Differential GPS (DGPS)

April 3, 2017

Long-time readers might remember me discussing listening to Non-Directional Beacons (NDBs) on the longwave band (frequencies below the AM broadcast band). A fairly recent addition to the inhabitants of longwave are the Differential GPS stations, which can be found between about 283.5 and 325 KHz. The Wikipedia page with background information is here:


As a digital signal, decoding software is required to be able to DX and log these stations. As luck would have it, Chris Smolinski of Black Cat Systems has written an excellent program called “Amalgamated DGPS” for Windows and Mac. It can be downloaded here:


The software can be run using real-time audio from a suitable longwave receiver (or an audio recording). It also functions taking an I/Q recording from a Software Defined Receiver (SDR). This is the way I use the program. I set up my Perseus SDR to record the entire DGPS range (283.5-325) for some period of time. This is an “I/Q” file. The software is then run using the I/Q file as input. It then lists the various DGPS stations it was able to decode.

For each station listed, make note of the “count”. Chris warns that the DGPS error detection protocol is not very robust, and false decodes are common. If the count is just 1, I would say it is fairly likely that a false decode has occurred.




Playoff Bound

April 3, 2017

The Blue Jackets clinched a playoff berth during March and were 10-6 during the month. But their offense has sputtered over the last couple weeks. So even with the beat goalie in the league, one wonders if they can make much of a run in the playoffs. A President’s Cup for the best record in the NHL regular season was not out of the question. But with last night’s 3-2 loss to the Capitals, Columbus has its first 3-game losing streak of the season. The Jackets are 6 points behind Washington with 4 games to go for both. But no matter what happens, this is the best season in franchise history for the Blue Jackets.

NCAA Women’s Tournament

April 3, 2017

Congratulations to South Carolina on their national championship. As a player, Dawn Staley went to three Final Fours but was never able to win it all. Now she has a championship as a coach. Mississippi State has a great team but I was not surprised at the outcome of last night’s game. With players like A’ja Wilson, Carolina is tall inside. Kentucky had absolutely no luck in three games against the Gamecocks, losing all three by wide margins. The Cats had a win in their meeting with MSU.

The UK women managed a #4 seed in the NCAA, so got to play their first and second round games at home in Memorial Coliseum. Ohio State, after losing early in the Big Ten Tournament, were a #5 seed. But the Bucks were placed in Lexington. In the first round, Kentucky edged Belmont and Ohio State beat Western Kentucky to get up a second round matchup between the Cats and the Bucks. OSU won 82-68 to move on to the regionals in Rupp Arena in Lexington. The Buckeyes were no match for #1 seed Notre Dame and lost in a rout.

I was as surprised as anybody at Mississippi State’s upset win over Connecticut in the national semifinals. Gino Auriema’s smile after the game reminded me of the Facebook meme: “Don’t cry because it ended, smile because it happened”. The Huskies will continue to be a dominant force in women’s college basketball for years to come.

Wrapping Up March

April 2, 2017

You would think with all the stuff that went on in March, I’d be able to keep up with this blog. But, nooooooooo. I guess I was too busy doing stuff to write about stuff. In any event, in the next few posts I’ll try to get caught up, probably only to get behind again. And so it goes :-).

It’s been a great NCAA Tournament as usual. Despite all the upsets, the championship game tomorrow night will feature two #1 seeds. I had been expecting that Mark Few and Gonzaga would eventually break through and make a Final Four. They have a good enough team to win it all. It would be funny if North Carolina finished runner up for two years in a row. But I really like their inside game, and they could easily win tomorrow.

Kentucky had a lot of momentum after winning the SEC Tournament, and managed to beat UCLA in a regional semifinal, avenging a regular season loss in Rupp Arena. The Cats gave North Carolina a good game in the regional finals, but came up short.


Big Ten Champions

February 28, 2017

The Ohio State women won their first Big Ten regular-season championship in several years by beating Rutgers Sunday afternoon. The Bucks and Maryland tied at the top of the league with identical 15-1 records. OSU has won more regular season titles than any other team in the league. They will be the #1 seed in the Big Ten tournament this weekend.

The Kentucky women were no match (again) for South Carolina in the last game of the regular season. But the Cats secured a #4 seed in the SEC tournament which begins tomorrow in Greenville, South Carolina.

The NCAA has started reporting tournament seedings in advance, subject to change of course. Both Ohio State and Kentucky were #4 seeds in the last reveal. If both can hold their positions they will be able to host first and second round games at home.

The Kentucky men beat Florida Saturday, avenging an earlier loss to the Gators. That broke the tie at the top of the conference standings. Tonight is Senior Night in Rupp Arena as the Cats play host to Vanderbilt.

After a five-day break, the Blue Jackets are undefeated with wins over the Islanders and Rangers by a combined score of 12-2.

A Couple Big Upsets

February 24, 2017

We have record high temperatures here today. It is 79 degrees and sunny as I type this. I have already grilled out once this year. We expect storms tonight, then a big cool-down.

Big night in basketball last night.

I wasn’t giving the Kentucky women much chance of beating #3 Mississippi State, but they did it on Senior Night in Memorial Coliseum as the crowd said goodbye to Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator. That was only the second loss of the season for the Bulldogs. The Cats finish the regular season Sunday at South Carolina. Kentucky lost the first meeting but is playing better now. With four conference losses, the Cats are out of the running for the SEC regular-season championship but have some momentum for next week’s conference tournament.

The Ohio State men have continued to have a bad season but last night the Bucks pulled off a big upset in Columbus by knocking off a Wisconsin team that had routed OSU earlier in the year. That dropped the Badgers out of a first-place tie with Purdue for the Big Ten lead. The Buckeyes might be able to make some noise in the Big Ten tournament if they can continue to play at this level.

The Maryland women are 54-3 against Big Ten opponents since joining the league, with all 3 losses to Ohio State. The Bucks won their only meeting with the Terps this year. Maryland and OSU are both 14-1 in conference play coming into the final weekend of the season. OSU is guaranteed at least a share of the conference title if they win at Rutgers Sunday.

The Kentucky men are unbeaten since my last post. Big game tomorrow as Florida comes to Rupp Arena. In Gainesville, the Gators beat the cats by 22. The Cats will be looking to avenge that, and break the tie at the top of the SEC (both teams are 13-2).

The Blue Jackets continue to play .500 hockey after the end of the 16-game winning streak. Washington is currently running away with the Metropolitan division. Columbus, Pittsburgh and The Rangers are in a battle for second place. Plenty more hockey to play.


Tough Sailing for the Cats

February 9, 2017

Saturday, the UK men lost badly at Florida which was their third loss in the last 4 games. The Cats did manage a home win over LSU Tuesday. Saturday Kentucky travels to Tuscaloosa to face an Alabama team fresh off a 4-overtime win at South Carolina. Thanks to the Tide taking down the Gamecocks, Kentucky is in a first place tie with South Carolina and Florida in the SEC. Lots of basketball yet to be played.

The UK women were no match for South Carolina even on their home floor. But Sunday, the Cats got back to their winning ways with a hard-fought win over visiting Vanderbilt.

Would you believe the Ohio State men have won two in-a-row? A nice road win at Michigan Saturday was followed by a home win over Rutgers last night.

The Ohio State women continue in second place in the Big Ten with an 11-1 record. Maryland rules the roost at 11-0. Those two teams get together on February 20.

Since last time, Columbus had back-to-back games with Pittsburgh and New Jersey, losing both. That was followed by an overtime win at Detroit. The Jackets are now 7 points behind Washington in the Metropolitan Division, and frankly, not playing as well as the Capitals right now.


That’s A Wrap (On January)

February 2, 2017

Since last time, the Blue Jackets lost at NYI and NSH, and held on for a 6-4 win in Madison Square Garden after opening up a 6-0 lead over the Rangers. The Jackets who were in the all-star game (Sergei Bobrovsky, Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson) gave a good account of themselves. It was the first time I had ever watched the NHL all-star game. I like the 3-on-3 format.

The UK men lost two in-a-row, losing in Knoxville and then to Kansas in Rupp. Tuesday night, the Cats nipped Georgia in overtime in Rupp in Brent Musburger’s last game in front of a microphone. Point guard De’Aaron Fox was out with an illness and was badly missed.

Victories continue to be hard to come by for the Ohio State men. The Bucks beat Minnesota (avenging an earlier loss in Minneapolis) but then lost to Iowa and Maryland.

The Kentucky women had a 5-game win streak going but then lost at Missouri. The Cats play host to South Carolina tonight. The Ohio State women keep rolling along and still have only one conference loss.

Almost Through January

January 23, 2017

Since last time, the Blue Jackets have won 4 of 7. This includes winning 2-of-3 against Carolina, a split with Ottawa, and a split on the road in Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky has had to miss some games. Washington and Columbus each have 66 standings points which is tops in the NHL.

After the 1-2 SEC start, the UK women have won 4 in-a-row which includes road wins at Alabama, LSU and Auburn. Tonight, South Carolina and Mississippi State get together. When the dust settles, only one of those teams will remain unbeaten in SEC play.

On the men’s side it is UK that sits all alone undefeated in SEC play with Saturday’s win over South Carolina in Rupp Arena.

In the Big Ten, Maryland is the only women’s team undefeated in conference play. Ohio State is a half game behind after the loss at Michigan State.

Saturday, the Ohio State men lost a home game to Northwestern for the first time since I was enrolled at OSU :-). The Wildcats are 5-2 in the league and it will be interesting to see if they can earn their first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bucks did manage a win at Nebraska. Matta appears certain to break his streak of 20-win seasons. I would favor keeping him around for another year. But if the 2017-18 season goes like this year, I’d say he’s gone.

Congrats To Clemson

January 10, 2017

Volatile winter weather here lately, but it is January after all. We’ve only had about an inch of snow so far this season. But we had temperatures in the single digits over the weekend. It has warmed up a good bit today (to about 50) but we have high winds. We expect rain for SEVERAL days but temperatures will be mild.

Great game last night as Clemson beat Alabama for the college football national championship after being behind 14-0. For the second year in-a-row I enjoyed the “Sounds of the Game” feed on the WatchESPN app. There are no announcers. So you only hear the stadium PA announcer, the crowd, and the referees. It’s a nice change from the usual way of covering a game.

Since my last post, the Blue Jackets opened the new year beating Edmonton for their 16th win in-a-row. But the streak came to an end in Washington as the Caps won 5-0. I didn’t get to see much of that game as I was concentrating on basketball. In the next game. Coach Tortorella decided to give goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky a rest, and he started Curtis McElhinney in his place. Unfortunately, Mac gave up 5 goals in a 5-4 loss to the Rangers. Sunday, Columbus got back to its winning ways with a 2-1 overtime win over Philadelphia. I was surprised to hear yesterday that McElhinney has been put on waivers. Anton Forsberg has been called up from minor league Cleveland to be Bob’s backup.

So, the 16-game win streak goes into the books as the second-longest in NHL history. Pittsburgh retains the longest streak at 17 from the 1992-93 season.

The Kentucky men are off to an easy start in SEC play. But they go on the road tonight in Nashville. The UK women have had a tougher time. I mentioned the loss at Tennessee earlier. The Cats managed to hold off a surging Missouri team for a 2-point win. But Sunday Texas A&M came to town and won, leaving the Cats below .500 in the league at 1-2.

Feast and famine in Columbus. The women are 4-0. As was the case last year, Ohio State and Maryland seem to be the top teams in the league and, so far, they are the only teams still unbeaten in league play.

But the men are 0-3 after losses at Illinois and at Minnesota. Saturday the Buckeyes played host to Purdue and lost by 1.  At this point, I see a below .500 Big Ten record for the Bucks unless things change quickly.