Sunday, November 4, 2018

Global HF Weekend Day 3

In years past, day 3 was good for high-frequency tests (19 & 13m) in the morning through the afternoon hours. Mostly tests from Europe, but some from North America, too. Given the conditions on the high frequencies, it seems unlikely that we'll have much (any?) activity up there today, but we'll see.

Not sure what's going on with Iann's pirate chat, but I can't log in at all. I had gone for years with automatically being able to log in any time I wanted, but now when I do, I get the typical "SnoogieDumplings" or whatever login name that you get when the system doesn't recognize you, but when I try to send a message or anything else, it gives me a network error. In the past, I could send messages & be recognized by the admins.

On a positive note, I received my November copy of the Spectrum Monitor last week. If you don't know what the Spectrum Monitor is, it's a PDF-only magazine about radio and DXing. It has many of the old columnists from Monitoring Times, so I tend to think of it as a PDF version of MT. The latest issue has an excellent buyer's guide for portable radios, written by Thomas Witherspoon, who is probably the best-known current reviewer of these receivers, at least in North America. Another great feature is the new equipment at WBCQ, including photos of their monster 200-ton rotatable antenna! Year subscriptions are $24 for issues & back issues are $3 apiece.

Yeti Radio: 6927, 11/4, 1258+ After tuning around 19m and listening to All India Radio on 15030 kHz for a bit, I tuned to 6925 and heard the splatter from a strong SSTV signal. Nice to finally hear something with a strong signal! Unfortunately, I didn't have a computer hooked up with that receiver that had MMSSTV running, so I couldn't decode it. ID per Chris at HFU.

Ion Radio: 6930, 11/4, 1750+ I saw the carrier on the Winradio with the makeshift antenna, but couldn't hear anything. Ran up to the Drake & it's coming in but really weak. On HFU, some listeners posted SSTV images, including one about Global HF Weekend.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Global HF Weekend Day 2

1146 UTC: OK, I need to get rolling and put up a makeshift antenna (and probably also haul down my main antenna to check its center-point connections).

One thing that I should have mentioned last night are the European stations that are broadcasting on a daily basis and often put a signal of some sort into North America:

5780 Zenith Classic Rock
6205 Laser Hot Hits
6230 Coast FM
6318 Radio Sovereign

Of course, the best chance to hear any of these stations will be sometime from a couple of hours before sunset until maybe an hour or two before sunrise.

1518 UTC: Have a make-shift antenna up & I did a quick check on the center connections of the inverted V. Doesn't look like anything has disconnected, so I'm not sure what the problem is. At least I do have a logging:

unid: 6927, 11/3, 1444-1447* Pretty good carrier, but still pretty noisy. Two songs & off.

Some logs via the Twente SDR:

Everything seems to be skipping long in Europe, so most activity audible on the Twente SDR is on medium wave.

1657, 11/3, 1837+ Johnny Cash "Man in Black," '50s or '60s instrumental elevator music, techno, polkas, Steve'n'Seagulls "Thunderstruck," Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Women" so quite a variety. Excellent signal.

1647, 11/3, 1845+ Leonard Cohen "So Long, Marianne," yodeling, excellent signal

1629, 11/3, 1847+ Travelling Wilburys "Handle Me with Care." Excellent signal, Male DJ came on with talk in Dutch. I think he said hi to "Martin." I think he also mentioned "impedance" and "Alabama" QRT sometime around 1858.

Friday, November 2, 2018

GHFW Loggings? 11/2/18

Wow, is my antenna OK? I just tried to tune in X-FM and I only have a carrier. Is the hot element of my dipole shorted out? I dunno. I guess I need to put up some sort of makeshift antenna by tomorrow to compare against my regular one.

So, here's my "log"

X-FM: 6885, 11/3, 0025+ Carrier only. Ugh.

Global HF Weekend starts tonight!

I haven't been e-mailing everyone and their brother (or sister) about this Global HF Weekend because I've been trying to finish the Pirate Radio Annual instead (and working on the woodshed so that I don't need the glowing tubes of the SP-600 & R-390A to stay warm this winter).

Not sure if other people have been spreading the word about the weekend or not, but with a DXpedition in Newfoundland, I'd expect that some pirates will be testing for the land of red dirt and Anne of Green Gables. One of the DXpeditioners posted a comment on prior blog entry here, so they're likely to notice if some pirate posts a test in the comments section below. Their focus is on medium-wave stations, so my guess is that any North American pirates who want to test for them would probably be more likely to be heard if they operate between 1710 and 1750 kHz. Using a split channel (any frequency within the band that ends in a "5") might also work, but that could cause some nasty interference to the stations on either side channel.

The DXpeditioners (and others) will also be checking the European pirate frequencies. So, we'll see how it all goes.

During the last Global HF Weekend, Lupo Radio (Argentina) was relayed in North America, which I thought was pretty cool. Definitely the spirit of what it's all about. Speaking of which, I've been seeing tons of logs of Brazilian pirates lately. I don't know if these operators ever check into HF Underground,, or Free Radio Cafe, but it would be great if some of these guys would "plug into" the existing scenes (a good example would back in the 1990s when stations like AARS, Radio Blandengue, and Radio Cochiguaz from South America were trading programs with European and North American stations). Made for some really interesting radio listening!


On a previous post a few days ago, I mentioned not remembering offhand any pirates using 120m. One listener commented about Radio Gabanzo using 90m back in '87. I didn't remember that, but it got me thinking about 120m. I know I've heard of pirates using the area, but I think it was a long time ago (or maybe not even in North America). My mind keeps sticking on a photo QSL that was in PopComm from WHY back around '83, but I think that was some 90m freq, like 3405 kHz.


Thanks to Ion Radio, Radio Ga-Ga, and Radio Illuminati for the recent eQSLs! I'm not including the Ion Radio one here because it's a duplicate (except for details) of one I just posted a couple of days ago.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Global HF Weekend Starts tomorrow

It's almost time for the Global HF Weekend for this fall (they happen the 1st weekend of November and the 1st weekend of April every year)! And it seems like only yesterday that it was Halloween

If you are planning a test, feel free to e-mail it to me (I won't post the station name) or post it in the comments section below.

Just received a QSL from Ion Radio for the pre-Halloween broadcast. Thanks!