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

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Invitation to Contribute to PSR

The deadline for the pre-Hamvention issue of TAPR's quarterly newsletter, Packet Status Register (PSR), is approaching. Please send your cards, letters, articles, etc., whatever you have, to me by clicking on the WA1LOU mailbox in the righthand column of this blog.

Thank-you and 73,

WA1LOU, PSR editor

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

C.Crane CCRadio3 Notes


I bought a first-production-run C.Crane CCRadio3 AM/FM/WX/2-Meter receiver after reading K4SWL’s preview on his blog, The SWL Post.

I already own the highly-regarded C.Crane CCRadio 2E Enhanced, which I reviewed here five years ago, so I decided to compare the two on the AM, FM and weather bands. Before comparing the two radios, I recalibrated the antennas of both radios, then with the radios sitting side-by-side, I tuned each radio through each band channel-by-channel

My findings follow.

On the AM band, the 3 captured signals faster than the 2E.

Occasionally, signals were stronger on the 3 than on the 2E and vice versa, but most of the time, the signal strength was the same on both radios. So I conclude that the sensitivity of the two radios are the same.

I tried the 3’s new Bluetooth function before reading the manual. I just pressed the Bluetooth button to access the Bluetooth mode and my iPhone and MacBook Pro found the 3 without pressing the radio's Pair button, as instructed by the manual.

In conclusion, the differences I found between the 3 and the 2E were (1) the 3’s ability to capture AM signals was noticeably faster than the 2E and (2) the addition of the Bluetooth function in the 3.

I did not notice any other performance enhancements. I was hoping that the 3 might be more sensitive than the 2E (not that the 2E is not sensitive — it certainly is!), but I'd say that the 3 and 2E Enhanced are about equal sensitivity-wise, as well as selectivity-wise.

Believe it or not moments... During the comparison, I was very surprised that on two occasions (on 820 and 1500 kHz), each radio simultaneously received different stations while tuned to the same frequency!

UPDATE: This post also appeared on K4SWL's ever popular The SWLing Post.

Friday, February 22, 2019

More Taxed Loggings


As I continued working on taxes on Thursday, I logged three new stations:

WATD on 1460 kHz at 2145 UTC transmitting 5,000 watts from Brockton, Massachusetts, 100 miles to the east-northeast

WLMC on 1470 kHz at 0030 UTC (Friday) transmitting 147 watts from Georgetown, South Carolina, 667 miles to the south-southwest

WNAU on 1470 kHz at 0120 UTC (Friday) transmitting 500 watts from New Albany, Mississippi, 1001 miles to the southwest

All three had oldies formats and all were heard on my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Taxed Logging

While I sit at my MacBook Pro running Turbotax to do my family's taxes, I tune up and down the AM/MW radio dial of my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver, which is sitting next to my computer. I tune to a frequency with a weak station and just let the radio sit there for awhile to see whet transpires as I work with Turbotax.

I don't usually do much IC-R8600 listening during the day, so I am not surprised to find some new stations to enter into the log (two new ones on Sunday and another new one on Wednesday).

WGHQ was Wednesday's catch of the day. Transmitting 1,000 watts on 920 kHz from Kingston, New York, 56 miles to the west-northwest, this was a difficult catch because WGHQ was running neck and neck with WHJJ transmitting 5,000 watts from Providence, Rhode Island, 80 miles to the east. I had to listen to WHJJ's broadcast of Lush Rimbo for over a half hour before I was able to identify WGHQ.

Antenna used with the IC-R8600 was my ICOM AH-7000 discone.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Not the past tense of "go"

WENT (Source: Google)
WENT 

A half mile down the road, a car hit a utility pole and knocked out power at 2:45 AM. I slept through the power outage until about 5 AM when the house started cooling down and I woke up.

After I called the electric company, I went to the shack to listen to the radio without noise. The LW band was packed with stations, but I did not log anything new. The AM/MW band was humming, too, so I set up my ELAD FDM-S2/FDM-SW2 receiver to record four minutes at the next top of the hour (6 AM) and I went back to bed to warm up under the covers.

Reviewing the top of the hour recording, I logged two new stations.

WPVQ, "The Outlaw," on 700 kHz, transmitting 2,500 watts from Orange-Athol, Massachusetts, 74 miles to the north-northeast.

WENT on 1340 kHz, transmitting 1,000 watts from Gloversville, New York, 120 miles to the north-northwest. (It is the first new graveyard logging since August.)

Antenna: 80-meter dipole

Power returned at 9:45 AM.

Friday, February 1, 2019

VOA 77 Today

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the establishment of America’s largest international broadcaster – Voice of America.

Read all about it here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Recently Logged


Freezing rain and high winds resulted in a power outage in my neck of the woods Monday. I love the sound of a low noise floor in the morning and I logged three new navigational beacons among the 15 I could hear during the power outage that I normally cannot hear otherwise.

CAT on 254 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Chatham, New Jersey, 99 miles to the southwest

SW on 335 kHz transmitting 50 watts from Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, 67 miles to the west.

FR on 407 kHz transmitting 25 watts from Plainview/Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, 65 miles to the south-southwest

Also added ZZR to the log on January 11 on 317 kHz transmitting 30 watts from Quinte West, Ontario, 290 miles to the north-northwest

All four were received with an ELAD FDM-S2/SW2 receiver and an 80-meter inverted Vee antenna.

Also added WPTK to the log on January 16 on 850 kHz transmitting 5kw from Raleigh, North Carolina, 512 miles to the southwest.

And on January 17, I added CHUM on 1050 kHz transmitting 50,000 watts from Toronto, Ontario, 363 miles to the north-northwest.

Both were received with an ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and an ICOM ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna.

Friday, January 4, 2019

RMQ = RQM

Source: townofrangeley.com
RMQ (Source: townofrangeley.com)
Getting nowhere fast trying to identify navigational beacon RMQ, I posted a message on the IRCA email list and quickly received replies that solved the mystery. It seems that navigational beacon RQM in Rangeley, Maine, has been identifying itself incorrectly as RQM for years! Go figure!

RQM transmits 25 watts from northwestern Maine, 354 miles to the north-northeast on 221 kHz.

By the way, some of the folks who responded to my plea for help belong to the NDB List. If I had been aware of the NDB List, I would have found the answer to my mystery because RQM's erroneous identification has been discussed a few times on the list. Anyway, I joined the list post haste.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Very Happy New Years Eve

Conditions New Years Eve afternoon and evening were interesting.

Earlier, Mike, KA3JAW, alerted me to a geomagnetic storm and possible aurora propagation. Not sure if that was the cause of what I heard, but something was playing tricks with the ether yesterday.

About 3 PM local time, I started tuning up and down the LW and MW bands. LW was dead, but MW was interesting. I immediately logged a new station: WCPA in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, transmitting 2500 watts, 288 miles to the west on 900 kHz. That distance at that time of day was a bit unusual.

As I continued to tune up and down the band, I noticed stations to the west and southwest pounding in — stations I normally don't hear until after dark like WLW on 700 kHz in Cincinnati, 635 mile away, which is way beyond ground wave propagation.

I took a break for dinner and when I returned, the band was still hopping. I could hear Cuban stations up and down the band. All were old loggings except for one new one that was very strong challenging WHAM on 1180 kHz: Radio Rebelde in San Cristobal, Cuba, transmitting 1000 watts, 1433 miles to the south-southwest.

After dark, LW became interesting, too. I was hearing beacons I rarely hear like and DIW on 198 kHz in Dixon, North Carolina, and SJ on 212 kHz in Saint John, Nova Scotia. I did log one new one: RMQ on 222 kHz, but I don't know where it is located because it does not show up on any navigational beacon lists. 

By the way, RQM in Maine transmits on 221 MHz and I had to make sure that I was not transposing its Q and M when I heard RMQ. Also, by the way, RMQ is located in the USA because it did not transmit the long dash between identifications like the Canadian stations do. Still one more by the way, RMQ is the three-letter designator for an airport in Taiwan — I am pretty sure I did not hear Taiwan on LW last night.

Radio equipment used: ICOM IC-R8600 receiver, 80-meter dipole antenna, ICOM IC-AH700 disco antenna.