Monthly Archives: January 2017

Amateur radio: working 80

I didn’t do any major stuff over the weekend, just working a couple special event stations that I heard, a couple contacts for the Montana QSO Party, and a few more for Winter Field Day.  Continue reading

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Video blog episode 007

I’m still working on the second part of the 6-meter Yagi video series, so I decided to show an example of trans-Pacific AM broadcast band reception using the RTL-SDR based AM BCB receiver detailed in Episode 006.  This was from an SDR recording on the morning of September 21st, 2016 and was a pretty good session.  Unfortunately, the audio was rather uneven because I was trying for the first time to “internally” record my laptop screen instead of shooting with the video camera.  That part worked great, but the audio didn’t go quite as well.  Still, this gives a nice flavor for what I have been able to from Arizona with the RTL-SDR based AM BCB receiver, and the Conti Superloop antenna featured in earlier videos.

Amateur radio: North American QSO Party, SSB

I’ve been spending a lot of time coming up with a good way of motorizing the tuning shaft of the vacuum variable capacitor, and make the whole assembly modular so I can move it from one loop antenna to another to optimize a particular band.  I only ended up using one antenna during the 12-hour NA QSO Party on Saturday, but it generally went pretty well. Continue reading

Video blog episode 006

Forgot to put this up earlier, but Episode 006 of my Arizona Signal Watcher video blog is up.  This one is a brief “tour” of the RTL-SDR based receiver that I use for AM broadcast band DXing.  If you think you need to spend several hundred dollars to do well on the AM BCB, you might want to have a look.  A $20 RTL-SDR, plus a $45 upconverter, and maybe some amplification (depending on your antenna), and you may do as well as possible considering the crowding on the band and other issues.