Sunday, January 31, 2010

Canadian Pirate Arrested - Equipment Confiscated

A minor in Canada, all of 14 years old was arrested and had his equipment confiscated in Ottawa, Canada recently. Complaints to IC and other authorities in combination with a reported suicide threat made by the minor, who was operating his pirate station out of his Father's strip club had authorities on to his operation quickly.

A popular Canadian radio forum first broke news of this pirate station, known as MixFM. This young man also posted his telephone number and actually took callers who were then put on the air. Reports state that MixFM programming was mixed with profanity and diatribes.

According to available information, the youngster may have been running at up to 3.5KW ERP while using a dipole mounted on a tower. The first website used by MixFM on a service called piczo has been removed, but MixFM is back as an internet broadcast operation without the benefit of generating RF.

At this juncture, the young man who is not being named due to the fact that he is a minor, has vowed to obtain RF generating transmitter equipment again and put his unlicensed operation back on the air.

As a side comment, this blog questions Industry Canada's competency in another matter related to this as far as why they cannot take VE7KFM off the air and yank his license, yet they can take this young man off the air using all sorts of manpower.

Linkage is here , here, and  here

Friday, January 29, 2010

HF Propagation: Have You Ever Wondered?

Anyone who turns on a shortwave receiver or an amateur HF radio in any mode (AM or SSB) may notice that the signal comes and goes. This is called fading. Although fading isn't always bad, there are times when it's bad enough that you turn your radio off in disgust.

Many people blame bad HF reception on near-by electronic sources and this can sometimes be the case, but if you have your listening station properly set up, then you may be no victim of local interference, but to a change in ionospheric propagation.

This well written piece over at QSL.Net says it is a beginner's introduction to understanding propagation, however, it is so well written and so concise that you just might become an expert just by reading and understanding everything.That said, it would be understandable if a person wanted to further pursue the subject of ionospheric propagation.

There will be more coming on the subjects of antenna's and propagation in the future. The follow up posts to using antennas will be forthcoming and is under development.