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Archive for the ‘Perseus SDR’ Category

486 KHz Fessenden-Heising Commemorative Broadcast

Posted by kilokat7 on January 1, 2013

I was tipped off to this experimental station via one of the radio lists that I subscribe to. WG2XFQ was on the air Christmas Eve to commemorate Fessenden’s first wireless transmission of speech and music on the longwave frequency of 486 KHz using Heising AM modulation. The station was on the air again New Year’s Eve with a repeat of the special broadcast. It was during this time that I received the station from my listening location in West Michigan using the Microtelecom Perseus SDR with phased BOG antennas. Using the SDR, it can be seen that the modulation favors the lower sideband, so best intelligibility was received using LSB. For more information on this unique station, please see the following links which include photos of the homebrew 1920s style MOPA transmitter:

http://w4dex.com/500khz/wd2xsh31.htm
http://www.w4dex.com/500khz/wf9xih.htm

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518 KHz Navtex DX: NMO Honolulu, HI.

Posted by kilokat7 on December 26, 2012

I’ve started messing around with Navtex decoding again after giving up a couple of years ago.  This time around I’m using YaND combined with the Perseus SDR and have been achieving nice results during overnight decoding sessions.  Some of the more distant “regulars” are NMQ Cambria (California), NMC San Francisco (Point Reyes), NMW Astoria (Oregon), ZBM Bermuda & NMR San Juan.

I received a DXer’s Christmas present on December 24th with the captures shown below of station NMO from Honolulu, HI. at a distance of 4,321 miles – a new distance record for me.  Times shown below are UTC.

2012-12-24 10:29:22> ZCZC OA64
2012-12-24 10:29:28> SECTOR HONOLULU BNM 291-12
2012-12-24 10:29:36> HI ISLANDS – ISLAND OF OAHU FIREWORKS DISPLAY
2012-12-24 10:29:51> 1. THERE WILL BE A FIREWORKS DISPLAY FROM 2330W 31 DEC 12 – 0030W
2012-12-24 10:29:52>
2012-12-24 10:30:04> 01 JAN 13 IN POSN 21-16.40N 157-50.14W, APPROXIMATELY 1500 FEET
2012-12-24 10:30:05>
2012-12-24 10:30:17> SOUTH OF WAIKIKI BEACH. ALL VESSELS ~AA~ ~ACCAK~CL~ ~~FTIKS~MC~~~~CF
2012-12-24 10:30:41> ~~{}
2012-12-24 10:30:47> THROUGHOUT UNTIL CANCELLED. Y
2012-12-24 10:30:54> E~TD~JDWHX~V~~C~~Z~{}XX
2012-12-24 10:30:56>
2012-12-24 10:30:58> NNNN

2012-12-24 10:31:16> ZCZC OE12
2012-12-24 10:31:28> 1. THE FOLLOWING SECTOR HONOLULU SAFETY BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
2012-12-24 10:31:29>
2012-12-24 10:32:05> ARE STILL IN EFFECT AS OF 14~~~~~~{}~~~~~~~{}
2012-12-24 10:32:05>

2012-12-24 10:32:45> ZCZC OA38
2012-12-24 10:32:55> SECTOR SFN~~~ACUT~MMPUZQKCAGM~II~~~~ONDFMF{} ISLAND OF MAUI
2012-12-24 10:33:04> 1. HAWAII EXPLOSIVES AND PYROTECHNICS WILL BE
2012-12-24 10:33:10> CONDUCTING A NEW YEARS
2012-12-24 10:33:20> EVE FIREWORKS DISPLAY 800 FT OFF SHORE FROM WAILEA,
2012-12-24 10:33:23> MAUI COMMENCING
2012-12-24 10:33:33> AT MIDNIGHT 31 DEC 12. A 420 FT FALLOUT ZONE CENTERED
2012-12-24 10:33:36> ON POSN
2012-12-24 10:33:46> 20-40.983N 156-269733W WILL BE IN EFFECT UNTIL THE ALL
2012-12-24 10:33:50> CLEAR SIGNAL
2012-12-24 10:34:00> HAS BEEN GIVEN BY THE DISPLAY OPERATOR. VESSELS ARE ADVISED
2012-12-24 10:34:03> TO REMAIN
2012-12-24 10:34:12> CLEAR OF THE FALL OUT ZONE DURING THE SHOW.
2012-12-24 10:34:20> 2. CANCEL AT TIME//011030Z JAN 13//
2012-12-24 10:34:21>
2012-12-24 10:34:24> NNNN

2012-12-24 10:34:43> ZCZC OE79
2012-12-24 10:34:55> 1. THE FOLLOWING SECTOR HONOLULU SAFETY{}
2012-12-24 10:34:56>
2012-12-24 10:35:05> WRE STILL IN EFFECT AS OF 21150Z DEC 12:
2012-12-24 10:35:14> 284-12 HAZNAV DTG 040440Z DEC 12
2012-12-24 10:35:16> TQWOQA~
2012-12-24 10:35:16>
2012-12-24 10:35:25> MMMMGFYPAZYVJMM{} 1{}
2012-12-24 10:35:26> 29~72~~
2012-12-24 10:35:29> ~8~~~~.~?~~..9#
2012-12-24 10:35:35> .9.#+~~~~~~{}
2012-12-24 10:35:38> 293-12 FI~EWBRVS
2012-12-24 10:35:39> N
2012-12-24 10:35:39>
2012-12-24 10:35:53> TNVNMWHHMMCI~~~~JKZN~PGAMWPXM AGM~I{}ORAQW FIREWORKS DTG -00001Z DE
2012-12-24 10:35:55> C 12
2012-12-24 10:36:00> 295-12 HAZOPS ~~ ~ ~LG~
2012-12-24 10:36:13> 2~~(613-.20/~,~&.~88~~~~?,7+3(:8&…..$-+$ …………2##..-8~~8~(( PFGAH~C~M~
2012-12-24 10:36:13>
2012-12-24 10:36:26> ~O~~~KN~{}R SECTOR HONOLULU BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS HAVE
2012-12-24 10:36:28> BEEN
2012-12-24 10:36:31> CANCELLED.//
2012-12-24 10:36:32>
2012-12-24 10:36:35> NNNN

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New Perseus SDR spectrum file uploaded

Posted by kilokat7 on February 20, 2011

February 9th, 2011 saw nice conditions on the 49 & 41 meter shortwave broadcast bands, so I captured the moment. This recording covers 6000-7600 khz for a duration of about 5 minutes centered at 0300 TOH:

Tromp_Michigan_0300_UTC_09FE11_41_Meter_SW_Band.rar

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Good longwave conditions

Posted by kilokat7 on December 8, 2010

Either my antenna is doing a superb job of pulling in European longwave broadcasters, or conditions are real good right now below 530 khz, or maybe a little of both 🙂 For the past few weeks, just about every night, clear reception can be had on most of the Euro channels beginning around 6pm EST or 2200 UTC. New logs this season include hearing Poland on 225 khz and Germany on 153 khz. 162 France, 171 Morocco, 183 Germany, 189 Iceland, 198 BBC, 234 Luxembourg, 252 Ireland & Algeria have been regulars. I still hold out hope for hearing Russia on one of these channels. I’ve captured many of these receptions on Youtube, have a look if interested:

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Perseus WAV files for download

Posted by kilokat7 on November 30, 2010

I’ve added a new page that makes available several Perseus SDR spectrum recordings from my West Michigan QTH.  I will upload more Perseus WAV files in the near future if there’s any interest.  In order to “play back” these recordings, you will need the Perseus SDR or equivalent program.  A free demonstration version of the Perseus software can be downloaded here (Perseus hardware not required) and this can be used to play back these recordings.  WAV files have been compressed using WinRAR to help speed up the downloads.

 

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Recent shortwave pirate logs Halloween 2010

Posted by kilokat7 on November 2, 2010

I made the effort this year to spend some time at the dials during the Halloween weekend to judge the current state of pirate activity on the shortwave bands.  This is the first Halloween weekend in many years that I’ve done this, and there was no disappointment in the amount of activity taking place!  Below are some of the stations that I noted.  I had the Perseus recording the whole 6.9 mhz band during various times of high activity and will be reviewing these files for some time to come.  After reading reports from others, this is only a fraction of what was to be heard this past weekend.  The most surprising, and possibly rare reception, was hearing Radio Face de Blatte on 6505 khz USB which I would have never caught without the tip from “Newfoundlland DXer” over at hfunderground.com.

Voice of Next Thursday, 2245 UTC, 10/31/2010, 6899.6 khz AM – coming in
poorly with music and what sounds like an assortment of odd data bursts
at times.

Pumpkin Patch Radio, 2300 UTC, 10/31/2010, 6925 khz USB – in strong with
Charlie Daniels music and IDs between songs.

Witch City Radio (presumed), 1220 UTC, 10/31/2010, 6937.5 khz AM – with
laughing witch and music.  Signal poor and just above the noise floor.

Radio Ronin, 1300 UTC 10/31/2010, 6950.7 khz AM – putting out a
tremendous signal with classic rock – Bowie, Blue Oyster Cult, Rolling
Stones, etc.

Radio Casablanca, 1400 UTC, 10/31/2010, 6939.8 khz AM – blasting into
Michigan with vintage big band music sounding really good, broadcast
lasted a good two hours.

WMPR “Mirco Power Radio”, 1745 UTC, 10/31/2010, 6924.9 khz AM – playing
electronic music, signal around S6 here and strong at times, three
poorly received SSTV images and off at 1750 UTC.

Wolverine Radio, 0020 UTC, 11/1/2010, 6950 khz USB – playing music (i.e.
Oingo Boingo “Dead Man’s Party”) and putting out a killer signal. Audio
was super clear and crisp, signed off with perfect reception of flying
witch SSTV image.

Wolverine Radio SSTV 6950khz 0040utc 01NO10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radio Face de Blatte – French pirate, 0124 UTC, 11/1/2010, 6505 khz USB
– with Golden Earing, Rob Zombie, Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, etc.
Signal about S4 just above noise floor.  Off by 0159 UTC.

Radio RFB France UTC November 1st, 2010

Radio RFB France UTC November 1st, 2010

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OBX Mini DXpedition: Intro

Posted by kilokat7 on August 14, 2010

As part of our family summer vacation, we tent camped at the Cape Point Campground located on Hatteras Island at the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The campground features a grassy open flat area and nice views of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  Though very scenic, this is an operational lighthouse that illuminated the tent during darkness when the beacon’s light rotated towards the direction of the campground.  The kids loved it!

G15 site at Cape Point Campground, Hatteras Lighthouse in background

All three of the National Park Service campgrounds were considered on OBX: Oregon Inlet Campground, Cape Point Campground, and Frisco Campground.  Reservations cannot be had for any of these three campgrounds, so some pre-planning was necessary for each campground prior to arriving in case a desired site was occupied.  Despite several hours of pre-planning and studying aerial photos of each campground in anticipation of stringing out a long beverage antenna, it was difficult to judge the terrain of the campgrounds without physically being there.  Oregon Inlet Campground proved to be too hilly, surrounded on all sides by tall dunes which would prove difficult laying out a wire to the nearby beach.  Aside from this, I found the campsites to be a bit small and crowded.  Frisco Campground was the most scenic and offered beautiful views of the ocean from many of the sites, however the dunes were steeper with thicker growth surrounding the campsites, which would prove impossible for stringing out a beverage antenna.  This campground was out.

Cape Point Campground offered the best opportunity at this particular time to lay out an antenna.  Though less scenic than the others, it was ideal due to the flat open ground and larger campsites.  As a bonus, the front half of the campground was closed (rows A through F) and unoccupied by other campers.  These rows were blocked with pylons which deterred motorists from driving through the front of the campground.  Setting up camp in spot #G15 allowed me to string out a beverage on the ground approximately 850 feet long through the middle of the campground (free of obstructions)  during the evening hours without fear of anyone coming into contact with the wire (except for the Geese and Deer that frequently visited).  The BOG wire was reeled back in during the morning, aided by a cordless drill.  I estimate the bearing of the antenna at about 70 degrees, not ideally situated for Europe, but sometimes you just have to make due with your given surroundings.  “Aiming” the antenna on a more Northerly bearing directly at Europe would have meant crossing the wire over the well traveled outside loop of the campground – probably not a good idea!

Google Earth image of Cape Point Campground

Approximate layout of beverage wire antenna

Daytime DXing didn’t permit me to use the beverage wire through the middle of the campground as I had done at night, simply because the Park Service was active through the campground during the daylight hours, mowing the unattended campsites where the wire lay at night.  Between family activities, I managed one daytime DX session for about two hours from 1pm (near solar noon) to about 2:30pm EST to test the famed medium wave “salt water path” that this area is so famous for.  For this session I used a DX-440 portable and a Quantum loop.  The best reception (in terms of distance) was 610 WIOD Maimi, FL. at 703 miles.  A close second was WEFL Palm City, FL. at 617 miles.  The big NYC stations were strong at 400 miles distance and sounded like locals.  Unfortunately, I ran out of time before checking the whole dial.  The Bermuda channels were checked during this listening session with nothing heard but faint unintelligible audio that could have been coming from anywhere.

Two night sessions were had using the Perseus and MSI Wind U100 netbook.  There are no electrical hookups at the Cape Point Campground, so everything was DC powered using four 6 volt SLA batteries.  Three powered the netbook supplying 18 volts, while the fourth powered the Perseus using a homemade 6-12 vdc to 5 volt regulated converter.  Two nights of recordings lasting several hours per night were made with the batteries before the laptop batteries finally discharged enough to shut the netbook off.

Cape Point Campground looking NW from site G15

Despite being in a fairly remote area I was a bit disappointed by the amount of noise and interference being picked up by the beverage, especially on longwave.  I attribute this to the overhead powerlines that run down the middle of the campground which supply power to the restrooms and bath houses (sodium vapor lamps used at night on the outside of these buildings).  Perhaps grounding the receiver and/or beverage at the feedpoint would have helped had I been able to.

All in all this was a fun experience and the first time that I’ve brought the radio gear out of the shack and into a remote location.  I would definitely like to come back to OBX, but with a different antenna as the long length of the beverage proved difficult to work with.  Perhaps something like a broadband super loop or a phased array would be more flexible to work with and offer good directional properties in a tighter amount of space.

More details will follow in future posts as I go through the spectrum recordings taken during the evening hours.

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500kc loggings

Posted by kilokat7 on May 31, 2010

Since I’ve taken up the antenna for the summer season, I continue to DX “in the past” thanks to the spectrum recording feature on the Perseus.  Typically I record 100khz to 1700khz and usually discard the recording once I’ve gone through the whole MW band unless there’s something interesting worth archiving.  I decided on this particular recording to check for activity on the 600 meter experimental amateur band and was pleased to log WD2XSH/6 from Mississippi on 508.8 khz sending out a CW holiday greeting:

According to a report read on 500kc.com, station WD2XSH/6 has a calculated ERP of 16 watts.  In addition to this, non-directional beacon “PP” (IA @ 511 miles) was logged on 513 khz faintly under a strong “OS”(OH) and a weaker “PN” (OK @ 727 miles).  Further up the dial @ 520 khz, beacon “F9” was heard from New Brunswick (1040 miles).  In the midst of slop from 530 CIAO Brampton, beacon “JJH” (NY @ 598 miles) was faintly heard.

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Perseus and MSI Wind Netbook

Posted by kilokat7 on May 11, 2010

Prior to ordering the Perseus I was conflicted with what kind of computer I would need to successfully DX with the SDR. None of the computers I use at home run Windows (I prefer linux), and none are modern enough to successfully utilize the Perseus to its full potential (full bandwidth recording). Not wanting to spend a lot of money on a new computer just for this purpose, I decided to buy a MSI Wind U100 netbook strictly for using with the Perseus. My decision was based on a favorable review by Guy Atkins using the U100 with the Perseus.

I picked up a U100 from Newegg for a nice price and upgraded the ram to 2GB and did the bios update. The bios update allows me to over-clock the machine for maximum performance during recording sessions with the Perseus.

This is all outlined in Guy’s review on his blog. In addition to the above, I’m using a hack that allows the netbook to be over-clocked while running off the battery – no more RF noise from the Wind’s AC power supply.

With my setup, I’ve found it performs best when over-clocked 8%, and this is only needed when recording at the high 2000 kS/s sampling rate. O/C is not needed when playing back the same file and only needed during recording. As it happens, my Wind is very unstable when over-clocked the full 24% despite using quality ram and disabling the on-board memory.

Ready for DX! Perseus SDR & MSI Netbook

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Auroral opening

Posted by kilokat7 on May 2, 2010

I have been using the Perseus for a few months now and thoroughly enjoy it.  The spectrum recording capability of the Perseus came into good use during an auroral opening last month.  From my Michigan location, the medium wave band was not recognizable the night of the April 7th, 2010, thanks to this event.  Signals from the South replaced those more familiar to my ears and it made for some interesting DX to say the least!  Two Perseus recordings were made of the MW band on the night of the 7th at both 8pm & 9pm EST to capture and preserve this event so that I could DX the entire band at my leisure.  Fast forward almost a month later, and I’m finally done going through the TOH recordings and can report on the signals received during that interesting night.  A total of 47 new stations were logged with Cubans all over the dial.  Two new states were logged including Florida and South Carolina, and Puerto Rico was logged for the first time.  Stations from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama were also abundant, sometimes two to a frequency.  What makes this interesting for me is that my fixed BOG antenna favors the E-W direction and I rarely receive any signals from the South with this antenna.  I can only imagine how the DX would have been if I had the antenna beaming South (unfortunately not possible at this location).  On to the logs already:

kHz    UTC    ITU    Program + Location    Details
600    0102    CUB    CMKV Radio Rebelde, Urbano Noris (ho)    Presumed, // to AM 1180
680    0207    USA    WCBM, Baltimore (MD)    Weak ID under CFTR & WCTT
680    0100    PTR    WAPA Cadena WAPA Guapa, San Juan (PR)    Slogan: Cadena WAPA Radio @ TOH
790    0101    USA    WVCD, Bamberg-Denmark (SC)    Weak ID under semi-local WSGW
820    0110    CUB    Radio Reloj, Contramaestre (sc)    Radio Reloj 819.525 offset
890    0104    CUB    CMDZ Radio Progreso, Chambas (ca)    // AM 900
900    0100    CUB    CMKB Radio Progreso, Cacocun (ho)    Clear Radio Progresso Punto ID @ TOH
930    0000    USA    WAUR, Sandwich (IL)    Slogan: Relevant Radio, ID faintly heard under semi local WBCK
950    0055    CUB    Radio Reloj, La Habana (ch)    Time pips & morse code RR heard under WNTD
960    0057    CUB    CMDJ Radio Reloj, Guantánamo (gu)    Time pips & morse code audible
980    0100    USA    WPGA, Perry (GA)    ABC News @ TOH
1020    0100    CUB    Radio Reloj, Jorobo (lt)    Faint morse code RR heard under another SS UNID
1050    0057    USA    WIQB, Conway (SC)    Slogan: ESPN Radio for the grandslam, 93.9, 93.7 & 1050 AM, The Team
1070    0101    USA    WEKT, Elkton (KY)    ID: WEKT AM 10-70 Elkton Kentucky
1080    0000    USA    WNWI, Oak Lawn (IL)    Ethnic prg
1100    0058    USA    KDRY, Alamo Heights (TX)    Religious prg
1130    0050    USA    KWKH, Shreveport (LA)    w/ LSU Baseball and local ads
1150    0101    USA    WGGH, Marion (IL)    Slogan: Southern Illinois trusted voice since 1949 w/ classic c/w mx
1170    0000    USA    KFAQ, Tulsa (OK)
1180    0102    CUB    CMBA Radio Rebelde, Villa Maria (ca)    Presumed, // to AM 600
1200    0000    USA    WRTO La Tremenda, Chicago (IL)    Spanish language programming
1250    0100    USA    WRAY, Princeton (IN)    Slogan: Newstalk 12-50, w/ AP News @ TOH
1270    0059    USA    WFUL, Fulton (KY)    w/ various show promos & ID
1270    0100    USA    KRVT, Claremore (OK)    w/ Major League Baseball
1290    0000    USA    WHKY, Hickory (NC)    w/ Performance Racing Network programming
1300    0101    USA    WNQM, Nashville (TN)    w/ Spanish ID and Spanish mx
1310    0000    USA    WDXI, Jackson (TN)    LSU Tigers baseball coverage
1320    0102    USA    KRLW, Walnut Ridge (AR)    (TENT) faint partial callsign heard and slogan Oldies 13-20 w/ oldies mx
1330    0000    USA    WEBY, Milton (FL)    Slogan: Florida’s Talk Radio
1330    0000    USA    WVHI, Evansville (IN)    w/ Insight For Living religious program
1350    0100    USA    WKCU, Corinth (MS)    w/ urban or black gospel mx, TOH clear ID
1360    0058    USA    WBLC, Lenoir City (TN)    w/ local ad for Muffler, Brakes, and More then ID
1370    0057    USA    WDXE, Lawrenceburg (TN)    Slogan: Classic Country Music
1380    0055    USA    WMJR, Winchester (KY)    Slogan: Real Life Radio, Spot for Faith & Science Catholic religious prg
1390    0000    USA    WTJS Newsradio 13-90, Jackson (TN)    Mention of Kim Komando, TJ Metro?, and legal ID @ TOH
1420    0000    USA    WVJS, Owensboro (KY)
1430    0056    USA    KZQZ, St. Louis (MO)    Slogan: All New KZQZ Cool Oldies 14-30 AM
1440    0000    USA    WZYX, Cowan (TN)    Oldies mx, Rod Stewart song
1440    0100    USA    WHDM, Mckenzie (TN)    Slogan: Your Home For The Classic Hits, faint TOH ID under WZYX
1460    0100    USA    WXBR, Brockton (MA)    (TENT) TOH ID
1470    0058    USA    WBCR, Alcoa (TN)    Presumed, with partial callsign heard and liner for gcnlive.com
1470    0100    USA    WVOL, Berry Hill (TN)    Ubran oldies mx    Unusually good cx to the South
1540    0000    USA    WSMI, Litchfield (IL)    w/ sign-off announcement
1560    0000    USA    WMRO, Gallatin (TN)    Slogan: Today’s Best Hits, Magic 15-60
1590    0000    USA    WVNA, Tuscumbia (AL)    Slogan: Newstalk 15-90
1600    0100    USA    KRVA, Cockrell Hill (TX)    Ethnic Asian mx
1600    0101    USA    WKZK, North Augusta (SC)    w/ ID and mention of 103.7 FM

New stations heard here, April 7th ,2010

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