Voice of Russia

Radio Japan

Deutsche Welle

The Wayback Machine

I’ve really been enjoying Bill Continelli’s, W2XOY, web posting on the history of amateur radio entitled the Wayback Machine. Well written and very engaging.

I received a package from home containing the last two issues of CQ and the last issue of QST so I spent a good portion of last night reading through those. Also got a copy of the latest issue of DX Magazine – I always enjoy reading the articles about hams on exotic DXpeditions.

Listened to the Voice of Russia for a little while but couldn’t find any solid shortwave stations to listen to last night.

FISTS, the organization of the International Morse Preservation Society, has a great beginners guide to a CW QSO on their website.

Riding the shortwaves

I’ve enjoyed a little of my down time by tuning around with my Grundig YP300E. While not a feature rich radio, I’m surprised at how well it does. Two nights ago I enjoyed listening to a news program on Iranian radio. Reception was pretty solid and the propaganda reminded me of when I used to listen to Radio Moscow as a kid. Last night I tuned in to Radio Sweden for their half hour English language broadcast. I also briefly heard the Voice of Turkey, but was unable to get strong reception. It seems like I can always find the BBC.

The radio I’m looking at to give me the ability to receive LSB/USB as well as CW is the Elecraft KX1. What intrigues me most is it’s compact size. The radio has received excellent reviews on eHam.net. The radio’s small size will also allow me to take it on the road when I travel to Europe early next year.

An interesting website I stumbled across: ham-shack.com. It’s one stop shopping for a variety of information on amateur radio. I’m now reading the section
on the history of amateur radio called The Way Back Machine by Bill Continelli, W2XOY. Well written – great stuff.

Stranger in a strange land

I’ve been offline for quite a while. My work has taken me to a different part of the world which is not permitting me easy access to amateur radio. While I try to figure out a better solution to my current situation, I picked up a Grundig YB300PE. It is a very basic shortwave radio with only AM capability. I set up the supplied external antenna and have had some success listening to the major shortwave broadcasters. I found a great site for schedule information; the NASWA WWW Shortwave Listening Guide. The interface is easy to use but the latest date of the database says June 2006. That might be an issue. I also ordered one of my favorite annual publications: Passport to World Band Radio

My next goal will be to get a radio that gives me LSB/USB/CW receive capability. I want to be able to develop my CW listening skills using live QSOs.

I’ve not had the ability to do casual internet web surfing for the past few months, so I am catching up with my favorite amateur radio web sites.

Long Delayed Echoes – Jeff Davis, KE9V, consistently has insightful, original, and well written posts. The true highlight are his podcasts.

KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog – Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is the advocate for amateur radio. Heavily involved in his local club, Dan also fires up his HF rig on a daily basis and enjoying CW ragchews.

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, has a regular column that appears on arrl.org called Surfin’. He highlights interesting amateur radio related websites and ties them to his own experiences.

Gary Hoffman, KB0H, has an arrl.org column called The Amateur Amateur. Always humorous but always on point with good advise and hard lessons learned (and sometimes relearned).

B. Scott Andersen, NE1RD, has an excellent site called the 100 Pound DXpedition. In his own words: The “100 pound DXpedition” describes my quest to do these DXpeditions with a minimum of equipment and maximum fun. Scott’s posts are wonderfully detailed and I learn something every time I visit his site.

Thank you to the above individuals and everybody else out there who is posting their thoughts, experiences, and amateur radio musings… it is allowing me to keep my amateur radio interest going even though I can’t get in front of a rig.

Been busy with…..

– Tried to contact KD6EUG (at his alternate QTH in Mi-Wuk Village, CA) via EchoLink last night, no luck. I tried on two different EchoLink repeaters: one near Tuolumne (N6EA, 146.115) and another near Modesto (WA6OEC, 441.350).

Going to try again tonight and see if we can make contact.

– I got NOVA for Windows up an working.
Nova for Windows has become the most popular Windows-based satellite tracking program in the world. In use by NASA, the U.S. Air Force, industry, and thousands of amateur radio operators, Nova sets the standard for excellence.” [It’s a great program.]

I can use NOVA to track amateur radio satellites, the International Space Station, and the Space Shuttle (when it’s up).

– Sparked up the RX-320 this morning and got Radio Sweden (15.240 MHz).

“The year 2005 marks the centenary of the birth of Greta Garbo. One of Sweden’s most famous exports, her name still evokes glamour and mystery.”

“Join Radio Sweden’s Juan Navas for a special half hour program looking at the life and times of one of the world’s biggest stars, Greta Garbo.”
More about Greta Garbo

Battery died again

I tried running PocketAPRS from the office without any luck. I’m in the middle of a second floor, not close to a window – and my building is surrounded by other brick buildings… so no real good line of sight. But all the fiddling around took its toll on the battery. After work I set the up the antenna, GPS, and radio – and after about five minutes I was out of juice.

RxPlus is now the software of choice for my TenTec RX-320. I’ve used probably a good half dozen different software programs, but RxPlus appears to top them all. It has a built in database function that allows you to pull up shortwave broadcasting schedules. Just one click and your listening to the BBC or Radio Havana. I was then tooling around the 20m SSB amateur radio band and ran across a SATERN net for Hurricane Rita. I could hear the net control very clearly… I wonder if he was in Chicago?

9pm… and time for the Hampton Roads Public Service Net on 146.97 MHz. Bruce, WB7OTQ, was net control and I got one of the two quiz questions correct. I usually cheat and look the answers up on the internet, but these two were tough… so it took some guessing.