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Unable to pickup Ham Broadcasts

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KB1TJY, Sep 11, 2009.

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  1. K6SSA

    K6SSA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some good responses were posted to your inquiry, but one was left out. As of late, there has been a very high recurrence of qrpelioma among certain genres of the ham community. It is not usually fatal, but very irritating :)
     
  2. KB1TJY

    KB1TJY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Will do and thanks for the information. I want to join ARRL anyway. :)
     
  3. KB1TJY

    KB1TJY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you, will check those out today and this evening. Appreciate the information very much!
     
  4. KQ6Q

    KQ6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ham 'Broadcasts' scheduled daily from W1AW

    You can tune for the scheduled voice bulletin transmissions from W1AW at 2145 EDT (0145Z) on 3.990 or 7.290 LSB, or 14.290 or18.160 or 21.390 USB.

    Check www.arrl.org/w1aw.html for more info - the bulletins are sent in various digital modes at other times during the day.

    Fred Wagner, KQ6Q
     
  5. AE5JU

    AE5JU Ham Member QRZ Page

    From one SWL'er to another... here's the SWL for Dummies guide.

    Like you, as a SWL'er not that long ago (just licensed less than a year ago) I had a lot of trouble picking up ham transmissions as I did not know where (freq), what (mode), and WHEN (time of day) to listen.

    First thing, get that Bandplan and post it somewhere you can see it.

    Due to the way the sun affects the Ionosphere, which refects radio waves, or may not, propagation changes throughout the day.

    OK, MW or AM Broadcast (530-1700 khz or 0.530-1.70 mhz), and the same is pretty true for the 160 meter band (1.8 - 2.0 mhz), during the day the radio waves are absorbed by the lower atmosphere, which limits range to a few hundred miles. But at night this lifts and these frequencies can really get some range.

    This is all very general.

    160 meters (1.8-2.0 mhz) LSB for phone. The entire band is used in any mode. Antennas for this band are necessarily very long and as one friend says, "I just don't know anyone who has that kind of real estate." Hah!

    80 meters (3.5-4.0 mhz) The upper end, known also as 75 meters, is phone, LSB. CW and digital on the bottom end of the band, 3.5-3.6 mhz. You will find this to be a night time band which opens about 30 minutes to an hour after sundown. Daytime, this band is not very useful.

    PSK31 at/around 3.580 mhz.

    60 meters (around 5 mhz) 5 specfic frequencies, USB only, and 50 watts max. This is, well, almost useless. Not a productive use of your time.

    40 meters (7.0-7.3 mhz) This band opens up around sundown. Again, as per the Bandplan, bottom end is CW and digital, upper end, or actually, most of the band, is phone, LSB. At night right in the middle of the band we have a lot of AM broadcast DX roll in. This is coming to an end, these stations are being moved elsewhere. Around midnight US time DX rolls in. Those guys are getting up and playing radio before breakfast. I've made some good phone contacts with Europe around midnight local time, 05:00 for them.

    PSK31 at/around 7.035 mhz and 7.040 mhz.

    30 meters (10 mhz) CW/digital only.

    20 meters (14.0-14.350 mhz) Again, lower portion CW/digital, and the upper portion phone USB. 20 meters is a daytime band, and goes dead around sundown. Sundown is the time to QSY down to 40 meters or 80 meters.

    PSK31 at/around 14.070 mhz.

    17 meters (18.068-18.168) Again, lower portion CW, upper phone, USB. A lot like 20 meters, a daytime band. I have had some very good DX on 17 meters, a frequency for which my antenna is not resonant and is forced by using a tuner.

    15 meters (21.0-21.450 mhz) Same comments as for 17 meters, only I've had some of my best DX on 15 meters. And like 20 and 17 meters, a daytime only band. Again, CW/digital on the lower end, phone, USB on the upper end of the band. A tuner helps the 40 meters segments of my multidipole work on this band.

    12 meters (24 mhz) I don't know what to say about this, just no activity, perhaps when we get some sunspots.

    10 meters (28-30 mhz) Ditto 12 meters. I've heard this band open a few times but for now, not so good. Note the band planb

    6 meters, 2 meters, on up, these are essentially line of sight frequencies.

    For the SWL'er, where all the action is, is 20, 17, an 15 meters during the day, and 80 and 40 meters at night.

    -----

    HiFivers 3.908 mhz Sun, Tues, Thurs, earlybird checkins beginning about 7:30 pm Central. Net starts 8:30 pm Central. They vacate the frequency for a west coast net about 10 pm Central. http://www.hifivers.net

    Tailgaters 3.916 mhz, "The unofficial warmup to the Freewheelers" most nights, hosted by Pete KE5GGY. This net starts about 8 pm and runs until 10 pm when they vacate for

    Freewheelers 3.916 mhz. 10 pm on. http://www.kx5jt.net/freewheelers.html

    In the Northeast, Marconi Net, 3.872 mhz. There is a yahoo group. One night a week, I think Thursdays, they are on 160 meters.

    Gulfcoast Sideband Net 3.925 mhz http://members.tripod.com/gulfcoastsbnet/ Every night 6:30 pm

    Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net 3.935 mhz Lou WA5LOU 8:00 pm Friday

    7.120.65 mhz Oklahoma Traffic Net net (Arley and Pat) 5:18-5:30 pm daily CW

    Texas Slow Net 3.552 mhz 7:45 pm CW
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  6. KB1TJY

    KB1TJY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Outstanding, thank you VERY much. When you state times ("Freewheelers 3.916 mhz. 10 pm on. http://www.kx5jt.net/freewheelers.html" unless otherwise stated are you referring to UTC, EST, or CST?

    Again, many thanks for the excellent information.

    Lyman
     
  7. AE5JU

    AE5JU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry, I had intended to put Central time for all

    HiFivers 3.908 mhz Sun, Tues, Thurs, earlybird checkins beginning about 7:30 pm Central. Net starts 8:30 pm Central. They vacate the frequency for a west coast net about 10 pm Central. http://www.hifivers.net

    Tailgaters 3.916 mhz, "The unofficial warmup to the Freewheelers" most nights, hosted by Pete KE5GGY. This net starts about 8 pm Central and runs until 10 pm when they vacate for

    Freewheelers 3.916 mhz. 10 pm Central on. http://www.kx5jt.net/freewheelers.html

    In the Northeast, Marconi Net, 3.872 mhz. There is a yahoo group. One night a week, I think Thursdays, they are on 160 meters. Times:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Marconi-Net/


    Gulfcoast Sideband Net 3.925 mhz http://members.tripod.com/gulfcoastsbnet/ Every night 6:30 pm Central

    Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net 3.935 mhz Lou WA5LOU 8:00 pm Central Friday

    7.120.65 mhz Oklahoma Traffic Net net (Arley and Pat) 5:18-5:30 pm Central daily CW

    Texas Slow Net 3.552 mhz 7:45 pm Central Time CW

    http://www.14300.net/ 14.300 mhz. Mobile Maritime Service Network. Now this is a really cool net to listen to. One of the net controls, Bob Golder W1WYZ, who became a Silent Key in December, just a month after I was licensed, gave me a lot of encouragement to study for and become a ham. I didn't know him personally, but would have liked to.

    http://www.mmsn.org/album/w1wyz.htm
     
  8. AE5JU

    AE5JU Ham Member QRZ Page

    But WAIT! There's more!

    I mentioned antennas being long for 160 meters. Yes, and that is true of transmitting antennas, but not necessarily for receiving.

    For the long wavelengths, the AM Broadcast band (aka "MW" or "Medium Wave") and 160 meters (1.8-2.0 mhz) the most practical receiving antenna for the SWL'er is the tuned loop. This one will cover MW and 160 meters:

    http://www.mtmscientific.com/loop.html

    See the link that says "Photos and Reviews from Customers"? That's mine in front of my workshop/ham shack. This antenna measures 17" on the side, 24" diagonal. It consists of 15 turns of 22 ga enameled wire (aka "magnet wire") with 1/8" spacing between turns. The ends of the main loop go to a common tuning capacitor, 9.5-365 pf (or may be listed by some as 10-380 or 10-400 pf). And there is a 1 turn pickup loop to connect to radios with terminals. Many portables have built in ferrite bar antennas, and for these you can simply place the antenna beside the radio and it will couple via induction. The antenna is also highly directional. Some place the radio and loop antenna in good orientation on a "lazy susan" and then rotate them together to aim at a station.

    MTM has a similar SW loop, and those work well for SWL, too.

    http://www.mtmscientific.com/swloop.html

    But a dipole of just about any size will work well for receiving, and higher is better, and the more wire you can get up, the better.

    My 80 meter dipole (which worked well to receive on higher bands, too) was later modified for ham use by adding legs for 40 and 20 meters to make a multiband dipole... and I am still using it.
     
  9. KB1TJY

    KB1TJY Ham Member QRZ Page

    CST, got it! And many thanks, this is great!

    Lyman
     
  10. KB1TJY

    KB1TJY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Fred!
     
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