Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Revolution Starts On Friday!

Not my words, mind you!

But the words from Expert Electronics, a Russia-based company which previously has made SDR transceivers and receivers mainly with the radio amateur in mind. This one looks suspiciosly similar to the 8-bit dongles available on eBay, that are little more than toys. The ColibriNANO however will deliver up to 3 MHz of I/Q sampling, 14-bit ADC (similar to the Perseus), and a -130 dBm noise floor (presumed CW @500 Hz although not specified). It will handle a 74 mV (around -9 dBm) signal before going into saturation. It will be happy with a USB 2.0 port. It's EUR 299, one-third the price of a Perseus and half the price of a CloudIQ or FDM-S2. At 1/10 or maybe 1/20 of the size.

These figures are in fact very good, at least on paper.

So the big Q is: Can a dongle match a Perseus, a CloudIQ, an Elad FDM-S2, a Winradio G33DDC, a QS1R?

Perhaps we will know a couple of Fridays from now. Of course I've ordered one. I admit I'm predjudiced. It's "too small". You can't make an excellent SDR in the form of a USB dongle. Or can you? After all, miniaturization  is going on everywhere else, so why not in the SDR world?

We'll see!

Friday, April 28, 2017

QSL: WTAD Quincy IL, 930

Heard with a fair signal at the end of February, friendly response this evening from the PD who's answered quite a few DX-ers in his 27-year career at WTAD. Illinois #30.

QSL: JOKP NHK-1 Kitami 1188

Commonly heard especially at the 10:00 UTC local slot. Postcard with stamped verie text in Japanese received today.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

QSL: JOHP NHK-1 Takamatsu, 1368

Today's third letter from Japan was a confirmation of 5 kW JOHP, heard in November 2016. I didn't really find a good logo but here's the NHK HQ in Takamatsu.

QSL: JOBO KBS Kinki Hoso, Maisuru 1215

The main station JOBR in Kyoto has two low-powered relays on 1215, 1 kW Hirnoe, and 2 kW Maisuru. QSL card and letter received today.

QSL: STV Sapporo, Japan

JOWF Sapporo 1440 is the most common commercial Japanese station here, and was confirmed in 1975. But they have many lower-powered relay stations as well. Three of them were confirmed today:

JOWS Kushiro, 882 kHz, 3 kW
JOVX Abashiri 909 kHz, 5 kW
JOWL Asahikawa 1197 kHz, 3 kW

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

QSL: JONK NHK-1 Nagano, 819

Quite a common station once you get past the North Korean, but to get a QSL, you need to report... Letter in Japanese received today.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

QSL: 2RN Radio National, Wollongong NSW 1431

I was checking some recordings from the excellent autumn equinox conditions last year and mostly chasing Japanese stations, so I didn't expect this 2 kW station. Quite a bit of luck was involved as Wakayma Hoso was extremely strong at the time. But after the time pips they left a couple seconds of dead air. And there went the Majestic Fanfare!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

QSL: AFN Kunsan, KOR 1440

AFN can be heard from time to time under the strong JOWF STV Sapporo, but on February 28 the signal was exceptional a few minutes. There are two 1 kW stations, Kunsan and Pyeongtaek, and both were actually heard with an echo. Facebook response this evening. Good signals also on other not common Korea frequencies.

QSL: KAVP Colona CO 1450

KAVP was heard with a very good signal in March. A friendly and detailed email response was received yesterday.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

QSL: 5RN Radio National, Adelaide SA 729

And today's third Aussie arrived half an hour later. 5RN was first heard many, many years ago, but was left unconfirmed until now. A good opening towards South Australia on April 9 brought good signals. Thanks Graham for outstanding service to DX-ers!

QSL: 4QS ABC Southern Queensland, Toowoomba QLD, 747 and 2RN Radio National, Newcastle, NSW 1512

Both were heard during a good opening in the early evening hours of January 21.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

QSL: 4QR ABC Radio Brisbane, QLD 612

On January 15 I observed a short period with excellent conditions towards a rather small area in Queensland, with the most common Australian on 1548 (4QD) at stunning levels. A couple very interesting commercial stations were left unidentified, but 4QR had a fair signal on top of the hour and a good ID to match.
QSL for my 10th Queensland station received last night.