Sunday, April 2, 2017

Global HF Loggings Day 2: Sunday

I'll be away from the computer and radio between 1300 and about 1630 UTC, so if anyone wants to schedule a test during that time, please post it on the HF Underground on the Broadcast Announcements page.

1149 UTC Update: The bands are pretty dead right now, as I type this. No pirates are audible on 43m. 15000-15100 kHz is quiet, except for a carrier on 15040, a noise that always seems to be on 15049, and data on 15072 kHz. 21450-21550 kHz is completely quiet. I didn't see any loggings, but I wonder if more North Americans were testing to Oceania on 43m around 0600 UTC last night?

I checked the Twente tuner, but not much was happening in Europe, either. Radio Batavia was making a Global HF Weekend broadcast on 1620 kHz, so I helped make it global by tuning in:

Radio Batavia: 1620, 4/2, 1155-1208+  mostly Dutch music right now "Don't Waste Your Time with Only Dreaming," older-sounding novelty song in Dutch, Dutch pop song, REM "Shiny, Happy People."

1620 UTC: I'm back to the computer and radio. I'd heard from one station who was planning to be on at 1500 for a high-frequency test and another station who had planned to be on in the morning (EDT), but nothing has been on. I guess the station ops' plans changed.

1849 UTC: A station set up a test for me on 13870 kHz and if everything worked out, I had planned to announce it. But as he was tuning everything up, something failed and threw the breaker in his house. So, that station is off the air for today (and I hope that it's an easy and inexpensive fix for the station op).

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Global HF Loggings Day1, Saturday

Although I have not been receiving schedules or seeing schedules posted online thus far, I do see that some stations have been already been active and successful. For example, Radio Pirana International from South America was reported in North America last night. I could hear the carrier, but not get any audio. I was asleep at the time, but Captain Morgan Shortwave was on after 0600 UTC on 6950 kHz and the signal was reported in New Zealand! [update] I saw that FOUR North American stations were reported in New Zealand last night at 0600+ UTC:

1) WHYP- 6920 USB
2) XEROX- 6929 AM
3) Radio Free Whatever- 6940 USB
4) Captain Morgan- 6950 AM

WREC was also on (6960), but PJ didn't make it to NZ. And the NZ DXer also heard someone on 6955 kHz, but we don't yet know who it was

1230 UTC Bandscan: 15000-15100 kHz and 21450-21600 kHz are basically empty here. That doesn't mean that these bands won't be effective for some tests, but tests might not be as successful as on lower frequencies.

1230-1310 UTC: Hearing occasional weak Morse code on 6925. My guess is that it's pirate related

Moonlight Radio: 6925U, 4/1, 1330+ Very weak, funk music with sax. ID per station, who said it was a James Brown song. Thanks for the QSL & the info!

1400 UTC Bandscan: Weak data on 15072 and a carrier on 21505 kHz.

1430 UTC: Cupid Radio said he's on 15070 kHz. I'm listening right now and I've got something mixing with the 15072 noise. Not yet sure if it's Cupid, a computer noise source, or maybe a spur or receiver image

Cupid Radio: 15074, 4/1, 1440+ Cupid Radio (ID per op) starting to fade in here, with a YL vocal pop song. I've got some local noise on the freq, but others in North America should be able to hear it well. I've had a few very nice fade ups and I hope it'll keep getting better. 1508 UTC, yes, it does seem to be getting better!

XEROX: 6929, 4/1, 1449+ Reggae music, recording from a licensed station. Annual April Fool's Day broadcast. Excellent signal. DJ talking about the countdown. Up to #30, then cut to XEROX IDs & into what sounds to me like Andean folk music. Bart Sambo with Belfast USPS address and e-mail address

1635 UTC: Cupid Radio's broadcast has been really successful, with loggings on the HF Underground from Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Mass., Michigan, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, and Virginia.

BTW, here's a clip of a Cupid Radio broadcast from the last Global HF Weekend (Nov. 2016):

1700 UTC: Just before 1700 UTC, Joe in Rhode Island heard a very weak station with music on 15075 kHz.

1755 UTC: A couple of Twente web receiver loggings while I paint the hallway & put up some drywall:

Radio Bandido: 6850, 4/1, 1540-1556* Pretty good signal & I love the IDs with the horses winneying and "Dueling Banjos" in the background.

Radio Europe: 6875, 4/1, around 1635-1655 VG signal with pop music. Signed off before I could write down any notes

Laser Hot Hits: 6220, 4/1, 1730+ VG signal with some CW QRM earlier. DJ Ian Lawrence with light pop & dance music through the decades.  "Night Has 1,000 Eyes,""Coming Up," poppy cover of "Sounds of Silence," Frankie Goes to Hollywood, etc. Taking requests, e-mail address, etc. I'm hoping that LHH will be audible closer to sunset here

2000 UTC Update: I finished sanding drywall compound on the ceiling, then swept up twice. Back at the radio now. It appears that the signals are starting to skip long in Europe. If some of those stations will just stay on late, we've got a chance to hear them.

Unid: 6925, 4/1, ca2005 Caught the last few words of a speech, then applause & off. Excellent signal

Unid: 6945, 4/1, ca2011 A few seconds of Styx "Too Much Time on My Hands" & off. Excellent signal

Unid: 6230, 4/1, 2104+ Foreign-language music, maybe southeastern Europe? Excellent signal. My guess is Radio Cinco

2142 Update: I still have my radio locked in on 6230 kHz, but DimBulb has been hearing a number of Europeans on 48 meters, including Borderhunter on 6210, Laser Hot Hits on 6220, RFD on 6260, Radio TRX (tent.) on 6300 kHz, and possibly some others.

2220 Update: I have a carrier on 6210 for Borderhunter, but no audio. I have just a little audio on 6220 for Laser Hot Hits, but I doubt I can copy anything yet. Fortunately, I am hearing something:

XEROX: 6929.3, 4/1, 2220+ Excellent signal with clear IDs, Bart Sambo, & music.

Captain Morgan SW: 6375, 4/1, 2320+ Twilight Zone theme, Paul McCartney "Band on the Run." No IDs, but based on the TZ theme, I'm guessing that this is Captain Morgan. Just checked the Twente receiver & it's still too early for the signal to reach Europe. A whole bunch of computer-voiced IDs at 2325, then off

WREC: 6950, 4/1, 2318+ Caught a clear computer YL ID on the way down to check 6375. By 2328, heavy QRM from pescadores

Radio Pirana International: 6930, 4/1, 2340+ weak carrier here, but maybe audio will come through later in the evening. Online, the station op said that he's received reports over the past week from US, New Zealand, Germany, & Finland! Only 10 watts.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Schedules for Global HF Weekend

I'll add test schedules here as I receive them. Update 4/2: A lot of stations have been on the air specifically for the Global HF Weekend, but few are sending in advance schedules. That's fine, but I'm mentioning it here because there's still radio to listen for--even if it's not scheduled. Also, one test didn't work out; I received an e-mail from a station at 3 AM my time (0700 UTC), asking what frequency to use. I was asleep and couldn't post it here. Sorry about that!

6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC

6285 or 6300, 1200+ UTC
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC
15070 kHz, 1430+ UTC

6285 or 6300, 1200+ UTC
6930 kHz, 2200-1400 UTC

Reminder to European hobbyists, unlike past years, transatlantic conditions are looking best between 0330 and 0630 UTC on 6 MHz, so any success with these signals might require getting up in the middle of the night. But I've been looking at the propagation to other parts of the world and the high frequencies are looking good.

We'll see as the weekend transpires.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Propagation, MUF, and long-distance radio for the Global HF Weekend

With the Global HF Weekend coming up and the recent blank sun phenomena that we've been experiencing, I thought it'd be best to check out the maximum usable frequency for different times of the day to different parts of the world.

In the past, the Global HF Weekends were great because stations could test on high frequencies that they usually don't operate on and listeners who normally either tune 48 or 43 meters could do likewise. Yup, I've heard a few station operators say "Why would I broadcast on 19 meters? A couple of years ago, I went on for a few hours on different weekends and I didn't receive any reports." Given the time and effort combined with the risks that the ops are taking, that makes sense. But if people are all on the same page; the stations are on a different band and the listeners are checking it, too, well, that changes everything.

Unless the Sun disagrees.

I've heard from at least one station who's planning to use frequencies on both 19 meters and 13 meters this upcoming weekend. It will be a good test to see if the predictors can be defied. And I really am interested in seeing what will happen with the long-distance (or any distance, really) signals at these frequencies.

But right now, my conclusion is that rather than shifting frequencies (at least dramatically), hobbyists might consider switching times for broadcasting and/or long-distance listening this weekend.

For this blog entry, I went to and ran predictions based on a location of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (not far from here). FYI, if you set the transmitter at location X and the receiver at location Y, the results will be the same as if the receiver is at location X and the transmitter at location Y. I entered a power of 100 watts in SSB mode. Different power levels or modes and directional antennas will change the results, but this should give an idea of the propagation (at least to or from the northeastern US/southeastern Canada).

The largest number of shortwave pirates per capita in the world are in the Netherlands, so I'm starting off with the MUF between Harrisburg and The Netherlands:

As you can see, there's a weak spot from about 1500 to 1800 UTC where propagation should allow for signals to make it between Netherlands and Harrisburg in the 17000 to 19000 kHz area. But by far the best times are between about 0330 and 0630 UTC between 5000 and 7000 kHz.

You'd be safe to suspect that propagation between Harrisburg and Ireland would be similar:

It is, but the possibilities improve somewhat drastically, both in terms of potential signal strength and frequencies/times that should support transatlantic propagation.

Likewise, the opposite happens when the signal comes from or travels to a point deeper in Europe, Hungary in this case:

I think it's interesting that although 0330-0500 UTC around 6000-7000 kHz is still in the "sweet spot," there's a better window between 15000 and 21000 kHz.

Heading north to the Ukraine, the graph looks like this:

There are a few differences between Ukraine and Hungary on the map, but both are rather similar.

Now, for some exotic DX:

New Dehli looks very difficult!

Now, South Africa:

Reaching Johannesburg from the Northeast looks very possible. Even 21 MHz should work from 1700 to 1900 UTC, but is anyone listening . . . or are any South African shortwave pirates on the air?

I've never heard of any Japanese shortwave pirates, but here's the graph for Tokyo:

The best shot here appears to be 1000-1200 UTC around 9 MHz or 1200-1400 UTC around 11 MHz.

North American listeners who hear fishermen across the bands probably won't be surprised to see the graph between Harrisburg and Rio de Janeiro:

The peaks aren't as strong as those for Ireland or the Netherlands, but the levels are pretty decent for a very long time . . . and across a wide spectrum. If there were just more stations on the air from Brazil . . .

There's a DXpedition running in New Zealand this weekend. Here's the graph between Harrisburg and Auckland:

It looks like stations from the Northeast trying for New Zealand would do best between about 9000 and 13000 kHz from about 0700 to 1200 UTC.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekend Logs: 3/24/17-3/26/17

Back'n'forth from the radio. Great night for listening!

XLR8: 6955U, 3/25, 0038+ Recorded most of it with the tuning off by 3 Hz, whoops. That makes song identification kinda tough. Excellent signal with a variety of music, but a lot of punk. Fear "The Mouth Don't Stop," Circle Jerks "Paid Vacation," Parquet Courts "Ducking & Dodging," Flamin' Groovies "Teenage Head," Dead Kennedys "California Uber Alles," And lots of obscure music that I can't identify.

The Crystal Ship: 6876.1, 3/24, 2325+ Static crashes, but VG signal with Judas Priest, Autograph "Turn up the Radio," Van Halen "Unchained," The Who "Goin' Mobile," The Who "Magic Bus," 38 Special "Rockin' into the Night." TCS "Unchained" program promo, Promo for TCS merch to own a piece of pirate radio history, eBeastiality ad, Free Radio Cafe ad,

Liquid Radio: 6925, 3/25, 0140+ Pretty good signal, clear ID at 0140. More like '70s rock music, rather than the regular electronic. Peter Schilling "Major Tom." Static levels really jumped around 0150 (or the signal dropped?), making this much less intelligible.

Cool AM Radio: 6925U, 3/25, 1238+ ID not long after I tuned in. Lots of WMPR-like electronic dance music. Nice signal. Thought I was hearing This Is Not WMPR for the 1st time

Gospel Music SW: 6925.4, 3/25, 1824+ Contemporary Christian worship music, such as Matt Redman "Bless the Lord," Chris Tomlin "How Great Is Our God," "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord," "You Are the Everlasting God," "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty," "Here I Am to Worship," Promo with “on the 8th day, God created radio” & email address “Gospel Radio, your gospel shortwave station”

Unid: 6930, 3/25, 1824+ A pirate is also on with a nice signal here. I need to get another antenna up because I've got 6925.4 recording here & I'll check back here later after the I've got a decent chunk recorded.

6290, 3/25, 2223 Some audio on this

Radio Cinco (tent.): 6260, 3/25, 2245+ Big signal, Spanish?-language talk, Radio Cinco ID, into The Chiffons "One Fine Day." I'm calling this "Radio Cinco" for the time being, but I dunno if that's a real ID from the station

Captain Morgan: 6949.9, 3/26, 0023+ Strong signal--even above the noise of the dishwasher & vacuum cleaner running. I guess this is a Chuck Berry memorial show: Cpn Morgan playing Chuck Berry "Too Much Monkey Business," "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man," "Sweet Little 16" A number of audio dropouts. I wonder if RF is getting into the CD player or computer?

Radio Eclipse: 6925U, 3/26, 1914+ Tuned in to a Billy Joel song, then a Steve Mann editorial from Radio Eclipse and Louis Armstrong "What a Wonderful World." BTW, I believe this is an old show from about 20 years ago. Good signal

This Is Not WMPR: 6925, 3/26, 2117+ Good signal, but some bad local QRM here. My 1st time to hear it. Female computer-voiced IDs. Dance version of "I'll Be Glad When You Are Dead, You Rascal, You"

Radio Cinco (tent.): 6260, 3/26, 2230+ Nice signal, but terrible local QRM. I'm guessing that this is the same station that I heard IDs as "Radio Cinco" last evening.

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.