“In the desert you can remember your name”
“Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain”
– America, Horse With No Name
Went into the desert with a fellow LMI Monday night to do a little field radio work. Let’s just say it was somewhere in DN52. Six meters was pretty quiet, as was Ten. We did hear an ATSC pilot carrier for Channel 2, just a little above the noise floor, about an S2 max when we swung the beam North. FCC records show a station on CH2 up in Montana, so that makes sense. Also heard a fair amount of local/regional 11m AM & SSB activity from 26-28 Mhz. Of course the high-power CH6 guys were coming in loud and clear.
Only got about about an hour and a half worth of radio time in, but it was still a good exercise. Next time I’m gonna bring a sleeping bag and breakfast.
“For the words of the profits
Were written on the studio wall
And echoes with the sounds, of salesmen”
-Rush, Spirit of Radio
Fired up the R-75 on the 120′ longwire last night and spun the dial for a bit. The frequency shown is that of Radio Havana, Cuba. Arnie Coro’s show DXers Unlimited was on, and that’s one I really enjoy listening to. The 75/80 and 160 meter ham bands were also open, and I tuned around there for a bit. There are some fucktards on 75m SSB who need to be hunted down. Their language and behavior has no place on the amateur radio bands. In contrast, 75m AM and 160m are still gentlemans’ bands, probably because it requires a level of skill to operate successfully there.
Went down below 160m and heard at least one station on every AM BCB frequency. Mostly talk radio at night, but 1420 & 1330 KHz. were playing decent selections of oldies and country music respectively. Going down even lower, I logged a whole list of distant longwave NDBs that I will share with you:
Freq. (KHZ.) ID City, State/Province
406 YLJ Meadow Lake, SK (Canada)
404 MOG Montague, CA
385 WL Williams Lake, BC (Canada)
383 CNP Chappel, NE
368 SX Cranbrook, BC (Canada)
371 ITU Great Falls, MT
350 RG Oklahoma City, OK
326 DC Princeton, BC (Canada)
317 VC La Ronge, SK (Canada)
290 YYF Penticton, BC (Canada)
284 QD The Pas, MB (Canada)
257 HCY Cowley, WY
242 XC Cranbrook, BC (Canada)
200 UAB Anahim Lake, BC (Canada)
That’s about 40 minutes worth of tuning through the LW band. Not listed were relatively local (within 300 miles) NDBs that I usually pick up on any given evening. Since the FCC will soon be opening up bands below AM BCB for amateur radio use, this frequency range has been of increased interest. If you are interested in radio’s basement, you’ll want to join the LWCA.
By now communications hobbyists have heard that Monitoring Times has ended publication, and that CQ VHF and Popular Communications are getting folded into a digital publication called “CQ Plus.”
Monitoring Times was always a good publication, and I would consistently buy a copy off the magazine rack when the new issue came out. I’m going to miss MT.
Popular Communications was great in the early 1980s when Tom Kneitel started and ran it. After he left in the mid 1990s it started going downhill. Occasionally I’d find something good in an issue, but most of the time I let it stay on the rack. I won’t miss it. I’m not surprised it’s going away, as the attitude of one of their former editors was “the only thing hip about our readers is the type that requires replacement.” (her exact words)
CQ VHF was better in quality than Poop Can. The mag had some issues in the past, and I always thought CQ Communications considered it their red-headed step child. This was one magazine that I actually subscribed to, but only because I couldn’t find it on the rack anywhere. I’m going to miss this one.
As of late, I’ve been getting a lot of my monitoring info from HF Underground – http://www.hfunderground.com/.
If there is sufficient interest, I’ll expand my Technical Journal to include more radio communications and communications monitoring content, especially if people contribute stuff. Let me know, or better yet, send something in. My email is email@example.com.