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.
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.
Between work and being sick for a week, I haven’t had a chance to post anything about the current trans-Pacific reception season. But, it has been a pretty good one, and this day provided the best audio of the season.
The third part of the Superloop antenna series is up on YouTube (and has been for a while, I forgot to announce it here). This part goes into detail on the impedance matching transformer needed to deliver a high percentage of the signal from the high-impedance antenna to the 50-ohm feedline.
Episode 2 of my video blog has been posted to YouTube. This is the second video in the Superloop antenna series, and shows the construction of a decade resistance box to use as the terminating resistance of the antenna. The box allows you to repeatably set the resistance to the value you want, as opposed to trying to make fiddly adjustments of a potentiometer. This part of the project went well, other than it having a 2 ohm offset due to resistance in the thumbwheel switches, wires, and banana plug connectors. Enjoy!
Finally! My first Arizona Signal Watcher video blog episode is now available on YouTube. This is the first of a several-part series on the “Superloop” receiving antenna. This design was developed by Bruce Conti and this is my take on the design and construction. The antenna is very useful and convenient when needing a signal null in one direction and good reception in other directions, and when portability is important. The first video is entitled “Superloop Antenna Part I: Introduction” and gives an overview of the antenna design and some theory behind it. Subsequent videos will detail the construction of the antenna and the electrical/electronic components needed to optimize the antenna performance. Comments here or on the YouTube page are very much welcomed. Enjoy!
Although I was making an SDR recording, I also worked this one live. Activity was already in progress when I started a little before 1200 UT (5am MST), and this turned into quite good reception. It started out mostly on the low-end of the band, but the upper-end kicked in by around 1225 UT. The best activity was during the 12UT hour, with a decrease near the end of the hour. Some stations were doing pretty well after 13UT, including 1566 HLAZ out of Korea, but in general activity wasn’t very good then. Activity totally fizzled out by local sunrise at 1347 UT (6:47am). The real surprise was the strength of 1134, presumably HLKZ out of Korea, producing brief bursts of fair audio. First a summary, then some audio samples. Continue reading