Date   

Re: FSL History

Andy ZL3AG
 

The late great Graham Maynard produced some great antenna designs. I say the spiral loop antenna with q multiplier is the best ever MW loop. https://www.americanradiohistory.com/UK/Practical/Wireless/80s/PW%201981%2003.pdf

But you can put the "spin theory" stuff in the same box as Peter Brock's "Energy Polariser" https://jalopnik.com/how-a-box-of-magic-crystals-brought-down-australias-mos-1822559023

Nice guys that lost the plot.

On 12/05/20 1:54 pm, Paul Blundell wrote:
I have recently come across this website, it is a lot to read but gives a great history of the FSL and it's development.
http://www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/Media/fsi.htm


FSL History

Paul Blundell
 

I have recently come across this website, it is a lot to read but gives a great history of the FSL and it's development.
http://www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/Media/fsi.htm

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


All States DX Challenge

Paul Blundell
 

The All States DX Challenge will see me target a single station in every Australian state, the ACT and also a New Zealand station over the next few months. 

558kHz - 6WA
576kHz - 2RN
585kHz - 7RN
621kHz - 3RN
729KHz - 5RN
909kHz - STAR
1440kHz - 1EA
1548kHz - 4QD

Over this period, I will be regularly monitoring these stations at various times of the day and night from various locations and logging these results.

My custom database (MWDXerDB) has been upgraded to account for this and to allow me to run this project side by side with my normal Ultralight DXing loggings.
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


DX2020 Challenge - 09/05/2020

Paul Blundell
 

-------------------------
**MWDXerDB - Report**
Report Date: 05/11/2020
Report Time: 09:01:21

Freq / Name: 0531kHz - 3GG
Site / Type: Warragul - Commercial - 5kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - GOOD

Freq / Name: 0621kHz - 3RN
Site / Type: Melbourne - national - 50kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - EXCELLENT

Freq / Name: 0693kHz - 3AW
Site / Type: Melbourne - Commercial - 5kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - GOOD

Freq / Name: 0774kHz - 3LO
Site / Type: Melbourne - National - 50kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - EXCELLENT

Freq / Name: 0828kHz - 3GI
Site / Type: Sale - National - 10kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - GOOD

Freq / Name: 0927kHz - 3UZ
Site / Type: Melbourne - Commercial - 5kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - AVERAGE

Freq / Name: 1224kHz - 3EA
Site / Type: Melbourne - National - 5kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - WEAK

Freq / Name: 1341kHz - HPON (Geelong)
Site / Type: Geelong - HPON - 5kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - AVERAGE

Freq / Name: 1422kHz - HPON (Melbourne)
Site / Type: Melbourne - HPON - 5kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - AVERAGE

Freq / Name: 1566kHz - 3NE
Site / Type: Wangaratta - Commercial - 5kw
Notes: (DX2020) Logged 09/05/2020 - 16:15 - WEAK
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


DXing Desk

Paul Blundell
 

Finally after a few months of changed living arrangements, I now have a space for my radios. 

My DXing desk allows me to do focus my DXing either as shown to the North, targetting Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland stations or by rotating it 45 degrees left, I can then target South Australia and West Australian stations


http://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/05/dxing-desk.html

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Ultralight Radio DXing Session - 08/05/2020

Paul Blundell
 

-------------------------
**MWDXerDB - Report**
Report Date: 05/09/2020
Report Time: 20:04:08

LOCATION: Home, Launceston, Tasmania
RADIO: Digitech AR1733 / 3" FSL Aerial

Freq / Name: 0558kHz - 6WA
Site / Type: Wagin - National - 50kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - GOOD @ 2769km

Freq / Name: 0711kHz - 4QW
Site / Type: St George - National - 10kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - WEAK @ 1501km

Freq / Name: 0729KHz - 5RN
Site / Type: Adelaide - National - 50KW
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - EXCELLENT @ 1042km

Freq / Name: 0783kHz - 6VA
Site / Type: Albany - Commerical - 2kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - WEAK @ 2642km

Freq / Name: 0792kHz - 4RN
Site / Type: Brisbane - National - 25kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - POOR @ 1645km

Freq / Name: 0891kHz - 5AN
Site / Type: Adelaide - National - 50kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - GOOD @ 1045km

Freq / Name: 0909kHz - STAR
Site / Type: Napier-Hastings - NZ
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - WEAK @ 2512km

Freq / Name: 1296kHz - 4RPH
Site / Type: Brisbane - Community - 5kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - WEAK @ 1645km

Freq / Name: 1296kHz - 6RN
Site / Type: Wagin - National - 10kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - GOOD @ 2769km

Freq / Name: 1386kHz - RADIO TARANA
Site / Type: Auckland - NZ
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - WEAK @ 2423km

Freq / Name: 1539kHz - HPON (Adelaide)
Site / Type: Adelaide - HPON - 5kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - EXCELLENT @ 1045km

Freq / Name: 1548kHz - 4QD
Site / Type: Emerald - National - 50kw
Notes: Logged 08/05/2020 - AVERAGE @ 1995km

NOTES: Late night session at home. Running the AR1733 with my 3" FSL aerial. I logged a number of stations from West Australian, South Australia, Queensland and two New Zealand stations. Signals were good across the board. 6RN on 1296kHz hit good signal levels late in the session.
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Airband Listening

Max Italy
 

Hi, just a technical note, all the DSP portable radios use an external circuit to receive the air band, it is not received directly from the DSP IC (usually Si4735 in our radios)

The external circuit is a TA7358 receiver ic or similar (LA1185, KA22495, AN7205 or chinese versions).

This is a single chip receiver, PLL controlled in our case, with a MIX output, generally 10,7MHz.

The Si4735 is locked to receive 10.7MHz while the microprocessor controls the PLL for tuning. It's a downconversion of the band to IF

In any case i think that for the Air Band there is nothing better than a RTL dongle (SDR) because signals appear and disappear quickly and you can see them in a wide range of frequencies. With some autotuning software it is simple to receive the strongest signal on the band. 

To summarize i would say that with a SDR you receive simultaneusly all the frequencies in a band but activate the audio on one frequency. This is different from scanning in a circular way a group of frequencies. 


Portable Ultralight Radio Go Kit - May2020

Paul Blundell
 

Recently I have been looking at change / improving my Portable Ultralight Radio Go Kit. Until now I have used a few different cases and bags, some have worked really well, others have not been as great. What I enjoy is the challenge of trying different options, the experience I get from this allows me to continue improving my cases, hopefully finally finding the ultimate setup which works for me.

 

I was out doing some shopping recently when I called passed my local Bunnings store, here I found this new case for $30, I decided to replace my previous case as I found it was not working as well as I would have liked. My plan being to use my previous case for my work tools and use this new case for my Ultralight radio DXing kit.

 

I started off at home by sitting all my radios and other pieces of my DXing kit on the foam to see how they would all fit best. After this I cut the foam to suit and pulled out the required sections. Using this foam I decided that to fit in the most amount of radio gear, I would place my 3" FSL in sideways. To do this I had to remove all the foam from around this.

 

After getting my 3" FSL stored safely, I next moved on to cutting the required foam sections to store my radios, batteries, earphones, wire aerial and log sheets. This layout is about the most efficient use of the space that I could do.

 

Overall, I am very pleased with how well this case has come out, I am able to carry and store multiple radios, log sheets, pens, notes, spare batteries and ear phones, everything I need for portable sessions. It is also small enough to fit in my back pack. For $30 it provides a great level of protection. Using the foam means that each item has a home and that they are well protected, it is also much lighter than my previous cases, meaning I will carry it with me more often. It really wins on the price v size v quality scale.

 

While this case was designed for ultralight DXing the same ideas could be used for amateur radio, radio scanning or any other radio storage need.

 

Photos: https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/05/portable-ultralight-radio-go-kit-may.html

--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Software - MWDXerDB

Paul Blundell
 


On Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 11:51 AM Paul Blundell via Groups.Io <tanger32au=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
A new video with some information on the updates is below.


https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/01/software-mwdxerdb.html 

 

On Sun, Mar 15, 2020 at 8:23 PM Paul Blundell via Groups.Io <tanger32au=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
*** Update 15th March 2020 ***
Due to a total rewrite of MWDXerDB, please check here for any updates on this project. At this stage I am not offering any technical support of the current (pre March 2020) version.
https://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/01/software-mwdxerdb.html
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX



--
Paul


--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Airband Listening

Paul Blundell
 

Here in Australia we are still 25kHz, I believe that Europe is 8.33kHz spacing.


On Fri, 8 May 2020, 2:10 a.m. Rémy Friess, <rfriess@...> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I read somewhere that channel spacing on the Airband is being changed from 25 to 8 kHz.

Anyone know if this has been implemented anywhere already.

It's likely to be a problem as many receivers tune only in 25 kHz steps.

73, Rémy.




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Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


The past TP DX season.

Richard Allen <dx747j@...>
 

Today I came across a recording of a TP DX 10-17-19. My log book show it was an unidentified signal on 702 kHz. Before deleting it I decided to give a listen. It turned out there was enough partially readable audio to identify it as 2BL. So, although my TP season was lackluster, I was able to hear two DU stations. The other being 3LO on 9-20-19. Not bad for a simple setup of a Crane Skywave receiver with one of Gary’s FSL antennas. The season produced three new Japanese station here.

Recently I came across my old very modified Realistic 12-655 TRF receiver from the 1970’s. It was the receiver with which I heard my first TP (JOUB-774). So I decided to see if it still worked and sure enough it does. When I placed it near the 8-inch FSL stations came booming in. Too bad it doesn’t qualify as a ultralight.

Now looking forward to next season because it looks like we may be staying at home more than wanted.

Good DX,

Richard Allen,
near Perry OK USA.


Re: Airband Listening

Tom Crosbie G6PZZ <tom@...>
 

Rémy ,

IIRC it has already happened. There was talk of changing from 25 to 12.5 to double the number of channels but instead they went straight to 8.33kHz effectively tripling the number. The change to a long time to implement with both ground stations and aircraft. The scanners (particularly handhelds) available around the time could switch to 12.5 spacing and still pick up plenty of signals, courtesy of breakthrough due to the dreadful filtering they used to have. We did some tests when I worked for Lowe Electronics, we were right under a major air lane, Amber 1 I think.

 

Perhaps filtering has improved  in the day of the Ultralight. I don’t have one but even if I did, the skies are quite empty above me are noticeably empty.

 

HTH

 

73 Tom G6PZZ

 

From: main@UltralightDX.groups.io <main@UltralightDX.groups.io> On Behalf Of Rémy Friess
Sent: 07 May 2020 17:10
To: main@UltralightDX.groups.io
Subject: Re: [UltralightDX] Airband Listening

 

Hi everyone,

I read somewhere that channel spacing on the Airband is being changed from 25 to 8 kHz.

Anyone know if this has been implemented anywhere already.

It's likely to be a problem as many receivers tune only in 25 kHz steps.

73, Rémy.

 

 


Re: Airband Listening

Rémy Friess
 

Hi everyone,

I read somewhere that channel spacing on the Airband is being changed from 25 to 8 kHz.

Anyone know if this has been implemented anywhere already.

It's likely to be a problem as many receivers tune only in 25 kHz steps.

73, Rémy.




Re: Airband Listening

Dave613
 

Another good source for air band frequencies is https://skyvector.com/airports, the site also has aviation charts so you can see which airports are nearby your location, the most useful are probably the World VFR and larger scale sectionals. Agree the Skywave is good for air band reception, XHDATA D-808 seems to match it for reception of marginal signals IME, sound quality is better on D-808 (bigger speaker) but does not have any scanning function (unless is is hidden/undocumented).

Dave


Re: Airband Listening

James Fields <james.v.fields@...>
 

Great writeup.  The C. Crane Skywave SSB can actually "scan" up to 10 airband frequencies in a single bank.  After programming them into the bank you press both the up and down slewing buttons simultaneously to engage the scan.  I didn't see this mentioned elsewhere but if it was and I missed it, I apologize. It's not as fast as a purpose-built scanner but it's a nice feature.  Note it does not work with any of the other bands (LW/SW/MW/FM/WX) and other radios based on the same DSP chip set do not have this feature.


On Thu, May 7, 2020 at 1:10 AM Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:
As some ultralight radios also cover the VHF Airband, I have published a guide on this.


http://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/05/airband-guide-to-airband-radio-listening.html
--
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UltralightDX



--
James V. Fields
james.v.fields@...


Re: Airband Listening

keith beesley
 

Thanks, gentlemen, good info. 

Keith Beesley
Seattle WA

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 10:47:07 PM PDT, kevin asato <kc6pob@...> wrote:


Good quick read, Paul.

Not quite ultralight as i have a desktop scanner programmed but -
Depending upon where you reside, the airbands can be tough to monitor. i am fortunate to have two commercial airports (LAX and LGB) and 3 municipal airports around me. I tend to scan the Unicom and Multicom frequencies where i mostly hear the local police (LAPD and LA Sheriff's helicopters), LA Fire, Coast Guard, and the local news helicopters (122.025, 122.050MHz) as well as small aircraft as they announce their positions and intentions under VFR rules. In addition i hear the warbirds flying in formation using the "Air CB" frequency of 123.45MHz. The airbands are a lot quieter nowadays with commercial air traffic at an all-time low. In addition to airbands, i have Marine channels 9, 13, 16, 21, 22 programmed in to monitor Los Angeles/Long Beach Port Operations and local Coast Guard activity. These frequencies are also a lot quieter given the current zombie apocalypse we are enduring.

i do have a handheld scanner that i drive around with also programmed for airband frequencies and have been screened through the terminal area with a Grundig G6 or scanner already tuned to air frequencies. in addition, i have yet to have problems carrying a radio with T/R or R/O capabilities in my frequent US travels. These are my experiences with the usual disclaimer - YMMV.

73,
kevin
kc6pob

On Wed, May 6, 2020 at 10:10 PM Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:
As some ultralight radios also cover the VHF Airband, I have published a guide on this.


http://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/05/airband-guide-to-airband-radio-listening.html
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Airband Listening

kevin asato
 

Good quick read, Paul.

Not quite ultralight as i have a desktop scanner programmed but -
Depending upon where you reside, the airbands can be tough to monitor. i am fortunate to have two commercial airports (LAX and LGB) and 3 municipal airports around me. I tend to scan the Unicom and Multicom frequencies where i mostly hear the local police (LAPD and LA Sheriff's helicopters), LA Fire, Coast Guard, and the local news helicopters (122.025, 122.050MHz) as well as small aircraft as they announce their positions and intentions under VFR rules. In addition i hear the warbirds flying in formation using the "Air CB" frequency of 123.45MHz. The airbands are a lot quieter nowadays with commercial air traffic at an all-time low. In addition to airbands, i have Marine channels 9, 13, 16, 21, 22 programmed in to monitor Los Angeles/Long Beach Port Operations and local Coast Guard activity. These frequencies are also a lot quieter given the current zombie apocalypse we are enduring.

i do have a handheld scanner that i drive around with also programmed for airband frequencies and have been screened through the terminal area with a Grundig G6 or scanner already tuned to air frequencies. in addition, i have yet to have problems carrying a radio with T/R or R/O capabilities in my frequent US travels. These are my experiences with the usual disclaimer - YMMV.

73,
kevin
kc6pob

On Wed, May 6, 2020 at 10:10 PM Paul Blundell <tanger32au@...> wrote:
As some ultralight radios also cover the VHF Airband, I have published a guide on this.


http://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/05/airband-guide-to-airband-radio-listening.html
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Re: Airband Listening

Gary DeBock
 

Hi Paul,

As part of the 2015 Ultralight Radio Shootout (which is posted at  https://swling.com/blog/2015/03/gary-debocks-2015-ultralight-radio-shootout-review/
I did a thorough investigation of the Air Band capabilities of the C.Crane Skywave, which was the first Ultralight radio to feature coverage of those frequencies. The excerpt below is from that article, including a link to air band frequencies in use throughout the USA, a recording of local air traffic (from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) and a general description of airport communication:

Other Bands

The CC Skywave really excels on two other bands– one of which is unique in the Ultralight radio class. Its Weather Band sensitivity is far superior to that of the CC Pocket and DT-400W models, and it has the same Weather Alert function and selectable time periods (4, 8 or 16 hours) as those vertical-form models. Weather Band reception which is dicey on the smaller models is usually crystal clear on the Skywave—most likely because of the dedicated DSP chip for Weather and Air Band reception in the model.

If any reader places an extremely high priority on the stable reception of Weather Band alerts during emergencies, this is definitely the Ultralight radio of choice. Not only is the whip antenna far superior to the makeshift wire antenna system of the vertical-form models, but the DSP chip-provided sensitivity is in an entirely different league.

Finally, one of the obvious attractions of the CC Skywave model is its AIR Band coverage from 118-137 MHz—unique in the Ultralight radio class. According to information from C.Crane., the Si4736 DSP chip on the digital board is used strictly for Weather and AIR Band reception—and it definitely provides excellent sensitivity on both of those bands.

To get started in listening to communication between airports and airplanes the owner’s manual instructs the user to check the internet for airport frequency listings, specifically mentioning the http://www.flightradio.com site. After checking that site (and paying a $10 fee for “lifetime membership”) I was able to download a file with airport communication frequencies for the entire USA, which is posted here.

My home town of Puyallup, WA is along the direct southerly approach route for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport—a pretty busy site with lots of air traffic. The frequency listings mentioned a SeaTac tower frequency of 119.900 MHz, which is used by the tower to receive communication from airplanes approaching the airport and requesting a runway assignment. Depending upon air traffic, the time of day and luck, the CC Skywave can receive either a lot, a little or almost no communication on this tower frequency. Since only communication from airplanes is heard, the signal strengths can vary from a thunderous level (for planes directly overhead) down to a ghostly wisp (for airplanes many miles away).

Below, you’ll find a sample MP3 of the Skywave’s reception on this 119.900 MHz SeaTac tower frequency (with communication from three airplanes within two minutes). Click here to simply download this MP3.

Audio Player
 
 

The CC Skywave has a Squelch function which will mute the background noise on the AIR band frequencies while you await voice traffic—which is engaged by pushing in the tuning control for two seconds, then rotating the control to choose your desired threshold level. This is a nice feature for those who only wish to hear the voice communication, but it does reduce the radio’s reception sensitivity somewhat. In general the Skywave’s AIR Band coverage is a major plus for those interested in airport communication, although these types of transmissions are almost always brief, businesslike, and to the point. Listeners should not expect any of the emotion and drama typical in airport disaster movies!

Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)



Airband Listening

Paul Blundell
 

As some ultralight radios also cover the VHF Airband, I have published a guide on this.


http://ultralightradiodxing.blogspot.com/2020/05/airband-guide-to-airband-radio-listening.html
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX


Ultralight Radio DXing Session - 6/05/2020

Paul Blundell
 

DATE: 06/05/2020
TIME: 21:35 – 22:05
LOCATION: Home, Launceston Tasmania.
RADIO / AERIAL: Digitech AR1733 / 3” FSL Aerial

 
FREQ
 
 
Station
SIGNAL
Pw
NOTES
558
kHz
 -
6WA
weak
50k
Logged @ 2769km
711
kHz
 -
4QW
good
10k
Logged @ 1501km
729
kHz
 -
5RN
good
50k
Logged @ 1042km
783
kHz
 -
8AL
poor
2k
Logged @ 2327km
792
kHz
 -
4RN
average
25k
Logged @ 1645km
891
kHz
 -
5AN
good
50k
Logged @ 1045km
909
kHz
 -
STAR
poor
 
Logged @ 2512km
1539
kHz
 -
5-HPON
average
5k
Logged @ 1045km
1548
kHz
 -
4QD
good
50k
Logged @ 1995km
--
Paul - Moderator
UltralightDX

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