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 Is my radio totally deaf?

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pdes
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Call Sign : 26-CT-5122
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Join date : 2020-12-13
QTH or Location : Royston
Equipment Used : Anytone AT-5555 Plus, Silver Rod 1/2 Wave

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PostSubject: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeTue Mar 12, 2024 9:41 pm

I have just set up a nice little base station comprising an Anytone AT-5555 Plus, a Thunderpole 1/2 wave, mounted on the end of a shed 70 metres from the house and on a hill with just a few trees around.  I live in rural Cambridgeshire.  The SWR is a solid 1:1.

This setup has been operational for three days and I have scanned all frequencies in the five banks using all modes at all times of day.  I have heard nothing except for a couple of Italians blasting away, presumably with 1KW burners!!!!  I have called out for contacts but have not had any response!

I understood that now is a high sunspot area so thought there would be loads of SSB signals during the evening.  I also thought that with this setup, I would pick up transmissions on the "muppet" channels as I am only 10 miles from Cambridge.

Is it really so quiet out there?

One question regarding the UK CB frequencies: They all end in .25 but the AT-5555 only has the "whole number" frequencies.  Do I have to "clarify" each channel to accurately tune to the UK 27MHz channels?

TIA, David  26-CT-5122

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 13, 2024 6:28 am

Hi David,

It is a bit quiet CB wise around our neck of the woods but there are people out there if you persist for long enough. As for 'skip' conditions they vary wildly sometimes hearing nothing and other times being blasted from every corner of the globe!

For the upper HF bands (11m or CB included) the best DX activity usually occurs during daylight hours and can romp in during the 'greyline zone' just before, during and after dawn and again when the sun sets in the evening. Again this is not guaranteed but working the greyline can be exciting when conditions are good.

The other times of activity are during the 'Sporadic E' season usually allowing Continental contacts to be easily made and oftens occurs during the summer months as well as bursts around mid winter. Quite often these type of conditions continue throughout the day and well into the evening during the summer due to the shorter nights.

When conditions are great not only can you gain contacts into the Americas but also much further afield and that's part of the excitement of working those upper HF frequencies. Is my radio totally deaf? 1f44d 

Three days is not long enough to experience the fun that can be had with radio and we are no longer in the heady days of ninteen-clickety-click when everyone had a CB at their disposal. Back in the day a "Nineteen for a copy" always got you results but not so much nowadays depending on CB activity in your area. (Some areas are lucky with many local CB users.)

Worth giving it all a little bit of time there David and especially with the coming summer months where the activity should be much better especially for DX contacts.

I know that when I returned after a similar length away from it I was shocked at how quiet the bands were but my first summer saw me blasting into Europe which was great fun. It soon all quietened off though and as I had the radio bug back by then I went on to take my Ham radio licence. (As many here have done.) At least with those extra frequencies at your disposal there is always some sort of radio activity whenever you feel like switching on the radio. Smile

Give it time, relax and enjoy it at your leisure as the radio game often means you're in it for the long haul. Well worth it in the end for the indescribably good feeling you gain from a simple radio contact.


Often some will pursue the path of huge antennas, beams, high power etc. to better enjoy their radio activities but it's not always as helpful as seems. You'll still get 'dead' times and no amount of extra power in the world helps if you can't hear anyone out there.

As for your 'Muppets' mention with the '125' frequencies I wouldn't overly worry. You can clarify in but as this is usually FM frequencies you won't notice the difference on the whole. In fact you'd be hard pressed to find two CB users on the exact same frequency when you view the bands on a waterfall spectrum scope! (Similar examples are seen on FM modes elsewhere such as the 144MHz or 2m Amateur band. Wink )

We do live in a push-button/instant gratification world nowadays with a lot of activities but the radio interest is still one of those that you should relax with much like something akin to fishing. Cast your line carefully, sit back and get ready for the inevitable action when you finally get a bite!


I wish you well there David.

All the best,
Victor

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pdes
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Call Sign : 26-CT-5122
Posts : 22
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Join date : 2020-12-13
QTH or Location : Royston
Equipment Used : Anytone AT-5555 Plus, Silver Rod 1/2 Wave

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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 13, 2024 2:36 pm

Hi Victor,  Thanks so much for the comprehensive response.  I will certainly be sticking at it as I am hoping to relive the buzz I got in the 70s when I got returns from many miles away.  Glad to know that I an not having radio probs!!  It's interesting to know that you are a (relatively) few miles away.  Who knows we may bump into each others frequence at some point.

Is there a regular Charlie Tango net meet?  The only reference I could find was three years old!!

73s, David

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pdes
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Call Sign : 26-CT-5122
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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 13, 2024 2:45 pm

Sorry, just found the meetings section Embarassed Embarassed on the website!!

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 13, 2024 4:30 pm

No worries David and if anything I am pretty thorough with my responses on the forum. (Some call it my 'waffle'. Wink )

I'm not that far from you but my setup is mostly for the Ham side of things nowadays and I run a horizontal antenna meaning we'd have up to a 20dB loss if trying to reach each other. (Several S points in reality.) It does mean that I don't have 20 odd foot of antenna sticking above my house attracting the attention of my nosey village neighbours! Very Happy

I'd love to bump into you on air but don't want to leave you despondent by promising a schedule when we may not reach each other. Surprisingly I've got more chance of catching you if you lived in Italy than down the road with my setup. I have tried in the past even after explaining my situation to other members in the region and then they disappear from the forum when we've failed to have a QSO. I'd rather not repeat that excercise and as already mentioned leave people feeling despondent about it all. I've got 94 worldwide countries in my logs and only recently caught a very good friend in Milton Keynes on the radio but only after much infuriation with several years of trying. Even then we've only managed a VHF contact QTH to QTH!

There are many nets running around the UK on CB frequencies with a lot utilising SSB so might be worth a scan around the airwaves to see what's what. With the limited local ranges and CB users being fewer and far between nowadays local contacts can be a hit and miss affair so for most it's the excitement of the DX possibilities that attract the most attention.

Again I wish you well and hope you get to enjoy the excitement that can be had with the Sporadic E propagation into Europe this summer and who knows maybe even a Stateside contact or two should conditions be favourable. Is my radio totally deaf? 1f44d 


73,
Victor

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babis3g
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Call Sign : 18-CT-006
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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 13, 2024 5:19 pm

Even down to Greece the last 2-3 days at EU40 midaband are not much from central Europe (usually are there with good DX days) ... at UK40 FM band very few appearing from time to time

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pdes
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Call Sign : 26-CT-5122
Posts : 22
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Join date : 2020-12-13
QTH or Location : Royston
Equipment Used : Anytone AT-5555 Plus, Silver Rod 1/2 Wave

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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeThu Mar 14, 2024 10:55 am

Victor wrote:
No worries David and if anything I am pretty thorough with my responses on the forum. (Some call it my 'waffle'. Wink )

I'm not that far from you but my setup is mostly for the Ham side of things nowadays and I run a horizontal antenna meaning we'd have up to a 20dB loss if trying to reach each other. (Several S points in reality.) It does mean that I don't have 20 odd foot of antenna sticking above my house attracting the attention of my nosey village neighbours! Very Happy

I'd love to bump into you on air but don't want to leave you despondent by promising a schedule when we may not reach each other. Surprisingly I've got more chance of catching you if you lived in Italy than down the road with my setup. I have tried in the past even after explaining my situation to other members in the region and then they disappear from the forum when we've failed to have a QSO. I'd rather not repeat that excercise and as already mentioned leave people feeling despondent about it all. I've got 94 worldwide countries in my logs and only recently caught a very good friend in Milton Keynes on the radio but only after much infuriation with several years of trying. Even then we've only managed a VHF contact QTH to QTH!

There are many nets running around the UK on CB frequencies with a lot utilising SSB so might be worth a scan around the airwaves to see what's what. With the limited local ranges and CB users being fewer and far between nowadays local contacts can be a hit and miss affair so for most it's the excitement of the DX possibilities that attract the most attention.

Again I wish you well and hope you get to enjoy the excitement that can be had with the Sporadic E propagation into Europe this summer and who knows maybe even a Stateside contact or two should conditions be favourable. Is my radio totally deaf? 1f44d 


73,
Victor
Well, I found out one of the reasons why the rig seemed "deaf".  I was receiving blanket noise with 1 second pulses across all of the SSB.  One of our fellow members suggested that it could be local interference and with an electricity sub station 100 yards away, I was thinking that this would be the begining and the end!  However, I turned of my Powerline wifi extender that gives me internet into the shed and voila!!  The noise was reduced to "normal" and the pulsing stopped. cheers.  Although very quiet in the "mush" I started hearing distant voices.  Hopefully I will get something more local as I still haven't had a response to my shouts.  Maybe this will help others experiencing high noise levels.  Rgds and 73s Devid

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GaryWilson
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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeThu Mar 14, 2024 12:00 pm

A classic case of PLT David,

Power line WiFi adaptors are a huge source of unwanted RF. The devices are supposed to be filtered to stop them interfering with radio service users. Unfortunately 27Mhz isn't a protected service so they don't usually filter the devices on that band.

You should find that if you tune up into the 10 meter amateur band that the PLT noise will fade away.

The situation today has reversed in a sense that we no longer are a threat to things like TV and commercial radio but all our modern devices are a threat to our hobby. Many operators are forced to go mobile to get away from all of this unwanted RF.

Watch out for wall wart chargers as well they can be another source of unwanted noise.

Best 73 Gary.

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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Is my radio totally deaf?   Is my radio totally deaf? Icon_minitimeThu Mar 14, 2024 4:19 pm

Ah, so not "deaf" or "really so quiet out there" but plagued with QRM/noise?

At least you've solved one problem with your powerline wi-fi extender for now.

As Gary mentions there's many modern sources of RFI/noise afflicting the radio hobby. Onwards and upwards. Is my radio totally deaf? 1f44d 


73

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