite this blog as the reason they spend so much money on radios.

But for the record, I’d like you to know that such spending is actually a two-way street!  A couple of days ago, Post contributor Robert Gulley sent me a link to a cool Kickstarter campaign for two new multi-format digital radios: the Solo and the Duet by Como Audio.

Having just completed an in-depth review of several WiFi radios for The Spectrum Monitor magazine, the good-looking Solo in its wood casing really caught my attention! (the Duet, meanwhile, is a two-speaker version of the same rig).  At first glance, the Solo appears to be  compatible with a much wider range of digital formats than many of its competitors, so naturally I’m eager to determine if this is so. Here’s a list:

  • Internet radio accessing 20,000+ stations
  • Spotify
  • Bluetooth with aptX
  • NFC Android Bluetooth connection
  • DLNA WIFI
  • Music player allowing easy navigation and playback through a USB or network-shared library of music files, including AAC+, MP3, WMA, WAV, and FLAC
  • 4 High-Res inputs: 2 analog, 1 Optical, and 1 USB.
  • Google Cast-ready
  • Amazon Dot-ready

It even has a “high-performance” FM tuner and is DAB+ compatible, especially great if you live in Europe.

It also sounds like they’ve spent time designing a proper acoustic chamber/chassis and are fueling a 3″ woofer and 3/4″ dome tweeter with a 2 X 30 watt RMS amplifier. This radio should pack some audio punch.

The Como Audio Duetto

The Como Audio Duetto

The only obvious thing I see missing on the Como Audio WiFi radios is an internal battery.

Still, after watching the video and reviewing the specs, I backed the campaign to receive a walnut Kickstarter Edition Solo. If all goes well––and I never actually expect a campaign to produce and ship a product in the amount of time they expect––they may be shipping the radios as early as October.

The campaign has already met it’s goal of $50,000 and is now stretching for $100,000 with more incentives.

So, I didn’t really need another WiFi radio, but thanks to Robert’s email––yep, I bought one! Now the only question remains:  can you actually make impulse purchases on Kickstarter? I think I just proved that you can.