Conditions "up North"
Last night 20th Feb 03 - well nothing to write home up here Im afraid, but
were improved a bit over the past days if DCF39 is used as a target. Using
2Khz b/w on the 870 I can receive the area of interest and keep an eye on
the data beacon (as can people using the Echolink, link) - I didnt receive
anything clearly callsign last night at all, but I did get a dot and a
rough dash from someone! .......;-))
This morning, at 1500Z my time I couldnt even detect the data sig using
Argo - this is rare by the way.
As another indicator I do use the bcast band on 150-200Khz as another
localized Eu indicator. Looking last night only one Russian the Northern
Scandinavian were audible. If I cant hear the French or even BBCR4 at all -
like last night - I know (generally) that things are not too good in middle
earth.....For Europeans they cant look for any local beacon stations this
way - we have some bcst up in the 500Khz region but that's far far removed
from LF in my mind, we have TX in Washington state on 24.8Khz I think but
thats a few 0000 Kms away. I agree with the comments on using DCF39 solely
- as a general indicator but often its stronger here during the day than
night! My adage is try try try again, even when it looks poor,; sorry about
your power bills, fires, lost sleep etc.!
I did some background measurements to give me an order of magnitude idea of
my interference noise level here - using a SLMS termed/pads in 2.4Khz b/w,
low distortion setting, I get an average -91dBm/50/75 ohms shown...this,
given the fact that this is raw, un noise blanked, un filtered to most
extent and with a heck of a lot of loran spill over is quite good. It
equates to a raw "S 5 or 6", dependant on whose dBv, m, u or whatever you
use. I do back off the agc and looking at the beacon as a source, gain
about 2 db further into the mush by doing this - If you listen on Echolink
you just hear mush and miss the QRN and static crashes spikes which would
pin the AGC to something like 9 +10 on some flashes last night. I leave in
6dB of attenuation given the noise figure which gives me another 0.2dB
further into the mush....It would/will be lovely to get Loran out of
ere....the loop antennae here never gives me any improvement on local s/n
so I use the big antennae....The 870 noise banker is excellent (I mean
excellent) at kicking out Loran.
Will be on again this evening - Echolink KL1X continues to transmit
137/137Khz audio in real time from here - I would be interested in reports
using your Argo linked to this connection remotely of how clearly you see
DC (or B!)F39 or Loran lines via this link - using QRSS 10/30/60...or not.
Doing a side by side comparison of what I see on my computer directly
connection to the 870 and what I see coming back via the Internet are not
much different - more on this anon.
Mal can you resend me your email address - Im not on 160m at the moment as
the tower is being worked on....
Well done on last night chaps...more this evening!?