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Posted by on in Interesting ham radio websites

I happened to notice that http://www.websdr.org/ is back online after being off air for a few months. They also seem to be including a few more remote stations on the website as well. In case you don't know what this website does, basically they left various bromate stations around the world which broadcast on various frequencies on the amateur radio bands. I actually like using it model myself on 40 m, if you tune into the same frequency on the computer and your radio, you can often hear yourself if the propagation is running into that particular parts of the world that the remote station is set up.

Check it out, you can probably waste a couple of hours tuning around. Remember that you will need JavaScript installed and up-to-date. A few of them don't work for me, I have no idea why sto


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Now that winter has arrived and the days are getting shorter most of the HF bands are closing down reasonably early, probably closed by about seven o'clock in the evening. However, I was tuning around 20 m this evening, about 7:45 PM and I came across an extremely strong station obviously working into Europe. The station was W1AW, the callsign for the headquarters of the American Radio Relay League. Ironically it was Ron who was on the microphone, the last time I spoke to W1AW, Ron was also on the microphone then. I thought I would check out their headquarters on Google Street view, I took the screenshot to you could also see it. I'm sure you would agree that they have a very impressive station  with obviously very understanding neighbours.

American Radio Relay League

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I haven't really been on any other band in the last few days apart from 10 m. The 10 m band has really opened up to the USA and most days from about 12 noon you will start hearing signals coming in from the USA. In fact, the propagation is so good that you will do quite well even with a small dipole or vertical and just 100 W, the conditions really are that good. I've worked quite a few stations on the West Coast, California, Utah, Montana and Washington. If you haven't checked out 10 m then you are really missing out. Here's a little taster, I recorded this YouTube video a couple of days ago, and this is not at its best.


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Posted by on in Interesting ham radio websites

Ever heard of SDR? This stands for Software Defined Radio and basically it means a radio that uses your computer to receive, transmit and basically function. I don't really know an awful lot about these type of radios so I'm not going to talk about using them instead of your traditional amateur radio transceiver.

I wanted to tell you about a few websites that use software defined radio to transmit over the Internet. There are a few guys over here in Europe and over in the States who have set up websites that enable you to listen to their software defined radio through the computer. Some of the stations only have one band to listen to, others have various bands using different types of antenna. You basically tune into their website, choose the band you want to listen to, type in a frequency or move a slider control and that's it, you are listening to what that particular station can hear, whether that be the East or West coast of the states, down in Romania, or in the Netherlands.

There are two that I listen to on a regular basis, The US software defined radio site W4MQ is based in Virginia on the East Coast and enables you to listen to 3 bands, top band, 40 m and 20 m. What I really like doing is monitoring 20 m to see if I can hear myself, that is a lot of fun and it gives you a good idea of what propagation is like. Another one that unfortunately shut down a couple of months ago because they had to move rooms is based in the Netherlands. This had various bands including 40, 15 and 20 m and being so close to home meant I was able to monitor myself on 20, 15 and 40 m, plus listening to all the other stuff. They will be back online at some stage, when it will be I cannot say, you'll just have to keep monitoring their website where they have been kind enough to keep everyone updated on the situation.

I have included a few links for you including W4MQ which transmits 24/7. Please be aware that the website often crashes when too many people are using it at the same time. If you get a message telling you that the site is too busy then either leave it a little while, or keep clicking refresh page and sometimes that works if somebody suddenly leaves the website. Also, you need to have JavaScript enabled on your computer. If you haven't got it then it's free to download.




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