DXing while away? Unattended Recording


Johnny
 

Hi all,

Does anyone "sit" on a difficult frequency and record it for a time (while away/overnight, etc) and then go back and listen for any "DX" within that recording?

Or do you prefer to "hear it live" ?  I'm curious as I have never recorded a frequency and then went back to listen to it. 

I'm specifically thinking about the difficult frequencies on my AM dial where reception is very hard to pick out/discern.

I would think that this would make DX'ing easier and certainly up your "total frequencies heard", but I'm not sure if it would be for me or not.

Was wondering if others liked this technique?


Johnny


Tony Germanotta
 

This is a common technique, especially on the graveyard channels, hyper local frequencies with a mashup of low power stations that wax and wane by the minute.  The new computer- based SDR radios even record a swath of the entire band so you can go back and “tune in” various stations later. 

Like you, I don’t really enjoy that kind of listening. As the tube guys used to say, real radios glow in the dark. There is something special about spinning an analog dial and catching something new without even being sure the exact frequency you are on. 

 But I have often run a recorder while hunting for a difficult catch, and gone back later to see if I could pick out a station ID by replaying the tape or using band pass filters or other audio editing tricks to clear out interference or highlight the audio I wanted to hear. 

If you get a recorder with a counter on it, you just make a note where on the track the interesting audio is and go back when the band dies to see what you can gleen. 

If you don’t keep track, though, you’ll be listening to it all again. That’s something I had to learn when using a recorder for interviews as a reporter. On deadline, you don’t have the time to be searching for that special quote. 

It’s amazing sometimes what you can hear when you have time, can fiddle with tone controls, and aren’t caught by surprise. 

You might still be unable to clear up an ID but instead discover a commercial you had ignored that identifies the town where the broadcast originated. That, plus the frequency, can often be enough to log a new station.

 And the tape can often convince that station to send you a QSL card or email, should you be into verifications. 

Good luck. For me, the joy is in the hunt. I never chased QSLs or awards. The magic of a distant signal popping up in my room is enough reward.


On Jan 28, 2022, at 8:56 AM, Johnny via groups.io <jlochey@...> wrote:

Hi all,

Does anyone "sit" on a difficult frequency and record it for a time (while away/overnight, etc) and then go back and listen for any "DX" within that recording?

Or do you prefer to "hear it live" ?  I'm curious as I have never recorded a frequency and then went back to listen to it. 

I'm specifically thinking about the difficult frequencies on my AM dial where reception is very hard to pick out/discern.

I would think that this would make DX'ing easier and certainly up your "total frequencies heard", but I'm not sure if it would be for me or not.

Was wondering if others liked this technique?


Johnny


Marc Coevoet
 

Op 28/01/2022 om 15:28 schreef Tony Germanotta:
This is a common technique, especially on the graveyard channels, hyper local frequencies with a mashup of low power stations that wax and wane by the minute.  The new computer- based SDR radios even record a swath of the entire band so you can go back and “tune in” various stations later.
I used Shazam, song recognition, on a really weak noisy AM signal. I could not recognise, Shazam did! (I have to admit, a was a 50s song I did not know ;-)



Marc
--
The "Penguin" has arrived - and he's not going away - ever.
For former Apple users: Xubuntu.org (menu's up left)
For former Windows users: Lubuntu.org (menu's down left)


FenDrifter
 

There’s some very interesting observations here, that being a beginner in this game have sparked more interest. I have several high quality recorders in the house but it just never occurred to me to use one in this way 🤭


Phillip Fimiani
 

I was thinking of recording software for a pc. I'm using a linux box for my radio bench. Im sure there's a way of recording for extended periods.

Mortimer says "Stay Safe"
Best Regards
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl
______________________________

On Friday, January 28, 2022, 09:48:53 AM EST, FenDrifter via groups.io <essexmarshman@...> wrote:


There’s some very interesting observations here, that being a beginner in this game have sparked more interest. I have several high quality recorders in the house but it just never occurred to me to use one in this way 🤭

--
73
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl


Tony Germanotta
 

That would work, so long as the computer doesn’t generate noise that degrades the radio signal you’re seeking.  Back in the day, I used an old Beta video tape machine to record 8 hours of shortwave audio at a time. Don’t know that I ever went back to listen, but just wanted to see if it was possible. Some VCRs require there be a video signal to record audio. So You had to work around that. 
These days you can buy a little solid state drive portable recorder that will record for days so long as you have a power source.  Just set the recording quality to a low MP3 rate to save space. You won’t notice the difference on an AM signal. 

On Jan 28, 2022, at 10:17 AM, Phillip Fimiani via groups.io <myamiphil@...> wrote:


I was thinking of recording software for a pc. I'm using a linux box for my radio bench. Im sure there's a way of recording for extended periods.

Mortimer says "Stay Safe"
Best Regards
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl
______________________________
On Friday, January 28, 2022, 09:48:53 AM EST, FenDrifter via groups.io <essexmarshman@...> wrote:


There’s some very interesting observations here, that being a beginner in this game have sparked more interest. I have several high quality recorders in the house but it just never occurred to me to use one in this way 🤭

--
73
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl


Phillip Fimiani
 

I use a solid state recorder on my NASA VLF3 radio to monitor lightning discharges. That works great for playback. But Im also thinking of the screen output... take the sdr screen display and record that.... I know there's a way of doing that.

Mortimer says "Stay Safe"
Best Regards
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl
______________________________





On Friday, January 28, 2022, 10:28:35 AM EST, Tony Germanotta <germanotta.tony@...> wrote:


That would work, so long as the computer doesn’t generate noise that degrades the radio signal you’re seeking.  Back in the day, I used an old Beta video tape machine to record 8 hours of shortwave audio at a time. Don’t know that I ever went back to listen, but just wanted to see if it was possible. Some VCRs require there be a video signal to record audio. So You had to work around that. 
These days you can buy a little solid state drive portable recorder that will record for days so long as you have a power source.  Just set the recording quality to a low MP3 rate to save space. You won’t notice the difference on an AM signal. 

On Jan 28, 2022, at 10:17 AM, Phillip Fimiani via groups.io <myamiphil@...> wrote:


I was thinking of recording software for a pc. I'm using a linux box for my radio bench. Im sure there's a way of recording for extended periods.

Mortimer says "Stay Safe"
Best Regards
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl
______________________________
On Friday, January 28, 2022, 09:48:53 AM EST, FenDrifter via groups.io <essexmarshman@...> wrote:


There’s some very interesting observations here, that being a beginner in this game have sparked more interest. I have several high quality recorders in the house but it just never occurred to me to use one in this way 🤭

--
73
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl

--
73
Phil
KD2HTN / WA2069SWL
Long: 34.210293 Lat:-78.057048
FM04xf 30dl


kevin asato
 

The old Sony ICF-2010 would have fit this description as it has a cassette recorder output. Not sure if it included an output for motor control to turn the tape recording on and off at designated times which would narrow down your search window (an tape preservation as you were limited to about 2 hours of tape) to more optimal listening times. Recording in general allows for repeated listening of certain parts of interest as well as a "brag tape" and evidence of capturing something rare or of interest. Now with digital techniques, you can capture the audio off line to a mechanical or solid state drive of more than adequate capacity.
73,
kevin
kc6pob

On Fri, Jan 28, 2022 at 5:56 AM Johnny via groups.io <jlochey=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi all,

Does anyone "sit" on a difficult frequency and record it for a time (while away/overnight, etc) and then go back and listen for any "DX" within that recording?

Or do you prefer to "hear it live" ?  I'm curious as I have never recorded a frequency and then went back to listen to it. 

I'm specifically thinking about the difficult frequencies on my AM dial where reception is very hard to pick out/discern.

I would think that this would make DX'ing easier and certainly up your "total frequencies heard", but I'm not sure if it would be for me or not.

Was wondering if others liked this technique?


Johnny


Johnny
 

Tony,
I'm in the boat you're in, for me the thrill is in the moment, not sure I'd get that same "feeling" from making recordings for myself either.  I actually DX to relax and unwind...  it also has a nostalgic flare to it for me as well...

Not ruling it out in the future, but I'll just keep that technique "in my back pocket" for now, maybe use it down the road in my DXing hobby.

Really cool options though!

Out of curiosity what radio do you find yourself using the most for your DX'ing?


Johnny


Robert Conboy
 

“Real radios glow in the dark.”

 

I used to be a purist about such things but found that the pursuit of purity is futile.

 

Perseus, for example, recording the band, and sifting through recorded captures with Jaguar.

 

That is about as far opposite from dx’ing with a tiny portable as one can get. 

 

Yet still equally valid. If it weren’t, then pushing the front section of an ultralight out of the radio by coupling it into a high performance tuned antenna like an FSL would also be “cheating”.

 

 

 


Tony Germanotta
 

Johnny, it’s usually the radio that is closest. I have quite a few scattered around the house. 
My Sony 2010 is the best combination of sensitivity and audio. It has an old Kiwa wide, steep skirt filter I installed, which helped a lot on shortwave where channels are only 5 kHz apart.  Back when shortwave was booming, it was my go-to rig. I have better table top radios like Drake R8a and Tube rigs like an R390 and Hammerlund HQ 180ax.  Those radios, attached to a good long wire antenna, were great for SW. An amplified air loop made them great on MW as well. But the 2010 ran pretty close, so long as you didn’t overload the front end. And it was on my bedside table for quick listening sessions. The 32 dedicated memories, each with a button are also much more convenient than any subsequent page system, even if they hold more options. 

Now, I usually chase MW when I DX. Shortwave is largely preachers and doomsdayers now. Barefoot, nothing matches the 2010 on MW. I also have the old GE Superradio and a Radio Shack TRF, that are great but analog. 

If you add in a FSL or box antenna, some of the new portables with narrower bandwidths are great options. 

I have a first generation Tecsun PL-310 that I modified to use the antenna socket to replace the internal ferrite. There was a tutorial on that in the files section many years ago. I have a FSL that’s about 4 inches in diameter, that I plug straight into the radio. It tunes the FSL fine. I think Gary has tried larger FSLs and they don’t work. That rig, on a cheap lazy Susan, is great for band scanning and DXing. 

As they say in sports though, often the best ability is availability. So I love the one I’m with. At some point, it’s more technique and conditions. A better radio in bad conditions just gives you better reception of atmospheric noise. 

Hope that helps. Bottom line, like real estate, radio is usually about location, location, location. What you can hear on a beach usually vanishes a few miles inshore. Add in neighbors with light dimmers and big screen tvs, and the gear often doesn’t really matter. 

On Jan 28, 2022, at 11:28 AM, Johnny via groups.io <jlochey@...> wrote:

Tony,
I'm in the boat you're in, for me the thrill is in the moment, not sure I'd get that same "feeling" from making recordings for myself either.  I actually DX to relax and unwind...  it also has a nostalgic flare to it for me as well...

Not ruling it out in the future, but I'll just keep that technique "in my back pocket" for now, maybe use it down the road in my DXing hobby.

Really cool options though!

Out of curiosity what radio do you find yourself using the most for your DX'ing?


Johnny


Tony Germanotta
 

No disrespect intended. I sometimes go back to that little Sony that started all of this and marvel at what such a tiny radio with a ferrite shorter than a finger joint can hear. And sometimes, it is able to null better than a big boy. To me, that is ultralight radio. 

I remember visiting with an ultra low frequency club that was dxing on the outer banks. They used a home built active antenna with a couple foot long whip propped up in a small back yard surrounded by noisy cottages. With a Tentec SDR and a laptop. they were able to log Soviet submarine transmissions. 

It was amazing. 

On Jan 28, 2022, at 12:24 PM, Robert Conboy <robconboy@...> wrote:



“Real radios glow in the dark.”

 

I used to be a purist about such things but found that the pursuit of purity is futile.

 

Perseus, for example, recording the band, and sifting through recorded captures with Jaguar.

 

That is about as far opposite from dx’ing with a tiny portable as one can get. 

 

Yet still equally valid. If it weren’t, then pushing the front section of an ultralight out of the radio by coupling it into a high performance tuned antenna like an FSL would also be “cheating”.

 

 

 


Johnny
 

Hi Tony,

Great points all...

...nice shout out to Stephen Stills as well!  ;)

It's a cool hobby with room for all!  :)


Johnny


Paul Blundell
 

This is an interesting idea and something I must try to do more often.

Paul