So there I am, minding my own business at 2am or so my time, tuning across 8 MHz with SdrDx using my 20 meter inverted vee, and I see a RTTY signal. Ever the optimist, I fire up the Jack server (this connects the audio output of one application on the Mac to the input of another application), then an old version of fldigi I have lying around, “jack” them together, and lo and behold, the signal is unencrypted, 45 baud 170 Hz shift RTTY. That was startling enough, but the signal turns out to be a news feed, something I haven’t seen on the shortwave bands in at least ten, perhaps as much as twenty, years.

Now, this may not seem like much to many of my readers, but I found the experience to be absolutely dripping with nostalgia. It’s also a format I appreciate… I can glance at it every few minutes, and know what the heck might be going on in the world. So beyond the nostalgia, it’s actually useful to me.

The only down side (for me, an up side for others) is that the feed regularly switches to amtor/sitor for those who have those modes; so it sends what appears to be garbage for a while, then news again. Still, it’s awesome to listen to the warbles of RTTY again.

Next week, I hope to be in receipt of a broadband tuned magnetic loop, said (by its manufacturers) to excel in high-noise environments — which is an apt description of my situation if there ever was one. I’ll update this post at that time and let those of you who care (all…. what, 2 of you?) know how it goes. I may have a new version of SdrDx ready to release by then as well.

UPDATE: The magnetic loop worked out very well, low noise and decent signal stengths. Highly recommended: RF PRO 1B.

The Gory Details:
Station WLO transmitting from Atlanta, Georgia
8474.5 KHz
Lower side band
1.5 kHz offset center
170 Hz shift
Normal shift
45 baud

RTTY alternating with SITOR-B