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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Taco Bandido and the Dead Zone


AM band radio conditions have not been wonderful lately and I have nothing to add to the log.

Listening to 1400 kc on the way to work this morning, there were a handful of stations in the mud without not much intelligence except for an advertisement for a restaurant called "Taco Bandido" or "Taco Bandito." No location was announced and looking up the restaurant on the Internet was not much help because there were more than one with the same name. The nearest Taco Bandido is in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which jives with WICK on 1400  and would have been a new logging, but that is not good enough for a logging.

I noticed something odd while driving to work. My commute takes me through Meriden, Connecticut, via I-691 and I noticed that if my radio is tuned in the neighborhood of 1400 kc as it was this morning, the receiver becomes dead quiet as I approach the downtown Meriden exits and continues to be dead for over a mile as I pass through the downtown area. In this dead zone, I do not hear any signals and I wonder if I am actually hearing a strong unmodulated carrier that is blocking out everything else in that area.

Monday, March 23, 2015

WEAV in the log


New Haven’s WELI usually lays claim to 960 kc around here, but last night, WEAV popped in for about five minutes with a stronger signal than WELI. The Plattsburg, NY, station with transmitters in Peru, NY, peaked at an S-5 at 0158 UTC. WEAV was transmitting 5 kW, 205 miles to my north while running an advertisement for Poulin Auto Sales.

Receiver used was my barefoot C.Crane CC Skywave.

Friday, March 20, 2015

73 Magazine


Without an Elmer, I depended on magazines to learn about radio.

Before becoming a ham, I read Popular Electronics and Electronics Illustrated to learn about medium and shortwave listening. When I got the ham radio bug, I read CQ and became an Associate Member, that is, an unlicensed member of the ARRL so I could read QST. After I got my ham license (WN1LOU), I became a Full Member of the ARRL and soon had subscriptions to the "big four," that is, 73, CQ, Ham Radio and QST.

73 was the most entertaining of the "big four." It's publisher, Wayne Green, W2NSD, stirred the pot in his monthly editorials. Whether you agreed with Wayne or not, his words were usually interesting and often thought-provoking.

When the FM repeater mode was taking off, 73 covered that mode extensively while the other magazines barely acknowledged the mode. 73 via Wayne also recognized the potential of home computers before most of the rest of us did (and I thank him for getting me interested in computers way back when). And finally, 73 was the first magazine to publish yours truly, which kicked-off my professional writing career.

73 is long gone and although I saved many back issues of the big four, they are tucked away back in a corner of the attic, so they might well be in the Copernicus Crater as far as easy access is concerned.

Good news is that every issue of 73, from October 1960 to May 2003, 519 issues, are now available as pdfs on four DVDs for $14.97 from Amazon.

I ordered the discs on Sunday and they arrived Thursday, so now I won't have to visit my attic or Copernicus to read 73 back issues.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Will is Ill

I have been ill this week and not up to listening to noisy radio stations. So I have no new loggings to share with you, but I do have this very cool ham radio video to show you.


Friday, March 13, 2015

1,000 Watts, 1,000 Miles


No sign of aurora today, but conditions on the AM band were very good and I nabbed KCJJ on 1630 kc transmitting 1,000 watts from Iowa City, Iowa, nearly 1,000 miles to my west. I had already logged KCJJ from the home station, but it was nice to copy it from the Subaru on the way to work.

About a quarter mile into my commute, I heard the station ID loud and clear. I stayed on frequency to see how KCJJ’s signal would play the rest of the way to work. The signal was up and down most of the trip, but during the last 10 minutes, the signal kept building in strength and sounded like a local by the time I parked the car in the company yard.