Poor HF reception on 16 - 28MHz band - Ships Nostalgia
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Poor HF reception on 16 - 28MHz band

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  #1  
Old 21st June 2019, 06:25
Paul Braxton Paul Braxton is offline  
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Poor HF reception on 16 - 28MHz band

My Atalanta rx is pretty well dead on the above band. No bcast stations, no time signal from WWVH, just static. Is anyone aware of the possibility of sunspot or other solar event which might be causing this? Or is anyone having similar problems, I wonder?

Could be that the set itself is going down the tubes. It's pretty ancient, but has always worked perfectly and is still going great guns on the lower bands, including AM bcast and 2MHz, even, picking up Aussie wx fcsts from inland NZ at night.

At first I wondered if it might be an AE pblm, but that can't be the case in view of the above. Any clues anyone?

Can't promise a case of beer nowadays for any assistance, but the thought is there.

Paul
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  #2  
Old 21st June 2019, 12:27
R651400 R651400 is offline  
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Comparing the Atalanta with any web SDR near your location hould provide the answer.
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Old 21st June 2019, 18:17
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GW3OQK GW3OQK is offline  
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Paul, it's like that with me at the moment above 16 MHz. Some strange noises and a few weak stations in 17 and 21 MHz broadcast bands. Fairly lively on the next band down.
73, Andrew
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Old 21st June 2019, 18:50
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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I understood the word "Atalanta" but the rest .......
Please elucidate.
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  #5  
Old 21st June 2019, 23:30
Paul Braxton Paul Braxton is offline  
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GW3OQK: Hi from NZ (assume you are in UK?)

I'm not getting as much activity on 14MHz either, come to that. 7MHz ham stuff is down, but still something there after dark. I reckon it could be the set itself in my case, as it has an unknown pedigree and of quite an age, by the look of it. When I bought it off a guy, he had it sitting on his garage floor, covered in dust, etc., but it came up beautifully after a clean. Worked well for the four or five years I've had it, but no spares to try out different RF valves now.
Thanks for your comments.

Sparks69: not sure if you're winding me up, but it may not be in reply to my post.

I'm not sure, in fact I don't know, what SDR refers to online? Maybe you're referring to that post?
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  #6  
Old 22nd June 2019, 05:41
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You can look at current solar/geomagnetic conditions at www.solen.info/solar and http://spaceweather.com
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  #7  
Old 22nd June 2019, 08:04
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J. Davies J. Davies is offline  
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HF conditions are the worst for many years. We are at the bottom of the cycle and this one has had the lowest number of sunspots since radio started. Bands below 14 MHz are still usable after dark but the higher bands are dead, apart from the occasional freak burst of propagation. That said, the big broadcast stations should be audible with their huge transmitters.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 08:33
Paul Braxton Paul Braxton is offline  
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Thanks for that, guys. Looks as if it may not be my rx after all then. Good job, 'cos I don't have any test gear or spares, apart from an AVO, although I do have the manual (and it's intact!)

Keep an ear out and see if it changes anytime soon.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 10:52
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Braxton View Post
GW3OQK: Hi from NZ (assume you are in UK?)

I'm not getting as much activity on 14MHz either, come to that. 7MHz ham stuff is down, but still something there after dark. I reckon it could be the set itself in my case, as it has an unknown pedigree and of quite an age, by the look of it. When I bought it off a guy, he had it sitting on his garage floor, covered in dust, etc., but it came up beautifully after a clean. Worked well for the four or five years I've had it, but no spares to try out different RF valves now.
Thanks for your comments.

Sparks69: not sure if you're winding me up, but it may not be in reply to my post.

I'm not sure, in fact I don't know, what SDR refers to online? Maybe you're referring to that post?

No not a wind up sorry if it came out that way.
I was a radio op for 20 years and in that time 22/26 MHz came & went. 17Mhz was the best for Dx during the day. With the single man watch keeping (2 on 2 off then off all night) HF was to me an unreliable method of long range communication. Yes it worked but nothing like the Sat Com I had for the last 3 weeks of my R/O career !
Someone must have plotted the effectiveness of 17/22/25 MHz from the time it started to be used to the end of the R/O era.
I would be interested in that.

Last edited by sparks69; 22nd June 2019 at 10:56..
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  #10  
Old 22nd June 2019, 11:46
R651400 R651400 is offline  
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Internet SDRs (Software Defined Radio) are dotted around the world. Try here ....
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  #11  
Old 23rd June 2019, 17:13
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Reception on my Lowe HF235 is also very poor at present. I don't have a brilliant aerial system, but nothing much to hear at present.

I thought that SDR was Special Drawing Rights, which was a sort of universal currency charge for telegrams ?


David
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  #12  
Old 24th June 2019, 21:21
Manchester Manchester is offline  
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My memory of SDR is situation display radar. Marconi I think
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  #13  
Old 25th June 2019, 20:47
GBXZ GBXZ is offline  
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SDR radar.
Kelvin Hughes.
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Old 25th June 2019, 22:16
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Photoplot?
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  #15  
Old 25th June 2019, 22:18
sparks69 sparks69 is offline  
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Don't mention Photoplot..........................
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Old 25th June 2019, 23:44
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Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varley View Post
Photoplot?
You are showing your age David. Both K-H but Situation Display came far later.
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  #17  
Old 26th June 2019, 10:41
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Varley Varley is offline   SN Supporter
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Perhaps the old dog waited until they came up with a real corker. I had the immense pleasure (and considerable struggle internally) to get a Sharpeye as one of the last tasks before I was scrapped. I did see a Photoplot when working some of a long leave out of Eastham depot. It seemed to make a Radiolocator (not the new which I did sail with later, and the only S band of the line at that time but the 1970s version). Pleased we didn't use chemicals except for cleaning!
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Old 26th June 2019, 15:03
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Sailed with an SDR radar in RFA Olwen. Dreadful device.
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  #19  
Old 28th June 2019, 00:19
majoco majoco is offline  
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Another greetings from NZ! Agreed with all said above - anything above the 19m band is very quiet - even the NZ stations that used to boom in during the daytime are down in the the noise - Auckland aero on 8867kHz from me in Palmerston North for instance, although Nadi on the same frequency is often good. After dark it's not so bad and the lower frequency bands are still better - some good catches on the 49m band. Have you tried a new valve in the RF stage of the Atalanta (EF86?) - I've had a couple of those go out when I was in the Merch in the 60's. I can send you a scan of the spectrum from 2 to 30MHz at a random selection of times if you'd like. My test to see if everything is working is to see if I can get the beacon from Port MacQuarie PMQ on 395kHz and Merrimbula ME underneath him on the same frequency.

JRC NRD515, Skanti R5000, Winradio G33DDC and a few others through a proper multicoupler from an "Off-centre fed delta sloping loop".
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Last edited by majoco; 28th June 2019 at 00:28..
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  #20  
Old 28th June 2019, 02:24
djringjr djringjr is offline  
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SDR is software defined radio. These days you can remote control received from around the world: https://sdr.hu/ Try searching for KPH HF as they have a medium wave and a shortwave unit.

David
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Ex Tuckerton Radio WSC
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  #21  
Old 28th June 2019, 07:13
Paul Braxton Paul Braxton is offline  
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Thanks for your comments, Majoco. No, I haven't got any spares for the valves in the Atalanta, but I guess they would be available online somewhere. Thanks for the tip. Auckland Aero and sometimes Nadi were booming in a few months back, but nothing but noise on their frequency now (or at least the last time I had the set on, which was about 3 weeks back). I get QRM from the laptop which is in the same room, so have to shut it down when I'm on the radio, which is a pain. Think it's picking up via the mains line, as it's a lot quieter when the laptop is on battery, though then I've got a widescreen Samsung monitor putting out QRM as well.

I will have a QSX for PMQ, but it seemed to have been fine on the MF or low MF bands, as well as the bcast AM band. Whereabouts in NZ are you? I'm at a place called Kaharoa, which is just north of Rotorua, out in the quiet of the sticks, and high up, to boot, at around 420 metres elevation.

Regards, Paul
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Old 28th June 2019, 07:15
Paul Braxton Paul Braxton is offline  
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WSC! Wow, there's a blast from the past. Worked that station a few times, usually only with OBS tfc. Nice, powerful station, if I remember rightly. Thanks for your info re SDR. I've tried one online version after I got to hear of it for the first time a few days back. Impressive stuff.
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Old 28th June 2019, 18:57
spaarks spaarks is offline  
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HF Reception tools

Here are a couple of links to propagation predictions.

http://www.voacap.com/radcom/
https://soundbytes.asia/proppy/
http://www.predtest.uk/

I haven't used them extensively. They look a bit optimistic, but I live in an apartment where there is a lot of QRN - I suspect a lot of it from LED lighting.

73s
Denis GI3TAC
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  #24  
Old 28th June 2019, 21:45
majoco majoco is offline  
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Hi Paul, I'm in Ashhurst, a small village about 15km from Palmerston North in the Manawatu. Now that I live alone, I have complete control over the computers and TV's so the QRM is not so much of a problem, although I believe a neighbour has a plasma TV! I make up my own antennas and baluns to keep a lot of noise out but I found the laptop chargers make more noise than anything else, some LCD displays and printer power supplies too. Anything with a switch-mode power supply is suspect.

WSL, WCC and WSC - the most used coast stations on the US East coast - apart from CFH!

Best 73.
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