Archive for August, 2014

August Almost Gone, Football Almost Here

August 28, 2014

It’s been a strange summer here. Very dry for awhile, then a stretch of cooler than normal weather. Summer-like weather finally got here in August, and we’ve had the heat and humidity that we expect for this time of year. Persistent storms have given us one of the wettest Augusts in history.

College football begins in earnest tonight. Ohio State and Kentucky have their first games on Saturday. The Buckeyes have lost starting quarterback Braxton Miller for the season due to injury. Some pundits had liked OSU’s chances of making the new four-team playoff at the end of the season. I kind of doubt it now. Mark Stoops continues to bring in highly-rated recruits to Kentucky. Only time will tell if it will be enough to become competitive in the rugged SEC.

Best wishes to my oldest nephew Sam, who is beginning graduate work in anthropology at Brandeis University. His ultimate goal is a PhD. He has been doing some research that attracted the interest of the staff at the Boston-area college. Good luck, Sam!

As usual, ham radio band conditions have been up and down. I completed the July NAQCC Challenge mentioned in my previous post. The autumn will bring better propagation, and I have already seen improvement recently.

Although I “completed” the radio installation in my Toyota RAV4 awhile back, the performance really wasn’t good on anything other than the 10-meter band. By attaching an “extension” to the antenna, even though it is only 22 inches long, much better operation has been realized. I have been using a 17-meter hamstick, and have gotten excellent reports. I think I may have finally gotten over the hump.

Back in February I had made a number of recordings of the AM broadcast band using my Perseus Software Defined Radio (SDR). This summer I finally got a chance to go through these recordings. I found many new stations (not logged before). You can see these loggings on my YouTube channel

I’ve never done much longwave DXing here, as I’ve generally observed a lot of noise here at my city location. But the Perseus seems to do a good job on the longwave frequencies (generally considered to be everything below the AM broadcast band, below 530 KHz). For me, the primary target there is “Non-Directional Beacons” (NDBs). These are aviation beacons that just send their callsign in Morse Code on a continuous basis, so that pilots can get their bearings. I logged a bunch of these from my February recordings, including some from a couple of Canadian provinces.