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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This is nuts!

It is the last day of January in west central Connecticut and the temperature reached 53.5° F early this afternoon. It is 9:50 PM as I type this and the temperature is 44°.

Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer.

Go figure!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Surfin’: When Digital Was Mechanical

This week, Surfin’ recalls those mechanical digital clocks that once proliferated ham shacks everywhere.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

LW Loggings

Early last evening, longwave conditions were such that I could not hear BBC Radio 4 at all on 198 kHz. However, I did log two new radio navigation beacons, both in Canada:

ZHU - 407 kHz - Montreal-Saint Hubert, QC - 265 mi
YWA - 516 kHz - Petawawa, ON- 365 mi

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow IV

The weatherman predicted 8 inches, but only 4  inches of snow accumulated on Compounce Mountain yesterday. Total snowfall this winter is 10 inches.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Surfin’: Doing Something New

This week, Surfin’ metaphorically connects The Fab Four’s record releases and the ham radio experience.


Snow III

One  inch of snow accumulated on Compounce Mountain last night. Total snowfall this winter is 6 inches.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LW Loggings

New longwave loggings Wednesday evening:

2Q - 373 kHz - Mont Laurier, QC, Canada - 363 mi
AR - 356 kHz - Providence, RI - 80 mi
JU - 410 kHz - Jefferson, NC - 583 mi

Around 0100Z, BBC Radio 4 - 198 kHz - 3375 mi - was stronger than I ever heard it before.

On the indoor loop antenna project front, I went to Home Depot today and after considering a couple of options, I decided to build the cross-arms of the antenna with PVC pipe. I bought a 10-foot 1/2-inch diameter section of PVC, a cross connector to mate the four cross-arms, and PVC cement to hold it all together.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BBC Radio 4 II

I powered the TS-440S at 2300 UTC 17 January and tuned to 198 kHz.

I could tell that there was a station there, but it was way down in the mud. The voices sounded like they were mumbling; there was no discernible intelligence.

The signal started coming up at around 2325. An occasional word was intelligible.

At 2330, a female clearly identified the station, "BBC Radio 4."

The signal gradually returned to the mud. Meanwhile, radio navigation station DIW in Dixon, NC, showed up and got stronger as BBC 4 disappeared.

DIW held the frequency for about 15 minutes, then conditions reversed. BBC 4 got stronger and DIW dropped into the mud.

At 0000 UTC, BBC 4 played the Westminster Chimes of Big Ben.

Very cool! 

Snow II

It snowed overnight for the second snow event this winter. Three inches accumulated on Compounce Mountain, but heavy rains are in the forecast for this afternoon, so there may not be much snow left after the rain.

Total snowfall this winter is 5 inches, which is 30 inches less than one year ago.

Monday, January 16, 2012

BBC Radio 4 in the Log

I logged BBC Radio 4 this evening on 198 kHz. It is my best LW/MW DX thus far, 3375 miles

Friday, January 13, 2012

LW and MW DX

As I wrote in this week's Surfin', "During the holidays, I began chasing long and medium wave DX using my Kenwood TS-440S transceiver and an inverted V antenna cut for 40 meters."

The December 23 installment of Surfin' about ultra-light radios sparked my interest to explore the long and medium waves. I began monitoring the bands while cleaning and reorganzing the shack.

I started by listening on the long wave band and logged 33 aeronautical navigation stations sending their IDs in CW. The best DX was ZIY in Georgetown, Grand Cayman on 344 kHz.

After hearing all I could hear long wave wise, I began working my way from one end to the other of the AM broadcast band. After a few days, I logged 72 stations. The best DX was WWL in New Orleans on 870 kHz.

I am building an indoor loop antenna, which I hope to complete this weekend, which I hope will result in new log entries.

By the way, I am indebted to William Hepburn's LW Radio Beacons and The Western Hemisphere List for their lists of  LW and MW stations, respectfully, that helped me identify what I heard.    

Surfin’: Listening Anew

This week, Surfin’ describes how to become a PopComm monitoring station and obtain another call sign to boot.


Thursday, January 12, 2012


First snow of the season fell overnight. About 1-2 inches at the top of Compounce Mountain followed by heavy rain and rising temperatures, so the snow will not last.

In comparison, on this date one year ago, we had a 17-inch snowfall, which added up to 35 inches total for the winter at that point (there was lots more to come).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Surfin’: Going Techno

This week, Surfin’ discovers a techie surprise under the Christmas tree.