Non-ultralight owner question(s)...
Hey all and Allen in Newfoundland in particular; I've been reading this group for a while and am amazed at the DX reports, esp. for MW. As subject line states, I don't own an Ultralight but I do have several good non-DSP radios incl. an Eton E1, a Sony 2010 and Drake R4C. I've built several multi-turn open loops, own the Palstar amplified ferrite system and also a CCrane Twin-Ferrite - and I've been hamming on and off for 45 years. So I'm not new to radio. But i'm new to reading and believing you can hear MW stations from around the world while sitting on the eastern edge of the N. American continent. How si this possible? Is it the QTH allowing this? A 1 khz DSP-defined bandwidth? The advantage of a "super-Q" homebrew long ferrite antenna? In my experience, a 2.3 khz "SSB filter" is almost too narrow for intelligible Amplitude Modulation (AM) recovery while a 1 khz "CW filter" is too narrow. Yet I'm seeing reports of stations at 909 khz or 1089 khz or 1341 khz. How is this possible? Is there something about the DSP filter - with perhaps super-steep skirts that is allowing for this? But still, a 1 khz RF passband is not going to allow more than 1 khz audio, which is too narrow to discern anything more than vowels (ie, no consonant differentiation possible). Or have I been a student of theory too long and simply need to 'try it'?? Anyone care to take a swing at enlightenment? :)
Thanks in advance, Mark
On 01/05/2011 8:46 AM, airchecklover wrote:
Hello Mark!!! Thanks for checking in and welcome to the ULR Group!! If you've been reading the messages for a while..I guess you what we're all about!!
OK Mark..you have a couple of Nice Receivers....all you have to do now is get a ULR or two and join in the fun!! They're pretty inexpensive, and there's lots of choices to fit your needs!! You've got some good antennas for ULR DXing too..they will work fine with most ULRs.
Lots of us Old Hams on this group as well!! I'm VA3SW...and have been a Ham since 1977.
Most New People to the List think we are all Crazy!!! You can't hear AM Stations from 5000 miles away on a tiny little ULR!!!??? Well......we ARE Crazy!!!......BUT.....you can hear those stations on a ULR!!! Several factors make that possible. LOCATION is one of the dominating factors. Being located on an Ocean is ideal for DXing across the pond. As you noticed with Allen...he is located in Bristol's Hope, NEWFOUNDLAND........pretty much the most Easterly piece of Land in NORTH AMERICA!! He is almost 1/2 way to Europe....and a long way from all of the North American QRM!!! His location is also very quiet!! Little Man Made Noise like most of us have to contend with. Being in the right place at the right time and knowing when Propagation will favour your location is also important....much of it is Luck ..but a certain amount of skill and knowledge sure does help!! Believe it or not...the majority of Allen's European DX is captured on Simple Ultralight Radios...with NO DSP...and NO EXTERNAL ANTENNAS....just BAREFOOT Radios using the Built-In Ferrite Rods!!! These little ULRs are very sensitive and the nulling capabilities of the built-In Ferrites makes amazing DX possible.
Being a ham....you are well aware of being at the mercy of the DX Gods!!! When things are lousy....your DX is proportional......BUT when things are GOOD.......amazing DX can be heard!! One of the reasons Allen hears DX on 909 or 1341 Khz with such great ease is that he is located WAY EAST of most of the QRM!! The overseas signals he is hearing from Newfoundland are MUCH Stronger than most of the QRM on the even Split Channels here!! I think Allen finds it harder to hear North American Stations than he does Foreign DX!! HAHAHHAHA...
Of course the TOTAL Water Path also contributes to the DX Factor. The Fancy Filters, DSP, etc all HELP...but they are not mandatory....especially in Allen's case on the East Coast. Us Landlubbers can hear SOME this stuff too.......we just have to work a lot harder....and be in the right place at the right time!! Some times we need the DSP and Filters....and may also need EXTERNAL Antennas. Sometimes NOT!! For instance I logged 4 AFRICAN Longwwave Broadcasters from Morocco and Algeria the other night on a TECSUN PL-380 ULR with a Gary DeBock made Ferrite Antenna. This after the Longwave band being totally unlistenable for the past 2 weeks!! A stroke of LUCK I guess...but I was tuning at the right time and the DX Gods shone upon me!!
The main thing is...Ya Gotta believe, and you have to spend some time at the dials!! The more time you spend DXing..the better the chances of being in the right place at the right time. The more you DX......the more familiar you will become of the Band and it's idiosyncrasies. You'll be able to spot oddities in the Propagation, which will help you to realize Where to look for certain Stations.
The majority of the DXers on this group joined mainly to have FUN...and have wound up logging some pretty amazing DX in the process. Many of us were burned out AM DXers who were finding the current AM Band conditions a little frustrating with all the IBOC, Man Made Noise and proliferation of of Stations making DX harder and harder to find. The ULRs have rejuvenated our enthusiasm...and we are all having FUN again..and logging some pretty mean DX to boot!! I have no less than 10 Professional Grade Receivers that are capable of hearing Great AM DX...and I don't even turn them on!! The ULRs pretty much consume me......and provide a great deal more satisfaction in the process!!
I'm sure a few more of the guys will check in here with some input....but believe what you read......as I know you do.......This is REAL DX!!
73......ROB VA3SW ( For the ULR DX AWARDS Program Committee)
Robert S. Ross
London, Ontario CANADA
Hi Mark:toggle quoted message Show quoted text
I'll take a stab. I think location is a huge part of it. Out on the west coast here, going to the beach on the Pacific makes Asian and Down Under signals quite doable, while the signals drop off if you trudge just a mile or two inland. If the signals are coming in well, you don't even need a very good receiver: for instance, one morning at the beach I had 774-Australia coming in on a barefoot Tecsun/Kaito R-911, which has only decent sensitivity and selectivity.
Allen and Diane's results in Newfoundland I think are testimonies to the advantages of their location, which is away from the RF clutter of the eastern seaboard, and even the more modest RF of St. John's, allowing the infamously broad-filtered Sony M37 to really shine as a DX receiver, and the SRF-39 is obviously cleaning up as well. Plus, they are about 2500 miles from the center of Europe, almost all by water path, while I am a lot farther away from Asia and Down Under.
For those of us with more mundane DX locations (such as Milwaukee?), the signals are attenuated, and the added selectivity of the newer DSP sets is much more important IMHO. The 1 khz spec on the DSP sets is per sideband (not total), and to my ear is actually not as tight as a Murata 2.3 khz filter; I would guess closer to 2.8 khz? With that actual filter width, AM signals are not too muffled. In fact, with a good sharply-tuned antenna (a Q multiplier helps), one can de-tune 2 khz and really get good treble response (and get away from interference). The skirts are pretty darn good on the DSP sets.
Timing is also critical. For trans-Pacific signals, there is generally an enhancement of signals around our local sunrise, while it is still quite dark in Asia and Down Under. There are nights when as soon as it starts to get dark over there (say, around midnight my time), the signals start popping up, but within an hour of my local sunrise is generally the best time to give it a go. For trans-Atlantics, as soon as it starts to get dark where you're at is likely the time to start checking.
Hope this helps - Kevin S
Bainbridge Island, WA
--- In ultralightdx@..., "airchecklover" <mdh@...> wrote:
On 01/05/2011 8:46 AM, airchecklover wrote:
A 1 khz DSP-defined bandwidth? The advantage of a "super-Q" homebrew long************************************************************************************
Hi Mark and all,
We we all agree with Robs points. Most of the time, it boils down to
luck, propagation and interference. The 1 or 2 kHz bandwidth
is, as you surmise, a bit like pass-band tuning, as in my old R4B.
Judiciously placed, a signal can become intelligible, where wider
or a little higher or lower, it becomes unreadable. The kick is a bit
like qrp getting through the kilowatters. Im in the UK close to the
sea (next stop: Cape Cod) so likewise have an "unfair advantage" :-)
Try a Sony SRF-59 cheapo, a Tecsun PL-380 or similar to start with.
You will, of course, find lots of info on the uldx website.
The best advice is probably your own last line above!
Hello Mark and All,toggle quoted message Show quoted text
Allen's superb TA-DXing results are possible not only because of his
ideal location on an ocean beach in eastern Newfoundland (as explained
by Kevin), but also because of his extensive knowledge and experience
in receiving the European and African stations on the frequencies
listed. Long-term TA and TP-DXers become familiar with the "best bets"
of transoceanic DX on each split frequency, and this gives them a head
start in knowing which stations to expect.
Here on the North American west coast we don't have any ULR enthusiast
living in such an ideal ocean beach location, but it's certainly
possible for some of us to drive to a Pacific Ocean beach, and
experience the same dramatic salt water propagation effect at local
sunrise. In August of 2009 I was fortunate enough to be on a Grayland,
Washington ocean beach at sunrise, and receive an ID from 1575-VOA
Thailand (over 7,200 miles away) on a very ordinary ($50) stock Sangean
DT-400W ultralight. http://www.mediafire.com/?yjoxenovyxi
73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)
From: airchecklover <mdh@...>
To: ultralightdx <ultralightdx@...>
Sent: Sun, May 1, 2011 5:46 am
Subject: [ultralightdx] Non-ultralight owner question(s)...
Hey all and Allen in Newfoundland in particular; I've been reading
this group for a while and am amazed at the DX reports, esp. for MW.
As subject line states, I don't own an Ultralight but I do have several
good non-DSP radios incl. an Eton E1, a Sony 2010 and Drake R4C. I've
built several multi-turn open loops, own the Palstar amplified ferrite
system and also a CCrane Twin-Ferrite - and I've been hamming on and
off for 45 years. So I'm not new to radio. But i'm new to reading and
believing you can hear MW stations from around the world while sitting
on the eastern edge of the N. American continent. How si this possible?
Is it the QTH allowing this? A 1 khz DSP-defined bandwidth? The
advantage of a "super-Q" homebrew long ferrite antenna? In my
experience, a 2.3 khz "SSB filter" is almost too narrow for
intelligible Amplitude Modulation (AM) recovery while a 1 khz "CW
filter" is too narrow. Yet I'm seeing reports of stations at 909 khz
or 1089 khz or 1341 khz. How is this possible? Is there something
about the DSP filter - with perhaps super-steep skirts that is allowing
for this? But still, a 1 khz RF passband is not going to allow more
than 1 khz audio, which is too narrow to discern anything more than
vowels (ie, no consonant differentiation possible). Or have I been a
student of theory too long and simply need to 'try it'?? Anyone care
to take a swing at enlightenment? :)
Thanks in advance, Mark
John Cereghin <jcereghin@...>
It is mostly location and knowing what to listen for. I was in Nova Scotia a few years ago in January and I easily picked up 12 countries on MW (all European) using just a stock PL-310 barefoot in just a few days, without even trying hard. I can't do that here in Delaware, where TA DXing is more of a challenge, even on my FRG-7 will full longwire.toggle quoted message Show quoted text
On Mon, May 2, 2011 at 1:30 AM, <D1028Gary@...> wrote:
Greetings to everyone. Thanks for the responses. You've convinced me it's what the realtors say ... location location location. OK, maybe I can't move to Newfoundland right now, or even to a quieter part of town, but I think I can swing an URL. I've had alot of fun in the past inductively coupling the 2 ft open loop to the Crane Twin-Ferrite to the Redsun/Kaito 2100. Lots of gain and amazing nulling, playing one antenna against the other. One of my best DX catches here in Milwaukee was Richardson, Texas on 1700 Khz at 1000 watts, so I know surprises can happen. And I've heard strange heterodynes on occasion ... guessing Europe ... but never spent any time 'digging in the dirt' :) I'll continue to monitor this group ... by far the most exciting and fun of all the radio groups.toggle quoted message Show quoted text
Happy DX'ing to all.
--- In ultralightdx@..., "airchecklover" <mdh@...> wrote: