My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Monday, September 18, 2017

VHF DX


Art, W1AWX, lives in Eastern Mass and occasionally sends me frequencies of VHF activity in his neck of the woods to check at my QTH here 90 miles away in Central Connecticut. At the Boxboro Hamfest, Art said he would send me the frequency of the Mt. Monadnock State Park Search and Rescue repeater output (151.385 MHz) in southern New Hampshire to check out.

Mt. Monadnock is 95 miles away and I had doubts that I would hear the repeater. But one afternoon, I tuned my ELAD FDM-S2/SW2 receiver (connected to my ICOM AH-7000 discount antenna) to 151.385 and about an hour later, I heard some traffic on that frequency that jived with state park search and rescue chatter.

I reported my success to W1AWX and he suggested I check the repeater's input frequency (159.375). Hearing the repeater output is one thing, but hearing stations on the repeater input seemed unimaginable in light of the fact that stations on the repeater's input probably are transmitting less power with less efficient antennas than the repeater.

I tuned my receiver to the repeater's input anyway and a few minutes later, I was very surprised to hear a station with state park search and rescue chatter on the channel!

Monday, September 11, 2017

My Four-Day Weekend


0900 UTC Monday morning was productive. I heard Jacksonville, Florida's WBOB on 1330 kHz again and added two new stations to the log:

WBTN on 1370 kHz transmitting 85 watts from Bennington, Vermont, 89 miles to the north-northwest.

WPLM on 1390 kHz transmitting 5 kw from Plymouth, Massachusetts, 118 miles to the east-northeast.

All were heard on my ELAD FDM-S2/FDM-SW2 SDR receiver and 80-meter inverted Vee.

đŸ“»đŸ“»đŸ“»

I finished installing my vintage Hy-Gain 18AVQ vertical antenna today. After connecting the antenna to radio, I immediately noticed that the noise floor was much lower with the vertical than with my 80-meter inverted Vee. I look forward to giving the vertical a workout the next few nights.

đŸ“»đŸ“»đŸ“»

I attended the Boxboro Hamfest Friday and Saturday and had a good time meeting up with old friends and making some new friends, too. The weather was perfect and I spent some time perusing the flea market, but I did not buy anything. Indoors, I bought a Powerpole tool kit and an assortment of Powerpole terminals to help me begin Powerpolling my radio shack. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What's New


I have not blogged much since the eclipse because I have not had much to blog about until now.

đŸ“»đŸ“»đŸ“»

The dozen recordings of the AM band that I made during the eclipse turned up nothing interesting. In fact, the one anomaly that I heard live during the eclipse did not show up in my recordings.

đŸ“»đŸ“»đŸ“»

Thursday night EDT at about 0300 UTC, there were carriers galore on the AM band: on 621, 657, 828, 864, 1035, 1242, 1278, 1485, 1503, 1656 and 1692. 1656 even had weak, but unintelligible audio.

I never saw anything like it and at first, I thought there was something wrong with my radio because there were also carriers on 725, 898, 933, 966, 1173, 1208, 1312, 1346, 1415, 1553, 1588 and 1622 that don't match up with any normal broadcast channels I am aware of.

Friday night, about the same time, there were carriers only on 585 and 855, so I guess my radio (ELAD FDM-S2) was not broken the night before.

đŸ“»đŸ“»đŸ“»

Saturday evening at around 2230 UTC, I grabbed my C.Crane CCRadio 2E and tuned around the AM band. On 1270 kc, I heard a weather report that was warmer than the local weather, so I stuck around and was rewarded with a new station: WLBR in Lebanon, PA, transmitting 5 kW, 204 miles to the west-southwest. That was a very nice catch just using the internal antenna in the venerable 2E.

đŸ“»đŸ“»đŸ“»  

Next weekend, I will be in Boxboro, Massachusetts for the New England Division Convention. I plan to arrive mid-afternoon Friday and attend a DX Dinner Friday evening. Saturday, I will take in the workshops and presentations of interest and peruse the flea market and exhibitor booths, then drive home Saturday evening.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse Report

Eclipse from downtown Wolcott, CT, at 1854 UTC
(photographed while holding my telescope's sun filter in front of the lens of my iPhone 6)
I made over a dozen recordings of the AM broadcast band during the eclipse and I will review them later. I also had my C.Crane CC Skywave receiver outdoors with me during the event. I programmed six frequencies from this list into the Skywave – 650, 670, 750, 1040, 1190 and 1510 – frequencies that are dead air during daylight here.

I heard nothing on these frequencies during the hour leading up to the eclipse maximum here in Wolcott at 1845 UTC. About 15 minutes later, I could hear a week signal on 1510 that became stronger during the next ten minutes – strong enough to be intelligible and identifiable: WRNJ in Hackettstown, NJ, transmitting 2,000 watts, 113 miles to the west-southwest. The signal peaked at about 1915 UTC and then slowly faded into the noise disappearing completely at about 1930 UTC.

I hear WRNJ most nights, but never during daylight, so I assume the eclipse's "nighttime" conditions were the reason I heard it this afternoon.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

3 new stations

Added three new stations to the AM radio log this week.

WOON on graveyard channel 1240 kHz transmitting 1 kW from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, 79 miles to the east-northeast.

WBRK on graveyard channel 1340 kHz transmitting 1 kW from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 58 miles to the north-northwest.

WVBF on 1530 kHz transmitting 4 watts (!!!) from Middleborough Center, Massachusetts, 99 miles to the east-northeast.

Thursday night, I also heard BBC4 on 198 kHz stronger than they have been in long awhile.

Everything was heard on my ELAD FDM-S2/FDM-SW2 receiver and 80-meter inverted Vee antenna.