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Author Topic: "Flutterly" CW sound  (Read 7884 times)

Posts: 621


« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2011, 02:59:06 AM »

There are buzzy aurora type signals, fluttery trans-equatorial, whispery backscatter or e-skip, echo-y multipath - so much easier to copy through on CW than on fone!

Now, chirp is more of a bloop-bloop on the signal, basically where the frequency of the xmitter changes when the key is down, usually because some power supply capacitor failed.

As a novice in my teens back in the 1970s, I had an old Viking Challenger transmitter and I did get a chirp report from an official observer. I actually wrote a letter to the ARRL (there was no Google at the time!) and a technician wrote me back about the capacitor issue. I went out and bought a big dog food can sized electrolytic capacitor at Harrison Radio in Long Island, got home and opened up the rig (which I should have done first, of course) and found the capacitor would not fit inside. So, I simply unsoldered the old one, ran wires out of the case and had the new capacitor just sit on the desk next to the rig - with something like 300v exposed on the contacts!

That cured the chirp but I'm amazed I never electrocuted myself or one of our cats.

John K3TN

John K3TN

Posts: 63

« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2011, 07:39:17 AM »

Perhaps I mis-described it.  Have not heard it again, but thinking back, I guess it was echo-y, rather than fluttry, with somewhat of a chirpy sound as well.  Gene

A few things to keep in mind.  Most of the time you will hear signals from the direct (or short) path.  Some RF will also head off in the other direction, and travel around the globe.  Since the path is longer, it will take a few milliseconds longer to get to you.  If you are hearing both signals (short and long path), it will have an echo.  Does not happen often, but it not a rare occurrence either.

The ionosphere is not a perfect mirror for RF.  Some RF can be reflected at one layer, some gets through to the next layer and also gets reflected.  When you hear the end result, it can have echos, flutter, QSB, and a variety of other interesting things.

The more you play, the more you realize there is more interesting things to learn :-)

Tom - VE3CX
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