Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3/21/17: A few recent logs

I've been sending out a bunch of generic informational e-mails about the Global HF Weekend. My apologies for not sending personal e-mails to everyone right now, but I don't have time. I have been trying to respond to everyone who writes back, but I still have a few more e-mails to catch up with.

Before I do that, I've had a chance to listen to the radio a little bit here'n'there, so next are a few loggings:

The Crystal Ship (tent.): 3425, 3/22, 0050+ Little more than a carrier on 90m in plenty of static crashes.

WHYP: 4065U, 3/20, 0111+ Excellent signal. I tuned in during an old Radio Bingo show, with lots of repeating phrases, etc. John Arthur wins the bingo prize! Also a few audio bits of Radio Free Euphoria and WMOE in the mix. Then into WHYP with plenty of music, including Sex Pistols “Anarachy in the UK” The Damned “New Rose” Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop” The Lurkers “Shadow”
The Minutemen “History Lesson, Pt. II” The Nosebleeds “Ain’t Been to No Music School” Off after George Zeller repeated bits

The Relay Station: 5150, 3/21, 1608+ Manfred Mann "Blinded by the Light" The Doors "Riders on the Storm" & much more. Good/VG signal

Radio Free Whatever: 6930U, 3/19, ca. 0100+ Weak most of the broadcast. Didn't hear a lot, but did hear Dick Weed mention that he was going to sign off because the signal seemed to be skipping over most everyone now.

Radyo Oleg: 6965U, 3/20, 2148+ Poor, with some fair peaks. A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran” Laura Brannigan “Self-Control”Clear ID with “Radyo Oleg . . . Northern Ireland . . .shortwave, your station” with processing and delay on the final syllable of “station”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

E-mailing about Global HF Pirate Weekend

Just finished sending out info about the Global HF Pirate Weekend to a few hundred European stations from the UKDXer e-mail list. If you have a station that's on this list but you didn't receive an e-mail, let me know because it means that I either don't have it or a have a bad address for you (I have had a large number of bouncebacks). Now I need to post notices to more sites, etc. And, any listeners or operators can feel free to pass information, too. The event is already in place; I'm just passing information around so that more people will hopefully know about it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Some logs: Blizzard logs? 3/12-3/14/17

I hope that our heater or our neighbor's TV or whatever it is starts working properly because I'm getting S9+ noise on the low bands and if snow is a good reason to be on the air, then tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday should be awesome days for broadcasting most everywhere from Chicago to Maine. With NYC preparing for a blizzard, it'd be great to hear one of the old stations at the top of the AM band again, but I doubt that'll happen. Likewise for the long call-in shows from WONS in the 43m band. Regardless, I'll try to keep checking the bands for something interesting.

WHYP: 6940U, 3/12, 2200+ A Jay retrospective, with his last interview with JB. Fair signal. Off with "Goodbye to You"

The Crystal Ship: 3425, 3/13, around 0300 Probably a pretty good signal, but I could only hear the carrier & a bit of music because of wideband S9+ local noise from something. Maybe a bad heater?

The Relay Station: 5150, 3/13, 2208+ Boston "Don't Look Back" VG signal & audio

Well, the blizzard was pretty much a bust here. 6" instead of the 12"-18" that the weather forecasters were calling for. I spent the day sweeping, scrubbing, & polyurethaning a floor--and missed a pi-day themed station in the morning. But I've got one on now:

unid: 6925U, 3/14, 2251+ Run DMC "It's Tricky." Excellent signal

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that I heard a bit of something earlier:

unid: 6925U, 3/14, ca1600 Folks on HFU were reporting TV show audio. I tuned in and the signal was getting buried under local noise, still leftover from last night, around S7. Someone with a strong AM signal signed on overtop and swished the VFO back'n'forth a few times.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Next Global HF Weekend: March 30-April 2, 2017

Next Global HF Weekend: March 30-April 2, 2017
It's still a few weeks away, so be sure to mark the next Global HF Pirate Weekend on your calendar. The last one, which occurred during the first weekend in November was a sort of trial run. Cupid Radio and Mike Radio from The Netherlands were both widely reported in North America, and the former even made it to Japan. Sluwe Vos Radio wasn't reported as much in North America, but this Dutch station was reported in Brazil during the last GHF weekend.

March 30-April 2, 2017
General frequency ranges:
15010-15100 kHz
21455-21550 kHz

Basic schedule:
European morning, 0800-1200 UTC from Europe to Asia/Japan/Oceania.
European afternoon, 1200-1600 UTC from Europe to North America and vice versa.
European night, 2200-2400 UTC from North America to Asia/Oceania.

Of course, these are general frequency ranges where pirates have broadcast during prior Global HF Pirate weekends. Some stations will surely operate on frequencies and times outside of these ranges. These will be updated on HF Underground (https://www.hfunderground.com/) and on the Hobby Broadcasting (http://hobbybroadcasting.blogspot.com/) blog as it happens.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Winter SWL Fest: Day 2 Continued

I had planned to add more about day 2, but I was either away from a power outlet, experiencing some spotty Internet connectivity, talking to people, or at the mall eating mall-grade cheesesteaks (a misteak, so close to Philly). Anyway, there was plenty of great stuff to take away from day 2 . . . and we talked the whole way home about the people we talked to, the stories we heard, the information we gathered. Really energizing. I don't want to write about too much of it here because I know some people are sensitive about being written about. But, wow, when you're listening to a forum from a guy who was in a North Korean chemical weapons factory and he's showing videos that he secretly filmed while he was there . . . that's something else!

Changing topics a bit, here are a few of the receivers that were in the hospitality suite and were generously available to be tuned

A pair of JRC NRD-301A receivers
The Racal RA6790
The Racal RA3791
An Icom IC-R9500

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Winter SWL Fest Day 2

This morning, I've been learning about DXing in Japan, presented by Toshimichi Ohtak√© and Saka√© Obara of the Japan Shortwave Club (JSWC). [I blockcopied their names from another page to get the accents & spelling right, but it's probably going to be messed up]. Sakae has a blog that's worth checking out for general shortwave-listening information. Some fascinating information. For example, Radio Australia received 20,000 letters per month from Japan alone in 1973.

Sakae said that although shortwave listening in Japan has dropped off significantly since the radio explosion of the '70s, Baby Boomers are getting back into the hobby. He also said that more young listeners are getting involved.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter SWL Fest

I've been out and away from the radio for quite a while, but I'm at the Winter SWL Fest and am sitting in the audience of the Shortwave Shindig (being broadcast live via WRMI on 6855 and 9395 kHz), hosted by David Goren. With the lights dimmed, it has a sort of low-key variety show feeling. I don't think that there are many experiences quite like this anywhere in the world.

I've spent a number of days over the past few years listening to vintage radio programs on the old-time radio unidentified station. Some of these broadcasts were variety shows, such as Jack Benny, Red Skelton, etc. I'm sure that it doesn't quite have the majestic vibe of attending the original variety shows of the '40s and '50s, but I still imagine that the feeling of being here is the closest I'll get to experiencing those shows of yesteryear.

The original "Gang of Three" NASWA Winter SWL Fest organizers being interviewed
There's always a lot of interesting information here. Tomorrow should be a fascinating forum with Chris Ise and Andy Walker, who will talking about Offshore '98, Radio San Marino, and Mystery Radio. Right now, broadcast anthropologist Mark Fahey is giving a teaser for his forum tomorrow regarding radio archiving.

I'll be writing more about it soon, but the next Global HF weekend is March 30-April 2, 2017. I've already heard from some hobbyists who are interested in participating, so I'm looking forward to activities over the weekend.

Burley Cathedral

On an entirely different note, I was trolling around through some little antique shops and found a cathedral radio made by Burley. I'd never heard of Burley and I found almost nothing anywhere on the Internet about the company or the radios. Someone refinished the cabinet, maybe in the '80s?, and there was no tube lineup/model number label glued inside the case. But it does have a decal on the chassis with patent numbers. And in small print is "Mfd by U.A.C.C." I found that this means "United Air Cleaner Company" and UACC made the Sentinel radios. I guess that Burley was probably some brand made for a little department store or hardware store, but I have no idea who . . . and this case doesn't match up with any other radio that I've found online. At some point, I'll probably write more about this radio. But for now, here are a couple of photos: