29 January 2012

firedrake jammer logs

To participate in Firedrake monitoring again, I loaded my Eton E5 with six memory pages worth of recent Firedrake frequencies. With seven frequencies per page, but only four frequencies on the last page, that's 39 shortwave frequencies. I suppose I've created something of a hitchhiker's guide to firedrake monitoring on my radio. In spite of this setup, band scans are really more helpful in locating the broadcasts, as jammers are moving targets.

Finding Firedrake on shortwave has been difficult for me. Most of the recently reported frequencies from Glenn Hauser's DX Listening Digest have been daytime frequencies, and most of my shortwave listening is at night. I'm in California, so I'm in an advantageous geographic location for receiving Firedrake if it's broadcasting.

Early morning monitoring has worked the best for me so far, although I don't get a lot of opportunities. Here are some of my firedrake receptions, all with the Eton E5 receiver and the Degen DE31 active loop antenna.

• 21 Sep 2011, 1452-1456 UTC, memory scan

7970 kHz: very poor, lots of fading (sky is fully bright now)
10300 kHz: poor but clear
11560 kHz: very poor

• 24 Sep 2011, 1515-1535 UTC, band scan from 10000 to 20000 kHz

10300 kHz: fair
12175 kHz: good and clear

• 25 Sep 2011, 1140-1150 UTC, memory scan

7970 kHz: very poor, severe fading

1320-1334 UTC (morning twilight), memory scan + SOH frequency scan (SOH frequencies from short-wave.info)

7970 kHz: poor
10300 kHz: fair
11500 kHz: very good and clear

• 06 Oct 2011, 1535-1545 UTC, memory scan

10300 kHz: good
13850 kHz: fair

• 07 Oct 2011, 1550 UTC, memory scan

10300 kHz: poor

• 10 Oct 2011, 1332-1348 UTC, memory scan then manual scan 7000-14000 kHz

7970 kHz: good
10300 kHz: poor

1420-1423 UTC, memory scan

10300 kHz: good
13970 kHz: good

• 16 Oct 2011, 0845-0900 UTC, manual scan 7000-18000 kHz

7970 kHz: poor
12230 kHz: very good
12600 kHz: good
13130 kHz: poor

My firedrake reception video on 12230 kHz, on 16 Oct 2011:

• 22 Oct 2011, 0738 UTC, memory scan

10300 kHz: very poor; off promptly at 0800 UTC

• 23 Oct 2011, 0058 UTC, memory scan

13850 kHz: poor; off promptly at 0100 UTC

• 25 Oct 2011, 1555 UTC, memory scan

12175 kHz: good
13970 kHz: good

• 27 Oct 2011, 1457-1500 UTC, memory scan

7970 kHz: good
10300 kHz: good
11500 kHz: good
12600 kHz: good
13130 kHz: good
13970 kHz: good
14700 kHz: good

1635 UTC, memory scan

13970 kHz: good

• 02 Nov 2011, 1620 UTC, tuning in the range 7500-20000 kHz

7970 kHz: poor
12160 kHz: good; hearing voice in the background but can't determine the language; could just be WWCR

12 January 2012

fun with ebay

Since starting with shortwave radio during the summer of 2005, I've searched for radios on eBay as a way to stay informed with current prices, features, manufacturers, and so on. During some recent searches, I found some rather entertaining listings. I mean, some of these people are clearly a bit loopy.

Here are my observations and thoughts after reading a number of listings.

• Over 250,000 results for "ipod"; around 2000 results for "shortwave".
• A Sony ICF SW7600GR, commonly sold for around $150, listed for $402.79
• Another Sony ICF SW7600GR, listed for $799.96
• A brand new Grundig G3, with starting bid of $200, 0 bids, simply described as "AM FM Shortwave Radio". Perhaps they don't want you to compare prices elsewhere, which are actually around $100.
• A brand new Tecsun PL-210, listed for $168 (other listings are around $45), with a photo including the mis-spelled phrase "HIGH QULITY"
• "Expedited shipping available" probably means "We can't wait to get rid of this"
• Radio Shack spelled as "Radio Schack", despite the correct spelling appearing in the auction photo
• A listing for a Grundig/Eton S350DL has a photo with an American flag in the background and "No Photo Available" in a handwritten-type font
• A used Eton E1 in poor cosmetic condition is listed for $299
• A refurbished Eton E10 listing with a stock E10 photo.
• A Kchibo radio listed for $4.99 with shipping cost of $4.99
• A deceptive listing for an Eton AM/FM/SW/Airband radio, with a Grundig G5 photo, and no product description. $179.99.
• Why do so many Chinese-manufactured radios have an FM range of 76-180 mHz, covering everything needed for the USA, Japan, and Russia, but only an AM range of 520-1610 kHz? The AM expanded band has existed in North and South America since 1993.
• There's a radio brand called Ultra-Power? The listing has a photo of the radio with the logo printed on it.
• A radio branded as "Borg Johnson" (now there's a trust-inspiring name) looks like the Sony ICF SW11.
• One listing showed a side or back view of a radio as the primary photo. The seller might be onto something, because the photo stood out and I looked at the listing.
• A listing by kaito-electronics-inc uses the phrase "The newly released Kaito KA1103". Didn't this radio come out in 2004?