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Author Topic: Adaptive Reuse for new Low Low Low band Receiver  (Read 12582 times)
WB8LZR
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« on: April 27, 2017, 04:19:25 PM »

About six years ago, the US govt took down its Loran C system.  This meant that hundreds of thousands of fishermen dumped their old Loran C receivers over the side.  A thousand more seem to be selling them on Ebay for 10 bux each.

Soooooo ...

All you creative boat anchor re-use adopters out there!  How well suited would these radios (basically they are 100 KHz receivers) be to the newest (and lowest) amateur radio band?  They typically have *very* sharp band pass filters already built in.  Seems like a low risk thing to try, assuming that there's no law against re-engineering old maritime-use radio gear to another purpose altogether (not something I've researched, myself).

« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 04:21:26 PM by WB8LZR » Logged
KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 05:31:13 AM »

Newest ham band? Like a LOWFER band? Looks like I need to read all about it.

My friend and I set up a LOWFER beacon many years ago.

The top hat we hoisted thirty feet up with two pushup poles looked like a
giant hammock.
 
The station ground was connected to my copper water pipes. I figured with
all the chemicals in city tap water, I have the whole city-wide pipe system
as a ground plane.

The voltage was so intense one could stand under it with a fluorescent tube and
it would light brightly every time it keyed.

That of course got my neighbor's attention and to the backyard she arrived. I'm sure she
didn't know what to think. She nicknamed me Dr. FrankenKraus.

I told her it was temporary. I kept my promise and it all came down in April when the LOWFER
season ended.

So what shall we  be erecting for our Winter radio activities?

73 and wear that seat belt.

Kraus
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AA4HA
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Posts: 2381




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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 05:40:09 AM »

For now it is not a "ham" band, there are some people who are operating in the LW band on special experimental licenses. You actually are issued a different license with a different callsign than your amateur radio license.

It may take a year or two before the FCC gets around to incorporating it in to the amateur radio spectrum.

The band is only a few KHz wide and usually power-limited to less than 5-10 watts EIRP.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Free space loss (dB) = 32.4 + 20 × log10d + 20 × log10 f
W1VT
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Posts: 2481




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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 11:56:44 AM »

Reusing an old receiver can be a fun project, as long as you keep an open mind about what you are getting into.  Copying someone's modification, on the other hand, can be an exercise in frustration, as there is no guarantee that the insides of what you buy will be anything like what someone else bought.  Circuits are constantly redesigned these days, so buying two from the same Ebay seller is no guarantee that both units will be identical.

Zack W1VT
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 02:14:23 PM »


I have an old-time Rycom 3135 selective voltmeter. Hmmm...

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WB8LZR
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2017, 11:00:52 AM »

Reusing an old receiver can be a fun project, as long as you keep an open mind about what you are getting into.  Copying someone's modification, on the other hand, can be an exercise in frustration, as there is no guarantee that the insides of what you buy will be anything like what someone else bought.  Circuits are constantly redesigned these days, so buying two from the same Ebay seller is no guarantee that both units will be identical.

Zack W1VT

Yes, there are quite a few different Loran units out there.  I picked up a King 8001 unit.  It's chock full of 80's/90's style transistors and integrated circuits like the CA3086, so I'll not have wasted the money even if it doesn't make a good lowfer rcvr.  It'll just resupply the junkbox!

My unit came with an outboard active BPF (using two 2N2222 transistors along with the usual inductors/capacitors needed for a 100 KHz filter), so that part may be usable by itself, even with another lowfer RX setup (rather than the King).  Haven't touched any of it yet, since (like another poster mentioned), it'll be a while before the band is "official".
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AK0B
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2017, 02:01:27 PM »

where would one find information on how to convert one into a LF receiver.

schematic, etc at $30 each might be fun to play with one if enough technical information on the model was available.

stan AK0B


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KM1H
Member

Posts: 2458




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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 04:53:19 PM »

An old USN RAK is just the thing, Quiet, selective.....and heavy of course.The built in audio limiter is amazing on QRN.

The later RBL is readily available and a lot easier to use. I stick to the RAK since I used one in the USN in the 60's and its an amazing performer for a 1934 RCA design. I also have and use the matching RAL on the ham bands quite often.

http://www.radioblvd.com/WWII_Communications_%20Equipment.htm

Carl

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KL7AJ
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Posts: 340


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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 10:55:13 AM »

About six years ago, the US govt took down its Loran C system.  This meant that hundreds of thousands of fishermen dumped their old Loran C receivers over the side.  A thousand more seem to be selling them on Ebay for 10 bux each.

Soooooo ...

All you creative boat anchor re-use adopters out there!  How well suited would these radios (basically they are 100 KHz receivers) be to the newest (and lowest) amateur radio band?  They typically have *very* sharp band pass filters already built in.  Seems like a low risk thing to try, assuming that there's no law against re-engineering old maritime-use radio gear to another purpose altogether (not something I've researched, myself).



I think the Coast Guard may regret this decision.   They're already having second thoughts in Alaska.
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WB8LZR
Member

Posts: 40


WWW

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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2017, 09:19:29 AM »

About six years ago, the US govt took down its Loran C system.  This meant that hundreds of thousands of fishermen dumped their old Loran C receivers over the side.  A thousand more seem to be selling them on Ebay for 10 bux each.

Soooooo ...

All you creative boat anchor re-use adopters out there!  How well suited would these radios (basically they are 100 KHz receivers) be to the newest (and lowest) amateur radio band?  They typically have *very* sharp band pass filters already built in.  Seems like a low risk thing to try, assuming that there's no law against re-engineering old maritime-use radio gear to another purpose altogether (not something I've researched, myself).



I think the Coast Guard may regret this decision.   They're already having second thoughts in Alaska.

The military was against the shutdown to start with, and they had a good reason IMO: (single source of location data = bad).  Some other countries (England, IIRC) are implementing Loran-e.   I'm not sure if it is backwards compatible with Loran-c though.  Do you know?

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