Author Topic: Radio/DX'ing anyone?  (Read 9607 times)
ace100w120v
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Radio/DX'ing anyone? « on: December 13, 2014, 12:11:18 AM » Author: ace100w120v
Anybody else into radios/DX'ing in general? I am and have plenty to share.  Also interested with vintage tuners/amplifiers/turntables.  Anybody have any vintage equipment here?
I have one vintage radio, a 1970s GE flip-number clock-radio.  Reception is excellent, selectivity  between stations close together on the dial is exceptional, and the clock, alarm, and neon backlight work flawlessly. 
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hannahs lights
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #1 on: December 14, 2014, 01:01:01 PM » Author: hannahs lights
I'm into AM band DXing just yesterday heard a re activated station from ukrain on 1431 kHz that must be about 2000 miles from here. I have a Philips 5 valve domestic set which also works well my main DX set is an FT 817 which is an amateur radio transceiver with general coverage receiver
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ace100w120v
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #2 on: December 14, 2014, 06:38:43 PM » Author: ace100w120v
Not as familar with vacuum-tube (valve) stuff but do they generally have better reception?
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jrmcferren
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #3 on: December 17, 2014, 05:12:47 PM » Author: jrmcferren
I work evenings which means I'm driving home after 11:30 PM. I have been known to listen to 780 WBBM (Chicago), 1030 WBZ (Boston), and 1120 KMOX (Saint Louis) from time to time. Believe it or not in the golden age of broadcasting listening to long distance stations at night was common practice. If you didn't have a network station in your area, your newspaper may have printed the listing for a distant station on that network. I actually like to experiment with ground wave (radio waves being carried by the ground, not the air) anymore these days. I can get stations under conditions that would be impossible on FM (valley station received on the other side of the mountain). In fact I got 1060 KYW (Philly) during the day after hurricane Irene since the ground was so soaked that the signal was able to carry through the ground the 150 miles or so to my location.
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themaritimegirl
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 09:08:53 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
Oh yes. I have a Realistic MTA-8 AM/FM radio from the early or mid 1980s that was originally my late father's. The thing gets amazing reception on both bands, but especially AM. I can hear stations from New York and New Jersey on it. I've heard 1010 WINS and WCBS 880. I think I also heard 1050 CHUM in Ontario. I also have a Sony Watchman FD-30, which is a handheld portable television, but it also has a remarkable AM/FM Stereo radio built into it.

I also own a cassette stereo that came out of a 1998-2000 full-size Ford car. That thing does AM Stereo, which is pretty darn awesome. I've planned to built a boombox-style housing to use it in, but 3 years later that has yet to come to fruition. So it sits unused.  ::)

I also listen to various police/fire/ham/etc. frequencies using a Uniden Bearcat 210XLT scanner.
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ace100w120v
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 09:27:44 PM » Author: ace100w120v
Oh cool! Here KGO-AM (San Francisco) can be heard after dark on most any radio provided there isn't a CFL in the vicinity.  I've heard that radio station in Atascadero, CA, I've heard it in San Jose rush hour traffic, and I've heard it in the car in Alaska as well! 
Here's a partial list of AM stations I can hear on most nights.
620 KPOJ (Portland, OR)
650 (KENI, Anchorage, AK?)
680 KNBR (San Francisco I think)
710 KIRO (Seattle, WA)
730 (vancouver traffic)
790 CFCW (Canada)
800 KINY (Juneau, AK)
810 KGO (San Francisco, CA)
930 KTKN (Kethcikan, AK)
1190 KFX
1300 KKOL

And during the day, with a good antenna there's many as well, though it must be high up and free from any interference, I can hear more localized low-power AM stations.  Geographically I'm located in the middle of several cities in southeast AK, but on the fringe of all major radio stations.
 On FM I can also hear some translator of KFSK-FM (Petersburg, AK), a NPR station.   And of course the local NPR station.
Trent...do the call letters in your area of Canada also begin with "C"?
I was talking to someone today who had something (I think it was Technics) which they said had the best FM reception AND selectivity they'd ever seen. 
I own several radios.
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themaritimegirl
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #6 on: December 19, 2014, 08:19:08 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
Yes, both radio and television callsigns here start with C.
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #7 on: December 19, 2014, 09:19:29 PM » Author: mbulb146
The Ford car radio reminded me of how I used to do this as a kid.  I took an old AM car radio (from a dead VW my parents had) and hooked it up to a car battery (also from said VW Squareback).  I strung a wire antenna horizontally between two trees (maybe 50ft apart).  I could get stations at night from as far as New Orleans (we were in central New York).  I guess having an external AM antenna input instead of the ferrite rod antenna most AM radios have is the first step to good DXing.  This was 30+ years ago and the car radio was from the late 60s or early 70s.

Matt
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hannahs lights
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 02:32:02 PM » Author: hannahs lights
Hi last note I heard a us station on 1510 kHz didn't get a proper I'd on it because it faded out in other winters I've heard us stations on 1440 kHz and 1660 and 1650 all at this time of year my qth is Dorset uk
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #9 on: January 01, 2015, 03:28:21 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
Interesting about the BBC's LW transmission. Although in my opinion, if tubes are dying that frequently, there's probably something wrong with the power supply or some other component that should be checked out. :P Plus they could upgrade to a solid state system that would last a long time.
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #10 on: January 01, 2015, 04:44:55 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
I suppose if a new transmitter would cost millions of pounds, then it might not be worth it.
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ace100w120v
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #11 on: January 01, 2015, 09:36:02 PM » Author: ace100w120v
I found a place on the beach in front of my house where I can hear that distant NPR station well enough...and while driving around in a skiff (small 16' aluminum boat) I could pick it up in the harbor in front of my house quite well too.  Does saltwater affect FM in a positive way? I swear it broadcasts in stereo too, I'm almost certain I heard it transition from quiet mono to noisy stereo and back a few times too!
Their music playlists are much better than the local's IMO...Fleetwood Mac, etc.
Never really got into shortwave, though I have a radio capeable of picking up such...just AM and FM. 
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tolivac
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #12 on: January 05, 2015, 05:36:54 AM » Author: tolivac
Sometimes I DX--but since I work at a gov't short wave transmitter plant-the site broadcasts to Cuba,South America,and Africa.The plant has a total of 8 transmitters we use-3 General Electric 250Kw short Wave,three Continental Electronics 420A 250/500Kw transmitters.There are two other transmitters-these can run to 500Kw-AEG S4005,and a BBC S55.The 500Kw transmitters are run at 250Kw due to budgets.These rigs are EXPENSIVE to run.Besides power there is parts like vacuum tune capacitors and large power tubes.The place is rather fun to work at,nostalgic.The plant was built in the early 60's.Equipment is 60,50,and 30 years old.So far its held up well.2 rigs playing now to Cuba.Things get busier in the morning-all rigs will be on.Plant runs 24 hrs per day.Its my work.I can't give the frequencies here-sou can look them up on Voice Of America website,The World Radio-TV handbook,and other places.DX'ers like this-we have a book here that lists folks that have sent in reception reports-from all corners of the world.A map in our lobby shows the areas that most commonly receive our broadcasts.In many areas of the world Short Wave Broadcasts are still used.
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jrmcferren
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #13 on: January 28, 2015, 10:47:20 PM » Author: jrmcferren
Interesting about the BBC's LW transmission. Although in my opinion, if tubes are dying that frequently, there's probably something wrong with the power supply or some other component that should be checked out. :P Plus they could upgrade to a solid state system that would last a long time.

Here in the US broadcasters used to be required to change tubes every so often even though they were still good. This may have been due to the possibility of failing tubes causing harmful interference to other services before the transmitter shut down. I know of cases where these used tubes were GIVEN away as they were still good.
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tolivac
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Re: Radio/DX'ing anyone? « Reply #14 on: January 29, 2015, 06:23:24 AM » Author: tolivac
Transmitter tubes-in the US commercial stations I have worked with they try to run tubes and other components as long as possible-the tube is replaced when it can no longer produce the legal power required for the station or in the case of analog TV transmitters the vert and horizontal sync pulses are below FCC standards.Yes,the tubes could be used-typically by amateur "Hams" if their transmtter could use that tube type.Larger tubes were often sent to rebuilders for the cash value.this is especially for the VERY large tubes used at the SW plant where I work.The "dud" value of the tube could be several thousand dollars.New tubes often cost from $12,000 to $150,000 !!The more expensive ones used here come from France or Germany.Solid state isn't always a good replacement for power tubes.The life of SS devices in high power radio broadcast work can be unpredictable.You could get a device that lasts for years-or another that only lasts a few days.And the SS devices have to be parralled up.For instance-a SS 50Kw medium wave transmitter may have over 1,000 power transisters in the PA stage-vs one or two tubes.The tubes can last for up to 60,000 hrs.Remember the power devices are connected to essentually a peice of steel sticking up in the air-so the power devices can be prone to lightening hits.Tubes can arc over and trip OL relays and come back up.Once a SS device junction is punctured-thats it-no second chance,the transistor has to be replaced.Oh yes,rebuilt tubes can cost half as much as new ones.When the tube is rebuilt it is disassembled and the filament-cathode replaced.The other parts are replaced if required.Then a new envelope is put on the tube-evacuated and tested.It is also "burned in" to break in the cathode.Then the tube can be sent to a customer to be used in a transmitter.Also these large tubes are used in industrial heating generators for dielectric and induction heating applications.
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