Tuesday, February 13, 2018

QSL: WDOV Dover, DE 1410

January 19 was a good day for east coast US stations at Smøla island. Mixing with other stations on 1410, WDOV surfaced with a legal ID. Delaware is the most elusive of all US states in our area, and it was a great pleasure to have another DE station confirmed (WILM-1450 a few years ago). Thanks OJ Sagdahl for spotting it.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

KongSDR Finances - January

Thanks again to those who support the KongSDR. The reason why the Costs column vary, is that I swap between capacity subscriptions depending on usage.

Friday, February 02, 2018

QSL: WKLQ Whitehall MI 1490

"Thanks again for your email. You made our day!!"
This was the response from WKLQ  "Big Talk 1490" to my reception report. Heard in the end of January with quite a good signal level at the top of the hour ID.

QSL: CBGY Bonavista NL 750

The last of the CBC Newfoundland stations was confirmed today. Heard with local morning programming produced in St. John's, but aired in the Bonavista area roughly 100 km to the north of the province capital.

QSLs: More All India Radio MW stations

Another QSL received today with the following stations confirmed:

AIR South, Vijyayawada 837
AIR West, Indore  648
AIR North, Jalandhar B  873
AIR South, Cuddapah 900

So, that makes eight AIR stations confirmed in two days. Total MW count from India now is 23, up from one at the start of the season (AIR Bhuj 1310, in 1976). 41 years with not a single AIR MW report. I'm catching up quite well.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

QSL: WSTX St. Croix, Virgin Islands 970

It was a long-awaited catch in January, and a much appreciated QSL today! The signal was quite weak, but I got two distinct "WSTX" announcements, and that was enough. I sent along a picture of me at the Smøla island beach, and got a Virgin island beach in return. Guess which is which!

QSLs: AIR Suratgarh 918, Lucknow 747, Najibabad 846, Ahmedabad 846

I logged these stations with good signals during auroral conditions in early September.  All with local ID at around 17:40 UTC.

QSL card with all four stations listed was received today.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

QSL: CBY Corner Brook NL 990

This CBC station is "always" heard, but I wanted to have a local broadcast to report (and indeed the CBC v/s requires it). I got a nice recording of the Corner Brook Morning Show with audio from Bernice Hiller on January 18, and a friendly conformation today.

The Airspy HF+: A Very Competent SDR

Almost four weeks into my ownership of the Airspy HF+, I think it's time to give my impressions from a MW DX-er's point of view. More here.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Airspy HF+: Testing, testing, testing...

There was a thread in the Airspy groups.io reflector in early January concerning sensitivity in the LF (and especially VLF) part of the spectrum. There were also intermodulation products on the LF band. I didn't really pay much attention to it. It turned out however that the solutions (a firmware update and a hardware modification) had significant impact on the receiver's performance in general.

I had noted that sensitivity appeared to roll off much higher up than in the LF band, and Roelof Bakker kindly measured the 1000 kHz sensitivity and found -95 dBm (AM, 6 kHz, 30% modulation, 400 Hz tone). Which is good, but not outstanding. Roelof also confirmed that sensitivity was rolling off.

The solution to the LF problem was a simple "bypass operation" as illustrated below. It not only solved LF sensitivity, but sensitivity in general. Roelof noted an improvement to -110 dBm, which is truly outstanding in the SDR world. Together with a firmware update this seems to not have compromised performance in any way, probably the contrary as it seems that the intermod problems are gone.

I did the firmware update and R3 bypass on Saturday in less than half an hour. The improved sensitivity is indeed notable in my setup when noise levels and signal levels are low.

I'm mostly using HDSDR with the HF+ now, because it's easy on remote connections and to set up recordings. Works well with SDR Console V3 and SDR# too. More to come.
Original photo: Nils Schiffhauer