Sunday, January 27, 2008

LEM257 - kuvia

VJR ja JP troolaamassa Iberia-breikkejä.

VJR kopistelee lumia brassilangan päässä.

DX-kulinarismia: lihapullaperunat a la LEM257.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

LEM257: 19-26.1 (JP, VJR)

Saturday 19.1

LEM257 started: VJR and JP. Some us new:1420 KITI, 1310 KFKA later asia even aussies 2ME R Lebanon 1638.

Sunday 20.1

LEM257 JP VJR 20.1: In the night Brazil and La Plata. In the morning something from NW NA - 1350 KRLC. Middle of the day nothing. After 12utc 1270 KIML ja 880 KJJR.

Monday 21.1

Some NA stations in the evening and afternoon: 1120 KANN, 620 KPOJ, 1240 KTIX, 920 KXLY, 1290 KUMA. Also japanese: 1233 JOUR. In the evening stations from China and SW Oceania: 3335 East Sepik, 4605 Serui, 4870 Wamena.

Tuesday 22.1

LEM257 JP VJR 22.1: Yö vaisu mutta auringonnousun maissa alkoi reissun paras NA-päivä. Asemia 1. kerran keskipäivälläkin. 1230 KBAR, 550 KOAC, 1410 XECF, 1180 XEDCH, 1510 R Belgrano, 1420 KIGO, 550 WSAU, 1230 KKEE.

Aasia-nousu 13-14 utc 1107 JOCF, 1152 JORP, 1260 JOIR, 1062 DZEC. Aussien x-bandilla myös elämää 1430 utc lähtien. Ja aamun pakolliset RAI lokaalit: 936 Veneto ja 1062 Sardegna.

Wednesday 23.1

Yöllä tikkuista keliä Argentiinasta jenkkeihin. Aamulla repesi jenkkikeleiksi ja kovat Havaijit. Nyt kuunnellaan uutta TWR Beniniä 1566.

Asemia: 1230 KWYZ, 770 KTTH, 1450 KQDI, 1450 KONP, 1400 KODI, 1400 KEDO, 1420 KKEA, 1270 KNDI, 1180 KORL, 1210 KGYN, 1270 KBAM, 1470 KBSN, 1560 KZIZ. Ja aamun pakollinen RAI: 567 Emilia-Romagna.

Thursday 24.1

LEM257 JP VJR 24.1. Ei aivan yhtä hyvä NA-päivä kuin eilinen mutta jotain kuitenkin: 1350 KGHF, 1420 KIGO, 760 KGU, 1270 KNDI, 660 KEYZ, 650 CISL, 1230 CJNL. Ja aamun aloitti RAI Toscana 657.

Friday 25.1

LEM257: 00-01 kiva Ontario-itärannikkokeli 830 WCRN, 620 CHWO, 1690 CHTO. 0430-0600 Venezuelaa. Aamun Iberia-avauksesta 666 R Barcelona ja 1314 R5 Salamanca 0815.

Vaisu NA-aamu mutta antennien tsekkausreissulta palattua aukesi ID-WA-HI. 1110 KAOI, 1540 KREA, 1460 KHRA, 1420 KKEA, 1270 KNDI, 760 KGU, 1480 KBMS, 1400 KEDO, 1470 KBSN, 1480 KRXR. Illalla RNE5 Malaga 1152, ja 558 Muravideki Magyar R.

Saturday 26.1

LEM257: 0000-0017 töhäys järville: 1690 WVON, 1470 WBKV, 1480 WLMV. 0115-0130 länsirannikon dominantteja. Muutoin yöllä La Plata- Brassi-linjaa: 1560 Maldonado, 1620 R Vida, 1630 AM Restauracion. N. 0700 ylämummo heräsi: 1240 KWIK, 1560 KZIZ, 1650 KFOX. Mukava reissu ja riittävästi kelejä vaikkei hamonen nyt heilahtanutkaan.

Friday, January 25, 2008



PERSEUS SDR-RECEIVER – A Pretty Excellent Receiver of Software … OR – A Poor Example of Receivers … - First Impressions (by TK)

These impressions are something found during a brief test arrangements on January 21-22 with a Perseus + Table-top PC Fujitsu-Siemens (about 1.8 GHz – 1 Mb mem. + 250 GB HD). The rx was compared mostly to a SDR-14 & IQ + a communications receiver Icom R9000.

Generally the look and feel is great with this equipment and the installation of the software was a piece of cake. The software (beta 0.31) was distributed on a CD with the receiver. There were a HF-Span software (showing 0-40 MHz span) and drivers + dll´s for the WinRad, too. It was very easy to calibrate the set using just the mouse to move the scale and the “CAL” button on the screen. As can be seen at fig.1 the user interface is nice and that can even be improved the Griffin PowerMate knob. There are normal demodulations like AM & SSB, but also syncro-AM (SAM) which is very good, locking easily (the freqyency readout does not change however). In addition you can demodulate DRM using the Virtual Sound Card driver (you have to be the latest version 4.8 for that) and the Dream-software. The screen having two windows is good so you can have a larger view up to 500 kHz and the demodulation window with if-bandwith etc on another smaller screen. It sounds also that the noise blanker works good for sudden impulses (like electric fences) whereas that of the SDR-IQ is useless. However I have not personally tested it largely as my local horseowner has switched the fence off!

On the screen you can set frequency also by clicking the arrows below the small secondary window. This is handy, when operating with a laptop without mouse. The averaging system in the software is done nicely on the screen – you can adjust it manually by clicking and dragging the vertical sliders both for the main and the second window. On the screen you can use also the memo (memory tables) where you can load lists of potential stations and there are already memos of EiBI list and HFCC-tables included. You can import your own list to the memo table as well. Software worked OK although there are some problems still with the listening to the recorded (captured) RF-file. While checking how many stations you can have on one frequency (if there is a vertical scroll) I found that you can but up to six on the channel - so a scroll should be good if you wish put lists like "potential NA / TA -stations" etc - these lists have usually dozens of stations on each channel.

You have to use the transformer (5 V) which comes together with the rx and I have seen reports that this unit (a switching transformer) does produce some noise especially to other RXs (using splitters), but I did not note very much interference in my set-up. However I have already some noise from other PC-equipments, mainly from my LCD-screen which I have to switch off when doing serious RF-recording at daytime with low signal levels.

Sensitivity & Strong signal handling seems to be adequate - I would say the sensitivity is a bit worse than that of the Icom-receiver (R9000) and I have seen some figures at about 2 uV (10 dB/SN, AM-mode); however, when used with active splitter (with 10 dB gain) and/or amp. of 10 dB with a LW of 150 m or BOG 300 m the rx did overload and I had to set the attn to -10 dB on the program. But this is what is happening with other sdrs (14 / IQ and WinR) as well. That is never a problem with my old Icom, AOR or EKD 515 (DDR-rx).

Frequency measurements are a bit harder to do with the Perseus (compared to IQ using Spectravue) basically as the minimum SPAN in receiving is 1.6 kHz (showing also the max. BW resolution 1.9 Hz). As can be seen at the picture, you have to “click” the markers on screen (you have to use as good resolution as possible) whereas Spectravue with 14/IQ gives you automatically the 4 strongest carriers of the SPAN. The comparison test was done on 1368 with a station (Taiwan) a bit below the nominal (see fig. 2) and also other tests showed that the accurancy of frequency measurements is about 2 Hz – generally about 2-4 Hz. Maybe later on we will have the span reduced to e.g. 200 or 500 Hz?

Selectivity is good and at least at the same level as that of the IQ/14 and a bit better than that of the ICOM R9000 or AOR (with SSB filters around 2 kHz). And you can adjust it how you want – also “asymmetric way”. You can also move the center frequency – about as PBT does. There are buttons also for the notch and PBT but they seems not to be active yet – this feature is coming later on, I suppose.

Recording – Span Capturing (“Drift Net-DX”) is straightforward, you have just to decide whether you want to capture a slice of 100, 200 or 400 kHz, push the button and use the recorder-buttons on a lower left corner of the window. Actually you can even record a bit more (almost 500 kHz with 500 kS/s sampling?), but there can be false signals on both sides?). As mentioned earlier the play-back feature differs from that of SpectraVue a bit: you can not jump just back and forth. Instead, you can assign a portion of the recording for looped play-back. And there seems still to be some problems with the operation on playing back – I could freeze the computer using that and had to switch the power off once. Note that you should have the unit on – so you can not listen the files with another computer and/or at another place without the hardware using the Perseus software, what is possible with the SpectaVue and SDR-14/IQ. However using the WinRad-softaware you can do playback also without the Perseus hardware, which is good although there are some limitations using that one as there are no timestamp at the timeline and not even the stop button on WinRad´s timeline. You get 10 minutes recordings with the software automatically (about 1,7 Gb each). You have also to give the name to the files all the time before starting to record and the software puts the sequence numbers after the name like 1,2… The timer is not included, but there is a possibility to do a timer with windows macros, but I have not yet tried that. The timer function like that of IQ – Spectravue could be greatly appreciated! After this report was written I have heard that the "official" release of the software (1.0) is due out in February - maybe something of the wish list are in that version.

I used mainly my desk-top (a bit old) model of a Pentium 1.8 GHz machine with 1 MB internal memory. The software took about 30-40 % easily at 125 kS/s and when switched to maximum sampling rate of 500 kS/s in order to capture 400 kHz to the hard disk, it took about 80-90% of the resources. So with my setup, I can not use both Perseus & IQ at the same machine. I also had some play-back problems with this set-up, and had to start the playback again, which actually worked to that problem. Using my laptop of Pentium (1.3 GHz only, IBM T40) was about the same, but it seems this machine works better showing the maximum usage of resources at about 60-70 %. I have heard these small IBMT40´s really performs like about 2 GHz machines. I did not tried to record to external HDs, but it should work ok and that has been done by other testers without problems. I think that with modern pc´s of about 3 - 4 GHz and 2-4 GB memory these problems are not present.

All-in-all I have to say this is a great piece of equipment – good looking software with great capabilities – and the software is still in Beta-state – so what are we getting when that is the final version. Well Done Nico Palermo & Microtelecom!

Last but not least, I would like to thank all the impressions of earlier testers of the rx like Bjarne Melde, Guy Atkins and Giampiero Bernardini at their blogs and emails as well as Mauno Ritola & Jussi Suokas (& all the “DXing Wolfs” in Eastern Finland) who were the first in Finland to test the machine. Now we have the DriftNetter of 400 kHz, next year at least up to 2 Mhz or ?


Saturday, January 19, 2008

LEM256: 12-19.1 (JJN, JUS)

Saturday 12.1

LEM256 (JJN & JUS) has started. Common west coast stations between 13 and 15 utc. KDZR 1640 was heard till 1630 utc

Sunday 13.1

Perseus was harmoniously introduced to Lemmenjoki today although there has not been much use for SDRs here. Lame night. Today KANN 1120, KUTR 820, KNFL 1470, KHTK 1140, XEEX 1230. Crne Gore 882 yesterday

Monday 14.1

We spent the night deep asleep. More west coast from 07 to 10 utc. KFNW 1200, KTTH 770, etc

Tuesday 15.1

The most common Brazilians were quickly greeted at night. After a very silent morning we were about to go out to check some antennas when suddenly the band was alive with stations from WA (like KMAS 1030, KWIQ 1020, KRLC 1350), OR (KPDQ 800, KWIP 880), MT (KBLL 1240), and ID (KSPZ 980)

Wednesday 16.1

Mostly silent.

Thursday 17.1

R Plovdiv and Blagoevgrad yesterday. Today Jamaica and a mixed selection of NY, MEX and the Pacific NW.

Friday 18.1

Almost three hours of Hawaii hulabaloo. No need to say anything else.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

LEM255: 5-12.1 (HS, HAT)

Saturday 5.1

LEM255 started simultaneously with some solar instability, thus no NA was heard in the late afternoon, nor Fareast. Looking forward to rapid improvement, though. HAT

Sunday 6.1

LEM255 (HAT HS) 5.-12.1.Improving conditions. Nothing at night, but in the early morning common Brazilian and La Plata stations ascending to Colombia, Venezuela with some single shots to CA. Around midday most regular NA west coast.

R Nacional de Colombia 580 & 680, R Sucre 600, Guadeloupe 640, Jamaica 700, R Brigadier Lopez 1150, R Calidad 1230, KVAN 1560.

Monday 7.1

LEM255 (HAT HS): Northern lights! Japanese tourists travel halfway round the world to see this wonder, we Finnish dxers are in a much luckier situation, only 1200 km. When the solar disturbance is on an adequate level to let the space wind to bring large enough quantities of small particles to our atmosphere to activate the lights, the end result is simply breath taking.

These lights began their grand show in the evening by covering the sky with a wide, transparent green vail like drawn with water colours on a wet paper. Then, the show was sharpened later on in the night; Against the black sky and bright stars, they ran across the estrade, and performed in all shapes and figures, in north, south, east and west. In the morning they started to fade, but were still visible, like a deliberate reminder of the night. What a tremendous show!

RAI Veneto 936, RAI Marche 1062, RNE5 Salamanca

Tuesday 8.1

LEM255 (HAT HS) "A station per day keeps dx-apathy away" (aforism of the week). And we're working our utmost to achieve this daily target, no matter how challenging it might be! Most common Brazil and USA northwest.

Another split noted: KLFE Seattle 1589,58. RNE5 Lugo 1098, RNE5 Toledo 1125, XESJ Saltillo 1250.

Wednesday 9.1

LEM255 (HAT HS). Made a decision that also follow up reports to previously heard but not verified stations will be accounted, to achieve our daily targets, as set in our aforism of the week. Regular conds towards USA:s Pacific Northwest, with some California additions. YV HJ briefly in the morning.

RAI Emilia Romagna 567, R Crne Gore 882, RNE5 Valladolid 936, KSRO 1350, KTKZ 1380, KIGO 1420.3, KYKN 1430, KZIZ 1560, KUBA 1600, KYIZ 1620, XERW 1390.

Thursday 10.1

LEM255 (HAT HS). A few scattered west coast stations at night (went back to sleep quickly), east coast in the morning, after which the common mixture of west coast to late afternoon. Stronger signals today.

RNE5 Palencia 603, RNE5 Cabra 972, KPQ 560, KSEN 1150, KPRZ 1210, KPJC 1220, WILS 1320, WBHV 1330, CJRS 1650.

Friday 11.1

LEM255 (HAT HS). We completelly forgot to mention about our daily menus. To correct this mistake; the menu consisted of industrially prepared foods and groceries, frozen or refrigerated, mainly microwaveable. With food we consumed canned beer (domestic), and the listening session was crowned by a nite cap: Jameson Irish Whiskey (triple distilled).

Back to business. Yesterday evening a few signals very early, nothing fancy, turned rapidly into Great Lakes area. The morning offered Wisconsin and the surrounding states, after which the usual suspects returned (upper west coast).

WSAU 550, WTCH 960, KTIX 1240, KBLL 1240, KDIO 1350, KSRV 1380, KSPT 1400, KEDO 1400, KLCK 1400, KGST 1600.

Tomorrow we'll leave the hut for a wolfpack. If nothing totally impressive happens, we'll end our reports here. Thanks for the attention, and good luck for the coming crews! HAT & HS.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

ENOX7: 2-5.1 (HN)

Thursday 3.1

ENOX7 (HN) started late in the evening of 2 January. Considering the full 6 zero values of the kp-index during the day, the NA-cx in the evening, in the night and all day were unbelievable weak and unstable. So weak that I went fishing with the landlord in the wilderness from 9 to 12 in the morning. So instead of hearing KJJR-880, I' m eating whitefish for dinner. 800-KINY, 930-KOGA, 1240-KDLR, 1290-WKNE, 1590-WHLX

Friday 4.1

ENOX7/04.01: The same story continues, unbelievably lousy cx in spite of high expectations. A bit of evening cx, dying out at 22 UTC. Nothing in the night, a bit promising in the morning, but the cx never got anywhere, before they died out around 10 UTC. Completely silent in the afternoon. WKOX-1200, WHIY-1700, KXOL-1660, WJAS-1320. From recordings of yesterday: WFIR-960, WCMC-1230, WGPL-1350, WMYF-1380

Saturday 5.1

ENOX7 5.1.: Nothing in the evening, some CA/LA in the night and in the morning. Also Newfounland with good signals, but nothing else from NA. Time to pack.

LEM254: 27.12-5.1 (JMS, JPR)

Friday 28.12

LEM254 - JPR & JMS - 28.12. - Quite good night with Brazil and West Coast. Morning splendid with upperband Brazilians, eg. 1530 kHz strong (hopefully there is an id on the tape). Then NA all day long, Savannah's New Star 1400 WSEG was the nicest surprise. Weatherwise very strange with 0 Celsius and even some rain (not snow).

Saturday 29.12

LEM254: Boring. Stations all the time from SA, NA EC and NA WC. Continuous listening between 2230 and 1400 UTC but not a single new station. We would welcome some strong flares from the sun ;)

Sunday 30.12

LEM254: Slightly weaker than yesterday, still NA from midnight till late afternoon. Some Venezeula at night. Now at 13 UTC KFNW West Fargo, ND 1200 booming. Some highlights from the previous days: Radio Itatiaia Triangulo 1390, Radio Sulina 1530 and Radio Encanta 1580. JPR & JMS

Monday 31.12

LEM254: We have very similar feelings than our friends in Parka: intensive listening, but almost nothing new heard. Morning's only surprise was WQAM Miami on 560. Sun's activity is increasing, so hopefully conditions are changing, too. Happy New Year to all dx-ers around the world! Jari Ruohomäki (JPR) and Jim Solatie (JMS)

Tuesday 2.1

LEM254: The new year started fresh with -23 degrees Celsius. Visiting the outdoor restroom almost required something else than just a t-shirt ... but only almost ;) DX conditions are still quite weak. NA from 00 till 15 UTC, but only Canadians and other dominants with excellent reception quality. Between 07 and 09 a nice opening to Orinoco, eg. Impacto 1550 and Cristal 870. From yesterdays recordings 1530 ESPN Austin. - Jim Solatie

Wednesday 2.1

LEM254: OSD-conditions continue (only strong dominants). Ohio stations have super signals at the moment, but nothing new found. Some Orinoco last night, but without surprises. Graveyards are too crowded to result into anything interesting. Tomorrow will be a day off enjoying winter's other pleasures - cross country skiing - at Saariselkä. JPR & JMS

Thursday 3.1

LEM254: A nice North Carolina morning with WSGH 1040 and WECU 1570 with very strong signals. Also many stations from Cuba, eg. Agramonte 910. KKKK 1580 in the afternoon. Asia has been weak the whole week. JPR and JMS

Friday 4.1

LEM254: Friday morning was loaded with very strong NA signals, especially between 08-09 UTC, but afternoon was useless. One personal new today: WBHV 1330. From earlier week: KFNN 1510. It's time to return home and wish all the very best for LEM255. JPR & JMS