Archive for category Shortwave Listening

An Interesting AM BCB DXer’s catch

KVCK, at 1450 AM, broadcasts a monophonic signal using the standard monophonic AM modulation scheme. The music feed to the station from its content provider, however, is stereo, and KVCK routes only one channel of that feed to its transmitter. So for any content that provides fully panned mix to the missing channel, no sound reaches the listener.

This problem has existed for decades, the station has been notified many times about it by email and in writing, yet it persists. The solution should be as simple as a stereo-to-mono cable or mixer, or, if the content is provided digitally, by a software setting or a call to the content provider.

That this has never been corrected comprises an interesting mystery with regard to KVCK, and makes it an unusual DX catch for BCB DXers.

Here’s a 20-second fragment of Marvin Gaye’s "Heard it Through the Grapevine"

First, here’s how it should sound. Pay attention to the ladies in the chorus from 13s to 20s:

Full mono, both tracks combined properly

Now, here it is from KCVK, on the afternoon of September 28th, 2016… listen again at 13s to 20s:

One track only (incorrect mixing at station or content provider.)

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GAP 20m Monogap Vertical Dipole Review

I’ve been setting up a small trailer for use as a mobile, independently powered radio station for use at HF and VHF. To that end, it has its own deployable solar panels, internal power storage, and dedicated power conversion electronics. There are quite a few 12.6 VDC VHF and HF radios out there, and I own several, so the radios are less of a problem than a situation where I have to make some kind of fun decision between multiple good options.

VHF antennas are no problem. But the HF antenna… There’s the rub. If it’s to be truly portable, that means it cannot be large, and it will not be high in the air. Those are very significant drawbacks for most antenna systems; they directly impact both receive and transmit performace. So I went hunting. Eventually, I happened upon the Monogap 20 meter antenna, which is a vertical dipole; easily portable within the frame of reference of what can be safely transported in the bed of my pickup, light, easily mounted and unmounted, inexpensive, and — as it turns out — a surprisingly good performer.
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ICOM IC 7300 Transceiver Review

The

IC-7300

IC-7300

ICOM IC 7300 marks an important inflection point for the “big three” amateur radio manufacturers: The beginning of true software-defined RF processing from one end to the other.

As the first full SDR transceiver from “the big guys”, it is interesting to consider the price point, feature set, and performance both in light of the legacy analog designs, and as compared to what SDRs are known to be capable of.
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SdrDx 2.16a for OS X and Windows

Here we go:
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Amateur Radio Callsign utility

Screen shot 2015-05-02 at 11.36.46 AMWhen creating reports involving amateur radio callsigns, it is useful to be able to sort them according to region, prefix and postfix, as this is the way we are accustomed to thinking about them. In addition, padding them so that call regions align and other types of worthy formatting are applied is something I have found to be very handy.

For this purpose, I developed aa_calllib.py, a Python import library. You are welcome to use it.

Click here to download the zipped library.
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SdrDx 2.14o for Windows and OS X Available

The 2.14o version of SdrDx for OS X ** and ** Windows is
now available and the online documentation has been updated
to reflect the changes that have been made.

SdrDx is free; it supports RFSPACE SDRs, both FunCubes,
the Andrus MK 1.5, and the AFEDRI.

The SoftRock/Peabody SDRs will also work, but it takes
some technical knowledge of scripting to make that happen.
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SdrDx 2.13w for OS X Now Available

The 2.13w version of SdrDx for OS X is now available and the online documentation has been updated to reflect the changes that have been made. The Windows version remains at 2.13e BETA, however I hope to have an updated release for Windows shortly. I still have more testing to do there.

SdrDx is free; it supports RFSPACE SDRs, both FunCubes, the Andrus MK 1.5, and the AFEDRI.

The SoftRock/Peabody SDRs will also work, but it takes some technical knowledge of scripting to make that happen.
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New OSX and Windows version of SdrDx: 2.13e

SdrDx 2.13e adds a very large number of changes, fixes and some features over the previous mainline release, which was 2.12q.


    Downloads: http://fyngyrz.com/?p=915
Documentation: http://fyngyrz.com/sdrdxdoc/sitemap.html
      Changes: http://fyngyrz.com/sdrdxdoc/changes.html

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