ShopTalk Sunday:  SDR 101 (and HVAC Install) School

Before we get started on SDR school, a few quick notes on the new nearly noise-free air conditioner unit.  It was on sale – part of Amazon Prime Days – and it works as advertised.  Quietly.

Over time you learn that the best a/c installation is where you get air moving as freely around your unit – inside the home – as possible.

Inside view of air conditioner installation
Notice here that horizontal light reflecting surface This is the wood of the counter recently exposed by Office Archeology under tons of paper tools notebooks and<em> Post Its<em> 4 coats of gloss spar varnish and it has been well preserved by desktop clutter blocking 100 percent of UV for 15 years

In my office, in front of the window, a laser printer and paper sit over the a/c area.  Leaving a good flow of air.  Failure to make sure the machine is in the relative “wide open” can result in hot and cold spots in a room.   Before I made these changes, the electronics bench in front of the a/c but 10-feet out, was already Alaskan cold.  Now, it’s much more even.

Second detail on the install is paying a lot of attention not only to the window sealing but adding to it – if you don’t mind the look – with some additional air sealing from duct tape.

All we had on hand for this was regular (cloth) duct tape, but when I get around to it, some caulking along seams and then some metal-backed commercial duct tape.

Seems like a lot of effort, and to an extent, it is.  However, even small amounts of air exchange through cracks will have an impact on your cooling bill.  So, think of this part as “Paying Attention to Money.”

SDRs and Survival Shortwave Listening

We recently offered a two-part article on the ATS-25 shortwave radio. Because in a survival situation, having access to as much [unfiltered] news and information as possible just seems like a good thing.

You will want to at least scan the two articles because there is a lot of information on frequencies, for example, that will apply to ALL shortwave radios.

Why and How of SDR?

(S)oftware (D)efined (R)adios came about because of a device called an RTL Dongle. To follow here, we need a kind of “Adam and Eve” discussion.

Understand that “in the beginning” there was Radio which begat Television. And over time, TV entered the digital age, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) because digital is so useful.  The old broadcast standards (NTSC and PAL) just didn’t quite “cut it.”

The DVB’s framing structure supported CSA – common scrambling algorithm – for security (and Pay-per-View). And as everyone knows today, without encryption, you can’t sell things (like video) for profit.  So, one “flavor” became DVB-S (for DVB for space-based use).  The other development leg was optimized for Terrestrial use, as DVB-T. Ah.

And then came Realtek.

This is a Taiwanese company (and the kind of thing the U.S. and Mainland China would both love to own) which came out with an inexpensive chipset which does DVB-T processing rather brilliantly.

As one site explains: (Their) RTL2832U is a high-performance DVB-T COFDM demodulator that supports a USB 2.0 interface. The RTL2832U is compatible with NorDig Unified 1.0.3, D-Book 5.0, and EN300 744 (ETSI Specification). It supports 2K or 8K mode with 6, 7, and 8MHz bandwidth. Modulation parameters, e.g., code rate, and guard interval, are automatically detected.”

You don’t say?

Invention Begins Here

To my simple-minded *(arguably addled) thinking, you don’t really “own knowledge” until you have played Detective.  When you know where a tech “came from” you can get a better sense of where it’s going…

The Detecting begins with Analogizing. Rip that PC open, would you?

On the inside of a computer, I want you to think about the data buss for a minute. It can be very fast (measured in megahertz and going giga).  Which, when you think about it, it almost in the loosest sense, is how a radio receiver works.

What IF, for example, instead of plugging an RTL chip into the computer buss, we instead insert a length of wire (as an antenna) and then letting the chipset output something to a receiver that could be demodulated in software? Block conversion like the satellite block converters in the LNBs…

Exactly how: Software Defined Radio came to be invented.

Evolution of Radio Traced

There was a period, from roughly 1990 to late 1998 when the military was interested in a series of projects grouped as “Speak-Easy” phase 1. Radios were already coming with computer control of frequency. Which was becoming massively better with the advent of direct digital synthesis. Wiki along:

“From 1990 to 1995, the goal of the SpeakEasy program was to demonstrate a radio for the U.S. Air Force tactical ground air control party that could operate from 2 MHz to 2 GHz, and thus could interoperate with ground force radios (frequency-agile VHF, FM, and SINCGARS), Air Force radios (VHF AM), Naval Radios (VHF AM and HF SSB teleprinters) and satellites (microwave QAM). Some particular goals were to provide a new signal format in two weeks from a standing start and demonstrate a radio into which multiple contractors could plug parts and software.”

In this period some interesting things happen – all pretty much at once. My employer at the time was SGC, an American HF radio manufacturer in Bellevue, WA.  Radio internal topologies had already begun to change as more and more aspects of computers were being installed inside radios. At SGC, we hadn’t gotten to full-on software-based middleware of radios, IF sections, which is what the modern DSP middle of HF radios are – but the techniques of digital (frequency) synthesizers were improving quickly. With it came computer frequency control.

The military had signed onto the FS-1045 ALE standard, too. Frederick Electronics in Virginia (look surprised) had developed a box called an Automatic Link Establishment controller. This unit’s computer processor looked at the audio signals (and tones) coming out of the speaker end of a radio. Then made tuning decisions based on signal to noise measurements (LQA – link quality analysis scores) which in turn told the microprocessor (already in the SG2000 radio at the time, where to tune next.

Frequency-agile HF radio was channelized and radios would try different bands (depending on time or day or night) to keep the best LQA’s possible. When signals dropped, the ALE controller went into signal hunting. Change bands and try there, and again as needed.
Damn neat stuff.

Think of this as almost a halfway mark between a single chip world (which RTL-SDR moves toward which we’ll come to presently). At this point the signal transited radio front end, computer-controlled synthesizer, then back to a conventional intermedia frequency.  The computer was in the radio frequency section partnered with one in the ALE controller.

In true software defined radios, the signal path is antenna to mixer (downconverter and/or RTL device) and from there it’s all in your computer.  The Intermediate frequency is now digital so “later days” for the old-school intermediate frequency transformers and problematic noise sources of electronic black magic. It was just “software.”

Over time, we’ve been doing less and less “radio” and more and more “computer.” The hottest modes on ham radio are digital. Like personal texting worldwide – but with no Internet needed.  Typing to pals in Central America, for example.

Which was great for the military.  Interoperability between on-the-fly configurations became possible.  And as the “migration” from radio to “extended input computer” continued, the military was able to invent a modulation waveform on the fly and then push it out over networks.  Really interesting stuff! Nuclear survivable, in a manner of speaking.


There is one more hip shot (which came out of Speak-Easy phase 2 earlier).  The world of (configurable, on-the-fly) radios could also be “time-shared” by many operators.

A dandy example of modern (but just for now) WebSDR (web-based, software defined radio) allows many people to use a common interface.  You can take it for a spin right now on your home computer by clicking over to WebSDR at EM84an ( and give it a try. Turn your speakers up.

On the left side of the menu, hit the 20-meter band.  Leave most of the rest alone.  On the center/right, in the frequency area, dial in 14.050 MHz with the big >>> arrows.  Then tune slower with the >> and > arrows.  Welcome to my world!  This is the calling frequency for SKCC – the Straight Key Century Club (which I of course, belong to, ahem). Morse with a hand key art hangs out in here.

The antennas on this publicly accessible SDR are pretty good. If you buy and hook up an SDR to your computer, this is about what you will be able to hear with a reasonable antenna. The time of day may be different, though, depending on your location.  Just remember, if you’re in the city, the noise floor is likely to be higher if you go SDR on your own.

If you’ve decided that you want an SDR radio of your own, and you have a computer, there are several steps in the decision process to run through.  You will need to figure out which Interface you like, then which radio you prefer.  And even how many radios you want to operate at one time.

We’ll grapple with these one at a time, starting with the Interface.


The real name is SDR++ but since in some operating systems the “+” has reserved uses, SDRPP is the file to find and download to get started. Get thee hither: SDR++ (

On the web, you will also find SDR Sharp, and a number of other programs and more ink splashed on this than I would have believed possible.

Now, having said all that, on SDR++ make sure to set the Audio tab on the pulldown.  And I might have recorded a few samples except, when I put my NESDR-Smart (V3) into Q-Branch (no, not you, 007 – the other Q branch!) the HF sensitivity sucked.  So bad, I couldn’t hear bupkis from the Big Ham Antennas which is simply absurd.

Of course, the first step was to fire up the big Rhode & Schwarz SYM signal generator and there was nothing until I got up to 2 Volts of signal at 11.260 MHz in the HF band.  “Well, hell, that cain’t be right!”  So, the cheap DDS meter was brought up.  Yep, still 2.1 volts on the same frequency.

Which resulted in Ure pissing away a good chunk of the day Saturday trying to find where all the signal was going.  Replaced cables, load different SDR platforms, look for fine print on Q branch settings.

This is an area of pretty intensive interest (SDRs in general) but for now, those systems that advertise “tunes down to 100 KHz and up to 1.7 GHz” may be accurate, insofar at the tuning goes (on the display dial). But, in terms of a competition-grade receiver?  Sorry, the SDR-Play SDR (from Ham Radio Outlet and other radio retailers) runs circles around the plain cheap SDRs in Q branch mode.

Or may…just maybe I have a bum Nooelec NESDR-Smart.  As a test, I took a different manufacturer (cheapo eBay ADSB – aircraft tracking oriented unit) and put in on the 10-meter ham band.  And promptly got down into the 50 millivolt range.  Not great shakes by any stretch.  An old HR-10 tube receiver was better – by a long shot.  BUT SDR works – to the degree you define “works.”

On the other hand, with the Ham-It-Up, things got better – but not great. Around 20 microvolts. Is it a “smoking hot receiver?”  Not yet.  And the Ham-It-Up doesn’t help much above 25 MHz.

Then I swapped cables.  Things got distinctly better!

Even so, at best – at least in my experiments – it’s like an old (legacy) radio.  Not even the modern vintage of tube gear from the late 1960’s.  The Collins 75-S3B receivers from that era regularly clock in -146 dBm sensitivity numbers.  In fact, if you really want to get down and rock it in the noise floor, jump over to Rob Sherwood’s site (Receiver Test Data ( and here’s where radio Gospel is written and double-checked.

What you’ll see is my Kenwood TS-590S is down in the -138/-139 dBm kind of range.  So, if an SDR isn’t able to at least get close (try -131 dBm or better) they are a time sink.

Son G2 (also an extra class ham, remember) has a similar viewpoint.  “Unless you really need SDR for specific missions like mapping SCADA traffic or things like that, why bother?  It’s all about tactical radio…”  Someone taught the kid well…

As I worked the problem: turns out I’m not the only one skeptical of SDR performance.  RTL-SDR v3 Kit: Strategies to Increase Signal to Noise Ratio when Mounted Indoors? : r/sdr (

Yes, I Got it Working.

Was there any doubt?  Hell no.  Here’s where we got to (about) the signal being about 6 dB above the noise floor on the Rhode:

Noise floor for signal retrieval
About 1055 dBm is about the best I could come up with

This was eyeballed.  Looking at the 5 db divisions on screen of SDR++ and adjusting the signal generator to pop the signal 6 db above the peaks of noise.

Screen capture from SDR++
The signal is in the vertical stripe tuning indicator and its the white trace up from the noise a division and a bit

OK, useable, useful, but do we have to think it’s all that grand?

Lookie here: Apples to noise: The ATS-25 was giving a better signal to noise at -131.2 dBm – about 2-10ths of a microvolt.  THAT’s what I’m talking.  See why SDR skepticism reigns on the range?

The Interface Overload

Power Systems World back in 1998 or 1999 (time blurs) I did a poster paper on issues of Complexity at the MMI (Man-Machine-Interface).  It was all about getting the job done in the most direct ways possible (in terms of button presses and menuing, and so forth; back then, this was new tech, right?).

One of the problems with SDR is that people get wholly overwhelmed with the interface and the data.  

Not to hurt a bunch of people’s feelings, but spending hours and hours looking at flight data and tracking ADSB reports from aircraft is not nearly as interesting as flying with ATC on your speaker and CAVU conditions with the yoke in your hand.

See, in the real world, ADSB is just a tool.  The same radio as before, a new encoding transponder and a nifty-neato display overlay on the tracking map. But to spend hours and hours?  Well, no…

And all those controls in software?  When I want to communicate, I want it right freaking NOW and not 3-menus, a software restart and 2 new driver updates later.  See where my fascination with older style – great working gear – comes from?

Same with our airplane. We were early adopters with ADSB – and really loved it.  Totally.  But people networking and spending hours with ADSB receivers and listening to pilots?  Nope.

The real fun is down at the airport washing the plane and sucking down cold ones.  That’s the essence of flying, in addition to being able to slip on final and nail the numbers every time.  THAT is the difference between doers and spectators.  But don’t get me rolling down that road…

You only need a selection of a few controls on any radio.  In order of importance, maybe it’s tuning, volume and the mode of listening (AM, FM, Morse/CW, Single sideband…etc.). Making me “minimize menus” to keep from brain implosion in a forest fire of pixels isn’t what ADSB is (speaking as a pilot, former R&E mechanic, and ham…yada, yada…).

What made certain radios (old school) so popular was in how the controls were arranged and how the oldies but goodies ended up sounding so AMAZING.

Go back to your childhood.  Can you remember how similar every transistor radio you ever used, was?  Right – much of the “best software for SDR” flows into this mold. A little different form factor, but a radio station coming out a speaker. Volume and tuning dial.  And even today, on a cold winter’s night, an old GE SuperRadio is still a gem. They’re all over eBay around $60 bucks. So’s the Hallicrafters WR-4000 on the bench for restoration…another ShopTalk for another day.

OK, not being a Luddite here, but there’s a damn good reason we did the simple, reliable, easy to use (comes with battery) and no computer needed radio (ATS-25) before we got into the SDR discussion. They work better.

SDR-Play makes good gear.  That my NooElec isn’t sensitive (to my specs and liking) could be a computer power supply issue, like a low 5-volt rail, or something else.  We’ll track it all down. But if you want ADSB, I suppose, yes, SDR has its place.  Sort of.

EXCEPT  IF you get into SDR: these being computery items, the more bits? The better!  An SDR using a 12-bit front end dongle would underperform 14-bits which would pale in front of 16-bits.  We could dive into this digital deep end, but to what end?

IF you have a choice, buy more bit depth. Spend more money.  A to D (and D to A) conversion has been getting better over time and it’s still on path to do Moore’s law up to some point in the future.  Bet on more bits, not less.

Here’s an idea: Rather than sit on your ass and listen to pilots and ADSB talk, spend the time and money to get an introduction to flying lesson at the local general aviation airfield.  You can build your own Light Sport aircraft and actually do some adventuring.  Sitting at home listening to (us/we) pilots isn’t nearly as cool as the balls of steel that go with actually doing it.

Whew…moving along…

Introduction to SDR++

I could spend the rest of your day going through what to do next. (Listen to foreign shortwave and the 20-meter ham band with a cold one on an ATS-25? Works for me…)

Instead, hit YouTube and follow this tutorial.

Basic settings are explained.

Last point, before we go coffee-stalking:  There IS a difference between SDR’s using Q-branch direct conversion versus using a dedicated up converter. Below 25 MHz, that is.

The “stock” SDR dongle inputs from about 25 MHz and up into the gigahertz range.  While some RTL-SDR dongles can use Q-branch to extend listening to lower (more interesting to us) frequencies, the Ham-It-Up upconverter takes the HF radio signal and converts it UP to the native 25-MHz and higher conventional SDR input range.  This results in somewhat better signal to noise performance.

There are many converters to choose from.  I have both the SpyVerter and the Ham-It-Up.  Love it all.

Barebones, as in no case, the Ham-It-Up runs $45 on Amazon.  Very similar in price to the Air Spy SpyVerter which you can order from AirSpy here. I ordered a new SpyVerter (liked it for its purpose).  But like G2 said, it’s only got one mission and that’s in a SHTF situation, running continuous scanning of whole banks of carefully screened channels (GMRS, Marine VHF, CB, etc.) that crooks and clowns of the cleverer stripe will use when things go south.

SDR is down the list after a ton of other prepping agenda items.  Got food, rounds, meds, been on a 100-yard range with iron sites, lately?

Where’s the Horizon?

You get to a point in life where you’re wondering what you’re really after.  Especially, in something as complex as SDR can be.

As a survival radio? The ATS-25 and a small plug-in solar charger (like the not terribly spendy ones for a cell phone) will be easiest to use – and keep using – in the event of an actual emergency prepping case.

That’s because what?  All of the SDRs of this high-performance stripe require a computer.  I like SDR++ because we can get it for all three major OS around the ranch.  G2 is a Mac guy. I’m Win10/11 but migrating to Linux…so the one thing software wise is three flavors counts.

If you have robust home power, and computing, and you want to run multiple radios to gather intel, then take a look at RSP Radio’s RSPDuo here. Two tuners (and supporting diversity) all within one app.

Sidebar: Diversity here doesn’t have anything to do with ESG (thank God!). Diversity in radio receivers means two complete radios right up to the audio section. Voting over what amounts to LQA scoring and selecting that source. Way cool and helps in specific signal conditions.

This gets into another key computing question – maybe to tackle in next week’s ShopTalk: Should you have a “survival computer” platform (or several) anyway?

IF you are just looking for a quick hit of dopamine (trying something new) an hour or three of the online WebSDR may sort you out.

On the other hand, I’m tinkering around with “portal” instrumentation and (hold onto your hat, this will get weird…) working on signals down in the Earth Sounds range of extremely low frequencies for possible concurrent indicators.

This is the spectrum – 1 kilohertz and up – where the electromagnetic waves take on some interesting personalities and sounds.  An audio collection earth sounds may be found here. Look for the one “Whistle echo trains. They result when the radio wave bounces back and forth between magnetic conjugate points.” Neat stuff.

It occurs to me, that while trying to “light” portals here, we MIGHT be also looking for coincident 1.6 gigahertz signals (using a standard SDR as the spectrum analyzer) AND in addition seeing if there’s any concurrence with Earth sounds.

Sure, it’s a low probability of finding anything, but above zero compared with no one bothering to look at all.

Which circles us back to the “Where’s the Horizon?” question.

If I want to bang out 20-30 words per minute Morse on the 20-meter ham band, a Kenwood TS-590 and 2 KW amp are always at the ready. “Alexa: turn on Echelon.”  Focus matters. Does an SDR help?  Not so much – but that’s me.

Once you get through the “thrill” of talking anywhere in the world with Morse, you look for new horizons.  Logging contacts via ham radio with 100 or more countries, and so forth.

Which is how I work up to warning you of the inherent dangers of SDR’s.  Ask before jumping-in headfirst, “What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?”

If the SDR solves it, you’ll have a dandy time buying and listening – and it’s a superb cold winter night hobby.

EXCEPT an old school tube type radio like my Hallicrafters Super Defiant SX-25, or the SX-100, are really much more esthetically pleasing, not to mention warm from their vacuum tubes for winter listening. Though sure, at the margins, unable to compete for deep in-noise signal retrieval like DSP can.

Alas! As in Life, clarity of purpose defines usefulness and reward level of goals achieved, if you follow.

Our next Ham Radio adventure will be G2 learning Morse code.  We’re building up a couple of $15-dollar Pixie2 kits next week, or the week after.  Learning Morse puts the digital conversion in your head. Useful forever.  But not for the lazy.

Not as many sparklies as SDR. A volume knob, tuning knob and a key.  A few feet of wire.  But they are two-way radios and the receivers are surprisingly good for a chip, or two. Better than some HF SDRs except the few good ones.

Write when you get rich, or just get more dialed in… off to chew the fat on 3806 with the Tejas boyz…

Write when you get rich,, ac7x

35 thoughts on “ShopTalk Sunday:  SDR 101 (and HVAC Install) School”

  1. Back to basic nuts & bolts? Try a Narco VHT3 with 6 crystals. That was my only contact with the outside world when I flew my ’59 150 from Dallas to LA, up the west coast to Yosemite Nat’l Park and back. That’s an adventure I’ll never forget!

  2. Tnx for ats25 sensitivity, thinking of getting one as a toy. But why then does everyone who gets one say they can’t get anything on the whip but local FM broadcast?

    • I think I put this in the fine print of the ATS-25 article somewhere, but two things.
      1. There is a switch on the back of the radio for the antenna. One position is for FM and the other is for everything else.
      2. A short whip antenna – in the house – and potentially a house built when foil-backed insulation batting was installed in outside walls – won’t get much in the way of anything other than noise, anyway. I mean a Collins 75-S3C breathed on by the legendary Howard Mills ( and being one of the best low internal noise radios EVER – would still require a 15-foot minimum piece of wire OUTSIDE and at least a halfway reasonable ground AND all the internal house noises (*dimmers etc) found and solved (they are problems, right)_ before one would expect to get very much.

      I was just doing some study (coincidental you’d write, right?) on the amount of DC filtering both Art Collins (on the 75-S3B and Halligan (at Hallicrafters) did on the SX-117 (which I own three or four of at last count). Those of us – including the likes and Hank and Ray and the other extra class hams know – is that sometimes the “secret sauce is just that. Secret. In the power supply!
      You’ll see that both Collins and Hallicrafters were pretty meticulous in their power supply designs because whether based on internal engineering skookum, or simply through trial and error, they got to one secret to a great radio is in having ultra-low noise everything in the receiver – and that means the oscillators, mixers, and interstage coupling in particular close to the front end (antenna end) of the radio.
      They way they did this was by using a 3-section pi power supply filter for the “mission critical parts of the radio. Others lucked out which gas regulator tunes (OA2 Ob2, VR-150 etc) which also cleaned up the noise remnants and yielding lower power supply noise.
      One of my idle pastimes is a dream radio – based on the “best of all worlds” embodied in the SX-117. With all the mods, too. The goal being to get the power clean enough, replacing noisy carbon resisters with film resistors and with less noisy caps…meaning swap out any older caps in the radio. With the goal of getting down into the -150 dbm range on the receiver. That’s going to be some work.
      But don’t run off – this IS going somewhere.
      In the RTL-SDR dongles, there’s a performance trade-off in how good and clean the power is. Filtering takes space and costs money. Besides, the goal is getting a signal through the front end and off to the A/D converter.
      EXCEPT that the whole game in radio noise floors is won or lost in the first few stages before you get to the second IF, or so. After that?>
      Yeah the audio might be better or worse, but measuring in the noise floor doesn’t change much.
      In SDRs the specs they are after include things like stability. Well, with only X square mm of board space for components, you can only do so much with low noise design.
      Frankly it was really interesting (and yeah, I was surprised) that the ATS-25 kicked the ass of both the NESDR-Smart and Ham-It-Up and an ADBS SDR with the AirSpy (*which was closer, a bit).
      Back to the point: I don’t mean to loosely throw around the term “noise” because in the engineering sense, noise can be from too short an antenna inside a shielded house, out to my playfield which is a fascination with local oscillator phase noise and jitter – which shows up as spurious mixer noise on the output. Even in “disciplined oscillators linked to an external time base, you still have the phase noise and jitter issues, along with the inherent noise of the mixers….
      Which is why it was useful for me to take an old Heathkit HR-10B and tweak the radio to get an MDS down in the -141 dbm range (one frequency on 80 mtrs). Way cool. (The radio still sounded like shit and the frequency still changed with the settings of the RF gain control because I wasn’t going to piss away any of my high voltage Zener diode collection on an “unworthy radio.” Because the local oscillator fed its second harmonic for 15 and 10 meter reception, the f/u oscillator mixer mess was never going to perform like a double conversion with “purebred power.” Fun adventure, though.
      Whew! Point I’m working up to?
      Even on a good radio like the ATS-25, your power source can still hose it all up if you have noisy power and not running on internal battery!
      But I can’t help everyone with all issues. The information is out there for people who are serious enough to invest some time in getting a good answer for their particular circumstances in Life.

      • A little, but I’m thinking of my deceased Sony 2010 which would get most anything inside the house on the whip, once Art Bell on 75 mtrs, Pahrump to Winchester VA.

        Picture of tiny cool handheld receiver with giant dipole in my mind. Maybe go out at night with it just the whip and give results?

    • I was surprised at the time, but my ATS-25 was picking up the Hawaii Inter-island net on 7.088 with only the whip antenna… inside a house in Hilo with a steel roof! Signals from 250 miles distant on lower sideband.

  3. Nice article today George, + Viterbi filtering and Soft Decision Algos and you can achieve ~6dB of additional digital [software] gain in your front end.

    • Yeah, but neato as SDRs are, they are miles from the old school tube gear – even now it’s hard to find a Ricebox which is better than the old Collins -146 dbm benchmark. For some things, though, they are cool. Like for pulling down WeFax from the APT birds…
      That said, six db and further would get down to the -115 dbm range…about where an old single conversion HR-10 was on 80 meters stock? Plus you actually got to solder and not click all over hell and gone…
      Like I said, “Where’s the damn Horizon?”

      • LOL. I do like watching the electrons working through the glass envelope. Nothing compares to old school, and EMP resistant as a side benefit.

      • I gave my Consigliere’s great grandson my old Hammarlund HQ 110C a couple of years ago after he told me he was interested in Ham radio and was studying for his license. It had new tubes but other than that it was all original. I really missed that old monster for a while. I recently found the box of parts for it in my ahem, stash, so I made arrangements with Earl to get them to his great grandson which ended up being a 100 mile road trip to his house last Sunday. We arrived unannounced just as they arrived home from church and delivered the box to his great grandson. He has the radio and his other gear all set up in his room. Told me he is studying hard because he is “going all the way on my first try” and I have no doubt he will. He also said he has to get a ride to testing but his mom works late and Dad is not around. Haven’t checked but they are about as far out past where the busses don’t run as we are. Told him and his mom to call me when he is ready and I’ll take him. On the way home Debbie, Earl’s grand daughter, calls him and says the neighborhood kids were all coming over and asking Jason (great grandson) who the 2 cowboys were who visited. She asked him where he got the Stetson from and he told her I wouldn’t let him wear his John Deere cap in my truck so he had to wear something.
        That thing is nasty.
        Stay safe. 73

        • If by “all the way” on the first try, you mean sitting for the Tech, general and on up through extra class, it can be done. I had let my license lapse having so little time for ham radio when I was seriously newsing. But on a bet with a former father in law, I went home, had a couple of drinks and in an intensive 6-hours, re-memorized the key data. (Band edges, power levels, modes, and a few dozen electrical formulas for electrons and antennas and what have you.
          Then, late summer of 1977 I presented myself at the FCC office in Seattle. Took the (then) novice/tech 5 wpm and the general at 13q, the advanced at 16 and then the 20 words per minute for the extra.
          Then we were into the paper tests.
          Scored a 76 on the novice/ an 80 or 84 (memory issue) on the general/tech (which had the same written) then the advanced (88 percent) and finally (about lunchtime) the extra class Got a 96 on that.
          After which the Engineer in charge of the distract came out, shook my hand and said “We don’t ge3 many like you – one every year or two…” But tell him it can be done, because I’ve done it.
          It’s a little harder when you throw in 20 word a minute Morse (hand key). But that5’s where the AC7X call sign came from.

    • One more point: Having brought up the power supply cleanliness as a limiting factor in phase and jitter on LOs and mixers, I just ordered a USB filter from Amazon. would at least clean up the 5V rail going into the SDR – and if my sense is right, there MIGHT be a noise reductions in lo/mx noise to be had that way… Will let you know, but part is slow boat from China so 304 weeks out.

  4. Back in the “radio days” there were also “pneumatic tubes” delivering mail…

    “The Postal Museum also has several maps of the New York City pneumatic tube system, mostly from the 1930s and 40s. A 1947 map has some fun facts, including the time it took to send mail between the General Post Office and other stations, the number of canisters that went through the system daily (95,000), the pressure needed (3 to 8 lbs per inch), and the speed (5 tube carriers per minute and 30 mph). That year there were 26.969 miles of 2 way pneumatic tubes tubes. It even has the hours of operation: Weekdays from 5 AM to 10 PM, Saturday from 5 AM to 10 AM, and no service on Sundays and legal holidays. I love the thought of mail getting shot underground at 5 AM to arrive just time for the beginning of the work day.”

  5. the whole point of winning the jackpot of the powerball and mega millions, is because i can, i will, i do and i did.

    by correct understanding of language of creation around me. which tells me everything. it tells me everything all the time.

    sometimes, i ignore some of ot like the earthquake in alaska because although, it is interesting to know such things in advance, like the theme song for the show deadliest catch coming on the radio as ore train number 7 goes past me on the haul road and shutters my ore train as it goes past couple saturdays ago at midnight. its not my concern. i acknowledge it as okay thanks for letting me know about the 7.0 earthquake by dutch harbor. i apreacate the insite. however, what about this? and that?

    its not just about the money. even though, the money is fucking amazing.

    its about understanding the language of creation enough to beat the powerball and megamillions system, and….win the jackpots. the truth of

    I and I


    i have a wonderful amazing life of constant adventure, full of super Rich landscapes, flavors, colors, textures, smells and amazing circumstances, events and mind blowing stuff.

    im never alone. im always in dialog with THE DUDE through the language of creation. HE does his dance and i dance my dance. life happens.

    like im litterally sitting under giant maple tree with a giant golden monarch butterfly sitting on my shoulder while i type this. i mean its huge. it just lands on me like we are best friends.

    last night i slept with 2 young ladys. one blonde and one brunette. after which i thought im getting kind old to be sleeping with 2 buckle bunnies hald my age at the same time and they left around 2am.

    i had a couple of weird things sync yesterday having to do with the same images.

    the one thing im learning is, tje more im communicating in words and dynamic action qith creation and THE DUDE is i have to be careful by what o say because creation responds sometimes almost instantly.

    like last night after the bunnies left. i sat in bed and then said out loud “shit. i better go check on the kittens in the laundry room. see if they have food.”

    first step into the laundry room to see about the baby kittems i step in a pile of fresh cat shit on the floor.


    so im becoming more atriculate in how i speak. hopefully.


    good stuff george. thanks man.

  6. my premis is. once i completely understand and perfect the dialog of the lanugage of creation?

    it doesnt matter what or who holds the other cards at the table. i have them all because

    im playing with a full deck.

    i dont have to know everything. because everything tells me what i need to know at any moment i need to know it, in advance. befofe the other cards are even delt, i have already won won. which i have. im 2 feet from gold. which when i stopped to piss on the side of the road, the gold coins i found were only 2 feet away from me. laying right there.

    one mans trash, is another mans treasure.

    its not just about the winning. the winning proves systematic understanding and result. where understanding becomes truth.

    overcoming the world. not being overcomed by it.

    • Put both your lucky number picks for both the big number games on a bet slip for each lotto, throw in a quick pick, and play ’em. Three bets with the multiplier on each. Bet any win comes on the humble quick pick.

      • like juking the pinball machine for extra bonus points for the High Score on the reader board.


        its the perfect plan.

        that is why i been seeing and hearing owls all week.


        thank you!

      • if it was just about the money, i think perhaps juking the pinball machine to get my name on the High Score would be a good idea.

        and i wont discount it.

        for me, it is more about having a clear and consise understanding of the language of creation and its infnite dialects. ~ The Win Win ~ is conformation of my understanding. its more important scoring a hundred percent on a math and language test when the teacher is The Creator of all that is. the rewards are great and all. the prersonal understanding and self worth, value etc etc is the most important aspect.

        for me, its not just about pleasure seaking and approval or having anything i want. its about hitting an A + after much study, when the teacher is God. because that is how you advance the kingdom of God. that is also how you advance in the kingdom of God.

        the money is amazing. the education and wisdom on how to do it? how to create and correctly understand the creating procees, that is priceless.

        its george on his 3d printer. he makes stuff. he does this and that coupled with this amount of material mixed with this amount of time and the desired result is 10 times out of 11 what he was trying to make. once and a while i imagine he makes something he didnt intend to create, but with that comes a reaffirmed knowledge of the steps it takes and where he missed one or something went wonkey and needs fixed. and sometimes he is pleasently suprized at what comes out as a result.

        i know i am suprized, as a creator. i sure was last night. haha.

        the language of creation is a formulated dynamic process. there is a purpose and method for it.

        juking the pinball machine may get me the high score on the reader board once in a while. but its not the same as applied knowldedge and skill set to get me to the High Score on the Reader Board. because once i get there that way, i can repeat it every single time. but not only that, i can find other avenenues to apply that knowledge and skill set, that hadnt occured to me until i had finished the process and gained my desired result.

        and i do not want to learn that the only way to get the high score is constantly juking the system. the world is already full of people who think and live like that.

        its the wax on, wax off principle. later to find out, an every day activity in the proper motion and application produces extrordinary results in ways one like myself hadnt previously considered.

        thanks for the food for thought n___

        chop wood carry water.

      • thank you for the food for thought. ~ thinking outside the box. ~

        if i follow your suggestion? then im giving conceny for the box is make my decesions and choices for me.

        the world is full of people following what the box tells them is best. and consenting to it to make choices for them.

        i choose to do my best thinking for me. loose or win win? atleast i didnt give my power of choice to a box above my own best thinking and understanding.

        the world is full of losers letting the box think and choose for them.

        God gave a brain to use. its not just a hat rack.

        • I do not own or control any four-dimensional chess boards or pieces. I know you believe you have a Sponsor who controls the pieces on Ure Board who can’t be gamed, and I would not attempt to dispute. What I have suggested is that if you were to win the big pot, it would be because that is what you are supposed to do, that is, the quick pick is as likely a winner as Ure own pick. And remember to be humble and kind if that should happen; I’ve noticed that the really wealthy leave that in the rear view mirror early on.
          One last comment: the Commandments were kind of a starting point for shepherds in the field , temporal rules are more advanced.

        • the only losers are the ones that let the box control them..
          I grew up poor but didn’t know I was poor..we are programmed to believe that if we don’t have the new bling then we are nothing..people push people in business if you don’t have a piece of paper with fancy scroll printing on it and a foil stamp..then you are doesn’t matter if your smart it’s the paper.
          unfortunately we are programmed that if we don’t have this or we don’t have a number or we don’t have a piece of paper that we are worthless. the poor people live in neighborhoods where they’re kept in that classification rarely get out of it. those growing up in the hood or the ghettos of the big cities will always be at those neighborhoods because that is the social section that they belong or that they are taught that they belong.

      • They pretty much know who picks what.
        with that kind of winning.. I could do a lot of things..the winner should be in the NE this time..if I’ve kept the regions correct.. the next time there’s a major winner in the wastelands.. I will not buy another ticket..the next go around for the wastelands by my calculations will be when I’m A hundred and ten if it was today.
        I of course will never win because I would use it in a positive way.. I would build my dream though.. A few solar towers starting at the furthest point from the power plant.. and Green scape a neighborhood..donate to the college in Texas studying the kanzius Cancer treatment, there’s a water school and I could go on..the solar towers and air wells would be a go though..been harping about it for almost fifty years.. jimmy carter did that for his town.. its all dreams though..


    forget the cocaine left behind.. this is way more serious lol lol and they sure don’t have any clues..

    Secret Service Says They May Never Know Who Ate Half A Box Of Crayons In The Oval Office
    Jul 13, 2023 ·
    Article Image
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — After closing yet another investigation into mysterious situations within the White House, a representative for the United States Secret Service has admitted we may never learn the identity of the person who ate half a box of crayons in the Oval Office.

    “There simply isn’t any way to know who did it,” said Secret Service spokesperson Sean Kellar. “The half-eaten box of Crayolas, which has only ever been located in the Oval Office, was accessible to such a wide range of people. Though it was found in the top drawer of the President’s desk, we have no clue as to who may have been eating the crayons. It’s a mystery.”
    When asked to comment, President Joe Biden claimed to have no knowledge of the situation. “Look here, Jack,” Biden said with what appeared to be flecks of blue wax between his teeth, “I haven’t had anything to do with eating any crayons. Jill has told me time and time again that crayons are only for coloring, so that’s what I use them for. I would never sit at my desk and eat crayons. Trust me, they taste awful. Breedigginharbit!”

    The Secret Service closed its investigation after finding all security cameras in the Oval Office area had been turned off for the President’s meeting with unnamed Chinese officials last week.

    At publishing time, the Secret Service had reportedly disposed of the partially devoured crayons, with the President asking how he was supposed to finish coloring a picture of Tigger in his Winnie the Pooh coloring book.”


  8. last note:

    its a 4 step growth process:
    i can, i will, i do, i did.

    im in the “i did” developmental phaze. and i know, it will happen. because i know, im in the “i did” developemental phaze.

    once understanding becomes truth. when truth is fully conceptualized? it becomes you. that is where the miraculous happens consitantly.

    once the “i did” phaze is fully developed and actualized? i can reach in the air and materialize anything i desire.

    thoth the atlantian from the emerald tablet, teaches this truth.

    “draw the material in form out from the immaterial.”

    its like that christian song. way maker,

    “Way maker
    Miracle worker
    Promise keeper
    Light in the darkness
    My God
    That is who you are.”

    that is who i am. im living it. moving light in the darkness and making the way, after i completed a bunch promis keeping and miracle work.

    not that i want to be God Himself, just return to exact image He intended me to be.

    See God, Know God, See and Know what God does. do what God does. and God will see and know thee as His own image.

    I and I


  9. The IC-7300 is spec’d at 0.16 uV sensitivity in the HF bands. When you gonna try one out? Are you afraid you might like it??

    • Hank, I am deathly afraid of just that. The major has one and a 9300 or 9700 v/u companion and that’s it.
      Toss in a Henr 3K and put the rest into towers and beams?>

      Hell yeah, but I can’t do any restoring then. Want me to become an Appliance Operator?

      • LOL! Catch & release… restore ’em and sell ’em on ebay… and even maybe make a profit! And when have you ever said ‘no’ to making a profit? And think of all that shop space you would free up!

  10. That’s -123 dbm on the IC-7300, for the calculator impaired.
    Also a stunning lack of analog artifacts like heterodyne birdies, filter ringing, etc. One of the sharpest bandpass filters I have experienced… like a brick wall… with no ringing!

  11. Thanks for the online SDR. I remember about asking about them some time ago. I hope being on the site with no call sign doesn’t mess anything up for anyone. I guess not as long as you aren’t transmitting. My granddaughter was interested in the Morse Code so we found a translation site: Doesn’t seem to do it on the fly but it was fun to hear her name in Morse.

  12. Sunday hurricane preps completed today. Vehicles topped off, gas cans filled. The generator is a Troy-built 5550 watt unit with a 10-hp Briggs engine. Was crusty and not running well when I got a bargain from a contractor five years ago. Took it to the shop and the tech said he didn’t do generators. I told him never mind the electrical… I’ll take responsibility for that. Just get the motor running reliably. So he cleaned and adjusted the carb, but told me it was corroded and will need a new one soon. So I ordered a replacement kit back then… still on the shelf. The unit has been stored for the interim years, but with Tropical Storm CALVIN aiming for the Big Island I decided to haul the genny out and test it. Fresh gas, and that old Briggs started on the second cord pull! Runs perfectly. Electrical is 124 VAC at 61 Hz with no load. That will come down nicely under load, if needed.

    CALVIN is weakening, and we are not so much worried about the wind. Our two large volcanoes are a brick wall to hurricane winds, but all that moisture will slam into the windward slopes and dump… and dump. It drains well in a couple days, but can cause a lot of damage while dumping, sometimes at several inches per hour, for a day or two.
    Due Tuesday evening into Wednesday. Looks like the low pressure eye will pass just south of the Big Island, with the CCW rain slamming into the mountains and getting scraped clean of the remnant low. We’ve seen this before. Bring it on!

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