Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello fellow longwave fans

Hello world,

Everyone's blogging these days, so I thought I'd give it a try to see what all the fuss is about. I'd enjoy hearing from any readers of my Below 500 kHz column, and see what they have to share.

21 comments:

  1. Got my shielded loop working last night. This is the one I've been reporting on in MT. It looks like a strong performer!

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  2. Has anyone else tried building the loop I described in MT? How's it working for you?

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  3. No, but I've been following your series on it with interest. Thanks for doing it.

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  4. I have read with interest your instructions and intend to construct a loop out of an old window frame over the winter! I am a newbee way down here.
    Mark

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  5. Thanks Alaska Mark and Robert for your comments!

    There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of response to my first attempt at Blogging. I'll keep this up here and check it from time to time, but if anyone's trying to reach me, you may want to use my Monitoring Times e-mail address.

    Best holiday wishes to all longwave monitors!

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  6. Hi Kevin - I did some LW listening with a 2010
    Sony about 20 years ago. Listening was better then , for me . Now , with all these new devices on the consumer market , it makes for
    difficult times. Apt living here . Yes, I made home made box loops and had success with them .
    Glad some people are still doing it to 'keep it alive ' .
    All the best for 2011 .
    Steve , Maple Lake MN

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  7. Olá bom dia.
         Eu estava navegando na Internet e encontrou o SITE BLOG qualidade Esta multa IAChE como eu sou DX (radio escuta), notícias dez elementos Enough
     parabens boa sorte.

     py2255swl
    J. Carlos
    SP / SP Brasil Bairro do Limão
    Blog: http://qsldobrasil.blogspot.com/

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  8. D'OH! What the heck is long wave and who's down there anyway besides submarines...right? What type of equipment is needed and what modulation do they use and what carrier? SSb, AM, FM, Been out of pirated radio for 15 years anyway or maybe 20. Bout time for the grave and I find this site. Go figure. :-)

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  9. Hello 'Out of the Loop'... Longwave is a very unique band in that you can hear natural radio, military comms, general broadcast, license-free experimenters, beacons, maritime, and even ham operators--all in the space of just 500 kHz! Where else in the spectrum is this possible?

    73, and best LW DX,

    --Kevin Carey

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  10. Hi just came across this site. So what would I need ito gear to listen to long wave Tx.
    I have a receiver 0-30Mhz and a couple of antenna's set up for HF.
    What would be the minimum length required for a suitable LW antenna?
    Any cheap user friendly designs available?

    thnx

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  11. Has anyone tried using these surplus VLF,
    selective voltmeters as receivers ?

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    1. I have a HP 302 and the 30"=/- loop that I need to dig out, the question is: will this be sensitive enough?
      Which VM's are you referring to?
      cheers;
      Michael
      Central coast of Calif.

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  12. Hello to all Below 500 kHz readers! It's been a while since I've logged in to the blog, but it is now more accessible at the MT website, so I plan to check it more often. My apologies for delayed responses. Readers wishing to contact me directly can always use my e-mail address of "wb2qmy at arrl.net" where the word "at" is replaced by the @ symbol.

    Most recently, there have been some questions about how best to receive longwave transmissions and the possible use of selective voltmeters as a receiving device.

    Getting on LW used to be more of a challenge 20+ years ago, as much of the equipment available then (here in the US anyway) limited coverage to the bottom of the AM Broadcast band. Today, however, most receivers go down to at least 150 kHz, and many go lower than that.

    If you're using an older receiver that lacks longwave coverage, consider using an LF converter, such as the ones offered by LF Engineering Co., Palomar, or similar units. These move the LW band to a range of frequencies that your receiver can tune, such as 3.5-4.0 MHz.

    Selective voltmeters have indeed been used for LF reception, and can work very well. However, don't expect to find the niceties included on modern day receivers such as noise blankers and notch filters; These units are designed to serve as test equipment. Still, they can be quite effective with an appropriate antenna.

    On the subject of antennas, I get a lot of questions on the best one to use. This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on one's goals and interests on LW.

    For casual reception of navigation signals, I always encourage listeners to start with whatever they have, which in the case of SW listeners, is often a random length end-fed wire of 50-150 feet in length. Antennas of this sort can work well for receiving stronger stations, but their downfall is noise pickup. In rural settings they may work quite well, but in congested areas they can act as a "noise collectors" from near-field producers of interference, such as light dimmers, motors, and switching power supplies.

    If you want directivity in an antenna, consider a loop. Plans for building an effective loop antenna were offered in 2010, starting with the June issue, and concluding with the November issue.

    Another excellent antenna choice is an Active Antenna that has been specifically designed for LW reception. These omni-directional antennas are small, easy to mount, and good performers in their own right. For convenience, the Active Antenna would have to get my vote as the best all-around antenna for most listeners. Nothing says you have to have just one antenna, however, so feel free to experiment!

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    1. "Nothing says you have to have just one antenna, however, so feel free to experiment!" Kevin, what can you recommend as a starting place for effectively grounding what may becomes hundreds of feet of aerial copper wire antenna? I'm in a rural setting with acres of trees surrounding me. I understand a simple 6' gnd. rod won't get-it, and using the house gnd. is even worse. Thoughts?

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  13. Anyone know what is on 67.0 kilocycles.
    It sounds like traffic however I have tried every electronic protocol from Domino, to Thor to Throb to Rtty , to AschII without success. It appears to be 500hz wide and very continuous. Could it be Groton CT. But what mode?
    Any ideas?

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  14. Greetings to "Below 500 khz" Club!

    I'm writing from Central Europe, and I am interested in long wave dx-ing. Here in the Carpatian Basin there is a good possibility to receice eastern, western European stations, and even from Africa. So LW listening is not only a hobby here, but also a common custom, since many BIG stations are functioning in Europe. Besides the broadcasting stations there are a lot of CW and other kind of stations transmiting on LW, so here in Europe frequencies below 500 khz are fully coverd. Like MW in the USA.

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    1. Well Greetings from Japan - we keep getting strong signals from Siberia - Russia (with love ...) both ends of the LW band, and some occasionally in beetween & while in France for vacation, I'm using an old ARC BC-453 with any type of antenna - even 4m long surplus antenna with very good results. Pse QSP ;-)

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  15. Kevin,
    You might want to suggest to your readers that the LF navigation beacons (for aircraft) are good signal sources and most countries utilize them to some extent. Many airports utilize low power beacons as part of instrument landing systems. Typically they are in the 200-490 kHz range. I have copied over 100 in Canada alone, they offer a good consistent signal (at night!) for comparing receivers and antennae... John in Vermont USA

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  16. I'd like to thank all readers who followed me in the Below 500 kHz column in Monitoring Times over the years. Unfortunately, due to a production glitch, my final "sign-off" column in MT's last issue (Dec. 2013) did not appear, but was instead a repeat of the previous month's issue! I hope to present some of these comments in my new column, The Longwave Zone (TLZ), in the online magazine, The Spectrum Monitor (www.thespectrummonitor.com). I hope you'll join us there! This will be my final entry on this blog, and anyone wishing to contact me may use the e-mail address wb2qmy AT arrl.com (replace AT with the @ symbol, no spaces on either side). 73 to all, and Best LW DX! --Kevin

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  17. I'd like to thank all readers who followed me in the Below 500 kHz column in Monitoring Times over the years. Unfortunately, due to a production glitch, my final "sign-off" column in MT's last issue (Dec. 2013) did not appear, but was instead a repeat of the previous month's issue! I hope to present some of these comments in my new column, The Longwave Zone (TLZ), in the online magazine, The Spectrum Monitor (www.thespectrummonitor.com). I hope you'll join us there! This will be my final entry on this blog, and anyone wishing to contact me may use the e-mail address wb2qmy AT arrl.com (replace AT with the @ symbol, no spaces on either side). 73 to all, and Best LW DX! --Kevin

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  18. I'd like to thank all readers who followed me in the Below 500 kHz column in Monitoring Times over the years. Unfortunately, due to a production glitch, my final "sign-off" column in MT's last issue (Dec. 2013) did not appear, but was instead a repeat of the previous month's issue! I hope to present some of these comments in my new column, The Longwave Zone (TLZ), in the online magazine, The Spectrum Monitor (www.thespectrummonitor.com). I hope you'll join us there! This will be my final entry on this blog, and anyone wishing to contact me may use the e-mail address wb2qmy AT arrl.com (replace AT with the @ symbol, no spaces on either side). 73 to all, and Best LW DX! --Kevin

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