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Old 04-05-2014, 08:50 PM   #1
ke0me
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Default sunspots and noise and new radio

Just bought new HF transceiver, been inactive for several years. Been listening on several bands with temporary (wire strung along apartment balcony) antennas.

so far, all I get is S-9 level noise across most bands. :-(
This is supposed to be near the peak of the solar cycle, so I would have thought I should hear quite a few stations.

thought it might be excessive RF noise from apartment building (fluorescent lights, motors, etc), so went to an open field, used a mag mount 20 Mtr whip on top of truck. Still S-9 noise, no stations heard.

Have the bands been closed or should I make a quick trip back to the store I purchased it at for a checkup?

Starting to worry it might be the radio, any suggestions???

Dick
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:42 AM   #2
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Noise levels have been up an down.. I'm finding 40 meters with my antenna is often good. 75/80 not so much, For some reason my long wire does not like 10 and I very rarley visit 15 or 20. Try 7268 in the afternoon (like 3-5) or 7272 mornings 9-Noon Times are eastern.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:43 AM   #3
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Yeah the noise yesterday afternoon was pretty high on the lower freqs. seems to calm down at night. Some antennas are more susceptible to noise than others if you were just using a long wire that maybe your answer.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:49 AM   #4
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It's all because of budget problems. FCC is so short of money that they've had to shut down several of the HF bands (temporarily, they claim).
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ke0me View Post
Starting to worry it might be the radio, any suggestions???

Dick
More seriously, if you are hearing atmospherics (static crashes, etc.) the radio is likely OK. If it weren't hearing, you wouldn't hear the noise. When a radio is dead, all you get is steady white noise generated within the radio itself. This is a steady, gentle hiss with no static crashes. It will never be S9, either.

You can test this yourself by simply disconnecting the antenna. If the noise changes to a gentle hiss, you were hearing atmospherics with the antenna connected. If disconnecting the antenna makes no difference, then suspect a dead receiver. It takes a working receiver to hear atmospheric noise.

This test is simple, and should be done on 40 or 80 meters for best discrimination. When 10 meters, for example, is dead, sometimes all you'll hear is locally generated hiss even with a good working receiver.

Ummm, by the way, be sure the RF gain is up all the way. If it's down, the radio will be dead even if nothing is wrong.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:22 PM   #6
ke0me
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Carl,

You first answer was classic! That was a good one!

I did hear 1 or 2 stations, but they were buried in the noise. The RF gain is up, so that's out.
The noise is not white noise hissing, so I'm guessing its atmospherics.
My next brainstorm is grounding. I'm basically running ungrounded ( in the apartment) so wonder if that is adding to the problem.

I will make more tests as I work on the trailer on Tuesday.

Stay tuned.

Dick
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:58 AM   #7
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Try some aircraft weather freq's they are all over the place so you can try pretty much any band close to the ham bands. http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/VOLMET. A ground would not hurt.
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