Thursday, July 31, 2008

Smooth Jazz Collection

Smooth Jazz Collection

Marion Meadows - Wishing On A Star

Wishing On A Star - Marion Meadows

Gotan Project - Queremos Paz

Queremos Paz - Gotan Project

George Howard

"Baby Come To Me"Artist: George Howard
Seduction - Sam Riney

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Playing with sound enhancers for Hi-End PC Audio Playback

Further to my earlier posts introducing the DFX and Q Max II sound enhancer plug-ins, I actually downloaded both plug ins and added them to my SRS Sound Sandbox and started experimenting by first running one plug in, then 2 and finally all 3 in tandem with MP3 and CD playback using Real Player and Windows Media Play. The old adage is true here, one is better then none, two is better then one and three is just astounding! Of course you must do some careful adjustments for all three sound enhancers working in tandem so that audio input is not overloaded and distortion sets in, careful testing to find the the optimal threshold points is necessary and you will need to recalibrate to suit of course different types of music. Have played extensively with all 3 plug ins running in tandem, the best sound performance is on the windows media player. Real Player is just a bit more difficult to adjust when the DFX attachment is used.

The final verdict after testing all three together is that I can now really enjoy PC Hi-End HiFi quality sound and going back to bare bones with all 3 sound enhancer plug ins out, it is simply just not an option and not something that I could live with now. Have a go and try them out and you know what you have been missing! I have been using an SRS processor, a Barcus Berry Electronics BBE Sonic Maximizer and a Carver Sonic Holographic Generator together with a tube based buffer amplifier for sound reproduction in my main HiFi system (all hardware electronics) for many years and was fully satisfied and could never get the sound stage, ambiance, air, tonal quality and sheer harmonic detail on the PC system, but now with the 3 sound enhancer plug ins and music reproduced into a small pair of Sansui multi-media speakers with matching sub woofer the quality can rival my main system. Truly amazing what the new software DSP algorithms can do now to improve sound quality for the computer. There is now no turning back.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More on 3D Sound Enhancement for the computer.

If you are interested in SRS sandbox and the DFX plug in modules and still want more, then maybe you should look at QMax. The link below is for the QMax demo page, take a look and listen:

The QMax II plug-in is a product of QSound. You can also find QSound at:

Winelight - Grover Washington Jr.

Raydio - Jack And Jill

Beyonce - Wishing On A Star.

Meja - I'm Missing You

DFX Sound Enhancer

Do you listen to music often on your PC in addition to your hifi system. Are you serious about the sound quality, ambience, sound stage, 3D, air and overall quality of the sound produced. If you are as picky as I am, you will want to have the best audio quality. I already have the SRS "wow" sandbox installed and it already has made the lifeless sound become "wow" really 3D. Now I have gone one step even further and added the DFX sound enhancer plug in and combined the two for some stunning sound stage effects, you will have to of course slowly adjust the settings of both plug-ins when they are working in tandem to get the best quality sound and not overload.

Below is the hype from the DFX website, and it is worthwhile doing the download:

Friday, July 25, 2008


The adherence to proper moral and ethical principles; the soundness of moral character and honesty to oneself and above all to others. A firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values which are incorruptible, fair honest and true to all. An unimpaired, unparalleled condition of truth and soundness that are fully accountable to oneself and others that is beyond any dispute and is reflected in liquid transparency, honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does.
When used to describe a virtue, ‘integrity’ refers to a quality of a person's character and the upholding of what is perceived by common society to be decent, moral and correct. Integrity is primarily a matter of keeping one self intact and uncorrupted and being able to distinguish right from wrong and living by such moral obligations and standards to society, family and friends.
A view to integrity is to think of it primarily in terms of a person holding steadfastly true to their commitments and what are deemed to be proper convictions without giving way to desires and temptation at the risk of betrayal to others.
Integrity must find common ground with accepted moral standard and purpose otherwise it cannot be deemed to be generally accepted terms of integrity if purely based on one's own perception and no one else's commonly accepted norms.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Refurbished 4 Element 6 Meter HB9CV Yagi Antenna

This weekend we finally had two days of clear skies so it was great because I could do the refurbishment work on my 4 element HB9CV yagi antenna for 50MHz. Everything is completed now and the antenna will be set up for a permanent direction to NA now. The photos below show the antenna completed in it's final stages on a test tripod. All the elements have been changed with new ones and resizing of the spacings done.

Maycom BS-27 All Mode Base Transceiver for 24/28/29MHz

The Maycom BS-27 transceiver is marketed by Maycom of Korea as a very advanced all mode CB base station transceiver with VFO operation. It has two selectable antenna outputs, orange LCD readout, key board entry, ANL, Hi Cut, Roger beep, scanning, memories, digital readout S meter, mic and RF gain, clarifier and cal, cont. RF power VR, NB, TX Shift, DTMF, Volume and Squelch, page, step, up down buttons. A four step dimmer lamp function. Dual Watch Function. It has 25 watts variable out put on SSB and 1-10 watts on AM - 2SC2166 x 1, 2SC1969 x 2. Built in power supply. Microprocessor: LC72338.

It is marketed in Europe as the Stabo XF-9082 professional ans also elsewhere as the Superstar SS-4900, they are all the same radio.

So you may ask why the fuss over a glorified CB radio. Ahh, this is where you are wrong. I somehow beleive that the engineers at Maycom are hams and the rig can be changed for "full entire coverage" from 24MHz through to 30MHz!!!! Yes, you have a transceiver that covers 24MHz, 28 and 29MHz! Neat!

So how is this accomplished, easy push the EMG button whilst you turn the power on and presto you have full band coverage! It is a nice base station to have for 24 and 28MHz. I hope the people at Maycom are listening and reading this, it is time for you guys to design something for 50MHz! Or may be a combined all mode transceiver that covers 50MHz and 70MHz (6 meters and 4 meters).

FREQUENCY COVERAGE ......................... 26.965 TO 27.405 MHz
FREQUENCY STABILITY ........................... +/- 0 . 0 0 1 %
OPERATING MPERATURE .........................-10℃ TO +55℃
POWER SOURCE REQUIREMENTS ........... AC 230V/60Hz or DC 16V
ANTENNA IMPEDANCE ............................ 50 ohm Unbalanced
MIC IMPEDANCE ..................................... 2000 ohm

IF FREQUENCY ............................ 1'st IF : 10.695MHz , 2'nd IF : 455KHz
SPURIOUS & IMAGE REJECTION ................60dB Min
S / N RATIO .............................................40 dB
AUDIO OUTPUT @10%THD ........................2.0 W

POWER OUTPUT ............................SSB(A3J):25Watts. AM(A3E):1-10Watts. FM(F3E):10Watts
MODULATION .................................FM :2KHZ, AM : 8 5 %
HARMONIC OUTPUT .......................More than 40Dbbelow peak power output
S / N RATIO ..................................40dB

Are You An Otaku, I hope not

Otaku is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests and realizing their ego trips at the expense of others (people). They do not care about anyone else as their needs always have first priority and don't care who they hurt in order to attain their goals.

Sometimes we see these kind of people in the world of radio or hobbies, we call them Otaku, in Japanese, meaning that he is a maniac, too much of an enthusiast that he walks over everyone else and friends, far too into their hobby or enjoyments, and does not see anyone around them (they are in a dream world and think that only they are no. 1 and everyone else is below them).

In Japanese it occasionally suggests a creepy, obsessive loner who rarely leaves the house. In English, geek can possibly suggest a person who may be socially awkward but who is also intelligent and may be fairly "normal" aside from their interest in certain typically 'geekish' pursuits. Otaku is not completely the same as the meaning for Geek.

An Otaku is self obsessed with his particular pursuit to the point that he could forsake friendships and in order to strive for his particular goal turn against long time friends. Otaku is far worse then the word geek as their judgments a not level headed and they cannot admit to what is right or wrong. They are too self centered.

The reason that I have raised this is because there are "Ham Otaku's' who are reclusive, live in their shacks all the time, turn against friends in pursuit of the hobby to the extreme and are just plain ignorant, arrogant and repulsive, bad mannered, selfish and full of themselves (mislead by a euphoria of their own self indulgent greatness). Plainly - Ham Morons!

It is so very unfortunate that I have had the chance of knowing at least one super "Ham Otaku"!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Old Flames Die Hard: Maycom EM27

The Maycom EM-27 was originally designed for the 27MHz band and offered AM and FM modes of operation, however there are modifications on the web to extend the frequency coverage from 25MHz way up to 29MHz which makes it particularly suitable for 29MHz FM operation. Mine has been modified to cater for this coverage with 29MHz FM operation in mind.
The EM-27 is an advanced mobile CB transceiver that combines propriety circuitry with microprocessor controlling system, full surface mount technology and advanced features to make it a premier radio in CB mobile communications.

Features :

  • Frequency and channel display
  • Large LCD multi function display
  • Full channel or memory channels scan or only preset memory channels
  • Automatic control of low audio level in accordance with noise strength
  • Dual watch
  • Key lock system
  • Six user defined functions on microphone
  • Beep on/off selection
  • Rotary channel, volume and squelch controls
  • Direct Display of supplied voltage
  • Digital signal meter
  • RF gain
  • 7 programmable memory channels
  • Voltage display
  • Last channel recall
  • Backlit illumination
  • External speaker socket
  • Weight 1.40kg
  • Size 45(h) x 150(w) x 157(d)mm


Honour or honor, (the latter directly from the Latin word honos, honoris) is the evaluation of a person's trustworthiness and social status based on that individual's espousals and actions. Honour is deemed exactly what determines a person's character: whether or not the person reflects honesty, respect, integrity, or fairness. Accordingly, individuals are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions, code of honor, and that of the society at large. Honor can be analysed as a relativistic concept, i.e., conflicts between individuals and even cultures arising as a consequence of material circumstance and ambition, rather than fundamental differences in principle. Alternatively, it can be viewed as nativist — that honour is as real to the human condition as love, and likewise derives from the formative personal bonds that establish one's personal dignity and character.

Dr Samuel Johnson, in his A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), defined honour as having several senses, the first of which was "nobility of soul, magnanimity, and a scorn of meanness." This sort of honour derives from the perceived virtuous conduct and personal integrity of the person endowed with it. On the other hand, Johnson also defined honour in relationship to "reputation" and "fame"; to "privileges of rank or birth", and as "respect" of the kind which "places an individual socially and determines his right to precedence." This sort of honour is not so much a function of moral or ethical excellence, as it is a consequence of power.

from Wikipedia

Old Flames Die Hard: nDi HC-1400 FM 2M Mobile Transceiver

Above is a photo of an old nDi FM 2M Mobile Transceiver of mine which covers 144-148MHz has repeater offsets and power of 25 watts or 5 watt selectable output. PLL VFO (5/10 KHz steps) with 3 memories. Sensitivity at 12dB less than 0.3uV, Selectivity More than 60dB at +-15 KHz, Image Rejection More Than 60dB. Voltage 13.8 VDC +- 15%, Current Drain MAX 5.5 Amps. Impedance 50 ohms - SO239. Dimensions 182W*66H*258D mm. Weight 3.4 Kg. Manufacture Date: 1983.

One of my first rigs and still in pretty good condition today. This is now quite a rare radio as I believe not many are still around.


Hardly used now, but kept for sentimental reasons. Below is another view of this nice looking mobile transceiver:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

RF Inquiry Common Mode Filters.


You have been used to the standard low pass filters in order to deal with your TVI and RFI problems, although these work they do not necessarily eliminate all types of interference. Enter the common mode filter or common mode RF Choke.

In 1988 RF Inquiry of Japan announced the HI-Q COMMON-MODE Filter Series CF250E and CF5KL to answer the problems associated with RFI that could not be solved through existing means. In 1997 the new models, CF250E and CF5KV were announced. The CF-250E is a standard 250 watt version for the out put of the transceiver and the CF-5KV is a hefty QRO version handling 5,000 watts for the output of the linear amplifier.

I use two of the CF250E common mode filters on the output of my transceivers an have found that they have dealt with problems even a good low pass TVI filter could not deal with. One in line with my FT-2000 because it covers all of the HF spectrum and 6 meters as well.

These HI-Q COMMON-MODE Filter Series are in use by many ham radio stations and broadcasting stations and solve many of their RFI problems.

The Japanese Standard, made by RF Inquiry which is a well respected company who specializes in filtering applications in Japan, they manufacture an extensive range of different types of filters for amateur radio, but more importantly their filters are employed for use by government agencies as well as broadcasting networks in Japan.

Common-Mode noise is also called differential noise. Normal mode noise is the energy between a wire of a line, but Common-Mode is energy between a transmitter and the ground including everything which makes up the stray capacitance between the ground.

TVI / RFI is composed of a combination of normal mode noise and Common-Mode noise. Recently the technology of radio transmitters has improved remarkably and leaks of normal mode noise have decreased substantially. But presently, counter measures against Common-Mode noise is still sadly lacking.

Any normal electronic circuit can not eliminate the generation of Common-Mode noise and still be cost effective to be marketed reasonably on the consumer market.

RF has no regard to a balanced or unbalanced line, a part of the essential energy is a signal changing its form from generation, conversion and transmission due to the discrepancy of line balance, stray capacitance and stray inductance between the ground or a surrounding object.

This becomes a main component of the Common-Mode noise. This value is variable but generally about -20dB. A transmitter cannot stop the generation of any Common-Mode noise since the transmitter does not work as a perfectly balanced device and is inside a metallic case, which will include a Low Pass filter for an unbalanced line.

Common-Mode noise causes strong RFI to all electronic devices similar to normal mode noise. A Low Pass Filter reduces normal mode noise but does not have any positive overall effect on reduction or elimination of common mode noise, therefore, RF Interference can not be completely prevented by installing only a Low Pass filter.

^information from RF Inquiry.

RF Inquiry Inc. (Japan):

Model # CF250E CF5KV
Application HF/6m transceivers HF/6m transceivers & amps
Operating Frequency (MHz) 1.8-70 1.8-70
Direction of Operation Bi-directional Bi-directional
Impedance (ohms) 50 50
Power Rating (continuous – watts)SWR<1.5> 250 5,000
Common mode Attenuation (db) 50-60 (1.5- 250 MHz) 50-60 (1.5- 250 MHz)
Insertion Loss (dB) <0.1 <0.1
Connector SO-239 Teflon SO-239 Teflon
Size (inch) 10 L x 1 diameter 11 3/4 L x 2 1/4 diameter
Weight (lbs) 0.5 1.3

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cool Gadget: Nixie Look -alike digital LED Desk Clock

My favorite gadget in the shack is a Nixie Tube Look-alike Digital LED Desk Clock which I use for GMT settings. The base is made of walnut, LEDs are red 1.5 inches high housed in glass tubes to make them look like old Nixies. Powered by an 9V DC supply. Take a look:-

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Flagship Transceiver Comparison Table: 2008

A bigger table is on my web site under the radio station information page:

Two Useful VHF & UHF Tuners: Kenwood SWT-1 and SWT-2

Kenwood manufactured some time back two small antenna tuners for 2 meters and 70 cnetimeters - the SWT-1 and SWT-2. These two compact sized tuners are now discontinued. Their compact size makes them useful for mobile use and for experimentation when homebrewing your own VHF and UHF antennas. They are available from time to time on eBay but are quite rare pieces of equipment. Small and handy, worthwhile to have just in case you need to test an antenna.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What's Wrong With The Sun?

Above: The solar cycle, 1995-2015. The "noisy" curve traces measured sunspot numbers; the smoothed curves are predictions. Credit: D. Hathaway/NASA/MSFC.

What's Wrong With The Sun? Go to:

Bluetooth & Amateur Radio

Bluetooth handsfree operations has all along been associated with mobile phones till now. Well there is some good news for ham radio operators, there is a new little black box called "Talksafe" which employs Bluetooth for mobile ham radio operations. Visit the site for more information:

Radio Shack DSP-40: SSB & CW DSP Active Filter.

I mentioned in another post about the Radio Shack DSP-40 audio filter. This is a small add on active DSP audio filter made by Radio Shack primarily for use on SSB and CW modes. It is quite a simple unit with settings for bypass, medium bandwidth and narrow with audio filter settings for NR (Noise Reduction), SSB and CW.

One must bear in mind that this unit is a relatively simple cost effective unit and should not be compared with much higher end DSP units such as those of Timewave etc. It has a built in speaker and could be a useful addition to the mobile operator who has an older rig with little or no filtering. It is also extremely useful to the SWL/BCL for add on filtering to old SW radios. I would however suggest that you do not use the small speaker and use an external one instead.

I have two of these units which I have run for years and found them to be useful additions to older radios. I have one which is connected to my Kenwood TS-60 50MHz transceiver and the second as I mentioned earlier to my FT-901DM and the SP-901P external speaker.

They are no longer made by Radio Shack but are readily available on ebay for bidding between US$45-50 for closing price.

As I said do not expect top end DSP performance, as you pay for is what you get and for the price it serves it's purpose pretty darn well.
Above: The original Radio Shack packing for the DSP-40 Active Filter.

Above: One of my DSP-40's hooked up to my Kenwood TS-60.

Above: Close up of the DSP-40.

Above: A review on the DSP-40 by Steven Johnston, WD8DAS

Modification link for DSP-40:

Yaesu SP-901P External Speaker: Boatanchor Speaker Now a Steal.

I have a outboard external speaker that will match up with the Yaesu FT-901DM, the speaker is the SP-901P. It is a bare bones external speaker with no passive audio filtering. The P stands for Phone Patch. A phone patch unit is is built into the speaker and enables the operator to hook it up to the telephone landline and perform phone patching operations.
The sound quality and audio level from the driven AF output of the transceiver is more then adequate and for general purposes the audio is quite good. Because this boat anchor speaker does not have the passive audio filtering which most external speakers have, it is often overlooked. I have hooked it up to a Radio Shack DSP-40 audio filter and this brings the speaker up to speed and makes an improvement.

If you are in the market for an external speaker, maybe you should look for one on eBay as quite frankly these speakers are a steal at US$35.00 approximately for final bidding price these days. What more could you ask for, and to boot a phone patching unit is built in.
With an external audio filter it would make a very nice unit for any transceiver, not necessarily the FT-901DM, FT-902 or the FT-101Z which it is intended to match. Cosmetically it is also an attractive unit.

This is oldie but goodie that is neglected today, some photos below:

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Dear Friend Now Silent Key: Paul Richard Bailey, VS6DO

For those of you who recall the call VS6DO, you will remember the meter pegging signals from Paul Bailey back in the 80's. It is with a heavy heart that I write here on the death of Paul, he was involved in a tragic vehicle accident on Sunday June 22nd, he was only 62. Below is a news account:


In the 1:20 p.m. Sunday accident on Highway 99 south of Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla, Paul Richard Bailey, 62, of Clovis, died and his passenger, Vinna Kin Wah Bailey, 60, of Clovis, was taken to Madera Community Hospital in Madera for treatment of moderate injuries.

Bailey was southbound on Highway 99 in the slow lane at an unknown rate of speed. The 2006 Mazda Tribute drifted onto the shoulder, Bailey overcorrected and the vehicle struck a large tree. The force of the impact caused the vehicle to overturn, land on its left side and hit a second tree.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor and seat belts were in use, officers said.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger

For many radio amateurs Paul was the first Hong Kong contact on the low bands. Paul was an Officer in the British police force. One of his perks was a top floor apartment and roof access of a multi-story apartment building located on Broadcast Drive, Kowloon. A 4-1000 amplifier and substantial antenna gave him the one of the loudest signals out of SE Asia on 80 meters in the early 70's.

He later left the Police Force and joined the SEC (Securities Commission) until his retirement several years ago. Having joined the Securities Commission, he moved his QTH to Fotan in Shatin where he became rather inactive on ham bands. He took up an interest in listening to music and golf.

He was a dear friend and his death was most untimely, Paul will be missed by all of us. Paul is survived by Kin, Derek, Sarah, Debbie, Jennifer and Stephanie. This is a story written about Paul in Radiosporting magazine, February 1987 issue by: Bill Tippett (W4ZV)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Where is Tecsun's New S-2000 Receiver.

Many of us have waited with baited breath for the long awaited Tecsun S-2000, there is still no certainty on when the first batch of the new radio will arrive on the market. Last news was that it was due for release in the middle of the year. Then we heard July - August, 2008? No one knows for sure. But I think that the S-2000 will be with us shortly, below is the latest photo of what seems to be the final product with what it seems to be a new Tecsun logo. I do hope that the wait for this new receiver is worthwhile. But for now enjoy the photo:

New Specialized FMDX Radio: Tecsun DSP-2000.

I had earlier reported on the CR-1100DSP FMDX radio from Tecsun, apparently Tecsun is bringing out a bad big boy version called the DSP-2000. The case and outlook and layout look the same but it is much larger in size and I expect that the circuit design is also further upgraded, no further details available at this stage except the following photo showing the DSP-2000 and the CR-1100DSP sitting above it:

Apparently focus has also gone into the MW performance on the DSP-2000, I certainly hope that it has been gratly improved. It would be a challenge to test it against my trusty GE Super Radio III. The MW loop is the new loop antenna by Tecsun which is basically similar to the Radio Shack and Terk style MW loops.