Apr 22, 2016

A word for Shortwave Beginners

A few things about shortwave:
  • The time of day matters - more specifically where the night-path is relative to you and the station you are listening to. Path that allows shortwave to propagate to the other side of the world is created by the Sun ionizing the ionosphere - too much and you get noise; too little and there is no propagation; typically the residual ionization after daylight allows from best propagation without overwhelming the signals with turbulence and noise. This means you have to pick the time when you listen to match the specific station propagation path necessary; it's not an "always on" thing like the internet.
  • Antennas matter. You can get by with small ones; even stock whips but there will be a lot of stations you will not hear without more power. Basically you can only receive stations with enough power to be above the "noise floor" of your receiver - there is no magic that can recover stations below the noise. Antenna size is directly related to have much electromagnetic radiation you can convert to energy for your radio. Bigger net == Smaller signals received.
  • Look at program schedules to identify specific signals you want to try to receive. There is the paper version of the WRTH which is all broadcast radio on shortwave and then some. There are online resources as well. One nice feature of this is the broadcasters have often picked their schedules for best reception is a given target area so you don't have to calculate the propagation details yourself.
  • Have patience. Sometimes signals simply "drop out" or "fade". It's "a feature" of shortwave. Think about the times when shortwave was the only best way to communicate internationally in a timely fashion in many cases (e.g. from the 1930s through the 1960s). Even today intercontinental jet flights to Europe or Asia use shortwave for contacting "civilization".

Apr 9, 2016

WBCQ 1930s Music


Apr 8, 2016

County Comm GP5/SSB

It finally arrived- my County Comm GP5-SSB shortwave radio. County Comm came through and shipped me one direct after a misfire. This radio has the capability of receiving SSB whereas the Tescun PL-360 cannot.

This County Comm SSB radio is very sensitive, and the speaker is very good for the size. Tuning is a snap with the ETM feature. This is a good radio for your bugout kit. It takes 3 AA batteries but you can charge those batteries via a USB charge port.

Apr 2, 2016

Pirate radio: WAZU


Mar 31, 2016

Pirate radio: Radio Free Whatever


Mar 30, 2016

SDR Console v3 Sneak Peek


Mar 28, 2016

USAF HFGCS Station List

Andersen Air Base             Guam (ALE: GUA)
Andrews Air Force Base        MD (ALE: ADW)
Ascension Island AF           S Atlantic (ALE: HAW)
Croughton AB                  UK (ALE: CRO)
Diego Garcia NS               Indian Ocean (ALE: JDG)
Elmendorf AFB                 AK (ALE: AED)
Falklands?                    S. Atlantic Ocean (ALE: MPA)
Hickam AFB                    HI (ALE: HIK)
Keflavik NAS                  Iceland (ALE: IKF)
Lajes AB                      Azores (ALE: PLA)
McClellan AF                  CA (ALE: MCC)
Offutt AFB                    NE (ALE: OFF)
Salinas                       PR (ALE: JNR; Voice: "Puerto Rico")
Sigonella NAS                 Sicily (ALE: ICZ)
Yokota AB                     Japan (ALE: JTY)

4724.0 6739.0 8992.0 11175.0 13200.0 15016.0

8992 and 11175 are 24-hour. Lower ones are used for traffic at
night, higher ones in the day time. EAM can be simulcast on any
of these. 

HFGCS Lexicon:

A---            US Army callsign, usually a troop boat or terminal
AR              Aerial Refueling, usually with a track number
AUTODIN         Automated Digital Network
Block time      Final arrival time, when plane is in the blocks
Class A, B      Refers to explosive on board
CNCS            Centralized Network Control Station (Andrews)
DSN             Defense Switched Network, old "Autovon"
DV              Distinguished Visitor
FL              Flight level (altitude when higher up)
Hazmat          Hazardous cargo
IFE             Inflight emergency, as declared by pilot
IR              Instrument Route; aerial training routes
M&W             Morale and Welfare (patch)
MAINSAIL        General call: Any ground station this net
METRO           Base weather office
NIPRNET         Non-Secret Internet Protocol Routing Network
Offload         Fuel, in pounds
Pallets         Cargo
Pax             Passengers
PIREP           Pilot Report; weather observation with standard items
REACH           Standing callsign: any AMC flight.  Followed by
                tail or mission number, or a special code.
RON             Remain Over Night (crew needs place to sleep)
RTB             Return To Base, mission aborted
SAM             Special Air Mission (VIP)
SCOPE           System Capable Of Planned Expansion
SIPRNET         Secure Internet Protocol Routing Network
SKYBIRD         Group callsign: all STRATCOM assets on net
SKYKING         Group callsign: all SIOP assets on net

Mar 27, 2016

Flex 6300 - CQ World Wide WPX Contest


Mar 26, 2016

Commradio CR 1a and Miniwhip Antenna


Mar 25, 2016

Pirate: Black Cat Radio