Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bad Radio, Good Radio

A friend recently wrote this piece, and it cracked me up so much that it just HAD to get posted...used by permission of course!

Based on many recent and not so recent threads, one can come to some interesting conclusions... to wit:
Contesting is bad. Contesting clogs the bands, causes QRM, is a waste of time and energy, is pointless, is mindless, is repetitive, only the same rich guys win all the time anyway, and is part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

Ragchewing is bad. Mindless chatter that could be handled through other modern communication modes, a bunch of old folks talking about the same thing day after day after day, causing interference, annoys everyone, and is part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

Nets are bad. Nets think they "own" a frequency, net operators are rude, they insist on being in the same place at the same time regardless of what else is going on, half the time they do what commercial services should be doing anyway, especially the boaters, and is part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

Speaking of boaters, WinLink is bad. It's an evil plot to let the vast hordes of rich yachtsmen on the high seas take over the amateur bands when they should be using commercial services, they cause interference, the users are rude and uncarring, and since WinLink is promoted by the ARRL for emergency use, it's part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

EmComm is bad. How dare we amateurs think we can do the jobs of the professionals, the EmComm boys (& girls) are just a bunch of cop wannabe "whackers" wasting everybody's time and getting in the way, and sucking up federal dollars to boot, and is part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

Repeaters are bad. Repeater owners are hogging frequencies, not letting anyone operate wherever the want, demanding dues money to fix the machines when they actually pocket it, and also feeding at the federal EmComm money trough to enrich themselves, are rude, and are part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

DX'ing is bad. Waste of time, all those lids calling "59" or "599" for pointless quick contacts... just like those dang contesters... attracting jammers and frequency police, irritating the bureaucrats of the worlds countries by demanding operating permissions, and all that money that they demand for QSL cards, to say nothing of annoying the post office by demanding that they sell and cash IRC's, and are another part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

CW is bad. Outdated mode should be sent to the scrap heap along with Spark, too hard to learn, taking up valuable SSB frequency space, and part of the great ARRL plot to take over the world.

SSB is bad. Frequency hog, CW & digital much more efficient, walking on top of other users, and part of the yada yada yada.

Digital is bad. Stupid computer users, don't they know that computers belong on the Internet, interferring with CW and SSB ops with their many incompatible modes, and part of the yada yada yada.

Special event calls & stations? Bad. Too hard to track. Wasting valuable band space on the weekends. Yada yada yada.

Experimenting? Waste of time.
Repair equipment? Why bother, you can't get the parts.
Vintage equipment? Quit being a cheapskate, buy modern gear.
Antenna regulations? How dare you put up an antenna without kissing the entire neighborhood's collective butt, despoiling the landscape, causing interference, yada yada yada.
I've probably missed a few things, but I think I've made my point:

If all this is bad for Amateur Radio, then what is good for it?

If you think that there's so much wrong with amateur radio, why are YOU still in it?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shortwave AM Log (Life Above 1.800.00Khz)

7.332.00: Voice Of Russia / Mode: AM Voice
This program was heard at 0500UTC to 0600UTC with a focus on the Space Program, countries obtaining weapons, and the Moscow Revolution of 1917.

7.730.00: German Language / Mode: AM Voice (0537UTC switching between this freq and 7.332.00) I hate to sit on one freq for too long! Call it itchy VFO finger.

9.482.00: French Language / Mode: AM Voice

5.230.00LSB: Something that sounds like a cartoon ray gun. It comes and goes but always has another signal under it. "Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep" with that cosmic kind of audio to it.

5.936.00: Pastor Melissa (former porn star turned preacher) Mode: AM Voice

5.985.00: China Radio International, Chinese Language Broadcast in Mandarin. / Mode: AM Voice

Tracking The Cuban Numbers Lady

Long winded with a message to be heard. That's the Cuban numbers lady. Some say the pretty voice is just too much to keep up with while others hang on to hear the finale, and give it their best to crack her mysterious code.

This past Saturday evening into Sunday morning, she was heard as always faithfully making herself known on 5.885.00Khz. She's on other frequencies as well, others have verified it. Now we are asking the question "How many stations are there using her voice?" A better question as of late Saturday evening is why did she use the same numeric pad as some weeks ago on the same frequency? What was the meaning of the cipher this time around?

Assuming that the purpose of the cipher is to hide the meaning of communications, and the function of the station(s) is not anything lawful...did they use the same cipher pad to test the waters and see if it would be noticed? Are they trying to get caught? Was it a distraction game to keep listeners away from the real broadcast taking place on another frequency at the same time? What other frequency was used that night? When was it used? How was it used? What mode and signal strength were used?

Reports state: "
17.515 at 00.00UTC on Saturday", "I've been hearing her for the past few weekends, usually late on Sunday night around the same time", "I've noticed they'll often run a dead carrier for some time just before they actually start."

Ya know what was strange with this broadcast? The dead carrier came at the end of the transmission and her voice faded out more and more as the dead carrier got stronger and stronger. Eventually, after about five or seven more minutes under the carrier..poof! She was gone!