Monthly Archives: December 2016

The last set of logs for 2017

I had an idea today (they don’t happen very often!) of trying to listen to New Year celebrations from around the world. This was prompted by a post on one of the Facebook groups. So the plan was to listen to RNZI just after 11:00 UTC, as New Zealand sees the new year first. And then 2 hours later, tune into ABC Australia for their celebrations and so on and so on. Well, I hadn’t planned it very carefully, and with a mixture of family stuff to do and poor conditions, well, it didn’t happen. So my only resolution for next year is to plan this event properly, by drawing up a list of stations, frequencies and times. And if the propagation is OK, then it should work out. It will certainly make for an interesting listening schedule.

May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy and Peaceful 2017. Let us hope that the world is a little less fraught next year, and some of the ongoing wars finally come to and end. Thank you to all who use this blog, your support is very valued.

Let us also hope that some of the major broadcasters change their minds about shortwave (ABC I especially mean you!). Quite how the government ‘take over’ of VOA will pan out is any ones guess, but it would be nice to think they will not influence output, and stay in the background as a funding stream only.

Some listening from this afternoon took me to many parts of this wonderful world as usual. Hope you enjoy these and see you next year.

Charlie.

9645 Khz Australia Reach Beyond Australia 13:52 UTC English. Religious broadcast. Faith to Faith program SINPO: 44444 2016-12-31

15140 Khz Oman R Sultanate of Oman 14:20 UTC English. Pop music. SINPO: 44444 2016-12-31

15610 Khz USA WEWN 14:28 UTC English. ‘Agony Aunt’ show. SINPO: 43333 2016-12-31

15825 Khz USA WWCR 14:32 UTC English. Religious program. SINPO: 33333 2016-12-31

13590 Khz Thailand VOA Deewa Radio 14:34 UTC Pashto. OM with discussion program SINPO: 33333 2016-12-31

13630 Khz Botswana VOA 14:37 UTC Kinyarwanda. Mixture of english and african pop music SINPO: 33333 2016-12-31

13800 Khz Germany R Tamazuj 14:44 UTC Sudanese. Music and chat SINPO: 32222 2016-12-31

13800 Khz Madagascar R Tamazuj 15:01 UTC Sudanese. Music and chat. ID at 15:03 SINPO: 33333 2016-12-31

13820 Khz USA WWCR 15:05 UTC English. Religious program. SINPO: 44444 2016-12-31

13680 Khz Zambia Voice of Hope Africa 15:07 UTC English. Music and chat SINPO: 32233 2016-12-31

9335 Khz Phillipines VOA 15:52 UTC Burmese. OM and YL announcers with news. Obama mentioned a couple of times. SINPO: 33333 2016-12-31

9345 Khz Phillipines FEBC 15:55 UTC Mandarin. OM with discussion. SINPO: 44444 2016-12-31

9425 Khz North Korea V O Korea 15:58 UTC Russian. Severe ACI from FEBC on 9430 SINPO: 43333 2016-12-31

9525 Khz Java V O Indonesia 16:05 UTC Arabic. Quaran chant. SINPO: 43333 2016-12-31

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Fabulous 41(m)

I don’t often do much listening on the 41m, as a lot of frequencies are used by either CRI with their blow-torch signal, or the various flavours of CNR, which are the regional Chinese stations. Add to this Firedrake/CRI jammer jamming VOA, RFE and RFA broadcasts among others, it doesn’t leave much room for anything else. But with a bit of digging, and at times, switching to LSB to enable narrow filtering and use of Notch filters, other stations pop out of the noise.

This afternoon I decided to have a tune of the 41m band and found a surprising number of interesting stations. Yes, CRI caused some major ACI at times, but digging out the other stations is all part of the fun and skill of Shortwave! With the DSP filtering on the 450D, it is possible to do this reasonably easily.

And so to the logs:

7310 Khz Germany R Menchen 09:31 UTC Playing 60s and 70s pop. Sudden fade-out at 09:36 SINPO: 43333 2016-12-30

6070 Khz Germany Channel 292 09:45 UTC English. World Deliverance program. SINPO: 33333 2016-12-30

7355 Khz New Zealand RNZI 15:38 UTC English. All Night Programme discussing various items including climate change. SINPO: 22222 2016-12-30

7465 Khz Singapore BBCWS 15:50 UTC English. Sports news. SINPO: 43333 2016-12-30

7475 Khz Thailand RFE 16:00 UTC Tajik. World News. SINPO: 44444 2016-12-30

7510 Khz Uzbekistan Voice of The Martyrs 16:05 UTC Korean. YL announcer SINPO: 22222 2016-12-30

7250 Khz Bangladesh Bangladesh Betar 16:15 UTC Arabic. Music and chat. Severe ACI from CRI 7255. SINPO: 42333 2016-12-30

7445 Khz Madagascar BBCWS 16:32 UTC English. The World – Have Your Say program SINPO: 43333 2016-12-30

 

Christmas Eve logs

I will be spending the evening doing family things (Xmas films and associated good-hearted nonsense), so I decided to get a bit if listening in this afternoon.

When I start a listening session, especially during the day, I usually start with the highest band I think will support communication, and gradually work down. You can soon work out from this what the MUF (Maximum Usable Frequency) is. So today, I started on the 17m band, but nothing doing So I moved down to the 19m band. There I found Oman with Pop music and English DJ, so moved on to 15580, knowing that VOA would have their Music Time in Africa program. I love this program as it show cases African music, which covers all genres. At the start, around 15:15, the signal strength was not too good. As time went on, the strength improved until 15:45 when it was very strong. Suspecting a bit of grey line influence, I checked the Grey Line map and sure enough, Botswana was still in daylight, and the UK just in darkness. This is a useful technique to discover which parts of the world you are most likely to hear stations from. The affect only lasts a short time, as by sign off at 15:59, the signal from VOA was starting to fade out again.

Another station heard today was ZBC on 11735, one which I hadn’t heard for a while, usually due to ACI (Adjacent Channel Interference) or same channel interference from CRI. Signal strength was poor though.

Just a few logs, but an enjoyable listening session nonetheless. Listening to Music Time in Africa was a perfect chill-out for me on Christmas Eve afternoon.

Have a really good day tomorrow. You never know, there maybe a new receiver in your stocking!

Logs:

15140 Khz Oman Radio Sultanate of Oman 15:11 UTC English. Pop music. Some QSB SINPO: 33333 2016-12-24

15580 Khz Botswana VOA 15:15 UTC Englis. Music Time in Africa with Heather Maxwell. By 15:45 signal strength improved to 4n. SINPO: 43333 2016-12-24

13680 Khz Zambia Voice of Hope Africa 16:04 UTC English. Religious broadcast. SINPO: 32222 2016-12-24

11625 Khz Madagascar Vatican Radio 16:10 UTC Swahili. Discussion and carols. SINPO: 32233 2016-12-24

11735 Khz Tanzania ZBC 16:13 UTC Swahili. Discussion. SINPO: 22222 2016-12-24

12095 Khz South Africa BBCWS 16:20 UTC Christmas carols service. SINPO: 22222 2016-12-24

Christmas 2016

May I wish readers of this blog (all one of you!), a very happy Christmas and peaceful 2017. Looking forward to fewer CME’s and less noise on the bands.

I am lucky in that I don’t return to work until the 3rd January, so I am hoping to get a good amount of listening and hopefully, post some good logs.

All the best, and Good DX to all.

BITX40 now goes digital

Earlier this year, Farhan of BITX20 fame, released a 40m version of his famous transceiver. The difference this time was it was not just the schematic with detailed instructions, but a full kit, for the princely sum of $45 (about £35 GBP). And this is an almost ready to go kit, with all onboard components already fitted. These boards are assembled by a team of ladies in India, and provides them with employment. All the user has to do is select a suitable enclosure and with some basic metal bashing skills, put together a decent single band SSB transceiver, with 6-7 watts of RF output.

One of the observations of many early adopters of this kit was it suffered from drift, due to the varicap tuning arrangement. Also, tuning with the supplied pot was somewhat critical, and many users purchased a 10-turn pot to overcome these limitations. Yet others have put together Arduino-based VFO’s with digital readout etc.

Farhan has now addressed these comments and produced a version complete with Arduino-based digital VFO + readout for $59! This is a real winner, and I am being seriously tempted to purchase the kit. I have been ‘off-air’ for many years due to the reduced level of conduct on the HF bands, but this kit may just tempt me back. It would provide an ideal back-pack or SOTA rig, powered by a 12v gelcel.

For more details about this kit see the HF Sigs website