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Author Topic: Hearing Almost Nothing,  (Read 1950 times)
W4AMP
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2018, 10:46:56 PM »

The low bands (160-40) are still good at times. 20 occasionally opens up, but not regularly. 17-10 are rare. Some sporadic e on 10 and 12 occasionally.

And the noise floor can be tough now, especially in a urban area. We have been flooded with chinese RFI demon spawn electronics.

good luck.
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RENTON481
Member

Posts: 278




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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2018, 12:25:13 AM »

I would think with even a 30 ft. wire the OP should hear something on the bands, if there were signals to hear -- RFI or no RFI.

I took a spin through the 31 meter band (no signals), 41 meter band (one domestic US broadcaster), 40 meter band (one JT65 signal, SSB and CW dead), and 49 meter band (two Radio Havana outlets and one US domestic broadcaster) earlier this evening and although it was worse than usual, it's an indicator of how mediocre prop has been.

And yes, I have RFI in about six places between 7000-7400 khz. But that isn't the issue, at least here, and I would gather in some houses and homes RFI isn't the reason guys aren't hearing ham (and SWBC) signals -- it's the poor prop.
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K5LXP
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Posts: 6136


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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2018, 04:08:16 AM »


I think it's a case of crappy conditions compounded by lack of interest/getting on the air.  There's still potential on the bands but people aren't getting on.  During CQWW over thanksgiving I worked KP2,  JA's and KH6 on 40M from the car, with a 6' long antenna.  So it's possible if folks would just turn their radios on.  40 is the new 20 at this point in the cycle so anything you can do to make an efficient antenna for the lower bands will net you some nice contacts.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
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W2DI
Member

Posts: 196




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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2018, 06:02:23 AM »

Thanks for the comments, all. I’ll wait for the next contest and check reception then. If they’re ate times of good activity, I’m not hearing that at all. And none of the few I do hear are very strong. Not even the nets on 40 are coming through.

Thanks again,
Joe
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W4KVW
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2018, 12:58:07 PM »

75/80/40 meters busy every day/evening with lots of signals in the daytime hours on 40 but most of the 40 meter activity is Useless Nets so it would be off being Dead.Quiet a bit of activity of 20 meters in the late afternoon & most days a few DX Stations.17 meters which is usually a great DX band has been pretty quiet other than a few days here & there during the week but it's hit & miss.I have antennas for all of the HF Bands & a beam for 10-20 meters.10 meter opens most every day to South America or the Caribbean Islands from here in Northeast Florida so I guess like the old saying goes,Location, Location,Location!  Grin

Clayton
W4KVW

I forgot to mention I Rarely ever have any noise levels above S-1 or 2 with both Pre-amps turned ON.What little I have is very quiet because I use a ClearSpeech Base Module on every radio I use on AM & SSB which does away with the unwanted white noise or floor noise & lets me hear the weak signals with both Pre-amps turned ON & it's still quiet.I really don't see how so many don't use some type of good external DSP system.My ICOM 7600 has DSP but the ClearSpeech Base Module makes it even much better.I watch YouTube videos & just listening to the noise on most of those videos drives me crazy & I will never go back to making myself miserable listening to that unwanted noise.

Clayton
W4KVW
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ONAIR
Member

Posts: 3735




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« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2018, 06:00:10 PM »

Thanks for the comments, all. I’ll wait for the next contest and check reception then. If they’re ate times of good activity, I’m not hearing that at all. And none of the few I do hear are very strong. Not even the nets on 40 are coming through.

Thanks again,
Joe
  Try comparing your receiver with web SDRs.   www.WebSDR.org
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W2DI
Member

Posts: 196




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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2018, 03:31:44 AM »

I had a ClearSpeech speaker some years back and it was exceptional! I wish I had kept it ... and a lot of other things, Clayton.

Thanks for the site! I will certainly check that out. A lot of these sites are new to me, being away for a while. That also sounds very useful and fascinating.
Joe

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KB2FCV
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Posts: 2997


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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2018, 08:44:52 AM »

The doublet sounds like a good idea... 15' isn't very high for a long wire. I would get the antenna up as high as you can.

In addition to CW/SSB... listen in the digital areas.. a lot of people on FT8. You can download WSJT-X and take the audio out to a sound input on your computer to listen. You'll probably at least find activity there.

Also, follow the contests.. during a big contest all of a sudden the bands will come alive. ARRL has a contest calendar on their website. Stuff like CQWW, Various DX contests, etc.. will bring a lot of activity on the bands.

Agreed.. the bands have been quiet lately but stuff is out there..
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W2DI
Member

Posts: 196




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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2018, 09:34:34 AM »

Good advice. I did hear a few more stations this morning on 40M. So I think the antenna improvement will do a lot of good. Thanks!
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N5INP
Member

Posts: 2296




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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2018, 10:03:03 AM »

Sorry to say there is little activity on all the HF bands.

Sorry to disagree, but I do.  Wink

There is plenty of activity if you work the right mode. Using FT8 I have worked the following DX: This morning on 40 Korea - HL5UA, and on 17 Dominican Republic HI8S

Two days ago: Indonesia YB1RUS

in the past few weeks: Guatemala, Belize, Falkland Islands, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Panama to mention a few.

And that's not even mentioning the US stations of which there are hundreds going strong.

No, the HF band are open if you know what mode to work!
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W2DI
Member

Posts: 196




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« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2018, 03:45:50 PM »

When I started my sabbatical from radio, FT8 was not popular, if being used at all. I never heard of it until I started reading different sites. I have to catch up on it. Seems very popular.

 www.WebSDR.org is a great site! I can't get the audio on my laptop, Windows 10.x, and I tried the Java thing but there is no mention of it in my system configuration. I'll have to dig deeper.

I can hear audio on my Apple iPod Mini, however. Fantastic with the waterfall graphic and good signals.

Earlier today, I was listening on WebSDR on 40M. I turned the radio on and could hear activity but not as much. Maybe 50%. That definitely be due to the lousy antenna and the high noise level.

So when I get the doublet up, I think I will pick up more signals, but the noise will still be there until I work on that.

I had a doublet up when I was on last that did very well. It was 65 ft. overall and fed with good 300 ohm twin lead. All bands could be tuned from 40 to 10.

I also used a parallel dipole fed with rg8x. Again the 65 ft element would work for 40 and 15M. Then another element for 20 and one for 10. That worked very well also. I suppose, theoretically, either design should be the same as far as non-local noise is concerned.

I have some time off over the holiday break, so I'll get something up in the air. I have some tall trees and the top of the house. About an average of 35', sloping from 40 in the tree to 30 at the house.

A surprising antenna I also had was an Alpha/Delta DX-EE, 40-10. The top element was an end loaded 40M wire and the loading coils were places to isolate 20M also. Under that was 15M and then 10M. I extended the 15M element to resonate in the 17M band, since I enjoyed that one when propaganda was better.

I'm wondering if a coax fed antenna with ferrite chokes along the line might work better for noise? I'd have to read up on how to do that. In that case, I'd have the top line 65' for 40 and 15, and one under that for 20. 15 might not get much use right now. but if I could choke off some of the noise coming down the line, I guess that might be better than a balanced line.

TNX, joe
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RENTON481
Member

Posts: 278




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« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2018, 06:39:40 PM »

Another thing is to tune around the bands on a regular basis, just to see if there is any activity.

There have been afternoons, evenings and mornings here when I have been surprised at the activity.

Other days and evenings -- deadsville. It just depends.
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W4KVW
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2018, 07:09:25 PM »

Another thing is to tune around the bands on a regular basis, just to see if there is any activity.

There have been afternoons, evenings and mornings here when I have been surprised at the activity.

Other days and evenings -- deadsville. It just depends.

I LOVE my ICOM 7600 with that Band Scope so very little tuning is required to see the band.Sure beats tuning that VFO all over the place.

Clayton
W4KVW
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W2DI
Member

Posts: 196




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« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2018, 09:13:22 PM »

The bandscopes are great! I’ve never had a rig with one, however and the rig I have now doesn’t have anything but the bare basics. Maybe a little down the road I’ll get something better but we’re still talking economy class.

I’ll use websdr from a nearby station and check that way. The conditions do surprise often!
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W4AMP
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2019, 07:48:36 PM »

Update to my last post.

160 has been lousy lately. Something I never witnessed before.
73
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